Remember that time I had a complete stranger come sleep on my couch?
And I recommended a book and he stayed until he finished it?
Well I mean, first there was the agonizing decision–if I had to choose just one book to recommend, what book would it be??
And then we discussed how I arrived at my choice, The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy (I mean, I could make you go link to it, but I haven’t even gotten to the real reveal of this post and that wasn’t it, although I bet you might have an idea where this is going).
Anyway, remember?? Remember???
I’m dictating this to Siri on my phone and she’s telling me she doesn’t “do” links. So if there are links to the old posts, I am the master of phone blogging. And if not, well, just go search On the Read.
So it turns out, I am not the master of phone bogging. But also, it turned out it was the middle of the night on Saturday and not Sunday, so there was still time to fix this properly! How cool would it be if I’d been the master of phone blogging though?
Anyway, as you’ve probably guessed, we are SUPER excited to be welcoming back (to our dinner table only this time, hence the all caps super) Carlin Gettliffe.
I can’t wait to hear about all of the awesome things Carlin has been doing since we last saw each other. The little bit I know from the emails we’ve exchanged makes me very excited for tomorrow evening. I will share soon, since it’s sure to be interesting.
In the meantime, for old time’s sake, if you had to recommend just one book to someone, what book would you recommend? Tell me in the comments.
This weekend I was watching my son play Little League and in the middle of all those boys, was one little girl.
Well when I was 7, that girl was me! Bet you didn’t know that about me. But I’m actually kind of sporty.
Is it rude to say I think I was a little better than this girl? I think it is, but what can I say. I’m competitive too.
Which is why I’m glad my son wasn’t on the team where the kids were running straight from second base to home plate. Although it was pretty cute.
Anyway, given all of the above, it should now come as no surprise that I actually love books that are set in the world of sports.
So when I found GAME. SET. MATCH. by Jennifer Iacopelli (thank you, Georgia McBride and YALitchat!!), I was crazy excited.
Tennis, drama, love, all set at the awesome Outer Banks Tennis Academy (OBX)! Well, I was hooked.
Now I could write a whole thing here about which player is my favorite, and which couple I’m rooting for, but the truth is, Jen has devised this awesome contest for you. But you just have to read about it. Join the OBXers. There are points, there are prizes, there are free samples of the book! There’s GSM SWAG, people!!!!
Get to Jen’s blog IMMEDIATELY and sign up to be a Team OBXer.
And maybe, just maybe, when the book comes out, I’ll tell you if I’m Team Penny, Team Indy, or Team Jasmine.
Before you go, just admire this gorgeous cover. I can’t really take any credit for it, but I like to think that I helped when I looked at an earlier potential option and said something like, “they look like they hate each other!!!” Tell me, do these two look like they hate each other??? I think not!!!
Raise your hand if you love this cover as much as I do and can’t wait to read this!!
Wait, what are you still doing here? Go join the OBXers!!
Yeah yeah yeah, just in case you haven’t been following The Awesome Tale of Jessie, I’m going to start at the end and tell you that she just landed a TWO BOOK DEAL!!
That’s right. I mean Jessie Humphries!
You know, the one who pops up when you search The Awesome Tale of Jessie. (or maybe some other things)
Because Jessie was IN IT TO WIN IT.
She showed me.
But what are you doing over here??
Get over to Jessie’s blog and congratulate her!!!
Yes, folks. Love is in the air.
Or maybe romance is in the air.
Or maybe that’s just the pollen count going up.
You forgot to enter? Hey, you snooze, you lose.
Also, you didn’t entertain me enough? Well, you lose too.
But hey, you have your love. So you should be all good.
But for 2 lucky winners, there’s a copy of one of Lauren’s books coming your way.
The runner up, and winner of CAUGHT UP IN US is none other than Hannah.
