Miss Snark’s Blogpitch Contest–First 250

Authoress/Miss Snark held a #Blogpitch contest on Twitter last week. She selected 10 pitches and guess what, my pitch was chosen! Woot! Today, I’m posting my first 250 words of BEAT, my YA thriller that I want to query to agents. There are 9 other entrants to check out, so be sure to head over to her blog for critique instructions and to see the other first pages. Entrants can win a 15 page edit from the Authoress herself.

I hope you enjoy the opening lines of BEAT!

Pitch: Getting a new heart might not fix sixteen-year-old Adam’s broken one.

First 250 words:

Thump-thump. Thump-thump.

Wind slashes across my body, burrows up my nose, and yanks at my hair. I hook my fingers around the wire fence wrapped around the observation deck and toggle my lip piercing—two black hoops side by side—with my tongue. Spires top the fencing, curving inward way above everybody’s heads to prevent people from jumping off. The city below seems like a miniature replica at this height.

New York City, America’s major metropolis. So different from my London.

I pick out several landmarks dotting the skyline and mentally slash another item/adventure/must do/whatever off my bucket list. Well, it’s more like my parents’ bucket list.

For me.

It’s hard to muster up joy and awe when all I’m doing is waiting for someone to die so they can give me their heart. Anything we do—whether it’s a weekend trip to the city or having front row tickets for a concert or celebrating another week of life with a hot fudge sundae—all it amounts to is killing time.

And all I want is more time.

But not like this. I want healthy time. So I can live my life.

Thump-thump. Thump-thump.

I press a palm to my chest and sigh.

It’s bad enough I was born with a bum ticker. It’s worse knowing I’ll probably die before I graduate high school. It’s the worst knowing I’m not yet sick enough to be prioritized on the transplant list.

I have to be one beat away from a fatal arrhythmia and then it’s a gamble if I’ll survive long enough to find a match.

Thump-thump. Thump-thump.

 

Here’s the LINK to Miss Snark’s post where you can read the other first pages. 😉

On Beginnings–The BREAKING GLASS Blog Tour (with a preview, SHARDS)!

I’ve been hearing about BREAKING GLASS for several months now and CAN’T WAIT to finally get my hands on it. JULY IS TOO FAR AWAY, LOL!

Below you’ll find cover art, blurb, info about Lisa Amowitz, a link to a Rafflecopter giveaway, AND a FREE download of SHARDS, an illustrated preview of BREAKING GLASS–how cool is that???

First, though, I’d like to share how BREAKING GLASS came to be–it’s quite a story; thanks for sharing, Lisa!

On Beginnings:

Beginnings are tough for writers. I will generally do almost anything to avoid them. With my forthcoming book, BREAKING GLASS, I sat on the idea for over two years before I even started to think seriously about writing it.

For every book I start, the process is a little different. BREAKING GLASS began as one of those concepts that I jot down in a notebook or Word file and forget about. Right at this moment, I may have numerous of these orphaned ideas stashed in forgotten files and those little throwaway notebooks I collect then tuck into drawers, purses and handbags, only to be found when I exhume them years later.

When I first came up with the idea for BREAKING GLASS, over four years ago, I’d wanted to call it SPECTACULAR. All I knew was that the MC was a boy with a somewhat snarky sense of humor, that he was recovering from some kind of accident, the girl he was obsessed with had gone missing, and he was ready to try almost anything to get her back, even raise her from the dead.

I don’t really remember the exact moment when I named my main character Jeremy Glass, or when I decided that the town he lived in was a fictitious version of a real town called Croton-on-Hudson which lies forty minutes to the north of New York City. I don’t know how long it was after the conversation I had with a teen boy about a girl he liked all through high school, despite the fact she’d stepped all over his heart repeatedly, that I started to write. I do know that there was a strange and twisted tree growing by the house where I’d spent that summer, and for some reason, my attention fixated on that tree as I listened to the landlady and her daughter have some awful fights. Don’t even ask me why—I will just tell you that the tree is the one where Jeremy finds his first real clue from the missing Susannah. Maybe all of it clumped together to form the beginnings of BREAKING GLASS.

This is the way it works with me. Weird bits of ephemera and experiences get caught in the filter of my mind and get all jumbled together. That mental junkyard or musty attic is the place I go digging when I begin a new book. I never know what I am going to find there.

Somewhere along the way, I realized I hated the title SPECTACULAR. It did not fit the eerie mood I was after. I’d read Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver series and a few by John Green and knew without question that this was the terrain I wanted to tread—where the supernatural meets the strange landscape of the human mind.

I decided I needed to learn about the psychology behind my main character’s intense obsession first. That there had to be a reason for his devoted longing.

I wanted to know this boy. The name Jeremy popped into my head, and his ironic self-deprecating manner along with it. That revelation was quickly followed by the surname Glass, a somewhat generic sounding last name, but one that is faintly Jewish, of which Jeremy is one-half. Maybe that’s where all his worrying comes from! I ought to know!

I went ahead and wrote the first chapter and let my crit group read it. They liked the voice very much and encouraged me to keep going. However, they soon complained that Jeremy was all over the place—there was no clear reason for his angst, his anxiety and his thing with Susannah.

I needed to do more work on his history and what made Jeremy tick, so I called my very good friend, a psychotherapist living in the very town I based Jeremy’s town on. It was strictly coincidence, but it did help to get her attention! I asked my friend Debbie if Jeremy’s issues and the way he kept his behavior secret while maintaining a seemingly spotless reputation was plausible.

