Tuesday, July 19, 2016

It's Time for Pitch Wars 2016! My Mentor Wishlist

It’s that time again!

AKA my opportunity to give back to the writing community (thanks, Brenda!).

Before going on, please note a change! This year I am mentoring young adult and new adult, not adult. (But there are some boss people taking on the adult submissions!)

So, What am I looking for?

I am a lover of fantasy, especially if it has romance in it. I also like romantic historicals.

For simplicity's sake, here's a list:
  • Romantic fantasy
  • Paranormal romance
  • Epic/high fantasy
  • Dark fantasy
  • Urban fantasy*
  • Magical realism
  • Historical fantasy
  • Historical romance

For *urban fantasy, I need a really unique concept. I’m not a fan of supernatural crime-fighting (and there is a LOT of supernatural crime-fighting out there). I'm also not a good mentor for Tolkien-esque stories (if your book has elves in it, I’m passing) or “cliché creature” stories—dragons, vampires, werewolves, etc. Lastly, please note that I’m not taking on science fiction this year.

More About Me:

I was told to include a picture
on this post. Ta da.
I'm a writer (obviously), a Trekkie, a mom, and a Mormon. I have an unhealthy obsession with eyeglasses. I wrote  The Paper Magician series, Followed by Frost, and Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet. I'm a traditionally published author currently with 47North, which is the speculative fiction imprint of Amazon Publishing. I'm agented by Marlene Stringer and am a member of the RWA.

Why submit to me? (AKA that awkward part of this post where I have to talk about how great I am.):

I'm an Amazon- and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. I actually have a degree in editing. I'm super good with semicolons. I'm also internationally published and don't have a day job (minus taking care of two kids!). ;)

I got my agent through old-fashioned cold-querying and my successes through a lot of luck. I am the epitome of not special, so I know how to work the system if you're not special, either. ;) I'm good with queries and know what works and what doesn't. This year my novel Followed by Frost was a RITA finalist in the young adult category. I also recently sold the rights to The Paper Magician series to Disney, so hopefully I’m doing something right.

Still not sure if I'm the mentor for you? Here are some of my favorite books so you can get a feel for what I like:
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  • Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier+
  • Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt
  • Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
  • I Am NOT a Serial Killer by Dan Wells
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder+
  • Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones
  • Dragonsworn series by Caitlyn McFarland+

+(For reference, I consider these books to fall into the NA category.)

Questions? Don't hesitate to tweet me! @CNHolmberg


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Monday, July 11, 2016

Sold! Book #6... Possible 2017 Release!

In the wake of Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet's release, I am ecstatic to tell you I've sold another book.

And the best part is that it's not even written yet!







Well, it's partially written. And will be done by my deadline. RIGHT CHARLIE??

ANYWAY, the book has been sold to 47North, and the working title is KEEPER OF THE DOLLS, which is also the name of a doll shop, which is one of the reasons it needs to change. And yes, it's another standalone! #seriesarehard

Here's a quick and dirty pitch for those who are curious:

After discovering a room full of matryoshka dolls wearing the faces of her village, a woman learns she may be trapped inside one--but unraveling the sorcery carved into each doll unleashes dark consequences that rip her from the only home she remembers.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments. :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


Thank you to everyone who commented on the giveaway here and via Goodreads! I put all the entrants through, and we have a winner.

Congrats to Lyisia!

Winner will be contacted via email to choose their book format and provide a mailing address. Again, thank you to everyone for entering and for the support! 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


I am SO THRILLED to share Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet with you! This book has taken me on an exciting ride, and it's my first ~official~ adult release.

Maire is a baker with an extraordinary gift: she can infuse her treats with emotions and abilities, which are then passed on to those who eat them. She doesn’t know why she can do this and remembers nothing of who she is or where she came from.
When marauders raid her town, Maire is captured and sold to the eccentric Allemas, who enslaves her and demands that she produce sinister confections, including a witch’s gingerbread cottage, a living cookie boy, and size-altering cakes.
During her captivity, Maire is visited by Fyel, a ghostly being who is reluctant to reveal his connection to her. The more often they meet, the more her memories return, and she begins to piece together who and what she really is—as well as past mistakes that yield cosmic consequences.

You can add the book on Goodreads and see early reviews, and/or order it in ebook, paperback, or audiobook here. (The audiobook is read by Kate Rudd, who also narrated The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. She does an excellent job, especially with the antagonist!)

In celebration, I want to give away a copy of the book! I've done a giveaway on my Facebook page and my Instagram account, but I haven't hosted one on the blog for a while. Better late then never, right?

TO ENTER: Just comment on this blog post! Make sure your Blogger profile has your contact information on it. If not, leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. The winner of the giveaway may also choose the format they most prefer of the book: ebook, paperback, or audiobook. The first would be sent via Amazon to your kindle, the latter two would be shipped USPS.

Speaking of shipping, yes, this contest is open internationally, so no worries if you live outside the United States. :)

The giveaway winner will be (hopefully) announced Tuesday, July 5th. That gives participants a week to enter, passes over U.S.'s Independence Day, and gives me a little time to get my head on straight after having this baby (yes, that is happening very, very soon. Thus the "hopefully"!).

Good luck to all who enter, and happy reading!