I mean, you probably saw that coming. Did you read her story??? That’s how I want to meet my husband one day!! Oh wait, I’m already married. Maybe in my next life. Tres cute, Hannah’s parents. Bet you never thought you’d win your daughter a romance novel, did you?
And the first place winner, for having a first love that is so near and dear to my own heart, is SemiSaneBeth. SSB, I could fall in love with you for your name alone. But your deep and abiding passion for coffee, well, there was just no way it could have been anyone else. SemiSaneBeth, you won a copy of PRETENDING HE’S MINE.*
So, I am currently in talks with Lauren because I have no idea how to gift an eBook.
Wait! This just in!
Apparently, if you email me your email address (although if you email me, I’ll just have it), and tell me if you use a kindle or a nook (or is there another option??) I will get you your copy.
See, I was trying to make it sound like I knew what I was doing and I was going to be the one doing the sending, but really, it will be from Lauren directly. How extra cool is that???
So basically, email me whatever information you think Lauren would need to know in order to send you the book in a format you can read, and let’s go from there.
Congrats to all you lovers out there, and if you didn’t win…sucks for you.
But hey, just go BUY a copy because these books are so awesome.
*Even though you are the grand prize winner, SemiSaneBeth, you won the novella, but that’s because I liked it just a tiny bit better than Caught (which was still awesome, mind you). This is actually shocking, by the way, since I am generally not a fan of short stories or novellas, so for me to have fallen SO in love with Pretending He’s Mine, well, what can I say?? That’s how good this one is. Go read it now, people!!!
That’s right, my newest author Lauren Blakely writes AWESOME romance.
You’re going to be seeing a lot more from Lauren soon, and I’m really psyched to tell you about it, but that’s not what I’m doing today.
Oh wait, I’m not sorry.
Because you have a chance to WIN one of Lauren’s current books!!!
What? I don’t know why you haven’t bought one yet.
But no, that bit of ridiculousness doesn’t disqualify you from the contest. In fact, it kind of makes you perfect for it.
But don’t take this to mean that you shouldn’t buy my authors’ books the second they come out in the future because you totally should.
So Caught Up In Us is all about first love–but in Kat’s case, a second chance at a really hot first love, and Pretending He’s Mine is so freaking steamy it burned up the last bit of pages and ended up as a novella instead of a book, something I still haven’t forgiven Lauren for.
But back to Kat and her first love, in order to win this awesome set of books, tell me how long your first love lasted.
Feel free to use a little creativity as long as there’s a nugget of truth, like the guy on this blog who loved me when he thought that maybe I was is babysitter who had read The Hobbit to him when he was a boy, until something I said made him realize I was probably younger than him (I mean, holy hell how old did he think I was?? And do I really seem like I’d read The Hobbit?? Out loud??? Sorry again, man).
Or you could be more like my in-laws who met when they were 15 and are about to celebrate their 44th anniversary.
And while that of course inspires a big awww, you never know what kind of mood I’ll be in when I judge, and in case you’re new to my blog (where the hell have you been all this time??), I like to judge. So don’t just give me a bunch of sappy love stories. Especially if they’re not true. Make ‘em good. And you might win!!
Contest winner will be announced sometime next week. I know, that’s vague. But the point is, don’t wait to get your answer in.
As always, I’m the sole judge of this contest. I didn’t consult with anyone nor do I have to justify my pick for winner.
This just in: Winner will receive a copy of BOTH books in the format of your choice! Because that’s how awesome we are. By we, I mean Lauren, since this will really test the limits of my technological capabilities (and here I thought blogging was doing that). So wait, I guess in that case, I actually mean that’s how awesome I am.
Fine, fine, we’re both awesome. Oh crap, actually, the books are awesome. So enter the contest and maybe you can win!
And don’t forget, today (3/15) is the last day you can vote for the SCBWI Crystal Kite Awards. So go vote!
I always thought that’s what SCBWI meant, but I was checking out their website recently and apparently it’s the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Which probably makes more sense.
