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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Keep Going

Hello out there! It's been a while since I've checked in with the ol' blog. Nothing new to report here. I'm working on my new book and spending lots of time with my kids. :)

So it's the last day of 2013. I've read a lot of posts over the past few days, people reflecting on this past year, some posting goals of what they hope to accomplish in 2014. I haven't really thought of my goals for the new year yet, but I have spent some time thinking about this year and what's happened in my life. 

On this day one year ago, I was furiously doing a last round of edits based on my mentor's feedback to get my book ready for Pitch Wars. I was thrilled to be chosen! Then the day that the agents made requests came...and I didn't get any. That hurt a lot, especially when I saw a lot of entries getting multiple requests. The usual insecurities popped up, telling me I wasn't good enough and I should have never entered the contest. I could have given up, but I'd worked too hard on THE EDGE OF FOREVER to just quit. So I asked some lovely ladies in my writing group to take a look at my first chapter and give me some more feedback, made some additional changes, then sent off my first round of queries near the end of February. That also included sending the full to an agent who saw my query at Writeoncon back in 2012 and asked to read it once I was finished.

I was terrified and excited. What if I didn't get any more requests? What if that agent hated my book? Biting nails, I settled in for a long wait. I did get a request from the query right away and some rejections, but mostly nothing.

Then a few weeks later, my last surviving grandmother passed away, three days after my birthday. I was devastated. See, my other grandmother had passed away about 18 months earlier, just a few months after I started drafting THE EDGE OF FOREVER. And now I'd lost both of them. Two beautiful, strong women who had a tremendous influence in my life. 

I just felt kind of lost. Like maybe I shouldn't waste my time waiting anymore because life is so short. But then this happened (and I've only told this to family and a few close writing buddies). About three hours after I returned home from the funeral, I got an email from the agent who had the full. She said she was loving my book and wanted the synopsis.

Well, I was a wreck. I was torn between sadness and excitement. I felt guilty for feeling excited. No joke, I was grinning and crying as I hit send on that synopsis. Yeah, talk about being on a roller coaster. But I also knew that both of my grandmothers would have told me to be happy. After all, this was part of my dream that I'd been wanting since I was in middle school!

To make a long story short, I signed with that agent two weeks later (waves at Awesome Agent Suzie), and I haven't looked back since. I even have a fantastic Brazilian book deal! Sure, more waiting has been involved, but I'm okay with it. I've told myself to just keep going. Keep writing my next book. Keep looking forward to the future. Keep living. 

And with that, I want to wish everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR! May 2014 be the year that your dreams come true!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What's Up Wednesday


What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme, started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk, geared to help readers and writers touch base and let them know what's up. If you want join in, you can find the link widget on Jaime's blog!

What I'm Reading


It's been a while since I last posted for WUW. I've read a lot of great books since then, so I'll list those: Fangirl and Eleanor & Park - both by Rainbow Rowell, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown - Holly Black, Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight - both by Sarah J. Maas, and finally Faking It - Cora Carmack. All of them were fantastic! I'm itching to read another book, but I'm holding off for a few days so I can outline my next book. 

What I'm Writing

Not actually writing chapters yet. I'd been trying to make my last idea work, and sadly I couldn't get it just right. Hey, it happens. So I pitched another idea to my awesome agent, and she was all for it. Yay! It's going to be a fantasy, which will require a lot of world building. Fun stuff! Fortunately, I can still use my WiP Pinterest board as inspiration. 

What Inspires Me Right Now

All the new TV shows that I've started watching. The Blacklist is amazing. James Spader is perfect in this series as a major league criminal who's turned himself in to authorities and helping them catch other criminals, but only on the condition that he deals with one particular agent. Other new favorites are Sleepy Hollow and American Horror Story: Coven

What Else I've Been Up To

I'm trying to get back in a working groove. A little over two weeks ago, one of my kids got sick and had to miss a whole week of school. Right after that I got sick. :( Then the week after that, school was out for Fall Break, and they didn't go back to school until yesterday. 

