Also, on October 10th, I passed my seven years of blogging mark, which begs to be celebrated. So part of this contest with also feature a chance to win a query and 10-page crit of your novel from yours truly. This is the only time in the year I offer this prize, just so you know.
AND, as if that's not enough to celebrate, I have a BLURB to share! Let's do that first:
"I can sum up this book in one word: COST. Everything in Natalie Whipple's HOUSE OF IVY & SORROW has a price. Every spell requires a sacrifice. But that's not where the price tags end. What is the price of a relationship? A friendship? A friend's life? And secrets. Secrets have the highest cost of all. A wonderful, dark tale of witches who feel all too human. Loved it!"
—Aprilynne Pike, bestselling author of awesomeness, creator of the Wings series, along with Life After Theft, the Earthbound series, and the upcoming Sleep No MoreAwesome, right? I have to admit I love hearing Good Things about HOUSE OF IVY & SORROW, because it's pretty much my pet book. Yes, my favorite of the things I've written to date (except for maybe the thing I have on sub, but it's close). I really hope people enjoy it, and I feel like now is also a good time to share a teaser, yes? Because six months! And prizes! And today is a party! (I feel like I should have cupcakes now...)
From HOUSE OF IVY & SORROW:
I slam the door behind me and lean against it. My heart pounds, though I’m not quite sure why. He didn’t seem like a bad person, but there was something evil with him. It was wrong for him to be here, to see me.
After I bolt the door, I head back to Nana. “Here are your spiders.”
Her white eyebrows furrow over her impossibly dark eyes. “What’s wrong?”
So much for hiding my panic. “Nothing. There was just a man at the gate. I sent him away.”
She goes to the window and pulls the green velvet curtain back, as if he’d still be there. “He didn’t come for a spell?”
I shake my head. “He . . . asked for Carmina.”
Her eyes snap to mine.
“He didn’t know she was dead.”
She shuts the curtain with far more force than necessary. “You are not to go out there again.”
“Wha . . . wait, what?” I didn’t expect her to be happy about the stranger, but this is harsh, even for her. “Why?”
“Not safe . . . not safe . . .” She goes to her cabinets, grabbing all sorts of eyes. Eyes—for which to see. Magic can be rather literal at times. “No good can come from those who seek the dead.”
“Would you mind explaining?”
No answer. She’s already in full incantation mode, the small cauldron heating on a Bunsen burner and all. Nana is an incredible witch. I watch in amazement as she goes through each phase at lightning speed, and by memory. I still have so much to learn from her. The liquid is almost finished by the time I realize what she’s doing.
I groan. “Do I have to?”
“Yes, child, before it’s too late.” She motions for me to come over.
I grab the small knife on her desk as I go. Payment. Always. I hold my finger over the bubbling liquid and cut. It doesn’t sting until the blood is already dripping. I watch, only because I have to know when to stop the flow. The concoction turns from green to autumn orange. I pull my hand back and search for a tissue.
“That’s it. . . .” Nana waves her hands over the baby cauldron. In an instant a ghostlike figure appears—the man, with his sad eyes and nice suit, right from my fresh memories.
Cool, right? Okay, on to the PRIZES and how to win them. Admittedly, this contest is for The Writers out there, but I will have more contests! I still have a handful of ARCs to give away before HOUSE OF IVY & SORROW releases.
SEVEN-WORD PITCH CONTEST:
How To Enter: It's simple, really. You have a novel? I want to hear your pitch in seven words (To honor seven years blogging, of course. Last year it was a six-word pitch, so no complaining you get a whole extra word!).
You may give that pitch here in comments, on Twitter (@nataliewhipple), or on my FB page. I will pick SEVEN favorites as the winners. And so you know, my winners have had shockingly good success in querying—three of the six winners last year emailed me to let me know they got agents, and one of them even sold their novel! (Yes, I'm totally proud of them and so excited.)
Prizes: The seven winners will all receive a query and 10-page crit of their novel. My favorite entry will also get an ARC of HOUSE OF IVY & SORROW plus swag.
Deadline: You have one week to enter! That means all entries are due October 22, 2013, at midnight Mountain Time. I will post winners October 23rd.
Good luck if you enter! This was one of my favorite things I did last year, so I can't wait to see how you pitch your novels in seven words!