Thursday, January 19, 2012

On The Go with Lucienne Driver

Please welcome Lucienne Driver, author of the Vamped series. The next installment is here! You can win a copy, if you leave a comment.

You have been given your Dream Vacation. Where are you going & what are you doing?

My family and I visited mainland Greece last year, and it was amazing, but too short. In my dream vacation, we'd spend more time, at least two weeks, touring around the Greek isles and Crete. I've always wanted to see Knossos. I was an anthropology and writing double-major in college, and I think the only other place on earth I want to visit quite as much is Egypt, particularly the Valley of the Kings.

What if you could travel to a different time period? 

I'm pretty happy in modern times. Like my heroine, I have to admit to being a fan of my creature comforts. However, I think it would be amazing to travel to the height of the various civilizations as an observer... Mayan, Egyptian, Ottoman, Greek and Roman, Imperial China...

Are you a planner or seat-of-the pants traveler?

I'm a planner. I like to leave time in each day for those side trips or surprises that are often the best part of any visit, but there's always so much I want to see or do that I plan very carefully to make sure we don't miss out on a thing! For instance on that week-long trip to Greece we managed to hit Athens, the Corinth Canal, Epidaurus, Olympus, Mycenae, Delphi, Meteora, Thermopylae Pass, and Cape Sounion (for the Temple of Poseidon). I so want to go back for Delos, Santorini, Rhodes, Crete...

What's the worst thing that's happened to you on vacation?

As an adult, I've had pretty amazing vacation karma. But as kids, my sister and I nearly got swept away by the undertow on a black sand beach in Hawaii. We weren't even up to our knees in the water, but the current was so strong that we were carried away in no time. My father had to dash in and save us both. I'll never forget it. And I'll never underestimate the forces of nature. 

About the Book

What do you wear to face down a cadre of killer kids? 

Gina Covello would rather be working on her manicure than missions for the Feds’ paranormal unit to which she’s been recruited.  That changes when a group of killer kids takes out a family in the sunshine state and disappearances begin to plague the lifestylers who only play at the kind of existence our fanged fashionista leads.  She and her crew are sent undercover into the vampire clubs…which turn out to be run by real vampires.  While Gina’s BFF Marcy hangs with the steampunk-styled Burgess Brigade that seems to have spawned the killer kids, Gina herself is supposed to get in good with the fanged fiends behind the scenes, even to the point of playing double-agent, offering to hand over her powerful boyfriend Bobby.  Her playacting threatens to become a bit too real when she discovers things about her spy handlers that make her wonder whether she’s truly on the right side of the battle between Feds and fangs.

“As ever, Gina's feisty, funny narration carries the day. Gina never fails to please, as she strides down the runway of afterlife with just the right mix of humor, make-up advice, youthful lust that never crosses the line and a kung-fu style all her own. This one doesn’t miss a beat.” Kirkus Reviews

About The Author

Lucienne Diver is the author of the popular Vamped series of young adult novels (think Clueless meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer).  School Library Journal calls the first book, “a lighthearted, action-packed, vampire romance story following in the vein of Julie Kenner’s “Good Ghouls” (Berkley), Marlene Perez’s “Dead” (Harcourt), and Rachel Caine’s “The Morganville Vampires” (Signet) series.” VOYA has suggested that the books “will attract even reluctant readers.”

Her short stories have been included in the Strip-Mauled and Fangs for the Mammaries anthologies edited by Esther Friesner (Baen Books), and one of her essays appears in the anthology Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories (HarperTeen). 

To win a copy of the book, please leave a comment. See Lucienne's website for more contests! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

On The Go with Eileen Cook

Welcome Eileen Cook! If you'd like to win a copy of Unraveling Isobel, please leave a comment.
1. You have been given your Dream Vacation. Where are you going & what are you doing?
Oooh hard question, so much depends on my mood.  I love mucking about in Europe poking in old castles, but lying on a beach with a book is never a bad thing either.
2. What if you could travel to a different time period?
I love history so it would be fun to go back to Tudor England. However, I also love my modern toys. I’d miss my laptop and phone if I went back in time, not to mention indoor plumbing and hot showers.
3. Are you a planner or a seat-of-the pants traveler?
I come from a family of travel planners. When my parents go on vacation they know exactly what they want to see, when, what time and where they will eat.  It drives them crazy because my husband and I are much more by the seat of our pants travelers. I like to leave things open so I can explore or spend more time in a place without feeling rushed. Some of my best travel experiences have been random accidents.
4. What's the worst thing that's ever happened to you on vacation?
I find a lot of bad travel experiences are funny when they’re all over.  I traveled with a friend once and we ended up in this complete dive of a hotel. There was a hole in the bathroom that looked down into the room below. (And yes, they could look up).  The bed linen had someone else’s hair on it and the blanket must have been a bathroom mat at one point because it has a rubber backing. The place was nasty, but there was nowhere else to go until the next day.  I slept in my clothes.

