Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Here It Comes!


I'm excited about the things I'll be doing on this blog in 2012. Of course, I'll continue to bring you the random Monday lists that make you so very thankful this is MY life and not YOURS. But there are other fun things in the works! Here's a peek at what you can expect:

  • The introduction of a new interviewer for our Wednesday author interviews! Now authors can choose from Captain Jack Sparrow, the Were-llama, the Spork of Doom and ... ??? She'll be introduced soon so stay tuned. And, as is fitting, her first encounter will be with the inimitable Beth Revis. Frankly, I'm putting my money on our interviewer ...
  • Continuing the Trailer Tuesdays
  • Fridays the Were-llama will review! What will he review? Books. Movies. T.V. shows. Broadway Shows. School Plays. Choir Rehearsals. Basically, anything he could have an opinion on. Which is pretty much everything.
  • On the Wednesdays that aren't set aside for author interviews, I am introducing another new segment: Author Mad Libs. I'm really looking forward to this one! I will send an author a list of parts of speech so they can list some interesting words for me. Then, I will plug those words into a piece I've written about the author and her book. I expect it to often be a source of mid-week hilarity.
Of course, I will still occasionally give writing project updates or post about something that just strikes a chord that day. And as I get closer to the release date for DEFIANCE, there will be cover reveals, contests, giveaways, and more!

So hang on to your book bag, dear reader. 2012 is going to be EPIC. Unless, of course, I get taken out by a Zombie Goat. Always a possibility. *puts on anti-Zombie Goat helmet and goes on about her business*

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Jack The Giant Killer

Today for Trailer Tuesday I bring you the trailer for a movie coming out this summer. It's an adaptation of the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale. Looks intriguing! What do you think?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Toilet of Doom*


*Special thanks to Twitter follower xHeatherxMariex for the title.

1. I had a post planned for today--my first day back from the holiday I took from writing real blog posts.

2. It had visual aids that looked like this:


and this:



3. I know. Classy, right?

4. But certain events have conspired to change the theme of my post. And NOW the visual aid looks like this:




5. Allow me to explain.

6. Over the years, I've discovered that I (most inexplicably) have a nemesis or two out there. Chicken nuggets. Gravity. Beth Revis.

7. Trees. Goats. Diet Coke.

8. Dental hygienists. iPhones. Green beans.

9. I could continue, but I think you get the picture. I've even devoted an entire post to one of my more determined opponents--that spawn of Satan we call the automatically flushing toilet.

10. I made the grievous mistake of believing that I could openly discuss the toilet's actions in a public forum with impunity.

11. I'm here to tell you that is not the case.

12. Apparently, the automatically flushing toilet takes exception to a frank discussion of its (lengthy) list of faults.

13. And apparently, I'm on the short list of Those Who Must Be Neutralized.

14. The toilet has, in various locations, tried to wound me.

15. Multiple flushes with a line of women waiting. Flushes with cruel suction and drafty drafts where no drafts should go. Flat-out refusals to flush, no matter how much I threaten its mama.

16. But these actions, while inconvenient and annoying, did not strike fear in my heart.

17. And any worthy nemesis will tell you there's no point in being a nemesis if you can't strike fear in your opponent's heart.

18. Last night, the automatically flushing toilet escalated the conflict.


19. I took the teenager to see Mission Impossible 4.

20. As I walked into the theater, I realized two things. 1. I was about to drink a significant amount of Diet Coke. 2. I've carried three babies, all of whom parked right on top of my bladder and traumatized it for life. I needed to go into this movie on EMPTY.

21. So, I decided to use the restroom.

22. Sadly, I was playing right into the toilet's ... um ... flushers.

23. I don't know how the dastardly deed was accomplished (though I suspect a paid professional), but somehow the toilet KNEW which stall I would choose.

24. And it KNEW I would be wearing shoes without much traction.

25. And it KNEW all the various laws of physics that would work to its advantage.

26. Like the law of inertia.

27. And gravity.

28. I, on the other hand, had grown complacent, and therefore I was easy pickings.

29. I walked down the line of stalls, saw one with an open door, and stepped over the threshold right into a puddle of water.

30. Have you ever been water skiing?

31. It can be fun, under the right circumstances.

32. You know, the circumstances in which you are in a warm, sunny location being pulled by a boat.

33. The circumstances in which if you lose your balance, you simple sink into the water and start swimming.

34. These were NOT those circumstances, but there I was. Water skiing.

35. Fortunately, it was a short journey. There's only a couple of feet between the doorway and the toilet.

36. Unfortunately, while the toilet was kind enough to stop the forward momentum of my knees, it failed to address the forward momentum of the rest of me.

37. Have you ever seen a jack-knifed semi truck?

38. Then you get the idea.

39. I hit the toilet with my knees (sooo fun), jack-knifed at the waist, and had the presence of mind to slam my arms onto the toilet seat mere seconds before my face hit the water.

40. Before my FACE hit the WATER.

41. I do not think there's enough therapy in the world to recover from giving oneself a swirly in a public restroom with the stall door wide open for all the other occupants of the restroom to stand there and take bets on how long it will take you to surface.

42. I nearly scrubbed my skin off as I washed up and left the restroom.

43. On the way home, I contemplated all the ways in which I would now have to be wary whenever I got desperate enough to use a public restroom.

44. And then I got home, walked into my own familiar bathroom and stepped (barefoot) on a wad of chewing gum. (I have boys. Why are you surprised?)

45. I'd like to tidy up the end of this post with a pithy little remark, but honestly? I just nearly did a face-plant into a public toilet.

45. I've got nothing left.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Trailer Tuesday: Snow White and the Huntsman

Today's trailer is for a movie based on the Snow White fairy tale. This is no Disney cartoon version, however. I can't WAIT to see this. What do you think?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Trailer Tuesday - Everneath

Today's book trailer is for a book that hits stores this January. I've read an ARC of EVERNEATH, and I have to tell you, it is one of my all-time favorite books. Ever. You won't want to miss it! This trailer gives just a little hint at the awesomeness of EVERNEATH. What do you think?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Trailer Tuesday: THE SPACE BETWEEN


Today's trailer is for Brenna Yovanoff's THE SPACE BETWEEN. Brenna writes lush, atmospheric, insightful books. I can't wait to read TSB. What do you think?


Monday, December 5, 2011

Sparkle While You Spit!





1. Sadly, I don't have much to contribute to Monday's blog list. (Other than the pic above which one of my awesome Twitter followers was kind enough to send to me.)

2. My favorite may be Edward Llama.

3. The only thing better than being able to spit on your enemies is to sparkle while you do it!

4. Anyway, the reason I don't have much to contribute today is because I spent most of last week sick with the flu.

5. This was unfortunate for many reasons, not the least of which is that fever-induced insomnia leads to a whirlwind of absolute craziness in my head.

