Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Automated Out of Office Reply

I'm camping this week with very spotty internet access, so this is my "out of office" reply.

I am told by my neighbor that my Personal Demons ARCs were delivered safe and sound by the nice UPS man on Monday, so those of you waiting sooooo patiently, I'll have them out to you when I get home next week.

Thanks to all of you who dropped in and read the end of chapter 1 in my third Personal Demons sneak peek yesterday. I love all the Twitter comments. You guys rock! =)

Also, thanks to all the awesome bloggers who are continuing to list Personal Demons as their Waiting on Wednesday picks. This makes me =)

And, one more thank you to all of you who flooded the Macmillan booth at ALA looking for Personal Demons. My seriously cool editor said they'd run out of ARCs by Saturday morning, except for a very few she set aside. She said that even the display copies were stolen. (You know who you are and Luc would be proud of you. :D)

A reminder: My July Debut Contest goes up tomorrow, so if you didn't get a copy at ALA and would like your very own signed ARC (or one of four other debuts) stop back to enter. There is also another chance to win an ARC of Personal Demons on my fabulous agent, Suzie Townsend's blog, but it ends at midnight (EST) tonight, so hurry over there.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sneak Peek: Personal Demons Chapter 1 (part 3)

In the last two previews, we met Luc (post 1) and Frannie (post 2). Picking up at the end of last weeks post, here is the rest of that first conversation from Luc's perspective. This is also the end of chapter one.


I watch her write “Frannie and Luke 26-2 outline” in her composition book, and for some reason it really bothers me that she spelled my name wrong. I fix it before answering her. “I think he made some choices that he’s now got to pay the consequences for.” One of which is eternity burning in the Abyss.

She looks at me, all incredulity. “Just that simple, huh? No extenuating circumstances. No second chances?”

“Nope. Don’t believe in second chances.” The Underworld’s not big on that concept.

She shifts back in her chair and folds her arms across her chest, scrutinizing me. “You’ve never made a mistake? Done something you were sorry for?”


“Everybody has something they wish they could undo.”

I lean toward her and gaze into those sapphire eyes. “What do you wish you could undo, Frannie?”

She shudders when I say her name, and I realize I’m being unfair. I pushed a little power at her without really meaning or needing to. But I like the reaction.

When she replies there’s more than a hint of pain in her tone, and the faint scent of rose—sadness. I search deep in those eyes to find the root of it. “Lots of things,” she says without breaking her gaze.

For some reason, out of the blue, I don’t want her to hurt. I feel Hell-bent on making her happy. Just the tiniest push is all it would take…

Stop it. Where the Hell did that come from? I don’t even recognize the sensation that passed with that thought. Demons don’t have feelings. Not like that, anyway. This isn’t a charity mission…I’m here for a clear purpose, and Miss Frannie Cavanaugh is showing promise. Lots of promise. As a matter of fact, I’m starting to hope she’s The One. And as the bell rings I realize, to my own astonishment, that it’s her eyes holding me locked here instead of the other way around. This is going to be interesting.

She blinks as if startled from a dream and looks down at her empty composition book. “So…I guess we didn’t get too far.”

“I wouldn’t say that.” I push my book across the desk.

She reads the ten bullet points listed there in block print under the heading “Frannie Cavanaugh and Luc Cain, Steinbeck’s Themes—Chapter 26-2” and scowls.

“Oh…well, I guess these look okay.” Incredulous again. She’s fiery for sure. I like a little fire. Makes me feel at home. “Have you found your locker yet in this rat maze?” she says, throwing her books into her book bag and standing.

“Haven’t looked for it.” I hold up my only possessions: my composition book and The Grapes of Wrath.

“Well, it’ll only get worse, so unless you wanna lug all your stuff around with you, I could help you find it.”

I pull the slip of paper with the locker number and combo on it out of my back pocket as we walk together to the door. “Number…hmm.” I smile. The mortal world is so droll sometimes.


“666,” I say, and she looks at me funny.

“Oh. That’s right there.” She points across the hall. “Right next to mine.”

And even though I know fate is a crock—nothing but an excuse for mortals to make choices they wouldn’t otherwise make—this is a sign. I look at her more closely. If she’s The One, which is starting to look more likely, I need to tag her soul for Hell before some filthy angel beats me to it. Which roughly translates into now. Because the fact that she’s been so difficult to locate probably means she’s being Shielded by them. If they’re Shielding her, they’re watching her. It won’t be long before they know I’ve found her. I scan the crowded hall. So many prospects, but no angels—so far.

