August 31, 2015

Guest promo (CV) Mae Clair's Solstice Island

I'm honored and  delighted to host, again,  Mae Clair, American author and great cyber friend, on my blog today. She, as you have already realized by now, doesn't come empty handed. She comes with gifts for readers. And trust me, she has a generous offer for fans of mystery and romance.  But let's allow Mae to tell us what is all about:

End of Summer Sale: Solstice Island by Mae Clair is FREE 8/31 and 9/1

#cryptidfiction #romance #adventure

I know summer isn’t officially over until the autumnal equinox rolls around mid-September, but by the time the calendar reads August 31, I’m already thinking fall. My husband and I will be closing our pool this coming weekend, Halloween stuff is stocked in most every store I visit, and the days are growing noticeably shorter. I live in the northeast where summer is much, much too short. Blink and it’s easy to miss. I love fall, but I thrive on summer.So…I’m lamenting the demise of my favorite season with an end of summer sale on SOLSTICE ISLAND, my breezy romantic adventure novella.

Why should you read it (other than the fact it’s like a shot of summer wrapped up inside Kindle pages)? I’m glad you asked. J

The Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Read Solstice Island by Mae Clair:

 10.  You’ll meet a hot charter boat captain trying to live down his family legacy.

9.     You’ll encounter a spunky heroine cryptozoologist, determined hot captain should embrace said family legacy and all the baggage that goes with it.

8.      You’ll be able to impress your friends with your stunning new knowledge of cryptozoology.

7.      You may find yourself struck by the uncontrollable urge to look up blurry images of strange creatures online or go on a cryptid hunt (think Loch Ness, Big Foot, and the Jersey Devil).

6.      You’ll learn why you should never ignore a craving for mint chocolate chip ice cream.

5.      The next time your boat is attacked by a rampaging sea monster, you’ll know precisely what to do.

4.      You’ll be swept up in a tale of romance, adventure, and folklore.

3.      You’ll uncover buried treasure, thwart a villain, and discover a new use for a boat oar.

2.      As a 72 page novella, SOLSTICE ISLAND makes a quick end of summer read.

And the Number One Reason you should read SOLSTICE ISLAND:

1.      It’s FREE on Amazon August 31 and September 1!

                                              SOLSTICE ISLAND 


Can an ancient leviathan work magic between a practical man and an idealistic woman?
Rylie Carswell is an amateur cryptozoologist in search of a mythical creature, the Sea Goliath. In order to reach Solstice Island, a location the ancient leviathan is rumored to haunt, she’s forced to hire charter boat captain, Daniel Decatur.
Initially, Daniel wants nothing to do with the trip or the fool woman waving double payment in his face. Convinced she’s yet another loony treasure hunter looking for gold on the remote island, he reluctantly agrees. An embittered neighbor wants to have his charter license yanked, so the extra cash will help him stay afloat.
It doesn’t take long for Daniel to realize Rylie is after the same beast his parents were tracking when they mysteriously vanished ten years earlier. He’s avoided all links to cryptozoology ever since, but the smart and sexy cryptid hunter has him second-guessing his oath and wondering what he’s signed on for.
Warning: A family legacy, glowing plankton and rough waters.
About Mae Clair:
Mae Clair has been chasing myth, monsters and folklore through research and reading since she was a kid. As an adult, she stumbled onto the field of cryptozoology and realized there were others like her who loved speculating about weird and wonderful creatures.

Her blog, From the Pen of Mae Clair, features a weekly post each Monday where she examines a different myth or urban legend. In 2013 and 2015, she journeyed to West Virginia to learn more about the legendary Mothman, a creature who will factor into an upcoming series of novels.

As a writer, she pens tales of romantic mystery flavored with a twist of myth or folklore. Married to her high school sweetheart, Mae lives in Pennsylvania. Her passions include cats, history and exploring old graveyards.  Look for Mae on her website at

You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:
Twitter (@MaeClair1)

Download SOLSTICE ISLAND Free from:

Add SOLSTICE ISLAND  to your Goodreads TBR

August 27, 2015

Writing Tips (XI) 3 New Agents Seeking Clients & Queries NOW

 Good luck querying! 

1. Matthew DiGangi of Bresnick Weil Literary Agency

Matthew is seeking: Matt is looking for ace-level literature that dots a Venn diagram in the shade between unforgettable character, unpredictable plot, and prose that really hums. For nonfiction, he is a sucker for original research and journalistic instinct. Subjects include but are not limited to music, American history, sports, politics, weird science, food, pop/alternative culture, and video games. Matt does not represent YA, middle grade, or books for children. [Editor's note: It seems Matthew is kind of a generalist, and therefore is open to representing a lot of categories except those he specifically asks not to get. That said, he also recommends writers check out his Goodreads page, because that will help you understand more of what he likes.]

About Matthew: Matthew is the newest member of the Bresnick Weil Literary Agency. He is one of only a handful of literary agents in Boston. With ten-plus years of publishing experience under his belt, he’s edited, anthologized, and published many books across many platforms. Matt has a BFA in English & Textual Studies from Syracuse University and an MA in Publishing & Writing from Emerson College. Find him on Goodreads for a sense of his taste in books, or Twitter for a taste of his sense of humor.
Matthew is seeking: Matt is looking for ace-level literature that dots a Venn diagram in the shade between unforgettable character, unpredictable plot, and prose that really hums. For nonfiction, he is a sucker for original research and journalistic instinct. Subjects include but are not limited to music, American history, sports, politics, weird science, food, pop/alternative culture, and video games. Matt does not represent YA, middle grade, or books for children.
How to submit: E-query matt [at] For fiction, include first two chapters. For nonfiction, include a complete proposal. 

2. Sue Miller of Donaghy Literary Group

She is seeking: Young Adult (all genres), Literary, Upmarket and Commercial Fiction, character-driven Romance (all subgenres).

  About Sue: Sue Miller is an Associate Agent at Donaghy Literary Group, with a special love for young adult books, fantasy and literary fiction. Her publishing career began in Toronto working with Fidalgo Books in PR and in sales at Scholastic Canada. This quickly progressed into literary consultations with published and unpublished authors who sought her penchant for preparing a body of work to be submission and publication ready. She has also prepared numerous social media marketing strategies centered on specific author branding. She holds a BA in English from York University along with a Publishing Certificate from Ryerson University. She is delighted to be a part of the Donaghy Literary Group, which mirrors her belief in the importance of results driven, quality and sincere author representation.
(Just starting out as a writer? See a collection of great writing advice for beginners.)
She is seeking: Young Adult (all genres), Literary, Upmarket and Commercial Fiction, character-driven Romance (all subgenres).
How to submit: Sue is currently accepting queries through the Donaghy Literary Group submissions page. Please follow the submission guidelines on the DLG website Submission-guidelines.

3. John Cusick of Folio Literary Management

[Editor's note: John is not a new agent. However, we did interview him about his very recent move to Folio, and he confirmed he is actively seeking subs, so query away!] "I am currently open to subs. I'm particularly focused on finding great fiction for middle-grade and teen audiences. I love contemporary realism, fantasy, realistic stories with a fantastical twist, and really anything with imagination and heart. I work with first-time authors as well as veteran writers, and am always on the prowl for fresh voices. I'm seeking for author/illustrators and artists as well."
John Cusick, who formerly worked for Greenhouse Literary, just became part of Folio Literary Management/Folio Jr. With that in mind, please get to know a little more about John and see if he’s a good fit for your query. (Find him on Twitter.)
John M. Cusick is the author of GIRL PARTS and CHERRY MONEY BABY (2010 and 2013, Candlewick Press), as well as a regular speaker at writers conferences. His clients include New York Times bestselling author Tommy Wallach (WE ALL LOOKED UP, March 2015, Simon & Schuster), Courtney Alameda (SHUTTER, February 2015, Feiwel & Friends) and Hannah Moskowitz (A HISTORY OF GLITTER AND BLOOD, August 2015, Chronicle Books) You can find him online and on Twitter, @johnmcusick.
How did you become an agent?
Craigslist! I answered an ad for an agent’s assistant/dog walker and began my career at Scott Treimel NY. To begin with, I focused on selling foreign and sub-rights and negotiating contracts, and soon began representing my own clients. In 2013, I had a small stable of excellent writers, including Ryan Gebhart (THERE WILL BE BEARS, Candlewick Press), Sharon Biggs Waller (A MAD, WICKED FOLLY, Viking) and Hannah Moskowitz (NOT OTHERWISE SPECIFIED, Simon Pulse). I moved over to Greenhouse Literary, where I became a full-time agent, focusing on middle-grade and young adult with a  few picture books thrown in. This July, I started at Folio Jr. with the same focus, and am eagerly looking forward to bringing on new talent as I continue to work with my phenomenal crew of authors and illustrators.

August 26, 2015

Wednesday Writing Wisdom (22) F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.”

F. Scott Key Fitzgerald
  (1896 - 1940)
Curious facts about:

 Named after a famous ancestor. Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul Minnesota on September 24, 1896. He was named for Francis Scott Key, the lawyer and writer who penned the lyrics to “The Star Spangled Banner” during the War of 1812. The two were only distantly related—Key was a second cousin three times removed—but Fitzgerald was known to play up the family connection. While driving past a statue of Key in an alcoholic haze in 1934, he supposedly hopped from the car and hid in the bushes, yelling to a friend, “Don’t let Frank see me drunk!”

He had a rocky friendship with Ernest Hemingway. The macho Hemingway and the urbane Fitzgerald might seem like an odd pairing, but the two authors struck up a fast friendship after meeting in Paris in 1925. Their relationship was complicated by Hemingway’s intense dislike of Zelda Fitzgerald, whom he described a “crazy” and a distraction to her husband’s writing. The literary titans drifted apart during the late-1920s, and Hemingway later bashed Fitzgerald in print on more than one occasion. By 1937, Fitzgerald lamented that their friendship was as good as finished. “I talk with the authority of failure,” he wrote. “Ernest with the authority of success. We could never sit across the table again.”

 “The Great Gatsby” was considered a flop upon its release. Despite winning rave reviews from the likes of T.S. Eliot and Edith Wharton, Fitzgerald’s 1925 masterpiece “The Great Gatsby” was never a bestseller in his lifetime. It performed poorly compared to his first two novels, selling just over 20,000 copies and only turning a meager profit for its publisher. Popular interest in the book didn’t spike until World War II, when some 150,000 copies were shipped to U.S. servicemen overseas. Combined with other posthumous re-releases of his work, this “Armed Services Edition” helped revive Fitzgerald’s literary reputation and secure “The Great Gatsby” a place among the most beloved American novels. The book now sells some 500,000 copies each year.

Fitzgerald was hired by MGM in the late 1930s and relocated to Hollywood. Despite befriending the crème of the crop in the Hollywood circuit like Spencer Tracy, Clark Gable, and Errol Flynn, he hated the place: “Hollywood is a dump – in the human sense of the word. A hideous town, pointed up by the insulating gardens of its rich; full of the human spirit at a new low of debasement.”