6. Here's a peek at what my stream of consciousness looked like last Thursday night:

  • Ladyfinger cookies don't look like fingers.
  • Or DO they?
  • *spends far too much time imagining eating fingers*
  • I don't think there's anyway to eat fingers in a ladylike manner.
  • Zombie Etiquette!
  • Elizabeth Post's "Table Manners for Zombies"
  • Zombiessssszzzzzzzzz
  • UP! I'm up!
  • Why am I up?
  • It's dark. It must be late. I bet I was asleep for hours.
  • *checks clock*
  • Three minutes since last time I looked? THREE?
  • Someone is torturing me.
  • Beth Revis?
  • An evil mastermind, yes, but how could she give me the flu from hundreds of miles away?
  • Flu ninjas?
  • Chuck Norris?
  • What would happen if Chuck Norris could fly?
  • Who says he can't?
  • Who says Chuck Norris is even REAL?
  • Nothing is real.
  • Except the fact that the room is spinning.
  • Who told this room it could spin? I would definitely remember giving my permission for something like that.
  • Beagle dogs.
  • I need to get better. I need to clean the house.
  • If they can invent a self-cleaning oven, why can't they invent a self-cleaning house?
  • Lazy scientists.
  • I'll send Chuck Norris to whip them into shape.
  • CHUCK NORRIS SHOULD CLEAN MY HOUSE.
  • I really need sleep.
  • *checks clock*
  • ONLY TWO MORE MINUTES HAVE PASSED?
  • *dies*
  • *figuratively*
And on and on it went. And to make it even better? The entire thing played out against a running loop of the following theme song:



Why I got both the Wonderpets and Chuck Norris stuck in my head at the same time is one of the great mysteries of the universe.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Trailer Tuesday: Variant

There are three trailers for the book VARIANT. I'm intrigued. What do you think?









Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Trailer Tuesday: Dark Eden

Today's book trailer is for a book I'd heard nothing about until I found this trailer on Harper's YouTube channel, but once I watched this video, I decided to put DARK EDEN on my TBR list! What do you think?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Winner: THE NEAR WITCH



Thank you to all who entered the contest for the copy of Victoria Schwab's THE NEAR WITCH. As always, I used random.org to choose the winner. And the lucky winner is:

Denise Zaky

Congratulations Denise! You will receive a confirmation email from me shortly. Thanks for entering and happy reading!


Boys - 0, Baby Girl - 1


1. I don't think today's list will be very long. I don't feel like I have a lot to say.

2. I might surprise myself, though, so be forewarned.

3. I didn't spend much time online this past weekend, so I was totally shocked pleasantly surprised when I saw there are a handful of intrepid souls actually willing to take on the formidable job of being my assistant even though my compensation package is ... odd.

4. I actually was just having fun with that post. I DO need an assistant at some point, but until I can pay someone in cash instead of books and llamas, I'll wait.

5. I do, however, now have a short list of those who are interested, so that's awesome!

6. Johanna is talking up a storm these days. She seems to learn new words every day.

7. Yesterday, I was reading a book to her, and I pointed to things and asked her to say them as I turned the pages.

8. The conversation looked like this:

Me: Can you say "apple"?

J: Apple.

Me: Can you say "fish"?

J: Fish.

Me: Can you say "bird"?

J: Bird.

Me: Can you say "flower"?

J: Yup.

9. I guess she was done repeating after me. :)

10. We got the latest edition of Harry Potter Scene It, the one with all 8 films represented, and I can proudly say that I trounced the rest of my family last night.

11. I don't usually win HP Scene It, but the new format and options on this edition played to my strengths.

12. Who knows how long the rest of my family will let me keep my bragging rights?

13. Last week, Clint and I went to see the Broadway musical MEMPHIS. It was fabulous!

14. I'm grateful he has a job that gives us access to so much of the art scene here in Nashville.

15. My kids have no idea how lucky they are to get to go to shows, concerts, plays, museums etc every month.

16. Speaking of kids, Baby J has the boys firmly wrapped around her little finger. Here's proof:

17. The other day, the boys were watching their favorite show, Phineas and Ferb. Baby J was wandering around the living room playing when she slipped and fell and hit her head.

18. She cried. I picked her up and rocked her while sitting on the couch, and she kept crying. All three boys got up from their seats and hovered around me, trying to get their little sister to stop crying.

19. She looked up and saw them and said "Hot dog?"

20. Which is her way of saying "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse," her favorite show. (They sing a song at the end of every show that is called "Hot dog.")

21. The boys instantly changed the tv channel to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. As soon as she saw that, she stopped crying and smiled.

22. I told the boys they'd been played.

23. They didn't care. Anything to make her happy.

24. I'm pretty sure Baby J understands that attitude with perfect clarity.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Help Wanted

I've decided the general mayhem of my life would be greatly improved if I could find an assistant. Naturally, any assistant of mine will need to have some unique qualifications. I've decided to run this potential ad by my blog readers before I post it on Craig's List.

Job Description:

Personal assistant to full-time writer, mother of four, consummate food-snorter, and general lunatic.

Qualifications:

*Must love to read YA books in any stage of completion. In a related note, must be willing to read chapters that will change fifteen times, must not bat an eye when established plot lines are thrown into the garbage disposal, and must be able to intelligently discuss things like swoony almost-kisses and how to blow things up.

*Must enjoy cooking or at least fake it really well.

*Must never, under any circumstances, bring green beans into my house.

*Must be able to keep shiny seekrits.

*Must understand social networking, have relationships with bloggers and reviewers, and must be willing to stalk do reasonable research on the possibility that Johnny Depp is moving to Nashville.

*Must be able to give a succinct definition of crazypants. Also, must enjoy working with someone who is crazypants.

*Must flush the toilet after every use. While this might seem to be a given, I'm a mother of three boys. I take nothing for granted.

*Must be able to type, text, skype, and vlog. Bonus if you also know how to make me look like Jennifer Garner in my own vlogs.

*Must know an amazing recipe for lemon bars of awesomeness.

*Must remember where I left my cellphone. And my car keys. And my brain.

*Must be willing to make emergency peach tea runs.

*Must be on good terms with the Were-llama. If you can match him for distance in a spitting contest, you are instantly hired.

*Must be able to participate in a rousing discussion on any and all aspects of Harry Potter. Bonus points if you know how to make butter beer.

*Must know how to reply diplomatically to all emails. Even those from people with an enlarged sense of entitlement.

*Must be able to carry on a phone conversation with me even while I am simultaneously changing a poopy diaper, yelling at the dog, and keeping my boys from blowing up the downstairs.

*Must not consider In 'N Out burger's fries to be the world's best. If you fail on this one, you may qualify to be my HUSBAND'S assistant, but not mine.

*Extra consideration will be given to anyone who can provide unique and inspiring musical suggestions for my playlists. Even MORE consideration will be given to anyone who can break out in show tunes at a moment's notice.

Compensation:

Qualified applicants will be paid in free books (both ARCs and already published), generous acknowledgements in the back of my books, my willingness to kill or maim (within the pages of my books) anyone you choose, use of the Were-llama on weekends, and an unlimited supply of cookies. Homemade, of course.


I wonder if I'll have any takers?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Interview With Victoria Schwab



Today I'm excited to have Victoria Schwab, author of THE NEAR WITCH, on the blog. Victoria's cover is one of the prettiest I've ever seen, and it perfectly matches the writing within. THE NEAR WITCH is a fairy tale (an original fairy tale which required Victoria to research all kinds of interesting things in order to create a unique mythic structure), and Victoria's writing is lovely, ethereal, and haunting. Here's a peek at THE NEAR WITCH:

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.
If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.

And there are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.

But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.

Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.

Looks awesome, doesn't it? When I invited Victoria to come on the blog, she decided to take on the Spork of Doom. Having spent some time hanging out with Victoria, I can honestly say she has the moxie necessary to handle the Spork.

