November 25th, 2015

Just a quick note before we head into the long holiday weekend. Sara, Renee, and I will be closing to queries on December 1st, so if you want us to take a look at your material this year, take an extra day or two to polish your query letter and send it before the 1st. Any queries we’ve already received will be considered as usual. Anything received after December 1st will be deleted unread. Happy Thanksgiving!


Filed Under: Slushpile


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.


2012-08 Betsy Dornbusch headshotBetsy Dornbusch, author of the SEVEN EYES epic fantasy trilogy, will be signing books at our local Barnes & Noble this weekend. If you’re in Denver, Colorado – please come join us!

Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ Bookfair with Betsy Dornbusch
Saturday November 28
Barnes & Noble
960 S. Colorado Blvd
Glendale, CO 80246
10:00am – 3:00pm

If you’re not in Denver then no worries – there are options for you too! Remember to shop local by buying print books at your local bookstores during this holiday season. If your local bookstores are too far away then remember the indie bookstores that ship (Powells, Mysterious Galaxy, IndieBound, etc).

If you are looking for a recommendation for a reader who loves epic fantasy then I highly recommend Betsy’s books! Book #1 in the series is EXILE and is about an illegitimate king exiled from his own land and struggling to clear his name. Book #2 in the series is EMISSARY and was named One Of The Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Reads by Kirkus last spring. The last book in the trilogy, ENEMY, comes out in Fall 2016.

Check out Betsy’s books and tour schedule on her website:

And follow her on twitter @betsydornbusch


24 November 2015


SP_Blau_MediumIf you’re one of thousands of writers currently working on a book for National Novel Writing Month, perhaps you might find this NaNoWriMo pep talk from KT Literary client Stephanie Perkins helpful? Heck, even if you’re not doing NaNoWriMo, it’s useful advice.

Keep writing until you reach the end. If you get stuck, take your protagonist down a different path. This isn’t the draft that you’re going to publish. This is the draft that will help you figure out what story you’re really trying to tell.

Novels aren’t written by muses who come down through the ceiling and shoot magic through your fingers and out onto your laptop’s keyboard. Before NaNoWriMo, some teensy part of me still believed that because writing is a creative act, it should feel easy. But fairies don’t write novels. They’re written with one simple equation:

Time + Work = Novel

Anytime you need inspiration, there’s a pep talk available! Check out the whole archive, including one from another awesome KT Lit author, Maureen Johnson:

Here’s the thing, though…if you’re doing NaNoWriMo, you are a reader, because all writers are readers. Which means that you must admire many authors. Your shelves are lined with the works of your heroes and sheroes. Every single one of them has crossed the wild country where you are now. Every single one of them has been a resident of The Middle. The ground you’re treading is full of the remains of their old campsites. And somewhere around you, just out of sight, current authors you admire are making their own way across The Middle. What’s nice about NaNoWriMo is that you are traveling with a posse of thousands, all of you making your way over the mountains, through the valleys, across the creeks. You are fighting off the beasties.

And once you’ve crossed The Middle once or twice and you’re lounging on the other side, you’ll find you miss it. You’ll realize you long to be out there again, under the sky and the stars. The weather changes a lot in the middle. Some days, the skies are dark and it’s hard to find your way forward. Those days are long and little progress is made. Some days, it’s strangely bright and clear, and suddenly you can see the horizon ahead, and dozens of possible paths present themselves to you. But every day is different, and every day there is a new way to go and a new thing to see.

You will be hooked.

20 November 2015


ktlitretreat15We’ve been back almost a week already, and I still have laundry to fold, but I wanted to share some thoughts about the 2015 KT Literary Agency Retreat before they’re completely stale.

First of all, as always, it’s a genuine pleasure to spend time with my colleagues and our clients. We’ve been super lucky in finding authors to work with who are not only talented, but great people, and fun to hang out with. In the last few years, we’ve done retreats in Estes Park, CO; Portland, OR; Winter Park, CO; and now Charleston, SC. Each one was a little different, and each one was a great experience, whether it focused more on isolation and relaxation, or tourism and excitement.

We picked Charleston to coincide with YALLfest, a fantastic YA event held annually here. (Early this year, they also expanded to YALLwest, in Santa Monica.) We were able to not only enjoy amazing food, fantastic company, a ghost tour, enlightening talks about writing, macaroons, a carriage ride, and some Southern hospitality in the form of fabulous warm weather in November, but also hear other authors speak on World-Building, Jealousy, Strong Female Protagonists, and more. Dropping by the Industry Insiders panel, we also heard from three other agents and two editors, who shared their advice and opinions.

Not every literary agency hosts a retreat, and it shouldn’t be a factor in making a decision about who to sign with. But it is a bonus, I think. Getting to spend several days with our authors, hashing out issues with manuscripts or editors, talking over ideas, even just being able to celebrate a deal in person, over a glass of bubbly, makes it worthwhile for me. Next year, I think we’ll head to somewhere a little more remote again, but we’ll definitely do it again and again and again!

If you’re interested, you can check out my whole album of pictures from the trip on Flickr below, or search the #ktlitretreat15 tag on Instagram.

KT Literary Retreat 2015

And who know, maybe next year, you’ll join us!

19 November 2015


GiveaBook-LogoGiveaBook is an online campaign to promote books as gifts and to give back to children in need. For every use of the hashtag #GiveaBook on Twitter and Facebook between November 16th and December 24th, Penguin Random House will donate one book to the literacy charity First Book, up to 35,000 books.

Here is the GiveABook website:

And the #GiveABook Facebook page.

Go forth and tweet, post and spread the word! Books for kids in need! Happy Holidays!

19 November 2015



I was off in Charleston on our KT Literary retreat when this announcement went live, but congrats again to Marisa Reichardt, whose debut Underwater is a Winter 15/16 Kids Indie Next Top Ten pick!

Please join me in congratulating Marisa on Twitter!

18 November 2015


2015-09 final front cover Towers FallIt’s a great day for book birthdays! Please help us congratulate Karina Sumner-Smith whose epic fantasy trilogy concludes today’s release of TOWERS FALL!

“Towers Fall is the third and final volume in Karina Sumner-Smith’s debut trilogy from Talos Books. I’m tempted to call it a tour-de-force, but that’s mainly for the strength of my emotional reaction to this, the climax and conclusion of a very strong arc. Sumner-Smith’s career, I think, will be well worth watching.” –

“In this strong culmination of author Sumner-Smith’s Towers Trilogy, the dark magic of living woman Xhea and the bright magic of ghostly Shai must be brought into balance in order to save their futuristic home from destruction…Sumner-Smith powerfully portrays a world of duality and dichotomy through characters brimming with strength, determination, and self-sacrifice.” – Publishers Weekly

War. Fire. Destruction. Xhea believed that the Lower City had weathered the worst of its troubles—that their only remaining fight would be the struggle to rebuild before winter. She was wrong.

Now her home is under attack from an unexpected source. The Central Spire, the City’s greatest power, is intent on destroying the heart of the magical entity that resides beneath the Lower City’s streets. The people on the ground have three days to evacuate—or else.

With nowhere to go and time running out, Xhea and the Radiant ghost Shai attempt to rally a defense. Yet with the Spire’s wrath upon them, nothing—not their combined magic, nor their unexpected allies—may be strong enough to protect them from the power of the City.

From Nebula Award–nominated author Karina Sumner-Smith, Towers Fall is a fantastic climax to this amazing and thought-provoking trilogy.

Congratulations Karina! Check out the rest of the trilogy on Karina’s website:

And say hi and cheers on twitter @ksumnersmith

17 November 2015


shootout-coverPlease help us celebrate with Michael R. Underwood on today’s release of THE SHOOTOUT SOLUTION: episode one of GENRENAUTS, a brilliant science fiction serial packed with humor and fun! Episode two, THE ABSCONDED AMBASSADOR, is set to release on February 23, 2016.

From Fang-tastic Fiction, “I enjoyed this book tremendously. Leah is a smart, savvy, snarky young woman whose character nicely balances the calm goodheartedness of Shirin, the experienced competency of King, and the attractive cockiness of Roman. They make a great team.”

From Exploding Spaceship Reviews, “We like nerdy Leah and were able to immediately identify with her. She should return for many more episodes!”

Leah Tang just died on stage. Well, not literally. Not yet.

Leah’s stand-up career isn’t going well. But she understands the power of fiction, and when she’s offered employment with the mysterious Genrenauts Foundation, she soon discovers that literally dying on stage is a hazard of the job!

Her first assignment takes her to a Western world. When a cowboy tale slips off its rails, and the outlaws start to win, it’s up to Leah – and the Genrenauts team – to nudge the story back on track and prevent a catastrophe on Earth.

Please stop by Michael’s website to check out news, reviews and exciting behind-the-scenes stories:

And say hi and congrats on twitter @MikeRUnderwood

17 November 2015

Ask Daphne!

DaphneSuperhero2We haven’t done one of these in a while, but I got this question in my mailbox, and thought it was a great opportunity to remind my readers that I love to answer your questions, and help make the process of querying and seeking an agent and publisher a little less mystifying. The mailbox is always open at!

Sam writes:

I wrote a fantasy/supernatural novel with a female main character. I keep being rejected and was wondering if a gender switch might make the novel more desirable for readers, agents, and myself.

Thanks for your question, Sam! Have you received rejections that specifically refer to the sex of the main character as a stumbling block? If so, that might be a route to consider. Without that, though, changing character’s sex just to change it, without a strong reason to do it, feels like pandering. Ultimately, you have to write the book for you, because there are no guarantees of publication, and if the book you want to write features a strong female main character, great! If you want to tell the story with a male lead, go for it! It’s your story. Until you get specific feedback requesting a sex change, I wouldn’t change it.

11 November 2015


fallstheshadow-coverCongratulations to Stefanie Gaither whose FALLS THE SHADOW is available today in paperback!

FALLS THE SHADOW released in hard cover last fall to amazing reviews:

“FALLS THE SHADOW takes weird science and makes it a whole lot weirder. Debut author Stefanie Gaither explores what happens when bleeding-edge science collides with the human experience. Highly recommended.” –Jonathan Maberry, New York Times best-selling author of ROT & RUIN and V-WARS

“Cloning as a way to replace lost children seems like a very scary, but perhaps not improbable, possibility for the future. Control of the clones may be the real difficulty as the companies providing this service could manipulate them. A different twist on a post-apocalyptic tale, Falls the Shadow is a very engaging read and hard to put down until the last page.”—Clair L. Brustkern, VOYA starred review

Cate’s sister may be a clone, but that doesn’t make her a killer. Does it? Murder, morality, and a slow-burning romance fill the pages of this futuristic thriller.

When Cate Benson was a kid, her sister, Violet, died. Two hours after the funeral, Cate’s family picked up Violet’s replacement like nothing had happened. Because Cate’s parents are among those who decided to give their children a sort of immortality by cloning them at birth—which means this new Violet has the same face. The same perfect smile. She even has all of the same memories as the girl she replaced.

She also might have murdered the most popular girl in school.

At least, that’s what the paparazzi and the anti-cloning protestors want everyone to think: that clones are violent, unpredictable monsters. Cate is used to hearing all that. She’s used to defending her sister, too. But Violet has vanished, and when Cate sets out to find her, she ends up in the line of fire instead. Because Cate is getting dangerously close to secrets that will rock the foundation of everything she thought was true.

Cheers Stefanie!
Check out Stefanie’s website here:
and say hi on twitter @stefaniegaither

10 November 2015


Congrats to Marisa Reichardt, whose debut Underwater received a starred review from Publishers Weekly!


Please join me in congratulating Marisa on Twitter!

6 November 2015


MaggieWells200Please help us congratulate romance author Maggie Wells on the sale of three books in a brand new series!!!

FULL COURT PRESS is a steamy battle of the sexes about a football coach seeking a comeback who goes one-on-one with a basketball superstar at the top of her game. I am extra proud of this book because our hero and heroine are in their 40s – romance readers have been clamoring for mature protagonists and Maggie nailed it! I’m almost 42 and don’t feel “mature” at all but I am very, very proud to help bring readers a hero and heroine who’ve been around the block a few times. They are sexy, funny, strong, awesome – love it!

Congratulations Maggie!

Please check out books written under both Maggie Wells and Margaret Ethridge here:

And say hi and congratulations on twitter @MaggieWells1

From Publishers Marketplace:
Author of GOING DEEP, 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 then defends against the rabid media, to Linda Ingmanson at Samhain Publishing, in a three-book deal, by Sara Megibow of kt literary (World English).

4 November 2015


2015-11 final ETON bundle trilogy coverPlease help us celebrate with Ashlyn Macnamara whose Regency historical ETON BOYS trilogy hits shelves today in a delicious ebook bundle.

“Perfect for fans of Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Sabrina Jeffries, these three seductive novels follow a group of friends from the Eton school who are devastated by secrets, lies, and betrayal—until their hearts are mended by the women in their lives.”

