Category Archives: Agent’s Blog

A simple book review turns into a moving, emotional journey

The title lured me. I knew I had to read it. The review part was a bonus.

Read how Kim West’s Peaceful Passages touched my heart and led to the healing I didn’t know I needed. Read the review…

 


Short and Sassy; Carrie Daws’ “Crossing Values”

In her debut novel, Crossing Values, Carrie Daws seems to have accomplished what she intended: a book that reinforces accountability among unmarried men and women, healing from past hurts, and family uniting in difficult circumstances.CrossingValues

A “sweet” and quick read, Crossing Values offers its share of conflicts as the well-rounded characters find that anything worth having is worth fighting for and that sometimes the fight may well be an internal one.

At first thought, I wondered if such a short book –not to mention one from a first-timer– could pack the punch I wanted. It did. And then some.

Daws successfully penned a novel that has strong “crossover” appeal (pun intended). The author’s voice is impressive –especially in a debut novel.

The sequel, Ryan’s Crossing, was released on August 20, 2012 (Paperback and Kindle). Can’t wait to see where this story goes and follow this author’s progress.

Crossing Values and the sequel Ryan’s Crossing on Amazon 

ISBN: 1935507923
ISBN-13: 9781935507925
160pp; Jan. 2012
Formats: Paperback, Kindle
Where to buy: ChristianBook.com, Amazon.com, BN.com and other retail bookstores and CarrieDaws.com.

On the author’s website, get a 7 Day Devotional and A Discussion Guide to go along with Crossing Values.

Connect with the author @CarrieDaws and on FB.

Disclaimer: This is an uncompensated review completed as part of the CWA Review Crew. The opinions are solely those of the reviewer –unbiased and straightforward.


Kate Battistelli’s “Growing Great Kids” helps parents grow, too!

Ok. I have to be honest. I am a Francesca Battistelli fan so when I came across Kate Battistelli’s book Growing Great Kids I immediately made the mother-daughter connection and knew that I just had to read it.

Boy am I glad I did!

Of course, considering Francesca’s witness for Christ and her talent, there is no doubt that she must have been raised by awesome parents, right? She definitely was, but the connection is much, much deeper.

In Growing Great Kids, Kate Battistelli offers a large part of herself, her family, and her walk with God to illustrate what it means to be a Christian parent. She goes a step further and, in my opinion, has now left a written legacy that we (other Christian parents) can follow to be the example God intends for us –not just as parents but as people in this world.

battistelli book-200x300

Kate advises readers to “partner with God to cultivate His purpose in your child’s life” and that is exactly what I will recommit to do.

I won’t give away too much, but… I especially love the “Questions to Think About” where we readers can look deeper inside ourselves to question our role, our application of biblical principles, and the importance of Christ in our families. Two specific questions that hit home (and might for you, as well) are: “what are the absolutes in your house?” and “what are you modeling?”.

As a Christian mother, it is important that I make the absolutes clear and to model Christ’s example in every area of my life. Certainly, I fail in many areas, but as Kate lovingly illustrates: we go through “seasons” and it is in the myriad of seasons that we grow both as parents and Christians, and it is also in the seasons that we learn to interpret God’s seasons in our child’s life.

To quote Shelly Ballestero, author of Beauty By God, “Growing Great Kids [is] an inspiration to all who have the privilege of raising God’s children”.

Thanks, Kate, for allowing your readers to get to know you and your family on a more personal level and, most of all, for reminding parents just how important our roles are in molding today’s child to become tomorrow’s Godly adult.

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Growing Great Kids: Partner with God to cultivate His purpose in your child’s life can be purchased at most major retailers; through Amazon.com; or order a discounted, autographed copy direct from the author at www.katebattistelli.com. Follow Kate @katebattistelli

ISBN: 967-1-61638-654-2 | List Price: $14.99 | Format: Softcover | Page Count: 238

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Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book/ebook/product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.


Short story packs a punch; ‘The Chosen One’ already a favorite among readers

Chosen One_front coverWhen Kent Breazeale agreed to offer his short story for free on Smashwords, I knew readers would take to his voice and style instantly. What I didn’t expect was that within two hours after “going live”, The Chosen One would become a readers’ favorite.