Spork of Doom

 

Victoria Schwab
 
Now that you know who's who, it's time to reveal the incredible cupcake my hubby made in honor of Victoria's book. There are spooky woods by the town of Near, and an even spookier witch. (According to legend, of course. If you want to know if the legend is true, you'll have to read the book.) My hubby made a creepy looking twisted tree trunk with a bony witch hand clutching it (perhaps preparing to beckon you to meet your doom?). Without further ado, I give you the haunting Near Witch cupcake and Victoria vs. the Spork of Doom.
 

Come to me, my pretty.
 
1. I’m all about world domination, and I’m always looking for good help. Why would you be an acceptable minion in my quest?


Because I’ve already started! Through my continuous use of and reference to narwhals, cupcakes, chocolate, fairy tales, and diet coke, I’ve begun a system of Pavlovian response where the general public hears any of those words, and thinks of me. I shall branch out until the majority of the populace’s daily speech makes them think of me!

2. I suppose that could be rather useful. I might even employ that tactic myself. But the only word I'm interested in being associated with is DOOM. Being a Spork of Doom takes moxie. What’s the sporkiest thing you’ve ever done?

I got arrested for hitchhiking in France, jumped out of an airplane, and dream of owning a bakery where every dessert is named for a fairy tale (trigger word!) character.

3. I expect you to name a pie after me. You can call it Pie of Doom. Or you can call it The Last Pastry You Will Ever Eat. I don't care which. When I’m not busy taking over the world, I like to eat pie. What kind of pie do you think is worthy of my Spork of Doom status?

I’m quite partial to chocolate (trigger word!) chess pie, but also love a good peach cobbler :)

4. I like the idea of a chess pie. The world is my chess board! CHECKMATE, WORLD! What’s your favorite thing to do with a spork?

Spear helpless little cubes of fruit! But not grapes. Grapes are evil and evasive of sporks.

5. You would waste the spectacular stabbing ability of the spork on ... fruit?? I may have misjudged your minion potential. I have the ability to be simultaneously spoon, fork, and weapon of mass destruction. What unique ability do you have?

I have the ability to transform into a giant cupcake (trigger word!). No, really, I do. Complete with detachable sprinkles. And that cupcake is evil. Her name is Sickly Sweet.


6. A giant cupcake that is both ridiculously cute and thoroughly evil? Mwahahaha! Everyone would be too distracted by your sugary sweetness to notice their own imminent doom. You are hereby reinstated as my minion! In this day and age, a savvy spork bent on world domination can’t afford to ignore a good marketing campaign. I’m thinking t-shirts with “Spork or Die.” If you made a shirt with your own slogan on it, what would it say?

Buy a Book, Feed and Author (Chocolate). <--trigger word! But seriously, I have a team of graphic designers hard at work on the graphic representation of this sentence.

7. You seem to be implying tht most authors will work for chocolate. *checks astonishingly large supply of reserve chocolate* I may need to hire more of your kind to help in my quest. If I had to compare myself to anyone in history, I’d have to say I’m most like Napoleon. Only skinnier. And shinier. And smart enough not to lose my empire at a place with a ridiculous name like Waterloo. Who are you most like and why?

I’m obviously like Marie Antoniette, because she liked cake so much. Wait, what do you mean that’s not what she meant...

8. I can appreciate someone with a dessert fixation. Why is your job just as much fun as world domination?

Because I get to LIE. Elaborately.

9. And people believe you! You have now been promoted to Head Minion. In between conquests, I like to read a good story. What can you recommend and why?

I’d recommend some Brothers Grimm, because they’re morbid, but have found ways to infiltrate today’s society under the guise of harmless childhood tales. We can learn much for them.

10. Stop. You had me at infiltrate. You need to accomplish a secret, night-time mission as my minion. Cloak? No cloak? Why?

Cloak, OBVIOUSLY. And why? Because it’s BALLER.

11. So few realize that. My best piece of advice to others is this: “Fear the spork!” What’s your best advice?

“Eat the cupcake!” <--trigger word!

 
Thank you, Victoria, for such an entertaining interview! Of course, the fun isn't over yet. Victoria is giving away a copy of THE NEAR WITCH to one lucky reader. If the winner lives in the U.S., the book will be signed. If the winner lives outside the U.S., Victoria will order a new copy sent to you from Book Depository.
 
To enter, fill out the form below. The contest is open until 8 p.m. central time Monday, November 21. Good luck and happy reading!
 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Winner!



Thank you to all who entered the giveaway for a signed copy of Brenna Yovanoff's THE SPACE BETWEEN. As always, I used random.org to select the winner. And the lucky winner is:

Krista

Congratulations, Krista! You will receive a confirmation email from me shortly. Happy reading!

Trailer Tuesday: THE HUNGER GAMES

Today's trailer is for the movie adaptation of one of my favorite books: THE HUNGER GAMES. In my opinion, this trailer is enough to make me sign up for the midnight premiere. And I will probably need a handy supply of tissue before the movie is through. What do you think?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Blog Post, Y'All!

Vampire kitty dares you to tell him that he sparkles in the sunlight.

1. Before I give you the few carefully cultivated gems I've been hoarding up over the weekend, let's get a few important (and fun!) housekeeping items out of the way.

2. First, the winner of the "Friend Me on YABC and Win the Book of Your Choice" contest is Lori M. Lee! Congratulations, Lori. Please send me your book choice ($20 or less, please choose from Book Depository), along with your shipping info. :)

3. Second, today is the last day to enter to win a signed copy of Brenna Yovanoff's amazing THE SPACE BETWEEN. Brenna is a fabulous writer. You don't want to miss this!

4. Okay, housekeeping items dispensed with. On to the gems.

5. We spent this past weekend in Florence, Kentucky (just across the border from Cincinnati) with three other families from our China travel group so we could celebrate the girls' Gotcha Day together.

6. It was a fabulous time. We went to the aquarium, let the kids swim in the hotel's indoor pool, had a terrible dining experience at the local Cheddar's, had an incredible dining experience at the Oriental Wok (where we had our Gotcha Day dinner), and truly enjoyed seeing the girls together again.

7. Naturally, I noticed a few things I thought you would enjoy.

8. For example, despite the fact that we were far enough north that when I ordered "unsweetened tea" I was corrected and informed that it was just "tea"--apparently "sweet" tea is the anomaly here--the huge water tower at the entrance to the city said, in giant letters, "Florence, Y'all."

9. Florence.

10. Y'all.

11. You can't say that without sounding both perky and slightly demented.

12. Go ahead. Try it.

13. I've traveled all through the south (where sweet tea, buttermilk, grits, okra, and biscuits are KING), and never once seen this on any water tower.

14. Clearly, Florence, with its regular tea and stunning lack of okra, is trying to upstage us and be both northern AND southern.

15. I might take up a petition to add "Y'all" to our local water tower just to even the playing field.

16. And then I'm going to take the "You are now entering Nashville" sign and change it to "Y'all are fixin' ta enter Nash-vull" and Florence will weep with envy.

17. On our way home from Florence, as we were driving through Kentucky, we saw a sign advertising the following:

18. "Used cows for sale."

19. I'm not sure I want to ask for an explanation.

20. I mean, clearly the cows are not brand new.

21. But unless the farmer is putting a bunch of has-been milkers up for sale, I don't know how a cow could've been used ...

