Jun 30, 2011

Freedom Giveaway Blog Hop

Welcome to a hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not a Writer and Simply Stacie. I have a few things for you and will keep it short and simple so you can get to hoppin'! Thanks for stopping by.

ARC of Dear Bully

Add to Goodreads

Ebook of The Last Archangel by Michael D. Young

Add to Goodreads
Visit Michael at his website

Ebook of Bridger by Megan Curd

Add to Goodreads
Visit Megan at her website

*giveaway closed*

Jun 29, 2011

Thirteen Reasons Why - Winners

Congratulations goes to....

Patty K.


Rebecca D.

You each won a copy of Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I have your addresses and have forwarded them on. Thank you to everyone who entered. I really love this book and hope you all get a chance to read it.

Waiting on Wednesday - Ditched by Robin Mellom

Ditched by Robin Mellom
January 10th, 2012 by Disney-Hyperion

High school senior Justina Griffith was never the girl who dreamed of going to prom. Designer dresses and strappy heels? Not her thing. So she never expected her best friend, Ian Clark, to ask her.

Ian, who always passed her the baseball bat handle first.
Ian, who knew exactly when she needed red licorice.
Ian, who promised her the most amazing night at prom.
And then ditched her.

Now, as the sun rises over her small town, and with only the help of some opinionated ladies at the 7-Eleven, Justina must piece together – stain by stain on her thrift-store dress – exactly how she ended up dateless. A three-legged Chihuahua was involved. Along with a demolition derby-ready Cadillac. And there was that incident at the tattoo parlor. Plus the flying leap from Brian Sontag’s moving car…

But to get the whole story, Justina will have to face the boy who ditched her. And discover if losing out at prom can ultimately lead to true love.

I was happy to score this one at ALA this week! The premise kinda reminds me of a Taylor Swift song.... I am ready to jump into another paranormal free month and this one will be at the top of my list! Plus, Robin is a debut author and I have been reading some amazing books lately from debut writers.

What's your pick this week?

You can find Robin at her blog and Twitter
Add to Goodreads

Jun 28, 2011

Luminous - Interview with Dawn Metcalf

Your website said that if we wanted to know about you, to ask your mom. What three characteristics do you think your mother would choose to describe you?
Well, instead of guessing, I simply called my mom and asked. She said (and I quote): "immensely creative", "playful", and "authentic." Since she's known me the longest, I guess I'll have to take her word(s) for it!

You were/are an amateur cartoonist and illustrator, can you tell us a little about your work and if we can find some of your art online?
Actually, any art I did was for marketing, advertising, and/or educational curricula and I doubt any of it would be online. I made a cartoon strip for a couple of the college publications over the years and tons of cartoon cards, caricatures, moments of hilarity, and random sketches for friends and family. I also did some work as a freelance writer and artist under a pen name. The funny thing is if you've seen one of my drawings, you'd recognize the style, but not many know that they are mine! I long to spend some of the hours I spend writing familiarizing myself with my WACOM tablet, but I never seem to peel myself away from a story long enough to noodle it into competency.

I read that you wrote seven full length novels before college, any chance of one of those stories making a come back?
Some of the ideas or characters or images might pop up in later works, but those original manuscripts were "growth stories" and I hope that I continue to improve over the years. Some stories may have a second life, but I doubt that would refer to anything written before Clinton was president.

LUMINOUS started out having a different name, can you tell us a little about the changes?
Originally the title was SKIN & BONES which was an apt description of both the main character and her powers, but since this is a Young Adult novel, we didn't want anyone to confuse this dark, paranormal fantasy with a book about eating disorders! Hence, the name change.

[Author's note: As for the main character, Consuela was always Consuela, only her last name changed to Chavez.]

