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Sunday, December 16, 2012

SPLINTERED'S INTERNATIONAL RED CARPET EVENT!!!

 

Ello! My name is Jasper, and I'll be your guide on the fashion leg of the prelaunch event. Please don’t be frightened or confused by me and my bug-eyed friends. We might look like ordinary dragonflies, but we’re in fact an enchanted swarm who’ve been appointed to lead you through the crowds.

This way, up the stairs towards the red carpet. Do be careful where you tread. There are many Wonderland creatures in attendance, some smaller than a breadbox.

Mad Hatter himself is making a go of manning the camera. Sadly, he’s one of the vertically challenged, which resulted in this cropped image of Alyssa, the punk rock sweetheart of SPLINTERED’s twisted fairy tale, going up the stairs some twenty minutes ago.


We assure you, in spite of how many times she heard the phrase “off with your head” whilst in Wonderland, she managed to make it to the event with hers intact.

As for the fellows of SPLINTERED, Hatter snapped a brilliant shot of Jebediah’s boots:


…and what we’re assuming is one of Morpheus’s wings silhouetted across the evening sun:


But to keep things visually accurate, one of our human assistants Googled the boys’ outfits and found online facsimiles for you:

Jebediah

Morpheus

Although they have different tastes in fashion, these handsome gents share similar taste in ladies, as each has set his sights on the fair Alyssa.

Now, let’s stop here next to the buffet table. The in-studio announcer is about to do her introductions of the boys. Then you'll be off to the interviews where you can decide which "suitor" is best "suited" for the skater-girl who rolled her way into Wonderland’s heart.

And don’t mind us if we disappear for a bit . . . we’re off to eat the appetizers, before they have a chance to eat you!

****

Welcome, welcome, friends and fiends, to a red-carpet event like no other! I’m A.M. Supinger—in-studio announcer—and it’s my pleasure to be the first to tempt you down a rabbit hole even Lewis Carroll couldn’t dream up. (Beware the Hors d'oeuvres—they bite back!)

A.G. Howard’s SPLINTERED is a dark and mysterious Wonderland adventure, but it’s her juicy heartthrobs stealing the spotlight tonight!

First up is Jeb, Alyssa’s long-time friend and crush—an artist with a soldier’s heart. He jumps into this adventure without hesitation and puts himself in harm’s way time and again to protect Alyssa from Wonderland’s worst creatures. But he doesn’t come without baggage, including the tortured past he left up in the human world, and the buffer of brotherly affection he’s always used to keep Alyssa at arm’s length.
 
Then there’s Morpheus, a Wonderland staple Carroll depicted as a hookah-smoking caterpillar. Nothing could be further from the truth, which Alyssa discovered as a child. But their youthful friendship evolves into something wild and magnetic in the untamed chaos of Wonderland. Only Jeb is immune to Morpheus’s charm, and he instills doubt in Alyssa as to whether or not Morpheus is friend or foe.
 
Before these two drool-worthy hunks run off into the crowd in search of Alyssa, Bethany Crandell and Jessica Nelson—our on-site red carpet reporters—are going to help us determine whose team jersey we’ll wear in 2013 with a blog-hopping interview. Personally, I can’t wait to see which hottie comes out on top, and which is served leftover soup…

Ladies, you have the floor!

For Jeb’s interview and the INTERNATIONAL OUTLANDISH GIVEAWAYS, head over to Bethany Crandell’s place.

For Morpheus’s interview and the INTERNATIONAL OUTLANDISH GIVEAWAYS, hop over to Jessica Nelson’s blog.

ALSO, a hearty round of cyber-applause for the following contributors who made this virtual prelaunch party possible...

****

Red Carpet Attributions:

Thanks to A.M. Supinger, Bethany Crandell, and Jessica Nelson for being extraordinary and entertaining MCs!

Thank you to Kalen O’Donnell for the spectacular Red Carpet Event banner and artwork!

And last but never-ever least, special thanks and gratitude to the following book-reviewers/bloggers/authors who fashioned the amazing list of questions for our guys:


 

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Sixth Day of Splintered Blog Tour: Wonderland fashion

If you're here for the sixth stop of the Splintered blog tour, it is now posted at its original listing: ReadingTeen (apologies for the confusion!).  Hop over for a glimpse at Wonderland parties and fashion, and enter the raffle copter for a chance to win one of 12 Splintered hardbacks, courtesy of Abrams!

