February 5th, 2016

PrintToday’s Peace Love & Books post comes from Sara’s client Maggie Wells, author of Going Deep, the first in the Coastal Heat series, available now from Kensington. Book Two in the series, Flip This Love, comes out in April! Read on to learn about Maggie’s writer crush!

Much like its romantic counterpart, there’s a bittersweet quality to falling hard for an author. I think Jim Baker said it best in the classic John Hughes film Sixteen Candles: “That’s why they call them crushes. If they were easy, they’d call ’em something else.”

I could go one and on about all the writers I love, but for the sake of brevity, I’ll pick just one.

I fell head over heels for Sarah Addison Allen the moment I started The Girl Who Chased the Moon. I sat down one summer day, pulled it up on my Kindle, and read the entire book on my patio in one afternoon.

All I could think the whole time was, “I wish I could write like this.”

Not only are descriptions dead-on, but they are vivid in ways one can imagine perfectly:
“Everything was quiet, a strange sort of quiet that felt like an unfinished sentence.”
She doles out wonderful bits of wisdom tinged with just a touch of cynicism:
“Men of thoughtless actions are always surprised by consequences.”

And there’s just something so engaging about whimsy she instills in her characters:
“There was a mood of magic and frenzy to the room. Crystalline swirls of sugar and flour still lingered in the air like kite tails. And then there was the smell-the smell of hope, the kind of smell that brought people home.”

And let’s not forget the romance:
“I spent so much time telling myself that this wasn’t home that I started to believe it,” she said carefully. “Belonging has always been tough for me.”
“I can be your home,” he said quietly. “Belong to me.”

And that’s me waxing poetic about just one of her books. Don’t even get me started on Garden Spells. Or The Sugar Queen. Or The Peach Keeper, Lost Lake, or First Frost… I’ll just embarrass myself.

How about you? Is there an author that makes you just say, “Guh,” when you read their work?

A version of this post previously appeared on Contemporary Romance Cafe.
Filed Under: Get to Know


Slightly shoe-obsessed YA and MG superagent Kate Testerman (aka Daphne Unfeasible) blogs about her books and authors, answers your questions, and talks about publishing industry gossip. , subscribe to this blog, or check out her Writer's Resources.

For more information about her About My Query posts, please click here.

Get to Know

PrintFor today’s Peace Love Books piece, I’m thrilled to share a true love story from client Susan Adrian, author of Tunnel Vision, and the forthcoming Nutcracked and The Dark at the End.

The year I met my husband didn’t start out so well.

I’d been having a rough time. I’d graduated with an English degree (with honors!), but there was a nasty recession and nobody was hiring people with newly minted English degrees, honors or no. I scrambled for a job, any job. I remember offering to work unpaid for the local newspaper for a while, just so they’d give me a chance. No dice. Finally a friend hooked me up as a clerk for a major bookstore chain in San Diego, and we roomed together (with others) to save money.

That worked, for a while. But I… fell in with some people. Started smoking. Started drinking Scotch, pretending to be tough. I thought I was in love with my boss, who was cute in a ne’er-do-well sort of way, but was already living with one woman and constant-flirting with another.

I was miserable.

On New Year’s Eve, I broke. One of my friends from college had come down to visit, and I’d been hoping Bad Boy from work would show up to our party, but he didn’t. I lost it — got waaaay too drunk, cried a lot, got sick a lot. Poor friend from college.

The next morning, in my hungover, regretful haze, I grabbed my calendar for the new year. I flipped open to a random page, stuck my finger on a random day, and wrote:

I will change my life by this day.

March 26th. I forgot about it, later. Drifted through the days doing what I was doing, being largely unhappy. Got promoted to Manager Trainee, started traveling to stores around the district, covering where they needed it.

On one of these trips I met a super-hot Assistant Manager. He was funny too, and smart. The next day he called me to ask a question, and we talked for 5 hours. He asked me out — we had a disastrous, yet perfect, first date that’s another story. Three months later we moved in together. On Christmas morning that year he asked me to marry him, and I squealed in happiness. There was no question. There was no stupid Scotch-drinking, and we quit smoking together (and ate pounds of chocolate cake in the process). We traveled all over California, we got better jobs. We were together, from then on.

It was only later, the next year, when I flipped through the pages of that calendar and realized it.

I’d met him on March 26th. That very day. And it changed my life.

We’ve been together for 20 years this year. I believe that there are small moments of magic in the world — every once in a while one of them crosses your path, and changes everything.

