Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cover Reveal: IF I LIE by Corrine Jackson; Also, Watch me Ramble


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.

A simple cover, but stunning, no? So sad and moving, isn't it? The way she stands behind him, holding on to him, and yet, not looking at him? Even the fact that he's got his back turned to's pain on display. Maybe also longing? IF I LIE sounds like a gorgeous story. I'm looking forward to reading it. But I wonder, too, what it will make me think about. How it might make me dig deep.

Because we all keep secrets, don't we? Some of them big, some small. Some happy, and others...not so happy. And then there's those that we're ashamed of. Or those we keep for others. This story in particular deals with a secret that is not a secret this girl can share because it doesn't belong to her. But there are apparently serious ramifications in her life to keep this secret. Which does, of course, beg the questions: how much is friendship worth? Indeed, how much is a promise worth? How much should we be expected to sacrifice for the promises we make? 

Just this evening, Little Bean came crying to me that her big sister broker her promise to her. "She promised she'd play Mario with me, and now she won't do it." It breaks my heart to see her so upset, so sad (even if her big sister didn't actually promise anything more than a "maybe"). A broken promise can feel so harsh. It's like saying you kind of don't respect that person or care about them nearly as much as you made it seem when you made the promise.

Or, I suppose, maybe most of us don't take promises all that seriously. Maybe that's why we've invented the pinky swear. Or the swearing on Bibles and mother's graves and warts on the end of grandma's nose. Because we don't trust that a promise alone means jack bupkis.

So, okay, this is one of the reasons I'm really intrigued with IF I LIE. Because I want to see how far a person will go to keep a vow she's made, even if that promise will come back to bite her in the knickers. No, actually, I want to see at what point I will be like, enough already, just tell. Because, maybe that's at the point that I would just tell. And, really, I'd like to get the sense of where I stand in that kind of thing.

Here's the thing. I'm a Secret Keeper. I didn't used to be, but I am now. Like for real. Practically magic. (Unless I've had a bit too much vodka, in which case, that's the time to hit me up). But I don't feel compelled to share people's secrets naturally (especially my own). Gossip sucks arse, for one thing. And to be honest, if it's not vital to my own life, I tend to forget stuff . I'm vain that way. BUT. What if keeping that secret hurt me in some way? Maybe then it really would depend on how much I loved you, you sorry arsed friend, making me keep your secrets when they're hurting me. At what point would I abandon you? Would I? Would I be a sucker for keeping mum?

I don't have any answers, obviously. That's one of the many reasons I enjoy reading books like IF I LIE. I'm all about the cheap therapy

I've also heard the writing in IF I LIE is brilliant and the story just beautiful. So there's that. I'm really excited about this one.

IF I LIE's expected release date is August 28, 2012 from Simon Pulse. FYI, if you read the Goodreads summary, you'll get a slightly different explanation, which will make you want to read this even more. Also, if you go there, you can add it as "To-Read.")

Be sure to check out what the other Bookanistas are highlighting for you today!

Elana Johnson adores EVERNEATH
Shelli Johannes-Wells and Carolina M Valdez have cover love for IF I LIE

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Holiday 2 ARC Giveaway

Please forgive me the short, virtually contentless post. I'm fighting strep and attempting to prepare for Christmas. In lieu of real content, I come bearing gifts. Happy holidays...


I've got two beautiful ARCs I'm giving away. Super cute and entertaining--and brilliant concepts. TEMPEST is a wild ride back in time, full of action. DITCHED is romantic and funny, a lighthearted, enjoyable read. Have a look and see if you're interested in winning one of these books, both of them just perfect for winter holiday reading.