And so you won't feel like your trip here today was a waste of time, here are two FREE interactive Splintered activities for you, if you like that sort of thing:

  • Check out the pinterest Splintered Book board to get ideas for your own Wonderland/Splintered themed party.

  • Hop over to the Splintered casting poll to learn more about the characters and choose which actors are perfect for the roles.

Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy the tour!

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Twelve Days of Splintered...

 
Sponsored by Amulet and coordinated by Gabrielle Carolina at The Modge Podge Bookshelf.
 
I can't believe there's less than two weeks until my debut YA novel, Splintered, hits the shelves. WOW. It's gone by so fast!
 
Celebrate with us by visiting the official virtual book tour. You'll find sneak peeks of Splintered's Wonderland settings, fashions, food, and parties, all tied to a Christmas theme.

There are Splintered and Wonderland freebies galore to be won along the way, so don't miss a single stop!

1. Mr. Dodo's House @ I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
2. Ivory Queen's Castle @ Reading Angel
3. The Red Queen's Castle @ Krazy Book Lady
4. Christmas Tea Party @ Katie's Book Blog
5. Gifts in Wonderland @ Icey Books
6. Wonderland Fashion @ ReadingTeen
7. The Ocean of Tears & The Zombie Flower Forrest @ The Mod Podge Bookshelf
8. Wonderland's Historic Library @ Book Hounds YA
9. Wonderland's Secrets @ Mundie Moms
10. The Spritelings @ Pages From My Thoughts
11. Butterfly Threads @ Jennifer Daiker
10. Visiting Hour at the Asylum @ Crossroad Reviews


Friday, November 30, 2012

The Summer I Became A Nerd **Cover Reveal**

One of my wonderful writer pals is unveiling her book cover of awesome today, and I get to help show it off! YAY!

 First, let's find out who the author is:


Born and raised in northern Louisiana, Leah Rae Miller still lives there on a windy hill with her husband and kids. She loves comic books, lava lamps, fuzzy socks, and Cherry Coke. She spends most of her days reading things she likes and writing things she hopes other people will like.
Stalk the author online:





Next, let's find out what the book's about:

On the outside, seventeen-year-old Madelyne Summers looks like your typical blond cheerleader—perky, popular, and dating the star quarterback. But inside, Maddie spends more time agonizing over what will happen in the next issue of her favorite comic book than planning pep rallies with her squad. That she’s a nerd hiding in a popular girl's body isn’t just unknown, it's anti-known. And she needs to keep it that way.

 
Summer is the only time Maddie lets her real self out to play, but when she slips up and the adorkable guy behind the local comic shop’s counter uncovers her secret, she’s busted. Before she can shake a pom-pom, Maddie’s whisked into Logan’s world of comic conventions, live-action role-playing, and first-person-shooter video games. And she loves it. But the more she denies who she really is, the deeper her lies become…and the more she risks losing Logan forever.


Personally, I can't WAIT to meet adorkable Logan!


And TA-DAH! Here's the AMAZING cover from the artistic wizards at Entangled Teen:
 
 
 
 
Congrats Leah! Can't wait to read this!

Want to put it on your GoodReads' shelf? Go here.

But, if you're like me and can't wait to pre-order the book, go here:
 
 
 
In the weeks leading up to THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD's release on May 7, 2013, there will be a Marked-to-Read contest on Goodreads. Watch Leah’s site for details on how to submit/enter to win.

Thanks for stopping by!

 
 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Christmas in Wonderland...

 
 
A quick heads up: Christmas in Wonderland, Splintered's official virtual book tour, is almost here! We’re not just doing author and character interviews, we're going to spotlight several of the unique "landscapes" Wonderland possesses. We’ll have posts, contests, and images tailored for each stop.

Christmas in Wonderland will be a tour through Splintered's Wonderland settings, fashions, food, and parties, all tied to a Christmas theme.