About the Book:

Isobel’s life is falling apart. Her mom just married some guy she met on the internet only three months before, and is moving them to his sprawling, gothic mansion off the coast of nowhere. Goodbye, best friend. Goodbye, social life. Hello, icky new stepfather, crunchy granola town, and unbelievably good-looking, officially off-limits stepbrother.
But on her first night in her new home, Isobel starts to fear that it isn’t only her life that’s unraveling—her sanity might be giving way too. Because either Isobel is losing her mind, just like her artist father did before her, or she’s seeing ghosts. Either way, Isobel’s fast on her way to being the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons.

“This blend of paranormal romance, murder mystery and quirky, coming-of-age narrative offers tasty moments….Cook gives readers a fast-paced plot, a likable narrator, and interesting characters.” -Kirkus

"Isobel, all snark and sharp edges covering some intense vulnerability as she continuously checks in to see if she has crossed into mental illness (as her father did when she was young), is a compelling narrator."-  Horn Book Magazine

About the Author:

Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in six different languages. She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. 

You can read more about Eileen, her books, and the things that strike her as funny at  Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.

Want to win a copy? Leave a comment by Tuesday, January 24th at midnight! 

Contest Winner!

Congratulations to Gabriella Skory! You've won DEADLY LITTLE VOICES!!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Guest Blogging

Today I'm blogging about my trouble with "firsts" over at YA Outside The Lines, but I'm hosting Laurie Faria Stolarz here. Her latest installment in the TOUCH series is on bookstore shelves now. Leave a comment to win a copy!

How to bring your psychometric senses to fruition
By Camelia Hammond, main character, TOUCH series by Laurie Faria Stolarz

1. Make yourself comfortable in a place that feels “sacred” to you. For some it’s outside, surrounded by nature; for others it’s a favorite chair or surrounded by candles; for me, it’s wherever I’m doing pottery.
2. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breath, letting go of any stray or nervous thoughts.
3. Now, take an object in your hand. A good idea is to have someone give you something they’ve owned for a long time, i.e. a favorite bracelet or a set of keys.
4. Close your eyes again and concentrate on this object. Be aware of any thoughts or feelings that come about as a result of holding this object. Talk those ideas through, even if they seem silly or insignificant, but never make information up.
Remember, this takes practice and a bit of experimenting. The goal is to begin tuning in to your own inner awareness and your ability of perception. What often works for me is asking a question aloud, and then sculpting out the answer, using my power of touch in a creative and organic way.
Good Luck!
For more information, go here:

 About Deadly Little Voices:

Camelia Hammond thought her powers of psychometry gave her only the ability to sense the future through touch. But now she’s started to hear voices. Cruel voices. Berating her, telling her how ugly she is, that she has no talent, and that she'd be better off dead. Camelia is terrified for her mental stability, especially since her deranged aunt with a suicidal history, has just moved into the house. As if all of that weren't torturing enough, Camelia's ex-boyfriend, Ben, for whom she still harbors feelings and who has similar psychometric abilities, has started seeing someone else. Even her closest friends, Kimmie and Wes, are unsure how to handle her erratic behavior.
With the line between reality and dream consistently blurred, Camelia turns to pottery to get a grip on her emotions. She begins sculpting a figure skater, only to receive frightening premonitions that someone's in danger. But who is the intended victim? And how can Camelia help that person when she’s on the brink of losing her own sanity?

More About Laurie:

Laurie Faria Stolarz is the author of Deadly Little Secret, Deadly Little Lies, Deadly Little Games, Deadly Little Voices, Project 17, and Bleed, as well as the bestselling Blue is for Nightmares series.  Born and raised in Salem, Massachusetts, Stolarz attended Merrimack College and received an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College in Boston. For more information, please visit her Web site at

Leave a comment to win a copy of Deadly Little Voices! Or if you're new to the series, I'll send you a copy of the first title. Contest ends at midnight on January 15th.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Mayan Calendar

During every school visit I've done for Jungle Crossing, eventually students ask me about the Mayan calendar's prediction that the world will end in 2012. I explain how that's only one calendar of many Mayan calendars & reassure them that the world will continue. But I kind of like this answer better (a friend sent it to me on New Year's Day):