Booklist Calls THE GOOD NEIGHBOR “Humorous Women’s Fiction That Explores Deeper Themes”

Yesterday I had a plumber at my house for seven hours. Oh, I lie. I had three plumbers at my house for seven hours. But today, The Good Neighbor has this review from Booklist, which is proof that at least right now, in this moment, the universe is on my side.

Amy xo

Booklist says:

“Recently divorced mom Izzy Lane decides to spice things up by inventing a boyfriend and writing about him on her blog, a little white lie of no real consequence since her blog only has few readers. Then her media-maven BFF, Jade, offers Izzy the opportunity to blog for Pop Philly, a local entertainment website, and Izzy’s fake relationship captivates an international audience. Only her elderly neighbor knows the truth, and soon everyone else is clamoring to meet “Mac,” her truly too-good-to-be-true suitor. As her lie spirals out of control, Izzy is forced to face the reasons why she’s so dissatisfied with her real life. Nathan’s latest swings unexpectedly from lighthearted romantic comedy to a serious examination of honesty and friendship. Izzy and her friends sense that they’re getting older and need to take life seriously but hesitate to let go of their youth, a problem typical of middle-class Gen Xers. Nathan also touches on elder care and single motherhood. A tale for readers who enjoy humorous women’s fiction that explores deeper themes.” — Nanette Donohue

Need more? Click here!

Want to see what I looked like in 1998? (You’ve been warned!) Click here!


10 Literary Agents Seeking Women’s Fiction NOW & 8 Query Tips by Chuck Sambuchino

three coversI’m asked all the time how I found my agent and where on earth did I find the 126 agents I queried before I signed with my first agent in 2010. Well. I not only used the internet, but I also used a good old-fashioned book. But to help you get started, or to help you fill in some gaps, today we have Chuck Sambuchino who not only offers 8 Tips For Writing Queries but 10 Literary Agents Seeking Women’s Fiction NOW. If you’re not quite ready, jot down these names and check them out when your manuscript is polished and primed. And don’t forget all the resources mentioned in Chuck’s bio below!

This is one of the most fun posts I’ve offered in four and a half years! Chuck put together the list to celebrate the release of 3 new books this month, the 2016 Guide to Literary Agents, the 2016 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market, and his anti-clown humor book When Clowns Attack: A Survival Guide.

Amy xo

(Sorry for the wonky photo formatting, I’ve reached my “figure out a way to fix it” limit. Photos are above the agent info!)

10 Literary Agents Seeking Women’s Fiction NOW

_ Chuckby Chuck Sambuchino

As the editor of the 2016 Guide to Literary Agents, it’s my job to compile oodles of markets for kidlit writers and illustrators. But the truth is that not every market listed everywhere is 100% open—it’s not that simple. Sometimes a few agents at any agency are open to signing new writers, whereas others are not. Sometimes a publisher or agent closes themselves down to submissions for a while. With all these ins and outs, what’s a writer to do?

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It’s with all this in mind that I wanted to spotlight 10 literary agents who are actively seeking women’s fiction submissions now. Their e-mails are below. Query away. All of these agents listed below personally confirmed to me that they are seeking clients and open to submissions as of October 2015.

Good luck querying! If you want to see many, many more markets for writers of all children’s books, seek out the new & updated 2016 Guide to Literary Agents.


1. Scott Eagan

Greyhaus Literary

How to contact: E-query with “Query” in the subject line. Keep the word count between 75,000 and 110,000. “Please focus on one issue and not a ton of personal problems the protagonist has. Stories can have happy or sad endings. Please no adultery.”


2. MacKenzie Fraser-Bub

Trident Media Group

How to contact: Send a query letter, pasted in the body of the email, to Please do not send a manuscript or proposal until you have been requested to do so.


3. Kimberly Brower

Rebecca Friedman Literary

How to contact: E-query Submit a brief query letter and your first chapter (pasted into the email, not to exceed fifteen double-spaced pages). No attachments.


4. Mallory C. Brown


How to contact: E-query When querying, please include the first ten ms pages in the body of the e-mail after your query.


5. Danielle Burby

HSG Agency

How to contact: Email a query letter and the first five pages of your manuscript to No attachments.


6. Jennifer Johnson-Blalock

Liza Dawson Associates

How to contact: E-mail


7. Marie Lamba

Jennifer De Chiara Literary

How to contact: Please email a query to Put “Query” in the subject line of your email, and please send the first twenty pages in the body of your email, along with a one-paragraph bio and a one-paragraph synopsis.


8. Carly Watters

P.S. Literary

How to contact: E-query with “Query for Carly” in the subject line. “Do not send attachments. Always let us know if your manuscript/proposal is currently under consideration by other agents/publishers. If you don’t receive a response to your query within 4-6 weeks it means a no from the agency. In my women’s fiction, I look for an external hook other than the love story (career, family, personal history etc.)”