In only the way that Kent can do, the voice depicted in The Chosen One is richly southern, set in a period when things were different –times were hard and whites and colored didn’t mix, much less become family.

In less than 2,900 words, The Chosen One connects the reader with the innocent hope of a child, unconditional love, loss, and finally acceptance as a young disabled boy comes to realize that blood is not always thicker than water.

I can only imagine how readers will receive Kent’s full-length novel, The Willmakers, which will soon be released for Kindle, Nook, and most e-reader platforms. RWHI is actively marketing the print rights to the novel.

Be sure to drop by download your free copy of The Chosen One. You won’t regret it!

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About Kent Breazeale  @rkbreazeale
Kent Breazeale has loved the art of story telling since he was a young boy, evident in his collection of short stories that illustrate his natural art of storytelling. His first completed novel, THE WILLMAKERS, is a story that reflects God’s grace and the value that he places on each one of us and how he uses our imperfections to further his will.

Kent and his wife Deb served as missionaries in the remote village of Bullima on the plains of Tanzania, East Africa. They currently live in Falkner, Mississippi with their adopted lab Harley.

Kent is currently writing a second novel about a young psychologically ill boy by the name of Payne Isaac entitled THE MIND OF PAYNE.

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Media/Interview/Review inquiries:
For a review copy for online or print reviews, or interview requests: redwritinghoodink@gmail.com


It’s officially ready; An Agent’s Point of View

After a mental wrestling match with the autovetter, it seems that I passed the final review (translates to no errors) and An Agent’s Point of View went live on Smashwords yesterday.

I watched and browsed other authors and agents before deciding to give Smashwords a try. So far, I’m liking what I see. I’ll definitely keep you posted as time progresses.AAPOV_2012_Cover

As for An Agent’s Point of View, readers (targeted to writers, new and published) can get a brief, inside look at the author-agent relationship while learning what to (and not to) do when dealing with agents (and editors).

I like the brevity of my book and certainly have plans for an extended version possibly for next year. I want this book to be my voice (my Southern drawl doesn’t’ come through, however!) and to give readers the feeling that they are engaged in a conversation with me. If you have ever watched crime drama The Closer on TNT (you know…they know drama!), imagine Brenda Leigh Johnson’s (played by Kyra Sedgwick) drawl coming from this agent’s mouth. Well, maybe toned down just a tad! There could be a subconscious connection since Brenda and I have the same middle name. Who knows. Anyway, my voice is there. Readers can discern the rest!

Go on now. I’m done! Go get your copy. I have some calls to make and I need to stay on schedule. You know, that whole practice-what-you-preach thing.


Pitch Me! Workshops starting soon

There are only three workshops in each category scheduled for the remainder of 2012. We have upcoming sessions starting July 9, August 27, and October 15.

After the last workshop in October, workshops won’t begin again until March 2013. Be sure to pre-register for one of the upcoming workshops soon to secure your spot as they are filling up quickly.

Each workshop (fiction and nonfiction) is limited to 15 writers. Workshops last 6 weeks and are conducted weekly in our new and exciting online forum and via conference calls where you can interact with a literary agent and special guests, including authors and editors who know what it takes to succeed in today’s marketplace.

By pre-registering, you can make a partial payment as long as the balance is paid before the first day of the respective workshop.

To learn more about the workshops, what to expect, and available dates, visit Pitch Me! Workshops.


TGIF… really! TGIF!

I have never been so glad to see Friday. If Friday were a material object, my arms would be wrapped tightly around its neck.

I have a new appreciation for the acronym TGIF!

My morning started off productive, but my computer system was running somewhat slow. So, I decide to delete some old files and especially the old programs that are no longer being used.

Stupid idea!

Not only did I delete a gazillion old files, but apparently I deleted some vital files that allowed my network to operate correctly.

From 9:30 am to 3:30 pm I tried to fix the problem myself. Yes, myself. I know. I know. You don’t have to say it. I realize that my attempt to be a computer tech caused the problem in the first place. And, yes, I was made aware later when sitting on the phone with tech support for over 30 minutes that I did a whole lot more than simply delete vital network files.

