Archive for the ‘Fun and Games’ Category




YA Scavenger Hunt

Filed under: Blogging, Check-it-out, Community, Contests, Fun and Games, Reading, Touching the Surface, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

scavenger hunt

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This tri-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are SIX (yes, you heard me correctly!) contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the GREEN TEAM–Go GREEN MACHINE!!!!

But there is also RED, BLUE, GOLD, ORANGE and INDIE teams. Participate in all the hunts for a chance to win different sets of signed books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt homepage.





Directions: Hidden somewhere below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number in GREEN. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the GREEN team, and then add them up and don’t worry if you have to take off your socks and use your toes to keep track. Or a calculator works too.

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 10/5/14, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.




Today, I am hosting Cynthia Hand on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!

Cynthia Hand is the New York Times bestselling author of the Unearthly trilogy with HarperTeen. A native of southeast Idaho, she has graduate degrees in creative writing from Boise State University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. For the past seven years she has taught writing at Pepperdine University in Southern California. She and her family have recently moved back to Idaho where they are enjoying the fresh air.

Find out more information by checking out Cynthia’s website or find more about THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE here! 




There’s death all around us.
We just don’t pay attention.
Until we do.

The last time Lex was happy, it was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn’t look at her like she might break down at any moment.

Now she’s just the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that’s all she’ll ever be.

As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there’s a secret she hasn’t told anyone-a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.

Lex’s brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn’t have to be real to keep you from moving on.

From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand, The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a gorgeous and heart-wrenching story of love, loss, and letting go.

This is the opening segment of THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE:


5 February

First I’d like to state for the record that the whole notion of writing this down was not my idea. It was Dave’s. My therapist’s. He thinks I’m having trouble expressing my feelings, which is why he suggested I write in a journal—to get it out, he said, like in the old days when physicians used to bleed their patients in order to drain the mysterious poisons. Which almost always ended up killing them in spite of the doctors’ good intentions, I might point out.

Our conversation went something like this:

He wanted me to start taking antidepressants.

I basically told him to stick it where the sun don’t shine.

So we were at a bit of an impasse.

“Let’s take a new approach,” he said finally, and reached behind him and produced a small black book. He held it out to me. I took it, thumbed it open, then looked up at him, confused.

The book was blank.

“I thought you might try writing, as an alternative,” he said.

“That’s a mole-skin notebook,” he elaborated when all I did was stare at him. “Hemingway used to write in those.”

“An alternative to what?” I asked. “To Xanax?”

“I want you to try it for a week,” he said. “Writing, I mean.”

I tried to hand the journal back to him. “I’m not a writer.”

“I’ve found that you can be quite eloquent, Alexis, when you choose to be.”

“Why? What’s the point?”

“You need an outlet,” he said. “You’re keeping everything inside, and it’s not good for you.”

Nice, I thought. Next he’d be telling me to eat my vegetables and take my vitamins and be sure to get 8 uninterrupted hours of sleep every night.

“Right. And you would be reading it?” I asked, because there’s not even a remote possibility that I’m going to be doing that. Talking about my unexpectedly tragic life for an hour every week is bad enough. No way I’m going to pour my thoughts out into a book so that he can take it home and scrutinize my grammar.

“No,” Dave answered. “But hopefully you might feel comfortable enough someday to talk with me about what you’ve written.”

Not incredibly likely, I thought, but what I said was, “Okay. But don’t expect Hemingway.”

I don’t know why I agreed to it. I try to be a good little patient, I guess.

Dave looked supremely pleased with himself. “I don’t want you to be Hemingway. Hemingway was an ass. I want you to write whatever strikes you. Your daily life. Your thoughts. Your feelings.”

I don’t have feelings, I wanted to tell him, but instead I nodded, because he seemed so expectant, like the status of my mental health entirely depended on my cooperation with writing in the stupid journal.

But then he said, “And I think for this to be truly effective, you should also write about Tyler.”

Which made all the muscles in my jaw involuntarily tighten.

“I can’t,” I managed to get out from between my teeth.

“Don’t write about the end,” Dave said. “Try to write about a time when he was happy. When you were happy, together.”

I shook my head. “I can’t remember.” And this is true. Even after almost 7 weeks, a mere 47 days of not interacting with my brother every day, not hurling peas at him across the kitchen table, not seeing him in the halls at school and acting, as any dutiful older sister would, for the sake of appearances, like he bugged me, Ty’s image has grown hazy in my mind. I can’t visualize the Ty that isn’t dead. My brain gravitates toward the end. The body. The coffin. The grave.

I can’t even begin to pull up happy.

