Summer News

Posted on 09. Aug, 2014 by in Author Visits

Lots of amazing things going on here in the land of Graves:


pnla_scalelogo_ex9This week I’m heading out on a road trip to Helena, Montana to speak at the Pacific Northwest Library Association’s annual conference about ways libraries can best connect with authors and in turn enhance their literacy / readership programs. To be asked to present at the conference’s Young Readers Choice Awards Author Luncheon is a huge honour. I’m also excited to check out all the cool sessions PNLA has to offer and bring new ideas back to my own school district where I work (day job!) as a library technician.

Friday, August 15th: 12:30 – 2:00 p.m.

YRCA Author luncheon – Judith Graves,   (Auction winners announced) Book signing afterward.


KI400KILLER’S INSTINCT, the monster-hunter tale I co-wrote with Dawn Dalton,  has been nominated for the coveted Silver Falchion Award™ …along with two other Leap Books titles. ““The purpose of the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award™ is to honor the best books readily available to a North American audience in any format within the past year. The categories include both fiction and nonfiction.” Winners will be announced at the Killer Nashville conference this weekend!

LEAP BOOKS’ Silver Falchion Award™ nominees include:


Leapbadge1And one of the most exciting things to happen in my publishing career thus far, I’m now the proud Co-Publisher of Leap Books, the small publishing house that took a chance on me when I first started in this business in 2008. I’ve joined young adult authors, Shannon Delany and Jennifer Murgia as the new owner/management team of Leap Books LLC. Get the full details about this friendly publishing house takeover here.

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And finally, the other me, Judith Tewes, is celebrating the release of an edgycontemporary young adult tale published with Bloomsbury Spark. If you like snark, swearing, and aren’t bothered by irreverent teens in sexual situations – this might be a read for you. There’s even a giveaway!


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Leap Books Celebration Giveaway

Posted on 01. Aug, 2014 by in Author Visits

Leapbadge1We’re having a bit of a party to celebrate Leap Books’ new ownership / management team and have a fun giveaway YOU can enter. Help us spread the word about our new venture into the wild, crazy world of publishing…contest ends August 28th!
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“One Small Step…” can Create One Giant LEAP!

Posted on 01. Aug, 2014 by in Author Visits

Leapbadge1I’m thrilled to share the following press release with you! I’m now the proud co-publisher of a company I’ve been with for years and believe will LEAP far..
“One Small Step…” can Create One Giant LEAP!
That’s what popular young adult authors Shannon DelanyJudith Graves, and Jen Murgia hope! The bold trio recently took on management (and in Delany’s case ownership) of established small publisher Leap Books LLC.
The three women come from diverse backgrounds in publishing but have pooled their skills and resources to breathe new life into Leap.

Established in 2009 by Laurie Edwards, Leap has earned a respected place in the young adult and middle grade markets, gaining recognition from the Green Earth Books Award program, the Young Adult Library Services Association Popular Paperbacks program, and receiving recommended reading status from authoritative review sources, such as Kirkus Reviews, the Midwest Book Review, and CM Magazine.

What should readers look forward to with the relaunch of Leap? “We already have a backlist of strong stories thanks to the foundation Laurie Edwards built for Leap Books, but it seems like people have overlooked many of them while swimming in the sea of current YA and MG novels. We’re going to changing that and building on the existing list with our upcoming SHINE list of edgy YA and NA e-novellas and a re-branding and re-launching of both our YA novel line SURGE and our middle grade novel line.”

What should authors look forward to with Leap Books? “Although Leap’s SURGE line usually only accepts agented submissions, in mid-October we’ll be opening our doors wide. If you have a well-polished YA or MG novel that grabs us and holds us, we may have a spot in our lineup for you. Watch the Leap Books blog–no, stalk the blog–to find out when to submit. And watch for special anthologies to submit to–we have some great ones coming up!”

For now Delany suggests readers and writers alike leap into the contest running until August 8th at and if you’re serious about writing for a publisher, first give a few of their books a read.
You can find Leap Books at:

Shannon Delany, Publisher

Judith Graves, Co-Publisher
Jennifer Murgia, Marketing Director
Leap Books, LLC
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Leap Books Deals for the Fourth

Posted on 07. Jul, 2014 by in Author Visits

Leap Books has a deal going this Fourth of July long weekend…


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Leap Books: SHINE

Posted on 20. Jun, 2014 by in Author Visits

shinelogoI’ve recently accepted a position at Leap Books to manage their young adult e-novella line, SHINE. I’ve been an author with Leap since 2010 and have been non-too subtle about my interest in the business side of publishing. When Leap Books owner, Laurie J. Edwards, offered me the chance to take on the SHINE line – I tripped over myself to grab a hold before she could change her mind.