22. You know what? I'm not actually going to pursue that line of thought. *has a fertile imagination*

23. Suffice it to say, if you're in the market for used cows, Kentucky is your mecca!

24. We also stopped at Mamouth Cave during our trip. I was grateful to discover the cave is both dry, roomy, and free of nasty creatures who enjoy swarming mouthy red-heads.

25. Not that I've heard of nasty cave insects that like to swarm mouthy red-heads, but with my track record, if there HAD BEEN any in existence, I would've found them.

On the blog this week:

Tuesday: Book trailer
Wednesday: Interview and giveaway w/author Victoria Schwab
Friday: Help Wanted

Thursday, November 10, 2011

3 Things You Might Not Know About Turkeys (That Could Save Your Life)


Today's post is brought to us by author Jus Accardo. Enjoy her hilarious (and disturbing) turkey warnings and check out her new book at the bottom of the post!





They seem innocent enough… Waddling through the high grass and by the side of the road…. Their eerie cry can be heard from over a mile away and their bloodlust is insatiable. I speak of course, of the Wild Turkey.




No, not that Wild Turkey, this one.






People foolishly think the month of November belongs to them—but it doesn’t. It belongs to the Turkeys. While we sit at our tables, fat and happy and indulging in turkey with mashed potatoes lust, the Wild Turkeys are out there… Plotting their revenge.






They strike when you least expect it. I know this because I’m a survivor of one such attack. It’s hard for me to speak of, but for the sake helping others, I’ll somehow manage. It was several Novembers ago… I used to drive with my windows down, zipping along without a care in the world. That day was like any other. I was on my way home from the food store with our Thanksgiving turkey, radio on and windows down, when he struck. I was alone in my car one moment—and not the next.

In through the passenger’s side he flew, wedging himself in the open window. Thrashing feathers and vicious chomping beak. His shrill battle cry haunts my nightmares to this very day. I was able to fend him off with an empty 2 liter soda bottle sitting on the seat beside me, but I will never forget...

And I’m not the only one. I’ve seen Turkeys swarm a house and invade in force through the front door. I’ve seen them use themselves as flying projectiles shot at moving cars. This threat should be taken seriously, so here are some tips to survive the month of November Turkey mayhem…


1. They’re fast. Very important. Keep this in mind when trying to outrun one. They may look bumbling and slow, but trust me, these suckers can move. Wild Turkeys can fly at almost 55 mph—and they can run at almost 25mph. Can you do that?




2. Excellent daytime vision. They see in color so avoid wearing bright clothing. By sticking to browns and other earth tones, you’re more likely to blend in. The Wild Turkey’s daytime vision is three times stronger than that of a human. If you need to travel, do so at night. Don’t bother with disguises—Turkeys see through them easily. Attempting to trick them seems to anger them further.






3. Excellent hearing. You might not see ears on the head of a Turkey, but don’t let that fool you. They can pinpoint a sound from over a mile away. Attempts at sneaking past one should be avoided at all costs unless wearing rocket powered skates.


If all else fails, you can always hide for the month of November. Be sure to stock lots of nonperishable items and plenty of batteries. Granted there are groups of turkeys on the prowl at all times, but they band together in force during November. Chances are, if you wait out the month in the safety of a hidden shelter, you should be fine.


Good luck and God be with you…


And have a Happy Thanksgiving :D



Thank you, Jus, for such an entertaining post. Now I can add fear of being mauled by a wild turkey while driving in my car to my list of strange phobias! For more information about Jus, visit her site. And here's a quick peek at her book TOUCH, which just came out this month.







When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet, seventeen‐year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue eyes home.

Except there’s something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she’ll turn to dust if he touches her. It’s not until Dez’s father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realizes there’s more to this boy—and her father’s “law firm”—than she realized.

Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation—an organization devoted to collecting “special” kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons—his entire life. And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. Dez and Kale team up with a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they’re caught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dez has spent her life keeping safe.

A secret Kale will kill to protect.


Looks like an action-packed story! Thanks again, Jus, and to all my faithful blog readers -- beware of turkeys.



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Interview with Brenna Yovanoff






I became a fan of Brenna Yovanoff's writing earlier this year when I read her first book, THE REPLACEMENT. Brenna's writing is vivid, gritty, and full of heart. And she is one of a handful of writers who knows how to write a book from a boy's perspective and have it actually sound authentic. When I saw she had another book hitting the shelves, I couldn't wait to invite her on the blog so I could introduce her to all of you. If you love unique stories and incredible writing, you'll want to pick up Brenna Yovanoff's books! Here's a peek at her latest book, THE SPACE BETWEEN:

Everything burns in Pandemonium, a city in Hell made of chrome and steel, where there is no future and life is an expanse of frozen time. That’s where Daphne lives.



The daughter of a demon and a fallen angel, she wonders what lies in store for her. Will she become a soulless demon like her sisters? Or follow in the footsteps of her brother Obie, whose life is devoted to saving lost souls on Earth? All she wants is to find a place where she belongs.

When Obie saves a bleeding, broken boy named Truman from the brink of death and then suddenly goes missing, Daphne runs away to Earth to find him. But on Earth, everything is colder and more terrifying, and Daphne struggles between her demon instincts and her growing—yet achingly unfamiliar—feelings for Truman. As Daphne and Truman search for Obie, they must navigate the jealousies and alliances of the violent archangels who stand in their way. But Daphne also discovers, unexpectedly, what it means to love and be human in a world where human is the hardest thing to be.
Brenna had a hard time choosing between our interviewers, but eventually she settled on the inimitable Captain Jack Sparrow. Let's meet today's guests.


Captain Jack Sparrow, savvy?


Brenna Yovanoff

Before we dive into the interview, it's time to reveal the amazing cupcake my hubby made in honor of THE SPACE BETWEEN. When asked for cupcake design ideas, Brenna told me the predominant colors in her book are red, black, and silver, and that there are flowers in Pandemonium. From that, my hubby envisioned a corrupt, macabre flower and then turned that vision into a cupcake that is truly worthy of a place in my growing Creepy Cupcake Hall of Fame. Without further ado, I give you the hellflower cupcake and Brenna vs. Captain Jack!


I am a flower that grows in hell. Touch me if you want to die.



1. Would you classify yourself as a pirate or a member of Her Majesty’s Royal navy? Why?


I prefer to think of myself as a pirate operative, happily and sneakily ensconced within the ranks of Her Majesty's Royal navy.

2. A lovely lady skilled in the art of treasonous spying? I'm intrigued already. What’s your favorite thing to do in Tortuga?

In Tortuga, the only decent thing to do is assemble a band of cutthroats and plan for the next escapade. Also, dancing.

3. Darling, I'll keep an eye on your band of cutthroats while you dance the night away. What's that? Of course your merry band of murderers will still be there in the morning. Do you take me for a thief? You wound me. I’m offering you free passage aboard my ship to anywhere in the world. Where shall we go, love?

Let's first take a quick jaunt through the Canary Islands, and then set out for the end of the world.

4. Who is the hero of your story most like: me (savvy, debonair, and unquestionably smooth with the ladies), the insufferably honorable Will Turner, or that deceptive little minx Elizabeth?

While none of my heroes would be described as insufferably honorable, there is a certain quality of the classic do-gooder to my heroine Daphne. But that’s only because she doesn’t know any better.

5. Let me spend a few hours with her. I'm sure I can ... realign her thinking. Rum? Or more rum?

Most. The most rum.

