May 29, 2013

PREP SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL Giveaway Extravaganza!

Today, I'm so pleased to be able to participate in a massive giveaway for Kara Taylor's Prep School Confidential. Her book sounds amazing, and I can't wait to read it! I hope you feel the same :D

Details on the giveaway below.

About the Book:

Anne Dowling practically runs her exclusive academy on New York’s Upper East Side—that is, until she accidentally burns part of it down and gets sent to a prestigious boarding school outside of Boston. Determined to make it back to New York, Anne could care less about making friends at the preppy Wheatley School. That is, until her roommate, Isabella’s body is found in the woods behind the school.

When everyone else is oddly silent, Anne becomes determined to uncover the truth no matter how many rules she has to break to do it. With the help of Isabella’s twin brother Anthony, and a cute classmate named Brent, Anne discovers that Isabella wasn’t quite the innocent nerdy girl she pretended to be. But someone will do anything to stop Anne’s snooping in this fast-paced, unputdownable read—even if it means framing her for Isabella’s murder.

About the Author:

Kara Taylor wrote PREP SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL in her first semester of graduate school, in between pulling all nighters and listening to her dad say writing isn't a real job. Now, she lives on Long Island and writes full time. She is represented by Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary and Media.


About the Giveaway:

• First Prize winner will receive a signed ARC of Prep School Confidential, a signed copy of The Nightmare Affair, a paperback copy of Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, and a PSC Swag Pack
• 3-Runner’s up will receive 3 PSC swag packs
• Open US/Canada only
• Runs May 29 to June 11
• No purchase necessary to enter
• Be sure to read the terms and conditions on the giveaway


Participating Blogs:

Kara Taylor
Lori M. Lee
Cat York
Once Upon a Time In Writerland
I Eat Words
Chanelle Gray
Dawn Rae Miller
Jenn Walkup

a Rafflecopter giveaway

May 22, 2013

I'm on the OneFour KidLit blog today!

Like the title says, if you'd like to read my interview at OneFour KidLit, you can see it here: http://onefourkidlit.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/lori-m-lee-gates-of-thread-and-stone/

Hope you guys are having a great week! :)

May 17, 2013

From Draft to Book Deal

First, the contest is over and all winners will be contacted. Thank you so much for entering and for all the kind words and congratulations ♥

Okay, so here's where I promised more info about the road to yes.

Warning: TL;DR (too long; didn't read) ahead!

While I'm so happy I can finally talk about how I'm going to be published (OMG!!!), keep in mind that even though I'm focusing on the successes, they came right alongside a lot of rejection.

Like... a lot. (I have a 'rejections' folder in my email where I keep them all... I'm afraid to look in it)

And of course, in typical Lori fashion, this story will be illustrated by my gif friends.

I started GATES OF THREAD AND STONE (then called Harbinger) July of 2011 while I was querying a different manuscript, which some of you might recall from a past cover design contest. It took four weeks to write the first draft of GATES and three months of editing before I felt it was querying-ready. This was not typical. My previous ms took me half a year to write the first draft and then another year for revisions and rewrites.


Anyway, midway into editing GATES, I received an email from Super Agent Suzie Townsend. She had requested SOUL a month prior. She finished the manuscript and really liked it!


But she ultimately had to pass, and she included two pages of editorial notes. Color me shocked! And HUGELY appreciative. I mean, querying writers are lucky if they get a sentence of explanation on rejections, but Suzie went above and beyond and gave me a whole editorial letter! I immediately stopped querying SOUL and set it aside for yet more revisions. This didn't bother me in the least because I was loving GATES and couldn't wait to finish it.


