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

Monday, May 30, 2011


It's a week of winners and reviews around here! I'm behind on what I've read and what I want to recommend to the world. And of course I'll be announcing winners for both contests I currently have running. And I'll probably put up a new contest, too. Oh, what to give away next????

Up today is a darling chapter book aimed at kids who appreciate the frustrations life throws at them on a daily basis.

THE MIS-ADVENTURES OF PHILLIP ISAAC PENN by Donna Peterson (Cedar Fort Books, June 8, 2011)

PIP (PHILLIP ISAAC PENN) is a gem of a book that is totally worth the read. It's aimed at younger kids (really, 1st grade and up), boys and girls, but any adult who interacts with kids on a regular basis is sure to see the fun and humor in this one.

From Amazon:

Everybody calls Phillip Isaac Penn, Pip. And usually they yell it at the top of their lungs. Sure he might forget to close the classroom mice's cage door, or leave his mother's hair dryer in bathtub (hey, it's unplugged), and he might even make it so that Liar Lizzy gets caught, but that doesn't make him bad. It's just not easy being a kid.

Source of Book: From Publisher via NetGalley

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Thank you all so much for all the SOLSTICE support! I mentioned I have awesome trading cards for the book, and each trading card has a QR code to a bonus extra for SOLSTICE. You can request these on the trading card page, and I'm handing them out at author events I do, also.

After each extra has been hidden for a while, I'm going to make it public, so today I give you a bonus vlog I made for SOLSTICE. It's all about Killing your Darlings!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011


It's time for another giveaway hop organized by Kathy Habel at I am a Reader, Not a Writer. Thank you as always! This time, there are over 300 blogs signed up to participate, so when you have time, check them all out and enter!

Up for giveaway is a brand new ARC of

BEAUTY QUEENS by Libba Bray (Scholastic, May 24, 2011)

I don't think this book needs much explanation because Libba Bray rocks, but here it is:

From Amazon:

From bestselling Printz Award-winning author Libba Bray, the story of a plane of beauty pageant contestants that crashes on a desert island.

Source of book: From publisher at TLA

The contest will run through midnight on Tuesday, May 31st, 2011!

There is 1 requirement to enter, and 5 optional ways to get extra points! Check the list and then fill out the form below!

For your chance to win, you have to follow this blog. That gets you one entry.

Extra entries are here:
Okay, that's it! So click away on the above links, and then fill out the form below. Thank you!


And don't forget I'm giving away all these awesome books:


And finally, below is a link to all the awesome blogs participating in this contest! Check them out!

Good luck!


Thank you for all the awesome entries for I SO DON'T DO FAMOUS by Barrie Summy (Delacorte, May 10, 2011)

The winner is...

Thank you, all!

Monday, May 23, 2011


On a normal top ten day, I'd have the input from my whole writing group. But this weekend was not a normal weekend, and this top ten list is not a normal top ten list.

It's freaking awesome is what it is, because this past weekend I headed up to Dallas Comic Con with Jessica Lee Anderson, Madeline Smoot (awesome publisher of CBAY books), and Denise Getson for an amazing time.

I have finally found my peeps.


I give you the Top Ten Reasons to go to Dallas Comic Con (with pictures):

1) When you drive up from Austin, you get to stop in Italy, Texas, home of the Starship Pegasus.

Madeline Smoot tells me this used to be part of a mini-golf course.

My daughter took this picture of me and Jessica Lee Anderson.
We asked, "how is it?"
She said, "it's great...except there aren't any heads."

2) Finally getting my Starfleet Academy car sticker I've wanted forever.

Serious Star Trek heaven

3) Being able to dress like a Greek Goddess and have a beautiful display of all my books!

Thank you to Madeline Smoot for such a great display and booth!

4) Hanging out with other Greek deities all day, and not even getting turned into stone.

Me, Madeline (as Medusa), and Jessica Lee Anderson

5) Getting awesome artwork!

My family picked this out for me. Best. Picture. Ever.

6) Meeting an angry Klingon who only wanted to eat his hot dog in peace.

