Deals: Speak the Ocean by Rebecca Enzor Acquired by REUTS Publishing

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My goodness, I loved pitching around the first book by Rebecca Enzor.

Whenever I described this quirky genre-blend-of-a-book to people, whether I was talking with friends or querying editors, I talked about it being a mashup of the documentary Blackfish and The Little Mermaid.

Everyone I talked to about it agreed... it sounded weird and wonderful. And that's exactly what this surprisingly steamy, contemporary-fantasy novel is. A mashup of genre in a book that's hard to classify, but with story that's gripping and characters that are just so very lovable. It reminded me of reading Morte by Robert Repino, a book that challenges you to define it, and is unquestionably amazing.

And that's the sort of book Rebecca has written.

In Speak the Ocean, we meet Finn, a trainer at the world’s first mermaid theme park. He's got his assumptions about mermaids, or the Mer as they're known to us humans, but when he meets Evie, all of that goes out the window.

Suddenly he has to risk his life and turn his back on the people he cares about, to let the world know that the park's ill-treated mermaids are just as human as we are. Because Evie is no ordinary Mer. She's an ocean princess... and she can talk.

I'm thrilled to say this wonderful book will be published with REUTS next year. I really love this indie press. They took on Laurel Amberdine's Luminator, which is set to come out in the Spring. They've got a passionate team who I just adore, and I'm so glad to see Rebecca's book in their hands.

Here are the details from Publishers Marketplace:

Rebecca Enzor's SPEAK THE OCEAN, pitched as THE LITTLE MERMAID meets BLACKFISH, in which a trainer at the world's first mermaid theme park has to risk his life and turn his back on the people he cares about, to let the world know that the park's ill-treated mermaids are just as human as we are, to Kisa Whipkey at Reuts, for publication Fall 2018, by Eric Smith at P.S. Literary Agency (World English). Translation: Taryn Fagerness Agency

I often say at conferences and sometimes on Twitter, that if you're not sure where your book belongs on a bookshelf, it belongs in my inbox. For me, Rebecca's novel is the definition of that. It's tough to pin down, and that's what makes me love it.

And I can't wait to see Rebecca's book brought to life, so you can all meet Evie, Finn, and Niku, the most cantankerous dolphin you've come come across.

My First Full Year as a Literary Agent: Six Lessons I Learned

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So last year was my first full year working as a literary agent.

I had a lot of awesome victories that I shouted to the social media winds and posted about here. I signed a number of rockstar authors, from well-established authors to debuts. You can check out my team in this handy Twitter list. They are all wonderful. I went to a bundle of conferences all around the country, so many that I can't remember all the places. I even sold some books I can't quite announce just yet.

And the ones I did announce? I'm so proud of them.

And while all of that sounds awesome, there were some big hurdles in the mix, and some major lessons I took away. Because for every author I picked up, there was another I didn't get to work with. There were conferences that were, sadly, not a good use of my time. And I'm going to try to get better at handling all of these things.

Here are some of the lessons I learned, that I hope you can learn from too. (more…)

Deals: Luminator by Laurel Amberdine Acquired by REUTS Publishing

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Books news is the best news.

Laurel Amberdine's manuscript was one of the very first queries to appear in my inbox when I started working as an agent last year. A beautiful, thrilling fantasy novel, I couldn't put it down. A lush world, a fascinating premise, and two protagonists that were easy to love and cheer for.

Those of you in the SF/F world, chances are you've seen Laurel around the ol' bookish Internet, working with Locus and Lightspeed Magazine. She's a rockstar, and I'm just so honored to get to work with her.

Laurel Amberdine's debut, Luminator, has been picked up by REUTS Publishing, an awesome indie publisher of YA and New Adult books. I've admired the team over there for a while. Ashley Ruggirello,  Cait Spivey, Nicole Tone, Kisa Whipkey... I'm so happy Laurel is going to have such a great group of people behind her book.

laurel deal

Curious about the story? In Luminator, readers witness epic fantasy battles that are a bit different. Instead of swords and battle axes, wars are fought with mirrors, prisms, and lenses, as soldiers fight to control the island of Luminous, a magical piece of land where light is harvested as energy... and used as a deadly weapon.

It's an endless war for resources, that two teens find themselves thrust into. One, a powerful young Luminator, a boy with the ability to manipulate light and shift the tides of war. The other, a brave, bold girl, born of rebels. And together, they'll have to try and save their realm, while wrestling with their feelings for one another.

I gushed about this book to many of my fantasy-loving friends (looking at you, Fran and Chris), the prose reading like a mashup of Rae Carson’s Girl of Fire and Thorns, Veronica Rossi’s Under the Never Sky, and Sabaa Tahir's An Ember in the Ashes. It's not just about epic light battles and magical worlds. It's a novel that takes a close look at the reasons for war, the need for peace, and the far-reaching power of love.

And I can't wait for you all to read it, when it hits shelves.

Be sure to follow Laurel and REUTS on Twitter, and wish them all the congrats.

Laurel Amberdine: Twitter / Website

REUTS Publishing: Twitter / Facebook / Website