Interview with fantasy author Lynn Flewelling, TKA agent wish list update, and how to pick your book title.
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The Knight Post: Interview with Lynn Flewelling
Client Giveaway: FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS by Diana Peterfreund
The Informer: Melissa Jeglinski Weighs in on Picking Titles
Agent Round Table: Update on what TKA Agents are Looking for Right Now

Nalini Singh 's TANGLE OF NEED reached #16 on The New York Times print hardcover bestseller list.

Beth Howard on CBS Morning NewsOn Memorial Day, ,CBS Morning News  paid a visit to Beth Howard's Pitchfork Pie Stand and discussed her book MAKING PIECE: A MEMOIR OF LOVE, LOSS AND PIE. Click HERE to watch the interview. 
N.K. Jemisin's THE KILLING MOON has made both NPR's summer reading list and PW's Best Summer Reads .

Lynn Flewelling will be chatting about her latest release CASKET OF SOULS and more on Thursday, June 14th at 4pm ET via Twitter. Use #knightauthor to join the conversation!


Lynn FlewellingLynn Flewelling's fantasy novels have received worldwide acclaim, and currently appear in twelve languages. When she's not busy writing, she's spending time in her hometown of Presque Isle, Maine, pondering her next book in the Nightrunner Series, and pondering otters. Why otters you ask? Read below to find out. When you're finished, be sure to check out her latest novel CASKET OF SOULS and mark your calendars for her Twitter chat on Thursday, June 14th at 4pm ET using the hashtag #knightauthor.

TKA: Is there a message in CASKET OF SOULS that you want readers to grasp?

LYNN: It's not what I would consider a "message book." I'm not sure I write those overtly, although I do work postively with various themes, like alternate sexuality, gender, and identity. But if there's a theme to CASKET OF SOULS, it's quiet heroics.

I'll try to avoid spoilers here, but the central characters all do very important things that impact their whole society, but they don't do it for credit or fame. They do what they do because they consider it their purpose in life, and they do it willingly and without expectation of acclaim. Often they are guided by deeply held, long time loyalties. 

TKA: What fantasy writer has influenced your writing the most? 

LYNN : Ray Bradbury, bless him, set my feet on the writer path. Somehow he flipped the switch between an avid reader and creating stories of my own. He wrote such great characters. Tolkien, of course. He provided the template of Big Fantasy and more characters that I could love from the heart. Many of my influences, however, fall outside the genre. Seregil and the episodic nature of the Nightrunner Series were inspired by Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, which I've reread more often than any other books. I grew up on the adventure stories of Jack London, along with Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King.  King really taught me how to write darkness and fear. Finally, Mary Renault's historicals first showed me gay characters who acted out love, honor, and loyalty. 

TKA: Which character in your latest work did you find the most interesting to write about? 

LYNN : It's hard to answer that one without major spoilers, so I won't name names, but one of the central characters was the most fun. He's a sociopath, a narcissist, and an addict and that was tremendously challenging and fun. 

TKA: Unlike many authors, you don't seem to shy away from voicing your political views. What are the pros and cons of talking about controversial topics as an author?

LYNN  I think that stems from two aspects of my personality: I'm very moved by issues of social justice, and I tend to be very open in public venues like social media. If I see something egregious, like legislation that hurts women or the LGBT community, I speak out. I comment on LJ. I retweet things. I sign petitions and encourage others to do so if they're so moved. I try not to be bombastic or angry (not always easy) but I speak my mind because I have a public platform to do so. And I probably don't have as much of a firewall between my private self and my author self as some writers, but I am who I am. Take it or leave it.

 TKA: Your website mentions that you like to ponder otters. Besides the fact they have fur instead of blubber, what is it about them that you find so fascinating?

LYNN : They delight me. They're playful, they love their familes, and they eat sushi all day. I just love everything about them.  

TKA: What upcoming projects do you have in store for us? 

LYNN : I'm currently working on the seventh Nightrunner book, which I'm very excited about. It  encompasses both some good sneak-around-in-the dark nightrunning with my love of showing readers new parts of my world. I send them off to the sacred island, Korous, a mystical and dangerous place for both earthly and unearthly reasons.   
 Even at the best of times, the royal court at Rhíminee is a serpents’ nest of intrigue, but with the war against Plenimar going badly, treason simmers just below the surface.

And that’s not all that poses a threat:     A mysterious plague is spreading through the crowded streets of the city, striking young and old alike. As panic mounts and the body count rises, hidden secrets emerge. And as Seregil and Alec are about to learn, conspiracies and plagues have one thing in common: The cure can be as deadly as the disease.  
To learn more about all six books of the NIGHTRUNNER SERIES, read snippets of her stories, and find out where Lynn will be appearing for signings, visit her website.


