Category: Keeping Up With the Debuts

Keeping Up With the Debuts: Tricia Levenseller | Daughter of the Siren Queen Blog Tour

Posted February 28, 2018 by Jana in Blog Tour, Guest Post, Keeping Up With the Debuts / 2 Comments

Keeping Up With the Debuts: Tricia Levenseller | Daughter of the Siren Queen Blog Tour

Keeping Up With the Debuts is an original That Artsy Reader Girl feature, where I bring back former debut authors and give them the opportunity to talk about what they learned from their debut novel and what’s next for them!

I’m so excited to welcome Tricia Levenseller to the blog today as part of the official blog tour for her sophomore novel, Daughter of the Siren Queen! Tricia’s debut novel, Daughter of the Pirate King, came out exactly one year ago today on February 28, 2017. What better day than today to invite her back to the blog to tell us what’s she’s been up to over the last year, and what’s on the horizon!


Keeping Up With Tricia Levenseller

Guest post by Tricia Levenseller

Being a debut author was, in a word, magical. It was unreal having complete strangers read my work for the first time, and it was even more surreal when they wanted to discuss themes and topics that I hold dear. I’ve loved getting to know so many bloggers, Instagrammers, and YouTubers. The book community as a whole is very welcoming and fun.

Doing book events was a new experience. I loved being able to connect with readers directly, instead of solely over the internet.

In some ways, however, being a writer was exactly the same. I was working on my next project as soon as DAUGHTER OF THE PIRATE KING released. The sequel, DAUGHTER OF THE SIREN QUEEN, was already done, and so I had to be thinking about the next project I wanted to try to sell to my publisher.

I’m excited to share that I have sold two new books! The first of which is a Viking fantasy titled WARRIOR OF THE WILD, which will release in 2019. It’s about a teen warrior who is banished after failing her coming-of-age test. With only two boys who were banished the previous year for company, she must survive the monster-filled wild and kill her village’s oppressive deity if she is ever to return home.

My current task is my first round of edits on WARRIOR OF THE WILD. It’s been a fun break from pirates, and I’m excited to for readers to get to read Rasmira’s story next year!


Daughter of the Siren King by Tricia Levenseller
Series: Daughter of the Pirate King #2
Published by Feiwel and Friends on February 27, 2018
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Young Adult
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Alosa’s mission is finally complete. Not only has she recovered all three pieces of the map to a legendary hidden treasure, but the pirates who originally took her captive are now prisoners on her ship. Still unfairly attractive and unexpectedly loyal, first mate Riden is a constant distraction, but now he’s under her orders. And she takes great comfort in knowing that the villainous Vordan will soon be facing her father’s justice.

When Vordan exposes a secret her father has kept for years, Alosa and her crew find themselves in a deadly race with the feared Pirate King. Despite the danger, Alosa knows they will recover the treasure first . . . after all, she is the daughter of the Siren Queen.


About Tricia Levenseller

Tricia Levenseller writes historical fantasies for young adult readers. Her debut, DAUGHTER OF THE PIRATE KING, is set to release Feb. 2017 from Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers.

Initially from a small town in Oregon, Tricia now lives next to the Rocky Mountains with her bossy dog, Rosy. She received her degree in English Language and editing and is thrilled that she never has to read a textbook again. When she’s not writing or reading, Tricia enjoys putting together jigsaw puzzles, playing volleyball, and watching shows while eating extra-buttered popcorn.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Visit the other tour stops!

2/20  Love is Not a Triangle – Guest Post on research about lady pirates
2/21  Page Turners Blog – Moodboard
2/22  Fiction Fare – Author Interview
2/23  Avid Reader – Fancast
2/24  Mundie Moms – Character Interview
2/25  Stories & Sweeties – Quote Highlights
2/27  Moonlight Rendezvous – Playlist
2/28  That Artsy Reader Girl – Keeping Up With the Debuts


Keeping Up With the Debuts: Lori Goldstein

Posted March 16, 2016 by Jana in Guest Post, Keeping Up With the Debuts / 2 Comments

Keeping Up With the Debuts is an original That Artsy Reader Girl feature, where I bring back former debut authors and give them the opportunity to talk about what they learned from their debut novel and what’s next for them!

I’m so excited to welcome Lori Goldstein to the blog today! Lee’s debut novel, Becoming Jinn, came out in April of 2015, and she’s here to tell us about what she’s learned, what’s she’s been up to over the last year, and what’s on the horizon!


