Monday, February 28, 2011

Writers for the Red Cross: Auction for AtU!

This week is going to be a little crazy for me, but I wanted to make sure you all knew about this charity organization: Writers for the Red Cross.

Throughout March, the WftRC will be holding daily auctions of prizes donated by writers. The first week (this week) includes signed books, consultations with publishing experts for aspiring authors, and more! It just keeps going every week after that--for a full schedule of the month's events, check here (and click through at the bottom of the page for pages of more auction items).

There are lots of ways to participate--not only can you bid on auctions for the items, but if you donate at least $25, you'll get a free book.

Now, there's a reason why I'm telling you all this, beyond just telling you about this great event in support of a great charity.

Check it out today--look through the great auctions going live tomorrow and later this week--and spread the word about this amazing charity event!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Breathless Tour: Raleigh Stop

My Favorite Things about the Raleigh City Stop:
  • Seeing so many friends--
    • I had a pile of former students there who I taught in high school and who are now going to my college, NCSU. I taught them well ;) It was just so so so so so wonderful to walk into the bookstore and see my old students there. I admit: I was a little teary-eyed. But I won't be telling them that!
    • And I loved seeing my former roommates (hi Lori! hi Melissa!) showed up, as well as some great friends from college who I'd not seen in forever (hi Amber! hi Melissa! hi Lisa!)
    • And meeting new friends--bloggers and readers and fellow writers!
  • And, since this stop was so close to home...I was able to bring my mom! Don't tell her, but I liked having her around ;)
My Favorite Things about Quail Ridge Bookstore:

  • Coming home! This was my home turf, y'all! I used to go to Quail Ridge when I had a little money saved in college, and wander around the store dreaming. And tonight I was there! It was AMAZING.
  • The crowd. Was. WOW. We got to the event late--there was a bit of mix-up with our driver, and then traffic was terrible due to the hockey game. (Which meant we missed out on our one-on-one interviews :[ ) But when we walked in the door, we were FLOORED by how many people had come! It was such an amazing crowd! There were TONS of chairs...and they ran out of them! People were standing, sitting on the floor, leaning on bookcases!!! It was insane! And WONDERFUL.
  • GREAT questions from both the moderators and the audience! I had to think on my feet a few times! I'm afraid, also, that I've lead them down the wrong path...I kept talking about exploding things, but that tends to happen more in Book 2. My mind is SO stuck in Book 2, though, that I'm starting to get everything muddled up!
Some WOW Moments:
  • There was a beautiful bouquet of roses on the table. They were GORGEOUS. They were all different sorts--crimson, pink, orange, and--my fave--blue moon. When I sat down, I couldn't help but smell their lovely fragrance. And then the bookstore people told me those flowers were FOR ME! That my wonderful critique partner and friend, Christy, had sent them to me!!!! *died* I was so shocked and touched!!!
  • Also, Extreme Reader brought us custom-made individual beaded bookmarks that matched our books. Stunning beautiful!
  • And have I mentioned seeing my students? And friends from college? Because I'm getting all sappy thinking about it again. I <3 you guys.
  • After the event, Kiersten, Ally, Andrea, Brenna, and I (and my mom) all went back to the hotel for a late supper. There are three things that were amazing about that. (1) the truffle-oil flavored french fries, (2) the Nutella mousse cake, and (3) having dinner with these awesome ladies. I can't believe it's over. But this was truly a time I will never forget!

...and that's it. The end of my first book tour. I can't imagine there being anything more wonderful: it was filled with laughter, hugs, friends, and books.

Friday, February 25, 2011

TEN Signed Copies of THE LIAR SOCIETY!

So, you know how I've been saying you need to get pink? That was no joke, my friends! Today it is my pleasure to announce that we (Shannon, Elana, and I) are launching a contest in celebration of THE LIAR SOCIETY---and YOU are the ones who'll win.

Win what, you ask?

Why, you can win one of TEN signed copies of THE LIAR SOCIETY!

To enter, all you have to do is one (or both!) of the following:

  1. Tweet! Use the hashtag #liarsociety (so we can find you). If you have pinkified your avatar in some way, you get an extra entry. We'll randomly be selecting one hashtag user Monday through Friday next week. (PS: @ reply @landlroecker and they'll pink your hair FOR you. So no excuses.)
  2. Blog! Just put our button for THE LIAR SOCIETY somewhere on your blog, preferably front and center where it's easy to spot. And we made that easy for you, too--just copy and paste the code under the button and it'll show up in your blog easy-peasy, all linked up and ready to go.