On top of having a few small giveaways along the way, there will be a big giveaway at the end of the tour. Here's a sneak peek at the posts and the gracious blogs who are hosting:

12/3 Mr. Dodo's House @ I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
12/4 Ivory Queen's Castle @ Reading Angel
12/5 The Red Queen's Castle @ Krazy Book Lady
12/6 Christmas Tea Party @ Katie's Book Blog
12/7 Gifts in Wonderland @ Icey Books
12/10 Wonderland Fashion @ ReadingTeen
12/11 The Ocean of Tears & The Zombie Flower Forrest @ The Mod Podge Bookshelf
12/12 Wonderland's Historic Library @ Book Hounds YA
12/13 Wonderland's Secrets @ Mundie Moms
12/14 The Spritelings @ Pages From My Thoughts
12/17 Butterfly Threads @ Jennifer Daiker
12/18 Visiting Hour at the Asylum @ Crossroad Reviews
 
 
The smaller prizes include some very UNIQUE Splintered related merchandise:

Fairy captured in a jar ... miniature bird cage ... a flocked flamingo ornament ... glass heart ... vintage chess pieces ... Wonderland recipe journal ... and the list goes on.

So be sure to join us for the official Amulet Splintered Virtual Tour ***Christmas in Wonderland: The Twelve Days of Splintered*** coordinated by the lovely and talented
Gabrielle Carolina at The Modge Podge Bookshelf.
 
 
Let the holiday madness begin!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

November *Unlock the Creativity* Giveaway -- 10 Signed ARCs!!!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/stampendous/6798975962/
 
For the November "Unlock the Secrets to Splintered" event, my amazing and generous publisher is giving away TEN signed Splintered ARCs!!!  (limited toUS and CANADA residents)

I'm as surprised and giddy as anyone, and couldn't wait to announce it here! To be in the running, you must have a pinterest account. If you qualify, hop over here for da RULES.

Also, for those of you who don't have a pinterest account and don't want one, never fear! There are other chances coming up in December for anyone to win. The upcoming prizes include some very UNIQUE Splintered related merchandise:

Fairy captured in a jar ... miniature bird cage ... set of flocked flamingos ... glass heart ... vintage chess pieces ... Wonderland recipe journal ... and the list goes on.

These prizes will be up for grabs during the official Amulet Splintered Virtual Tour ***Christmas in Wonderland: The Twelve Days of Splintered*** coordinated by Gabrielle Carolina at The Modge Podge Bookshelf. Other prizes will be offered during a special Red Carpet New Year's Eve event hosted by two of my dearest blogger pals, Jessica Nelson at Booking It and Bethany Crandell at Rookie Riter.

More info is forthcoming, so keep your eyeballs on the blog!

Until then, have a wonderful November. (◕‿◕)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

WINNERS!!!


The winners of the Unlock the Secrets to Splintered giveaway are now posted over at my Contests and Giveaways page. Thank you everyone who participated!

And stay tuned; if you didn't win this time, there are lots more chances to come!

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Some *FRIGHTFUL* Halloween fun...

 
 
If you're into free books, Halloween festivities, and hanging out with readers and authors galore, be sure to stop over at WinterHaven Books' *Authors Fright Festival* on October 31st.
 
There's an awesome line up of over 40 authors, a huge giveaway, and creepy fun to be had by all!!!
 
Hope to see you there, you mad little punkins. ;)
 
P.S. Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Splintered Secrets Revealed = BIG PRIZES for you!

It's been too long since I've had a giveaway of MAD proportions, and I've decided the month of October, with all of its ghoulish glories, is the perfect time to have one. 
 
So welcome to my Unlock the Secrets to Splintered Giveaway! (And yes, it's International!)
 
 
Maybe some of you have seen the Splintered ARC and key necklace images floating around twitter and on book reviewer blogs?
 

Well, those tags on the necklaces direct recipients to visit this link, my publisher's official landing page for our Unlock the Secrets to Splintered campaign.

Here are the five steps to unlocking Splintered:

  • September: Unlock the Music...
  • October: Unlock the Madness Within...
  • November: Unlock Creativity...
  • December: Unlock Chrismakkuh...
  • January: Unlock Alyssa's Wonderland...

At the first of each month, a virtual key will be provided on the landing page, opening up one secret. September and October are already opened, so be sure to stop by and check out those mysteries.

Also, be sure to visit the landing page often and pay close attention, because there will be some big giveaways in the upcoming months, along with some frabjous interactive activities.

