Lindsey Duga is one of my agency AND publishing house mates. A while back, I had the pleasure of reading one of her stories. I have no doubt that this debut is the first of many excellent books you're all going to enjoy! Congratulations Lindsey!
Let us know what you think of the cover for Kiss of the Royal by Lindsey Duga, which releases July 3, 2018!
This cover reveal is brought to you by Entangled Teen.
About Kiss of the Royal:
In the war against the Forces of Darkness, the Royals are losing. Princess Ivy is determined to end this centuries-long conflict once and for all, so her new battle partner must succeed where the others failed. Prince Zach’s unparalleled skill with a sword, enhanced by Ivy’s magic Kiss, should make them an unstoppable pair—but try convincing Zach of that. Prince Zach has spent his life preparing for battle, but he would rather be branded a heretic than use his lips as nothing more than a way to transfer magic. A kiss is a symbol of love, and love is the most powerful weapon they have—but try convincing Ivy of that. With the fate of their world on the line, the battlefield has become a testing ground, and only one of them can be right. Falling for each other wasn’t part of the plan—but try convincing their hearts of that.
Want to read more? Pre-order your copy of Kiss of the Royal by Lindsey Duga today!
Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Entangled Publishing
About Lindsey Duga:
Lindsey Duga is a middle grade and young adult writer with a passion for fantasy, science fiction, and basically any genre that takes you away from the real world. She wrote her first novel in college while she was getting her bachelor’s in Mass Communication from Louisiana State University. Other than writing and cuddling with her morkie puppy, Delphi, Lindsey loves catching up on the latest superhero TV show and practicing yoga.
I'm not sure how long it'll be before I stop using Friends references for all things. If you've never seen the one where Ross talks about the night of five times, then you have no idea what I'm talking about. Which is fine. My husband is in your shoes all. the. time.
Summer is coming to a close. Technically, there are still three weeks left but time has a way of speeding by without my permission. All in all, it's been a pretty great summer, despite the lackluster weather. I made it to New York City with my best friend to celebrate my 40th birthday. That was every bit as wonderful as I'd hoped it would be. Not only did we see three Broadway shows and walk the Brooklyn Bridge, I met my agent. And that was, literally, a dream come true.
We've also done some fun family stuff. We've gone down to Vancouver a couple of times, gone swimming, and done some shopping.
In between all of the other wonderful things I've gotten to enjoy this summer...a boatload of book news goodness came my way as well. Sometimes, it feels like all or nothing in this industry. You spend time in a writing cave (or in my case, my bedroom), head down, trying to get the words right. Some days, there's endless chatting online as the words come. Other days, it's quiet. This summer has been not so quiet in the best possible way.
If you didn't see, my three book deal with Entangled Publishing (Bliss Line) was announced this week. I'm already working on notes from my awesome editor, Stacy Cantor Abrams and her assistant.
In addition to this, I posted earlier in the summer that a novella "sequel" to Falling for Home, titled Falling for Kate, was signed by Penner Publishing. I'm very happy to be working with them again on another book. This one is out (tentatively) October 3rd.
If you're counting, that's four and I said the summer of five. The fifth one that I'm really excited about is also with Penner Publishing. This one is called Caught Looking. Between now and the end of 2017, I will have five books released, all signed this summer.
So. Needless to say, I'm seriously excited. And in serious edit mode for the foreseeable future.
Every book I write matters to me. I can't tell you how happy it makes me to know that I'll get to share this many of them with all of you. I'm grateful to both Entangled Publishing and to Penner Publishing for believing in my work. I'm very grateful to my agent, Fran, for believing in me. And I'm extremely grateful to all of the people that help me and support me by forgiving me when I'm late or forget things, read my work-- some repeatedly, talk down my uncertainty, let me bounce ideas off of them endlessly, share in my enthusiasm when things are great and stand by me when they aren't.
And as bonus good news, this morning I was notified that my books, Falling for Home and Damaged were nominated for the Summer Indie Book Awards for 2016! Voting takes place between September 1-11, 2016.
I'm not sure how to top this summer or if I need to, but I definitely know what I'll be doing for the rest of it: editing.
Congratulations to my agency mate on the upcoming release of her book, SKIN.
With a name like Ocean, you’d think moving to Prince Edward Island would be simple. But since seventeen year old Ocean crossed that huge bridge to the land of red sand, her life has been far from normal—it’s been downright dangerous.
Trouble seems to follow her everywhere, and she’s got the bruises to prove it. And then there’s her mysterious neighbour, Sam...who seems to know more about her history than she does herself.
When Ocean finally steps into the salty waves with Sam, she realizes that her life has been based on a lie, and that she is missing something...something she never knew existed.