She starts across the hall to her locker and I hang back to admire the view for a few seconds before following her. She is petite—maybe five-two. Nearly a foot shorter than my human form. But she’s no little girl. There are curves in all the right places.

I laugh at myself. Although lust is one of the seven deadly sins, it’s not the one that got me where I am and not something I’ve experienced often in the seven millennia I’ve existed—though I’ve used it to my advantage a few thousand times. This is going to be fun.

I stride across the hall and catch her just as she reaches her locker. I spin the lock on mine a few times, and it springs open.

“How’d you do that?” she asks, like she could possibly know I used my power.


“I had that locker at the beginning of the year and switched ’cause the lock was broken.”

“Hmm. They must have fixed it.” I’ll need to be more careful. This mortal is extraordinarily observant. I slipped up in class by not keeping my eyes on the book—which she’d noticed because her eyes weren’t on the book either. And again with the locker, because as I try the real combination, I find she’s right: it is indeed broken.

She looks skeptical. “Yeah, I guess, except they never fix anything around here. Welcome to Hades High.”

What the Hell? “Excuse me? Hades High?”

“Yeah, get it? Haden High—Hades High. It’s just one letter, but it so much more accurately describes this hellhole.”


“Well, wouldn’t you agree?” She gestures to the cracking plaster, peeling paint, burned-out lightbulbs, gouged gray linoleum, and dented gray metal lockers surrounding us.

“Well, it looks like I’ve chosen just the place, then.” A grin stretches my face. How perfect is it that my target goes to a high school nicknamed Hell? This is too rich.

She looks away and reaches into her locker, but she can’t hide the smile playing at the corners of her mouth. “If your ‘just the place’ is this crappy, washed-up fishing town, then you’re more pathetic than I would have guessed.”

I laugh—I can’t help it—and then shudder when I catch a hint of Frannie’s ginger. Mmm…pathetic must be her type.

“How come you had to change schools a month before graduation?”

I smile inwardly. “Business.”

“Your father’s?” she presses.

“In a manner of speaking.”

She looks at me and her brow furrows as she tries to figure out what that means. Then she pushes her locker shut with a crash. “So…what’s your next class?”

I pull my schedule out of my back pocket and shake it open. “Looks like calculus, room 317.”

“Oooh, you have Mrs. Felch. Sooo sorry.”

“Why? What’s the deal with Mrs. Felch?”

Just then the bell rings. She cringes. “First, you get detention if you’re not in your seat at the bell—so, sorry—and second, she bites.”

“Mmm. We’ll see about that.” I kick my locker shut and turn to head to building 3—and don’t try to hide the smile that pulls at my lips as her eyes burn a hole through my back the whole way down the hall. A good start.

Monday, June 28, 2010

My baby's in the world.

I’m very nervous.

But also very excited!

I got a Tweet from the awesome @ReadingTeen (hi Andye *waves*) that she got the last copy of Personal Demons at ALA. That means 300 of you have PD in your hot little hands. I’m dying to know what you think!

And, the first reviews of PD are starting to show up in the blogosphere. Here’s one by Omnomnom Books. If you’ve reviewed it, please let me know!

My baby’s in the world. I really hope you guys don’t leave her to go hungry and get diaper rash. And, I know you guys are totally cool and professional, so I can count on you for no spoilers. =)

And, in other fun news, Brilliance Audio sent audition clips for the Personal Demons audiobook. I got to listen to them this weekend and pick actors to read Frannie and Luc’s parts. It was very fun! I think the ones I picked will do a great job with it. I’m looking forward to hearing the finished product. :D

So...did any of you pick up Personal Demons this weekend? :D

Friday, June 25, 2010

June Debut Contest Winner!!! Is it you?

My little contest exploded this month! I think it may have been thanks to all the awesome bloggers who included Personal Demons in their Waiting on Wednesday posts. Thanks to Mundie Moms, Page Turners blog, YA Addict, Ravenous Reader, Courtney Reads, Daisy Chain Books, Reality Bites, Cry Havoc Reviews, Tales of a Teenage Book Lover, The Book Butterfly, Musings of a Reader Happy, Arrrr Cubed, and Paranormal Romance Addicts. And thanks to all of you who stopped by to enter! =)

In case you’re interested, there were 574 points accumulated by 119 entrants this month. Tons of you guys are entering to win Personal Demons, which makes me =)))))!

