Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tipsy Tuesday - On Vacation

Today, I am going to give you some Vacation/Theme Park tips from a Floridian who has been there and done all that. Me!

So, Florida is full of tourists on any given day of the week. We have beaches, Disney World, Universal, Miami, the rich and famous...let's face it: Florida's got it goin' on.

I also never fail to notice that tourists don't understand how to work the system around here. So, for my select lovelies, I'm gonna give you tips a la Harry Potter.First, just because it's cool, here's my quill and parchment I used to send letters home from Hogsmead!

Now, as most of us Florida residents know, when you get to a theme park (the minute it opens) you go straight to the attraction you most want to see. No lallygagging, girls! Hogsmead was amazing...beautiful...while the crowds were minimal. The later the day got, the more people showed up. Tourists -- some from the states, most from England and Switzerland.

Then, first thing when you get to Hogsmead, go ahead and grab a butterbeer. There was no line when we got there, but later in the day it was miles long. By the way butterbeer tastes like you're drinking butter cream frosting. Seriously. It's delicious, but soooo sweet!

Then, if you are a purveyor of rides, you need to make your way to a line. The earlier in the day you ride, the shorter the line is going to be. As of about 10am the wait for the ride in Hogwarts was only 30 minutes. (All of the walkways and stores in Hogsmead are really small. That's why they look so crowded. But trust me, the crowds weren't bad at all until about 1pm)

After you've ridden your little hearts out, go find the Three Broomsticks and settle in for an early lunch. If you wait until noon to eat the lines will be ridiculous, and you may not get a table very quickly. We ate at about 11 and were seated immediately with our delicious fare.

After lunch, head over to Honeydukes for desert. The cauldron cake was phenomenal. Oh, and don't leave without a box of salt water taffy...omg...best taffy EVER. Seriously. Get the taffy...and send me a box while you're at it.

One thing Non-Floridians don't realize is: while we are called the Sunshine State, it actually rains almost every day. During the summer it does rain every day. Every. Single. Day. Usually the rain will hold off until late afternoon when the clouds finally blow in from the coast -- instant thunderstorm. So, another benefit of going early in the day. We left at about 1 or 1:30, had been through all the shops and bought WAY too much stuff. (see below for proof) So we were back at the hotel when the clouds let loose their fury.

Overall, everything was amazing. If you need anything just ask any worker you see. They're all more than happy to snap a picture for you, or tell you where to find a broomstick.

Monday, August 30, 2010

We Have A Winner!

First of all -- what an AMAZING trip I had! Seriously, it was so fun. We got to the park as it opened at 9am and went straight for Hogsmead. It was rather cool surprisingly, though the humidity could choke someone. The crowds were not bad at all for the first few hours. We wandered from shop to shop taking pictures and drinking butterbeer. (Butterbeer is suuuuuper sweet, but yummy!)

While in Dervish and Banges we happened upon the Sorting Hat, who kindly obliged to pick our winner!

That's my cousin in the pink. ;)

Oh, wait, you want to know the winner? Well...okay then.


Our lovely Hufflepuff friend Kris is our winner! So, shoot me an email (holly at hddodson dot com) and let me know which ARC you'd like and your address.

Kris also got a special prize straight from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter...

It's a Hufflepuff key chain! You can't see it well here, but the detail on this thing is amazing.

So congrats to Kris, and I promise to share more pictures later. We're having computer issues this morning.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Fun

Something that made me giggle:

Not a single person that entered my contest claimed to be a Slytherin! Not a single one! Maybe that's because my blog is for writers, and let's face it, us writers -- we're more Ravenclaw material. Although, there were more Gryffindor than anything. A few Hufflepuff too. Gotta love the Hufflepuffs.

Guess what --


Erm...yeah. I'm sorta stoked.

Other awesome news --

My glorious crit partner, Susan, is nearly done with Emerald's Keeper! I'm all tingly in anticipation. I just finished rewriting the very last scene for the 100millionth time and I can't wait to see what she thinks. Naturally, I think it's brilliant. Also naturally, she'll help me make it even better.

Exciting things on the horizon, lovelies!

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White is released next week (8/31). I've already pre-ordered it on my Nook. Kiersten's blog is one of my very favorite to follow, so I can't wait to get my hands on this book. I just know it'll be awesome.

