Congratulations to Alexis Bass whose debut novel, Love and Other Theories, is out today!

Chances are you may have already heard me talk about this fantastic novel. It's one of those books that feels achingly real. When I first read the manuscript, I was absolutely obsessed with it, and I was terrified that I would lose Alexis to another agent. Thankfully I didn't. 

And now, I'm not the only one talking about how amazing this book is:

“Warning: Bass’s debut novel will ignite ALL your feelings!” (Wendy Higgins, New York Times bestselling author of the Sweet Evil trilogy)

“I loved LOVE AND OTHER THEORIES. Alexis Bass writes a compelling critique of the ways society expects girls to behave in their relationships, the lies girls tell each other--and themselves--to keep from getting hurt, and, when all is said and done, how only the heart knows the truth.” (Kristin Halbrook, author of Nobody But Us and co-founder of YA Highway)

“Alexis Bass masterfully captures all the complexities of high school relationships. A lovely debut.” (Amanda Maciel, author of Tease)

“A bold debut that authentically captures the frenzy of love, lust, and senior year of high school!” (Julie Murphy, author of Side Effects May Vary)

“Careful, subtle and aching. ” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

“Love and Other Theories challenged my assumptions, dared me to thinkdifferently and burrowed into my heart. A heart-achingly beautifulstory about whether it is better to protect your heart or to take thebiggest risk of all.” (Daisy Whitney, author of The Mockingbirds)

In her debut novel, Bass provides honest, incisive, and sometimes uncomfortable insights into the complicated intersections of friendship and romance, the ways sex can be wielded as a weapon, and the measures some teens take to protect themselves from pain. (Publishers Weekly)

Cora Carmack has a new book out

It's new adult, but it's also paranormal.

Kalliope lives with one purpose.

To inspire.

As an immortal muse, she doesn’t have any other choice. It’s part of how she was made. Musicians, artists, actors—they use her to advance their art, and she uses them to survive. She moves from one artist to the next, never staying long enough to get attached. But all she wants is a different life— a normal one. She’s spent thousands of years living lie after lie, and now she’s ready for something real.

Sweet, sexy, and steady, Wilder Bell feels more real than anything else in her long existence. And most importantly… he’s not an artist. He doesn’t want her for her ability. But she can’t turn off the way she influences people, not even to save a man she might love. Because in small doses, she can help make something beautiful, but her ability has just as much capacity to destroy as it does to create. The longer she stays, the more obsessed Wilder will become. It’s happened before, and it never turns out well for the mortal.

Her presence may inspire genius.

But it breeds madness, too.

When I was a baby agent, the second author I signed was Kristin Halbrook. 

And it was for this book:

Back then it was titled something different and it's gone through several rounds of revisions since then, but it was a beautiful book about flawed and real characters, and I loved it. 

It's been a long journey, but the book is finally available to readers, and I couldn't be more proud.

Here's what it's about:

Katie Sawyer has spent the past three and a half years cultivating the perfect UCLA experience. She has the perfect boyfriend: a football star. She has the perfect social life: she's President of Delta Gamma. But her perfect best friend, Chelsea, just drowned. Worse, the body tumbled out of the closet in Professor Griffin's chem lab.

Katie's fairy-tale fa├žade hides a past she would like to forget, but Chelsea's death brings every old emotion to the surface. If she's going to move on from her hurts, Katie has to pull her not-so-perfect self together and search out the identity of Chelsea’s killer, even if it means turning to Josh Hunter for help. It's not easy. Josh infuriates her. Once upon a time, they were next door neighbors and best friends. They were confidants. They were even teenagers fumbling and exploring each other in the dark. He knew everything about her. He owned her heart. That was before things changed.

Now, secrets are surfacing. Chelsea was seeing someone. And she was pregnant when she died. Katie must come to terms with Chelsea’s other life…and face the fact that she has some secrets of her own. Even if it means letting the past--and Josh Hunter--back into her life.

A college Clueless meets Veronica Mars, Kristin Halbrook's new adult mystery is full of sexy romance and twists that will keep you guessing until the end.
Okay, here's the query:
Hi Suzie,

Seventeen-year-old Aubrey Housing and her best friends abide by the wisdom of Marilyn Monroe when it comes to romance: “A wise girl kisses but doesn't love, listens but doesn't believe, and leaves before she is left.” Following every first kiss with a preemptive strike on future commitment, and giving as little as they know they'll get in return, Aubrey and her friends have made it to the second semester of their senior year heartbreak-free and with their dignity fully intact.

So when Nathan Diggs moves to town he’s no exception. That’s what Aubrey keeps reminding herself. But there’s no denying Nathan is different. He’s oddly caring, polite in a way that isn’t embarrassing, and he happens to have the exact same sense of humor as Aubrey. She tries to shake it – she’s above this – she pities other girls for not knowing better, but it's too late. Aubrey’s already broken the most important rule of all: do not fall in love.

With senior year fading quickly, Aubrey must be strategic if she wants to keep Nathan. She’s seen the failed results when girls want what she wants from Nathan and actually try and have it. But business as usual might mean sharing Nathan, or worse, losing him completely. One false move in either direction could land her a broken heart.

GIRLS EVOLVED is a contemporary young adult novel about letting go, and is complete at 83,000 words. It will appeal to readers of Lauren Oliver, Nina LaCour, or Courtney Summers, and I thought you might be interested in its concept.

The first ten pages are pasted below. I’d be happy to send you more! The manuscript is available at your request.


Alexis Bass
Here's what I love about it:

The first line. Any high school girl following the wisdom of Marilyn Monroe when it comes to romance, thinks she has it all together, but definitely has another thing coming. I also love the Marilyn quote and the way it's seamlessly incorporated into this query.

The structure. The best queries really build as you read them. This first paragraph tells me who Aubrey is and what she's trying to avoid: a broken heart. The second paragraph raises the stakes and reels me in. That's the point I knew I was going to have to read this manuscript.

Bonus points for the comp authors. Lauren Oliver, Nina, LaCour, and Courtney Summers are all authors I like--and they all can write contemporary YA that feels blisteringly real. And that was exactly what I got with Alexis Bass's debut novel.

The title changed to Love and Other Theories, and of course it comes out next month!