Justice for Baby Hope


baby-hope

The dedication and perseverance of the officers in this case is so incredible, when I read this original post it moved me to tears. This is how it starts:

BY ORDER OF THE CHIEF OF DEPARTMENT, THE FOLLOWING IS TO BE READ AT ROLL CALL TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE SERVICE AND POSTED CONSPICUOUSLY WITHIN COMMANDS:
On July 23rd, 1991, twenty-two years ago, the body of a four-year-old girl was found in a cooler off the Henry Hudson Parkway.  She had been starved and sexually assaulted. Despite a citywide appeal, the 34th Precinct Detective Squad was unable to locate her relatives. All leads were soon exhausted without even learning her name.

Using their own funds, the squad bought her a burial plot and a headstone. On the day she was buried, they christened her Baby Hope.

As life in a city of eight million people went on, the men and women responsible for Baby Hope’s memory never forgot about her. At the time, Assistant Chief Joseph Reznick was the 34th Precinct Detective Squad commander. No matter where his career took him, he would return to Baby Hope’s grave each year to collect evidence from the flowers and memorials left there.

There are good people in this world, capable of extraordinary things in the face of tragedy. To read the rest of the original post, please click here.

Author-Agent Pitch Sessions


In a week and a half I will be in Surrey, BC at the SiCW, taking pitches most of the conference, and hanging out with all the awesome authors. Before I get there, there’s something I would like to share with all you authors out there.

For most, sitting down to pitch a book to an agent is like sitting down in front of a fire-breathing dragon who may, after hearing your idea, open their mouths and unleash a ball of fiery doom on your brilliance, reducing it to cinders and soot. Dragon-Breaths-Fire-In-The-Game-Of-Thrones-Gif

It’s terrifying, and very few authors are able to sit down and feel even remotely comfortable. But there’s something authors need to remember about agents, and it will make your pitch session pretty simple once you wrap your head around it.

drum-roll-please

Are you ready for this? Okay. Here it is… Continue reading

5 Things NOT To Do In Your Query Letter


Querying an agent is hard, especially when you are just starting out. I know, I’ve been there. But being on the receiving end of the query letter, it’s a lot easier to pinpoint some of the common errors authors make. So here is a short list of what not to do, in hopes of helping even a few first timers.

 

  1. Do Not Self-Depreciate. I am surprised by how many new authors do this. “I know it’s only my first novel, and probably won’t sell…”  “I don’t have any education, or any real platform…” “You probably don’t have the time to waste on this…” The list goes on. Be confident. Confidence is sexy. Confidence sells.
  2. Do Not Use Bold Type, All Caps, Purple Lettering, or Italics. This does make your query stand out, but not in the way you are hoping. Agents look through many queries and manuscripts every day. Their eyes are beyond tired. Opening one of these emails is like being kicked in the head. You really don’t want that to be your first impression.
  3. Do Not Use a Form Query Letter. You want your writing to sell your work for you. Form letters tell us that you are either too lazy to write your own or incapable. Plus, inevitably you will forget to fill out something so what we will see is this: Dear (Agent’s Name), My book (Your Book Title)…
  4. Do Not Address Your Query To 50 Different Agents. We know you’ve sent out multiple submissions. But we like to think you are looking for an agent that fits you and your book and that you’ve done some research. Besides, I can guarantee you that the submission guidelines are different with each company. Which brings me to the final one…
  5. Do Not Ignore the Submission Guidelines. We don’t instantly reject or delete those that don’t follow our simple guidelines, but most others do. Do yourself a favor, go to the websites and make sure you follow the guidelines.

This is obviously not the full list of everything you shouldn’t do, but it’s a start. If you think it will help someone else, please share it around!

Through the Eyes of a Child


Michelle L. Johnson:

Some of the sentiments here are so beautiful, they brought tears to my eyes.
Love each other.

Originally posted on Bright Blue Line:

Chaplain Ronnie Melancon

Chaplain Ronnie Melancon

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds – “What does love mean?”  The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined.

deep love

  • When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.     Billy – age ?

 

  • Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.     Karl – age 5

 

  • Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your french-fries without making them give you any of theirs.     Chrissy – age 6

 

  • Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.     Terri – age 4

 

  • Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before…

View original 393 more words

Our “rape culture” and how to change it.


This needs to stopNo, there is nothing magical or beautiful about that title. And the magic will only come with the change. I have posted many things about this topic, reposted many pictures and voiced my outrage many times.

This is a personal subject to me, as I know it is to millions. If you haven’t been affected by rape at some point in your life, you love someone who has, I guarantee it. But we keep teaching the wrong thing to the wrong set of people. Teaching our girls they have to live in fear, they have to be sure they don’t dress a certain way or speak a certain way or drink at a party… this does nothing if we don’t teach our boys. And “no means no” is NOT good enough. Just ask her:

Innocent victims

The message needs to be “Only YES means YES” and it needs to be taught to our boys and girls alike.

I found this post today, written by Rebecca Yarros – a superhero –  and it had me reduced to tears in minutes. Oh, if only all the moms in all the world would write this letter to their children.

Please read this post, and please share it. This is important. This is important right now.

Rebbeca’s post: “Dear boys, we protect those who are smaller.”

I would love to hear your thoughts on this, I would love it even more if you shared Rebecca’s post with the world.

CHARMING Cover Reveal!


It’s been a while, I know. I’ve had so much amazing, magical and beautiful news but not enough time to share it. But here is something magical and beautiful I want to share with the world! The cover for CHARMING by my wonderfully talented client Elliott James.

Here is the amazing cover, designed by Wendy Chan over at Orbit! Read to the end for a chance to win a galley copy of Charming! Continue reading