Lucienne Diver's Blog
December 5, 2013
It seems the days when I could count on things being quiet enough to post a leisurely blog are far behind me, so I’m a couple of days late posting my happy book birthdays for the week. Here are some great, great reads just out!
KICKING IT edited by Faith Hunter and Kalayna Price
This is am amazing urban fantasy anthology featuring, as the cover says, “All-New Tales of Murder, Magic, and Manalos”. Okay, not all the boots are Manolos, but, hey, alliteration…what can you do? Featured here are some of the very top names in urban fantasy…and me. Awesome stories from Rachel Caine, Chloe Neill, Rob Thurman, Faith Hunter, Kalayna Price, Christina Henry, Chris Marie Green, Shannon K. Butcher and (last but least), me. Really, seriously worth checking out!
NIGHTMASTER by Susan Krinard
Amanda Quick said, “Susan Krinard was born to write romance.” I couldn’t agree more. She’s won the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Contemporary New Reality, as well as many Readers’ Choice, PRISM and other awards for her paranormal romance. NIGHTMASTER is the second in her exciting Nightsiders series for Harlequin’s Nocturne line (the first is DAYSIDER).
COLTON CHRISTMAS RESCUE by Beth Cornelison
Award-winning author Beth Cornelison’s latest release is in the very popular Coltons of Wyoming continuity series.
Join the Coltons of Wyoming for a holiday showdown at Dead River Ranch
Deep undercover, Wyoming special agent Slade Kent comes to Dead River Ranch with only one thing in mind: justice. Bent on solving a string of recent crimes, as well as his father’s long-unsolved murder, he won’t let down his guard for anyone. Until beautiful heiress Amanda Colton and her baby are attacked. He’ll do anything to protect them…even put his heart on the line.
Amanda’s done with deception, but the irresistibly mysterious Slade draws her trust. When danger—and uncontained passion—spark, they must both put aside secrets and agendas for survival…and love?
Also, Amy Christine Parker and I recommended some Rebel Reads in our video Tuesday for the YA Rebels (see below). And if you scroll below that, you’ll see a couple more of my Rebel Reads that I’d somehow neglected to send, but which are great recommendations for boys particularly: SUBJECT SEVEN by James A. Moore and PATIENT ZERO by Jonathan Maberry. (Also, my 13 year old recommends Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan series, Kristen Simmons’s ARTICLE 5, and Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle.)
November 26, 2013
I want to take a second out of the insane preparations for the holiday to talk about what I’m thankful for this season. (Full disclosure: someone else in my family is hosting Thanksgiving and my husband is cooking our contributions, so mostly this involves me trying to get a week’s worth of work done in two days.)
-I’m thankful for a life spent doing what I love – working with brilliant, creative people and being part of the publishing world, which gave me so much as a child and continues to fulfill me.
-I’m thankful beyond words for my family, who love, support, amuse and surprise me on a daily basis.
-I’m grateful for the agency where I started out (Spectrum Literary Agency) and the agency I’m part of now (The Knight Agency), which is made up of such amazing, supportive, forward-thinking and tireless people.
-I’m thankful for my friends, who put things in perspective for me and who are always there to love, support and sometimes kick me in the pants.
Yes, today is a good day. I hope it is for you all as well and that you have lots to be thankful for this holiday season.
November 22, 2013
Sending for the newsletter, but also for a huge WHOO HOO!
So beside myself with excitement to see J. Kathleen Cheney’s debut novel THE GOLDEN CITY on Library Journal’s list of Best Books of 2013: SF/Fantasy!
