Monday, May 30, 2011

Not Going To BEA Winner!

I'm a little late getting back here to draw the winner of this awesome prize pack, but better late than never, right?



This beautiful boatload of books goes to...

Chey!

I've also contacted Chey by email, but if you get this first, send me your mailing address to d (at) denisejaden (dot) com and Ill get them out in the mail to you as soon as I can.

Thanks so much to all who participated, and also thanks for all the kind words and condolences over my dad's passing. My family has really appreciated all of your thoughts and prayers. I hope to be back to talking about books here soon, but still just taking one day at a time right now.

Congratulations again to Chey, and hope to see you all again soon!

Monday, May 23, 2011

GCC Presents Elizabeth Scott and BETWEEN HERE AND FOREVER!

As part of the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit, I'm excited to welcome one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Scott. I've also featured her new book, BETWEEN HERE AND FOREVER, on The Contemps blog tomorrow.

Also, if you're not going to BEA, make sure to enter my Not Going to BEA contest, as there's a copy of BETWEEN HERE AND FOREVER included in the prize pack!


Onto the interview...

1. Welcome Elizabeth! Tell me about your book in seven words or less.
Small town, family, secrets, falling in love

2. Other than your main character, who's a favorite character of yours in your novel and why?
I'm pretty fond of both Eli and Clement. And Katie and Dave, of course!

3. What's one piece of writing advice you would give to aspiring authors?
Read as much as you can, in as many genres as you can.

4. What did you write when you were a teen? Did you journal? Write poetry? Write overly literary or emotional stories? Or avoid writing altogether?
I didn't write when I was teen. I was always "sick" whenever we were assigned "creative writing" assignments.

5. What's the last book you read that you really loved?
You can check out books I've read and loved on Goodreads:

Great! Thanks so much for visiting my blog, Elizabeth, and all the best with the release of your new book!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Finally, For My International Peeps!

I know there must be much frustration floating around whenever there is an online contest only open to certain countries. The last contest I had was a biggie, but it was only open to people with a U.S. mailing address, because of mailing costs.



So this one I am holding for everyone else! This is a contest only open to folks who live Outside of the U.S. It's a writing contest, so I apologize for those who aren't writers, but I can't please everybody! (Not to worry, U.S. folks, I'll do one of these types of things for you too one day!)



How to enter:



Fill out the form. Please be honest.

You'll earn extra entries for everywhere you spread the word, so if you tweet about it next week or post it on your blog tomorrow, or whatever, come back and tell me about it in the comments. I'll add those up too.



And the Grand Prize...



I will offer a critique of up to 10 pages of the winner's work.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Teen Author Tuesday Presents Amy Fellner Dominy and OyMG!

I'm excited to welcome another 2011 debut author to the blog! Amy Fellner Dominy's contemporary YA novel, OyMG was released from Walker/Bloomsbury May 10, 2011. It is aimed at ages 11 to 16.



Welcome, Amy! Can you tell me about your book in seven words or less?
Jewish girl. Christian camp. Holy moly. 

Haha. Sounds great! Other than your main character, who's a favorite character of yours in your debut novel and why?
I can’t believe I’m going to pass on the hot guy, but I have to admit that my favorite character is Zeydeh, Ellie’s grandpa. (Zeydeh is the Yiddish word for grandfather.) He’s grouchy and prickly. He spouts Yiddish curse words and talks to ghosts. And his heart is pure gold. He and Ellie have an amazing connection full of love and respect. It’s one of my greatest regrets that Zeydeh is imaginary. He’s the grandpa I would have loved to have. 

Can you tell my readers a little more about yourself, Amy?
Random facts: I got sick on vanilla frosting when I was a kid, and I still don’t like it. I hate to shop but I love to buy shoes. I do triathlons—races where you swim, bike and run. I talk out loud while I write. 

 
And here's a little pic, so you can envision her talking while she writes!

What's been the most surprising thing about your path to publication so far, Amy?
How much I didn’t know. Every step of the way has held surprises: copyedits, first pass pages, marketing expectations, ARCs, cover jackets. I’ve discovered that a sale isn’t an end. It’s just another beginning.

So true. What's one piece of writing advice you would give to aspiring authors?
Finish. It’s amazingly difficult to actually finish a work-in-progress. I’m not sure why that is, but it’s true. (Which is why many writers have a lot of beginnings and no endings.) My advice is to write all the way to the end. To finish whatever you’re working on. That, in itself, is a huge accomplishment. 

Great advice! Are you swept up with promotion for your debut book right now or can you give us a sentence or two about something new you're working on?
My next book is titled Audition and Subtraction, and it’ll be out fall 2012, from Walker & Company. (I’m so glad to continue working with my editor!) It’s about fourteen-year-old Tatum who could suddenly lose her spot in District Honor Band—and her best friend—when a new guy transfers to her school. Friendships change and romance develops in unexpected places.

Sounds great! What did you write when you were a teen? Did you journal? Write poetry? Write overly literary or emotional stories? Or avoid writing altogether?
Besides keeping a diary, I also wrote a lot of stories as a teen. It appears I had a darker bent in those days. My first chapter book was titled, Cecelia and the Coffin of Blood. 

What's the last book you read that you really loved?
The first book that comes to mind is Something Like Hope by Shawn Goodman. It’s a new debut and a powerful story about a girl in juvenile detention. I couldn’t put it down, and neither could my daughter. 

If readers want to find out more about you and your writing, Amy, where should they look?
And for a sneak peek of OyMG, watch my book trailer here on YouTube

Thanks so much for visiting, Amy, and all the very best with your launch! I can't wait to read it!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Update

I wanted to give a quick update, but I'm not thinking very clearly, so I may just do this in point form.

The "Not Going to BEA Contest" is still on. Scroll down for details and feel free to keep entering/spreading the word. I may be a little late getting back here to draw a name and announce a winner, but I promise I will get to it eventually.

I have a few author interviews pre-scheduled to post on the blog, but other than that, I probably won't be around much for a little while.

Some of you may have heard, but for those who haven't...I was already having a very difficult month, with my health and other things. Apparently things were only going to get harder.

On Thursday afternoon my dad passed away suddenly. Some of you may have already heard,maybe some haven't, but I've been getting lots of emails from people who know me and/or my family well (some very kind words - thank you!) and may want some details. If this isn't you, please feel free to skip the rest of this post and I'll see you again when I'm back to blogging.

The details: Thursday morning my dad went to work on a job appraising a group of seven buildings (he's a real estate appraiser). At around 11:30 he went into one building alone, we think to take some pictures. The building had no electricity, and he was found around four o-clock in a very dark part of the building. He had taken a fall down a long flight of stairs and was unconscious. After being rushed to the local hospital, he was still unconscious and we were told he had several broken bones as well as two skull fractures. They rushed him by ambulance to another bigger hospital to undergo neural surgery. The doctors warned us that he may not survive the ambulance ride. Unfortunately his heart stopped in the ambulance on the way. They were able to restart it for a short time, but it didn't last.

We are all very shocked, we miss him terribly, and it continues to hit us again and again each day. We have a small but very close family, and we are all pulling together to get through it. I was very close to my dad--he was one of the best and most selfless people I've had the privilege of knowing--but each day is getting a little bit better, a little bit easier.

Please go tell all your loved ones how important they are to you. I know my dad knew how much we loved him, but still, I can't help wishing I had one more day to spend with him, one more time to say all the important things.

Thank you all for your good thoughts and prayers for my family during this time. We appreciate it so much, I can't even tell you.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Finally, For My International Peeps!

I know there must be much frustration floating around whenever there is an online contest only open to certain countries. The last contest I had was a biggie, but it was only open to people with a U.S. mailing address, because of mailing costs.

So this one I am holding for everyone else! This is a contest only open to folks who live Outside of the U.S. It's a writing contest, so I apologize for those who aren't writers, but I can't please everybody! (Not to worry, U.S. folks, I'll do one of these types of things for you too one day!)

How to enter:

Fill out the form. Please be honest.
You'll earn extra entries for everywhere you spread the word, so if you tweet about it next week or post it on your blog tomorrow, or whatever, come back and tell me about it in the comments. I'll add those up too.

And the Grand Prize...

I will offer a critique of up to 10 pages of the winner's work.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The "I'm NOT Going to BEA" #Contest

Many of you know I was psyched to go back to New York for Book Expo of America this year. Well, unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be. I've faced a few health issues and ended up having to cancel my trip. And I've been very, very sad about it.

But....rather than mope around the house, I've decided to harness my sadness and do something good with it...something that in it's own way will make me happy, because it will make someone else happy.