But, if you're going to ALA this weekend, remember that my seriously cool editor will be there with Personal Demons ARCs, so stop by the Macmillan booth and pick one up!

And the winner of my June Debut Contest (as chosen by the randomizer) is:

*Drum roll*

Mel (He Followed Me Home)!!!

Yay! *throws virtual confetti* (cuz I don’t want to clean the real stuff up)

Mel gets her choice of one of the following:
A signed ARC of Personal Demons by moi (that’s me!)
Everlasting by Angie Frazier
A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend by Emily Horner
Sea by Heidi R. Kling
The Deathday Letter by Shaun Hutchinson

And, if you didn't win this month, remember, there are six more chances this year! Check back Thursday, July 1st, to enter my July Debut Contest. Here's a sneak peek at my July picks.
Other by Karen Kincy
The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade
Crossing the Tracks by Barbara Stuber
Shadow Hill by Anastasia Hopcus

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Newsflash: Sleep is overrated.

Before I get into the benefits of not sleeping, I wanted to remind you that, if you're going to ALA this weekend, my seriously cool editor will be there with Personal Demons ARCs! Stop by the Macmillan booth and pick one up!

So...sleep. It's sort of a waste of time, don't you think? I mean, all you do it lay there—unconscious, no less. Where's the fun in that? I believe in utilizing my time. I like to joke that I have a day job (my clinic), a night job (writing), and a weekend job (lecturing medical seminars all over God's green earth). When people find out that I work not one, but two other jobs, I invariably get the question: When do you find time to write?

The answer is simple. All the time.

This is a vlog that I did for the Elevensies’ A Day in the Writing Life series. Thought I’d share it with you.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Your questions answered

Thanks for stopping by yesterday for the second sneak peek at Personal Demons! My June debut contest closes Friday and noon PST, so if you haven't entered to win your very own signed Personal Demons ARC, do it. Now! ...I mean it! Go!

Also, thanks to YA Addict, Ravenous Reader, Courtney Reads, Page Turners, Mundie Moms, Daisy Chain Books, Reality Bites, Cry Havoc Reviews, Tales of a Teenage Book Lover, The Book Butterfly, Musings of a Reader Happy, and Paranormal Romance Addicts for including Personal Demons in their Waiting on Wednesday posts! You guys ROCK! So happy you want to read. =)

Okay, now that that's taken care of, on to my topic. I've gotten several good questions in my contest comment thread. (I said you could ask questions, and some of you did :p)

So, to answer:

Okapi asked: Will Personal Demons be translated into other languages?
Yes, it will! One of the funnest parts of this whole publishing experience has been foreign rights sales. All the foriegn sales so far are posted in the sidebar to the right under "Where Personal Demons Will Be Published." We are currently in negotiations in one country that isn't yet listed there, and on submission in many more, so I will update the list as I'm able.

Nadinax and Charchelar asked: Where did you get the idea for Personal Demons?
I was listening to Saving Abel (one of my favorite bands) and reading a bio where they said they got their name from a biblical quote: “there was no saving Abel.” That got me thinking about the story of Cain and Abel, and I was mulling over ideas for a book when a name popped into my head. I thought to myself, Lucifer Cain, what a fun name for a demon. That was the beginning of Luc and Personal Demons.

Criss asked: Add me to you blogroll? is that?
One of my "extras" for contest points is adding me to your blogroll. Many bloggers have sidebar blogrolls. It's a list of the blogs they follow that they think their readers might be interested in. (Mine is in my sidebar under "Blogs Way Better Than Mine")

Viki asked: Who wins, good or evil?
I'm assuming you mean in Personal Demons, and the answer would be a total spoiler, so you'll have to read and find out. =)

If you guys have more questions, ask them in comments. I'm HAPPY to answer (unless, of course, you ask who wins, good or evil). :p

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sneak Peek: Personal Demons Chapter 1 (part 2)

Thanks to all of you who stopped by to check out my sneak peek at Personal Demons last Tuesday! If you missed it or want to refresh your memory, you can read it here. I really appreciated your kind comments. And, because you asked for more, here it is. =)

If you'd like a chance to win your own signed ARC of Personal Demons, enter here!

So, as I mentioned last week, Personal Demons is told in alternating first person points of view. The story opens with Luc. I promised that today you'd meet Frannie. In these next five pages, we pick up where we left off in chapter one, when Luc and Frannie move beyond ogling each other into an actual conversation.