LUMINOUS is about a girl who can remove her own skin and craft skin out of just about anything to save other people. Well, where in the heck did that come from?
HAHAHAHA! I guess I have no one to blame but my own brain. Although, honestly, there was a piece of art in my favorite Mexican restaurant that showed a skull split in half, then a grimacing face split in half, then a human face at the core. I remembered that piece and even took a picture of it to keep in mind when writing Consuela as Bones. I found out later that this was something that hung in the owner's son's room when he was a kid.

When writing the character Consuela, what qualities or traits did you want her to have? 
I wanted her to be curious, loyal, empathic towards others, but also not entirely sure who she was and her place in life (and the afterlife). I wanted her foundation to be a secure, loving, two-parent family and a faith to fall back on (in Consuela's case, her Catholicism) and lastly, to have a certain weakness for guys with great smiles!

Can you tell us a little bit about what you are working on now?
Right now I'm working on an alternate-near-future story while another paranormal fantasy and a steampunk idea vie for attention, both of which I try to beat back with scribbled notes and threatening gestures. The truth is,I have far more ideas than I'll ever have time to write so I often have scenes and outlines set aside to percolate as I work on whatever's in front of me at present and when I put it aside to think about what it's done, I have a treasure trove of things to pick up next. Whatever screams "Ooo! Shiny!" the loudest gets my attention.

Any plans to come to Texas? *tips hat and winks*
Well, you never know what the future may bring! ;-)

Thank you, Dawn! 

Add to Goodreads
You can find Dawn at her website and Twitter
Dawn is hosting a huge Luminous Summer Grand Prize Giveaway. Find out all of the details HERE.

Jun 21, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf (+ Interview)

Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf
April 24th, 2012 from Walker & Company

Allie lost everything the night her boyfriend, Trip, died in a tragic car accident—including her memory of the event. All she has left are the scars and a sneaking suspicion that the crash wasn’t an accident after all. When the police reopen the investigation, it quickly turns on Allie and her best friend, Blake, especially as their budding romance raises eyebrows around their small town. As the threats begin and the survivor’s guilt sets in, Allie’s memories collide with a dark secret about Trip she’s kept for too long. Caught somewhere between her past and her future, Allie knows she must tell the truth. Can she reach deep enough to remember that night so she can finally break free?

I'm happy to have Jennifer at the blog today to talk about her amazing cover story. Trust. You want to hear about that shot!

The process of getting that photo is actually a pretty awesome story! Wanna fill everyone in?
Okay, so here’s the story. My wonderful editor at Walker, Mary Kate Castellani, sent me a picture that she said was an idea they were working on for the cover. The picture was beautiful, but didn’t fit the setting of BREAKING BEAUTIFUL. She said they would be looking for something that worked better. Since my husband is an AMAZING photographer and we live near the northwest beaches where the story is set, I asked her if she would let us take a (literal) shot at it. She gave us the go ahead so we set off for the coast. Two trips and a run in with an UGLY RV later we had some shots for them to work with. They chose one, the art department at Walker/Bloomsbury worked their magic, and now I have a cover that I absolutely love and that features a photo taken by my husband, David Wolf.

Those red shoes on the cover are pretty hot. Are they yours, and will you sign them and put them up for a giveaway?
LOVE THE SHOES! Wish they were mine. I borrowed them from my friend Susan. We went to great lengths to try and keep them clean and dry during the shoot and Susan was very nice about the few water stains we came away with. BUT now that they’re famous ;) … I’m hoping Susan will let me buy them from her so I can take them on tour with me and/or use them for a giveaway. But first I need them for my book trailer.

Where is exactly was that photo taken?
Not sure I want to answer this one.

Let me explain…the setting for BREAKING BEAUTIFUL is a town on the coast of Washington called Pacific Cliffs. While many of the places in the book are real, Pacific Cliffs is fictional. The beach in the story is based on Ruby Beach which IMHO is one of the most beautiful places on earth. HOWEVER, (getting back to the photo), the art department specifically asked for a guardrail and we couldn’t find any road in that area with a guardrail that was close enough to see the ocean from the road or to get that it was the ocean.

So we went to Oregon.

Sorry. That’s one of the things that bothered me about the TWILIGHT movies, Forks and First Beach are absolutely beautiful locations, but many of those scenes were filmed in Oregon. I didn’t want to do that, but it ended up being necessary. Also we had to go to Oregon for a wedding anyway, so it was more convenient to take the picture there. The cover photo was taken from the road near Cannon Beach, Oregon, which is also an absolutely beautiful location. (How’s that for an overly-long explanation.)

Last week you put Breaking Beautiful out into the world for the first time, how long did you have to wait to reveal the cover?
How far back do you want to go? My book deal with Walker/Bloomsbury went through in November. The cover photo was taken at the end of March. I got the first cover comp featuring my husband’s picture by the middle of April, and I got the go ahead to show my cover last week (mid-June).

Besides your awesome photographer husband, who else has been your rock during the publishing process?

My sister, Kristin Amrine, (also a writer), has been on this ride with me from the beginning. My sister-in-law, author Angela Morrison has taught me more than I ever thought possible about the publishing industry, and then there’s my kids, my critique group, and my parents who all pushed me to follow my dreams.

Your book will release in a little less than a year from now. What will you do from now until then - besides edits?
I “hope” I’m nearly done with edits, although it’s great to go back and spend time with the characters I love. From now until next April when BREAKING BEAUTIFUL releases, I’ll keep writing, (totally excited about my current work in progress). AND this summer the red shoes, a group of fabulous teen actors, and I will head to the beach to start shooting the book trailer. I hope to have it ready for release by mid-January.

Thank you, Jennifer! 
Thank you for the opportunity to share BREAKING BEAUTIFUL and it’s cover!

So, there you have it! An amazing story behind that photograph. I don't know of any other author that had a spouse work on the cover art. I wonder... Even though this one comes out in April of 2012, keep it on your radar and giant TBR pile. I'm excited to read it even more that I know a little about the back story. How many of you get more excited about a book when you know something personal about the author, story, or cover art?

Add to Goodreads

You can Jennifer at her website, blog, and on Twitter

Jun 20, 2011

ALA - New Orleans Bound!

In just TWO DAYS I will be heading to NoLA for ALA. It's like the mother ship calling me home! If you can't tell....I'm excited! I am a bit nervous, I will be presenting a paper this year. The panel is called: "Learning from Elmo, Blue and Dora: Applying the Science of Children’s Educational Television to Storytime" and we will be discussing just that - the science of Ed TV and how you can apply that to your storytime. It's fascinating stuff!

If you haven't been to a major library conference or even a major book convention, here are a few tips that I feel are important:

I Read Banned Books Top 10 Tips for ALA

1. Wear comfy shoes, fashion is almost out of the window. Almost - keep the Crocs at home unless you over the age of 55.

2. Do not take bags with wheels! It is so not fun to trip over these walking the floor and plus you look silly if you under the age of 55. Most places have a bag check or post office for you to check in or ship books.

3. Do not cut in line unless you ask the immediate people behind you to save a space while you exit for emergencies. Emergencies would be restroom issues, not book issues. If you don't follow this tip, be prepared to have your name blasted on Twitter. Just saying.

4. Keep the trash talking to an all-time low. You never know who knows who and who could be listening! Plus, you look like a spoiled brat face when you can't keep your trap shut. Wait to unload on your hotel roommates or do like the Oprah do, journal it!

5. Bring business cards and get ready to smile! Introduce yourself to everyone and anyone. You know, it's like Six Degrees of J.K. Rowling. Hand out your cards and follow up on the Twitter follows and emails.

6. Bring mints and leave your gum at home. No one likes to watch you chew for hours on end.

7. Bring CASH! Just when you think you have enough cash, bring more. Cab rides, snacks, books..it all adds up.

8. Bring your camera and a phone charger. With Effbook and Twitter, phone batteries run down fast. Bring your charger and find an outlet if you can. I have charged my phone in all sorts of unique places.