“Focus on the firsts and the lasts,” Dave instructed. “It will help you remember. For example: About twenty years ago I owned an ‘83 Mustang. I put a lot of work into that car, and I loved it more than I should probably admit, but now, all these years later, I can’t fully picture it. But if I think about the firsts and the lasts with that car, I could tell you about the first time I drove it, or the last time I took it on a long road trip, or the first time I spent an hour in the backseat with the woman who would become my wife, and then I see it so clearly.” He cleared his throat. “It’s those key moments that burn bright in our minds.”

This is not a car, I thought. This is my brother.

Plus I thought Dave might have just been telling me about having sex with his wife. Which was the last thing I wanted to picture.

“So that’s your official assignment,” he said, sitting back as if that settled it. “Write about the last time you remember Tyler being happy.”

Which brings me to now.

Writing in a journal about how I don’t want to be writing in a journal.

I’m aware of the irony.

Seriously, though, I’m not a writer. I got a 720 on the writing section of the SAT, which is decent enough, but nobody ever pays any attention to that score next to my perfect 800 in math. I’ve never kept a diary. Dad got me one for my 13th birthday, a pink one with a horse on it. It ended up on the back of my bookshelf with a copy of the NIV Teen Study Bible and the Seventeen Ultimate Guide to Beauty and all the other stuff that was supposed to prepare me for life from ages 13-19—as if I could ever be prepared for that. Which is all still there, 5 years later, gathering dust.

That’s not me. I was born with numbers on the brain. I think in equations. What I would do, if I could really put this pen to paper and produce something useful, is take my memories, these fleeting, painful moments of my life, and find some way to add and subtract and divide them, insert variables and move them, try to isolate them, to discover their elusive meanings, to translate them from possibilities to certainties.

I would try to solve myself. Find out where it all went wrong. How I got here, from A to B, A being the Alexis Riggs who was so sure of herself, who was smart and solid and laughed a lot and cried occasionally and didn’t fail at the most important things.

To this.

But instead, the blank page yawns at me. The pen feels unnatural in my hand. It’s so much weightier than pencil. Permanent. There are no erasers, in life.

I would cross out everything and start again.



Thanks, Cynthia!!!!! And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Cynthia Hand, and at least 7 or maybe more than SEVEN fabulous authors! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is. Have you figured it out yet? Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the blue team and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!




To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next GREEN Team author, Alyxandra Harvey!!!
Spread the word by Tweeting #YASH

And before you go…BONUS CONTEST!!!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,




Guess What’s Coming? The YA Scavenger Hunt!!!!!

Filed under: Author Events, Blogging, Check-it-out, Community, Contests, Fun and Games, Reading, Touching the Surface, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

scavenger hunt


What is the YA Scavenger Hunt???

The YA Scavenger Hunt is a biannual online event that promotes collaboration between YA authors from different publishing houses, offering fans an opportunity to see the latest and greatest in young adult literature. During the hunt, we showcase exclusive bonus material, give readers access to top secret insider information, and offer fabulous prizes and giveaways for zealous YA fans. I’m sharing never-been-seen information about TOUCHING THE SURFACE!

This year we have 125 authors participating. Yes, you read that right. One hundred and twenty-five! We’ve made six teams which has never happened before. Incredible! You’re going to want to set aside your whole weekend for this hunt.

Want to see who is participating and what team they are on? CLICK HERE

Not sure how the Hunt and these color coded teams work? Never fear. Everything you need to know is right HERE. But don’t be afraid of just jumping in and figuring it out. It’s not that hard and totally worth it. With 125 authors and 6 teams, you will have a very full 72 hours (October 2-5) to go through some or all of the teams. You might have so much fun reading all the content and learning about new authors and books you’ll have to cancel your weekend plans LOL! Never a bad thing for us book lovers.

And don’t forget to spread the word–To keep the hunt going, we need YOUR help. Start tweeting #YASH

Sample Tweets…

Like hunting for new reads? Join the @YAScavengerHunt to find 125 #YA books! #YASH

Are you #TeamYA? With over 125 #YA books given away you don’t want to miss the @YAScavengerHunt! #YASH

You can also follow…

The YA Scavenger Hunt on Twitter @YAScavengerHunt

And Like YA Scavenger Hunt on FB

See, not too bad. But now I’m curious. What team are you going to start with? What book would you beg, borrow, steal or scavenge to get your hands on? Any idea what the bonus information from TOUCHING THE SURFACE might be?

