Monday, June 25, 2012

One Reason Why I Write...

Because I would've ended up staying in college FOREVER like this guy:

As a writer I can research and learn about anything and everything, and put it to good use in my novels. Oh, but I still love a great class... And that tassel collection is impressive!

(I'm kind of jealous.)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer Fun & Giveaway with Myra McEntire

Please welcome Myra McEntire, author of Timepiece. Isn't this a great cover? If you'd like this book on your shelf, leave a comment! 

What's your favorite summer memory?

Flashlight tag. I had a really big yard with lots of trees and rocks, and the whole neighborhood played.

Ice cream or popsicle? What's your favorite flavor?

Ice cream. Coffee is always a solid favorite, but Rocky Road is a close second.

What will you be reading this summer? 

Right now I am reading The Book of Lost Things by John Connelly, but I’m looking forward to a reread of the Harry Potter series.


Kaleb Ballard was never supposed to be able to see ripples—cracks in time. Are Kaleb’s powers expanding, or is something very wrong? Before Kaleb can find out, Jonathan Landers, the man who tried to murder his father, reappears. Why is he back, and what, or whom, does he want?
In the wake of Landers’s return, the Hourglass organization is offered an ultimatum by a mysterious man. Either they find Landers and the research he has stolen on people who might carry the time gene, or time will be altered—with devastating results for the people Kaleb loves most.
Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their extraordinary powers to find Landers. But where do they even start? And when? Even if they succeed, just finding him may not be enough. . . .
The follow-up to Hourglass, Timepiece blends the paranormal, science-fiction, mystery, and suspense genres into a nonstop thrill ride where every second counts.


Myra McEntire knows the words to every R&B hit of the last decade, but since she lives in Nashville, the country music capital of America, her lyrical talents go sadly unappreciated. She's chosen, instead, to channel her "mad word skills" into creating stories. She's an avid Doctor Who fan and will argue passionately about which incarnation is the best. 

You can find her at:


Myra has a contest on her site - - that will run from June 18th to June 25th. She’ll be giving away signed copies of HOURGLASS and TIMEPIECE, signed posters of the covers, a goodie basket inspired by her characters, and signed books from other authors! Thank you!

You can also win a copy of Timepiece by leaving a comment here. 
Winner will be chosen in mid-July (I'm out having summer fun too!)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Fun & Giveaway with Amanda Ashby

Please welcome Amanda Ashby, author of the new middle-grade series Sophie's Mixed-Up Magic. Want to win copies for your favorite reader? Leave a comment below! 

What's your favorite summer memory?
In Australia summer means Christmas and once when I was ten, I received two Trixie Belden books and a big bag of Twisties (which are like Cheetos). I then spent the whole day under a tree reading and eating. I have still yet to top that day!
Ice cream or popsicle? What's your favorite flavor? 

Coffee flavored ice cream. Yum!
What will you be reading this summer? 

It’s my winter over here and as soon as I finish Game of Thrones (hahaha - how appropriate since winter really is coming!) I will be reading Bitterblue and Grave Mercy. I’m smiling at the prospect!!

Book One: Wishful Thinking

Be careful what you wish for…
After eleven year old Sophie accidentally gets herself turned into a djinn, she starts to think that it might not be so bad after all. (Of course, that’s after she gets the whole orange skin problem sorted out.) Who wouldn’t enjoy having the power to grant wishes! But when Sophie develops RWD (Random Wish Disorder) and can’t STOP granting wishes, things get more than a little mixed-up!

Book Two: Under a Spell 

And that spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E…
As Sophie gets used to her magic, her relationship with the adorable Jonathan Tait is blossoming. There’s only one problem: Jonathan’s twin sister, Melissa. She’s a total mean girl who seems intent on making Sophie’s life miserable. On top of that, Melissa somehow seems to sense that Sophie has powers–and manages to bind Sophie to her in a totally self-serving way. Can Sophie figure out a way out of this–without ruining her chances with Jonathan?

Book one and two are a simultaneous release and watch out for book three in October…

About The Author

Amanda Ashby was born in Australia and after spending the last sixteen years dividing her time between England and New Zealand, she’s finally moved back and now lives on the Sunshine Coast. When she’s not moving country, she likes to write books (okay, she also likes to eat chocolate, watch television and sit around doing not much, but let’s just keep that amongst ourselves, shall we?)
She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two children. Her debut book, You Had Me at Halo was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award, and her first young adult book Zombie Queen of Newbury High was listed by the New York Public Library’s Stuff for the Teen Age 2010. Her latest release, Fairy Bad Day, has been selected by Voya as one of their Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers 2012 and is a SCBWI Crystal Kite Award finalist for the Australia/NZ region. To find out more, please go to

To win copies of both books, please leave a comment! 
I'm out having my own summer fun so I won't be selecting a winner until mid-July 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Neko Case: Pure Talent

We found a great spot (oh-so close to the stage!) for the Neko Case concert on Saturday night. I was struck by the fact that Neko wasn't wearing makeup, dressed kind of like a soccer mom, and wore super comfy shoes. She didn't use props and her only costume change consisted of tucking tassels into her pleasant blouse when she played guitar because they got in the way.