Also, on September 7th, The DUFF by Kodi Kepplinger is released! Another one I'm super excited about. But I haven't figured out how to pre-order it on my Nook. Maybe it's not starting out in e-format. Not sure. I'll get it one way or another.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend! I'll be back on Monday with a full report and the contest winner!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Book Recommendation- The Eternal Ones

The Eternal Ones
By Kirsten Miller

Blurb from Goodreads: " What if love refused to die? Haven Moore can’t control her visions of a past with a boy called Ethan, and a life in New York that ended in fiery tragedy. In our present, she designs beautiful dresses for her classmates with her best friend Beau. Dressmaking keeps her sane, since she lives with her widowed and heartbroken mother in her tyrannical grandmother’s house in Snope City, a tiny town in Tennessee. Then an impossible group of coincidences conspire to force her to flee to New York, to discover who she is, and who she was. In New York, Haven meets Iain Morrow and is swept into an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous. Iain is suspected of murdering a rock star and Haven wonders, could he have murdered her in a past life? She visits the Ouroboros Society and discovers a murky world of reincarnation that stretches across millennia. Haven must discover the secrets hidden in her past lives, and loves¸ before all is lost and the cycle begins again."

I really enjoyed the premise: That people can go from life to life carrying a special talent or memories. What a cool idea! I mean, why not? It could totally be true.

Anyway, I very much enjoyed the book. Haven is a very likable character and she is easy to relate to with all the trouble she has had at school through the years. I also loved that she lived in such a small town -- I grew up in one myself, and the dynamic is right on.

There were a couple of times close to the end of the book that I wished I could reach in and punch Haven in the face. She was being stupid and it made me SO MAD. It took her a bit longer than it took me to figure things out. lol  I guess that's when you know a book was really good, huh?  ;)

In the end though I was very happy with the whole story. It flowed well and the writing was great.

Definitely something to add to your list.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Road Trip Wednesday

Iiiiiiiit's Road Trip Wednesday! Visit the YAHighway for everyone's answers.

This week's topic: How would YOU impress (or not impress) the Hunger Games judges?

Do I get a gun? As random a question as that may seem, I'm an excellent shot. Okay, so, I was raised in the South with a dad who hunted -- of course I know how to handle a gun. I can, in fact, take down a moving target that is obscured by brush and trees.

My dad used to set targets up randomly out in the woods, just to see if I could hit them. I could. I don't think I ever missed one.

So, if I could have a gun, I'm pretty sure I could impress the Hunger Games judges with my mad skillz. lol Not that I would be able to shoot people if I were in the games. I think I'd have to show them just what I thought of their games, and take my life back into my own hands.

That's a really morbid thought, but this is the Hunger Games we're talking about. I wouldn't spit the berries out.

Show of hands, how many of you are reading, or have already consumed, Mockingjay? I'm about half way through -- I had to force myself to go to sleep last night so I can savor the ending tonight. lol

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

One last reminder!

Today is the very last day to enter my Birthday Party, Follower Celebration Contest BONANZAAAA!!

Get your entries in (on the original post) by 5 pm today!!

FYI- I am SO SUPER EXCITED about this weekend! 3 days and counting 'til I leave!

And just in case you forgot: Mockingjay released today!! I've already downloaded it on my Nook ;)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Don't Forget!

Don't forget to enter my Birthday Party, Follower Celebration Contest BONANZAAAA!!


One lucky winner will receive:

A surprise from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Your choice of an ARC: The Wave by Susan Casey, The King's Mistress by Emma Campion, or Leaving the World by Douglas Kennedy.
My copy of Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass
AND one of my favorite pens- Uniball Signo

The winner will be chosen on August 28th (my birthday) in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

I'll post the winner on Monday August 30th along with pictures!

Entries close tomorrow at 5pm EST! (Leave your entry comments on the main post, not this one).

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Fun

I have fallen in love, my lovelies!
With my new Nook.

What did you think I was in love with? Not something non-book related I hope? ;)
I went yesterday on my lunch break to Barnes and Noble (which is located quite conveniently -- only 4 miles from my office). Now, I had planned to wait until Saturday to purchase my new toy, but where's the fun in that? Happy early birthday to me! (I like this using my birthday as an excuse to buy things for myself idea. Wonder how long I can keep it up...)

