5 words, 14 letters…I HAVE A BOOK DEAL!

“I can’t believe this is real life” has become my new mantra. If someone were to tell me three weeks ago that I’d be sharing this news with you, I’d think they were crazy. And clearly compulsive liars, and why the heck was I friends with such crazy compulsive liars?! I’d need to look into finding some decent friends…

I’m still shamefully ineloquent right now, so please forgive this rambling mess of emotions. This is a post I’ve been dreaming of, patiently waiting for five years (including query trench time) and (more than) a handful of books later to write. It will be told with a series of accompanying gifs because that’s kinda how I roll.

Guys? I have a book deal.

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Holy state of denial, Batman. Maybe I should say that to myself again, a little louder this time to be sure: I HAVE A BOOK DEAL.

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Like the time I had “THE CALL” with my agent (and was totally convinced Barbara wanted to talk on the phone because she found fancy new ways of lighting my manuscript on fire…using her eyes), I sent my pal A.G. Howard an email, panicking that MAYBE THEY WILL SAY “HAHA JUST KIDDING, NO DEAL HERE, MANIAC. WE FOUND WAYS TO LIGHT YOUR BOOK ON FIRE WITH OUR EYES.”

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Ever the reasonable one, Anita assured me that still wasn’t a thing. So now I’m back to quietly repeating my mantra. I cannot believe it’s happening. Like seriously…what dream world did I teleport to and how long can I stay?!

My editor and publisher (SQUEALS!) were even nice enough to have it announced, so I can now stare at it, all wide-eyed with tears streaming down my face, and keep whispering, “I can’t believe this is real life.”

Here’s the publishers marketplace deal announcement:

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And here’s a screenshot of the Publisher’s Weekly announcement:

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This is what it says: Jenny Bak at Jimmy Patterson Books has bought a YA novel called Of Blood and Shadow by Kerri Maniscalco. The debut gothic thriller, inspired by the Ripper murders, is about a Victorian-era lord’s daughter who defies society expectations by secretly apprenticing as a forensics examiner, and soon finds herself embroiled in the investigation of a serial killer who is stalking London’s East End. The book is scheduled for fall 2016; Barbara Poelle at Irene Goodman Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world English rights.

*jumps up and down* *faints*

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So yeah. It’s really real. I’m not sure I’ll ever wrap my brain around that, and honestly? I hope I never do. This is such an incredible blessing.

Thank you to my family, loved ones, friends, and all of my writing pals (#goatposse) and critique partners and beta readers and agent siblings. And to my superhero/agent goddess, Barbara Poelle, for making this insane dream come true.

And a BIG THANK YOU to my editor. *waves* Hi Jenny! I am ridiculously excited for what comes next!

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Also, I am so grateful and beyond words thrilled to be on this journey with James Patterson and the entire team at JIMMY Patterson Books and Little, Brown. You guys are total dream makers. Thank you forever.

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OF BLOOD AND SHADOW is in the best possible hands and I cannot wait to share these characters and this world with all of you next Fall, dear readers and friends.

And now? WE DRINK CHAMPAGNE AND DANCE.

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OR DANCE IN OUR CHAMPAGNE.

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EITHER WAY WE’RE DANCING AND CHAMPAGNE IS INVOLVED!

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Click here to add OF BLOOD AND SHADOW on goodreads!

happy world book day!

just in time to celebrate world book day – behold the new stash!

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i am really looking forward to reading Nova Ren Suma’s THE WALLS AROUND US this weekend. the cover is GORGEOUS and the inside of the book sounds delightfully terrifying. have you read the blurb yet??

if you’re shaking your head then okay okay okay, i’ll paste it here for your convenience then you can froth at the mouth and grab a copy so we can read and fangirl together. sound good?

THE WALLS AROUND US:

“Ori’s dead because of what happened out behind the theater, in the tunnel made out of trees. She’s dead because she got sent to that place upstate, locked up with those monsters. And she got sent there because of me.”

On the outside, there’s Violet, an eighteen-year-old dancer days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement.