Here's just a sample of what's up for grabs in the not-so-distant future:

10 SIGNED Splintered advanced reading copies, an abundance of Splintered and Alice swaggery (including jewelry, posters, playing cards, assorted Alice books, and the list goes on...), 10 SIGNED Splintered hardbacks.


BUT, let's talk about what's up for grabs in *today's* giveaway.


1. First Place: 5-first place winners will receive a SIGNED Splintered ARC.


2. Second Place: 1-second place winner will receive: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: "Open Me for Curiouser and Curiouser Surprises" with illustrations by Harriet Castor.

 
This book is gorgeous! And here are just a few of the extra features that set it apart from the pack:

  • A pull-tab that makes Alice grow and grow
  • A pop-up courtroom scene
  • Doors on flaps that open to show an assortment of curious objects
  • A special tab that makes the Cheshire Cat magically disappear
  • An attached Mushroom Booklet that helps Alice return to normal size
 
3. Third Place: 1-third place winner gets to choose one of these pictures from my fan art page, printed with a matching excerpt from the book. (No worries, each of the pictures were given to me by the artists to use as I please--thank you lovelies!). Click on the pictures to enlarge.

By Riley Redgate

By Amy Hitt
 

4. Fourth Place: 3-fourth place winners will receieve assorted Splintered swag including: Signed bookmarks, funky and colorful Alice gift tags, and signed bookplates.

 
 
5. Fifth Place: 5-fifth place winners will receive a Splintered secret key necklace.
 
 
 
That's a grand total of FIFTEEN winners! I hope you'll be one!
 
The giveaway will last for the entire month of October, starting today until Halloween.

**HOW TO ENTER, you ask? Hop over to my Contests and Giveaways page. There's a rafflecopter that will lead you through the steps to get entered.**
 
Good luck, and have a fun October! 
 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I want to be a spark plug...

Note: Despite the title and the picture below, today’s post is not about spark plugs.




But it IS a fitting analogy for an epiphany I had early on in my writer’s journey. And now it's really hitting home, since my debut, Splintered, is being offered to reviewers on netgalley and in hard copy ARC form. I'm starting to get reviews, be they positive or negative, and the spark plug analogy is keeping me sane.

Here’s the definition of a spark plug taken from Wikipedia: A spark plug is an electrical device that fits into the cylinder head of some internal combustion engines and ignites compressed aerosol gasoline by means of an electric spark.

In other words … it magically brings the engine to life. Vroom vroom. But there’s more than one kind of spark plug. So you have to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for choosing the right one to ensure it’s a good fit, or it won’t work. A bad fit means the spark won’t ignite, and there will be no vroom vroom.

A couple of years ago, when I was in the submission trenches with my first agent and my adult literary romance, we received feedback from an editor: I enjoyed the unique storyline and heroine, and I thought the author put a fresh twist on paranormal romance. But as I read, I just didn’t feel a strong emotional connection with the story, so it’s with sincere regret that I’m stepping aside.

I could whittle that entire explanation down into one phrase. No vroom vroom. I wasn’t the right fit for her, and there was no magical spark.

Ouch! That started me second guessing. Where did I go wrong? Why can’t I make everyone connect with my story? Surely, if my characters or storyline can’t capture every single reader’s affections, I have no hope of being a best seller or of winning a loyal fan base. Right?

Well, shortly thereafter I read a best-selling book at the time — one that I’d been chewing on for several weeks — and something clicked into place for me. The book had tons of sales, was well liked according to the majority of the reviews, and the publishers promoted it relentlessly (quite possibly the very reason why it had such great sales).

But upon closing that last page, I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Meh”. I mentally gave the book a 2 star rating out of 5. I liked the concept, and enjoyed the author’s writing style. But for some reason … and I could never put my finger on why … I didn’t connect emotionally with the MC. Actually, with any of the characters.

Yet I read that book front to back, just because the premise and writing style drew me in and held my attention. So I guess there’s hope; even without the vroom, sometimes people are willing to shift it into neutral and push on to the end of the road, if only to take in the scenery.

Some readers may not like my fantasy worlds or my plots, or they may not like my characters for their decisions or actions. My characters are flawed and human; sometimes they make mistakes, or don't think things through and act impulsively like real people do. If I write them in such a way to try to fit everyone's ideal, they become nothing more than cardboard cutouts. So, I have to stay true to my characters and my story, although it will mean losing some readers.