I'm the most impatient person, like, ever. Let's just be honest.

I got a pretty case for it too... Which turned out quite well -- they didn't have any more in stock, so I had to buy the display, so I got 30% off! Rock on. This was the case I really wanted, so I wasn't going to buy a different one. And who doesn't love a bargain? (The back of it is a ? I find it so funny.)

So, I sat in the Starbucks area, whipped out my netbook (another thing I'm in love with), and set it up. I downloaded 3 books and preordered Mockingjay all before I left. Haha.

IT IS SO COOL! As a small note -- I have no problem with the touch screen navigation (I had seen some iffy reviews on it).

I started reading The Eternal Ones on it last night. You'll get that review on Thursday.

Point being -- I'm a happy camper, I totally love it. Thanks to those of you who helped me make my decision.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Book Recommendation - 13 Reasons Why

Don't forget to enter my Birthday Party, Follower Celebration Contest Bonanza!!!

Thirteen Reasons Why

By Jay Asher

Blurb from Goodreads: "Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list."

Guys, this is the kind of book that you finish the entire thing before you even realize you're more than 100 pages in. Seriously. I flew through this book, unable to stand the anticipation of what was coming next.

It was a one-nighter.

The beginning was a little awkward. You start out at the post office, with Clay sending the package on, and then jump back to when he received the package. It threw me off at first, but I caught on eventually. lol

Either way, the things you learn about what happened to Hannah and why Clay is mentioned in the tapes...it's incredibly moving. At times I would be angry at Hannah, and other times I was angry at some of the other characters. The whole time, however, I felt nothing but sorry for Clay. He is such a likable character -- easy to relate to.

This is the kind of book that really teaches a lesson along with the story, but you don't realize it until later when you're still thinking about it.

Definitely a must read.

Road Trip Wednesday

You know what day it is -- it's Road Trip Wednesday on the YA Highway! This week's topic:

What book ending would you rewrite and why?

Well, I'll have to go with Nightshade here. I know, how rude of me to choose an ARC! It's just the one that stands out in my mind the most.

I was so pulled into the story and so invested in Calla's struggle the ending was just sort-of a let down. I really wanted some answers -- some kind of a half-way solution at least. The ending felt rushed and left so many loose ends I was pretty frustrated with it actually. But only because I wanted to read more. ;)

What about you? What book's ending would you rewrite?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tipsy Tuesday - I need a drink

So, yesterday was Super Spawn's very first day of 3k. How exciting, right? How much fun?

Yeah, it was exciting -- until about 4pm when I get a call from another child's mom. It went something like this:

Other mom: "Hi, this is other kid's mom, our sons go to school together."

Me: "Uh, hi." Thinking- oh no, what did Super Spawn do to her kid? Why's she calling me?!

Other mom: "I think the school accidentally sent Super Spawn's medicine home with other kid."

Me: "They what? What medicine?"

Other mom: "It's, like, a needle thing and benadryl."


Other mom: "Isn't that something he needs to have with him all the time?"


Other mom: "I'm sorry, I only saw it when we got home. I'll bring it to school in the morning."
Me: "Thank you so much for calling."

Now, parents of a non-allergy child, or someone who has never seen a person go into anaphylactic shock might think I'm overreacting. Truth is, the negligence of one person at that school yesterday could have KILLED two children.

I flipped out.

It has been handled, the school apologized profusely and reprimanded the negligent person. They have also developed a policy for how to handle Super Spawn's epipen so that it will always be within a moment's reach.

So, I was a little too stressed out last night to write my Tipsy Tuesday post. So you get tipsy ranting! HA! And here's the drink to go with it!

Paradise Punch


  • 1/2 cup tequila blanco
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 1/2 cup rum
  • 1/2 cup gin
  • 2 cups cranberry juice
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • Pineapple wedges, for garnish


In a large pitcher, combine all ingredients and stir. Serve chilled in iced tea glasses with a wedge of pineapple for a garnish.

Monday, August 16, 2010


It's time for the Birthday Party, Follower Celebration Contest BONANZAAAA!!


One lucky winner will receive:

A surprise from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Your choice of an ARC: The Wave by Susan Casey, The King's Mistress by Emma Campion, or Leaving the World by Douglas Kennedy.
My copy of Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass
AND one of my favorite pens- Uniball Signo

So how do you enter?! Easy!