TEMPEST by Julie Cross

Goodreads: The year is 2009.  Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler.  Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

DITCHED by Robin Mellom

Goodreads: High school senior Justina Griffith was never the girl who dreamed of going to prom. Designer dresses and strappy heels? Not her thing. So she never expected her best friend, Ian Clark, to ask her.
Ian, who always passed her the baseball bat handle first.
Ian, who knew exactly when she needed red licorice.
Ian, who promised her the most amazing night at prom.
And then ditched her.
Now, as the sun rises over her small town, and with only the help of some opinionated ladies at the 7-Eleven, Justina must piece together — stain by stain on her thrift-store dress — exactly how she ended up dateless. A three-legged Chihuahua was involved. Along with a demolition derby-ready Cadillac. And there was that incident at the tattoo parlor. Plus the flying leap from Brian Sontag's moving car...
But to get the whole story, Justina will have to face the boy who ditched her. And discover if losing out at prom can ultimately lead to true love.
Filled with humor, charm, and romance, Ditched: A Love Story by debut novelist Robin Mellom will have readers dreaming of love on their own prom nights.

CLICK HERE to enter the TWO ARC International Giveaway: TEMPEST and DITCHED

This giveaway is international and ends Wednesday, December 28, midnight EST. You must be 13 years old to enter. If you win, you will need to provide an address for shipment. Under 18's must have parent/guardian permission to enter, and obviously, to give me your address if you win. 

Thanks so much for entering, and good luck!



GO HERE to see the winner of WHY WE BROKE UP by Daniel Handler



TEMPEST by Julie Cross
Carina O.

DITCHED by Robin Mellom

Congratulations, Carina and Kare! Please email me an address to which I can ship your books. Thanks so much to all who entered. I hope to post another giveaway soon! 

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Real Letter to Santa, and an ARC Giveaway

Second Grader:

Dear Santa,

Are you real? My friend Haylee doesn't believe you. But I believe you. If your not real please don't tell me. By the way I've been wanting a cat. The kind my mom is not alergic to. They make her look red and pretty ugly and she would be very mad with me if I asked for a cat that made her like that. Make it the not alergic kind but not the bald kind. Those are very strainge. Also maybe let it snow this year and then I would like a sled. Is it really cold there. Do you have to wear gloves all the time inside even when you go to the bathroom. That would be very hard I bet. I will leave you cookies but please eat the hole thing and not just one bit that is wastefull okay. Thank you for all the good things you do like take presents everywhere to all the children. That is so nice and I would like that all the so much. If your not real who is eating the one bite of cookie every year. I have been wondering that. Amen.

Your friend,



Dear Santa Baby,

I've been wanting a house elf. One who will cook and clean and magic me out of tricky situations. Please send the kind that also takes care of email and can change the curse word in my head into something socially acceptable before it leaves my mouth. I've been having a problem with both of these things. Also, I would like  smaller thumbs so that I don't have to text with one finger and look an idiot (you can also bring me a phone with larger numbers--that will do just as well). While you're at it, please bring me a pair of jeans that make my ass look nice and twenty-something (this is where I could've used that house elf--for the cursing, not the ass lifting, unless house elves do that, in which case, let's kill two birds).

And because you are Santa and I believe in you unlike some people I know (you really need to stop bringing them gifts, you know), I will also add that I would like you to make my book into a movie starring Jared Leto circa 1996 but with a slightly updated hairdo. I realize this will involve some tricky time-travel maneuvers and probably a super expensive hair stylist, but you are magic and I believe in you. Also, I need you to bring me some more Moroccan Oil because my hair will look like cat vomit once I run out. Also do not forget I need new blush because I dropped mine and it busted into tiny pieces that cling to the brush in clumps and this makes a mess on my cheeks that causes people to wonder if I am feverish and leprosied. I know you understand.

While you're at it, please bring me the ability to foresee what children are sick in my daughter's class so that when I have lunch at her school, I will know who to not sit by right before they vomit (would've been nice last Friday). Also, I could use a few more bottles of hand sanitizer, thanks. FYI, the Japanese Cherry Blossom scent is quite nice.

