Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tell The Truth Tuesday…

One of the things I hate about the world-o-publishing are all of the secrets. I think I’ve said this before, but I am not a good secret-keeper. All the secret-keeping makes me shut down. Aka, blog silence. Have you noticed the blog silence??? Yeah, there are secrets. And I really, really hate keeping ‘em.

Also, I got word today that my publisher is pretty much out of Desires of the Dead ARCs.

The good news: That means that DESIRES was highly requested.

The bad news: That means most reviewers will now have to wait until there are finished copies. Boo!

Unless, of course, I have a contest.

I totally think I should have a contest soon, don’t you?

In other news, it was pointed out to me today that I blink a lot. Excessively, even. (Yes, mom, I was listening…I get it, I blink too much!)

Actually, I was the first one to bring it up after watching a video of myself, and my mom only confirmed what I already suspected: I am a super-blinker!

The good news: My eyelids are incredibly strong.

The bad news: I look like I'm having some sort of seizure on camera.

Seriously, though, I think I may have some sort of dry eye thing going on…since…well, forever. Anyway, I’m gonna have to get that checked out. Next time you see a video of me, I won’t even blink. Not once. It’ll be freaky.

In a totally cool, I’m-so-hot, look-at-me-not-blinking kind of way, of course.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Debs Are SPEAKing Loudly Too (and are giving you a HUGE chance to win!)

Remember a couple of days ago when I said that Twenty Boy Summer was on the list of books being banned? And you know how I’m a 2009 Deb???

Well, we Debs have banded together to stand behind our friend Sarah Ockler (the author of TBS) and we’re giving away 100--yes 100!!!--copies of Twenty Boy Summer between now and October 2nd!

Them are some good odds, people. I’m just sayin’.

But don’t comment here (unless you just wanna tell me how cool I am!), you’ve gotta go over to the Debs’ site to enter the giveaway.

Sometimes I'm so dang proud to be part of this YA community!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Epic SMART CHICKS Wrap-Up Post!!!

So, while The Smart Chicks Kick-It Tour is far from over, my part is finished. And, OHMYGOD OHMYGOD OHMYGOD, I had a blast!!! But rather than bore you with the details, I’m just gonna show you:


In Scottsdale (on a day that topped 110 degrees!), I had lunch with Little Miss J (Jeanette) and her infamous friend, Amie.


Later that night, the two of them braved almost 300 screaming girls to stand in line and say hi again. That’s true friendship!




Poisoned Pen Books had these great Smart Chicks Kick-It (Get it??? "Kick-It" so they had boots. Clever!) cookies waiting for us in the “green room” (a room which I have to say was not green at all).


They also dazzled our eyes with these cute and sparkly tattoos that were painted on nearly everyone in line. (Clearly it doesn’t take much to please me, cookies and sparkles and I am a happy, happy girl!)



The Late Bloomer gals, Jen and Espe (pictured here with all the Smart Chicks) along with Aprilynne Pike (who was camera shy) introduced me to GELATO after the event. Who knew how delicious gelato was??? Honestly, I can’t stop craving it now. Thanks a lot, you guys!


The next day we were off to Menlo Park minus Sarah Rees Brennan and Holly Black...but we picked up Melissa de la Cruz, Margie Stohl, and Kami Garcia. Oh, and Vania!


Backstage we showed off our jewelry and our shoes…





…we read the paper (really, this was for an interview)…


And then we were on…





I have no idea what Alyson was saying, but it must have been HI-larious! (at least the photo was)







Okay, Zoe tried to tell me she dyed her hair to match my Desires of the Dead cover, and I don’t know if that was true or not, but I’m vain enough that I’ve convinced myself to be flattered. So, YAY Zoe!!!



Even famous author (and fellow Tenner!) Heidi Kling came out to see us! (See, I told you Vania was there!)



And if you want to see more from these stops, Smart Chick Jackson Pearce has put together these awesome video montages (I wish I had half of Jackson's video makin' skillz!):



Tuesday, September 21, 2010

SPEAKing Loudly!

I always wonder how personal I should get on my blog. Mostly, the answer is: not very. I find it easier to keep everyone at arm’s length, never to reveal too much or be too opinionated on any topic.

But this is different. Now we’re talking about censorship, something that every writer should have an opinion about.

Recently, in the Springfield News-Leader, Wesley Scroggins, an associate professor of management at Missouri State University, wrote an opinion piece classifying Laurie Halse Anderson’s SPEAK as “soft pornography” because of two rape scenes in the book.

Umm, what??? Since when is rape considered pornographic? Pornography by definition is: “The depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement.”

Hold on a second while I repeat that last part: “…to cause sexual excitement.” (And, yeah, I got that straight from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.)

