Friday, December 28, 2012

Calling All Book Bloggers!

Attention Book Bloggers (and Vloggers!):

I'm working on a super secret project with a few other authors. And we'd love to have your help in revealing this project. If you'd like to participate, fill out the form below by Sunday. On Sunday, I'll be sending out an email to everyone who signs up, with details on what the secret project is, and how to reveal it. If you want to, you can then post a reveal of the secret project on January 3rd.

The secret project is a lot of fun, and something I think everyone will like. There's no obligation to participate, but if you do decide to participate in the secret project, then your post will be something that is very simple, and something that will be individual to you (in other words, you're not just copying and pasting the same post as everyone else, but it will not be labor-intensive, and will probably only take you about fifteen minutes).

The only requirements are:

  • You need to have some sort of media outlet that can host your post (such as a blog or vlog)
  • You can post the content on January 3 (you can post at a later date, but the big blast will be Jan. 3)
  • You fill out the form below--there's no string attached; this is just so we can contact you with the info. You can always decide to bow out after you find out what the secret is.
I really hope you want to participate! This is going to be really exciting! :)


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Poll: Spam Prevention

So, I've been getting a lot of spam in the comments section lately. I have a couple of options--turn off comments (which I don't want to do), put on captcha (which some people hate), or let the spam happen and just trust you guys not to click on any links in the comments (which can be a little dangerous if someone does click a link unwittingly--although I've added a warning in the comment section--and it's also just annoying to look at).

I figured I'd let you guys decide--so if you care about commenting here, let me know. Here's the options:

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Which do you prefer? This site and the comments are for you, so I want to do what you want. Please vote, if you care about this sort of thing!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Ultimate Fan Contest Winners!


Your entries in the Ultimate Fan contest made me cry. Four times. They were absolutely brilliant. And so wonderful. I feel like it's kind of lame for me to announce winners now, since obviously I'm the winner here, to be lucky enough to have readers like you. Which makes me sound like a tool, I know, but I really mean it. <3 p="p">
But since some of you have been asking, and since I have had a couple of people ask to know who the winners are, maybe I should... :) Just as a reminder, it was a random drawing, but I gave extra entries to people who did more stuff; so if you didn't win, it's not because I didn't think you were awesome. I sincerely and truly wish I could give everyone who entered something.

That said, the winners are:

GRAND PRIZE: Jasmine L. 

Thanks again for playing along everyone! And if you didn't win, don't worry--I still have January yet to give you stuff :)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Upcoming Events & More

I just sent a newsletter to everyone on the mailing list with this info, and realized as I was working on it that it was, by far, the most newsy newsletter I'd ever done, so I should probably put it here, too :)
Portrait of Amy, made by Corinne Duyvis, who is BRILLIANT. Her eyes, y'all. Look at them green eyes. 
Penguin's doing this thing, see. Where, if SHADES OF EARTH gets enough pre-orders, they're going to send my books into space. You can find full details here (and see me be awkward here).

And to encourage you to pre-order books, I'm giving away free bookplates and bookmarks. There's about 20 left, if you're still interested. Full deets.

ANY pre-order counts including from any online retailer, your local bookstore, or mylocal bookstore, which ships signed books.
If you're worried about having forgotten everything that's happened in ACROSS THE UNIVERSE and A MILLION SUNS, the good people over at AtUFacts are running recaps--the first book's in the archives, and the recaps for AMS are happening right now. Get it all here.

The Breathless Reads Tour Dates have been announced! You can find them all here. I'm at all the East Coast stops which (so far) include:

To see a picture of what book tours mean to me, click here.

I've got several events lined up to celebrate the last launch--hope you can make one!
  • Jan. 15th, 4-7pm, Morganton, NC, at the Morganton Public Library, King Street: Book launch and author panel with Victoria Schwab, Alexandra Duncan, Megan Miranda, and Jessica Khoury. Full details here. 
  • Jan. 25, 6pm, Charlottesville, VA, Barnes & Noble: Book signing with Jodi Meadows, Victoria Schwab, and Ellen Oh. Full details here.
  • Feb. 2, 7pm, Asheville, NC, Malaprops Bookstore: Book signing with Victoria Schwab, Lenore Appelhans, and Megan Shepherd. Full details here.
The Ultimate Fan contest ends tonight at midnight, and I should have a winner posted here over the weekend. But never fear! Next is a blog tour that will have a prize for everyone involved--and a BIG prize for at least five people! Also, I'm going to be announcing something new...and big..and special...SOON! I can't say more than that you should absolutely check back here in the new year :)

And if you want a contest for RIGHT NOW, check out the girls at Secret of the Stars!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pre-Order for the Holidays, get Free Stuff


Okay, so here's the deal. Penguin's doing this launch thing (*snicker* launch) where, if we get enough pre-orders, they're going to launch my books literally into space. For more details, see the last post. 

And I got to thinking: it's near the holidays. Maybe someone wants to give books as a gift. That's cool. But a pre-order is a pretty crappy gift--there's nothing to open. 

SO. Here's the deal. If you pre-order SHADES OF EARTH as a gift for someone (or for yourself!) fill in the form below--and I will mail off a signed bookmark and a signed bookplate. It's so close to Christmas that it might not make it under the tree, but I don't have a time travel machine yet. I will, however, mail them off as soon as I can after I get the addresses. 

I'm really, really sorry, but funds are tight right now, so I can only do this for North American addresses please. I know. That blows. And I'll put a limit of a hundred of these for right now--if there's a huge demand for more than a hundred, I'll have to re-assess my supplies. 

So! Want a signed bookmark & bookplate for a pre-ordered SHADES OF EARTH? Fill this out:

That's it! Totally free, totally for you, as a thank you for pre-ordering! 


Okay, not me, actually, but my book.

Penguin is going to send my book into space. WHAT THE WHAT I KNOW. Space. Entertainment Weekly, which just announced the program, calls it a "literal book launch into space" and my heart did a little flipflop because word play and space y'all.


*rocks in the corner and hyperventilates*

This is by far one of the coolest things that has happened to my books ever. Here's a little bit about how it went down. (Edited because my mind's still doing flips at the announcement.)

Me: Um. You guys? I had this weird idea that maybe we could do but you probably won't like it okay I guess I'll go shut up now and type something on my computer please ignore me.
Penguin: (in a very kind voice) What was your idea?
Me: Um. No. That's okay. It was really weird and you'll probably just laugh at me and maybe take away my book deal for being so weird.
Penguin: (pats me on the head) No, seriously, just tell us.
Me: Okay. Okay. See. I know this is strange. But. Um. What if we sent my books into space. That would be kind of cool, yeah? No? Okay. I'll go sit quietly in the corner now. 

Have I mentioned how much I love Penguin? BECAUSE I LOVE THEM LIKE WHOA. I mean, honestly. What publisher would be willing to send a book into space for you? Penguin, that's who.

The official announcement about the launch (space launch. book launch. squee! word play!) is over at Entertainment Weekly, along with a video where I tried my best not to be awkward and that was like the 20th take, no lie.

But here's the thing. The launch will only happen if we get as many preorders for Shades of Earth that we got for Across the Universe and A Millions Suns combined.

Which. *gulp*

But. I think we can make it happen. I really, really, really do. I have total and absolute faith that we can make this happen.

Here's some details:

  • If you've already pre-ordered the book, congratulations! I LOVE YOU. And your pre-order counts toward the final count! Also? Your pre-order counts toward my ultimate fan contest, so don't forget to enter it!
  • If you've not pre-ordered the book yet, pretty-please do. ALL pre-orders count, no matter where they come from. Here, for your convenience, are links:
  • If you want, you can also pre-order a copy from your local bookstore (which I highly encourage!) This also counts toward the contest.
  • You could also pre-order a copy from my local bookstore, and when it is shipped to you, it will be SIGNED by me, and I'll throw some extra swag or something in with the package. You can pre-order it online or by phone here.
  • If you live near Morganton, NC, and would like to come to my book-signing, the book launch party will be held on January 15, from 4-7pm at the Morganton Public Library. More details on that will be posted soon, but you can pre-order your copy through Fireside Books, and come to the party, and it will be waiting there for you, and I will sign it, and we'll talk about that time you helped me book get into space, good times.
  • Don't have the funds to pre-order the book and want to help out with this campaign? All you have to do--and this is so simple--is ask your library to pre-order it. Seriously! If they buy the book--which they are more likely to do because it is requested--then their pre-order counts, and you don't have lose any cash over it! Also, if you do this, I will love you forever and ever. Also? Doing this counts toward my ultimate fan contest, too.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Norton Award Blog Tour

If you write science fiction or fantasy, then you should be aware of the SFWA, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. And if you also write YA, then I'm betting you're also aware of the Andrea Norton Award for Excellence, one of the most prestigious honors for a YA sci fi or fantasy author.

Several of the authors in SFWA are doing a blog tour about the Andre Norton award (including me!) and you can check out the other links here. I definitely think you should read Sherwood Smith's blog on the topic--she knew Andre personally, and was in on the inception of the award. And you should also check out this interview with the Norton jury--absolutely fascinating. You know what? Just read all the blogs on the tour :)

One of the things I really have loved about this blog tour is learning more about Andre Norton. Norton was one of my first introductions to modern fantasy. As a kid, I read CS Lewis and Tolkein--but it wasn't until I joined a sci fi mail-order book club that I got exposure to a lot of the new and latest books coming out in the genre. I was in middle school, I think, when I read my first Norton title--MIRROR OF DESTINY. I still have my copy--with this exact cover--but I've never re-read it. I've not needed to. Norton's descriptions were so vivid that I still recall the book just by looking at its spine. There's one particular scene--where the main character polishes the mirror with her fingertips until they become bloody--that is so realistic in my memory that I can picture it as vividly as any memory I actually lived through.

The Andre Norton Award is for YA and MG in the sci fi and fantasy genres published in each calendar year. As such, one of my favorite reads of the year (THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS) isn't eligible--but the sequel, THE CROWN OF EMBERS is! And while it's not eligible right now, I already know one of the books I'll be nominating next year.

If you put me on the spot and forced me to pick two titles RIGHT NOW that I'd nominate, I'd select two of my favorite reads of this year.

First: GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers. I just. You guys. This book. It's brilliant. It's the perfect combination of fantasy and history, and it's beautifully woven together in an intricate plot full of intrigue and mystery and general kick-butt-ness.

I read it via audiobook, and loved the narrator for the story. She definitely added appeal for me.

But the story, overall, is just amazing. I love the way Ismae is both fragile and strong. She is given a rare opportunity to choose her own destiny--and she does. Entirely.

Also, as if that's not convincing enough, here are two simple words for you that should make you want to pick this book up.


I know, right? What more do you need?

The next book I'd nominate for a Norton is one by my splendiferous friend, Lauren DeStefano: FEVER. (Although, ZOMG, you guys, you won't believe how much the last book of the trilogy, SEVER, will knock your socks off.)

WITHER was one of my fave 2011 titles, and Lauren doesn't disappoint with the sequel. It takes every idea in WITHER and amps it up even more. It left my head spinning with possibilities, and is the perfect lead-in to the final volume.

Also? One of the best things about Lauren's writing (aside from the brilliant plot and pretty world and awesome characters) is her actual writing. I don't know how she does it. Her words sing like poetry.

Reading Lauren's works sometimes makes me feel like she's DaVinci and I'm drawing on the walls with a crayon. It's just beautiful words, all lined up to make a stunning story.

I have more top picks--in fact, my hardest choice is narrowing down my selections!! But I don't want to overwhelm you. I actually want to ask you what are your top YA and MG fantasy and sci fi reads this year? Let me know in the comments--I'd love to add even more books to my teetering TBR pile!

And definitely check out the other blogs on the tour for more info about the Andre Norton Award, Andre Norton, and other top reads by many different authors!


As a member of SFWA, my works are eligible to be nominated for the Nebula and Norton awards. If you're a SFWA member and would like to enter my works, here's what I have out now that's eligible.

A MILLION SUNS -- The sequel to ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, in which Amy and Elder must discover a way off their generational space ship.

"The Other Elder" -- A story about the governing system on Godspeed, a generational space ship, that has an ambiguous ending in which the reader must decide what happened to the narrator. Published in the anthology AFTER edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Ultimate Fan Contest!

 AHHH!!! If you thought the last contest was big, I can't wait to share this one for you! Because I've been working on this prize for three years. Seriously! I've saved up stuff from before I was even published for this prize!

Basically, this prize is HUGE collection of everything AtU. I've saved up all the promo stuff, all the little extras, everything--just to give away to ONE fan of the books!

If you love AtU, then this is the contest for you. The prize is so rare that some of this stuff is entirely one-of-a-kind, and nearly all of it is so rare it's not even sold in stores--it was just used for super-limited promo items, often only given to top booksellers.

Wanna see?

Reallly? Reallllllly? Okay!

Look at all the goodness!!

Full prize list: 
--A complete signed trilogy of all three books
--Signed copies of the two anthologies with AtU stories in them: 
SHARDS & ASHES (which just came out in ARC form!) and a hardback of AFTER.
--A "Name a Star" kit--you get to name a star anything you want! 
--A Godspeed water bottle made of metal
--An Across the Universe watch--so rare that only a handful were made!
--A container of astronaut candy
--A custom, hand-made bracelet featuring characters from AtU made by SweetGeek
--A cover flat of the original paperback of AtU--only a few of these exist, and yours will be signed!
--A CD by the band Snow Patrol called "A Hundred Million Suns"
--Buttons, rubber-band bracelets, postcards, bookmarks
--Two hidden, secret prizes

Yes! Two hidden, secret prizes. They're in the middle of the picture above, wrapped up like presents. The reason why they're hidden is because they're slightly spoilery. These two prizes are VERY relevant to Shades of Earth, and I think SUPER fun and exciting, but because they're a teeny bit of a spoiler, I've hidden them in this picture. If you want to see what they are, though, then CLICK HERE. I made a whole new webpage that shows what these super-secret prizes are. 

Here are some close-ups of the prizes.

-Signed paperback of Across the Universe
-Signed paperback of A Million Suns
-Signed ARC of Shades of Earth
-Signed ARC of Shards & Ashes--This anthology features stories by Melissa Marr, Kelley Armstrong Margie Stohl, Kami Garcia, Veronica Roth, and more! My story in this antho is "Love is a Choice" and tells Orion's history.
-Signed hardback of After--This anthology features stories by Carrie Ryan, Gregory Maguirre, Cecil Castellucci and more! My story in this antho is "The Other Elder" and tells about the origination of the Eldest system on Godspeed. 

-A metal Godspeed water bottle--just a few of these were made, and given to book bloggers, reviewers, bookstore owners and more at the launch of the first book.
-An AtU watch. Only a few dozen of these were made, and only given to a few, select bookstore owners. That's it. There's hardly any of these still in existence! (Also, btw, the watch doesn't work--I suspect the battery's dead? But it's still new in its package.) 

A custom, hand-made, one-of-a-kind charm bracelet by SweetGeek! 
but I can tell you that it features three characters--Amy, Elder, and Harley--as well as books, an ice cube, a paint pallet, Amy's bear Amber, a book, and more!

In addition to one grand prize winner,
there will be TWO runner-ups!

--Signed trilogy of all three books
-Astronaut candy
-ONE runner up will get a water bottle, one won't

That's it! Three prizes, one of them truly grand and unique :) Obviously, I want these special prizes to go to someone who will really appreciate it, a true fan of the books. This is a prize that I hope you want and love as much as I searched for and collected the perfect pieces of it. So I definitely want it to go to someone who will actually care about having it, and really is a fan of the books.

So, in order to enter, all you have to do is tell me that you're a fan of the books. That's it! Super simple--I'll randomly draw from the list of everyone who enters. Of course, there are ways to earn extra entries. The easy way to enter is just click on the list of all the common ways people are fans. Have you read the books? That counts! Have you told a friend about them or done a review? Those count! Just pick from the list whatever you've done (or plan to do) and that all counts as an entry! You can use any of the links to the sidebar on the right ---> for the "follow me" options, and you can download pre-made Across the Universe avatars at the AtU website!

But if you're a SUPER fan, you get MORE entries. Just make a post (or email me) with what sets you apart from the regular fan. Write fan fic? Made a fan website? Fan art? Entered the Creative Contest before--or making a creative entry now? All of that counts--and more! Just let me know what you've done, and I'll add in an extra number of entries based on what I think is fair for your ultimate fan entry. If you've done a ton of stuff, you get a ton of entries :)

The contest IS open internationally. I love all my fans :) <3 nbsp="nbsp">

Contest is open until December 21st. I'll announce a winner by Christmas Eve. 

Thanks for playing, everyone! The contest is now closed, and the winners are:
GRAND PRIZE: Jasmine L. 
Guys! I wish I could have given every single person a prize. Seriously.
You are all amazing.
Your stories and support mean the world to me.
YOU are the best Christmas present I could ask for.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Thanks everyone for understanding the delay in announcing winners for the contests I've been running! I was going to be a huge tease and draw it out, but why wait? :)

Winner of the Signed Paperback Copy of A MILLION SUNS:



Winner of the Library of Signed YA Books
(Including a COMPLETE AtU trilogy by me!)

Her entry on why she loves YA is HERE.


Thanks for playing everyone! Winners have been contacted by email.

And if you didn't win, don't despair! I've got a few more ginormous contests in the works for you, one of which will be announced by the end of this week! And don't forget that the League is holding a huge giveaway right now, too--12 signed books up for grabs!