Friday, September 28, 2012


Whisper Falls
While training for a mountain bike race, high-school senior Mark Lewis spots a mysterious girl dressed in odd clothing, standing behind a waterfall in the woods near his North Carolina home. When she comments on the strange machine that he rides, he suspects something isn't right. When Susanna claims to be an indentured servant from 1796, he wonders if she's crazy. Yet he feels compelled to find out more.

Mark enters a 'long-distance' relationship with Susanna through the shimmering--and temperamental--barrier of Whisper Falls. Curious about her world, Mark combs through history to learn about the brutal life she's trapped in. But knowledge can be dangerous. Soon he must choose between the risk of changing history or dooming the girl he can't stop thinking about to a lifetime of misery.


Title: Whisper Falls (Whisper Falls #1)
Author: Elizabeth Langston
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press ( Please feel free to use any images, text, links, etc. from our website.
ISBN: 978-1-937053-42-0
Release Date: November 19, 2013
Formats: Paper, e-book 

If you'd like to request an ARC, please use the reviewer form on our website. ARCs will ship in August or September of 2013. 

And here we have another amazing cover from Spencer Hill!

Kimmy :)

TRIANGLES, Kimberly Ann Miller, Spencer Hill Press, June 2013  

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Time and Patience

At the start of 2012 I had three manuscripts needing tending to and I hoped to have at least two of them out on submission to agents by the end of the year. I have had to change those plans as only one manuscript will be out by 2013. One of the other manuscripts I had planned to have out on query rounds was last year's NaNoWriMo project. It has been in the works a long time and taken different turns a couple of times.

I first had the idea for the manuscript in January of 2011. It took all I had to do some research and work the characters out in my head. I had to force myself not to sit down and write the rough draft right away. It was not ready. I was not ready. No matter how much I told myself I knew what the story was about and where it was going to end up, I never felt that it was quite there yet. So, I forced myself to be patient and wait until November. After all that was my original goal, use it as my NaNo project.

In September I had an epiphany of sorts. The story I had been planning all along was not where my characters needed to go. It was not their story. So, I sat down and worked it all out on paper. At this point I was nearing the deadline to have my notes and outline ready. I finished my outline and notes on Halloween, just in time. By the end of November I was thrilled with the outcome of my manuscript and could not wait to get back to it and edit. I had a few ideas on what to change in order to make it better. Yet, I knew I needed to put some distance and time between the rough draft and editing.

My plan was to be back to editing it this summer. Once again, I knew it was not time. When I sat down to edit, I was not ready. The story was not there in my mind like I had hoped it would be. There was something wrong with it and I had no idea where that problem was. So, I went back to a different project and worked on it all summer.

Courtesy of
While editing this other project I found myself reading an intriguing article in Astronomy Magazine. It had absolutely nothing to do with any of my projects, yet everything to do with one in particular. I mulled over the idea of changing my NaNo project, yet again. This time to fit the parameters of a science fiction novel, rather than a dystopian as the rough draft is written.

It has been almost two years since I first had the idea and it this manuscript has driven me crazy at times. Yet, I know that by giving this project time I have had the opportunity to really delve into the world and the characters better. I have had time to mull over the world the characters live in and ask myself many questions. I have had time to research different aspects of a world I hope to share with others.

It has taken a lot of patience not to delve right in and make the changes without first knowing the world and characters inside and out. Now, nearing NaNoWriMo time again, I am finally feeling ready to work on it again and share it with my CPs in the new year as I edit it.

Do you give yourself time between edits? Do you force yourself to be patient while the story and characters evolve? Or do you delve right in?

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Child Within

Writing fiction is as much about staying grounded as it is about suspending belief. You are told that you must follow the rules and make things believable. If you write contemporary fiction, you hear it over and over again –is your story plausible? Would a twelve year old girl really do that? Say that? Believe that? Even if you write fantasies, you must build your world, make the rules of its existence clear and follow the rules consistently. In all this rule thinking, rule remembering and rule following, I have a hard time keeping the spirit of my story alive.

