New Clients on the Block

Lauren Hawkeye
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Sale Roundup

Vicky Dreiling's next three Regencies, each with a pop culture twist, to Michele Bidelspach of Grand Central, in a nice deal, by Lucienne Diver of The Knight Agency (world).

Ramez Naam’s page-turning SF thriller NEXUS, about a drug that links minds and the conflict to control it and define humanity, and sequel sold to Lee Harris at Angry Robot Books in a nice deal for US/UK publication by Lucienne Diver of The Knight Agency.

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In Love with Love

Book ValentineBelieve it or not there are some anti-Valentine's Day renegades in the TKA office. Or so they say... Apparently red and pink-furred teddy bears, a box of Whitman's, and cards that "sing" Unchained Melody no longer make them go all ooey-gooey inside. However, these same people would use up all the Kleenex in the box sniffling over an angst-ridden romance novel, ravenously gobble up anything with a bare-chested Alpha on the cover, and are still arguing over Team Edward or Team Jacob. Or maybe now it's Team Peeta or Team Gale. Clearly we are an agency that is in love with the idea of love and all the roller coaster storylines that come with it -- every day of the year. So, to get in the groove and celebrate today, we're departing a bit from our more formal tone.

In The Knight Post, you'll find an outrageous laugh-out-loud-worthy interview with DATING THE UNDEAD authors Gena Showalter and Jill Monroe. Usually, Gena and Jill exercise their impressive writing chops penning romance titles, but they took a bit of a departure to tackle a humor book giving tips to LGs (Living Girls) on how to maintain a relationship with their beloved zombie, demon, or angel (insert your favorite otherworldly being). Also, in The Informer section agent Elaine Spencer takes on the task of explaining the unexplainable -- that magical moment when an agent falls in love with a project.

The Knight Post

Dating the UndeadNew York Times bestselling author of the Lords of the Underworld series Gena Showalter and her author bud Jill Monroe are the yin to each others yang. The best friends have a new humor book out, DATING THE UNDEAD (Harlequin), that gives step by step instructions on how to reel in and keep a man with certain they type of guy who hangs out with his peeps in the underworld or harbors an extreme obsession with full moons. Known for producing the hilarious Author Talk series, the Gena and Jill have long shown they have a wicked sense of humor by writing and filming comedic shorts featuring various romance authors from Merline Lovelace to La Nora (aka Nora Roberts). Now, they've added the title of editrix to their resumes with this hilarious parody on a woman's magazine.

TKA: From “Manscaping Your Manly Immortal” to “Thirteen Places to Go Before You Don’t Die,” the inaugural issue of DATING THE UNDEAD seems to have left no stone unturned for tips to making the most of a relationship with an otherworldly being. Of all the features which one was your favorite to write?

GENA & JILL: We love so much about DATING THE UNDEAD – dare we say we love everything? – which makes it hard to pick just one! But…if a sexy dragon shifter was in front of us, telling us we had to pick one or he’d torch our offices—and then our sheets--we’d have to go with the Recover Girl ad.  However, if we were given a chance to name the close second, we’d go with Angel Vs Demon.  Two smoking hot immortals critique each other's dating styles, and oh, that was a blast to write!  But we’ll let you guess who wrote the parts for the Angel...and who wrote the parts for the Demon...

TKA: There’s a fabulous contest for DATING THE UNDEAD, where readers have a chance to win a Kindle Fire… as well as a $150 Amazon gift card…as well as a $100 Amazon gift card.  Tell us about it!

GENA & JILL: Just flip through your copy of DATING THE UNDEAD , pick an ad, article or anything to spoof and make a YouTube video (see the official rules here: and send us the link.  On March 1st, the top 10 will move on to round two, where viewers will pick first, second and third place.  It’s as easy as that!

TKA: How much input did either of you have in the gorgeous design layout of the “magazine?”
GENA & JILL: We'd like to say we were totally responsible for it, but …we can't.  Harlequin and Stonesong Press developed the cover, although fans of Gena's books will notice the man on the cover is a wee bit familiar.  (See INTO THE DARK)  Actually, we've changed our minds - we're totally responsible for the cover - we're so glad you like it. 

