fifth season First of all, the most tremendous of all shout outs to N.K. Jemisin for winning the Hugo Award for Best Novel this past weekend for THE FIFTH SEASON. This is such an amazing novel and you’re such an incredible writer.  I’m thrilled to see you getting the recognition you deserve!  And readers, check out this great list of nominees! I can’t claim to have read every one, but I’ve read at least one other novel by each of these authors and can highly recommend them for your teetering TBR piles!

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)

  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik (Del Rey)
  • Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie (Orbit)
  • Seveneves: A Novel by Neal Stephenson (William Morrow)
  • The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher (Roc)

Need more books for those TBR piles? (Sure you do!) Amazon has posted their buzzworthy books for fall, and lists THE MASKED CITY by Genevieve Cogman, CURSE ON THE LAND by Faith Hunter and THE OBELISK GATE by N.K. Jemisin among their top reads in science fiction and fantasy!

inkandbone_FINAL And more? How about 13 Books Like Harry Potter for Adults from Early Bird Books, including INK AND BONE by Rachel Caine?

Conspiracy of Angels harsh gods

And don’t forget that HARSH GODS, the sequel to Michelle Belanger’s CONSPIRACY OF ANGELS will be out next week, but is available for pre-order now!

Finally, in the category of books I’ve read and loved but in which I have no stake – Blake Crouch’s DARK MATTER.  Read it. Seriously. This is not a drill.

 

So excited about today’s new releases: THE OBELISK GATE by N.K. Jemisin and THE SIGHT by Chloe Neill, coincidentally both on this month’s list by Smart Bitches, Trashy Books of exciting August releases! As a quick intro, THE OBELISK GATE is the sequel to N.K. Jemisin’s THE FIFTH SEASON, which had been up for a whole host of sf/f awards and is a current Hugo Award and World Fantasy Award finalist!  THE SIGHT is the sequel to THE VEIL, the first in bestselling author Chloe Neill’s Devil’s Isle series.  Want more? Here you go!

obelisk gate THE OBELISK GATE by N.K. Jemisin (Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Books-a-Million, Powells)

“VERDICT Jemisin’s follow-up to THE FIFTH SEASON is exceptional. Those who anxiously awaited this sequel will find the only problem is that the wait must begin again once the last page is turned.” —Library Journal, Starred Review

“In this compelling, challenging, and utterly gripping work that combines elements of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, Jemisin draws readers deeper into the extraordinary setting and characters she introduced in The Fifth Season… Once again Jemisin immerses readers in a complex and intricate world of warring powers, tangled morals, and twisting motivations.” — Publisher Weekly, Starred Review

“Jemisin builds off of the strong foundation laid in the previous novel, further exploring the cosmology and history of her engaging setting, all the while maintaining the strong characterization and plotting that grounds the at times expansive scope of the series’ action. This novel should be of interest to general fantasy readers looking for an interesting new series as well as already avid Jemisin fans.” —Booklist

Cover Copy:

Continuing the trilogy that began with the multi-award-nominated The Fifth Season

  • Shortlisted for the Hugo, Nebula, Audie, and Locus Awards
  • The inaugural Wired.com book club book

This is the way the world ends, for the last time.

The season of endings grows darker, as civilization fades into the long cold night.

Essun — once Damaya, once Syenite, now avenger — has found shelter, but not her daughter. Instead there is Alabaster Tenring, destroyer of the world, with a request. But if Essun does what he asks, it would seal the fate of the Stillness forever.

Far away, her daughter Nassun is growing in power – and her choices will break the world.

the sight THE SIGHT by Chloe Neill (Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Books-a-million, Mysterious Galaxy)

“Neill’s sequel to The Veil continues to prove her adept at worldbuilding and nonstop action. Claire’s honesty and straightforward attitude make her a great character for a harrowing time.” —Library Journal

“The battle for what is left of New Orleans after a magical war heats up in Neill’s terrific Devil’s Isle series…This story is an excellent showcase of how both physical and political threats can warp individuals.” —Romantic Times

Cover Copy:

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Chicagoland Vampire novels, a brand new Devil’s Isle Novel…

The paranormal war that engulfed New Orleans seven years ago is over.  But the battle for the city is just beginning . . .