  1. You must be a follower to enter.
  2. In your comment tell me which Hogwarts House you belong in.
  3. Tweet about it for 1 extra entry per tweet (just leave your @ in the comments)
  4. Blog about it for 3 extra entries (leave a link to your blog)

You do not have to tweet or blog about it to enter, just tell me which House you belong in. The tweets and blogs are just for extra chances to win!

Then on August 28th, on my birthday, in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter a winner will be chosen! I'll post the winner on Monday August 30th along with pictures!

Entries open today! Good luck!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday Surprise!

An answer to my truths and lies!

  1. I have the biggest sweet tooth ever. - LIE! I very rarely eat sweets believe it or not.
  2. My favorite type of food is Italian. - LIE! Mexican food, baby!
  3. I cannot stand going to the beach...the sand sticks to you and creepy crawlies in the water...yuck! - LIE! I freaking love the beach...and swimming in the ocean!
  4. I have inspirational sayings plastered across my office walls. - TRUTH!
  5. I do nothing by a schedule -- wing it all! - LIE! A big fat lie. I plan everything, and drive my sister crazy with it.
  6. I do not, in fact, have an itinerary already set for my trip to HP world. - LIE! I do. Glenna totally nailed me on this one.
  7. Super Spawn is actually an evil genius in disguise as a 3 year old.- LIE! Apart from his likeness to Stewie, I fully expect Super Spawn to save the world some day.

So, I'd like to pass my "Creative Blogger" award on to these lovely bloggers:


Friday, August 13, 2010

I'd like to thank the Academy...

And LTM for my blog award! hehe

6 Lies and a Truth:

  1. I have the biggest sweet tooth ever.
  2. My favorite type of food is Italian.
  3. I cannot stand going to the beach...the sand sticks to you and creepy crawlies in the water...yuck!
  4. I have inspirational sayings plastered across my office walls.
  5. I do nothing by a schedule -- wing it all!
  6. I do not, in fact, have an itinerary already set for my trip to HP world.
  7. Super Spawn is actually an evil genius in disguise as a 3 year old.
LOL Okay, that was hard! So, which one do you think is the truth? Can you figure it out?

And OMG you guys! I hit 50 followers last night!! Yay me! (and a couple more !!!!!!!! for good measure).

Now, I'm going to spend the weekend plotting and planning. On Monday I will have the official rules (and PRIZES!) posted for my Birthday/Follower contest bonanza!!!!!!!! (That needs an echo to sound as cool as it did in my head)

Aren't you excited about Monday now? I know I am!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Book Recommendation - Nightshade

by Andrea Cremer

Blurb on Goodreads: "While other teenage girls daydream about boys, Calla Tor imagines ripping out her enemies’ throats. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. Calla was born a warrior and on her eighteenth-birthday she’ll become the alpha female of the next generation of Guardian wolves. But Calla’s predestined path veers off course the moment she saves the life of a wayward hiker, a boy her own age. This human boy’s secret will turn the young pack's world upside down and forever alter the outcome of the centuries-old Witches' War that surrounds them all."

I will start with a disclaimer: I don't like wolves. In fact, I'm terrified of them for no real reason other than I just am. Even with that -- and the nightmares I got from reading this book -- I still really enjoyed it.  That says a lot coming from me.

Calla is a likable MC. She is easily persuaded to do things she doesn't really want to do though, which isn't her best characteristic. Other than her weakness for anything male and breathing, she's a tough chick who leads her pack not only with a firm hand, but with kindness.

I'll go ahead and shout from the rooftops: I'M TEAM REN!!!!

I really did not like Shay -- and rather hoped Ren would rip him to pieces.

The ending, oh the ending. I didn't get any of my questions answered, and I'm really not even sure what just happened! I kept flipping pages hoping to find more. lol  It was so good!

This was a very enjoyable read and you should pick up a copy when it is released in October.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Road Trip Wednesday

It's that time on the YA Highway!

This week's topic comes from a prompt at SCBWI:

What does your character hide in their underwear drawer - or other secret location?