If you aren’t familiar with this organization, you really should get to know them. I mean, assuming you’re a children’s book writer or illustrator. Or really even if you’re not. Because they do some really cool things in the publishing industry. And you can go check out their website.
Like one thing they do, is give awards to authors who have written exceptional books.
I guess there are all different kinds of awards they give, and again, you can check out their site, but right now I’m talking about the Crystal Kite Awards, which are given each year to “recognize great books from the 15 regional SCBWI divisions around the world.” And, something else that’s super cool, is that these awards are “chosen by other children’s book writers and illustrators, making them the only peer-given awards in publishing for young readers.”
You see where I’m heading don’t you? YOU CAN VOTE!!!
Now, I may be biased, but because I’m from New York, and I think New York happens to be like the awesomest place ever, that’s where I am going to vote, but of course you should vote in the region where your heart lies.
As a quick aside, do you know that’s what they’re trying to change the tax laws to? Or maybe they did. Like not where you actually live but “where your heart lies.” Like you can live somewhere but if you grew up somewhere else or your kids or parents or whatever is somewhere else, that’s “where your heart lies.” I find that so bizarre. But that could be just me.
But here, I think you should totally vote where your heart lies, and again, for me, that’s NEW YORK.
But the important takeaway, really, is just to get out and vote.
Because, I’m just saying, maybe one day your book will be nominated for a Crystal Kite award, and even though you won’t be able to campaign for it because that would automatically disqualify you, you will be allowed to encourage people to get out and vote.
So you’d probably want people to vote. I mean, I’m just saying.
Like I’m going to do in New York. Just saying.
But you should vote wherever. Or in New York too. If you want.
So voting ends on March 15. Which is right around the corner.
Awesome. See you at the polls.
Although, not really since it’s virtual voting. But that sounded like a cool sign off. So just go with it.
See you at the polls!
So first, I want to say that MIND GAMES by the brilliant and talented Kiersten White is out today. Congratulations, Kiersten!!!
Some of you may be familiar with Kiersten’s Paranormalcy trilogy. If not, I don’t even know what to say to you (oh wait, I do: what the bleep are you waiting for?? go buy a copy asap). But I think it’s fair to say that Kiersten and Evie burst into the publishing world in a giant pink bubbly fashion, with just enough sass and action, delivered with the help of a sparkly taser and some hot guys.
So coming off of the Paranormalcy trilogy, I think it’s also pretty fair to say that MIND GAMES is going to Blow. Your. Mind.
In fact, MIND GAMES blew my mind when I first read it, and I believe I talked about my initial response a little bit when I first posted the cover last June. Ok, maybe only a very little, but suffice it to say, there was a lot of talk about it being “crazy!!” But awesome.
But the craziest part, that sometimes even I forget, is that I knew Kiersten had this in her! Because Paranormalcy was not the book that had me offering to represent Kiersten. That book was a much darker (um, darker than Paranormalcy, not darker than Mind Games, just to clarify) thriller called Flash, that didn’t sell.
Wait, why am I telling you I couldn’t sell that book? I mean, I totally could have. It’s just that I knew, I mean I really knew--like as if I had Fia’s prefect instincts, or Annie’s visions of the future–that pieces of Flash were destined for bigger things. And so I was like, “You know, Kiersten, let’s just put this on the back burner for that time in the summer of 2011 when you’re going to need it, and in the meantime, what else you got?” And that’s the story of how Paranormalcy sold.
Oh wait, this post is supposed to be about MIND GAMES, not Paranormalcy. How did that happen??
(Quick aside: this is why you should always start writing your next manuscript when you start querying your current one. Writer tip provided for free.)
Sooo, that may not be exaaaactly how our conversation went, but who really cares.