For Darkness Shows the StarsDiana Peterfreund's new dystopian young adult novel, FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS (FDSTS), officially hit both literal and figurative bookshelves yesterday. To help celebrate her release week, we're giving away one of our TKA copies of FDSTS exclusively to a newsletter member. So, how do you win? It just so happpens Diana is offering a free prequel for her new release titled, "Among the Nameless Stars." All you need to do is check out the prequel, answer the question below, and email with the answer before midnight on Friday, June 15th. The winner will be drawn randomly.* Good luck!

CONTEST QUESTION: In his letter to Elliot, what did Kai say looked like "an enormous red cone pointing at the sky?"

*U.S. residents only.


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  • J. Kathleen Cheney's OF AMBERGRIS, BLOOD, AND BRANDY, about an alternate turn-of-the-century Portugal in which races of shape-shifters live in secret, and a fantastical underwater work of art and a psychopathic killer become tangled in a string of murders that threaten the stability of the entire nation, to Kat Sherbo of Ace, by Lucienne Diver.  
  • Shirley Jump's RESCUE ME, the first installment of the Cupid Club Series about a group of meddling grandmothers who take over the local advice column and begin a little matchmaking for a divorced therapist and a wounded pilot, to Kate Seaver at Berkley Heat, at auction, in a nice three-book deal, by Pamela Harty. Also, Shirley's next three titles in the Riverbend Christmas series went to Flo Nicoli at Harlequin Romance, in a nice three-book deal .
  • Gregg Jantz, Ph.D., and New York Times bestselling author Michael Gurian's PARENTING TODAY'S BOYS: RAISING STRONG, LOVING CHRISTIAN SONS, in which parents can design the healthy parenting of sons through a holistic integration of the Bible and brain science, to Laura Barker at Waterbrook Multnomah, in a good deal, by Pamela Harty.
  • USA Today bestselling author Michelle Celmer's next two titles in her Paradise, Colorado, series, to Charles Griemsman at Harlequin Special Edition, by Melissa Jeglinski.
  •  Tammy Kaehler's BRAKING POINTS, the second Kate Reilly mystery, in which the protagonist finds her date in the shadows with another woman…this one quite dead…and what follows is a mystery almost as fast-paced as the cars she races, to Jessica Tribble of Poisoned Pen Press, by Lucienne Diver.
  • D.D. Barant's three books in a quirky paranormal cozy mystery, to Monique Patterson of St. Martin's, in a nice deal, by Lucienne Diver.  
Sales Roundup is a selective sampling of TKA's deals for the past month. For more info on our recent sales, visit

  • TANGLE OF NEED by Nalini SinghNalini Singh 's TANGLE OF NEED premiered in the #16 spot on The New York Times print hardcover bestseller list.
  • Kristen Painter 's BLOOD RIGHTS came in second in the New England RWA Bean Pot Awards, and the author recieved a Holt Medallion Award of Merit for BAD BLOOD in the Novel with Strong Romantic Elements category.
  • N.K. Jemisin's THE KILLING MOON has made both NPR's summer reading list and PW's Best Summer Reads, and  , andis featured in RT's current reader poll for best book cover . Kirkus Reviews also did a list of kick-butt fantasy novels by women authors inspired by THE KILLING MOON.
  • James A. Burton 's POWERS received this great review from Library Journal: "With a pair of protagonists who are much more than their eccentricities and a plot that contains both magic and mayhem, Burton has come up with a winner in the urban fantasy genre. "
  • Leigh R Collaz of Miss Readerpants Blog wrote THIS fabulous review of Diana Peterfreund 's FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS. Also, the book was included in the Boston Globe's best summer books for young readers list (ages 14 and up).
  • Bryan Anderson, author of NO TURNING BACK, spent Memorial Weekend in Washington, D.C., riding on a float with Miss America 2012, as well as participating in a nationally broadcast interview with Fox and Friends. 
  • Daniel Wildermuth, author of WISE MONEY, was mentioned in Forbes magazine. Read the article HERE.Daniel Wildermuth, author of WISE MONEY ..., WAS RECENTLY MENTIONED IN for rEAD THE ARTCILE herer
  • Lynn Flewelling 's CASKET OF SOULS debuted in the #8 spot on Publishers Weekly's fantasy bestseller list. 
  • On Memorial Day, ,CBS Morning News  paid a visit to Beth Howard and discussed her memoir MAKING PIECE. Click HERE to watch.
  • Sheila Turnage's  THREE TIMES LUCKY was included on PW's best summer books list 


One Title is Worth 75,000 Words by Melissa Jeglinski

Melissa JeglinskiBack in the day, I used to be known as “The Queen of Titles.”  It’s not the most glamorous thing to be known for; I would have probably rather been referred to as “Most Fashionable,” but I carried around my moniker with pride.  It was great being the editor everyone came to for brainstorming sessions about book titles or series names or miniseries tag lines.  I loved being able to zing an author a list of five or six suggestions and have her come back with, “I love them all.”

