Sunday, May 10, 2015

Celebrating ALL Women Today!

My annual salute to all women, whether they are mothers or not... Mother's Day is an interesting holiday. I don't deny that mothers give a lot of themselves for their kids--24/7 for many years beyond the ones when they're changing diapers or helping with homework. I agree that this deserves celebration. I have a wonderful mother, and I wouldn't be the person I am today without her. Thanks for everything, Mom! But I've looked at the holiday from a different perspective many times as well. As someone who has struggled to become a mom, struggled to sustain a pregnancy, our society and it's focus on Mother's Day can feel pretty wounding. I can't tell you the number of times I felt inferior on a Mother's Day because I couldn't do something that so many women seemingly achieve so naturally and easily. Since then, of course, I've realized that is not necessarily the case. I can't count on my fingers and toes the number of women who have contacted me after I post something about this on the blog and mention that they've struggled with something similar. And that they've struggled with feeling like less of a person on a day that celebrates mothers. I've been blessed with a wonderful little boy who is eleven now. This is after four miscarriages, one tubal pregnancy, and many years of trying to conceive. I can't say that the parenting journey has always been easy either (even though I know I've had it really good compared to some). So I honor and salute all my friends who have endured the joys and sorrows of parenting. But I also honor and salute all of you who, for whatever reason, haven't. I salute you even more, because there are probably less of us that understand each other and can give each other (((cyber-hugs))) Many blessings to all of my women friends today! May you be honored, cherished, and understood among your friends and family!

Friday, April 24, 2015

IT'S OUT! IT'S OUT! FALLING FOR ALICE is On Sale Today! #contest #freebooks @falling4alice

I'm so VERY EXCITED to celebrate our unbirthday of our new Alice-in-Wonderland themed anthology with you! To celebrate these five new YA stories, I'm giving away an entire BOX of great YA fiction to one lucky winner (due to postage costs, this is open for US mailing only).

I'm so honored to have my story among some amazing other authors, including Dawn Dalton, Shari Green, Kitty Keswick, and Cady Vance. You will love all of their stories!

Here's a little bit about the anthology...

New Alice. New Wonderland. New stories ​to love.

From ​the modern Alice dumped in the Aquarian ​Age of the late sixties, to the ​present day Alice, tormented by body image and emotional issues, to the Alice of the future, launched forward through time and space, FALLING FOR ALICE offers five fresh takes on ​Lewis​ Carroll’s classic tale. For 150 years, people all over the world have fallen under Alice in Wonderland’s spell. ​Now, follow five Young Adult authors down the rabbit hole to discover Alice like you’ve never seen her before. One thing is certain—this is not your mother’s Alice.

And if you have not seen it yet, here is the book trailer...

And now for the contest! All you have to do to enter to win is send a photo or copy of your receipt of purchase of FALLING FOR ALICE (e-copy or paperback) to me at d(at)denisejaden(dot)com with the words FFA Contest in the subject and you will be entered! Pretty simple, right?

Here are a few places where you can get the book:

And here's a little glimpse of the books you could win...

And if you are an international reader and would still like to enter this contest, I will also award an e-copy or an audio-copy of one of my books if I draw the name of an international winner!

Best of luck, and happy reading! This contest will be open through the first week in May.

Don't forget to raise a glass of champagne or apple juice with us today to celebrate.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

My Crazy Life!

I just got back from a very last-minute whirlwind vacation. You see, my husband had to attend a seminar in LA, and we decided we could make it a road trip for the same price as his flight. So the three of us, plus my mom, hopped in the car and drove pretty much straight through from just outside Vancouver, Canada to LA.

We're not as young as we used to be. That's the first thing our aching backs and knees told us. But all in all, we did have a great time. We started with The Joker strapped to the front of our car...

When we were a lot younger, my husband and I made the same trip with a Barbie strapped to the front of our vehicle. When my son heard this little tidbit, he came up with this idea.

Both my son and I braved California Screamin', which is a huge feat for us, since neither of us are daredevils...

