Friday, July 29, 2011

The Trifecta of Awesome Giveaway

As promised earlier in the week, I have a very special giveaway for you guys today (why? Because I like you. And I feel totally guilty for abandoning you so much this summer!) And I have to say, I think it might be one of the best prizes I've done.

Get this...

The winner will get:

Not one

Not two

but THREE awesome SIGNED books

from THREE awesome authors!!!!!

THESE ladies, in fact:


(For those who somehow don't know, that's Kiersten White, Andrea Cremer, and Stephanie Perkins, aka The Trifecta of Awesome)
(and how gorgeous are they, btw?)
(ahem)

Here's what I'm giving away:

A hardcover of SUPERNATURALLY, SIGNED by Kiersten White
A hardcover of ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, SIGNED by Stephanie Perkins
A hardcover of WOLFSBANE, SIGNED by Andrea Cremer

Three amazingly awesome signed books. One seriously lucky winner.

To enter, make sure you follow my blog and leave a comment on this post by Saturday, August 6th. I'll draw one random winner and post their name on Sunday, August 7th. International entries welcome. And just like with yesterday's contest (which, if you haven't entered yet--you NEED to) I know some of you might want a better chance to win. So I'm going to make this a contest where I allow extra entries. I'll give one extra entry if you blog, tweet, or post on FB about this contest (so if you do all three you would have a maximum of four entries total). Just let me know what you did in your comment so I can credit you.

I think that covers everything. If you have any questions--ask away in the comments. Otherwise...Go!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bookanista Review: The Future of Us, by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler--AND A SIGNED ARC GIVEAWAY!!!!

I feel horrible for what an erratic blogger I've been lately, so I thought for today's Bookanista review I would reward you guys with a very special giveaway. (This ARC is signed by BOTH authors!) But before I get to that, I have to gush a little (okay, a lot) about the fabulously awesome book: THE FUTURE OF US, by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler.

Behold the cover (which I happen to think is particularly perfect!)


And here's how the publisher describes it:

It's 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet.

Emma just got her first computer and an America Online CD-ROM. Josh is her best friend.

They power up and log on and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future.

Everybody wonders what their destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out

Okay--how insanely cool is that premise? 

I mean, I was sold by the whole: written by JAY ASHER and CAROLYN MACKLER thing (love love LOVE their books!). But when I read that blurb I was like, okay, I HAVE to read this book. So I didn't care that the line at ALA for the ARC was so absurdly long it took almost two hours of my day. I happily (okay, fine...there might have been a *tiny* bit of whining going on) waited for my chance to grab my copy and meet the uber-awesome authors:


And when I got home you can bet it was the first ARC I dove into.

So with all that anticipation and expectation you're probably wondering: was it worth it? And the answer is a resounding: YES.

It's different from Asher and Mackler's other books--but that's how it SHOULD be. After all--they wrote their other books as solo efforts. Combining their talents should affect the way they tell the story. It's also a lot lighter than THIRTEEN REASONS WHY--which is also a good thing. With this kind of premise, it wouldn't work if the book were so serious and intense. Instead, the book is exactly what it should be: a happy marriage of two incredibly talented authors with a page turning plot, a ton of awesome moments, and a whole lot of fun. 

And while I have no doubt that teens are going to go totally nutso for the story and characters, I think this is one of those YAs with HUGE adult crossover potential. The book is littered with 90s references that only those of us who grew up in the decade can truly appreciate. And the concept itself is very adult relavent: analyzing the choices we make--even small ones--and considering the ripple effect they can have on our future happiness (or unhappiness). Plus, who doesn't wonder what our teen selves would think of how we turned out?

Obviously I HIGHLY recommend you pick up a copy when the book is released. But sadly, it doesn't come out until November. Which is why it's SO HARD to part with my lovely, signed ARC. (Did I mention it's signed by BOTH authors????) But you guys deserve it. (sigh--why do you have to be so awesome?) I'm giving my copy away to one lucky commenter.

To enter, make sure you follow my blog and leave a comment on this post by Saturday, August 6th. I'll draw one random winner and post their name on Sunday, August 7th. International entries welcome. And since I know some of you might want a better chance to win, I'm going to make this a contest where I allow extra entries. I'll give one extra entry if you blog, tweet, or post on FB about this contest (so if you do all three you would have a maximum of four entries total). Just let me know what you did in your comment so I can credit you.

