"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Writing from the Place: TEN WAYS TO GET READY FOR NaNoWriMo!

Okay, admit it. You've always wanted to do NaNoWriMo but you never knew how to start? I mean how do you prepare for a month long writing retreat and get ready to kick butt and crank out 50K words?
Well, we here at the place (being K. A. Holt, Jessica Lee Anderson , E. Kristin Anderson, Madeline Smoot, recent drop in Mari Mancusi, and sometimes member Jenny Ziegler) have the answers you need.

We give you ten ways to get ready for NaNoWriMo:

1) Hydrate
But we recommend you situate near the potty for this one. You have many long hours ahead of you.
and remember, this picture is proof, once again, that a Star Trek reference can fit in anywhere.


2) Narrow down your list of ideas
We figure the best chance for success starts with one book idea, not your top three.


3) Cheat and start early
Cause you know, you may even finish early. Who's to say? And it's not cheating to finish early, right?


4) Stock up on chocolate and caffeine
And I know Dagoba Chocolate is healthy and all, but it's hard to get past the lack of sugar, even with lavender and blueberries. Pick your brand and stock up.


5) Hire a nanny, maid, and chef (or dogsitter if appropriate)
Knowing you have clean toilets will free your mind and release your creativity.


6) Fire your internal editor
She is evil. She does not want you to complete NaNoWriMo.


7) Clean your office (although this was a point of debate in the group)
So pick one. Clean your office including the use of Windex to get even the phone makeup free or go the exact opposite way and let the dishes stack up. Whatever you choose, don't change your mind in the middle and try to do anything about it.


8) Find a support group
We recommend meeting weekly at a place like The Place.


9) Remember: Sleep is for weenies
And this t-shirt proves it.



10) Have fun. Remember your life will not end if you don't write 50,000 words in one month. You are not a failure.
Thousands of people have proved this to date. So enjoy yourself and get writing!

Spot THE NECROPOLIS Winner

Thank you to everyone who's spotted THE NECROPOLIS so far! I love seeing the pics!

The first winner of THE EMERALD TABLET and THE NAVEL OF THE WORLD is...

VIVIEN PROPST

for finding THE NECROPOLIS in Wichita, Kansas and taking this lovely picture!

So keep them coming!!!!!
Read the details there!

ANOTHER PAN ARC Winner!

Happy Halloween and thank you to everyone who entered to win!

The winner of an ARC of ANOTHER PAN by Daniel and Dina Nayeri (Candlewick, Sept. 2010)

is...


*****

Congrats and thank you!

Don't forget it's the last day to win one of four copies of the not-yet-released THE MARBURY LENS by Andrew Smith (Feiwel & Friends, Nov 2010)

Click here to enter!


And also Spot THE NECROPOLIS and win the first two books!
Click here for details!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Book Rec: KING OF ITHAKA by Tracy Barrett

In case there's any question about it, I love mythology. I love all things myth, and I adore retellings of these stories, especially if the retellings have a great twist. And guess what? KING OF ITHAKA by Tracy Barrett has all of this. The writing is engaging, the plot is filled with action, and the best part? The very best part?

What we hear in the myths may not always be true.

KING OF ITHAKA by Tracy Barrett (Henry Holt & Co., September 2010)



From Amazon:

Telemachos has a comfortable life on his small island of Ithaka, where his mother Penelopeia keeps the peace even though the land has been without its king, his father Odysseus, since the Trojan War began many years ago.

But now the people are demanding a new king, unless Telemachos can find Odysseus and bring him home. With only a mysterious prophecy to guide him, Telemachos sets off over sea and desert in search of the father he has never known.


Source of Book: From publisher at TLA


If you love mythology, this book is for you. Recommended for seventh grade and up, boys and girls, fans of fantasy or mythology.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Our Newest Featured Sweetheart!

When you get a chance, head over to THE TEXAS SWEETHEARTS blog and read all about our newest featured sweetheart, Trudy Marshall, who runs the most amazing non-profit organization, LIBRARIES OF LOVE!

Good News update for THE MARBURY LENS Giveaway

Because Feiwel & Friends is awesome, I now have more books for my Spooktacular Giveaway for...

THE MARBURY LENS by Andrew Smith (Feiwel & Friends, Nov 2010)


In addition to the signed ARC, I now have three hot-off-the-press hardbacks not-yet-released-to-the-public to give away!