9. If you don't want a book or don't need a book, leave it for someone who does. I always need to remind myself of this one.... In a sense, leave your greedy hands at home.

10. ALWAYS say please, thank you, and excuse me.

So, there you have it, my tips on ALA.

There are several parties and meet-ups and I hope to meet you all somewhere, somehow! I have a super fun event Friday night and every time I think about it, I want to tear up so I am out of commission that night. More on that later...Saturday, Parajunkee and gals are hosting a get together at Acrme Oyster House at 5:30pm and YA Highway is hosting at Tommy's Wine Bar at 8:00pm. I plan on being at both for a bit so please say hello! Details of the two events are below.

I will be truckin' it down with my literary PIC Stephanie and Michelle to Houston this Wednesday to pick up Cari and attend the Ally Carter event at Blue Willow. Then Wednesday, we are NoLA bound!

The bloggers that are attending ALA 2011 will be meeting up after the Saturday, the 25th conference. Everyone is welcome to join, we just need a head count.

When: Saturday, June 25th
Where: Acme Oyster House
When: 5:30 pm

If you are joining us you are more than welcome to post this on your own blog. I know we all have different followers depending on genre and friends. It would fun to meet as many as possible and maybe take over Acme.

Everyone travel safe and make the most our of your experience!

Thirteen Reasons Why & 13RW Project

Thirteen Reasons Why is the story of a girl named Hannah Baker who takes her own life. But before she does, she records several cassette tapes explaining why and sends them to the people she feels pushed her toward that decision. The story is told from the point of view of Clay Jensen who spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah’s voice as his guide. He becomes a first-hand witness to Hannah’s pain, and learns the truth about himself—a truth he never wanted to face.

The anti-bullying anthem was published in hardcover in October 2007 by Razorbill, and quickly became a word-of-mouth favorite among teenaged readers with fans claiming, “This book changed my life.” The novel has been on the New York Times children’s hardcover bestseller list for 65 weeks, foreign rights have been sold into 30 countries and it has been acquired by Universal Pictures and will star Selena Gomez.

Penguin launched the 13RW Project at www.13RWProject.com as a place for fans of Thirteen Reasons Why to record their thoughts, stories, videos and photos relating to the book, and to view what other readers from all across the country have shared. Each review is logged on a map to show the many locations that viewers are posting from, and all content is shareable through Facebook and Twitter.

I think this site is truly amazing and I encourage you all to post your reviews. I did! If you would like to read my audio review, please go HERE.

Jay Asher lives on the central coast of California with his wife and son. His favorite part of being an author is speaking with his readers at schools and libraries across the country.

You can find Jay on his blog and Twitter. The side bar of his blog shows some amazing cover art of his foreign editions. I love the Brazilian cover!

To celebrate the 13RW Project, I have two copies for two lucky winners. I encourage you to read, review, and pass along this book to someone who needs it. A library, a friend, somebody.

Add to Goodreads

*giveaway closed*

Jun 19, 2011

In My Mailbox

IMM is a meme brought to us from The Story Siren. Basically, it's a good way to add books on to your TBR pile, get a head's up on what is coming soon, and to totally brag. Let's get real... ;)

For review:
Texas Gothic by Rosemary-Clement Moore (Thx, Random House)

Graveminder by Melissa Marr (Thx, Cari for picking it up for me!)
Wings by Aprilynne Pike (listened on audio, bought for signing)
Illusions by Aprilynne Pike (bought for signing)

Look at the toe tag!

From a signing:
Girls In the Stacks gave me a t-shirt! xoxo
Fun swag from Dark Days of Supernatural Tour 

My Blogiversary still has 6 giveaway open. Day Two ends Tonight! 
This or That interview with POSSESSION author, Elana Johsnon
Cover reveal and interview for BORN WICKED with Jessica Spotswood

Jun 17, 2011

Blogiversary - 7 Day Giveaway - Day Seven

Welcome back! Today is day 7 or my Blogiversary - 7 Days of Giveaway! Yep, this is the last day for new prezzies to go up. BUT, it's not the last day to enter. If you haven't entered the other days, it's time to play catch up:

Day One - *giveaway closed*
Day Two - *giveaway closed*

Day Three - *giveaway closed*
Day Four - *giveaway closed*
Day Five - *giveaway closed*
Day Six - *giveaway closed*

Remember, if you get lost in the blog, follow the Blogiversary tag located at the end of each giveaway or find the jazzy Blogiversary logo I made. 

