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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Writing Life Highlights

Happy New Year's Friends!! Is it really 2015 tomorrow?

It's time for my yearly review in all things writing for me this year and I waited too long to get to it today! There are little people all looking at me, waiting for the New Year's Eve party to get going. So, instead of the monthly breakdown of 2014, here's my fave moments:

2014 was SO great! This past fall all of my kids were finally in school full day which meant so much more writing time for me! This year I wrote two middle grade novels that I adore so much. I can't wait for you all to read them. I sketched out an adult romance series (under a pen name) and wrote half of book one. I'm plotting out 2015 now and have so much more I want to work on. So excited!! Here's the rest of the year in bullet points:
  • I signed with a new literary agent in the spring, Andrea Somberg from Harvey Klinger Inc. She is so awesome and a total joy to work with.
  • I had fun author visits.
  • I attended the Anderson's Children's Literary Breakfast and met tons of cool teachers and librarians. And Henry Winkler!
  • THE ESPRESSOLOGIST was chosen as a 2014 Illinois Reads book! I got to go to a cool ceremony at the Illinois Reading Council Conference in Springfield, IL. Signed loads of books, met other great authors, and did my first radio interview.
  • Went to probably the best writing retreat ever. 21 authors, one literary agent, and one editor in a cabin in Michigan for three days. So much fun and learned so, so much!
  • I did a really fun YA author panel in Chicago.
  • And some local literary fests.
It was a great year and I know 2015 will be even better! 


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Some December Updates

My poor blog, I've neglected you so! If you ever come to my blog and it looks like I've been gone for awhile, find me on twitter or facebook because I'm on there all day. With tiny spurts of work here and there. ;-)

I actually have been getting lots of work done when my new puppy, Java the Mutt, isn't driving me crazy. Here she is when we first got her 6 weeks ago:

And here she is last week:

She was 12 pounds when we got her and now is 29 and growing fast! Java is a giant schnoodle (mom a giant schnauzer and dad a standard poodle) so we expect her to be a big girl! If she could just stop hurling herself at me and trying to climb over my head every time I sit down on the couch with my laptop to write things would be great.

I've been enjoying all of my free time now that the kiddos have been in school for awhile. Getting lots of writing in and finished another middle grade. I love writing for this age group! I'm editing and tweaking that now. I've also been working on an adult romance series for fun breaks in between middle grade books. Who knows if and when it will ever come out (or under what name for that matter) but it's just fun to try something new.

What else have I been up to aside from writing? Ummm, lots of reading, yoga, coffee drinking, addictive Hallmark Christmas movie watching, Christmas shopping, binge-watching episodes of Impractical Jokers (if you haven't seen this show yet you MUST watch!), and I even got to see my four boyfriends, who don't know I exist, last weekend at their show in Indiana.

They were so, so funny! Aside from that, I'm also thinking of trying to train the dog to do yoga with me. She already has downward dog nailed. If I could just get her to sit next to me instead of standing with her giant paws on my face  we would be so cool.
Ah, someday.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Will The Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up by Sara Hantz

abi saunders hi-res 1600x2400Abi Saunders
Will The Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up by Sara Hantz is now available!

About the book: Abi Saunders might be a kickboxing champion, but when it comes to being the center of attention, she’d rather take a roundhouse kick to the solar plexus any day. So when her trainer convinces her to audition to be the stunt double for hot teen starlet Tilly Watson, Abi is shocked—and a little freaked out—when she gets the job. Being a stunt double is overwhelming, but once the wig and makeup are on, Abi feels like a different person. Tilly Watson, to be exact. And when Tilly’s gorgeous boyfriend, Jon, mistakes Abi for the real star, Abi's completely smitten. In fact, she’s so in love with her new life, it isn’t long before she doesn’t have time for her old one. But when the cameras are turned off, will she discover running with the Hollywood A-list isn’t quite the glamorous existence she thought it was?

You can buy the book here: Amazon Barnes and Noble Book Depository

What Others Are Saying:
"Abi Saunders is a kickass heroine with a story full of action and heart." Melissa Walker author of Ashes to Ashes and Small Town Sinners.

"Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up delivers the good stuff - kickboxing stunt double, Hollywood A-listers, mistaken identity, romance. This one is a contender!" Linda Gerber, author of the Lights, Camera, Cassidy series.

"Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up packs a delicious punch of realism and Hollywood magic in one hit." Allison Rushby, author of Being Hartley, the Living Blond Trilogy and Shooting Stars.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Author Panel in Chicago Friday night

Looking for something fun to do next Friday night? I'm doing a panel at 57th Street Books in Chicago with YA authors: Christa Desir, Elizabeth Fama, and Philip Siegel. We will be divulging ALL of the writer secrets. Details here-

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit starring: CRIMINAL, by Terra Elan McVoy

Terra Elan McVoy's Criminal, Out in Paperback!

Nikki’s life is far from perfect, but at least she has Dee. Her friends tell her that Dee is no good, but Nikki can’t imagine herself without him. He’s hot, he’s dangerous, he has her initials tattooed over his heart, and she loves him more than anything. There’s nothing Nikki wouldn’t do for Dee. Absolutely nothing. So when Dee pulls Nikki into a crime—a crime that ends in murder—Nikki tells herself that it’s all for true love. Nothing can break them apart. Not the police. Not the arrest that lands Nikki in jail. Not even the investigators who want her to testify against him. But what if Dee had motives that Nikki knew nothing about? Nikki’s love for Dee is supposed to be unconditional…but even true love has a limit. And Nikki just might have reached hers.

Beyond the Book: Terra's Thoughts

In advice to writers, Stephen King says, “Write the truth.” Ernest Hemingway also famously said, “Write what you know.” My thesis director and writing mentor, Mark Winegardner, went further to say, “Write what you most want to understand.” It was this thought that motivated me to start writing Criminal. In 2011, I heard about a murder case in which a young man was accused of killing one of his girlfriend’s parents, out in broad day. When I discovered he had an accomplice—another young woman with whom he’d also been romantically involved—I was even more intrigued. “Who would do such a thing? And why?” Of course I was thinking of the shooter, but really I was most perplexed by the second girlfriend—the one who allegedly helped him do it. Who was she? Why did she go along with it? Did she know about his other girlfriend? And what happened to her after the fact? Reading helps us to imagine things we haven’t experienced on our own, and to, ultimately, empathize with our fellow humans. In writing Criminal, I aimed to explain to myself—and to therefore understand—what it would be like to be a girl very different from me and most of the characters in my other books: someone without resources, without confidence, without an education or good family, and often without hope—so much so that she’d participate in such a horrible crime. The result of my imaginings (and my research) is in this book. I didn’t write it to justify, or excuse, any kind of criminal behavior in the slightest. Instead I hope that in doing so, my readers and I can get closer to understanding that people who make terrible choices like this are more than just the results of their crimes.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit Starring: Jeri Smith-Ready's THIS SIDE OF SALVATION

This Side of SalvationJeri Smith-Ready (author of the Shade trilogy) makes her contemporary debut in what Kirkus calls "a captivating story of family heartbreak."


Everyone mourns differently. When his older brother was killed, David got angry. As in, fist-meets-someone-else's-face furious. But his parents? They got religious. David's still figuring out his relationship with a higher power, but there's one thing he does know for sure: The closer he gets to new-girl Bailey, the better, brighter, happier, more he feels.

Then his parents start cutting all their worldly ties in to prepare for the Rush, the divine moment when the faithful will be whisked off to Heaven...and they want David to do the same. David's torn. There's a big difference between living in the moment and giving up his best friend, varsity baseball, and Bailey---especially Bailey---in hope of salvation.

But when he comes home late from prom, and late for the Rush, to find that his parents have vanished, David is in more trouble than he ever could have imagined...

What Others Are Saying:

"THIS SIDE OF SALVATION is impossible to pigeonhole. It's a mystery, a love story, a tale of friendship, of prejudice, and of a family overcoming tragedy...Jeri Smith-Ready has her finger on the pulse of American youth." --- Printz Honor winner and NYT Bestseller Elizabeth Wein

"This is a frighteningly realistic story that delicately handles the issues of religion and family---an emotional mystery sure to be popular and perfect for discussion." --- VOYA, **Highlighted (Starred) Review**

"[A] smart, well-rounded, and unpredictable tale...bringing to light issues of belief versus free will, spirit versus body, and family versus self---while never being heavy-handed." Booklist, **Starred Review**

"This book has some of the best written, strongest, and most satisfying character dynamics that I have read in a long time...There are no extreme moral rights and wrongs in this book. These people just are, and they work, and they make this story beautiful." --- Bibliopunkk

Giveaways Galore!