But even if someone doesn't like one element of my book, maybe they'll like another enough to read it to the very last line. That's an accomplishment in and of itself.


Maybe the science of writing isn’t quite as precise as the science of automobiles. But it occurred to me that subjectivity can be compared to finding the right spark plug (book) to fit the right engine (reader). Not everyone will love my stories, or my characters, or even my writing style. But all three WILL appeal to some and I will be a perfect fit for them. There’s just too many people with differing opinions and interests for it not to.

So, my hope now that my debut novel is finally getting read? That most readers will like at least one thing about it enough to push through to the end. But even more, I hope to be the spark plug some reader has been looking high and low for, that they'll connect to the story in everyway, and it will ignite their imagination.

And then: Vroom vroom … let the magic begin.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Something like a dream...

Last Thursday, it finally hit me. It's really happening. The dream that I fought so hard and so long for is at last within my grasp. Literally. ♥˘˘♥

Because my Splintered ARCs (advanced reader copies) came in the mail. And for the rest of that evening, I was *FLOATING*. Still am.

In fact, I can't seem to climb down off of this cloud ... might have something to do with how beautiful they are. See?




One thing that really struck me was what a unique marketing tool ARCs are. They're not just some unedited paperback version of the hardback. They have all kinds of juicy info on the inside and the outside to entice buyers for the book.

So, since I can't hand out an ARC to everyone to show you, I'll share a few of the details via pictures. First, the back cover:




Hopefully, the text is big enough that you can see the different sections.

  • First there's the blurb by a respected and already published author, to let buyers/readers know that fans of said author might like this newbie author's work, as well.
  • Then comes the book synopsis with a hook that will hopefully make buyers and readers equally excited to invest time and/or money into the story.
  • After that comes the marketing information. In other words, what the publisher is doing to get exposure for the author and the book, and in turn, helping to make the buyer's job to sell books easier.
  • Book specifications follow, such as numbers of pages, price, ISBN, age recs, etc...
  • The Publisher's insignia and address, and the distributor information for anyone interested in ordering.

So basically, the outside is like a really elaborate business card. :)


The inside offers a preview of the finished layout. Chapter fonts, text fonts, designs, pictures, etc... are all on display. No holds barred, this is the time to display everything the book has to offer aesthetically, like a peacock spreading out those tail feathers to get the attention of his mate. And let me tell you, Splintered has some very pretty tail feathers (thanks to Amulet's design team for their artistic talent and foresight!). 



ARC picture collage by Gabrielle Carolina




So, there's a quick peek at the ins and outs of ARCs. Congrats to those of you who've already won a Splintered ARC in one of my contests. To those of you who haven't, I'll be having one more contest for one, so be watching!

Hope everyone has a great week! As for me? I'm going back to hugging my book. See you soon! :)


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Flight of Blue Virtual BookTour!!!



Welcome to the tour! I'd like to introduce my literary doppelganger, A.E. Howard. If you think our writing names are almost identical (what can I say, she has great taste!) you should see her twitter hastag: @aehowardwrites. But I assure you, we are two separate people. For one thing, A.E.'s fantasy debut is being launched today, whereas mine still has another 160 some days to go.

Need more proof? Here's a peek at A.E. and her lovely novel, Flight of Blue, published by Elder Tree Books:



Here's the trailer:




And a quick summary of the book:

A cursed traffic light. A rip in the fabric of the world. A possum sorcerer injured on a quest for revenge.

Kai and Ellie embark on a journey to return the sorcerer to his home. Entangled in events that could destroy the world, Kai must choose whether to accept the role he was born to play, but isn’t sure he wants.


A possum sorcerer? I'm so there!

Flight of Blue has been taking a virtual tour around the web, and I'm honored to be one of the stops.

To help celebrate, A. E. brought along her main character so we could get to know him. He's agreed to do an interview, so without furuther adieu, I give you Kai.

AGH: "Hello, Kai, and thank you for being here today."

Kai: "Sure. You’re welcome."

AGH: "Okay, let's start off with an easy question. How old are you?"

Kai: "I turned 12 on October 3rd."

AGH: "Wow. Impressive! When I was twelve, I was playing with my guinea pigs, not battling dark magic to save the world. You seem very strong for your age. What would you say your biggest strengths are?"

