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Teen Beat Thursday: Book Review by Sophia

Juliet ImmortalFor Teen Beat Thursday, Sophia wanted to review the novel Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay. Here is her review, in her own words:

What I liked: Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay is an unusual and genius modern twist on Romeo and Juliet. I loved the new perspectives on the characters and the story line. When a reader tries to interpret Juliet’s character in the original Shakespeare version, they may view her as fragile and childish, knowing nothing about tragedy which completely makes the story all the more tragic. In Jay’s novel, Juliet has changed throughout the centuries and she’s strong willed and a little bit cynical. She despises Romeo because she thinks he took her life, ultimately wanting nothing to do with him. However, there is a dash of nostalgia residing in her due to her memories of her first and only love, Romeo Montague. On apposing sides of the universe, Juliet and Romeo are forced to live in other people’s bodies and fight for what they believe in. Along the way, she falls in love with the mysterious heartthrob Ben after Romeo confesses his everlasting love for her.

What I disliked: The only things I didn’t like about this novel were that the romantic scenes were sometimes cheesy and redundant. Also, the intertwining relationships with the characters are at times confusing.


I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars

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On Sale Now!

The Energy Crusades is on sale for a few days, so if you have some pennies burning a hole in your pocket, or hiding in the couch cushions, put them to good use! And if you do that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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Notes from the Query Box

In September, I became an Associate Literary Agent at Donaghy Literary Group. I won’t go into my journey of how I got there, but I will say it was a lot of hard work, and a heck of a lot of reading.

When I opened for queries, I thought “who the heck will query me, I’m so new?”. Ha ha! Little did I know I would receive hundreds of queries in my first month, and they keep rolling in. Consider my query statistics (yes, I keep a spreadsheet of queries):

  • Number of queries read in September: 220; Date reached in query box: September 6th
  • Number of queries read in October: 289; Date reached in query box: September 22nd
  • Number of queries read in November (so far): 159; Date reached in query box: October 3rd

These staggering numbers prompted me to close to queries in order to catch up. “But you just opened!” you might say. Yes, I just opened, but I cannot physically read any faster and these numbers do not include the submissions I have piling up as well. Of the 600 plus queries I’ve read, I’ve requested about 70 manuscripts. That’s a little better than 10% of  the queries read. I know what it’s like to query agents, to wait for responses, to hope hope hope. I do my very best to be timely, believe me I do. The query box is never far from my mind.

For the most part, I am extremely impressed with the quality of queries and the accomplishments of the authors seeking representation. But, if you’ve had the pleasure of being in the same room with me while reading queries, you’ve heard my frustrated sighs, my fits of yelling, or the slam of my hand on the desk.

Query Fun

Why? Here are some reasons:

  • Author does not mention name of book, genre, or word count
  • I continually get queries in a genre I do not represent
  • Author fails to mention they are already self-published
  • Query is incomplete or contains attachments
  • Author does not give their name or sign their query (this happens WAY more than it should)

Read more…

When your character writes you a message

I came back from lunch the other day to find this message waiting for me:

Hello, did you write a book about me? Hilarious😀. My name is actually really unique, how did you get it? Greetings, Kaia Robi.
What a thrill to receive a message from one of my characters!
Then this happened:
book kaia
I never thought I’d be signing a book for Kaia Robi and it took me awhile to figure out what to say to her. We live in different countries, an ocean separates us, yet, with a few clicks of her mouse, she found my little book and a character named after her. Sometimes the internet divides us, but it also brings us together. Cheers to Kaia, my number one Crusader, we are on each other’s team forever!

Teen Beat Thursday: Maddy

MaddyMeet Maddy, my latest teen to participate in Teen Beat Thursday. She’s from California but goes to college in Pennsylvania. Here is a bit more about this gorgeous young woman:

  • Sports played: Club volleyball
  • Interests/ Hobbies: loves to write and explore the city with her friends
  • Last book read: Grave Mercy, by Robin LeFevers, chosen because it was recommended by a friend
  • Last movie watched in the theater: Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Favorite Restaurant: Polly’s Pies 
  • Favorite place to shop: thrift stores and antique shops
  • Favorite Band/ Musician: American Authors

Maddy reviewed the album TRXYE by Troye Sivan. Here is her review in her own words:

What I liked:

This is his first EP and I think it’s a great first project. It’s very distinct sounding, and I believe it can call to a wide audience. It pulls elements from many genres of music, so it has mass appeal. The first single, Happy Little Pill, is both vocally driven and lyrical, but it has a strong EDM influence, which is a very popular trend right now. My favorite song from the album is Gasoline. This song is much slower and more of a ballad than any other song on the album, and it has a very vintage sound to the melody. While it is much more emotional and simple than Happy Little Pill, it also includes sounds which you wouldn’t necessarily expect from a ballad like this. Many of the background sounds that make this song so dynamic have been heavily modified, which really make them sound unique and almost unidentifiable, so the song sounds very ethereal.

What I disliked:

Many of the songs sound similar.


Teen Beat Thursday: Miranda

MirandaIt’s been a busy couple of weeks, but Teen Beat Thursday continues! Meet Miranda, a 16 year old high school student from Arizona. Here is a bit about this lovely teen:

  • Sports played: None
  • Involved in drama/ theater at her high school
  • Last book read: Love the One You’re With, by Emily Giffin chosen because she read another book, Something Borrowed, by the same author and thought it was “amazing”.
  • Last movie watched in the theaters: The Fault in Our Stars
  • Favorite Restaurant: K’ya Bistro
  • Favorite place to shop: Farmer’s Market
  • Favorite Band/ Musician: Maroon 5

Miranda chose to review The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green (book version). Miranda’s review was short and to the point. She liked the author’s objective perspective on cancer, but disliked how the book felt unsentimental at the beginning of the story. She gave the book 5/5 stars and will definitely read more by this author.