Monday, May 31, 2010

Me and 400,000 of my closest friends...

I just spent the day in Yosemite with 400,000 of my closest friends. Here are all of us at Yosemite Falls:

I’m lucky. Not too many people can wake up in the morning and say, “Hey, let’s spend the day in Yosemite!” But, the weather was gorgeous and there has been a lot of late snow, so the falls are still full, so I woke up yesterday morning and said, “Hey, let’s spend the day in Yosemite!”

Problem is, it was a holiday weekend. Holiday weekends in Yosemite mean traffic jams. Don’t know what I was thinking.

Upside, this is your view while you’re stuck in traffic.

When we finally found a parking spot (it was the very last one in the whole valley—really) we got out and got to stand here:
and here:

It’s been a few years since we went up, so I’m glad we did. But, next time, I’m going on a Wednesday.

Friday, May 28, 2010

May Debut Contest Winner!!!

Thanks so much to all of you who stopped by and entered my May Debut Contest! You guys totally rock. In case you’re interested, there were 304 points accumulated by 70 entrants. And the winner (as chosen by the randomizer) is:

*Drum roll*


Yay! *honks virtual noisemakers* (cuz the real ones hurt my ears)

Coincidentally, I read and loved Lena’s review of my fabulous critique partner, Andrea Cremer’s, Nightshade last week.

Lena was wavering a little in her picks in the comment section. She may be on the fence about which book to chose. So, the moment of truth… Lena gets her choice of a signed ARC of Personal Demons, or one of the following:

Wolves, Boys and Other Things That Might Kill Me by Kristen Chandler
The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride
The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell
The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

Congrats Lena!! I am emailing you, dear. =)

And, if you didn't win this month, remember, there are seven more chances this year! Check back Tuesday to enter my June Debut Contest. Here's a sneak peek at my June picks.
Personal Demons (signed) by moi =)
Everlasting by Angie Frazier
A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend by Emily Horner
Sea by Heidi R. Kling
The Deathday Letter Shaun Hutchinson

Thursday, May 27, 2010

BEA and Ms. Book Sniper

Thanks so much for all the Personal Demons cover love. =) You guys totally rock. I can’t wait (but, of course, I have to) to see the “official” cover. Hopefully sometime next month. I’ll share it as soon as I have it. :p

I’m very excited, and also a little nervous, for Personal Demons to be out in the world. I love my characters so much it’s like they’re members of my family. I’m thrilled beyond words that you are all going to get to meet them soon. I hope you love them as much as I do! Check out what Ms. Book Sniper had to say about Personal Demons. :D

Today is officially the last day of BEA. Still lots of fabulous things going on in New York—panels and signings—and I wish I was there. But I’m not. So I’ve been writing. I hope you have too. If you’re participating in the Official BEA Left-Out-Author Pity Party, then comment below with your word count from yesterday.

And DON’T FORGET! Tomorrow is the last day to enter my May Debut Give-Away. Enter to win you very own signed Personal Demons ARC, or other May YA debuts!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Personal Demons ARC cover!!! And OBEALOAPP

No, that wasn't me having a seizure. It's the Official BEA Left-Out-Author Pitty Party. If you're participating, don't forget to log your wordcount for yesterday (or today, if your done writing--which you shouldn't be, BTW) in the comment section below.

So, the cover...

Keep in mind that this isn’t the “official” cover, but it’s the one you’ll see out there for the next few months, until Personal Demons releases in September.



So, the real cover will be done sometime in the next few months. Don’t forget to check back! ’Kay?

All right…here we go…

But, remember; don’t go looking for this cover in the bookstores in September. It will be different. This one is just for the ARCs.

So, here it is, the unofficial, mostly temporary ARC cover for Personal Demons.

Did I mention that I think it’s clever? I really like it, actually.

Oh, sorry… So, here it is:

What do you think? Simple but clever, yeah? :p

So this means that we should have ARCs soon, and we’ll be able to get them out to all of you. Yay!

If you haven't entered to win your very own signed ARC of Personal Demons, or another fabulous 2010 YA debut, head to my May Debut Give-Away. There are only two days left to enter. Hurry!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Official BEA Left-Out-Author Pity Party

BEA officially starts today in New York City. Some of my friends are there, speaking on panels and signing ARCs. My fabulous critique partner, Andrea Cremer (Nightshade, Oct. 2010) is speaking with Holly Black and Richelle Mead on the "Paranormal Fiction for Teens" panel tomorrow. Melissa Marr is speaking on the "YA Authors Crossing Over" panel on Thursday, and Kody Keplinger (The DUFF, Sept. 2010) is speaking on the "YA Authors of YA Editor's Buzz" panel, also on Thursday. If you're there, go see them and say hi for me!

