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Archive for October, 2012


Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Happy Halloween! All the candy has been given away, so now it’s time for me to announce the winners of the two giveaways.

First, for the Authors Against Bullying giveaway…since there were five entries and four books, I’ve decided to throw in an extra book so everyone wins! I’m giving away, signed from me, HUNGER and RAGE, and signed from A.S. King, PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ and EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS. The winners are:

Michelle M. Pillow


YA Book Queen

Sara M


Winners, please email me via my website contact form, and let me know which of the four books you want, in order of preference, as well as your mailing address. I’ll email you back to confirm your address and to let you know which book you’ll be getting. 🙂

And for the VELVETEEN contest, the winner is…

Naomi Clark

Congratulations!!! Naomi, please email me via my website contact form with your mailing address. 🙂

Thank you to everyone for participating! I promise there will be more giveaways in the near future. Stay tuned!

Day 3 of the Crossroads Blog Tour of 2012

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Today I visit Confessions of a Bookaholic for day 3 of the Crossroads Blog Tour of 2012! You can find out a little about BREATH, and learn five things about me that you may not have known. 🙂

Meanwhile, I’m still reading Daniel Marks’ Velveteen, and I’m enjoying it hugely. I’ve never seen the afterword like this!

I’m also working on converting one manuscript from third person to first person. It’s a labor of love.

Don’t forget that comments are still open on the Authors Against Bullying post, for a chance to win signed books from me and A.S. King, who’s one of my favorite authors, and on the Velveteen giveaway post. Even if you already commented, please make sure it’s there – I had massive spam issues, but thanks to my awesome web guru, I have a new spam-b-gone in place. (As much as I like playing whack-a-mole, it gets tiring when there are more than 41,000 moles.)

Day 2 of The Crossroads Blog Tour of 2012

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

It’s Day 2 of the Crossroads Blog Tour! Today, Judith Graves and I are at Late Bloomer Online! Come read our interviews, then follow the instructions for a chance to win a Kindle pre-loaded with 13 books!

Separately, I’ve been working on two things.

First, I’ve been cleaning up alllllllllllll the spam comments trapped in my PENDING section. (41,000+ spam comments! Yow!) Akismet has also been trapping my legit comments in the spam/pending filter too. UGH. I’ve been doing this manually, and I think I approved all of the legit stuff. BUT – if you’ve commented on the Authors Against Bullying giveaway post and/or the VELVETEEN giveaway post AND your comment hasn’t shown up, please repost! Both giveaways are open to comments until October 30.

Second, I’ve been working on a project for my Precious Little Tax Deductions. I originally wrote the piece in close third person…but now, for the revision, I’m switching it to first person POV. And guys…it’s working! I read the revised first chapter to my boys, and they loved it! Both boys said they preferred the story this way, in first person. My older son was riveted as I read to them, and my younger son (who’s a wee bit under the age range of the project at the moment) laughed at a good number of the funny lines. I’m thrilled! So I’m focusing on this project for them. Who knows? Maybe with no sleep over the next week, I’ll finish it before NANO. 🙂

Welcome to the Crossroads Blog Tour of 2012!

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

Hooray! Today kicks off the 2012 Crossroads Blog Tour! Starting today until October 28, 13 authors are touring eight blogs. Lots of interviews! Tons of books! And an AWESOME grand prize!!!

How awesome?

How about a Kindle? With 13 books pre-loaded onto it?

I know, right???

For more information on how the tour works, check out Judith Graves’ site here.

Here’s the list of authors participating (taken from Judith’s site – seriously, check it out for all the info!):


Judith Graves – Leap Books – Under My Skin, Second Skin, Skin of My Teeth, Killer’s Instinct

Joy Preble – Sourcebooks – Dreaming Anastasia, Haunted, Anastasia Forever. Soho Press (forthcoming May 2013) – The Sweet Dead Life

Stacey Kade – Hyperion – The Ghost and the Goth, Queen of the Dead, Body & Soul

Amanda Ashby – Speak – You Had Me at Halo, Zombie Queen of Newbury High, Fairy Bad Day, Demonosity

Lucienne Diver – Flux – Vamped, Revamped, Fangtasic, Fangtabulous

Kiki Hamilton – Teen / Macmillian – The Faerie Ring, The Torn Wing

Jackie Morse Kessler – Harcourt Graphia – Hunger, Rage, Loss

Christine Fonseca – Compass Press – Transcend, Libera Me

Carrie Harris – Delacorte Books for Young Readers –Taste In Boys, Bad Hair Day

Dawn Dalton – Leap Books – SPIRITED Anthology, Killer’s Instinct

Leanna Renee Hieber – Sourcebooks – Darker Still (Magic Most Foul, #1), The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart (Magic Most Foul, #2)