Claire Connolly is a Sensitive, infected with magic when the Veil that divides humanity from the world beyond fell. Magic can easily consume and destroy a Sensitive, and if Claire’s secret is discovered she’ll be locked into the walled district of Devil’s Isle along with every other Paranormal left in the city.

Bounty hunter Liam Quinn discovered Claire’s secret, but refused to turn her in. Together they saved New Orleans from the resurgence of magic that nearly destroyed it. But now a dangerous cult is on the rise, and it will take both Claire and Liam—and magical allies within Devil’s Isle’s towering walls—to defeat the growing threat before magic corrupts them both…

I’m always excited to have a new installment of How I Met My Client/How I Met My Agent, but this one is especially fun on my end because…well, just read on and you’ll see. I’m going to let Steven go first here, because, really, the story starts with him.

As a quick introduction, Steven Piziks also writes as Steven Harper (The Books of Blood and Iron, the Clockwork Empire and Silent Empire series and nonfiction WRITING THE PARANORMAL NOVEL. He’s also done everything from mysteries (TRASH COURSE as Penny Drake) to tie-ins (Star Trek, Ghost Whisperer) and novelizations (IDENTITY, EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING). His most recent novel, BONE WAR, is just out from Roc Books!

How I Met My Agent by Steven Piziks

It was that miracle moment. The phone rang.

I snatched the receiver off the wall and discovered I was talking to Jim Baen of Baen Books. He had read my science fiction novel In the Company of Mind and wanted to buy it.

I almost leaped through the ceiling. But I kept myself under control and said something I had been rehearsing for years. “That’s fantastic!

Thank you! What kind of terms are you offering?”

He told me, and I said, “That’s great! I’ll call you back when I know more. Thanks so much!”

Once I hung up, did I call my parents? My best friend? I did not. I called an editor who had bought a bunch of my short stories over the years.

“I need an agent!” I bawled.

She laughed and gave me the number of Vince Alfieri, a New York agent.

By now I was wondering what my phone bill was going to be like. I called Vince, who said he wasn’t taking new clients right then.

Argh!

Remember, this was in the days before cell phones, before the Internet, before Google. I couldn’t just hop on-line and spend a couple hours looking up agents and agencies.

“But,” Vince continued, “I know a lady who is taking clients. You might want to give her a call. Her name is Lucienne Diver.”

I seized on this. Vince gave me the number, and I dialed yet again. A woman with a radio announcer voice answered the phone, and I found myself talking to Lucienne.

This was 20 years ago.

I think I must have been one of her first clients, though at the time she never let on. She handily took over the Baen negotiations (though that turned into a real trick–buy me a cheeseburger some time and I’ll tell you about it).

Lucienne negotiated two contracts with Baen for me, and another contract with Roc. We had a number of conversations on the phone, but no face-to-face contact until about three years later, when we both attended the same convention. I think it was a World Fantasy Con, and we agreed to meet at a party.

“We’ll find each other,” she said on the phone. “I have long blond hair and I’ll probably be wearing a blue dress.”

“I’m the tall guy with the shaved head,” I said. “You’ll probably see me first.”

I was right. Five minutes into the reception, a voice said, “Steven?” and at last I was talking face-to-face with my agent. She took me to the bar for a Coke. (I don’t drink, so I’m a cheap date.)

Lucienne and I have been agent-and-client and friends for over twenty years. Our relationship has lasted longer than my first marriage, in fact. We’re both friends and business associates, and I’ve watched her go from single lady to married woman to proud mom, and from steadfast New Yorker to woo-hoo Floridian. We’ve weathered a number of changes to the publishing industry together, and I can only wonder what’s coming up next.