Let me just say, and this is where it gets uncomfortable for me because I do tend to keep my personal life private, but as someone who was molested repeatedly as a child, calling rape (or anything rape-related) “pornographic” is over-the-top offensive. And insinuating that Laurie Halse Anderson had any intention of stimulating anyone’s sexual appetite is not only insulting, it is repugnant!

I want to add that there are other books currently being targeted as well. Sarah Ockler’s TWENTY BOY SUMMER is being challenged in a Missouri school library because one parent thought the title was “promiscuous”; there was the Ellen Hopkins un-invite from the Humble Texas book event; and in Stockton, Missouri Sherman Alexie’s THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART TIME INDIAN has been banned.

We’re talking about books here, BOOKS! These are ideas, thoughts, an absolutely essential tool of freedom. Books are the way we can experience and grow and learn…even if the topics they touch on are not always the easy ones. As a parent, my thought is that if you don’t want your children reading about something specific (like rape), then be responsible and get involved in their choices. But please, please don’t tell my kids what they should—or more importantly, shouldn’t—be reading. That’s dangerous ground to navigate.

There are so many people who make these arguments much more eloquently than I do, and you should totally read their posts here (Sarah Ockler on banned books), here (The Rejectionist, defending SPEAK), here (CJ Redwine on why books like SPEAK are important to girls who have survived rape), and here (Myra McEntire giving a Christian take on the subject).

But here's what it really boils down to: I don't want someone else shoving their beliefs down my kids’ throats. And, in return, I won’t shove mine down theirs.

IT'S OVER...

The Great Bake Sale, I mean! Christine Johnson announced the GRAND PRIZE WINNER on her blog today (check it out)!!!

Congrats if you were the one who won it all! But even if you weren't, stay tuned...there's still the chance to win the individual prize packs (which are pretty cool, if I do say so myself).

Sunday, September 12, 2010

BOOKPLATES

I just got these in the mail:


Okay, so the ones I got weren't actually backwards, but I'm trying out my new Mac and this is how Photo Booth takes the pics! I consider this progress, the Mac has now officially been used (so what if it's only a giant camera at this point).

Now you, too, can have these shiny, awesome bookplates for your very own copy of THE BODY FINDER. And look how great they'll look in your book:

I know you want one, so here's all you have to do...

Just send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:

Kimberly Derting
P.O. Box 7378
Bonney Lake, WA 98391

If you want your bookplate personalized, then include a note (sticky note, scratch paper, gum wrapper, whatever...) with the correct spelling of whoever you want it made out to.

Think about it, wouldn't this make a great gift? A copy of THE BODY FINDER with a shiny, signed bookplate? Perfect for birthdays...the holidays...anniversaries (because what husband doesn't want a YA book for their anniversary? Am I right, ladies???).

And I just have to thank Reggie from The Undercover Book Lover who designed the original bookplates. Reggie, you're the best!!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Okay, So I'm a Little Late...(HUGE GIVEAWAY!!!!)

THE CONTEST IS NOW OVER, CHECK OUT CHRISTINE JOHNSON'S SITE TO SEE WHO WON!!!

But...

It’s here, it’s (finally!) here - The Great YA Bake Sale of 2010!

Get your napkins, cups of coffee, and glasses of milk ready, because author Christine Johnson has put together a sweetest, and I mean SWEETEST contest of the year! And it all started when she realized that YA authors seem to have one big thing in common - an obsession with treats and baking.











Here’s the deal:

To enter, simply leave a thoughtful comment on an author’s (mine, Christine's, or any of the other authors participating) Bake Sale blog post, or tweet about the contest with the hashtag #YABakeSale10. Voila! You’re entered.

When you enter, you become eligible to win any one of the Personal Prize Packs (i.e. a comment on Saundra Mitchell’s blog may net you the Cyn Balog prize pack. You’re entering the whole contest, not just that particular author’s part of it.) You also become eligible to win the humongonormous Grand Prize Basket.

What’s in the Grand Prize Basket?

