My Excerpt from the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest

Amazon worked tirelessly last week and this weekend and has fixed the major glitches (missing emdashes, weird characters replacing quotation marks and italics, and missing apostrophes) in the quarterfinalists excerpts from the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) Contest!!!

There are still paragraphing and page break issues in the excerpt, but it is now quite readable. ๐Ÿ™‚

My product description does not have my original paragraphing and the spacing is wrong in a spot or two, but other than that it is ready to be read.

So drumroll please….

To read my ABNA excerpt from The Six Train to Wisconsin, you click on the link and it will take you to my Amazon page. You have to download the excerpt to your Kindle. It says you click to buy it, but it’s $0.00 dollars.

Then you can read it on your Kindle. The product description on the Amazon page is my original pitch that got me through the first round of the contest. It’s the one I worked on at the Backspace Agent-Author Seminar in November and used at the WDC Pitch Slam in January.

This is the first time my writing is in a public forum. I’ve bitten my nails to nubs. Nerve-wracking and exciting. I never ever thought I would reach this point when I entered back in January. I’d really love to hear your thoughts.ย  If you have time, please stop over to check out my excerpt. You can rate it and leave reviews on my Amazon page too.

There are 250 talented ABNA Quarterfinalists across many genres of adult fiction. I’m competing against 249 of them. ๐Ÿ™‚ย  There is a separate contest for YA fiction with another 250 amazing ABNA Quarterfinalists too.ย  You can read their excerpts by clicking on the link and selecting which genre you want to look at along the top of the page.

If you don’t have a Kindle or a Kindle app, you can still check out my first five pages of The Six Train to Wisconsin on my website.

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54 Responses to My Excerpt from the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest

  1. So exciting! I don’t have a kindle but I’m sure it’s fab, good luck!

  2. 4amWriter says:

    Awesome, Kourtney. I don’t have a Kindle, so unfortunately I can’t read it. Bummer. However, I did check out the product description. Your book sounds really interesting and I would want to read it just based on that!

    I wish you continued luck in the contest.

  3. Cat Forsley says:


    • Thanks Catherine! I really appreciate your support. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Cat Forsley says:

        THAT’S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR !!!!!!!!!!!!
        VERY EXCITED FOR YOU ——————–

        • LOL. Thanks so much Catherine! You’re the best!

          • Cat Forsley says:


            RED ?
            AND MATCHING SWEATERS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            GIMME A K !!!!!!

          • It’s nice to have people on my team. As a writer, I used to feel like it was just me battling the entire world. Here on the blog, I have some amazing supporters and I find I’m excited to share my successes and even my misses with you. ๐Ÿ™‚

            LOL. Ooh I like red pom poms.
            And maybe white sweaters with a big red K int he middle?

          • It’s nice to have people on my team. As a writer, I used to feel like it was just me battling the entire world. Here on the blog, I have some amazing supporters and I find I’m excited to share my successes and even my misses with you. ๐Ÿ™‚

            LOL. Ooh I like red pom poms.
            And maybe white sweaters with a big red K in the middle?

          • Cat Forsley says:

            THAT WAS THE OUTFIT FOR SURE ………..
            RED AND WHITE ….FOR SURE ………

            PLAIN FACT ———
            CUZ THEY NEVER ARE ….
            OK —–
            ENOUGH FOR THE SOCIAL ACTIVISM ๐Ÿ™‚ !!!!!!!!!!!!
            HAVE A LOVELY DAY

          • Thanks Catherine! I definitely don’t feel alone anymore. I have the sweetest most supportive blog friends. When I got the news, I was most excited to tell my blog buddies, because you are all such wickedly creative people and you know how hard it is to get your stuff out there. ๐Ÿ™‚

            Have a sparkling afternoon!

    • Thanks Catherine! I really appreciate your support. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Loading it to my Kindle as we speak (type :)). Good luck, Kourtney! Hope you’re having a BLAST with the process.

    • Thanks August! I hope you like it. I really am enjoying each round (though it’s probably because I’ve been super lucky and advanced). It’s a really cool experience. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. crubin says:

    Just downloaded it, Kourtney. Looking forward to checking it out! Congrats again. Pretty cool just to have made it this far. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks Carrie! Can’t wait to hear what you think. I am so happy to have made it this far. I’ve done several contests and never advanced. So to advance two rounds is an ice cream sundae on a hot July day. I’d love to make it to the semi-finals, but this alone made it totally worth it to enter the contest. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I will load it on my Kindle today!

    • Thanks Lisa! Excited to hear what you think. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you enjoy it, but if you find things that didn’t work for you as a reader, please let me know. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Love the premise, Kourtney. Great touch that her suicidal telepathy had a limited range – gives him a chance to think his own thoughts. I definitely wanted to keep reading and see what happened out in the country but I ran out of words ๐Ÿ™‚

        Everything worked for me except for not learning the main characters names within the first few pages. That helps ground me as a reader.

        • Thanks Lisa! Glad you enjoyed the restriction I put on her telepathy. I wanted him to be able to have internal thoughts too.
          I’m thrilled to hear you’d keep reading.

          Very good point. I actually did that on purpose with the names. I wanted the reader to get to know them in the context of their relationship as husband and wife. I reveal the names in the pitch, but not until around page 30 in the manuscript when the characters really start interacting with other people. Is that a major turn off? Would it stop you from making it to page 30? If so I’ll have to reconsider that artistic choice. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • You know, Kourtney, that I like to know the characters names right off the bat could just be a thing with me. And no, it wasn’t a major turnoff, more like a reader’s itch that wasn’t being scratched. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. mj monaghan says:

    Kourtney, I read your entry. Very nicely done. Interesting concept.

    Loved the ending piece. Set up very well.

    Suicidal telepathic!

    • Thanks MJ! Really appreciate you taking the time to read my excerpt. And thanks so much for the feedback. I like knowing what I conveyed well and where I missed the mark. It’s hard when you’re so close to the story you can’t not see what’s in your head. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. themadgayman says:

    Great stuff! I love the idea, especially. I will download the excerpt tonight and read. Ooo… Exciting.

  9. jmmcdowell says:

    Ack! No Kindle! I’m thinking I know what to request for my birthday this year…. ๐Ÿ™‚

    But still wishing you the top spot in the final round!

  10. Novel Girl says:

    How can I help and support you? Will downloading boost your chances? ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Hi Rebecca! Thanks so much for offering your support! Right now, the voting is in the PW judges hands. They pick the semifinalists (top 50). Then the penguin editors pick the top 3. If I make it there, Amazon voting will then determine the final winner.

      If you have time, it would be good to get a review on the excerpt. It can’t hurt to have some reviews up there while the judges are judging. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. CC MacKenzie says:

    Done it!

    And I’m in the UK so it works here too!!!!! You have a universal following!

    I will read it Courtney, but am up the wall with my wip and other stuff. I’ve put you on the top of my pile and will get back to you!

  12. limebirdbeth says:

    Wow! This is great Kourtney! Unfortunately I don’t have a Kindle, but I’m going to try and see if I can download it somehow. So excited for you and good luck.

    Let me know if Limebird can help you in anyway!

    B x

    • Thanks so much for trying to check it out! If you can’t download it, the first five pages are on my website:

      I really appreciate it. Right now Amazon reviewers can rate it and write reviews, but the Amazon voting doesn’t happen until the judges narrow it down to the top 3. (I’m twisted up like a pretzel hoping I make it) Reviews are still great to read and if you get a chance to read it, I’d love to hear what you think.:)

  13. limebirdbeth says:

    Ok great. Well when you’re in the top 3 ( ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) we’ll promote promote promote!

  14. It's the little things that make life great.berry says:

    You go girl. Big three here we come.

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  17. Hi Kourtney, I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award, hope you don’t mind – you’ve probably already got it! And I wish you all the best of luck for your comp! Happy blogging – and if you want to accept the award, please go to for the Rules, the picture and all that jazz.

  18. Wow! Congratulations, this is so exciting! I’m going to download it this afternoon and give it a read and review. Good luck! I’m sure you’ll do great.

  19. Well, better late than never. I FINALLY got a chance to read your excerpt while I was away on vacation (I should do it more often except it meant I didn’t work on MY stuff for a week).I had to laugh when I read your comment about not being able to write without something paranormal. I don’t usually consider myself as enjoying that genre but my bottom line is that I love good writing in any genre, and it didn’t even occur to me until reading the blog comment that your story would fit in that category.

    I can’t wait to read more!

    • LOL. Thanks so much for reading it! I have family who haven’t even gotten around to it yet. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Audrey, my biggest stumbling block with this book is how to categorize it. Because it’s a quirky realistic love story about a married couple–it doesn’t fit the romance genre. It’s got a paranormal element throughout. But it’s also got a mystery and thriller subplot woven in later.I tried calling it commercial fiction, but agents said the paranormal makes it fantasy.

      Bottom line–I’m thrilled that you liked it, especially if you aren’t a big paranormal fan. And I’m so so happy to hear you liked the writing. ๐Ÿ™‚

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