Sometimes the spirit of the story is wonky, whimsical –it wants to run free, do the unexpected, stay unpredictable. It’s a story where the MC is a boy who is thrown into a world that we’ve never imagine. Or about a girl who makes you re-think all the stereotypes about rich, spoilt twelve year olds. Thinking about the rules during my revisions smothers my imagination, reigns in my inner child and dissolves that je ne sais quoi feeling that I like my stories to have.

Don’t get me wrong. We need the rules to guide us through our writing so that we make our stories more engaging and memorable. But sometimes I edit too much. I cut too much. I revise too much. End result? My story just doesn’t feel the same way anymore.

How to follow the rules and keep your inner child alive so that your story stays as your story?

1.      For me, distraction always works, be it song lyrics (Taylor Swift helped me with my last round of revisions), old movies (the Barrymore brothers, do I need to say anything more?) or a History channel reality show (Ice Road Truckers!). Distraction helps me get the rules in perspective and makes me focus on what I liked about my story and MC in the first place.

2.      I like to get moving. Cleaning, running errands, doing the grocery, chopping the veggies, and best of all, yoga! There’s something about feeling the burn in your arms and legs that relaxes the brain and helps to re-visualize a scene. I’m sure that’s some scientific reasoning behind this. Whatever it may be, moving helps me to zone in on the most important piece of a scene or chapter and edit out everything else.

3.      Getting out of my comfort zone also helps. Networking with a large group of people, scuba diving, bungee jumping –doing something that makes me nervous helps me forget about the nagging points of my manuscript. So when I return a weekend or a week later, I only remember the important rules and the important parts of the scene. My mind is quieter and the only voice I hear in my head is that of my narrator.

Do you struggle with keeping your inner child alive? Do you have any tricks that you use to stay true to your story?

Friday, September 21, 2012

COVER REVEAL: OPAL by Jennifer L. Armentrout

No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it.

Follow this link to an ~~~ EPIC CONTEST ~~~ Announcement. You will want to bookmark this page!

 USA TODAY Bestselling author, Jennifer L. Armentrout, lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell, Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She also writes adult romance under the name J. Lynn.
Find Jennifer on: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website | Blog

I am so excited to be a part of this cover reveal! Jennifer is one of my favorite authors and the Lux series is one of my favorite YA series. Cannot wait to read Opal!

Kimmy :) 

TRIANGLES, Kimberly Ann Miller, Spencer Hill Press, June 2013 

Thursday, September 20, 2012


If you’re on any of the social media websites, especially facebook, tumblr, and Twitter, you’re bound to see writers posting pics of them with their pets. I have three cats, and they always hang around with me when I write, especially my male, Tuxedo. He sits on my lap, rubs his face on my laptop, and sits on my charger when the laptop is plugged in. Here he is:

I also have Athena and Aphrodite, but they care less about my writing than Tuxedo does:

How about you? Do any pets in your life help you along in your writing?

Kimmy :)

TRIANGLES, Kimberly Ann Miller, Spencer Hill Press, June 2013

Monday, September 17, 2012

Writing Habits

I once heard about a girl who slathered her naked body in vaseline and then wrapped herself up in cellophane wrap before she got in front of her computer to write. While I don't have quite such exotic writing habits as this, I have found a few things that work for me:

I'm a morning person. I always have been. Even during my teen years, sleeping late never went beyond ten. Being a morning person, I have most of my energy both physical and mental in the morning and so this is the time I find best for writing.

I like doing it in the kitchen best. When my husband and I bought our new house 7 years ago, I was so excited about the prospect of having an office. I decorated the space, filling it with books, pictures, bits of sea glass and other stuff to make it feel homey. Well, after six months of trying, I realized I hated that space and moved myself back to the kitchen.

I need quiet. I've heard of writers who work to rock music, symphonies, alternative etc... Not me. The only sound I want to hear is the tapping keyboard.

I need snacks. A cup of tea in the winter, some crackers, hummus is nice too for a jolt of protein. I try not to overdo the snacks though.

A special writing wardrobe. There's nothing better than my polka dot robe to make me feel all snug and ready to write. My robe is looking a bit ratty these days but it feels like an old friend that's come along for the ride.

So what works for you when you write? Do you have any usual writing habits? I mean aside from smothering yourself in Vaseline?

