Posts Tagged ‘Class of 2k12’

Dec

17

2012

Class of 2k12/13 in the Spotlight–MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza with an ARC Giveaway!!!!

Filed under: Book Reviews, Check-it-out, Class of 2k12, The Class of 2k12, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

I know a couple of you have been waiting for it, so I won’t delay. My copy of the MILA 2.0 ARC by Debra Driza is up for grabs!!!!!  Just in case you’re not familiar with my fellow Class of 2k12 (pushed back to Class of 2k13) classmate, here’s a little bit about MILA 2.0 and Deb Driza…

 

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Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.

Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past —that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.

Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.

Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity–style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel.

You can Pre-order MILA 2.0 here…

*Barnes & Noble

 *Amazon

*IndieBound

 

Kim’s Review of MILA 2.0:

MILA 2.0 made me nostalgic for one of my favorite shows as a kid–the Bionic Woman. Only this time, I got to be in the characters’ head and I loved it. Driza’s did a wonderful job expressing what it feels like when Mila learns she isn’t exactly who she thinks she is. Additionally, the tag line for the book is fantastic–No one suspects what she’s made of–I adore the play on words. While MILA 2.0 is a fun and exciting read, a mash-up akin to The Bionic Woman meets the Bourne Identity, there is a sweetness to Mila that made her very likable even though she’s kind of a badass underneath. It gave the story a very nice balance. I had a blast reading MILA 2.0, now I can’t wait for the next one!

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Debra Driza

I’m a wife, a mom, a dog lover, a writer, a physical therapist, and the owner of the messiest purses on the planet. No, really. Sometimes I worry that I’ll reach inside for my keys and lose a hand in the process. My YA thriller series debuts in March 2013 with Katherine Tegen Books/Harper Collins. Oh, and when I grow up, I want to be Veronica Mars.

 

Now on to the really fun stuff–how to win the ARC of MILA 2.0. It’s not hard at all…

 

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

See what I’m willing to do to make your Monday better. *grin* I hope you win!

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Sep

28

2012

Class of 2k12 in the Spotlight–TOUCHED by Corrine Jackson

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Book Reviews, Class of 2k12, Reading, The Class of 2k12, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

I’m so pumped–I’m one of the very first US reviewers for TOUCHED by Corrine Jackson!!!! I adore Cory and I am such a fan of her writing–I’m sure you remember how I gushed about her other debut novel IF I LIE. Loved it! Well, TOUCHED has been teasing me for quite some time now because it debuted in Germany first. And even though I lived in Germany for four years–I did not master the language. So I had to wait. But my waiting is over. *cheers* You on the other hand, you’ve got a few more weeks before you can get your hands on this one, but it will be worth it…

Remy O’Malley heals people with touch—but every injury she cures becomes her own. Living in a household with an abusive stepfather, she has healed untold numbers of broken bones, burns,and bruises. And then one night her stepfather goes too far.
Being sent to live with her estranged father offers a clean start and she is eager to take it. Enter Asher Blackwell. Once a Protector of Healers, Asher sacrificed his senses to become immortal. Only by killing a Healer can a Protector recover their human senses. Falling in love is against the rules between these two enemies. Because Remy has the power to make Protectors human again, and when they find out, they’ll becoming for her—if Asher doesn’t kill her first.
This is Book One in the Touched trilogy.

Publisher: Kensington/KTeen
Debuts: November 27, 2012
ISBN-10: 0758273339
ISBN-13: 978-0758273338

You can pre-order TOUCHED here…

*Amazon

*IndieBound

*Barnes & Noble

*Books-A-Million

*German Amazon

I also have to share the German cover of TOUCHED and TOUCHED 2 because I love them and that’s exactly how I picture Remy!!!!

Kimberly’s Review of TOUCHED by Corrine Jackson:

I have to start off by saying I just love the name Remy. I know it’s a silly thing, but a name can just set the tone for a book and the more I read, the more I unraveled the multifaceted girl behind the unique moniker. What I loved about Remy was that she was a beautifully balanced mix of strength and weakness. A also adored that she wasn’t a block head. By that I mean that I’ve noticed a trend where the MC is almost too heavily vested in fighting off the good things that happen. Realistically, we all make some dumb choices in life, but for me there also comes a point where I roll my eyes and say…

“Seriously? Well, that was just stupid. My cat even understands that this person cares about you.”

Remy wasn’t stupid–she had her insecurities and many legitimate reasons to be cautious, but she also was able to embrace some of the good things that were happening to her. I found that I really enjoyed that as a reader–even as a person who likes a little angst in her books.

I also loved the premise of TOUCHED. The concept of healers and protectors really took the paranormal into a completely different direction for me. I am intrigued by books that make me peek over my shoulder because I start to wonder if there really could be folks walking around with “unusual hidden talents”. I love to imagine worlds within my own existence and this book sparked that in me. TOUCHED was very fascinating and I can’t believe that I’m going to have to wait to find out what happens next. Grrrrrr

Corrine Jackson (pronounced Cor-een) is a young adult author repped by Laura Bradford of Bradford Literary Agency. Her debut young adult novel, If I Lie, will be published by Simon Pulse (August 28, 2012). Touched, the first book of her young adult paranormal romance trilogy, will be published by Kensington/KTeen (November 27, 2012).

Once upon a time, Corrine worked as a graphic designer before she switched to account management at one of the country’s top marketing agencies. She has a deep and abiding love for Anthropologie and intends to move into her nearest store when the employees aren’t looking and/or she can get her hands on a key (which she expects to find in one of their bins).

An education addict, Corrine has attended eleven different colleges, has earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. A recipient of a West Chester Poetry Conference scholarship, she is also the former Editor-in-Chief of two literary magazines, including Statement (CSU, Los Angeles) and Dash (CSU, Fullerton). A member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators), RWA, YARWA, and AWP, she has mad skills in the kitchen, especially when it comes to pies and cupcakes.

 You can find out more about Corrine Jackson and her debut novels TOUCHED and IF I LIE here…

*Website

*Blog

*Twitter

*Facebook

*Goodreads

*tumblr

*Pinterest

*YouTube

*Class of 2k12

*Apocalypsies

I know–November 27th feels like it’s still a long time away, but to pass the time let’s chat. If you were a healer, but  you had to temporarily take on someone else’s injury and its pain in order to fix them, is there a certain injury that would be a deal breaker for you? Or would it be dependent on who you were healing? Would a skill like this be a blessing or a curse? How would you use it?

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Sep

19

2012

My Secret Marketing Weapon and Some Other Marketing Tips that aren’t for the Birds

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Class of 2k12, Marketing, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

I know not everyone will agree with what I’m about to say, but I find marketing fascinating. I sort of think of it like playing a game of Angry Birds–it’s a challenge and I love to adjust my angles to see where I’m going to aim my efforts. Just like playing Angry Birds, marketing your book takes some skill, hard work, practice and luck. And if you do even some of it right, you have a chance to knock down some serious stuff–pigs AND the barriers that keep you from literary success.

As my book launch gets closer, I’ve been thinking about marketing a lot more and I’ve come to realize that I’ve developed my own marketing truths. Here are some of the things that currently resonate with me…

 

*Be genuine. It’s much better to make 10 real friends on line than to spam a hundred. I know what I’m willing to do to support the people in my life that I care about–most people feel the same way. Genuine time and effort can’t be faked.

*Pretend that you don’t have a publisher. My publisher is doing a zillion amazing things to help market and sell my book. Duh! It’s their book too, but it’s easier for me to pretend (from a marketing perspective) that I’m self-published. This way I push myself to do my best and whenever something unexpected and exciting happens, it’s a ginormous, wonderful bonus!!!

TOUCHING THE SURFACE at the Bologna Book Fair!!!! I had no idea my book was there until my editor sent me this picture. BONUS!

*Try to enjoy the type of marketing you do. I’ll be honest, when two openings came available to join the YA Rebels (a weekly vlogging collective) I thought about auditioning. It would have been a fabulous opportunity. I also realized it would likely cause my premature death. The expectation to create weekly vlogs, that were interesting and funny AND get the tech thing down would have applied enough pressure to squish my head like a melon. Stick to the stuff that doesn’t take years off of your life.

*JOIN A MARKETING COLLECTIVE!!!! I am a proud member of the APOCALYPSIES and the CLASS OF 2k12 and I can say with absolute certainty that these two groups have been the best. They are so much more than a bunch of debut authors banding together–these are my friends. I could not have done it without them. I wouldn’t want to. We SQUEE over each other’s good news and we commiserate when we’re knee deep in suckage–personal or professional. We help each other be better writers–and marketers. And the best part is that they make me laugh. Have you seen this video?

So when you get that opportunity to join an amazing group like this… raise both hands,  jump up and down and shout pick me, pick me!

*Lastly, you should have a secret weapon. Here’s mine…

 This is my mom–aka my secret weapon. She carries a stack of signed bookmarks in her pocketbook and every place she goes, she tells people about my book. She also shares how proud she is of her daughter and she means it–I can see it in her eyes. THIS is the best kind of marketing. It is also the BEST way to live your life. It’s better than word of mouth–it’s word of heart.  What we all really want is for someone to love us, to love our writing and to want to tell the world about it.

PS–I’m a very lucky girl because I’m surrounded word of heart–in my home and in my life. There will never be enough ways to adequately say I love you back.

Who is your secret weapon? Who shares their love of you through word of heart? I know just thinking about them makes you warm and fuzzy right now–so ‘fess up.

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Aug

12

2012

The 41st Annual SCBWI Conference–Part 3–Sunday

Filed under: Class of 2k12, Conferences, SCBWI, The Class of 2k12

I think I mentioned earlier that this conference had some of the best panel discussions that I’ve been to at a SCBWI event. Up first on Sunday morning was the AGENTS PANEL–REALIZING YOUR CREATIVE DREAMS:WHAT THE PUBLISHING WORLD CAN OFFER YOU. (LO) Lin Oliver (Moderator)

(JC) Jill Corcoran

(DW) Deborah Warner (Filling in for Rubin Pfeffer)

(LP) Linda Pratt

(JA) Josh Adams

Here are their best pieces of advice…

What are you looking for?

JA-We don’t look for perfection, we look for potential that needs to be highly polished.

JC-Do your research. Pick 5 ideas you love , then pick the one that seems the most exciting. Be sure to research comp books. You can change the setting to make an idea you love more unique.

JA-We are looking for something that is truly unique. If we love something, we will find a home for it. What is expected of an author besides writing?

JA-Social media, tours, school visits, marketing. First books allow you take lots of time but after that, you’re expected to produce.

LP-Second books can’t be obscure and quirky. Your sales are being tracked (Book Scan) and you have to be pragmatic about what you pick in the beginning of your career.

JA-There is less time today to build a career.

Advice?

DW-Placing your second book is just as important as placing your first.

JA-Do your homework first. LP-Make decisions that progress your work, not just add another book. Selectivity. And be professional!

JC-About social media: Why do we all have to say EVERYTHING we feel. Have a filter. Be cautious and professional.

LO-Ask…Is this the highest and best use of your time.

Money?

JA-Children’s and YA have historically done thing differently than adult publishing and that is why we’re doing well.

 

Now on to the picture book panel. I’ve dabbled with picture books but don’t consider myself a picture book writer at this point in my career, but I am so glad that I stayed for this session. The wonderful insight and messages transcended the world of picture books and I walked away with a large amount of wisdom and inspiration–plus a whole bunch of laughs.

(JK) Jon Klassen

(AP) Antoinette Portis

(DY) Dan Yaccarino (Moderator)

(EY) Eugene Yelchin

(LW) Lee Wardlow

Trends?

EY-Trends? I don’t know what that means–we are in a very specific cultural moment. We must consciously be aware of being in THAT moment. We are helping to create the culture

JK-Trends apply more to novels because PB’s don’t have as much trouble explaining themselves. Don’t need comps the same way.

DY-We never get tired of hearing the same stories–we just want to have a unique delivery.

EY-You do your research, but it still has to filter through you.

JK-What makes a classic? It has something unreachable about it that makes you want to keep returning to it to try to figure it out. (GOODNIGHT MOON; GO, DOG, GO!)

 

The first breakout session of the day was one that is close to my heart. The Class of 2k7 (The founding class of 2k’s) is celebrating it’s 5th anniversary and of course that makes me a member of the 5th class to come through. Of course I had to attend this session by Greg Fishbone, Jay Asher and Greg Neri called CLASS OF 2K7: SOCIAL NETWORKING YOUR WAY TO THE VIRTUAL TOP.

Here are some of the stats on the Class of 2k7…

39 Members (13 Middle Grade and 26 Young Adult)

Releases: 17 Spring, 12 Summer and 10 Fall

When they started…

*They may have started as a group of balding male writers. LOL!

*Online marketing was very new and not the primary focus.

*MySpace was the big thing LOL! But it shows that social media is a moving target and you can put a lot of effort into something that just goes away.

Why group branding?

*Lends credibility to the authors–looks professional. There are groups beyond the Class of 2k series that do this also–like the Apocalypsies and the Lucky 13s.

*Joint presentations/signings make something an event.

*You better control your own spin.

 

Class of 2k’s Websites:

*Class of 2k7

*Class of 2k8

*Class of 2k9

*Class of 2k10

*Class of 2k11

*Class of 2k12

*Class of 2k13 They are just getting started!

Up next was the SCBWI Golden Kite Luncheon. If you’re not familiar with the SCBWI Golden Kite award, you can find out more about it HERE. The awards given out at this luncheon also include the illustrator awards, the humorous Sid Fleishman Award and the SCBWI Member of the Year Award, which was deservedly won by Suzanne Morgan Williams.

 And this year was also very special for me because Kate Messner won the Golden Kite Picture Book Award. Kate is a member of my SCBWI Eastern Upstate New York and one of the authors I used as a role model when I first started this journey. Congratulations Kate!!!!

And here are the other amazing winners…

So proud to see what the SCBWI is producing. Each book is a stone in a path that we are all creating together. I’m so amazingly proud to be a part of this tribe. After the luncheon I got to go to another breakout session with Ruta Sepetys!!! This allowed me to get an up close look at a Golden Kite award…too stinkin’ amazing!

Who needs an Oscar when you can have one of these? And of course, Ruta sent out a message of thanks to all of Verla Kay’s Blue Boarders when she saw Verla in her session too.

 

Okay, back to topic–which is–SELLING, PROMOTING & TOURING IN FOREIGN MARKETS. I wasn’t sure how much I’d get out of this session because I have 3 young kids and hopping on a plane and touring overseas isn’t going to be the easiest thing for me to do, but I’d learned so many fabulous things in my other sessions with Ruta that I couldn’t pass it up. I wasn’t disappointed. I learned a ton of information that will give me lots of advantages to dealing with foreign markets even if I’m staying right at home.

Here are some general tips that everyone will find useful…

*If you send video content–attach a script for easy translation.

*Have a selection of author photos because tastes vary widely.

*Create your own Q & A.

*Send thank you notes.

*sob* The last Keynote speaker of the conference. I hate saying goodbye to this kind of inspiration.  Gary Schmidt–THAT KID IN THE BACK ROW, THE ONE WITH THE RED SHIRT ON. Gary is the author of one of my favorite books–THE WEDNESDAY WARS.

*We are at our best with good and healthy routines. We need to pay attention to our surprises.

*I was put into Track 3 in first grade–I didn’t learn to read for a very long time.

*Never doubt your stories will effect kids.

*You write the stories that give your readers more to be a human being with.

*You will never learn to love art well until you learn to love what it mirrors better…the world.

-Love the world

-Love the stuff of your craft–words.

-Give your readers the deepest questions not easy answers.

-Pay attention

*Does the writing serve? We do not want to be hacks who simply seek fame and fortune. We are in a culture where we cease to cherish our children. We are called to cherish our readers.

The child deserves…

How do we get started?

Look.

 

Yes, it’s a miracle that I’m still alive today because by all rights, after that speech and all the others I heard at the conference, no one would have blamed me if my heart had burst. But that is how you should leave a conference so full of inspiration, hope and motivation that the touch of a feather would cause it to leak out of you. Now it’s time for the autograph party or as I like to call it…Kim gets to hug her heroes.

Of course, everyone feels the same way I do, so the line is outrageous LOL! But it goes rather quickly and it’s so worth it.

After hearing Eugene Yelchin in the Picture Book Panel I had to have this book, BREAKING STALIN’S NOSE. Can’t wait to read it with the boys!

 The second page of KINDRED SOULS by Patricia MacLachlan has a Red Tailed Hawk on it. Perfect.

Awww Bryan Collier blew me away with his keynote. From that moment on I became a life long fan. The SCBWI doesn’t get better than this.You must read DAVE THE POTTER!

I love Clare Vanderpool and can’t wait to read MOON OVER MANIFEST!

It’s Karen Cushman!!! Karen has published seven books since she started writing at age 50, including Newbery award winner THE MIDWIFE’S APPRENTICE.

OMG!!! My kids are going to be soooo jealous. They LOVED reading Gary Schmidt‘s  THE WEDNESDAY WARS together. It was such a wonderful experience to share my children’s enthusiasm for his writing with him. We can’t wait to read his next book, OKAY FOR NOW together.

Pictures are worth a 1,000 words and sometimes us writers CAN just leave it at that–or maybe I’ll have just a little bit more to say about Ruta on Wednesday LOL!

And then it’s over…waving goodbye to LAX.

This is still the only view I’ve ever had of the Pacific LOL!

Turning back around over the ocean and doing an LA fly by on my way home.

 

Can you spot the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza?  It’s the low building with a curved shape next to the white tower.

On Monday there was also a wonderful day of Intensives but I didn’t attend, I was ready to head home and see my family. On my way out, I did see this little cloud and I can only imagine that some day it will show up in one of my stories LOL!

Don’t forget that you still have a chance to win a Pre-order of TOUCHING THE SURFACE right HERE!

Now that you’ve had a virtual SCBWI Conference, what do you think? Interested in joining the tribe? Already a proud member? Find any authors that you would love to hear? Make sure you request them with your SCBWI RA for your local conferences. Or just check out their amazing books and if you do love them, be sure to take the time to write a review for Amazon, B&N and Goodreads. Your positive support means the world to all authors and illustrators. It will never go unappreciated.

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Apr

25

2012

The Class of 2k12 in the Spotlight–IF I LIE by Corrine Jackson

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Book Reviews, Class of 2k12, The Class of 2k12, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

My friend Ida is hating me right now. She’s a heavy duty book lover and a writer. This is the Facebook post I received from her after posting all of the Class of 2k12 and Apocalypsies Tuesday Book Birthdays…

Kim… I don’t know how to say this… but I don’t know if I can be your friend anymore… it’s just… all the books you post about… I can’t take it anymore Kim… my reading list is starting to cause me anxiety attacks… I don’t leave the house… I pretend those kids that keep calling me mommy are just visitors… I’ve started to ignore my personal hygiene…it’s turning into a real problem… sigh

Ida, I love you and I’m very sorry to do this to you…

IF I LIE by Corrine Jackson–Coming August 28, 2012

A powerful debut novel about the gray space between truth and perception.

Quinn’s done the unthinkable: she kissed a guy who is not Carey, her boyfriend. And she got caught. Being branded a cheater would be bad enough, but Quinn is deemed a traitor, and shunned by all of her friends. Because Carey’s not just any guy—he’s serving in Afghanistan and revered by everyone in their small, military town.

Quinn could clear her name, but that would mean revealing secrets that she’s vowed to keep—secrets that aren’t hers to share. And when Carey goes MIA, Quinn must decide how far she’ll go to protect her boyfriend…and her promise.

If I Lie is available for Pre-order here…

*Barnes & Noble

*Amazon

*IndieBound

*Additional Book Sellers

Kimberly Sabatini’s Review of IF I LIE:

When I was in high school, I became fascinated with POW’s from Vietnam. I was haunted by the idea that these guys had never come home. Who were they? Where were they? And what had they left behind? I “adopted” a missing soldier and wore my MIA bracelet until it wore out and broke in half.

When I was in college, I was a girlfriend of a guy who was in the army. Then I married him–making me a military wife. I fell in love with this fierce, dedicated, kind, bigger-than-life community. And sometimes I hated being just another piece in a finely tuned machine–even it it was made up of some very wonderful people. Sometimes I felt a little lost. I didn’t always like who I was supposed to be and what was expected of me. I didn’t know it then, but I was a girl who had things to say–weird, slightly off center things to say–and not speaking them was a bit unhealthy. So, I related to Quinn–having lived that life with my own kind of secrets pushed down inside me.

I’m sharing this information with you because I want you to know, that in my opinion, Corrine Jackson got it right. As I read her words, it took me back…

I’m a huge fan of authors who create people with depth. I like to see the characters have faults AND triumphs. Not only did Jackson do this seamlessly, but she also accomplished this with her presentation of the military. I both loved and hated the institution and it’s affect on those involved in it–just like I did in real life. She didn’t use hero worship and she didn’t demonize either. She simply acknowledged that like all of us, it is made up of the good and the bad.

I was also grateful to see her humorous and touching relationship with an elderly veteran, George. I have always had a soft spot for the older generation. I think they are gifts that we often let pass us by. Jackson brought me to tears with her gentle reminder that it takes only one person to make a difference in someone else’s life.

IF I LIE is a well written, beautifully balanced, heart-wrenching book that is about so much more than a snapshot of people in a small military town. I hope it moves you as much as it did me.

Corrine Jackson (pronounced Cor-een) believes flip flops are appropriate footwear for any occasion, but concedes the need for boots since moving to damp and foggy San Francisco. She loves collecting degrees, including a BA and MA in English, and very soon, an MFA in Creative Writing. Aside from her longing to live in Anthropologie, she claims a seven-year career at a marketing agency and, before that, she graphically designed things. Her YA contemporary book, IF I LIE, will be published by Simon Pulse on August 28, 2012 and her YA paranormal romance, TOUCHED, will be published by KTeen in December 2012.

You can find out more about Corrine Jackson and IF I LIE here…

*Website

*Facebook

*Twitter

*Blog

*Goodreads

*The Bookanistas

*The YA Rebels

*The Class of 2k12

*The Apocalypsies

So, I’m wondering if you know anyone who is on active duty? Do you have a veteran in the family? Any thoughts for those who serve? I’d love to hear.

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Apr

13

2012

ROCK THE DROP: Supporting Teen Lit Day

Filed under: Community, The Class of 2k12, Uncategorized, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

Yesterday I Rocked the Drop!!!!

 

Rock the Drop 2012

Once again, Readergirlz and Figment did ROCK THE DROP in honor of Support Teen Lit Day on Thursday, April 12th. All I had to do was find some YA books that I wanted to share with the world and then

Snag a bookplate, created by the uber-talented David Ostow (who blogs hilarious cartoons here), and then proclaim that I will ROCK THE DROP! I love proclaiming things so this was already gonna be fun.
Print a copy of the bookplate and insert it into a book (or 10!) to drop on April 12th. The goal is to drop a book in a public spot (park bench, bus seat, restaurant counter?) Lucky finders will see that the book is part of ROCK THE DROP!
Snap a photo of your drop and post it at the readergirlz Facebook page. Then tweet the drop at #rockthedropwith all the other lovers of YA books.

You can visit the readergirlz blog for more news and pictures before, during, and after the event!

 

Here’s how it went down…

I picked three books that I had on hand. Class of 2k12‘s Megan Bostic— NEVER EIGHTEEN, from YA Outside the Lines I had THE SECRET YEAR by Jennifer Hubbard and I had an ARC from of IMAGINARY GIRLS from Nova Ren Suma.

 

 

In each book I included a class of 2k12 bookmark and a TOUCHING THE SURFACE bookmark.

 

I also added in the readergirlz Rock The Drop bookplate.

 

Since I planned on getting out of the house and doing some writing (in addition to wanting to try to catch the finder of the book) I decided to take all three books with me to Panera.

 

So I planted to books and waited–going through my emails with one eye on the lookout. I was in between the breakfast and lunch crowd so I figured I needed to get a little writing done while it was slow. I got lost in my manuscript and when I looked up…all the books were done. For a moment I felt some panic. I’m usually very careful to screen perspective new parents of books that I loved. What if…

But I decided that when you Rock the Drop you’re moving outside your box and you never know what’s going to happen.

Do you like to give books as gifts? Do you have one go to book that you give everyone? Any great stories of book gifting? Planning on Rocking the Drop next year?  You know I am–I’ll have my own book to leave too. <3

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Mar

26

2012

Class of 2k12 in the Spotlight–BREAKING BEAUTIFUL by Jennifer Shaw Wolf

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Book Reviews, Class of 2k12, The Class of 2k12, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

Another winner from the Class of 2k12 ARC Tour–BREAKING BEAUTIFUL by Jennifer Shaw Wolf!!! And the best news is that you don’t have to wait too long to get your hands on this one. It will be out on April 24th. To get you excited, here’s a little bit about BREAKING BEAUTIFUL…

Does time heal all wounds?

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?

You can pre-order BREAKING BEAUTIFUL here…

*Amazon

*Barnes & Nobel

*The Book Depository

*Indie Bound

*Powell’s Books

 

Kimberly’s Review of BREAKING BEAUTIFUL…

Breaking Beautiful gave me sweaty palms and warm fuzzies–all in the same book. This story is a creeper of a murder mystery, while also being a coming of age story. I loved that this book brought so much to the table in one little package.

Allie and Blake were well written, likable, interesting people, but I found myself particularly captivated by Andrew, Caitlyn and Detective Weeks. They were such unique characters, I couldn’t get enough of them. They were the feather in Wolf’s cap.

Without giving away any spoilers, I’d also like to add that the role of voice in this book was extremely well done. The way that Allie loses hers and then comes to find it again is important and I’m so happy to see Allie’s journey shared with the world.

If you loved WHAT SHE LEFT BEHIND by Tracy Bilen then you’ll love BREAKING BEAUTIFUL by Jennifer Shaw Wolf.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jennifer Shaw Wolf grew up on a farm in the tiny town of St. Anthony, Idaho. She spent cold Idaho mornings milking cows in the dark and attended a school where Hunter’s Education was part of the sixth grade curriculum. She’s always been a writer, whether it was sewing together books to read to her little brothers or starting an underground newspaper in sixth grade. She met the love of her life at Ricks College, (now BYU Idaho), after he dropped her on her head. She graduated from Ricks and then Brigham Young University, Provo with a degree in Broadcast Communications. Now she lives in beautiful, green, (rainy) Lacey, Washington with her husband and four kids. She loves to produce videos, ski, ride horses, and read, but really all she has time for is chasing kids and writing.

You can find out more about Jennifer Shaw Wolf and BREAKING BEAUTIFUL here…

*Website

*Blog

*Facebook

*Twitter

*Goodreads

*The Class of 2k12

*The Apocalypsies

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Mar

16

2012

Class of 2k12 in the Spotlight-THE GATHERING STORM by Robin Bridges

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Book Reviews, Class of 2k12, The Class of 2k12, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

 

In a weird coincidence, I’d just cracked the spine on my very own copy of THE GATHERING STORM by my Class of 2k12 sib Robin Bridges, when the ARC Tour copy showed up in my mailbox. Guess I was reading the right book at the right time. I love it  when the universe sends me cosmic confirmation signals.  Here’s a little bit about THE GATHERING STORM in case you have had the chance to drool over it yet…

 

In superstitious 1880’s Russia, Katerina of Oldenburg hides a dangerous secret: she can raise the dead.

St. Petersburg, Russia, 1888.  As she attends a whirl of glittering balls, royal debutante Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, tries to hide a dark secret: she can raise the dead.  But when she uses her special skill to protect a member of the Imperial Family, she finds herself caught in a web of intrigue.

An evil presence is growing within Europe’s royal bloodlines—and those aligned with the darkness threaten to topple the tsar. Suddenly Katerina’s strength as a necromancer attracts attention from unwelcome sources . . . including two young men—George Alexandrovich, the tsar’s standoffish middle son, who needs Katerina’s help to safeguard Russia, even if he’s repelled by her secret, and the dashing Prince Danilo, heir to the throne of Montenegro, to whom Katerina feels inexplicably drawn.

The time has come for Katerina to embrace her power, but which side will she choose—and to whom will she give her heart?

 

THE GATHERING STORM can be purchased at…

Barnes and Noble

Amazon

Click HERE for a list of other available booksellers

 

Kimberly’s Review of THE GATHERING STORM

The absolute coolest thing about this book was the melding of paranormal and historical. And what really intrigued me most was that this wasn’t your “typical” historical era that we so often read about–this was Russia!!! The story was filled with all kinds of new and unique things that I’d never read about in a YA book before. Obviously, there was a mind boggling amount of research that must have gone into THE GATHERING STORM and that’s what I loved about it. It felt authentic–which meant that when Bridges introduced her paranormal elements into the story–the lines between reality and fiction were often blurred, making for fantastic story telling.I also really loved Katerina’s drive to be a doctor and her own person and more importantly, I adored her father. He only wanted the best thing for his daughter, even if it defies convention.The Gathering Storm had love, intrigue, history, magic and all of my attention. I can’t wait until the next installment of the Katerina Trilogy!!!
 
By day, Robin is a mild-mannered writer of fantasy and paranormal fiction for young adults. By night, she is a pediatric nurse. Robin lives on the Gulf Coast with her husband, one soon-to-be teenager, and two slobbery mastiffs. THE GATHERING STORM is her first novel.
And if I haven’t already sold you on Book One of the Katerina Trilogy, check out Book Two…
THE UNFAILING LIGHT is now available for Pre-order!!!!
Available October 9, 2012
Having had no choice but to use her power has a necromancer to save Russia from dark forces, Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, now wants to forget that she ever used her special powers. She’s about to set off to pursue her lifelong dream of attending medical school when she discovers that Russia’s arch nemesis–who she thought she’d destroyed–is still alive. So on imperial orders, Katerina remains at her old finishing school. She’ll be safe there, because the empress has cast a potent spell to protect it against the vampires and revenants who are bent on toppling the tsar and using Katerina for their own gains. But to Katerina’s horror, the spell unleashes a vengeful ghost within the school, a ghost more dangerous than any creature trying to get in.
You can find out more about Robin Bridges and The Katerina Trilogy–THE GATHERING STORM and THE UNFAILING LIGHT here…
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Feb

15

2012

Class of 2k12 in the Spotlight-SCARLET by AC Gaughen

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Book Reviews, The Class of 2k12

Sometimes I get to review a book and I’m so excited to share it with you, but you have to wait weeks or months for it to hit the shelves. Not today!!!  SCARLET by AC Gaughen had it’s very happy Book Birthday yesterday.  So, once I convince you that you must read this book immediately–you can go right out and buy it. Or even have it sent to your house. Or if you just can’t wait another minute–you can click on that eBook right now. While you decide, I’ll tell you all about the book.

