A man who longs for a son and a boy who can’t escape his father’s violence. Even death can’t break their bond.
Alex is a machine whisperer. He can tell what’s wrong with a broken-down car with a touch. But his gift can’t save him from the brutality of his meth-addict father. For two years, Alex experienced kindness through Cole, his mentor. Now Cole’s dead, and the violence in Alex’s life is escalating.
When Cole reappears as a ghost, Alex clings to the tenuous link. Then he learns Cole might’ve sacrificed his chance to cross over. Jade, the first girl to look beyond Alex’s past, assures him Cole can reach the Other Side-if Alex escapes from his dad. But a previous terrifying attempt has convinced Alex it’s impossible. Unless he can find the courage to try, his friend may be earthbound forever.
“Dead Heat blew me away. It’s a gritty ghost story interwoven with all-too-real subject matter that will make you cry for Alex, ache for Cole, and thank God for Jade. I was invested in these characters’ lives and you will be too.”
~ Stacey Wallace Benefiel, author of the Zellie Wells trilogy
In addition to being a YA author, Lisa is a retired amateur stock car racer, an accomplished cat whisperer, and a professional smartass. She writes coming-of-age books about kids in hard luck situations who learn to appreciate their own value after finding mentors who love them for who they are.
- Blog: http://lisanowak.wordpress.com/
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/Lisa_Nowak
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LisaNowakAuthor
- Newsletter: http://bit.ly/LisaNowakNewsletter
This is a great post by Cidney Swanson that I’m reposting here because I think it’s incredibly useful. (And we’re super proud of Cidney and her Kirkus starred review!!!!)
In the September/October issue of the SCBWI Bulletin, there’s an article devoted to an issue faced by all writers choosing a path of self-publishing: What can these authors do to vet their books? The article mentioned two new-to-me paid reviewing services (grubstreetreads.com andblueinkreview.com) and suggested that the use of either service might benefit an author looking for that exterior stamp of approval.
Depending upon where you sit in your self-publishing journey, the $99-575 which such services charge for reviewing can look like a lot of money. For myself, I thought of it as a cost on the order of what I might spend to attend a conference, something I budget for several times a year from my writer income.
I really appreciated the SCBWI nod to the appropriate use of for-pay review services.
Many of us, when first encountering the idea of a paid review service, rightly look askance at it. However, there are organizations which offer honest reviews, and it was nice to see SCBWI endorsing a couple of new ones.
While I haven’t used either of those services, I have used two of the older, more established options. Of the major review publications in the US, only two currently offer reviewing services for self-publishers, and both are available on a for-pay basis only. (Both expressly exclude self-published books from being submitted through their non-pay channels which they reserve for publishing houses.) Publishers Weekly offers a $149-199 program and Kirkus Reviews offers a $425-575 program.
Publishers Weekly devotes a supplementary magazine each quarter to self-publishing and includes paid-for reviews in the publication. I have not yet heard back from Publishers Weekly, so my experience with them is incomplete. However, here are some statistics from their last (quarterly) publication devoted to self-published titles. Of the 186 submissions they received, they reviewed 47 in their publication. Of those 47, 7 were starred reviews. What this tells me is that for authors who plunked down $149 (or $199) last quarter, they stood a one in four chance of having their title reviewed and a one in twenty-seven chance of having it receive a starred review.
Kirkus Reviews follows a different setup from PW. Kirkus promises that if you pay, your novel will be reviewed. They make a point of telling you there’s no guarantee of a positive review. The pool of reviewers is the same as the pool used for reviewing traditionally published novels. Kirkus created this service specifically so it would be economically viable for them to be able to review books from indie authors and/or small presses (which are not revenue-generating for them.) Because the review they offer may be negative, they give you the choice of publishing or not publishing the review. The vast majority of self-pubbed reviews are not published. Overall, starred reviews are awarded to about 10% of books reviewed, but fewer self-published works receive stars than do traditionally published works.
