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Showing posts from March, 2010

Interview With Rachel Hawkins, Author of HEX HALL

I first "met" Rachel when she came to my blog and congratulated me on signing with our mutual agent, Holly Root. I began following Rachel on Twitter and instantly enjoyed her fabulous sense of humor. When the opportunity to read an ARC (Advance Reading Copy) of HEX HALL presented itself to me, I grabbed it. I was in for a real treat. HEX HALL is a hilarious, atmospheric romp with twists, tension, and heart. I devoured it in one gulp and couldn't wait for more.

Here's a peek at HEX HALL:

In the wake of a love spell gone horribly wrong, Sophie Mercer, a sixteen-year-old witch, is shipped off to Hecate Hall, a boarding school for witches, shapeshifters and faeries. The traumas of mortal high school are nothing compared to the goings on at "Freak High." It's bad enough that she has to deal with a trio of mean girls led by the glamorous Elodie, but it's even worse when she begins to fall for Elodie's gorgeous boyfriend, Archer Cross, and frankly terri…

Friday Fiction - Winner & Post

She's been threatening to hack into random.org and swing my contests in her favor for weeks now. I guess she finally accomplished the dreadful deed because M.G. Buehrlen is the Friday Fiction winner! M.G. please take a look at the list of titles to the right and let me know which one you want. :)

M.G.'s three words are: Fiesta (the Ford car version, not the party version)
Circumlocution, and Weenie-head.

She thinks she's done me in with those three. Never fear, faithful blog readers. I shall rise to the occasion. And then some.

I hope.


Friday Fiction Entry #2

I've waited here, in this damp, godforsaken husk of what was once a busy, well-lit hub, for more days than I can remember. The darkness swallowed me whole as I entered its lair, and my eyes had yet to adjust. For the first few hours, I'd strained against the thick blanket of black, hoping to see outlines of familiar shapes. Light gray among the opaque. Hints that I was somehow less alone.

I'd given up searching…

Mostly Disturbing

1. Clearly, I did not find the time this weekend to write the Friday Fiction blog.

2. Never fear! I shall choose a winner tonight and write the post for tomorrow!

3. Most likely.

4. What did I do with my weekend instead?

5. I worked. I revised. I cleaned. I took my kids to see HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON.

6. And I fell in love with Toothless the dragon.

7. So in love, I raved on and on about how much I wanted a dragon of my very own.

8. Clint is now threatening to buy me an iguana for Christmas.

9. As a testament to just HOW MUCH I adored that movie (If you haven't seen it, go. One of the best animated films I've ever seen.), I'm totally okay with receiving an iguana as a pet.

10. Wonder how Spastic Kitten would feel about that?

11. One of the previews we watched before the movie was this. (The extended version).

12. In the sudden silence following the end of the preview, right after Donkey offered Puss the use of his tongue, Daredevil exclaimed in his best outside voice, "That'…

Friday Fiction - Not Just For Fridays

Because my Friday has zero flexibility this week, I'm going to post the Friday Fiction winner and writing piece either late tonight or sometime tomorrow. Check back to see if you've won your choice of one of the 4 books in my stash!

Winner: Tessa Dare Giveaway

Thank you to all who commented and tweeted about Tessa's interview. I'm excited to announce the winner of Tessa's HUGE giveaway is Angie! (@bangersis on Twitter) Congratulations, Angie! Please leave your email in the comment trail, and I'll get in touch with you regarding your prize.

Tune in next Wednesday when YA author Rachel Hawkins takes on the Were-llama and gives away a copy of her awesome book HEX HALL along with a hexy t-shirt!

Interview With Tessa Dare Author of GODDESS OF THE HUNT

Before Tessa Dare's first book (GODDESS OF THE HUNT) hit the shelves, my friend and fellow Pixie Courtney Milan was all over Twitter telling everyone they simply had to read this book. Because I value Courtney's opinion, I picked up GOTH, devoured it in one gulp, and couldn't wait to get my hands on anything else Tessa Dare writes. The power of Tessa's writing lies in her astonishing ability to write authentic, funny, lovable, flawed characters who leap right off the page. Her story is charming, heartwarming and funny but with that added something that sets it apart from being just another novel about England's ton. In my opinion, that extra something is her ability to really let us inside her characters' heads and hearts. GODDESS OF THE HUNT instantly became one of my all-time favorite historical novels.

