Sunday, December 22, 2013

School Library Journal Review of BREAKING GLASS

The School Library Journal did review BREAKING GLASS. The full review is up on the Barnes and Noble website. We are working to get it up on Amazon and it is:

Editorial Reviews
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—This novel is an edge-of-your-seat thriller with a supernatural twist. Jeremy Glass is the star runner for his high school track team, has a stellar GPA, and is in love with his best friend Ryan's girlfriend, Susannah. He's also a secret alcoholic. He uses vodka to escape the nightmares that have haunted him since his mother drove the two of them off a cliff. However, for the past year, he's found himself relying on alcohol to dull his desire for Susannah, as well. The night she discovers Ryan cheating on her, Jeremy follows them to the gorge where they are engaged in a heated argument. Hoping to mediate, he leaps from his car directly into the path of an oncoming truck. He awakens in the hospital with a crushed leg and to the news that Susannah is missing. Once he is released, he begins to receive links to videos and cryptic messages indicating that she is dead and becomes determined to find her killer. In a fog of pain killers combined with alcohol, Jeremy risks his life to uncover a past murder that involved his mother, Susannah's mother, and Ryan's wealthy and influential father. Amowitz does an exceptional job of portraying the fragile mental state of a young man who has faced three devastating losses. Readers will wonder if he is truly solving a murder or experiencing a mental meltdown.—Cary Frostick, formerly at Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Falls Church, VA

Thursday, December 12, 2013

This is the cover for VISION

Okay--I have been exceedingly lame. So I am just going to post a picture of my forthcoming book VISION for you to look at, kind of like a Yule log, until I have anything else to post.

Monday, October 7, 2013

This week at Comic Con, @4PM on Friday we will be revealing the cover for VISION my next book due out from Spencer Hill Press in May 2014 We'll be at Booth 1058.

Just so you know, we will all be dressed in our Steampunk Star Wars finest.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Cover Reveal: Haunting Joy, by Lena Goldfinch

Joy’s new dress has a secret – one with a little supernatural history, one that’s a little more than she expected.
It all starts one ordinary afternoon, as seventeen-year-old Joy tries on some thrift-store clothes her grandmother gave her. The little white dress fits perfectly. Trouble is, now it won’t leave her alone. Soon Joy is swept up in an extraordinary journey to help a ghost complete some unfinished business. If only that didn’t involve Joy driving through dangerous intersections...or calling up her high-school crush, Nick...or getting stuck at a cemetery after dark.
Will Joy accept this ghostly challenge to be "more"? And just how far will she go to uncover the truth?
Light Paranormal Novella
A Note About the Cover
The special edition (black and white) cover is for the paperback version of the book only, for some extra “spooky” fun. The purple and pink cover is for the e-book version.

About the Author/Cover Designer
Lena lives in a scenic small town in Massachusetts with her husband, two kids, and a very spoiled Black Lab. She writes fiction for young adults, mostly light fantasy with a healthy dose of "sigh-worthy" romance. You can visit her online at  

About the Blog Tour
Haunting Joy will be released October 20, 2013. To celebrate, there will be a blog tour October 22-31, complete with reviews, giveaways, and Halloween fun! Visit the blog tour page to keep up-to-date on the latest book and blog tour news, including information on how to purchase the special edition paperback when it’s available.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Interview with Shannon Hassan, literary agent at Marsal-Lyon

Hey Folks! I have someone really awesome I want you to meet..

Shannon Hassan, my agent!

I'm really excited about signing with Shannon for so many reasons. Her amazing background is one—and her excitement over my writing is another. Shannon is building her list, so...'nuff said. Work on your craft, be true to yourself, be awesome and Shannon may be interested in hearing from you.

So here is Shannon in her own words...

What are your favorite books to read?

I have pretty eclectic taste and enjoy reading a range of fiction, including women’s, young adult, literary, and historical, as well as narrative nonfiction.  A few books that I enjoyed this summer outside of work included The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell, Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry, On Writing by Stephen King, and Swamplandia!  by Karen Russell.