We approached him right after he got out of the hour-long line for food.

Finding out he wasn't really angry at all!

Look how much happier he is now.
(p.s. Thanks to Shane Dison for all the pics!)

7) Did I mention photo opportunities?

It wouldn't have been Comic Con without Darth Vader.

Emperor's Royal Battle Guard!
Think this costume is pretty sweaty?

Thanks to Lance Marcus for the pic!

The Costumed Crusaders rocked the place!

8) Having someone make the "Who Mourns for Adonis" reference before me!

Thanks, Steven House!

9) Live sales for SOLSTICE a la Nook (and taking pictures while they happened)!

Thank you to Teresa Rollins Boullion

Realizing Comic Con is filled with people who read ebooks!

Thanks, Aaron C!

10) Finding out SOLSTICE is the newest hot read no matter what galaxy you're from!

He's thinking, "That is the nicest cover I've ever seen."
And then he's marking it on his Goodreads to-be-read list.

Wait, I just wanted to try the helmet on!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

TEXAS GOTHIC by Rosemary Clement-Moore

I managed to snag an ARC of this at TLA and couldn't wait to read it! Quick to read and very enjoyable!

TEXAS GOTHIC by Rosemary Clement-Moore (Delacorte/Random House, July 12, 2011)

TEXAS GOTHIC is filled with ghosts and mystery and adventure and romance. Seriously, what more could you ask for? But what I enjoyed the most about TEXAS GOTHIC is the totally authentic feel it had for Texas. It's obvious Rosemary knows her terrain, and it would have been great to read for this reason alone. But the romance and the mystery were all fantastic, too. Totally worth the read! Boys and girls, seventh grade and up.

From Amazon:

Amy Goodnight's family is far from normal. She comes from a line of witches, but tries her best to stay far outside the family business. Her summer gig? Ranch-sitting for her aunt with her wacky but beautiful sister. Only the Goodnight Ranch is even less normal than it normally is. Bodies are being discovered, a ghost is on the prowl, and everywhere she turns, the hot neighbor cowboy is in her face.

Source of book: From publisher at TLA

Sunday, May 15, 2011


First, I want to offer up a huge thank you for all the support from you guys! I'm so thrilled to be a part of the kids' book world. And I'm even more excited that in addition to my middle grade trilogy, I now have a young adult dystopian/mythology novel to share!

So to kick off the release of SOLSTICE, I'm offering up a huge 20 book giveaway and tons of ways to enter to win! The books are in four sets of five, and are grouped accordingly (kind of). Here we go:


ABANDON by Meg Cabot (Scholastic, April 2011) (ARC)
DEAD BEAUTIFUL by Yvonne Woon (Hyperion, September 2010) (ARC)
SHADOW HILLS by Anastasia Hopcus (Egmont, July 2010) (ARC)
RADIANT DARKNESS by Emily Whitman (Greenwillow, April 2009) (ARC)
WILDWING by Emily Whitman (Greenwillow, September 2010) (ARC)


SWEETLY by Jackson Pearce (Little, Brown, August 23, 2011) (ARC)
THE DARK DIVINE by Bree Despain (Egmont, December 2009) (hardcover)
ANGELFIRE by Courtney Moulton (Harper, March 2011) (ARC)
ASCENDANT by Diana Peterfreund (Harper, October 2010) (ARC)
BANISHED by Sophie Littlefield (Delacorte, October 2010) (ARC)


WOLFSBANE by Andrea Cremer (Penguin, July 26, 2011) (ARC)
HALO by Alexandra Adornetto (Feiwel & Friends, September 2010) (ARC)
THE REPLACEMENT by Brenna Yovanoff (Penguin, September 2010) (ARC)
MONSTER HIGH by Lisi Harrison (Poppy, September 2010) (ARC)
ENCHANTED IVY by Sara Beth Durst (Simon & Schuster, September 2010) (ARC)


WHAT HAPPENED TO GOODBYE by Sarah Dessen (Viking, May 2011) (ARC)
AWAKEN by Katie Kacvinsky (Houghton Mifflin, May 2011) (ARC)
ABSOLUTELY MAYBE by Lisa Yee (Arthor A. Levine, February 2009) (ARC)
THE SPACE BETWEEN TREES by Kate Williams (Chronicle, June 2010) (ARC)
UNDISCOVERED GIRL by Allison Burnett (Random House, August 2009) (ARC)

Source of books: From publishers at trade shows and from local independent bookstore.
Any royalties from links will go toward shipping to contest winners.

International winners can pick their top choice from the prize back and a second winner will be selected for the remainder (because shipping five books overseas is a lot more than shipping one book) :)

The contest will run through midnight on Tuesday, May 31st, 2011!

Whew! Okay, so all the ways to enter... I'm using a form below which you need to fill out, but here are all the pertinent links and stuff for extra entries!

For your chance to win, you have to follow this blog. That gets you one entry.

Extra entries are here:
Okay, that's it! So click away on the above links, and then fill out the form below. Yay for good books and spreading the love! And thank you again!

Good luck!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Winner - THE LIAR SOCIETY by Lisa & Laura Roecker

Thanks to everyone who entered! The winner of

THE LIAR SOCIETY by Lisa & Laura Roecker (Sourcebooks, March 1, 2011)



Don't forget I'll be posting the mother of all book giveaways on Monday! And I'm also giving away:

I SO DON'T DO FAMOUS by Barrie Summy (Delacorte, May 10, 2011)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Wrap-up! Cynsations. Upcoming Giveaway.

I'm over on Cynsations today blogging about (you guessed it) SOLSTICE and what it's like to revise when your agent is your editor. Please head over and check in out!

Also, in case you aren't on my mailing list, my first newsletter went out yesterday. SOLSTICE is now available everywhere!
You can read the newsletter here!
And if you aren't subscribed, you can enter your email over in the box on the right. Thank you!

In preparation for Dallas Comic Con (which is next weekend!!!!!), I'm reading this awesome ($0.99) ebook by Mari Mancusi, author of the super-popular BLOOD COVEN Vampire Series!


totally recommended!!!!!

Hey, check out this awesome cover comparison! *love*

flipped. skirt colored.

Also, on Monday, look for the mother of all book giveaways, coming here! It's going to be bunches of books. I'm excited just trying to figure out which ones to showcase this time and which ones to save for the summer solstice!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

I SO DON'T DO FAMOUS Book Giveaway

There are so many amazing authors out there, and I adore all you guys! One author in particular I am so happy to consider a friend is the super-sweet, fun-to-be-around, awesome-writer Barrie Summy! So in celebration of Barrie, I'm giving away an ARC of her brand new, just-released

I SO DON'T DO FAMOUS by Barrie Summy (Delacorte, May 10, 2011)

If you remember, I made her trailer a few months back, but in case you missed it, here it is again in all its glory! And look for the special extras at the end!

From Amazon:

Having a boyfriend in eighth grade makes me kind of a celebrity at school. I'm also known throughout the spirit world--I've helped my ghost mom solve some tough cases. And now I'm on my biggest one of all . . . in Hollywood!
Everyone is so famous here. But there's no time for stargazing. Somehow I managed to stumble upon a mystery right on Hollywood Boulevard. Homes of young celebs are being burglarized, and it's up to me to figure out who's behind the million dollar crimes--and prove it to the Beverly Hills police. And to complicate things? The ghost of a teen star is dying to help me. One thing you never hear in the land of glitz & glamour? I so don't do famous.

Source of book: From publisher by request

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

1) Follow this blog
2) 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
3) Also, if you've never won one of my contests, please tell me in the comments, and you'll get an extra entry!

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, May 20, 2011!


And for the record, I am planning a massive giveaway (hopefully going live next week), but in the meantime, don't forget I'm also giving away:

THE LIAR SOCIETY by Lisa & Laura Roecker (Sourcebooks, March 1, 2011)

Bid on a Critique with me to support Alabama!