Each author has hand-written two copies of a favorite sweet-treat recipe. One copy has gone into a beautiful recipe book that is part of the Grand Prize Basket. In addition to the (hand-written! Did I mention that?) recipe collection, the Grand Prize winner will receive:

A signed copy of Cyn Balog’s SLEEPLESS

Bookmarks for KAT, INCORRIGIBLE by Stephanie Burgis

Signed bookmarks for THE CRESCENT and HALF MOON, pencils, and a crescent moon and crystal-studded star necklace from Jordan Deen

A signed copy of THE BODY FINDER, a TBF tote bag, sticker and bookmarks from Kimberly Derting

An EVERLASTING-themed notebook, bookmark and pin from Angela Frazier

A signed copy of CLAIRE DE LUNE, signed stickers and a silver, moon-themed bookmark from Christine Johnson

A signed copy of SHADOWED SUMMER, matching chocolate candies, Twilight-themed heart candies, bookmarks and THE VESPERTINE dance card from Saundra Mitchell

A signed copy of THE PACE, by Shelena Shorts, along with bookmarks and THE PACE pencils

A signed hard-cover of SHADE and a Keeley Brothers pin from Jeri-Smith Ready

A signed copy of PERSONAL DEMONS, a PERSONAL DEMONS tank top, temporary tattoos, and bookmarks from Lisa Desrochers

. . . AND MORE!!! All for ONE LUCKY WINNER!


But that’s not all!

Each author has one other handwritten recipe that will be part of each author’s own Personal Prize Pack.

The prize packs include:

Cyn Balog - Signed copy of SLEEPLESS and a handwritten recipe for Coconut Bread.

Stephanie Burgis - UK paperback copy of A MOST IMPROPER MAGICK and a hand written recipe for Apple Muffins

Kay Cassidy - Hand-written recipe and giveaways

Megan Crewe - Hand-written recipe and giveaways

Shannon Delaney - Hand-written recipe and giveaways

Jordan Deen - Basket with Pampered Chef baking gear and a recipe for Orange Pineapple Cake

Kimberly Derting - Signed copy of The Body Finder, stickers, a totebag, bookmarks and a recipe for Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lisa Desrochers - A copy of PERSONAL DEMONS and a recipe for Sunday Coffee Cupcakes

Angie Frazier - A signed hard-cover copy of EVERLASTING, bookmark, and a recipe for Butter Rum Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream Frosting

Judith Graves - Copy of UNDER MY SKIN, a character card, and a recipe for Dead Lady Fingers

Christine Johnson - A signed hard-cover copy of CLAIRE DE LUNE, stickers, a silver moon-themed bookmark and a recipe for Chocolate-Chip Butterscotch Blondies

Saundra Mitchell - Recipe and giveaways

Jennifer Murgia - ANGEL STAR swag, Octogram

earrings, and a hand-written recipe

Shelena Shorts - Signed copy of THE BROKEN LAKE and bookmarks and a hand-written recipe

Jeri Smith-Ready - SHADE UK paperback edition and a recipe for Scottish Oat Scones


Fine print: The contest entries must be posted by midnight eastern time on September 20th. This contest is open to the U.S., U.K. and Canada. Questions? Leave them in the comments or email Christine - christine(at)christinejohnsonbooks.com

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Five (The Back-To-School Edition)

My kids went back to school this week and I’ve had some time to think about how this makes me feel:

1) The house is suddenly so quiet. Terribly, terribly quiet. Maybe a little too quiet.

2) I felt bad sending them back to school this year…mostly because we live in the Pacific Northwest and we had an awful summer. I didn’t feel like we had enough sun to warrant the start of school. I feel like I owe them something: popsicles, sunscreen, maybe a trip to the Bahamas.

3) My husband walked in while I was piercing my son’s ears the night before school started. He just shook his head and said, “Most dads are going over football plays with their sons. Me, I’m watching your mom pierce your ears. Nice.”

4) Which brings me to my next point. When did THIS excited little Kindergartner:


Become THIS high school junior?


Seriously, wasn’t it just yesterday that I was cutting the crust off his PB&Js? (Okay, yes, that probably was just yesterday, he’s still a guy, after all…but you get my point.)

5) When my daughter was getting dressed for her first day, she slipped into her skinny jeans and started jumping around yelling: “Yes! I look just like Jack McDonald!”

Umm, not exactly the look I was going for. Jack is our 13-year-old neighbor, who, yes, rocks the skinny jean look, but…well…is a 13-year-old boy.

I was thinking more Rock Diva for my daughter.


Maybe that was the look Jack was going for too.

Anyway, I hope you’re all surviving this back-to-school/end-of-summer season. And I hope you’re rocking your skinny jeans and enjoying a little peace and quiet wherever you can.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

And the FIRELIGHT Winner...

...is...

kjovus

WOOHOO!!!! I'm emailing you now to get your mailing info, but congrats, I know you'll love it!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Happy Release Day, FIRELIGHT...And A Celebratory Giveaway!!!

You know it. I know it. Today's the day FIRELIGHT by Sophie Jordan hits stores!

And to celebrate, I have not one, but two fabulous surprises...

First, a guest post by the author herself. And, second, I'm giving away a gorgeous ARC of FIRELIGHT!!!

