Showing posts from February, 2012

Interview With Editor Kristin Daly Rens & ARC Giveaway for DEFIANCE

I'm thrilled to welcome my amazing editor Kristin Daly Rens to the blog today! Not only is she an insightful, talented editor who brings out the best in her authors, she's also a genuinely awesome person through and through. She decided to come on the blog today to publicize my forthcoming debut, DEFIANCE. Here's a look at what DEFIANCE is about: Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan—the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find

Trailer for THE LIMIT

This book came out in 2010, but I haven't read it yet. The premise is interesting--feels very Hollywood to me. Have you read this book? Does this interest you?

DEFIANCE Cover Reveal & Giveaway!

The day has finally come for me to reveal the HOLY COW AMAZING cover the talented team at Balzer+Bray designed for DEFIANCE. I am beyond excited!!! The cover reveal is happening on the lovely YABooksCentral site. The chance to enter to win a DEFIANCE prize package is happening here. First, the cover. Go ahead. Click! Drool! Admire! I'll wait for you. Isn't it gorgeous? And fierce? And just ... *happy sigh* Right. Prize package. Ready for this? I'm giving away a signed hardback of DEFIANCE (when they become available) along with a one-of-a-kind DEFIANCE journal and tote bag! (They are pretty! * pets journal and tote bag *) Entering is easy. Just fill out the form below. Send a few more people to look at the cover if you want extra entries! I'll use to choose a winner. The contest runs until 8 p.m. central time Thursday, March 1st and is open internationally! Good luck! (P.S. Come back here next Wednesday for an interview with my amazing editor w

Author Mad Libs: Rachel Hawkins

Today's Author Mad Libs guest is Rachel Hawkins, author of the best-selling Hex Hall series. The final book in the series, SPELL BOUND, will be in a bookstore near you on March 13, 2012. I sent Rachel a parts of speech list. She sent back words. This is the result. Hailed as “impossible to _defenestrate_,” the Hex Hall series has both critics and  _Pudding Pops_ cheering. With a winning combination of romance, _grapefruit_, magic and humor, this third  _dime_ will leave readers _spankable_. Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary _funky_ powers as a _cupcake_, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn _gnomes_— the Brannicks, a family of warrior  _gnomes (again!)_ who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a  _scintillating_ discovery. The Brannicks know an epic  _butt_ is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one  _calm_ enough to sto


Oh, yes please! I've been waiting for this movie since I saw the last Lord of the Rings movie. I'm pleased that Peter Jackson is once again at the helm. What do you think?

Author Mad Libs: Emily Danforth

When Cameron Post’s parents  _whisk_ suddenly in a car crash, her  _obscure_ first thought is relief. Relief they’ll never know that, hours earlier, she had been kissing an _ennui_. But that relief doesn’t last, and Cam is soon forced to move in with her  _high-falutin_ aunt Ruth and her well-intentioned but hopelessly  _newfangled_ grandmother. She knows that from this  _Bundt cake_ on, her  _pomegranate_ will forever be different. Survival in Miles City, Montana, means  _cartwheeling_ in and leaving well enough alone (as her  _rucksack_ might say), and Cam becomes a  _lotto ticket_ at both. Then Coley Taylor  _grasps_ to town. _Florid_, pickup-driving Coley is a perfect  _pantaloon_ with the perfect  _soda pop_ to match. She and Cam  _slurp_ an unexpected and intense friendship—one that seems to leave  _rattlesnake_ for something more to _maraud_. But just as that starts to seem like a real possibility,  _robust_ Aunt Ruth takes drastic action to “fix” he

Author Mad Libs: Jessica Spotswood

Today's Author Mad Libs guest is Jessica Spotswood, author of the highly anticipated BORN WICKED which came out last week. I sent Jessica a parts of speech list. She sent back words. This is the result. Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are _scandalous_. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too  _ dreadful _ for their own good. But the truth is even _creepier_: they're witches. And if their  _hedgehog_ is discovered by the  _Tater Tots_ of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early _monkey_. Before her mother died, Cate promised to _snuggle_ her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between  _a mermaid_ and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to  _critique_ her _cupcake_... especially after she finds her mother's _shark_, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's _champagne_. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts  _typing_ banned books and questioning rebellious new _sandwiches_


I'd never heard of this book (the first in a series), but this trailer certainly makes me want to read it. What do you think?

