Thursday, May 24, 2012

Interview with Kathleen Peacock

Today's interview is with Kathleen Peacock, author of the recently released (and fabulous) HEMLOCK. I really enjoyed reading HEMLOCK: it's tense, action-packed, and the characters feel authentic and vivid and real. It's definitely a worthy addition to the werewolf genre and worth picking up next time you're in the book store! Here's a peek:

Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered.

Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer: A white werewolf.

Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.

Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy’s boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.

Kathleen Peacock’s thrilling novel is the first in the Hemlock trilogy, a spellbinding supernatural mystery series filled with provocative questions about prejudice, trust, lies, and love.
Looks good, doesn't it? :) Kathleen chose the inimitable Captain Jack Sparrow as her interviewer. Before we reveal today's gorgeous cupcake and get into the interview, let's meet today's guests.

Now that you know who's who, it's time to reveal the beautiful (and disturbing) cupcake my hubby made in honor of HEMLOCK. Mac is thrust into the conflict when her best friend, Amy, is murdered. It doesn't help that Amy (bloody and carrying a bit of a chip on her shoulder) keeps talking to Mac in her dreams. So, my hubby made Amy's tombstone, complete with bloody horns to show that Amy refuses to stay in the ground where she belongs. Without further ado, I give you the cupcake and Kathleen vs. Captain Jack.

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

Since my heart has belonged to the Dread Pirate Roberts since I was, oh, nine, I’m going to have to go with “pirate.” You’re not so bad looking yourself.

2. I don't know who this Dread Pirate Roberts person is, but he'd better not try to get his sticky fingers on the Pearl. Losing my ship to some scurvy nave who uses "Dread" as his first name would be inconceivable. What’s your favorite thing to do in Tortuga?

Not get killed. Or scurvy.

3. I am also a fan of not getting killed. I’m offering you free passage aboard my ship to anywhere in the world. Where shall we go, love?

There’s this other Captain Jack in a place called Cardiff… Think this boat could get us there? I’ve always wanted to go to Wales…

(Seriously, though, I totally want to go to Wales. It’s at the top of my “must go there” list.)

4. Another Captain Jack? *curls lip* I am the one and only Captain Jack Sparrow, savvy? Accept no substitutes. 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?

Elizabeth. What with the sword swinging and such.

5. *shudders* Heaven save us from women with swords. Rum? Or more rum?

How close am I to a deadline?

6. Hmm, I see your rum consumption is directly related to your publishing career. Which leads me to the age old question: Why is the rum always gone?

See answer to #5.

7. What’s the most piratish thing you’ve ever done?

Does watching fanvids on YouTube count?

8. Darling, we really must get you out of the house more often. Are they rules? Or more like guidelines?

Guidelines. And loose ones at that.

9. Now we're talking. I understand you’re a story-teller. Any undead monkeys in your stories?

Not yet—although there’s always hope for book three.

10. Any curses? Heartless monsters? Irritating women who insist on taking matters into their own hands?

No curses, but there is a maybe-ghost. And my stories always have women who take matters into their own hands.

11. As long as they don't take my rum into their own hands, I think I can live with it. One of my favorite words is “egregious.” Care to share one of yours, love?

Wowzer. It’s totally a word.

12. It sounds rather like a condition that requires a cream of some sort. Parlay? Or draw your sword?

Swords are very pretty awesome, but I’m kind of a coward when it comes to physical violence…

13. Darling, knowing when to flee so you can live to fight another day isn't cowardice. It's resourcefulness. You’ve got a crowd of cursed sailors and a nasty sea monster on your trail. How do you escape?


14. Romantic night in? Or adventure on the high seas?

Night in. I talk a big game, but I’d rather write about adventure than experience it.

15. Perhaps you just haven't had the right partner for said adventures. *winks* My personal motto is: Take what you want, give nothing back. What’s yours?

