My First Blogger Award

Wow, what a month January has been! I sent out my first batch of query letters for my novel, joined the Insecure Writer’s Group, celebrated my first 100 blog followers with an agent contest (who requested 2 fulls & partials from the rest of the 19 participants!), added 83 more followers since then, and now . . . received the Kreativ Blogger Award. Thanks, Jenny Kaczorowski *cyber hug!

Apparently I celebrate this honor by telling you 10 random things about me . . . no problem since I’m pretty random in real life.

1. I almost drowned in a septic tank on our farm in Michigan when I was 5.

2. I went on my first missions trip when I was 18 to Jamaica, where I stayed at a children’s orphanage. It’s there I formed my plan to become a teacher & write in my ‘spare time.’

3. I literally heard a voice in my head the first day of high school when I saw Dan sitting in my word processing class that said, “You’re gonna marry that boy some day.”

4. When I was 18, I did marry Dan & we’ll celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary in August:)

5. A year after we were married, we took a missions trip to Ireland with our campus ministry group, XA, and traveled to 5 different cities over the span of 2 weeks doing street dramas based on the parables Jesus told (talk about getting outta your comfort zone)!

6. My second grade teacher, Mrs. Davis, was the most influential teacher I had. I came her halfway through the year but in those 4 months, she taught me how to read (I was going to repeat 2nd grade before that) and more importantly, taught me that some adults do care what happens to me in a time when I felt abandoned. Her picture still hangs in my classroom today and always will:)

7. I was a troubled teen and tried to commit suicide twice, but couldn’t go through with it because . . .

8. When I was 11 yrs old I prayed to God to show me a sign that He loved me (I was severely depressed) . . . and when I woke up the next morning, an angel was in my room, on his knees, with his hands folded in prayer, smiling & looking up at me. We stared at each other for a moment, then I closed my eyes & said, “Thank you, Jesus, and please don’t ever show me that again” b/c ok, it was kinda scary? And then he was gone, but I KNEW there was a purpose for my life:)  

9.For a while, every time I visited with my cousin, Kristeen, from Michigan, one of us would end up pregnant! First her, then me, then her, then her again, then me, then her again! Yeah, she wouldn’t see me again until she got her tubes tied.

10. My ‘spare time’ never came, but I decided to start writing a novel in the summer of 2009 when my hubby started snoring and thus, keeping me up at night. I’ve been writing ever since & just started my third YA.

Now, as the rules state, it’s my pleasure to pass this award to 6 other bloggers:

1. Gabriela Lessa–as a literary agent assistant, she give loads of savvy advice

2. Sharon Bayliss–for her fantastic updates on FREE contests

3. Callie Kingston–for taking on the world of self publishing & for her wonderful social media tips

4. Chanelle Gray–her site, Beyond Words, has some great book reviews & she’s also a writer

5. Alexia Chamberlynn–some great info for writers as she makes her own journey to publication for MG

6. Laura B Writer–I LOVE her weekly blog critiques

~Cheers, girls *holding up my red Solo Cup!

So what’d everybody read in the new year so far? I read Going Bovine by Libba Bray, Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney, The Future of Us by Jay Asher and The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. All YA/MG, all grreeeaaat! Just thought I’d throw that out there since the last Wed. of each month was supposed to be my book reviews, but the award was way cooler:)

And Now A Surprise Message from Our Awesome Agent . . .