Here's a peek at GOTH:

Ever the bold adventuress, Lucy Waltham has decided to go hunting for a husband. But first she needs some target practice. So she tur…

Stuff You Need To Know

1. In case you haven't yet entered the Friday Fiction giveaway (where you get to choose 1 of 4 books as your prize!), go here and do so.

2. There are only 4 spots remaining in April's Query Workshop. Find more details here.

3. Tomorrow, historical author Tessa Dare (whose books I absolutely adore) will be interviewed on the blog and is generously donating a HUGE giveaway package. HUGE. It's so full of AWESOMESAUCE I can't even begin to tell you how awesomesauce it is. Tune in tomorrow for all the details!

It's Platypus Monday (Plus a chance to win 1 of 4 books!)

1. I admit it. Before the whole Hey Why Don't You Make A Were-Platypus Cupcake! movement on this blog (inspired by Shannon Messenger and Kerry Allen, may they rest in peace), I hadn't given the platypus more than a passing thought.

2. Now? They're everywhere.

3. Example A: I was watching tv with my kids the other day when a commercial for Littlest Pet Shop came on. Imagine my surprise when the pet being offered was a platypus.

4. Not that the item pictured inside that box looks even remotely like a platypus, but whatever.

5. I decided to investigate this strange occurrence (Because, really? Who expects to buy toy platypi for their kids? Not me.) and discovered the platypus is taking over the internet.

6. Most notably on a site that is a gift shop entirely focused on the platypus.

7. Some of my favorite platypus-inspired items?



Platypus Christmas ornaments. Nothing says Happy Holidays like a semi-aquatic mammal on a string!



A platypus wine stopper! (I love that the site describes …

Friday Fiction - #1

The random number generator gave me WandererInGray's first sentence for today's installment of Friday Fiction. Congratulations, Katie! You've won a book of your choice from my stash. Today's choices are: Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER, Kelly Gay's THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS, and Jeaniene Frost's FIRST DROP OF CRIMSON.

FRIDAY FICTION

When I woke up in a dumpster covered in lime Jello I knew it was going to be one of those Mondays. Not that any of my Mondays have been peachy since she showed up, but whatever.

I stood up, felt the world tilt, and crashed back onto my bed of Jello, used napkins, and other substances I decided not to investigate. My head ached with so much intensity I had to reach up and pat my skull to make sure no one had embedded an axe in it while I wasn't looking.

My head, while mercifully axe-free, was covered with a sticky substance I soon discovered was blood. My blood. Which was shame because a) it really sucked to wake up bloody and lyi…

Workshop Update

Registration has been open for a mere 24 hours and I'm already down to only 9 spots available in April's Query Workshop. If you're considering it, please head here for the info.

Query Example

I'm involved in #querychat tonight on Twitter and find it difficult to really explain how to include both PLOT and VOICE when I'm constricted to 140 characters. So, I'm posting the query that landed me my agent as an example for those currently involved in the chat.

Ms. Holly Root
1234 Publishable Ave.
New York City, NY 10001

Dear Ms. Root,


Alexa Tate is more than human. She can swim underwater without holding her breath, scale a brick building in five seconds flat, and hear the emotions of those about to commit a crime. A secretary by day, she uses her skills to hunt down evil at night. She is stronger, faster, and more lethal than anyone she's ever met.

Until now.

A non-human hunter has come to town. Using mind-control to inhabit his victims and through them commit unspeakable crimes, the hunter leaves a trail of bodies leading right to Alexa's door.

Suddenly, Alexa is the prey in an ancient war whose rules she is just beginning to understand.

To stop the hunter and …

Winner of CITY OF BONES

Thank you to all who read and commented on the Mundie Moms interview yesterday. I used a random number generator to choose the winner of a copy of CITY OF BONES. The winner is Travis Pearson. Please leave your email for me in the comment section (or DM me on Twitter) to claim your prize. Congratulations!