The Southern Princess, who you guys might know as Courtney Barr (or maybe it's the other way around) has started an amazing auction to support Tornado Disaster Relief for Alabama. I mean, how cool is that? Courtney is awesome, and I'm thrilled to be taking part in this auction.

If you click on over to the link, there is a giant press photo of my head and a chance to win a 10-page and query letter critique!

This is an amazing cause being organized by an amazing person, and I am honored to be a part of it!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

HOURGLASS by Myra McEntire

I was thrilled to get an advanced reader copy of this book for review. Ever since I saw the cover (more on that), I had to read it!

HOURGLASS by Myra McEntire (Egmont, June 14, 2011)

There are so many reasons I loved this book, I'll see if I can hit on all of them.

1) Yes, the cover. It's like INCEPTION without all the loud noises.
2) Time travel. And the best thing about the time travel in HOURGLASS is that it pretty much works. I mean, I'm an engineer, and I bought off on it. Nicely done!
3) The romance. Insert electricity between love interests, and I'm hooked.
4) The writing. Was fantastic. I found myself completely engaged in the story which is such a nice treat.

This book is what happens when time travel meets the X-men, complete with Wolverine, Jean Gray, Cyclops, and Professor Xavier. And seeing as how I LOVE X-Men and how I love time travel, well...this book was right my virtual alley. Aside from one of the best covers of 2011, the inside of this book definitely delivers! Highly recommended for girls and boys, seventh grade and up, fans of fantasy and science fiction.

Source of book: From publisher by request

Love this cover reveal book trailer!

From Amazon:

One hour to rewrite the past . . .

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?

Full of atmosphere, mystery, and romance, Hourglass merges the very best of the paranormal and science-fiction genres in a seductive, remarkable young adult debut.

In which I talk some more about SOLSTICE

The second part of my interview is up over at THE SPECTACLE, so if you're curious about the marketing aspects of SOLSTICE, head over and check it out!

And in the event you want to "like" the SOLSTICE page on facebook (please!!!!!), here's the link!

Thank you!

Monday, May 09, 2011

In which I talk some about SOLSTICE!

Hey guys! I have an interview up over on my old haunt, THE SPECTACLE, so if you're curious about SOLSTICE or any of the details behind it, head over and check it out!

And while you're at it, in the event you want to add SOLSTICE to your Goodreads to-be-read list, you can do it here! (and thank you!!!!!)

Happy Monday!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Winner—RULES OF ATTRACTION by Simone Elkeles!

Thank you to everyone who entered the awesome Spring Blog Carnival! What a blast!

The winner of RULES OF ATTRACTION by Simone Elkeles (Walker, April 13, 2010)



Look for more giveaways coming up (like a big, huge one!), and don't forget I'm also giving away:

THE LIAR SOCIETY by Lisa & Laura Roecker (Sourcebooks, March 1, 2011)

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Bid on a Critique with me! It's for a Great Cause!

Hey everyone! In case you haven't heard, there is an amazing auction going on right now run by Lauren of Shooting Stars Mag and Kristi of The Story Siren. It's supporting two people with things going on in their lives I can't even image. Please read more about Daniel and Kaylea and the auction itself on the links, and please consider bidding on something (yes, you get something back) to help them out!

Up today for auction is a 10-page MG or YA critique with me. This auction item will only be up until Tuesday, so bid early before it slips away. And the best part? The starting price is only $5!

And, seriously, a huge thank you for your support. The world recognizes and appreciates it.

Think you don't need another set of eyes looking at your story?


So look for an epic book giveaway coming next week! I have to celebrate SOLSTICE right! I'm already excited just thinking about the books I'm going to give away!

But in the meantime, a huge thank you to everyone who entered to win!

The winner of GUARDIANS OF THE HIDDEN SCEPTER by Frank L. Cole (Cedar Fort, March 8, 2011)



And don't forget I'm also giving away

RULES OF ATTRACTION by Simone Elkeles (Walker, April 13, 2010)

THE LIAR SOCIETY by Lisa & Laura Roecker (Sourcebooks, March 1, 2011)