Jeri has two ongoing giveaways to celebrate the release of This Side of Salvation.

Join the Rush swag fest: free EXCLUSIVE swag for everyone who orders TSOS on or before Monday, April 7.

Superfan contest (March 31 -- April 9): share the TSOS characters' "trading cards" on your social networks to earn points. Biggest Superfan wins the grand prize, but there's a chance to win a book and a gift card every day you play!

Here's the first day's card, featuring the main character, David Cooper:

Cat blogging meets book birthday!

Meet Misha and Twinkle, the real-life inspiration for the cats of This Side of Salvation, on PulseIt, the official site of Jeri's publisher, Simon Pulse.

Order the hardcover:

Order the ebook:

Find Jeri

Visit Jeri's website, or follow her on one of these sites:

Monday, March 10, 2014

Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit Starring Eileen Cook's YEAR OF MISTAKEN DISCOVERIES

Year of Mistaken Discoveries Cover

Year of Mistaken Discoveries by Eileen Cook is now available!

About the book: Friendship is a bond stronger than secrets in this novel from the author of The Almost Truth and Unraveling Isobel. As first graders, Avery and Nora bonded over a special trait they shared—they were both adopted. Years later, Avery is smart, popular, and on the cheerleading squad, while Nora spends her time on the fringes of school society, wearing black, reading esoteric poetry, and listening to obscure music. They never interact...until the night Nora approaches Avery at a party, saying it’s urgent. She tells Avery that she thought she found her birth mom—but it turned out to be a cruel lie. Avery feels for Nora, but returns to her friends at the party. Then Avery learns that Nora overdosed on pills. Left to cope with Nora’s loss and questioning her own actions, Avery decides to honor her friend by launching a search for her own birth mother. Aided by Brody, a friend of Nora’s who is also looking for a way to respect Nora’s legacy, Avery embarks on an emotional quest. But what she’s really seeking might go far deeper than just genetics…
You can buy the book here: Indie Bound Amazon Barnes and Noble Chapters/Indigo

What Others Are Saying:
“Cook combines friendship drama, boy troubles, romance, family conflict, and college application stress with a protagonist trying to understand who she really is in the wake of tragedy.” Publisher’s Weekly

“Cook delves into some interesting questions about what is really important in life as well as the challenges associated with self-discovery and determining how far you’ll go to get what you want.” Booklist

“An insightful, entertaining exploration of the impact of a suicide” Kirkus

“Eileen Cook returns with Year of Mistaken Discoveries, a romantic tragi-comedy from the perspective of the most popular–often most hated–girl in high school: the cheerleader… Year of Mistaken Discoveries is provoking, fast-paced entertainment, and Cook successfully tackles some tough issues with a very light touch.” Readerly- The National Reading Campaign.

“Given the choice between contemporary and paranormal YA, I will almost always pick contemporary and Eileen Cook is the perfect example of why.” Nerdy Book Club- Kelly’s Top 15 Books for 2014

"This book is amazing! Everyone should buy at least five copies." Eileen's mom

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Megg Jensen Cover Reveal

To celebrate the three year anniversary of her first novel, Anathema, Megg Jensen has refreshed the covers of her first six novels, the prequel novelette, and the compilation!!!

As always, Anathema, Sleepers, and The Initiate are free!!!! Oubliette, Severed, Afterlife, and The Sundering are on sale for 99 cents. Or you can buy all of them in one compilation, The Song of Eloh Saga for only $3.99 (this edition not available on the iBookstore). Purchase links here.

All 8 of the new covers were created by Steven Novak of Novak Illustration.

Visit Megg:
Facebook - Friend Page
Facebook - Fan Page

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Writing Conference Fun

What do you get when you put twenty-one picture book through young adult authors, one literary agent, and one editor in a cabin in Michigan for three days?

THE BEST WRITING CONFERENCE EVER!! Seriously had a ton of fun and learned so much from the wonderful agent and editor who shared endless amounts of their time with us and from some of the coolest authors ever. I came home with lots of new friends and I even got some writing done in there too. :-)

Monday, March 3, 2014

FAST FICTION with Denise Jaden

Rather than doing a traditional interview-filled blog tour, Denise Jaden is celebrating the release of her new nonfiction writing book, FAST FICTION, by dropping tips about writing quickly at every stop of her blog tour, and offering some awesome prizes for commenting on any of these posts (including this one!)