And...go!

For more book love, check out what the rest of the Bookanistas are talking about today:

Elana Johnson points you to Human.4
LiLa Roecker glories in The Goddess Test
Christine Fonseca is impressed with Imaginary Girls
Scott Tracey and Shana Silver are wild about Wildefire
Carolina Valdez Miller shivers over The Eleventh Plague--with a giveaway
Jessi Kirby celebrates A Scary Scene in a Scary Movie
Stasia Ward Kehoe embraces All the Things you Are
Corrine Jackson sneaks into Sean Griswald's Head

(And if you like contests, you *might* want to come back tomorrow too. Just sayin') 
:)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Comic Con Pictures!!!!

Okay, as promised--a full comic con update!!!

(Finally!) 

It's kind of hard to describe the insanity and chaos that is 120,000 hardcore fans/geeks crammed into an exhibit hall for four days, so I'm mostly going to let the pictures speak for themselves.

So...this was us on Friday...
(that's my: I can't believe I let him leave the room like this smile)
Rainbow Brite and Quail-Man

I usually don't post pics of the Hubs on here, but he was so ridiculously proud of his costume he gave me his permission (shoot--he requested it.) 
(though, I will admit, it was a VERY popular costume. He was definitely at one with the nerds)
(sigh)

At Marie Lu's signing
(where I got a signed ARC of LEGEND--Squee!)
@PenguinTeen even tweeted this photo (and FB'd it) so LOTS of people got to see it. Um...yay?

This might be my favorite picture:
 The hubs took it when people started handing me their children so they could get a picture with Rainbow Brite, and he was cracking up because he knows how much babies/toddlers scare me. It's not that I don't like kids. It's just that I have NO idea what to do with them when they're that young! WHAT IF THEY CRY OR SPIT UP ON ME???
(ahem)
(side note: what was UP with people trusting me with their children??? How did they know I wasn't a creeper?)
(I mean, I'm not. But still--they didn't KNOW that!)

And...Saturday's look: 
Alice in Wonderland
(the Disney-fied version)
(Much, MUCH more comfortable!)
(also: OMG ITS THE BATSUIT!!!!)

And OMG IT'S STEPHANIE PERKINS!!!!
(And me, looking even dorkier in my costume next to her stylin' self)
Steph is one of my absolute favorite people, so it was so much fun to see her again. 
(And her husband Jarrod--who is every bit as awesome as I knew he would be)

I was also accosted by models at the Random House booth:
(the things you do for an ARC of MODELAND)
(And don't judge--you KNOW you're curious about how Tyra does YA)
(Side note: I have never felt so short in all my life)

I also met some FABULOUS authors on the panels I attended, including:
Cindy Pon, Malinda Lo, and Kiersten White (among others)

Nathan Bransford and Andrea Cremer

Taherah Mafi, Laini Taylor, and Stephanie Perkins

Amanda Hocking and Kiersten White

And John Stephens, DJ MacHale, Brandon Mull, and Matt Myklusch (amongst others)

Everyone was so so so awesome on the panels and so so so nice in person (and hey--I even picked up some blog prizes. Stay tuned for those contests!)

I'll end with one last picture of the Hubs and I 
(on Saturday this time)
Because, well...if anything sums up my Comic Con adventures this year, it was walking around with THAT for two days. 
Oh. Mans.

Hope you guys enjoyed--and that it was worth the wait!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Will bookstores EXPLODE from all the awesome?

I promise, I WILL have a Comic Con update for you guys--but it'll have to be tomorrow. I'd planned to do it today, but then I realized HOW MANY AWESOME BOOKS ARE HITTING SHELVES TODAY!!!!!!!

In fact, I'm almost a little scared. It's such an insane amount of awesome it might actually trigger like a Universe-implosion or something. I mean LOOK what's coming out:

SUPERNATURALLY, by Kiersten White

Evie finally has the normal life she’s always longed for. But she’s shocked to discover that being ordinary can be . . . kind of boring. Just when Evie starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she’s given a chance to work for them again. Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees.

But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice. And when Evie’s faerie ex-boyfriend Reth appears with devastating revelations about her past, she discovers that there’s a battle brewing between the faerie courts that could throw the whole supernatural world into chaos. The prize in question? Evie herself.

So much for normal.

