• Kristin Smith

Catalyst Audiobook, Giveaway, Book Recs & More!

It's my favorite time of year!

The holidays are quickly approaching and the Hallmark movies are calling my name. Anyone else want to curl up with a blanket and a good book (or holiday movie) during this time of year? Maybe even listen to an audiobook? (wink, wink) I have some exciting news that may add to your holiday joy. Catalyst is now an audiobook, narrated by the extremely talented Victoria Connolly!

If you want to listen to the audiobook and hear how Victoria was able to bring the cast of characters to life, then you can purchase your own copy on Audible or Amazon. To top it off, I'm giving away 5 FREE COPIES of the Catalyst audiobook. How can you enter to win this amazing prize, you ask? Well, it's easy. Simply reply to this blog post and tell me, "I want it!" and you will automatically be entered to win. Five winners will be chosen using a random generator. Good luck!

News! I have a new agent! I'm excited to announce that I'm now represented by literary agent Heather Cashman with Storm Literary. Literary agents are highly selective and are considered the gatekeepers between an author and large publishing houses (also

known as the Big 5). For those who are seeking to traditionally publish their work, a literary agent is essential. I'm so happy to work with Heather and begin this next chapter of my publishing journey. She signed me for a YA magical realism, but she's working with me on several other books in my backlist. Super excited to see where this partnership takes us!


What Am I Working on Now? You're probably wondering what's next for me now that the Deception Game series is finished. The good news is that I have more completed books, currently in the hands of my very capable literary agent, with more in the works. For my current WIP (work in progress), I am completely switching gears. From YA to adult, from dystopian to romcom. I am loving writing something a little more light-hearted and fun. I hope to finish the first draft in the coming weeks. Publishing Tip 101 I've had a lot of people ask me recently how to get a book published, so I figured it was only appropriate to share that information here. Maybe it will help one of you who are also wondering what it takes to get a book published. There are many paths to publication, but here are the 3 main ones:


1) Traditional (Literary agent submits to Big 5 or imprint) 2) Small Press

3) Self-Publishing

Let's start with traditional publishing, or in this case, where a writer submits their work to a literary agent in the hopes that the agent will want to sign them and represent them. As I mentioned before, a literary agent

is the gatekeeper to the bigger publishing houses. For many of the larger publishing houses, a writer has to have an agent submit their work for them. Most of the large publishing houses do not accept manuscripts from unagented writers. Agents also have their pulse on the market, so they know what's selling and what editors at these publishing houses are looking for. So to traditionally publish with a Big 5 or one of its imprints, you need to have a literary agent. However, there are many smaller presses who DO accept manuscripts from unagented writers. So if a writer chooses to go this route, they will do their research and then submit their work themselves to these publishing houses. Often times, this means smaller advances (or no advances at all) and less exposure when the book releases. The third option for getting a book published is self-publishing. Writers will often choose this route because a) they have a really great book that has been overlooked by agents and editors; b) they don't want to fool with trying to get an agent or editor; c) they like to have all creative control. Self-publishing means a writer does everything themselves, from hiring an editor and book cover designer to formatting the interior of the book to marketing and promos. The writer takes on all of the responsibility, but also receives all of the profits (once Amazon, B&N, etc takes their cut). I personally have dabbled in each one of these publishing options at some point in my writing career. No one way is better than another; it's about a writer's personal journey and what works the best for them. In the end, the goal of any writer is to create a great piece of work and get it into the hands of readers. Book Recommendations Looking for some good books to read over the holidays? Well, I have some recommendations for you! My good friend, Michelle Mason, recently released her YA book, My Second Impression of You. If you love sweet romcoms with lovable characters, then you'll love this one. "Perfect for fans of Tweet Cute and Instant Karma, this YA romcom is a heartfelt story about a girl who thinks she knows everything about love -- until she relives a day and discovers she had it all wrong."

BUY THE BOOK

If you love adult romcoms, then I have an adorable one for you! Sarah Adams is the queen of sweet (not too spicy!) romcoms, and I promise she'll have you laughing out loud for most of the book. The Cheat Sheet by Sarah Adams is about a former professional ballerina who is helplessly in love with her super hot best friend, an NFL football player. But the "friend zone" is not the "end zone" for this girl who wants more than a platonic friendship.

BUY THE BOOK Try This Recipe It wouldn't be fall without a delicious apple-based dessert. Try out these yummy Caramel Apple Crisp Cheesecake Bars from Sugar Apron for your next family gathering or if you're just craving something sweet. Enjoy!


Caramel Apple Crisp Cheesecake Bars: Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 55 minutes Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes Yield: 20-24

Ingredients:

Graham/Oats Crust:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs

  • 3/4 cup rolled oats

  • 1/2 cup melted butter, plus more for greasing the plate

  • Cheesecake Layer :

  • 2 8oz package softened cream cheese

  • 2 tbsp corn starch

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup white sugar

  • 1/2 tsp ginger

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Apple Crisp Topping:

  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup rolled oats

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

  • 2 medium to large apple, peeled and thinly sliced

  • Caramel Topping

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.

  2. Prepare one 9x13-inch glass pan by greasing thoroughly with butter or baking spray or a light-colored metal baking pan with foil (be sure to cover the sides—you are going to use this to lift the bars).

  3. In a mixing bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, rolled oats, melted butter and brown sugar together.

  4. Press inside the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan.

  5. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven to cool.

  6. Meanwhile, in the bowl of your electric mixer, blend together cream cheese, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cornstarch and vanilla.

  7. Once well combined, pour on top of your graham cracker/oat crust.

  8. Arrange the thinly sliced apple on top of the cream cheese mixture in a single layer.

  9. Top with the Apple Crisp Topping. Bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes.

  10. Once it's done cooking, cool for 15 minutes, then refrigerate overnight.

  11. Cut into squares. Serve with caramel drizzled over top of the cheesecake bars.

Leave a Review Lastly, if you've read any of the books in the Deception Game series, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for supporting me. I hope you loved them. And if you left a review for the books, then double thank you. It's amazing how much reviews help authors in this publishing world. It shows publishers that our work is worth publishing, and it also shows Amazon that our work is worth promoting (50 reviews seems to be the magic number). So if you loved the books in the Deception Game series, but you haven't had an opportunity to leave a review yet, please consider leaving a 5-star review. It can be as simple as, "I liked it." Thank you!

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