We Love the Liar Society!

Questions? Ask 'em in the comment section! I'll be on the road this weekend, but I'll answer as soon as I can! To head off a few:

  • America only (sorry!)
  • Contest runs Monday-Friday next week (but feel free to put the button up/tweet earlier!)
  • 2 winners per day--one from blogs, one from tweets

And speaking of being on the road...

TODAY, I am going to be a QUAIL RIDGE BOOKSTORE in Raleigh, NC, starting at 7pm, along with the other Breathless Reads girls! Hope you can come out and join me--and if not, don't worry...I've got another contest coming after this one to celebrate the Breathless Reads tour!

Resistance is Futile: Kim Can't Resist TLS

And that's it! The epic journey of TLS Fandom!

So who's the biggest The Liar Society fan? Could it be....YOU?!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Suzanne Becomes Obsessed: TLS Fandom, Part 4

At least Wednesday's over!!

As you can see, this is definitely a book worth obsessing over. And don't forget....get pink now in preparation for PRIZES next week!

Bookanista Feature: Lisa and Laura Roecker's THE LIAR SOCIETY

As if you couldn't guess already....this week, my Bookanista post is going to be all about Lisa and Laura Roecker's THE LIAR SOCIETY!

I was lucky enough to read an early draft of this novel and it is just as fun as the cover suggests. So, in case you've not heard of this novel (and how could you not have, given the pink flooding Twitter?) here's a quick summary: Kate is grieving the death of her bff when she suddenly gets an email...from said dead bff. That email launches her onto a search to find out what REALLY happened. Kate's not going to let anything stand in her way--bedecked in her inherited pearls from her bff, she is willing to tear apart the very foundation of her elite prep school to uncover the truth. Problem is, someone doesn't want that truth uncovered. Throw in a nerdy boy, a hot guy, and enough sass to merit the pink hair, and you've got a great story!

Things I loved about THE LIAR SOCIETY:
  • Kate's voice. You hear over and over and over how important voice is to a novel. Well, wanna know what good voice looks like? Check out Kate.
  • The little details. This is what makes a good novel great. It really is the small things, like Kate demanding a full-fat frap, her nickname for her frenemy, the smell of smoke...all those tiny little details make the story that much more vivid.
  • A good mystery. You KNOW I love twists and turns and who-did-it-zomg-who-did-it!?!?!?! This book has all of that. AND MORE.
I hope the vids this week have done a lot to convince you to go out and pick up a copy! Get pink, photoshop (or dye!) your hair, and see you next week for some AWESOME SIGNED prizes! (YES! I SAID PRIZES!!!!)

Want to find out what the other Bookanistas are raving about today?

    Wednesday, February 23, 2011

    Could *I* Be the Biggest Liar Society Fan?

    There are many things you could do OTHER than watch this video. Take a walk. Play with some puppies. Bake cookies. Bake cookies and then send them to me (I like snickerdoodles).

    Look, this isn't false modesty here. The other videos in the series are WAY awesomer than this one.



    Don't say I didn't warn you.

    Told you so.

    I'm gonna distract you from this video with the promise of PRIZES. Many, many, many prizes. Coming SOON. Get pink!

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    Biggest TLS Fan, Part Deux


    Also: have you been on Twitter lately? Noticed the preponderance of pink hair? I'm just might want to explore some pink-ifying option in the NEAR future. There are PRIZES and such coming SOON....

    Friday, February 18, 2011

    Ask Me Anything!


    Working on a deadline here.

    BUT! I actually have ALL my posts for next week planned! HaHA! It involves pink (see picture below) but...they're planned!

    But after that, I can foresee myself juggling actual need-to-do work (read: finishing edits on Book 2) and not-actually-necessary-to-do work (read: blogging). Which makes it the perfect time for me to do an "Ask Me Anything!" call out!

    So, go ahead! Ask me anything! Leave questions in the comments, and I'll tackle them the week after next! If I'm still alive after edits.

    PRIZE WINNERS & A Taste of What's Coming Next Week...