Fresh Fiction reviewed WHAT A LADY REQUIRES saying, “The author’s sensual description of the passion that unfolds between them was hot in all the right places…WHAT A LADY REQUIRES by Ashlyn MacNamara has everything I love in a Regency romance and it was a pleasure to read this tale.”

The ETON BOYS series three-book bundle:

Henrietta Upperton is about to marry Alexander Sanford until he rushes off to India to salvage his family’s fortune. Then comes the devastating news that Alexander has wed another. Eight agonizing years later, long-buried desires are reawakened when he washes ashore—injured, widowed, and hunted. Alexander knows he does not deserve forgiveness. Given the choice between two virtuous deeds, he picked the wrong one. And yet he longs to wrap his arms around Henrietta’s warm body once again. What’s more, he is sure the lady craves the same.

Viscount Lindenhurst cannot seem to find a governess who meets his standards—until Cecelia Sanford interrupts the widower’s brooding. With her soft curves and sharp tongue, she’s a tempting distraction, but not a welcome one. Past the usual marrying age, Cecelia finds herself caring for both the child and the viscount, a brittle man whose presence nevertheless makes her body stir. Moved by the deep sense of abandonment that tortures his soul, Cecelia soon aches to fully awaken Lind’s heart from its rancorous slumber for a second chance at love.

Miss Emma Jennings views marrying well as little more than a means to an end. Her practical views are shattered, however, when her father ties her to the fabulously handsome ne’er-do-well Rowan Battencliffe, a man she loathes on sight—from that wicked smile to the way he ogles her with those striking blue eyes. Deep in debt, Rowan agrees to wed the prim and proper woman with delightful curves and an ample dowry. But Emma seems to think it’s her business to reform him! Their marriage is a tinderbox—and it’s just too tempting to resist playing with fire.

Say hi and congratulations to Ashlyn on twitter @ashlyn_mac

And read more about her bestselling Regency historical romances on her website:

3 November 2015


Tiffany Reisz headshotPlease help us congratulate Tiffany Reisz – we are thrilled to announce the sale of three holiday-themed romances to Harlequin Blaze for publication in 2016!

Tiffany is the internationally bestselling author of THE ORIGINAL SINNERS series – a literary erotica series starring the famous Dominatrix Nora Sutherlin and her lovers. Smart Bitches, Trashy Books reviewed THE SIREN and called Nora, “a one-woman sexual revolution.” I agree! The eighth novel in the ORIGINAL SINNERS series, THE QUEEN, released last week to terrific response.

Tiffany’s holiday romances will debut with HIS TRICK HER TREAT in fall 2016 and will be followed by A BOYFRIEND FOR THANKSGIVING and HOLIDAY OVERTIME, all set at a remote lake and starring three heroines and the sexy carpenters with whom they fall in love. Please tell Tiffany congratulations on twitter @tiffanyreisz

Read an excerpt of THE QUEEN here.

Read more about the ORIGINAL SINNERS series on Tiffany’s website:

And, because we are asked frequently, Reisz is pronounced “Rice.”

2 November 2015


2015-03 final BREAK ME DOWN front coverNew York Times bestselling author Roni Loren has a book birthday today too! Please help us celebrate the release of BREAK ME DOWN – a female domme/ male submissive BDSM erotic novella in her LOVING ON THE EDGE series!

“Roni Loren writes sexy and unconventional erotica.” – A Bookish Escape

The New York Times bestselling author of Call on Me invites you to discover the thrill of control as one couple wrestles for power in and out of the bedroom…

Samantha Dunbar needs to forget Gibson Andrews. When he trained her to be a domme, she experienced just how hot things could get with the sexy executive. She was ready to hand him everything–including her heart. But Gibson backed away, declaring them incompatible. He’s a dominant, and Sam’s no submissive.

But after an attack shakes Sam to her core, Gibson tracks her down at her family’s rundown farmhouse and makes her an offer. He’ll stay the week and be hers in every way–a helping hand for the renovation and a willing lover in her bed. He swore he’d never give up control to anyone again, but he hasn’t been able to touch another woman since Sam. Maybe a week alone with her will cure him of his relentless craving.

But one taste only makes them want more, and Sam and Gibson are drawn in deeper than ever. The man who won’t give in has just met the girl who won’t give up…

Read Chapter One here!

And check out the rest of the bestselling LOVING ON THE EDGE books on Roni’s website:

Stop by twitter to say congratulations and cheers: @roniloren

27 October 2015