Okay, ladies. I know I said I’d sum it all up NEXT Wednesday but even though she’s super busy, Nicole has been incredibly kind to us & stopped by EVERY query today:) And she sent me this totally cool email & asked me to pass it along on my blog. So here it is:
First, HUGE BIG HUGS to Jamie for establishing this query contest and kick-starting her blog with so many talented authors. Jamie is smart and exceptionally creative and I can’t wait to read her new YA.
I’m really impressed with the level of talent here. I sincerely hope I’ll find my next client among these submissions!
Query-wise, everyone should shoot for a concise, gripping blurb with the vital information (word count, genre, affiliations, contest wins, etc.). Examine your title. Is it an attention grabber? Is it memorable? Make the body of your query sound like a book you would want to read. Tip: read the back covers of your favorite novels and pay attention to what grabs you.
To Query Entry #16, Donna Weaver, and Query Entry #11, Tasha Hacaga, I’d like the full please!
I want to take a look at the first three chapters and the synopsis for all the other participants as well!
Above all, I want to THANK each of you for submitting your query. You are all talented authors in your own right, and I suspect many of you will find yourselves in print very soon.
Thanks again!
~ Nicole
Okay, so did  you catch that? A SYNOPSIS & PARTIAL FROM EVERYBODY? You guys rock! I couldn’t wait until next Wednesday to tell you that grreeeaaat news:):):) Just a little hint, you’ll probably want to still include your query when you send the request & mention taking part in this just so she’ll know who you are . . . you can’t even imagine how many queries this awesome lady gets in a day. So anyways, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support and I hope you had fun! I know I did! I’ve got lots of things planned for my blog in 2012 so stay tuned ~CHEERS!

Let the critiquing begin . . .

Okay writers, all your queries are up! Super agent Nicole Resciniti will stop by some time by next Wednesday to comment on your query, and please don’t forget to leave your own comments on the queries of your fellow writers. You don’t have to be a participant in order to leave your constructive feedback. I’ll reveal if Nicole had any requests on my blog next Wednesday, Jan. 25th:) Until then, happy critiquing everyone!

P.S. Entrants,  if you notice any problems with your query, feel free to shoot me an e-mail so I can fix them. Thanks for playing! This contest was to celebrate 100 followers, and within the last week I’ve already had 50 more people follow my blog *big squeal

Query Entry #21

Dear Ms. Resciniti,

Mina Bevins hasn’t leaked any magic like the other girls, earning her the status of weirdo in the world of witches. When her thirteenth birthday passes, and she still lacks any power, the Coven Seer looks into the past for an explanation and discovers Mina’s not really a witch at all. She was switched at birth with another baby in the mortal world hospital.

Somewhere there’s a young witch leaking magic all over the place, exposing the witch world. Since secrecy is essential to keeping them from persecution, the coven decides the only way to ensure it remains safe is to track this girl down and remove her powers.

As someone who just learned she will never be the witch she yearned to be, Mina can’t bear the idea of stripping a person of her power on purpose. With the help of her magic friend Porter, Mina runs off on an adventure to find the other girl before the coven does, setting in motion a course of events that will alter Mina’s life in the witching world forever. 

At 67,000 words, sWitch is middle grade low fantasy about loyalty, friendship, and perseverance, bringing to life a matriarchal world of witches hidden among humans.

I am a marketing consultant and maintain a blog that gives advice to writers as they build their platform. I am also a member of SCBWI.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Laura Barnes


Query Entry #20


Dear Ms. Resciniti,

Skylar Karras wants only to enjoy life with his new bride and the child they’re expecting, but when his wife falls victim to a stranger’s greed, he’s forced to bury them instead. Now all Sky wants is revenge. His brother, Nick, is well-connected and suggests a sadistic plan: grab the woman responsible and hand her over to his colleagues—sex-traffickers inSan Francisco’s Russian Mafia. They offer Sky more than he dreamed possible. In exchange for the woman, they’ll finally let his brother leave the business for good—with his debt wiped clean and his heart still beating.

There’s just one problem: Sky kidnaps the wrong woman.

Now he must protect Hannah Maguire from the very men he’s mistakenly set upon her. Bound in a fragile alliance, Sky and Hannah go on the run, but the Russians seize Nick, holding him as leverage to force Sky to complete their deal. Caught in a no-win situation, Sky must find a way to save himself, his brother, and the woman, but with the Russian Mafia, even two out of three makes for very long odds.