And I got to share my favorite ride, Space Mountain, with my husband and son, who both ended up loving it. (This was a great point of contention early in our marriage, actually, when my husband was terrorized by his first experience on this ride.)

We got home just in time for me to teach at a homeschool co-op I'm a part of, only to have to turn around that afternoon and head back to Seattle for my husband to judge a bodybuilding competition. Oh, and did I mention I have an anthology releasing this Friday...

And half an hour before we left for California, I spilled tea on my laptop and had to leave it at home in a box of rice! But it turned out that unplugging was a great thing for me. I feel tired, yes, but at the same time more relaxed and centered. I highly recommend unplugging from technology for a time (hopefully by choice and not by tea mishap!)

Anyway, this is just a quick post to let you know why I have been so absent as of late. My life has been a bit crazy, but I'm back and excited to share our Alice in Wonderland inspired anthology with you. Stay tuned for an awesome contest to celebrate its release!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

YA Scavenger Hunt @YASH Featuring STRANGE SWEET SONG by @luciferadi

Welcome to the YA Scavenger Hunt! 
I’m on the ORANGE team.
And I'm celebrating the upcoming release of the YA Anthology Falling For Alice. Keep cruising through the YA Scavenger Hunt to find plenty of secret bonus content on this anthology!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt.
Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the ORANGE team, and then add them up.
Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by Sunday, April 5th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

So many of the posts full of secrets have been so creative this time around, and my bonus content from Adi Rule is no exception! Read on to find out the zodiac signs of some of her characters, and don't forget to read on until the end to enter my Rafflecopter to win a special prize from me!

Opera flows in Sing Da Navelli's blood. But when she enrolls at a prestigious music conservatory, she is drawn to the icy forest nearby -- a place steeped in history, magic, and danger. With the help of a dark-eyed apprentice who has secrets of his own, Sing must unravel the story of the forest and the strange creature who lives there -- and find her own voice.

Find out more about this book over at Amazon or on Adi's website. 

And read on for Adi's bonus content, at least 7 of the zodiac signs of her characters! Now I'll let Adi take it away...

Thanks for having me by, Denise!

For this scavenger hunt, I thought it would be fun to figure out the zodiac signs of a few of the major players. There are a lot of stars in this book, from the Felix's celestial origins to the translation of Sing's name, so I wondered if the characters' connections to their star signs might give us some more insight into their personalities. Some signs were pretty obvious (could my giant feral cat be anything other than a Leo?), and some were more surprising. I hope you enjoy! :)


Ruling body: Neptune
Symbol: The Fish
Element: Water

Pisces are immensely talented, but can be held back by their own insecurities. Compassionate, sensitive, and sometimes consumed by beautiful fantasies, pisces can rise to great heights or plunge into the depths.

Despite her devotion to music and extraordinary voice, Sing’s biggest challenge is herself.

The Felix

Ruling body: The Sun
Symbol: The Lion
Element: Fire

Leos are stars, fiery and passionate, attracting admirers who will either be bathed in brilliance or burned to a crisp.

The Felix does nothing halfway -- love, anger, despair, grief. She scorches the heavens and haunts Dunhammond’s dark forest as only a creature of legend can.



Ruling body: The Moon
Symbol: The Crab
Element: Water

Cancers are enigmas, moody and cutting, prideful and insecure, caring and hard. These children of the moon value love over all else, but are often lost in their own inner worlds.

Nathan’s spirit is ruled by love, but that doesn’t mean his life is easy -- only that he has more to lose than most people.



Ruling body: Jupiter
Symbol: The Archer
Element: Fire

Those born under Saggitarius are optimistic, adventurous, idealistic, and charismatic. They’re fun-loving free spirits who are constantly chasing their dreams.
Ryan plays the piano the way he lives life, with a smile and a wink. He’s always up for a good time. His friends learn to enjoy his company while they can, because he won’t be pinned down by any place or person.