Kai: "Strengths. Well, before all this stuff happened, I think, you know, hiking and football. Oh, and video games. I’m pretty good at that. But since all this stuff happened, I guess I realized that I have more. I stick with my friends no matter what, even if that gets me into dangerous spots, and, well, I’ll do what needs doing, even if it’s scary. So I guess you could say those are strengths."

AGH: "Nice ... but to really know a person, we have to understand their flaws. So, what do you think your weaknesses are?"

Kai: "Oh, that’s easy. Especially in the middle of everything that happened last fall, I got whiny, and, like, jealous that I didn’t have abilities that were as cool as some of my friends. And I guess I really didn’t like the whole "Keeper of the Keys" role, I mean, it’s a big deal, and I was like, "why me?" But I’m cool with it now, I mean, someone has to do something about all this Realm of Darkness stuff, and I’d rather help than not know what was going on, you know what I mean?"

AGH: "Yeah, I get what you're saying. So ... heavy question now ... you ready?"

Kai: Grins. "Sure."

AGH: "I should've known I couldn't spook you. Tell me, what do you think is worth dying for?"

Kai: "Woah, okay, so that’s pretty heavy. But not hard. My parents, my friends. I mean, I’d rather not die period, but if it came down to it."

AGH: "Awesome. In the events that A.E. Howard recorded in Flight of Blue, you ended up sort of thrust into a leadership role. Do you see yourself as more a leader or a follower?"

Kai: "Oh, well, not really either of them, I guess. Before last fall anyway, I just sort of did my own thing. But I mean, after everything that happened, I did end up leading. But it wasn’t really by choice."

AGH: "So you tried to avoid being the leader? Why?"

Kai: "Yeah, I mean, I didn’t want to have to be responsible for everyone else when I didn’t even know what the heck I was doing. It all happened so fast. One day, I’m just a normal kid, and then bang, this possum dude talks to me, and the whole world changes. It’s pretty weird still."

AGH: "Well, I'd say you've done a great job of taking things in stride. Speaking of, after everything that’s happened, what do you see in your future?"

Kai: "Anna, sorry, A.E. Howard, has strictly forbidden me from talking about the events she recorded after Flight of Blue, cause like, those books haven’t come out yet and all."

AGH: "Ah. Gotcha. How about a safe question to end with? Let’s see... what’s your favorite food?"

Kai: "Food."

AGH: "Yes. What’s your favorite?"

Kai: "No, that is my favorite. I’m a twelve-year-old boy, I like food."

AGH: "Haha! Great answer, and great interview. Thanks for being here today!"

Kai: "Thanks for having me."

*****


To learn more about Kai and his adventures, and to see the book tour schedule, please follow these links:

Book Tour Schedule (also includes author interviews, sneak previews, and more on the making of Flight of Blue.)

Also, to kick off this tour, A.E. has generously arranged a giveaway (enter with rafflecopter below):

  • Grand Prize: 1 t-shirt (Design Chosen by Winner)
  • First Prize: Autographed paperback of Flight of Blue (1 available)
  • Second Prize: Lucinarium Button (5 available)
  • Third Prize: Autographed Custom Bookmark, printed on art paper (10 available)

For pictures of the prizes, click this link.

Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to follow Flight of Blue as it makes it's way from the shelves and  into the hands of eager readers everywhere!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, July 20, 2012

It's ALIVE!

Oh frabjous day, my new website is alive and kicking!

If you were wondering why I've been so quiet in the blogasphere and on twitter lately, it's because I was doing something akin to this:




Okay, no lightning was involved, but it took some major electrical voltage to carry me through the wee hours of the night while designing banners and adding text (we won't even mention my intake of caffeine). Heh

But it was worth the drowsy-hazed days and neglected teddy bear (he' still not speaking to me), because I now have a finished creation: simple, functional, and morbidly pretty. All the things I love in a monster, er, website.

Special thanks to Itkupilli, a Finnish artist and designer who offers free blog banners and backgrounds. You can find the "Free Backgrounds and Other Stuff" button on my blog's sidebar if you'd like to check out the artwork for yourself. One of those lovely free banners provided the perfect foundation for my website/blog's theme.

Also, thanks to my wonderful husband, the real mad scientist behind this project, who brought life to my index page, a Gothic Victorian storefront with blinking candlelight. If you'd like a peek at that, hop over here: www.aghoward.com.