Interview With The Mundie Moms: Young Adult Book Bloggers & Reviewers

I first met the Mundie Moms when Myra began talking with them on Twitter. I followed them, visited their blog, and soon became hooked. Need to know the scoop on the exciting new books hitting the shelves in the Young Adult (ages 13-17) genre? They've got it. Want a peek behind the scenes of your favorite author's life? They've got the backstage pass. Want to chat with authors, enter contests, and score free books and a host of other super cool book swag items? They've got it all.

According to their website:

Mundie Moms is a world wide fandom brought together through our love of discussing books. Mundie Moms was founded as a place to come and talk about our love of the Mortal Instrument Series. From there, it grew into a place to discuss YA books and more.

You will find links to our Mundie Moms forum, Cassandra Clare's forum, our book forums, books reviews, author chats and much more on our blog. Be sure to visit our Cassandra Clare forum, as Cassandra stops by to a…

New Workshops Open for Registration

I've opened two new workshops up for registration today. The first is April's Query Workshop. The second is a new How To Plot an Amazing Story workshop. (Please note the plotting workshop does not seek to change the unique way each writer approaches their own writing process.) For details on either workshop, go here.

Anything But The Eyes

1. I believe all of my regular blog readers know how I feel about eyes.

2. If you need a refresher course, go here.

3. I can seriously handle just about any nasty thing you throw at me. I clean up anything my boys can dish out (And really? I deserve a freakin' medal for that one.) without batting an eye. I can handle any subject you wish to discuss while I'm eating. I can even clean up after strangers who've been sick at the restaurant without losing my own dinner. But I gag out loud if I feel a blood vessel breaking in my eye.

4. And if I smell green beans, but whatever. The fact I can handle the smell of vomit but not the smell of green beans is just part of my quirky charm.

5. Did you know you can feel when a blood vessel is breaking in your eye?

6. GAH! I can't even write about it! My gag reflex is forcibly threatening to make me revisit the coffee-flavored yogurt I just ate for breakfast.

7. Anyway, everyone in my family knows I can't stand eye stuff. They all thin…

Winner!

I used a random number generator to pick the winner of the signed copy of THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS. Congratulations, Sara McClung!! You've won! Please email me your mailing address and I'll forward it on to Kelly.

Thank you to everyone who commented and entered. Stay tuned for next week's interview where Captain Jack pursues not one woman, but two!

Interview With Kelly Gay Author Of THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS

When my friend and fellow Pixie ('08 Golden Heart finalists) Kelly Gay's book hit the shelves, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I had that little tingle of anticipation that tells me I'm going to love a book. I was right. Kelly's world-building is amazing, her characters come right off the page, and she managed to write both a fast-paced thriller and a heart-breaking story of love, loss, and the sacrifices we're willing to make to do what we think is right. Plus, she laid the groundwork for a well-developed series, and I can't wait to read the rest!

Here's a peek at TBPD:

Divorced mother of one, Charlie Madigan, lives in a world where the beings of heaven and hell exist among us, and they aren't the things of Sunday school lessons and Hallmark figurines. In the years since the Revelation, they've become our co-workers, neighbors, and fellow citizens.

Charlie works for ITF (Integration Task Force). It's her job to see that the continued i…

The Cupcake Malfunction Continues

The cupcake malfunction (soon to be known as Cupcakegate) is no closer to a solution. The flower petals refuse to dry sufficiently to allow my hubby to take the flower off its stand. He'll try again today.

I would say he has the patience of a saint, and he's soooo wonderful to keep working on this for me and yadda yadda yadda, but I think we can all agree after yesterday's conversation, he's lucky to still be alive.

Until tomorrow!

Excuse Me?

Usually, I bring you an interview on Wednesdays. Today's interview, however, has been rescheduled to tomorrow (and there is an AWESOME giveaway so stay tuned!) because of a tragic cupcake malfunction.

So, in place of my regularly scheduled blog feature, I bring you the following conversation which happened yesterday in the car:

Hubby: Oh, man! I still have to make that cupcake.

Me: *glances at him* I'm sorry. If you really don't want to make cupcakes for my blog, just tell me. I'll do something else.

Hubby: *is silent*

Me: Well?

