Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Snow Fright Cover Reveal!!


Ohmygosh guys!! I'm sOoOoOo excited!! The final cover for SNOW FRIGHT is here!! And boy oh boy is it ever epic!! I mean, was there ever a question? With an amazing artist illustrator, I wouldn't have expected anything less. Seriously, Rachael Caringella totally gets me. She gets my books. She gets the story. She gets the intent. And she illustrates it like she has some sort of mind-reading abilities because I swear she sees my vision. 

I have a massive girl-crush on her. 

She's the best to work with, too. She's willing to collaborate, though I like to take a step back and let her work her magic. (There's a bit of a secret about Little Dead Riding Hood but this post is about Snow Fright, so we'll have to dish on that another time.) I'm so grateful to have had the honor and privilege to work with Rachael on this series. Jolly Fish Press couldn't have matched me with a more perfect artist and I'm grateful every single day for the amazing, tireless effort Rachael put into the cover design and illustrations. 

It is all the feels I could possibly have for her, man.

Okay...soOoOoOo you probably want to see this epic cover, don't you??! 

You can!

But first...! But first the blurb!




Sarah White is gorgeous even if she is a little bit rotten. A mirror arrives on her twelfth birthday and she thinks it’s the perfect gift. But when an innocent game of laser tag gets out of hand, the mirror swallows her whole!
Sarah finds herself dead center of the Underworld. As if repeated run-ins with Mr. Death weren’t bad enough, Sarah now has to deal with her decaying flesh and sudden craving for brains. Not to mention she keeps having brain freezes, all due to the seven worms living in her head.
Of corpse, by the time Sarah escapes the Underworld, she finds her new zombie life less than appetizing. Even worse, she needs to return to the Underworld to save her friends, Cindy and Scarlet.  With a poisoned apple, a crow named Raven, and a glowing necklace, Sarah’s pretty sure that if she doesn’t rescue her friends, she’ll be a brain craving zombie forever. 
And that’s more dead-ication than she’s willing to accept.



And now....

DRUM ROLL please....!




Add Snow Fright to your Goodreads account and then pre-order your copy at 
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Indiebound!


Isn't it amazing??!! Guys! I just LOVE this cover! I love how Rachael has incorporated all the important elements of the story (hint, the girl is holding it) (second hint, it's in the tree) (third hint, it's in the background) (fourth hint, it's part of her face!). And I love her visual development of my character. 

There is - SO MUCH - to crush on here!

And if  you're crushing on this cover as hard as I am, then you probably want a copy all for yourself, don't you? I bet you'd like to WIN a copy of SNOW FRIGHT, wouldn't you? Well, you're in luck! You can enter for your very own copy here! No, you won't get it next week. But you will receive it before everyone else because this is for an ARC! Yes, an advanced reading copy! Okay, sure, you'll still have to wait until August, but good things come to those who wait, right? Except don't wait to enter! You only have ONE week!

Rachael Caringella is an artist, illustrator, intuitive reader, and healer. And deep down, she is just like you; a rebel and truth seeker. Her days are spent in a little cabin as she paints, dances, sips delicious coffee, reads tarot cards, and, of course, illustrates! When she’s not in her studio, she can often be found wandering the woods, honoring her wild nature in the great outdoors searching for beauty adventure and inspiration.
You can find the illustrator on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/treetalkerart and her website (http://treetalkerart.com/)


Monday, June 13, 2016

The Finger Trap by Johnny Worthen


Congratulations to award-winning author Johnny Worthen on his release of The Finger Trap! If you haven't read this book yet or purchased your copy, you're going to want to check it out! 








THE FINGER TRAP

Tony Flaner is a malingering part-time comedian, full-time sarcastic, who’s never had it hard, and never finished a thing in his life. He’s had twelve years to prepare for his divorce and didn’t. He had his entire life to choose a career and hasn’t. Now time’s up, and he’s in a world of trouble. But it gets worse. A first date and a drunken party ends with Tony facing prison for the murder of a girl he hardly knew.



Other than that, it was a pretty great party.


To save himself, wise-cracking Tony must discover who the mysterious girl was, what she was involved in, and what the hell she saw in him in the first place. Their lives are linked together at the ends of a Chinese finger trap, like life and death, friends and enemies, arugula quiche and pigs knuckles.
JOHNNY WORTHEN is an award-winning, best-selling author, voyager, and damn fine human being! He is the tie-dye wearing writer of the nationally acclaimed, #1 Kindle best-selling ELEANOR, THE UNSEEN. Among his other excellent and very read-worthy titles are the adult occult thriller BEATRYSEL, the award-winning mystery THE BRAND DEMAND, and the genre bending comedy-noir THE FINGER TRAP. And of course the continuation of THE UNSEEN Trilogy, with CELESTE and DAVID.
Trained in stand-up comedy, modern literary criticism and cultural studies, Johnny is a frequent public speaker, teacher and blogger.