“When life gives you lemons, throw them back.” Actually, I never said that. My friend Jen said it when we were in high school. As far as mottos go, though, it’s not bad. I wouldn’t necessarily put it on a T-shirt, but it would do in a pinch.

Thank you, Kathleen, for such an entertaining interview! To learn more about Kathleen, visit her site. To purchase your own copy of HEMLOCK, head to Indie Bound, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.

But the fun isn't over yet! Kathleen is giving away a copy of her book along with a signed bookplate! The giveaway is open to North America and is open until 8 p.m. central time Wednesday, May 30th. To enter, simply fill out the form below.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Trailer Tuesday: Struck

Today's trailer is for a book that recently hit the shelves: STRUCK by Jennifer Bosworth. I'm very intrigued! What do you think?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Celebrate MAY Giveaway!

May has become an important month to me. In May 2003, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. In May 2004, I was pronounced "in remission." In May 2005, we started the process to adopt our daughter. In May 2008, I was pronounced "cured." In May 2011, I sold the Defiance trilogy.

You can see why May is an important month for me! I am grateful for every May milestone. Yes, even the cancer. Everything, good or bad, has taught me something valuable and has turned into a blessing over time. I'm grateful, and I'd like to celebrate!

To celebrate, I decided to give things away!

What things am I giving away? No, not my Johnny Depp poster. Get your own. I'm giving away DEFIANCE things, of course!

Click here to view book summary

Here's the scoop:

To enter, simply leave me a comment here telling me something or someone you're grateful for. Make sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win!! (This is super important because I don't have time to trek across the internet looking for you and would be forced to give your prize to someone else!)

I'll use to draw winners for the following prizes:

Grand Prize: An annotated, signed ARC of DEFIANCE.

Second Place: A signed DEFIANCE bookmark, and the opportunity to have a secondary character in book 2 named after you or someone you love.

Third Place: Two people will each win a signed DEFIANCE bookmark.


1. The contest is open to North America only, but check back at the end of June for an international giveaway!

2. You must leave a comment on this post telling me something or someone you're grateful for and why.

3. You must leave me a valid email address to use in contacting you if you win.

4. The contest is open until 8 p.m. Central Time May 31st.

Good luck!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Trailer for THE BOOK THIEF

I've heard nothing but praise for this book and now that I've seen the trailer, I'm even more excited to read it. What do you think?

Monday, May 7, 2012

AwkwardFlail FTW

1. Oh, reader.

2. I had my first official author event this past weekend.

3. It was a trial run which should probably be titled "C.J. Tries To Be Authorly In Public."

4. The subtitle is "AwkwardFlail."

5. The fine print reads "If you invite C.J. to an event, and you haven't done your research, you deserve the spectacle you're about to witness."

6. What happened, you ask?

7. I was invited by the lovely people in the Heart of Dixie RWA chapter to host one of the tables at their annual Reader Appreciate Luncheon.

8. The event was wonderful. Fun, high energy, and very well attended.

9. There was a meet and greet beforehand, and then a fancy catered lunch, and then gift baskets and door prizes etc.

10. And there were photo ops.

11. Sadly, I believe my table was treated to more photo ops than anyone else.

12. I should come with a warning label. Something along the lines of "Read her blog BEFORE you meet her, and then sit near her at your own risk."

13. But I didn't have a warning label.

14. So innocent people who wanted to meet a new YA author sat at my table.

15. And brought their teenage daughters with them.

16. The lunch went something like this.

17. We all sat down at our table. The caterers had already placed glasses of tea and water by our knives, and had also set a selection of desserts around the table.

18. I began talking to the two teenage girls seated to my left.

19. I gesture as I talk.

20. At one point, I leaned forward to say something, and I slapped my hand SMACK DAB in the middle of a piece of pie.

21. I was covered in whipped cream and shame.

22. Well, not so much shame because I ran out of that about a decade and a half ago when I realized that growing up didn't necessarily mean I was going to grow out of general klutziness and epic fails.