What were some of your favorite books growing up?

I remember when I was about eight my mother came home from a business trip with a gift: the The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth Speare.  It was my first experience falling under the spell of a novel and its characters, and I didn’t leave my room for two days!  When I turned that last page, I was officially in love with reading, and would be for life.

What is your publishing background and what was it that led you to become an agent?

I have worked in publishing and law for more than a decade.  Having served as both an acquisitions editor and a corporate/ licensing attorney in New York, being an agent was a natural progression and a great combination of my skills and passion.  I am so pleased to have joined Marsal Lyon and couldn’t be happier with the agency and its approach to helping writers achieve their publishing goals.

What kind of work are you looking for these days?

I represent authors of literary and commercial fiction, young adult fiction, and select nonfiction.  With respect to fiction: I am drawn to fresh voices, compelling characters, and crisp prose.  Lisa Amowitz, author of Breaking Glass (and one of my newest authors!), is a great example of the kind of writer that draws me in.

For nonfiction: I am interested in memoirists with exceptional stories to tell, as well as authors with a strong platform in current affairs, history, education, or law.

What words of advice do you have for up and coming authors?

It has been said before, but one piece of advice I like to give is to authors is: READ!!.  Read books in your genre to help you gain an understanding of your target audience.  And then read books outside your genre to expand your worldview and keep your writing fresh.

Thanks for stopping by, Shannon! I'm looking forward to a fruitful and fun partnership with you. If you'd like to find out more about Shannon and her agency Marsal-Lyon, visit her at:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

New Cover Design: UNSOUL'D an adult novel by Barry Lyga, author of I HUNT KILLERS

Good morning! I know this blog has been gathering dust of late, but here's a little something to perk it up. Over the summer I had the pleasure of working with Barry Lyga, the author of I HUNT KILLERS. Barry hired me to do a cover for his adult ebook, UNSOUL'D. To mark the occasion, I asked Barry a few questions about himself and our design process for the cover.

But first, here is the cover, which I am very pleased with (note: please remember that this is not a young adult book, it's for intended for adults 18 and up):

Here's the blurb from GOODREADS. You can also download a sample of the book to start reading.

Randall Banner is thirty-five years old, a middling mid-list author who yearns for more of everything. More attention. More fame. More money. More fans.

Then, one quiet morning, he meets the devil while pounding away at his laptop at his usual coffee shop. Soon, a deal is made, a contract is signed, and Randall is on his way to fame and fortune unlike any he ever imagined.

What follows is a bawdy, hilarious, yet harrowing tale of one man, one devil, and a deal that could change the world.

Now for the interview! Welcome, Barry!

You are best known for your NYT bestselling hit, the young adult thriller, I HUNT KILLERS. Tell us about your books that are perhaps less well known.

Probably my least-well-known work is the ARCHVILLAIN series. It's a trilogy about a 12-year-old boy with superpowers who ends being a villain instead of a hero. It was a lot of fun to write -- I just sort of disengaged my superego and let my pre-teen id run amok. But there's also four other YA novels that were critically acclaimed when they came out, but never attained the level of fame (or maybe that's notoriety!) of the I HUNT KILLERS books: The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy & Goth Girl, Boy Toy, Hero-Type, and Goth Girl Rising. There's no blood-n-guts, but I think readers of the KILLERS books would respond to the depth of character in them.

What in your life inspired you to write the dark and edgy tales you are famous for?

Nothing that I can think of. I was no more or less inspired by my life to write the KILLERS series than I was to write something as (relatively) tame as ARCHVILLAIN. For me, it's all about finding an interesting story to tell and then telling it in the most honest, truthful manner possible. I guess sometimes that results in "dark and edgy," though to be brutally honest with you, I think people do a disservice when they categorize it like that. Is KILLERS "dark and edgy?" I guess so. It's also funny, scary, sad, honest, and a whole slew of other things.

Tell us about your new release, UNSOUL'D.