On the inside, within the walls of the Aurora Hills juvenile detention center, there’s Amber, locked up for so long she can’t imagine freedom.

Tying their two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls’ darkest mysteries…

What really happened on the night Orianna stepped between Violet and her tormentors? What really happened on two strange nights at Aurora Hills? Will Amber and Violet and Orianna ever get the justice they deserve—in this life or in another one?

IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS

Blackbirds CoverBook Review: IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS

Author: Cat Winters

Genre: YA Historical/Mystery with a Paranormal twist

Rating: Five out of Five stars

Back of book blurb:

In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion. Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches as desperate mourners flock to séances and spirit photographers for comfort, but she herself has never believed in ghosts. During her bleakest moment, however, she’s forced to rethink her entire way of looking at life and death, for her first love—a boy who died in battle—returns in spirit form. But what does he want from her?

Featuring haunting archival early-twentieth-century photographs, this is a tense, romantic story set in a past that is eerily like our own time.

Review:

This is one of those books that is so beautifully written you want to go back and immediately reread it. Cat Winters did a spectacular job bringing the haunted feeling of walking around during the Spanish influenza to life. I could actually smell the onions people used to keep the flu away, and feel the gauze suffocating me. The details and historical accuracy really elevated this novel into something otherworldly. I don’t want to give too much away for anyone who hasn’t read it yet, but hands down this is one of the most breathtaking reads of the year. If you are in the market for something unlike anything else on the shelves this is the book for you.

Mary Shelley Black is a delightful character full of quirks and spunk. She is such a remarkable young woman who deals with everything that’s thrown at her with courage and bravery, and the mystery surrounding the death of her first love kept me turning the pages well into the early morning hours. I’m not a cryer when it comes to novels, I RARELY tear up, but there were two parts in this book that brought on full-blown ugly crying.

MY GOD YOU NEED TO READ THIS. There are so many things I want to chat about so please go buy a copy and make some tea.

Here’s a taste of the first page to whet your appetite:

Portland, Oregon–October 16, 1918

I stepped inside the railroad car, and three dozen pairs of eyes peered my way. Gauze masks concealed the passengers’ mouths and noses. The train smelled of my own mask’s cotton, boiling onions, and a whiff of something clammy and sour I took to be fear.

Keep moving, I told myself.

My legs shook and threatened to buckle, but I managed to clomp down the aisle in the brown Boy Scout boots I wore in case I ever needed to run at a moment’s notice. The heavy tread drew unwanted glances and at least one raised eyebrow, but nobody uttered a word.

Praise for IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS:

“Winters’s masterful debut novel is an impressively researched marriage of the tragedies of wartime, the 1918 flu epidemic, the contemporaneous Spiritualism craze, and a chilling love story and mystery…Deliciously creepy.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Unconventional and unflinching… More than anything, this is a story of the breaking point between sanity and madness, delivered in a straightforward and welcoming teen voice.”—Booklist, starred review

“Winters deftly combines mystery, ghost story, historical fiction, and romance…the story and setting are atmospheric and eerie.”—School Library Journal, starred review

“Winters strikes just the right balance between history and ghost story, neatly capturing the tenor of the times, as growing scientific inquiry collided with heightened spiritualist curiosity.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Cat Winters’s debut novel is creepy good… Mary Shelley, with her Boy Scout boots and penchant for aviatrix goggles, is just plain awesomely odd.” —The Boston Globe

“Words like ‘unputdownable’ and ‘irresistible’ are simply not enough for Cat Winters’s In the Shadow of Blackbirds. Days after finishing this story, it remains the first thought I have in the morning, and the thing that haunts me until I sleep.”—Lauren DeStefano New York Times bestselling author of The Chemical Garden trilogy

Keep up with Cat Winters on the interwebs:

Twitter

Official Website

Facebook

Goodreads

She’s also hosting an international giveaway on her blog RIGHT NOW through July 2nd, so you miiiiiiiight want to check it out.