Friday, April 29, 2011

And the WInner is...not that ugly pink hat

I have to admit: I personally thought I would crash somewhere around 4:00 or 4:30. But they kept WAITING and WAITING to show the effing dress! And everyone on Twitter kept zapping me with a cattle prod (read: kept calling me a wimp if I crashed before the dress) that I FORCED my eyes to stay open. And so, I didn't crash until 6:14am.

And one person's bid was only ONE SINGLE MINUTE off from that! So, congratulations to

who guessed 6:13am. Holly guessed 6:15am, which is also super-close....but I only have one book to give away, and when I started to type in Twitter that I was crashing, the clock actually said by mere SECONDS, Anni was closer.

Thank you, everyone! Hope you enjoyed playing along and watching (or ignoring) the wedding with me! If you missed it, Kate's dress was tasteful and beautiful, but the veil stole the show.

But in all honesty, towards the end, I spent most of my time focused on the gosh-awful HATS. You guys may recall (or probably not care at all) but at the beginning of the whole night, I was gushing about how, if nothing else, this whole wedding might made the world pay attention and love hair fascinators. Hair fascinators are something of a cross between a HUGE barrette and a tiny hat, many times with flowers or feathers or stuffed whole animals or whatever other ridiculous thing people want to put on their heads. Now, usually, I think hair fascinators are BEAUTIFUL. Proof:

But the guests at the royal wedding quickly dissolved from interesting and beautiful to odd and just plain freaking weird. There is NO WAY EVER that THIS pink monstrosity is anything other than RIDICULOUS.

I mean, honestly? HONESTLY? That's just STUPID. I made similar things when I was in kindergarten with Play-Doh, but even when I was FIVE, I didn't think it was a good idea to stick it on my head.

Ah, well. I guess that's what separates me from the royals. The HATS. (Yeah, that's it.) Meanwhile, if you'd like more on the fashion with MUCH better (and snarkier) commentary, go here!

I crashed... 6:14am.

Will examine the bids and figure out the winner once I wake up! Now to bed! It was great fun!

Apparently, There's A Limit to Your Tweets....

....and apparently I hit it at midnight. *growls at Twitter* I'm hoping that I'm only going to be locked out for a little bit--but as SOON as I can get back on Twitter, I'll be continuing with the contests!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Royal Book Giveaway!

I missed Princess Diana's wedding. On account of not having yet having been born, but still. I wanted to see this shiz! And I missed it!!!!!

You may or may not have heard (it's been on the news a teeny, tiny bit) but there is another royal wedding happening.


(By "be there," I mean: "be on my couch watching BBCA on television" but THE CONCEPT IS ESSENTIALLY THE SAME.)

(sort of)

ANYWAY, the point is: I am staying up for this wedding. I know it is going to be aired like all day, and I know I could just TiVo this shiz, but I. Do. Not. Care. I am GOING to be watching this NO MATTER WHAT.

Now, coincidentally...I happened to also get a big box recently of the UK version of my book. It looks like this:

And it is paperback, not hardback, but the inside is still the same (what with being English and all) and I think it's pretty cool to see a foreign version.

But I have more of these than I need.

So, I thought to I have a stack of UK versions of my book...and here's this big UK wedding going on....let's combine the two!

I have available to give away SIX signed copies of the UK version of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. I also have a whole stack of brand-new-shiny bookmarks and pin buttons to give away. Let's let my dog model the goods:

He was so unimpressed by the whole situation.

The bookmarks are black with the ship logo in shiny silver.
They don't photograph well, but they are GORGEOUS.
How do you win? Well, if you check out the television schedule (here's the one from BBCA) you'll see that the wedding doesn't actually happen until 3:00 am Eastern Standard Time. That' And I'm not 100% sure I can make it.

In order to enter for one signed copy of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE plus signed bookmarks and a pin button, leave a comment in this post telling me what time you think I will crash. I do plan on drinking coffee and Red Bull, but I get notoriously grumpy the longer I go without sleep, so I honestly don't know when I will throw in the towel and just go to bed.