WILDEFIRE, by Karsten Knight

Every flame begins with a spark.

Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school—being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger—Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood…and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time… And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.

WOLFSBANE, by Andrea Cremer

When Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemies, she’s certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer—one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack—and the man—she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive. 


AND
(one of my FAVORITE middle grades, now in paperback)
MILO: Sticky Notes & Brain Freeze, by Alan Silberberg

Milo Cruikshank is a 13 year-old new kid, who has to find a way to hit the "restart" button all over again.The truth is, ever since Milo's mother died nothing has felt right. Now, instead of the kitchen being filled with music, the whole house is filled with Fog. Nothing's the same. Not his Dad. Not his sister. And definitely not him. In love with the girl he sneezed on the first day of school and best pals with Marshall, the "One-Eyed Jack" of friends, Milo struggles to survive a school year that is filled with reminders of what his life "used to be".

Brimming with heart, humor and ultimately hope, Milo: Sticky Notes & Brain Freeze is a powerhouse of a novel that will stay with you well after you've turned the last page.


HOW does one decide which one to buy?

I don't think I can. I know I plan to get all 4. And I know that might not be in everyone's budget--but fear not! I can make this MUCH easier on you.

I'm actually heading to Kiersten's launch party tonight--which will also have Andrea Cremer and Stephanie Perkins there (I promise I will take pictures) and of COURSE I will be picking up an extra signed copy of both SUPERNATURALLY and WOLFSBANE (and ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS--which is already out) for a blog contest later in the week. 

AND, I also happen to know there will be an awesome giveaway for a MILO paperback today--probably because I'm part of it! (ha!)


(it's an awesome book you guys--one of those rare middle grade books that makes you laugh AND cry and is unlike anything else. I'll definitely be featuring it on MMGM soon)


To enter, all you have to do is tweet using the hashtag #MILOrules by 11:59 pm EDT tonight, and you could be the winner of a shiny MILO paperback of your very own (sorry--US only).


Not sure what to tweet? Try finishing one of the following statements:


The most embarrassing costume I wore growing up was ...
My favorite Slurpie flavor is...
One item/toy I miss the most from my childhood is...
(Or insert other embarrassing or fun childhood memory here. )

Just don't forget to put #MILOrules at the end, or we won't find your entry!


Or, if you'd like something even easier, feel free to copy and paste the following tweet:


Tweet #MILOrules for a chance to win a paperback of MILO: Sticky Notes & Brain Freeze, by @alansilberberg!


Also, feel follow along throughout the day as I, @alansilberberg, @batgirleditor and @LiteraryAsylum tweet embarrassing childhood stories, favorite quotes from the book, and all kinds of general hilarity. The more the merrier!


So all those contests help you narrow the WHAT BOOK DO I BUY TODAY decision down a little, right?

Yeah--it's still a tough call. I vote for getting all four. But even that brings an even HARDER question: which one do you read first?????? And that I DON'T have the answer too. 

*head explodes from all the awesome!*

Monday, July 25, 2011

Comic Con Overload

I know it's supposed to be MMGM--and I feel SO terrible for missing another week (especially since I have a REALLY awesome book to feature). But I just spent 4 days at Comic Con.

FOUR DAYS

!!!!!!

Don't get me wrong--I had a blast!!!! (and I promise a full report tomorrow!)

But I also did a LOT of waking up at the crack of dawn and standing in endlessly long lines and walking all day and fighting through crowds of 120,000 crazies and posing for pictures and wearing uncomfortable costumes and not having time to eat until dinner and then being so tired I practically fell asleep in my room service cheeseburger and then waking up the next day to do it all over again. For FOUR days.

So after I drove home and unpacked and showered off the Comic Con grime and ate dinner and sat down to try and write a post that didn't involve exclamation mark abuse or really really really long run-on sentences or lolcats, I realized: I just didn't have it in me. So... SORRY!

I promise things will be back to normal tomorrow. I just need ONE night of actual sleep to recover. Then tomorrow I will have PICTURES! 

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend. Sorry again for the Shannonfail!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Shannon --> Out

Okay, I KNOW I keep disappearing on you guys. (I *might* have gone a little overboard when I booked my summer schedule). But I have to do it again because as you read this, I am on my way to San Diego for Comic Con.

I'm totally, TOTALLY excited. But I'm also bracing for impact. See ... Comic Con is kind of an adventure.