Keeping Up with Lori Goldstein
Guest Post by Lori Goldstein

I’m an all-in kind of person. If I need to bake a cake, I do it from scratch. If I need to clean out my closet, I strip it down to the bare rod. If I need to learn how to write a novel, I read every craft book, take every writing course, and write, revise, write, revise until I’ve achieved my goal. I don’t do things halfway. But in the world of publishing a debut novel, this can be a dangerous thing.

Because doing things all the way means you begin to veer away from your original goal: to write a book, sell a book, and write another.

For me, doing things all the way meant immersing myself in not just the writing, but in the marketing and promoting of a debut novel. For months, I didn’t just dive into the deep end, I sprouted gills and lived underwater. I went down the Internet rabbit hole and read all I could about booking events, promotional campaigns, blog tours, media pitching, book festivals, writing workshops, and more. I hopped on all forms of social media and learned them inside and out. I watched my fellow authors, and I was fortunate to be able to talk with some amazingly smart writers and marketers and learn from them. I absorbed it all. And then I put it all into motion.

Since April 21, 2015, when Becoming Jinn released, I’ve attended more than forty-five events in thirteen states, I’ve spearheaded initiatives to mentor teen writers, online and in person, and I’ve helped countless writers with their own journey to publishing, editing query letters and first pages as part of the Pitch Wars contest as well as for writers who purchase or preorder new copies of my books, a marketing initiative that I’m continuing to implement.

Marketing took over writing in 2015, and still, as much as I did, there’s so much more on my list that I never got to. Because no human being is capable of learning and doing all it takes to both write and promote a novel. The field is too vast and the options and opportunities are limitless. But I tried. I really tried. Not just because I wanted Becoming Jinn and its sequel, Circle of Jinn, to be successful (which of course I did!), but because it turns out that in my debut year, I learned something: I love the “business” side of publishing almost as much as I love the writing side. It may seem a strange thing to say—and I know it is hard for some writers to believe. But marketing is actually a creative endeavor too, and it works a different side of your brain than writing does.

The time I spent marketing in 2015 did take away from writing, but I can’t imagine Becoming Jinn releasing into the world any other way. I’m an all-in kind of person, remember? And still with all that I did, I also completed revisions and edits on Circle of Jinn, which releases on May 17. I wrote a prequel story called Genius of Jinn, which will be available as a free e-book on March 15, and I wrote one manuscript that I’m revising now and plotted another that I’m writing now.

Oh, and did I mention I’m a bit tired? 2015 was a crazy year. I worked harder than I ever have, and I enjoyed it all more than I ever thought I would.

Being an all-in kind of person can be dangerous, yes, but it can also open the door to adventures you never imagined you’d have. Much love and thanks, 2015.


Thanks, Lori, for such an interesting and inspirational post! Lori brings some exciting news to those of you who have been itching to read Becoming Jinn, and also for those of you who loved it and want more!

Becoming Jinn Price Drop

Becoming Jinn is $2.99 across all ebook retailers until April 4th! This gives you time to read it before the release of the sequel, Circle of Jinn, on May 17th.

Get Becoming Jinn on ebook  today from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes!

Pre-order Circle of Jinn from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or IndieBound!

Genius of Jinn Ad

If you need a quick fix in the meantime Genius of Jinn, a free prequel e-short, was released yesterday! Grab it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 


Keeping Up With the Debuts: What Lee Kelly Learned from Her Debut

Posted February 3, 2016 by Jana in Giveaway, Guest Post, Keeping Up With the Debuts / 5 Comments

Keeping Up With the Debuts is an original That Artsy Reader Girl feature, where I bring back former debut authors are give them the opportunity to talk about what they learned from their debut novel and what’s next for them!

I’m so excited to welcome Lee Kelly back to the blog today! Lee’s debut novel, City of Savages, came out exactly one year ago today! She’s here to tell us about what she learned from her debut novel and to tell us about her new book, A Criminal Magic, which released yesterday!


What I Learned from My Debut
by Lee Kelly

It’s February 3, 2016 – exactly one day after the release of my second novel, A CRIMINAL MAGIC, and exactly one year after the release of my first, CITY OF SAVAGES. My debut somehow simultaneously feels like ages ago, and also just last week. I think time does funny tricks like that, bends and flexes and knots around big events in people’s lives, and this past year has been no exception.