TKA: In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, if an LG (Living Girl) is in a relationship with an immortal guy, what sort of gifts should she prepare herself to receive today? (Surely, a box of chocolates from the Shop & Save is too mundane [read: human]…)

GENA & JILL: You're right - these hot immortals will definitely surprise you. 

Since Angels have that (sometimes annoying) tendency to read our minds - you can expect exactly what you've always wanted (and might not ever have known you needed). 

Vampires like to go old skool - a vamp who really cares will give you something meaningful from his past, maybe before he even became undead.

We don't think we're exaggerating when we say dragons like to show off a bit - so you'll probably be getting things he can set on fire - nice expensive candles, a carpet picnic in front of a fire where he feeds you chocolate covered strawberries with his fingers.

Demons - they'll probably give you something for them but disguised as a gift for you – like, say, a coupon book for hours of mattress time.

Werewolves - they're especially sporty and like to run in packs, so expect something particularly physical the two of you can do together…like mountain climbing or ziplining - what were YOU thinking?

Zombies - these immortals are the consummate stay-at-home guys - but don't be surprised if yours pulls out all the stops for this special night – but be prepared to act overjoyed when Doritos play a starring role.  

TKA: Let’s switch gears a bit. If DATING THE UNDEAD were re-imagined as DATING YOUR DREAM AGENT what would the lead feature article be called?

GENA & JILL: Dating Your Dream Agent - of course we'd say look no further than TKA!  And our first article would be: Turning An Agent-Crush Into A Long-Term Relationship, with such feature points as:

Do Your Homework - heads can be turned by a pretty face and seductive words, but the bottom line is, this might not be the best fit for you as a writer, so make sure you've done your research.

Check Your Compatibility - like any relationship, you must move and groove with your agent or your dance will suck. Technical term. How does the agent submit future projects?  What's the primary means of communication?  Find out these things BEFORE signing to avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications.

Show Me the Money - there's a reason financial problems is one of the top reasons for romantic breakups.  Know the percentage your agent will take, if he or she will charge any additional fees for things like copies, mailings and get a full understanding of how quickly they send you royalties and advances.

TKA: Do the two of you have any plans to collaborate in the future? What individual projects do either of you have coming up next?

GENA & JILL: We'd love to work together again, but have nothing in the works at the moment.  However, we have a fun time with our "serious" author interview program called Author Talk.  You can find that at  We’ve interview such greats as Kresley Cole, PC Cast and Nora Roberts.

And now a word from Gena and Jill's agent Deidre Knight....

TKA: Deidre, let’s imagine you’d penned DATING THE AUTHOR.  What would your top tip be for an enduring relationship with a client (especially since a birdie told me you and Gena have been together for a decade!)

Deidre: I’d say that, just like in any other lasting relationship, openness and communication are key—even when they’re not comfortable. Much as we’d all love to be mind readers, it can be hard to try and interpret vague signals.  Always endeavor to be kind when communicating, but also be as clear and honest as possible—whether things are in a good place or not. 

TKA: As their agent, what characteristics do you think Gena and Jill possess that made them the perfect candidates to tackle a humor book?

: Gena and Jill are, hands down, two of the funniest people I’ve ever been fortunate to know.  When you put them together, there’s a wonderful, hysterical chemistry.  So I’d say the way they come together is their very best attribute of all.  They make magic together.  If you have any doubt, you can see a sample here.

Learn more about the authors of DATING THE UNDEAD:,

The Informer

The All-Important First Date by Elaine Spencer

Elaine SpencerOne of the most ubiquitous questions aspiring authors ask me is, “What makes a manuscript stand out?” I think authors expect the answer to contain a golden key to publication. I wish. Unfortunately, the answer, regardless of how accurate, is a bit subjective, and a lot mysterious. Everyone knows that only a small percentage of queries submitted to TKA actually garner a manuscript request, and of those, only a minute fraction will likely end up being the perfect project for one of our agency. So what causes the match to strike in the heart of each of us as agents, I can’t say for certain. In fact, with Valentine’s Day upon us, I’ve realized the road to finding a “must have” manuscript is much like falling in love. Let me count the ways:  

