Fanciful Reader

a book blog about romance and more. . .

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Finding literary agents for children’s books

Did you realize some of the benefits of having agents for children’s books? It is possible to publish a book on your own.

But literary agents have valuable contacts in the publishing world, and can help you sell your manuscript for the best possible terms.

Also, an agent can handle the nitty-gritty financial details, so that you have more time to concentrate on what you do best–writing!

So how do you go about finding an agent?

Keep in mind that while many literary agents have informational websites, it’s not necessarily enough to do a quick web search to find them.

You see, there are some not-so-reputable folks out there claiming that for a fee, they will help you get published. But in some cases, the only guarantee is that they’ll take your money.

How else can you find good agents for children’s books?

  • Ask other children’s book authors for recommendations.
  • Check with your professional writing associations.
  • Read professional magazines such as Publishers Weekly to find out which agents are quoted.
  • Find out which agents represent your favorite authors.
  • You can check an agent to see if they’re listed by the Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR) which is a sure sign of a good reputation.

The process of finding an agent is somewhat similar to submitting your manuscript to a publisher. You’ll need a query letter and a sample of your work. Then you wait to see if the agent will represent you.

It may seem like a long, complicated process. But in the end, finding a good agent for children’s books will be a great benefit to your writing career.

Waiting on Wednesday: Sweet Enemy



“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week I chose Sweet Enemy by Heather Snow. Expected publication date: February 7, 2012, from NAL Signet Eclipse .

Geoffrey Wentworth, a war hero and rising political star, never wanted to be the Earl, but when his brother dies, he knows his duty—take up the responsibility for his family’s estates. His mother’s definition of duty differs from his, however, and can be summed up in one word—heirs. When Geoffrey rushes home to answer her urgent summons, he finds himself host to a house full of women, all vying to become the next Countess of Stratford. But his love is Parliament, where he wields his influence and reputation to better the lives of ex-soldiers, until a tempting houseguest and a secret from his past threaten his freedom…and his heart.

Liliana Claremont, a brilliant chemist, doesn’t want to be any man’s wife, much less a Countess. If she had tuppence for every time she’d been told her place was filling the nursery, not experimenting in the laboratory, she could buy the Tower Bridge. However, when she receives a coveted invitation to the Earl’s house party, she trades in her beakers for ball gowns and gladly takes on the guise of husband hunter—for the chance to uncover what the Earl had to do with the murder of her father.

Liliana believes the best way to get the answers she needs is to keep her enemy close, though romance is not part of her formula. But it only takes one kiss to start a reaction she can’t control…

What about you? What’s your Waiting on Wednesday pick?

Waiting on Wednesday: Fortune’s Son



“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Fortune’s Son by Emery Lee

November 1, 2011, Sourcebooks Casablanca

Love is the ultimate gamble…
Seasoned gambler Philip Drake knows every trick and uses most of them. After years of infamy, he’s ready to accept the mantle of respectability with his earldom– until a devastating racing loss and the threat of debtors’ prison force Philip right back into his gaming ways…

Susannah, Lady Messingham, is a woman with a past who refuses to belong to any man again. But Philip’s skill catches her eye and she persuades him to teach her how to win at the tables. Their new partnership turns into an exhilarating high-stakes game that entangles them in terrifying risk and unimaginable rewards…

Immerse yourself in the risky side of Georgian England with a pair of lovers who aren’t afraid to risk it all on a toss of the dice…


What about you–what’s your WoW pick?

Waiting on Wednesday: Follow my Lead by Kate Noble



“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Follow my Lead by Kate Noble

Being the most sought-after bachelor in London can be trying. Jason Cummings, Duke of Rayne, should know. But when he winds up an unwilling escort to the headstrong Winnifred Crane on a trip across Europe, he realizes he’ll do anything to keep this independent beauty safe-even if it means marrying her.

I’m especially looking forward to this book because I enjoyed Revealed by Kate Noble so much. I still have The Summer of You in my TBR pile. Also, Follow my Lead takes place partly in an unusual location–central Europe, namely Austria and Bavaria. It’s refreshing to have a change from the usual British Isles setting.

How about you? What are you looking forward to reading?

Friday Finds 4/1/11: April Fool’s Day Edition

Friday Finds is a weekly event hosted by MizB at Should be Reading.

This event asks you to share with other bloggers about the new-to-you books you found during the week — books you either want to add to your TBR (to be read) list, or that you just heard about that sounded interesting.

No fooling, here’s my list for the week:

The Reluctant Nude by Meg Maguire

Vienna Waltz by Tracy Grant, which I already have in ebook and print form (I may want to share this one with my grandma who loves richly detailed historical fiction).

Song of the Silk Road by Mingmei Yip

So Over you by Gwen Hayes, whose YA paranormal romance Falling Under I sampled on the Kindle and can’t wait to read!

Gothic Dragon by Marie Treanor

Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart

The Girl who Chased the Moon and other books by Sarah Addison Allen. I just checked out the ebook of The Peach Keeper from the library. Hopefully I’ll be able to read it before it expires.

How about you? Are any of the same books on your TBR list?