6. A treasonous spy, a leader of a band of cutthroats, and now a woman who can drink me under the table? Where have you been all my life? Wait. You weren't planning on drinking MY rum, were you? Which leads me to the age old question: Why is the rum always gone?

Because it is infinitely more delicious than gin.

7. Gin is for ladies and stiff-collared members of Her Majesty's Navy. What’s the most piratish thing you’ve ever done?

Do you mean piratish in the sense of scaling towers to get the lay of the land and creeping through dark secret tunnels in search of treasure, or piratish in the sense of taking people’s lunches on the playground? Because, yeah. That first one. Also, you think I’m lying, but I’m not.

8. Darling, you had me at scaling towers. Are they rules? Or more like guidelines?

Rules are for people who lack imagination. Guidelines are for people well acquainted with the wondrousness of possibility.

9. I'd like to get better acquainted with your imagination. *winks* I understand you’re a story-teller. Any undead monkeys in your stories?

No undead monkeys at this time, but that’s not to say it will never happen. Until then, undead everything else!

10. You're better off. Undead ANYTHING ELSE is better than an undead monkey, curse his vicious primate soul. Which reminds me. Any curses in your book? Heartless monsters? Irritating women who insist on taking matters into their own hands?

No, yes, and my personal favorite, always.

11. One of my favorite words is “egregious.” Care to share one of yours, love?

My favorite word is diplomacy. It means the kind of lying that people can all agree on.

12. As long as diplomacy means I get to keep my ship, my rum, and the girl, I'm all for it. Parlay? Or draw your sword?

Parlay. With a cutlass behind my back, and a knife in my shoe.

13. I see I need to thoroughly search you before allowing you aboard my ship. The prospect is not without its allure. You’ve got a crowd of cursed sailors and a nasty sea monster on your trail. How do you escape?

With a grace and daring unparalleled by any ordinary adventurer. But I can’t divulge the details. It would ruin the surprise.

14. In other words, you don't have a plan. You like to make it up as you go along. Fortunately, I understand and even approve of that sort of problem-solving method. It has worked well for me in the past. Romantic night in? Or adventure on the high seas?

Romantic night on the high seas, against the picturesque backdrop of charging brigands and a gently-exploding powder keg.

15. You are a little pirate, aren't you? *offers arm* Shall we make that dream a reality? My personal motto is: Take what you want, give nothing back. What’s yours?

Almost everything is survivable.

 
Thank you, Brenna, for such an entertaining interview! Of course, the fun isn't over yet. Brenna is offering a signed copy of THE SPACE BETWEEN to one lucky winner! The contest is open to North America and closes at 8 p.m. Central Time Monday, November 14, 2011. To enter, simply fill out the entry form below. And don't forget to leave a comment for Brenna in the blogger comment section below the form!
 
Good luck to all and happy reading!
 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Trailer Tuesday: Abarat, Absolute Midnight

This week's Trailer Tuesday post actually has two very different trailers for the same book. The second trailer is pretty creepy. This is the third installment in Clive Barker's Abarat fantasy series. What do you think?




Monday, November 7, 2011

YABC: An Introduction & A Contest!

Chances are, if you frequent this blog, you're a book lover! One of my favorite things is to connect with other book lovers and share reviews and recommendations on the books I love. My favorite site for this is Young Adult Books Central (YABC). Not only is this a fabulous site for readers, it's a site that offers a lot of fabulous things to authors too! So, I thought I'd take a day to introduce you, my fellow book lovers, to YABC by interviewing M.G., the girl who runs it. Make sure you check the end of the interview for a FUN!! contest. :)


1. How long has YABC been around?


YABooksCentral.com has been around since 1998, back during the Dawn of the Internet. It was founded by Kimberly Pauley (the author of the Sucks to Be Me Series) as a basic stopover for people looking for information on young adult books. It was originally part of the same network that is now About.com. Since then, YABC has evolved into one of the largest book review sites targeted towards teen and tween books. Readers from all around the globe, of any age, come to YABC to share their thoughts about their favorite (or not so favorite) books.

2. What is your philosophy?

At YABC, we believe every book is someone's favorite book. We do not discourage readers from any book--we strive to pair the right books with the right readers, sort of like an online librarian. This means we do not allow trolling on our site. NO trashing a book or author. NO writing reviews for shock value. NO defamation. If there is something a reviewer doesn't like about a book, we expect them to be able to explain why in a clear and helpful manner.

3. How does your review system work? (Official reviewers and those who sign up to use the site)

We have about 20 Official Team Reviewers here at YABC. We review anything from picture books on up to young adult. But anyone can post a review on YABC! That's what makes us different from other book review sites. Each book is given an "editor" rating, which is the rating our Team Reviewers give the book, and there is also a "user" rating, which tallies all the ratings submitted by our readers. It's important to us to have as many reviews and ratings as possible for each book from a wide variety of readers, because we realize everyone has different tastes! We wouldn't want to discourage a teen from picking up a potential favorite book solely because one of our Team Reviewers didn't care for it.

4. What demographic of readers frequent the site?

Even though we're a site targeted to teen and tween readers, we have visitors of all ages! We have entire classrooms visit our site during school to post reviews of books they have read in class, which I think is so cool. Book reports have come a long way since my day! We also have librarians who direct kids to YABC if they want to learn more about specific titles and read reviews. Parents love our Kids Books Central section (KidsBooksCentral.com), which focuses on the 0-12 age group. Authors and publishers sign up to submit author bios and books into our database, then they direct their readers to YABC to post reviews. Book bloggers share their reviews on YABC, just like they do Good Reads and Amazon, because they know their review will reach a targeted teen audience. We have members from all across the globe. So really, we're a community of all ages and demographics. Any book lover is welcome!

5. Care to share how many unique users hits you get a month?


YABC receives an average of 60,000 visits a month, spanning across our YA Books Central section, our Kids Books Central section, our blog, and our network of author bios, interviews, book excerpts, and reading guides. We also have supplemental interaction on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Young-Adult-Books-Central-YABC/49509922115) and Twitter (@yabookscentral).

6. How do you work with authors? Giveaways? Cover reveals? Book trailers?

We do it all! We not only have a passion for getting kids excited about books, but we also have a passion for supporting authors. We host giveaways for free each month on YABC's main site. Prizes come from publishers, publicists, and authors. All you have to do is contact me at mandy@yabookscentral.com for availability, and we'll set you up!

We also host giveaways on our YABC blog as well as posting cover reveals, author interviews, exclusive excerpts and other tidbits, book trailers, and more. You can also find a weekly post showcasing the new releases for that week. The blog is a great way to keep up-to-date with what's going on at YABC.

We also offer extremely affordable rates for advertising on YABC. We work with a lot of authors directly, helping them get the word out about their books to a targeted teen audience. We offer banners, skyscrapers, square ads, featured trailer slots, and more. And we're always happy to tailor to specific advertising needs, even if that means designing the ads for you.

7. Can you explain the process of adding someone to your friends list in 5 easy steps?


Sure! Just this year we added a new feature to YABC -- The YABC Community. Now readers can interact with authors, publishers, and of course other readers in our new social network dedicated solely to Children's book lovers.

1) Head on over to our YABC Community page.
2) Sign in. If you aren't a member yet, create an account with us. It's super fast and totally free. (And we won't send you spammy emails or notifications!) To make it even easier and faster, you can sign up through your Facebook account. Zip bam boom!

3) On the Community Home Feed page, use the Advanced Search to search for your friends. Our lovely CJ Redwine is already a member!