The more you drop by and comment, the more chances you have to win these great prizes:

Denise's Thoughts on the Idea for Fast Fiction:
FAST FICTION was born out of my love for NaNoWriMo (National Novel-Writing Month). My critique partner, Shana Silver, suggested I commit to their 50-thousand-words-in-a-month challenge in 2007, and I thought she was crazy at first. But I tried it, and loved it, and I have been learning better ways to complete it each year since. It was a couple of years ago, right after “Nano” that I noticed how many people struggle with meeting their goals, and I thought my methods, and a bit of personal encouragement, might be of help.
To be honest, I never would have suspected I would have tried writing nonfiction. My first nonfiction book (WRITING WITH A HEAVY HEART) was born out of a specific time in my life where I had learned a lot about grief. I thought that would be a one-time deal, but then the idea for FAST FICTION came on quite suddenly. Now, believe it or not, I have two other nonfiction books on the go, which I’m really excited about as well!

The Prizes:

  • Compliments of New World Library: They will be giving away A BOX of copies of FAST FICTION by Denise Jaden and GET IT DONE by Sam Bennett (US and Canada only):
  • Compliments of Denise Jaden, TWO BOXES of great fiction (US Only). Details on Denise's blog.
  • Audiobook copies of NEVER ENOUGH by Denise Jaden!
  • A critique of your first five pages, compliments of Denise's agent, Michelle Humphrey from The Martha Kaplan Agency!

All you have to do is enter the rafflecopter for a chance to win (at the bottom of this post, I've included links to all of the other blogs where you can comment for more chances to win).

About Fast Fiction:

Writers flock to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) each November because it provides a procrastination-busting deadline. But only a fraction of the participants meet their goal. Denise Jaden was part of that fraction, writing first drafts of her two published young adult novels during NaNoWriMo. In Fast Fiction, she shows other writers how to do what she did, step-by-step, writer to writer. Her process starts with a prep period for thinking through plot, theme, characters, and setting. Then Jaden provides day-by-day coaching for the thirty-day drafting period. Finally, her revision tips help writers turn merely workable drafts into compelling and publishable novels.

A portion of publisher proceeds will be donated to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

Praise for Fast Fiction:

“Fast Fiction is filled with stellar advice, solid-gold tips, and doable, practical exercises for all writers who want to draft a complete novel.”
— Melissa Walker, author of Violet on the Runway

“Being a ‘pantser’ I have always resisted outlining, but I have to say that Fast Fiction changed my mind! Denise Jaden takes what I find to be a scary process (outlining) and makes it into an easy and, dare I say, enjoyable one. Fast Fiction is a hands-on book that asks the right questions to get your mind and your story flowing. I know I’ll be using Fast Fiction over and over again. Highly recommended for fiction writers!
— Janet Gurtler, author of RITA Award finalist I’m Not Her

“Fast Fiction is full of strategies and insights that will inspire and motivate writers of every experience level — and best of all, it provides them with a solid plan to quickly complete the first draft of their next novel.”
— Mindi Scott, author of Freefall

“Fast Fiction provides writers with the perfect mix of practical guidance and the kick in the pants they need to finish that draft. This book is a must-have for writers of all levels.”
— Eileen Cook, author of The Almost Truth

Practical and down-to-earth, Denise Jaden’s Fast Fiction makes a one-month draft seem doable, even for beginners, any month of the year.”
— Jennifer Echols, author of Endless Summer and Playing Dirty

“One of the greatest challenges any writer faces is getting a great idea out of one’s brain and onto the page. Fast Fiction breaks that process down into concrete, manageable steps, each accompanied by Denise Jaden’s sage advice and enthusiastic encouragement. And anything that helps streamline the drafting process is a-okay by me! Fast Fiction is a great addition to any writer’s toolbox — I’ve got it in mine!”
— Catherine Knutsson, author of Shadows Cast by Stars

“Forget the fact that this resource is directed at those wanting to complete a fast draft — if you’re out to get your novel done, period, Jaden’s Fast Fiction will be the kick in the butt that gets you there, from story plan to ‘The End’. . . and beyond.”
— Judith Graves, author of the Skinned series for young adults

Where you can find Fast Fiction:

Help an author out:
Can't get a copy of FAST FICTION right now? I wonder if you'd consider helping out in other ways. I'd really appreciate any way that you can help!