Ty Drago – Sourcebooks – The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses, The Undertakers: Queen of the Dead

Janet Fox – Speak – Faithful, Forgiven, Sirens


For Day 1, Judith Graves and I visit A Simple Love of Reading! This one’s all about Halloween. Check it out! And remember to visit the main Crossroads Blog Tour page for information on how to participate – who wouldn’t want a free Kindle with 13 e-books pre-loaded? 🙂

Giveaway: VELVETEEN by Daniel Marks

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

Velveteen by Daniel Marks

I’ve been reading a lot of books lately. I mean a lot. I’ve been reading about magicians and artists, about teens caught up in murder and revenge, about regular people struggling to live their lives and about extraordinary people fighting for what they want. Tons of books. I adore books.

Right now, I’m reading VELVETEEN by the talented Daniel Marks. It’s his debut YA novel — and if you like your paranormal YA dark and with attitude, this is absolutely the novel for you! Velvet is angry, with reason (she’s dead, and that’s no picnic — that’s also not a spoiler; the book opens with her already dead). But that anger may be the very thing that destroys everything around her. Really double-plus ungood, when you’re in Purgatory and everything is already half-crumbling. Will her hunger for revenge upon the serial killer who took her life bring about the annihilation of her afterlife?

I’m seriously enjoying this book. (And I want the dress the female cover model is wearing.)

I happen to have an extra copy of VELVETEEN right here. It’s a beautiful hardcover. And it could be yours! All you have to do is comment below and tell me what book you’ve been reading lately (or looking forward to). Comments are open until midnight, October 30, 2012. And the giveaway is open worldwide. (Yeah, I know, I rock. You can tell me so. My ego needs the boost.)

Also open: yesterday’s giveaway of my books, RAGE and LOSS, and two books by the amazing A.S. King: PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ and EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS. A.S. King, along with being a good friend, is also one of the few authors on my auto-buy list. I’ve been fascinated by her work ever since I read THE DUST OF 100 DOGS, and she gets more talented with every book. I have her latest, ASK THE PASSENGERS, which I’m going to dive into as soon as I’m done with VELVETEEN. Yesterday’s Authors Against Bullying giveaway is also open worldwide, until midnight, October 30, 2012.

Happy reading!

Authors Against Bullying

Friday, October 19th, 2012

The following is from my author’s note in LOSS. To help promote bullying awareness, I’m going to give away a copy of LOSS and RAGE, both of which have bullied protagonists. I’m also going to give away other books. But first, my note:


In eighth grade, I got mean.

I was lucky growing up. I wasn’t bullied, not more so than anyone else. Sure, there were lunchbox wars in second grade, and the girls tended to play mercy a lot, but I didn’t mind those things; I usually got my metal lunchbox up in time to block a swing, and I actually rocked at mercy. I was active in school: I was the fourth grade class president and the sixth grade co-president, and I participated in the annual storytelling contest. I had friends. I invited kids to my birthday parties, and they always came. It didn’t matter to me that I was always one of the last kids picked for any sport; I wasn’t good at sports. That was all right. Elementary school, overall, was all right.

But then came junior high.

I was an art geek. My school had talents, or majors, and mine was studio art. So I hung out with some of the art kids and some of the kids in my homeroom. Seventh grade was okay. Mostly, I watched things happen from a distance.

But by eighth grade, the insults started coming my way. One guy—Vinny? Victor? Something like that—started calling me “Jerky Horse.” Someone else called me “Thunder Thighs.” And from there came the rank outs, everything from “Your momma” to cursing. So I learned how to curse. I remember walking down the school hall with my friend Carol, and some guy named Dennis shouted something at me. I don’t remember the words, but I remember that it was an insult. I shouted back, “Shut up, Dennis, you prick!” I didn’t even know what a prick was—but he shut up. And Carol cracked up.

That’s when I learned how to be mean.

I wasn’t a total jerk; I didn’t walk around insulting people just because I could. But there were two distinct times when I did something horrible. The first was to this girl who was on my bus. I changed the lyrics to a commercial jingle and made it about the girl’s weight. I sang it to some of the other kids on the bus. It was funny, you see. Hee-lar-i-ous. Boy, was I a riot. I have no idea if she knew about it. Thinking back, I’m pretty sure she did.

That was shitty of me. I’m sorry, Kelly.

The other time was to a girl I’d known for years, because her grandparents and mine were friends. Eighth grade can be an awkward period; for me, my face had exploded with acne (a condition that wouldn’t get under control until I was in my twenties), and I was short and chubby with no fashion sense (conditions that have yet to get under control). For this girl, Lisa (no—not from Hunger; that’s just one of those strange coincidences), it was her teeth. She had buckteeth. And one day, this guy called her “Beaver” to her face. And I laughed. Because, you know, it was hee-ster-i-cal.