Writing "habit".....   Get it? :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

COVER REVEAL - Fireblood


To save a kingdom, Zara must choose between a prince who could be the answer and a rising rebellion that threatens to take control.

When Zara Dane is chosen to marry Prince Sebastian Hart, son of the man who ordered her father's capture, Zara knows she must fight to save everything she loves from ruin.

Being betrothed to the prince means a life trapped behind the towering stone walls of the Camelot-forged realm. Under the watchful eye of the prince's first knight, Sir Devlan Capra, changing her future becomes difficult.

When an unlikely rebel reveals the truth about the deadly secrets that fuel King Hart's twisted world, Zara's path to rescue her father becomes clouded by deception. The Rebels clear her path by forcing Zara's hand with an ultimatum: sway Prince Sebastian to join the Rebels, convincing him of his father's evil nature, or they will take him out.

But Zara is uncertain about a future under the Rebels' command and where the prince's heart truly lies. She must decide who to trust, what to believe, and what she's truly fighting for before the king destroys all of Karm, including her heart

Title: Fireblood
Author: Trisha Wolfe
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press ( Please feel free to use any images, text, links, etc. from our website.
ISBN: 978-1-937053-59-8
Release Date: October 8, 2013
Formats: Paper, e-book 

If you'd like to request an ARC, please use the reviewer form on our website. ARCs will ship next summer.

This has got to be one of my favorite Spencer Hill Press covers yet - isn't it amazing???

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Where to Find Critique Partners

This past weekend Toni, Kimberly, Archana, and I met with the other four members of our critique group and had an amazing meeting. We talked about our lives and our writing lives. We talked about nothing and everything. It was great seeing their smiling faces and I was amazed by just how lucky I am to be a part of such a wonderful group of women. Finding them was the best single thing that happened to my writing. 

I can't imagine where I would be today without their guidance and support. We have a common goal: to be published. And we use that common goal to help one another grow and become better writers every time we meet.

Courtesy of
I thought I would share with you today, places to find critique partners. I hope you are as lucky as I am and find amazing CPs. - Great place to find critique partners or form a group. Even if you don't use this site to find CPs, you can use it to keep track of agents you want to query. - Another great place to find critique partners. Go there, create a profile, and start making connections.
SCBWI - This is how I met my amazingly wonderful critique group! Seriously a face to face critique group is the best thing ever.
Absolute Write - They have a section where you can connect with other writers. I haven't tried this site, but I have heard other writers who have had success there. - They have a Critique Connection on their blog site. The connections are made through the comments on that particular post.
Blogs - A blog is a great way to make connections. I've seen several writers publish posts asking if anyone is interested in becoming a CP.
Twitter - This is a great place to form bonds with other writers and ultimately create great critique circles.

You may have to try out a few critique partners before you find the ones that are right for you. In my case I've been truly lucky to find such wonderful women to critique my writing.

Where did you find your critique partners?

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Planning Fallacy

I recently finished reading Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow – a fascinating read that starts out slow but touches on everything that we think we know about the way we think. One of the points that Kahneman talks about in the book is the planning fallacy.

In short, the planning fallacy is our tendency to underestimate the amount of time as well as the associated costs of completing a project. It seems we do this as we are prone to wishful thinking because we hope that the task will be quick and easy to complete. This sounded rather similar to my initial plan on the road to publication, which went something like:

Write book à Find Agent àGet Published

It’s only after I’d written the first complete draft of said book that I realized there was a hole in my planning. So I made another plan:

Revise à Find Agent àGet Published

But then again I fell prey to the planning fallacy. I had been sure that I could revise in a few months’ time and make progress in my planning checklist. But I got stuck. I wasn’t able to finish the revisions within the timeline I’d set myself. I’m more of a plotter than a pantser in my writing style (which is helpful as I like to write mysteries) and not completing my revisions the way I’d planned created a hole in my attitude, which became much more difficult to correct than the hole in my initial plan.  Why wasn’t I able to plan properly? Why couldn’t I finish my revisions on time? I was letting myself down and I felt all the things we feel when we are disappointed in ourselves –that we’re not disciplined enough to be writers, maybe we don’t want it badly enough, maybe we’re not good enough and maybe this is just a dream or simply a hobby that won’t see the light of day.