So go here to see how to enter!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Writing from the Place: TEN THINGS FOUND IN ANY MANUSCRIPT

So I'm not sure how many of you know about my local writing group, but it's OSUM and fun and we meet at the coolest place. On a normal Friday I get together with K. A. Holt, Jessica Lee Anderson , E. Kristin Anderson, new member Madeline Smoot, and sometimes member Jenny Ziegler.
Yes, we talk about fun stuff. Yes, we get writing done. Yes, we listen to music from the 80s and read the graffiti on the walls (and there is lots and lots of it...). And yes, we come up with ridiculous lists.

Care of "The Group" from "The Place,"
here are ten things found in any manuscript:


1) A dog barking in the distance
Due to the paranormal craze, we'll stretch this to include werewolves, too.

2) A Star Trek reference


3) A head wound
A gash, a small cut, blood dripping warm on the face. You know you have one.

4) Some stupid joke which will not longer be funny after 50 revisions
So kill the darling early. No one else thinks it's funny from the start.

5) Something small to crawl through (like a secret tunnel or a ventilation shaft).
Make this a Jefferies tube, and you've got (2) taken care of, too.


6) A doorway/keypad/lock that's impassable that your character manages to pass.
Why? Because your character has to change the world. And how else is your character going to change the world if they can't get through that locked door or figure out the secret code.

7) Homage to a friend or teacher or family member or pet (Easter eggs)


No birthday is random in books. It's kind of like lottery numbers.
And names? It is no coincidence I named the bad guy in THE EMERALD TABLET after my ninth grade Geometry teacher.

8) Explosions or fire
When the middle of the book is sagging, blow something up. It's sure to make something happen to the plot.

9) Piercing or brooding eyes
Maybe think up some new descriptors for the eyes. And vary the arching and raising and narrowing while you're at it.


10) Typos
Yeah, maybe these aren't so good to have. But yet they exist. Always.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

SPOOKTACULAR GIVEAWAY—THE MARBURY LENS


*Updated: I now have the signed ARC to give away along with three hot-off-the-press hardbacks!

I'm so excited to be participating in the Spooktacular Giveaway hosted by Kathy Habel at I am a Reader, Not a Writer. Whatever she is, I think she's awesome for organizing this! 86 blogs all giving away stuff related to books! And so in honor of this spooky holiday, I'm giving away a book I loved that actually comes out in a few weeks! You have to read it!


THE MARBURY LENS by Andrew Smith (Feiwel & Friends, Nov 2010)


And the best of all, the ARC is signed by the author, Andrew Smith, who I met at ALA!

me and Andrew Smith

From Amazon:

Sixteen-year-old Jack gets drunk and is in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is kidnapped. He escapes, narrowly. The only person he tells is his best friend, Conner. When they arrive in London as planned for summer break, a stranger hands Jack a pair of glasses. Through the lenses, he sees another world called Marbury.
There is war in Marbury. It is a desolate and murderous place where Jack is responsible for the survival of two younger boys. Conner is there, too. But he’s trying to kill them.
Meanwhile, Jack is falling in love with an English girl, and afraid he’s losing his mind.
Conner tells Jack it’s going to be okay.
But it’s not.
Andrew Smith has written his most beautiful and personal novel yet, as he explores the nightmarish outer limits of what trauma can do to our bodies and our minds.


Source of books: From publisher


For your chance to win one of three hardcovers (not yet released) or a signed ARC, all you need to do is:

1) Follow this blog
2) Follow The Texas Sweethearts blog
3) Comment on this blog post


For extra entries:

1) Blog about this contest and leave a comment telling me
2) Tweet about this contest and leave a comment telling me


And make sure you leave me a way to get in contact with you when you win! The contest will run through 11:59 PM on Sunday, October 31, 2010.


And so you want to win more books, too, I bet! Continue on the Spooktacular chain. Check out all the blogs participating here!

http://iamareadernotawriter.blogspot.com/p/spooktacular-giveaways.html



And don't forget I also have two more contests running:

Spot THE NECROPOLIS and win the first two books!

Enter to win an ARC of ANOTHER PAN by Daniel and Dina Nayeri

NIGHTSHADE ARC Winner!

Huge thanks to all those who entered to win this week's giveaway!

The winner of an ARC of NIGHTSHADE by Andrea Cremer (Philomel, Oct. 19, 2010)


is...



*****

Thanks and congrats! And don't forget I'm also giving away...

ANOTHER PAN by Daniel and Dina Nayeri (Candlewick, Sept. 2010)
Click here to enter!


And come back for more giveaways this week!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

MOSTLY MONSTERLY - The Perfect Picture Book for your Little Monster

Okay, even if Tammi Sauer weren't such a doll of a person, I'd recommend this book.
And even if we didn't have the same agent, I'd recommend this book.
And even if I hadn't put on the Chicken Hat of awesome at ALA, I'd recommend this book.*

MOSTLY MONSTERLY by Tammi Sauer (Simon & Schuster, August 2010)


For all you picture book lovers out there, this is the perfect book to buy your little monsters for Halloween.

It's about a monster, Bernadette.
Well, she's mostly a monster. But not always.
Kind of like my daughter :)

And the art is to-die-for.

*me with the chicken hat of awesome (next to Tammi, of course)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

ANOTHER PAN ARC Giveaway!

I was lucky enough to meet one of the authors of this book at BEA this past May, and in addition to being a fantastic author, he's also an editor. In case you missed the first book in this series, ANOTHER FAUST, you'll for sure want to pick it up (it has a cover to-die-for)!
Up for giveaway this week is an ARC of

ANOTHER PAN by Daniel and Dina Nayeri (Candlewick, Sept. 2010)


From Amazon:

Sixteen-year-old Wendy Darling and her insecure freshman brother, John, are hitting the books at the Marlowe School. But one tome consumes their attention: THE BOOK OF GATES, a coveted Egyptian artifact that their professor father believes has magical powers. Soon Wendy and John discover that the legend is real—when they recite from its pages and descend into a snaking realm beneath the Manhattan school. As the hallways darken, and dead moths cake the floor, a charismatic new R.A. named Peter reveals that their actions have unleashed a terrible consequence: the underworld and all its evil is now seeping into Marlowe. Daniel Nayeri and Dina Nayeri return to reimagine Peter Pan as a twisty, atmospheric, and fast-paced fantasy about the perils of immortality.

Source of ARC: From publisher at ALA


For your chance to win this ARC, all you need to do is:

1) Follow this blog
2) Follow The Texas Sweethearts blog
3) Comment on this blog post


For extra entries:

1) Blog about this contest and leave a comment telling me
2) Tweet about this contest and leave a comment telling me


And make sure you leave me a way to get in contact with you when you win!

The contest will run through midnight on Friday, October 29, 2010!

And don't forget:

Spot THE NECROPOLIS and win the first two books!

Enter to win an ARC of NIGHTSHADE by Andrea Cremer!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Spot the Book Contest and Win Free Books!

In honor of the release of the third (and final) book in my Forgotten Worlds Trilogy, THE NECROPOLIS, my publisher has offered up free books for a contest!

Here are the details:

1) Spot the third book, THE NECROPOLIS, in a bookstore.*

2) Take a picture of the book on the shelf. **

3) Email me the picture.


Three easy steps and you'll be entered to win one of five signed sets of the first two books in the series, THE EMERALD TABLET and THE NAVEL OF THE WORLD. ***

So don't you have to go to the bookstore today?????

Cute model not required

* Lots of Barnes & Nobles around the country are carrying it. You can check availability at barnesandnoble.com.

** Feel free to turn it faceout when you do this :)

*** Don't worry if you already have them. They make great holiday gifts, or donate them to your school or public library.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

This Week's Contest Winners!

Thank you all so much for participating in the Superhot Austin Author's ARC Giveaway! I had such a great time!

The winner of an ARC of BLESSED by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Candlewick, January 2011)


is...

TINA WERNER at tina werner

*****

The winner of an ARC of TRUTH WITH A CAPITAL T by Bethany Hegedus (Delacorte, October 2010)


is...

LOIS MOSS at Lotus Rising

*****

This week's winner of an ARC of my newest book THE NECROPOLIS by PJ Hoover (CBAY Books, Oct. 16, 2010)

is .....

PAM at Bookalicio.us

*****

Congratulations and thank you!

And don't forget I'm also giving away:

NIGHTSHADE by Andrea Cremer (Philomel, Oct. 19, 2010)
Click here to enter.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Early B&N Sighting of THE NECROPOLIS!

So THE NECROPOLIS isn't even officially out yet (not until October 16th), but we have early shippings from Amazon and early sightings at Barnes & Nobles.

like this one taken at the B&N in Springfield, VA (um, thanks, Mom :))

If you happen to be at a B&N and see it there, snap a picture for me, pretty please!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

JANIS JOPLIN, ANN ANGEL, and THE TEXAS BOOK FESTIVAL

This Saturday at the Texas Book Festival I have the huge pleasure of introducing Ann Angel who has written a fascinating YA biography of the rock legend, Janis Joplin. I've been reading JANIS JOPLIN: RISE UP SINGING (Amulet, October 2010) these past couple days, and it's been a real treat.


I mean, who knew Janis drove the same car as my dad (bet you didn't know that, did you, Dad?). And I never knew Janis Joplin lived in Austin, TX, the coolest city in the world (outside of Northern Virginia possibly).


Anyway, this is a fantastic book for any teen or adult filled to the brim with pictures and info about the rock star's life.

If you're coming to the Texas Book Festival this weekend, stop by and listen to Ann Angel talk about the wonderful biography she's created! We'll be in

Capitol Extension Room E2.010
12:30-1:15

See you there!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

NIGHTSHADE ARC Giveaway!

I hope everyone's enjoying the cooler weather! And cool weather is the perfect time for reading in a cozy chair outside, right? Okay, up for giveaway this week is a highly anticipated novel with a cover to-die-for...

NIGHTSHADE by Andrea Cremer (Philomel, Oct. 19, 2010)


And if the cover isn't enough, check out this awesome book trailer!



From Amazon:

Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything--including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

Source of ARC: From publisher at TLA


For your chance to win this ARC, all you need to do is:

1) Follow this blog
2) Follow The Texas Sweethearts blog
3) Comment on this blog post


For extra entries:

1) Blog about this contest and leave a comment telling me
2) Tweet about this contest and leave a comment telling me


And make sure you leave me a way to get in contact with you when you win!

The contest will run through midnight on Friday, October 22, 2010!

And don't forget:

Enter to win an ARC of BLESSED by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Enter to win an ARC of TRUTH WITH A CAPITAL T by Bethany Hegedus

Enter to win an ARC of THE NECROPOLIS by PJ Hoover

Monday, October 11, 2010

fonetik spelng rokz

I *adore* phonetic spelling.

Can anyone decipher this one? It's OSUM.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Check out this big news!

Look: a new logo, a new name, and new members!

Check out all the details at THE TEXAS SWEETHEARTS & SCOUNDRELS blog!

This Week's Contest Winners!

We've had a great turnout so far for the Superhot Austin Authors ARC Giveaway, and I'm thrilled to announce the first week of winners!

The winner of an ARC of BRAINS FOR LUNCH: A ZOMBIE NOVEL IN HAIKU?! written by K. A. Holt, illustrated by Gahan Wilson (Roaring Brook Press, August 2010)


is...

******

The winner of an ARC of ALIEN INVASION AND OTHER INCONVENIENCES by Brian Yansky (Candlewick, October 2010)


is...

INSPIRED KATHY at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

*****

This week's winner of an ARC of my newest book THE NECROPOLIS by PJ Hoover (CBAY Books, Oct. 16, 2010)

is...


*****

Congrats to the winners!!!!!

Don't forget I'm also giving away:

BLESSED by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Candlewick, January 2011)
Click here to enter.


TRUTH WITH A CAPITAL T by Bethany Hegedus (Delacorte, October 2010)
Click here to enter.



One more copy of THE NECROPOLIS by PJ Hoover (that's me!) (CBAY Books, October 2010)
Click here to enter.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

SAA Part 4 - TRUTH WITH A CAPITAL T by Bethany Hegedus ARC Giveaway

It's our final installment of the Superhot Austin Authors ARC Giveaway here at Roots in Myth. So far, we've had some awesome books, and this one fits right in! Like all the other authors, Bethany Hegedus is a wonderful person and a wonderful friend!

*and yes, I bet I can get this one signed, too!

TRUTH WITH A CAPITAL T by Bethany Hegedus (Delacorte, October 2010)


From Amazon:

Lots of families have secrets. Little-Known Fact: My family has an antebellum house with a locked wing—and I’ve got a secret of my own.

I thought getting kicked out of the Gifted & Talented program—or not being “pegged,” as Mama said—­was the worst thing that could happen to me. W-r-o-n-g, wrong.
I arrived in Tweedle, Georgia, to spend the summer with Granny and Gramps, only to find no sign of them. When they finally showed up, Cousin Isaac was there too, with his trumpet in hand, and I found myself having to pretend to be thrilled about watching my musical family rehearse for the town's Anniversary Spectacular. It was h-a-r-d, hard. Meanwhile, I, Maebelle T.-for-No-Talent Earl, set out to win a blue ribbon with an old family recipe.
But what was harder and even more wrong than any of that was breaking into the locked wing of my grandparents’ house, trying to learn the Truth with a capital T about Josiah T. Eberlee, my long-gone-but-not-forgotten relation. To succeed, I couldn't be a solo act. I’d need my new friends, a basset hound named Cotton, the strength of my entire family, and a little help from a secret code.

With grace and humor and a heaping helping of little-known facts, Bethany Hegedus incorporates the passions of the North and the South and bridges the past and the present in this story about one summer in the life of a sassy Southern girl and her trumpet-playing adopted Northern cousin.



Source of ARC: From publisher at ALA


For your chance to win this ARC, all you need to do is:

1) Follow this blog
2) Follow The Texas Sweethearts blog
3) Comment on this blog post


For extra entries:

1) Blog about this contest and leave a comment telling me
2) Tweet about this contest and leave a comment telling me


And make sure you leave me a way to get in contact with you when you win!

The contest will run through midnight on Friday, October 15, 2010!

And don't forget:

Enter to win an ARC of BLESSED by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Enter to win an ARC of ALIEN INVASION AND OTHER INCONVENIENCES by Brian Yansky

Enter to win an ARC of BRAINS FOR LUNCH by K. A. Holt

Enter to win an ARC of THE NECROPOLIS by PJ Hoover

Monday, October 04, 2010

SAA Part 3 - BLESSED by Cynthia Leitich Smith ARC Giveaway

Can I mention how excited I was when I got this ARC? Okay, yeah, it made my week year. Not only is Cynthia Leitich Smith just a fabulous person, she's one of the best and most dedicated authors I know. I am thrilled to consider her a friend.

Speaking of which, I *bet* I could get this ARC signed for the lucky winner...

Anyway, the third stop on our Superhot Austin Authors ARC Giveaway tour is

BLESSED by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Candlewick, January 2011)


From the flap copy:

With a wink and a nod to Bram Stoker, bestselling author Cynthia Leitich Smith unites the casts of Tantalize and Eternal in a delicious dark fantasy her fans will devour.

Quincie Morris, teen restaurateur and neophyte vampire, is in the fight of her life — or undeath.

Even as she adjusts to her new appetites, she must clear her best friend and true love — the hybrid-werewolf Kieren — of murder charges; thwart the apocalyptic ambitions of Bradley Sanguini, the seductive vampire-chef who “blessed” her; and keep her dead parents’ restaurant up and running.

She hires a more homespun chef and adds the preternaturally beautiful Zachary to her wait staff. But with hundreds of new vampires on the rise and Bradley off assuming the powers of Dracula Prime, Zachary soon reveals his true nature — and his flaming sword — and they hit the road to staunch the bloodshed before it’s too late.

Even if they save the world, will there be time left to salvage Quincie’s soul?



Okay, you have to read this book!


Source of ARC: From publisher by request


For your chance to win this ARC, all you need to do is:

1) Follow this blog
2) Follow The Texas Sweethearts blog
3) Comment on this blog post


For extra entries:

1) Blog about this contest and leave a comment telling me
2) Tweet about this contest and leave a comment telling me


And make sure you leave me a way to get in contact with you when you win!

The contest will run through midnight on Friday, October 15, 2010!

And don't forget:

Enter to win an ARC of ALIEN INVASION AND OTHER INCONVENIENCES by Brian Yansky

Enter to win an ARC of BRAINS FOR LUNCH by K. A. Holt

Enter to win an ARC of THE NECROPOLIS by PJ Hoover

Saturday, October 02, 2010

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE and THE NECROPOLIS ARC Winners!

I'm so glad to see everyone else there in the blog world is as excited about this book as I am! Thank you to everyone who entered!

The winner of the ARC of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by Beth Revis (Razorbill, January 11, 2011)


is...

Tricia J. O'Brien at Talespinning

****

This week's winner of an ARC of my newest book THE NECROPOLIS by PJ Hoover (CBAY Books, Oct. 16, 2010)


is...


*****

Congrats to the winners!!!!!

Don't forget I'm also giving away:

BRAINS FOR LUNCH: A ZOMBIE NOVEL IN HAIKU?! written by K. A. Holt, illustrated by Gahan Wilson (Roaring Brook Press, August 2010)
Click here to enter.



ALIEN INVASION AND OTHER INCONVENIENCES by Brian Yansky (Candlewick, October 2010)
Click here to enter.



Two more copies of THE NECROPOLIS by PJ Hoover (that's me!) (CBAY Books, October 2010)
Click here to enter.