Oh, man! This is a story I've wanted to write literally for a decade or more, the tale of a man selling his soul to the devil…and hijinks ensue. It's a comedy, really, even though the subject matter is very, very serious. It's about a guy named Randall Banner, a struggling author living in Brooklyn. He's just barely successful enough that he can keep publishing books, but he's never really broken out, never gotten that elusive big deal. And he's bitter and angry enough about it that when he gets the chance to sell his soul in exchange for a hit book, he jumps at it. But deals with the devil are never QUITE what you expect…and pretty soon Randall realizes he's in for more than he bargained for. It's a classic deal-with-the-devil story, but with a twist I hope you won't see coming. Oh, and it's got plenty of sex in it -- not for nothing is the tagline "A dirty little fable!"

As your cover designer, I can happily say that it was a lot of fun working with you on this cover. Can you give a brief rundown of how we arrived at your vision for the cover? 

I had a very, very strong idea of what I wanted for the cover -- I wanted flames and I wanted the title nice a big. But other than that, I was sort of foundering. With my meager Photoshop skills, I mocked up something pretty awful and you gamely went in that direction and improved on it SO MUCH. But it just wasn't clicking, you know? You've designed a ton of covers -- you know that you can have something that is technically and even aesthetically fine, but it's missing some kind of x-factor that makes it perfect.

Well, along the way, you'd thrown in the coffee ring as a design element, and I started thinking about that. And then I thought that maybe instead of the very dark cover design I'd thrown at you, the real solution was something open and light. So I threw you a curveball at the last minute and said, "Let's go from black to white instead!" And you didn't blink -- which I appreciate -- but you went ahead and came up with the flaming letters set on a papery background and you incorporated the nice coffee ring, and that's when it all clicked!

Thanks for stopping by, Barry! I love working with authors to nail the perfect cover and I'm glad you're happy with the design!

Now go buy the book, everyone!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Songstone by Lena Goldfinch: Blog Tour Kickoff and Giveaway!

Kita can meld song into stone. In a world with no written word, storytelling—the ability to meld (or magically impress) song into stone—is greatly honored. The village honors her master as their medicine man, but Kita knows he's secretly a sorcerer who practices black magic using drops of her blood. She fears he’ll use her beautiful gift for a killing spell, so she conceals it from him. Each day, his magic tightens around her neck like a rope. His spells blind the villagers, so they can’t see him for what he really is.

Not that anyone would want to help her. She was found in the forest as a baby and would have died if a village girl hadn't brought her home. But the villagers saw Kita's unusual coloring and decided she belonged to the mysterious tribe who lives in the forests of the volcano, a people feared for their mystical powers. So they fear her too. Now seventeen, she can barely admit her deepest longing: to know who she really is and where she belongs.

Then Pono, a young journeyman, arrives from the other side of the island. He's come to fulfill a pact between their villages: to escort a storyteller back to his village--a storyteller who'll be chosen at the great assembly. Finally, in Pono, Kita sees her one slim chance at freedom and she'll risk her life to take it.

A dark, twisty tale of sorcery, tummy-tingling romance, and adventure, inspired by the folklore of New Zealand's Māori people.

You can find Songstone on:

Amazon (Kindle) 
Barnes & Noble (Nook)

In honor of the release of SONGSTONE, Lena is giving away this GORGEOUS necklace!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Copper Girl Blog Tour: Guest Post from Jennifer Allis Provost

Sara had always been careful.
She never spoke of magic, never associated with those suspected of handling magic, never thought of magic, and never, ever, let anyone see her mark. After all, the last thing she wanted was to end up missing, like her father and brother.
Then, a silver elf pushed his way into Sara's dream, and her life became anything but ordinary.

A big welcome to Jennifer Allis Provost!

 First, a disclaimer; I am Jenn's cover designer! It was an amazing pleasure to work with her on her wonderful and lyrical book. It was a breeze to do this cover with all the amazing imagery built into the text. 
So without further ado, Jenn is going to tell you how the idea for Copper Girl sprang into her life behind a desk at an office cubicle.