SCARLET by AC Gaughen

Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance.

Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.

It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.

CHECK OUT THE SCARLET BOOK TRAILER.

Want to order SCARLET?

AMAZON

BARNES & NOBLE

FOR ADDITIONAL OPTIONS

Kimberly Sabatini’s Review of SCARLET

OMG!!!! I loved this book. I’m going to start this review by announcing something that I NEVER expected to say (John–if you’re reading this you should close your eyes and skip ahead) ROBIN HOOD IS MY NEW BOYFRIEND!!!! There, it’s out in the open. Phew–I feel better now. I know that once you read this–you’re going to want him too–but just remember I said it first and this post is time-stamped. But don’t worry, you don’t have to be turned away empty handed–Rob’s band of Merry Men are pretty darn lovable too.

Then there’s Scarlet, who is the only one that I’ll let date my new boyfriend–because I like her that much. You are going to adore her journey as you read along. It starts with Scarlet, but you’ll find it woven through the whole story– AC Gaughen is a master of writing perfectly balanced characters. I give her my “Friday Night Lights Award” for making me find something redeemable and maybe even likable in ALMOST everyone.

Hang on, there’s more to love about this book.

Lets take a minute to examine the unique plot twists and the creative take on a story that has been done a million times.There was nothing stale about this tale. THIS IS THE ROBIN HOOD THAT I’VE ALWAYS WANTED! I love when I walk away from a great book knowing that that even though the story is fiction, the characters and their journey have become real. But even though I’m girlie gushing–make no mistakes–I’m picking up my own copy to read to my three boys because they are going to love it!!! There is palm-sweating, boy-loving, action and adventure too. This book is going to capture the attention of a broad audience and deservedly so.

So proud to be in the Class of 2k12 with AC Gaughen and SCARLET. <3 What are you waiting for–GO READ SCARLET!!!!

A.C. Gaughen has been a concierge, a personal shopper, a handbag saleswoman, a wrapper (often and understandably confused with the homonym without a “w”), a call center phone-line answerer, a tour guide for the Commonwealth, a blogger, a writer of research articles like “How to Grind with a Boy”, and, most memorably, someone who couldn’t hang a shirt on a hanger correctly.  Through all of these, however, she’s also been a young adult author, and is thrilled to be publishing her debut novel, Scarlet, with Bloomsbury/Walker.

You can find out more about A. C. Gaughen and SCARLET here…

*A. C. Gaughen’s Website

*Facebook

*Twitter

*YouTube

*Goodreads

*Class of 2k12

*The Apocalypsies

****Don’t forget there is still time to sign up for my contest!!!  You can win an ARC of STARTERS, a signed bookmark, swag for TOUCHING THE SURFACE and you get to see my amazing blurb from Daisy Whitney author of THE MOCKINGBIRDS and THE RIVALS.****

What’s your favorite character from the tales of Robin Hood?? Anything you’re waiting on this Wednesday?? Happy Hump Day!!!

 

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Feb

6

2012

The NY12SCBWI Conference-Part 3

Filed under: Conferences, SCBWI, Uncategorized

It’s Sunday.  Technically it’s Super Bowl Sunday and I’m sitting in the middle of a football party in my living room. I’m in the big chair in the corner with my lap top and a heavy-duty set of ear plugs, digging into this last conference post that took place last Sunday. I’d like to say this is dedication, but truly it’s not.  I’m *gasp* not a football die hard and I only feel compelled to even be in the living room (instead of hiding upstairs) because my kids think I should be thrilled about this spectacular sports event. I do not begrudge them the excitement and passion of the game, I feel the same emotion when I go to the “Super Bowl” of kid lit writing events.  To each his own and if you like both…more power to you.  Let’s kickoff this last conference post!

 

 

Sunday January 29th, 2012

8:30-9:00  AWARD PRESENTATION for the Tomie dePaola Award and the Art Showcase winners but first a HUGE shout-out for the staff of the SCBWI.

Feel free to stop reading and give them a little standing ovation…I’ll wait.

Now, on to the Portfolio Showcase Winner: Mike Curato

This could have easily been a picture of me standing in front of the cupcake counter at the Magnolia Bakery.  Mike obviously knows how to capture a moment!

You can check out the art from the rest of the winners on the SCBWI Conference blog and also find artwork from more of our talented illustrators on the SCBWI’s Illustrator Gallery.

 

9:00-9:15  SURPRISE ANNOUNCEMENT by Jane Yolen

I don’t know about you, but I get tingly just thinking about Jane Yolen speaking–she always captures my attention and has something fantastic to say.  This year was no exception.  The SCBWI has started the Jane Yolen Mid-List Author Grant.

Here is what Lee Wind on the SCBWI Blog had to say about it…

“Congratulations to Mary K. Whittington for winning this year’s inaugural Jane Yolen Mid-List Author grant! A published author who hasn’t had a new book come out in a while, Mary recently had a stroke, and is halfway through writing a new novel using voice recognition software. Jane calls Mary her hero, and hopes the grant helps her get that novel finished and out into the world.