And before I go, I'm still wanting the following:

18, 00 Tablets of Children's chewable ACETAMINOPHEN

3,000 tablets of children's chewable IBUPROFEN
36, 000 tablets of Children's chewable VITAMINS
44,000 tablets of adult's MULTI-VITAMINS
16,000 tablets of ANTACIDS
5000 tablets of AMOXICILLIN

If you'd like to bring some Diflucan, maybe a bit of Levaquin and Zithromax (say, 100 or 500 units, awesome!), and also some ibuprofen because my throat hurts. I will leave you cookies, but please understand there will likely be a bite taken out of every one. This is customary in my culture.

Finally, I'd like to make a special request...please bring lovely gifts to all the customs personnel in Port Au Prince, Haiti. Make them really, really happy, k--enough joy to last for a long time? We would like to get through with our bags of drugs without having to get too close and personal. If you know what I mean.

Feel free to take the trash to the curb on your way out. You're a peach. Amen.

Yours in Dutiful Belief,

P.S. You are real, right?


So, I can't seem to figure out how to update the stats on Medical Mission to Haiti picture. Not quickly anyway. I'll work on it today. But...we've collected like a thousand dollars!! So stoked. This has gone a long way so far. Thank you to all of you who spread the word, prayed, encouraged me, wished really hard, sent me some maja ju-ju happies, and donated. I am so very grateful for all of you. And so blessed to know you. You guys are just amazing.

I will be continuing to collect until January 13 (January 15, we pack up all the meds). Just wait until you see the pictures of the packing. It'll be wild. I'll try to post those before I go.

GO HERE to see the winner of the signed copy of HERE by Denise Grover Swank. Congratulations to the winner! Thank you for entering!


Guess what? I have a copy of this ARC burning a hole in my bookshelf:

WHY WE BROKE UP by Daniel Handler

It's super cute, but also really touching, you know? And frustrating because what's done is done is done and you just can't go back. A must-read for anyone who's ever faced a teenage breakup (go on, raise your hand.) The writing is artsy and different and beautiful, much like its main character. There's artwork throughout the book which is quite relevant to the story itself. And guess what? I want to give this book away. Like today. So you can get it by Christmas. 

SO. If you'd like me to send this to you...


This giveaway is international and ends TONIGHT, December 19, midnight EST. You must be 13 years old to enter. If you win, you will need to provide an address for shipment. Under 18's must have parent/guardian permission to enter. 

Obviously, if you are an international entrant and you win, you probably won't get this by Christmas. And there are no guarantees I can actually get this to you by Christmas even in the US because we all know how fickle the Post Office is. Maybe Boxing Day. Or New Year's, if you're the winner and slow to respond. Or by your pet chihuahua's next birthday. But I will send it out tomorrow, or as soon as the winner gives me an address. Check back tomorrow to see if you've won.

As always, thank you for entering and being all around supreme. Come back tomorrow, okay? Even if you didn't win, I've got another super cool 2 ARC giveaway I'll be posting.


The winner of WHY WE BROKE UP by Daniel Handler is:

Holly L.

Congratulations, Holly! Please contact me with an address to which I can ship your book. Thanks so much, all of you who entered. I'm posting a different 2 ARC giveaway today!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Buy a Book, Save an Endangered Animal...PICK THE CHIMPANZEE

A special edition of Heather McCorkle’s The Secret Of Spruce Knoll is releasing from Compass Press this month and she’s doing a special tour to go along with it. The special part, a percentage of the proceeds from every special edition sold (in every format) between its release date and 12-12-2012, will go toward Heather’s favorite charity that protects endangered species. Her goal is to make at least $10,000 for the charity.

So, I super love this whole concept. A great book just in time for the holidays and a cause worth supporting--killing two birds with one stone (ok, not a good analogy here)*.

Of course there are prizes during the tour which goes from December 1st through the 17th. Prizes include a symbolic endangered species adoption of the winner’s choice (a $50 donation by Heather to the charity for the endangered species of the winner’s choice, and cute stuffed animal for the winner!), signed copies of her novels and great swag. For full details, and to enter, go here.

For the tour Heather has asked each blog host to pick their favorite endangered species and she will tell us a fun or interesting fact about that animal.

I've chosen the chimpanzee. For obvious reasons.