4) Click on your friend's name in the search results to be taken to their profile page.

5) Click on "Add as Friend" under their name. A notification box will pop up, letting you send a message to your friend along with your friend request, or you can leave that section blank. Hit "Add Friend" and you're good to go!

8. What makes YABC stand out from other review sites?


What makes YABC unique is that we pool together reviews from as many readers as we can. We want to hear from teens, tweens, parents, grandparents, librarians, teachers, authors, book bloggers -- anyone who has an opinion on Children's literature. We value reader feedback more than a single review from Kirkus or Publisher's Weekly because kids aren't interested in those reviews. They're interested in what their peers think, what their librarians think, what other readers with similar tastes think.

You can think of us as the GoodReads dedicated solely to Children's literature. And the best part? No trolling. No defamation. If a teen asks his librarian which book he should read next, she doesn't hold up a title and tell him all the ways it sucked pickled eggs. She directs him to the books she thinks he would really enjoy. That's what we do at YABC. Because reading is fun. The reading community is fun. And we just want to enjoy it.

We hope you choose to come and enjoy it with us!
 
 
Contest!!
 
Is there a book you've been dying to read but haven't yet found the time or money to purchase? (If you're anything like me, the list is LONG.) I'm going to be giving one lucky person the book of his or her choice! How do you enter? Simple!
 
Add me as a friend on YABC.
 
That's it! You have until Friday, November 11, 2011 at 8 p.m. Central Time. I will enter every person on my YABC friend's list into a drawing. The winner gets to pick any single title book ($20 max list price), and I'll have it shipped!
 
Want extra entries? Tweet a link or post a link to this contest on FB. Let me know in the comments trail that you did, and I'll give you an extra entry!
 
See you at YABC! :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thursday Throwback: Flushed Away!

Today's Thursday Throwback blog post is one I wrote in (I believe) 2008 in which I recount a particularly fierce battle with one of my arch nemesii (Nemesises? Or is it like moose and therefore just "nemesis"?). Here's the link:



Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Trailer Tuesday: Forest of Hands & Teeth

This week for Trailer Tuesday, I'm posting a trailer for a book that came out several years ago. I loved this book, and I think the trailer does it justice. What do you think?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Winner: Adam by Jacquelyn Frank

It's time to announce the winner of ADAM by Jacquelyn Frank. As always, I used random.org to choose the winner. And the lucky winner is


Lyssa Anne

Congratulations, Lyssa Anne! You will receive a confirmation email from me shortly. Thanks for entering and happy reading!

ARCs: Why you get them & what to do with them

What is an ARC?

ARCs (short for Advanced Reading Copies) are early copies of an author's book printed for promotional purposes only. ARCs are paperback, even if the real version of the book will be hardback. They may or may not include the final cover art. They are NOT the final version. Oftentimes, ARCs have irregular spacing, missing words, sometimes missing paragraphs. All of those last polishing-up details are taken care of before the final book is printed and shipped.

Why do publishers print ARCs?

An ARC is a like the pre-screening of a book. ARCs are sent to book reviewers, book bloggers, and others who are in a position to influence sales within the industry. The publishers select who will receive ARCs based on that book's marketing plan.

How to use ARCs:

If you receive an ARC, you read! Enjoy! Ignore that weird missing paragraph thing on p. 229. And then you go on your blog, your review site, Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter and anywhere else you know other book lovers like to hang, and you tell them what you think of this book. Your job is to create advance buzz by starting a chain of word-of-mouth recommendations. If you love a book, shout that to the rooftops! If you don't love a book, be honest about that too. No one benefits from reviews that don't give a true picture of what you loved and didn't love about a book.

What to do with an ARC when you've finished reading:

Here's the heart of this post, and the reason why I interrupted my carefully crafted blog schedule of mayhem and nonsense to write this. You can keep your ARC. I know many bloggers who love to have bookshelves full of ARCs. You can throw it away. I know that hurts the heart of every book lover here, but honestly? That's the point of an ARC. It ISN'T the final book. If you love the book, buy the final version and keep that. You can do an ARC giveaway on your blog in conjunction with the review you posted.

You can use it as a coaster.

You can send it to your sister in another attempt to get her to start reading the literary banquet that is YA.

You can tear out the pages, start a mini-bonfire, and make s'mores.

But you CANNOT sell the ARC.

I can't stress that enough. The ARC says right on the front that it is a review copy and not for sale. I understand some newer bloggers not really paying attention to that, but what I saw today just made me stabbity. Today, on Ebay, I saw a book store owner selling an ARC. A book store owner knows better. There's simply no excuse.

Why is it so important that an ARC doesn't get sold? Three reasons.

1. This isn't the final copy. There are a few mistakes that need to be corrected before the final version prints. As an author (and a perfectionist), I don't want anything less than my best out there for readers to buy.

2. The author doesn't make a dime from this sale.

3. The author doesn't get credit for the sale. This is perhaps the most disturbing to me. A book store owner essentially selling an ARC "under the table" robs both the author and the publisher of that sale as the person who purchased this book would in all likelihood have purchased a final copy instead. (Especially if you look at how much the book sold for.) Authors need credit for every sale. We need to earn out our contracts with our publishers and prove to them that we're a good business decision. If we can't, we don't get another contract. If you love a book, and you support the idea that authors should get paid for their work, and you want authors to be able to continue to put new stories on the shelves, then you understand that selling an ARC is unethical and just downright wrong.

I don't know what this book seller was thinking. (Other than the profit she just made on a book she never purchased.) Most (if not all) of the book bloggers I know on Twitter would NEVER pull a stunt like this. I don't really think I can extend her the "well maybe she just didn't know" card because a book seller understands how authors get paid, and what happens when an author doesn't get credit for a sale.

But because of this incident, I decided two things. One, I would write a post to make sure everyone who reads my blog understands how the system works. I don't honestly think any of the reviewers and bloggers who frequent my site would ever knowingly hurt an author. And two, I decided to carefully check the list of those requesting ARCs of my book to make sure the woman who did this doesn't receive one.

Awkward FTW!


 Good. This message is going exactly as planned--wait. WAIT. What did I just say? Oh, kill me now.


Instead of my usual Monday morning list, I thought I'd share the transcript of a voice mail message I left a couple of weeks ago. I've altered my phone number with the exception of the last number. Ready? The awkward, I brings it!


"Hi! This is C.J. Redwine returning your call about the photo shoot on Thursday. I'm sorry I'm calling so late, but this is the first chance I've had. It's been one of THOSE days. I mean ... really. Anyway, you can call me back tomorrow at 555-555-1236. I'll be available ... wait. Did I say 6? No. Not six! Never six! Apparently I don't even know my own phone number. AWESOME. It's seven. Seeeeveeeen. 555-1237. Yes. That's the one. Anyway, I'm available. I mean, I'm not AVAILABLE. I'm married. But you don't care! You just want to take my picture. So great. Ok. Talk to you later."