THE MISTAKEN is a psychological thriller of 93,000 words told from three points of view. While it is a plot-driven tale of betrayal and forgiveness, it is also a character-driven odyssey of transformation as the protagonist attempts to reclaim the decent man he once was within the villain he’s become. It might appeal to fans of Jennifer Hillier’s Creep and Greg Iles’s Turning Angel and Sleep No More.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best Regards,

Nancy S. Thompson

Query Entry #19

Dear Nicole,

Thirteen-year-old wannabe novelist Elena doesn’t care about school, only her stories. Of course they never come true… until she writes about the class bully getting detention. Coincidence? Elena doesn’t think so after she writes that the secretary has to go to the bathroom, and then he rushes out like he’s about to wet his pants. Everything she writes with her new pen comes true.

But then the pen writes a story darker than any of Elena’s about a mystical fantasy land being overrun by demons. Only it’s not just a story. A demon crosses over to Earth, kidnaps her family, and hides them in the Land of Imagining. Elena will do whatever she can to save them, but it’s not as simple as writing a happy ending. Whenever Elena uses the pen, someone turns into a demon, and she could be next.

ELENA’S PEN is a 66,000-word upper MG fantasy novel with series potential. Readers of Michael Ende’s THE NEVERENDING STORY and Philip Pullman’s HIS DARK MATERIALS series will enjoy my book.

I am the author of a fantasy romance trilogy, Kingdom of Arnhem – Woman of Honor (2009), Knight of Glory (2010), and Champion of Valor (2011) published with Desert Breeze Publishing. Fourteen of my short works have appeared in various anthologies, including Mertales by Wyvern Publications, and many collections by Pill Hill Press, with one more to be published later on this year.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

Nicole Zoltack

Query Entry #18

Dear Nicole Resciniti,

Seventeen year old Madeline Martin has been in and out of trouble her entire life. Unable to shed the hero stigma her father left behind, mischief seems to find her everywhere she goes. And if she gets into any more trouble, juvy hall may just be on the agenda. As it is, Maddy’s been sent to upper state NY to work in a library for the summer, away from her Manhattan friends and lifestyle, for a good dose of responsibility. When Maddy stumbles onto an envelope tucked inside the pages of an eighteenth century atlas in the library, she uncovers a political secret that’s been hidden away for centuries. Confiding only in the roguish neighbor guy, who is dealing with some issues of his own, Maddy embarks on a mission to uncover the truth. Once she knows someone is following her every move, she has no choice but to get more answers, since even the police can’t help her.

French-Iranian hit-man, Armand Dantuine is after the truth as well, but not for the same reasons. Employed by an international organization, his mission is simple: destroy the secret documents confirming the political secret, along with any witnesses.

Told from dueling points of view of both Madeline Martin and Armand Dantuine, my YA thriller, The 49th Parallel, takes on a series of twists and turns as both race to achieve their goal. Packed with action, suspense, and a hint of romance, The 49th Parallel is complete at 65K words. I am a member of SCBWI and a moderator at YALitChat.Org. The full manuscript is available at your request. Thank you so much for your valuable time.