You can find him at his website, blog, goodreads, facebook, and twitter.

Let me know what you think of The Finger Trap!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Barnes & Noble Teen Book Festival

Unless you've bee living under a rock, then you've probably heard about this awesome nationwide event that Barnes & Noble is hosting.

B Fest Teen Book Festival

As luck would have it, I've been invited to attend! No, not as a patron but as a real-live author! Isn't that the coolest? I'm totally thrilled to be part of such an epic event and a wonderful opportunity to bring books to readers.

So you probably want to know which Barnes & Noble I'll be at, right? Yeah, that'd help since there's a bajillion of them.

I'll be at the Seven Corners Barnes & Noble. It's in Falls Church, VA. So if you're local, definitely stop by. I'll be there this Saturday, June 11th, 2016 at noon. I'll probably read from one (or both) of my books and I'll even answer all of your questions about my books and writing process. Well, maybe not all. No spoilers from me!

And if  you don't want to hear me talk, which let's face it, I tend to word vomit (like this blog post), then definitely come for the swag. Seriously, not to brag or anything, but I have the coolest swag ever.




See you there! And bring your kids. And teachers. And librarians. And anyone who likes books!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Autism Awareness at Cavalcade

     As many of you already know, April is Autism Awareness month. What some of you may not know is that I have a daughter on the spectrum. That’s not what makes her special though. The best part about my daughter is that she’s my co-author.

     This past March, I was in Washington State presenting at Cavalcade of authors.  If you haven’t heard of this event, then you totally need to go here and learn more. I was joined by an amazing bunch of other children’s authors, as well as teachers, and students. Oh the students! Over 900 of them! From 32 different schools.

     Although Cavalcade took place on a Friday, I flew out early for an additional school visit at a local middle school the day before. At this middle school, I met with 150 enthusiastic sixth graders, who also informed me that my books had been part of the Scholastic book fair at their school (eep!!).

     Part of my workshop at Cavalcade included a power point presentation. As I prepared the slides for this workshop, I had a strong impression that I needed to prepare a separate presentation for the middle school visit. Unfortunately, time ran short and I never had the opportunity to finish a second power point.

     As the school visit drew near, that impression gnawed at my innards. I packed my bags and threw in a visual that I wanted to use, should I somehow magically discover the additional hours needed to create that second presentation.

     The day of the school visit arrived and that gnawing in my gut was now a full blown battle. There wasn’t time, so why was I still being told to prepare additional material?

     As my Cavalcade host drove me to the middle school, I still wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but I knew I couldn’t ignore that inner voice. It was much too strong.

     My nerves sprang up as soon as the children filed into the library and all thought of what I should do or would do flew out of my mind.

     As I was introduced by the school librarian, I felt the object in my pocket I’d stuffed there moments before I dashed out of my hotel room. When her introduction ended, I stood in front of those hundreds of pairs of eager eyes.Without another thought – and without a fully prepared presentation – I had no doubt of what I needed to do. So I pulled that object out of my pocket.

     I held up a long, black key. I asked the students if they knew what it was. They nodded and said it was a skeleton key. Some of the students recognized the key and its use in Cinderskella and eagerly raised their hands to share this additional knowledge.

     I asked them if they knew what made it special. While they gave me various answers (it can open a door, it can open a treasure chest, it can take you to the Underworld), they didn’t realize the full extent and beauty of this singular object. For you see, a skeleton key can unlock anything.

     I then asked them if they knew who the other author mentioned on the cover of my books were. They didn’t know, so I told them about my daughter. I told them how she’s really special. How she is on the autism spectrum.

     Then I asked them if they knew what autism was.

     A boy in the second row raised his hand.

     “Yes?” I asked. “Do you know what autism is?”

     The boy smiled. “I do.” He nodded. “Because I have autism.”

     At that moment, I had everything I could do to hold back my tears. I didn’t want to cry in front of the students. It might have sent the wrong message. Plus, I’m an ugly crier. So I struggled to hold back those tears and choked out my next words.

     “Each of you has a skeleton key inside of you. You can unlock any door. Your future is only limited by your willingness to try that key.” I paused and smiled at the boy who so bravely and proudly declared his learning difference to a room filled with his peers, “Don’t ever let anyone. ANYONE. Tell you that you can’t.” I held up the key one last time for the students to see. “You have a skeleton key inside of you and don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.”

     The boy smiled. He smiled so huge I thought for sure it would fill the room and spill out into the hallway. I think my smile could have done the same.

     150 sixth graders were absolutely silent in that moment. And that gnawing in my gut, for the first time in weeks, went away.


Friday, March 18, 2016

Cover Reveal for Laura Diamond's Under My Skin!


Today is the cover reveal for author Laura Diamond's young adult contemporary, UNDER MY SKIN. The Ebook is coming April 12, 2016 by Swoon Romance. 

Be sure to add UNDER MY SKIN to your Goodreads page, check it out out on Amazon where it's available for preorder (or your fave retailer), and follow the author on the web (she'd love to hear from you!). (You'll find links below.) 




Blurb for UNDER MY SKIN:

Bookish Brit Adam Gibson is one wonky heartbeat away from a fatal arrhythmia. But staying alive requires Adam to become keenly focused on both his pulse and the many different daily medications he must take in exactly the right dosages. Adam’s torn between wanting to live and knowing that someone else must die in order for him to do so. He needs a new heart.
The pressure is getting to him. Adam stops talking to his friends back home, refuses to meet kids at his new school, and shuts his parents out entirely. His days are spent wondering if can cope with having a dead man’s heart beating inside his chest, or if he should surrender to the thoughts of suicide swirling around in his head.
And then a donor is found…
Outspoken artist Darby Fox rarely lets anything stand in her way of achieving her goals . Whether it’s painting, ignoring her homework (dyslexia makes a mess out of words anyway), kissing a hot boy she doesn’t even know, or taking the head cheerleader down a peg , no one has ever accused Darby of being a shy. She also happens to be the twin sister to a perfect brother with good looks, good grades, manners, and the approval of their parents – something Darby has never had.
Darby’s always had bad timing . She picks the worst time to argue with her brother Daniel. In a car with bald tires, on an icy road in the freezing cold, the unthinkable happens. In a split-second, everything changes forever.

Amazon ebook link: http://www.amazon.com/Under-My-Skin-Laura-Diamond-ebook/dp/B01C7JB0DM 
iTunes/iBooks: https://itun.es/us/xRKVab.l 




Author Laura Diamond: http://lbdiamond.wordpress.com/ 
Twitter: @DiamondLB (https://twitter.com/diamondlb)
Facebook: Author Laura Diamond (https://facebook.com/AuthorLauraDiamond)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever!


THE GREATEST ZOMBIE MOVIE EVER Cover Reveal and Sneak Peek
The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever
Author: Jeff Strand
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Jeff Strand gives readers a sneak peek at his latest novel The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever, and shares his five favorite zombie movies:
Jeff Strand’s Five Favorite Zombie Movies:
My five favorite zombie movies are very similar to many other people’s five favorite zombie movies. I could’ve gone the condescending click-bait route and written about “The Five Best Zombie Movies You’ve Never Seen!” but, no, I’m going with my five real favorites….
 #5: DAWN OF THE DEAD (2004 version). I was one of the many people bellowing, “You can’t remake DAWN OF THE DEAD! This is blasphemy! Blasphemy!!!” But somehow this remake to a sequel (but not a sequel to the remake) turned out to be awesome. Not quite as good as the original (SPOILER ALERT: That’s #3 on this list) but one of my all-time favorites. 
 #4: RE-ANIMATOR. I’ve now seen plenty of movies that are more over-the-top insane than RE-ANIMATOR, but this was the first movie where I simply couldn’t believe what I was watching. It was hard to believe that a movie so dark and gruesome could be so funny. 
 #3: DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978 version). Shameful confession: When I first saw this in high school I thought it was stupid and boring. Fortunately, I matured and accepted that it’s one of the high points of zombie cinema. It’s the reason I know to duck before walking toward spinning helicopter blades. 
 #2: RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD. Fast zombies long before 28 DAYS LATER! The first time zombies ate brains! It doesn’t often get the credit it deserves, but this is one of the most influential zombie movies ever.
 #1: SHAUN OF THE DEAD. The greatest zombie comedy ever. The greatest zombie movie ever. The greatest MOVIE ever. 
About THE GREATEST ZOMBIE MOVIE EVER:
After producing three horror movies that went mostly ignored on YouTube, Justin and his filmmaking buddies decide it’s time they create something noteworthy, something epic. They’re going to film the Greatest Zombie Movie Ever. They may not have money or a script, but they have passion. And, after a rash text message, they also have the beautiful Alicia Howtz—Justin’s crush—as the lead.

With only one month to complete their movie, a script that can’t possibly get worse, and the hopes and dreams of Alicia on the line, Justin is feeling the pressure. Add to that a cast of uncooperative extras and incompetent production assistants, and Justin must face the sad, sad truth. He may actually be producing The Worst Zombie Movie Ever…

About Jeff Strand:
Jeff Strand has written more than twenty books, and is a four-time nominee (and four-time non-winner) of the Bram Stoker Award. Two of his young adult novels, A Bad Day For Voodoo and I Have A Bad Feeling About This, were Junior Library Guild picks. Publishers Weekly called his work “wickedly funny.” He lives in Tampa, Florida.

