Tag Archives: Brenda Drake

Cover Reveal for Library Jumpers by Brenda Drake

I’m excited to be a part of this cover reveal. I met Brenda online like so many through her contests. I met her again at RT in Kansas City. Then, in May, she took part in OWFI providing amazing sessions. She’s a juggernaut in our publishing world so I’m honored to be able to share this information with you. Her cover totally rocks!

Library Jumperslibrary+jumpers_500

by Brenda Drake

Release Date: 01/05/16

Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:

Gia Kearns would rather fight with boys than kiss them. That is, until Arik, a leather clad hottie in the Boston Athenaeum, suddenly disappears. While examining the book of world libraries he abandoned, Gia unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and transports them into a Paris library, where Arik and his Sentinels—magical knights charged with protecting humans from the creatures traveling across the gateway books—rescue them from a demonic hound.

Jumping into some of the world’s most beautiful libraries would be a dream come true for Gia, if she weren’t busy resisting her heart or dodging an exiled wizard seeking revenge on both the Mystik and human worlds. Add a French flirt obsessed with Arik and a fling with a young wizard, and Gia must choose between her heart and her head, between Arik’s world and her own, before both are destroyed.

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About the Author
Brenda Drake, the youngest of three children, grew up an Air Force brat and the continual new kid at school until her family settled in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Brenda’s fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So, it was only fitting that she  would choose to write young adult and middle grade novels with a bend toward the fantastical. When Brenda’s not writing or doing the social media thing, she’s haunting libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops or reading someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

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Filed under Authors, Writing

The Writer’s Voice

Blacktop Oracle
YA Paranormal Fantasy
65,000 Query

Cooper “Coop” Lambert is a disappointment to his parents. While mom and dad graduated college with honors in medical research, the only thing Coop excels at is trouble and convincing half the town he’s bonkers in the process. After a run in with Johnny Law, the solution the D.A. offers is diversion. Put it this way, community service is a vacation compared to this gig. He’s assigned to Mac, a crotchety piece of work who Coop swears is two days older than dirt, but the guy has a way with cars and owns a 1969 GTO that is bad ass. While working with Mac to restore her, Coop discovers the one thing he’s good at:  restoring classic cars. What was supposed to be a punishment is now an escape, from his parents, from the law, from the rumors, until Coop arrives at the garage one afternoon to find Mac dead.

Days after burying his elderly friend, Coop is still reeling, and things only grow more confusing when he finds out Mac left the GTO to him. Coop’s parents are less than thrilled, but seeing their son excel at something overcomes their reservations. Then Coop is ticketed three times for reckless driving. They think he’s regressing to his bad habits, but Coop isn’t the one causing trouble, it’s the car.  If it even is a car. No vehicle he’s ever driven goes all funhouse mirror while he’s doing 80 on the interstate. The windows wash out and instead of the surroundings he sees visions, people in trouble, people causing trouble. If that wasn’t looney toons enough, those visions start coming true, and the cops are eyeballing Coop since he’s knows details of the incidents that haven’t been released to the public. He doesn’t have to tell anyone, he can keep it to himself, keep his own fat out of the fire. Until he witnesses a murder. If he keeps his mouth shut, someone he knows dies. If he talks, it’s a one-way ticket up crap creek, where his parents have a rubber room on reserve.

I’m a writing instructor and workshop presenter, the founding member of critique group, Novel Clique, and Past President and current executive board member of the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation, Inc. My stories have appeared in “Soft Whispers”; “A Fly in Amber”; and my articles with “First Opinions, Second Reactions” (Purdue University). My story, Taking Out the Trash, appeared in the 2010 Don’t Tread on Me anthology. I hold an MFA in Writing from the University of Nebraska.

First 250

Dust swirled around Coop’s head like pollution, clinging to his hair, his skin, and his eyelashes. Grit lined his nose and tickled his throat, but he loved it. Except for the tedium of bodywork.

He stopped the sander and ran his gloved hand across the fender. A grunt got his attention, and he turned to Mac, sitting with his cast up on a case of WD-40. Coop placed the sander on the ground and pulled the dust mask from his face. “What?”

“Don’t go on many dates, do you?” Mac was famous for causing whiplash with his topic changes, but Coop had learned to go with it. “Huh?”

“A car is like a woman.” Mac shifted in his chair to ease the pressure on his leg. Coop wiped his arm across his forehead, mopping the sweat gathered there. What the hell did that have to do with anything? Mac’s wrinkled gaze had homed in on his, and he realized Mac wanted a response. “Yeah, how so?”

“A woman must be handled gently.” Mac ran his calloused hand lightly, almost lovingly, across the fender. “Stroked in a way that soothes rather than offends. A car is the same way.” Mac was full of…little bits of wisdom.