And so, the journey has begun. Thus far I’ve established the SHINE website which will continue to be updated as things progress. We’re also on TumblrFacebook, and you can follow Leap Books and SHINE  on Twitter. It’s been a learning curve finding cover designers, freelance editors to work with, contract negotiations, agent and author submissions, as well as figuring out how to make deal announcements…but I love the challenge. Already, I’ve met some amazingly talented authors and I can’t wait to reveal who has signed with SHINE.

If you’re a writer, check out our submission guidelines.

If you’re a blogger, we’re looking for some keeners to join our blogger street team. Fire me an email!

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Killer’s Instinct Book Blast

Posted on 05. Jun, 2014 by in Author Visits







We’re gearing up for a monster event…just one day only where bloggers will be blasting the Net with promo for KILLER’S INSTINCT, the zombie-hunter tale I co-wrote with Dawn Dalton.

Wanna join us on June 24th to spread the word? Get the detail at the Book Blast main page – tour organized by Book Nerd Tours, so you know it’s gonna be fun:

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Denise Jaden Blog Tour: FAST FICTION

Posted on 03. Mar, 2014 by in Author Visits

Rather than doing a traditional interview-filled blog tour, Denise Jaden is celebrating the release of her new nonfiction writing book, FAST FICTION, by dropping tips about writing quickly at every stop of her blog tour, and offering some awesome prizes for commenting on any of these posts (including this one!)

The more you drop by and comment, the more chances you have to win these great prizes:

Denise’s Fast Fiction Tip: Always Write Forward

If you’re looking to get from the beginning to the end of a draft
quickly, my best advice is to always keep forward momentum with your story.
That means no peaking back to see if your story so far is truly working. Trust
that it is. Chances are, while your head is in all the little details of the
story, you won’t be able to see the arc of the big picture clearly anyway. So don’t look
back—not even a page. Each time you sit down to write, start on a fresh page,
or at least a fresh paragraph, and then work your way forward, forward,
forward. You can fix things later, once you have a clear picture of the story
as a whole, but when you’re writing a first draft, think of it like a snowball traveling downhill, picking up speed and momentum. Think of how good it will feel to type “The End!”

The Prizes:

  • Compliments of New World Library: They will be giving away A BOX of copies of FAST FICTION by Denise Jaden and GET IT DONE by Sam Bennett (US and Canada only):
  • Compliments of Denise Jaden, TWO BOXES of great fiction (US Only). Details on Denise’s blog.
  • Audiobook copies of NEVER ENOUGH by Denise Jaden!
  • A critique of your first five pages, compliments of Denise’s agent, Michelle Humphrey from The Martha Kaplan Agency!
All you have to do is enter the rafflecopter for a chance to win (at the bottom of this post, I’ve included links to all of the other blogs where you can comment for more chances to win).
About Fast Fiction:
Writers flock to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) each November because it provides a procrastination-busting deadline. But only a fraction of the participants meet their goal. Denise Jaden was part of that fraction, writing first drafts of her two published young adult novels during NaNoWriMo. In Fast Fiction, she shows other writers how to do what she did, step-by-step, writer to writer. Her process starts with a prep period for thinking through plot, theme, characters, and setting. Then Jaden provides day-by-day coaching for the thirty-day drafting period. Finally, her revision tips help writers turn merely workable drafts into compelling and publishable novels.

A portion of publisher proceeds will be donated to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

Praise for Fast Fiction:

“Fast Fiction is filled with stellar advice, solid-gold tips, and doable, practical exercises for all writers who want to draft a complete novel.”
— Melissa Walker, author of Violet on the Runway
“Being a ‘pantser’ I have always resisted outlining, but I have to say that Fast Fiction changed my mind! Denise Jaden takes what I find to be a scary process (outlining) and makes it into an easy and, dare I say, enjoyable one. Fast Fiction is a hands-on book that asks the right questions to get your mind and your story flowing. I know I’ll be using Fast Fiction over and over again. Highly recommended for fiction writers!
— Janet Gurtler, author of RITA Award finalist I’m Not Her
“Fast Fiction is full of strategies and insights that will inspire and motivate writers of every experience level — and best of all, it provides them with a solid plan to quickly complete the first draft of their next novel.”
— Mindi Scott, author of Freefall
“Fast Fiction provides writers with the perfect mix of practical guidance and the kick in the pants they need to finish that draft. This book is a must-have for writers of all levels.”
— Eileen Cook, author of The Almost Truth
Practical and down-to-earth, Denise Jaden’s Fast Fiction makes a one-month draft seem doable, even for beginners, any month of the year.”
— Jennifer Echols, author of Endless Summer and Playing Dirty
“One of the greatest challenges any writer faces is getting a great idea out of one’s brain and onto the page. Fast Fiction breaks that process down into concrete, manageable steps, each accompanied by Denise Jaden’s sage advice and enthusiastic encouragement. And anything that helps streamline the drafting process is a-okay by me! Fast Fiction is a great addition to any writer’s toolbox — I’ve got it in mine!”
— Catherine Knutsson, author of Shadows Cast by Stars
“Forget the fact that this resource is directed at those wanting to complete a fast draft — if you’re out to get your novel done, period, Jaden’s Fast Fiction will be the kick in the butt that gets you there, from story plan to ‘The End’. . . and beyond.”
— Judith Graves, author of the Skinned series for young adults
Where you can find Fast Fiction:
Blog Tour Stops:
Comment on any of the following blog posts celebrating Fast Fiction’s release to be entered to win prizes galore!
(All Fast Fiction blog posts should be live by March 9th, or sooner. Contest will be open until March 15th.)
GCC Blogs:
Additional Participating Blogs:
Remember, all you have to do is leave comments to get lots of extra entries to win some great prizes.
Don’t know what to comment about? Tell us the name of your favorite writing book!

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YAC Conference

Posted on 21. Feb, 2014 by in Author Visits

YAC colour logo ext

I’m heading to Edmonton this weekend for my annual trek to the Young Authors Conference: “This writing conference is held annually for students in grades 4 to 9 at F.R. Haythorne Jr. High School.  Each year over 370 selected students from both Elk Island Public and Elk Island Catholic Schools are invited to spend the day with a variety of well-known children and young adult authors, illustrators and graphic artists; working with them and learning “tricks of the trade.”

It’s a fantastic opportunity to rub shoulders with Alberta’s finest authors and illustrators, as well as be inspired by the amazingly talented students who attend. I’m presenting two sessions, one on screenwriting and another on writing horror. I always leave this conference on a high. Can’t wait!

Judith Graves (A) (1 Session) Bones of the Story

Young adult paranormal author, JUDITH GRAVES shares her experience writing spec scripts for network television and feature film, as well as offers tips on the craft of screenwriting. Graves will delve into how to plot a script using her outline structure, The Bones of the Story. From gripping logline to epic showdown, she’ll provide you the foundation you’ll need to create your own dreadfully cool scripts.
Judith Graves (B) (1 Session) Fiction to Die For

Young adult paranormal / thriller author, JUDITH GRAVES, helps you dig deep and unearth the killer themes lurking in your horror and thriller fiction. This genre isn’t just writing tales of blood and guts – it’s creating fiction to DIE for. Learn how to get under your reader’s skin, play on their primal fears, and hold mirrors up to their own inner monsters. These FANGtasic tips will keep your readers turning the page…to the dire end.
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Killer’s Instinct: It’s ALIVE

Posted on 16. Jan, 2014 by in Author Visits

Whoot! Thrilled to announce the print edition of KILLER’S INSTINCT, the monster-hunter tale I co-wrote with Dawn Dalton, is available now for purchase online! Here’s the blurb:

Where there is NO life – there’s Hope… 

Hope has always been a bit of a freak. But when her mother crawls from her grave and her undead corpse goes MIA, Hope’s last thread of normal snaps with a vengeance. Enrolling in a militia-style school for monster hunters seems her best bet for tracking down Mommy-dearest and putting what’s left of her mother to rest.

But the stakes are raised when she’s partnered with three unique male recruits – each with their own personal demons to slay if they want to survive basic training. But does Hope have a true killer’s instinct? If she finds her mother, will she have the guts to do what must be done to save her soul? In a place like Le Manoir, all bets are off.