Oh my gosh. So. freaking. adorable.

Note to winner: PICK THE CHIMPANZEE!!!

Heather: I must be honest, monkeys give me the creeps. I won't even go to their exhibits at the zoo. *shudders* Don't ask me why, maybe it's the poo-slinging. ;) 

Carol: The poo-slinging is the best part. Come on. That's awesome. They're like people except they're free to do everything politically incorrect (and horribly unsanitary, but whatever.)

Eh hmm...I'll let Heather explain why chimps need our support.

Heather: Chimps used to be found in 25 African countries, but sadly, now they are extinct in three of those countries and are near-extinct in four more due to deforestation and hunting.

Carol: The thought of these little guys not being around any breaks my heart. So, yourself a favor and pick up a copy of The Secret of Spruce Knoll for some sweet reading and save an animal today. And also, PICK THE CHIMPANZEE.

Buy links for the eBooks:


Also, if you haven't yet entered to win a signed copy of HERE by Denise Grover Swank, you can still do so by going here. Giveaway ends this Friday, December 16.

*I don't kill birds, fyi--not the real, non-metaphorical ones. Once, when I was ten, as we were walking to school, my best friend Luis threw a stone that killed a bird, and I wouldn't talk to him for days, even though he felt really bad and swore he'd never do it again. It was very sad for me, and I have never forgotten how I felt that day. 

Although now I kind of have a thing with birds. They creep me out a little. I'm not sure why. Hitchcock, maybe.

But chimpanzees are cool. PICK THE CHIMPANZEE.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

TATTERED Takes Over My Blog and Offers You a Chance to Win a Kindle Fire

A couple of years ago, I picked up MISFIT MCCABE by LK Gardner-Griffie, this book with a spunky looking girl on the cover, thinking Hmm. I don't normally read books like this, see, ones intended as younger YA. But then I just whipped through MISFIT MCCABE, and by the end I totally adored the fiery, trouble-making, but totally lovable Katie McCabe. Well, it turns out that MISFIT was just the first in the series. So of course, I picked up the sequel NOWHERE FEELS LIKE HOME, and enjoyed it just as much. TATTERED, the third in the series, has just been released, and after a short reading hiatus, I'm looking forward to digging into it this week. But for now, I'd like to welcome Gardner-Griffie on my blog for the last stop of her blog tour to tell you all a little bit about this new book and this kicking series of hers (which, FYI, would make a perfect holiday gift for your tween/teen).

ALSO? You can win a Kindle Fire. Just saying. So, read on, friends, as I turn my blog over to Miss GG and the little spitfire better known as Katie McCabe.


LK: First of all, I'd like to thank Carolina Valdez Miller for hosting the Tattered tour.
(Carol says: You're welcome, mate.)
  1. For today's prize of a paperback copy of Misfit McCabe along with The Prophecy of Zephyrus by G. A. Hesse AND an ARC of Tattered, simply comment on this post.
  2. To get a free ebook copy of Misfit McCabe:
    • Put together the puzzle and write down the code. Each day will give another part of the coupon code. Please note at the top whether it is for eBook or Print.
    • Once you have collected the entire code, go to Smashwords and purchase Misfit McCabe input the code and download whichever ebook version you need for free.
  3. To get 50% off the print version of Misfit McCabe:
    • Put together the puzzle and write down the code. Each day will give another part of the coupon code. Please note at the top whether it is for eBook or Print.
    • Once you have collected the entire code, go to Griffie World Store and purchase Misfit McCabe input the code and receive 50% off the purchase price.
  4. To win the KINDLE FIRE
    • Support this tour by commenting on each of the daily stops -- It's only 11 days, not even as long as the 12 days of Christmas.
    • And if you're under 18 and would like to enter, but don't have Facebook or Twitter, etc. if you have a friend comment on the posts saying that you sent them, we'll consider that your entry for the Grand Prize. One friend for each stop (and they can enter too and bring all of their friends to the party).
Tattered is the third novel in the heartwarming young adult series, Misfit McCabe. A little about the book:
What do Sunday afternoon court proceedings, cheerleader tryouts, and a book burning have in common? Katie McCabe is back in action.
After her nemesis Harvey is found guilty and sentenced to community service, Katie wants to believe her troubles are over, but Harvey won’t rest until he gets revenge. When blackmail rears its ugly head, she’s caught between friends and enemies putting her growing relationship with Tom at stake. Books go up in flames and Katie’s world rains down in tatters.