For me, the experience was a bit terrifying. As soon as I hit the “pay” button for the Kirkus review, I began waffling between the extremes of muttering to myself, “It’s only one person’s opinion,” and, “But it’s Kirkus!” I think that anyone going into this needs to realize that both of those are true. To receive a positive review from Kirkus or any other professional review organization is a significant achievement, but in the end, you have received the opinion of one reader. If you can live with that, for-pay reviewing might be a good option for your self-published title.
Finally, a humorous warning for those who pay for a review with Kirkus and receive a starred review: they will not email you to tell you that your novel has received this distinction. I got my review on the exact day promised. I tried to read it. This was difficult because all the air in the room seemed to disappear as soon as the pdf opened on my computer screen. After reading it, I hit the “publish” button. Then I got to see my review looking all nice and shiny on the Kirkus Reviews website. I smiled at it for several minutes before noticing that they’d placed a star just to one side of the title. What did that symbol mean? Was it an asterisk thing-y intended to make me look lower on the page? And then the screaming started. My family rushed into the room to find out what was wrong with me. They saw me gesticulating wildly at the computer. A few inches away from my star was written this phrase:“For Books of Remarkable Merit, Look for the Kirkus Star.”
Stacey Wallace Benefiel is pleased to announce the publication of Unfavorable, the sixth and final installment in the Day of Sacrifice series, and the Day of Sacrifice Omnibus, all six stories bundled together in one volume. The Day of Sacrifice stories are a New Adult Urban Fantasy series.
Here’s a little bit about Unfavorable and the Day of Sacrifice Omnibus:
Each member of the rebellion plays their part in Alexander’s plan to kill the Gods. The first step: trusting Alexander.
OR get all six Day of Sacrifice stories in one volume!
Born to die, a group of Sacrifices and their Guardian Angels band together to kill the Gods and free the world.
The last thing on 16-year-old Jess DeLand’s wish list is a boyfriend. She’d have to be crazy to think any guy would look twice at her. Besides, there are more important things to hope for, like a job working on cars and an end to her mom’s drinking. Foster care is a constant threat, and Jess is willing to sacrifice anything to stay out of the system. When luck hands her the chance to work on a race car, she finds herself rushing full throttle into a world of opportunities—including a boy who doesn’t mind the grease under her fingernails. The question is, can a girl who keeps herself locked up tighter than Richard Petty’s racing secrets open up enough to risk friendship and her first romance?
“The first romance is captured beautifully—just the right combination of natural and awkward, of eager and scared.”
~ Bob Martin, writing professor, Pacific Northwest College of Art
In addition to being a YA author, Lisa Nowak is a retired amateur stock car racer, an accomplished cat whisperer, and a professional smartass. She writes coming-of-age books about kids in hard luck situations who learn to appreciate their own value after finding mentors who love them for who they are. She enjoys dark chocolate and stout beer and constantly works toward employing wei wu wei in her life, all the while realizing that the struggle itself is an oxymoron.
Lisa has no spare time, but if she did she’d use it to tend to her expansive perennial garden, watch medical dramas, take long walks after dark, and teach her cats to play poker. For those of you who might be wondering, she is not, and has never been, a diaper-wearing astronaut. She lives in Milwaukie, Oregon, with her husband, four feline companions, and two giant sequoias.
- Lisa’s blog
- Follow Lisa on Twitter
- Like Lisa’s Facebook page
- Subscribe to Lisa’s newsletter for upcoming releases
McKenzie McCann has been an unofficial member of the Pacific Northwest YA Authors group since it’s inception. Now that her first book has been published I can introduce her to you properly!
McKenzie McCann is the author of Tread Lightly, her debut YA fantasy. She is a teenager living in Portland, Oregon who spends her time reading trashy YA interspersed with high-minded novels, writing edgy women’s fiction, watching Food Network, and working at Outdoor School and Girl Scout camp.
2000 years ago, St. Patrick and his Catholics chased Norah’s people out of Ireland. They landed on the island of Hy-Brasil and have lived in isolated peace ever since.
