Cover Reveal: THE PAPER MAGICIAN by Charlie Holmberg!

Good morning, everyone... It's time for an exciting cover reveal!

My pal Charlie Holmberg's debut novel THE PAPER MAGICIAN will be released on September 1, 2014, from 47North. It is an extraordinary adventure both dark and whimsical that will delight readers of all ages, and I'm so honored to be part of her cover reveal!

Before we get to that, here's a little teaser...

Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic… forever.

Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined—animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.

An Excisioner—a practitioner of dark, flesh magic—invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man.

Oooooh, sounds twisty and magical and fabulous, doesn't it?

Are you ready for the cover???

Scroll away!


Beautiful, isn't it???

Want to learn more? Here's Charlie's biography, and please check out the following links to pre-order your copy of THE PAPER MAGICIAN today!




Homegrown in Salt Lake City, Charlie was raised a Trekkie with three sisters who also have boy names. She writes fantasy novels and does freelance editing on the side. She’s a proud BYU alumna, plays the ukulele, and owns too many pairs of glasses.

ESSENCE Book Nerd Tour Schedule!


It has been so much fun celebrating the release of ESSENCE that we're extending the party until the end of the month! Thanks to the lovely folks at

Book Nerd Tours

, we have ten full days of additional ESSENCE tour stops for you!

Here is our full list of dates and topics:

Thanks so much to the lovely bloggers who are hosting me, and don't forget to enter our giveaway for your chance to win some ESSENCE swag. One grand-prize winner will receive:

An e-copy of ESSENCE...


.. a vintage Yosemite map pendant and two collectible buttons...

... and a metal cuff similar to the ones worn by almost every character in ESSENCE!

Thanks in advance for your support, and I hope you have a wonderful day!

Reflections on ESSENCE's Debut

Wow, the past few weeks have certainly been a whirlwind! I can't believe ESSENCE is out in the world, and I am so appreciative of all the bloggers, readers and supporters who have made my debut release such an amazing experience!

Here are a few pics from my Launch Party at Inkwood Books in Tampa last week. Thank you SOOO much to everyone who attended! (I can't believe it, but I kinda look like a real-life author in these! ;))

Thanks again to everyone who attended the party; I still feel like I am walking on air from all the excitement!

In case you missed any of the stops on my ESSENCE Pre-Release Tour, here is a full list of my posts and topics. A HUGE thank you to all of the bloggers who hosted me... You guys are the best!




More information about my

Book Nerd

post-release tour will be available very soon. Please join me this Friday (June 13th) for a full list of new tour stops and topics!

Thanks again to everyone for your support. I am very, very lucky to know you!!

ESSENCE Launch Party Details + Blog Tour Stops!!

ESSENCE Launch Party
Tuesday, June 3rd ... 7:00-9:00pm

Photo Courtesy of Inkwood Books
It's just a few days until ESSENCE's debut, which means... It's time for a Launch Party!!

What are you doing on Tuesday, June 3rd?? If you happen to find yourself in the Tampa Bay area, I would looooove you to join me at Inkwood Books in Hyde Park Village for my official ESSENCE Launch Party!

There will be wine, cheese and all things writerly. I will do a Q&A session and a reading (if I don't chicken out), and there will copies of ESSENCE on-hand for purchase. Inkwood Books also has a wonderful selection of books by all sorts of national and local authors, so please support this local business by joining us.

Here is a link to my Facebook event invitation: ESSENCE Launch Party. I would also appreciate you spreading the word to anyone else you think may be interested in attending. Thanks so much, and I hope to see you there!

Also... Don't forget that today (5/30) is Day Ten of my ESSENCE Blog Tour. Here are today's tour stops:
Special thanks to the amazing bloggers who are hosting me, and thanks in advance for checking out my posts. Have a wonderful day!

The Path to Publication, Part Five: Picking the Right Literary Agent

(Photo Courtesy of Toby Hudson)

When I queried my first novel THE MERMAID GENE, I suffered from a common misconception. I believed almost all literary agents were created equal.