    I'm dreading Wednesday. And that's all I'm saying. Oh, well, that and:
    • Next week will be quite pink
    • The week after will be quite prize-ful
    • And if you have no idea why, click here.

    Meanwhile, I do have prizes to give out! Last week, I posted about a contest for signed posters (TEN of them!) from the Breathless Reads tour! Well, I selected the TEN! winners, and they are:
    1. Becky from Nebraska!
    2. Katie from Texas!
    3. Patty from Pennsylvania!
    4. Anita from Alabama!
    5. Andrea from Maryland!
    6. Nicole from Florida!
    7. Kay from Indiana!
    8. Krystal from California!
    9. Ashley from Ohio!
    10. Lorena from Pennsylvania!

    Thursday, February 17, 2011

    Bookanista Feature: Jackie Dolamore's MAGIC UNDER GLASS

    I am, perhaps the last person on Earth to read MAGIC UNDER GLASS by Jackie Dolamore. But for today's Bookanista post, I wanted to feature this title, even if I am the last person on Earth to read it.

    First: good news! The sequel to MAGIC UNDER GLASS will be out next year, titled MAGIC UNDER STONE. So, if you, like me, are late in reading this book, you also have a shorter time to wait for the sequel. And you're gonna want the sequel. 

    A little about the plot of this book: Nimira is a music-hall girl from a foreign country, hoping to make a living as a dancer and singer. When a local sorcerer picks her out of the dance hall to work as a singer with his piano-playing automaton, Nim jumps at the chance to raise her status (and income). But the automaton isn't what he seems to be, and soon Nim finds herself trying to discover just what--or who--he is.

    Thoughts on MAGIC UNDER GLASS:
    • Lyrical writing: Nim's voice is careful and evenly paced in a style that reminds me of Laini Taylor's writing.
    • Hard choices: Nim is in a truly hard position in society and in choosing which path she'll take, with more than one perfectly reasonable and viable option for her. 
    • Detailed consequences: I don't want to give anything away, but that THING that happens to the automaton that involves SKIN was...ew. EW. And also: sad. So sad. 
    • Hopeful end: This book doesn't end with a bow on top--but it does end with hope. I'm satisfied as a reader, but still very eager for the sequel.
    • Strong protagonist: I liked Nim. I mean, I really liked her. I wanted to sit her down and talk to her. I wanted to help her decide what to do. I cheered and cried for her. She's definitely the kind of character I could get behind.

    Want to find out what the other Bookanistas are raving about today?

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    In Charlotte Tonight: Trends in YA Literature

    If you're in the area, you're invited to an evening panel with authors, bloggers, and a literary agent!

    What: WNBA Panel on YA Literature

    When: Tuesday, February 15, from 6:30-8:00pm

    Where: Quail Hollow Estates Clubhouse, off Park/Johnston Road, 7301 Quail Meadow Lane, Charlotte, NC


    • Snow Wildsmith, moderator: A writer, book reviewer (mostly graphic novels), and former teen librarian. Snow has served on several YALSA committees: Great Graphic Novels for Teens, Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, and the 2010 Printz Committee.
    • Tracey Adams: Tracey is a Children's and YA Literary Agent with Adams Literary.
    • Beth Revis: Beth's book Across the Universe (her first published work) was just released this month. She is a former high school teacher.
    • Carrie Ryan: Carrie is the author of the YA trilogy The Forest of Hands and Teeth (a NYT Bestseller), The Dead Tossed Waves, and The Dark and Hollow Places (coming in March 2011).
    • Lois Moss: Lois is a book blogger and photographer whose reviews and pictures can be found at Lotus Rising:

    Hope to see you there! There will be books available for purchase by both Carrie and myself, and it should be a pretty interesting discussion!

    Sunday, February 13, 2011

    Breathless Tour: Salt Lake City Stop!