Want a sneak peek?
The moon is so bright outside it’s casting shadows in my room, bathing everything in grey, dim light. I walk to the window, touch the photo still pinned to the wall, and look out at the beach. My hand falls, and my thumb slides to Dad’s ring, twisting it around and around and around.
It’s as if there’s a huge, lunar spotlight in the night sky, shining on the waves and blowing grasses. I have an urge to go out and walk in the waves. I can almost hear voices in the crash of the water—comforting voices—but Mom would have a hissy-fit if she found out I’d gone to the ocean alone. I sit down and sip my water, watching.
There’s someone walking along the beach, and I’m sure it’s Sam. His hair and the smooth way he walks—that lithe, almost animal stalk could only be him. Whether it’s real or a trick of the light, I think he might be naked. He’s carrying something in his arms— maybe it’s his clothes—but he walks into the waves with whatever it is like he’s going for a moonlight swim. He goes deeper and deeper until I only see the blink of his head. That too disappears beneath the waves.
I don’t see him resurface.
BRENDA COREY DUNNE
Brenda Corey Dunne grew up in rural New Brunswick, Canada. She originally trained as a physiotherapist and worked several years as an officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force before meeting her Air Force pilot husband and taking her release.
She has two other published novels, DEPENDENT (2014) and TREASURE IN THE FLAME (2012).
Brenda is represented by Frances Black of Literary Counsel. She currently resides on the Pacific Coast of Canada, but home is wherever the RCAF sends her hubby, and she’ll be moving to the Washington, DC area in the summer of 2016.
When not writing, working or taxiing her three children she can be found either in the garden or on the beach with a book in one hand and a very, very large coffee in the other.
Connect with Brenda online
I'm very excited to take part in sharing one of my agency-mate's book covers today! Let me tell you a little about Brenda and her book before I show you the good stuff.
Brenda Corey Dunne is a writer, physiotherapist, military spouse, and mom. Her life is never dull. Especially when there's coffee. She is the author of DEPENDENT and TREASURE IN THE FLAME. Her newest novel is titled SKIN.
What is SKIN about?
With a name like Ocean, you’d think moving to Prince Edward Island would be simple. But since she crossed that huge bridge to the land of red sand, Ocean’s life has been far from normal—it’s been downright dangerous. Trouble seems to follow her, and she’s got the bruises to prove it.
And then there’s her mysterious neighbour, Sam...who seems to know more about her history than she does herself. When Ocean finally steps into the salty waves with Sam, she realizes that her life has been based on a lie, and that she is missing something...something she never knew existed.
WANT TO SEE?
How about an excerpt?
We crest a small hill and I forget all about being sulky. I forget about Seth. Because suddenly it’s there in all of its brilliant, sparkling glory in front of us—the ocean.
I’ve seen it before, but I can’t remember. I was a baby when my parents were here last. But wow. It’s…real. Just the sight of it makes my skin feel tight and my webbed toes curl.
Frank parks, and I jump out of the van like it’s on fire. I look at mom to see if she’s remembering—thinking of Dad and the happiness that they shared here but she’s gathering her things and talking to Frank about lawyers’ appointments and keys. It’s as if she doesn’t want to look, like she’s purposefully avoiding the view. I feel a rush of anger at her pointed lack of interest. Couldn’t she just look at it and remember? At least pretend like she cares?
Whatever. Mom has her own issues and she can deal with them herself. With just a few deep breaths of fresh salty air, I feel human for the first time since I was unceremoniously told we were leaving the city. I shrug and turn away from Mom and Frank and my zig-zagging little brother to drink in the view of the rolling waves and shining beauty. It’s so…huge. There is nothing beyond the horizon but more water. No islands, no boats, no other shore across a bridge… no anything.
I need to run, so I yell that I’ll be right back and then sprint for the dunes while they sort out less important things like keys and payment. The sand flies and I actually laugh out loud as I cover the hundred or so yards of beach blankets and umbrellas to the edge of the water, where I stop—two feet above the dark line of wet sand—and take a deep breath that would make any yoga master proud.
My name is Ocean.
I’ve always loved my name. The ‘shuh’ sound in the middle, the way it looks on the page and the pictures it creates in your mind. You’d think with a name like Ocean, I would practically live at the beach. But until now, standing here with my feet on the red Prince Edward Island sand, I’ve never really seen it. I’ve never looked out to nothing but seemingly infinite waves and sky. Miles and miles of liquid life.