9. Patricia Nelson

Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

How to contact: E-query

miller call

10. Courtney Miller-Callihan

Sanford J. Greenburger Associates

How to contact: E-query


_ ChuckChuck Sambuchino (@chucksambuchino) of Writer’s Digest Books edits the GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS and the CHILDREN’S WRITER’S & ILLUSTRATOR’S MARKET. His Guide to Literary Agents Blog is one of the largest blogs in publishing. His 2010 humor book, HOW TO SURVIVE A GARDEN GNOME ATTACK, was optioned by Sony Pictures. His latest humor book, WHEN CLOWNS ATTACK: A SURVIVAL GUIDE (Sept. 29 2015), will protect people everywhere from malicious bozos and jokers who haunt our lives. His books have been mentioned in Reader’s Digest, USA Today, the New York Times, The Huffington Post, Variety, New York Magazine, and more.

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Guest Post: Author Cora Ramos Travels Her Own Path To Inspiration. What’s Yours?

Lately I’ve been thinking about the inspiration for The Good Neighbor, because I now know, from experience, that’s what readers want to know. I’ve realized that this new novel sprung from several seeds, not just one. Today, author Cora Ramos shares with us her inspiring sources of inspiration. 

Please welcome Cora Ramos to WFW and tell us — what was your path to inspiration for one of your books or stories?

Amy xo

What Is The Path To Inspiration?

by Cora Ramos

Dance the Dream AwakeJust as there are plotters and pantsers, and writers who use Scrivener and those that must use pen/pencil and paper, so too we all find inspiration into our stories in different ways. There is no one path nor is it the same for every book. For me, it is through the senses that my work is brought into form; a painting, a song, a smell, the feel of a silk scarf or in the case of my first book, a déjà vu moment when all the sensory details came together in one poignant moment of time that changed me forever.

It started on a trip to the Yucatan, Mexico and a visit to the ruins of a little known complex of pyramids called Coba, most of which are yet to be excavated and restored. In one déjà vu moment, the pyramid came alive and my senses tapped into some reservoir within me that sensed there were certain places I could access in the pyramid. I followed the intuition of the moment and found a room in the center. I felt like I knew things, and smelled the past of a Mayan life there. There were feelings that confused me but when I got home after the trip, it stewed in my brain until one day when I had to quick–write a story for a teacher writing in-service. I remembered that experience and wrote it out.

Soon after, I visited a private writing class that a friend of mine took me to. I wrote out the scene and the teacher encouraged me to keep writing and join her class. Then I had to come up with a story. I wracked my brain for a plot and when it wouldn’t come, I took out paint and paper and did a quick painted a shamanic woman dancing around a fire. The story started to form in my mind and motivated me to start writing even though I had no idea where it would go—yeah a pantser.

That began the long journey of learning how to write while plotting out a story that is now published with Black Opal Books, Dance the Dream Awake. Many of the experiences I had on that journey to Mexico were woven into the story.

My second novel, Haiku Dance, came about in a surprising way. I was writing a sequel to my first book, in the viewpoint of the male character. I have a samurai sword that inspired me to choose a Japanese past life. The paranormal element in my stories is past lives, and this past life would be in Japan, 980 A.D. in the Heian Era. That era is one of the jewels in the history of Japan, marked by the first novels written by women—the pillow books of Japan, The Tale of Genji, written by Murasaki Shikibu, being the most famous.

There is an element of letting go (which is why I can’t be a plotter in the beginning) and feeling your way through to the story to the moment of inspiration. It can come from anywhere but for me it is through the sensory details I seek out wherever I go, or some sensory element remembered in a moment of reverie.

cora head shot 3Cora J. Ramos is an award winning author of short stories of mystery and suspense that straddle the edge-whether that edge is the paranormal, a deadly decision or the place where science ends and magic resides. A collection of her stories can be found in the anthology,Valley Fever, Where Murder is Contagious; stories set in the San Joaquin Valley of California.
She is the author of DANCE THE DREAM AWAKE, a present day romantic suspense with a captivating Mayan past life.
Her newest novel, HAIKU DANCE is awaiting publication this year—a spicy historical romance of a samurai and a courtier in the Emperor’s court of ancient Heian Japan, 980 A.D. at the time when the Tales of Genji, Sarashina Diary and The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon were written.

Guest Post: No Mystery At All: NYT Bestselling Mystery Author Juliet Blackwell Writes Great Women’s Fiction

9780451473691 (4)Do we choose what we write? Or does what we write, choose us? It’s kind of like how many licks it takes to get to the middle of a Tootsie Pop. The world may never know. But we do know, that as writers, we think about genre and the kind of story we want to tell. What if that changes? Do you dare genre hop in this publishing climate, make new writer friends, join new groups, learn the new rules?

Today we have with us Juliet Blackwell, esteemed mystery author who has now taken a leap into women’s fiction. Find out why she wrote this book, and maybe more importantly, how.

