A Great Review for The Mystery of the Painted Book

Book Nook Bits recently reviewed The Mystery of the Painted Book, the first in the International Agents of Intrigue series by K.S. Mitchell. This was perfect timing considering the second book in the series, The Mystery of the Golden Ball, just released on September 15th.

We’re always thankful to book reviewers, and we’re grateful to Book Nook Bits for taking the time to read The Mystery of the Painted Book and for posting her review!

A YA Novel You Won’t Want To Miss

Signs in the Dark by Susan Miura is one young adult novel you’ll want to read, and it’s available now!

ONE CAPTIVE.  Blindfolded, gagged, and bound, 17-year-old Haylie Summers has only one goal: stay alive. Nothing about her abduction makes sense. Deaf since birth, she can’t hear her captors and can only guess why they would take her. Is she about to be thrown into the dark abyss of human trafficking? Or was she kidnapped by the protestors who marched at the wildlife rescue center where she volunteers? Haylie fights the harsh reality that her capture resulted from Nathan’s unexpected text.

Need to talk. Can you meet me in 10 behind your garage? It was the last thing she saw before getting dragged into a van. But it can’t be Nathan, with his ebony eyes and easygoing smile that crumbles the walls around her heart. No, it can’t be Nathan. Can it?

ONE SUSPECT.  After a childhood of disruptions, Peruvian-born Nathan Boliva likes to keep life simple. Haylie is not simple. She is beautiful. She is brilliant. And she is worth the risk of breaking out of his comfort zone. But days after asking Haylie on a date, Nathan finds himself targeted by the FBI for a crime he didn’t commit. Far worse, anything could be happening to Haylie as the search continues.

Anything.

Another beautiful cover!

Our cover artist, the wonderful Elaina Lee, from For the Muse Designs, knocked another one out of the park with this gorgeous cover for Alissa Baxter’s upcoming Regency romance which releases on February 28th!

It’s the perfect time for ghosts and goblins!

We love Halloween even when it isn’t Halloween, mostly because books about ghosts and zombies are some of our favorite reads. If you’re in the mood for the perfect spooky (or funny) story, you can’t go wrong with any of these!

And we didn’t forget about the kids, either, as we have four action-packed Halloween books just for your little ones that are all fun without any of the fright!

We are closed to submissions

Our publication scheduled is filled for 2021, and we have releases scheduling into 2022. So as much as it pained us to make this decision, we can’t accept anymore submissions from authors who do not currently have a book published with us or an upcoming book to be published.

For those of you who have emailed us asking when we will open to unagented submissions again, it definitely won’t be this year and possibly not next. We wouldn’t want to keep a contracted book in limbo for two years. It’s better for you to try to find another home for your novel which will definitely be a positive for a fortunate publisher.

Again, this wasn’t a decision we wanted to make, but most of our current authors have written or are writing series, and it wouldn’t be equitable to make their book releases wait for newly contracted manuscripts.

We will post an update the second things change! Until then, we wish you the best of luck submitting to other publishers!

Get to know interesting details about our authors!

Every Friday on Instagram, we share a fun fact about one of our authors! It’s a great way to learn more about the writers of some of your favorite books, and some of the facts are pretty amazing! Take a look at some we’ve already shared!

Read more first paragraphs!

We’re sharing the first paragraph from some of our books, but you can read the entire first chapters of all of our books on Wattpad.

We’re so excited about these covers!

As we mentioned back in June, our first Christmas anthology is coming in November. The three holiday romance novellas will release one week apart from one another beginning November 2nd, and the paperback will release on November 23rd. The novellas should all be available for pre-order on October 15th.

In anticipation of their releases, takes a look at the beautiful covers these novellas are sporting!

We’re really excited about these novellas and the anthology to come, and we’ve already started sharing excerpts of this contemporary romances on Wattpad! You can follow us there to read more chapters of our books.

Celebrating Playing by Heart and the Two Sisters Who Inspired It

Guest Post by Carmela Martino

Today, I’m happy to celebrate the third anniversary of the release of Playing by Heart, a novel I’d never planned to write! I’d originally set out to write a nonfiction biography about mathematician Maria Gaetana Agnesi. She and her younger sister, composer Maria Teresa Agnesi, ended up inspiring the novel, which is set in eighteenth-century Milan.

I have a bachelor’s degree in math and computer science, but I never heard of Maria Gaetana Agnesi until I came across her name in an article about little-known women of history. The more I learned about her, the more fascinated I became. I wanted to write a biography of Gaetana for young readers in the hope of inspiring girls interested in math.

Gaetana was the eldest child of Pietro Agnesi, a wealthy man who longed to attain noble status. After discovering how intelligent Gaetana was, Agnesi hired tutors to teach her subjects typically reserved for boys, such as philosophy, astronomy, and math. She eventually wrote the first math textbook that covered everything from basic algebra and geometry to the recently discovered calculus. In 1750, Pope Benedict XIV nominated Gaetana to be a mathematics professor at the University of Bologna. She would have been the world’s first female math professor, but she turned down the position.

I spent several years writing and revising the book about Gaetana. While researching her life, I learned about her younger sister, Teresa, who was a gifted musician, singer, and composer. Their father regularly held academic meetings in their home to show off the girls’ talents.

When I couldn’t find a publisher for the biography, I decided to try my hand at a novel based on the lives of both sisters. I’d been a fan of historical novels for years, but I’d never considered writing one before. So I immersed myself in learning about the genre as well as in researching the details of life in eighteenth-century Milan.

The original title for the novel was The Second Salvini Sister. I based my main character, Emilia Salvini, on composer Teresa Agnesi, and I gave Emilia an older sister, Maria, who was modeled on Gaetana. I incorporated several events from the Agnesi sisters’ lives into the novel. For example, the scene of Maria Salvini’s speech defending the education of women is based on Gaetana’s first public speech at age nine.

Another real-life event I wanted to include in the novel was a 1739 visit to Milan by future Empress Maria Theresa of Austria. I was thrilled to find a primary source describing that event. Unfortunately, it was written in Italian. I know some Italian, but translating a document written in eighteenth-century Italian proved painstaking. Still, it was worth the effort. The document contained wonderful details that helped add authenticity to Playing by Heart. The novel’s review in Booklist is one of many that comment on my use of details: “Martino’s romantic read features lovable characters and is vibrant in setting and detail.… The book is filled with rich depictions of houses and clothing, allowing readers to clearly picture the historical settings of both Milan and the countryside.”

Writing Playing by Heart was more challenging—and more rewarding—than I expected. I still haven’t given up on writing a nonfiction biography of Maria Gaetana Agnesi, too. I’m working on a new approach and hope to find a publisher when I’m done. Meanwhile, you can read more about her at a website I created: www.MGAgnesi.com. The site also includes information about Maria Teresa Agnesi and a YouTube clip of modern musicians performing her work. (I sometimes played Teresa’s music in the background while working on the novel.) The novel’s Author’s Note provides additional information about the two amazing sisters who inspired Playing by Heart.

Have more fun with the International Agents of Intrigue

The second book in K.S. Mitchell’s International Agents of Intrigue series sees the twins trying to solve yet another mystery, this time with a stolen soccer trophy!

The twins are looking forward to the beginning of the school year and the Friendship Cup international soccer tournament taking place in their hometown of Boston.

When new student and Brazilian soccer star Mariana joins the school team, suddenly the twins’ are challenged on and off the field. Then the Golden Ball trophy, awarded to the best soccer player in the world, is stolen and the twins know they have to take the case. They just didn’t expect an international mystery to land in their own backyard.

Now Pen & Quin have to choose: help their team win the soccer tournament or help their new friend find the stolen trophy and escape the thieves who took it.

Soccer, art, and technology collide in the Pen & Quin’s second international mystery.   

Get your copy today!