Tuesday, July 15, 2014

SKY JUMPERS 2: THE FORBIDDEN FLATS Giveaway!!

I can't believe how close we're getting to the release of the sequel to SKY JUMPERS!! It releases on September 23, which is just over two months away.

That's 10 weeks.

Or 70 days.

WOOOOOOHOOOOOO!!

Guys. I'm so excited for this book to be out in the world. It was a very tough nut to crack, and it required a lot of very painful rewrites. And a lot of massaging and tweaking and reexamining and sweat and tears and changing and adding and refining and polishing, and I am so thrilled with the finished product!

Random House has been gracious enough to give away 5 advance reader copies right now on Goodreads.

Go forth and enter!


Goodreads Book Giveaway


Sky Jumpers Book 2 by Peggy Eddleman

Sky Jumpers Book 2: 

THE FORBIDDEN FLATS

by Peggy Eddleman


Giveaway ends September 04, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win


And keep watching here-- very soon, I'll give away another ARC to a lucky blog reader.

I hope your summer has been shaping up perfectly!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Awesome new cover for Michael Jensen's and David Powers King's WOVEN

In case you haven't gotten a chance to see it yet, here's the amazing cover for Michael Jensen's and David Powers King's WOVEN! Isn't it amazing?! Scholastic did a fantastic job, and I am so thrilled for both authors. This book has taken a long and circuitous route to get to this point, and I cannot wait until release day. Check it out:

Two unlikely allies must journey across a kingdom in the hopes of thwarting death itself.

All his life, Nels has wanted to be a knight of the kingdom of Avërand. Tall and strong, and with a knack for helping those in need, the people of his sleepy little village have even taken to calling him the Knight of Cobblestown.

But that was before Nels died, murdered outside his home by a mysterious figure.

Now the young hero has awoken as a ghost, invisible to all around him save one person—his only hope for understanding what happened to him—the kingdom’s heir, Princess Tyra. At first the spoiled royal wants nothing to do with Nels, but as the mystery of his death unravels, the two find themselves linked by a secret, and an enemy who could be hiding behind any face.

Nels and Tyra have no choice but to abscond from the castle, charting a hidden world of tangled magic and forlorn phantoms. They must seek out an ancient needle with the power to mend what has been torn, and they have to move fast. Because soon Nels will disappear forever.

What do you think?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Cover Reveal for Rachele Alpine's OPERATION PUCKER UP

My friend Rachele Alpine has a fantastic middle grade novel coming out, and today is the big cover reveal day! Check out this fun & fabulous cover:


Haddie Shaw is thrilled to pieces when she wins the coveted lead role in her school play. That is, until she realizes she’ll have to kiss Prince Charming. On the lips. And not only is Prince Charming—a.k.a James Lowe—the most popular boy in school, but Haddie has never, ever been kissed.

To help, Haddie’s two best friends create Operation Pucker Up—a plan for Haddie to score a kiss before opening night so she doesn’t make total fool of herself in front of a live audience. If that weren’t enough to think about, Haddie’s father, who left six months ago, suddenly walks back into her life. Haddie, her mom and sister have bonded as the “Terrific Three” – and while two of the “Three” welcome Dad back with open arms, Haddie isn’t sure she can forgive and forget.

With Operation Pucker Up spinning out of control, and opening night fast approaching, will Haddie manage to get her happily ever after—both on-stage and off?


IceyBooks blog is hosting the official reveal and including a contest for a Barnes & Noble gift card and a pack of lip smackers. (So apropos! :) :)) Go check it out and enter here.

Monday, June 9, 2014

The similarities between picture book writing and novel writing, with Tamera Will Wissinger

I'm so excited to have Tamera Will Wissinger here today, because not only is she an amazing, kind, organized, brilliant person, but her books are pretty much the same. Her book Gone Fishing came out last year, and I loved it so much. It's a novel, and each part of it is told using a different style of poetry. It was so fascinating! Her first picture book, This Old Band, is filled with fun rhymes that are a blast to read aloud, and just came out last Tuesday.



Me: Was it very different writing a picture book after writing a novel?

Tamera: On the surface, a rhyming picture book and a verse novel seem to have almost nothing in common, so switching to writing This Old Band, my first picture book after my debut novel, Gone Fishing: A Novel in Verse, might seem like a big change. While there are several obvious differences such as story length, intended audience, traditional concept book vs. contemporary adventure, and types and function of illustrations, for me, some aspects of these two formats ended up being quite similar.

Me: Do you approach your writing any differently when you know the book is going to be read in one sitting, instead of over several days?

Tamera: Initially my approach to writing is the same regardless of how the book will be read. I try to simply be aware that story ideas are emerging and capture them. That's what happened with This Old Band and Gone Fishing. Both stories began as a single poem. Gone Fishing expanded to include more than forty poems, while This Old Band remained one long poem.

Along the way, I begin to shape the poetry, control the rhythm and rhyme, layer in poetic elements, and choose poetry forms. This is where the difference in approach emerged between the two books – since Gone Fishing has many poems with a story arc, I needed to also be mindful of the story’s stage as I wrote. This Old Band is a counting concept book so instead of a traditional story arc there is bit of mischief amidst the band members that comes through in the text, yet there’s room for the illustrator to embellish a story thread through artwork.

With This Old Band, as in one of the poems in Gone Fishing, I wrote homage poems of well-known children's verses and made them my own. That is one of the deliberate choices that I made as a poet and storyteller for both books that I hope will resonate with young readers.

Me: Do you have any advice for writers who know that their books will likely be read aloud?

Tamera: You’ve probably heard this before, but I’ll repeat it here: read many books, both those that are similar to and different from your read aloud. Note what works or flows well in those books, how page turns affect pacing, where you’re engaged and any places where you’re not. Notice any places where you trip when you’re reading out loud, particularly with any books that have a strong rhythm and rhyme pattern. I tend to dissect those books that I love the most to understand very specific details of story, character, setting, word choices, rhyme, rhythm, level of reliance on illustrations, etc. It’s my way of trying to grasp what the author (and illustrator) are doing that work so well.

For my own manuscripts, I do the same thing – read to myself and read out loud at every stage in development. I put my work under the same scrutiny – where does it flow well? Are there places where I stumble on my own words? Could I use a more powerful description, something more lyrical, more playful? Is the rhythm solid and consistent? Do the accents fall on the syllables the right way or are there spots where it’s forced? Are my rhymes serving the story, or are they just pretty rhymes?

When I feel very confident in my read aloud, I often ask a trusted friend to read it out loud to me. I listen closely with a copy of my manuscript in hand and keep in mind those questions – is my reader hitting the tempo that I had planned? Where do her words flow effortlessly? Are there any spots where she trips? Gets confused? Misses a beat? Sounds forced? I take it all in and make notes. Maybe it works perfectly and is ready for an editor’s eye. More likely, though, it doesn’t yet. That’s when I use those clues from my friend to work on my manuscript a little bit more in an effort to make it really sing.

Thank you for having me visit Will Write For Cookies, Peggy!

Thanks so much for sharing with us, Tamera! 

You should definitely look into getting her books. They hold a place of honor 
at our house. Here's some handy links for you:


And Tamera is having a party and a giveaway going on at
her site right now! You should check it out.



Tamera Wissinger writes stories and poetry for children. Her book Gone Fishing: A Novel In Verse, HMH, is an ALSC 2014 Notable Children's Book, a Children's Book Committee 2014 Best Children's Book of the Year, and an International Reading Association 2014 Teachers Choice Book. This Old Band, a counting concept book from Sky Pony Press, releases on June 3, 2014. Tamera is a graduate of Hamline University's MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program. She and her husband live in Florida.


Friday, May 30, 2014

Utah peeps: Two fabulous events!


Tomorrow, Saturday May 31, Adam Sidwell is having the launch party for his picture book, FETCH. He has invited me and Chad Morris (CRAGBRIDGE HALL series) to come sign books and join in the general mayhem that is.....

BUBBLE BALLS!

Seriously, check this out-- Adam has asked Utah Bubble Balls to provide these fun things for everyone's enjoyment:



Fun, no? If you're in the area, bring the family! Come throwdown with us! It's at the Lindon Community Center (25 North Main Street Lindon, UT) from 10:00 a.m. - noon.

And then, this next Tuesday, June 3, from 3:00-6:00, I'll be at the North Logan Library for their annual summer kickoff party. This party is SO INCREDIBLY AWESOME that something like 4,500 people come each year, and there is more than enough fun stuff for everyone to do. They have a plethora of bounce houses, free snow cones, and prize drawings with really, really good prizes (seriously good-- like a GoPro, a PS4, and a Boat Rental at Bear Lake). They'll also have an author's tent where people could meet their favorite writers and get a book signed.

If you've never gone to this library before, and are wondering if they are really cool enough to make it worth however far you have to travel, here's a video of a different activity (not the summer kickoff one) that'll convince you that this library knows how to have fun.



If you're near either event, I'd love to see you!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Update on what's been keeping me crazy, busy, exhausted, and laughing

So toward the end of last year, I thought it would be awesome to pack this April as full as possible, with big events every week. Actually, when I first planned it, I mostly just hoped that I'd still be alive at the end of the month. I didn't expect to love every minute of it so much, or to end the month being fine to keep going at this pace. Probably because it all ended up being so. very. awesome. Here's a recap:

The first week of April, Liesl Shurtliff (author of RUMP and a pub-mate of mine) and I decided to go on a school visit tour together in Texas. We had gotten to be friends online and had even met once, but we don't live near each other (she's in Chicago; I'm in Utah). But when you're going to another state, that doesn't seem to matter so much. :) We planned a killer presentation that we did together. Not only was it so many kinds of fun doing it together, but it also gave us a buddy to navigate the freeways of San Antonio.

For the record: Texas is awesome. Doing school visits there is like nothing I've experienced. 

We had a lot of fun, signed a lot of books for a lot of different schools....


Got to visit some who did completely awesome things like decorate the doors with welcome signs...



Gave us a basket of treats (including cookies, because they let the kids check out our websites before we came. Is that not the coolest thing ever?! LOVE this school)...


 And made great big welcome banners that we faced while we spoke.


I made the nastiest food combination EVER, and double-dog dared Liesl to eat it. And she did! Liesl's the best.


We also got to hang out on the riverwalk in San Antonio a few nights. It was such an incredible place to be.


And we took a selfie right before going on stage for our last performance of the week, after speaking with nearly 3,000 kids in four different school districts.


It was an amazing place! But at the end of the 7 day trip, we were definitely ready to get back home to our families.

And I actually got a couple of days to recuperate before it was time for SALT LAKE COMIC CON!! (Trust me-- it was so huge, it deserved the all caps.) I spent three days hanging out with 100,000 of the faniest fans around, checking out fabulous costumes, great booths, speaking on eight panels, and totally enjoying the geekfest.


And got to fan-girl myself while listening to Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin speak. (In case you were wondering, yes it was awesome, and yes, they are both incredible people, and yes, I grinned the entire time.)


Then I came home for four days--- just enough time for the germs from MASSIVEST HEAD COLD EVER to kick in. (Side effect from hanging out with 100k people. Still worth it.) Then I headed off to LDStorymakers, and got to hang out with this lovely crowd:


And promptly lost my voice, just in time to do my two hour-long presentations. It was awesome, because I had a mic, so my voice was coming out all chipmunky but loud. At least I didn't have to resort to interpretive dance to get my presentation across, so I'm counting it as a success!


All of the presenters donated a picture for a "Talk to the Hand" advice video. Here was my advice:


Then, on the eve of the conference, my hubby drove up and joined me, all dressed up, for the Whitney Awards Gala....


Where I got to wear these fabulous shoes. (One of my favorite perks of being 5'2" is being able to wear five inch heels.)


And in the middle of it all, my daughter's youth group decided to do a pinewood derby, and she somehow got assigned to make two of her team's cars. We promptly forgot about it until the night before, then pulled off these two babies in less than 24 hours. She had a ton of fun making them, and she won! Who says procrastination is a bad thing? I call it putting out the nearest fire first, and it's something I've become an expert at.


Around that same time, I found out that I was in my old high school's paper! The last time I was in the Viking Crier was when my hair was blonder and curlier (and much taller in front). It was kind of cool to see it.


Then, three days after returning from Storymakers, my family and I headed off to Vegas for Jessie Humphries's book launch for KILLING RUBY ROSE. I got to hang out with her and my other writing bestie, Erin Summerill, on Freemont street with Jessie's publicists who had flown in for the event. It was a blast.


The next day, we went to Container Park before the shindig started. It was the most amazing launch party I've ever gone to (and likely will go to). There were bands playing, a scavenger hunt going on, ice cream being given away, books being sold, signing lines, photo ops, and all around fun for the whole family.


The next night was the awards ceremony for the high school aged winners of the writing contest Jessie had. A few people performed, including the beautiful and talented Kathryn Purdie. She killed it! 


Then Jessie spoke and did a Q&A. She was funny and gracious and amazing and touching. (Plus, her hair glowed purple in the lights. I kind of wanted that hair for me. Permanently.) It was a fabulous weekend, and I'm so glad my family got to join me.


Since I've been home, I've been writing like crazy (finally!), and visiting several more schools in my area, including this awesome one where two students showed up before school started to save me the best parking spot in the house. Awesome, no?


