Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Round Two Entrants Announced!

So I decided to enter Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest this year with My Sore Hush-a-Bye. (which, by the way, is only U$ 0,99 until this Friday, March 21!!)

I had amazing help from great and generous writers on this thread, and ended up with this pitch (boy, how maddening it is to write a pitch!):

Ever since her mother left Camille in Uncle Bob’s care with a short note, she has been kept locked inside. In this throwback world, Uncle Bob’s her only companion, breaking her the way he wants: old music, old movies, and the weird games he likes to play. Convinced by his claims of love and protection, she learned to love and accept this sheltered life, letting him become her whole world. 
 
Now a teenager, her desires to leave the house and be free are long gone, but Uncle Bob seems tired of her; she’s too old for everything, and he rarely plays with her anymore.  
 
Terrified, she’s sent to public school, facing brutal bullying and feelings of inadequacy. The only bit of hope is a thirteen-year-old girl who apparently enjoys her company and doesn’t look down on her clothes, her hair, her black skin; Ashley. Despite her fears, Camille starts a friendship. Then Ashley goes missing, and the guilt of perhaps knowing what happened is unbearable.  
 
Albeit replaced and not loved anymore, she’s still loyal to Uncle Bob, staying silent until he hits her for the first time. After eight years of seclusion, she’ll have to rethink everything and maybe find help. Finally allowing herself to think about her mother again, somehow she will have to find the strength to do the right thing.  
 
Is it possible to wake up after so long, understand what really happened to her, to Ashley, to her mother? Is it possible to overcome so much? 
 
MY SORE HUSH-A-BYE touches some dark and heart-wrenching themes, wishing they only existed in fiction. Unfortunately, many kids are suffering like Camille, and the novel tries to give a voice to those helpless children.

I liked it so much I actually changed my blurb at Amazon by a shorter, less revealing version of the pitch. And how surprised was I this morning, downloading the PDF with the top entries from my category – General Fiction, and finding my name in the ‘R’ section? Well, this much:

 

surprise

 

That’s it! My Sore Hush-a-Bye made it!From 10.000 pitches, only 2.000 made it through, and mine was one of them. I guess I can be pretty proud of myself, and immensely grateful to the help I found on the Pitch thread. I’d never made it without the advice I got there. Thank you so much. And congratulations to all who passed too. To those who didn’t, keep writing, please. There’s so much talent on you all, and your stories need to be told.

Now it’s time to drink all the tea I can find to calm down and wait for April 14, when the Top 500 (Semi-Finalists) will be announced.

See all Round Two Entrants

P.S. – On a side note, I’m never posting anymore because I’m writing like crazy (well, when the bursitis allow it :D) and Myself in Blue’s first draft is finished and in revision right now! Soon I’ll post more about it here.

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New Story – Merge, a Sequel to Mean and My Sore Hush-a-Bye

It’s now available on Amazon and Smashwords my new short story (8 thousand words). If you read Mean: A Psychological Thriller Novelette and My Sore Hush-a-Bye and want to know more about Cassandra and Camille’s future, here’s your chance.

** Please note that this short story (around 8K words) is a SEQUEL to Mean: A Psychological Thriller Novelette and My Sore Hush-a-Bye. Do not read it before these books if you don’t want those stories to be spoiled! **

Cassandra Connelly and Camille Marie Jones: two women who suffered unthinkable child abuse. Their lives were forever stained by their ordeals during their childhoods.

The way they reacted to it, however, was completely different.

Five years after the events of Mean: A Psychological Thriller Novelette and My Sore Hush-a-Bye, see what happened to Camille and Cassandra, and how they will react when facing one another.

– Merge is FREE at Smashwords for a limited time, and only 0.99 cents on Amazon. –

MergeCover7

Blog Hop: “The Next Big Thing”

I’m really thankful to my fellow Indie Author Jeff Whelan author of the remarkable Space Orville for tagging me for this Blog Hop!
Basically, it’s an opportunity to talk about our ‘Next Big Thing’, linking to the person who tagged you the week before, and tagging 5 other authors for next week.

It comes right on schedule, since my Next Big thing is almost ready to see the world. My Sore Hush-a-Bye, my novel, will be released next month.

So, let me tell you all about it!

What is the working title of your book?

My Sore Hush-a-Bye is the title of my novel, which will be released in November, 2012.

Front and Back cover

 Where did the idea come from for the book?

For the most part, from Mama Cass, and the song “All the Pretty Little Horses”, as I explained on this previous post

What genre does your book fall under?

I believe it’s a coming-of-age mystery, but some people have classified it as a psychological thriller.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Oh my, can I dream of it? Okay!

I thought Alec Baldwin would be a perfect Uncle Bob, but after watching the season premiere of “30 Rock”, I’m not so sure anymore. The guy looks ten years younger this season! How does he do that? 😀

For Camille, I can’t think of anyone… Maybe a new, unknown actress. (who would rise to fame after this blockbuster… Okay, I’ll wake up now! :))

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Growing up can change everything…

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Self-published. I love to do it all! (Yeah, I am a control freak…)

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I thought it would take me ages, but somehow I finished it in less than three months! (Camille really wanted me to tell her story and kept whispering in my ear incessantly.)

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

That’s a tricky question—difficult to answer without sounding presumptuous—but I believe that “What They Do In The Dark”, by Amanda Coe, “A Thousand Cuts” (American edition) “Rupture” (Original British edition) by Simon Lelic, “Black Heart Blue”, by Louisa Reid, “Still Missing”, by Chevy Stevens and “Cemetery Girl”, by David Bell, are books with similar themes.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Again, I think this post explains it all. In short—Mama Cass was a huge inspiration.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

What?  Do you mean my charming smile is not enough? 🙂

Seriously now, I like to write about dark and twisted themes, in the hope that one day they will only exist in fiction. Unfortunately, there are loads of kids suffering the same ordeal that Camille describes in my book. Since most of them are never going to have the chance to tell their stories, I think it’s important to read this one (and many others from other authors), even if it’s fictional, so people will perhaps be more alert to recognize the signs. There may be a child right next to you in need of help, and you may not see it if you don’t know what to look for. I hope that my fictional story might help giving voice to helpless true children everywhere.

Now it’s my turn to tag 5 other fellow Authors, who will post their answers next Wednesday on their blogs.
Please meet my dear friends and amazing authors:

Ruth Nestvold

T.M. Souders

Massimo Marino

Ally Malinenko

Bev Jones

Bookmark them, so you won’t miss their great posts next week!