Ruling body: Mars
Symbol: The Ram
Element: Fire

Aries are outgoing and adventurous, as well as naive. They see the world with a childlike sense of magic and wonder, but can also be fiercely independent.
It’s difficult to dampen Marta’s spirits. Her self-confidence, coupled with her innocence, gives her a rose-colored view of the world. It may shatter eventually, but not today.


Ruling body: Mercury
Symbol: The Twins
Element: Air

Gemini are knowledge seekers, curious and talkative, flitting from idea to idea. While their exuberance might sometimes earn them sideways glances, they’re generally more interested in learning the next new thing than dwelling on the past.

Jenny's perceptive, curious nature makes her an ideal journalist. And friend. (Even if she does seem like a little mother hen sometimes.)

Element: Earth
Ruling body: Venus
Symbol: The Bull

Those born under Taurus are cool as cucumbers. They’re social yet detached, controlling their image and relationships with a steady hand. Who they are underneath the shell -- snobby, fearful, compassionate, lovely -- is anyone’s guess.

Lori is the queen of Dunhammond Conservatory. She has devoted friends, her pick of boys, and the Maestro’s favor. Rarely will cracks in her veneer appear, and should that happen, Lori is the master of sealing them up again.

Ruling body: Pluto
Symbol: The Scorpion
Element: Water

Scorpios are powerful, driven, and intense. They’re at their best when they’re winning, which they usually are. Inadequacies can be difficult for them to deal with.

Zhin plays the violin like ice -- beautiful, crystalline, hard, and cold. There is no one to rival her in technical brilliance and commitment, which is exactly how she wants it. Whether she still enjoys making music is unclear.

Thank you, Adi for that great post! 

Adi is the proud owner of a rare original Robostrux T-Rex. Her YA novel STRANGE SWEET SONG is out now from St. Martin's Press, with REDWING coming in 2015. When she's not writing, she sings in the chorus of the Boston Symphony Orchestra/Boston Pops and gives tours of a lonely seaside mansion with an undetermined number of rooms.

Don't go anywhere yet! Have you entered the Rafflecopter below to enter to win an audiobook of NEVER ENOUGH and some brand new awesome Alice in Wonderland inspired swag, to celebrate our release of the Falling For Alice Anthology? (It'll include one of these awesome one-of-a-kind Alice inspired bookmarks!)

And then continue The Hunt over at Adi Alsaid's Blog!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 29, 2015

March Madness Check-in 29 - #WIPMadness - It's Nearly Over?

So sorry about yesterday's missing post!  There was some technical difficulties over on Dawn's blog. No one used that as an excuse to slack off,  right? 

I cannot believe the month is almost over! I'm happy to report that I've seen lots of positive comments about goal attacking and completion around the hosting blogs and on Twitter. To that, I say CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

And even if you haven't completed your goals? Guess what? You're still here!!! You ARE diligent. You ARE committed. You ARE going to succeed in life--even if you didn't make your exact goals, your diligence will pay off in your future, I promise. 

We have loved having you here with us, and you've been an integral part of OUR processes. I honestly would not have set such lofty goals (and very nearly completed them) if it weren't for all of your participation in March Madness this year. And to that I say: CONGRATULATIONS and THANK YOU!

As for me, I am so close I can taste my goal! I've been working super hard all week, and will keep this short so I can get back to it. I hope to tie it up before the 31st. How about you? If you don't think you'll reach your goals, did you get more done this month than you would have without this challenge?

I still have prizes to give away, and I admit, with all my crazy hard work this week, I lost track a little of giving much away. If you have taken part in March Madness and have not received a prize yet, would you mind making my life just a little bit easier and emailing me at d(at)denisejaden(dot)com, and I will make sure you get something fabulous to celebrate your participation. 

I want to send out a HUGE ENORMOUS HEARTFELT THANK YOU to all of my March Madness co-hosts. They have been so incredibly generous, both with their time and with prizes and so very responsible. It was a joy to visit each of their blogs along the way.