To celebrate the launch, here’s a giveaway you can enter:
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Extracted Blog Tour

Posted on 13. Nov, 2013 by in Author Visits

Now this is a fun day. I’m excited to be part of the EXTRACTED Blog Tour and introduce two authors you’re gonna love. I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of their smart steampunk tale and thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Tesla Institute. Without further ado – I give you…


Tyler H. Jolley is a sci-fi/fantasy author and full-time orthodontist, periodontist (see: Overachiever). He divides his spare time between writing, reading, mountain biking, and camping with his family.

Sherry D. Ficklin is a full-time writer and internet radio show host with more mouth then good sense. She has a serious book addiction, but continually refuses treatment, much to her husband’s chagrin.

Tyler and Sherry met one fateful day and bonded over their love for books, science fiction, and donuts. Their first co-written novel came shortly after. Now, they still do all those other things, but also go to various steampunk conventions and events under the guise of ‘research’. They can often be found lurking on the Lost Imperials Facebook page or over on the official website,


Welcome to the war.

The Tesla Institute is a premier academy that trains young time travelers called Rifters. Created by Nicola Tesla, the Institute seeks special individuals who can help preserve the time stream against those who try to alter it. The Hollows is a rogue band of Rifters who tear through time with little care for the consequences. Armed with their own group of lost teens–their only desire to find Tesla and put an end to his corruption of the time stream. Torn between them are Lex and Ember, two Rifters with no memories of their life before joining the time war.

When Lex’s girlfriend dies during a mission, the only way he can save her is to retrieve the Dox, a piece of tech which allows Rifters to re-enter their own timeline without collapsing the time stream. But the Dox is hidden deep within the Telsa Institute, which means Lex must go into the enemy camp. It’s there he meets Ember, and the past that was stolen from them both comes flooding back. Now armed with the truth of who they are, Lex and Ember must work together to save the future before the battle for time destroys them both again.

GUEST POST from Tyler and Sherry:

Being an author, there is a certain level of expectation from the people we meet. As soon as they find out what we do they assume we are rich and famous, or at least rich. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Early on in most people’s careers they have these preconceived notions about the life of a writer. (Read: Fame and glory) but the truth is a little slower coming. Writing isn’t easy. Fun, yes, but it still very much work, very much a job.

Not to burst anyone’s bubble, but the sad truth is we still have to clean our own houses (well, Sherry does. Tyler’s wife usually gets stuck with that particular task), pick up the doggie poo in our yards, and drive ourselves to book signings (though we are still lobbying for a tour bus). The life of a writer isn’t a glamorous one. Actually, it’s exhausting. But we do it because we love it. Which is lucky since the odds of becoming a best-seller are, statistically, the same as being struck by lightning.

Not to be dissuaded by reality, we are working hard to make that dream a reality.

And with that in mind we’ve compiled a list of the stuff we are gonna do if ever we become HUGE WOLRD FAMOUS AUTHORS.

10. Cry on Oprah. A LOT. We’re talking ugly tears. Tyler does this anytime the Notebook is on TV, but Sherry only cries during PBS.

9. Refer to ourselves in the third person. (Though it looks like some of us already do…) AND use WE as in the royal We. Example: We really need to stop and get sandwiches. Translation: Mary really needs to stop and get us sandwiches.

8. Sell our used crap on Ebay for a small fortune. (See this pen? Tyler Jolley once chewed on this pen. Buy now: $500)

7. Buy a tiny dog and carry him around like a purse. (Or better yet, buy a LARGE dog and carry him around like a purse.)

6. Use our names to get better tables in restaurants. (A thirty minute wait? Don’t you know WHO WE ARE?)

5. Throw a diva tantrum about the actors playing us in the lifetime bio-pic. (Starring K-Stew and Jason Lee? Can’t we at least get someone who’s won an Oscar??)

4. Hire someone to throw confetti whenever we walk into a room. (We will pay extra for making trumpet sounds with your mouths)

3. Have haircuts named after us. (Preferably ones that drop out of fashion in like five days, but everyone is stuck with them for another three months)

2. Walk into McDonalds and demand two Whoppers with cheese.

1. Sneak into random bookstores and sign copies of our own books. (Oh, wait we already DO that!)

Thanks so much to Judith for having us today and to all of you for coming out! We can’t to hear what you guys think of EXTRACTED!  Was a pleasure to have you both and I wish you many, many keen readers. ;)

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