  • Post your guess as to what time I'll fall asleep in the comments to this post.
  • All times are assumed EST--let's not mess with time zones, people, my math is bad.
  • The contest IS open internationally.
  • If two people guess the same time, the person who guessed the right time first wins.
  • I'm going to post a comment to this as an example for you.
  • You must enter your time guess before 9:00pm on Thursday, EST. I plan on starting to watch the BBCA coverage around then, so post your guess before then.
  • Only one guess per person.
  • Remember: be specific! If you say 4:30ish, I'm counting that as 4:30...but 4:32 would beat that if I actually crash at 4:35.

But there are FIVE more copies of the book to give away! To win one of those five books, stay up with me!! I am going to be on Twitter all night long, tweeting about the awesomeness of the royal wedding. (I will also, btw, be writing then, if you hate royal weddings, why not spend the night writing or reading with me instead?) Anyway, all night long (until I crash) I am going to be tweeting...and occassionaly, I'm going to tweet something like "The first person to tell me what they think of Kate's dress wins a copy of AtU!" or "The fifth person to @reply me wins a copy!" Stuff like that. So, to enter for this, all you have to do is follow me on Twitter and play along! 

Enter! Now! Just leave a guess of when you think I'll crash now in the comments...and then start drinking coffee and play along with me on Twitter Thursday night/Friday morning!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bookanista Feature: David McInnis Gill's BLACK HOLE SUN

I recently finished reading BLACK HOLE SUN by David MacInnis Gill. My students ADORED his first novel, SOUL ENCHILADA--his Skype visit to our classroom was one of the highlights of the year, so I knew that I had to read his next one no matter what, for several reasons. (1) My students idolize him. (2) This is a YA sci fi! SCI FI!!! We needs more of that! and (3) People have compared this book to my all-time, forever and ever fave: Firefly.

So when I finally broke down and bought an e-reader, I thought, how apropos: my first ebook purchase will be a sci fi!

Recently I stalked asked David some questions abut his book, and here's what he said:


We can all read about your bio from the back of your book or your FAQ online. So, what's a completely random fact about you that most people don't know?

My father was a housepainter, and I started working with him when I was six years old. I’m pretty handy with a paint roller.

As a child, what was your favorite book? Have your tastes changed since growing up?

Where the Wild Things Are was my hands-down favorite, ever since my first grade teacher read it aloud. Either I’m very consistent or I’m very rigid, because I still look for the same things in a book—an engaging premise, conflict, fantastical elements, relationships, monsters, beautiful language, and pounds and pounds of yearning.

What are some of your fave sci fi novels, tv shows, or movies?

Books: Logan’s Run, The Rolling Stones (Heinlein), and Ender’s Game.
TV: X-Files, Twilight Zone, Battlestar, and of course, Star Trek.
Movies: Star Wars, Aliens, and Terminator. You can probably tell that after reading my book!


In BLACK HOLE SUN, Durango and his friends curse and converse in various different languages. Why did you decide to go that route?

My editor, Virginia Duncan, made that happen. The manuscript didn’t have much cursing, and she kept saying something like, they’re soldiers and all they say is darn? Also, there was a throw-away line from Durango about being able to speak three languages and curse in seven. She seized on that and had me looking up cuss words in every language I could find. German and Chinese are the most commonly used because they have the juiciest expletives.

One thing I've talked about a lot on the League is "future speak," or using new words to describe new tech. In your world, there's symbiarmor, armalites, and more. Can you tell us a little bit about how you came up with the words themselves, as well as the tech?

Symbiarmor is a portmanteau of ‘symbiont’ and ‘armor.’ The idea originated with a magazine article about bioadaptive cloth whose molecules could be rearranged from body feedback. I added nanobots that have a symbiotic relationship with the cloth and the wearer, and voila. The other words followed a similar path.

I see that you're working on a sequel, INVISIBLE SUN. Is there *anything* you can tell us about it?

I’m on the last big round of revisions, does that count? No? Well, it will be out early 2012, and it features Durango and Vienne in their quest to find out more about the secret project that created the Draeu. It’s set near the equator now, near Durango’s boyhood home. You get to find out more about Durango’s family—and Vienne’s, as well. Lots of skeletons in both their closets.

If your reader could only take away one emotion, theme, or idea from the book, what would you want that to be?

If they could take away one thing it’s the idea that nothing is black and white, that even the greatest heroes live in a world that’s colored by shades of gray, and that a hero is defined by what he’s willing to sacrifice, not by what he’s willing to destroy.


What's the most surprising thing you've learned since becoming a writer?