And that's it! What have you been up to lately?



Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What's Up Wednesday


What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme, started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk, geared to help readers and writers touch base and let them know what's up. If you want join in, you can find the link widget on Jaime's blog!

What I'm Reading

I'm currently reading ALL OUR YESTERDAYS by Cristin Terrill. I'm a little over halfway done with it, and y'all I'm really loving it. Books about time travel can be really confusing, but not this one. I'd heard that the two POVs were from the same character (one in the present and one four years in the future). Honestly, I wasn't sure about it. But I actually love that fact. You get to know the character as she is now (shallow, spoiled, and in love with her genius neighbor/best friend), and how she is after things go wrong with the whole world (imprisoned and tortured by the same boy, who invented a time machine). The future version escapes and travels back in time to murder said boy before he can invent the time machine. Yeah, lots of conflict there. I can't wait to see how it all ends!

What I'm Writing

Nothing new to report here. I'm still trying to iron out details of my new WiP. Let me just say that this one is being quite difficult. 

What Inspires Me Right Now

The Walking Dead. Seriously. I've never been a huge fan of zombies, but I absolutely LOVE this show. I finished watching season 3 recently (in about 3 days, no less). And now I'm just waiting for season 4 to start. If you've never watched it before, I promise it's more that just people killing zombies (although there is a lot of that). The characters are incredible and complex. No joke - I bawled during one of the episodes of season 3 because a certain character died. 

What Else I've Been Up To

I'm *attempting* to get back in an exercise routine. Attempting because I've been really inconsistent, but I am trying. :D  I've been walking several miles a few days a week (trying to make it every day). What I really want is to start running, but that's not gonna happen right away. I'm pathetically out of shape! 

And that's all! What have you been up to lately?


Friday, August 9, 2013

I'm Going To Be Published!!!!!!!

This posted over at Publisher's Marketplace today!


It's hard to see, but it says Brazilian rights to Melissa Hurst's THE EDGE OF FOREVER, to Record, in a very-nice deal, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, by Joao Paulo Riff at Riff Agency, in association with Kathleen Ortiz at New Leaf Literary & Media on behalf of Suzie Townsend.


So yes, THE EDGE OF FOREVER is going to be published in Brazil!!! Woohoooooooooo!!!!! *pause to dance*

Um, okay, now that I'm sort of calm again, I can share with you how all of this came about. Super Agent Suzie and Super Agent Pouya decided to submit THE EDGE OF FOREVER to some film producers at the same time the manuscript was sent to editors in New York. I settled down and expected a very long wait, but just two weeks later I got a call from Super Agent Kathleen. She said one of the film scouts was also a scout for foreign rights and loved THE EDGE OF FOREVER so much that she took it to her foreign publishers. Next thing we know, Kathleen received an email with an offer from their Brazilian co-agent. They wanted to know if we'd accept a pre-empt offer and I was like YESYESYESYESYES!


So I can definitely say I LOVE BRAZIL!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What's Up Wednesday


What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme, started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk, geared to help readers and writers touch base and let them know what's up. If you want join in, you can find the link widget on Jaime's blog!

What I'm Reading

I've been reading a lot of books lately, trying to put a dent in my huge TBR pile. I've had Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood in there since the day it was released, but I'm just now getting around to reading it. It's the second book in the The Cahill Witch Chronicles series, and I'm loving it just as much as I loved the first book, Born Wicked. It's an alternate history set in a New England led by The Brotherhood - an order of religious men who make sure that females have little to no rights and continue to hunt/persecute the witches who used to rule over society. So far I'm a little over a hundred pages in the book, and The Brotherhood has taken away women's rights to work outside the home and forbidden girls to learn how to read. I'm so ready for the main character, Cate, to come into her prophesied powers and put The Brotherhood in their place! :)

What I'm Writing

I'm knee-deep in the planning stages of my new WiP. Let me tell you, I'd forgotten how frustrating and fun this stage can be. Frustrating because I want to know all the details about my new story RIGHT NOW, and that's not how it works for me. Fun because getting to create the backstory for my new characters, bring the world alive, and get to know those new characters is part of the joy in writing a new book. 