The occasional shipwrecked outsider is no surprise to the island, and as the chief medic’s daughter, Norah is prepared to care for these strange, ship-wrecked outsiders. But Oliver is a bit different, and he’s brought something with him that’s about to place the secracy of the island in terrible danger.
Links: Blog: http://mrhmccann.blogspot.com/
Two WorldsTwo TeensOne Wish
Geek Rhoe and Surfer Ashley would never be friends. Even if they lived on the same planet. But, they’ll become much more. They’ll transfer.
TRANSFER STUDENT is the latest novel from Laura A. H. Elliott and will release on Amazon and Barnes and Noble March 20th. The blog tour starts on LEAP DAY and runs until 3/20. At every stop on the tour a TRANSFER STUDENT ebook will be given away! That’s 21 ebooks! But that’s not all. All comments on the tour are entered to win some great weekly swag too! Including: GROOVY NASA TRAVEL MUGS, signed bookmarks, amazon gift card, and surprises from the settings that inspired the novel. Check out the weekly swag here: http://wp.me/P1J9jx-bs
To find out where in the world Laura is and more about her upcoming books, visit her blog Laurasmagicday: http://laurasmagicday.wordpress.com/ friend her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Laura.A.H.Elliott. If Twitter is your thing she’s @Laurawriting. Or, drop her a line at elliwrite [at] yahoo [dot] com.
New YA short story from Stacey Wallace Benefiel!
Nothing in Aurelia Lemon’s life is turning out how she’d planned. She’s unemployed, unattached, and her family bakery is on the verge of closing. To make matters worse, the guy she dumped in high school is doing well and getting rich off of one of her departed mother’s recipes. It would take a miracle to right everything she’s done wrong. Or maybe just a phone call and the chance to go Back in Time.
** Back in Time is also available, along with great short stories by five other authors, in the Death by Chocolate anthology.
Coming Soon from Angela Carlie!
Jess’ life has never been ordinary. After all, life on the road with an immortal family of gypsies is hardly predictable. Living in the small town of White Salmon, Washington has brought some normality to her life. But when her cheating, unofficial boyfriend, Nicu, gets involved with a group of arachno-shifters, life gets a little sticky. Will she be able to save him from the web he’s spun? More importantly, how much is she willing to risk at a chance at love?
TWO WORLDS. TWO TEENS. ONE WISH.
TRANSFER STUDENT is a science fiction Freaky-Friday romance/adventure about two normal teenagers struggling to survive high school and deal with their parents… typical rites of passage. The twist? One teen is an alien from the planet Retha. In a galactic teleporting experiment gone wrong, Ashley, a Beverly Hills High surfing fashionista, and Rhoe, the biggest geek on planet Retha, swap lives. Only by surviving life as their biggest nightmare do Ashley & Rhoe discover their dreams. How far would you go for someone you love?
WIN TRANSFER STUDENT BOOKMARKS SIGNED BY AUTHOR LAURA A. H. ELLIOTT!
To enter to win all you need to do is tweet this & follow my blog Laurasmagicday: Nothing says #ValentinesDay like an alien #romance! TRANSFER STUDENT Cover Reveal! #TransferStudent #teenreads #kindle http://laurasmagicday.wordpress.com/
The first 100 tweets/followers win!
TRANSFER STUDENT BLOG TOUR: LEAP DAY, 2012 – MARCH 20th
Giveaways include free ebooks of TRANSFER STUDENT, Amazon gift cards & weekly surprise gifts that are out of this world! TRANSFER STUDENT RELEASE DAY: MARCH 20th
Christmas came early for me this year and I am happy to report that the Zellie Wells trilogy has new e-book covers. The paperback covers will remain the same.
Take a gander:
It’s been a windy and rainy day here in the Pacific Northwest, so that must mean it’s nearly Thanksgiving.
An appropriate tune:
I hope each and every one of you have a wonderful holiday no matter where you are or who you’re with. Enjoy some turkey, tofurkey or that second piece of pumpkin pie, I won’t tell.