Cue the Geriatric Bull Moose!

1. Last week was a busy week. 2. There was the release of my QUERY book on Amazon and Nook , which was exciting. 3. There were the final preparations for my upcoming cover reveal on the 23rd, which were also exciting. (Because HOLY COW do I love my cover!!) 4. And there was a bout of stomach flu that each of my boys caught which was not exciting in the least. 5. Unless, of course, you think being awakened at 3 in the morning by a child telling you he's just puked all over his carpeted floor is exciting. 6. Usually, I can roll with stuff like this without much of a problem. 7. Unlike my hubby who gets one whiff and joins the hork fest. 8. But this time ... THIS TIME, dear reader, I could barely hang on to my cookies. 9. I don't know why. 10. I just know that I gagged and choked and nearly lost it several times. 11. I tell you all of this so you will understand the following story. 12. If you are super, super squeamish, you may want to consider skimming

QUERY-palooza: Day Five

I used to choose the winner of today's query critique. Here it is: Dear Agent, I read on your blog that you’re actively looking for historical fiction and books with a sweeping, saga-length scope, and I hope you will consider YOU CANNOT KILL A SWAN, a historical saga set during the Russian Civil War and early 1920s Manhattan. Good start! Seventeen-year-old Lyuba Zhukova is left behind in Russia when her mother and aunt immigrate to America, forcing her to go into hiding from the Bolsheviks and sometimes flee at a moment’s notice. By the time the Civil War has turned in favor of the Reds, Lyuba has also become an unwed mother. But she still has her best friend and soulmate Ivan Konev, a cousin, and a band of friends, and together they’re determined to survive the Bolsheviks and escape to America. Why was she left behind to fend for herself? When you say her cousin is her soul mate, do you mean they are romantically involved? That’s the impression I get. Does that m

QUERY-palooza: Day Four

As always, I used to choose the winner of today's query critique. Here's our winner! A lightning rod for tragedy, Nox Sumner (has) lost every member of her family. She is haunted by the fear of who will be next. (If she lost every member of her family, it sounds like she doesn’t have anyone left to lose so who is she really worried about? Maybe be a tad more specific.) When the Grim Reaper turns up on her doorstep, answering her question with the name of her BFF, only her ghostastic older bro standing in the way stops her from kicking his hooded ass to the curb. 1. How does she recognize him? 2. Why isn’t she afraid? 3. What question does she ask? 4. I like her style. :) Grim's in a bind. His boatman, River Crowe, is hiding out at Nox's high school. Loving life, he flipped (flips – Queries are written in present tense.) Grim the bird and refused (refuses) to return to his dismal existence as (an) exalted taxi service for the dead. Since River isn&#

Author Mad Libs: Kelly Keaton

Today's Author Mad Libs guest is Kelly Keaton whose book A BEAUTIFUL EVIL hits the shelves February 21st. Kelly received a list of parts of speech from me. This is the result. :)  A  _hedgehog_ she can’t deny. A destiny she’s determined to _poke_. When Ari first arrived in the  _diabolical_ city of New 2, all she wanted was to figure out who she was. But what she  _strutted_ was beyond her  _wee_ nightmare. Ari can already sense the evil  _pumping_ inside her—a power the goddess Athena will stop at nothing to _slurp_. Desperate to hold on to her  _tree_ and  _consider_ her loved ones, Ari must fight back. But Athena’s playing mind _high heels_, not just with Ari but with those she cares about most. And Athena has a very special  _lamp post_ for the brooding and sexy Sebastian. Ari is determined to  _mutter_ Athena, but time is running out. With no other _chains_, Ari must unleash the very  _arena_ she’s afraid of: herself. What reviewers ar