It’s the little things, I guess.

But nowadays, titles are not “little things.” A great title is power. In a world where the one word is everything, something as intriguing as MATCHED or UGLIES says so much.  But finding that right word, or those right words put together, is not so easy.

You can be familiar.  I have not read FIFTY SHADES OF GREY but I understand that the male protagonist’s last name is Grey.  Also, the title is a derivative of a commonly known phrase. There is a familiarity associated with the title but also a juxtaposition that causes the reader to wonder “what’s it all about?”   This word play can also be found in Julia Quinn’s popular Bridgerton series with titles such as AN OFFER FROM A GENTLEMAN and THE DUKE AND I.  After that success, wasn’t the next big trend to make historical titles sound more hip by emulating movies, songs, even other book titles with a more contemporary edge?  It still abounds years later in such books as Lydia Dare’s NEVER BEEN BIT, a personal favorite of mine.

You can tell a story with your title.  I’m seeing a lot of books made up of a mixture of characters’ names and a description or an action:  THE PRIM AND PROPER MISS X or THE TAMING OF LORD W.  Then there’s a mix of both: MISS X SCHOOLS THE VENGEFUL EARL Z.  The reader gets a picture of what the story is about; if they love wallflower books, if they like alpha males or opposites attract stories, they know what they are in for just from the title.  Just be honest that what you are advertising on the outside is actually inside the covers.  There’s nothing worse for me than picking up a book that promises a taming when the blasted duke is already a puppy dog. 

You can be clever.  The trend in one word titles is compelling, although I admit to sometimes being confused as to what words belong to what series these days.  Still, if you can manage to capture the essence of your book in one word that is unique—and hasn’t been used a million times before—you might just entice that discerning reader to pick up your book.  Who knew something so simple as a time of day, i.e. TWILIGHT, would get teens reading with such fervor?   The key to finding that clever title is to take what is exceptional about your book and finding the one word that describes it to perfection.

I can’t tell you how many queries I see with the same titles used again and again.  I know they are unique plots but the use of the same word and phrases makes me think I’ve already seen this project a hundred times before.  So, what if you can’t come up with the perfect title off the top of your head?  Brainstorming is always my first suggestion.  Get together with your writer friends and bounce ideas off of one another.  Also, take a look at what is currently on the bestseller list and think of ways you could utilize the ideas while still being true to your story.  The worst possible scenario is ending up with a title that has nothing to do with your storyline.  Tone is also a great basis for coming up with a good title.  If your manuscript has a serious and tough undertone—think of something rougher, maybe more masculine in tone.  If you are writing humor then definitely try a play on words or something that sings out that the plot is funny.  Romance should always portray the romantic concept, just as a paranormal novel should hint at the paranormal elements inside.

In the end, the title is the first thing that is going to capture your audience’s interest.  It’s going to be available even when a cover or plot synopsis is not.  So, take it from this Queen of Titles and put as much thought into what your book is going to be called as the text it encompasses.  It can make all the difference in the world. 


Question: What sort of books are you looking to add to your list right now?

DEIDRE KNIGHT: I’d love to find more warm contemporary romance with a strong sense of community (that community doesn’t necessarily have to be a town—something like a funky old record store, or any other “community” could work), Regency, Scottish or Victorian-era single title romance series, or women’s fiction with a rich, wonderful voice (literary and commercial). In nonfiction, I am eager to find a book about diet and health, and additionally more memoir and finance/investment.

PAMELA HARTY: At the top of my wish list right now is contemporary romance. I am still looking for  historical romance, particularly Regency period. I am always interested in seeing proposals for romantic suspense and women's fiction. On the nonfiction side, memoir, parenting, health and business, as well as strong narrative nonfiction are on my list. 

LUCIENNE DIVER: I’ve got a pretty full list, though I can rarely resist taking on something truly unique and wonderful.  I work with a lot of paranormal fiction, which I adore (fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, steampunk), but I’m also a big fan of suspense and forensics.  I’d love to see something more mainstream along these lines, whether middle-grade, YA or adult.  (For example, the last novel that I read was I HUNT KILLERS by Barry Lyga.) 

NEPHELE TEMPEST: I’m still open to a pretty broad range of things, but I would particularly love to find a great contemporary young adult novel with a strong hook; an original secondary world fantasy with intriguing world building and strong characters; and a great historical novel—either straight historical or historical romance—especially something turn of the 19th/20th century or thereabouts or something from a non-western culture, but again with good world building (research) and engaging characters.
MELISSA JEGLINSKI: I would like to add a historical thriller to my list.  Also, a historical young adult novel without paranormal elements.  I’d love to see a slightly humorous contemporary romance as well as a weepy women’s fiction novel with multiple characters and plot lines. 