There's the whole: fighting-your-way-through-the-exhibits thing (they say on the floor at any given time is about 65,000 people. It is MADNESS!!!)


And the whole: being-surrounded-all-day-by-people-who-have-been-wearing-the-same-costume-for-ten-year--WITHOUT-WASHING-IT thing


Not to mention *I* will be in costume--at least one of the days. And I'm still deciding if Rainbow Brite will make a reappearance too (I can't decide if it's lame or funny to rock the Brite 2 years in a row).

So I promise, when I get back, there will be LOTS of pictures and SHANNON SHAME GALORE!!!! (Hopefully that will compensate for my taking the rest of the week off blogging). 

(I'm sure I'll also be tweeting and updating FB throughout the next few days, so keep your eyes out for that)

I hope everyone has a fabulous rest of the week and a much more relaxing weekend than I'll be having. See you all on Monday!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Patience, Young Writers

Ever feel like this?


As writers, I think we all do occasionally sometimes ALL THE TIME! Cause let's face it--EVERYTHING about this process is slow.

Writing a book takes forever! 
(well, unless you're Kiersten White
(But then people want to throw things at you at least half the time) 
(it's a good thing she's so hilariously adorable)

Waiting on CP feedback takes forever!
(I suppose it would go faster if my drafts had less flaws)
(oops)

Revising a book takes forever!
(why is it so hard to make it GOOD?)

Querying takes forever!
(okay, I'll admit, my 2-week whirlwind process probably doesn't count as forever)
(but it still FELT like it)
(*ducks all the things you're flinging at me*)

And even when you FINALLY sell the book, it takes 1-2 YEARS to be released!

All of which means we writers need to cultivate TREMENDOUS amounts of patience.

But I've discovered something these last couple of years, that I wanted to share with you. PATIENCE and WAITING are two different things.

PATIENCE is a state of mind. Not giving into the frustration. Staying calm. Not trying to rush things that simply cannot be rushed.

But WAITING is an action. It's saying: well, I'm waiting on CP/Agent/Editor Feedback so I can't write today.

And--for me--it's the WAITING that makes PATIENCE so freaking hard to cultivate.  So I've made it a personal goal not to spend time WAITING. If one project has reached a point where it's out of my hands at the moment--I work on something else. If I don't feel ready to dive into something new, I brainstorm. Maybe someday I'll attempt a short story (though my last short story turned into a trilogy so...that's looking iffy.) The point is: I keep busy. And keeping busy helps me to stay (relatively) sane as the writing/publishing process drags along at a snail's pace. I highly recommend you give it a try.

But what about you guys? How to you stay patient as a writer? Any tips or secrets you want to share?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Who wants to win $1000?????????


No, my blogger account has NOT been hacked. This is the REAL DEAL!!!!!!!!

(And I know it's supposed to be MMGM but this news is SO BIG I figured you wouldn't mind. I promise things will be back to normal next week!)

Watch THIS:
(ugh--and why am *I* the thumbnail picture this time????)
Okay, do we have your attention? Good.

WriteOnCon has teamed up with TheReadingRoom.com to bring you a VERY special contest to kick off the August, 2011 WriteOnCon Conference.


What? A first 500 MG/YA words contest. Grand Prize is $1000 AND an author profile page on TheReadingRoom.com. In addition, your work will be considered for possible representation by literary agent, Catherine Drayton.
When? Starting today.
Why? Because we love you!


So here's how it works. Click HERE to register with The ReadingRoom.com if you are not already a member (YOU MUST BE A MEMBER TO WIN). Then click HERE to submit the first 500 words of your COMPLETED MG/YA manuscript (ad appears on the right sidebar).

Submissions will remain open until Wednesday, August 17th (the second day of the WriteOnCon conference).

The TOP 5 submissions will be announced on Thursday, August 18th (the last day of WriteOnCon) and posted on TheReadingRoom.com where EVERYONE can vote.

On Thursday, September 8th, The Reading Room and WriteOnCon will host a special LIVE event to announce the GRAND PRIZE WINNER who will receive $1000 cold, hard cash, in the form of a gigantic check in the form of a regular-sized check AND their own author profile page on TheReadingRoom.com. Finally, literary agent, Catherine Drayton, will consider their work for possible representation.

Totally amazeballs (we're channelling Jamie Harrington), right?