A month later, I won by random drawing a first chapter critique from an author I admired. She liked my chapter so much that she forwarded it to her agent (you guessed it, Super Agent Suzie Townsend), who loved it (and remembered SOUL!) and invited me to submit as soon as I finished editing. See why I'm convinced Suzie and I were meant to work together? :)


Fast forward another month, and I was done editing. I tested the waters first with a few agent-judged contests and live pitch opportunities, all of which either earned me a request or I won. I was pretty floored. I even got this snazzy certificate (I'm not actually from the SF area but the contest was open to everyone):
Anyway, I found myself with 10 agent requests (2 from referrals) and 1 editor request before I'd even started querying. I was excited, but also terrified because if I failed now? It would mean my writing just didn't cut it.


So I sent in all requested materials and began querying in earnest. I sent my query-with-referral to Suzie on a Friday night at 11:45 pm (b/c when I'm tired is when I'm feeling bravest).

Thirty minutes later, she responded with: "YES PLEASE SEND!!!! Right now! :) :)"


I was over the moon. Fast forward four weeks. By now, I had enough rejections and requests to send me on a constant roller coaster of up and down.


Then I got a sheepish and apologetic email from Suzie saying she'd responded within days to receiving my manuscript and wondered why I hadn't replied. She checked her email and found it never sent. But she still wanted to talk! YAY! *cue freak out*


We set up a phone call, during which I was too anxious and wired to remember to say ANY of the things I'd planned to. When she asked what else I was working on, even though I had it written down right in front of me, I blanked and went, "Um... this book about... a girl who has a monster in her... and this boy... who captures her."

And then because I could unfortunately HEAR myself, I added, "Wow, that sounds terrible."


Suzie was kind enough to laugh and take it in stride, and despite my bumbling, she STILL offered me rep. Whew!


Then I hung up and ran around the house at least twice.


And emailed/called my CPs. And contacted all the other agents with my manuscript, and even some agents who only had my query (many of whom promptly requested the manuscript). I ended up with more offers of rep, in addition to several agents who passed but asked me to get in touch immediately should I ever find myself NOT agented. Wow.

(happy tears)

So then I had a decision to make. But considering everything that happened during my querying journey, it just didn't feel right to go with anyone but Suzie. Her revisions for the book convinced me it would be the best book possible, that my writing would be the best possible, under her guidance. So I accepted her offer, and it was off to the revision races.


Being on submission was crazy. Over the course of nine months, I made one minor revision and then one major revision, received a lot of rejections and several editor-loves-it-but-couldn't-get-enough-support-to-make-an-offer close calls (the first of which made me ugly cry, but we won't talk about that). But then, suddenly we had an offer. YAY! And then another editor offered! YAYx2! I spoke with Robin Benjamin from Amazon Children's Publishing on the phone, and she was absolutely lovely and so enthusiastic. And 2 weeks later, I officially accepted. YAYx3!!!

ALL THE EMOTIONS while on submission:
               

There were times I honestly didn't think I'd make it here. But I'm so insanely grateful to my agent for believing in this book, and to my CPs, Mindee and Lauren and Anna, who kept telling me I could do it even when I wasn't so sure myself. And I'll stop here because I'll save the thanks for the Acknowledgments. (OMG I'M GOING TO HAVE AN ACKNOWLEDGMENTS!!!)



YAY! ♥

May 10, 2013

Book Deal Celebration Giveaway!

Like the title says, I decided to have a giveaway to celebrate the announcement of my book deal. EVERYONE WINS! \o/

In a similar fashion to another fellow OneFourKidLit author, Francesa Zappia aka Chessie, since I had to wait 7 months to announce the deal, I am giving away 7 prizes.

Here they are:

♥ Your choice of any book released either last year or this year (2012-2013). Four winners. ♥

♥ A $10 gift card to either Barnes and Noble or Amazon. Two winners. ♥

♥ A simple bust sketch by me. Any single character. ♥
Example:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you, everyone, and good luck! :D

May 9, 2013

As Effie might say: big, big, big news!