Coop looked down at the sanded spot, his mind struggling to follow. “Take that blasted glove off.” Mac’s gravelly voice landed on Coop’s last nerve, but he ripped the glove off.

“Now, run your hand across that spot you’re sanding, from right to left.


Filed under Writing

Writing Zone: Craft from the Ground Up OWFI 2015

Many of you followed last year as I prepped for the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation conference in May. As president this year, I wanted to recruit great presenters who will bring amazing content. Check us out! The conference is May 1-2, 2015 at the Embassy Suites in OKC. This is just some of the fun coming your way if you attend.

LesEdgertonLes Edgerton is a full-time writer with fifteen books in print. He teaches creative writing on the university level, through private coaching of writers, and on various on-line venues. He writes in a variety of forms: novels, short stories, nonfiction books, screenplays and the subjects he chooses to write about are just as varied, including sports, literary fiction, thrillers, black comedy and the craft of writing.

His work has been nominated for or won: the Pushcart Prize, O. Henry Award, PEN/Faulkner Award, Derringer Award, Spinetingler Magazine Thriller of the Year (Legends category), Jesse Jones Book Award, Edgar Allan Poe Award (short story category), Violet Crown Book Award, and others. His screenplays have placed as a semifinalist in the Nicholl’s Foundation Script-writing Award, and as a finalist in the Best of Austin and Writer’s Guild’s screenwriting awards. His 18th book, a black comedy crime caper, titled The Genuine, Imitation, Plastic Kidnapping came out in October from Down & Out Books.

Social media: www.lesedgertononwriting.blogspot.com
Twitter: @HookedOnNoir
Email: butchedgerton@comcast.net


Richard ThomasRichard Thomas is the author of six books—Disintegration and The Breaker (Random House Alibi), Transubstantiate, Herniated Roots, Staring Into the Abyss and The Soul Standard (Dzanc Books). His over 100 stories in print include Cemetery Dance, PANK, Gargoyle, Weird Fiction Review, Midwestern Gothic, Qualia Nous, Chiral Mad 2, and Shivers VI. He is also the editor of three anthologies: The New Black (Dark House Press), The Lineup (Black Lawrence Press) and Burnt Tongues (Medallion Press) with Chuck Palahniuk. In his spare time, he writes for LitReactor and is Editor-in-Chief at Dark House Press.

Website: www.whatdoesnotkillme.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/richardgthomas3
Twitter: @wickerkat
Website: http://www.whatdoesnotkillme.com

DARK HOUSE PRESS (where Thomas is Editor-in-Chief)

Website: http://www.darkhousepress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dark-House-Press/567172509981629
Twitter: @DarkHousePress


Brenda Drake AuthorBrenda Drake grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. She hosts workshops and contests such as Pitch Wars and Pitch Madness on her blog, and holds Twitter pitch parties on the hashtag, #PitMad. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment). She’s represented by Peter Knapp at Park Literary. Look for her upcoming novels from Entangled Teen Touching Fate and Library Jumpers, releasing 2015.

Website: www.brenda-drake.com
Twitter: @brendadrake
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrendaLeeDrake
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7012713.Brenda_Drake


Sara HenningSarah Henning is a crime writer, recovering newshound, and word nerd of the highest order (aka a freelance copy editor). She has degrees in journalism and Spanish from the University of Kansas, and has worked for several news organizations, including The Associated Press, The Kansas City Star, The Charlotte Observer, and The Palm Beach Post. When she’s not hunched over her computer or curled up with a good book, Sarah is probably running ultramarathons, playing with her cherub-cheeked kids, or nagging her husband to eat more kale. She is repped by Rachel Ekstrom of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency.

Website: www.sarahhenning.me
Twitter: @shhenning
Tumblr: sarahhenningwriter.tumblr.com


Leon Husock AgentPrior to joining the L. Perkins Agency, Leon Husock was an associate agent at Anderson Literary Management. He has a BA in Literature from Bard College and attended the Columbia Publishing Course. Leon is actively building his client list. He has a particular interest in science fiction & fantasy, young adult and middle-grade novels filled with strong characters and original premises, but keeps an open mind for anything that catches his eye. He is also looking for historical fiction set in the 20th century, particularly the 1980s or earlier.

Website: http://lperkinsagency.com
Email: leon@lperkinsagency.com


Michelle Johnson AgentMichelle L. Johnson is a literary agent and the founder of Inklings Literary Agency. She’s also the author of the urban fantasy, Divinity, released September 2014.

After spending a decade in bookselling, she opened and ran a writers’ center in Virginia where she helped aspiring writers find their voices. Michelle has been an editor for two indie presses, and began her career as an agent with the Corvisiero Literary Agency in New York.

In adult, NA, and YA, Michelle is looking for breakout stories in contemporary romance and also the adrenaline genres – Thriller, mystery, sci-fi/fantasy, suspense, horror.