You'll recall, of course, that this is the same photographer that I then flashed ON PURPOSE during the photo shoot. I'm amazed she still answers my emails.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Interview With Jacquelyn Frank


In the mood for a little sultry paranormal romance? Jacquelyn Frank has you covered! Her Nightwalker series combines sexy supernatural alpha males with feisty human women and delivers danger, intrigue, and hot romance. Haven't tried the Nightwalker series yet? Here's a peek at how it all began:

Since time began, there have been Nightwalkers - the races of the night who live in the shadows of the moonlight. Love with humans is absolutely forbidden, and one man makes certain to uphold this ancient law: Jacob, the Enforcer...For 700 Years, He has resisted temptation. But not tonight...Jacob knows the excuses his people give when the madness overtakes them and they fall prey to their lust for humans. He's heard every one and still brought the trespassers to justice. Immune to forbidden desires, uncontrollable hungers, or the curse of the moon, his control is total...until the moment he sees Isabella on a shadowy New York City street. Saving her life wasn't in his plans. Nor were the overwhelming feelings she arouses in him. But the moment he holds her in his arms, everything changes.
On Tuesday, the sixth book in the Nightwalker series came out. Here's a quick look at ADAM:

Haunted by magic, beset by evil, the Nightwalkers face their darkest hour yet. And when the unthinkable happens, only one legendary male has the power, the will, to save them: Adam.

Jacquelyn chose to take on the Were-llama. I guess spending her days creating supernatural creatures gave her the confidence it takes to face down our resident red-eyed shape shifter. Let's meet today's guests.

The Were-llama




Jacquelyn Frank

Now that you know who's who, it's time to reveal the beautiful cupcake my hubby made in honor of Jacquelyn's book. Adam is a water demon. He controls water, and he can even turn into water, which, you have to admit, is a pretty awesome ability to have. My hubby created a cupcake showing Adam in mid-transformation. Without further ado, let's reveal the cupcake and dive into the interview!


Adam Becoming Water


1. So, you’re a writer. I’m a super-scary shape-shifter who can command obedience with the awesome power of my glowing red eyes. What do we have in common?

I can create legions of super scary shape-shifters who can command obedience with the awesome power of my mind.



2. Legions, you say? *looks over shoulder* I like to spit at my enemies from whichever end is closest to them. Do any of your characters have cool abilities like that?

Not yet, but thanks for the idea. ;)


3. You're welcome. And don't think I'm above calling in that favor. If I had a nickname, it would be The Awesome. You?

The Creative Cat Lady. Some of my fans, however, have dubbed me The Creator.


4. Cat Lady? The awe you inspired in me with the mention of your legions is begin to slip a bit. I hang around this blog because I love stories. What’s your story about? Bonus points if it includes a llama.

This is the sixth book in the NIGHTWALKERS series. ADAM is super secret undercover and under wraps I–could-tell-you-but-I-would-have-to-kill-you story that people have been waiting for for three years. I can definitely say a lot of issues left open will be resolved in this book, and along the way it’s a heck of a rollercoaster ride! Oh, and good sex. No llamas…in this installment. I know, I am ashamed.


5. I fail to see how you can write a good sex scene without a llama. You’re making me a cake worthy of my awesome Were-llama status and decorating it to represent your story. What does it look like?

It’s a picture of all the elements in nature on it. Representing the awesome power of my Demons and their power to manipulate nature.


6. I'd like to see them try to manipulate me. Any Were-llamas in your book?

Not that has been seen. :)


7. We aren't exactly known for our stealth. It's hard to hide this kind of AWESOME. Anyone who might be a Were-llama and you just haven’t figured it out yet?

I suspect my girlfriend Susan. She is tough as nails and can handle anything that life throws at her. Plus, she’s been known to kick a man and spit on him while he’s down.


8. Sounds promising! Llamas or camels and why? Think carefully.

Camels? What are these camels you speak of?


9. Your street cred has now been restored. I give you a baby Were-llama as a companion. What do you name her?

Spittin’ Image


10. Nice. My favorite word is “awesome” because, yanno, look at me. What’s yours?

Douchebag. My other favorite start with F but wasn’t sure I could use it here.


11. Probably wise. Last time I yelled FUNGI! in C.J.'s presence, she refused to give me cake for an entire week. As a young Were-llama, I dreamt of taking over the eastern seaboard one face full of spit at a time. What did you dream of doing when you were young?

When I was young I wanted to be either Wonder Woman or the Bionic Woman. They both kicked ass and were still very sweet women all at the same time.


12. Little known secret: the Bionic Woman was actually a were-llama. Not Wonder Woman, though. A were-llama has too much dignity to ever be caught running around in primary-colored spandex. Cake or cookies?

Cookies…especially my homemade luscious ultra delicious oatmeal raisin craisin cookies.


13. I shall expect a shipment of those to arrive shortly. Do you share chocolate?

Only with those most deserving of it.


14. Which would, of course, be ME. The Zombie Goat invasion is upon us. How will you fight them off?

 I will throw sheaves of dead paper before me and they will fall upon it mercilessly. While they are distracted I will pen them up for the Zombie Children’s Petting Zoo. A fate worse than death.


Thank you, Jacquelyn, for such an entertaining interview! I think you had the Were-llama worried about your legions. :) To learn more about Jacquelyn, visit her site. To purchase any books in the Nightwalker series, go here.

Of course, the fun isn't over yet! Jacquelyn is giving away a signed copy of ADAM to one lucky commenter! Please fill out the form below to enter and be sure to leave Jacquelyn a comment after you submit the form. The contest runs until 8 p.m. Central time, Monday October 31st.

Good luck to all and happy reading!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Interview Coming!

Author interview coming today! Blogger and I had an argument, it ate my cupcake picture, and I have an appointment for the next few hours. BUT, when I return, I will teach Blogger who's boss and you will have your interview!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Trailer Tuesday - Spooky!

My hubby read and loved this book. It's on my list of books I'll be reading in the near future. Especially after watching this trailer. What do you think?


Monday, October 24, 2011

Imma Bouta Bring It



1. Okay, I'm going to arm-wrestle Blogger into submission this week and there will be POSTS.

2. Whether you feel like reading them is on you. I'm just saying there will be POSTS if I have to do things to Blogger that are probably illegal in 39 states.

3. Last week as I was driving Starshine somewhere, he started telling me about a song he and a friend are going to sing for the school's talent show. Then he said "And maybe we'll dance too. But I don't know what kind of dance to do."

4. Because I am never short of (probably awful) ideas, I said, "How about the robot?"

5. I demonstrated.

6. While driving.

7. Not the easiest thing to do, but in my defense, I was at a stop light. The only danger to other drivers was an unwanted glimpse of a truly uncoordinated woman trying to do a dance that died two decades ago with a steering wheel in her way.

8. Starshine didn't appreciate my efforts. He said, "We don't want to be robots."

9. I said, "Fine. Then how about the chicken dance?"

10. And I proceeded to try to demonstrate. The seat belt and the steering wheel conspired to make my demonstration slightly difficult to accomplish.

11. Starshine looked at me and said, "Mom, you look like a chicken giving birth. No WAY am I doing that in front of the entire school."

12. Kids. So ungrateful.

13. Last time I waste my awesome Chicken Giving Birth dance skillz on him.

14. Over the weekend, I had to stop at the store with all four kids and no hubby to help me. This isn't always a problem, but the teenager was grumpy, the baby had a coughing fit and spit up on her shirt, and the two younger boys were trying to see how fast they could incur my patented Death Glare.

15. We got through the store, made our purchases, and started walking through the parking lot. Starshine and Daredevil challenged each other to RACE through the FULL parking lot and yelled back at me, "See you at the car!"

16. Not on my watch, kiddos.

17. I yelled "Stop! Running through a full parking lot is a good way to get killed!"

18. They stopped, remained silent for a moment, and then Daredevil looked at Starshine and said, "Well, at least now we know a GOOD way to get killed. And here I thought all ways to die were bad. Who knew?"

19. Smarty pants.

20. Takes after me.

21. In other news, I had my photo shoot this past week for my official author publicity shots.

22. I do not mind telling you I was really nervous about this.

23. Mostly because I don't consider myself photogenic. And because if my license and my Costco card are any indication, I had an excellent chance of looking like an escaped convict hopped up on Red Bull.

24. Turns out how I was going to look on film was the least of my worries.

25. The true danger lay in my inability to remain proper and demur, even in a room full of strangers.

26. Before we started taking pics, the photographer asked me to wear the white blouse I'd brought with me.

27. At this point, I suddenly realized that in my frantic attempts to get out of the house on time, I'd neglected one very important detail.

28. I'd worn my orange bra.

29. And brought a white shirt.

30. Yes, I own an orange bra. And pink, red, blue ... my underwear drawer looks like a bag of Skittles.

31. I digress.

32. At this point, I should tell you the photographer and her assistants were all women. Not that it makes my actions much better, but ... still.

33. I looked at the photographer and said, "Um, can you make sure with lighting or photo shop or something that no one can see my orange bra shining through this white shirt?"

34. She said, "You have an orange bra?"

35. And I said, "Yes."

36. And then, dear reader, I grabbed the neckline of my shirt and PULLED IT DOWN to show her.

37. As my hands were tugging at my shirt, my brain was screaming "NOOOOOO! You're about to be inappropriate! STOP!"

38. But it was too late.

39. The C.J. Without Her Filter ship had already set sail.

40. Fortunately, the photographer thought my bra was pretty, and when I apologized for flashing her ON PURPOSE, she laughed and didn't care.

41. We got along for the rest of the photo shoot, and I'll have pics to share soon.

42. One of the poses I picked is my Imma Bouta Bring It face. That one goes on the blog. ;D

This Week (unless Blogger wants to die):

Tuesday: Spooky book trailer!
Wednesday: Author interview with Jacki Frank
Friday: Help Wanted Ad

Friday, October 21, 2011

Kill Order: Blogger

C.J.'s Minions know how to get the job done.


I had mighty plans for the blog this past week. A spooky book trailer! A help wanted ad! The Were-llama's first blurb! And none of it happened. Why? Because Blogger thinks it's funny to mess with my mind. Losing scheduled posts. Signing me out without so much as a by-your-leave. And refusing to allow me to leave comments on my own blog.

That last one really makes me mad. I have some FABULOUS commenters on this blog. I'd like to be able to reply! But noooo. Not only is Blogger refusing to let me comment under my own id, it won't even publish my comments if I do so under open ID or anonymous.

Really, Blogger?

Someone told me to delete my cookies and it would work again. I tried that. No dice.

Now I'm going to try something different. I'm going to offer a bounty on Blogger's head.

You read that right.

First person to bring me Blogger, dead or alive, wins a prize.

If you can't actually bring me Blogger, but you know how to fix this situation (The comments are the most concerning. The rest seems to be working properly again), you win a prize!

Want to be my minion? Help me take Blogger out at the knees.

*dangles mysterious prize in front of the comment box*

Monday, October 17, 2011

Melted Butter

Frankenkitty sadly overestimates the current condition of my brain.

1. It's hard for me to blog when I'm in the middle of drafting. Mostly because all of my creative brain cells are engaged in the novel, and there's not much left over for anything else.

2. Combine drafting brain with three nearly sleepless nights in a row courtesy of a teething toddler and my brain now resembles this:


3. Therefore, you should read at your own risk.

4. I took my teenager to see Abduction last night. The story is YA through and through. I really liked it. So did he.

5. But the real story is what happened before we got to the movie theater.

6. We stopped by a Walgreens next to the theater to pick up some candy. The woman at the cash register looked at our purchase and said "What movie are you going to see?"

7. I said "Abduction."

8. She said "What's that about?"

9. I said "It's about a teenager who discovers his parents really aren't his parents, and then they are killed because someone is after him. Maybe spies or the CIA or something like that. And he has to use all the skills they trained into him to escape."

10. She curled her lip and said "Huh. Sounds ... kind of weird."

11. And here I was thinking it sounded pretty interesting. So I said "Well, it stars Taylor Lautner, so there's always that."

12. She said "Who's Taylor Lautner?"

13. I mean ... really? I'm not a huge Twilight fan, and I know who Taylor is. My hubby knows who Taylor is, too. In fact, the first time we saw a preview for Abduction, my hubby turned to me after the preview ended and said, "Wow! He kept his shirt on for the entire preview!"

14. Because you kind of have to be living in a cave not to be at least a tiny bit familiar with Taylor.

15. But, whatever.

16. As we were walking into the theater, I said something ... I honestly can't remember what ... to my teenager and the ensuing conversation went like this:

Teen: Mom, you know you're weird, right?

Me: No, I'm not. I just see things a little bit differently than most people.

Teen: No one thinks like you do, Mom. No one.

Me: Allow me to introduce you to the INTERNET. I've met a lot of people online who think just like I do.

Teen: That doesn't actually make it better.

17. I hold out hope that one day he'll look back and realize it was kind of cool having a mom who was into zombies and post-apocalyptic stuff, and understood steampunk, and dressed up for Harry Potter movies, and took him to every comic book movie ever made.

18. One day.

19. Until then, I'm going to take my melted butter stick of a brain and go draft DEFIANCE's sequel.

THIS WEEK:

*I post a job listing for a personal assistant. Warning! Must love llamas!
*The Were-llama offers to blurb a book!
*I share a creepy-cool book trailer for one of my hubby's favorite books (It's on my TRB too!).

Monday, October 10, 2011

Chicken of Destiny!


1. Remember that writer's retreat I went on a couple weeks ago?

2. The one in that gorgeous cabin up in the Smoky Mountains?

3. Well THIS is the picture that literally overlooked my bed.

4. Not that reassuring.

5. We decided to name him Bearward, for obvious reasons.

6. He has fangs.

7. He's watching me while I sleep.

8. And he's in a meadow.

9. All he's missing is some sparkle! We considered going after him with some glitter pens to really let him give Robert Pattinson a run for his vampire money, but decided it wasn't worth the potential "defacing property" fee.

10. The other day, Daredevil yelled to Starshine, "Quick! Come in here! I've got a Chicken of Destiny!"

11. If you google images for "Chicken of Destiny" you get stuff like this:



I am the Chicken of Destiny. You doubt? Come closer and I shall peck the doubt right out of you.

and this


No, I am the Chicken of Destiny. Ever heard of a Were-Chicken? Yeah. That's right. You're looking at her.

and this


Clearly, I am the finest specimen of Chicken you'll ever find. *Insert various inappropriate jokes about nuggets here* You know you want to be my Destiny.

I do not claim to understand Google's reasoning for these search results. I had to change my search parameters to get pics of the true Chicken of Destiny:


Walter, the Chicken of Destiny, during his polka dot phase.


Following in the noble footsteps of his ferocious ancestor:


Wilbur, the original Chicken of Destiny

12. I've now decided all truly great stories should have a Chicken of Destiny somewhere in their depths.

13. I tried to find you an amazing Chicken of Destiny video to cap off the post, but alas. It seems the great Chicken of Destiny is camera shy.

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