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I've had such a fun and busy few days with my family that I just realized that the winners of up to a 20 page critique of an MG from agent Alyssa Eisner Henkin and a copy of Wonder by R. J. Palacio will be drawn in a few hours, and I hadn't shouted it out here.  There's also a link toward the bottom that gives you another way to enter a giveaway for a 20 page critique from Alyssa Eisner Henkin...and this one is good for PB, MG, and YA!  Hop on over to the Mixed-Up Files site and check it out.

I had so much fun interviewing Alyssa, and learned a lot from her responses.  She discussed the changing market, great ways for authors to promote themselves and their books, and went into detail about a middle-grade novel by client Adam Glendon Sidwell named Evertaster that kept coming close with publishers.  Even though editors raved about it, the book was ultimately turned away because it was too quirky.  Adam had his book independently published by the new ebook publishing platform launched by Trident Media Group, and Evertaster hit #52 overall in books on amazon.com and #1 in children's mystery books on its first day of publication!  I loved reading about all the ways Adam helped promote his book...including cross-promotion with a pie company and an amazing trailer that's so professional, it looks like it could be a movie preview!  
I can't wait to see who will win the generous critiques from Alyssa Eisner Henkin.  What an amazing opportunity!  And now there are two books I can't wait to read.  Who can resist Evertaster after seeing that incredible trailer?  And I've had Wonder on my to-read list ever since people raved about it on the Favorite Middle-Grade Novel post I wrote on the Mixed-Up Files in March.  Now it's on my must-read list.  Check out the blurb on Indiebound:
I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.
August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a New York Times bestseller, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. 
In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” —indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.

I love that Wonder inspired the Choose Kind anti-bullying campaign.  Kids can be so cruel to each other, especially in middle school.  It's nice to see a book and campaign that can help kids avoid the awful emotional and physical pain that bullies cause.  

Don't forget to hop over to my interview on the Mixed-Up Files site.  You'll have until 7 pm EST tonight to enter for a chance to win a copy of Wonder and a 20 page MG critique from Alyssa Eisner Henkin.  Good luck!

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Mindy's head shot
Mindy Alyse Weiss
I write humorous middle-grade novels with heart and quirky picture books.

I'm an Administrator on the SCBWI Blueboard, the FL SCBWI Newsletter Editor and Critique Group Coordinator, and a proud member of From The Mixed Up Files...of Middle-Grade Authors

I've been married for twenty years and have two beautiful daughters, an adventurous Bullmasador adopted from The Humane Society, and an adorable Beagle/Pointer mix pup who was rescued from the Everglades.

I've been published in Highlights three times and placed in the 80th Writer's Digest Competition.


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