That I love revision! Really! My least favorite thing is writing a first draft. I love diving back into a story and finding its heart.

Beyond the typical—never give up, believe in yourself—what would be the single best advice you'd like to give to an aspiring author?

Never give up! Oh wait….How about, don’t judge your success by comparing yourself to others because there is always someone who writes better, sells better, or reads better. Set goals for yourself and tell the story that only you can tell.

What do you consider to be your strongest talent in writing? Your weakest?

Strength: dialog. Weakness: Angsty love scenes!

What's a writing pet peeve that you have?

Using participles incorrectly, as in sentences such as “Tying his shoe, he ran down the path.” No, he tired his shoe THEN ran down the path. Participles imply simultaneous movement. Also, I don’t like semi-colons. They’re ugly.

Check out the other Bookanistas today!

Elana Johnson visits Dark and Hollow Places
LiLa Roecker gets silly over Spoiled
Christine Fonseca has a passion for Possession – with giveaway
Shannon Messenger marvels at Moonglass – with giveaway
Jamie Harrington adores Invincible Summer
Shelli Johannes-Wells is in the grip of Possession
Scott Tracey bathes in Blood Magic
Carolina Valdez Miller interviews Invicible Summer author Hannah Moskowitz
Jessi Kirby praises Playing Hurt
Bethany Wiggins delves into Divergent
Shana Silver presents a Guestanista gushing over Between Here and Forever
Gretchen McNeil  parties over The Anti-Prom
Carrie Harris sings out about Shift
Rosemary Clement-Moore applauds Abandon
Sarah Frances Hardy enjoys Me Jane
Matt Blackstone loves Like Mandarin
Corrine Jackson delights in The Duff
Stasia Ward Kehoe discusses Displacement

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Today's Diversions: 50 Years of Space Exploration & Music!

A really cool graphic of 50 years of space exploration. Full size: click here.
Personally, I think it's cool to look at the ones that haven't completed missions yet. Like New Horizons, launched in '08 with a dotted line for the year 2015, when it reaches Pluto.

A very neat music video about being lost in space. Love the graphics (and the song). 
Thanks to HC_Palmquist for showing it to me!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Few Diversions + Amy and Elder as Scene Kids

If you saw my League post yesterday, you'll know I'm a bit swamped this week. So here are my favorite diversions this morning before I dive back into edits.

First: A GORGEOUS video found by the lovely ArianaWrites.

Second: Online paper dolls are fun. After spending way too much time dressing myself up as a Sailor Senshi, I found this one. It's for scene kids, which Amy and Elder are not, but it was the only one I found that would let me make a couple. So, here's what Amy and Elder look like if they were (very conservative) scene kid paper dolls:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Winner of Past, Present, Future Prizes!

Hope you guys had fun this week sharing about the past, present and future! Now let's give out some prizes....

The winner of a signed copy of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE for sharing their hopes of the future is...

But that's not all! <--said in a cheesy announcer voice. We're also giving away a grandprize pack of all three books SIGNED...

And that winner is....

Don't forget--there's still two more prizes to give out! Go to Myra's site and Saundra's site to see if you won!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Focus on the Future: Across the Universe

So today, we're focusing on the future! Yay!

When I wrote ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, I have to admit: I wasn't really thinking about the future. I was kind of lucky in that the setting is an enclosed area--a spaceship that's lost communication with Earth--so I didn't have to envision what the future Earth was like...just what I thought would happen in a small, contained area.

That said, I have given a lot of thought to what I hope the future will bring. So below, here's what I hope to one day see in the future (and what I think I actually WILL see in my own lifetime)....and if you tell me in the comments what YOU hope to see, you can win a copy of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE!

Cheap, Commercial Outerspace Travel

I've blogged about this want before, and I do believe that Virgin Galactic will be a forerunner of this, but I think it would AMAZING if, one day, going for a cruise around Earth in orbit was as economically viable as, say, going on a cruise to the Bahamas. 

And don't get me started on my wish for a vacation home on the moon.

High Speed Travel on Earth

I am envious of Japan's bullet trains. Currently, we do have high-speed travel on Earth--in the form of airplanes. But they cost a lot, and, frankly, I'm sick of the TSA requirements. 