It’s so funny, because just the other day some writers were bemoaning on my Facebook page the way the “establishment” is so averse to new voices, how we’re all gatekeepers (read evil ogres), etcetera and so forth and yet here’s one of the industry magazines putting a new voice on par with other awesome, established authors. Hmm, because this is my soapbox and I’ll holler if I want to, here are some other recent and amazing debuts on my list, all new within the past twelve months or forthcoming:
NEXUS by Ramez Naam – a great SF thriller released by Angry Robot Books in December 2012, followed by the sequel CRUX in August 2013
GATED by Amy Christine Parker – a young adult thriller about a girl who grows up in a cult and begins to question as the “end times” are upon them published by Random House Children’s in August 2013
THE GOLDEN CITY by J. Kathleen Cheney (mentioned above) – a fantasy/mystery set in a alternate Portugal released by Roc books in November 2013
BEYOND OUR STARS by Marie Langager – a suspenseful YA science fiction novel in which a girl’s hope for a fresh start on a new planet becomes a nightmare when she’s marked by the current inhabitants for for special testing coming in December 2013 from Bloomsbury Spark
PREDATOR by Janice Gable Bashman – young adult novel with a unique twist on the werewolf mythos coming from Month9Books in Fall 2014
THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY by Genevieve Cogman – wonderful fantasy novel billed by the publisher as Doctor Who with librarians! forthcoming from Tor UK in January 2015
My debut novelists have also included Lynn Flewelling, Carol Berg, Vicky Dreiling, Diana Pharaoh Francis, N.K. Jemisin, Kalayna Price, Rosemary Clement-Moore, Steven Piziks (aka Steven Harper), Tammy Kaehler…. A very impressive list, I think you’ll agree! So, if you want to see more new voices, the best thing you can do is support them as they come along!
November 21, 2013
Amy Christine Parker did a good job covering the dos after I had fun with the don’ts in our YA Rebels video this week. I add a few dos of my own over on my Magical Words post today on The Great Agent Hunt. If you want more, I did a previous Magical Words blog on the subject, as well a series on querying. See here for parts I, II and III.
November 20, 2013
November 19, 2013
Our Tuesday YA Rebels video will be up later today, giving tips on how to (and not to) find a literary agent. I’m not ashamed to say that my thirteen year old son has to upload this for me – not because I don’t know what I’m doing, but because his tech is way more updated than mine, which needs a serious upgrade. So, more on that soon.
In the meantime, I didn’t get to crow last week (except on Twitter and Facebook and to anyone who would listen) about Rachel Caine’s amazing Morganville Vampires series hitting the New York Times list once again (#10 for Children’s Series)! DAYLIGHTERS, the fifteenth and final book in the series, launched earlier this month to great acclaim. For those of you you’ve been waiting for the whole series before starting, this is it! You can read from beginning to end…and then run out and get all of her other books in various series, because she’s amazing no matter where you start! Speaking of Rachel Caine, she’s donated a signed set of her Outcast Season and Revivalist series to raise money for the Red Cross’s Typhoon Haiyan Appeal. You can bid here or check out what else Authors for the Philippines has on offer. Don’t forget, the holidays are right around the corner and books make great gifts, especially when the money for them goes to such a great cause.
In other news, Bookworm Blues did a fabulous piece on fantasy writer Carol Berg and her career here. Have I mentioned that she has a new series starting in August 2014 with DUST AND LIGHT (which – shameless plug – is already available for pre-order)? It’s all about fantasy and forensics…two of my favorite things. I’ve loved everything Carol’s ever written, but I might have to admit to a particularly warm place in my heart for this new series!
More as it happens.
November 13, 2013
It’s exciting any time a book I rep gets a starred review or some kind of extra attention, but when it’s a debut, especially, I just want to shout from the rooftops, “Yay, I’ve always loved this book and think you should all rush out for a copy to find out why!” Or two…or three copies… Books make great gifts! Anyway, my whoo and hoo are coming out right now for J. Kathleen Cheney’s starred review in Library Journal for THE GOLDEN CITY. To quote, “VERDICT Cheney’s debut is a masterpiece of historical fantasy, set in early 1900s Portugal, a time and place rarely explored in English-language fiction. The fascinating mannerisms of the age and the extreme formality of two people growing fonder of each other add a charmingly fresh appeal that will cross over to romance fans as well as to period fantasy readers.” Yay!
Also, I want to congratulate The Knight Agency’s Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award nominees, listed below! So proud!
Contemporary Romance: SUMMER AT MUSTANGE RIDGE by Jesse Hayworth
Regency Set Historical Romance: WHAT A WICKED EARL WANTS by Vicky Dreiling
Vampire Romance: PRINCE OF SHADOWS by Tes Hilaire
Paranormal Romance: HEART OF OBSIDIAN by Nalini Singh
Paranormal Romance: BLACK AND BLUE by Gena Showalter
Futuristic Romance: HEART FORTUNE by Robin D. Owens
Urban Fantasy Worldbuilding: LAST BLOOD by Kristen Painter
Urban Fantasy Worldbuilding: BLOOD WINTER by Diana Pharaoh Francis
Harlequin Desire: BEDROOM DIPLOMACY by Michelle Celmer
Paranormal Worldbuilding: GUARDIAN DEMON by Meljean Brook *
Harlequin Desire: BEHIND PALACE DOORS by Jules Bennett *
Harlequin Nocturne: TAMING THE DEMON by Doranna Durgin
First Mystery: DEATH COMES TO THE VILLAGE by Catherine Lloyd
* Not a TKA title
November 12, 2013
First off, I’m so excited that io9 has posted the first glimpse of Rachel Caine’s wonderful trailer for her even more amazing book PRINCE OF SHADOWS, coming in February 2014, but available now for preorder.
A thrilling retelling of the star-crossed tale of Romeo and Juliet, from the New York Times bestselling author of the Morganville Vampires series.
In the Houses of Montague and Capulet, there is only one goal: power. The boys are born to fight and die for honor and—if they survive—marry for influence and money, not love. The girls are assets, to be spent wisely. Their wishes are of no import. Their fates are written on the day they are born.
Benvolio Montague, cousin to Romeo, knows all this. He expects to die for his cousin, for his house, but a spark of rebellion still lives inside him. At night, he is the Prince of Shadows, the greatest thief in Verona—and he risks all as he steals from House Capulet. In doing so, he sets eyes on convent-bound Rosaline, and a terrible curse begins that will claim the lives of many in Verona…
…And will rewrite all their fates, forever.
In other news, as kind of a part II to our NaNoWriMo tips of last week, Amy Christine Parker and I did our video for YA Rebels this week on the revision process. I might brandish a sword. (Not well, mind you, but still.)
November 6, 2013
J. Kathleen Cheney’s debut fantasy novel THE GOLDEN CITY debuted yesterday to wonderful reviews (see below) and much fanfare. She’s here today with a little insight into what it took to get there!
“Cheney’s The Golden City pulls readers in right off the bat, as the story kicks off with our heroine in a desperate situation that will leave you rooting for her almost instantly. Oriana’s “extra” abilities are thoroughly intriguing and readers will love the crackling banter and working relationship between Oriana and Duilio.” —Romantic Times
“An ambitious debut from Cheney: part fantasy, part romance, part police procedural and part love letter to Lisbon in the early 1900s.” —Kirkus Reviews
“I honestly cannot wait to read what Cheney writes next.” —Bookworm Blues
Kill Your Darlings (Not Starring Daniel Radcliffe) by J. Kathleen Cheney
Yes, we’ve all heard that saying–that a writer must be willing to give up that one sentence, idea, or plot point that they loved…for the greater good of their work.
When I was in second grade, my teacher, Miss Baeza, wanted to send one of my stories to Highlights to see if they would publish it. Even then, I knew this was a Big Deal. But there was a catch; she wanted me to change the ending.
In my story, a group of animals escape the zoo, only to end up being magically trapped as the animals in a carousel. My teacher wanted a happy ending. But in my second-grade wisdom, I felt that mine was the correct ending. I hid the story in my father’s file cabinet and told her I couldn’t find it. This, by the way, became the truth because I never did see that story again.
Now fast forward lots of years and I’m a professional writer. (I have paperwork from both RWA and SFWA that say I am, so I know it’s true.) At a workshop a few years ago, I learned a very important phrase from author Steven Savile: I can do that.
If you’re seeking traditional publication, that’s a useful sentence. If your agent makes a suggestion, if your editor makes a suggestion, if your publisher makes a suggestion, they have a reason for doing so. So when my agent or editor suggests I change something, I listen. Then I usually say: I can do that.
Admittedly, I still go and hide my manuscript in the metaphorical file cabinet and sulk for a few hours. How could they not appreciate my untrammeled genius???