So, really, the only question left is, what would you do with $1000? 


P.S.
If you want to help us spread the word by tweeting #IfIHad1000 with a link to this post telling us what you'd do with the money if you win, we would be deeply grateful.



Click HERE to read TheReadingRoom.Com Official Competition Rules.
YOU MUST BE A MEMBER OF TheReadingRoom.com TO WIN. Click HERE to register.


Please note: The Reading Room Website may specify that your entry should be a 500 word pitch. (Unless they've corrected that). That is incorrect. The contest is for your first 500 words, so make sure that you submit correctly.


Also: The Reading Room Rule #7 does not mean that your first 500 words are being kidnapped by The Reading Room. It just means they can post your entry publicly if it happens to be selected as a top 5.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Slightly Belated Winners

Okay--so, I ALMOST forgot to post these. But it's still not THAT late so...

(and if it helps excuse me at all, we have been CRAZY busy behind the scenes here, getting ready for a MEGA-EPIC-HUGE WriteOnCon announcement tomorrow! Trust me when I say you guys aren't expecting ANYTHING like this.)

Anyway, the winners!

The winner of my ARC of THE MEDUSA PLOT is...


And the winner of my ARC of SUPERNATURALLY is...


If that's you, please email me at packratx (at) hotmail (dot) com with your mailing address and I will try to ship off your prize ASAP.

Everyone else, keep checking back. I have TONS of giveaways and contests planned for the next few weeks. You will NOT want to miss them!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Too. Much. Fun!

Since I've already turned in a pretty poor performance as a blogger these last few days, I figured I'd cap off the week with something completely useless but OMG so much fun. It's something my agent-big-brother Andrew Smith introduced me to and it is by far one of the most addicting things EVER!

Are you ready for this?

Okay, copy a section of text and go to http://translate.google.com/

(For demonstration purposes, I'm going to use the first line of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE):

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

Paste the text into the box, and tell it to translate it to "Chinese (traditional)". You'll get something that looks like this on the right side of the screen:

這是一個舉世公認的真理,一個單身男人擁有一個良好的財富必須一個妻子。

And now, copy THAT and paste it back into the translator. Select English, and you get:

This is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man with wealth must be good wife.


Now THAT is some magic translation!

Try it with your WIP--you'll thank me later. 

:)


Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bookanista Review: Supernaturally, by Kiersten White--AND AN ARC GIVEAWAY!!!!

Yay--I did it! A real, legitimate post! And a Bookanista review, no less.

Thanks to my HUGE stash from ALA, plan on a ton of Bookanista Reviews with awesome ARC giveaways over the next few months. And I thought I'd start with what was--for me--one of the most anticipated books of the year. SUPERNATURALLY, by Kiersten White.


Here's the blurb from the publisher:

Evie finally has the normal life she’s always longed for. But she’s shocked to discover that being ordinary can be . . . kind of boring. Just when Evie starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she’s given a chance to work for them again. Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees.

But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice. And when Evie’s faerie ex-boyfriend Reth appears with devastating revelations about her past, she discovers that there’s a battle brewing between the faerie courts that could throw the whole supernatural world into chaos. The prize in question? Evie herself.

So much for normal.

I'll end your suspense right now, guys. It. Is. AWESOME!

Now, if you follow me on Twitter (or remember how many PARANORMALCY signings I went to last year) you know that I'm lucky enough to call Kiersten my friend. So that *might* make you think I'm a little biased when it comes to this book. But honestly? I was worried before I read it. Friend or no, I like what I like, and sequels are notoriously hard--especially when book one is so friggin' awesome. So there was more than a tiny part of me that was like OMG--what will I do/say if I don't like it the way I want to? How will I stalk her at all her SUPERNATURALLY signings and not have her know I'm a fraud??????

But my worries were COMPLETELY unfounded.

Evie is still her hilarious, lovable self, the plot is still fast paced and keeps you guessing, the new characters are layered and interesting, and the whole thing is just so refreshingly fun and entertaining--it's sort of a breath of fresh air amongst all the post-Apocalyptic dystopians (and I'm not knocking dystopians. I loves me some post-Apocalyptic mayhem. But it's nice to have some variety too!). And as an added bonus: there is a whole lot more kissing! Some of it sweet. Some of it steamy. Some of it hilarious. Lots and lots and lots of it. 