Excerpt from The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever:
The vampire, whose fangs were too big for his mouth, turned to the camera and hissed.
"Don't look at the camera," said Justin Hollow, the director.
"I keep poking my lip on these things," said Harold, spitting the plastic fangs out onto the ground. He hadn't been a very frightening example of the undead before, and he was even less scary with no fangs and a thick line of drool running down his chin.
"Cut!" shouted Justin, loud enough to be sure that the command was heard by his production crew of two. "C'mon, Harold. Stay in character. We're three hours behind schedule."
"I don't care. I hate this. You promised that I'd get all the girls I wanted. So where are all of the girls I want?"
Justin let out his thirty-ninth exasperated sigh of the night. "The movie has to come out first."
"It's not even a real movie."
Justin bristled. It was a full body bristle, head to toe, which he hadn't even realized was physically possible. Bobby, who handled sound recording, and Gabe, who handled everything else, both stepped back a couple of feet. Neither of them truly believed that they were about to witness a murder, but they wanted to get out of the splash zone, just in case.
Had this been one of Justin's movies, he would have very slowly lowered his camera, stared directly into Harold's eyes with a steel gaze, and then after an extremely dramatic pause asked "What...did...you...just...say?"
His actual response, delivered in a squeakier voice than he would have allowed from his actors, was: "Huh?"
"I said it's not a real movie." Harold started to wipe the fake blood off his mouth. It didn't come off, and probably wouldn't for several days. Justin had planned to feel guilty about this later, but now he wouldn't bother. "Nobody's ever going to see it. You probably won't even finish it."
"I finished my last three movies!" Justin insisted. "I got hundreds of hits on YouTube!"
That statement was technically accurate, though it was the lowest possible number of hits you could get and still use "hundred" in its plural form. The only comment anybody posted about his latest film had been "This twelve year-old filmmaker sort of shows promise," which really frustrated Justin since he was fifteen.
Harold shrugged. "This is a waste of time. I've got better things to do on a Friday night."
"Nobody ever said this was going to be easy," said Justin, who had indeed said that it was going to be easy when luring Harold into the role. "You can quit now, but what are you going to think about your decision ten years from now?"
"I'm going to think, wow, it sure is nice to be such a well-paid dentist."
Harold walked off the set. It wasn't an actual set, but rather a small park near Justin's home, where they were filming without a permit. Justin knew he should shout something after his ex-actor. Something vicious. Something devastating. He thought about shouting "You'll never work in this town again!" but, no, it had to be something that Harold would consider a bad thing.
"Fine!" Justin shouted. "But when we record the audio commentary track for the Blu-Ray, I'm going to talk about how you abandoned us, and how much happier everybody was with the new actor who took your role, and how we all agreed that he should have been cast in the first place, and how he had so many girlfriends that he couldn't even keep track of them, and how they all found out about each other and had a great big awesome catfight in his front yard! And I'll pronounce your name wrong!"
Harold continued walking, apparently not heartbroken.

Pre-Order The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever:

Monday, October 12, 2015

Exciting News, Contest, and Good Karma!!

 I have some super exciting news and I can't wait to share it with you!

My publisher has teamed up with Amazon to create a totally epic Halloween promotion! As part of that promotion both of my books, CINDERSKELLA and LITTLE DEAD RIDING HOOD are on sale! Both ebooks are only $1.99 each!!

I want to really spread the word about this awesome deal so I'm hoping my friends will lend a hand. Don't worry, I won't ask you to help and not provide an incentive!

If you know a teacher, student, parent, or ANYONE (aliens, horses, mermaids) that loves middle grade books, then you should absolutely share this deal with them. You wouldn't keep it all to yourself now would you?

So here's how we're going to let them know:
1) Use one of my book covers as your profile image for one week on your social networking sites
2) Use the banner on your Facebook page or in a blog post for one week
(Images below)
3) Share the goodness throughout your social networking platforms







In return you'll get tons of good karma. 


Okay, okay. I have some pretty cool stuff for you, too. I promise! Here's what you'll get in return for your kindness:




Bracelets! Rainbow loom bracelet  that I slaved over for HOURS on end complete with blistered fingers and all. You'll receive one bracelet, with either Cinderskella or Little Dead Riding Hood image.


Bookmarks! These clever little things hook over the corner of your page. The bow and bat both stick out of the side of your book making it really easy to flip to your page.  You'll receive one Cinderskella and one Little Dead Riding Hood bookmark.




Along with all these prizes, there will be some various other Underworldly-themed items, including skulls, bats, and skeletons! 


But wait!
There's more!

You'll also receive one custom made t-shirt! You can choose the size, book image and the shirt color! 


Once  you share on your social networking, spread the news by word of mouth to your favorite teachers and friends, then just come back here and fill out the rafflecopter form! One winner will be selected for the goodies featured here!


a Rafflecopter giveaway



So what are you waiting for?
  Start sharing!!