“Dear Lucky Agent” contest

Do you have a fantasy or sci-fi novel (or two) that you are getting ready to pitch? Why not try entering the Guide to Literary Agents “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest? This is the fifth in their contest series, each of which have focused on a specific category. The prizes are all the same though:

  • A critique of the first 10 pages of your work, by your agent judge.
  • A free one-year subscription to WritersMarket.com.

How cool is that?

What to submit: The first 150-200 words of your unpublished, book-length work of fantasy or science fiction (adult fiction and/or YA fiction; no MG please). You must include a contact e-mail address with your entry and use your real name. Also, submit the title of the work and a logline (one-sentence description of the work) with your entry.

Contest ends: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 EST

For more details head to their contest page.

Good luck!

Enjoy it when fantasy authors take on important issues.

39) Summoned to Tourney, Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon. Sometimes earthquakes happen and sometimes the bad guys try and make them happen. A story from the beginning of the Bedlam Bard series and one of the good ones.

40) Wheels of Fire, Mercedes Lackey and Mark Shepherd. How I wish it were true that elves were there to rescue kids who were being abused. It would make the world a better place. Here the elves are not only trying to save a child from abuse, they are also taking on a radical religious cult. Another reason why I have rejected organized religion; there are far too many people in the world you use it to justify horror, abuse and violence against others. Oops, better not get onto that tangent…

41) Fire Me Up, Katie MacAlister. So not the book to read after a book about child abuse. It was just too fluffy and light. Needless to say; didn’t enjoy it much.

42) Sacred Ground, Mercedes Lackey. Clearly I needed to go back to one of my fave authors. This was about environmental and aboriginal issues. For not being Native, I think Misty did a great job. Of course neither am I so all I can say it that it felt good to me.

43) Over the Moon, Angela Knight, MaryJanice Davidson, Virginia Kantra, Sunny. Four paranormal romance novellas (in other words kissy kissy stuff with werewolves, Fae and other spookies). Interesting tales; liked MaryJanice Davidson’s best. Light, but the byplay between our two potential lovers was deliciously snarky.

More reading

35) Bloodfever, Karen Marie Moning. Not all Sidhe are good Sidhe. Heck, not even the good ones are all that great, as MacKayla Lane has found out. This is the 2nd in a series that is really shaping up well. Lots of twists and turns, with interesting characters.

36) Every Secret Thing, Laura Lippman. After reading The Last Place, I was keen for another Lippman book, but this one just didn’t resonate with me. Not sure why. It was good, with lots of twists, but something just… I dunno.

37) By a Spider’s Thread, Laura Lippman. I enjoyed this one much better than the last. Maybe it was because I already knew the characters, though one of the people in Every Secret Thing did make an appearance here. Like the last one, there were plenty of twists.

38 ) Hound the Falcon, Judith Tarr. When mysteries are leaving you feeling a little flat, do a switch! Pick up a fantasy novel – in this case a trilogy (all in one book so I’ll count them as 1) set in the Crusade period. With elves. Nice elves. And evil churchfolk (and some nice ones too). And kings and princes and saints. A nice break from reality…

Another book-aholic confession

24) Seven Towers, 25) Daughter of Witches, 26) Shadow Magic, 27) Harp of Imach Thyssel, by Patricia Wrede. After reading Caught in Cryrstal a short while ago I got the bug to read more of Patricia. So I pulled all the books of hers that I had and read them again. I still admire her economy of phrasing.

28 ) Wolf Moon, Charles de Lint. While pulling out my Wrede books I discovered this tale by one of my all time favourite authors (and a heck of a bodhran player as I discovered when I stumbled upon him one night in a pub in Ottawa). Not my fave book of his, but still good.

29) Love is Murder, Linda Palmer. A murder mystery set in the world of soap operas. Well, I like mysteries, but not a fan of soap operas (despite my continuing to watch CSI: Miami), still this was more fun than I thought. Quirky characters and silly situations. Nice.

30) The Last Place, Laura Lippman. Was still in a mystery mood, so picked this one up from my ‘found in my personal library’ pile. This was a wonderful book; Tess Monaghan is definitely in a mess this time with court-ordered counselling and then a job searching domestic abuse cases. Cases that involve far more than meets the eye. Fascinating twists and turns, and bizarre characters.

31) Dead Man Rising, Lilith Saintcrow. When I first stumbled over the Dante Valentine series, I admit I sneered a little. Both the name chosen for the main character and the name of the author just seemed so fanciful… but I stopped sneering fast. Affectations aside, this is an excellent series. This is the second in the series and here Dante is trying to drown her sorrow (sorry, not giving away what happened in the first book) in work. Unfortunately she gets pulled into a situation where she has to deal with the worst of her childhood. And a truly horrible childhood it was… If you thought pedophiles were bad, wait till you meet the people who tainted Dante’s early life.

