Tag Archives: Michelle Hauck

Michelle Hauck’s STEADFAST Cover Reveal!

It all starts, of course, with getting hit with the writing bug. You have an idea for a story. You bravely sit down and write it. You learn that you don’t know how to write quite yet and you begin to gather experience plucked from other writers farther down the road. 

A manuscript or four later your craft has improved enough to land an agent. Your brilliant story goes out to the scary land of editors and may or may not sell. But you persist. You write other stories if the first one fails. And eventually, you make your first sale for, say, three books.

Now you are faced with the scary fact that you need to write your first sequel and carry on a story line. You get the wonderful news that the characters you adore will live on. At the same time, you are full of anxiety that a sequel is a daunting thing and you’ve never tried one before. Bravely you forge forward and write a sequel that meets your editor’s approval. 

A new first appears now that you conquered the other challenge. You now have to write the ending book of a series. You have to take all the characters and all the obstacles you created and bring them to, not just an end, but a highly exciting end. Once again you doubt your talent and ability. You plunge forward nonetheless. And you succeed.

Cover reveals. Release days. Publishers Marketplace announcements. All those days are great days, but they are blips on the actual journey. The true test is the challenge you meet every day to go out and do what scares you because you might fail– and see yourself instead succeed. 

So a cover reveal is not so much a celebration of art as it is a celebration of spirit. Another test passed. Another doubt proved groundless. A forging forward on the journey of you, whether you are a writer or something else. 

Proof I climb this mountain in the form of a third cover for my Birth of Saints series. Thank you for being a witness and may you climb your mountains. 

 Do what scares you my friends and face those challenges.  

Against an angry god whose only desire is to wipe out all life, what hope is there to survive?The army from the north has left a trail of burned and captured cities. In trying to stop them, Claire and Ramiro unleashed the northern god, Dal, but now they face two monstrosities and no amount of honor or hope can stop the killing as Dal grows in power.

Searching for a miracle, Claire finds the elders of the Women of the Song, who might teach her a thing or two about using her voice magic to fight back—if they can put aside their own problems first—while Ramiro searches for truth in his dreams, leading him to the northern priestess Santabe, the only one who could share her knowledge of Dal and the mysterious magical Diviners. 

Claire must unite the Women of the Song in the face of utter destruction, and Ramiro must decide how far he will go to get the answers he needs to defeat the rampaging god.

It will take nothing less than a saint to rise and face the leviathan before they all become martyrs. (unofficial blurb)

Steadfast releases December 5, 2017

Enter Giveaways to Win Signed Copies of Grudging and Faithful:

A world of chivalry and witchcraft…and the invaders who would destroy everything.

The North has invaded, bringing a cruel religion and no mercy. The ciudades-estados who have stood in their way have been razed to nothing, and now the horde is before the gates of Colina Hermosa…demanding blood.

On a mission of desperation, a small group escapes the besieged city in search of the one thing that might stem the tide of Northerners: the witches of the southern swamps.

The Women of the Song.

But when tragedy strikes their negotiations, all that is left is a single untried knight and a witch who has never given voice to her power. And time is running out.

A lyrical tale of honor and magic, Grudging is the opening salvo in the Book of Saints trilogy.

Following Grudging–and with a mix of Terry Goodkind and Bernard Cornwall–religion, witchcraft, and chivalry war in Faithful, the exciting next chapter in Michelle Hauck’s Birth of Saints series!

A world of Fear and death…and those trying to save it.

Colina Hermosa has burned to the ground. The Northern invaders continue their assault on the ciudades-estados. Terror has taken hold, and those that should be allies betray each other in hopes of their own survival. As the realities of this devastating and unprovoked war settles in, what can they do to fight back?

On a mission of hope, an unlikely group sets out to find a teacher for Claire, and a new weapon to use against the Northerners and their swelling army.

What they find instead is an old woman.

But she’s not a random crone—she’s Claire’s grandmother. She’s also a Woman of the Song, and her music is both strong and horrible. And while Claire has already seen the power of her own Song, she is scared of her inability to control it, having seen how her magic has brought evil to the world, killing without reason or remorse. To preserve a life of honor and light, Ramiro and Claire will need to convince the old woman to teach them a way so that the power of the Song can be used for good. Otherwise, they’ll just be destroyers themselves, no better than the Northerners and their false god, Dal. With the annihilation their enemy has planned, though, they may not have a choice.

A tale of fear and tragedy, hope and redemption, Faithful is the harrowing second entry in the Birth of Saints trilogy.

About the Author:

Michelle Hauck lives in the bustling metropolis of northern Indiana with her hubby and two college-going kids. Besides working with special needs children by day, she writes all sorts of fantasy, giving her imagination free range. She is a co-host of the yearly contests Query Kombat, Nightmare on Query Street, Picture Book Party, and Sun versus Snow. Her Birth of Saints trilogy, starting with Grudging (November 17, 2015) and Faithful (November 15, 2016) and Steadfast (December 2017)  is published by Harper Voyager. Another epic fantasy, Kindar’s Cure, is published by Divertir Publishing.

Find her on twitter at @Michelle4Laughs or at her blog.

Sun Versus Snow Free Pass

I like writing contests. I really like Twitter writing contest. These contest hone and sharpen my pitching skills, provide feedback, concrete deadlines, specific entry formatting, and most importantly, they are great places to meet other writers.

I recently made it into the agent round of a contest called Sun Versus Snow hosted by Michelle Hauck and Amy Trueblood. Writers submit their query letter and first 250 words of a submission-ready manuscript. The first 200 entries were accepted and then Michelle picked 15 entries for her Team Snow, while Amy picked 15 for her Team Sun. The entries were assigned to a mentor, who helped polish and shine the entries for an agent round. In the agent round, 15 literary agents will look through the entries and request additional pages if they are interested in the work.


Not only a fun contest, but an unbelievable opportunity for a writer to get their pitch in front of agent eyes.

To add a little more spice to the contest, both Amy and Michelle offered a free pass opportunity to bypass the initial selection process and leapfrog into the mentoring round. I was fortunate to win the free pass for Michelle’s Team Snow for writing a short piece on a winter memory. It was a shock to be selected, especially with an idiotic story about my juvenile delinquency days.

Below is the selected Free Pass story which made me a proud member of Team Snow for my middle grade fantasy entry about a secret ninja force of squirrels.

I am happy and thankful Michelle appreciates the stupidity of a bored, Bubba-lineman teenager. Above all else, I am happy and thankful there are writers like Michelle, Amy, and all the Sun Versus Snow mentors, who are willing to pay-it-forward. It is a wonderful community.


It snowed again. A snow day kind of snow. During the last snow a few weeks back, we’d invented a new game—a game for a group of big boy, lineman type, high school football players to chase the boredom of winter. The game? Drive through the rich, suburban neighborhoods after dark and run full speed into artfully crafted, young, urban professional snow sculptures built in pristine, well-manicured lawns, obliterating the snow figures into clouds of white powder. We weren’t bad kids; it’s just the winter blahs and the recent snowstorm have left few options for entertainment.

So there we were again after the second storm, the packed car stopped down the street from a corner lot. The only light on at the massive house was the dim glare of the porch light. I stepped from the car and pointed toward the yard where there stood a carbon copy of the snowman I had leveled the last time we visited. With a confident smile, I assumed my offensive lineman’s stance and quietly barked out a cadence. My column of exhaled breath illuminated in the light from a nearby street light as it drift away into the crisp, cold air.

Game time.


A few giggles of anticipation from inside the car.


All went quiet.


I, a man-child, exploded from my stance. The snow flew behind me with each step I took. Faster and faster I approached the newly built, even more Norman Rockwell-ish version of a snowman. It was a giant of a snowman, at least eight feet tall, made from four huge balls of snow stacked on top of one another. Closer and closer, the target approached. Two steps from the snowman, I lowered to pancake block the snowman into oblivion.

I collided with the snowman with a dull, flat thud.

Instead of a beautiful white cloud of snow filling the sky, the air rapidly left my body as I bounced off the snowman and landed on my back in the deep snow. Gasping for air with the twinkling stars moved in circles above my head, I heard something strange—a child’s laugh from the direction of the front porch. I rolled my head and saw a small, pajama-clad boy high-fiving his bath-robed father just inside the threshold of their front door.

Finally able to inhale the sharp, cold air, I stood up and staggered in defeat back to the open car door. Pride wounded and body screaming in pain, I fell into the safety of the back seat as the young boy’s voice floated across the yard.

“Don’t mess wiff our snowmans, no more!”

The car exploded in laughter, save for one occupant. As I reached for the door handle, I caught one last look at the snowman. The street light reflected off its solid ice-encrusted surface, standing tall and proud, and smiling a wide, charcoal briquette smile at the beautiful, winter night.

Holiday Query Blog Hop

Michelle Hauck is hosting a Holiday query critique blog hop! Come one, come all! Hop on the sled and have some fun helping out fellow writers for the Holidays. Below is the information from her announcement post.

Here’s how it will work:
Post your query letter onto your blog. It can be any genre or age category, but please list this crucial information somewhere in the query letter. Keep your query to 250 – 350 words, give or take a few. No indents and put line space between paragraphs. Include everything you would send an agent: bio, greeting, closing.
Take the url link from your post and add it to the linky list at Michelle’s site . (Click on the button in the post, not in the comments.) Use the list to critique the five people above and below your listing. If you are number 6 then you would feedback numbers 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,9,10,11 on the list. Please leave constructive criticism, but also say what you like about the query. Don’t worry if it’s not your genre, just do your best to give your thoughts.

Here’s my query for a middle-grade fantasy called NINJA SQUIRRELS OF THE HUNDRED ACRE WOOD.

Dear Agent,

When Kuji, a recent graduate of Black Squirrel Academy, is assigned to the Ninja Squirrels of the Hundred Acre Wood, he doubts his ability to become a member of the elite, clandestine force responsible for protecting the Wood and its inhabitants. He contemplates requesting a transfer to an easier first assignment but decides to take the risk and accept the position as a Ninja Squirrel trainee. Kuji discovers he has found a place to truly call home, a place with good friends and a future. He is quickly put to the test and must prove to himself and the others he is capable of the challenges, even if the difficult training forces him out of his comfort zone.

His arrival, though, has triggered an increase in attacks by the Hundred Acre Wood’s greatest enemy, the Arachne. The Arachne are evil, overgrown spiders and scorpions who will stop at nothing to defeat the Ninja Squirrels and drain the magical power that gives the Wood its innocence and goodness.

Adding to the pressures of a trainee, Master Jonin, the legendary sensei of the Ninja Squirrels, tells Kuji of his destiny to be the kami, the group’s ninth member who is to bind the Ninja Squirrels, make them stronger, and eventually become their leader. Kuji is not sure he can live up to this lofty expectation. He doesn’t know if he can deal with the responsibility of leadership or risk losing being just one of the squirrels, which is his favorite thing about being a member of the team. But, Kuji also realizes that without this kami presence, the Ninja Squirrels will inevitably drift apart and leave the Wood vulnerable to Arachne attack.

The adventures in NINJA SQUIRRELS OF THE HUNDRED ACRE WOOD, a 39,600-word middle-grade fantasy, are stories built around the world created by A. A. Milne in his Winnie-the-Pooh books.

My upper middle-grade historical fiction novel, THE YOUNGER DAYS, was released by the MuseItYoung imprint of MuseItUp Publishing and was awarded the Catholic Writer’s Guild Seal of Approval Award. I have also published three non-fiction football coaching articles in a national coaching magazine.

Thank you for your time and consideration. The complete manuscript is available upon request.