I won a contest…

This is supposed to be flash fiction day, but I’m late (again). I spent the last 2 weeks sick and coughing (so no dictation) and the week before that it was raining (so no dictation). I’m working on it! It doesn’t help that I chose my least favorite and the most finicky of the batch I’m working on for this month either.

Back on March 8th, Literary Agent Jennifer Jackson (the agent for some of my favorite authors), had an International Women’s Day book give away. I’ve been following Ms. Jackson’s blog forever now, largely because I’d love to have her as an agent, and a while back she was offering query tips and a glimpse into the life of an agent on her blog.

While I crafted a query for Cycle of Sin to send to her, she was not one of the seven agents I queried. I think I held off sending it to her because, deep down, my gut already knew my anxiety about CoS wasn’t just cold feet or nerves. There was something fundamentally wrong with the story and part of me didn’t want to query Ms. Jackson, get rejected, and then not be able to fix that story and query it again (most agents, I’ve seen, do not want a requery on a book they rejected). Now that I’m older, wiser, and have some more writing experience under my belt, I am glad that I didn’t inflict that story on her. I could go on and on about CoS and defending my decision to trunk it, so let’s move on to the contest!

She was giving away books by female authors with female protagonists, and I won.

Now, it wasn’t like I won because I’m awesome and wrote an awesome 100 word something or whatever. I don’t write awesome 100 word whatevers. I just had to comment and then the winner was randomly chosen. But still, I don’t usually win things so it was pretty awesome.

The way to enter was to post a comment about your favorite novel written by a woman.

It was hard to make up my mind. I’ve enjoyed most of the books I’ve read lately, for one reason or another, and each story has its strengths and weaknesses. What one story I loved was strong in, another story I loved was weak in. I’ve never really come across the “perfect” story (…Though I can think of one that’s really close…)

I managed to narrow it down to “recent” publications, and chose three from the myriad of stories I enjoyed.

Boneshaker, by Cherie Priest. (Steampunk, Alternate American Civil War, strong female lead).

The Eternal Sky series, by Elizabeth Bear. (Non-European fantasy setting, great world building, unique magic, A once-princess now-wizard and once-prince now-outcast leads).

Fortune’s Pawn, by Rachel Aaron. (Science Fiction, Bad ass female lead kicking alien butt in bad ass power armor, a little bit of romance).

If you’re interested in what other books I’ve read (at least since I started keeping a list in 2013) you can check out my Goodreads profile.

Books I received last week:

Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop
Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal
Emilie and the Hollow World by Martha Wells
Prey of the Gods by Nicky Drayden (Advance Reader Copy, to be released June 13, 2017)
Heart of Iron by Ekaterina Sedia
I am Princess X by Cherie Priest
Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

I’ve only read works by Cherie Priest and Elizabeth Bear but I’ve yet to be disappointed by one of Jennifer Jackson’s clients. I’m looking forward to the reads. I’ve started with Etched in Bone. Since that book is the 5th in the series that means I bought the first book, Written in Red, last Thursday and finished it over the weekend and I’m in the middle of the second book… so two and a half more books and I’ll reach Etched in Bone. 😛 Sneaky… I’m not sure I’ll get ANY dictation done now.


It’s a good idea for a writer to read widely, so I’m always looking for new book suggestions. What are your favorite books? Why did you enjoy them? Was it because of a character growth arc, or the world building, or the setting?


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