Whenever I catch up or run into people I haven’t seen in a while, one of the first questions they tend to ask is, “Oh hey! How’s the book doing?” And while this used to feel like an antagonizing inquiry into my personal worth last winter, these days, it just feels like an honest question. I’ve gotten over the vulnerability, the obsession, the insecurity of my debut – and while debuting was truly a rollercoaster of an endeavor, I’d like to think I’m a stronger writer and person for it.

The funny thing is, with my second book, I find myself slipping back into my “debut insanity” mindset a little bit – but maybe this is somewhat inevitable, right? Maybe releasing books is a little like having kids – maybe you just can’t escape that period where life gets turned upside down, where you’re more vulnerable and irritable and feel like you may never be normal again. Here are five lessons I learned the first book around that I’m trying to remember this time:

1. Reading is subjective, and it’s supposed to be. There was a three month stretch, right around release, where I sadly spent waaaay too much time tracking Amazon and Goodreads reviews, pouring over trades, wondering when I noticed someone currently reading my novel if they’d be the type of person who would enjoy a pair of post-apocalyptic sisters, or the type who would make a hate-rant video about their idiocy.
But the truth is, tastes are erratic and completely unpredictable. I’ll hand a novel to my mom, convinced she’ll devour it, and she can’t get through the first twenty pages. My sister and I will see a movie, and at the end she’ll ask, “Wasn’t that amazing?” to which I answer, “Eh.”

Thing is, entertainment is supposed to be subjective – there are many kinds of genres and styles and messages and if we all liked the same thing, we’d all write and make the same things, and what a boring world that would be.

2. Don’t ask people if they’ve read your book. That moment where you know your husband gave a copy of your book to his colleague, and you know she liked the first two chapters because she told you in person a month earlier, and yet here you are at a cocktail party and books come up and she says nothing. VERDICT: As my father flippantly says, “So what! Who cares?” I never bring it up because she either forgot or she hated it, and those are high odds for a really awkward conversation.

3. The online book community is wonderful…. I never knew how incredibly robust and communal and supportive and fun the book community was online until I debuted. I got on Twitter late, and only after I signed my book deal with Simon & Schuster, but I seriously feel so grateful for the amazing community of fellow writers, readers, bloggers, agents and publishers that make the book community so wonderful and accessible online.

4. …But sometimes you have to go dark. For all of its amazingness, thanks to social media, it is so, so easy these days to check in on friends and colleagues and other writers, see all of the wonderful things going on in their careers (New deals! Stellar reviews! Film options!) and feel incredibly small and unworthy. And while it took me a LONG time to figure this out, I finally realized that when I’m in a really insecure place (like waiting on feedback from my editor or agent, or really struggling with a particular scene or a tough revision), I just have to turn off the internet. I’m not intentionally in the business of torturing myself, but for a short period back in 2015, I have to admit I was pretty darn good at it.

5. At the end of the day, I love writing. No matter how my last book or my new book is received, at the end of the day, I write novels because I love writing – the actual act, not everything that might come or does come after it. So I have to sit down at the computer as a writer, not as an author, which helps frame all of the above concerns as privileges.


To read about Lee’s debut novel, A City of Savages, click here!
Continue on to read about A Criminal Magic and enter to win one of two prize packages of BOTH of Lee Kelly’s books!

A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly
February 2, 2016 from Simon & Schuster
Add to Goodreads • Buy from Amazon

THE NIGHT CIRCUS meets PEAKY BLINDERS in Lee Kelly’s new magical realism, crossover novel.

Magic is powerful, dangerous and addictive – and after passage of the 18th Amendment, it is finally illegal.

It’s 1926 in Washington, DC, and while Anti-Sorcery activists have achieved the Prohibition of sorcery, the city’s magic underworld is booming. Sorcerers cast illusions to aid mobsters’ crime sprees. Smugglers funnel magic contraband in from overseas. Gangs have established secret performance venues where patrons can lose themselves in magic, and take a mind-bending, intoxicating elixir known as the sorcerer’s shine.

Joan Kendrick, a young sorcerer from Norfolk County, Virginia accepts an offer to work for DC’s most notorious crime syndicate, the Shaw Gang, when her family’s home is repossessed. Alex Danfrey, a first-year Federal Prohibition Unit trainee with a complicated past and talents of his own, becomes tapped to go undercover and infiltrate the Shaws.

