Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Why We Chose What We Chose

Pitch Madness is truly Madness.  Over 400 submissions racked up in the inbox, giving the slush readers an immense job to root out the entries that would progress onto the next rounds.  Those who progressed then bumped into round two, where they were subjected to the same treatment.  If a submission managed to squeeze into the third round, that's where the hosts and co-host came in.

So, why did the hosts pick what they picked?

Here were our top ten reasons:

1)  Kickass concepts (original, well thought out, commerical or potentially award-winning)
2)  Writing with voice and character
3)  A piece we'd love to read to our own kids/teens
4)  A submission that would fall into current editor and agent wish list needs (yes, we do actually research the agents participating, and so should you, as it heightens your chances of being picked!)
5)  Submissions with parallels to other books (we liked retellings and reimaginings, and books that could slide into a gap in a burgeoning market)
6)  Books that gave us something unusual (we liked to take a few risks)
7)  Writing with a good balance of character, pertinent detail, but not too much description in the opening pages
8)  Genre mash-ups (we find those really cool!)
9)  Something that put a new twist on an old idea
10)  That indefinable X Factor

So there's a little insight on our reasons for picking what we picked.

And I tell you what, for all of you being such good sports, I'm going to give away ten first chapter critiques to the first ten people who comment on the blog and say what it is THEY like in a entry.

Good luck!

Fiona

P.S.  My comments in reply don't count as one of the ten!  ;-)

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Going Home Again Review

We're published author's a-go-go here on The YABookcase!  Today's amazing author is ABBY CAVENAUGH with her new book GOING HOME AGAIN, a contemporary romance published by Swoon Publishing!

Here's the cover and the deets...and a review at the end!

 
 
Title: Going Home Again

Author: Abby Cavenaugh

Genre: Contemporary Romance



Going Home Again Book Blurb:


In high school, it was doubtful Michael Day knew Alyssa Jones existed.

Twenty years later, when the now-famous pop star returns home to coastal North Carolina, Alyssa gets a second chance to make a first impression on Michael.

On sabbatical from his failing marriage, Michael agrees to an interview with Alyssa, a journalist for the local tourist magazine.

When the chemistry between them ignites, Alyssa and Michael are hit with the harsh reality that he isn't yet free to love her.

With Michael's wife and son still very much in the picture, can Alyssa hold out until he ends his marriage for good? Or will she risk it all for a second chance with the one who got away?



About Abby Cavenaugh




Abby Cavenaugh is a writer of romantic women's fiction and YA paranormal. She is a newspaper editor by day, but dreams of someday retiring to the North Carolina coast to write books full-time. She lives near Charlotte with her twin sister, also a writer, six-year-old niece and crazy cat, Gus, and is driven by dreams, Diet Coke and chocolate



Social Media












Swoon Romance (publisher) site: http://www.myswoonromance.com/



Where To Buy









REVIEW

Well, let's say the first thing first - author Abby is perhaps one of the sweetest people you'll meet.  She's helpful, hard working, and extremely dedicated to the craft.  However, putting that aside, she is also a very nice writer indeed.  Going Home Again is a soft, sweet book with a tough under-layer, and it provides a lovely juxtaposition of love versus tough real life issues.  Following the main characters and their arc throughout the story makes for a satisfying read.  Women are bound to connect with Alyssa Jones as she navigates her way through burgeoning feelings for the leading man, hampered by the very real life obstacles of divorce, children, and, of course, emotional baggage.
 
I found myself pulled along in a gentle current of easy reading.  This one is perfect for leaning back on the sunbed and letting your own life melt away, connecting with characters who could be any of our friends, workmates, or family members.  The author has a great way of making the writing seem invisible.  No sooner than you start, you forget there are even words on the page.  You simply ease into Alyssa's life and observe as a fly on the wall.
 
For me, the balance between the characters really made the book good to read.  Alyssa, who so desperately wants to be with Mike, is a compelling leading lady.  Although she hates being the "other woman", she also struggles with her feelings of love for the man she once crushed on in high school. And then there is Mike, trapped in a broken marraige, but desperately trying to keep his family together for the sake of his son, while battling his growing attraction for Alyssa.  Both characters have so much to contend with in life, much like the readers will too, providing a strong point of connection between reader and characters.  These characters highlight the imperfections we all have, making them easy to relate to and wonderful to observe.
 
So if you're looking for a romance that's more than just a quest for Mr. Right, and more of a quest for love in the modern day, then this one is for you.