Woman accepting date invitation over phoneYou agree to a first date. I’ve heard the pitch, I’ve scouted the query. For all meaningful purposes it could be love at first sight. The author’s put together a perfect package upon initial inspection; a clever title, a unique hook, and a summary blurb that appears to be everything I’m looking for in a man, er, manuscript. You had me at “Hello”. I’ve received the pages and have committed to giving it a shot. What happens next is like kismet. The opening lines are brilliant. The writing is clean. The author can not only compose a sentence and string together a paragraph, string together a paragraph, but their voice triggers that elusive zsa zsa zsu feeling that propels me further into the pages. The conversation ignites. (Between the characters of course.) I’m invested in learning more about them; I have to turn the page to get to know them deeper, see what makes them tick. Time flies. There is no awkward clock watching, counting the minutes. Before I know it hours have passed. I’m turning the pages rapidly not wanting the night to end (so I can keep reading of course!). How would you like a nightcap? I can barely keep my eyes open. I keep telling myself just one more page, turning as fast as I can towards the conclusion. The goodnight kiss. Now hold on a moment right there- a lady never kisses and tells. I will say the final pages have left me satisfied, content.

Pure Bliss.All I can think about are the hours we spent together, the highlights of the evening, the heartfelt goodbye. You wonder if they’ll call again. Is it a series? Could there possibly be more magic “in the drawer” yet to be discovered? You think about the future. Am I what they need and want in an agent? Is my agency a fit for their project? It’ll take work. There are a few edits that need covered, just a little sprucing up. The manuscript is almost there with a little massaging, but we want it to be just right.You know it’s meant to be. I’ve got the perfect editors in mind. I know publishers are looking for just this thing! Could it be time to commit? The person behind the manuscript is as splendid as the work itself. I can see us sharing a long career together.

Of course there will be bumps in the road, and anyone will tell you no two courtships are the same. Any meaningful relationship is one-of-a-kind. Regardless, I think we can all agree that there is no denying that once that magical spark happens – true love is sure to follow.

Agency News

N.K. Jemisin’s KINGDOM OF GODS is up on Locus’s 42nd annual Awards Ballot for Best Fantasy Novel of 2011. Both subscribers and non-subscribers are allowed to vote here:

MAKING PIECE: A MEMOIR OF LOVE, LOSS AND PIE author Beth Howard was spotlighted in Country Living.

Rosemary Clement-Moore’s TEXAS GOTHIC made the 2012 YALSA list of Best Fiction for Young Adults

Agents of the Roundtable

Knights of the RoundtableQUESTION: As a recent Smart Bitches Trashy Books blog noted, there's no shortage of readers hiding behind their inconspicuous eReader devices to avoid the raised brow of the judgmental literati at the sight of a racy cover. On the most romantic day of the year, proudly wave your romance flag by sharing how a particular romance book influenced your love of reading, career path, or personal life, etc.

Melissa Jeglinski: I did a lot of reading as a young girl, and was mostly obsessed with mysteries.  I never read anything with a romantic or historical setting until Elizabeth George Speare’s THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND.  That compelling novel with it’s strong female protagonist and dynamic historical setting really captured my heart. I was truly swept away by the multiple love stories that were so completely woven into the storyline I didn’t even realize it at the time.  This book really made me love romance and after reading it I sought out more books with a romantic feel.  I can see how how that led to my eventual first job as a romance editor and a lifelong fan of the romance genre.

Lucienne Diver: I’m such a huge reader now that it’s difficult to believe there was ever a time when I would start books and put them down, never to be picked up again, but it’s true. I wasn’t a reader growing up…until Frances Hodgson Brunett’s THE SECRET GARDEN. Wait, you say, that’s not a romance novel, but, well, isn’t it? When I was in fourth grade I was stuck in the hospital—not exactly an unusual occurrence for me with my severe asthma—and my mother brought THE SECRET GARDEN in to read to me. But, of course, the book can’t be read in one sitting, and when she left, the book stayed. For anyone who’s never read the book (and OMG, if that’s you, run don’t walk to your nearest bookstore), it’s about an orphaned girl who has to move in with her cold, remote uncle at his estate on the equally desolate Yorkshire moors, where she takes solace in a secret garden which she discovers and a local boy, Dickon, teaches her how to nurture back to live. It’s about so much more than that, of course, but I think that Dickon was my first crush. Well, I couldn’t just let sleeping books lie. I had to know what happened. I picked the book up and didn’t put it down again until I’d hit the end. Then I picked up the next, and the next, until I was reading two to three books a day. THE SECRET GARDEN gave me not only my first love, but my love of reading.

Pamela Harty: When I was in the 7th grade I read Eugenia Price's St. Simons trilogy. I blazed through THE LIGHTHOUSE, NEW MOON RISING, and BELOVED INVADER back to back as I couldn't put them down, and  I felt very  grown up because these were some of the first adult books I'd ever read. You might say, I was hooked from then on!  I re-read THE LIGHTHOUSE about 25 years later and realized how much my tastes had changed over the years, but my memory of these books and how they made me feel is still very vivid and very wonderful.

February Releases


Cheryl Brooks | Sourcebooks Casablanca: Even for a Zetithian, Tarq Zulveidinoe's sexual prowess is legendary. Believing it's all he's good for, Tarq sets out to perpetuate his threatened species by offering his services to women across the galaxy... Lucinda Force is the sensitive dark horse in a self-absorbed family, repeatedly told that no man will ever want such a plain woman. Lucy longs for romance, but is resigned to her loveless lot in life-until Tarq walks through the door... > Amazon
Stud by Cheyl Brooks


Monica Burns | Berkley Trade: Raised in a brothel, Allegra Synnford quickly learned that survival meant taking charge of her destiny. Now, as a renowned courtesan skilled in the pleasures of the flesh, she vows she will never be vulnerable to any one man... Sheikh Shaheen of the Amazigh has been hiding from his past for a long time. When Allegra ignites his desire, his need threatens to undermine his cover. > Amazon
Kismet by Monica Burns


Shannon K. Butcher | Penguin: The guilt that Defender Dakota Kacey feels about her brother’s death is all-consuming, making her determined to find and kill the demon who murdered him. But the leader of the Defenders is worried about what Dakota is capable of, and calls in Liam Lann to keep an eye on her. Dakota knows what kind of power a Theronai like Liam possesses, and agrees to bind herself to him if he’ll help her exact vengeance. As the search for the killer intensifies, Dakota will have to learn to trust Liam completely, or risk losing everything. > Amazon
Bound by Vengeance by Shannon K. Butcher


Rachel Caine | Roc: For millennia, Cassiel was a powerful Djinn-until she was exiled to live among mortals. Now the threat of an apocalypse looms, and Cassiel is in danger of losing everything she has come to hold dear.... As the world begins to fall apart around her, Cassiel finds herself fighting those she once called her own-the Djinn. With Weather Warden Luis Rocha and the rescued child Ibby by her side, Cassiel struggles to find a way to protect those that are in her charge and come to terms with the leadership role she never asked for. > Amazon 
Unbroken by Rachel Caine


Roberta Gellis | Sourcebooks: Lissa never much liked her elderly husband, but she certainly hadn't suspected he was plotting treason. When she's suddenly left a widow, the sharp gaze of the king's head investigator turns straight to her. Sir Justin is honor-bound to treat Lissa as a suspect, but keeping his distance from the beautiful temptress requires every ounce of his legendary self-control. > Amazon
Masques of Gold by Roberta Gellis


Samantha Grace | Sourcebooks: Debonair bachelor Lord Andrew Forest lives for pleasure and offers no apologies. But he receives a dose of his own medicine when his family's entrancing houseguest beds him, then disappears without so much as a by-your-leave. After the dashing man of her dreams is revealed as a lying scoundrel, heiress Lana Hillary is ready to seek a match with a respectable gentleman. But unable to rein in her bold nature for long, Lana flirts with trouble and finds herself entangled with exactly the type of man she's vowed to avoid. > Amazon
Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel by Samantha Grace

VENGEANCE BORN, A Light Blade Novel

Kylie Griffin | Berkley: Annika, half-blood daughter of the Na'Reish King, longs for more than her tormented life. Conceived in hatred and bred as a tool of retribution, she's gifted with a special talent that can heal as well as destroy...  When Annika learns Kalan, a Light Blade warrior, is a prisoner in her father's dungeon, her dream of escape seems within reach. She agrees to free him in exchange for his protection once they reach human territory. Annika must learn to trust Kalan as they undertake the perilous journey to the border and along the way discover a shocking truth that could incite civil war... > Amazon
Vengeance Born by Kylie Griffin