_______________

How I Met My Client

What Steven didn’t tell you is that he called me the week before my wedding to say that he had an offer on the table for his debut novel and was I interested in considering it for representation. Well, of course I was. The book sounded amazing! But this was in the early days of e-mail, before we all had e-readers and could accept electronic submissions, which meant that he had to send it in hardcopy, which put us into my wedding week. Still, I dug in right away. I couldn’t resist, and it wasn’t exactly a hardship, as I was physically unable to put the novel down. (IN THE COMPANY OF MIND, for inquiring minds who want to know, a dark, gritty novel with both highly personal and massively far-reaching stakes.)

Of course I wanted to represent it. I told him so, we came to an agreement, and I got right on the phone with the publisher. Or, at least, I left him a message. By that time we were into the final crash-prep for the wedding, so I found myself alternating between arguing with the caterer and negotiating on the phone at my parents’ house and, best of all (by some Tim Burton definition of the word “best”) from a spider infested phone booth on my honeymoon.

As Steven says, these were the days before cell phones. My husband (ooh, it was so exciting to say that then!) and I honeymooned in a rustic lakefront cottage on Lake George. The only phone we had access to was in a phone booth at the edge of the parking lot at the lodge. The only problem was it was festooned with spider webs and, I was quite certain, populated by the eight-legged menaces that created them. Clearly, no one was expected to actually make calls on vacation. What, was I crazy?

The answer, of course, is yes. I am. And a work-aholic. And so I, the girl with the spider phobia, reached bravely into the phone booth, risking life and limb to put coins into the slot and grab onto the receiver, holding it at the very end of its reach and contorting myself to stay as far away as I could from the creepy crawlies. Here, I’ve drawn you a visual with all of my spectacular artistic talent.

spider booth001

(You can see why I don’t give up my day job for my art.)

The rest is history. Steven and I have worked together for years and years, through various genres, names and publishing permutations.

We’ve seen the restructuring of publishing distribution, the advent of e-books (as more than a faraway fear that they would ruin book publishing for all time), cell phones and electronic signatures. We’ve seen crazes and trends and bandwagons, oh my! It will be fascinating to see what the next twenty years have in store.

 

If you’d like to find out more about Steven Piziks, you can visit his website, his Facebook page or follow him on Twitter, @StevenPiziks.

Other Installments of How I Met My Client/Agent:

Christie Golden

Amy Christine Parker

Carol Berg

Michelle Belanger

I’m pleased to bring you the fourth installment of How I Met My Client/How I Met My Agent, featuring Michelle Belanger, author of CONSPIRACY OF ANGELS and HARSH GODS (coming August 30th)!  Michelle is running a giveaway right now with swag packs and signed copies of HARSH GODS, so you might want to check it out if you haven’t already!

Conspiracy of Angels

How I Met My Client 

I met Michelle in the usual way—she sent me a query.  Her name rang a bell and as I read her query, I realized why.  I’d seen her before, probably more than once, but almost certainly on the History Channel’s The Secret Lives of Vampires.  Although it could have been from Vampire Secrets (A&E) or Truebloodlines (HBO) or any number of shows in which she was called upon to provide her expertise. I didn’t watch Paranormal State, but that was a big one for Michelle, and in her query letter she described herself as, “that psychic lady from the show — the really tall one all in black”.  Sure enough, she was.  Michelle is a little hard to miss.

Her experience and the way in which the Shadowside series came about really intrigued me.  Also from her query: “This series grew out of my work on Paranormal State as we traveled the country investigating possession and driving out angry ghosts. So many strange and breathless things happened both on camera and off, I wondered what kind of powers we might have if our lives were part of somebody’s novel. Eventually these thoughts blossomed into a world close to our own where all the paranormal elements that appealed to our fans (and to us) were given free reign. The Shadowside Series, starting with CONSPIRACY OF ANGELS, was the result. Fans of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files and Kat Richardson’s Greywalker Series will find a lot to love in these books. My main character Zack is tough, witty, and speaks fluent geek (like any too-smart-for-his-own-good fellow raised in the 80s). It doesn’t hurt that he’s got some magic he can sling as well.”

She wasn’t kidding about Zack.  I fell in love with him right from the start.  CONSPIRACY OF ANGELS opened:

They were after me.  I didn’t know who, and I didn’t know why, but I had to get away.