I keep trying to think of something Mandy would hide, and I just can't. The only thing Mandy really hides are her feelings...and what she really thinks about the happenings at Emerald. She'd never dare tell anyone that she doesn't want to fight the villain.

Now, Anna... She'd be hiding a picture of Adam under her pillow. I can't tell you why she'd need to hide it...you'll just have to wait to read the story. :)

Daniel keeps a picture of John, his estranged son, in his office. Don't know if that really counts as hiding, but nobody can get to it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Slacker Blogger Alert

Warning: You have entered the slacker blogger zone. The slacker blogger can be vicious if provoked.

Ways to identify the slacker blogger:

  1. The blog schedule begins to topple to the way side.
  2. You get completely random posts that make no sense.
  3. Drool may be dripping from his/her mouth.
  4. There is an excess of candy wrappers laying about.
  5. You see something like this:

Monday, August 9, 2010

Mommy Monday- Back to School

As I find myself preparing for Super Spawn to start school, I can't help but notice the parallels to my writing.

Not only do I enjoy buying unnecessary office supplies for my writing, but the actual process of primping, shopping, and prepping is very much like getting ready to query.

School- you get your kid's hair cut, new clothes, new shoes, etc so they can look their best at school.

Writing- you revise, revise, revise until your prose is shiny and bright.


School- there are lists as long as the sheet of paper of things you must buy for school. Now, should you buy the hot brand that's "cool" or this other brand that may not be the hottest, but isn't necessarily any better or worse.

Writing- do you follow trends with your writing or dare to be different? Should you point out your story's similarities to the blockbusters or the differences?


School- you must open everything, write names on each tiny bit, and organize it all beautifully in the shiny-new-backpack so that it can be ripped open and spread around the classroom the first day.

Writing- you ask for feedback on your (as you see it) perfect query letter, only for it to be ripped apart and then you're told to put it back together. (In a good way)

Now it's time to go to school!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday Afternoon Randomness

Sitting at my desk after lunch sucking on a jolly rancher (which I keep in my candy jar for daily use) inspiration struck.

Sing this to the Toys-R-Us tune. I promise it will brighten your day immensely.

I don't wanna grow up, I'm a Harry Potter kid.
There's a million toys in HP World that I can play with.
From pygmy puffs to secret sensors, it’s the best magic store there is!
I don’t wanna grow up because if I did, I wouldn’t be a Harry Potter kid!

*Takes a bow*

You're welcome. It'll be stuck in my head for the next century.

Friday Fun

So, what did you all think of the Critique Party? Was it useful?

I know my query is going to sparkle and shine now!

Thank you all so much for participating, I had a lot of fun reading everyone's pages and responses. Even seeing people's critique's on someone else's work can make a light bulb go off in my head. "Hey, that's what my story needs!"

Well, I'm at 49 followers, and my birthday is this month. Sounds like it's almost time for a CONTEST!

I'm actually going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for my birthday.(SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!) Aside from my overwhelming excitement, I think I may just bring a prize back for a contest!! I've got some ARC's to give away, and paired with Harry Potter prizes? Well, I'm not sure it gets much better.

So, that's coming! My birthday isn't until the 28th, so I think I'll tie the contest around that date...somehow. OOH! Maybe I'll get my lovely cousin to pick the winner IN HARRY POTTER WORLD!!!!!! ON MY BIRTHDAY!!!!

OMG. I'm a little excited at the idea.

Dates and rules will come soon. Have a wonderful weekend, lovelies!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Book Review Thursday- Tithe

By Holly Black

Blurb from Goodreads: "Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother's rock band until an ominous attack forces the sixteen-year-old back to her childhood home. There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms -- a struggle that could very well mean her death."

When I first picked this book up, I really wasn't sure I'd like it. The blurb didn't speak to me.

Boy was I wrong.

It's fast-paced with plenty of action, but also moments that made me laugh. I really like that Holly puts a fresh twist on old tales of faeries. I'm a big faerie fan -- the Irish type, not Tinkerbell -- so seeing the tables turned between the Seelie and Unseelie courts was fun.

There were a few head-scratching moments where, if this had been something I was critting, I'd have whipped out my handy dandy hot pink pen to make notes, but alas, it wasn't. lol

Definitely a good read.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Critique Party #8

Remember - I'm moderating the comments. This is meant to help one another, so be nice.