I know that everyone knows by now, but I'll say it anyway. I met Carol on Twitter as part of a rebel NaNoWriMo writing group. For those who just went NaNo-What??? NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and takes place every November. The gist is start November 1st and crank out 50 thousand words by the end of November 30th. But that's not what we're here to talk about. Through Twitter we got to know one another and then I was excited to meet her in person, first when she came to Los Angeles for a writing conference, and then we became fellow Bling Babes at a conference in Denver. Oh and if you ever have her caramel puffs, you're never going back. #justsayin' (Carol's note: They're mostly sugar and butter, so...yeah, they're pretty awesome). Now I'll turn things over to Katie McCabe, the fourteen-year-old main character of Tattered.

Katie: Hi Carol! Thanks for having me today. Before I get started, I heard you're going on a medical mission to Haiti in January. I think that is awesome. You are so brave and I'm proud to know you.
(Carol says: Awww, shucks. *Tries to think of something humble to say, but ends up sounding ungracious and self-deprecating, so just says, "THANK YOU.")

Okay... Tattered. Today, I really don't have someone to talk about, I mean, I could. There are more people, but we're going to end with the story itself. I really didn't know what to say. Some people have told me my life is a bit like a soap opera. I get it. I really do. Orphaned at fourteen, abducted, injured, bitten by a rattler, living with strangers, there's an evil town leader who has a vendetta against the family and his evil son who believes in dangerous retribution, my best friend's dad is in a coma, and he's the one who put him there, the outcast Goth who hated me for no reason, the perky cheerleader who has designs on my boyfriend, the lunatics who want to burn the town's books, the mystery of Mamma's death overshadowing everything, my cousin's engaged, but then an old flame turns up... it just keeps going on and on. Of the seven McCabe boys who grew up here, Uncle Charley is the only one left. I've heard rumors that HL Denton, the disgusting Harvey's father, drove them all out of town. I don't see how that's possible, but the Denton's and the McCabe's seem to be involved in some sort of battle. It's kinda weird though, when HL showed up drunk on our doorstep, threatening us -- especially me -- Uncle Charley didn't call the cops. Instead he had Sarah call HL's wife, Harriet who fired Sarah from her job over the evil toad, Harvey. You know that's the last call Sarah wanted to make. And from what I can make out from some of the dinner conversation, HL tries to sabotage Uncle Charley's construction business at every turn. And he swindled Uncle Jake out of some of the family property a long time ago, and forced Sarah's parents out of business, but Uncle Charley didn't turn him in when he had the chance. *muses* Is it because they were boys together?

And HL seems to hate me. The only time he was even half-way nice to me was the first time I met him, but ever since I had my run-in with Harvey, he can't stand me. It scares me when he looks at me, so I've been really glad that Uncle Charley and Sarah have been with me when he's been around. He gives me the heebs. And all because his precious son *gag* is too stupid to realize you can't get away with everything in life just because your dad owns everything in town. And Uncle Charley warned me to stay away from him because of something about Daddy, but he didn't tell me what. Not that I need any warning to stay away after he screamed at me and told me I had to lie about what his son did.

So yeah... I get it. The whole soap opera aspect. But this isn't a soap opera.

It's my life.

LK: Put the puzzle below together for part of the code to receive 50% off a paperback of Misfit McCabe. This is the last stop of this tour. Thanks to everyone for participating. I'm going to leave comments open through 12/13/11 to give everyone a chance to catch up if they just caught the tour today and all the winners will be announced on 12/14/11 at Griffie World. For all details on the tour, the prizes, and the stops, please visit Griffie World.