And our cheers as well to Ann Whitford Paul and Barbara Diamond Golden for their honor grants.

More information about the Jane Yolen Mid-List Author Grant (and how to nominate a mid-list author you know for next year) will be forthcoming on scbwi.org, where you’ll find information on all the author and illustrator Grants and Awards.”

Yes…Jane Yolen is made of awesome!

9:15-10:15  PANEL: METHODS TO THE MADNESS: THE PROCESS OF MAKING PICTURE BOOKS: Featuring the Bookmakers Dozen and  moderated by Laurent Linn

Don’t hate me–I loved the Bakers Dozen, but there were just too many people for one panel.  So many, I’m not even going to list them all.  It took me the first half hour of the presentation to figure out who was who.  But I did jot down a couple gems from Peter Brown…

*If you plan on making a career in this business–you have to be an idea factory!

*You need to take the reader into account–you don’t want to make the best book ever that no one reads.

*You don’t want to be the last one to write a vampire book–you want to be the first one to write a robovamp book.  Don’t steal that.

Time to goof off a little before the next panel…Lin said to stretch.

Scott, Jodi, Kim and Sam

Allan, Justin and Scott…ready to tackle the agent panel. LOL!

10:30-11:30  PANEL” THE CURRENT MARKET FOR YOUR WORK: FOUR AGENTS’ VIEWS

Moderator (LO) Lin Oliver

(GK) Ginger Knowlton, Agent, Curtis Brown LTD.

(RB) Regina Brooks, Founder and President, Serendipity Literary Agency, LLC

(CR) Chris Richman, Agent, Upstart Crow Literary

(KW) Ken Wright, Agent, Writers House

***I’M INTERRUPTING THIS BLOG WITH A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT…THE GIANTS HAVE SCORED A TOUCH DOWN!!!!  EVERYONE SEEMS EXCITED. NOW BACK TO OUR REGULAR PROGRAMING.***

State of the market…

(KW) Every time I make a submission, editors are asking where is this book going to go and how is the author going to get me there. The days are gone when someone can acquire a book just because they “like it.”

(GK) Exciting, Exhilarating, Exhausting

What are you looking for?

(CR) Voice…but a lot comes down to the hook.

(KW) I choose based on what I know about individual editors.

(RB) My job is to come up with ways to position the book.

(GK) Lots of debut novels being published, so agents and editors are looking for fresh voices.

(KW) YA is going to continue to trend.

On building a career author…

(GK) Nurture every connection–small community, play nice.

(CR) The more attractive you can make yourself, the more likely we are to want to work with you.  (No…not physically attractive. *head thump*)

11:30-12:30  CLOSING KEYNOTE: KEEPING YOUR FOCUS by Kathryn Erskine

I love how animated and enthusiastic Kathryn is!

F-freedom

O-organization

C-creativity

U-understanding

S-sharing

Here’s the best of each category…

FREEDOM

*Create whenever you can.

*Free yourself from the guilt that you’re taking time away from other people.

*Free yourself from self-doubt. Do you remember what books got awards when you were 15? No–you remember what books moved you.

*Whenever you think about hanging it up–remember there is a kid out there who needs you.

ORGANIZATION

*Organize your workspace.

*Organize your MS–Scrivener.  (I’m a personal fan.)

CREATIVITY

*To be creative you really have to take care of yourself.

*Being creative is hard, sublime, ridiculous.

*You’ve got to do what works for you.

UNDERSTANDING

*What do you want to say?

*Understand your audience–how to relate you your readers.

SHARING

*At some point you have to let your “baby” out into the world, but have it ready.  Taking some time to do it right is worth it.

*Published of now, take some time to connect with your readers NOW.

STAY FOCUSED…

*You know your passion–that’s why you’re here.

*talent plus determination.

*Books save us.

12:30-1:00  DOOR PRIZES AND CLOSING REMARKS

1:00-3:00 AUTOGRAPH PARTY!!!!!!

Chris Crutcher and Me!!!!

Making a cyber friend into a real life friend.  Cindy Rodriguez and Me.  And yes, I have on my TEAM WOLF PACK T-shirt!!!!

Class of 2k12 love–Me and Lynda Mullaly Hunt.

Kim and Kathryn Erskine–totally LOVE her!!!!

Kathryn Erskine signed one special for my Fishkill Frogs!

Me and my best buddy, Jodi Moore–author of WHEN A DRAGON MOVES IN. *love*

Me and the love triangle queen, Cassandra Clare.

Cheryl Klein is AWESOME!!! That’s all I have to say. *grin*

Lin Oliver signing for my boys who ADORE her books!!!!!!

The perfect end to a perfect weekend. (Magnolia Bakery)

Hope you enjoyed my virtual tour of the NY SCBWI Conference.  Next I’ll be heading to the Eastern PA 20th Annual Pocono Mountain Retreat, where I’ll be spending the weekend with…drum roll…Laurie Halse Anderson. *SQUEE*  If you’re not too far away, think about signing up, I’d love to hang out with you.

Any conferences in your future?  Tell me where you’re heading–I always love to hear about your writing adventures and I’d love to read about what you’ve learned along the way. Were you at NY?  What was your highlight? And who won that Super Bowl?  And were you watching?

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