ELAINE SPENCER: I’m looking to add great new voices to my list, regardless of genre. Things I love: romantic suspense that borders on the psychological side; Regency historicals with humorous heroes and heroines; compelling young- adult voices, particularly those dealing with family issues; contemporary commercial fiction with large, strongly “trademarked” small-town settings that take you away; girls and boys “club or society” setups; stories with dogs; plots involving cooking, southern vibes, and suburban dramedies.

The Bride Wore Chocolate

Lady Amelia's Mess and a Half by Samantha Grace
by Samantha Grace   
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca 
Jake broke her heart by leaving her after sharing a passionate kiss. Lady Amelia broke his by marrying his best friend. When she returns to town a widow, Lady Amelia will have a mess and a half on her hands.
The Shadowed Sun by N.K. Jemisin
 by N.K. Jemisin
 Publisher: Orbit

Gujaareh, the city of dreams that knows violence and oppression, suffers under the imperial rule of the Kisuati Protectorate as well as a mysterious and deadly plague. When citizens begin to have nightmares and die screaming in their sleep,  tttthe people yearn to rise up . Hope lies with two outcasts who must resist the Kisuati occupation before Gujaareh is lost forever.
by Marilyn Pappano
 Publisher: Harlequin
It was supposed to be a routine trip to Cozumel to provide medical care for the orphaned girls, but instead Dr. Cate Calloway finds threats and danger. And the only person she can turn to for help a spoiled playboy Justin Seavers. But now he's her only hope to rescue their friends who run La Casa. As the two set off on an adventure, the former enemies quickly find out that  looks can be deceiving and passion can't be denied for long. 
by Gena Showalter
 Publisher: Harlequin HQN  
Annabelle Miller has spent four years in an institution for the criminally insane. Demons track her every move, and their king will stop at nothing to have her. Zacharel, leader of the most powerful army in the heavens, is her only hope for survival. But is the brutal angel with a touch as hot as hell her salvation—or her ultimate damnation?
by P. N. Elrod
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Accidentally Dead, Again by Dakota Cassidy
by Dakota Cassidy
Publisher: Berkley 
After a Halloween party, Sam McLean wakes up with a set of fangs. His one-night stand wasn’t just dressed as a vampire; she had the bite to match. Sam's body ends up at the OOPS office, where paranormal counselors get him up to speed on being one of the undead. 
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
by Diana Peterfreund 
Publisher: Balzer + Bray 

It's been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction,  giving rise to a nobility who outlawed most technology. When Elliot discovers her friend carries a secret that could bring society to its knees, she must decide whether to cling to her beliefs, or cast her lot with the only boy she's ever loved. But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret—one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she's faced with a choice: cling to what she's been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she's ever loved, even if she's lost him forever.  But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret—one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she's faced with a choice: cling to what she's been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she's ever loved, even if she's lost him forever.   
by Simona Taylor
 Publisher: Harlequin Kimani  

Dakota Merrick doesn't expect to spend the night with Trent Walker at his island hideaway, but the bad blood between them vanishes with their first kiss. Trent knows he shouldn't trust the reporter. But living out his fantasies with her is a temptation no man can refuse. Until a scandal threatens their tropical idyll. Will Dakota choose ambition over a future with him? Or can Trent find the right notes to play a love riff straight into her heart? 
by P. N. Elrod
 Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin  
In the magical world that lies hidden beneath our own, witches know just the right spell to kill a man with one kiss—or raise him back again. And they’re not afraid to exact sweet revenge on those who dare to cross them. But what if you’re the unlucky soul who falls victim to a curse? And if you had the power to cast a magic spell of your own, would you use it? 
No Ordinary Joe by Michelle Celmer
by Erin Knightley
 Publisher: Harlequin
After five torturous years on the marriage circuit, Lady Evelyn Moore is finally free to live her life as she wishes. So when her brother shows up with a dashing stranger named Benedict Hastings, she finds herself torn between her dreams . . . and newfound desires.
Forbidden Blood by Kristen Painter
by Kristen Painter
Publisher: Orbit
Maris's life has come down to three options: escape her patron and spend the rest of her days looking over her shoulder, fight him for her freedom with the understanding it could mean her death or undergo dangerous experimentation to transform her blood into something more powerful. But before she can make a decision, she discovers a vampire unlike any she's ever met  .Before she can make a decision, she discovers the vampire who's been charged with sunproofing her blood  
by Lisa Childs
Publisher: Harlequin Nocturne
Everyone needs a break sometimes, especially during the summer. After all, what's more relaxing, and more romantic, than a midnight stroll through Paris? Or the way the moon reflects off the ocean? And if your mesmerizing, sexy date happens to be ready to nibble your neck, who would want to say no? Vacations are a perfect time to indulge, so why not spend a little quality time with these immortal hunks in three luscious tales of hot getaways.  
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