The contest kicks off on Thursday October 2nd at midnight Pacific time. That’s 3am on the East coast. I can’t wait!!!! See you on Thursday…

Tags: , , , , , , ,




Blogcation: Back on 7/29

Filed under: Fun and Games

Woo hoo!!!! I’m taking a small vacation from the blog next week.

Of course I’ll still be hanging around on multiple avenues of social media–but don’t plan on official blog posts.




See you on the flip side–I’ll be getting ready for the SCBWI LA conference!!!!!

Tags: , , ,




The 6th Annual Hudson Children’s Book Festival is THIS Saturday!

Filed under: Author Events, Book Signings, Check-it-out, Community, Fun and Games, In the Wild, Touching the Surface, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 9.36.45 AM


Woo hoo!!! I am so excited to be a part of the 6th Annual Hudson Children’s Book Festival!!!!


I’ll be there with my sharpies signing copies of TOUCHING THE SURFACE!!!

But it’s not just me!

There is an epic ton of amazing kid lit folks on the scene. For the full Author/Illustrator list click HERE.

But I have to SQUEE!

Some of my best writer buds and fan yourself fan-girl worthy authors are going to be there…


You-Look-Diff-in-Real-Life-Castle Until-It-Hurts-To-Stop-Hubbard This-Wicked-Game-Zink The-Flame-in-the-Mist-Grindstaff Smoke-Hopkins Empty-Walton Bright-Before-Sunrise-Schmidt Bad-Girls-Stemple-Yolen

So, come out and visit all of us!!!! We can’t wait to hang out with you <3

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,




I’m Nuts About Good News!

Filed under: Fun and Games

This was a blog heavy week for me AND a box heavy week. I’m still purging, organizing and packing away my boxed belongings like a squirrel hoarding nuts.

squirrel  on the snow gnawing nuts of siberian pine

So I’m tossing this one to the John Green…



What’s your favorite kind of nut? I’m a big fan of walnuts on my chocolate sundaes. *grin*

Tags: , , ,




Breaking Out the Inner Holiday Elf–Share Your Most Epic Holiday Failure/Success This Year

Filed under: Check-it-out, Family, Fun and Games, Pondering

He’s back…

Santas Elf Sitting on Edge


It’s that time of year again–time to break out my inner holiday elf. Who’s that you ask? It’s the little guy who gets all the important holiday stuff done when all I want to do is sit on the couch and watch Christmas specials while sipping hot chocolate. Thank goodness he got here just in time–after having the 10yo home on the couch for a week I was way, way, way behind in my Christmas preparations. Cuddling with the 10yo and catching up on old TV was a nice break after the mind numbing month of November with NaNoWriMo, a dance recital and everyone over for Thanksgiving dinner. In fact it may have actually been kind of blissful. But this year, because of a late Thanksgiving, Christmas feels like it’s taking the Express Train into town. There really isn’t a minute to spare!

And even though I should be wrapping or shopping or cleaning or cooking right now, because I love you, I’ve asked my inner holiday elf to help me make some time to start a support group. A place where we can all go to unload, but also find inspiration. So, in the comments be sure to tell us your Most Epic Holiday Failure This Year (but don’t worry, you still have time to turn it around) then also tell us how you’ve kicked some holiday elven ass. Keep the Most Epic Holiday Success This Year stories coming. They are the driving force we (by we I mean me)  need for motivation. Maybe a few of your good ideas will help me make it to the finish line without looking like the Heat Miser.

Just to be fair, I’ll start…

Kim’s Most Epic Holiday Failure This Year: I packed all the freaking light-up garland in the storage unit because we were supposed to be moving in October. But now we’re moving mid-January and all that piney, twinkly garland is under an mongo-stack of stuff and it just ain’t coming out. I don’t care how pouty little boy faces can look. Bah-humbuggy on that. Your kids–USE YOUR IMAGINATION.

Kim’s Most Epic Holiday Success This Year: Usually at Thanksgiving (this year I switched so Christmas it is) I make my Grandma’s apple pie. Before she died she taught me how to do it and I’m now the maker of the pies. The keeper of the pie legacy if you will. I make pies I don’t particularly crave myself. I like them, but I’m a chocoholic, so I can live with out the pie. BUT–everyone in the family wants this apple pie and I get that–it is pretty awesome as far as pies go. BUT–the crust is my nemesis. In fact, it’s the reason I HATE making the apple pie. But this year—*bounces up and down on toes*—I accidentally (thank you gods of the turkey pot pie adventure…I love you!) found a pre-made, organic crust that tastes sooooooo good. Like Grandma’s but without me throwing a rolling pin across the room in a cloud of flour. So, this Christmas I am going to use this pie crust to make a gorgeous, low-stress, tastes just like Grandma’s apple pie and I’m going to enjoy the experience. It will be a yummy pile of cinnamon, apple, doughy, sweetness. And since my mother has admitted she hasn’t turned on her computer in three months we are going to see if she notices. DO NOT TELL!!!!–I vow to let you know if she notices and also the minute she catches up on my blog posts LOL!