Do I need to keep going? I don't think I do. (I mean, I did mention the kissing, right?) But don't just take my word for it. SUPERNATURALLY launches into the world on July 26th and I STRONGLY recommend you pick up a copy. And for those of you who can't bear to wait, I'm sharing my ARC with one lucky winner.

To enter, make sure you follow my blog and leave a comment by 11:59 pm PDT on Saturday, July 16th. I'll draw one random winner and post their name on Sunday, July 17th. International entries welcome. (And I know that's a fast contest, but next week I'll be gone at Comic Con, so I want to make sure I can get the winner their prize.)

And...GO!

For more awesome book recommendations, here's what my fellow Bookanista's are gushing about:

Elana Johnson revels in Ruby Red
LiLa Roecker  is nuts for I’m Not Her
Christine Fonseca  interviews picture book author Michelle McLean – with giveaway
Beth Revis reveals her reading recommendations
Jessi Kirby discovers Where Things Come Back
Shelli Johannes-Wells features “guestanisto” author Matt Blackstone
Carolina Valdez Miller is bedazzled by Between – with giveaway
Shana Silver wonders at The Near Witch
Stasia Ward Kehoe celebrates Selling Hope

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summeritis

I know I promised a more thought provoking and inspired post today guys--and I TRIED (really, I did). I even hopped around the blogosphere searching for inspiration. And you know what I noticed?

The blogosphere has a major case of summeritis.

Everywhere I went, bloggers were on hiatus, comment numbers were down--even most of you who commented yesterday agreed that blogging is kinda hard right now. I guess we're all busy with life and writing. Vacations are in the works. Kids are home from school. Or maybe we're just too tempted by the bright sunshine outside.

So you know what? I say--let's go enjoy it!

I will have a real post tomorrow (a Bookanista review even, with an awesome ARC contest you won't want to miss). But for today, let's take the day off. Soak up some sun. Down a few glasses of lemonade.

After all--summer will soon be over. Why not enjoy what little of it we can? Who's with me?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tell The Truth Tuesday: The Rusty Blogger Edition

Whew--it has been a CRAZY summer (and it's only July--eep!). Thanks to deadlines and travel and WriteOnCon planning and other general chaos, I feel like I've written more posts about how I WON'T be blogging than actual, useful posts (which is delightfully ironic, if you think about it). So I promised myself that this week I would get back on track and write five real, legitimate posts. Which brings me to my truths:

1. I ... don't really know what to blog about.

2. I have like, dozens of partial post ideas, but my brain is still a little frazzled and AHHHHH!!!! from everything I have going on behind the scenes here in Shannon-land, so I'm having a hard time turning it into a coherent post.

3. Which of course led to the great OMG-I've-Forgotten-How-To-Blog! FreakOut of 2011, complete with lots of dramatic sighs and pouting and whimpering and the like.

4. I'll let you decide if I'm kidding. ;)

5. After I recovered, I realized I could cheat by blogging about how hard it is to blog. (Genius, no?) So that covered today. Tomorrow though...

6. While I'm confessing things, I should also admit I'm tempted to simply upload a ton of hunky celebrity photos and call it a blog post. I never mind an excuse to google Jared Leto...

7. Ohhh... or maybe I should google Ian Sommerhalder while I'm at it....

8. Sorry...what was I saying?

9. I've completely forgotten. Something about sucking at blogging.

10. Which, clearly I don't need to tell you, if you've made it this far. Anyone still there? *taps screen*

So yeah--not my most compelling post. But I promise I will TRY to regroup. Or ... find more smexy celebrities. (Ooo--or maybe some LOLcats! *races off to icanhazcheeseburger!*)

*Phew*--those were some pretty shameful confessions. What about you guys, anything you want to confess today? Share away in the comments!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: The Medusa Plot--and an ARC GIVEAWAY!!!

Okay, after a couple of crazy weeks, here's hoping MMGM is back on track! 

Thank you SO much to those of you who posted when I didn't--and HUGE thanks to all of you who support middle grade on your blogs. You guys are too awesome for words! Which is why I wanted to reward you with what *I* think is a pretty exciting contest this week.