I was delighted when the brilliant Debbie came up with a diagnosis for Jeremy:

POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER, she said—give Jeremy a single traumatic event in his past that he has not effectively processed. Everything he goes through, every attempt he makes to avoid the root of his pain stems from this event.

This is why my friend, Debbie Cohen, MSW, is the true hero of BREAKING GLASS.

She diagnosed Jeremy.

Then I began to write in earnest. I made a file in Scrivner and wrote character profiles for all the main characters. I researched Jeremy’s pysch issues, his physical issues, scoured countless medical websites, and endless bits of history trivia that Jeremy would know and I would not. I’m not going to divulge the specific nature of what I researched as that might provides spoilers for the plot.

I do remember that this ground-breaking conversation with Debbie took place in the winter of 2011. By May 2011 I had written and rewritten about ten chapters. Everyone loved it, including my agent at the time. But I was stuck.

The next three people who deserve top billing in the saga of BREAKING GLASS are my good friends, the authors Christine Johnson, Dhonielle Clayton and Kate Milford. Christine and Dhonielle patiently endured countless phone plotting marathons (as did my former agent). By early June, I knew where BREAKING GLASS was going, but I was still spinning my wheels. It was Kate looked me straight in the eye one evening when she, Dhonielle and I met for dinner and said—I challenge you to finish the book by the end of June. That was two weeks. TWO WEEKS. Almost exactly two years ago.

And so I did.

And what took three years to start, was done in two weeks. The first complete draft, anyway.

blogtourbanner

BREAKING GLASS from Spencer Hill Press, July 2013

by Lisa Amowitz

On the night seventeen-year-old Jeremy Glass winds up in the hospital with a broken leg and a blood alcohol level well above the legal limit, his secret crush, Susannah, disappears. When he begins receiving messages from her from beyond the grave, he’s not sure whether they’re real or if he’s losing his grip on reality. Clue by clue, he gets closer to unraveling the mystery, and soon realizes he must discover the truth or become the next victim himself.

ISBN: 978-1937053383

bgcover

Add Breaking Glass to Goodreads

Support an Indie bookstore

Buy it from Barnes and Noble

Buy it from Amazon

lisa

Author bio:

Lisa Amowitz was born in Queens and raised in the wilds of Long Island, New York where she climbed trees, thought small creatures lived under rocks and studied ant hills. And drew. A lot.

When she hit her teens, she realized that Long Island was too small for her and she needed to escape. So she went to college in Pittsburgh. Go figure.

On leaving college, Lisa became a graphic designer living in New York City. She eventually married her husband of a zillion years, had two lovely children, and was swept away to a fairy tale life in the Bronx, where, unbelievably there are more trees and wilderness than her hometown. She can see the Hudson River from her kitchen window.

Lisa has been a professor of Graphic Design at her beloved Bronx Community College where she has been tormenting and cajoling students for nearly seventeen years. She started writing eight years ago because she wanted something to illustrate, but somehow, instead ended up writing YA. Probably because her mind is too dark and twisted for small children.

BREAKING GLASS which will be released in July, 2013 from Spencer Hill Press, is her first published work. VISION, the first of the Finder series will be released in 2014, along with an unnamed sequel in the following year. LIFE AND BETH will also be released in the near future, along with graphic novel style art.

Find Lisa on Facebook

Follow Lisa on Twitter

 

Rafflecopter link

Giveaway items:

(1)   custom pendant like the one pictured on the book cover

ring

(2) signed ARCS

(1) original work of Breaking Glass related art created and signed by the author.

******

A free download of SHARDS, an illustrated preview of BREAKING GLASS:

download shards

Page URL: http://www.site.spencerhillpress.com/Shards.php  
Direct upload: http://www.site.spencerhillpress.com/uploads/Shards_Amowitz.pdf

SHARDS:

shards

Review of Monarch by Michelle Davidson Argyle

I had the opportunity to review an ARC of Michelle Davidson Argyle’s thriller, MONARCH. Now, I don’t read thrillers ordinarily, but let me tell you, I was drawn into this book from the first page!

The action starts off immediately and Michelle does a great job of keeping the tension going throughout. She does a seamless job of introducing characters and making me care about them without it feeling effortful.

What I liked about Monarch was the alternating POVs. Seeing the plot unfold from different characters’ perspectives added a layer of richness that compounded my “conectedness” to the story line.

Bravo, Michelle!!!! I’ll TOTALLY read your other novels. 🙂

Back Cover Blurb:
Nick’s life as a CIA spy should be fulfilling, but it has only given him unhappiness—a wife who committed suicide, and two daughters who resent everything he has become. Now, stuck in the Amazon on the last mission of his career, he must track down Matheus Ferreira, a drug lord and terrorist the U.S. has tried to bring down for years. If he succeeds, he’ll have the chance to start his life over again.

Just when Nick is on the brink of catching Ferreira, he’s framed for a murder that turns his world upside down. His only chance of survival lies in West Virginia where Lilian Love, a woman from his past, owns the secluded Monarch Inn. He’s safe, but not for long…

** If you’d like a chance to WIN a copy of MONARCH, simply leave a comment on this post. It’d be super cool if you spread the word via Twitter, Facebook, etc. You have until next Wednesday, September 28, 2011 MIDNIGHT EST to enter. I’ll announce a winner next Friday!  **

Click HERE for more information about MONARCH.