QUERY-palooza: Day Three

As always, I used to choose today's winner of the free query critique. Here is the winning query: Super Duper Agent Address City, State Zip Dear Super Duper Agent: Fifteen-year-old Britt Donnelly is used to getting what she wants, thanks to her fourth class witch powers. In the last four years, she’s made herself the most popular girl in her class at Lincoln High, spelled herself into a leadership spot on the cheerleading squad, and earned top notch grades despite not actually learning anything. Most recently, she “persuaded” the junior running back that he should take her to Homecoming, even though the dance is still almost two months away. Life is absolutely perfect in her eyes. This is a fabulous first paragraph. We get a good sense of who Britt is, where her ethics/agenda lie, and what her life is like as the story starts. But when Marc Trent moves back to town, Britt realizes that her view of “perfect” wasn’t even close…because Marc is the epitome of perf

QUERY-palooza, Day Two

Here is today's winner of the query critique! Dear Agent, In *"GD", fifteen-year-old Grace thought (“thinks” – Queries are written in present tense.) insomnia was (is) her biggest problem. Until she starts seeing things that can’t possibly be real, like shadow people and an evil doppelganger of her secret crush. (This sentence is a fragment and belongs with the sentence before. To keep it from becoming too long, I suggest putting a period after “real” and then saying “Thinks like shadow people …”) Determined to sleep no matter what the means, Grace accepts a joint from Raf, her close friend—and secret crush. All it takes is one hit for Grace to find herself surrounded by the dead, drowning in their emotions as they suck the life from her. One of the strange things about trying to summarize our manuscripts in a query is that we know what we’re talking about when we references things, and sometimes we don’t realize the reader hasn’t followed along. :) You’ve told us


I am an unabashed fangirl of Christopher Nolan's gritty Dark Knight series, and I promise you I'll be at the theater on opening night for this film. This is the third and last in the Dark Knight series, and it looks like Nolan isn't pulling any of his punches. What do you think?


Thank you to all who entered the giveaway for a signed copy of Beth Revis' A MILLION SUNS! As always, I used to select the winner. And the lucky winner is Alyssa Sooklal Congratulations, Alyssa! You will receive a confirmation email from me shortly. Thanks for entering and happy reading! 

QUERY-palooza Day One!

Today kicks off my week-long QUERY-palooza with the release of my QUERY: Everything you need to get started, get noticed, and get signed and with the first winner of a free query critique! I've very excited to package my research and querying experience, along with the tools I've created to help every writer master the art of query letter writing, into one shiny little package. The handbook contains everything I use in my query workshops, plus new worksheets and sample queries.  Description: QUERY: Everything You Need to Get Started, Get Noticed, and Get Signed covers everything from basic query format to agent research to innovative strategies for creating a fabulous hook. The handbook gives 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. To celebrate QUERY's release, I'm offering it for an introductory price of $

QUERY-palooza Last Call!

Today is the last day to enter to win 1 of 5 free query critiques next week! Go here and fill out the form to enter. Good luck!

Interview with Beth Revis

My blog readers know that Beth Revis has become somewhat of a repeat offender regular visitor around here. There was the time she was interviewed when ACROSS THE UNIVERSE came out. And then there was the time she tried to kill me . Not once, but twice . Still, since apparently I enjoy a good nemesis (especially one as devious as fun as Beth), I've invited her back. :) ACROSS THE UNIVERSE was different, compelling, and has one of the best opening scenes ever . I can't wait to get my hands on A MILLION SUNS! Here's a peek. Godspeed was once fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos. It’s been three months. In that time, Amy has learned to hide who she is. Elder is trying to be the leader he’s always wanted to be. But as the ship gets more and more out of control, only one thing is certain: They have to get off the ship. Um ... yes, please! I was thrilled when Beth agreed to come back on the blog, especially because she agreed to be the first author to take on our ne