Life Imitating Art

As you, dear reader, may or may not be aware, my urban fantasy Copper Girl hit the shelves on June 25. The titular copper girl is Sara Corbeau, an Elemental marked by a copper raven emblazoned across her back. (See the awesome cover image? It was created by one Lisa Amowitz, proprietor of this fine blog.) But, aside from being an Elemental, Sara also has an office job.

Sara’s job puts the bore in boring, and then some. She works for a firm called Real Estate Evaluation Services that specializes in the acquisition and liquidation of commercial properties. (Stop yawning.)

Her title is Quarterly Report Sorter, and, being that the reports in question are of a highly confidential nature, she doesn’t have clearance to read them. So she sits there, day after day, shuffling paper in alphabetical order. (I said stop yawning!)
Sara’s only reprieve is her lunch break, when she escapes the oppressively frigid air conditioning and naps in her car. Only, someone is watching her sleep – Micah, an Elemental from the Otherworld, who just happens to be able to slip inside Sara’s dreams.

If you’re wondering how I so expertly crafted such a desolate existence, it’s because I lived it. (Well, not the part with Micah.) While I will let the company remain nameless, I once worked at a job so boring I regularly fell asleep at my desk. In the winter, the heat was alternately completely off and trying to roast me alive, but in the summer the air conditioning was always attuned to a bone-chilling fifty degrees. And yes, I used to escape into summer’s heat on my lunch break, and wiggle the feeling back into my fingers and toes.

My unexciting occupation contributed more than tedium and frigidity to Copper Girl. I always parked in the back corner lot, a nice shady spot on the edge of a small wooded area. After a few lunch breaks spent outside, I noticed quite the unusual tree: two red pines, each trunk at least a foot in diameter, wound around each other.

I found that tree fascinating; after a few days spent staring at it, I wondered if it was a portal to the Otherworld. (Apparently, the endless monotony of my job was killing brain cells, as well.) That tree became the Lovers’ Pine, where Micah first brought Sara into the Otherworld.

Was Sara’s occupation based on mine? Yes and no. We both did suffer hours of repetitious work with no end in sight, and oppressive corporate heating and cooling systems. We both became fascinated by a funky tree. But Sara got to escape into a land of magic and wonder, while I remained at my day job. Hey, at least I got to write about her.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Always YA at Heart: Blog Tour: Breaking Glass by Lisa Amowitz - Interview, Review, Giveaway

A really great stop on the Breaking Glass Blog tour...

Always YA at Heart: Blog Tour: Breaking Glass by Lisa Amowitz - Interview, Review, Giveaway

BREAKING GLASS is finally here

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.

Here is what readers are saying:

From Christy Mullins on Goodreads:
Breaking Glass was one of my most anticipated reads of the summer, so when I received an ARC in the mail, there was quite a bit of might have been a little bit of jumping up and down (which led to my husband thinking I was crazy…oh well, you all understand me). After I calmed down, I immediately dove into the mystery that is Breaking Glass.  
 read the rest of the review here:

From Emily at One Emily's Bookshelf:
One of the best things about being at BEA was meeting people, one of the best people I met was Lisa Amowitz, and I was nervous starting out Breaking Glass for fear I wouldn't like it, but I shouldn't have worried, because I loved, adored, was amazed by Breaking Glass.

From the first page I was hooked, Lisa Amowitz has a writing style that made me feel sad I had social engagements because all I wanted to do was sit down and read this book from start to end, the writing style is precise, it isn't bogged down with needless details, but yet it's at the same time full of information, we're told everything we need to know without it ever feeling like we're being force-fed information.
read the rest here..

From Shelley at Gizmo Reviews:
*Thoughts* (Hopefully without any spoilers!)

Breaking Glass was a surprise addition to my reading list for July. I thank Spencer Hill Press for sharing this book with me in lieu of an honest review. Breaking Glass is definitely a book that will keep you guessing right until the very end. Add into the fact that there was a paranormal aspect to the storyline and it wasn't a matter of if I was going to read the book, but when and how much I would like it. 

Also, YA Bound is sponsoring a Book Blitz. Here are the bloggers who are joining in: