A Feeling Like Home ANNOUNCEMENT!

This book has a special place in my heart. I couldn’t be happier or more grateful to the team at Sword and Silk Books for acquiring A FEELING LIKE HOME and taking a chance on Paige’s story. I want to write more about the inspiration behind this book soon, but for now I’ll say that this is the book I needed/wanted as a teenager. I can’t wait to share it with you!

For an interview about A FEELING LIKE HOME, click here!

Some Recent Appearances!

I had the opportunity to be a guest on author Juliet Bardsley’s podcast, Sweet and Swoonworthy recently. Click the hyperlink to listen in!

It was so fun! Even though I was nervous, Juliet made sure to keep the conversation moving and make sure it was an enjoyable experience. Podcasts are something I’m new to, but there are so many cool ones out there! Sweet and Swoonworthy celebrates authors, bakers, and other creators who make sweet treats and sweet romance, so it was a blast to talk about baking, my favorite movies, and more.

Check out the podcast and let me know what you think!

My sweet and talented Write Mentor mentee, Jess, invited me to be on her YouTube series where she interviews authors. I appeared along with YA author, Laura Sibson, and we chatted about art, heavy topics in YA, and other bookish things. It was a great time!

Event at The King’s English

I was able to fly to Utah for a quick weekend trip at the end of September, and it was amazing! Two of Mark’s brothers live their with their wives, and my publisher is located is based out of Utah, so it worked out perfectly! Thanks to my in-laws, we were able to sneak away together for the weekend.

Literary Crush held a book event at The King’s English Book Store, and it was my favorite event I’ve done so far. Not only was it well organized with a fun question-and-answer session, it was also so, so fun to meet some fellow authors! I’ve included some pictures of me awkwardly posing for the internet to laugh at.

Book Birthday and Mini-Tour

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My book is out in the world! It’s available to order from almost any online resource, as well as from local Indie bookstores here in San Antonio! I’ll be making a few stops these next few months to sell and sign books, and I’d love to see you if you’re in the area.

So, what’s next? For now I think I’ll just stare at my pretty copies of The Art of Falling in Love. IMG_6826

The Art of Falling in Love SNEAK PEEK!

THE ART OF FALLING IN LOVE RELEASES IN ONE WEEK! Have you seen this video of me opening my first paperback copy?! Cue me simultaneously flailing and sobbing in the corner. To celebrate, how about a sneak peek of the first three pages?

ONE

My head pounds as I suck in a breath. Okay. Focus.

Across the room, my laptop is open, cursor blinking on a blank screen. Despite my aching skull, today is the day I figure out what I’m going to do to get into Flagler College. I’ve always thought of myself as an artistic soul, but truthfully, I haven’t ever stuck to—or mastered—any one medium. Still, art school is the only place I’ve ever wanted to go for college. And in order to do that, I need to create a project that shows my true talent, but I’m stumped. Maybe I have no actual talent?

No. I have to stop thinking that. This summer was supposed to be about Opa helping me figure it all out. This was going to be our Summer of Art. Opa said it’d be special.

He always made everything so special.

I choke off a breath and push thoughts of him away. I click over to another screen, eyes glazing over as I do.

I’m only a few bullet points deep into my list of possible entry projects when a shadow in my doorway interrupts me.

“Claire, there’s someone at the door. Do you mind?”

Mom’s hands rest on her hips, and her eyebrows rise in my direction. Judging by the dark circles under her eyes, she’s in no shape to chat with strangers. The distance from the front door to my bedroom doorway is so short that anyone standing outside could hear any word spoken, so I mouth silently to Mom.

“Who is it?”

 

She throws her hands up and shakes her head, loose dark curls left over from the funeral yesterday swinging. “No clue,” she mouths back.

I quickly run a brush over my own stringy hair and go to solve the mystery. When I open the door to find the porch empty except for a rectangular package, I sag against the doorframe. I’ll admit part of me hoped to see Opa, here to announce that the past week was all a big, sick joke, but after seeing his body at the viewing, I know this isn’t a joke.

It’ll never be a joke.

I heave the package up with both hands and shut the door behind me. Mom has already disappeared, probably back to her room with a washcloth over her eyes to nurse her headache. I don’t need her to tell me where to put the mail, though. All of Opa’s papers always go straight to his study. I haven’t even peeked inside since we got here yesterday. Too many memories. Too hard to look around and realize he isn’t there in the black- leather swivel chair, one elbow propped against his mahogany desk.

I suck in a breath in preparation and swing the door open. Peppermint stings my nose as soon as I step through the doorway. It’s all the same as it’s always been: neatly organized chaos. Stacks of papers line the back of the desk, leaning against the wall. Clear plastic containers, one on top of the other, sit in rows against the other wall, and each of them contains even more paper clippings, important documents, probably a lot of my early art projects. My hands itch to grab onto all of it and take any piece of him that’s left. His desk is smooth and cold under my touch as I run one hand along the dark wood and drop the package on top with my other hand.

 

Opa never minded me wandering around his study before, but now that he’s gone, I glance around like he’ll pop up from behind the mess to yell at me.

I turn quickly to leave, but something flutters behind me, and a mountain of papers slips off the desk, the top pages taking their sweet time gliding to the ground. I stoop to gather them. Then I cross my legs underneath me and sit in defeat amongst the mess. My hand hovers over a brightly colored paper at the bottom of the pile, and I bring it closer to my face to inspect.

TEEN SAND SCULPTING COMPETITION, the flyer reads in bold rainbow-colored print. It’s promoting a competition at the beach, hosted by the recruiting team at Flagler. My eyes roam the paper for the details, which include a scholarship prize to the winner. Another paper is stapled to the back, and when I flip it over, I recognize Opa’s small penmanship immediately.

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That’s it for now! To read on, pre-order the full book from Amazon, IndieBound, or Barnes and Noble

 

2.5 Months To Go!

August 13th is coming up quickly! At this point I’m equal parts SO EXCITED for people to read THE ART OF FALLING IN LOVE and TERRIFIED of people reading my work. It feels very intimate, you know?

So what have I been up to lately?

The answer is a lot! Ghostwriting has been taking up a lot of my time these past few weeks. I’ve been averaging 3000+ words per day, which is pretty big for me.

I’ve also been having a blast working with my two Write Mentor mentees. I learn so much from other writers, and it’s awesome to see their stories grow.

As far as preparation for TAOFIL goes, we’re getting so close! The pre-order links for both the paperback and e-book versions are live. I should get ARCs in the next few weeks, and OH MY GOSH that’s crazy. I also have some bookmarks and stickers that I’m pretty proud of that I’d love to send over to anyone who has pre-ordered my little book! Contact me here or on Twitter if you’d like a set.

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Write Mentor 2019

Last year, Write Mentor changed my life. I was a mentee in the program’s inaugural year under Brandy Woods Snow, and with her help, I was able to get my manuscript in shape to get a publishing contract! This year, I am THRILLED to mentor someone else and pass along what I’ve learned.

EXPERIENCE:

What can I bring to a mentor/mentee relationship? Enthusiasm! My potential mentee can expect me to scream about their story at every chance. Besides that, my writing strengths are prose, dialogue, and voice.

I graduated from Brigham Young University in 2012 with a B.A. in Communications. My YA contemporary romance novel, THE ART OF FALLING IN LOVE, debuts with Literary Crush Publishing in Summer 2020. I am also a ghostwriter for the romance serial app, Radish Fiction.

MENTORING:

Writing and publishing can be a lonely and exhausting thing. If you are chosen as my mentee, I will be your long-term fan and friend. My mentee can expect:

1. A welcoming phone call/Skype call/email (your choice!)

2. A detailed edit letter

3. In-depth line edits

4. Edits/tweaking until you’re happy with your final draft

5. Help with your query letter and synopsis

6. If you’d like, support and assistance with the querying process

WISHLIST:

***Sexual assault and suicide are important subjects that should be written about/read about and discussed. However, I am not the right mentor for these topics.***

Now to the fun part! Since I write and read primarily Young Adult contemporary, that’s what I’ll be looking for from my mentee. Romance doesn’t have to be the only focus, (it shouldn’t be!) but your MS should have a heavy dose. In addition to contemporary, I’m also willing to look at YA contemporary fantasy with a romance plot line, as long as the story is rooted in the real world and the fantasy aspects are minimal.

In YA contemporary, I’d love a book that feels like any of the following:

-Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

-Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

-The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

-To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

-Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

-Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

-From Twinkle with Love by Sandhya Menon

-Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West

-The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

In YA fantasy, I’d be willing to look at something similar to these:

-The movie About Time

-The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater

-The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

If you have any questions about my wishlist or anything else related to Write Mentor, please feel free to reach out to me here on my website or on twitter at @haleighwenger.

 

 

 

My New Title

YAY! I’m SO excited to be able to announce the new title of my forthcoming book from Literary Crush Publishing. Due to release in summer of 2020 the title of my book is…………

THE ART OF FALLING IN LOVE

!!!!

Don’t you just LOVE it?! Ha.

I really, really do. One of the best parts of this title is that my mom was actually the one to come up with it. Funny how I’ve spent the past 1.5 years working on the book, never quite sure about the titles I gave it, and my mom was able to waltz in and nail it so perfectly.

It gets down to the heart of the story since MC Claire and her LI Foster are both artists applying to art school. And while that’s happening they’re also learning a lot about falling in love!

Stay tuned for a cover reveal sometime in the next few months!

 

THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT SWEETIE

I was approved on Edelweiss for an e-ARC of Sandhya Menon’s newest upcoming release, There’s Something About Sweetie. I am a huge fan of her YA books, and this one is extra special because it follows characters we first met in When Dimple Met Rishi! 

This book follows Sweetie, a fat girl who also happens to be the fastest runner on her track team. Her life is great, minus the fact that her mom can’t get over the fact Sweetie’s not a size 2.

Ashish is Dimple’s rebellious younger brother, but he’s not feeling so rebellious ever since he had his heart pulverized by an older girl.

Just like Menon’s other books, Ashish and Sweetie’s stories are closely intertwined with their Indian culture and their parents’ unique expectations. There are so many sweet moments between the two of them where they lay their hearts on the line and are very genuine with each other. If you were less of a fan of Ashish in Dimple, be prepared to take that back. He’s swoon worthy in this companion novel.

But, as the title suggests, the real stand out of this novel is Sweetie. She’s kind to everyone around her, respectful of her parents even when they make it very hard, smart, and best of all she loves herself unabashedly. She’s the perfect role model for any teen or teen-at-heart, and you’ll find yourself cheering for her the entire time.

Read this book!

 

Signing a Book Contract

5

SQUEE!!!

I’m so excited to announce that I signed a book contract for my YA contemporary romance set at the beach and featuring two teenage artists! Title is TBA hopefully soon and release date is set for summer 2020. To learn more about the book click here.

I connected with my publisher when they liked one of my pitches during a twitter pitch even called #KidPit. Less than two weeks later, they sent me an email saying they loved my story and wanted to publish it. I loved the direction they want to take the story, as well as the idea of a publisher focused specifically on what I love to write, sweet romantic stories about teens. A few weeks after that I signed the contract!

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