32) The Devil Inside, Jenna Black. What a cool premise: voluntary demon possession in order to do good works. And when it isn’t voluntary, you call in our heroine, exorcist Morgan Kingsley. When Morgan discovers she has been forcibly possessed by a demon, a demon who doesn’t want to be in her any more than she wants him to be, the two of them have to work together (sort of) in order to try and figure a way out of the mess. And their ally? A demon-possessed man who is very much into sadism.

33) The Vampire of New York, Lee Hunt. When I was reading a lot of fanfiction (still reading lots, but of a different genre) there was this writer who always got to me. Her stories started out wonderful and got better and better and then… over. She came up with great premises for stories, and was a wizard at writing the beginnings and middles, but when it came to endings she fizzled. This book is very similar – I was fascinated, entranced, spellbound… and then it was just done. Learnt a lot about NYC during the Civil War, though. Just wish the conclusion had been as promising as the rest of the book.

34) Dog Days, John Levitt. Now, I am a cat person… but the ‘dog’ in this book is very likeable. Of course, the focus is on the human, who is definitely someone I can understand. Not that I can play jazz guitar ot anything, but I do understand that whole ‘you have such potential… if you’d only….’ scenario. Been hearing that one my whole life… Anyway, interesting characters and situations. I also enjoyed the fact that it was set in a truly believable world; our own, just with some people who have a little bit more umph to them.

The last two books are part of the pile I picked up on the weekend – yes I have another stack to add to my as yet unread stack. Going to put them aside though; have to get the library books read first. And maybe even take a break for a bit (also got DVDs to watch).

The Monster Read-athon continues

Posting a mega list this time…

12) Magic Bites, Ilona Andrews. This is set in some sort of future-world Atlanta where magic and tech don’t really coincide – more like compete with each other. So one minute you are in a tech-based world where electricity and all works, and the next magic is the name of the day. Understanding that was the easiest part… still not exactly sure about the whole ‘vampires as ride-able bug-like creatures’ thing.

13) Revenant, Carolyn Haines. For a bit of a change of pace – a mystery! Despite suspecting whodunit almost immediately (and yep, I was right), I really enjoyed this. Fast-paced when it needed to be, introspective when it mattered. And the characters were very sympathetic. I looked Haines up and based on the back jackets of her other books, this is very much a darker turn for her. I give it two thumbs way up and am hoping for more.

14) Rogue Angel: Lost Scrolls, Alex Archer. This series is like popcorn; good fun but not too deep. I like the heroine, Annja, but it is getting to the point where she can’t ask a question without someone trying to blow her away for it. This one is case in point… there was so much gunplay you could skip through several pages of it and not lose the storyline. And the storyline in this one was pretty darn weak too. Usually the stories are pretty fun and at least somewhat believable… not this time.

15) Bedlam’s Edge, ed. Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill. A great collection of urban fantasy stories (heavy on the elves) by some great writers (some I’d heard of before and some new ones for me to watch). If you live The SERRAted Edge or Bardic Voices books, you’ll love these stories.

Right about then it was a few days before I had to go to the hospital for a procedure… and I was getting anxious and stressed. What do you do then? Fall back on your old faves by your best authors. So naturally I turned to…

16) Summon the Keeper, 17) The Second Summoning, and 18 ) Long, Hot Summoning, Tanya Huff. Huff is definitely my fave author, and I have always enjoyed the Keeper books (yo! Tanya! When is a new one coming out????). They are extremely well-written urban fantasies, that have characters you fall in love with almost immediately, situations that are scary… but funny, and extremely witty dialogue. You will never look at guest houses, angels, Kingston, cats or minivans the same way.

19) Music to my Sorrow, Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill. Misty is also one of my fave authors, and I was still in stress-soup so picking up another old fave was a must. I am very anti-organized religion, so this was definitely the book to read if you think that much of the tele-evangelical movement is a crock of crap. Of course I don’t believe that it is that way because of manipulation by Unseleighe forces (or do I?)… but manipulation is definitely at work. But I better not get off on this tangent…

20) Caught In Crystal, Patricia Wrede. Talk about old-school! Found this one (and the next) while unpacking one of my many boxes of books. Came out almost 20 years ago (and it shows). Still enjoyable though.

21) Witchdame, Kathleen Sky. Published over 22 years ago, I think in many ways this was a Deryni wannabe, owing to its calling on archangels and such. Interesting take on a pagan Elizabethan England (or Englene) though.

Phew! That is a lot of books! Even so, the pile next to my bed just never seems to get smaller. As I mentioned, been unpacking books so I kept finding old ones to re-read even though I haven’t yet gotten to many I only recently bought. So I have a long way to go yet… better get to it, hunh?