Monday, December 5, 2016

Writing in Layers

The other day on twitter I mentioned that I was going back to a scene and adding more layers to make the writing richer. But what does that mean?

For me, I tend to write in the morning before work and that often gives me an hour at most to get down a scene and include as many words as I can. Many days that is just not enough time. I have to settle for getting the basics down. I tend to see a scene visually and try to think it through entirely before writing the words, but that also means that sometimes more detail springs into my mind the next morning. In other words, inspiration strikes again and I get a flood of additional ideas which I then go back and layer into the writing I've already done.

The first time I work on a chapter, I tend to "see" the dialogue and the physical action needed to move the plot forward at that point. Because of the time constraints and my focus on that, there are often parts of the scene that go unexplored. 

Because, remember, that every scene--every chapter--needs to work on many levels to move the story forward. That's what I think of as the layers. There's a layer in the writing for each scene that involves the plot, the main conflict, or there should be. An additional layer is devoted to character interaction--bring characters closer together or driving them further apart. A third layer is there to improve and enlarge the world building and give depth to the setting. And a fourth layer involves the character arc and making sure each scene touches on the inner conflict of the characters. A fifth layer can involve being aware of conflict and that tension is going where it's needed.

Usually I get the first and second layer and parts of the third or fourth in an initial writing session of a scene. Then I spend some time rethinking that scene and seeing what additional ideas arrive in my brain to make the scene more complete and more detailed. The conflict needs to build and grow until the end of the scene is reached, or for shorter-termed tension, it is resolved in the scene.

This is even more true with action scenes which are so very visual. They tend to come out on paper as just a lot of movement--this character does this and this other character then has to react like that, repeated over and over. At my next sitting, I go back and add more descriptions that makes the writing less like a synopsis and more like a story. I work in the emotions from the character--the fear and the determination--to give the scene life. I allow brief thoughts from the POV character to break up the action just a touch and put space between the movements. That gives the reader a tiny break in the hopefully building excitement.

Take a look at your favorite writer's action scenes. I think you'll see how they work in quick descriptions, bursts of emotions and even moments of furious thinking/planning which all makes the scene richer like the layers of a cake.

To give you an idea, down below is the action scene I started on Saturday, with the additions from Sunday in blue. It's still a draft and I'll undoubtedly make more changes but it gives an idea of layering your writing.  

Ramiro froze in the hallway while their plan of stealth crumbled around them. Teresa managed to dodge under the naked woman’s wild swing with the Diviner by falling to the floor and scrambling back. Ramiro hesitated as his other companions, the two priests, receded to a safe distance. Self-preservation screamed at him to flee, weaponless and therefore helpless, but the urge to protect the innocent proved stronger. Ramiro jumped in to intercept the next attack on Teresa, sweeping the tray around as polishing cloths flew everywhere. The solid staff of the Diviner hit the back of the wooden tray with an audible whack. Ramiro cringed expecting the tray to split. Instead, the Diviner burst in a spray of splinters, the slim rod flying apart.
Ramiro’s eyes closed as splinters cut into his face. Someone screamed. He overbalanced when the resistance against the tray vanished and landed hard on his left elbow on the relentless marble floor. Telo shot forward, leaving Father Amor by the coal hole, and grabbed the naked woman around the neck, pulling her down. Her stiffened fist made contact with his middle, sending the air rushing out of Telo’s lungs in an explosive cough.
A man burst out of the sleeping room, adjusting his white robe around his hips and brandishing another Diviner. Ramiro managed to stick out his leg. The Northerner’s feet caught on it, and he stumbled across the hall to bang into the wall. As Ramiro struggled to his feet, Teresa jumped on the man’s back. They bumbled across the hallway with the Diviner flailing; the Northerner unable to quite bend his arm to reach Teresa for the kill.
Ramiro swung the tray in an upstroke to push the Diviner away. The barest brush with the tray and the white staff cracked apart like the first, showering them with bone-like shards.
Doors opened all along the hall. Ramiro’s heart sank as more Northern priests poured out.
“Hold him still,” Ramiro shouted to Teresa to little avail. But years of training with grown men while he still wore his mother’s apron strings had taught him many things: how to fight or defend, how to survive, and how to be lethal in an instant. He punched out with his sore left arm and landed his fist squarely in the Northerner’s throat, hearing fragile bones and cartilage break. The man folded, hands grasping his neck as he choked, taking Teresa down with him.