Through different paths, Joan and Alex tread deep into the violent, dangerous world of criminal magic – and when their paths cross at the Shaws’ performance venue, despite their orders, and despite themselves, Joan and Alex become enchanted with one another. But when gang alliances begin to shift, the two sorcerers are forced to question their ultimate allegiances and motivations. And soon, Joan and Alex find themselves pitted against each other in a treacherous, heady game of cat-and-mouse.

A CRIMINAL MAGIC casts a spell of magic, high stakes and intrigue against the backdrop of a very different Roaring Twenties.


Lee Kelly is the author of A CRIMINAL MAGIC and CITY OF SAVAGES. She has wanted to write since she was old enough to hold a pencil, but it wasn’t until she began studying for the California Bar Exam that she conveniently started putting pen to paper. An entertainment lawyer by trade, Lee has practiced in Los Angeles and New York. She lives with her husband and children in Millburn, New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter at @leeykelly and on her website at NewWriteCity.com.


Lee Kelly is offering two winners copies of both City of Savages AND A Criminal Magic! Pretty sure you should enter this giveaway.

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Keeping Up With the Debuts: Favorite Quotes from Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid + Giveaway

Posted August 2, 2015 by Jana in Blog Tour, Book Spotlight, Giveaway, Keeping Up With the Debuts / 1 Comment

Keeping Up With the Debuts: Favorite Quotes from Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid + Giveaway

Welcome to my spot along the Never Always Sometimes blog tour! Adi was a 2014 debut author, with his road trippin’ contemporary romance called Let’s Get Lost. I love keeping up with our former debuts and seeing what they’ve been up to since their first book debuted. Let me introduce to you Adi’s new book, Never always Sometimes, which comes out on Tuesday, August 4th! Read a little about the book, plus I’ve included some quotes from the book that I enjoyed to whet your appetite.


Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid
Published by Harlequin Teen on August 4, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Book Depository • iTunes • Kobo
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Never date your best friend

Always be original

Sometimes rules are meant to be broken

Best friends Dave and Julia were determined to never be cliché high school kids—the ones who sit at the same lunch table every day, dissecting the drama from homeroom and plotting their campaigns for prom king and queen. They even wrote their own Never List of everything they vowed they’d never, ever do in high school.

Some of the rules have been easy to follow, like #5, never die your hair a color of the rainbow, or #7, never hook up with a teacher. But Dave has a secret: he’s broken rule #8, never pine silently after someone for the entirety of high school. It’s either that or break rule #10, never date your best friend. Dave has loved Julia for as long as he can remember.

Julia is beautiful, wild and impetuous. So when she suggests they do every Never on the list, Dave is happy to play along. He even dyes his hair an unfortunate shade of green. It starts as a joke, but then a funny thing happens: Dave and Julia discover that by skipping the clichés, they’ve actually been missing out on high school. And maybe even on love.


Jana’s Favorite Quotes

“The sun kept dipping down into the ocean and the lights came on at the harbor, casting sudden shadows on the ground, illuminating the faces that were just a second ago silhouettes. The sky was golden and purple, the ocean a darker shade of violet.”

“The Best you can ever do is to leave the world a little better than you found it.”

“No point in living a life less ordinary if you don’t know what the other side looks like.

“We are more or less kind, or more or less not. More or less selfish, happy, wise, lonely. Just like things are rarely always true, we aren’t ever exactly one thing or another. We are more or less.

It’s like that in out love lives too. We like to think we’re formulas that even out exactly, that we are perfect matches with each other. But we’re not. We match up with lots of people, more or less.”

“People were always belittling teenage heartbreak. But heartbreak was heartbreak was heartbreak.”


About the Author

Adi Alsaid was born and raised in Mexico City, then studied at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in class, he mostly read fiction and continuously failed to fill out crossword puzzles, so it’s no surprise that after graduating, he did not go into business world but rather packed up his apartment into his car and escaped to the California coastline to become a writer. He’s now back in his hometown, where he writes, coaches high school and elementary basketball, and has perfected the art of making every dish he eats or cooks as spicy as possible. In addition to Mexico, he’s lived in Tel Aviv, Las Vegas, and Monterey, California. A tingly feeling in his feet tells him more places will eventually be added to the list. Let’s Get Lost is his YA debut.

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