If the puzzle does not load correctly, please refresh your browser and it should display correctly. And if for some reason it still does not display correctly, click this link to open the puzzle in a new browser window.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bookanista Review of HERE by Denise Grover Swank + Signed Giveaway

It's been too long since I discussed books. Or gave anything away. So, I 'm back with that. Giveaway entry is at the bottom.

*Dances the Roger Rabbit*

HERE by Denise Grover Swank

Summary: Sixteen year old Julia Phillips buries herself in guilt after killing her best friend Monica in a car accident. Julia awoke in the hospital with a broken leg, a new talent for drawing and false memories of the accident, in which she dies and Monica lives. The doctors attribute this to her head injury, but no one can explain how a bracelet engraved with her name ended up at the scene of the accident. A bracelet no one has ever seen before.
Classmate Evan Whittaker paid Julia no attention before the accident, let alone after. Now suddenly he’s volunteering to tutor her and offering to drive her home. She can't ignore that his new obsession started after his two-day disappearance last week and that he wears a pendant she’s been drawing for months. When the police show up one night looking for Evan, he begs Julia to run with him, convincing her that Monica is still alive. Julia agrees to go, never guessing where he’s really from.


I got all set to talk about the coolest, most awesome thing I loved most about this book, and then last minute I read the summary as I was pasting it from Goodreads, and CRUD. It's not even mentioned. Which means if I talk about it, I will be spoiling it for everybody. Dang it dang it dang it.

Okay, so, fresh approach, avoiding the coolest thing which answers "never guessing where he's really from."

So, obviously, HERE is a mystery. Eh hem. It's also a romance, but it's special in a certain regard, which I can't talk about because that's also not mentioned, and that would be giving away something quite major. Hm...

The amazing thing is, even with so much of the story being a complete surprise (and those surprises being some of most memorable aspects of the book), the summary itself is really compelling even without those spoilers. That should give you an idea of what to expect from HERE.

(I totally just talked in circles--but bear with me.)

So let's focus on non-spoiler things. Like Julia. She's emotional, a little lost, suffering from intense survivor's guilt. The amazing thing is that Julia still manages to come across as a three dimensional character with a well rounded personality; she's not just 'the depressed character." She's got issues outside of the death of her friend Monica. Like her parents. And school. Lack of self confidence. And eerie occurrences (this is where the story elevates to a higher, more intense level). It's got a bit of a science fiction flare, but very accessible, with teen drama that makes the fantasy of it still feel really relatable. Swank captures well that angst that seems to drive teenage existence without overwhelming the reader with it.

It's easy to get carried away with HERE, to just rush through the pages. It's filled with tension that drives you forward, propelling you headfirst into the fantasy element without you even realizing it's happening. It's quite a genre buster--a story that feels like a YA romantic mystery, but it pulls elements from history, sort of...bending them...while throwing in some SF/F that ultimately shapes the mystery into a thriller.

I really like genre busters, so this is awesome.

HERE is cool and different from so much of the YA that is out there now, though I predict we'll see more books like this in the next year or two. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you how it's different without ruining it for you. Just trust me on this.


Win a Signed copy of HERE by Denise Grover Swank

Hey, guess what? After some pleading and serious whining, I managed to procure a signed copy of Denise's book to give away. Cool, huh? All you have do is fill in your name and email on this form:

Enter HERE to win a Signed HERE by Denise Grover Swank

This giveaway is international and ends Friday, December 16, midnight EST. You must be 13 years old to enter. If you win, you will need to provide an address for shipment. Under 18's must have parent/guardian permission to enter.

Thanks so much for entering and commenting and being all around supreme. Oh, and if you just can't wait to see if you won and would like to pick up a copy of HERE for yourself, check it out on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. But enter anyway. Cuz it's signed.

OH, and come back again because I've got some more surprises for you guys. You realize I haven't done giveaways in like a million years? Let's remedy that. Tomorrow maybe? (Sorry, I'm not trying to be vague--I just never know if I'll find time to do this stuff.)