Our goal is to help each writer make their page stronger.

Dear Dream Agent,

Fourteen-year-old Mandy Samkirk is the only person who can return light to the world, but she isn’t sure she wants to.

Mandy’s parents have been keeping secrets. Not only is Mandy a marvel – complete with magical powers – but she is being forced to leave her life and friends behind for some ridiculous boarding school. How cliché.

When Mandy’s father is murdered right before her eyes, she is thrust into the heart of a battle she never knew existed. The marvel world is under siege by Temne – who consume light, or your inherent goodness – causing the world to get darker. The days creep by until the earth is covered in perpetual darkness, and death is certain for all.

Legend says there is only one who can bridge the gap between magical and non-magical beings to restore harmony to the precarious balance of good and evil. This harmony holds the key to restoring light to the decaying planet.

Even with the fate of humanity resting on her shoulders, Mandy isn’t sure she can face the villain she loves.

When battle is imminent, Mandy finds the courage to make a decision she never expected.

Emerald’s Keeper, a YA Paranormal novel, is complete at 61,000 words. I believe it will appeal to fans of Aprilynne Pike’s Wings as well as Holly Black’s Tithe.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

Holly Dodson

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Critique Party #7

Remember - I'm moderating the comments. This is meant to help one another, so be nice.

Our goal is to help each writer make their page stronger.

*A note about this page: The story is set in England and the author has used British spellings.*

Butterfly With Broken Wings, a contemporary YA novel by Laura Dunks

Time machines. If I could invent one, I’d hop in and go back to the days when things were simple. When I knew what came next.

You know when you become stuck on autopilot and the days go by so fast you don’t even stop to think? Then you wake up one day and realise that everything is about to change, but you aren’t ready? You haven’t even begun to prepare.

How was this worse than the changes every teenager must face? The truth was, I didn’t know. This time seemed different. A strange sensation nagged me every time I stopped to think. Things would never be the same.

So what did I, Amelia Jane Wright, do when life threw me so much uncertainty that I wanted to jump into bed, pull the covers over my head, and never wake up?

I relived amazing memories and dreamed of the future.

My best friend Gina and I lay on our stomachs on her bed watching our favourite old home movie - a compilation made by my dad. In the grainy video we were three-years-old, holding hands, and jumping into muddy puddles, to see who could make the biggest splash.

I rolled to face her. “You wanna like skip school tomorrow?”

She snorted. “You say that every summer.”

“Tomorrow our lives will be ruled by exams and gossip.”

She rolled her eyes. “Tell me about it.”

Although we were at the same school, Gina was fourteen and a year above me.

She beamed at the television and fiddled with her glasses. “I love this part.”

Monday, August 2, 2010

Critique Party #6

Remember - I'm moderating the comments. This is meant to help one another, so be nice.

Our goal is to help each writer make their page stronger.

[Contact Info]

Dear Dream Agent,

I'm seeking representation for THE SPIRIT-HUNTERS, a young adult steampunk complete at 80,000 words.

When her brother vanishes at the train station, Eleanor Fitt – a stubborn and naïve young lady-of-leisure – must leave the confines of corsets and courtesy to get him back.

It's 1876, and Philadelphia is hosting the Centennial Exhibition. It's also hosting rancid corpses that refuse to stay dead. When one of those decomposing bodies delivers a hostage note for Eleanor's scholarly brother, she resolves to do anything to get him back. But to face the armies of Dead that have him, she'll need a little help.

The Spirit-Hunters, a three-man team hired to protect the Centennial Exhibition, have different backgrounds and different skills, but they work together under a single goal: return the Dead to where they belong. Yet, what had begun as an easy job with only a handful of shambling bodies has escalated beyond the teams' abilities, and time is running out. Whoever rules the Dead is losing control of his power, and when the leash finally snaps, Philadelphia will be overrun with ravenous corpses.

From the steampunk lab of the Spirit-Hunters to the emptied cemeteries of Philadelphia, Eleanor must follow the clues – and the bodies – to find her brother and stop the Dead before it's too late.

I'm an active member of RWA, SCBWI, the Online Science Fiction and Fantasy Workshop, and YALitChat. I avidly read your blog daily [or insert some relevant comment for specific agent...] Thanks so much for your time.

Best regards,

Susan Dennard