23. But whipped cream? Oh yes. My hand was covered.

24. I could see the others at the table were trying to choose the correct response.

25. I can't blame them. I don't think there's a bylaw in the Social Etiquette Handbook that tells you how to act when a gregarious girl slams her hand into a piece of strawberry whipped cream pie.

26. So, I chose the response for them.

27. I very solemnly said, "That will be my piece."

28. And then I assured the girls that I do stuff like that all the time, and that they should feel free to laugh and find me slightly ridiculous.

29. The conversation moved on, and one of the girls told me she was being bullied at school for being different.

30. As she was saying that, the waiter set salads in front of us.

31. I assured the girl that the small-minded morons who bully others in school find themselves adrift without a victim or a vision when they graduate because outside of school, those of us with different brains and strange dreams are the ones who go on to greatness.

32. And then, dear reader, I took a bite of salad.

33. The fool of a chef who thought bite-sized pieces of lettuce were for wimps and who then followed that egregious error with a whopping half a bottle of dressing for a tiny pile of greens is on my LIST.

34. Because I forked up a bite of salad.

35. And the leaves were too big to fit completely in my mouth.

36. As you may have surmised, I have a big mouth. So these leaves of lettuce? HUGE.

37. Realizing I couldn't fit the entire bite in without stabbing the back of my throat with my fork, I closed my lips over the half-inserted leaf.

38. There is a law of physics that applies here.

39. I don't know the official name, but it has to do with leverage, and momentum, and copious amounts of salad dressing.

40. I bit down, the un-inserted end of the lettuce leaf shot up toward my mouth, and all of that extra salad dressing?


42. And worse?

43. IN MY EYE.

44. I may be the only person in the entire world who can shoot herself in the eye with salad dressing using nothing more than a fork, a leaf of lettuce, and her own lips.

45. Here is the truly sad part of this tale.

46. I was so concerned with the dressing to my eye (Balsamic vinegar burns ... just a little bit), I failed to even realize there was dressing anywhere else.

47. Everywhere else.

48. I gently dabbed my eye and said something to the effect of "Crap. I shot salad dressing into my eye."

49. And when I looked up, everyone at the table was trying to signal to me.

50. Surreptitious swipes against their foreheads. Pointed glances at my cheekbones. Finally, one of the ladies just said "You have some on your face, too."

51. Hurray for understatement!

52. It was on my forehead. Both sides. On my nose. And on my cheeks.

53. I had to use my fancy cloth napkin to just wipe my whole face.

54. And then I turned to the girl beside me and said, "See? You can be awkward like WHOA, and your dreams can still come true. And then people will pay to come sit by you at lunch and think you're cool even though you've insulted a piece of pie and done terrible injury to yourself with salad dressing. People like us? Teenage years are torture. But the rest of life? It's wide open possibility."

55. And her mother said, "I told you C.J. was cool!"

56. Somehow, losing a poorly planned battle for my dignity with a plate of salad equalled cool. Those kind of things don't happen when you're a teenager. But when you're an adult? And you've learned to laugh at yourself? (Because hey, food was around. SOMETHING was bound to happen, but it doesn't have to derail you.) When you've learned to embrace the things that make you different, and when you value the stuff that once made you want to crawl into a hole and die from the awkwardflailness of it all, you win. You attract people who like you because you aren't afraid to just BE you.

57. And when you aren't afraid to BE you? Anything is possible.

58. Still, for all that pep talk, I think my publicist will read this and probably issue a memo to all future events instructing the organizers to keep me far, far away from food.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Trailer for WHITE CAT

This is the first in the Curse Workers series by Holly Black. I like this trailer, but having read the book, I can tell you I'm not sure the trailer fully does the book justice. It is an AMAZING book, and you should read it. :) What do you think?

YA Scavenger Hunt - Red Team

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author  Colleen Houck  as a way to give readers a c...