I have a lot of wonderful books here, and I've been holding regular giveaways from my bookshelves, but I've decided to do One Big Giveaway to make all of us who can't get to BEA feel a little bit better. There are three rules to this Contest of Awesomeness:

1. This contest is only open to those who are not able to attend BEA 2011.
2. Unfortunately I must keep this to people with a U.S. mailing address only because of mailing costs. If you can convince somebody to make media mail worldwide or otherwise cheapen the mailing rates, I would LOVE to open all of my contests up internationally.
3. The chances to win are limitless! All you have to do is let me know where you have spread the word about this contest, and you will get entries for everything you do, even if it's just telling your best friend about it! (If you use @denisejaden when tweeting, I'll be sure to count your entries there.)

As always, you'll get extra points for following this blog, following me on Twitter, GoodReads, and liking my Facebook Page.

Here's a tweet to get you started (go paste it into Twitter right now.)

Not going to #BEA11? Don't be sad! @denisejaden is having a Contest of Awesomeness just for you! http://www.denisejaden.com/Blog.html

Easy, right? And now for the GRAND PRIZE!!!

One lucky winner will receive an entire box of awesome books! Many are brand-new releases. I'll be drawing the winner's name sometime during BEA, so make sure you leave a way to get a hold of you in the comments or check back during that week.

Here is the bounty of books...



BETWEEN HERE AND FOREVER by Elizabeth Scott
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by Beth Revis
INVINCIBLE SUMMER by Hannah Moskowitz
REVOLUTION by Jennifer Donnelly
BEAUTIFUL by Amy Reed
THE SECRET YEAR by Jennifer R. Hubbard
INFINITE DAYS by Rebecca Maizel
THE SUMMER OF FIRSTS AND LASTS by Terra Elan McVoy
ENDLESS SUMMER by Jennifer Echols

Now, go forth and spread the word...a little happiness and excitement for the rest of us this May, including some awesome summer books and three books edited by my amazingly talented editor! Best of luck to all of you!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Teen Author Tuesday Presents Clete Barrett Smith and ALIENS ON VACATION!

I'm excited to welcome another debut author, an Elevensie, Clete Barrett Smith. Clete's debut novel, Aliens on Vacation, releases May 3rd, 2011 from Disney-Hyperion Books for Children / Disney Publishing Worldwide. It's a Middle Grade novel, for ages 8-12.


Welcome, Clete! Please tell us about your book in seven words or less.
Boy gets job at hotel for aliens.

Ha. Sounds great. Other than your main character, who's a favorite character in your debut novel and why?
I really like my antagonist, a suspicious local sheriff who wants to shut down the bed & breakfast for aliens. He's grumpy and sees himself as the sole protector of this little town, so he tries to intimidate anyone who he views as a threat. I think he's hilarious and his scenes were the most fun to write.

Can you tell my readers a little more about yourself?
I live in the Pacific Northwest with my wife and two daughters. I have always loved hiking in the forests here, and my childhood game was to make up stories about fantastic things happening in the woods that only I knew about. I finally wrote one of those stories down and I'm excited to share it with kids!

Well hello from another Northwest writer! What's been the most surprising thing about your path to publication so far?
I was most surprised by all of the people reading my book: agents, editors, marketing people, publishers in foreign countries who ended up buying the book. I had worked on this thing in relative isolation for years with only a few close friends and colleagues looking at it. Now the story feels like it's out there in the world and doesn't really belong to me anymore. I wish it well on its journey!

Any advice for aspiring authors?
Get help. Join a critique group, go back to school, read craft books. Don't try to do this all alone.

Great advice, Clete! Can you tell us about anything new you're at work on?
I am currently in rewrites with my editor on a sequel to my debut novel entitled Alien on a Rampage.

What did you write as a teen?
In middle school and high school I took Journalism class and wrote for the school newspaper, where I basically tried to make people laugh. My friend and I had an ongoing feature where we reviewed terrible slasher films. Instead of the traditional "five stars" rating system, we used a little "bloody chainsaw" icon to rate movies.

What's the last book you read that your really loved?
I read The Yearling last year and was amazed. Great characters, laugh-out-loud funny and a story with heart.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog today, Clete, and all the very best with your release! If readers want to find out a little more, where should they look?
My website: http://www.cletebarrettsmith.com/Website/Welcome.html

My Facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clete-Barrett-Smith-WriterEducatorSpeaker/128946553839867

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Hug for a Not-So-Happy Mother's Day

I know that for many women, including me, Mother's Day can be a difficult holiday. There are many women who have lost their mothers, or who have lost babies, or have never been able to have children, and for them this holiday sometimes feels like it brings focus back to their loss, while it seems like it's bringing joy to everyone else in the world.