But because I’m not in second grade any longer, the next morning I get that manuscript back out and start analyzing their suggestions. No, I don’t slavishly obey those suggestions. The book I just turned back in to my editor? I had some changes I considered but, for one reason or another, they didn’t work for me. My editor will look at my edits and decide whether to press me on those things again or let it drop. It is a give and take relationship.
Editors have given me some pretty awesome ideas. My editor for “Iron Shoes” asked for me to add another scene with interaction between my heroine and the villain. Once I’d wrapped my mind around it, not only did I get to add another historical character, I also found a chance to slip in some very pertinent plot information. My editor for “The Golden City” suggested a huge change at one point, making one character not as villainous as I’d previously thought him. Figuring out the logic behind that alteration opened up new avenues for me to explore in this setting, and it made that world more realistic.
So I’ve learned to be open to changes. The truth is that a traditionally published book isn’t just mine. There’s a team involved in producing the book. There’s an agent who sold it, editors who’ve picked over every word, an art department that has produced a beautiful cover, a sales department, a publicity department…well, I could probably list more.
But if you’re hunting traditional publication, cooperation is a good thing. If I’d known that in second grade, I might have been published decades ago!
November 5, 2013
First, three crazy-exciting new releases today: DAYLIGHTERS by Rachel Caine, the culmination of her Morganville Vampires series (15 books and all awesome – how does she do it?), a fabulous fantasy debut, THE GOLDEN CITY by J. Kathleen Cheney and TO DANCE WITH THE DEVIL, the latest Blood Singer novel from Cat Adams Here’s a little bit about each:
While Morganville, Texas, is often a troubled town, Claire Danvers and her friends are looking forward to coming home. But the Morganville they return to isn’t the one they know; it’s become a different place—a deadly one…
Something drastic has happened in Morganville while Claire and her friends were away. The town looks cleaner and happier than they’ve ever seen it before, but when their incoming group is arrested and separated—vampires from humans—they realize that the changes definitely aren’t for the better.
It seems that an organization called the Daylight Foundation has offered the population of Morganville something they’ve never had: hope of a vampire-free future. And while it sounds like salvation—even for the vampires themselves—the truth is far more sinister and deadly.
Now, Claire, Shane and Eve need to find a way to break their friends out of Daylighter custody, before the vampires of Morganville meet their untimely end…
For two years, Oriana Paredes has been a spy among the social elite of the Golden City, reporting back to her people, the sereia, sea folk banned from the city’s shores….
When her employer and only confidante decides to elope, Oriana agrees to accompany her to Paris. But before they can depart, the two women are abducted and left to drown. Trapped beneath the waves, Oriana’s heritage allows her to survive while she is forced to watch her only friend die.
Vowing vengeance, Oriana crosses paths with Duilio Ferreira—a police consultant who has been investigating the disappearance of a string of servants from the city’s wealthiest homes. Duilio also has a secret: He is a seer and his gifts have led him to Oriana.
Bound by their secrets, not trusting each other completely yet having no choice but to work together, Oriana and Duilio must expose a twisted plot of magic so dark that it could cause the very fabric of history to come undone….
In To Dance with the Devil, the latest entry in Cat Adams’s Blood Singer series, Celia Graves’s newest client is one of the last surviving members of a magical family that is trapped in a generations-old feud with other magic-workers. She’s supposed to die at the next full moon unless Celia can broker peace between the clans or break the curse before it can take effect.
For the first time in a long while, Celia’s personal life is looking up. Her vampire abilities seem to be under control, her Siren abilities have gotten more reliable, and even though her office was blown up, her services are more in demand than ever now that she’s fought off terrorists and been part of the royal wedding of the year. Her friends all seem to be finding love and her grandmother has—finally—agreed to go to family therapy.
The only trouble spot is Celia’s love life. Not long ago, she had two boyfriends. Now she barely has one and she isn’t sure she wants him. But Bruno DeLuca is a powerful mage and Celia needs his help…especially after she’s attacked and her client is kidnapped.
In other news, Amy Christine Parker and I have our latest YA Rebels video up today with NaNoWriMo Tips. Check it out!
In case anyone’s wondering – yes, the disembodied voice on tip #10 is that of my husband!