I’m here. Not there. My ARCs were supposed to be out for BEA, but, due to circumstances beyond our control, that didn’t happen. If they were there, I might have gone to visit them and rub elbows with some amazing authors. Instead, I’ve decided to sponsor the Official BEA Left-Out-Author Pity Party for all us authors not at BEA this year.

Here’s how our pity party is going to work. We’re going to bring our cupcakes, and Skittles, and our coffee too, cuz we’re going to be busy. While our author friends are in New York, not writing, we’re going to. Write, that is. A lot. I plan to finish my first draft of book three in the Personal Demons series. (another 50K words or so)

Today and every day for the rest of the week, stop in and post your word count for the day in comments. On Friday afternoon, we’ll total up all our words and see how productive we’ve been. =)

What do you think? Are you up for the Official BEA Left-Out-Author Pity Party?

And, also, check back tomorrow for some fun Personal Demons cover news. :p

Monday, May 24, 2010

Spring has sprung!

I so totally love this time of year. The weather has been in the high 70s and sunny. Convertible weather for sure. And, it's also the beginning of the harvest year. I have two cherry trees, an apricot tree, a pear tree (no partridge), a fig tree, a blood orange tree, a pink grapefruit tree, a lemon tree, a walnut tree, and a tree with two types of peaches, a plum and a nectarine.

The cherries are always first. I spent part of my Sunday afternoon climbing through my trees in quest of my sweet little treasures. Here they are:

The red ones are Bings (yummy) and the white ones are Rainiers (my favorite). At the time of this posting, this bowl has been totally decimated by me (mostly) and my family. I'm looking at a mound of stems and pits (not such a pretty picture, so I'll spare you).

On this date last year, I was hiking the trails of Cinque Terre, Italy, which is a much prettier picture, so I'll share that one:
The reason this is appropriate to mention here (other than just generally bragging) is because, while I was looking at that, the birds were busy eating all my cherries, and I went cherriless last year. Not this year, though! I outsmarted the birds by staying home! So there! *looks longingly at Cinque Terre*

Next, the apricots! Can hardly wait!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Cover news, take 2

So, here’s the latest cover news—and it’s almost all good. There will be Personal Demons ARCs, but they won’t have the official cover on them. There are a few of you chomping at the bit to get your hands on ARCs so we can’t really delay getting them out much longer. But, it looks like an amazing artist (can't say who now) will be doing my cover and it will take a few more weeks to pull something fabulous together.

So, I will have something to show you, but it may not be for another month or so. What’s that? You can’t wait? I know! Me either!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Free books!

I knew that'd get your attention! And I'm going to tell you where to get them in just a sec. But first, you need the story.

I love meeting other authors. With my travel schedule, I’m not always around when my fave authors come to town, but last night, there was one I wasn’t going to miss. A fellow Tor author, who I LOVE. (Well...not him, but his books. I mean, I might love him if I knew him better...but not like that, cuz he's married. Um...I'll shut up now...)

Cory Doctorow has jumped the pond and is touring leading up to his stop at BEA next week. Let me just say, if you get a chance to meet him, don’t miss it! And, if you haven’t read his YA books, Little Brother, or his newest, For The Win, read them.

Cory has an interesting perspective on copyrights. His work—every book he’s written—is available as a FREE ebook through his website. And, yet, Little Brother still made the NYT bestseller list. That’s saying something—a book that’s available for free still selling well enough to make The List. Pretty amazing. I encourage you to check him out. And, if you like his books, pick one up (as in: pay for it) as a gift, or to donate to a library or school.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I met one of my characters--at the airport

Has this ever happened to you?

I’m sitting at the airport in Dallas on Sunday waiting for my flight to board. I’m reading through Original Sin (for the millionth time—I obsess, I can’t help it) and I hear a male voice behind me say, “Ladies,” in a sweet Texas drawl. I turn around and almost fall out of my chair. No, it isn’t Garth Brooks or Tim McGraw. It’s Dusty.

I know that means absolutely nothing to all of you, but he’s a character out of one of my novels. This guy had longish curly blond hair and blue eyes under a brown cowboy hat. He was beautiful in a rough, cowboy sort of way. He was wearing dark Wranglers with a big silver belt buckle. He might have been twentyish, a few years older than my Dusty, and I gleaned from the conversation between him and the girls sitting behind me that his name was, in fact, Travis, not Dusty, but everything, from the way he looked to the way he talked, and even the things he said, couldn’t have been more Dusty.