A version of this story previously appeared on Susan’s blog.
4 February 2016


PrintIn August 2010 my middle grade author Natalie Bahm emailed me to say, “I know a lovely woman from blogging who has written a romance novel. May I refer her to you?” Roni Loren showed up in my inbox soon after and, as I like to say, it was Love At First Paragraph. Roni doesn’t only write romance – she writes steamy, hot, amazing contemporary erotic romance. Delicious!

Her LOVING ON THE EDGE series is, to me, love… with a spanking.

Six years and 17 books later, Roni is a New York Times bestseller – a talented, passionate, professional, kind, amazing author whose books are all about love.

For a short time only, some of her fabulous novels are on sale in ebook format:

CRASH INTO YOU – the first book in the series – is currently $7.99 at all retailers
NOTHING BETWEEN US – a spectacular ménage story – is on sale for $6.99 at all retailers

Note that many of Roni’s books are also available in print – we love our print readers a lot too! In fact, CALL ON ME has a special short story in the back that’s only available in the print edition.

Roni is online at – show her the love!

3 February 2016


ShadowCabinet_CV.inddCongratulations to Maureen Johnson on the paperback release today of the third book in her Shades of London series, The Shadow Cabinet!

The thrilling third installment to the Edgar-nominated, bestselling series!

Rory and her friends are reeling from a series of sudden and tragic events. While racked with grief, Rory tries to determine if she acted in time to save a member of the squad. If she did, how do you find a ghost? Also, Rory’s classmate Charlotte has been kidnapped by Jane and her nefarious organization. Evidence is uncovered of a forty-year-old cult, ten missing teenagers, and a likely mass murder. Everything indicates that Charlotte’s in danger, and it seems that something much bigger and much more terrible is coming.

Time is running out as Rory fights to find her friends and the ghost squad struggles to stop Jane from unleashing her spectral nightmare on the entire city. In the process, they ll discover the existence of an organization that underpins London itself and Rory will learn that someone she trusts has been keeping a tremendous secret.

Please join me in congratulating MJ on Twitter, and pick up your copy today at Amazon, B&N, or your favorite indie!


2 February 2016

Writer Resources


I found this on Tumblr and I had to share. Word credit to Gail Simone, kickass brilliant feminist writer of comics and wisdom. Photo by me.

1 February 2016


PrintIt’s my birthday month, and the 8-year anniversary of the official founding of KT Literary, so we’re having a little party here all this month.

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, and to steal a phrase from the Scholastic Book Fair, at which I’ll be volunteering at my kiddos’ school next week, this month is all about “Peace, Love, and Books”. And to start with, I’m thrilled to share that Amy Spalding‘s novel Kissing Ted Callahan (And Other Guys) is on sale for the next two weeks for only $1.99 in ebook! Snag it at Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Google Play, or Kobo.

From the catalogue copy:

“Sneak out. Make out. Rock out.”

Riley and her best guy friend, Reid, have made a pact: they’ll help each other pursue their respective crushes, make something happen, and document the details in a shared notebook.
While Reid struggles with the moral dilemma of adopting a dog to win over a girl’s heart, Riley tries to make progress with Ted Callahan, the guy she’s been obsessed with forever. His floppy hair His undeniable intelligence But between a chance meeting with a fellow musician in a record store and a brief tryst with a science-geek-turned-stud–not to mention Ted’s own tentative attentions–cute guys are suddenly popping up everywhere. How did she never notice them before? As their love lives go from zero to sixty in the blink of an eye, Riley and Reid’s pact may prove to be more than they bargained for.

Filled with cute dogs, cute boys, and a few awkward hookups, this hilarious tale from Amy Spalding chronicles the soaring highs and embarrassing lows of dating in high school.


1 February 2016


FutureShock_CvrRevealIt’s a week of great reviews! Thanks to Publishers Weekly for another wonderful review of Future Shock by Elizabeth Briggs.

A young woman travels to the future in this temporal thriller, a series opener and Briggs’s (the Chasing the Dream series) first book for teens. Due to the eidetic memory 17-year-old Elena Martinez has kept hidden all her life, she is selected by the powerful Aether Corporation to join several other talented teens on a trip 10 years into the future as part of a time-travel experiment. When they overshoot their mark by two decades, they spend a harrowing day eluding authorities and coping with radical changes in society and technology. After Elena and her erstwhile allies learn that most of their group is fated to die just after their return, they work to discover the truth behind their mission and their perhaps-inevitable dooms. Briggs crafts a tense tale of predestination and paranoia, fleshed out with a diverse cast and an intriguing premise. While the author concentrates more on worldbuilding and plot twists than on her characters, leaving several of the protagonists underdeveloped, the overall presentation is solidly entertaining.