What Inspires Me Right Now

Since I'm planning my new book, I'm spending a lot of time doing research and looking at pictures that inspire me. Here's a link to the Pinterest board I made. If you don't have time to click over, I'll give you a few hints. Savannah. Ghosts. Spooky Cemeteries. Stuff like that. 

What Else I've Been Up To

In know it's insane, but my kids started back to school last week. Crazy early, but good for me because I have KID FREE time again! Woohoo!!! But it's a lot of work getting them ready for school. Having three kids means multiple shopping trips for back to school supplies and clothes. Plus I made some time to just hang out with them, and we finally got around to seeing Despicable Me 2. If you haven't seen it yet...go. It's hilarious!

So....what have YOU been up to lately?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Cover Reveal: The Apollo Academy + GIVEAWAY



THE APOLLO ACADEMY by Kimberly P. Chase
Launches: 8.6.13

Okay folks, today I've got a fantastic cover reveal for you. Isn't it gorgeous? I was lucky enough to read The Apollo Academy, and it just blew me away. A heroine who's determined to reach the stars, a hero with secrets, a sexy flight instructor, and danger at every turn. This is one NA Sci-Fi that you should definitely check out, so be sure to note the launch date and grab your copy as soon as it's released! 

                                                            Cover Art by Cliff Nielsen

ABOUT: As the heiress to Titon Technologies, eighteen-year-old Aurora Titon can have whatever she wants—clothes, expensive gadgets, anything money can buy. All she really wants is to escape her pampered, paparazzi-prone life for the stars. Becoming the first female pilot to train as an astronaut for the Apollo Academy is exactly the chance for which she has been waiting. Everything would be perfect if it weren't for her unreciprocated crush on a fellow student, the sexy astronaut bent on making her life hell, and the fact that someone keeps trying to kill her.

Early praise for The Apollo Academy:
"I am obsessed with this book! Suspenseful, sexy, and just a great read!" -Cora Carmack, New York Times Bestselling author of LOSING IT.

“Exquisite worldbuilding, thrilling suspense, and a sexy flight instructor! Chase’s exciting debut novel is one you don’t want to miss.” - K.A.Tucker, Author of Ten Tiny Breaths and One Tiny Lie
Add The Apollo Academy to your GoodReads Shelf!

AND WE'RE ALSO REVEALING THE BOOK TRAILER! 
About the author:

Kimberly P. Chase holds a Bachelor's Degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, which basically means she's kind of a geek and loves flying airplanes. Naturally, her books tend to include aviation, hot flight instructors, aviator glasses, and—let's not forget—kissing! When Kimberly's not writing or reading, she's hanging out with her husband, four-year-old son, and two dogs



WAIT! THERE'S EVEN MORE AWESOME....AN APOLLO ACADEMY SWAG BAG IS UP FOR GRABS! ENTER BELOW:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Two Teachers I'll Never Forget

Teaching is a lot of things. Rewarding. Challenging. Frustrating. Tiring. Exhilarating. I know because I used to be a teacher. I know how hard it is to work to try to get your students ready for state testing. How hard it is to prepare lessons that don't bore kids to death. How hard it is to make kids want to learn. I was lucky when I was younger. I honestly don't remember having any teachers that made me hate school. My teachers really cared about everyone they taught, and I most of the time I loved going to school. (Except on test days. I hated those!)