This is my favorite giveaway of the week and the biggest! Wanna know why? Everything is bigger in TEXAS! Today, I have giveaways from only Texas authors. I must say that this state has many great literary communities, and it blows my mind how generous and warm the Texas authors are. I am a huge supporter of all their work and am proud to share the Lonestar state with them. I encourage you to seek out and find local authors in your area. 

I could go and on, but let's get to the prizes. Better grab a snack and loosen your belt, this will take a while....(the covers will take you to the Goodreads page of each book, go ahead and slap them on top of you TBR pile for me.)

SIGNED Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble


SIGNED Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer

SIGNED Can I See Your I.D.? by Chris Barton

SIGNED ARC Born at Midnight by CC Hunter

3 SIGNED In the Arms of Stone Angels 
by Jordan Dane

SIGNED Illegal by Bettina Restrepo

Ebook of Solstice by PJ Hoover

SIGNED ARC of Sass and Serendipity
by Jennifer Ziegler

SIGNED Taking Off by Jenny Moss

SIGNED Firelight by Sophie Jordan

SIGNED The Sweetheart of Prosper County
by Jill. S. Alexander

by Jill S. Alexander

SIGNED Hummingbirds: Facts and Folklore From the Americas 
by Jeanette Larson

SIGNED ARC The Mephisto Covenant
by Trinity Faegan

SIGNED Flawless by Lara Chapman

SIGNED Blessed by Cynthia Leitich-Smith

SIGNED Tantalize: Kieren's Story 
by Cynthia Leitich-Smith

SIGNED The Sweetest Thing 
by Christna Mandelski

SIGNED Texas Gothic 
by Rosemary Clement-Moore

SIGNED Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves

My Soul To Steal 
by Rachel Vincent

SIGNED Bite Club by Rachel Caine

Saving Maddie by Varian Johnson

SIGNED Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs

SIGNED Truth With a Captial T 
by Bethany Hegedus

SIGNED Brains For Lunch
by K.A. Holt

SIGNED Mike Stellar: Nerves of Steel
by K.A. Holt

ARC of Odd Girl In by Jo Whittemore

Border Crossing 
by Jessica Lee Anderson

Calli by Jessica Lee Anderson

SIGNED The Survivors by Amanda Havard

SIGNED Windows On the World by Andrea White

What did I tell you...awesome, right?! Each and everyone of these authors donated their book(s). I thank them from the bottom of my heart. They have all been supporting of Literary Lonestars and if you are a Kidlit/YA lit TX blogger and I don't know this....please email me! There are special things in store for you... Links below take you to the websites and blogs of the awesome authors above. PLEASE go visit them and show them some love! 

I wanted more than just a few people to win books this week so that is why I have not grouped these titles together. That means...there will be a total of 35 winners! When you add up the other giveaways this week, there will be a total of 58 winners in all! Random.org will pick the winners and I will go in order of the books presented above. If you are a winner, I will email you your winning book. You are able to pass, but not get another choice. Take it or leave it. I think that's a country song... 

I want to take a moment to personally thank you for being a follower and entering to win. It has been an amazing week and even more awesome two years of blogging. This time last year I was in library school sitting in my jamie-jams all day and this year, I'm having dinner with Veronica Roth at ALA, and Malinda Lo and Cindy Pon rode in my big Suburban (and called it "the most Texan things they've done").  I have formed amazing relationships with authors, publishers, bloggers, and literacy advocates. I wouldn't change my literary life for anything! xoxo 

*giveaway closed*