I felt all giddy and really wanted to say something, or take his picture or something, but that would look, well…a little crazy, or at best, stalkerish, so I didn’t. But I still really wish I had—maybe a quick cell phone pic on the sly…

So, I closed Original Sin, and opened Dusty Lane, which I’m revising for my truly fabulous agent. Now I’ll obsess over Dusty for a while. =)

So, is it just me, or do you see your characters sometimes?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Do The Write Thing For Nashville

The Do The Write Thing For Nashville auction is winding up tonight with the last round of bidding closing at midnight central time. There are still some amazing things to be had, including a signed copy of Stephenie Meyer's Breaking Dawn and editor and agent phone calls and critiques. If you haven't yet, go check it out. They've already raised over $60,000 for flood relief in Tennessee.

The generosity of donators and bidders is astounding. I'm so proud to be part of a writing community what comes together in such force to help people in need, and I'm so pleased that I could contribute in any way. Thanks to all of you who came out and bid on the Personal Demons ARC and sneak peek at Original Sin. It ended up going for $225, which far exceeded my expectations. I'm totally blown away.

And, here’s a last word from the amazing ladies who sacrificed sleep, family and their lives in general to make all this possible, Myra McEntire, Victoria Schwab and Amanda Morgan. They so totally rock!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Five for Friday

It’s been a good week. But, for this Five for Friday post, I’ll hit the highlights for you.

1. Excellent cover news from my editor! We should have a fabulous cover on brand spanking new ARCs within the next month. Squee!! (Thanks for helping with the design!) =)

2. Personal Demons sold to Eksmo Publishing House in Russia! That’s five foreign sales so far, and four of them I totally won’t be able to read. O_o

3. Personal Demons is up for auction on the Do The Write Thing for Nashville auction with a lot of other AMAZING things (agent phone calls, critiques, signed books) and you guys’ generosity is totally blowing me away! I’m going over to bid on stuff as soon as I’m done this post!

4. The amazingly talented Vania is doing my book trailer and already has some awesome ideas! So excited to see what she comes up with!!

5. I handed Original Sin off to my seriously cool editor! I hope she doesn’t hate it. *bites nails*

Have you entered my May Debut Contest? Why not!! Don't miss your chance at a free book debuting in May, or a signed ARC (we're getting close!!) of Personal Demons.

Hope you’ve had a fabulous week! What news?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Personal Demons up for auction!

Personal Demons is up on the Do The Write Thing For Nashville auction!! <--click to bid!!! It's Day 7-Item 13, which I totally love. What could be more perfect than my demon book being item #13 on day 7? Definitely a good omen...
So, here's the deal. Not only will the winner get a signed and personalized ARC of Personal Demons, but they will also be the only person in the known universe (I say that because it’s altogether possible that there are aliens living in my head who actually wrote the thing) to get a sneak peek of the first four chapters of Original Sin, the Personal Demons sequel. (Only my agent, editor and crit partner have seen it.)

But, wait—there’s more. Because, if you bid early and often (enough to win) you will also receive a query critique! And…that’s not all!!! The lucky winner will also receive a 50 page manuscript critique absolutely free!! (Well, free except for how much you bid, that is…) All critiques are fully transferable in case you personally don’t need/want a critique.

So bid, bid, bid…and then bid some more!!! There are all kinds of stupendous things up for auction, so don’t miss your chance to get some totally awesome, one of a kind stuff and help out the people of Nashville in the process!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Personal Demons Cover

Ha! Did I fake you out?

Okay, sorry. But this post really is about my cover.

So…there was a minor snag in the cover art for Personal Demons, but I heard from my seriously cool editor yesterday and we’re back on track. What that means for me, and any of you waiting on ARCs, is that the wait is going to be just a little longer. We’re really hoping to have ARCs out with a totally fabulous cover in mid-June.

In the meantime, I thought it’d be fun to have all of you help with the cover design. Remember that we’re talking about a paranormal romance—angels, demons. For those of you not familiar with my book, here’s the Personal Demons jacket copy:

Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak. She's spent years keeping everyone at a distance—even her closest friends—and it seems her senior year will be more of the same...until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can't seem to stay away from him. What she doesn't know is that Luc works in Acquisitions—for Hell—and she possesses a unique skill set that has the king of Hell tingling with anticipation. All Luc has to do is get her to sin, and he’s as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn’t stand a chance.

Unfortunately for Luc, Heaven has other plans, and the angel, Gabe, is going to do whatever it takes to make sure that Luc doesn’t get what he came for. And it isn't long before they find themselves fighting for more than just her soul.