And that's been my crazy past seven weeks. How about you? How the heck are you? What have you been up to?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Welcome to the Forest! Cover reveal for Tara Tyler's BROKEN BRANCH FALLS

It's time for the highly anticipated, most spectacular cover reveal of the day!

BROKEN BRANCH FALLS (MG Fantasy)
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Publisher: Curiosity Quills

Gabe is an average fifteen-year-old goblin. He's in the marching band, breezes through calculus, and gets picked on daily by the other kids at school, especially the ogres. Gabe's closest friends are goblins like him, but Gabe is tired of being a goblin - he'd like to try other things. And he has his eye on the new ogress at school. It's against all beastly rules, but there's just something about her.

When a prank goes wrong, Gabe is forced to join the football team as punishment - but finds a way to make it work. Soon the whole school is getting in on the fad of mingling with other species. Too bad the adults have to step in and ruin things by threatening to destroy the school and split up Broken Branch Falls. And Gabe is their scapegoat. With help from friends, old and new, Gabe sets out on a quest for the Book of Ages, which holds the laws of all beastkind and hopefully the key to saving Broken Branch Falls. After all that trouble, it better work.

Add it to your GOODREADS list!

Twitter ~~~ Facebook ~~~ Blog

Also by Tara Tyler, techno-thriller detective series,
The Cooper Chronicles, Book One: POP TRAVEL

Tara Tyler started out as a math teacher. After having a hand in everything from waitressing to rocket engineering and living up and down the Eastern US, she now writes and teaches in Ohio with her three active boys and Coach Husband. Currently, she has two series, The Cooper Chronicles (techno-thriller detective capers) and Beast World (MG fantasy) She's an adventure writer who believes every good story should have action, a moral, and a few laughs!

AND you can get up to five entries in this fun raffle just for commenting on five of the many cover reveal posts (see below) - This week only!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover Reveal Participants! Thanks you guys!! You the Beast!

Friday, March 28, 2014

On writing to trends

It seems that anytime I'm at a conference, the question gets asked "What's selling right now?" or "What trends are you seeing?" or some variation of it.

And even if the question came from someone who may currently be on sub, and the reason for their question was really, "Are editors buying right now what I'm currently selling?," it's always interpreted as "I want to know what's hot right now, so I can write that."

And we all know that's a bad question to ask, because the books coming out right now were bought two years ago, and whatever trend there was two years ago is no longer what's trending right now, and you'd always be behind the eight ball if you went off that.

But really, the better reason not to follow a trend is that the people who really do well in writing are the people who SET the trends. Because trying to write what people are asking for isn't always the best idea. Writing what people want, when they don't even know what they want yet is where the best successes come from.

I ran across this quote that I absolutely love, because everything it implies illustrates this so very well:


"If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses."
~Henry Ford

Yep. I say that like it's a piece of cake. (Or a tasty cookie. ;)) When really, it can be far from easy. *Raises cookie* Here's to hoping that we all become trendsetters!

photo credit: cacaobug via photopin cc

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The last 5 books I've read

Things have been a little crazy lately, and although I pretty much think daily "I should really update my blog!," I just haven't gotten a chance. I've been doing a lot of events lately, which have been so much fun, and I've been working on proposals for a new series. (Also so much fun!) Instead of an update post on what I've been doing, though, let's do an update post on what I've been reading! Here's the last 5 books I've read:

There was a lot of buzz about this book, and it's from my publisher, so I figured I had to pick it up. (Plus, I'm rather in love with the snow on this cover and the windows in the background.) It had a fairy tale quality to it (and not just because it was a fairy tale retelling) that I quite enjoyed.


I have a friend that has been begging me to pick up this book for FOREVER, so I finally did. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it.


I am in the Lucky 13s with Ryan, and was thrilled to read her book. It had a fabulous setting (London, and you really felt like you were there), and a fascinating secondary character (the king), and a main character who was his guardian fae. Great read!


I feel like a heel for not having been able to read this book before now, and not just because I've heard it's fantastic, or that Chad lives in the same state as me, or that we have been on this publishing journey at the same general times, but also because Chad is a genuinely good guy. This book was every bit as good and exciting and amazing as every has been saying it is, and I'm glad I read it.


This is another of my Lucky 13s pals. Mindy is a comedian at her day (or, I guess, night) job, and it shows in every bit of her writing. There were so many laugh out loud moments! It had some great lessons for teenage girls, too, without feeling at all like it was being preachy.


What books have you read recently?