The point is, Flash didn’t sell. Paranormalcy did. And in a crazy awesome 9-day fit of productivity, Kiersten ripped apart two old manuscripts, drew on 10 years of thinking about ideas that had been floating in her head, and wrote the first draft of MIND GAMES. You can read her slightly manic post 9-day drafting post up there, linked (sorry, Kiersten but I couldn’t resist) to the word crazy, and her longer explanation of the other books that she drew upon (including Flash) and that whole process, even though it’s a little buried in the post about the book deal that involves MIND GAMES here.
That post is also a particularly interesting read, because Kiersten talks about how although MIND GAMES was drafted in 9 days (but don’t forget this larger point about the years of thinking and other manuscripts), the deal also included Isadora (working title), or Flood and Stone (deal title), also known as THE CHAOS OF STARS (actual title) which will be released in September 2013. And Kiersten talks about how Isadora was her most difficult book to write, to date. And took the longest. That post is way out of date, but I would say it probably holds true and maybe Kiersten will chime in in the comments on the final stats for how long it took to write/revise Isadora aka THE CHAOS OF STARS.
But back to MIND GAMES. I just thought it would be neat to get a little peek behind the scenes. A little reminder that 9 days is deceiving. Impressive, but deceiving. Deceptive? Whatever. But by working with a team of amazing people at HarperTeen ever since those 9 days, Kiersten has produced something awesome.
Wait, did I say awesome? I meant crazy awesome. And when I say it’s crazy awesome, I really mean it’s CRAZY AWESOME.
If you don’t believe me (and wtf?? why don’t you believe me???) then check out the Publishers Weekly starred review which says, “…White’s paranormal thriller is a tour de force of perspective and unreliability.”
So I don’t know what you’re waiting for, but go get your copy NOW!!
And if you live in California (yes, anywhere at all!), Kiersten is having a book launch party TONIGHT!! and Kasie West, author of PIVOT POINT (I’ve heard this is pretty awesome too) will be there and will be signing books too. 7pm at the Carlsbad City Library
And if you are in Utah, Washington, Oregon, California (more dates and locations!), or Texas, or close to those states and willing to travel (it’s Kiersten, guys. Travel for her!!), then you should check out the Appearances tab on her website.
And just so I don’t feel left out, tell me how excited you are to read MIND GAMES in the comments. Or if you’ve read it, tell me-wasn’t it crazy awesome???
So it’s finally here,the release day for PIVOT POINT by Kasie West.
If you haven’t heard about this book yet, you must be living under a rock. Or at least, you must not know me, because I pretty much can’t shut up about it.
Anyway, in case you didn’t click there (not because you didn’t want to read about it, but because you are hanging on my every word, obviously), I will tell you that the main character in PIVOT POINT, Addison, is a Searcher. Meaning that when faced with a choice, she can Search the two possibilities and then decide which path to take.
So picture me, sitting here at the computer, face scrunched up really tight while I concentrate on Searching really hard (incidentally, I feel I should mention that Addie doesn’t look like this when she Searches, but since she has this Ability and, to the best of my knowledge, I don’t, I thought I should concentrate harder).
Just like Addie, but written way less skillfully than Kasie, I saw the two futures blending together.
In one future, I saw you buying PIVOT POINT.
In the other future, I saw you…
buying PIVOT POINT!
Clearly I need to work on my Searching skills.
Or do I??
You seriously don’t want to miss this book people.
Tell me in the comments what choice you would Search (or would have Searched) if you could.
Happy Book Birthday Kasie West!!!
Check out Kasie’s blog for news about upcoming appearances and more. She’s signing in her hometown appearance of Fresno, CA tonight, she’s heading to Utah, and then next week she’ll be at a joint signing with Kiersten White in Carlsbad, CA next week when MIND GAMES comes out!!
SO MUCH EXCITEMENT!!!
So you want to hear something funny?
I know, probably not after that last post, but tough.
So the annoying (not funny annoying) part of a contest is having to pick the winners (actually, it will probably be mailing the prizes), but hey, this wasn’t a fake contest. Although it probably seemed like one.
