Friday, March 22, 2013

SKY JUMPERS Winners, Quotes & Cookies, and the League

First of all, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for all the cover love! I really appreciate all the tweeting, sharing on facebook, liking, blogging--- everything. You guys are the best!

The Rafflecopter gods have spoken, and the people who apparently sacrificed the most cookies to he/she/it/them, and have won themselves a hardback copy of SKY JUMPERS (as soon as it's available) are:

From Literary Rambles:
Donna Weaver!

From Icey Books:
Amanda Ray!

From here:
Alyssa Hamilton!

Congratulations! I'll be emailing you soon.

And now, onto quotes and cookies! This is one I love.

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” 

~ Arnold Schwarzenegger

This applies to so much, too! Definitely those hardships that come so fast and hard that they knock you off your feet. But also the ones that come slowly and steady. The ones that are there for a moment, and the ones that hang around long-term. Simply not surrendering makes you stronger and stronger, and makes the struggles easier to overcome.

*Grabs cookie* Here's to not surrendering!

photo credit: Renée S. Suen via photopin cc

And today I'm at The League of Extraordinary Writers, talking about the movie that triggered my love of post-apocalyptic fiction. Come join me!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cover reveal for SKY JUMPERS!!!

Ohmygosh, guys. A big part of my sub-conscious never thought this day would come, and that my book would always be a name without a face. My conscious brain knew that my cover team was working on it tirelessly, and not willing to stop until everything came out perfect. Both are happy dancing right now.

Because the day has come. The day where my book gets a face.

And gosh it's a beautiful face.

Are you ready for it?

Here it is!!!

Isn't it amazing?! I love it to pieces! I love the creative direction they took it in, the scenery, and ohmygosh-- the way the light shines on everything! It shows the action, the adventure, the danger, the excitement, and that Hope (the main character) has a daredevil gene set to extra high, all in one image! It was the green bombs that made this story post-apocalyptic; I'm thrilled that the cover pays homage to that with its color. And the fact that they're going through the Bomb's Breath on the cover... :'o)

Want to know more about SKY JUMPERS? Here's what my incredible editor (seriously, guys-- she's so very incredible) has to say about it:

As soon as I read the opening paragraphs to Sky Jumpers, I was hooked! What would it be like to jump into the sky . . . and not fall? I couldn’t get the image out of my head. Sky Jumpers is the story of 12-year-old Hope. Hope lives in a town of inventors struggling to recover from World War III. But Hope is terrible at inventing and would much rather sneak off to dive into the Bomb’s Breath—the deadly band of compressed air left by the bombs—than fail at another invention. When bandits invade, the only way to get help is to go through the Bomb’s Breath, and Hope and her friends may be the only ones who can do it.

Sky Jumpers has everything--action, adventure, bad guys, really cool inventions, family and friendships worth risking everything for, death defying cliff dives, relatable characters, and an unlikely hero named Hope. It also has great themes for discussion-- working with our strengths, the difference individuals can make, whether our history determines our future or if we can change it. And it asks the question what happens when you can't do (or feel like you can’t do) the one thing that matters most?

Shana Corey
Executive Editor
Random House Children's Books

Want to enter a giveaway to possibly win a hardcover of SKY JUMPERS? Here's your chance! There are even extra options to get you extra entries.

(This one is for the US only. I will do an international swag giveaway soon, though!)
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

But this is not the only chance you have to win a copy-- my blog is one part of a three-blog reveal, and you can enter to win A HARDBACK OF SKY JUMPERS AT EACH OF THE OTHER BLOGS. That's right! And not only is there a second and a third giveaway, but there is exclusive content at each. Check them out!

On Literary Rambles, my agent, Sara Crowe, talks about why she fell for SKY JUMPERS, with another giveaway. Click here!

And on Icey Books, my cover artist, Owen Richardson, talks about what it was like to illustrate the cover, with another giveaway. Click here!

Thanks for coming to share the excitement with me today!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Way We Are: Extreme BICHOKing

You've heard of BICHOK, right? (Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard). It's fairly essential when it comes to writing. Makes everything all kinds of better, right?

Well, maybe not everything...

Because, you know--- sometimes BICHOKing becomes an extreme sport. Especially when you've got an overly demanding muse or an impossible deadline. (I just may have possibly been BICHOKing to the extreme over the past six weeks.)

Okay, maybe not this kind of extreme...

... but extreme in the sense that my butt has been in that chair for a VERY LONG TIME. And unlike other kinds of sports, practicing this one gets you in the very opposite of good shape. (Which brings all new meaning to the phrase "These revisions are killing me!")

Once I decided that I was NOT going to let these revisions kill me, I chatted with a bunch of the Lucky 13s about this. For the 75% of us who hadn't (as one Lucky put it) "spent the last year working my butt ON," they gave suggestions on what worked for them. Want to hear the most popular answer? Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred videos. So in my effort not to experience Death By Sitting, I haven't missed a day of doing them since, even when I wanted to cry every time I walked up stairs. (Every tried them? Look it up on YouTube-- you can start today! Gosh-- I should go into the business of infomercials.)

How about you? Do you BICHOK responsibly and take your exercising as seriously as you take your writing? Or do you BICHOK to the extreme?

photo credit: rr_graphic_design via photopin cc
photo credit: dalioPhoto via photopin cc
photo credit: pdbreen via photopin cc

Friday, March 8, 2013

Video interview with the one and only CARRIE BUTLER + giveaway!