Ever since I was a little kid scribbling down horror stories about exploding heads (R.L. Stine's influence) and then fantasy stories about magical portals and flying demons (Tolkien's influence) and then bad romance novels with throbbing members SHHH WE DON'T TALK ABOUT THIS (my sisters' influence), I've only ever truly wanted one thing. Okay, wait, two things. The first was to ride a unicorn and fall into a faerie ring and live in a castle and dine with singing furniture (that totally counts as one).

But the second, more relevant thing was to be an author and someday share my writing with the world.

This is the part where I abandon all pretense at dignity b/c OHMIGOD GUYS I'M GOING TO BE PUBLISHED *runs in circles*

I've been waiting since October of last year (!!!) to share this, and now I feel like the Queen of Secret Keeping and don't think I didn't have a stare down with the Apocalypse because that sh*t needed to get in the back of the line (you're welcome).

So, right, this announcement just appeared in Publisher's Weekly:


"Tim Ditlow at Amazon Children's Publishing's Skyscape imprint has acquired a debut fantasy novel by Lori M. Lee called Gates of Thread and Stone. In the story, a teenage girl must keep her ability to manipulate the threads of time a secret, but when her brother goes missing, she risks getting caught up in a revolution in order to save him. Robin Benjamin will edit, for publication in spring 2014. Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary and Media did the two-book deal for world English rights."


LIFE HAS BEEN MADE. My agent is the bestest agent in all the world, and I'm so crazy-excited to be working with Robin and Skyscape.

Even though I've had what feels like ages to come to terms with it, it still feels unreal. I'm terrified and humbled and ecstatic that I'm going to have a REAL BOOK (OMG!) with, like, A COVER and PAGES and they'll even have to put MY NAME on it! (they have to, right?)

I hope you guys will like it half as much as I enjoyed writing it. It's got magic and mind control and family dynamics (no one is surprised) and gargoyles and fighting and romance and lots of other stuff you'll just have to wait and read to find out about :D :D :D

P.S. More details about the road to 'Yes' coming soon.

P.P.S. If you have any questions--about me, publishing, querying, whatever--please ask in the comments, and if I'm able to answer it, I will do so in a following post.


May 3, 2013

Cover Reveal: SLEEPER by S.M. Johnston

Today, I get to help reveal the awesome cover of an even more awesome writer. (I like the word 'awesome.')

Ready? KA-BAM!


About the Book:

Title: Sleeper (Book I in the Toy Soldiers series)
Author: S. M. Johnston
Release Date: December 2, 2013
Publisher: Entranced Publishing
Genre: NA speculative fiction

After a life saving heart transplant, eighteen-year-old Mishca Richardson is plagued by nightmares and an urgent desire to find her birth parents, which she puts down to post-operation depression. But her new heart seems to bring more than a second chance at life in the form of speed, strength and love at first sight.

Add it on Goodreads!

About the Author:

Sharon is a writer from Mackay in Queensland, Australia who has short stories published in anthologies and was also runner-up in the Australian Literary Review's Young Adult short story contest with KARMA. By day she is a public relations executive and by night she writes weird fiction and soulful contemporaries while her husband, two sons and cat are fast asleep.


Social Media Links:

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/authorsmjohnston
Twitter: https://twitter.com/S_M_Johnston
Website: www.smjohnston.com
Blog: www.downunderwonderings.blogspot.com
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4019418.S_M_Johnston


May 2, 2013

Broken Forest "Choose Your Own Adventure" Hop


If you've landed here during your adventure, skip all this and go below.

If you're wondering what's going on, go here to start your own adventure!

And may The Creator bless you on your journey.

Your story continues here...

~ * ~ * ~

“Go, I’ll be right behind you!”

One hand holds the beet juice; the other holds a small dagger.

Sweat slides down your back. The first catch always makes you a bit jumpy. One . . . two . . . On three you push the weeds aside and find a large coon who hisses and jumps at you.


Artwork by Nick Frizalone

“Eck!”