Please join me in congratulating Liz on Twitter! You can also read a sample from Future Shock on her website, if you need further inducement to pre-order.


28 January 2016


underwater-coverWe all love good reviews of our books, but sometimes you get something ever better than that — you get a reviewer who really GETS the book. Who understands what the writer was trying to do, and the scope of what she accomplished in achieving it. This week, we got that with this amazing review of Marisa Reichardt‘s debut Underwater from Teen Librarian Toolbox. A quote:

The issues addressed here are LARGE ones. Morgan struggles HARD. But there is a gentle undertone of hope and resilience throughout the story. Morgan’s panic attacks are terrible. What she went through is terrible. What she’s seen her father go through is terrible. The secret she’s hanging onto is making her feel even more terrible. But she has help. She has support. I really loved what Reichardt does with Morgan and Evan’s relationship. He is there to be a friend when she needs one and to get her to start to open up, but he isn’t there to save her. He is kind and understanding, but he’s also frustrated and calls her out on her inability to see that others are hurting too. He never tries to diminish Morgan’s own pain, but he reminds her that she’s not alone. And she’s not.

Read the whole wonderful review, and if you haven’t already, order your copy of Underwater. I can’t wait to hear what you think!


27 January 2016


I’m delighted to have another great SLJ review to share! Congrats to Elizabeth Briggs, whose YA novel Future Shock was called “an entertaining science fiction murder mystery that… should appeal to James Patterson fans along with readers of Michael Grant’s “Gone” series.” They also called it “A good fit for collections serving science fiction fans and teens in marginalized situations, who will appreciate the attention given to the emotional consequences of the foster care experience.” Hooray!!


Please join me in congratulating Liz on Twitter! And feel free to share the image on your favorite social media sites.

26 January 2016


Congrats to Amy Spalding and The New Guy, which just received another nice review, this one from School Library Journal. In part:

Spalding excels at creating flawed characters whose own issues and mistakes propel the plot forward. … A cute and fluffy read, this book will appeal to those who want a gentle high school drama with a touch of romance.

Woot! Please join me in congratulating Amy on Twitter! And feel free to share these fun quotes of the review on social media.



25 January 2016


MaggieWells200Please help us congratulate Maggie Wells on her exciting audio sale today!

We’re thrilled to announce Maggie’s upcoming contemporary romance series will be available in audiobook from Insatiable Press. The print books will be available from Samhain starting in December 2016 – we couldn’t be more excited!

From Publishers Marketplace:
Maggie Wells’s FULL COURT PRESS, about a heroine who is the star basketball coach at a small university and the controversial new football coach with whom she falls in love and defends against the rabid media, to Michele Cobb at Insatiable Press, in a three-book deal, by Sara Megibow of kt literary.

FULL COURT PRESS is not available yet for pre-order but watch Maggie’s website for more details:

And please say congratulations and cheers on twitter @MaggieWells1

20 January 2016


NewGuy jkt des.1.inddCongratulations are also due to Amy Spalding! First, for a very nice Publishers Weekly review of her upcoming novel The New Guy (seen here with its awesome new cover, as revealed last month!)

Spalding (Kissing Ted Callahan) adds an element of betrayal to the age-old theme of opposites attracting in this lively if somewhat stereotypical romance featuring a workaholic heroine and a former boy band idol. Jules’s mind is on editing the school newspaper and getting into an Ivy League college when she begins her senior year, but when the school welcomes a new student, the once-famous pop star Alex Powell, she can’t help being distracted, especially when it becomes clear than Alex, now intent on leading a normal life, wants more than just friendship with her. Before a romance can spring off the ground, Alex does something unforgivable: he joins the staff of the school’s video news show, which is in direct competition with the school paper. Will Jules and Alex become archenemies, or will love conquer all? The answer brings both suspense and laughs. Characters and plot are painted in broad, bright strokes; Spalding has a quick, easy sense of humor; and while the resolution is perhaps too neatly packaged, it paves the way for an upbeat, gratifying ending.

But that’s not all! Amy’s prior novel, Kissing Ted Callahan, was also named to YALSA’s Best Fiction For Young Adults list. (Check her out between Andrew Smith and Rebecca Stead!) Hooray!!! I sat in on the Teen Feedback Session for the BFYA list at ALA Midwinter last weekend, and was delighted to hear KTC spoken of in glowing terms.

You can buy Kissing Ted Callahan now in hardcover, or preorder in paperback with a fun new cover to match The New Guy.

15 January 2016


IMG_2411A slightly belated but heartfelt happy book birthday to Marisa Reichardt on the release of Underwater!