Neko simply delivers the goods: absolutely gorgeous singing.

Pure talent doesn't need a lot of glitz. Sometimes I think singers with mediocre voices hide behind skimpy outfits, slinky dance numbers, and outrageous staging. I'm pretty sure there's a writing lesson in there somewhere...

But wouldn't you rather hear Neko sing for yourself? Here's a clip of Neko all dressed up on the Letterman show:


Hope you're enjoying summertime art opportunities too!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer Fun & Giveaway with Elana Johnson

Please welcome Elana Johnson, author of Surrender, for some summer fun! Please leave a comment for a chance to win your own copy.

What's your favorite summer memory? 

My sister and I used to set the tent up in the backyard and sleep out there for days. I loved that about summer.

Ice cream or popsicle? What's your favorite flavor?

Oooh, I love popsicles. Dryer’s makes superb fruit popsicles. I like their lemonade, lime, and strawberry ones.

What will you be reading this summer?

INSURGENT by Veronica Roth. I’M NOT HER by Janet Gurtler. MONUMENT 14 by Emmy Laybourne. These are my recent Kindle purchases. Oh! And PARTIALS by Dan Wells. Still haven’t read that.

About Elana: Elana's work including POSSESSION, REGRET, and SURRENDER is available from Simon & Schuster wherever books are sold. She is the author of From the Query to the Call, an ebook that every writer needs to read before they query, which can be downloaded for free on her website. She runs a personal blog on publishing and is a founding author of the QueryTracker blog. She blogs regularly at The League of Extraordinary Writers, co-organizes WriteOnCon, and can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

She wishes she could experience her first kiss again, tell the mean girl where to shove it, and have cool superpowers like reading minds and controlling fire. To fulfill her desires, she writes young adult science fiction and fantasy.

About SURRENDER: Raine has always been a good girl. She lives by the rules in Freedom. After all, they are her father’s rules: He’s the Director. It’s because of him that Raine is willing to use her talent—a power so dangerous, no one else is allowed to know about it. Not even her roommate, Vi.
All of that changes when Raine falls for Gunner. Raine’s got every reason in the world to stay away from Gunn, but she just can’t. Especially when she discovers his connection to Vi’s boyfriend, Zenn.

Raine has never known anyone as heavily brainwashed as Vi. Raine’s father expects her to spy on Vi and report back to him. But Raine is beginning to wonder what Vi knows that her father is so anxious to keep hidden, and what might happen if she helps Vi remember it. She’s even starting to suspect Vi’s secrets might involve Freedom’s newest prisoner, the rebel Jag Barque….

GIVEAWAY: Elana is hosting a Spectacular Seconds giveaway this week! You can enter to win one of five signed sophomore books by Beth Revis, Ally Condie, Veronica Roth, Kristi Cook, and Kim Harrington. CLICK HERE for all the details and to enter.

Leave a comment on this blog for a chance to win a copy too! 
Drawing will be held mid-July due to summer craziness.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Summer Fun & Giveaway with Melissa Walker

You know you want a great summer read! Leave a comment & win a copy of Melissa Walker's Unbreak My Heart.

What's your favorite summer memory?

Oh, so many! But one that I love is sitting out on a floating dock with my cousin in Vermont (our families rented a cabin there) while reading GONE WITH THE WIND for the first time. I think I was 12, and I loved that book. (The other favorite memories involve kissing. Various boys and kissing. Sigh.)

Ice cream or popsicle? What's your favorite flavor?

Oh, both! Don't make me choose. Popsicles I'll go with cherry. I love how it makes my lips red too.

What will you be reading this summer? 

Hopefully a ton of books! One I'm really looking forward to is Beth Kephart's Small Damages. I love her writing!

About The Book

The year that broke her heart. The summer that healed it. A dual love story.
Sophomore year broke Clementine Williams’ heart. She fell for her best friend’s boyfriend and long story short: he’s excused, but Clem is vilified and she heads into summer with zero social life. Enter her parents’ plan to spend the summer on their sailboat. Normally the idea of being stuck on a tiny boat with her parents and little sister would make Clem break out in hives, but floating away sounds pretty good right now. Then she meets James at one of their first stops along the river. He and his dad are sailing for the summer and he’s just the distraction Clem needs. Can he break down Clem’s walls and heal her broken heart? Told in alternating chapters that chronicle the year that broke Clem’s heart and the summer that healed it, Unbreak My Heart is a wonderful dual love story that fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Susane Colasanti will flock to.
Find out more about Melissa here
Remember to leave a comment to win a copy of Unbreak My Heart! Since I'll be out and about enjoying my own summer fun, this giveaway will go until mid-July! 

Contest Winner!


Bethany won a copy of In Honor by Jessi Kirby!