Now, the only thing that makes me happier than this sense of accomplishment is knowing I get to celebrate with you!

And celebrate, we shall. Wonderland style, of course.

Welcome to the...


(Yes, that's me in the red wig. Not the best look, I'll admit,
but I'm thinking I could give Ronald McDonald a run for his money.)


Oh, and best news of all? This contest is INTERNATIONAL, yo!


Now, let's check out what's up for grabs.

  • 1st Place Prize: A hot off the press signed Splintered ARC



  • 2nd Place Prize: Signed 18X24" Splintered Poster



  • 3rd Place Prize: Signed title page from an original Splintered galley



  • 4th Place Prize:  Assorted Splintered / Alice swag, all signed




  • 5th Place Prize: Choice between ONE of these fab YA books:



  • 6th Place Prize: Set of 5 Alice in Wonderland Mini Book Charms  



  • Two super Awesome BONUS Prizes: A query critique by the fabulous Jenny Bent and also one by the fantastic Molly Ker Hawn from The Bent Agency (Please note: Ms. Ker Hawn only takes YA or MG queries, and due to time constraints, her critique will get back to the winner sometime in early September). 



A couple of notes about the prizes: There's something very special about the galley title page, a secret about the book's formatting that has been kept under wraps. Also, about the BONUS prizes, since there are two crits, that means two lucky writers will get the inside track into what an agent likes to see in their inbox.

Now, how do you get a hold of these wonderful prizes? Use my new website linkies at the top of my sidebar. Go to the "Contests and Giveaways" page, and find out how to get your name in the drawing.

See you over there, my little madlings!


Monday, July 9, 2012

Off with your heads!

Oh, wait, wrong expression. I meant, "Heads up!" Heh.

A few quick public announcements:

1. FERAL SPLINTERED SWAG ON THE LOOSE: If anyone reading this won a Splintered button in a previous contest/giveaway and never received it, please email me (using my contact info) and I'll see that you get it. I have a friend who works at my local post office and he found one of my buttons in a mail sorting machine. Apparently, the sneaky devil escaped its confinement and rolled far, far away from any envelope or package that could tell us where its destination was. GAH! If the button was meant to belong to you, I will tame it, bind it, and send it on its merry way (the little naughty).


  
2. AESTHETIC UPHEAVAL IN THE LAND OF MADNESS: By this coming weekend, I'm planning to start changing the formatting here in the land of madness in order to make it website worthy. So don't be afraid if you pop over and see mismatched backgrounds, experimental banners, and runaway text. It's just like when you rennovate your home, you have to make a mess before the beauty can shine through. So please bear with me and be patient, I'm hoping we'll all be happy with the end result. :)

3. LOCAL AUTHORS PROVE ADEPT AT NAVIGATING ROCKY TERRAIN: I am so proud of all of my author/blogger pals, but two of them went through the wringer during their writing journey and could've turned their back on their dreams. Instead, they chose to follow the Galaxy Quest code of honor (demonstrated in this short video):


Due to their unrelenting faith and their refusal to ever give up the fight, those pals both now have amazing things to celebrate. Want to share in their accomplishments? Hop over to their little galaxies here in the blogasphere and read their stories, and don't forget to pat their backs for a quest well done:


Congrats, my lovelies! I tip my Mad Hatter's cap and raise a tea cup to you both. May your futures bring many happy sales and book signings!

Everyone else, thanks for stopping by, have a great week, and I'll see you soon(ish)!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Happy Fourth of July!



I know it's a bit early, but I'm going to be on internet haitus for a week to spend some time with the family. So everyone have a wonderful week and a ҉‿↗Happy Fourth of July҉‿↗.

I'll see you soon!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Want to read Splintered before anyone else?

Well, at least before most anyone elses. (◕‿-)

The lovely and generous Krazy Book Lady is sponsoring a Splintered ARC blog hop over at her place. It's as easy as signing up. Just follow the link above for info and rules. One caveat: Bloggers must live in the US due to the high shipping costs and the long turn around time.

For a teaser, here's an excerpt of Splintered at the moment Alyssa discovers the magical looking glass, the answer to her future and her sanity:


“Want it with all your heart.” The command swims in my head, so quiet it’s an echo from my past. “Then step inside.”

Trembling, I step forward and let both of my hands sink into the liquid glass up to my elbows. On the other side, a cool breeze meets my arms. Someone strokes me, from my elbow down to the wrist . . . fingertips so soft and knowing, they light a firestorm inside my veins.

It’s a touch I already know, yet so different now. No longer innocent and calming.

When I look into the portal, my gloved hands appear in the landscape beyond, casting shadows on the grass next to the guy’s winged silhouette.

Before I can see him clearly, he’s gone.

I hesitate and think of Jeb. It’s almost as if I hear his voice calling out for me from somewhere far away. I wish he was here, right now, stepping in with me.

But I can’t look back. As deranged as it seems, that guy in the mirror is the answer to everything in my past. This is my one chance to find Wonderland, to cleanse the Liddell bloodline of this curse, and to save Alison. If I can do this, I can finally be normal.

Maybe normal enough to tell Jeb the way I really feel about things.
 
Taking a breath, I plunge.

Here's a black and white rendition of the winged silhouette who's luring Alyssa within, sketched by my very talented pal, Riley, from In the Jungle.


There's also a third player mentioned in the excerpt: Alyssa's best friend/secret crush, Jebediah Holt. If I were casting him for a movie, my first choice would be Ethan Peck:

http://www.mostbeautifulman.com/actors/EthanPeck/bio.shtml

If you'd like to learn more about my three main characters, sign up for the ARC tour!

Thanks for stopping by. Time for me to get back to my internet hiatus and work on my website. :) See you soon!


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cue the White Rabbit...



Yes, I'm racing against the clock today! Seems like I'm doing a lot of that, lately.

When I look back, I realize I was pitted against the clock for years while trying to get published. Interestingly, I never realized how long it took me until I finally got there. That's because I wasn't watching every second tick away like I am now. And I think maybe that saved me.

I promised a peek into my publishing jouney last week, for those of you out there still racing Father Time to get your novel written, an agent to take notice, or a publisher to sign you. I'm hoping that by seeing how much time and how many books it took me, you will be encouraged, your determination renewed, and you'll move forward without ever looking back. Because the best way to embrace your future is to leave the past behind and stop looking at that blasted clock. ;)

My Publishing Timeline:

• March 2006 started querying my first novel. After 100 or more rejections, trunked it and wrote two more books.



• July 2007, started querying my third novel and worked on the forth one while it was out.

• May 2008, signed w/my first agent on my fourth novel. She submitted the novel for one and a half years while I finished books five and six, which she turned down for being too fantastical.



• December 2010, left Agent One after she wanted me to take the fantasy out of my seventh book, Splintered, my YA Alice in Wonderland spinoff. Started querying new agents immediately.



• February 2011, signed with my present agent (aka, Agent Goddess) who loved the fantasy in Splintered.



• August 2011, went to auction and signed with Amulet.

Okay, you'll notice I left out one very important date. When did Agent G and I start sending out Splintered and how long did it take/how many passes did I get before I got my yes(es)? Sorry, that's top secret info, and will be revealed at a later date (I'll do a special post sometime after Splintered comes out relaying those deets)... Gotta have something to make you come back. :)

I also promised I'd have news today about some upcoming changes on my blog. Over the few weeks I'm going to be converting this blog into an author website. I've seen a lot of authors go this route lately, and yes, I could've hired someone to make a fancy website, but I like the freedom of changing / adding text and pictures as I'm so inspired, without having to wait for a busy web designer to do it for me. I can post news and appearances myself while they're still current and relevant.

Honestly, I guess it all boils down to me being a control freak. HEH.

So things will be quiet here for a bit, but you may be seeing gradual changes as the site falls into place. I'll have a different background and theme to better represent all of my writing.  And, I'll have a HUGE giveaway over here to celebrate once I'm done.

A signed Splintered 18x24" poster like this one will be up for grabs:

This one is mine, and hangs on my office wall. Pardon the glare from my camera's flash. ;)

Along with this 8-1/2 x 11" title page from one of my original galleys (also signed):


And of course some awesome Alice stuff and Splintered swag. So be sure and visit during my website's launching to get entered in the giveaway!

Changes are a brewin' here in the land of madness. Hope you'll stop by to be a part of them!