But what if we had an underground bullet train that travelled as efficiently as the NYC Subway--except it went all across America? How cool would it be if I could get on a train in my little town and get to the other side of the country in a couple of hours, max--all while on a super-smooth, super-efficient, super-safe train? We could cut so many emissions, build so many jobs, and travel so much easier...

Underwater Hotels

Okay, so, technically this exists. Sort of. But seriously? I want more. And I want them to be as easy to visit as, say, the Hilton. 

Honestly? I just spent a good half hour clicking on their website. I WANT TO GO THERE NOW PLEASE. For those of you thinking about jumping ship with me: the price tag is a mere $15,000/person. 

Who's with me?


Yeah. But that's why I want this thing in the future. The ocean is VAST and largely unexplored--it's the world's last frontier. But in my ideal future, this sort of thing is common. 

...looking back, I realize that all my future wants involve travel. I guess you can see where my priorities lay! 

Meanwhile, leave me a comment here telling me what YOU want to see in the future, and you'll be entered for a drawing of a signed copy of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE! If you blog and/or tweet (use #PPF hashtag--past, present, future) about it, too, just leave the links here with your comment!

And don't forget: You can enter here for a chance to win all THREE of our books signed! 

That's two chances to win--one for a grandprize of all three books, one for a signed copy of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Focus on the Present: Myra McEntire's HOURGLASS

HOURGLASS by Myra McEntire is one of my fave reads of this year--it should be, I blurbed it (in my first blurb evar!). In it, main character Emerson has a troubled past--her parents have died, she was put in a mental institution, and now that she's off her meds, she's seeing things--"ghosts" of the past. But, as she soon discovers, they're not ghosts, and their not hallucinations--they're an indication that she can time travel. After meeting Michael and his organization, the Hourglass, Em must discover the extent of her power before it's too late to stop a murder that never should have happened.

Not only does this book have one of the most unique voices you'll ever read (Southern snark ftw!) but it also takes place in the...

While it's fun to think about how cool it would be to travel to the past and see old worlds and forgotten cultures, the present sure has a lot going for it. Today we're celebrating the here and now! Here are my favorite things about living in 2011...

Old people tell me that the best time of my life was when I was young. Young people tell me they can't wait to be adults.

Me? I think it's pretty sweet right here. Yes, I have adult responsibilities (which reminds me: I should check on my taxes...). Yes, I have to pay bills and clean my own dishes and boring crap like that. But if I want pizza for supper? Done. If I want to take a vacation and go somewhere cool? I can. Being an adult freaking rocks. You can do whatever you want (as long as it's legal) and you're parents can complain, but they can't stop you.

By the way, Mom? I totally didn't do the dishes last night.

You know what's cool about right now? We have the internet. And honestly, just a few years ago, even though we had it, we didn't own it, not like now. Heck, a few years ago we were still checking out MySpace with Internet Explore. But now? The internet has become this totally accessible, totally present thing that grants us all the information we could ever want at the touch of our fingertips. And it's only going to get better--because the future generations are being raised with a mindset of the accessibility and limitless possibilities of the internet and a global world--we're on the edge of greatness, and that's a cool place to be.

Look, I don't care if you like paper books, ebooks, audiobooks, or what--whatever your preference, it's here. And while there's a million forms of debate out there--Kindle vs. Nook, Kindle & Nook vs. iPad, Kindle & Nook & iPad vs. paper books--the long and the short of it is this: we're in the age of the story. Whatever format you want it in, you're still getting a story, and stories will never go away. Personally? I love 'em all. And I can't wait to see what's next.

So, what about you? What's the best part about living in the here and now?

If you go to Myra's blog and tell her about your favorite time period in the past, you could win a pre-ordered copy of HOURGLASS. If you blog and/or tweet (use #PPF hashtag--past, present, future) about it, too, you'll get extra entries for her drawing. Remember: while I would LOVE any comments here, to be entered for Myra's drawing of HOURGLASS, you have to comment on HER site.

You can read about Saundra's favorite things about the present here.
And don't forget: You can enter here for a chance to win all THREE of our books signed! 

That's two chances to win--one for a grandprize of all three books, one for a pre-ordered copy of HOURGLASS from Myra herself!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Focus on the Past: The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

THE VESPERTINE about Saundra Mitchell is a beautiful, dynamic tale about a girl who can, for just a moment, know the future. With intrigue, romance, and a touch of magic, this novel doesn't just take you to a different place--it takes you to a different time.