Sorry, Lisa. That was shitty of me too.

By the time I was in high school, a lot of that shitty attitude was gone. I wasn’t mean anymore. Maybe that’s because I was mostly invisible. I had my core group of friends—we were the rocker crowd—and I didn’t venture out of my social circle. I didn’t dare. Sharks swam in those waters. I didn’t have the right clothes, or the right accessories. I didn’t listen to the right music. I didn’t get the right grades. I didn’t get involved in high school politics or popularity contests. High school, for me, was a series of I Didn’ts. It was my version of Keeping My Head Down. I did do some things, like play varsity soccer (man, was I bad) and be art director for Sing (think High School Musical, but with a much smaller budget). But for the most part, people had no idea who I was in high school. I wasn’t bullied. And I didn’t bully. I was inconsequential.

Soon I had an eating disorder, but that’s another story.

#          #          #

Soapbox time. You’ve been warned.

Here’s the thing: bullies tell you all about themselves when they bully you.

That nasty song I wrote about poor Kelly? That was a weight issue. And God knows, I had—and have—major weight issues. Laughing at someone’s appearance? That’s a self-esteem issue. I’m still working on that one.

When Victor (or Vinny) called me “Jerky Horse,” well, I guess he was worried that he was a jerk. Either that, or he just had a penchant for rhyming. And I know for a certainty that the guy who called me “Thunder Thighs” was—and is—extremely image-focused. If you looked up the word “superficial,” you’d probably see his face there in the dictionary.

So if someone calls you a name, keep in mind that it’s less about you, and more about the person who’s calling you the name. That doesn’t make it right, but it might make it easier to get through.

And you will get through it. You will. You know why? Eighth grade isn’t forever. And while high school may feel like an eternity, it’s not.

You must have heard of the It Gets Better Project. It’s there for a reason. It does get better. It does. Here’s the main link.  And here’s a terrific video from a group of authors and illustrators.

If you’re getting bullied, talk to someone. A parent. A teacher. The school counselor. A friend. If the first person you talk to can’t help, try someone else. And someone else. Keep on talking. You’ll find someone who listens. I promise you, you’re not alone.

Maybe you’re not the one being bullied. Maybe you’re the one who laughs when someone says something mean. Maybe you even get inspired to say, or do, something mean yourself. If you are…just think about what you’re doing, okay? Think about how your words matter. Think about how they can hurt.

Think about how easy it would be instead to make your words help.

Be stronger than the bullies.

Speak out.


Giveaway time!

I am giving away four books:

RAGE (by me) – I’ll sign it and personalize it for the winner.

LOSS (by me) – Ditto the signing and personalizing.

PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ by A.S. King – A signed copy of a book by one of my favorite authors.


And hey, A.S. King has a new book hitting the shelves next week – ASK THE PASSENGERS. **throws confetti**

For a chance to win, all you have to do is comment below. Comments are open until midnight, October 30, 2012. In the comments, you can talk about bullying, or not. You don’t have to say anything at all, but it would be nice if you did. You have to include a valid email address, or the comment won’t count. (I promise not to spam you.) On Halloween, I’ll pick the four winners at random. I’ll announce the winners here on my blog, and I’ll email them for mailing info. (Thus the need for a valid email address.) Good luck!

Finally, please be sure to take part in the Authors Against Bullying Blog Hop! Here’s the full list of participants. Extra kudos to Yasmine and Mandy for everything they’ve done to make this blog hop a success!

Mandy M. Roth
Yasmine Galenorn
Lauren Dane
Michelle M. Pillow
Kate Douglas
Shawntelle Madison
Leah Braemel
Aaron Crocco
NJ Walters
Jax Garren
Shelli Stevens
Melissa Schroeder
Jaycee Clark
Shawna Thomas
Ella Drake
E.J. Stevens
Ashley Shaw
Jeaniene Frost
Rachel Caine
Kate Rothwell
Jackie Morse Kessler
Jaye Wells
Kate Angell
Melissa Cutler
PT Michelle
Patrice Michelle
Julie Leto
Kaz Mahoney
Cynthia D’Alba
Jesse L. Cairns
TJ Michaels
Jess Haines
Phoebe Conn
Jessa Slade
Kate Davies
Lynne Silver
Taryn Blackthorne
Margaret Daley
Alyssa Day
Aaron Dries
Lisa Whitefern
Rhyannon Byrd
Carly Phillips
Leslie Kelly
Janelle Denison
Graylin Fox
Lee McKenzie
Barbara Winkes
Harmony Evans
Mary Eason
Ann Aguirre
Lucy Monroe
Nikki Duncan
Kerry Schafer
Ruth Frances Long