The pouch falls from your hand as you grab the dagger with both hands, stabbing the creature in the chest before it can stick its claws into your skin.

“Gwen!”

Ella cries out your name and you turn to see her chasing Brev.

You snatch the fallen pouch and then dash after Ella, praying she doesn’t run too far. Her stark blonde hair is the only thing you can see and it’s moving farther and farther away.

“Ella!”

You can no longer see her. She’s most likely already caught Brev which means you need to find another player and fast.

A stream runs through this part of the forest and you stop to drink. While kneeling down, you see a shadow, and hear the soft crunch of grass. Moments later, wild blueberry juice splashes your face.

“Tavo!”

He smiles, and it diffuses your anger.

“Are you upset with me?”

“What do you think?” You push past him, but he grabs your arm.

“I’m sorry. But you know how much I love being Jenzi.”

Tavo always seems to win AND find the flower. Ella thinks Tavo uses magic but you don’t believe her. Everyone knows magic users must be sent to The Order. Tavo wouldn’t risk it.

He wipes the berry juice off your check with his thumb. “Will you hunt with me?”

A) No. Go here.
B) Yes. Go here.

~ * ~ * ~

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Blurb: Hopeless he'll never be more than the boy who didn't save his brother, 17-year-old Avikar accepts his life as the family stable boy, trying to forget the past. But when his sister, Jeslyn, is kidnapped, the thought of losing another sibling catapults him on a desperate quest. With his best friend by his side, and using the tracking skills he learned from his father, he discovers Jeslyn has been taken, kidnapped by one Lucino, the young lord of Daath, a mystical place thought only to exist in fables.

And Lucino has plans for Jeslyn.

Buy links:
B&N
Kobo
Amazon

Author Bio



Eliza graduated from Dowling College with a BS in Visual Communications. When she’s not arguing with excel at her day job, or playing Dragon Age 2, again, she’s writing. Her stories hold a bit of the fantastical and there’s always a romance. She resides on Long Island with her husband, two kids and one very snuggly pit bull.

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17797991-broken-forest

Author links:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElizaTilton
Tumblr: http://elizatilton.tumblr.com/
Website: http://www.elizatilton.com
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/elizatilton/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eliza-Tilton-YA-Author/245765852217133

May 1, 2013

Cover Reveal: CATCHING LIAM by Sophia Bleu

Today, I'm delighted (don't you love that word?) to participate in the cover reveal for CATCHING LIAM, a new adult contemporary novel by Sophia Bleu.

Aaaand, go!


Blurb: Twenty-one year-old Jillian Nichols only has one rule when it comes to boys: catch and release. Boy-catching isn't just a game for Jillian and her friends, it's a lifestyle. After all, boys might be good for a dance or a drink and certainly a little under-cover action of the scandalous variety, but expect much else and you're bound for heart ache.

So when her best friends and fellow boy catchers start dropping like flies junior year, Jillian is determined to keep boys in her bedroom and out of her heart. Until she meets Liam McAvoy, the kind of guy that sticks around to make waffles and who can't—or perhaps won't—take a hint.

Study abroad student Liam doesn't want to be another notch on Jillian's bedpost. Actually he has much more interesting ideas for Jillian and her bedposts, but his student visa's set expiration date means he can't promise her forever. That doesn't mean he's going to walk away from the challenge of discovering why Jillian is hell-bent at keeping people at a distance.

Before long, neither is sure who is catching who—or if they're playing for keeps. Jillian knows one thing though: falling in love will not only break the only rule of boy-catching, it could also break her heart.

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17839132-catching-liam

AUTHOR BIO

Sophia Bleu is a secret identity where I can write about fantasies and falling in love and all the smexiness in between. In real life, I'm likely catching a plane, chasing kids, or making out with the love of my life—all 6 ft 3 inches of hotness that he is. Life is pretty good.

Author links: Website / Facebook / Twitter

I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to this one! ♥
 

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