I say 'almost,' because I knew some literary agents were con artists. They asked for fees for their services, and they never really did anything except steal your money--and probably smoke cheap cigars in a dirty office somewhere.

But here's where I went wrong. I figured I could weed out all the unsavory literary agents with a simple search on Preditors & Editors or the AbsoluteWrite Forum. If those searches came back clean, the agent MUST be a reasonable human being, right? Even better, the agent MUST be a powerhouse superhero ready to take on the world and make us both filthy rich in the process, right?

Wrong. Obviously. I shake my head at my naiveté now, but I was so giddy at the thought that a real-life literary agent may someday want to TALK to me that it didn't even occur to me that I needed to interview her, too.

Here's what happened...

After more than eight months of querying THE MERMAID GENE, I finally got an offer of representation from not one, but two (!!) literary agents. My elation was unparalleled, and I immediately sat down and tried to figure out which offer I should accept.

The problem is, I only looked at things that were quantifiable. I didn't pay enough attention to intangible things like the agents' personalities, how well we clicked or how well they 'got' what I was trying to say. I also didn't monitor their enthusiasm for my work or their long-term investment in my career, because I figured EVERY agent wants his or her client to be a lifelong client, right?

Wrong. Obviously.

Before we get into that, let's take a look at both agents, stacked side-by-side:

(Photo Courtesy of Marco Bellucci)


  • Established agent with lots of clients and sales
  • Came with a "co-agent," which seemed pretty much unprecedented
  • Very established house with lots of sales and a "highly recommended" Preditors & Editors status
  • Smooth talker, with plans of taking THE MERMAID GENE to the Frankfurt Book Fair in just a few short weeks
  • Very well-connected to the literary and film worlds. Spoke of a particular contact at a particular (VERY well-known) film production company who was already interested in considering THE MERMAID GENE for a feature film
  • Didn't see the need to do extensive edits and thought we could get the manuscript out on submission within a couple of weeks


  • Brand-new agent with only one other client and no existing sales
  • Very established house with lots of sales, but no "highly recommended" Preditors & Editors status
  • Wonderful rapport and the feeling that she really "got" me, but no specific plans for editors she would contact quite yet
  • Felt THE MERMAID GENE would require fairly extensive edits, including changing the entire manuscript's tense and shortening/tightening the first 50 pages
  • Didn't want to rush submissions, because she wanted us to take our time with edits and make sure we got them right

Can you guess which agent I picked? And can you speculate which agent I should have picked?

I will spare you the long story, as there is no sense in dwelling on the past. Let's just leave it at this: if something sounds too good to be true, it most likely is too good to be true. 

Fast forward to today. Agent A is no longer agenting, and Agent B has several six-figure deals under her belt (including one for that first client, who would have been in line just in front of me). THE MERMAID GENE has been shelved--partially due to being blasted out before it was ready--and I found myself dropped as Agent A's client within four and a half months.

And you know what? It was my fault, because I listened with my wallet, not with my heart. I heard, "Let's make a ton of money with no work at all," and I chose that over, "Let's do this right. It may take some time, but I really believe in this book." 

Moral of the story: don't take the easy way out. Ever. And listen to your damn gut. If it's screaming for you to not believe everything you hear, please don't turn a blind eye to that.

Also, remember that agents are just people. Some will care about you more than others, and it's up to YOU to determine which one deserves to be trusted with your career. Don't leave a decision that monumental to websites like Preditors & Editors or the AbsoluteWrite Forum. Those websites are important places to start, but ultimately, the decision is in your hands. No matter how starstruck you feel, you need to keep your head on straight. 

Remember that manuscript... the one you just spent the past few months or YEARS of your life writing? Its future--and your future--depend on it.

So... Where did my story leave me? That answer is simple: agentless and broke, with a dead manuscript and no idea what to do next. 

Please tune in next time to see what happened next!