Two teachers in particular inspired me to become a writer - my sixth and seventh grade language arts teachers. I adored going to their classes. My sixth grade teacher was the one who first made me realize I could write. Under her direction, our class was the first to start a "newspaper" at our middle school. I remember how much I loved receiving my assignments and working on them during her class. Also, she  made everyone enter a writing contest that year. I was nervous about submitting my entry, but she was so encouraging that I forgot all about my nervousness. I even won! Yeah, that was the very first time I thought I might actually be a writer when I grew up. My seventh grade language arts always made me smile. She loved every writing assignment I turned in, and I remember she even read some of mine out loud to the class. It totally embarrassed me, but at the same time I loved the attention. And at the end of the year during the middle school awards ceremony, she presented me with the language arts award for seventh grade. I'll never forget that because she announced to the entire school that some day I would become a writer, and she told me to include her in the acknowledgements of my first book. I've never forgotten that.

So thank you, Mrs. Joyner and Miss Deal. Thank you for your steadfast faith in a young girl's writing ability. Thank you for fanning a flame that has never gone out over these many years. Both of you will most definitely be in my acknowledgements. One day. 


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What's Up Wednesday

I've seen this meme around for a few weeks, and today I figured I'd join the fun! 


What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme, started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk, geared to help readers and writers touch base and let them know what's up. If you want join in, you can find the link widget on Jaime's and Erin's blogs!

What I'm Reading

I'm embarrassed to admit that I've had the book Shadow and Bone on my Nook for a while. (I'm a spur of the moment book buyer). Anyway, I'm a little over a hundred pages in now, and I'm so in love. Seriously. I used to read a lot of fantasy, but I got away from it in recent years. This book has me wanting to read nothing but fantasy now! The world-building is fantastic, I want to be BFFs with the protagonist, and then there's The Darkling. I love reading a bad boy character, but this one has to be one of my favorites (right up there with Morpheus from Splintered). I'm definitely going to buy the sequel when it comes out next week!


What I'm Writing

I'm finishing up a round of edits for Awesome Agent Suzie! Hope to have them completed over the weekend, and then it's on to the next WiP.

What Inspires Me Right Now

I'd have to say movies. I've been watching a lot lately, at the theater and on dvd. Some of my favorites are Star Trek Into Darkness, Iron Man 3, and Silver Linings Playbook. I still want to see The Great Gatsby and Fast & Furious 6.

What Else I've Been Up To

Nothing too exciting has been going on with me. I've been busy with end-of-the-school year activities with my kids, and now they're home with me. Trying to keep them busy has been...interesting. At least we have a beach vacation coming up in the next few weeks!

I've also been attempting to get into shape. It's sad how much of a slug I've become. So I've been slowly building up by walking/jogging five times a week, and I'm trying to eat healthier. Not so easy when I crave chocolate all the time.

And that's it! 

What have you been up to lately?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Cover Reveal: Addicted to You

Today I'm participating in the cover reveal for my friend Colina Brennan's upcoming release. The cover is fantastic and after reading that summary, I really can't wait to get my hands on a copy!


Summary:

When twenty-one-year-old Leah Carter's latest one night stand burglarizes her apartment, her roommate forces her to attend therapy for sex addicts. Leah insists she isn't a sex addict; she just doesn't do relationships. After all, sooner or later, everyone lets you down.

At first, the group sessions are little more than an education on how to be promiscuous. Until she meets the newest addict—blue eyes, killer body, and a smile that tempts relapse.

Psychology student Will McLean is posing as a fellow addict while researching a case study on unusual addictions. But the more he learns about Leah, the more certain he is that his desire to break through her walls and unearth her secrets has nothing to do with his assignment.

As the uncertainties spike alongside the sexual tension, the only thing Leah knows for sure is that falling in love would be disastrous. Too bad love might be one addiction she can't kick.


About the Author:

Colina Brennan is a new adult writer with a love for the fantastical and the romantic. When she isn’t writing, she’s attached at the hip to her kids or chasing her dog or daydreaming about what she wants to write next.



Links:   Twitter   Facebook   Blog   Goodreads


Thursday, April 18, 2013

AGENT NEWS!