  • Ask your library or bookstore to bring in FAST FICTION
  • Leave a review on Amazon (the more books are reviewed on Amazon, the more they will show up as suggestions for readers).
  • Mention FAST FICTION on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, or pin a link to Amazon on Pinterest
Blog Tour Stops:
Comment on any of the following blog posts celebrating Fast Fiction's release to be entered to win prizes galore! 
(All Fast Fiction blog posts should be live by March 9th, or sooner. Contest will be open until March 15th. If any links don't work, stop by for updated links.)

GCC Blogs:

Additional Participating Blogs:

Remember, all you have to do is leave comments to get lots of extra entries to win some great prizes. 
Don't know what to comment about? Tell us the name of your favorite writing book!

Share this widget here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Or, if the Rafflecopter Giveaway doesn't seem to be coming up on this blog, access it here:

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Check out UNFORGOTTEN by Jessica Brody

UNFORGOTTEN, the second book in the Unremembered Trilogy by Jessica Brody, is now in stores! Some memories are better left forgotten... After a daring escape from the scientists at Diotech who created her, Seraphina believes she is finally safe from the horrors of her past. But new threats await Sera and her boyfriend, Zen, at every turn as Zen falls prey to a mysterious illness and Sera’s extraordinary abilities make it more and more difficult to stay hidden. Meanwhile, Diotech has developed a dangerous new weapon designed to apprehend her. A weapon that even Sera will be powerless to stop. Her only hope of saving Zen’s life and defeating the company that made her is a secret buried deep within her mind. A secret that Diotech will kill to protect. And it won’t stay forgotten for long. Packed with mystery, suspense, and romance, this riveting second installment of Jessica Brody’s Unremembered trilogy delivers more heart-pounding action as loyalties are tested, love becomes a weapon, and no one’s memories are safe.

Get a Special FREE Purchase Gift!

Download the first 5 Chapters FREE!

See Jessica on Tour!

Play the Unforgettable Fan Challenge (with guaranteed prizes for all Unforgettable Fans!)

 Haven't read Unremembered, the first book in the trilogy? Click here to learn all about it and read the first 5 chapters free! Also be sure to check out, UNDISCOVERED, the eBook novella told from Zen's point of view!


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Visiting with a Bookclub

Lots of fun meeting with a 4th and 5th grade book club yesterday! The kids had all read My Fake Boyfriend is Better Than Yours and asked great questions. I even got some pictures. :-)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Me and Fonzie, wh--?

Had another fantastic time at the Anderson's Children's Literature Breakfast today. I got to talk to a lot of cool librarians and teachers and see author friends. There were around 500 attendees and 60+ authors, including Henry Winkler. Here's a picture of us together:

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Espressologist is an ILLINOIS READS book!

Ahhh! One of my books was chosen for the Illinois Reads program and they want me to come to a ceremony in Springfield! So cool!!

"Congratulations! Your book, The Espressologist, has been chosen as one of the books for the annual ILLINOIS READS program.

Under the auspices of the Illinois Reading Council, ILLINOIS READS is an annual statewide project to promote reading for all Illinois citizens. The thirty-six titles chosen, from birth to adult, will be introduced into classrooms, public health facilities, public and school libraries, and bookstores. The website,, will allow adults and students (above age 13) to post book reviews, book trailers, artwork, and discussions about the books. We will be printing bookmarks, posters, public service announcements, television interviews, and more to promote the program. We will also want to link to your website, as well as offering additional activities to accompany your book.

The program will be formally launched on March 12, 2014 at the Illinois Reading Council Conference in Springfield, Illinois. We hope that you can join us for the ceremony at the Old State Capitol, along with a host of state and local officials."

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Fake Boyfriend Prize Pack Winner is...


Congrats Kristi!! You win the below. :-) I'll be sending you an e-mail shortly to get your information. And if you didn't win but still want to try for a free copy of My Fake Boyfriend is Better Than Yours, check out this Goodreads giveaway.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Win a copy of My Fake Boyfriend is Better Than Yours

Good news if you're still looking for a chance to win a copy of My Fake Boyfriend is Better Than Yours-- there's a giveaway on Good reads. Also, still two days left to enter the Fake Boyfriend contest here for the book and a bundle of goodies.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

My Fake Boyfriend is Better Than Yours by Kristina Springer

My Fake Boyfriend is Better Than Yours

by Kristina Springer

Giveaway ends February 12, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win