THE VESPERTINE takes place in Baltimore, 1889. To create the world of THE VESPERTINE, author Saundra Mitchell did copious amounts of research, creating every detail with precision accuracy.

Today, Saundra, Myra, and I are celebrating the past...

Saundra wrote her book about 1889 Baltimore, but if I was going to go back into the past, I don't think I'd go to 1889. Personally, there are a few time periods in history that have long fascinated me. So, if I could steal the Doctor's TARDIS and go anywhere, anyWHEN, I'd choose...

Heian Japan.

I've always been fascinated by Japanese history and culture, and after studying the literature of this time period specifically, I'd love to be able to enter this culture and see what it was really like. I think I'd most like to be a friend--perhaps a member of court or a lady-in-waiting--to Murasaki Shikibu. Or just a fly on the wall. The clothes, the culture, the people...I find it all utterly fascinating and long to be able to slip into this world.

Or maybe...

Tudor England.

I know my British monarchs, y'all, and the best, by far, is Tudor England. Oh, man. If I could, I'd love to see the soap opera of Henry VIII unfold in real life. I'd be an unimportant and unobserved lady-in-waiting, and I'd watch all the crazy happen right in front of me. Or, perhaps, I'd be the mousy and quiet bff to a young Elizabeth I--I'm most interested in the last years of Henry, the short years of Edward and Mary, and the beginning of young Elizabeth's reign. I also find the religious upheaval of the time vastly interesting.

But of course I'd also like to see...

The Black Plague

Call me crazy, but I sort of want to see the Black Plague unfolding. I think I can credit this to Connie Willis's AMAZING time-travel book, THE DOOMSDAY BOOK. This was a truly tragic time, a terrifying era...and that's exactly the sort of thing that interests me as a writer. Also, the utter belief in religion (seriously, read THE DOOMSDAY BOOK) is something that I'd like to witness. You can only understand so much through books and history...this is something that I'd love to see firsthand...IF I can also escape it later...

So, what about you? What time period do you wish you could visit, or that you wish you knew more about?

If you go to Saundra's blog and tell her about your favorite time period in the past, you could win a signed copy of THE VESPERTINE. If you blog and/or tweet (use #PPF hashtag--past, present, future) about it, too, you'll get extra entries for her drawing. Remember: while I would LOVE any comments here, to be entered for Saundra's drawing of THE VESPERTINE, you have to comment on HER site.

And don't forget: You can enter here for a chance to win all THREE of our books signed! 

That's two chances to win--one for a grandprize of all three books, one for a signed copy of THE VESPERTINE from Saundra herself!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Past, Present, and Future

First: iClue isn't over! Make sure to check out the next mystery at Kimberly Derting's website.

And now...announcing another contest! (I seriously don't know how April turned into the giveaway month, but hey, who am I to complain?)

So, here's the set-up. Saundra Mitchell's book VESPERTINE came out, and I fangirled all over her and demanded signed copies. I was just going to do a simple giveaway here on the blog for y'all. And then Saundra said, "You book's about the past, your book is about the future...if we find someone whose book is about the present, we could have a THING." And immediately my mind went to Myra McEntire and her book HOURGLASS. So I fangirled all over Myra, and she said "I'm in!"

And we officially had a THING.

All this week, we're talking about time. The past, the present and the future. And to entice you to join in the conversation, we're giving away all three of our books--signed!

It’s the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and eager to take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. However, a forbidden romance with Nathaniel, an artist, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own—still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him.

When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia’s world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she’s not the seer of dark portents, but the cause.

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.
So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

There you have it--our books on the past, present, and future. Enter below for a chance to win all three of our books, open internationally! Contest closes this Friday, so enter now! And come back to our blogs every day this week for a chance to win more signed books from each of us!

Contest information:

  • open internationally
  • must be 13 years old or above to enter
  • you must enter by April 15th to be eligible

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Full Story: iClue & Your Chance to Win!

In order to make sure everyone's seen the mystery...
Below is the full story of Kayleigh's mystery. Read through all the pieces, now assembled (thanks for Kristi at Story Siren and Vanessa at Today's Adventure and the Reading Room for hosting clues!)

Once you've figured out Kayleigh's password, be sure to enter it here to be a part of the drawing for an iPod Touch! And don't forget: comment on Kristi and Vanessa's posts for a chance to win a signed copy of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE!