Yes, you read that right! I'm beyond thrilled to announce that I'm now represented by the amazing Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary & Media!!!!! Seriously, this has been me for the past week:






So you may want to know how all of this happened. I have to give a huge thanks to the organizers of Writeoncon! I put my query letter for THE EDGE OF FOREVER up at Writeoncon last year, hoping for some feedback. Now I wasn't finished with the manuscript yet, and I noted that in the query letter, but I couldn't miss such a fantastic opportunity to have my query critiqued by so many wonderful writers and possibly ninja agents. Well, I got lucky and received a full request from one of those ninjas, who turned out to be Suzie. I promised to send the manuscript as soon as I finished, thinking it would take another month or so. *cue maniacal laughter* 

Anyway, to make a long story short, I didn't have it completely polished until the end of February this year. I sent my first query letters off at the very end of February/beginning of March, along with the manuscript to Suzie, and settled back because I'd been warned that there would be A LOT of waiting. Like months and months of waiting. Then a few weeks later, I received an email from Suzie. I was terrified to open it because I was sure it was a rejection. But I was stunned to find out that she was loving my book and just wanted the synopsis. Sure. No big deal, right? I sent it off, trying to be all cool and such, but I probably looked more like this:


And then after a little more waiting, I got another email. She loved it and wanted to talk. And after we talked and she officially offered to represent me, I probably looked a little crazy for a while and did a lot of squeeing and stuff like this:



I was really nervous to talk to Suzie, but she was so nice! She made me feel at ease and answered every question I had, and I feel so lucky to be one of her clients now. I look forward to many years of working with her!!! 



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The New Adult Craze

So unless you're living under a rock or something, there's this whole new category of books called New Adult that's really popular now. I know of several authors who have self-published New Adult books, and they are doing very well. I've also seen numerous book deals in the past six months on Publisher's Marketplace in which previously self-published NA books have been sold to traditional publishers in some pretty sweet deals.

Now I'm not going to lie - I've thought about writing one of those books, but I've held off. Why? Because right now New Adult is really doing well for contemporary themes and my brain doesn't want to come up with straight contemporary plots. I naturally gravitate to strange and weird ideas, things that aren't found in the real world. Does that mean I'll never write a contemporary book? No...it just means I haven't found the right idea yet. Because I do love reading contemporary stories. In fact some of my favorite recent reads have been contemporary. Easy by Tammara Webber, Picture Perfect by Alessandra Thomas, Losing It by Cora Carmack, and If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch are just a few. Out of those titles, three of them are New Adult.

What I'm really wondering (and hoping) is that New Adult's popularity will expand to encompass other areas such as science fiction, fantasy, and historical. I'm critiquing a FANTASTIC New Adult historical book right now that's set during the prohibition era and I'd love to find more books like that.

So what do you think about New Adult? Have you read any of those books? And if you have, what are some titles you would recommend?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hello Again!

So. It's been a while since I've posted here. No excuses - I'll just fill you in on what's been going on in Melissaland.

* First, I want to give a huge shout out to my fabulous CP, Christina Ferko. She just signed with Louise Fury of the L. Perkins Agency! *dances* I've worked with Christina for two years and have been lucky enough to read two of her books. She's a wonderful writer and I'm sooooo happy for her! :D

* One of the reasons I've been MIA is that I'm working a day job again! I love it and I'm so lucky to have a job in which I can work from home, but it does take away from my writing time. Anyway, like I said I'm lucky...the hours are flexible so I can work whenever I want. You can't beat that!

* Kids and husband. Enough said. ;)

* And last but not least, I've finished THE EDGE OF FOREVER! *tosses confetti* You can check out the summary under the brand new tab at the top of the page if you like. 

And that's it for now. I'm about to enter the strange world of querying, which honestly scares the crap of me. The thought of agents *possibly* reading my book is both terrifying and thrilling. I certainly hope one of them falls in love with my book baby!

So what's been going on with you lately? Any good news to share?