I'm excited to be a part of Carrie Butler's blog tour for her NA Paranormal, STRENGTH. Carrie and I pretended we don't actually live 1700 miles away from each other, and hung out together via video. Carrie is hilarious and uh.... expressive. ;)

About the book

Series: Mark of Nexus - Book 1
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Category: New Adult (NA)
Genre: Paranormal Romance (PNR)
Release Date: March 07, 2013
Formats: E-Book and Paperback

When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, she’s stunned. Wallace Blake is everything she’s ever wanted in a man—except he can’t touch her. His uncontrollable strength, a so-called gift from his bloodline, makes every interaction dangerous. And with a secret, supernatural war brewing among his kind, there’s no time to work it out. To keep Wallace in her life, Rena will have to risk a whole lot more than her heart.


About the Author

Carrie daydreamed her way through college—until they thrust a marketing degree into her hands, slapped a summa cum laude seal on the corner, and booted her out into a less-than-stellar job market. Instead of panicking at the prospect of unemployment, she used her Midwestern logic to steer into the skid and point her life in the direction she really wanted to go: writing out those daydreams.


Want a chance to win the book, plus a lot of other great stuff? Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
May the Rafflecopter gods smile down upon you.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Two of our very own need us.

I have always been so amazed at how supportive, loyal, encouraging, and helpful the writing community is. Writers rock, big time. Whenever someone's in need, writers rally the troops, which is why I'm posting this. Guys-- we need to rally the troops for two of our own.

First: Chad Morris.

I've gotta say, a debut year is extremely busy and stressful. But there are a lot of very rewarding and fun parts of it, too! Chad Morris, a blogger many of you might know, has willingly given up all the fun and rewarding parts of his debut year for something infinitely more important-- his 9 year old daughter. Last Tuesday he and his wife Shelly (a writer who many of you might know, too) took her to one of the best neurosurgeons in the nation to get a tumor removed from her brain. Dang! I'm getting teary-eyed just typing this! *deep breath*

Chad is in a hospital, being there for his daughter as she recovers. He can't promote his book, but we can! We can give him the book launch that he deserves. His book releases tomorrow. If you feel so inclined, think about mentioning his book on Twitter, Facebook, on your blog, on Pinterest, or on whatever other form of social media you enjoy.

Here's the quick details:

Book: CRAGBRIDGE HALL: THE INVENTOR'S SECRET (Shadow Mountain, 3/5/13)
The blog post where Chad talks about his daughter:
Twitter: @ChadCMorris

The longer details:

Imagine a school in the year 2074 where students don’t read history, but watch it happen around them; where running in gym class isn’t around a track, but up a virtual mountain; and where learning about animals means becoming one through an avatar.

Welcome to Cragbridge Hall, the most advanced and prestigious school in the world. Twin siblings Abby and Derick Cragbridge are excited as new students to use their famed grandfather’s inventions that make Cragbridge Hall so incredible. But when their grandfather and parents go missing, the twins begin following a trail of clues left by their grandfather. They must find out where their family is, learn who they can trust, and discover what secrets are hidden within Cragbridge Hall.

Abby and Derick soon realize they are caught in a race with a fierce adversary to discover their grandfather’s greatest secret–a dangerous discovery that could alter both history and reality.

About Chad:

Chad Morris grew up wanting to become a professional basketball player or a rock star. (Inspired by Animal from the Muppets, he’s been banging on drums since he was eight years old.) After high school, he wrote and performed sketch comedy while going to college, and eventually he became a teacher and a curriculum writer. He lives in Utah with his wife and five kids. Chad would love to teach at Cragbridge Hall.

Unlike Oscar Cragbridge, however, he hasn’t really invented anything, though his son once sketched out blueprints for a machine that would turn celery into cookies.

Second: Bridget Zinn

Bridget's debut novel, POISON, releases a week from tomorrow. Sadly, Bridget died from cancer in May of 2011, and never got to hold her book in her hands. Being published was her dream, and her husband and friends would love some help putting the finishing touches on her dream. Her husband has set up a website that talks about all the ways you can help. It's a pretty awesome thing. You can find his plea for help here:

Here's the quick details:

Book: POISON (Hyperion, 3/12/13)
Twitter Hashtag: #poison

The longer details:

Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she's the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom's future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart…misses.
Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king's army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she's not alone. She's armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can't stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she's certainly no damsel-in-distress—she's the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.

About Bridget:

Bridget grew up in Wisconsin. She went to the county fair where she met the love of her life, Barrett Dowell. They got married right before she went in for exploratory surgery which revealed she had colon cancer. They christened that summer the "summer of love" and the two celebrated with several more weddings. Bridget continued to read and write until the day she died. Her last tweet was "Sunshine and a brand new book. Perfect."

Bridget wanted to make people laugh and hoped readers would enjoy spending time with the characters she created. As a librarian/writer she loved books with strong young women with aspirations. She also felt teens needed more humorous reads. She really wanted to write a book with pockets of warmth and happiness and hoped that her readers' copies would show the watermarks of many bath time reads.

I am positive that anything you want to do to get the word out about these two fabulous books--- no matter how small--- will be greatly appreciated.

I'm honored to be part of the troops with you all.