Morgan didn’t mean to do anything wrong that day. Actually, she meant to do something “right.” But her kind act inadvertently played a role in a deadly tragedy. In order to move on, Morgan must learn to forgive-first someone who did something that might be unforgivable, and then, herself. But Morgan can’t move on. She can’t even move beyond the front door of the apartment she shares with her mother and little brother. Morgan feels like she’s underwater, unable to surface. Unable to see her friends. Unable to go to school. When it seems Morgan can’t hold her breath any longer, a new boy moves in next door. Evan reminds her of the salty ocean air and the rush she used to get from swimming. He might be just what she needs to help her reconnect with the world outside. “Underwater” is a powerful, hopeful debut novel about redemption, recovery, and finding the strength it takes to face your past and move on.

You can buy Underwater at your local indie, on Amazon, or at Barnes & Noble. And please join me in congratulating Marisa on Twitter!

From the starred Publishers Weekly review, “Life goes on, even after a tragedy, something 17-year-old Morgan finds difficult to accept. While her friends have returned to school after a shooting that left students and teachers dead, Morgan, once a competitive swimmer and popular straight-A student, won’t leave the small apartment she shares with her mother and brother. Morgan’s therapist is trying to get her to take baby steps into the outside world, but the big impetus comes when a handsome boy moves in next door. Debut author Reichardt doesn’t oversimplify: Morgan isn’t saved by love; rather, new neighbor Evan reminds her of life and what it’s like to have a friend. His surfer good looks don’t hurt, but what really matters is their shared love of the water and his kindness to both Morgan and her younger brother. Morgan’s ability to face her past and future ebbs and flows, making her struggles entirely believable. As Evan, who has his own connection to the shooting, tells her, what he likes about Morgan is that she’s real, and that’s exactly what readers will appreciate about this book.”

14 January 2016


WeightofZero_front cover new12.inddA huge congratulations to debut author Karen Fortunati on the official cover reveal for her contemporary young adult novel THE WEIGHT OF ZERO. Karen is headed to her first ALA conference today (American Library Association) so the timing is perfect for a huge round of cheers!

Please stop by Karen’s website to follow the launch of this important book:

And say hi and congratulations on twitter @KarenFortunati

YA Books Central did us the honor of posting the cover live for the very first time here: YA Books Central

THE WEIGHT OF ZERO by Karen Fortunati coming September 6, 2016 from Delacorte/ Penguin Random House

Seventeen-year-old Catherine Pulaski knows Zero is coming for her. Zero, the devastating depression born of Catherine’s bipolar disease, has almost triumphed once, propelling Catherine to her first suicide attempt. With Zero only temporarily restrained by the latest med du jour, time is running out. In an old ballet shoebox, Catherine stockpiles medications, preparing to take her own life before Zero can inflict its own living death on her again.

But Zero’s return is delayed due to unexpected and meaningful relationships that lessen Catherine’s sense of isolation. These relationships along with the care of a gifted psychiatrist alter Catherine’s perception of her diagnosis as a death sentence. This is a story of loss and grief and hope and how the many shapes of love – maternal, romantic and platonic – impact a young woman’s struggle with mental illness.

This manuscript was awarded the 2014 SCBWI Work-in-Progress Grant in the Contemporary YA category. It was also named a finalist in the 2015 Tassey-Walden Awards Contest.

7 January 2016


offtheclock-coverCongratulations to New York Times bestselling author Roni Loren on today’s release of OFF THE CLOCK – the first in a brand new series of hot, sexy contemporary romance novels.

Overtime has never felt so good…

Marin Rush loves studying sex. Doing it? That’s another story. In the research lab, Marin’s lack of practical knowledge didn’t matter, but now that she’s landed a job at The Grove, a high-end, experimental sex therapy institute, she can’t ignore the fact that the person most in need of sexual healing may be her.

Dr. Donovan West, her new hotshot colleague, couldn’t agree more. Donovan knows that Marin’s clients are going to eat her alive unless she gets some hands-on experience. And if she fails at the job, he can say goodbye to a promotion, so he assigns her a list of R-rated tasks to prepare her for the wild clientele of The Grove’s X-wing.

But some of those tasks are built for two, and when he finds Marin searching for a candidate to help her check off her list, Donovan decides there’s only one man for the job—him. As long as they keep their erotic, off-the-clock activities strictly confidential and without strings, no one will get fired—or worse, get attached…

Read Chapter 1 of OFF THE CLOCK here:

Check out Roni’s previous series, the LOVING ON THE EDGE series, here:

And say hi and congratulations on twitter @RoniLoren

Happy New Year and Happy Reading to all!
Congrats Roni!

5 January 2016