So--in case you got lost in the links--here's the ENTIRE mystery, just for you!

iClue: Kayleigh’s Mystery

I bump into Elder in the hallway. Elder’s only been living in the Hospital for a month, but I’ve got a soft spot for the kid.

“I was just looking for you,” Elder says. “Kayleigh told me to give you something.” His voice is sing-songy, mocking me for my obvious crush on the frexing girl. It’s not like I’ve told anyone, especially not Kayleigh, but Elder’s not a chutz, he’s figured how I feel about her. And tortured me endlessly about it.

“What is it?” I say.

Elder hands me a book. He looks nervous, and I can guess why. Books are not supposed to leave the climate-controlled rooms in the Recorder Hall.

I flip the book open to the page marked and read the short chapter about a king living on an asteroid.

“But what does this all mean?” I ask Elder. He just shrugs at me.

“She must be in the Recorder Hall,” I say. I head out of the Ward and start racing down the path to the nearby Recorder Hall, Elder following along. I sort of wish he wasn’t there—when I find Kayleigh (and I WILL find her) I’m going to either tie her in the chair so I can finish my painting of her…or I’m going to kiss her.

One of those.

When we mount the stairs to the Recorder Hall, Orion, the Recorder, is waiting for us, a smirk on his face. “So, Kayleigh’s got you playing her game,” he says, chortling.

“Do you know where she is?” I ask.

Orion shakes his head. “What would the fun be if I just told you?” he says. “But she did tell me to give you this.”

Orion hands me a floppy, a digital membrane screen. It’s already loaded with a vid. Elder leans over my shoulder, trying to see, as I click on the screen to start the vid.

“This is banned,” Elder whispers, glancing at Orion, who shrugs. “This is something from Sol-Earth records.”

Music fills the Recorder Hall.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Elder asks as the music fades to silence.

“I have no idea.” I say, handing the floppy back to Orion.

“Well,” Orion says, “You can ask Kayleigh yourself.”

“She’s here?” I ask.

Orion nods. “She told me to tell you to go to the gallery as soon as you saw the vid.”

Before he can say another word, I start racing through the Recorder Hall. The gallery is on the second floor. I sort of expected Elder to follow me—he follows me everywhere—but Orion grabbed him and told him to let me find Kayleigh on my own this time. I grin. I think I’d like to have Kayleigh to myself once I find her.

I climb the stairs two at a time. When I throw myself at the gallery door, I can hear Kayleigh laughing—the door’s locked.

“Let me in!” I call. “I need to finish painting you!”

Kayleigh laughs again. I can imagine the curve of her mouth already; I know exactly what shade of pink I’d load my brush with. “Is that all you want to do with me?” Kayleigh asks through the door, “Paint me?”

Frex no. There’s a lot more I’d like to do with her.

“So let me in, so I can show you!”

“You have to tell me the password first,” she teases.

“Password?” I ask.

She slides a floppy under the door. I pick it up—a digital image of a painting flashes at me. I know this painting—Monet may be my favorite artist, but I like Van Gogh, too.

“If you want me to unlock this door,” Kayleigh says, “You’re going to have to figure out what the three clues have in common.”

“Come on, really?” I ask, but I’m smiling. This is just like Kayleigh—I can imagine her smirking at me on the other side of the door. And I can imagine kissing that smirk right off her face.

“It’s just one word,” she teases. “Starts and ends with an S,” she hisses the letter: Ssssssssssss.

I stare at the image in my hand, and suddenly I know the solution. I whisper the word at the crack at the door, and Kayleigh swings it open, throwing her arms up in celebration at my cleverness.

Before she can say another word, I wrap my arms around her, spinning her in a circle and kissing her through her giggles.

That's it! Have you figured out Kayleigh's password? If so, enter it here for a chance to win! And check out Kimberly Derting's site next week for the next mystery!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Third iClue!

Are you keeping up with the mystery featuring Harley and Kayleigh from ACROSS THE UNIVERSE? If not, click here to start, read the first clue here, and the second clue here.

Today you get the last clue—and all the info you need to solve the mystery and enter for a grand prize of an iPod Touch! Also: there may or may not be kissing involved. To read the conclusion to the mystery, get the final clue, and feel all smart about yourself, just click here!