The last thing I need to talk about today, on my last check-in post for the month, is CELEBRATION. If you've known me for any time at all, you know that I'm a big believer in celebrating all of the tiniest victories. There's enough soul-crushing, difficult stuff we have to face in the writing world. We need to celebrate ALL of our successes to combat that! Even if you've simply checked in all the way through the month, that deserves to be celebrated!

As usual, I plan to celebrate with some nice red wine, some delectable chocolate, and possibly some guacamole. How about you? 

It's too bad we can't all get together to celebrate, but know that I will be raising a glass to all of you on the 31st!

Eek! I forgot to lead you on to tomorrow's post! On Monday, we're over on Kim's Blog. See you there!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

March Madness Check-In Day 22 #WIPMadness - How Motivated Are You?

Last week I went for a "hike" with my family. I put "hike" in quotes, because, to be honest, whenever I hear about people going for a "hike," they're usually just talking about going for a walk in the woods.

We have a fairly famous "hike" in the Vancouver area called The Grouse Grind. I know people of all shapes and sizes and athletic abilities who have completed this "hike." We have another trail, a little closer to home that is supposedly about half the length of The Grouse Grind, and my family and I decided to try it as a warm up to help decide if we wanted to give The Grouse Grind a try. You see, The Grouse Grind is so busy with people, that you're not allowed to turn back part way and go downhill. Once you've started it, you must complete the "hike."

So we headed out to The Abby Grind, stocked with a bit of water and sweaters, since it was a cool day. Well, the sweaters came off during the first fifty feet. My eleven-year-old son took off ahead of my husband and I, and I was having trouble keeping up to my husband's giraffe-long legs. But soon my husband petered out. I caught up and then passed him as I put one very slow step in front of the other headed almost straight upward.

My husband was a hesitant participant in this "hike" to begin with, so I wasn't surprised when he said he probably wouldn't push through to the top and planned to turn around. However, my son was now so far ahead of us, above us in the woods of this mountainside, that not only could we not see him, we couldn't even get a reaction from yelling to him.

My lungs were burning, my legs were burning, and I hadn't even reached the halfway mark! But my son was out of reach, my husband was going to be no help in keeping track of him, and so the Mama Bear in me emerged. I sometimes had to stop every four or five steps and pray against heart palpitations, but with my concern for my son in the forefront of my mind, I made it to the top of that mountain!

Sometimes the goal doesn't seem worth it, or the reward doesn't seem like enough, or you may doubt your ability to complete it, or you may just feel really, really tired. But just take a moment and think...what if you HAD to complete your goal this month? What if something dire was at stake? No matter how far behind you are, I'll bet you could do it, couldn't you.

I'm behind, but I pictured that scenario for a minute, and the truth is, I can do this. I can make it happen. I just need to reach deep and pull it out of myself. How about you? CAN you make your goal happen this month? How proud would you be of yourself if you did, especially if it meant overcoming some pretty huge lapses and obstacles?

I'm proud of myself for completing The Abby Grind. I'm even considering attempting The Grouse Grind.

Also, I no longer put the word hike in quotations.

Don't forget to check in over at Kim's blog tomorrow!

Friday, March 20, 2015

YA Scavenger Hunt!

Hello Everyone! I'm so happy to introduce to you the Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt Authors! We have eight outstanding teams this season. I am going to be a part of #TeamOrange! 

The Scavenger Hunt runs from April 2nd through April 5th beginning and ending at noon Pacific time on those days. If you've never been a part of the hunt before you should give it a try. It runs like a giant blog hop, introducing you to new YA authors and books along the way. 

There are tons of prizes including a grand prize for each team. If you win one of the grand prizes you will get a book from each author on that team! For more information and to make sure you get hunt updates, sign up for news on the #YASH website. 

You don't want to miss out on this fabulous and fun event, but play fast because the hunt is only live for three days. And now, here are the teams! (Hint: If you click on the image you can get a close up)

Blue Team 1 Pink TeamTeam Gold (2)Team Purple 1Team GreenTeam Red 1Team Teal (2) Team Orange 
I hope you are all as excited as I am!