All right–get out your Inner Holiday Elf and let the stories rip!

Tags: , , , ,




Don’t Let the Dementors Suck the NaNoWriMo Right Out of You!

Filed under: Chasing Adaptation, Check-it-out, Community, Drafting, Fun and Games, NaNoWriMo, Writing

Do you remember that time when I said I’d NEVER participate in NaNoWriMo? Ever. Yeah, I recall telling everyone how busy I was during the month of November. I also told them how I like to write with my internal editor sitting on my shoulder with her little red pen slashing and swiping at the words I’d just written–how that was good for me. It was my style. I think I may have even mentioned how participating in National Novel Writing Month would suck the joy and wonder of writing right out of me like a Dementor with his soul sucking kiss.

But even though I said that, last year, I tried it. My friends got me all excited and I wanted to be a part of what they were doing, even if it felt like I was wearing my shoes on the wrong feet. So I jumped in. I only managed to clock in just under 6,000 words. Blah, blah, blah… I stopped to revise another manuscript. And I got busy and I wrote slowly with my internal editor on my shoulder. The only thing I didn’t let my head do to my NaNo experience last year, was suck the fun out of writing. I had a blast–even for the minimal amount of commitment I exhibited. I had a fabulous time being part of the collective frenzy and excitement. And even though I didn’t win, t was happy to have almost 6,000 words that I never would have had if I allowed myself to putz around November making sad excuses for myself.

So, even though I wasn’t a winner last year, I think I got bit by the NaNoWriMo bug because I absolutely wanted to do it again this year, but with a few adjustments.



#1 Although I decided my first priority was to beat last year’s word count, I may have also decided that I’d like to win this year. So, I’m shooting for a minimum daily writing goal. If I exceed that–great. If I miss a day I’m going to have to make that up, but I’d like to slowly inch ahead to give myself a cushion if I can. (The good news is that by Day 4 I’m now ahead of last year’s word count!!!!!)

#2 This year I’m doing a re-write of the book I started last year. Why would I do this? Because it’s the book I MUST write. I’m just like that. And I’ve taken the last year and particularly the last several weeks to research, read, be inspired and think deeply about the strange and beautiful thought threads that I’d like to weave together in this story. Last year I was woefully short weaving material. My thoughts were thin. It made the writing hard. So while I AM advocating the joy of NaNo-ing and pushing yourself, I can already tell you that my increased success this year is in part because I gave myself and my book the time I needed to get my head wrapped around it. It’s all about balance.

#3 Having done all that deep thinking, I also did something I don’t usually do in my writing–I wrote an outliney-thingy. It’s just jumbled notes with a couple time lines and maybe a few scribbles here and there. But I went into this year’s NaNo with a bit of a plan. I had my main characters fleshed out a bit and I know the weird little beginning and ending that will either be awesome or a pretty hot mess. And either way, it doesn’t matter because by design, I’m not really supposed to know what “this” is until after I 1) finish and 2) put it away for a few weeks and then pull it back out again after the holidays and read it with fresh eyes and a clear head.

Well, I better make this short and sweet–I’ve got words to put on the page for today. And If you didn’t sign up and now you’re regretting it–GO DO IT! Who cares if you win this year? Or maybe you’ll win writing even faster than the rest of us. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that it’s fun!!! If you’re looking for me–I’m Kimmiepoppins. Let’s be buddies. And if you’re not ready to take the plunge—>start planning for next year!!!!

Have you ever done NaNoWriMo? Do you want to? What’s stopping you? Are you sneaking Skittles out of your kid’s Halloween baskets while trying to make your word count? Oh, wait–that’s me. *grin*


Tags: , , , ,




John Green’s Mental FLoss: 50 Common Misconceptions

Filed under: Check-it-out, Fun and Games, Pondering

It’s gonna be hot today. Stay cool by learning something new…




Gahhhh!!!!! There were a ton of these I didn’t know!!!! Which one did you find the most surprising?