Classic way to start a novel, right?  Jump right into the middle of things.  Hook the reader.  Well, I was hooked.  She continued…

There was no other thought.

I fell through darkness till direction lost all meaning.  My seizing lungs burned.  When I fully breached the surface, I saw water and no shore. Pain chewed my awareness—pain and a wrenching sense of loss like a freshly severed limb. I groped for meaning, but it fled.

I had to keep reading.  Now, Zack has some serious issues going on, not least of which is the identity crisis to end all identity crises, but his voice, his character came through loud and clear.  I connected with him.  It’s not just that he lives in a place full of shelves overstuffed with books.  Or that he decorates with pages of illuminated manuscripts. Or his endearing Starbuck action figure (the Katee Sackhoff era). It’s his warmth and his smarts.

And he has to be strong not to be upstaged by Lil, who is beyond a force of nature and who could alone “tip the cosmic scale of snark”.  Yup, you sort of have to love Lil…or else.

So yes, I fell for Zack and Lil and the rest of Michelle’s crazy cast of characters, as well as the wonderful, rich mythos presented in the Shadowside series.  And we found a great editor at Titan Books, Steve Saffel, who shared our love and our vision for the books.  Now, I’m pleased to say, CONSPIRACY OF ANGELS is on shelves and the sequel, HARSH GODS, is coming out at the end of August (though hint, hint it’s available for pre-order now).  A third book is forthcoming, along with shorter Shadowside stories that will be released electronically to whet the appetite between times!

 _________________

How I Met My Agent by Michelle Belanger

I came at all of this backwards and upside-down.

Like so many, I’d tried the get-an-agent dance before and given up. This was back in the late 80s and early 90s, when I was an impatient kid hungry to share my stories with the world — not an ideal recipe for surviving the industry grind.

It was my impatience that did me in. Back then, everything went through snail mail, and while I stalwartly weathered the rejections when they arrived, the waiting itself ate at me. It could take as long as six months to hear back from anyone, and I often had a new book written before I learned that someone hadn’t liked the first one. Mostly, I got told to stop writing about vampires and the paranormal (which is hilarious now, in retrospect), but those were the things I loved writing about. Young me quickly hit the point of “fuck it,” so I started publishing things myself.

Little did I know at the time, that decision would land me here — albeit through a long and circuitous route.

The 90s saw a profusion of underground presses and amateur magazines, off-beat labors of love often copied at places like Kinko’s, hand-assembled, and distributed through the mail. We called them ‘zines. My offering to this movement was Shadowdance, a Gothic literary journal that published all the vampire fiction and dark fantasy stories that my rejection letters kept telling me the big publishers didn’t really want.

We had a blast. Shadowdance ran from 1991 through 1996 and through it, I met a number of professionals I continue to work with to this day. One of them was Dr. J. Gordon Melton, whose inclusion of my work in his Vampire Book: Encyclopedia of the Undead lit the tinder of my unintended career as a writer of non-fiction. All the research I’d done into the folklore and mythology of vampires, as it turned out, held interest for a great many readers.

Half a dozen books later, I found myself getting invited to speak on paranormal topics for documentaries on the History Channel, A&E, and even HBO. That lead to my stint on A&E’s hit Paranormal State, where I often wandered haunted houses and abandoned prisons blindfolded and in high heels.

All of this was rewarding, not to mention great fun. But I never lost the itch to tell stories woven from the rich fabric of my folkloric interests. Several ideas for novels got jotted down in between flights to new and interesting hauntings as I worked with Paranormal State, MonsterQuest, and Monsters and Mysteries in America, but little came of them until this one scene got me in its teeth and wouldn’t let me go. It was a lone guy speeding at night toward the Cleveland skyline — nothing but him and his motorcycle and a soul-wrenching need for answers. His name was Zack, short for Zaquiel. He was the angel of memory — and he’d forgotten everything.

I had to tell that story. But I knew, if I wanted to share it with the world, I’d have to do the grind again and try to find an agent. All the non-fiction books in the world wouldn’t sell me to a publisher of fiction.

And here is where I feel like I cheated a little, even though I know I paid my dues through those twenty years of other work that led me to this point.

Lucienne Diver of the Knight Agency was the first agent I picked after my initial research to relearn the shape of the industry over on the novel writers’ side of the fence. Totally cold, I shot her an email with my pitch — and I heard back fast enough to make my head spin.

She recognized my name from The Secret Lives of Vampires.

I wasn’t expecting that, and I frankly hadn’t intended to use my appearances as my platform. Chasing ghosts on reality TV for four years was hardly proof I could write a good book. And, ultimately, it was my pitch for the Shadowside Series itself that opened the door — dour Zack on his search for answers, the sharp-tongued Lil with her spirit menagerie, and over-the-top Saliriel in all her Machiavellian glory. But that name recognition made my knock just a bit louder — loud enough that it got the right attention.

And, thanks to that, I get to share Zack’s story.

__________

Select series quotes:

“A darkly vivid world… Her characters are intriguing, her pacing swift. More, please!”—Jim Butcher, creator of The Dresden Files

“Horrors that will send a chill up your spine.”—The Absolute

“A singular reading experience.”—Laurell K. Hamilton, bestselling creator of Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter

__________

Other Installments of How I Met My Client/Agent:

Christie Golden

Amy Christine Parker

Carol Berg

 

I’m just back from the Cascade Writers Conference in Tacoma Washington, and I have to say that it was a fabulous trip.  The writers conference itself was lovely and featured Tor editors Beth Meacham and Claire Eddy as well as speakers Manny Frishberg, Lee Moyer, Matt Youngmark and others.  (You can check out the whole line-up here.)  Because it was small, it was also intimate, which meant that the attendees had solid, dedicated time with the pros, and we got to really know the writers in turn. On top of it, the setting was beautiful (well, not so much the La Quinta as the natural beauty of Tacoma’s waterfront and the surrounding areas). I was lucky enough to have artist Lee Moyer (whose work you seriously have to check out) drive me in from the airport and detour to Snoqualmie Falls on our way, and I cannot think of a better way to kick off a conference! There will be more pics to come, but since I want to get to my new releases and other good news, I’ll post just a few here!

 

As for new releases – I’m so pleased to wish a one-day-belated Happy Book Birthday to Faith Hunter for BLOOD OF THE EARTH!  Not only a new release, but the start of an all-new series spun off of her Jane Yellowrock books.  (Speaking of new series, the second Devil’s Isle novel by Chloe Neill, THE SIGHT, comes out August 16th and she and Faith Hunter are both over on the Happy Ever After blog today talking about their books!)  BLOOD OF THE EARTH is a B&N Bookseller’s Pick for The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of August 2016, so you don’t have to take my word that it’s awesome! But, of course, to be really sure you should go out and read for yourself!   (While I’m at it, THE OBELISK GATE by N.K. Jemisin – coming August 16th- is also a B&N Pick as well as one of Kirkus’s August Science Fiction and Fantasy Books You’ll Want to Read and  The Verge’s Best Books Science Fiction and Fantasy Coming out in August.)

 blood of the earth BLOOD OF THE EARTH by Faith Hunter (B&N, Amazon, Books-a-Million, Powells)

Set in the same world as the New York Times bestselling Jane Yellowrock novels, an all-new series starring Nell Ingram, who wields powers as old as the earth.

When Nell Ingram met skinwalker Jane Yellowrock, she was almost alone in the world, exiled by both choice and fear from the cult she was raised in, defending herself with the magic she drew from her deep connection to the forest that surrounds her.

Now, Jane has referred Nell to PsyLED, a Homeland Security agency policing paranormals, and agent Rick LaFleur has shown up at Nell’s doorstep. His appearance forces her out of her isolated life into an investigation that leads to the vampire Blood Master of Nashville.

Nell has a team—and a mission. But to find the Master’s kidnapped vassal, Nell and the PsyLED team will be forced to go deep into the heart of the very cult Nell fears, infiltrating the cult and a humans-only terrorist group before time runs out…

“Hunter introduces a new heroine with ties to her “Skinwalker” series that will please fans of those books. Plenty of action, magic, and fascinating characters, both familiar and new, create another terrific urban fantasy from an established author.” —Library Journal

Two exciting book birthdays to celebrate today – RED RIGHT HAND by Levi Black and Star Trek Legacies, Book 2: BEST DEFENSE by David Mack!  Oh, and a big shout out to R.S. Belcher for the great Wall Street Journal review of one of my favorite books, THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE WHEEL.  To quote: “The Brotherhood of the Wheel” is reminiscent of Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods”—sharp, violent and insidiously creepy.” Awesome!

And now, without further ado, I’m pleased to present:

red right hand RED RIGHT HAND by Levi Black, Tor Books (B&N, Amazon, Audible, Books-a-Million, Powells)

Charlie Tristan Moore isn’t a hero. She’s a survivor. Already wrestling with the demons of her past, she finds herself tested as never before when she arrives home one night to find herself under attack by three monstrous skinhounds straight out of a nightmare. Just as hope seems lost, she is saved by a sinister Man in Black, dressed in a long, dark coat that seems to possess a life of its own and wielding a black-bladed sword in his grisly red right hand.

But her rescue comes at a cost. The Man in Black, a diabolical Elder God, demands she become his Acolyte and embrace a dark magick she never knew she possessed. To ensure her obedience, he takes her friend and possible love, Daniel, in thrall as a hostage. Now she must join The Man in Black in his crusade to track down and destroy his fellow Elder Gods, supposedly to save humanity from being devoured for all eternity.

But is The Man in Black truly the lesser of two evils–or a menace far more treacherous than the eldritch horrors she’s battling in his name?

Red Right Hand is a perfect blend of old-school horror and modern storytelling sorcery. Levi Black is absolutely riveting!” –Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Predator One

Legacies_BestDefense_Full Star Trek Legacies: Book 2: BEST DEFENSE by David Mack, Pocket Books (Note: Star Trek Legacies: Book 1: Captain to Captain by Greg Cox is the first book in the series)

Just in time for the milestone 50th Anniversary of Star Trek: The Original Series, an epic new trilogy that stretches from the earliest voyages of the Starship Enterprise to Captain Kirk’s historic five-year-mission—and from one universe to another!

A debt of honor: One brave woman ventures alone into a parallel universe to save her old shipmates, exiled there decades earlier by a mysterious device called the Transfer Key. She soon learns the alternate universe harbors not just an alien invasion force, but a secret that underpins its very existence.

A mission of peace: A long-awaited Klingon-Federation peace conference convenes, led by Ambassador Sarek of Vulcan and Councillor Gorkon of Qo’noS. But both sides have enemies who would prefer the two great powers remain at war—and who will do anything to make certain hate wins the day.

An errand of justice: Captain Kirk and his crew seek the stolen Transfer Key that opens a door between universes, but their hunt is cut short by Ambassador Sarek’s plea for help. The Enterprise crew soon becomes targets in a deadly crossfire—one whose outcome will decide the fate of two universes.

Amy Christine Parker is doing a really fun thing for the release of her new young adult novel SMASH & GRAB, which, as you might expect from the name, is a heist novel. She’s asking people who they’d have on their heist crew, and people are tweeting and otherwise posting, using the hashtags #Smash&Grab and #MyHeistCrew. As some of you may know, tweeting is a challenge for me. I’m voluble. I want to reason and give supporting arguments and all that jazz. Thus, I’ve decided on an entire blog post.

So, here’s my heist crew (if they’d have me)!

Ramez Naam: he can plot like a sumbitch, and keep multiple complex threads weaving in and out of each other in a way that would make my head spin. Plus, he’s able to see and present all sides of an issue. Invaluable when it comes to planning a heist, I should think! Also, R.S. Belcher, because I’ve just read his new Golgotha novel QUEEN OF SWORDS (which will knock everyone’s socks off!) and he writes an amazing Anne Bonny. Anyone who’s had Anne Bonny in his head for so long can no doubt pull of a heist almost single-handedly! In fact, it would be incredible to have all of my authors in on the plotting/planning stages. What a think tank that would be!