Okay, so I’m not generally the swooning type, but Holy Mother of God, I can’t believe what just walked into my English class. Tall, dark, and sorta dangerous. Mmm…nothing like a little eye candy in the morning to get the day off to a sweet start—and possibly rot my brain. And, bonus. Apparently we’re gonna be essay partners, ’cause obsessive-compulsive Mr. Snyder is having me move down a seat to make room for him. God forbid we should ever be out of alphabetical order.

My eyes work slowly over his black T-shirt and jeans, not to mention the body underneath—very nice—as he saunters over and sits to my left. He folds his tall frame into the attached desk and chair with the grace of a sly black cat, and I swear the temperature in here just shot up ten degrees. The dim classroom lights glint faintly off the three steel bars piercing the outside corner of his right eyebrow as he stares at me through silky black bangs with the blackest eyes I’ve ever seen.

Mr. Snyder paces the front of the room for a moment, taking silent roll, then says, “Pull out your composition books and The Grapes of Wrath. Since Mr. Steinbeck was unable to find a convenient place for a chapter break in the seventy-one pages of chapter twenty-six, you’ll recall we arbitrarily imposed one at the end of page 529. Today, we’ll be reading the rest of the chapter in class and outlining Steinbeck’s major points.”

Mystery Boy looks away, finally, and I feel like I’ve been ransacked—but not in a bad way, if that makes any sense. I feel like he just checked me out from the inside out and maybe kinda liked what he saw.

“Miss Cavanaugh, care to join us?”

Mr. Snyder’s voice is like a bucket of cold water to my face—which I probably needed, ’cause things were getting kinda steamy inside. “Um…what?”

“Nice write-up in the Boston Globe yesterday. I think they captured the essence of your program nicely. I especially liked the picture,” he says with a smile. “Will you start the reading off, please? Page 530.”

I look around and everyone has their books open, even Mystery Boy. Mine’s still in my book bag. So, I’m also not usually the blushing type, but I feel my cheeks burn as I pull it out, flip it open, and start reading. My mouth articulates Steinbeck’s description of the preacher Casy’s death at the hands of a pick-handle-wielding stranger as his friend, Tom, looks on. But my mind only vaguely registers any of it, ’cause I’m keenly aware of Mystery Boy, sitting only a foot away, staring at me. I stumble on the words when he leans closer and I catch a hint of cinnamon. Mmm…

Mr. Snyder comes to my rescue. “Thank you, Miss Cavanaugh.” His eyes scan the room.

Pick Mystery Boy.

He smiles at me, then his gaze shifts to Mystery Boy. “Mr. Cain, will you continue please.”

Mystery Boy’s still looking at me, a wry smile just turning up the corners of his lips. “Certainly,” he says, and his voice sounds like warm honey, smooth and sticky-sweet, as he starts reading. But his eyes don’t shift from mine to the book right away. “Tom looked down at the preacher. The light crossed the heavy man’s legs and the white new pick handle. Tom leaped silently. He wrenched the club free. The first time he knew he had missed and struck a shoulder, but the second time his crushing blow found the head, and as the heavy man sank down, three more blows found his head…”

He seems like he’s enjoying the gruesome passage. Savoring it, really. Mr. Snyder closes his eyes and looks as though he’s meditating. He lets Mystery Boy read through the end of the chapter, which is much longer than anyone else has read all year. I glance around the room and everyone—even tough guy, smart-ass Marshal Johnson—seems hypnotized.

“Would you like me to continue to chapter twenty-seven, Mr. Snyder?” Mystery Boy asks, and Mr. Snyder snaps abruptly out of his trance.

“Oh…no. Thank you, Mr. Cain. That will be sufficient. Beautifully done. All right, class, the chapter outline on Mr. Steinbeck’s major themes in the second half of chapter twenty-six is to be finished before class tomorrow morning. You have the rest of the period to work.”

Mystery Boy turns toward me, closing his book, and I get caught in his eyes for a second. “So, Miss Cavanaugh, do you have a first name?”

“Frannie. You?”


“It’s good to meet you. That was a nice little trick.”

“What?” His eyes flash as a beautifully wicked grin spreads across his face.

“Reading without looking at the book.”

He shifts back in his seat, and his grin falters slightly. “You’re mistaken.”

“No, actually, I’m not. You didn’t even glance at the book till you were on the second sentence, and you were behind turning the pages. Why would you memorize Steinbeck?”

“I haven’t.” He’s such a liar, but before I can call him on it, he changes the subject. “Why a Globe article?”

“It’s no big deal. Just a thing where we send letters to kids in Pakistan. Kind of like pen pals, I guess. Mostly, it’s a way of helping us understand each other…you know, our cultures and stuff.”

There’s a cynical edge to his expression. “Really.”

“You want a name?” I shuffle through my bag and come out with a folder. “I have a few more.”

“Let me think about it. I’m assuming we’re essay partners, whatever that means?”

“Guess so.” Despite the freaky reading-without-looking thing, I’m not about to complain. He’s definitely a step or twenty up from Aaron Daly, who has taken his bad sinuses across the aisle and is now sniffling all over Jenna Davis’s composition book instead of mine. “We’re supposed to discuss the reading and come up with a chapter outline with all the major points. Mr. Snyder’s big into discussing things,” I say, rolling my eyes. That’s all for show, though, ’cause I’m seriously into discussing things with Mystery Boy. “So…what do you think of Tom’s conundrum?”

I write “Frannie and Luke—Chapter 26-2 outline” on the top of an empty page in my composition book.

He raises an eyebrow, slides my pen out from between my fingers, crosses out “Luke,” and writes “Luc” above it.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Newsflash: Personal Demons ARCs!!!!

Before I go all squeeish on you, I want to remind you that the second sneak peek at Personal Demons posts tomorrow. We've already heard from my demon, Luc. Check back tomorrow if you want to hear what Frannie has to say! =)

So, YAY! Personal Demons ARCs are at my publisher! Here one is on my editor's desk. SQUEE!!! Cupcakes all around!!

That means all the lucky winners of my monthly contest who have been waiting so patiently will have a package in the mail soon. (If you haven't entered to win a signed ARC of Personal Demons, you can do that here.) It also means, if you're going to be at ALA this week, you should be able to pick one up.

This is very exciting and a little scary. I'm so happy that Frannie, Luc and Gabe will be out there in the world and you guys will have a chance to get to know them. I'll be hiding under a rock while you read. *shaking in my boots*

Friday, June 18, 2010

What was I thinking?

Today is an anniversary in my writing life. It was exactly two years ago today that I sat down at my laptop, having never had any desire to write anything before in my life, and started writing a novel for my daughter.

Then I wrote another one.

And then, I wrote Personal Demons.

Moral of the story: If you think you can’t, then you can’t. If you’re too stupid to know better (like me) then you never know what might happen. Okay, so forget the stupid part, but remember the part about believing in yourself.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Personal Demons Love

Thanks for all the Personal Demons love after my preview Tuesday. Part of being an author is putting your heart and soul on display for all the world to criticize I mean see (while you run and hide under a rock) (really), so I truly appreciate the kind comments. I have the most awesome followers anyone could ask for. You guys totally rock. And, because you asked for more, I have the second chunk of chapter one all queued up and ready to post next Tuesday morning, so don’t forget to check back.

I’m also thrilled that Personal Demons was Waiting on Wednesday picks of several book blogger’s posts yesterday, including Mundie Moms, Cry Havoc Reviews, Tales of a Teenage Book Lover, The Book ButterflyMusings of a Reader Happy, and Paranormal Romance Addicts. Thanks guys! Glad you’re wanting to read!!! That makes me :p!

Plus, here's a link to Waste Paper Prose's fun Author Insight interview series (which includes moi) from yesterday too.

And, in other fun news, I just spent last evening at Phoebe Katanidis' signing for her very cool debut, Whisper. You definitely want to check this one out! Also got to hang with the fabulous Heidi R. Kling, whose debut Sea just released last week!

And, lastly, if you haven't entered to win a signed ARC of Personal Demons, do it here. =)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sneak Peek: Personal Demons Chapter 1

As promised, and with the blessing of my seriously cool editor, here is the first peek at Personal Demons. If you guys tell me you want more, every Tuesday for the next eight weeks, I'll post a snippet from the book.

Below is the first five pages of Personal Demons. As I said yesterday, Personal Demons is told from dual first person points of view. It opens with Luc, my honest to goodness (or badness, I suppose, is more accurate) demon. I had a ton of fun writing from inside a bad boy's head. Hope you have fun reading him. :p

Next Tuesday, we hear from Frannie. =)


Chapter 1

Original Sin


If there’s a Hell on Earth, it’s high school. And if there’s anyone distinctly qualified to make that statement, it would be me. I draw a deep breath—mostly out of habit since demons don’t have to breathe—then look up at the threatening sky, hoping it’s a good omen, and pull open the heavy security door. The dingy halls are quiet since the first bell rang almost five minutes ago. It’s just me, the metal detector, and a hunched wisp of a security guard in a rumpled blue uniform. He hauls himself out of his cracked plastic chair, looks me over, and scowls.

“You’re late. ID,” he says in a three-pack-a-day rasp.

I stare him down for a few seconds, sure I could blow him over with a whisper, and I can’t suppress a smile when beads of sweat sprout on his pasty forehead. I’m glad to see I’ve still got the touch even though I’m getting really sick of this job. Five millennia in the same gig will do that to a demon. For this trip, though, the fact that failure will result in dismemberment and the Fiery Pit is all the motivation I need.

“New,” I say.

“Put your bag on the table.”

I shrug, showing him my hands. No bag.

“Give me your belt. Studs’ll set off the detector.”

I pull off my belt and toss it at the old man as I walk through the metal detector. He hands it back and hacks, “Go straight to the office.”

“No problem,” I say, already walking away.

I slide my belt back on and push through the office door. It bangs sharply off the cracked wall and the ancient receptionist looks up, startled. “Can I help you?”

The office is just as drab and poorly lit as the halls except for the brightly colored notices that cover every inch of plaster like psychedelic wallpaper. There’s a nameplate declaring the receptionist is Marian Seagrave, and I swear I can hear her joints creak as she pulls herself out of her chair. She’s got more wrinkles than a shar-pei and the requisite short, blue, curly hair of all hundred-year-old women. Her round body is clad in the uniform of the ancients: turquoise polyester slacks and a matching floral blouse neatly tucked in.

I meander up to the counter and lean toward her. “Luc Cain. First day,” I say, flashing my winning smile—the one that always keeps mortals just a little off balance.

She stares for just a second before finding her voice. “Oh…welcome to Haden High, Luc. Let me pull up your schedule.”

She bangs on her computer keyboard and the printer buzzes to life. It spits out my schedule—the same schedule I’ve had for the last hundred years, since the advent of the modern education system. I do my best to feign interest as she hands it to me and says, “Here it is, and your locker number and combination too. You’ll need to collect an admit slip from each of your teachers and bring it back here at the end of the day. You’ve already missed homeroom, so you should go right to your first class. Let’s see…yes, senior English with Mr. Snyder. Room 616. That’s in building six, just out the door to the right.”

“Will do,” I say, smiling. It won’t hurt to stay on administration’s good side. You never know when they might be useful.

The bell rings as I make my way out the door into the now bustling halls, and the scents of the sea of teenage humanity hit me in waves. There’s the tangy citrus of fear, the bitter garlic of hate, the anise of envy, and ginger—lust. Lots of potential.

I work in Acquisitions, but it isn’t usually my job to tag them, just to sow the seeds and start them down the fiery path. I get them going on the little ones. Starter sins, if you will. Not enough to tag their souls for Hell, but enough to send them in our direction eventually. I don’t even need to use my power…not that I’d feel guilty if I did. Guilt isn’t in the demonic repertoire of emotions. It just feels more honest when they come to sin of their own volition. Again, not that I care about being honest. It’s just too easy the other way.

In truth, the rules are clear. Unless their souls are tagged, we can’t force mortals to do anything out of character or manipulate their actions in any way. For the most part, all I can do with my power is cloud their thoughts, blur the line between right and wrong just a little. Anyone who says the devil made them do it is feeding you a line.

I stroll the hall, taking in the scents of teenage sin, so thick in the air I can taste them. All six of my senses buzz with anticipation. Because this trip is different. I’m here for one soul in particular and, as I make my way toward building 6, a crackle of red-hot energy courses through me—a good sign. I take my time, walking slowly through the throng and scoping out prospects, and am the last to arrive in class, just at the bell.

Room 616 is no brighter than the rest of the school, but at least an attempt has been made at decorating. Prints of Shakespeare’s plays—only the tragedies, I notice—grace the walls. The desks are grouped in twos and are nearly full. I walk up the center aisle to Mr. Snyder’s desk, holding out my schedule. He turns his slender face toward me, glasses perched just at the tip of his long, straight nose.