At any rate, by 4 pm, I was back up and running.

Still, an entire day in the can. Totally wasted. Now that just really stinks!

TGIF! TGIF! TGIF!

Monday will be a new day, Lord willing, and I will be refreshed and ready to go full force. And I promise to [try to] leave the techy stuff to the techy crew!


Rethinking Friday the 13th

I’ve never been superstitious (part from the occasional air cross sign when seeing a black cat dart in front of the car…you know…just in case) nor have I paid much creed to the whole eeriness or back luck of Friday the 13th. Well, that is, until today.

I am beginning to rethink the whole stigma just as tad.

Let me rewind the tape of the day.

I started enjoying my day working from my home office. The brightness and crisp smell of the unseasonably warm Mississippi spring day gave me a motivating boost. My grandson (3 years) is with me today. Spending time with my favorite little person while working with some amazing people –who wouldn’t love it?

I am in the middle of work. My mind is enthralled with a new novel I am now blessed to be representing. My train of thought jumps the track when the Umi City rocket ship enters my office. The young pilot is also carry an old walking cane that transforms him into a wizard and me into what-ever-it-was-he-said-I-am-now! How cute! I take my lumps from his newly casted spell and he returns to Team Umizoomi.

It’s okay. I needed to refill my coffee anyway.

I take a phone call, or three. I get busy and then remember… my coffee. Where’s my cup? I’ve been drinking out of that cup all day. You know. The cute blue one. It has Smashwords printed on it. The one that came in the promo package. Yeah, that’s the one. I cannot find it anywhere. Oh…yep. Now I remember. I warmed my coffee in the microwave. Silly me!

I settle back at my desk and I hear it. “I need help!” I go to see what my little man needs. As any proud Gran Gran would, I help him after he has went t-t in the potty all by himself. Good job!

I take another call and my little man settles to engage in an adventure with Mike the Knight. I sit back in my chair. “Gran Gran! My pants! Graaannnn Graaaan!”

Hmmm. The little man has now gone “horrible” by himself. Yes, I am still proud, but there’s no way I am excited about being a part of the clean up crew. Thank God I caught him before his pants were all the way up.

The next couple of hours are quiet and productive. Only the occasion sweep-through for a quick hug and an “I love you, too!”. Precious angel!

It really has been quiet. Too quiet.

I get up to investigate.

Apparently, the little man is really into this new independence thing. He didn’t quite make it to the potty this time and tried to change without me knowing. As a typical three-year-old who is easily distracted by new and interesting things, he did a lot more than just try to change his own clothes.

It seems that if you wet an entire roll of toilet paper in the toilet and then pinch of chunks of the wet mess, it is totally fun to throw. I almost fell out cold when I walked in the room to see wet blotches all over the floor and walls.

I am cleaning up the art work. He is standing there, his expression is part scared, part proud, and part hopeful mixed with suck-up! “Want help?”

Okay…I made it through. Nap time. Ahhh!

Let’s see how the rest of this Friday the 13th goes. I’ll let you know later; I have to take another call!


Salutations

I find that I am never at a loss when it comes to receiving queries that are generic in nature. However, this is one of my major pet peeves. It makes me grumpy just to see it. Especially, the queries that begin with “Dear Editor”.

I am a literary agent, not an editor. Regardless, I do have a name and I so love when authors take the time to find and use it when querying me!

Just my little rant for the day. I think I’ll take a double shot of strong coffee and see if there are any professional queries in the mass pile.


Interesting how the “net works”

Recently I posted available rights to client’s new project and am now receiving an influx of requests to purchase the book. Amazing, isn’t it, the way social media and networking sites distribute news! Now if these requests are a slight indication of how well this book will fair without marketing, I am going to be even more excited when the release notice materializes. And, believe me, I am pretty darned excited about this project already!

Happy weekend, don’t forget that we lose an hour to daylight savings time Sunday (feel free to sleep in an extra hour on Monday…tell ’em I said you can!), and grab a book or a Kindle and relax!