    My Favorite Things about the Salt Lake City Stop:
    • o.O <--My face when I saw how big the auditorium was, and then:
    • O.o <--My face when I saw how many people filled up the auditorium.
    • This one was mean, but I didn't intend it to be. One of the audience questions was, "Is it hard to get published?" and I burst out laughing like a hyena. I'm sorry, questioner! I wasn't laughing at you, I was laughing at me!!
    My Favorite Things about Salt Lake City Library & The King's English Bookstore:

    • What. A. Beautiful. Library. 
      • It was kind of cool how I saw it--I missed it while driving in, and then the driver took us to the parking deck. When we exited the elevator, we were right in front of the library, and it was all shiny and pretty from the sun.
        • Also: At the parking deck, as we were getting on the elevator, this girl walked out, tapping on her phone. It was totally Elana Johnson. So I said her name, she looked up, and we both started screaming and jumping up and down like crazy people.
    • Tickets! The King's English gave out tickets (that looked like bookmarks) for people to organize the signing--I thought it was cool that they were so unique in this, and several people had their tickets signed. Very neat.

    Some WOW Moments:

    Meanwhile...if you were at the event and took pics, I'd love copies! Please email me--I'll post them here with a link to you, if you'd like. I have a feeling my mother won't believe any of this has actually happened unless I show her pictures :D

    And don't forget: if you're tweeting, use #breathlesstour 

    Next event: Raleigh, NC! Come to Quail Ridge Bookstore on February 25th from 7:00-10:00pm. Details here.

    Saturday, February 12, 2011

    Breathless Tour: Denver Stop!

    My Favorite Things about the Denver Stop:
    • Danika, the teen interviewer. She was PRECIOUS. She had a cute little reporters notebook, had prepped questions for each of us, took brilliant notes, and she even had business cards. Business cards!!!! It was too cute for words.
    • Audience questions--once again, I was just blown away by how thoughtful the questions from the audience were. It was wonderful to really think of new answers and share with everyone.
    My Favorite Things about Tattered Cover:

    • The enticing displays. We all got a little lost just walking through the door because there were so many neat and beautiful display tables of books.
    • The tile in the bathroom--the tiles were different book covers! I think I scared a lady because I spent so much time just staring at the tiles in the bathroom.
    • Friendly friendly friendly people. One of the people who worked there CLAPPED when we came in! Judy moderated the whole event wonderfully, and I really just felt surrounded by love. These were some great, down-home friendly people, and I totally appreciated that.
    • Tattered Cover also gave all of us gifts: bookmarks engraved with our names and the date. I cried when I got mine. No lie. 

    Some WOW Moments:
      • Brenna was to my left and saw Becca first and did a little yelp of joy, and then when I saw who it was I nearly fell out of my seat!!! 
    • One of the people in attendance (LemonLight) had drawn out bookplates for each of our covers. They. Were. AMAZING. Such detail--she had really read through the books and picked out things in them that would emphasize the story. In mine, Amy was holding herself as if she were cold, and Elder stood over a canopy of stars. Really: amazing. Just truly beautiful. 

    Meanwhile...if you were at the event and took pics, I'd love copies! Please email me--I'll post them here with a link to you, if you'd like. I have a feeling my mother won't believe any of this has actually happened unless I show her pictures :D

    And don't forget: if you're tweeting, use #breathlesstour 

    Next event: Salt Lake City! Come to the SLC Library from 2:00-4:00pm. Details here.

    Friday, February 11, 2011

    Breathless Tour: Minneapolis Stop!

    My Favorite Things about the Minneapolis Tour Stop:
    • Picture time! Everyone was so friendly and wonderful, and I particularly enjoyed the girls who kept taking pictures with us--it was so much fun to take "just one more" :)
    • Being totally stumped. One of the questions from the audience was "What's one question you're never asked, but you wish you were." All five of us just sort of looked at each other, stumped, and it took us quite a bit of time to come up with an answer!
      • (For the record: my answer was, "I wish people would ask if there are any Easter eggs hidden in the book." There are! Also, if you need the password, look here...)
    My Favorite Things about the Hennepin Library & Red Balloon Bookstore:
    • The GORGEOUS glass front building--so very pretty, especially as the sun set and the glass sparkled.
    • Mochas! I am easily bought: provide me with caffeine, and I'm yours.
    • Naomi, our teenage moderater, was so sweet (and had the cutest glasses.)
    • I adored how the library made sure to get some swag for their book clubs and made such an effort to get the teens in the area involved. Much appreciated!
    • The audience questions were fantastic! I loved how everyone took time to come up with such thoughtful questions and were so patient with us as we tried to answer them well. 