Website: www.inklingsliterary.com


Q LansanaQuraysh Ali Lansana is author of eight poetry books, three textbooks, a children’s book, editor of eight anthologies, and coauthor of a book of pedagogy. He is a faculty member of the Creative Writing Program of the School of the Art Institute and the Red Earth MFA Creative Writing Program at Oklahoma City University. A former faculty member of the Drama Division of The Juilliard School, Lansana served as Director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing at Chicago State University from 2002-2011, where he was also Associate Professor of English/Creative Writing. Our Difficult Sunlight: A Guide to Poetry, Literacy & Social Justice in Classroom & Community (with Georgia A. Popoff) was published in March 2011 by Teachers & Writers Collaborative and was a 2012 NAACP Image Award nominee. His most recent books include The Walmart Republic w/ Christopher Stewart (Mongrel Empire Press, September 2014) and reluctant minivan (Living Arts Press, May 2014).

TrishaHeadshotTrisha Leigh is a product of the Midwest, which means it’s pop, not soda, garage sales, not tag sales, and you guys as opposed to y’all. Most of the time. She’s been writing seriously for over five years now and has published six YA novels and eight adult titles (as USAToday bestselling author Lyla Payne).

Trisha is the author of The Last Year series and the Cavy Files books. Look for The Historians, the first in a new YA science fiction series, coming from Bloomsbury Spark in 2015!

She’s represented by Kathleen Rushall at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

Website: trishaleigh.com

LeeLoflandWith a career in law enforcement that spanned nearly two decades, Lee Lofland is a nationally acclaimed expert on police procedures and crime scene investigations. He consults for many best-selling authors, and is a regular speaker at writers conferences, including the Left Coast Crime Conference, Pennwriters Conference, Deadly Ink, and Willamette Writers Conference. He is also the host and director of the Writers’ Police Academy, an event where writers learn realism by attending an actual police academy.

Website: www.leelofland.com

Jennifer McMurrainHaving a great deal of wanderlust, Jennifer McMurrain traveled the countryside working odd jobs before giving into her muse and becoming a writer. She’s been everything from a “Potty Princess” in Yellowstone National Park to a Bear Researcher in the mountains of New Mexico. She has won numerous awards for her short stories and novels, including hitting #1 on the Amazon Best Seller list with her debut novel Quail Crossings. She lives in Bartlesville, Oklahoma with her husband and daughter. She has just released her third novel, Return To Quail Crossing.

Website: www.jennifermcmurrain.com

Melissa Nasson headshotMelissa Nasson has spent her life in and around Boston, attending Boston University and Boston University School of Law (Go Terriers!). After interning at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth, East-West Literary, and Perseus Books Group, she began working as Contracts Director at Beacon Press. Now, Melissa continues her work at Beacon while actively building her list as an associate agent at Rubin Pfeffer Content. She is open to MG, YA, NA, and adult fiction in any genre, though she particularly enjoys fantasy and sci-fi. Melissa loves dogs, craft beer, making pickles, tending to her tiny vegetable garden, and her pet tortoise, Norton.

Website: http://www.rpcontent.com
Twitter: ‪@melissabnasson‪‬‬

AmyShojai-ComAmy Shojai is a certified animal behavior consultant and author of 30 nonfiction and fiction pet-centric books, including Lost And Found and Hide And Seek, thrillers that include dog viewpoint. She’s also a composer, playwright and performer and has collaborated with Frank Steele to co-write, direct and produce three musical theater productions. Most recently, she combined her love of pets, music and theater when she and Frank co-wrote, directed and produced, Strays, The Musical to enthusiastic audiences in Sherman, Texas. Amy also is a past OWFI president and is delighted to share sessions about collaboration, playwriting techniques and pet-centric tips.

Blog: AmyShojai.com

Jerry SimmonsJerry D. Simmons is an Oklahoma native and former New York publishing executive for the Time Warner Book Group. Over the years he directed an international marketing group and has worked on hundreds of New York Times bestselling titles and with numerous bestselling authors. Today he writes the INSIGHTS™ blog and publishes the TIPS for WRITERS™ newsletter.


FrankSteeleFilmFrank Steele has had a passion for writing since he wrote neighborhood plays as a kid in Vernon, Texas. As a teacher, he encouraged his students to write and create original work. He is member of the Screen Actors Guild and plays/screenplays are his main focus these days. His topics for OWFI will focus on writing with a partner…the challenges and the successes. His most recent outing is Strays, The Musical written with OWFI member, Amy Shojai, which has been recently produced to enthusiastic crowds in Sherman, Texas. Can ‘partner writing’ be a success? Very much so! He’s looking forward to explaining how in the sessions he and Amy will present.



Prior to joining TriadaUS Literary Agency, Inc. Brent Taylor held numerous entry-level positions in publishing, most recently at The Bent Agency. He is based out of Louisville, KY and represent books for a wide range of readers, with a focus on middle grade, young adult, and select upmarket commercial fiction.

Twitter: @NaughtyBrent
Website: www.triadaus.com
Publishers Marketplace: www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/brenttaylor


Brandy Walker

Brandy Walker is the owner and lead designer at Sister Sparrow Graphic Design. Brandy is an international award winning artist with over ten years of graphic design experience. After founding Sister Sparrow Graphic Design in 2012, she fell in love with book cover design and has been happily designing book covers ever since. Brandy’s covers have been featured on blogs like The Book Cover Designer and Library at the End of the Universe. Brandy lives in a small town in the Texas Panhandle with her military husband and their three rambunctious dogs.

Website: www.sistersparrowgraphicdesign.com




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IWSG – #PitchWars

InsecureWritersSupportGroup  Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! (Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG)

 The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is also holding a contest! Visit today for details – lots of great giveaways. 

Alex J. Cavanaugh’s awesome co-hosts today are Julie Flanders, Heather Gardner, Kim Van Sickler, and Elsie is Writing. Please be sure to thank them for their time and effort to make all IWSG members feel welcome.

If you read my blog yesterday, you know I’m participating in #PitchWars on Brenda Drake’s blog. This is a contest where published/agented authors, editors, or interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and mentor them by offering suggestions for the next stage, an Agent Round. Mentors also critique the writer’s pitch to help them polish it for that next round.

I submitted to all the mentors accepting my genre (adult thriller) which was three. The results will be announced December 11. Forget waiting for Santa to arrive, I’m waiting for a day that now feels a month away. My insecure writer is suddenly on speed, ramped up, feeding my inner critic every reason I won’t succeed.

I convince myself that my story is amazing. Then the inner critic chirps, there were 2700 entries.

There weren’t 2700 entries in the thriller category I rebut. Hah! Inner critic laughs, but your mentors were all over Twitter yapping about how brilliant all their manuscript entries were…like yours will be the “one” out of all those they’ll choose?

I feel a headache coming on and reach for the caffeine.

My chances are no worse than winning the lottery, I throw out. This time the inner critic belly laughs. And that’s worked so well for you so far. Bought a ticket every week, right?

Not every week, I yell. In fact, I’ve missed a lot. Besides this is about the contest not the stupid lottery. Even if my manuscript doesn’t win, I can get feedback on the query at least. Inner Critic pauses before bashing my hope bubble, I felt bad for those mentors when Google crashed on them. They’re all behind now and rushed just to make their selections. Probably not much feedback coming now.

Duct tape really does have many uses. Now that inner critic is a mummy, I’m settling down with my chocolate and a chai tea to stalk #PitchWars. There is no end to my insecurity apparently.

Good luck to all the PitchWars Contests.

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#PitchWars #PimpMyBio

My writer’s group is participating in Pitch Wars. If you haven’t been involved, check it out here. For those of you who are already a part of it, Dannie Morin is hosting an event that is associated with Pitch Wars indirectly…as in, it seemed like a great thing for all of us participating to do for fun while we wait nervously on the sidelines. In Pitch Wars all of the mentors posted their bios and reasons potential mentees should submit their work to them. In a turn about is fair play, now the mentees will post their bio reasons their submissions should be chosen.

Here is my bio:

1. Master of patience: I taught 7th graders and then 9th graders, and I’m still alive to tell the tales. I have an infinite amount of patience with the slow pace of the writing business. Not so much with people driving slow in the fast lane…

2. Lifelong student: I learn from everything. Reading, life, film, and even TV. If you haven’t watched Blacklist yet, you need to. It is a writer’s craft book in itself. Brilliant!

3. Mall Stalker: I am great at finding characters in real life and not above stalking strangers until I have all the details I need to turn them into who I want them to be in my next novel.

4. Change!!! I love to change things up and the more often the better. I wrote a Sci-fi YA and then an adult thriller. My next YA is a paranormal. I love blending genres. Nearly all my books are a thriller as a base genre with another genre included.

5. Tastes: Some people like sweet and sour, but I like dark and deadly. In grad school, one semester I was not “allowed to kill” anyone (in print, of course). It was a sad time for me.

6. Editing!!: I love editing. Sometimes I think I love editing my stories as much, if not more than writing them. There’s something about getting into the work and really examining it that jazzes me.

7. Open: I want to hear it all. What sucks, what rocks, and what will reel them in.

8. Busy: I’m a busy college professor so I pay attention to deadlines and time. I won’t waste a mentor’s time because I wouldn’t want mine wasted.

9. Enough said: Chocolate is an aphrodisiac, and I love to share. Just saying.

10. Writers: Nothing is more fun than going one on one with another writer. Well, almost nothing…


Filed under Writing