Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Fun

I'm still writing like a ... like ... like a person who writes a lot. A LOT. (And also like a person whose entire store of creative words has gone straight into the manuscript leaving nothing behind for the blog!) I've written 12k in the past 34 hours, and I have two more scenes to go before the rough draft is finished.

So for your Monday blog reading today, I thought I'd give you two things that recently gave me a much needed pick me up while I've been drafting. Your mileage may vary.

CALL ME MAYBE (Warning! Highly addictive!)




ELLEN READS 50 SHADES OF GREY (This will only be funny to you if you're familiar with the book, so click at your own risk. :) )

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Avengers, 80's Style!

Cuz your foes don't fight, and if they won't fight, well then, they're no foes of mine.


*Credit for this photo: I saw it on a friend's page on Facebook. I have no idea who first designed it. :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Top 5 Reasons Why You Need UNRAVELING


Yesterday, UNRAVELING hit the shelves. I was privileged to read an ARC, and so I thought if you were wondering what book you should pick up next time you head to the bookstore (or, yanno, NOW from Indie Bound, Amazon, or B &N), I'd give you my top five reasons for choosing UNRAVELING.

1. Fringe meets Veronica Mars! Do I even have to elaborate? It's FRINGE meets VERONICA MARS. There is no universe in which that pairing doesn't produce something amazing. Sci-fi, FBI, and a girl with guts, ambition, and brains trying desperately to unravel a mystery before the world ends. Yes, please.

2. Secrets! Think you have it figured out? Think again. Better set aside a chunk of time. You're going to need it. As the mystery unfolds, and the secrets are revealed, you won't want to stop reading.

3. Elizabeth Norris might secretly be Dean Koontz! Okay, no. She isn't. BUT if Dean Koontz wrote YA, I imagine it would be something like UNRAVELING. This book is a thrilling, grab-you-by-the-throat ride from the first chapter to the unbelievable finish. The writing is polished, the pacing is superb, and the romance is woven in around heart-stopping drama with an expert touch.


4. Hellooooo Classroom Debate! Don't think a debate between two high school students sounds like intense, swoony fun? Trust me. The romance in UNRAVELING will change your mind, and the way you look at debates, forever. Um, also? You will never look at washing machines again without fanning your face. So. There's that.

5. Characters FTW! Not only is Janelle an authentic, well-drawn character, the rest of the cast are just as fully developed. Be prepared to become attached. Like white-knuckle-grip attached. Just remember that I have dibs on Ben. I mean, after Janelle's dibs. But totally before yours.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Trailer Tuesday: The Immortal Rules

Julie Kagawa has already wowed the world with her incredible Iron Fey series. Now, she takes on vampires. I thought I was over the whole vampire thing, BUT it's Julie Kagawa. And this really does look good. I'm going to give it a try. What do you think?


Monday, April 23, 2012

Drive-by Blogging

1. I wish I could promise to be a good Monday blogger for the next few weeks, but I can't.

2. It's not that entertaining stuff isn't happening on a daily basis!

3. Why just yesterday, I witnessed a friend of mine lean down and PINCH A SPIDER between his BARE FINGERS to kill it rather than do what the rest of us do and grab 32384923 pieces of tissue to avoid even a hint of crunch...

4. I gagged out loud.

5. And I believe I'm probably traumatized for life.

6. Yesterday is also the day when I headed toward my mouth with a spoonful of ice cream and somehow slung it directly into my cleavage instead.

7. Followed immediately by another spoonful of ice cream to the crotch.

8. So, it's not like there aren't ample blogging topics to amuse and delight you.

9. The problem is my brain. You see, THIS is my brain most of the time.



10. Well, if you add in a giant dash of peculiar ...

11. But right now, I'm on deadline for Defiance's sequel. And THIS, my friends, is my brain on deadline.



12. Oh, yeah. I'm sexy and I know it.

13. So that is why you'll have to bear with me. I have FUN news for you, a giveaway planned in May (Um ... anyone want an ARC???), author interviews, trailers, and Mad Libs coming up. But my own personal brand of weird post will be put on hold for just a couple more weeks.

14. Look at that pic and have pity.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Trailer for WHAT LIES BENEATH

Today's book trailer is for WHAT LIES BENEATH, which comes out this June. I'm intrigued! What do you think?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Winner of BORN WICKED


Thank you to all who entered the giveaway of a signed hardback of Jessica Spotswood's BORN WICKED. There were 109 entries, and as always, I used random.org to choose the winning entry. And the lucky winner is:


Donnas

Congratulations, Donnas! You will receive a confirmation email from me shortly. Thanks for entering and happy reading!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Trailer Tuesday: I Hunt Killers

Today's Trailer Tuesday is the book trailer for the recently released  I HUNT KILLERS by Barry Lyga. What do you think?


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Author Mad Libs: Barry Wolverton

Today's Author Mad Libs guest is Barry Wolverton, author of the recently released NEVERSINK (Which just looks fabulous, and can I please request that this be the next Disney animated movie? Kthanx.). I sent Barry a parts of speech list. He sent back words. This is the result.




Along the Arctic Circle lies a small _parliament_ called Neversink, whose jagged cliffs and ice-gouged _toes_ are home to a colony of _squidgy_-looking seabirds called auks, including one Lockley J. Puffin. With their _hopeless_ views and plentiful supply of _dolts_, the auks have few concerns—few, save for Lockley's two best _breadcrumbs_, Egbert and Ruby, a know-it-all walrus and a sharp-tongued hummingbird.

But all of this is about to change. Rozbell, the newly crowned _improbability_ of the Owl Parliament, is dealing with a famine on the _wart_ of Tytonia—and he has long had his scheming eyes on the _warty_colony to the north. Now Neversink's _bicyclist_ hangs in the balance. An insurgence of owls will inevitably _fleece_ life as the auks know it—unless Lockley can do something about it.

Barry Wolverton's debut is an epic _volcano_ of some very un-epic birds, a fast-paced and _awkward_ story of survival, friendship, and _grouse_.


Thanks, Barry, for playing along! To learn more about Barry, visit his site. To grab your own copy of NEVERSINK, visit Indie Bound, Books a Million, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.



Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Winners Galore!!

I am woefully behind on announcing winners for the giveaways from February and March, so I'm going to do them all in one post. As always, I used random.org to choose the winners. Here we go!



There were 1219 entries for the DEFIANCE prize package, which includes a signed hardback, a tote bag, and a journal. And the winner is:

Alwyn Hamilton

Congratulations, Alwyn! You will receive a confirmation email from me. Thanks for entering and happy reading!



There were 181 entries for the signed hardback of SPELL BOUND. And the winner is:

Alicia Marie

Congratulations, Alicia! You will receive a confirmation email from me shortly. Thanks for entering and happy reading!





There were 173 entries for the pre-order of UNRAVELING. And the winner is:

Kae

Congratulations, Kae! You will receive a confirmation email from me shortly. Thanks for entering and happy reading!


Didn't win this time? Don't worry, I have more authors lined up and more books to giveaway in the very near future. In fact, you can enter to win a signed hardback of BORN WICKED by Jessica Spotswood right now. :)

Interview With Jessica Spotswood


I met Jessica through the Apocalypsies (a group of debut authors whose books all hit the shelves in 2012), and as soon as I saw her book cover, I knew I had to read it. Because seriously--that's one of the prettiest covers ever. And once I read it, I knew I had to have her on the blog to give all of you a chance to get acquainted with this book too. It's atmospheric, romantic, and suspenseful. What more could you want? Here's a peek at BORN WICKED:

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.


Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word...especially after she finds her mother's diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

Jessica chose to be interviewed by that sly minx Giselle, the French pink sock monkey. Let's meet today's guests.


Giselle



Jessica Spotswood

Before we get to the interview, it's time to reveal the gorgeous cupcake my hubby made in honor of Jessica's book. In the book, Cate is very drawn to her garden--it's the one place where she feels free to be exactly who she is. It's also where she runs into Finn, so ... yeah. So, to represent the garden (and in homage to that stunning cover), my hubby made Jessica a rose cupcake. Without further ado, I give you the rose cupcake and Jessica vs. Giselle.




1. I believe a girl should be able to describe herself in a single word. Naturally, the word I’d use for myself is “perfect.” What word best describes you?


Cheerful. I’m pretty revoltingly optimistic.

2. As long as you aren't optimistic about stealing my boys or my shoes, we'll be fine. A common misconception about sock monkeys is that we adore socks. This is foolishness. Speaking only for myself, I adore Jimmy Choos and diamonds from Tiffany’s. What are a few of your favorite things?

Tea, books, theatre, Bananagrams, Betsey Johnson, wine, cookies, twirly dresses, and the sound of bells chiming the hour

3. I approve of the twirly dresses, Betsey Johnson, and the wine. Many crave my approval, but few are clever enough to win it. What are you willing to do to win my favor?

How do you feel about Betsey Johnson? I’m not opposed to bribery – I mean, friendly gifts! A girl needs a closet full of pretty dresses.

4. You'd give me your Betsey Johnsons? *examines perfect pink nails* I suppose that might suffice. If I was a dessert, I’d be a French macaron. Strawberry, of course. Why? Because I am French and pink and altogether lovely. What kind of dessert best describes you and why?

Cardamom cookies are my favorite. They are like sugar cookies, but with added sass. I like to think I am sweet, with added sass.

5. That may be true, but just remember that nobody out-sweets or out-sasses moi. Even if you did just give me all of your Betsey Johnsons. I understand you write stories. Please tell me why the hero of your book would be my perfect boy toy for a day.

Finn Belastra is extremely loyal; he’d do anything for the people he loves. He’s not the type to back down from a fight, but he’d try to negotiate his way out of it first. He’s a scholar and a book-lover and a hell of a kisser. Honestly, he’s more the marriage type than the boy-toy type. But he’d tell you he’s already taken.

6. *laughs* Darling, once they meet me, no boy is already taken. You Americans love your movies. One day, when Hollywood tells the story of my life, it will be called Gone With The Perfect Pink Monkey. If your life was a movie, what would be the title?

Love & Sunshine (I told you: optimistic! That’s how I signed all my notes to friends in high school.)

7. Love & Sunshine? It's like I've fallen into a 70's sitcom. The theme might be lovely, but the decor is hideous. Who buys orange couches and green shag carpet? *shudders delicately* Pink? Or some lesser, inferior color?

Pink! I have pink highlights at the moment.

8. Of course you have pink highlights. Every girl who isn't born a natural pink spends her life trying to add it in. *peers at perfect pinkness in a mirror* I love fairy tales. If I was a fairy tale character, I’d be Snow White. The fairest in all the land. Which fairy tale character would you be and why?

Beauty from Beauty and the Beast – because she has an awesome library.

9. *sniffs* Does that library come with books devoted to moi? Because otherwise, what's the point? I am, of course, a fashion trend setter. (Glitter eye shadow? Six inch heels? Retro gowns making a comeback? Yes. You may thank me with your undying adulation.) If you were to start a trend, what would it be?

Crazy colorful Betsey Johnson dresses, all the time.

10. I am addicted to all things French—baguettes, macarons, Chateau Lafite, moi … the list goes on and on. What is your favorite thing from France?

Pink champagne!

11. *beams* You may add a case of that to the Betsey Johnson bribe, and in return I will show you how to make those pink highlights permanent. A smart woman always maintains an air of mystery. Often the art of being mysterious involves doing the unexpected. What is the most unusual thing you’ve ever done?

If I told you, it wouldn’t be mysterious anymore, would it?

12. Touché. I also believe a smart woman always gets the last word. Any last word you’d like to leave with my readers?

Deplorable!



Thank you, Jessica, for the entertaining interview! To learn more about Jessica, visit her site. To purchase your copy of BORN WICKED, head to Indie Bound, Barnes & Noble, Books a Million, or Amazon.

Of course, the fun isn't over yet! Jessica has offered to give a signed hardback copy of BORN WICKED to one lucky winner. The contest is open to North America and you have until 8 p.m. central time Tuesday, April 17th to enter. To enter, simply fill out the form below.

Good luck and happy reading!




Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Trailer Tuesday: Shadow and Bone

Today's book trailer is for the upcoming SHADOW AND BONE which hits the shelves June 5th. I am super intrigued by this one! What do you think?


Friday, April 6, 2012

Author Mad Libs: Sarvenaz Tash

Today's Author Mad Libs guest is Sarvenaz Tash, author of the upcoming THE MAPMAKER AND THE GHOST which hits the shelves April 24th. (My kids can't wait to read this one!) I sent Sarvenaz a parts of speech list. She sent back words. This is the result.



Goldenrod Moram loves nothing better than a good _mapmaker_. Intrepid, _stinky_, and full of a well-honed sense of _snowflake_, she decides to start her own exploring team fashioned after her _Doritos_, the explorers Lewis and Clark, and to map the _El Nino_ right behind her home. This task is complicated, however, by a series of _smarmy_ events—a chance encounter with a mysterious old _Great and Powerful Oz_ has her _canoodling_ for a legendary blue rose. Another encounter lands her in the middle of a _hairy_ gang of brilliant _zippers_. And when she stumbles upon none other than the ghost of Meriwether Lewis himself, Goldenrod knows this will be anything but an ordinary _forest_ . . . or an ordinary quest. Debut author Sarvenaz Tash combines an edge-of-your-seat _fig leaves_, a uniquely clever voice, and an unforgettable cast of _elephant tusks_ to prove that sometimes the best adventures of all are waiting right in your own _strand of DNA_.



Thank you, Sarvenaz, for playing along! To learn more about Sarvenaz, visit her site. To purchase your copy of THE MAPMAKER AND THE GHOST, go to Indie Bound, Barnes & Noble, Books a Million, or Amazon.



Movie Friday: The Dark Shadows

It's no secret I'm a huge fan of Johnny Depp. I'm also a huge fan of Johnny Depp and Tim Burton working together. So, when I saw this trailer, I was instantly smitten. What do you think?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Author Mad Libs: Tom Ryan

Today's Mad Libs guest is Tom Ryan, author of the recently released WAY TO GO. I sent Tom a parts of speech list. He sent back words. This is the result.




Kierce has a _gorilla_ for everything, not to mention his _festering_ future planned out. Jay has _blue_ grades, no _jet skis_, and could care less. As for Danny, he’s stuck somewhere in the _pepper-grinder_ and can’t stop stressing out about it. His dad keeps _bouncing_ him about his post-high school plans, his _feathers_ won’t stop bugging him about girls, and a run-in with the cops means he has to to get a summer_pomegranate_– about the last thing he had planned. Worst of all, the _feather bed_ he’s been keeping for years is threatening to spill out into the _thumb_.


Just when he’s beginning to wonder how he’ll _shimmy_ through the summer, let alone survive another _crayon_ in Deep Cove, Danny meets Lisa Walsh. Lisa is dynamic, _ominous_, and different from any _rotary phone_ he’s ever known. She’s also from New York City, which is about as far from Deep Cove as the dark side of the _puppet_. For the first time in a while, _moon boots_ begin to look like they might turn out all right after all – that is, if friends, _food processors_, and reality don’t get in the way.

WAY TO GO is Tom Ryan’s first _border collie_.


Thank you, Tom, for playing along! To learn more about Tom, visit his site. To purchase your copy of WAY TO GO, visit Indie Bound, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.




Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Author Appreciation Blog Tour: MYRA MCENTIRE


Today, I'm delighted to take part in a new feature dreamed up by the brilliant and conniving owner of YABooksCentral, M.G. Buehrlen. She is running an Author Appreciation Blog Tour every month or so where she lines up bloggers and other authors to surprise one special author with an avalanche of love one Wednesday morning.

This inaugural tour features Myra McEntire who, in addition to being one of my favorite authors (Seriously, folks. You thought HOURGLASS was good? Wait until you read TIMEPIECE. You will love it!) is also one of my closest friends.

So close, in fact, that she visited me in the hospital two years ago when I had emergency gall bladder surgery and faithfully tweeted all the things I said while I was flying high on pain killers and then brought me spaghetti the next night when I got home. Proof of true friendship, yo.

Here's proof of mine.

My Top 5 Reasons Why I Want Myra McEntire On My Side In An Apocalypse

1. Research: Let me tell you something you may not know about Myra. Girl does her RESEARCH. All caps. REEE-SEARCH. She buys non-fiction books for fun. And drools over them. And calls me to drool over them over the phone while I laugh and shake my head because if I bought a 500 page research book, I'd look at the pictures, read the captions, and then use it as a door stop.


But if an apocalypse happened, you can bet I'd want the girl with all the research on my side. She knows all kinds of weird stuff. And I do mean all kinds. I have no doubt that somewhere in that plethora of facts, she's got knowledge that would come in handy. And if none of it comes in handy, well ... her brain is probably bigger than mine. Zombies can tell.



 
Not that I'd throw her to the zombies and run for it. No. Never that. *eyes Myra*

2. She's Funny: Really. She has an excellent sense of comedic timing and she produces the kind of slapstick physical comedy that would make Jim Carey weep with envy.



AND she often does it without meaning to, which is even better. She's the first person I've met who can match me in the "You did WHAT in public??" category. Which is handy. Because a) I appreciate that when I'm with her, nothing I do seems abnormal to her and b) laughter is a powerful defense mechanism. If I'm in the middle of an apocalypse, I'm going to want some comic relief. Myra will have my back. The fact that I'll be doing something even more ridiculous right behind her is proof that we're a good team.

3. Loyalty: Myra is loyal to her friends in the same way I am loyal to Captain Jack Sparrow and lemon bars. It doesn't matter what happens, she's got your back. If I'm in an apocalypse and it's fight time, I want Myra on my team. Heck, even if it isn't the apocalypse, I want Myra on my team. She'll go to bat for her friends with whatever she has handy. Frying pan. Blog post. Life-size Edward Cullen statue.

Which she totally DOES NOT own.

But which I would buy for her if I found one. After I slicked him down with Elmer's and dunked him in glitter.


4. Unconventional: Myra does thing her own way. It's one of her best qualities. The whole world can say "everyone should do life like THIS" and Myra will say "watch me do it like THAT." This is a valuable skill to have in an apocalypse because you can bet whatever nasty creature we're fighting will adapt to our usual strategies quickly. We need someone who can think outside the box. Myra is perfect for the job! Plus raising her two boys has given her a crash course in the whole "ANYTHING can be a weapon" life philosophy.



5. Dance Breaks: It's a well known fact that Myra takes dance breaks while she's writing. She says it helps kick start her brain and puts her in a better mood. She's also been known to say she's got a "stank face" she wears when she dances to hip hop. I can't help but think dance breaks would be an awesome component to any apocalyptic survival effort. For one, who doesn't love the idea of a bunch of armed apocalyptees breaking into choreographed hip hop dance moves? For another, I think we could all stand to learn how to wear a stank face. I bet Chuck Norris's stank face drops zombies before they even come out of the ground.

I bet Myra's does too.



 

So, there you have it! My top 5 reasons why I want Myra on my side in the event of an apocalypse. Want to see what other bloggers are saying about Myra today? Want to leave Myra some comments and show your love as well? There are links at the bottom of this post.

Want to participate on Twitter? Use the hashtag #authorlove

Want to get on board the awesome that is her Hourglass series?? Pre-order Timepiece now and grab your copy of Hourglass!