    Some WOW Moments:
    • One audience member was from China! He was visiting America for only ten days, and he chose to spend one evening with us--that was so amazing to me. 
    • TWO different readers (one of them was one of our hosts) were named Amy! That always makes me smile.

    Meanwhile...if you were at the event and took pics, I'd love copies! Please email me--I'll post them here with a link to you, if you'd like. I have a feeling my mother won't believe any of this has actually happened unless I show her pictures :D

    And don't forget: if you're tweeting, use #breathlesstour 

    Next event: Denver! Come to the Highlands Ranch branch of the Tattered Cover from 7:00-10:00pm. Details here.

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    Breathless Tour: NYC Stop!

    My Favorite Things about the NYC Tour Stop:
    • COOKIES!!!!!
    • Agent and editor and Penguin peeps time
      • By far, the biggest thing I love about NYC is the ability to see the people who made my dreams come true. It was especially awesome because:
        • I got to celebrate with margaritas AND wine
        • I got to put a name to a face (hi Casey! hi Erin!)
        • I got to talk about edits with my editors in person
        • Basically I spent the whole time with them grinning like an idiot
    My Favorite Things about Books of Wonder:

    • The super-super-super cute cafe in the front. Did I mention cute?
    • The perfect cup of coffee: I needed it, and the wonderful Jennifer provided the BEST coffee.
    • Art: beautiful bookish art surrounded us the entire time. So cool. I sat near a whole Shaun Tan corner and it was amazing.
    • Such friendly people! It was so wonderful how nice everyone was.
    • A magical setting--this is SUCH the kind of whimsical bookstore I'd have loved to have gotten lost in as a kid. Wish I could have wandered the aisles more!

    Some WOW Moments:

      • It was such a fangirl moment. SUCH A FANGIRL MOMENT. She came through the whole line, and I just stared, possibly slack-jawed and drooling, to be in her presence. Holy freak, that was Gayle Foreman!!!!
    • So many bloggy friends! I can't even name you all, but it was just stunning to see you and put a name with the faces and blogs I've been reading forever. I <3 you guys. I want to name you all individually, but I'm terrified of leaving someone out and inadvertently offending you. 

    Buy Signed Books of All Members of the Tour from Books of Wonder Here!

    Don't Forget to Enter for a Signed Poster Here!

    Meanwhile...if you were at the event and took pics, I'd love copies! Please email me--I'll post them here with a link to you, if you'd like. I have a feeling my mother won't believe any of this has actually happened unless I show her pictures :D

    And don't forget: if you're tweeting, use #breathlesstour 

    Next event: Minneapolis! Come to the Hennepin County Library from 7:00-10:00pm. Details here.

    Bookanista Feature: Angie Smibert's MEMENTO NORA

    I'm gonna switch it up now for the Bookanista post today: today, I'm not only featuring a fantabulous book (MEMENTO NORA), but this post is also a part of a book tour! With prizes involved! :D

    First, lemme tell you a little bit about the book and why you should rush out and buy it as soon as it hits shelves (April 1st). MEMENTO NORA is the debut by Angie Smibert, a fellow Leaguer. Check out the official book webpage here.

    First, there's the cover. Lookit. It's pretty darn stunning--and, I think, fits the tone of the book very well. There are subtle details in it that I loved even more while reading the book (such as the font for Angie's name--very fitting for what Nora becomes a part of).

    But of course, the inside is the important thing. I thought a LOT about what I could say about MEMENTO NORA that would explain why I read it obsessively in two nights, and this is the best I could do:

    Of all the dystopian worlds in print, 
    this is the one that I think is most likely
     to happen in our society.  

    Which should both intrigue you and terrify you. Look, I adore HUNGER GAMES, but I'm not sure if we ever would really get to that point in our world. Things would have to change drastically before America becomes Panem. A lot of apocalyptical dystopians require...the apocalypse--some huge event that will happen in the future to make everything different.

    But MEMENTO NORA is the kind of book that I think could happen, in our world...very, very soon. We don't need President Snow, we don't need the moon to get knocked closer to Earth, we don't need A-bombs to wipe out the population. We just need our world to get just a little more of everything it already is, and MEMENTO NORA could actually happen.

