Thanks

Short Internet Break…

Hey guys, I know I promised a second post for the “How to Write a Romance” series, but clearly that’s not happening. I’ll be honest: my wrists are shot. They’ve been getting worse and I’ve been ignoring the pain (these wrist support bands are just for style!), pretending I don’t notice the obvious side-effects of overuse (ganglion cysts? Naw. Those are just gross knuckle bumps brought on by…a frog…peeing on me…?), and continuing to type-type-type all day long.

Yesterday, though, I actually hit a breaking point. My wrists throbbed the whole day even though I had barely touched the keyboard that morning. So come 4:00 PM when I would usually hunker down to write the Monday blog, I just couldn’t do it. This hurts like hell, guys, and I need a break from the desk.

No internet. No blogs. No newsletter. No Twitter. No forum updates. For at least a week. I’m so sorry, y’all, but I just gotta give these wrists and tendons and muscles a break. They’re my livelihood. (I should also probably visit a doctor. Not probably, but definitely.)

If there’s an emergency, I will still be checking email (though probably not answering). And I’ll still be maintaining the #YARunsA5K Fundraiser, of course. 😉

Forgive me. I’ll be back soon. Promise.

(Also, do NOT emulate me. Take care of your wrists. Seriously. ♥)

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Announcing the YA Runs a 5K Fundraiser!

A month ago, Melody Simpson reached out to me and asked if I’d be interested in setting up a 5K fundraiser. I think I terrified her with my response of “OMG YES LET’S DO THIS” (especially since I answered her, like, 5 seconds after she messaged me).

Neither of us really had any idea what we were doing, but after a bit of research and fumbling, we finally managed to put together something that we’re proud of–and SUPER excited for. So allow me to introduce the…

YA Runs a 5K

On July 19 Melody and I are running a 5K! (Though I might just be walking because I’m SO OUT OF SHAPE. Thus far my attempts at jogging have been…pitiful…at best. ;)) Our goal is to not only improve our fitness (and maybe yours too!) but—more importantly—to help children without access to books (more on that below or read more here).

The 5K we’re running is the Color Run in Philadelphia. Why the Color Run? Because it looks AWESOME. Why Philly? Because that’s where Eleanor Fitt is from (duh!)!! We’d love for you all to join us if you can, or if you can’t reach Philly on 7/19 (we totally understand!), then you can enter the Virtual Run instead! 🙂

That’s right–in addition to a physical 5K meet-up for the Color Run, we’re also hosting a Virtual Run! Virtual runners will get a virtual bib (that you can tweet, Facebook, Pin, whatever!) and can share their running progress with the #YARunsA5K hashtag! Learn more about the Virtual Run here.

Now, a little about what this donation/fundraiser thing is all about. Essentially, we’re trying to raise money for First Book. This organization provides access to new books for children in need. To date, First Book has distributed more than 100 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada. First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education by making new, high-quality books available on an ongoing basis.

To donate to our First Book fundraiserclick here. If you donate $39 or less, you can enter a giant raffle! See the raffle prizes here!

If you donate $40 or more, you automatically get a free book! (Yep, you read that right!) Once you’ve donated, scan the list of available titles and choose what you want. Then fill out this form or email us (yarunsa5k@gmail.com) to select your book. By donating financially to First Book, you can help us reach hundreds of children without access to books!

We’re also auctioning off books and critiques. Half of each auction will go into funding our team t-shirts (until we cover that cost, of course!), and all extra proceeds will go to First Book. 🙂

Additionally, if you can’t donate financially (we TOTALLY understand), you can donate books, ARCs, or critiques! By donating physical items to our fundraiser, you can help us increase our donations! We’re shooting for $2000 raised, and every item donated helps us get closer to that goal!

Finally, if you run with us and BRING books, you can help us expand the collection at the Free Library of Philadelphia. We’ll gather up all books brought to the Color Run on 7/19, and then we’ll donate them to the Free Library after the race.

So let’s do it, guys!! Let’s come together and RUN for healthiness, fun, and books! And help us spread the word using the #YARunsA5K hashtag and the link http://yarunsa5k.tumblr.com/about!! Thank you SOOOOO MUCH!