And yes, we’re (totally door-cover-sisters, I know). 

Please welcome Juliet Blackwell to WFW!

Amy xo

My Mysterious Path to Women’s Fiction (Or how—and why—a New York Times bestselling mystery author decided to turn her hand to women’s fiction)

by Juliet Blackwell

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The Fabulous Fall Fiction List 2015

Graphic Fabulous Fall Fiction 2015

It’s September! Which means it’s Fall! And in addition to meaning PUMPKIN SPICE EVERYTHING, it means a new publishing season.

And while you likely know that THE GOOD NEIGHBOR launches on October 13, what you might not know is that means I needed to find other books to read while I’m writing blog posts, essays, visiting libraries, bookstores, and hosting launch parties (you’re coming to a launch party, right?) from now through November.

I scoured the internet and asked my friends. I came up with these seven novels in addition to THE GOOD NEIGHBOR (what kind of author would I be if I left my own book off the list?) as my go-to for Fall. These books are diverse but all fall under the women’s fiction umbrella. They’re all written by authors I trust to deliver me the right story at the right time.

Here’s why I chose these books as FABULOUS FALL FICTION 2015.


Middle of Somewhere coverAvailable now!

Sonja is an adventurer and so is her main character and this makes for a thrilling read, in addition to an emotional one. I like to read stories about things I’ll never do (and don’t want to do, do. not. judge.). This book is already available and getting buku well-deserved buzz.



1381265_1059954344032864_9022066249842070660_n (3)Available now!

I love novellas. They’re like the best bite of the best chocolate (and they last longer). I’m fascinated by shorter-form fiction and sometimes that’s enough to get me to read a novella (think it’s hard to write a novel? Try a novella. Not for the faint of heart.) In the case of Kate Moretti, a NYT best-selling author, I just want to read more of her work while I wait for her next novel.

CHANCE HARBOR by Holly Robinson

chance harbor finalAvailable October 6!

I read everything Holly writes and that’s not true of all my author friends (don’t tell anyone). I have already read Chance Harbor and it’s a truthful and emotional family journey. A mother, her two daughters, and the biological/legal daughter the sisters share. Holly’s vivid prose really transported me, as always. And there’s a satisfying ending that’s realistic and not cloyingly sweet. A plus in my book.



THE WORD GAME by Steena Holmes

51FCxZyGkBL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Available November 3!

New York Times and USA Today best-seller Steena Holmes is about to knock it out of the park again with her new novel full of secrets and suspense as two sisters face their painful past to protect a little girl they both love. Novels that bring up questions of character always tug at me the hardest.




BookCover_D2Available in November!

It’s time for another novella! This time multi-published author Wendy Paine Miller comes back to readers with a novella about a seventeen-year-old girl who has six months to live and fakes a bucket list to help her mother cope, and then ends up helping herself. Wendy puts a new spin on the traditional bucket list tale here. I can’t wait!


white collar girl_brown_Page_1 2Available November 3!

Best-selling author Renee Rosen’s newest novel is primed to out due her last, and that’s no small feat. Renee has a way of combining strong historical fiction with the tenacity and heart of excellent women’s fiction. Anything she writes is a must for me!


Available November 24th!

Best-selling author Kristina McMorris tells a page-turning tale that moves from Ireland to New York to San Francisco Bay. As her finely crafted characters discover the true nature of loyalty, sacrifice, and betrayal, they are forced to confront the lies we tell—and believe—in order to survive. What I love about Kristina’s writing is the seamless nature of her storytelling. They’re the kind of books I read and think, “I wanna do that.” Always a good sign.

And, last but not least, THE GOOD NEIGHBOR by Amy Sue Nathan

the good neighbor final coverAvailable October 13! 

Here are three reasons I’d love YOU to consider adding THE GOOD NEIGHBOR to your FABULOUS FALL FICTION reading list!

1) Because you like me (you do like me, right? Well then…)

2) Because you can read advance praise not written by relatives or paid for (or even begged for), here.

3) Because you can read the first chapter here and be ready for Chapter 2 on October 13.

 What else are you looking forward to reading this Fall?

Let us know in the comments!

Amy xo

Author Interview: Sonja Yoerg Shares Tips For Kicking Out Your Writer Doubt

Middle of Somewhere cover (1)How thrilled I am to bring Sonja Yoerg back to Women’s Fiction Writers! Over the past year I’ve gotten to know Sonja as we’re both members of Tall Poppy Writers (check out Tall Poppy Writer here). Sonja is wicked smart, a devoted friend, and real adventurer! Oh — and how could I forget? She writes a kick ass novel! 

You’ll not only learn about Sonja’s real and writerly journeys below, but get some great tips on kicking writer doubt out of your day!

Please welcome Sonja Yoerg back to WFW!

Amy xo

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