Anyway, my husband basically told me, everyone deserved to win. I have to say, after rereading the contest, I kind of had to agree. But I’m not really an “everyone’s a winner” kind of gal.
Side note: I wouldn’t have called myself a “gal” kind of gal either, but here I go throwing the word gal around left and right in this post. I think I even deleted one in the editing (I know, I swear I actually edit these).
Anyway, the whole thing made me think about a recent conversation with 7yo as I picked him up from a flag football birthday party. We were chatting about the party and I asked if he’d had fun (yes) and if his team had won. And he said, “both teams won.”
So I looked at him and said, “You mean it was a tie?” And he said, “No, the score was 7-0.”
“Sooo, the team with 7 points won, right?”
7yo told me the coach said that “Everyone’s a winner!”
And then he blew my mind even more!! While I was still recuperating from this bit of news, 7yo looked at me strangely and said, “every coach I’ve ever had says that.”
Next post on winners and losers.
So, without further ado, I give you the winners, and what they have won. Please note that only comments as of when I started writing this post are eligible for the everyone’s a winner winnings.**
Kaniesha-Very nicely done!! You were a real contender. I always like someone who can see the crazy but jump in anyway. And someone who’s not afraid to admit they felt like a doofus. You win a book! Just not one of the two from the contest. Still with Linda Grimes, here–you win a copy of IN A FIX. I think you’re going to be a Ciel fan forever. I can tell.
Hannah-what can I tell you, I just feel a special bond with you. You win PIVOT POINT!!! Yay!!
Maureen-If I had to go out on a limb and say there was an actual winner here, I would have to give it to you, Maureen. For some reason, I started laughing right away with your #1 that I thought there were 3 funny things in the post (today, I’m taking that to mean that there were way more than 3, but yesterday or whatever day when I read it I took it to mean that there were no funny things and that totally cracked me up), but then you were the only person who was able to magic ring decode my subliminal message, so how could I not make you the big winner?? I looked at your profile and decided that you would most like MIND GAMES seeing how you’re into psychic phenomena so that’s what you win! Or maybe you totally knew that was going to happen.
Kasie-I lied. You don’t win anything here, but yes, your books are hanging out together in a chair. But you are a winner, you know, just in general.
Michelle- This was a little bullet-pointy for my taste, and not really in the spirit of the name Michelle, which I think suggests a more rambly type of person. However, very much in the spirit of the name, you made some excellent points, so you win a bookmark for TOUCHING THE SURFACE by Kimberly Sabatini.
Kayla-You did an excellent job wading through my mess with humor and style, which I think makes you another perfect match for Ciel, the star of IN A FIX. I can’t wait for you to meet her. A book is coming your way.
Desiree-Holy effin’ shit I love your enthusiasm!! Not to mention your outrage on my behalf at the thought of that damn jackhammer jackhammering away for TWO YEARS!!! Which, as you rightly pointed out, would have been so much better had they been cute and shirtless. Long-time readers no doubt see where this is going. You think you’re happy to meet me? You simply must meet the lovely Tawna Fenske. And I will send you a copy of BELIEVE IT OR NOT right away. Trust me, you need to be reading Tawna’s books. And her blog. PS-I forgive you for liking curry.
Jennifer-What can I tell you? I liked that you went a different route with funny #4, because really there was no right answer and I say dare to be different. It was a good effort. It was a bookmarkable effort. Let’s say it will be a surprise bookmark.
Laura-I think we both know where this is going. It’s a bookmark. But a real thank you for commenting when you clearly weren’t entering the contest, and I’m clearly so desperate for attention.
And with that, we’ve come to the end of all winner-eligible entries.
Next post, why there should usually be winners and losers.
*I’m sorry if I’m contributing to the downfall of society. I really only mean to spread the love for my authors’ books.
**Winners please email me with your mailing address so I can send you your winnings.