“Luc Cain. I need an admit slip…or something?” I say.

“Cain…Cain…” He rakes a hand through his thinning gray hair and scans down his class roster, finding my name. “Here you are.” He hands me a yellow admit slip, a composition book, and a copy of The Grapes of Wrath and looks at his roster again. “Okay, you’ll be seated between Mr. Butler and Miss Cavanaugh.” Then he stands, pushing up his glasses and smoothing the unsmoothable creases in his white button-down and khakis. “All right, class,” he announces. “We’re shifting seats. Everyone from Miss Cavanaugh up will shift one seat to your right. You’ll all have a new essay partner for the rest of the semester.”

Many of the good little lemmings grumble, but they all do as they’re told. I sit in the seat Mr. Snyder motions to, between Mr. Butler—a tall, skinny kid with glasses, bad skin, and obvious self-esteem issues—and Miss Cavanaugh, whose sapphire-blue eyes stare straight into mine. No self-esteem issues there. I feel the play of hot electricity under my skin as I stare back, sizing her up. And her size is definitely petite, with wavy, sandy-blond hair that she’s tied in a knot at the base of her neck, fair skin, and fire. A definite prospect. Our desks are grouped together, so it looks like I’ll have plenty of opportunity to feel her…out.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Personal Demons Teasers

Today officially marks three months to the release of Personal Demons. *throws virtual confetti*

The cupcakes are being passed =)

This is all very exciting and a little nerve-wracking. At this point there hasn’t been much buzz, because there are still no ARCs. I’m hoping that will change very soon.

But I am not a patient person—it’s a character flaw, I know—so…I’ve decided to post teasers starting tomorrow. Each week I’ll post a Tuesday Teaser from Personal Demons—just a page or two to give you a feel for the story and introduce you to the characters. (I probably should have asked my editor before I posted this. Hi, Melissa. *smiles innocently and waves*)


There are a ton of YA paranormals out there, and several of those paranormals have an appealing bad boy.

I have one of those. His name is Luc and he’s an honest to goodness (or badness :p) demon.

I like to think that Personal Demons is unique in a lot of ways, but one of the biggest is that I know of no other book where you get the story right out of the bad boy’s head. We get half of Personal Demons from Luc’s first person perspective.

You ever been in a demon’s head? It’s surprising the things you’ll find in there. =)

So, tomorrow, I’ll give you the first three pages of Personal Demons, and they’re from Luc’s perspective, so you’ll get to see just how “bad” he really is…

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Oooh! And a chance to win Sapphique!

I know I just posted a contest, but here's another one that my good pal Kody Keplinger (who I'm thinking of keeping for my very own) is running for Sapphique by Catherine Fisher.

And, if you've been living under a rock, and haven't heard about Kody's debut, The DUFF (Little Brown, Sept 7, 2010) you must go check it out!

Want Delirium? Yeah, me too!

My agentmate Rebecca Behrens is giving away an ARC of Delirium by Lauren Oliver. I have to admit to having Before I Fall in my TBR stack since its release a few months back, and I'm dying to read it, but I'm dying to read a lot of stuff, and I'm writing a lot of stuff, so...

Anyway, Delirium isn't out until February, and I definitely can't wait that long, so I will win this ARC, just thought you all should know. But if you do enter, tell her I referred you and I get extra points (so I can win faster!!)

Thursday, June 10, 2010


The Elevensies is a really cool group of debut YA and MG authors whose first books are going to be published in 2011. What does that have to do with me? Well, I’m one of them. Even though I’m technically a Tenner, my book deal happened after the Tenner’s arbitrary cut off for membership, so the Elevensies were kind enough to take me in, and I will be forever grateful. Being part of a supportive writer’s community has meant I need much less Prozac helped me feel much calmer going through the publication process.

If you don’t follow the Elevensies blog, you should. There are fun interviews and great information to be had. We are amping up some really great features for aspiring writers and published writers alike. We also do a weekly “A Day in the Writing Life” feature, where writers such as Victoria Schwab, Lisa and Laura Roecker, Dawn Metcalf, and a ton of other super talented Elevensies give you a glimpse into how the process works for us. Today was my day, so check it out.

Monday, June 7, 2010

I'm a fraud--maybe

Thanks for all your input on choosing a project. The throwing them into a window fan suggestion was entertaining. Thanks GhostFolk (aka: Randy ) ;p

In the end, I decided to seek professional advice from my truly fabulous agent, who I trust implicitly.