PK Hrezo

Query Entry #17

Dear Ms. Resciniti:
Fourteen-year-old Evan Bradley’s day just got a little more interesting. After following a strange little creature into a closed museum exhibit, Evan discovers a golden band in the shape of a serpent biting its tail. It is the Chrysopoeia, one of the magical relics formed from the shattered Mysticus Orb. Purely by accident, Evan, has awakened its powers and opened a portal to Sagaas, the land of ancient gods.
Before Evan can grasp what has happened, the “Chryso” is wrenched from his hand by an enormous bird and flown back to Aegir, the Norse god of the sea! Furious at mankind for polluting his oceans, Aegir, plans to use the Chryso to unlock Jormundgand’s teeth from its tail. If he succeeds, the immense power of the sea will be released and all the lands of Earth will be flooded. Evan and Claire must retrieve the Chryso and stop him.
There will be many trials and tribulations in this quest: bull sharks, three headed trolls, mini-polar bears, draugars (ghost-like sailors), Bergkonge (a caped man who transforms into a dragon), Huldra (a beautiful woman with the tail of a cow), waves with faces – even devious spies. Luckily, along their way, Evan and Claire acquire new powers, new friends, and a new appreciation for one another.
The Chryso has endowed Evan the power of telekinesis – great for flying old Model T’s through the tangerine skies of Sagaas or maneuvering Viking ships through jutting rocks. Claire has acquired the power of transfiguration, handy for building glass ships from sand or submarine whales from ancient gold doubloons. Their faithful friends Dunkle and Barfel (both mohawk-sporting imps), the brave dragon “re-locater” Sigurd, and the young violet-haired mermaid Lazonia encourage them, protect them, and guide them. Of course they now possess the “58 minute locket,” a gift from Vor (the Norse goddess who knows everything); pastries that multiply unless eaten in a single bite; and breathing bubbles that allow Land Dwellers to experience a few of the many miraculous civilizations under the sea.
Not only is there adventure, humor, and even a little romance, the reader can get more actively involved by decoding the decorative runes at the bottom of each page or by whipping up a batch of Evan’s “Poppin-Droppins” or “Woofout Bars,” magical dessert recipes can be found in the back of the book.
Lewis Carroll and J.R.R. Tolkien are masters of their own universes; they created entire worlds through their writing. Their talent inspired me to create new places for teens and “tweens” to visit. Chrysopoeia is the first book in the young adult-fantasy series The Relics of Mysticus. Though this book is based loosely on Norse mythology, the full series will explore myths and pantheons of many diverse cultures.
The completed manuscript for Chrysopoeia is approximately 59,000 words. My goal is to open the minds and imaginations of the next generation of young readers. Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Heidi Bolton
P.S. Although it is not customary for a writer to also draw his/her illustrations, because of my background as an AP art teacher, it was hard to do one without the other. Captivated by the simplicity of the drawings from The Spiderwick Chronicles, I have illustrated each chapter header in black ink. I would be happy to send examples as an attachment, and you are welcome to visit my website

Query Entry #16

Dear Nicole Resciniti,

When Lyn sets off on her supposedly uncomplicated and unromantic cruise, she never dreams it will include pirates. All the 25-year-old Colorado high school teacher wants is to forget that her dead fiancé was a cheating scumbag. What she plans is a vacation diversion; what fate provides is Braedon, an intriguing surgeon. She finds herself drawn to him: his gentle humor, his love of music, and even his willingness to let her take him down during morning karate practices. Against the backdrop of the ship’s make-believe world and its temporary friendships, her emotions come alive.

However, fear is an emotion, too. Unaware of the sensitive waters he navigates, Braedon moves to take their relationship beyond friendship–on the very anniversary Lyn came on the cruise to forget. Her painful memories are too powerful, and she runs off in a panic.

Things are bad enough when the pair finds themselves on one of the cruise’s snorkeling excursions in American Samoa. However, paradise turns to piracy when their party is kidnapped, and Lyn’s fear of a fairytale turns grim. Now she must fight alongside the man she rejected, first for their freedom and then against storms, sharks, and shipwreck.

 A CHANGE OF PLANS is an adventure romance at 92,000 words. I currently serve on the board of the Utah Valley chapter of the League of Utah Writers and am the social director for the iWriteNetwork.


Donna Weaver

Query Entry #15

It’s hard enough being seventeen, but when your boyfriend’s a were-panther and your mom’s dating a soul sucker, things can only get worse. Pandora has seen ghosts since she was a kid. She’s a veil walker and she can bring back the spirits of the dead, but why would she want to do that? She has enough trouble getting rid of the ones stuck on this side. One annoyingly perky ghost wants Pandora to find her killer. Her boyfriend, Joseph, doesn’t like the idea, but Nancy can get pretty pushy when she wants something. The crafty killer figures out she’s on to him and drags Pandora to his killing grounds in the woods. Will Pandora suffer the same fate as his other victims or will she discover the true strength of a Veil Walker?