Thursday, June 28, 2012

June: In Pictures

June has flown by, but isn't that the way it always is in the summer?

I love looking at the pictures in my phone, because I don't always catch the big moments, but many of the smaller ones.

So here is my June phone dump...a month in pictures!

Beach Boys Concert:
Homemade Popsicles:
Rocking fake hipster glasses with my amazing little sister:
A SURPRISE Nature hike in the marshland (thus, the flip-flops):

The Shins concert:
Exploring Marines Week in Cleveland:
Rainbows in the parking lot:
Boat cruise on Lake Erie w/my main squeeze and sisters-in-law:

Woolfest at Lake Farmparks:
Pedicures with a good book:

Car rides with my pup:

Lazy days spent writing:

What have you been up to this June?

Winner, Winner! Arc of WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!

I had a lot of entries in the WHAT HAPPENS NEXT giveaway, which makes me excited that so many of you are looking forward to this book.  I loved it, and I know you will too!

I printed out my sheets of entires, numbered each according to the points you had, and then entered all those numbers into the Random Number Generator.

Number 147 was the winner!

Which corresponded to Alicia Marie Ezel!

Yay, Alicia!  Check your e-mail!

Everyone else, click here or here or here and pre-order your copy today!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Crits for Water

The wonderful and giving Kat Brauer has organized an event for the last three years called Crits for Water.  Writers, agents, and editors donate critiques in return for donations to Water, an organization that works to provide clean water to areas where it's lacking.

This year the plan is to raise $10,000 dollars, and you can help Kat reach that goal!

My critique is up on the auction block today (right now!).

I'm donating a critique of the first 7,000 words in a YA or MG novel.  That's the amount an agent usually requests for a partial, so this is a great chance to get your manuscript in tip-top shape and help a good cause.  I'll do line edits throughout and a write-up at the end.

Bidding will be open for 48 hours, until 11:59pm on the 28th. So you best be heading HERE, and trying your luck at winning a critique from me!  Woo-hoo!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Hey, hey...guess what?  I finished the first draft of my Middle Grade novel!  It's done at 44,660 words!

Hot diggity dog!

It's a first draft, though, so it still has a loooooong way to go (and lots of work).

I'm now stepping into my revision cage, but I have good company by my side!

Monday, June 25, 2012

What Is In My Head

I can't take claim for this picture.  In fact, I tried to find the origin of it, but was unsuccessful (if you know the artist, let me know!).  

However, I love the depiction of what's in this person's head.  It reminds me of what I'm like when I'm walking around with a story in me that I'm trying to get out!  I get in a fog where all I'm thinking about is my story, and I'm not saying too much to the outside world.

This is the perfect representation of an author!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Author Pictures

My main squeeze and I got married on a hot humid July day.  The temps climbed into the high 90s and a morning thunder storm made everything all heavy and damp.  Ever since, I've had an extreme hatred to hot summer days (even though our wedding was wonderful!).

So of course, it only made sense that the heat came back to taunt me on Wednesday, when I met with the wonderful Tess Smith to get author pictures done.  It was crazy hot, but we got some great shots in. We even slipped Radley, the wonder dog, into some of the pictures!

While I'm sad to see mustache picture go (the resolution isn't high enough for my cover)...

I'm excited to pick a new author picture.  Tess took over a hundred pictures and it will take a few weeks to get them back, but she sent me a sneak peek of a few.

Which is your favorite?

We even took a few of just Radley!  If it was hot for me, imagine what it was like for her and all that fur! 

I can't wait to share the rest with you and pick one!

BTW... There is still plenty of time to win an advance copy of Colleen Clayton's YA novel WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!  Read about all the details here!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


I've been blessed by the advance reader copy gods lately, so this week I'm happy to share another great book.

This week's contest will be for Colleen Clayton's amazing book WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.

How can you talk about something that you can't remember?

Before the ski trip, Cassidy "Sid" Murphy was a cheerleader (on the bottom of the pyramid, but still...) and a straight-A student, with two of the best friends a girl could ask for. 

When Sid finds herself on a ski lift with hunky local college guy, Dax Windsor, she's thrilled. "Come to a party with me," he tells her, but Dax isn't what he seems. He takes everything from Sid-including a lock of her perfect red curls-and she can't remember any of it.

After the ski trip, Sid is an insomniac and an obsessive late-night runner, unable to relate to her old friends.

Caught in a downward spiral, Sid drops her college prep classes and takes up residence in the A/V room with only Corey "The Living Stoner" Livingston for company. But as she gets to know Corey--slacker, baker, total dreamboat--Sid finds someone who truly makes her happy. Now, if only she could shake the nightmares, everything would be perfect...

Witty and poignant, Colleen Clayton's debut is a stunning story of moving on after the unthinkable happens.

This book is incredible, and you'll be lucky to win it (especially since it doesn't come out until October!).

The contest is simple.  You get an entry for entering and additional ones for following me (see the links on the right-hand side of the blog) and for spreading the word.  You have a week to spread the word (come back and fill out the form multiple times if you keep telling people about the contest).

I'll close the contest at midnight next Wednesday (June 27th) and announce the winner on June 28th.

Good luck!  I can't wait to share this book with someone!

If you tweet/facebook/blog about this contest more than once, please let me know each time in the comments for +4 points each time.  You can spread the word as often as you want until the contest ends next week!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Winner of BUTTER!

I still run my contests old school.

I had tons of entires and wrote each name on a new slip of paper for each point they received.  I then put then in my bowl...

Shook them up and let my husband pick.  He chose....KRISPY!

Yay!  Congrats!  Krispy, I have e-mailed you....go check it!

Tomorrow I will post my next ARC contest...Colleen Clayton's wonderful book WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.  Be sure to stop by and enter!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Advance Reader's Copy of BUTTER

Don't forget to enter to win an advance copy of BUTTER!  I'll close the contest tonight at midnight!  Click here for all the info!

And check back tomorrow for my next ARC giveaway...a copy of Colleen Clayton's WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Coffee Corner!

This is by far the best (and most important!) corner in my house!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Cutest Fan Fiction Ever

This is perhaps some of the cutest fan fiction I have ever seen.

This girl has such guts!

 I wish I would have been this brave to get up and share my work when I was in grade school.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

ARC Giveaway: BUTTER by Erin Jade Lange

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of Erin Jade Lange's book BUTTER. I had heard about it months ago, and was dying the read it.

Here's the Goodreads' summary:
A lonely obese boy everyone calls "Butter" is about to make history. He is going to eat himself to death—live on the Internet—and everyone is invited to watch. When he first makes the announcement online to his classmates, Butter expects pity, insults, and possibly sheer indifference. What he gets are morbid cheerleaders rallying around his deadly plan. Yet as their dark encouragement grows, it begins to feel a lot like popularity. And that feels good. But what happens when Butter reaches his suicide deadline? Can he live with the fallout if he doesn’t go through with his plans? With a deft hand, E.J. Lange allows readers to identify with both the bullies and the bullied in this all-consuming look at one teen’s battle with himself.

I cannot begin to tell you enough what a wonderful book this was.  The narrator, Butter, made me want to laugh and cry with him throughout the whole novel.  I passed this book around to a lot of students before summer break came, and everyone of them fell in love with Butter.

Since it is summer and my students are on break, I wanted to pass the book on to one lucky reader.  Woo-hoo!

The contest is simple.  You get an entry for entering and additional ones for following me (see the links on the right-hand side of the blog) and for spreading the word.  You have a week to spread the word (come back and fill out the form multiple times if you keep telling people about the contest).

I'll close the contest at midnight next Tuesday (June 19th) and announce the winner on June 20th.  I'll also have a new ARC to give away that day (Colleen Clayton's WHAT HAPPENS NEXT), so keep coming back!

Good luck!  I can't wait to share this book with someone!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

This Is Your Brain...On Writing

I love this picture for Mercedes Benz.  I like to imagine that's exactly what my right brain looks like when I'm writing!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Viola Davis' Commencement Address

"...the two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you discover why."

~Viola Davis (Providence College, Commencement Address)

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Perks of Being a Wallflower Trailer

Okay, it seems that this little old blog has become a movie trailer release site!


It's here!  The trailer I've been stalking for MONTHS. 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of my favorite YA reads and the trailer makes the movie look as wonderful and brilliant as the book (please, please, please let this movie do it justice).

So without further's another YA movie to watch for this fall!

Now Is Good (aka...Before I Die) Trailer

How did I now know Jenny Downham's book Before I Die was being made into a movie?

Not only that, it's filmed, there's a trailer (which rocks my fav Flaming Lips song) and it's coming out in September.

Have you read it?  I found it immensely moving and sad and truthfully, had a hard time finishing it because it made me so emotional.  However, my students adore it.

Yay to YA on the big screen!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Summer To Do List

Hey, hey!  Guess what???

Summer is almost here!  It's so so close!  Today is my last day of teaching and then my kids take finals on Monday and Tuesday.  Hip, hip, hooray!

The summer is a time for me to write, write, write.  However, I've made a few more goals for myself this year.  I'm sharing them with you, so you can hold me to them.  I'll check back in at the end of the summer, and we'll see if I followed through!

  • Finish first draft of new Middle Grade novel
  • Revise YA novel CIRCLES to make it a full-fledge ghost story!
  • Write an article for Hello Giggles (love, love, love the site!)
  • Write a blog post for Ruche (love their clothes, love their blog)
  • Finish season 2 of GAME OF THRONES
  • Rent a kayak and go out on the lagoons by my house
  • Take a paddle boarding lesson
  • Go to at least one of the outdoor concerts in my city
  • Go to the farmer's market at least once and cook from the fresh food I buy all week
  • Get Radley Therapy Dog certified (who would be cheered up by her cuteness?!)
  • Finish painting/decorating our bathrooms
  • Walk a minimum of 5 days a week
  • Take at least one yoga class a week
  • Send one handwritten card/letter to a friend a week
  • Read at least eight books (I think this will be easy, there are so many I want to read)
What about you?  What kinds of plans do you have for the summer?