I do my layering in a chapter before moving on to the next scene, but I'm guessing many people do their layering after the first draft is done and as they go back and edit. Do you use the technique of layering or something else?

Friday, December 2, 2016

Sneak Peek into Contest Planning

As the time for Sun versus Snow gets closer, I thought I'd share some of the behind the scenes planning that goes on two months out. Four+ years of running contests has made the process pretty smooth and taken out most of the kinks. Seems like you'd like an inside peek at the work involved. 

The end of November and early December, Sun versus Snow begins to lurk in the back of the hosts' minds. The first thing we do after contacting each other is look at the calendar and agree on dates for submission, when the mentor rounds will happen, and days for the agent round to start. Nothing can happen until the dates are nailed down. 

There's a lot to keep in mind when wiggling out the dates. The agent round pulls fewer requests when held on a weekend. Do agents have a big event happening we need to schedule around? The hosts need enough time to read all the submissions and make up their minds before the picks are announced. Too short a time between and hosts start to pull out their hair. We all have different paces on reading slush. Laura, for instance, reads very quickly, while Mike and I are slower. Amy and I are on much the same pace. We all tend to dither when it gets down to our last few spots. You have to plan for that feeling of being torn on so many great entries.

We also need to make sure there is enough time between the picks being announced and the agent round for the mentors to give their final shine without being rushed. Also it turns out that giving a longer mentor work period helps the hosts. If we give plenty of days for revision, entries tend to come back before they are due and hosts don't have to stress about getting the posts all formatted and ready to go. All the entries don't arrive back at the same time, but spread out in a manageable way. The timing of the various contest dates is incredibly important because there is a lot to do between each event. Getting it right is a must.

So, we've checked our schedules and settled on the dates. Before we can announce the contest to the world, we always proceed with caution. We need a few agents signed up before going public. That means a letter of invitation must be created. Truthfully, we've learned to save all our contest correspondence and recycle. There is just so much work to running a contest that we cut corners whenever we can. Using last year's letter with fresh dates and a few tweaks is a great time saver. I don't know about the other hosts, but I keep agent email correspondence saved in a folder so I can use the same chain of communication over and over. I'm more certain the agents will see it if I respond to a former email.

After the letter, we quickly create a Google doc or spreadsheet to log in all the agent names into a giant list. One of the most enjoyable parts of hosting is turning those names green as they say yes and plugging in the agent's email and twitter handle and wish list. Having all that information together makes it much easier to contact the agents in the future and nudge them that it's time! Also the Google doc helps make sure that Amy and I don't over invite the same agent. Contests have gotten so much easier since document sharing came along!

Now once a few of those names turn green on the spreadsheet, it's time to start spreading the word on social media and whipping up the happiness that is another writer contest and reminding people of success stories. For instance, Picture Book Party got it's very first direct book sale! One of the writers from 2015 got an agent directly from the contest and then recently got a very solid sale of the contest PB! Sharon and I were so excited and hope to share the call story soon.

Once the agent invites are out, it's time to start thinking about mentors. Like with agents, we need a good variety. You want mentors who are reliable, have plenty of experience and represent different genres, plus provide diversity. Each contest has different mentor requirements. In Sun versus Snow, Amy and I each invite our own mentors and the mentors are unique to the hostess. Amy's mentors don't help my picks, in other words. We usually pick six or seven experienced writers to give their advice on the picks. 

But Query Kombat is totally different. Here we need over thirty people to judge and leave detailed feedback juggled over six rounds and an entire month. It's a scheduling nightmare and that why QK is the big daddy of all our contests! Quite a difference from little Picture Book party which doesn't include mentors. As you can see the work for managing mentors falls somewhere in the middle for Sun versus Snow, but we also have to be extra careful we can rely on the mentors as there are many fewer in this contest. 

The mentors get their Google doc as well with their information carefully collected and saved for later use so we can contact them quickly. We also arrange a mentor chat on twitter to happen before the submission. It gives us a chance to spotlight the mentors and do a bit more promotion for them as they do so much for us. It's a great chance to pick the brains of experts in their genres.

Besides all those important steps, the hosts are also creating blog posts to announce the contest, nailing down the submission instructions, creating more email letters of instruction/nudges for agents and mentors, and thinking over any new inventions to add to the contest to make it bigger and better and more useful to the most writers. As the weeks get closer to the start, I'll probably do something every single day for a contest and that doesn't include answering all the questions on social media. (Never be afraid to ask questions. We're happy to help you out, though the blog posts try to cover all the questions we hear most often.) That picks up as the time gets closer as well.

So that's an early look into the planning and work of what goes on before a contest starts. A peek behind the scenes, and where Amy and I will soon be.

As always we want your opinion. What can we do or add to make the contests better? For example, this year I think we'll have a spot for writers to mark on the submission whether an entry is ownvoices. We'd love to see more of those! Also name some agents you'd really like to be on our list. We'll do our best to make that happen, and it's easier for us if we have your input. Put those down in the comments.

And don't forget there is a chat happening today at 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm under #FFchat with some experienced authors, including myself and Laura, ready to answer any query or publishing or writing questions. Hope to see you there!    


Monday, November 28, 2016

Cover Reveal for Guardian of Secrets


Let us know what you think of the cover for Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers, #2) by Brenda Drake which releases February 7, 2017!

This cover reveal is brought to you by Entangled TEEN & YA Interrobang!

Brenda Drake's thoughts on the cover:

I had an idea of what I wanted the cover of Guardian of Secrets to look like the entire time I was writing the story. I was delighted (I might have screamed) when the cover showed up in my email and it was EXACTLY what I’d imagined. I love that it’s blue since part of the setting of the book takes place in a cold climate. I’m thrilled the couple is on it, too. They resemble the characters I’ve created in my mind perfectly. The cover is so beautiful, and I’m beyond excited to share it with everyone!


About Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers, #2):

Being a Sentinel isn’t all fairytales and secret gardens.

Sure, jumping through books into the world’s most beautiful libraries to protect humans from mystical creatures is awesome. No one knows that better than Gia Kearns, but she could do without the part where people are always trying to kill her. Oh, and the fact that Pop and her had to move away from her friends and life as she knew it.

And if that isn’t enough, her boyfriend, Arik, is acting strangely. Like, maybe she should be calling him “ex,” since he’s so into another girl. But she doesn’t have time to be mad or even jealous, because someone has to save the world from the upcoming apocalypse, and it looks like that’s going to be Gia.

Maybe. If she survives.

Want to read more? Pre-order your copy of Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers, #2) by Brenda Drake today!


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Second Friendsgiving Critique

I'm back with a new critique for a middle grade holiday story. Remember that a new critique will be posted by one of us each day this week.

Also see all the other critiques from last week here:

Laura's critique from 11/22
Liana's critique from 11/23.
Emily's critique from 11/24.
Sarah's critique from 11/25.

Our Twitter chat will be December 2nd at 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm EST on #FFChat.

Dear Agent, Let me say up front that I've read a number of picture book queries for contests but haven't critiqued many. I'll do my best. 

A boy who (Maybe a little more about why. Does he have a mixed family for instance? A boy whose mixed family...) celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas invites Santa to his Hanukkah celebration.  Unable to join him visit during the busy season, Santa sends his hungriest helper in his place. When the much-needed Menorah oil runs low(Maybe be more specific on this for those who know less about Hanukkah. Is it for the Menorah?) , the elf finds a way to fill his belly and the little boy’s heart. (I love how you used the word fill! Clever! But I'd maybe add the lamp to the sentence. ...fill his belly, the lamp, and the little boy's heart. For those unfamiliar with picture book queries, a single paragraph and very brief story description like this is totally normal and expected.)

HANUKKAH ELF, a 580 word fiction, holiday picture book targeting 3-7 year olds was the winner of author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s 5th Annual Holiday Contest and as such, was critiqued by Claire Dorsett, Editorial Assistant at Roaring Brook Press(Impressive!). Fans of lighted-hearted stories like In the spirit of DADDY CHRISTMAS AND HANUKKAH MAMA (Knopf 2012) and THE LATKE WHO COULDN’T STOP SCREAMING (McSweeney’s 2007) (I'd put the comp titles in italics and save the all caps for your own title.), HANUKKAH ELF is a fun, lighthearted story about will enjoy the friendship, tradition and common bonds.

I am an early childhood and former elementary school teacher, a mom of two boys, SCBWI member and a PiBoMo participant who has a variety of picture books in my resume. (Maybe move this up here and start with yourself so you can finish with your credits.) In an effort to build an audience with those who purchase picture books, I started My blog Red said what? in 2013. is Huffington Post Blog contributor and winner of BlogHer Voice of the Year. My writing has been awarded by The 83rd and 84th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition and has also appeared on TODAY, The New York Times (Letter to the Editor)Brain ChildMamalodeScary MommyInterFaithFamily, Kveller, and The Mighty as well as other online publications. (Writing credits are very important for picture book authors and it looks like you have a few here! Detailing them in the query is often longer than the story paragraph for PB writers. I would try and cut a few of the excess words, however.)

 Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. I look forward to the possibility of discussing my work directly. (I've seen it said that ending on similar sentiments seems a little needy, like someone who is overanxious, so a heads-up on that. You may want to cut the final sentence.)

Best regards,

I feel like this PB query is already solid. I'm sure the diversity and writing credits will catch an agent's eye. The only thing I could add is to maybe work in a word or two about the character's personality. You do a great job highlighting the elf is hungry. What stands out about the boy and defines his personality? I hope this helps. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Friendsgiving Critique

Time to kick off this critique party! I'll start things off with this Young Adult Fantasy and a new critique will be posted by one of us each day this week.

Also see all the other critiques:

Laura's critique from 11/22
Liana's critique from 11/23.
Emily's critique from 11/24.
Sarah's critique from 11/25.

Our Twitter chat will be December 2nd at 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm EST on #FFChat.

Val has studied, fought, and completed her sailing expedition (You might want to give a specific detail or two of what she went through in order to attract the reader to her in a stronger way. Short phrases. For example: Val practically blinded herself studying star charts and learned to be the fastest hand with a sailor's cutlass all to complete her sailing expedition in record time)—faster than anyone else—to become chiefess of her clan. (What's really missing here is her motivation. Why does she want to be the chiefess? Give us a reason to care about her in her motivation and to care about the clan. That means adding another sentence. And you might start off with just a touch about the world. Do they live on islands? Is their world mostly water? Sailing seems to be important; Key that to the world you created. For example: On her Island Nation, Val has...)

Returning home (-ing phrases are often consider lazy writing. You might use a preposition phrase instead. As she returns home?) , she discovers her twin brother has been kidnapped and held ransom by her the clans’ long term rivals, the Airyllens. If she doesn't find him, the clans will not be able to prevent the Airyllens from draining the Airyleens will use him to drain the magic out of the land. (A little bit of confusion here. What's the connection between draining the magic and her brother. Is he the only one they can use? Also if he's being held ransom, why don't they just pay it? Problem solved. And you never say what the magic does or why their rivals want it gone.)However, the only way to get to Airylle is aboard one of their ships and their laws prohibit girls from joining a crew. (Maybe rephrase: However, the sea chart to Airylle is secret, and Val must board one of their ships but their laws prohibit girls aboard.) 

Assisted by Airylle’s sole female mage, Val disguises herself as a boy and convinces the captain of the Eventide to hire a clan lad. Val is prepared for two months of hatred from her enemy crew members, but soon discovers that not all Airyllens are ruthless. As she earns Captain Devon's trust, Val’s traitorous heart falls for him. (Below you say the story is alternating POV. This would be a good place to turn the paragraph into Devon's viewpoint if he is your 2nd POV. For example: Captain Devon just wants to blank blank, he's not expecting to fall for the new cabin lad from the clans he's hired--or to find out he's a girl.)

When the clans use a magical storm to blockade the Airyllens, Val is stuck behind enemy lines.(With or without her brother? stuck behind enemy lines with her mission incomplete.) If the king (You dump a king out of nowhere. I'd cut and just keep it to nationalist Airyllens.) discovers her, Val risks losing her brother, the war and her life. (It feels like you are shorting the last paragraph. Add a sentence about the choice Devon must make. Is he pressured to turn Val in? Also expand on Val's choice. What will it be like to live in a world without magic? We need a reminder of why Val has to rescue her brother.  

Told in alternating POVs(I'm totally unsure who is the other POV. The only other named character is the Captain. Most often, queries for dual POV will include a second paragraph from that character and then the third paragraph contains the stakes for both characters. You might want to rewrite so the alternating POV is clear. I actually think you can make the query more interesting by giving us info from both characters!), THE EVENTIDE is a 99,000 word Young Adult Fantasy that is a loose retelling of Shakespeare’s TWELFTH NIGHT (This is my own subjective thought but I suggest not using caps for comp books and just using italics. I really feel that using caps for your manuscript and italics for other books puts the importance on your story.) . A standalone fantasy with series potential, the manuscript features characters of diverse sexualities and backgrounds. It is standalone fantasy with series potential. I believe It’ll appeal to readers of Sabaa Tahir’s AN EMBER IN THE ASHES (just italics?) and Meagan Spooner’s SKYLARK (just italics?).

I graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Affairs and a minor concentration in Writing & Rhetoric. Like Val and Devon, I love to sail.(All good as it shows why you wrote this story and that you know your sailing facts!) I am an active member of SCBWI and RWA and guest blogger on the Writer’s Rumpus Blog.
 Below you will find the first ten pages of THE EVENTIDE. Thank you for your time and consideration.

A story aboard ship and without pirates is a nice twist. I hope my notes on this query doesn't overwhelm the author. My main suggestions would be to add Val's motivation in the first paragraph, make sure you give us a paragraph from the second major POV, and flesh out the stakes a little more to include what the magic does and so why Val needs to save it and her brother. Also knowing Devon's stakes would be helpful. 

Take what you can use from my suggestions and once you have those established, you might change out some words to get more sailing language into the query. Such as faster than you can splice a rope, Captain Devon is prow over stern in love... Using sailing verbs and slang and the query will have more voice and a unique touch. Good luck! 

Friday, November 18, 2016

Friendsgiving Feedback Spectacular

Among so much bad news, we are all in need of a ray of light. I figured the least I could do is put together a short critique workshop to raise spirits and maybe help some writers. 

So a small group of five published authors has come together to offer query critiques for the next two weeks to culminate in a twitter chat about querying, publishing, and just any questions we might be able to help you with.

We will do a query critique every day starting on November 21st and plan to give first priority to marginalized writers, "own voices" stories, and stories with diverse characters, worlds, and challenges.

Your manuscript does not have to be completed. You just need a completed query letter. A large group of winners will be randomly drawn from the rafflecopter and their query letters requested. Then each of our participating authors will choose from the available entries and post their critique on their blog or on mine along with their feedback.

Hopefully we can all learn more about the writing process from the breakdowns of these query letters. 

Our twitter chat will be December 2nd at 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm EST under the hashtag #FFChat and will last an hour. We'd love you to post some questions ahead of time down in the comment section. 

There's not much time so enter the rafflecopter quickly. And please help us spread the word under #FFChat. Links to the finished critiques will be given under that hashtag also.

Here is who we are:

Emily B. Martin

Park ranger by summer, stay-at-home mom the rest of the year, Emily B. Martin is also a freelance artist and illustrator. An avid hiker and explorer, her experiences as a ranger helped inform the character of Mae and the world of Woodwalker. When not patrolling places like Yellowstone, the Great Smoky Mountains, or Philmont Scout Ranch, she lives in South Carolina with her husband, Will, and two daughters, Lucy and Amelia.


Liana Brooks

Liana Brooks writes science fiction and sci-fi romance for people who like fast ships, big guns, witty one-liners, and happy endings. She lives in Alaska with her husband, four kids, and giant mastiff puppy. When she isn’t writing she enjoys hiking the Chugach Range, climbing glaciers, and watching whales.

You can find Liana on the web at or on Twitter as @LianaBrooks. Goodreads Author Page.

Laura Heffernan

Laura Heffernan is living proof that watching too much TV can pay off: AMERICA'S NEXT REALITY STAR, the first book in the REALITY STAR series, is coming from Kensington’s Lyrical Press in March 2017. When not watching total strangers participate in arranged marriages, drag racing queens, or cooking competitions, Laura enjoys travel, baking, board games, helping with writing contests, and seeking new experiences. She lives in the northeast with her amazing husband and two furry little beasts.

Some of Laura's favorite things include goat cheese, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica, the Oxford comma, and ice cream. Not all together. The best place to find her is usually on Twitter, where she spends far too much time tweeting about writing, Canadian chocolate, and reality TV. Follow her @LH_Writes. Laura is represented by Michelle Richter at Fuse Literary.

Sarah Remy

In 1994 Sarah Remy earned a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from Pomona College in California. Since then she’s been employed as a receptionist at a high-powered brokerage firm, managed a boutique bookstore, read television scripts for a small production company, and, more recently, worked playground duty at the local elementary school.
 When she’s not taking the service industry by storm, she’s writing fantasy and science fiction. Sarah likes her fantasy worlds gritty, her characters diverse and fallible, and she doesn’t believe every protagonist deserves a happy ending.
 Before joining the Harper Voyager family, she published with EDGE, Reuts, and Madison Place Press.
 Sarah lives in Washington State with plenty of animals and people, both. In her limited spare time she rides horses, rehabs her old home, and supervises a chaotic household. She can talk to you endlessly about Sherlock Holmes, World of Warcraft, and backyard chicken husbandry, and she’s been a member of one of Robin Hobb’s longest-running online fan clubs since 2002.
 Find Sarah on Twitter @sarahremywrites and her Blog 

Michelle Hauck

Michelle Hauck lives in the bustling metropolis of northern Indiana with her hubby and two kids in college.  Besides working with special needs children by day, she writes all sorts of fantasy, giving her imagination free range. A book worm, she passes up the darker vices in favor of chocolate and looks for any excuse to reward herself. Bio finished? Time for a sweet snack.

She is a co-host of the yearly contests Query Kombat and Nightmare on Query Street, and Sun versus Snow.

Her Birth of Saints trilogy from Harper Voyager starts with Grudging and Faithful.  She's repped by Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016


The next volume in the Birth of Saints series is available now! (Reminder all my personal proceeds from the series for the rest of the year will go to the American Civil Liberities Union.)

Following Grudging--and with a mix of Terry Goodkind and Bernard Cornwall--religion, witchcraft, and chivalry war in Faithful, the exciting next chapter in Michelle Hauck's Birth of Saints series!

A world of Fear and death…and those trying to save it.

Colina Hermosa has burned to the ground. The Northern invaders continue their assault on the ciudades-estados. Terror has taken hold, and those that should be allies betray each other in hopes of their own survival. As the realities of this devastating and unprovoked war settles in, what can they do to fight back?

On a mission of hope, an unlikely group sets out to find a teacher for Claire, and a new weapon to use against the Northerners and their swelling army.

What they find instead is an old woman.

But she’s not a random crone—she’s Claire’s grandmother. She’s also a Woman of the Song, and her music is both strong and horrible. And while Claire has already seen the power of her own Song, she is scared of her inability to control it, having seen how her magic has brought evil to the world, killing without reason or remorse. To preserve a life of honor and light, Ramiro and Claire will need to convince the old woman to teach them a way so that the power of the Song can be used for good. Otherwise, they’ll just be destroyers themselves, no better than the Northerners and their false god, Dal. With the annihilation their enemy has planned, though, they may not have a choice.

A tale of fear and tragedy, hope and redemption, Faithful is the harrowing second entry in the Birth of Saints trilogy.

Faithful- November 15, 2016
Harper Voyager

Also enter to win a signed paperback of Grudging, the first book in the series: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A world of chivalry and witchcraft…and the invaders who would destroy everything.

The North has invaded, bringing a cruel religion and no mercy. The ciudades-estados who have stood in their way have been razed to nothing, and now the horde is before the gates of Colina Hermosa…demanding blood.

On a mission of desperation, a small group escapes the besieged city in search of the one thing that might stem the tide of Northerners: the witches of the southern swamps.

The Women of the Song.

But when tragedy strikes their negotiations, all that is left is a single untried knight and a witch who has never given voice to her power. And time is running out.

A lyrical tale of honor and magic, Grudging is the opening salvo in the Book of Saints trilogy.

November 17, 2015
Harper Voyager

Find it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Goodreads

Michelle Hauck lives in the bustling metropolis of northern Indiana with her hubby and two kids in college. Besides working with special needs children by day, she writes all sorts of fantasy, giving her imagination free range. A book worm, she passes up the darker vices in favor of chocolate and looks for any excuse to reward herself. Bio finished? Time for a sweet snack.

She is a co-host of the yearly contests Query Kombat, Nightmare on Query Street, and Sun versus Snow.

Her Birth of Saints trilogy, starting with Grudging and Faithful (November 15, 2016), is available from Harper Voyager. Another epic fantasy, Kindar's Cure, is published by Divertir Publishing. She's repped by Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Do All the Good You Can

The second book in my Birth of Saints series, Faithful, releases in three days and I haven't really had the heart to promote it on social media or anywhere else. It seems such a tiny thing in the face of all the uncertainty and unhappiness. I love my book, but there's so much more happening in the world. How can I talk about myself at this time?  

That's why I decided to donate all my proceeds from sales from the Birth of Saints books in November and December to the ACLU. It's a small gesture, but every little bit helps to prove that love is more powerful than hate.

If you'd like to help, here's where you can purchase them:


Find it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Goodreads


Find It: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | HarperCollins | Goodreads

Thank you!