So this is a virtual hug for anyone who's feeling sad and alone. For anyone who doesn't want to be anywhere near a flower shop or a restaurant today.

You're not alone. And it's good to remember that.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Four!

1. If you're around the Bellingham or Vancouver areas, I have two events coming up this weekend, and I hope you'll stop by. Details are here if you missed them.

2. Today is my second to last day of teaching my writing class for teens. I never did get around to posting some of my notes from my classes, but I still intend to do that. Sorry! Time just slipped away. Today is an open house day where other homeschoolers can drop in to see if they want to be part of the program for next year. So in other words: now that I've finally gotten my introverted students talking to one another and to me, we have to open it up to strangers! But actually, truth be told, some of my brave students have volunteered to read a bit of their writing to 200-some people on the last day. We've come a long way, baby!

3. I've wanted to watch Veronica Mars for a long time, but my husband was never into it, and quite honestly, I never watch TV on my own. If I have time to myself, I feel like I should be writing, since I don't get enough writing time as it is. Anyway, miracle of miracles, this week I put on an episode and my husband didn't fight me on it. In fact, he enjoyed it, and now we've watched four episodes!

4. It's been a pretty crazy month for me. Actually a couple of crazy months. I know I haven't been terribly insightful or interesting on my blog lately, haven't been writing craft posts or updating much on the publication process, but it would take an entire blog post of its own to explain my reasons. So for now I'll just say that things are looking up, and I'll hopefully be back to my normal self soon (not that that is terribly interesting or insightful either, but you know what I'm sayin').

Happy weekend to you all!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Teen Author Tuesday Presents Jessi Kirby and MOONGLASS!

I'm excited to welcome another Elevensie to the blog today! Jessi Kirby's debut novel,
MOONGLASS, releases May 3, 2011 from Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers. It is
Contemporary YA for ages 12 and up.



Welcome, Jessi! Can you tell me about your book in seven words or less?
Loss, mother, romance, beach, summer, sea glass, mermaids

Sounds great! Other than your main character, who's a favorite character of yours in your debut novel and why?
Another of my favorite characters from Moonglass is the crawling man on the beach. He’s actually based on a real man I used to see and wonder what his story was. In Moonglass, I got to give him a story.

Can you tell my readers a little bit more about yourself?
I worked as a lifeguard for four years, which is where I got many of my ideas for this story. I found a red piece of sea glass on my birthday this year. I have a thing for mermaids and all the myths that surround them.

What's been the most surprising thing about your path to publication so far?
The most surprising thing so far has been that it’s actually happened! I still only kind-of believe it. The other thing that’s surprised me along the way is just how long a process it is to see a book through from its initial draft to it hitting the bookstore shelves. I had no idea how many steps are involved along the way, but they’re all well worth it.

What's one piece of writing advice you would give to aspiring authors?
Read as much as you possibly can! It’s the best way to study the craft and artistry of writing. Read the authors you love and pay careful attention to why you love their stories so much, how they speak to you, and what they inspire in you. Then go write!

Great advice, Jessi! Are you swept up with promotion for your debut book right now or can you
give us a sentence or two about something new you're working on?
Right now I’m working on revising my second novel, IN HONOR, along with writing the first draft of my third. Busy days!

What did you write when you were a teen? Did you journal? Write poetry? Write overly literary or emotional stories? Or avoid writing altogether?
Ooh, it’s like you knew me! I did the first three—journals, terrible poetry, and overly dramatic stories. I wrote all the time, and most of it was terrible.

What's the last book you read that you really loved?
THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by Jandy Nelson. Hands down the best I read last year. I wanted to wrap myself up in its pages.

I couldn't agree more! I loved that book. If readers want to find out more about you and your writing, Jessi, where should they look?
My website: www.jessikirby.com

Great! Thanks so much for visiting today, Jessi, and all the very best with your book launch!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bellingham and Vancouver Peeps: Children's Book Week!

It's Children's Book Week. At least in Canada it is, maybe someone can let me know if this is also the case in the U.S.

As part of the celebrations, I am involved in a couple of different events:

Friday, May 6, 2011 - Yapalooza! at Village Books in Bellingham, WA
I'm thrilled to have been invited for a panel discussion, along with Teri Hall, Alexa Martin,
and Kimberley Derting! This will take place from 6:30 - 8:30 P.M.

Saturday, May 7, 2011 - TD Canadian Children's Book Week, Vancouver B.C.
1-3 PM at the Burnaby Public Library, Bob Prittie Metrotown Branch

I hope to see some of you there!