But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay…for all of them.

So, we're gonna play a cover game. I’m posting images below and taking votes. Comment below with your choice of cover concept. (Disclamer: None of these are actually going to be my cover. We're having fun. Fun! FUN, I SAY!!! SMILE!)

Okay, here we go:

Image 1:
(courtesy of @jujubeantea)

Image 2:

Image 3:

Oops! That one’s already taken.


Image 4:

Image 5:

Image 6:
(courtesy of @meadowC and @katarinasmama)
It doesn't really fit my book, but what's not to like? It will certainly catch peoples' eye, and that's the purpose of a cover, right?
So, what do you think? I promise to laugh my a$$ off seriously consider your comments and pass them along to my art crew. (not)

Sunday, May 9, 2010


You know those people who always remember to send cards and gifts for special occasions? You know, the ones who can always be counted on to make your day with some special thing? Well, I'm not one of them. If Hallmark was relying on me to keep them in business, they would have gone under years ago.

In another example of epic daughter fail, I didn't get a card in the mail to my mom for Mother's Day (once again). So, to sort of make up for it a little bit, I'm sending these:

And these:

And also this:

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Do the Write Thing

As a writer, our roll is to ruin (fictional) peoples’ lives for the entertainment of others. There are real tragedies everyday, however, and the recent floods in the Nashville area are one example of real peoples’ lives being ruined.
Three amazing Nashville area authors, two of whom are Elevensies with me, have organized an auction to benefit The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee’s Flood Relief fund. They have some amazing stuff up for auction: signed books by Melissa Marr and Bree Despain, critiques and phone conversations with agents, and you’ll have a chance for a signed ARC of Personal Demons on day 7 (Wednesday). Go here to bid on some awesome stuff and help out the folks in Nashville in the process!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I WON!!! I WON I WON I WON!!! Yay for me!

So, the honest truth, I almost never enter contests. But…Mundie Moms were giving away an ARC of Holly Black’s White Cat, and, although I’ve never met Holly, she has a special place in my heart.

My youngest daughter was just like me when I was her age. She hated to read. So I searched, and searched and searched for something that might capture her interest. And, when I found it, it had Holly Black’s name on it. She and Tony DiTerlizzi have woven some of the cutest stories I’ve ever read into The Spiderwick Chronicles. And they’ll always be special to me because they taught my daughter to read.

And, then, they made the books into a movie, so it was her first experience of reading a book before seeing the movie, which hooked her even more.

So, of course, I’m now a diehard Holly Black fan. When I saw I had a chance to get my hands on a White Cat ARC, I couldn’t pass it up.

And I won!!!

Now, if they could only get BINBONS to deliver it, my fantasy would be complete. (picture courtesy of @meadowC and Sophie at Mundie Moms)

So thanks, Mundie Moms!! You just made my day!

Monday, May 3, 2010

May Debut Contest

Here it is, the first (Monday) of May! You've been waiting patiently and, finally, it's here, my May debut give-away!!!

In case some of you care, here’s a list of my winners and their choices so far:
January: robin_titan who chose The Dark Devine by Bree Despain
February: Lisa and Laura who chose a signed ARC of Personal Demons
March: MannaB, who also chose a signed ARC of Personal Demons
April: Tricia O’Brien, who…well…chose Personal Demons too.

Congrats to all the winners and thanks to all you out there who are entering to win my book! This makes me =)  Keep entering! The year is young. I hope to have ARCs for you all very, very soon.

So, here we go. All you veterans out there know how this works, but for our newbies, a reminder of the contest and the rules:

Below, I’ve posted my four debut picks for May. All you have to do to enter to win one is comment on this post before noon pacific time on Friday, May 28th. One winner will be chosen using the randomizer and I’ll post the winner after noon on the 28th. The winner will then be allowed to choose one title off my picks list OR a signed ARC of PERSONAL DEMONS (when I get them)! Yay!

In addition to commenting (for which you get one point) you can earn extra points each month as follows:

Old follower: +3 points
New follower: +2 points
Link to my contest post on your blog or twitter: +1 points
Dedicated post with link to my contest on your webpage/blog: +3 points
Add me to your blogroll: +2 points

Also on your entry, please remember to tell me how to find you (email address). And remember, there will be no rollover points. Points start new every month.

My May debut picks are as follows:
Wolves, Boys and Other Things That Might Kill Me by Kristen Chandler
The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride
The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell
The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

So to enter, all you have to do is comment below before noon on Friday 28th! Good luck!