Joey W. hill | Berkley: Powerful sorcerer Derek Stormwind is determined to learn why the witch Ruby Night Devine pushed him away three years before. But he also needs her help in training a coven to fight a demon and his minions. While Ruby is willing to do it, she's sure it's just a ruse to get back in her heart-and her bed. Unfortunately, her bed's already made, and she fears nothing can save her soul...
 > Amazon
Something About Witches by Joey W. Hill


Annie Jones | Harlequin: The only rules Sam Goodacre has for his precocious triplet daughters are no dogs and no matchmaking. The single dad only wants to move forward after his wife's death. But the minute he and the girls meet the town's pretty new schoolteacher, he knows he's in trouble. Polly Bennett moved to the small town to get off the fast track, and she's the temporary owner of an adorable stray puppy. A single lady with a dog? The triplets are in matchmaking heaven! This seems to be one case where the rules were meant to be broken. > Amazon
Triplets Find a Mom by Annie Jones


Debra Mullins | Samhain: Sarah Calhoun is bound and determined to restore honor to the family name the only way she knows how-make her late father's newspaper, the Burr Chronicle, the most successful in the Wyoming Territory. Haunted by past scandal, she knows one misstep, one misunderstanding, could bring disgrace back down on her head. Yet that doesn't stop her from running an article about the insulting Jack Donovan. The blasted man is shopping for a wife as he would a horse!

Jack finally has the house in the kind of town he's always dreamed about. Now all that's missing is a wife. At first, he thinks Sarah's scathing article about his quest is a good thing-until he finds himself hounded by hordes of young girls, spinsters and widows. Sarah is as determined to ignore her impossible attraction to Donovan as she is to uncover his mysterious past. But the harder she digs for his secrets, the deeper he hides them. Until there's only one rock left unturned. His heart. > Amazon
Donovan's Bed by Debra Mullins


Cecil Murphey & Twila belk | Harvest House:  Caring for an ill or elderly loved one can be very difficult—and yet inspires a deep sense of love and peace of mind. Laced with stunning photos by nature photographer Betty Fletcher, this book is full of gentle wisdom and personal stories that help the caregiver with such matters as: feeling guilty for doing too much, too little, or nothing at all; answering other people’s well-meaning but insensitive questions; watching a dearly loved one suffer through difficult days. > Amazon
Because You Care: Spiritual Encouragement for Caregivers by Cecil Murphey and Twila Belk


Kate Pearce | Aphrodisia: Christian Delornay has observed so many illicit liaisons at his mother's house of pleasure he regards sex as merely an enjoyable pastime, certainly not an act of love. So when a young widow arrives in search of work, Christian hires her as his assistant. Desperate to escape her past, Elizabeth "Smith" is happy to accept Christian's offer of work. She is prepared to serve his every need, yet she refuses to reveal her most intimate desires. But in the hands of a master it is impossible to deny her own wanton yearnings. > Amazon
Simply Carnal by Kate Pearce


Kira Sinclair | Harlequin: Artist Elle Monroe is looking for a painting that was taken from her, and she'll do anything to get it back. Little does she know how good "anything" will feel…. Or that she might end up on her back finding out. Security head CIA Zane Edwards knows she's up to no good. But as he keeps her under surveillance, he learns there's something more to Elle than her criminal tendencies. > Amazon

Take It Down by Kira Sinclair


Nalini Singh | Berkley: Warrior angels, vampire hunters, and angels gone bad heat up this altogether sizzling paranormal alternate universe. This anthology of novellas features Angels' Wolf, Angels' Judgement, Angels' Pawn, and the never-before-published Angels' Dance. > Amazon
Angels' Flight by Nalini Singh


Christina Henry | Ace: Something is wrong with the souls of Chicago's dead. Ghosts are walking the streets, and Agent of Death Madeline Black's exasperating boss wants her to figure out why. And while work is bad enough, Maddy has a plethora of personal problems too. Now that Gabriel has been assigned as her thrall, their relationship has hit an impasse. At least her sleazy ex-fiance Nathaniel is out of the picture--or so she thinks... > Amazon
Black Howl by Christina Henry