I slowly notice that it’s crowded here in front of the resort, and I recognize the sounds of whining kids and laughing teens beyond the wind. There are too many people building castles and getting sunburned for me to really experience the waves as they slide across the sand. So I stop short...I hold myself back from my overwhelming urge to run and throw myself into the water. The need to jump in is almost a physical feeling, a drawing, pulling feeling—like a Neptunian tractor-beam, but I ignore the pull. I’m not ready yet, I guess. I turn back to the resort and drag my webbed toes through the sand as I walk up the path. And then I follow my mother—who still hasn’t looked—into our rental cottage, shutting the whispering waves out with the slam of the screen door.
SKIN will be available in May 2016
Find Brenda online
When I started writing, I thought it would go like this:
1. Write a book
2. Sign with agent
3. Agent sells book immediately
4. Stay humble despite success
Yeah. That's not exactly how it goes. Well, not for me anyway. But I'm sure that works out for some people. For most of us, there are several more steps involved-- including a lot of rewriting, editing, handling rejection, trying again, etc. But the most surprising part for me is how often I have to reach out to others because in today's digital world, you are not just an author. Not if you want your books to be read. My original intention on Twitter and Facebook was to connect and get to know people. Fortunately, I've managed that part but it doesn't mean that I like what came next...realizing that I needed to ask for help.
Because, let's be honest, everyone is busy. Despite being on the computer OFTEN, a writer will tell you that it isn't just to write. It's to market, promote, research, edit, learn, read, make connections...there is so much more than writing involved when you work toward publishing a book.
So, my journey looked a little more like this:
1. Write a book
2. Get book rejected several times
3. Try again with a new book
4. Repeat step 2
5. Repeat step 3
6. Get an agent
7. Get a previous manuscript accepted by a publishing house
8. Edit. Edit. Edit. Edit. Edit. Edit.
9. Get ready to promote
10. Try not to be annoying
This is where I'm at. I have three books coming out in the next two months. Two in February and one in March. One is co-authored, a follow up to the Christian romantic suspense I wrote with Kara Leigh Miller. It's called Jaded Love and will be out February 23rd.
Falling for Home is a story I wrote a while back, that I was particularly fond of. It was requested by agents but it wasn't the one that landed me an agent. Still, I found a home for it with Penner Publishing. This releases February 9th.
The March release is called Damaged and also found it's home at Penner Publishing.
With three books coming out so close together, I'd really like to not have people dread seeing or hearing my name. I'd rather have people think things like, "Wow, her book is really good. I should read another" than "$%##, if she tweets/posts/says one more thing about her books I'm going to virtually slap her." I'm sure you can see why I'd favor one over the other.
It was important that I not inundate people with requests and favors but to some extent, I had to. If I don't tell you about my books and you don't tell others...they're just going to be stories my mom and best friend have read. But I cannot have three back to back Facebook parties as promotion. On top of being just too much, I think it would lessen the impact; become redundant or tedious.
But one is alright. If I could plan one successfully and get some other (cooler) authors to pitch in. And therein lies one of the hardest things: asking people you "know" and are "friends" with to help you. Think how hard it is (for some people) to ask for help in real life. A friend of mine recently broke her elbow. I found out almost two weeks later and felt horrible. I asked why she didn't call? Why didn't she ask for help? Because she knew we were busy and didn't want to ask. SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO ASK. Though I hope helping me promote my books and get readers isn't as bad as a broken elbow, it's still hard to put yourself out there. Even if you'd do the same for them, it's hard to make that request on someone's time (more if you're asking them to giveaway one of their books).
One little instant message or email after another, I started to ask writers I engage with on Twitter and Facebook if they'd help. My nerves didn't lessen each time I asked. It didn't get easier and my response every single time was something along the lines of "OH MY GOODNESS? SERIOUSLY? YOU'LL HELP ME?" I stopped short of saying WHY would you help me because I didn't want them to rethink it.
But here's what I think. They're helping me in some sense because it will promote their own books-- they'll touch base with readers, tell us about their releases, and maybe do a giveaway which ups their own fan base. I really don't think it's the biggest part though. I think that these people are just kick-ass, over the top awesome. They're nice and they're kind and they're giving because THEY'VE BEEN HERE. I have received countless messages from other authors, answering my questions, helping me, and guiding me. I have laughed with, chatted with, and commiserated with some truly incredible people. People I've never met. Might never get to meet. But these people have had a huge impact on my writing life because they are or were there when I needed them. I can't tell you how much this matters and not just because I don't want to have a Facebook party where I'm all by myself, but because it's a lifeline.
It's not easy to keep going some days (with writing I mean). The waiting involved in this industry is HARD. It makes me think of the book by Dr. Seuss, "Oh the Places you will go". Publishing can feel like The Waiting Place. And it's always nicer to have someone by your side who knows how hard the waiting and wondering can be. Someone who, when you need them to, steps up and says, sure I'll help you. Someone who knows what a celebration it should be that you wrote a book and SOMEONE IS GOING TO PUBLISH IT.
I asked several authors if they'd be willing to join in on the party. MANY said yes or that they'd try. I don't even know why, but instead of questioning why they're willing to take time out of their busy schedules, I'm going to just be extremely grateful. I think the best way to show that is to give back what's meant so much to me. Time. Acceptance. Kind words. Support. It's really hard to put yourself out there, but you don't have to do it alone. Every step of this journey requires bravery. Writing the book. Looking for agents or publishers. Revising. Getting critique partners. Interacting. Asking for help. All of it. But like so many other things in life, it can surprise you and be even more than you hoped for.
If you're around on February 9th, 2016 between 6 pm and 9 pm, come by my release party for Falling for Home on Facebook. You don't even have to dress up and you won't be able to see that I'm in my pajamas. Best kind of party. I am extremely thrilled to say I'll be joined by Amanda Heger, Kara Leigh Miller, Jennifer Blackwood, Shannyn Schroeder, Dawn Ius, Kelly Siskind, Harper St. George, A.J. Pine, Joanne Macgregor, and possibly Carly Phillips and Karma Brown. There'll be some great giveaways and lots of chatting about books, romance, and writing.
There's still three weeks left. This is what I keep telling myself. But it's going fast now and as of next Friday, my laptop and I are taking a break from each other. It will likely hurt me more than my laptop but I'll be too busy at the happiest place on earth to think much about writing.
It's been quite the summer. Personally, it's been wonderful. Lots of quality family time-- though I think my husband has just about reached his limit of 24/7 with me.
Seems hard to imagine there's a limit on that, I know, but apparently there is. We've hung out with friends, gone biking, paddle boarding, swimming, had BBQs, slept in, spent lazy days in pajamas, read, painted...we've done a lot. Every summer, I say it's the best summer and I'm sad to see it end and this one is no different. As I get older, the time seems to fly faster and I spend my time trying to grab onto the moments I don't want to slip away. There are so many of them. Too many to hold.
Professionally, in terms of writing, it's also been a pretty fantastic summer. It seems hard to believe I only signed with Fran just over a month ago. She's been part of my writing journey since what feels like the beginning. I am so excited to see where things go with her by my side. #Pitchwars, run by the amazing Brenda Drake, is happening and I love following the feeds, reading the mentor and mentee posts. You can't overstate the importance of connecting with the writing community, whether you're a new or seasoned author. In an upcoming interview on Amy Trueblood's 'chasing the crazies' website, I talk about why the people around you matter so much.
There's still much to look forward to-- including our trip to DIsneyland next week. Also, I get to meet someone I've 'known' for three years but never met IRL. Tara is one of the people I connected to thanks to Twitter. She's been an awesome friend, a valuable CP, and a great sounding board. It seems crazy to me because I have the "meeting people I've never met" nerves, yet I talk to her every week online. The power of the internet. It really makes the world a smaller place.
So it seems like it started forever ago, but we've managed to pack a lot of fun into these last seven weeks. As the school year starts, I'll be back to figuring out how to balance my time between work, family, and writing. But not yet...three more weeks. Plenty of time to read more, write more, and get in a few more lazy mornings. I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their summer. Any exciting plans?
Yes, this is that post. The one where I tell you I have an agent
I am beyond excited to announce that I am now represented by Fran Black of Literary Counsel. I have been sending her my stories since the summer of 2012 and this summer, I sent her one that was just right.
Sometimes, things happen and you feel like despite all the waiting and worrying, it happened just when it should have. This is how I felt on Tuesday when Fran called me to tell me she was going to represent me. I had planned to 'play it cool' and tell her I'd get back to her after I spoke to the other agents who had my work.
But anyone who knows me, knows I couldn't possibly wait. Waiting is not my thing...ironic, considering so much of publishing relies on just that. Of course, there'll still be plenty of waiting, but it seems less daunting with Fran having my back.
That's not all
You'd think that was enough right? It is and it was but there's more. While telling Fran how happy I am, I also mentioned that I absolutely love the work of an illustrator she represents. He does the covers for one of my favourite middle grade series, The Goddess Girls. His work is fun and brilliant. It turns out that Glen Hanson was looking for someone to co-author a series with him. After talking to each other on the phone and sharing some ideas, I am thrilled to say he wants to work with ME. I'll have more details on that as time goes by but what's in store is pretty awesome. So much good. I feel so incredibly grateful.