Big Brian: Full name left out to protect the, uh, innocent. Yes, it’s true, I might have a friend who might once in his misspent youth have been a computer hacker and who would absolutely be part of any crew I’d assemble. Although, he’d have to stay in the background because at six foot six he might be a little conspicuous otherwise!

Amy herself would, of course, need to be part of the crew. I can only assume that having extensively researched SMASH & GRAB she’s learned a thing or two.

As for feet on the ground? Egads, I’m forty-mumble years old. I’m certainly not in any shape for ducking, dodging or outrunning anyone. Let’s see…ah ha! My authors Christina Henry and Chloe Neill (and probably others) run marathons, which blows me away. They’d be fleet on their feet. And there’s Keith R.A. DeCandido, who is a second degree black belt in karate, so he might be able to handle a heist. Oh, and I’d have to have my friend Sal Torres on the team, even if I had to ask him the specifics of his martial art, which it turns out is advanced level wushu…think Jet Li!

Peter Wheeler (aka my husband): Several reasons here. First, I think I’d be divorced if I left him off the list! Second, he’s amazing. He loves puzzles and has a brilliant mind for them. He’s all but an Eagle Scout (finished all the requirements, just never the paperwork) and so he knows an awful lot of MacGyvering. (It’s my blog and I’ll make up words as I please.) In a pinch he’s the first person I’d expect to do something with nothing. A paperclip, some chewing gum and a few wadded up napkins and viola, miracles!

There you have it. Who’s on your heist crew? Comment below, do your own blog, Facebook, Tweet or whathaveyou. Just share in the fun!

And grab SMASH & GRAB when it hits shelves tomorrow.

smash and grab

SMASH & GRAB by Amy Christine Parker (B&N, Amazon, Books-a-million, Random House Children’s Books)

Ocean’s Eleven meets the star-crossed lovers of West Side Story. Grab some popcorn and get ready for an adrenaline-filled heist!

LEXI is a rich girl who loves a good rush. Whether it’s motorcycle racing or BASE jumping off a building in downtown Los Angeles, the only times she feels alive are when she and her friends are executing one of their dares. After her father’s arrest, Lexi doesn’t think twice about going undercover at his bank to steal the evidence that might clear his name. She enlists her hacker brother and her daredevil friends to plan a clever heist.

CHRISTIAN is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. The local gang has blackmailed him and his friends into robbing banks, and he is desperate for a way out. When the boss promises that one really big job will be the last he ever has to do, Christian jumps at the chance for freedom. In fact, he’s just met a girl at the bank who might even prove useful…

Two heists. One score. The only thing standing in their way is each other.

Told in alternating points of view, this caper is full of romance and fast-paced fun. Hand to fans of Perfect Chemistry, The Conspiracy of Us, and Heist Society.

Quotes:

“This is an action-packed book that will leave you guessing until the very end. Highly recommended.” —Christina Farley, author of the best-selling GILDED series

“This book has a little bit of everything: mystery, love, diverse (and deep) characters, and a lot of heart.” —Raquel Henry, editor, Black Fox Literary Magazine

“What a delightfully fun summer read. Smash and Grab has tons of heisty goodness.” —Boundtoloveya.com

“A fun, adrenaline-filled story full of suspense, blackmail and characters who can’t help but fall for each other along the way!” —Fictionfare.com

“Absolutely one of the most enjoyable reads of the summer! Pure and simple: it’s a heap of fun! Run, don’t walk, to snag yourself a copy!” —Caitlin Bauer, RoyalSocialMedia.com

“Smash and Grab is a unique story about heists…I would recommend this to fans of books like Heist Society by Ally Carter.” —The Candid Cover

“There were many points where I was biting my nails wondering what was going to happen and if they were going to get caught…I really enjoyed this book.” —Once Upon A Twilight

“Entertaining, nicely paced and spiced with romance.” —Ratedreads.com