P.S. We have to extend a HUGE THANK YOU to all the agents, authors, and bloggers who have donated! We are beyond overwhelmed with the amount of support thus far! We can only imagine what’s ahead! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

P.P.S. Melody will be attending BEA as well as the Teen Author Carnival in NYC, so if you’re an author and would like to donate a book or if you’re a reader with too many ARCs lying around, feel free to reach out via twitter or email (yarunsa5k@gmail.com). Melody will gladly receive your donations. 🙂

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Book Club Recap & Final Winner!

I am at Dragon*Con right now–probably wondering the booths for a new Star Wars t-shirt–so I’ll keep this brief.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in the Something Strange & Deadly book club, both here and on Epic Reads.

You all are truly quite amazing and I love you for it.

On that note, the winner of last week’s giveaway (for a SIGNED copy of Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass + signed copies of SS&D or ADS&L) is…

Sara of the Page Sage!

Thank you so much, Sara! And everyone else who joined in and was generally AWESOME throughout August. There are not enough ♥s to express how much I appreciate your interactions.

To everyone who signed up for the participation prize: Because I am out of town for the next two weeks, it will probably take me a bit of time to get you your prizes (A Dawn Most Wicked or an extra scene from A Darkness Strange & Lovely). Please bear with me–I haven’t forgotten you!!

If you still need to sign up for a participation prize, you can do that here. 🙂

And, in case you signed up but didn’t have a chance to participate, here’s a recap of all the month’s posts, discussions, and extra content.

Week 1

Discussion questions + historical extras

Listen/watch me read chapter in Something Strange & Deadly

List of discussions across the web

Week 2

Discussion questions + historical extras

Musical playlist that goes along with chapter 19 from Something Strange & Deadly

List of discussions across the web

Week 3

Discussion questions + fun extras

My dream cast for Something Strange & Deadly: the movie (that does not exist…yet)

List of discussions across the web

Week 4

Discussion questions + fun extras

Musical playlist that goes along with the opening scenes in A Darkness Strange & Lovely

List of final discussions across the web

Enjoy! And again, thank you. I’ll be back to the blogosphere in 2 weeks. À bientôt!

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A Darkness Strange & Lovely is here!

Darkness has finally come to the City of Light…

Okay, that sounds kinda weird, but you catch my drift. The second book in the Something Strange and Deadly series is FINALLY in stores!!

It’s such a weird feeling because I finished this book over a year ago–before book 1 had even released–and it’s, you know, only just know shipping out to readers. But it’s also a wonderful feeling because watching readers get enthusiastic about a scene or excited about a character makes ME excited all over again. I feel that same rush I felt while drafting the story, and that’s a pretty incredible thing.

I won’t bother you all with a long post promoting myself or my book–if you want to read it, I have no doubt you’ll find it. 🙂

Instead, I just want to say thank you. I’ve a come a long way in the past year–as a writer, as a blogger, as a writing teacher, and as a human being in general–and a lot of my growth is thanks to YOU all.

There is honest-to-goodness nothing more rewarding than getting a blog post comment, a tweet, an email, a Tumblr question, a Facebook like–WHATEVER. Hearing from you guys online and at events reminds me that what I’m doing matter…and wow, that’s a powerful feeling.

So thank you. I really, really hope you enjoy A Darkness Strange and Lovely.

Oh, and if you’d like a signed or even personalized copy of the book, be sure to head here and learn how (it’s the same price as buying it in a store!).

Lots of love to you all, and never forget to ALWAYS AIM FOR THE KNEES!!

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Pub(lishing) Crawl: YAGB Tour Recap!

We were in the Chicago Sun-Times!

We’re BACK FROM TOUR! And by we, I mean Sarah J. Maas, Erin Bowman, Kat Zhang, and myself.

We survived our epic road trip, our 10 signing events, and our 8 workshops with only a few minor hiccups. Honestly, we could not have asked for a more smooth, fun, and gratifying tour.

For those of you who DIDN’T know about the self-hosted tour that four of us Pub(lishing) Crawl ladies recently undertook, then you can read more about the idea here. Otherwise, read on as I give a quick recap of the past 2 weeks. (Read more…)

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A DAWN MOST WICKED releases today!

I am just so, so, so thrilled that the e-novella A Dawn Most Wicked is available today. You can buy it from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and iTunes.

I love this cover. The Mississippi River at dawn is just so perfect for this story.