Tags: , , , ,




Less Rushing, More Meandering

Filed under: Family, Fun and Games, Pondering, Vacation Madness

Today is the last full day of school for my youngest two boys. I’ll admit it, there have been years when I’ve said, “WHAT???? They are home already??? And for how long??? OMG!!!!” But they’re older now. And while there are still moments where I’d like to tie them to the stop sign on the corner with a FREE BOYS sign pinned to their chests, it’s mostly pretty awesome. Why is it so great? I could make a list including all the fun stuff we do, the mornings we sleep in, the lack of soccer practices and after school activities we have to attend, the absence of homework etc… but it really comes down to unscheduled time. Less rushing, more meandering. And it’s a good thing–the way day dreaming is good for writing.



What’s your favorite thing about summer? What would you do if you weren’t doing the things you have to do? Why does time move so slowly when you’re a kid and so fast when you’re an adult? Why am I overjoyed about not having to pack lunches for a whole summer when I still have to feed the kids lunch anyway? Life’s little mysteries…

Tags: , , , , , , ,




It’s All About the Stories–Just Ask Murphy and Clark

Filed under: Family, Fun and Games

Back from a ski weekend Kim style LOL! What is Kim Style you ask? It’s a little like Murphy’s Law meets Clark Griswald. *snort*

The hubby has been doing some major jet-setting for work and his time zones have jumped from Vancover to Hong Kong rather quickly. So, Friday when he got home, packed his bag and hopped into the car for a three hour drive to Vermont–I understood why he was a little quiet. Okay–I didn’t, but I thought I did. I assumed the poor guy was exhausted. (BTW he planned the trip LOL!) But when Murphy and Clark hang out, and they usually do at my house, interesting stuff happens. Before we even arrive at our destination, we were one man down to the flu. Or maybe it was jetlagitis. But whatever the case, the hubby was down for the count for the first 24 hours–fever and all. Boo! Which of course left us all sad, but it also left me with three kids under the age of twelve, skiing for the first time this season in a new and unfamiliar location. And we’re kind of newbies at this. This was basically our 4th time as snow monkeys (bunnies really isn’t the right word.)

Oh, the stories I could tell. Like the 7yo taking off his skis to slide down a rather steep section on his butt and then our inability to get them back on, so he just said he’d run down instead. Down a mountain, with poles flying behind him, in ski boots. Oy. And the thing is he was fast. I have no idea how he did it. ROTFL! And the other two monkeys waiting for us for so long at the bottom, and then seeing a rescue crew zooming up in our direction. Yeah–it was like that. And then there was the whole–I AM A PACK MULE thing. Where, after we salvaged the day by splitting up for lessons, everyone came back so tired they couldn’t carry all their gear. Glad I don’t have a picture of that one. Grrrrrr And then there was that moment during my lesson where I was sitting at just the right, or should I say wrong angle, while getting off the ski lift and my leg (being the perfect length) got wedged between the seat and my boot and I couldn’t get it out until the snow dropped off releasing my leg. Ouch! But, despite the ski lift trying to amputate my leg–I DID NOT FALL! Ballerina balance!



But here’s the thing about Murphy and Clark–they are great memory makers. That night, when the hubby felt well enough to go to dinner with us and grab some soup, the boys and I spent the whole night telling him all our stories and we laughed until we were crying. And it was too much stinkin’ fun. And every couple hours everyone would admire the new colors that my leg was turning. And when we took the sick-one skiing today–we had more Murphy and Clark moments. And we had some amazing ones too–like the perfect view from the top of a mountain inVermont. All those moments, good or Griswaldish, we gathered them up and took them to the dinner table where we roasted s’mores and pretty much kept saying what an awesome weekend we had. Because as we writer folk know–in the end–it’s all about the stories. They are the thing that lasts.

Does anyone else have Murphy and Clark on speed dial of it just me? And I’m back home and catching up if you need something from me–I’m doing my best while simultaneously crawling back into the revision fort. *Peeks in fort to look for Murphy and Clark*

Tags: , , , , ,

  1. Now Available

    Touching the Surface
  1. Follow Kimberly


  1. Archives



    agent Anica Rissi Apocalypsies blogging Bookanistas Book Review Class of 2k12 Conferences Contest Dad drafting Ellen Hopkins giveaway Jane Yolen Jodi Moore John Green Kimberly Sabatini Kimmiepoppins Kim Sabatini LA11SCBWI laurie halse anderson Lin Oliver Michelle Wolfson NaNoWriMo Oblong Books reading revision running SCBWI Simon and Schuster Simon Pulse The Class of 2k12 The Opposite of Gravity Touching the Surface WHEN A DRAGON MOVES IN by Jodi Moore Wolf Pack Wolfson Literary writing writing style YA Author YA Book YA Books YA Novel YA Outside the Lines YA Writer
  1. Links

  1. The Apocalypsies
    The Class of 2K12