Updated link that actually works! 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

iClue Updates

Ack! There's been some confusion about iClue, so I'm going to try to clear it up a bit...

The Second iClue!

Are you keeping up with the mystery featuring Harley and Kayleigh from ACROSS THE UNIVERSE? If not, click here to start and read the first clue here.

To find the next clue—which features another character from the story as well as something forbidden on Godspeed, click here.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The First iClue!

Did you read the opening to a mystery featuring Harley and Kayleigh from ACROSS THE UNIVERSE? If not, click here. I know the story ended a bit abruptly, but fear not! The next bit of the story—and a very juicy clue—is ready for you today! Just head over to The Story Siren to find out what Kayleigh left for Harley to find…

Monday, April 4, 2011

iClue Mystery Launch! Kayleigh's Mystery

Hi guys! Welcome to the first week of the iClue Month Extravaganza! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, click here for more info but the basic idea is this: all this week, I’m going to be posting a mystery dealing with the characters from ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. If you solve the mystery, you’ll get a password that will enter you for a grand prize of an iPod Touch! I hope you enjoy this week’s mystery—and the mysteries from the awesome authors throughout the rest of the month!

BACKSTORY: One of my favorite characters who gets no face time at all in ACROSS THE UNIVERSE is Kayleigh—Harley’s girlfriend from before Amy wakes up. So for this mystery, I’m introducing you to the girl who won the artist’s heart. This story takes place about three years before ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, when Elder was still a kid and Harley had just started to realize how much Kayleigh meant to him…

To read the story and get started on the mystery, click here to visit the official iClue site, then click on my name for this mystery. 

Check back every day this week for links to the clues so you can solve the mystery and enter for the grand prize of an iPod Touch! And don't forget--spread the word and you could win six signed copies of all our books!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Winner! Of Ruta Sepetys Prize Pack for BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY

I hope you all enjoyed learned more about BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY...this book is off to a fabulous launch, and I am so glad Ruta was able to sit down and really talk with us all!

So, without further ado, the winner of the prize pack is...

Congrats, Katie! Everyone else, I hope you'll pick up BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY for yourselves--it's a great, important read!

Friday, April 1, 2011

iClue--Solve Mysteries, Win Prizes

Do You iClue?
  • 6 Authors
  • 6 Mysteries
  • 6 Chances to Win an iTouch
As many of you know, one of my inspirations for floppies, the digital membrane screens the residents on Godspeed use like computers, was the touch-screen technology in an iPod Touch.

Which is one reason why I'm so glad to be participating in a contest where YOU get a chance to win one!

I'm working with The Reading Room (a book review site), a slew of amazing book bloggers and some of my all time favorite authors (Lisa & Laura Roecker, Mandy Hubbard, Adele Griffin, Kimberly Derting and Lee Nichols) to bring you an exciting new contest that will be running over the next 6 weeks. The grand prize is an iTouch loaded with 6 AMAZING eBooks from the participating authors.

Here's how it works:
  • Starting on April 4th a new author will be featured on the iClue Site each week.
  • The author will post their mystery on the site on Monday.
  • On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we will post links to The Reading Room and two book bloggers who will be posting a special clue to help you solve the mystery.
  • Once you've solved the mystery you send us the correct solution using a form on the website.
  • If you enter the correct solution you get one entry into the contest.
  • Solve all 6 mysteries you get 6 entries to win the iTouch.
iClue launches next week (April 4th) with my mystery, featuring some of the characters from ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. Solve the mystery, get the password, and you'll get an entry to win an iPod Touch! So make sure you check back next week for this!

Meanwhile...we want to make sure to get the word out on this exciting month-long event! And that's where you come, and six autographed books...

Help us spread the word, and you'll be entered for a prize to win six autographed books, one from each of us! There are lots of ways to enter!

You can tweet! 

You can blog!
(If you past the html code under the banner into your blog, it will automatically show up, all linked directly to the contest. If you put it into the post, be sure you're on the "edit html" tab of Blogger.)


You can spread the word however you like! And for every way you spread the word, we're going to enter you in a contest for a grand prize pack of all six of our books, signed! And don't forget to come back to the actual event for your chance to solve fun mysteries and win an iPod Touch!! (And yes--before you ask, the contest IS open internationally--both prizes!)