The disappointment was seeping through but I continued to make my plans. To make up for lost time, I made my deadlines tighter, stopped weekend TV watching and stared endlessly at my laptop screen. All of my planning was in vain. My characters weren’t making sense anymore; my plot was sounding flimsy and the dialogue unnatural and wooden.

So, I took down my plan for my cork board, in fact I took them all down, crunched them into the ugliest possible balls and threw them away. Next, I stopped revising. I put away all my revisions, edit notes and critique comments. My desk was neat at last and not the white sea of paper it had been for months. Now my early mornings were spent reading the New York Times instead of re-writing my scenes and instead of going to my critique groups, I hung out with friends in the evenings. I just couldn’t deal with feeling awful all the time and it was in these months that for the first time I thought of giving it up. I’d been working and going to school full time and my plans hadn’t worked out. It was time for a different plan.

Thankfully, I had become tired of planning. The winter was over. It was summer again and since I wasn’t writing I had all this free time to travel and visit old friends. I’d start planning in the Fall, I told myself. I needed a break. I needed a break from feeling miserable and disappointed in myself.

But then a funny thing happened. Not right away. But pretty soon I started writing again. At first, it was just a few pages in my journal. But then by the middle of summer I took out my revision notes and started typing again. I didn’t think about it. I didn’t analyze it. I didn’t make plans to write. I didn’t try to figure out the next step. I just revised for however long I felt like it and then put it away until I felt like it the next day or the next weekend.


Today, I’m back to my morning writing but what I learned was that not only do we all plan optimistically but planning can really be tough on our psyche. It drained my positivity and self-belief, which only led to lower productivity which in turn made me feel worse – a vicious cycle that is so easy to get caught in.

So this Fall I refuse to plan. Maybe this is an extreme reaction but I’m willing to do what it takes so that I don’t end up feeling so dejected that it’s counter-productive. Which means that I can revise at 2 AM or 6 AM or whenever I have a couple of hours and not limit myself to my plan. I don’t know if I’m behind or ahead in my writing goals. What I do know is that I’m enjoying the process. I’m enjoying writing and revising again. Which is so much more gratifying than being on the constant treadmill of publication.

How has your experience with planning been? Are you able to keep to your schedule or do you prefer to stay un-structured?


Friday, September 7, 2012

COVER REVEAL - Stalked by Death

Stalked by Death
Jodi knows that any slip-ups made by the Ophi--a special group of necromancers born under the 13th sign of the zodiac--will fall on her shoulders... and that Hades is just waiting for them to screw up so he can wipe out the Ophi line.

When the only Ophi Jodi can convince to come to the school and train with her is a gorgeous guy named Chase, it spells more than trouble for Jodi and Alex. Her mixed emotions for both guys send her powers surging out of control, and she begins raising the dead without even meaning to. Jodi doesn't want to lose Alex, but Chase is offering her something Alex can't. His very touch enhances her powers, making her stronger than any Ophi ever has been--maybe even powerful enough to stop Hades from threatening them all. But Chase's offering comes with a huge price. One that may cost Jodi everything she has.

Jodi needs to figure things out fast--because death is stalking her at every turn.

The first book of the series, Touch of Death (, will be released in January 2013... and the launch party will be a ZOMBIE PROM in Boston! Keep an eye out for news of the coming aPROMcalypse (you know you want to be a "prombie").

Title: Stalked by Death
Series Touch of Death (#2)
Author: Kelly Hashway
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press ( Please feel free to use any images, text, links, etc. from our website.
ISBN: 978-1-937053-56-7
Release Date: July 23, 2013
Formats: Paper, e-book 

If you'd like to request an ARC, please use the reviewer form on our website. ARCs will ship next spring (Touch of Death ARCs will ship in the next two weeks).