Even cooler, I have signed up for Authorgraph, so if you get the kindle version of the book, I can send you an e-version of my autograph!

If you DON’T have a kindle or you want something physically signed, you can always get a bookplate or other signed swag. Just fill out the form here.

So a bit about A Dawn Most Wicked. When I wrote this story, I foolishly thought that writing a novella would somehow be easier than a full book. It’s only 100 pages, I thought. And it’s with characters I already know and in a world I already know–it’ll be a piece of cake.

HAHA. I was so wrong.

Piece of cake? Not even close. Cramming an entire story with character growth and relationship arcs–not to mention the vivid 1873 Mississippi setting–into 130 pages was darn near impossible. (Read more…)

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What do YOU guys want to hear about?

So, I had a CRAZY weekend. I mean crazy with a capital “C” and “Razy”. As such, I didn’t get a chance to think up some nice content for today’s blog post. I thought I’d just open the floor to comment-questions.

Do YOU have any questions for ME?

Or topics you want to read about?

Feel free to ask about anything about publishing, writing, me, etc.

🙂

Now about my CRAZY weekend. Saturday had the Frenchman and I traveling four hours to reach an Ikea. We are, as I think I’ve said before (?), renovating our new house (the one to which we are moving all this week). We’re also installing a kitchen ourselves, and after a lot of research and comparing, we opted the Ikea kitchen route (we also had an Ikea kitchen when we lived in Germany, and that thing was really sturdy. Especially considering the cost). (Read more…)

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Pub(lishing) Crawl: Books That Inspire

Hello, everyone! We have a slightly different week for you–a week of paying forward all the many blessings we here at Pub(lishing) Crawl have had. A week of talking about who and what we’re grateful for–and a week of giving back.

PoisonThe idea came about after we heard about a book called Poison by Bridget Zinn. We we so, so, so inspired and moved by her story–and by what her husband is doing for her–that we just had to participate.

For those of you who haven’t heard about Bridget or her book, she was a librarian and writer who finally reached her dream of publication. But she passed away last year without getting to see her book release. Her final, beautiful tweet to the world was, “Sunshine and a brand new book. Perfect.”

Many of us here at Pub(lishing) Crawl cried and cried after reading Bridget’s story–and we all realized how very, very blessed we are. We thought the best way to count our blessings would be to give some back. So today, we’re going to give thanks to the books that inspired us to enter the writing/publishing business.

But first, a bit about Bridget’s book Poison:

Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart…misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her? (Read more…)

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The Young Authors Give Back Tour!

GUYS! Our big news is finally coming out into the world.

And by “our”, I mean: Me, Erin Bowman, Sarah J. Maas, and Kat Zhang.

WE’RE GOING ON TOUR.

TOGETHER.

Starting at BEA in New York City, we’ll be heading gradually west for two weeks–and ending up in Chicago.

But it’s not just a self-hosted tour of total awesome, but a tour that’s all about GIVING BACK. For each city we hit up, we’re doing signings…and we’re hosting workshops. Free workshops for young writers. The whole focus of this tour is to reach out to young writers (or any writers, really). We all started writing young (as children!), and now we’re very blessed to be where we are today. We want to pay some of our good fortune forward! (Read more…)

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Pub(lishing) Crawl: Those Who Inspire Us to Read

Chances are, if you’re reading this blog post, then you enjoy reading.

You probably devour book after book (and maybe you’re a writer too). You no doubt have a TBR (To Be Read) stack a mile high and your shelf space reached its limit long ago*. Maybe you’re a regular at your library/bookstore. Maybe you’re in a book club. Maybe your default birthday/holiday gift is a book.

Me too.

But I wasn’t always that way. Sure, my parents read to me growing up, and the highlight of Saturdays was going to the bookstore. I had a library card, and my mother was kind enough to transport me regularly. My parents promoted reading my entire life, and they supported it with their wallets and their time.

But I can’t deny that my love for reading underwent a giant shift in 3rd grade. That was the year I met my best friend, Brenna. You see, Brenna’s mother was a librarian, so Brenna didn’t just like to read–she knew about reading. She knew titles and writer names and genres. Even cooler, her librarian mama was friends with authors. I very vividly recall the day Brenna flashed her signed edition of William Sleator’s Singularity like it was no biggie. (Read more…)

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