So, let's just get to it. Here she is, Sophie Jordan (talking about romance in YA...hurray!):


When Kimberly Derting asked if I wanted to blog at her site, I went into total fan girl mode. You see, I luuuuuved The Body Finder. It just hit all the right notes for me. Suspense. Mystery. Adventure. Romance. Um, romance … Truly it’s one of the best young adult novels I’ve ever read . And one of the yummiest romances I’ve read, too. To honor that, I thought it only made sense to talk about the subject of romance in YA.

While not a requisite, romance and YA … well, it’s like peanut butter and jelly. They just go together. And there’s a reason for this. What teenager isn’t worked up over someone at least some of the time … er, if not all the time? It’s almost unnatural to not have those feelings at some stage of life -- but when you’re a teenager? C’mon. It’s as natural as breathing. And this is what I hoped I captured in Firelight. The butterflies in your belly, the exquisite torture, the longing ... I don’t feel any of that is melodrama. It’s real. I taught high school. I was in high school not so long ago that I can still remember what it felt like to crush on a guy(s). I think I liked a different guy every few weeks. Um, I might have even liked more than one guy at the same time (gasp). And I was the mature-nose-in-the-book type, too – not at all your wild party girl. Which leads me into …

The love triangle. Yeah. I’m going to talk about it. It’s another natural by-product of adolescence. There can never be an over-abundance of love triangles in young adult novels for me. It just makes the book all the more realistic for me. I much prefer reading about a sixteen-year-old girl conflicted in her feelings for a boy because there’s another tempting boy who happens to be interested in her, too. Seems normal. Seems healthy. I don’t really want to read about a girl so convinced she’s met the love of her life that she excludes the possibility of anyone else. Ugh. I like questions. I like doubts. I like ambiguity. It’s less boring that way. Conflict just gravitates to the love-triangle scenario. And face it, where would a book be without conflict?

In case you have guessed, there is a love triangle in Firelight (and of course a lot of steamy, steamy romance). Well, just a little bit of a triangle. It’s just touched on in the first book, but I’ll go ahead and admit this triangle is explored more in the second book of the Firelight series. To be honest, if you ask me which guy is better for Jacinda – Will or Cassian, I can only say they both have their good points. Neither is perfect, but both are good at the core. We’ll just have to see how the series plays out and who Jacinda picks. Rest assured, the romance will always be there.

So I guess the fated question is this: how do you like your romance “served”? I’m hoping for steamy!

Thanks, Kimberly for having me here!



Now, here's all you have to do to enter:

Just leave a comment here before midnight tomorrow, Wednesday September 8th. That's it! I'll choose one random winner for the copy of FIRELIGHT!

Good luck, everyone.

And happy release day, Sophie!!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

TBF Now In Germany!!!

YAY, the first foreign edition of THE BODY FINDER was released in Germany this week as:

Bodyfinder, Das Echo der Toten (Bodyfinder, the Echoes of the Dead)

If any of you sees this gorgeous German edition out in the wild, could you please email me some pics of it???

Thanks! You guys are the best!!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

FRIDAY FIVE

1) Back to school’s looking really good to me right about now. I know, after my Cat’s in the Cradle post I’m not upping my chances for Mother of the Year by throwing that out there, but I’m saying it anyway. It’ll be nice to have more than 15 minutes at a time to work without someone barging through the door needing a snack, to use the bathroom, or to tattle.

2) I’ve had my shiny, new Macbook Pro for three weeks now and I’m still terrified of it. I’m still using my crashes-almost-everyday, dinosaur of a laptop because the Mac intimidates me. But it’s so pretty. And shiny. And if anyone knows of any cool writerly programs for the Mac, let me know, maybe that would entice me to give it a chance.

3) I’ll be at the Phoenix stop of the Smart Chicks Tour in two weeks!!! (You know, in case you hadn’t heard.)

4) And in San Francisco in two weeks and a day.

5) Alright, is it just me, or are song lyrics getting lamer and lamer???

Seriously: I wanna be a billionaire so freaking bad.

Or how about: Disco Stick.

Or: There’s a party in your bedroom all night long.

Or anything by Ke$ha? I’m not saying she doesn’t make me wanna dance, I’m just saying, come on, has anyone crushed on Mick Jagger since, well…1975???

What happened to the good old days, songs like Pour Some Sugar on Me, Like a Virgin, and Ice Ice Baby? Hmm…no? How about The Thong Song?

Okay, yeah, maybe they’ve always been bad.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

ONLY TWO MORE WEEKS...


Get your Smart Chicks printables here.

THAT IS ALL.

COMING SOON!

It just may be the most fun contest that’s been run this year. More than a dozen of your favorite YA authors, an obsession with sweets, and a stunning array of prizes.

On Saturday, September 4th, details will be announced on Christine Johnson’s blog.

Until then, here’s a hint: