The Thrills of ThrillerFest with the ITW

ThrillerFest was a lot of fun. All day on both Friday and Saturday, it was panel after panel, interspersed with interviews and massive book signings. It is an event like no other and it is exactly what it says it is—a festival of thrills. Two full days with a grand total of forty-eight panels, eight book signing sessions, three cocktail parties, two major interviews, the Debut Authors Breakfast, and the Awards Banquet. It was a whirlwind of creativity and excitement. I was sad to see it end.

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What I Learned at CraftFest with the ITW

Just like last year, CraftFest was fantastic. I met a lot of great people, learned a lot about my craft, and discovered numerous books that I want to read. The day before CraftFest actually started, I began to run into people with the conference

CraftFest is a day and a half of lectures and panels taught by professionals and experienced authors. Last year, I took Steve Berry’s classes; he had the same ones this year. I chose to attend Boyd Morrison’s lecture on pacing, of which I took two full pages of notes.

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Traveling and Tourist Stuff Before ThrillerFest XII

Where else would I start but the beginning? My blog series about ThrillerFest can only begin with my traveling there and end with my plane ride home. Also, if I want to get this blog up when I promised I would, I must write about my travel. I acquired an immense amount of books and wound up shipping all of my books, notes, business cards, and bookmarks to avoid a heavy baggage fee. So now I’m without my notes to write about the actual conference for a few days.

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Book Review: Personal by Lee Child

“Personal” by Lee Child is a fantastic book. I love the voice and the feel of the narrative. He uses a bit of an unconventional writing style, but it is uniquely his own. If you, like me, have never read anything he’s written before, I highly recommend buying one of his books and giving it a shot. I mean, come on… He’s a best-selling author for a damn good reason. He writes gripping thrillers that are really driven and action-packed. I’m already looking forward to picking up some more of his books and devouring them.

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Book Review: Deadly Kiss by Bob Bickford

“Deadly Kiss” grabbed me right from the synopsis. Decades of deaths can all be blamed on a stolen kiss that happened out back of a country store in Georgia in 1946. Mike has to follow the trail of secrets if he’s ever going to solve the mystery of what was silently haunting his father ever since he was a young boy.

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Book Review: The Rising by Heather Graham and Jon Land

I decided to read this book because it was co-written by two wonderful, friendly people whom I had the pleasure of meeting last year at ThrillerFest. What do you get when two amazing bestselling authors put their heads together? A freaking fantastic book that grabs you and holds on right up until the very end.

"The Rising" by Heather Graham and Jon Land is a gripping thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat. It took me around a week to read it, but every time I put it down, I couldn’t wait until I had time to pick it up again and read some more. It’s full of questions and the mystery keeps driving the story forward. I just had to keep reading. I had to know what the hell this was all about.

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Book Review: Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

In "Dead Ever After," the thirteenth and final Sookie Stackhouse book, we see a lot of changes and get to revisit a lot of old friends, as well as a few old enemies. First, is the style change. To the best of my recollection, all of the other books were written exclusively from Sookie’s perspective. Entirely first person, and in a very casual form. It’s very colloquial, charming, and endearing. But in this book, we get a number of perspective shifts where we are witnessing an event from third person, well outside of Sookie’s knowledge, even after the end of the book. She had no way of knowing any of it. I actually liked this change. It gave us what we needed to know, without Sookie knowing, too.

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Book Review: A Front Page Affair by Radha Vatsal

The novel starts out at a lavish Independence Day Garden Party on Monday, July fifth, 1915. JP Morgan, Jr. was shot two days ago and people are buzzing with the gossip while Kitty Weeks mingles with the guests. Kitty is an aspiring reporter, who thus far has been relegated to writing fluff for the Ladies Pages. She watches a spectacular display of Japanese fireworks, which showers the guests with little paper cutouts of various shapes. After the hour-long show is over, a man is found shot dead in the stables. Kitty goes with some of the others to check it out, which sucks her into a sinister series of events where nothing is quite as it seems and no one should really be trusted.

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Mark July 8th on your calendars

OUR NEW HOPE is officially set to be released on July 8th, 2017. Only two more months and you can join Hope once again on her journey of self-discovery and in her mission of protecting her people from annihilation. Are you excited? I know I am! Want to know what's going to happen? Check back next week for a synopsis!


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Possible Delays For OUR NEW HOPE

I am extremely regretful to have to announce that the release of Our New Hope, the second installment in the Hope Trilogy, may not be released in time for ThrillerFest. I should have received my first and second round edits back several months ago. My cover should already be designed. I should already have ARCs out for reviews. I should have a release date in hand, and really, should have had one months ago. But here it is, a mere three months before the conference. I have no ISBN number, no books to sell, pre-sell, or even a cover with which to tease people. 

I don't blame my publisher. I know that shit happens. Sometimes, like in this case, really bad shit happens. The acquisitions editor's daughter fell deathly ill. She was in the ICU for a very long time. I'm relieved to say that she is now on the mend, but it will be a long road to recovery. So now, the main contact at the publishing house for hundreds of authors is out of commission. Her email is on auto-reply that she's out of the office. It was posted on our private message board that she is over 5k emails behind, and that was weeks ago. I have no hope of hearing back from her in a timely manner about Our New Hope. Every other editor is scrambling to take on the excessive workload she carried, as well as do their own jobs. I know I'm not the only author who is in a panic over the delay in their release.

So, I've emailed my main editor from my last book. I have no idea if she is the editor of my current book, but I certainly hope she is. I've got my fingers crossed that I'll hear back from her soon and she'll say she just finished it. And here's some covers for you to peruse. Then I can read it at least seven more times, make some more changes, and send it to formatting. I hope.

In fact, let's all hope. Hope that Our New Hope is here in time for ThrillerFest. Last time, it was only three weeks from "here's your galley copy" to "here's your book for sale." Maybe, just maybe, there's still time to wiggle in for a timely release. 

April 15 UPDATE: I've heard back from my editor. I will not be getting first round edits. She said my novel is polished enough that I'll only need the second round, where they fix any grammar issues and look for inconsistencies. I don't need spelling or punctuation fixed, so that should make it go a bit faster. My book has been slated for a September release, due to delays throughout the company. My editor is going to take my plea to the board to see if they will change my release date and put my book on rush to try to have it out by July. I hope to hear back soon and that I'll have some good news!

April 17 UPDATE: The board of directors agreed to move up my book and have granted me a July 8th release date! It'll be cutting it pretty close, since I'm leaving for NYC and ThrillerFest on the 10th, but I think we can make this happen. I'm so excited!