I've gushed and raved about THE 39 CLUES series before (you can find my previous feature HERE), so I'm sure you can imagine my excitement when they announced that the series would continue even after the 39 clues were solved. Which is why I pretty much fangirl squealed at the Scholastic booth at ALA when I saw they had ARCs of the first book in the new series. Behold, book 1 of Cahills vs. Vespers: THE MEDUSA PLOT, by Gordon Korman.


Here's how they've decided to tease you with it:

Are you ready to save the world? The bestselling series returns with an adventure spanning 6 explosive books, 2 secret-filled card packs, and a website that places readers right in the action.

Thirteen-year-old Dan Cahill and his older sister, Amy, thought they belonged to the world's most powerful family. They thought the hunt for 39 Clues leading to the source of that power was over. They even thought they'd won. But Amy and Dan were wrong.

One by one, distress calls start coming in from around the globe. Cahills are being kidnapped by a shadowy group known only as the Vespers. Now Amy and Dan have only days to fulfill a bizarre ransom request or their captured friends will start dying. Amy and Dan don't know what the Vespers want or how to stop them. Only one thing is clear. The Vespers are playing to win, and if they get their hands on the Clues . . . the world will be their next hostage.

And since I don't want to give anything away, I'll simply say this: I was NOT disappointed. I knew I wouldn't be, since Gordon Korman penned several books in the original series. But I suppose there had been a tiny, nagging doubt in the back of my mind going: what if it's not as good as the first series? Yeah--no need to worry. The new series is off to a great start. I can't wait for the next one.


Now, the rest of the world has to wait until August 30th to dive back into Dan and Amy's world. But one of you guys won't have to. I'm giving away my ARC to one lucky commenter on this post--even though I so don't want to.


To enter, simply follow my blog and leave a comment by 11:59 pm PDT on Saturday, July 16th. I'll draw one random winner and post their name on Sunday, July 17th. International entries--as always--are welcome.

For more fabulous Middle Grade recommendations, check out what these awesome bloggers are featuring today:

-Barbara Watson continues her special MMGMM summer series by spotlighting SPARROW ROAD. Click HERE to read her review.


-Chelanne Greene makes her MMGM debut with a feature on A TALE OF TWO CASTLES. Click HERE to welcome her to the gang! 


-Pam Torres is featuring JUNONIA. Click HERE to see what she thinks. 


-Anita Miller is spotlighting THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY. Click HERE to learn more about this fabulous read!


-Deb Marshall has an interview with Leslie Carmichael--and a GIVEAWAY. Click HERE for all the details!


-The lovely Shannon O'Donnell (aka #2) always has fabulous MG love going on at her blog on Mondays. Click HERE to see what she has going on today.


And if you've done a MMGM on your blog and would like me to link you, send me an email and I will update this post.

Happy Monday!

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Friday Five--Totally Random Exciting Things Edition

Really quick, really random post today (sorry guys--been a crazy, CRAZY week!). In fact, I wasn't planning to post at all, but I had a winner to announce and some random things to tell you and celebrate and...yeah, it had to be writtern. Okay--here we go!

1) HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to the fabulous Natalie Whipple for selling not one, but TWO books! I find it hard to believe that you guys haven't already congratulated her--but if SOMEHOW you missed it, go HERE to join the celebration (and hey--she has a contest!) Oh, and Natalie--if you see this: HUGS! So happy for you. And so happy I can celebrate publicly with you now!

2) One of the questions I get ALL THE TIME is: how do I find critique partners? Well--WriteOnCon is helping you with that. Go HERE and find special forums and a matchmaking system to pair you with the CP of your dreams. Don't be shy. The forums will be open for a while, so there will be plenty of time to make sure you find people who "get you"

3) Speaking of WriteOnCon--we haz news. And no, it's NOT what you're expecting. A vlog is in the works (yes--more Shannon Shame. *sigh*) and an announcement will be taking place next week and EPICNESS will surely follow. Be excited guys. And in the meantime--don't hate me for being such a tease! (Well...you can hate me a little. I am rather enjoying leaving you in suspense)

4) I'm off to San Diego this weekend to celebrate my 7-year wedding anniversary (SEVEN years??? Where has the time gone????) and I will be *trying* to unplug as much as possible (though we all know I'm so going to hop on FB and Twitter occasionally. It's a sickness the hubs has learned to accept by now). So if you are waiting on an email from me--sorry, there will be a tiny bit more of a delay. But I WILL get back to you--I promise!

