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Showing posts from January, 2012

February! AKA: Holy Awesomesauce, Batgirl!

February is going to be a month full of HOLY AWESOMESAUCE, BATGIRL on this blog. Are you ready for it? Behold!

Feb 1:     Beth Revis takes on our newest interviewer, Giselle (the French pink sock monkey) and gives away a signed copy of her newest book, A MILLION SUNS.

Feb 3:     The last day to submit an entry in QUERY-palooza. (Five free query critiques, yo. Why are you still staring at this? Go enter!)

Feb 6:      QUERY-palooza, Day 1. Plus, the release of my query handbook at a special introductary price!

Feb 6-10:  QUERY-palooza!!

Feb 8, 9, 16, 22: Author Mad Libs featuring debut authors Jessica Spotswood and Emily Danforth, plus crowd favorites Kelly Keaton and Rachel Hawkins!

Feb 23:    DEFIANCE cover and synopsis reveal!!! This will take place over at the amazing YABooksCentral. Have you joined and friended me yet? What are you waiting for?

Feb 29:    What am I doing with my extra February day? I'm inviting my editor Kristin Rens onto the blog for an interview and the first giveaw…

Trailer for INCARNATE

Today's book trailer is for one of my favorite books of 2012. INCARNATE is beautiful, dramatic, and makes the reader wrestle with deep questions. It also has one of the best kissing scenes ever. :) What do you think?

Mad Libs: Kami Kinard

Today's Author Mad Libs guest is Kami Kinard whose book THE BOY PROJECT just hit the shelves. Kami received a list of parts of speech from me. This is the result. :)



For anyone who's ever felt that _Octopi__ were a different species....


Wildly _secretive_ seventh grader, Kara McAllister, just had her _most reclusive_ idea yet. She's going to take _tentacles_ on all of the boys in her _cave_ (and a few elsewhere) in order to answer a seemingly simple question: How can she _scoot_ a boyfriend?

But Kara's _ink_ turns out to be a lot more _fantastic_ than she imagined. Soon there are secrets, _phenomena_, and an embarrassing _coral_ in the boy's bathroom. Plus, Kara has to deal with mean _elephants_, her slightly spacey BFF, and some _titanic_ uses for duct tape. Still, if Kara's research leads her to the _steely_ boy, everything may just be worth it...

Full of charts and _toenails_, heart and humor, this hilarious _seaweed_ will resonate with tweens everywhere.


Mad Libs: Brodi Ashton

Today's guest on Author Mad Libs is Brodi Ashton, author of the acclaimed debut EVERNEATH.  She was sent a list of parts of speech. This is the result. :)



Last spring, Nikki Beckett _plopped_, sucked into a _monster truck_ known as the Everneath, where _zombies_ Feed on the emotions of despairing _fireworks_. Now she's returned- to her old _cereal_, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the _nail polish_... this time forever.


She has six months before the Everneath comes to _strip_ her, six months for good-byes she can't find the _snowballs_ for, six months to find _toaster_, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months _flailing_ with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than _a missile_. But there's a problem: Cole, the _textured_ immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal _pinky_. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his _binky_.

As Nikki's _slinky_grows short…

INCARNATE Winner!

Thank you to all who entered the giveaway for a signed copy of INCARNATE. As always, I used random.org to generate the winning number. And the lucky winner is:

Vivien
Congratulations! You will receive a confirmation email from me shortly. Thank you and happy reading!

Movie Trailer for BRAVE

Usually, I only share book trailers or trailers for movies based on books, but today I'm going to make an exception. I'm really excited about Pixar's upcoming film BRAVE. I love Scotland as a setting, and I'm more than ready for a strong female heroine who doesn't look like a Barbie doll. What do you think?


Darth Vader & Old Jalopies

1. I am not feeling particularly witty today.
2. This is because I've been sick for days and am barely sleeping at night.
3. And THAT is because I keep trying to cough up a lung.
4. It hasn't worked yet, but that doesn't stop me from trying!
5. At the rate I'm going, I figure my abs should look like Jacob's by the time I get well.


6. Before you start imagining that I am a sexy thing when I am sick, however, allow me to assure you that when I cough, I sort of sound like an old jalopy engine trying (and failing) to start.
7. In fact, I'm beginning to sound a bit like Darth Vader.
8. Few things are sexier than a woman who sounds like an old car with Darth Vader trapped beneath the hood.
9. Speaking of Darth Vader, here's one of my favorite Eddie Izzard bits. Enjoy the laugh! Warning: there's some profanity if you're sensitive to that.

10. And that's really all I have for you today. My brain refuses to work. I am hoping for a full revival soon!




Were-llama Reviews: GRIMM

Recently, the Were-llama has taken to watching this show:



At first glance, the Awesome factor seems high enough to warrant any self-respecting were-llama's full attention. And for the first two episodes, the show lived up to the trailer. Tension! Drama! Old familiar fairy tales given a fresh, modern twist that did what all good fairy tales are supposed to do--scare the spit out of anyone watching it. There's even a funny guy with a plethora of mostly successful one-liners.




But then ... the show began to feel like it was slowing down. It began treading water--characters stopped developing, mysteries stagnated, and the whole thing started to feel as familiar as yesterday's cud. You know, it was pretty good the first time around, but chewing on it again, while enough to satisfy your hunger, doesn't actually count as a gourmet meal.

The Were-llama expects a gourmet meal. Therefore, I am going to give the producers of GRIMM a detailed lesson in how they can save their show…

Interview with Jodi Meadows

I first heard about INCARNATE when lurking in the Welcome-to-Harper-Collins box my editor sent me was an ARC of Jodi's book. The cover instantly drew me in, and I read it within a few weeks of receiving it. I was immediately captivated by Ana and her sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes triumphant journey. The world is complex, the damage in Ana runs deep, and the boy who stands up for her is yum. Not necessarily yum in a physical sense, although he is a cutie. But the true magic is the way he sees past the damage and reaches her heart with the one thing they have in common: a passion for music. I appreciated that this book made me think, that not all of the answers I want were spoon-fed to me (some of the most important answers won't come for another book or two!), and that it has one of the best kissing scenes ever.

I mean yes, give me a lovely thought-provoking book with a courageous, damaged girl, but please don't neglect the swoony romance! Here's a peek at INCARN…

Crave Book Trailer

Today's Trailer Tuesday video is for CRAVE by Melissa Darnell. I've been admiring her gorgeous cover for a while, so it's fun to get a sense of what the story is about. What do you think of this one?

Part of my Charm

1. I find the above pic so hilarious, I almost don't want to write a Monday list because what could possibly top that?

2. Side note: I totally need a llama costume.

3. I don't care how mortified my kids would be.

4. My birthday was January 8th. Since I don't mind aging at all, I will freely admit to turning 38.

5. I don't think that's old. I don't feel old. I don't act old.

6. But ... as much as I don't mind aging, I don't feel a need to rush the process either.

7. So when my parents inexplicably received a letter from the AARP addressed to me and decided the best way to handle it was to bring it with them when they visited in December so they could hand deliver it, I didn't appreciate it.

8. I mean, I'm all about getting a senior discount at the local Bed, Bath and Beyond, but at least wait until I'm hovering just under 50 before you put me on your mailing list..


9. But if my parents found it hilarious that their daughter was now on …

QUERY-palooza!

If you asked writers to name their top pre-publication frustrations, odds are good the highest spot on that list would belong to query writing. I've been there, but I know the truth--anyone can learn how to write a compelling query letter with the right tools. Drawing on my years of experience teaching online query workshops, I'm offering a new comprehensive handbook designed to help writers master the query once and for all.
"QUERY: Everything You Need to Get Started, Get Noticed, and Get Signed" covers everything from basic query format to agent research to innovative strategies to create a fabulous hook. The handbook provides examples, worksheets, and tools to enable every writer to query well. For writers seeking publication, QUERY will provide practical, usable assistance for every stage of the querying process.
QUERY will be available in e-pub format Monday, February 6th! I'm really excited about it. I studied teaching at Pepperdine University and taught hi…

Were-llama Reviews: GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS

Recently, on the advice of this blog owner, I read this book:



The book jacket promised the following adventure:

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.



Elisa is the chosen one.


But she is also the younger of two princesses. The one who has never done anything remarkable, and can’t see how she ever will.


Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs her to be the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.
And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies, seething with dark magic, are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior, and he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.


Most of the …

Author Mad Libs: Anne Nesbet

Today's Author Mad Libs guest is Anne Nesbet. Without seeing today's post, Anne has provided me with a list of words to help me in my quest to describe both Anne and her book. Let the mayhem begin!


The Author:
Anne Nesbet writes the kind of __croissants__ that she wants to _caterwaul_. She claims she's younger than the average _saxophone_, but older than most _gargoyles_. She once wrote a book about _marshmallows_ who _slipped_ while they were also busy _shrieking_ like it was going out of style. That takes some _breadcrumbs_! As a child, she had big _saltshakers_ and was very _spiky_. She loves _miffed_ music and even plays the _marmot_. She has a beautiful _doorknob_ whom she likes to walk on_cobblestones_. Her special skill is that she can _fling_ while _tap-dancing_. Her first book, _An Addressbook Under Streetcars __, comes out this January from Harper Collins.
The Book:


On their first day in Paris, Maya and her little brother, James, find themselves caught up in some …

Trailers for INCARCERON & SAPPHIQUE

Today is a double dose of Trailer Tuesday as I bring you both the trailer for INCARCERON (One of the best books I read in 2010) and its sequel SAPPHIQUE (currently sitting near the top of my TBR pile.) What do you think? (The second trailer starts the same as the first ... I say this because my instant reaction was that I'd clicked on the wrong link.)



Winner of EVERNEATH!

Thank you to all who entered the contest to win a signed copy of Brodi Ashton's amazing debut EVERNEATH. As always, I used random.org to select the winner. And the winner is

Laurisa White Reyes
Congratulations, Laurisa! You will receive a confirmation email from me shortly. Thanks again for entering and happy reading!
If you missed winning Everneath, stay tuned! Debut author Jodi Meadows and best selling author Beth Revis will be on the blog in the next few weeks with more entertaining interviews and more books to win. :)

The Were-llama Reviews: Mission Impossible 4

Recently, I attended the movie theater on a Friday night to see this:



Explosions, car chases, nuclear war ... blah, blah, blah. The real question on everyone's mind is this: Where are the llamas?

I'm going to share with you a little known fact. Agent Ethan Hunt is a were-llama. Proof? He survived multiple falls, crashes, and run-ins with unsavory types who appeared bigger and stronger than him. Now, I ask you. What man can do that unless he's a were-llama?

James Bond, you say?

Also a were-llama.

Chuck Norris, you say?

Please. Every were-llama on the planet has "Chuck" as a middle name.



Sadly, the villain in this action-packed thriller was not a were-llama. If I had to guess (and we all know my guesses are gospel), I'd say his mother was a camel and his father smelt of vodka. Sure, he seemed smart enough at first. But peel back a layer or two and you discover a hump full of crazy.



Hunt and his team were smart, savvy, and sometimes funny. Their main problem,…

One Last Look

Edited to add the following: My editor has just informed me that we're done! ARCs will print after copy edits (which I already finished last month) and type set etc are finished. So ... the real title of this post is now "It's DONE." :)



DEFIANCE is just about ready be printed into ARCs. I get one more look when my editor sends me page proofs, and then that's it. It's out there. My baby is ready to leave the nest.

It's a surreal feeling to know that one last read-through is all that stands between me owning my story and me giving my story to you. Once you read it, once your imagination interacts with it, it becomes yours. You might love it. You might hate it. Either way it will be stick-a-fork-in-me done.

When that thought first hit me, my stomach pitched and rolled. What if I missed something? What if later I want to change that word to this word, but I can't? What if ....?

My stomach also pitched and rolled from excitement. Something along the lin…

Interview With Brodi Ashton

Today I'm thrilled to have Brodi Ashton, a fellow Balzer + Bray author, on the blog. I received an ARC of EVERNEATH (which hits the shelves 1/24) in the "welcome to B+B" package my editor sent. I was instantly drawn to the gorgeous and mysterious cover, so I decided to read it right away. Holy. Freaking. Cow. This book is amazing. It is beautifully written (I've never seen an author play with a timeline so successfully), the stakes are incredibly high, and it made me FEEL things. I cried, dear reader. And I also cursed Brodi's name for making me really like the villain. And the ending! *cries and screams and bribes her editor for an ARC of book two* If you don't read another book this year, you have to read this one. Trust me. Here's a peek at EVERNEATH:

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her boyfriend—before she’s banished back to the underworld . . . this…