Thursday, September 6, 2012

QUERY CORNER – Successful Queries

Today I’m going to post another query that received a lot of requests. This one belongs to my lovely beta reader, Jackie. This story was amazing, and her query landed her several requests. It does the job of getting attention! Check it out:

Dear Agent, (Of course, the agent’s name goes here)

Seventeen-year-old Hadley Blake has the ability to heal others and herself, but her skills go beyond what other Menders can do. Giving life back to someone within the first hour of their death is what earns her a spot at Orion, a behavior center for supernatural teens. (This paragraph, and last sentence, should hook the agent/editor and make them want to read more)

Jiu-jitsu is a staple at Orion and crushing on sexy martial arts trainer, Donovan Graham, is a welcomed distraction for Hadley. Campus hottie, Gage Ryder, attempts to change that, and she winds up falling for him, too.

Love will have to wait because Orion’s head doctor has other plans for her and her little Lazarus act. Fight to the death, revive, repeat is Dr. Ramsey’s motto. Hadley learns he makes money off forcing the kids to fight in cage matches using their powers. She also discovers the center is full of aliens. The doctor’s been injecting the kids with alien blood to give them powers in the first place.

Hadley must find a way to stop him or else remain a slave in his fight club—or worse. She could end up dead. (These paragraphs should read like the back cover a book—it should sound enticing and interesting without giving too much away)

BREATHE FOR ME is my 80,000 word young adult sci-fi and is a standalone with series potential. Per submission requirements, I've pasted the first five pages below. (This paragraph includes the title, word count, genre, and lists any submission guidelines that were followed)

Thank you for your time and consideration. (It is always a good idea to thank them for their time and close the letter professionally)

All the best,

Jackie Felger (Following your name would be any contact information—address, phone number, email address, and website, social media links)

If you would like to find Jackie online, she blogs over at and loves to hear from fellow writers, both aspiring and published!

Feel free to comment on her query or offer up any tips you have that get queries noticed!

Kimmy :)

TRIANGLES, Kimberly Ann Miller, Spencer Hill Press, June 2013

Monday, September 3, 2012

Bite Me and Other interesting ways to Market Your Book

I'm just back from the grocery store and something caught my eye. On my way out of the store, I noticed something on the community billboard, amidst the flyers for chinese auctions and weight loss plans. It was an adorable postcard of a dog with wings. Above it the title BITE ME. Since I love dogs (and who doesn't), I took the time to read the few words on the card. BITE ME is a memoir written by a meter reader. Now isn't that clever I thought. Not only the premise but also the way in which the meter reader/author was marketing herself. Now I haven't always been a friend of the marketing aspect of the whole writing world. In the beginning of my career, self-promotion was a downright uncomfortable thing. In fact, when the marketing person at my first publisher invited me to a lunch with a bunch of New York librarians and asked me if the date was good for me, I initially said, "Well, if that date doesn't work for me, you can go ahead without me." There was a pause on the other end of the line at that point and then she proceeded to explain that the luncheon was for me. Well, that freaked me out! As did many other attempts I made at getting me and my book out there in the public sphere. For a shy person like me, marketing has always been as comfortable as putting on a suit made of pine needles.

But since the internet has taken over our lives and turned the publishing world on its ear, marketing has become a bit more palatable for me. I recently had a consultation with Eliza Cross from Cross Media. Eliza is a publicist and an author herself. She maintains four blogs, each one focused on the various aspects of her creative and professional life. She has a bacon blog for her bacon cookbook and a blog for her upcoming contemporary romance. In our discussions, Eliza emphasized that an author needs to be present on the internet. She said an author's first priority should be Having an author page on Goodreads that links your blog and gives your readers an opportunity to interact with you on the one passion we all have in common - reading - is great. Next, she suggested I create a dedicated author page on Facebook. Previous to this, I had my personal FB page, but Eliza said that my author page should be focused on all things writing, rather than personal tidbits. The last thing Eliza recommended was having a Twitter account. I was rather relieved, however, when she said that Twitter should take up no more than five minutes of my day since the stats show that Twitter does not reap a lot of rewards due to the rapid fire pace of the feeds.

So going back to BITE ME. Aside from a great title and a cute picture on the postcard, I loved that the author had the chutzpah to pin the card in a place where I least expected it. I don't know if I'll buy the book, but it has made me curious. And it's that curiosity that we want to spark in our reader because the next step, we hope, is a purchase.

So tell me, have you come across a book in an interesting way and has that way made you want to buy that book?