    Memento Nora Blog Tour

    In Nora's world, one pill will erase negative memories, and Nora must decide whether she wants to keep all her memories, including the bad ones, and what price she's willing to pay for it.

    Angie's gathered together a group of writers to share their memories--and if you comment on each stop of the blog tour, you'll get points for a drawing of the awesome prize on the right. Details for the contest are here.

    Which means...I have to tell you about my most spit-your-Coke-out-through-your-nose-laughing-at-me memory.

    Be warned: it involves underwear.

    In college, I was working as a RA, and one of the events that I coordinated in the dorm was a trip to the local ice skating rink. First, let me tell all you Yankees out there with your hockey and your frozen ponds and your ability to drive in the snow: people in the South do NOT tend to know how to ice skate. We don't have naturally frozen ponds, we don't have our own skates, and we are terrified of ice.

    So perhaps an ice-skating event was not the best choice for me.

    But I did it--and I got fifteen or twenty people to follow me to rink. We're all just slip-sliding on the ice, holding onto the side like six year olds at the roller rink for the first time. Anyone who picked up any speed would crash into the wall or purposefully fall in order to stop. We were...bad. Bad. But for the most part, we were having fun.

    Except this one girl.

    She was a sweetheart, and very shy, and the only reason she was even AT the event was because I'd talked her into it. And she. Was. Terrified. I had skated around the rink maybe five times before she'd worked up the courage to stand in skates. Five more times before she'd actually taken the three steps to the ice from the bench.

    I skate up to her.

    "What's wrong?" I ask.

    "I'm scared of falling," she says in a very tiny voice.

    "Don't be scared!" I say cheerfully. "None of us are good; we're all going to fall! Just get out here and have fun!"

    She shook her head; she was sure that if she fell, she would become the laughingstock of the whole rink. Nothing I said could convince her otherwise. She grabbed the side of the rink and teetered onto the ice, but she look petrified and miserable the whole time.

    So I decided to take action. I purposefully staged myself to skate in front of her--and fell. On purpose. I'm talking flailing limbs, crashing into the ice, just a full-out, total wipe out. A huge, everyone-look-at-me, crash.

    Which actually kinda hurt.

    But everyone saw me fall--including the scared girl--and she saw that nothing bad really happened. I smiled and made a joke of it and got up and kept skating, and everything was fine. She ventured away from the wall, and soon she was having a good time and laughing along with everyone else.

    There was a lot of laughter, actually.

    And soon I noticed that the laughter followed me all around the rink.

    Surely my fall wasn't that funny? I kept skating, wondering at what people were laughing at. And pointing at. And then I realized.

    They were laughing at my butt.

    Because when I had wiped out so totally on the pants had ripped. My butt--covered in embarrassingly bright blue underpants--was hanging out of my pants for everyone on the rink to see. This was not a minor tear in the fabric. The entire seam was open and everything was showing.

    No good deed goes unpunished (or unclothed) indeed....

    Hope you all enjoyed laughing at my expense! Be sure to comment to this blog post for a chance to win a MEMENTO NORA prize pack, and go to Angie's site and comment for a second entry! Each week, a new blogger will have a new memory to share, and you will have another chance to comment and rack up more entries! Next week, Bettina Restrepo, author of ILLEGAL will share her memory on Angie's blog.

    For more Bookanista Posts, go here:

    Tuesday, February 8, 2011

    What is Success?

    So one of the cool things happening here in moose land is every night, we ask one question and everyone answers it. Things like, "What things do you love to see in a book?" or "What are you strengths and weaknesses as a writer?" It has been edge-of-your seat interesting (no sarcasm here; I truly find it fascinating to see what people are saying.)

    Last night, the question was: "How do you define success?" As in: at what level do you need to be at to feel that you're successful?

    Everyone here at the retreat are at different stages. Some of the answers were ones I could see in myself, past, present, and/or future: to make a living from writing, to be published, to see a book on the shelf, to get a meaningful piece of fan mail, to be able to make a lifelong career as a writer. Some were amazingly touching and beautiful and revealing. We laughed, we cried, and I made inappropriate jokes (as usual).

    I was one of the last to go. Originally, my answer was to "write words that make me happy." There are a few projects--Across the Universe being one (and AtU Book 2 not being one)--that have been, literally, joy to write. Working on a book that is more torture than joy makes me miss that.

    But there is also joy in completing the terror, and there's happiness in hard work, so that's not entirely my full answer.

    I almost said I wanted to have more of the same: this has been an amazing year, one I wouldn't mind repeating a la Groundhog Day, but that seems...limiting to want to have the same thing, even if it's wonderful.

    In the end, I said this: I spent ten years writing, but not feeling proud of being a writer. I hate now that I let lack of publication negatively define me, but there you have it. So, this is how I will define my success: that I spend at least ten more years in which I can proudly call myself a writer.

    What about you? How do you define success for yourself?

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    Contest! Signed Breathless Reads Poster

    You know what? A thank you video isn't enough. It's just not. I should totally give you guys some prizes!

    So, as many of you know, I'm heading out for tour on February 9th (meanwhile, I'm currently in Branson with moose other writers on a retreat: I expect hilariously embarrassing pictures to follow). And Penguin's sending me with four other TOTALLY AMAZING authors! There's Kirsten Miller (THE ETERNAL ONES), Brenna Yovanoff (THE REPLACEMENT), Andrea Cremer (NIGHTSHADE), Ally Condie (MATCHED). And me.

    It's called the Breathless Reads Tour (find out more about the title here) and I'm still looking over my shoulder saying, "Who, me?" I cannot believe how lucky I am to keep company with these ladies.

     I've read all their books, WOW. (If you want to get a signed copy of one, Ally's holding a contest for it here.) And if you need some convincing of how amazing these books are:

    And because Penguin knows how to properly throw a party, they have made some super-awesome posters to go along with the tour, and the first 100 or so people who show up at the tour stops are going to be able to get a poster--and get each of us to sign it (if they want). So, if you are going to be in the area, you should TOTALLY come out to our stops to (a) I can meet you and (b) you can get a poster. For more information on the tour stops, you can check it out here or here.

    Wanna see the poster? Of course you do. It's...breathtaking (swidt?).

    But that's only five cities. And I know that's a long (crazy-long) drive for many of you. So....I asked Penguin if I could give away a signed poster on here. And Penguin said, how about ten?

    That's right.


    And all you have to do is sign up below before Valentine's Day, and we'll randomly draw ten names and send them a poster--signed by ALL the authors!

    Since Penguin's doing this for everyone, I thought it would be nice to thank them by getting some more followers on the Breathless Reads Facebook Page. So, if you have a Facebook and don't mind liking awesome books, give them a like here, and I'll give you one extra entry into the drawing. 

    Sunday, February 6, 2011

    This is What You Missed Last Night

    Last night, Jackson Pearce (who is amazing with all things tech) coerced, forced, held at gunpoint kindly asked some of us on the retreat to do a live chat.

    It. Was. Awesome.

    If you've never used Livestream (I hadn't), don't be afraid of it--it's just like IM or Twitter--you type in questions, and then the author (who is on a video screen) answers them. On screen. Which is really cool.

    Anyway, you want to see this. If you missed it, we're doing one a night through the 8th. 8pm, EST. Different authors every night, 3-4 authors every night. You don't want to miss it!

    Related side note: Would y'all like me to do that on my own sometime?

    Friday, February 4, 2011


    It took me the better part of the day, but I finished packing.

    And boy, am I proud.

    In the backpack: laptop, iPod, notebooks, pens, sweater and stuff I couldn't fit in suitcase.


    In a related noted: if you are looking for a backpack that can carry a laptop, I recommend the Everki brand. This one is the one I got--it (a) fits a 17" MacBook Pro (which is a feat in and of itself), (b) is flight-friendly because the laptop part unzips for the TSA scanners, (c) has the best warranty I've ever seen, and (d) is like the TARDIS: bigger on the inside.

    < / commercial>

    So anyway, I'm packing up. Tomorrow: RETREAT OF DOOM AWESOME! And then: TOUR!

    (Both of which I'm secretly terrified to be a part of. What if they don't like me? What if they point and laugh at me? Eep!)

    I *hope* to be blogging throughout the tour, and I *will* be Tweeting. But there WILL be a fairly awesome blogpost coming...say, Monday....that involves TEN prizes....which are AWESOME....

    *whistles innocently*

    I shouldn't SAY anything. But they didn't tell me I couldn't SHOW you a hint....