Be sure to check out what the other Bookanistas are highlighting today!

Elana Johnson roars for FURY
Shannon Whitney Messenger  marvels at A MILLION SUNS plus a preorder giveaway
Carolina M Valdez is all about HERE with giveaway
Gretchen McNeil twirls for AUDITION
Stasia Ward Kehoe is wild for DON’T BREATHE A WORD
Katy Upperman gets in the spirit with ELF ON A SHELF
Nikki Katz dishes on WHY WE BROKE UP

Okay, so this is really weird. I can't figure out why all the names except Nikki's are all white. I tried to fix it and ended up with something weirder than this, so white background it is. Sorry.


And the winner of HERE by Denise Grover Swank is

Kate A. E.

Congratulations, Kate! Please contact me with an address to which I can send your book. 

Thank you so much to all who entered! More giveaways coming up!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Year of Suck and Awesome

I told myself that the next time I posted, it would be something funny and semi-irreverent, something old-school Carol and totally inane.

And then I got the news that we'd had a death in the family. That two people I love very much had just suffered a very tragic, very devastating, unexpected loss.

Things were kind of tough for a while. Less for me than for others. But.

I was still so sad, you know?

So. I haven't posted. I made lasagna instead. Like a stupidhead. Like that fixes a damn thing. Like their freezer wasn't already packed full of food.

Then yesterday, I went out by myself. Sat in my car in a parking lot listening to the windshield wipers going swish swash, swish swash. I rested my head on the steering wheel and watched headlights pass by.

Eventually, my thoughts turned from the funeral to my children. How Bigger Bean said to me the other day, "I'm glad you're not like other moms." How Little Bean likes to brush my hair with lotion and reach into my coat pockets digging for Hershey Kisses. How my radio is almost always set to Radio Disney and how my calendar is jam packed with my children's names and how there's almost always a light on in my house or noise to remind me how not alone I am.

Right around the time I remembered my children laughing about their creative alterations to the lyrics of Jingle Bells, I realized: 2011 is not The Year of Suck. It is merely 2011, in which Suck happened right along with Awesome. Here's the epiphany I had:

Suck can only outweigh Awesome if I press a thumb to Suck's scale.

So. I chose: happiness. And then I went home.

2012, be there suck or awesome, I'm going to be happy then, too.


P.S. Here's a bunch of other stuff.

Dude. I'm on Inky Fresh Press. Bridgid Gallagher, editor and founder of IFP, interviewed me, asking really pointed questions about my upcoming trip to Haiti. Some of those questions were super hard to answer. Some of them...uncomfortable? But also awesome. It wasn't until this interview that I really even had an inkling of why. Or even stopped to think about how it all came about. If you're curious, wondering WTF someone like me is even going to do in a medical work camp in Haiti...and what I hope to accomplish there, well, go visit Inky Fresh Press. It's all there, all the stuff I didn't post in my Haiti blog post.

But don't check out Inky Fresh Press just for my interview. See what Bridgid and others have to say about writing and publishing. They also host author interviews and giveaways--and they're currently looking for guest bloggers for next year. Cool, yeah? Go go go!


MAJOR congratulations are in order for Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner on their pretty damn massive 
book deal. Here--check it out (click on the image to see the full display).

WOOOO-HOOOOOO!! I'm a little late to wish them both well, but I hope they'll forgive me. Although I'd be just as thrilled for them even if they held a grudge (which they won't, because they're amazing). Can't wait to read this new series. Sounds supreme.


MAJOR congratulations to Robin Bernstein Reul on her new agented status! Robin recently signed with Bill Contardi of Brandt & Hochman Literary. YES!! Way to go, Robin! Best wishes on this next leg of your publishing journey...


MAJOR congratulations to Shelli Johannes-Wells (S.R. Johannes) on the release of her new YA UNTRACEABLE, which debuted at #10 on Amazon's Hot New ebook Releases. Fantastic! So happy for Shelli!

Okay, that's all for now. Come back tomorrow. I've got something for you.