Participating Blogs:




Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Trailer Tuesday: INSURGENT

Like many others, I was totally captivated by Veronica Roth's DIVERGENT. Now, the sequel INSURGENT hits the shelves May 1st, and I can't wait. Here's the trailer. What do you think?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Oh Yeah. We Went There.



Today, for your entertainment, I bring you a transcript of a chat I had last Thursday night with Jodi Meadows. I often tell her we should make some of our transcripts public, though we've both wondered if that might be social suicide.

So ... throwing caution to the wind and acknowledging that my deadline is fast approaching and my creative brain cells are all focused on my manuscript and so this is as close to a personally written blog post as you're likely to see from me for a bit, I give you what happens when I ask Jodi a very innocent grammar question.

C.J. Redwine: oh bugger me ... it's stupid question time!

C.J. Redwine: is it "gentler" or "more gentle"?

Jodi Meadows: gentler

C.J. Redwine: that's what I typed

C.J. Redwine: but now it all looks wrong

Jodi Meadows: hee

C.J. Redwine: gentle looks like the worst word every made

Jodi Meadows: yes

C.J. Redwine: it still isn't as bad as moist

C.J. Redwine: ugh

C.J. Redwine: I can't even type it without sneering

Jodi Meadows: nothing is as bad as moist

C.J. Redwine: nothing

C.J. Redwine: except maybe moister

C.J. Redwine: and moistest

Jodi Meadows: moistiest

Jodi Meadows: moisty

C.J. Redwine: ahahahahahahah

C.J. Redwine: MOISTY

Jodi Meadows: :D

C.J. Redwine: that could be profanity

C.J. Redwine: son of a moistier!

C.J. Redwine: what the moist?

Jodi Meadows: it should be profanity!

Jodi Meadows: go moist yourself

C.J. Redwine: AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH

C.J. Redwine: *gags*

Jodi Meadows: *ded*

C.J. Redwine: moist off

Jodi Meadows: *laffs and laffs*

C.J. Redwine: ha!

Jodi Meadows: *laughs moistily*

C.J. Redwine: gags even more moistierly*

Jodi Meadows: MOISTIERLY

C.J. Redwine: you know, if we ever put transcripts of our chats up on our blogs, we'd either gain a ton of followers or lose them all

C.J. Redwine: they'd call us the Moist Sisters

Jodi Meadows: soooooo gross!

C.J. Redwine: and the movie would be Career Suicide: Go Moist Yourself

Jodi Meadows: who would play us?

Jodi Meadows: I hope they would get Hans Zimmer to do the original score

C.J. Redwine: Jennifer Garner and Amy Adams

C.J. Redwine: oh we'd insist

Jodi Meadows: oh niiiice

C.J. Redwine: he would tell his musicians to play moistly

C.J. Redwine: and the trombone players would be all "Um ... duh"

Jodi Meadows: spit flying out the ends of flutes

C.J. Redwine: spit flying everywhere

Jodi Meadows: and trumpet players would be all "yeah" *empties spit valve*

C.J. Redwine: and all the clarinets and oboes would have moist reeds

C.J. Redwine: it would all work

Jodi Meadows: yes

C.J. Redwine: I have to go puke up my dinner now.

Jodi Meadows: okay

Jodi Meadows: that should be moist

C.J. Redwine: AHAHHHHHHHHH

Jodi Meadows: you're welcome

C.J. Redwine: *literal gagging*

C.J. Redwine: *sigh*

C.J. Redwine: see what happens when I ask for one simple little word?

Jodi Meadows: chaos

Jodi Meadows: moist chaos!

C.J. Redwine: DESIST

Jodi Meadows: like a bog

C.J. Redwine: *GAGS*

Jodi Meadows: or a swamp

C.J. Redwine: I am going to call you in a minute

C.J. Redwine: and all I'm going to do is gag in your ear

Jodi Meadows: or a stagnant pond

Jodi Meadows: LOL

C.J. Redwine: I'm told it sounds remarkably like a pregnant moose

Jodi Meadows: if you do, I will probably go puke too

C.J. Redwine: JUSTICE



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