    TWO contests coming this month. One involves the poster picture above. One involves the things IN the picture. First contest starts on Monday!

    *dances off to try to stuff one more thing into luggage...*

    Thursday, February 3, 2011

    A Very Bookanista Thank You

    So, last week, the Bookanistas did this: a dance video celebrating how I made the NY Times list.

    Well, I can't very well let something that awesome happen without doing a little thank you in return. Especially since I also need to thank YOU, the people who helped me get to the list in the first place.

    So I went to the zoo. And this is what happened.

    Please ignore the fact that I had the signs reversed in the elephant scene. Please also ignore the fact that I forgot to add my husband's name as cameraman. He's already mad at me that I make him watch iCarly :D

    The Bookanistas are a group of writers - in various stages of the publishing process – who have decided to band together and review the special books of our peers.  No negative reviews here! We post every Thursday and cover various topics– upcoming ARCs, books we love, special diamonds in the rough, classics, and even cover reviews.

    For more Bookanista posts, check it out here:

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011

    On a more serious note...

    So this happened: A magazine puts together a list of feminist YA books, then backtracks and deletes some books (TENDER MORSELS, SISTERS RED, and LIVING DEAD GIRL) in order to appease some objectors, which causes a bit of an uproar.

    I think Bookshelves of Doom has a pretty easy to follow set-up of the links. You should definitely read that first. Chasing Ray also has a great summary if you'd rather read that than the original.

    I have found this whole debacle--and yes, by this point it has moved from a debate to a debacle--to be fascinating. I must admit that I've read all the posts and comments on this--and often, the comments seemed more thought out than the posts.

    Here's the thing--it's not censorship. To be fair, Maureen Johnson didn't say it was censorship, just that it MIRRORED the same process, though I think some people have misinterpreted her statement:
    It mirrors EXACTLY the process by which book banners remove books from schools and libraries--namely, one person makes a comment, no one actually checks, book gets yanked.
    And I think she hit the nail on the head about what makes debate a debacle--this is the same sort of rash decision making that is often applied to censorship cases.

    From one perspective, the comments and changes pretty much invalidates the entire list. It implies that the makers of the list didn't actually read the books, and instead based their choices on others' opinions. Furthermore, the reasons the magazine gives for this is because the books they removed may trigger negative emotions from rape victims. Which, essentially, means they want to protect readers.

    Books are dangerous things. They should be dangerous things. I, personally, can think of no greater compliment for TENDER MORSELS, SISTERS RED, and LIVING DEAD GIRL than the label "Dangerous Book." It's what I aspire to for my own work.

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    Creative Picture Runners-Up!

    So, as I mentioned yesterday, there were a few stand-outs in the Creative Picture Contest that I just couldn't help but pester them ask them if I could feature their pictures, too. And good news! All but one of these were emailed entries, so they're probably new to you, too :D

    This one by Jasmine was featured on the Facebook page, too, and was a serious contender for winner (as well as this one with her friend Jacinda). This one wins for me, though, based solely on the fact that my husband totally loves these old arcade style games, and I just think it's hilarious to make the book play the old Asteroids. It totally had me cracking up.

    This one by Ashley totally blew my mind. I have to be honest...I've not see Tron yet. But I love the allusion to it here, and the fact that she's holding the book up, and the logo in the corner, and the moon! The moon!!!

    I know Heather's a friend of mine, but I promise that didn't sway me in picking her as a runner-up. I just thought this picture was ADORABLE. It reminded me of Calvin and Hobbes in all the best ways. And the lighting here was just magical. And she's hugging the book. I'm so partial to anyone who hugs my book. And the helmet! The helmet!!!

    Eve's entry didn't technically qualify because it's an ARC (and she knew that--she just sent it in to share with me, not to enter), but I liked it so much I totally threw it in this post to be a runner-up. It's guyssss.....she put my little book next to FIREFLY and HITCHHIKERS GUIDE!!!! And the books are all cussing in their own special way! Y'all know I like me some cussing! XD

    And that's it--my own personal runners up! I really and truly and sincerely totally loved all of your entries! It was so amazing to just see all of you guys with my book! I can't even put into words how cool that was. But unless iMovie fails me, I should hopefully have a video... Shhh. I can't say nothing yet.