5) Last but not least--the FOREVER winner. Lots and lots of entries for this--and I seriously wish I could have given one to all of you. But I only have the one so...

*drumroll please*

The winner is...


Yay!

*tosses sparkles*

If that's you--PLEASE email me with your mailing address at packratx (at) hotmail (dot) com and I promise I will ship out your prize first thing next week. 

For everyone else, have a wonderful, WONDERFUL weekend, and I promise I will have more awesome contests next week!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Thank You For Your Patience Giveaway!

I'm officially slammed with deadlines and a WriteOnCon live event and email backlog and packing to go out of town again (this time not work related--yay!) and just general AHHHHHH!!!!! So I probably won't be blogging much this week.

I feel like a broken record for saying that because I've been gone so much recently, thanks to ALA. (I'm really starting to miss you guys--and I can't wait to get back in the habit and catch up with you all.) But I'm hoping you'll bear with me for one more week while I battle to get things back to normal. And I wanted to reward you guys for sticking by me, so I decided a contest was in order. So I hereby launch: The Thank You For Patience Giveaway!

I picked up a LOT of ARCs at ALA--most of which are still on their way to me via UPS (stupid holiday mail schedule!!!!). But I carried a few of the most precious ones home in my suitcase, and--even though it kinda kills me to do it--I wanted the prize to be something extra special.  So I'm giving away *sniffles*  my ARC of a HIGHLY anticipated book *cries* coming out very soon. Maybe you've heard of it:


Yep--I'm parting with FOREVER, by the ever-awesome Maggie Stiefvater (who will be chatting with WriteOnCon tomorrow--have you marked your calendars?) THAT'S how much I love you guys.

And just in case you somehow don't know about Maggie's amazing books, here's the blurb for FOREVER:

The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie Stievater

In Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they fought to be together. Now, in FOREVER, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.


Yeah--you know you want to read it. In fact, I know this is a book you're probably all DYING to get your hands on, so I'm going to make this a quick contest, so I can draw the winner before I head out of town.

To enter, make sure you follow my blog and leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm PDT on Thursday, July 7th. I'll draw one random winner and post their name on Friday July 8th. International entries welcome. And if you're desperate for this prize and want more chances to win, I'm willing to give out one additional entry if you tweet, blog, or post on Facebook about this contest (so if you do all three, that would mean you'd have a maximum of 4 entries.) Just let me know what you did in the comments and I will tally your entries accordingly.

Ready?
Set?
GO!!!!

And make sure you come hang out with Maggie (and the rest of the fabulous Merry Sisters of Fate) at the WriteOnCon Live event tomorrow night at 9pm EDT!

Have a great week!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Yikes--forgot the winner again!

Sooooooooooooooooooooooooo sorry guys. Still struggling to catch up from being gone so I'm a little behind on a few things.

But...

*drumroll please*


The winner of THE TIME TRAVELERS is...


Yay!

*tosses confetti*

If that's you, please email me at packratx (at) hotmail (dot) com with your mailing address. 

For the rest of you, you *might* want to come back tomorrow. I have a contest I think a lot of you will be pretty excited about. ;)
See you then!

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Friday Five--The Catching Up Edition

Still struggling to catch up after being gone from ALA, so this post will probably be pretty random. But hey, it's a Friday Five--it's supposed to be random, right?

1) In case you missed it last week, the lovely Michelle Merrill was sweet enough to interview me on her blog. You can find my slightly rambly answers HERE if you want to check it out. 

2) I'm SOOOOOOOO excited about WriteOnCon's live event next week, with none other than the Merry Sisters of Fate. (Yes, that's right--we're hosting Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton and Brenna Yovanoff. Can you believe it???) Details on time and date can be found HERE.

3) I didn't have internet the entire time I was in NOLA, so I am SUPER behind on email. If you are waiting for a reply from me hang in there, I am getting to it--I promise!

4) My boxes of ARCs from ALA have started to arrive--and mans, I have an even better selection than I realized. Stay tuned for some EPIC contests as soon as I get organized.

5) And lastly, yesterday I discovered the power of Facebook to grant wishes. I posted about craving cupcakes and within hours THESE showed up at my front door:


Thank you Dustin Hansen
You seriously made my day.

(and for the record, next time I wish for something on Facebook, I'm going for cash) 

;)


How was everyone else's week? Did I miss anything exciting while I was gone?