Hubby: I'm not answering that.

Me: Why not?

Hubby: Because I love you.

Starshine: Answer her, Dad! Weren't you listening to her?

Hubby: I never listen to her.

Starshine: *makes frustrated sound* I can't believe you got married to her. How in the world did you ever manage to get married if you don't listen to her?

Hubby: I got married BECAUSE I didn't listen to her.

Me: Oh, nice.

Starshine: *ponders this for a minute* So .... did she ask …

Klassy!

1. I saw two things this weekend that made me laugh.

2. The fact that neither of these things were meant to be funny made it that much better.

3. First, I saw an ad for a hairstyling salon that read as follows:

4. Klassy Not Sassy Boutique

5. I think the "k" just gives it that extra special touch of sophistication and--dare I say it?--klass.

6. I stopped by the Starbucks inside my local grocery store and discovered a new free-to-me product: bagged used coffee grounds.

7. The slick bag housing the grounds explained (in glossy, colorful letters) that the grounds were excellent for gardening and offered them for free to customers who wanted to a) make their plants very happy and b) help Starbucks reduce their environmental footprint.

8. Am I the only one who sees the big fat irony in taking something that is environmentally friendly and wouldn't harm a landfill and packaging it in a slick, ink-covered bag so the company can seem environmentally conscious?

9. *rolls eyes*

10. I saw …

Friday Fiction

I used to call this feature "Get Me Started," but decided I couldn't resist the alliteration of "Friday Fiction" instead. Here's how it works.

1. You leave me a comment with an interesting first sentence. (No profanity or sex please)

2. Every Friday, I use a random number generator to pick one of the comments, and then use that first sentence as a starting place to write a short piece of fiction for the blog.

3. If your comment is chosen, you win a book of your choice from my private stash!

4. You may enter up to five separate first sentence comments.

5. If I use your comment, you have until the following Friday to give me your email addy so we can talk prizes.

6. What are you waiting for? Give me some awesome first sentences and let's get Friday Fiction going!

Interview With Agent Holly Root

I'm so excited to have my Agent of Awesomesauce Holly Root on the blog today. Holly is a class act who understands and respects the creative process, is a pit bull when it comes to negotiating for her clients, and doesn't flinch from writers who think discussing milk-flavored duckies and spiders down cleavage in the same post is acceptable blog content.

Plus, she has minions. Revision Duck Mafia minions. You know that's cool.

The first time I talked with Holly, I felt instantly at home. Especially when I sort of wondered aloud if she'd wandered through my blog because what she found MIGHT sway her decision to offer representation (and not in a good way), and she assured me she'd read my blog, and it was crazy-free.

Crazy-free.

I decided either she was being kind, or she was my kind of people. Turns out she's my kind of people.

When I asked her which of the Usual Suspects she'd like to be interviewed by, she chose the Spork of Doom.



Spork of Doom.



Holly Root

Now …

Monday Linkage

A writer friend of mine, Sara McClung, is running an awesome contest on her blog right now. Signed books, entire trilogies, and even a really cool Alice in Wonderland giveaway are available to win! (FYI: The Alice prize=MINE so back off.) It's easy to enter. Check it out.

Also, today I guest blogged at Romance University and critiqued one lucky(?) writer's query.

Bombs Ahoy!

1. There's a commercial on the kids' channels advertising a new, wonderful, must-buy-this-now product.

2. What is this new, wonderful, must-buy-this-now product?

3. 3-D bubbles.

4. Which is a relief because I can't tell you how many times I've looked at bubbles floating through the air and thought "If only these were 3-D!"

5. ...

6. In other what-were-they-thinking product news, Cracker Barrel has their Easter candy out. We have all of the usual suspects--peeps, chocolate eggs, jelly beans--and one very special addition:


7. I had to read it twice to be sure the manufacturers hadn't accidentally left off the word "chocolate."

8. They hadn't.

9. This is truly every child's Easter candy dream: A yellow rubber-ducky-look-alike that tastes like milk.

10. Excuse me while I go gag for a minute.

11. And speaking of gagging, I have a seriously irrational fear I'd like to share with you.

12. And no, I don't think the other fears I've shared with…