While I pondered my problem (and your creative solutions) over the weekend, it occurred to me what the real source of all my angst was. Most of you who write can probably relate to this.

I wrote a book. I sent it to agents. Some really amazing agents wanted to represent THAT book. And my truly fabulous agent sold THAT book to my seriously cool editor, who loved THAT book.

THAT book.-->

I kind of felt like the all the stars had aligned and lightning struck, and my PowerBall numbers hit, and pigs flew, all at the same time with THAT book. It was like winning the lottery times ten. Like I got soooo super lucky and wrote something decent that got in front of the right people at the right time.

THAT book.

But the problem was, THAT book sold in a three-book deal. So I was supposed to be able to do THAT again. But I really wasn’t sure how I did it the first time. What was I going to do when everyone figured out how lucky I got with THAT book and that I, in fact, had no writing talent?

When I handed Original Sin (Personal Demons, book 2) off to my truly fabulous agent earlier this year, I was totally stressing, because she was going to know that I was a total fraud. And I was sure she was going to ask me who really wrote Personal Demons. (She was nice enough not to ask, but I’m sure she’s still wondering.) She helped me clean up Original Sin before I sent it off to my seriously cool editor last week, who DIDN’T HATE IT! *throws virtual confetti* I know she’s going to have a lengthy editorial letter for me, and I welcome it. She’s amazing at helping me make my book into the one I thought I wrote.

And, I’m starting to think that maybe I’m not a total fraud. Maybe…

But choosing a new project is hard for all those same reasons. I have three really cool stories that are dying to be told. That’s, like, nine characters in my head all talking at the same time (and that doesn’t even count Frannie, Luc and Gabe who are all still in there too). But I’m a little worried that, no matter what I write, if I can’t figure out how to make lightning hit and pigs fly again, it won’t matter. It’s a little bit nerve wracking.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

How do you choose your next project?

This week marked a new chapter (both literally and figuratively) in my publishing life. I had a big red circle (because that’s what they tell us to do) around June 1. It was my first actual deadline. My manuscript for Original Sin (Personal Demons, book 2) was due to my editor. I’m happy to say, I made the deadline. Yay! *throws virtual confetti*

Truth is, I actually gave it to her a few weeks ago with the proviso that things might change and I’d have a final draft to her by June 1. Not much changed, just some clean-up, so she’s already read it and didn’t seem to hate it. Another yay!
So, now I’m working madly on Hellbent (Personal Demons, book 3), but I also have a few other projects bouncing around in my head. One of them is in a YA subgenre that’s trending right now, and I don’t really want to write to a trend, but I love the story. Another is a rewrite of an older manuscript. The writing is atrocious, but the plot, once it really gets going, is kickass. The third is a contemporary that popped into my head fully formed. I think it could be really good and it would be a pretty quick write, cuz it’s all right there, plot twists and all.

So, how do you choose what you’ll write when you have more than one idea?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June Debut Contest!!

OMG! It’s June 1st! Where is the year going???

Even though life seems to be slipping away at the speed of sound, there’s good news. It’s time for another Debut Give-away!! Yay!!

Okay, so the contest. I wanted to find a way to support my fellow 2010 debut authors and help them get the word out. So, each month you have a chance to win an awesome YA debut just by stopping in and commenting on my contest post. For those of you who might be interested, here's the list of 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.
May: Lena, who I'm thrilled to say, chose Personal Demons as well.

Thanks to all the winners for stopping by and entering! :D  If you haven't won yet, keep entering!

For our newbies (welcome newbies :p) this is how our contest works. Below I’ve listed my four YA debut picks for June. All you have to do to enter is comment on this post by noon (PST) on Friday June 25th. Nothing fancy, you can just say hi or ask a question. (I love to answer questions, especially about my books!) In addition to commenting (for which you get one point) you can accumulate extra points as follows:

Old follower: +3 points
New follower: +2 points
Follow me on twitter (@LisaDez) +2
Link to my contest post on your blog or twitter: +1 points
Dedicated post with link to my contest on your website/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.

The winner will be chosen by the randomizer and posted on the blog after noon on June 25th. They will then have their choice of one of the following:
A signed ARC of Personal Demons by moi (that’s me!)
Everlasting by Angie Frazier
A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend by Emily Horner
Sea by Heidi R. Kling
The Deathday Letter by Shaun Hutchinson

Good luck!