Thursday Tea: 3/24/11

Today’s is Thursday Tea hosted by the Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog. To play along, all you need is some tea, a book, and the answers to these questions: what tea are you drinking (and do you like it)? What book are you reading (and do you like it)? Tell us a little about your tea and your book, and whether or not the two go together?

The book: I’m reading The Seduction of the Crimson Rose, the fourth book in the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig. I find the hero of the historical part of the book, Lord Vaughn, very intriguing. He’s the kind of character who you think is a villain, but actually has a heart of gold–well maybe not gold. We’ll see how the story progresses. I can’t wait to read about the developing romance between Colin and Eloise. I like the series, and so far I’m much more interested in the contemporary plot line than the historical one.

The tea:
Plain old Lipton teabags.

Do they go together?: No , not at all. Lord Vaughn has very refined tastes and would no doubt choose something like a Darjeeling. There’s certainly a lot of tea drinking in the series, as it’s set in England (past and present).

What about you? What tea (or other beverage) are you drinking today, and what are you reading? Do they go together?

Books read in December 2010

Here’s what I finished in December 2010. I did a little better than November:

A Season of Seduction by Jennifer Haymore
Unveiled by Courtney Milan
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Stranger by Zoe Archer
Penny Dreadful by Laurel Snyder
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
Seven Nights to Forever by Evangeline Collins

I hope to finish Soulless by Gail Carriger today as well.

I enjoyed all of the above books and hope every reading month is like this!

What about you? Did you read a lot of books you enjoyed this month?

My favorite books of 2010

Here are my top ten reads of 2010–in no particular order:

Lessons in French by Laura Kinsale. This one took me by surprise, because I didn’t like it that much right after I read it. Even though it’s one of the first books I read in 2010, the characters and writing have really stayed with me all year, especially the French hero. I was reminded of this when I started reading The Shadow and the Star a few weeks ago. I’m determined to ignore my out-of-control TBR pile and re-read this sometime.

Nine rules to break when romancing a rake by Sarah Maclean. This was a really funny, hot read!

Flat out sexy by Erin McCarthy. I adored the beta hero, Elec.


Tempt me at twilight by Lisa Kleypas.
I read all the books about the Hathaways this year and this one really stood out as my favorite.

The Lady Julia Grey series by Deanna Raybourn.–I’m cheating a little and counting this as one book. I read books 1-3 and have book #4 on my Kindle. Nicholas Brisbane, need I say more?

Rebel by Zoe Archer. Actually all the books in the Blades of the Rose series but this is my favorite so far.

Unveiled by Courtney Milan. This doesn’t come out until February but I got to read it through Netgalley. Super-swoonworthy hero and beautiful writing!

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon. I read books 1-4 in the Outlander series this summer, and this one was my favorite because of the rich description of the colonial America setting.

L.A. Cinderella by Amanda Berry. I really enjoyed this plain-Jane accountant meets Hollywood hottie story. It was one of the few books I managed to finish on my summer vacation.

Shopaholic and baby by Sophie Kinsella. I love this series but haven’t kept up with it, so I read this for the first time when I was recovering from my post-summer vacation cold. It also led to a re-read of several other of the Shopaholic books.

What about you?: Are any of the same books on your list of favorites?

The TBR overwhelm and what to do about it!

I haven’t read much at all this week, though over the weekend I read The Help by Kathleen Stockett.

For a few days I’ve had a feeling of paralysis due to an overwhelmingly large TBR pile (and believe me mine is not that large!). For the last few weeks, I’ve even put off going to the library to pick up books that I had on hold. What happpened is that I suspended my holds while on vacation in June, creating a backlog. At one point I had 50+ books on the hold shelf. I feel bad for giving the library staff extra work, because they’re so short on funds and staff at the moment.

But to get back to the point, nothing jumps out and says “Read me!”right at the moment. What I might do is look at my bookshelf and see what’s been there for the longest, and ignore the  TBR Kindle books for the moment.

What works for you when you can’t decide what to read next?

Thursday Tea


To kick off my blog postings, I’ve decided to participate in memes.

Today’s is Thursday Tea hosted  by the Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog. To play along, all you need is some tea, a book, and the answers to these questions: what tea are you drinking (and do you like it)? What book are you reading (and do you like it)? Tell us a little about your tea and your book, and whether or not the two go together?

What am I reading?
Ten things I love about you by Julia Quinn, her newest book. I wasn’t interested in reading this until I read a few rave reviews from my goodreads friends. I’ve never finished a Julia Quinn book–I started reading Romancing Mr. Bridgerton a few months ago though.

I heard an interview with Julia Quinn on the Romance Radio podcast and she was very lively and chatty just like her books. Being a person who’s not so lively and chatty, I had a hard time getting into her style of writing. But now I think of it as kind of a romance version of P.G. Wodehouse, and that really works for me!

What am I drinking?
Celestial Seasonings Sweet Coconut Thai red tea. Yes, I like it!  I don’t like plain red tea much, but I think red tea works really well with Masala chai spices. It would be even better with a splash of milk or cream and honey (which goes so much better with spiced chai than sugar). Also I appreciate that it’s caffeine free. I drink tea all day long at the office and I’d be jittery if I drank that much black tea!

Do they go together?
Probably not. A more traditional black tea would definitely go better with Ten Things I love about You.

What are you drinking/reading this Thursday?