Sunday, December 22, 2013

Celebrating Christmas with an International Giveaway for signed Unhinged Hardbacks!

What better way to ring in Christmas, the New Year, and Unhinged's launch than a giveaway? So I'm giving away a chance for anyone anywhere to win one of two signed hardbacks. <3

Also, there are a few teasers and excerpts from Unhinged over at the post, for anyone who'd like a sneak peek into the book.

Hop over here for deets...

And Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a healthy, prosperous New Year to all!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Cover Reveal!!!

Guys, I'm SO EXCITED about this. My pal, Bethany Crandell, is debuting her YA contemporary novel, SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS, April 1st of 2014. And today is her cover reveal!

Here's a sneak peek:

Here is the synopsis of AWESOME:

Spoiled, Versace-clad Cricket Montgomery has seventeen years of pampering under her belt. So when her father decides to ship her off to a summer camp for disabled teens to help her learn some accountability, Cricket resigns herself to three weeks of "handicapped hell".

Her sentence takes a bearable turn as she discovers the humor and likeability of the campers and grows close to fellow counselors. Now, if she can just convince a certain Zac Efron look-alike with amazing blue eyes that she finally realizes there's life after Gucci, this summer could turn out to be the best she's ever had.

Summer on the Short Bus is a very non-P.C., contemporary YA with a lot of attitude, tons of laughs, and a little life lesson along the way.

Want to see the full cover and have a chance to #win a signed ARC? Hop over here for the official cover reveal!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Unhinged Hardbacks have arrived!

Yay! At long last, the hardbacks are here! For me, this means lots of drooling and petting and wasting hours staring longingly at the cover and design. 
For YOU this means a giveaway is forthcoming! Within the next few weeks I'll wrangle one up, and yes, it will be INTL.
Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Free Books!

Four months and counting till my amazing friend and equally amazing author, Bethany Crandell, will release her debut YA, SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS, through Running Press Kids (a division of the Perseus Book Group).

To celebrate, she’s having a FAB giveaway: FREE books and LOTS of swaggery. Click the link for deets…

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

30 Unhinged ARCs up for grabs!

Thanks to all of you, Splintered and I have made it into the final round for GoodReads Choice Debut Author! To show their appreciation, my publisher is giving away 30 Unhinged ARCs on GoodReads. (Domestic only)

If you still haven't voted and would like to, here's that link.

But, you don't need to vote for a chance to win an Unhinged ARC. Entering is easy-peasy; just go here!

For those of you who aren't domestic, stay tuned. I'll be having an INTL giveaway for a couple of Unhinged ARCs very soon...

Monday, November 11, 2013

Win 1 of 5 signed copies of Splintered!

My publisher is sponsoring a GoodReads' giveaway to celebrate my nomination for GoodReads Choice Debut Author!

If you'd like to vote for me and Splintered, here's that link.

But, you don't need to vote for a chance for a signed copy. Entering is easy-peasy; just go here!

Stay tuned, rumor has it there will also be some Unhinged ARCs up for grabs soon...

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Hebrew version of Splintered!

Since this is the first foreign version of Splintered that has strayed from the original cover art, I wanted to post it here.
Though my heart belongs to the original version, I think they did a great job picking the model. The girl's a good match for the one on the American cover. Also, the artist incorporated a lot of the same elements and threw in a few mushrooms for the AiW tie in. Oh, and there are sparkles and a clock! 
All in all, I think it's pretty and does a good job of incorporating some Wonderland elements. Most importantly, I'm so excited that kids in Israel will now have the chance to read the book.
I hope they enjoy the mad twisted story as much as I enjoyed writing it. :)
What are some of your favorite foreign book covers?

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Hundred: Fall of the Wents -- epic fantasy, at its best!

Today, I'm so honored to host an interview with the masterful and talented Jennifer Prescott, author of the newly released The Hundred: Fall of the Wents.

 If you love fantasy, especially epic and creature fantasy, you HAVE to get this book. I've already gushed about the amazingness of the story on GoodReads, so hop over here if you'd like to see my review.
Check out the synopsis and gorgeous cover:

Millions of years in the Earth’s future, humans have long vanished from the planet. Evolution has produced a host of wondrous and intelligent beings: shape-shifting Fantastic Grouts with globes of light atop their skulls; creatures descended from flowers; and massive swarms of bees that can bore perfect holes through metal or bone.
But some seek a way to bring the humans back into the world—a world filled with creatures like twelve-year-old Tully, a young, amphibious Eft who imagines humans as nothing more than old bones and fairy stories. When his beloved guardian is stolen by a menacing black shadow, Tully must embark on a journey to a cruel, northern land to save her and his entire species. In an adventure that blends time travel, magic, and science, Tully learns whom he can trust, and who will betray him—for the price of reawakening the Hundred.

You can buy the book as an eBook or paperback on Amazon here.

Now, let's hear the story behind the story...

1. Tell us about The Hundred.

The book was really inspired by the dire thought of human extinction. I had read A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson and was blown away by descriptions all the species that had ruled the planet once upon a time and then vanished, as if they had never been. In addition, I understood that we could be wiped out by one of many cataclysms in the future. Our time on this planet is fragile. And so I asked myself: What might a future planet look like without humans, and what if we mixed in some magic and time travel into that?

2. What sparked the idea for the book?

I had a really terrible fever a few years ago, such that I was almost hallucinating. I slept and dreamed. When I woke, I wrote down one sentence in my journal that became the seed for the entire book. Flipping through the journal several months later, I encountered that sentence and knew the book had to be written. That sentence was: “
What if there were a world in which it took three creatures (Ells, Efts, and Wents) to reproduce, rather than two?”

3. What compelled you to keep going?

My husband read the first 30 pages and told me he would divorce me if I didn't finish it. I’m not sure if he was kidding or not.

4. Are you afraid the book will get banned because it features creatures who don't reproduce, um, traditionally?

Of course! I urge you to send it to any knee-jerk zealots in your address book. They may find the prospect of creatures who reproduce through an intricate system of pollination to be repugnant and anti-American, and will get my book featured on talk shows. In reality, the way the Trilings carry on their species is about as asexual as it can get. The Trilings include Wents (flower-like creatures who bear the young), Efts (pollen generators who seed the young), and Ells (pollen carriers who distribute the pollen from Eft to Went). Pretty dirty, eh?

4. Why is the book so durned long? Don't young readers have short attention spans?

People underestimate the ability of kids, tweens, and teens (and adults, for that matter) to read and digest books that are not only long but complex. And The Hundred is challenging. It asks the reader to pay attention and to really think. Young adults who read it said that they liked how it made them ponder some serious questions. Kids are smart. I loved that TV show Lost, which made me ponder and wonder what was going on and what would happen next. Having questions is a good thing. Books like your own Splintered aren’t short, simple reads. People love to dive deep. And kids do and can, and they love it!

5. Will there be more after The Hundred?

My nine-year-old, an avid reader who read the book two years ago, used to ask me that question every night. I was at the time working on two other books concurrently, so I told him "soon." Soon is now "now." I have plans for a first book in the series which takes place, in time, before the events in The Hundred. A third book will take place after the events in The Hundred and will bring back Tully,  Aarvord, Copernicus, and other familiar characters. Completing the trilogy is a daunting task but, in a way, I feel as if all the books have already been written by my subconscious and are just waiting to hit the paper.

6. Why did you choose independent publishing?

I wanted to do things my own way, after much soul-searching. The book may have flaws, and I expect readers to point them out, but I put my whole heart into every page. Because in this marvelous age, no one has to ask permission from anyone to share their heart with the world. I am lucky to have wonderful and talented friends who designed the cover, edited and read, and typeset the book for me. I do know, however, the enormous effort that goes into producing a book. Traditional publishers earn their due! And I have many friends who chose the traditional route and have seen enormous success.

7. What authors inspired you?

Every author I've ever read, even the so-called claptrap ones. Everyone offers a piece from which you can learn. But my heroes are Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Philip Pullman. Even these brilliant writers aren't perfect. I was reading The Hobbit aloud to my three young boys and I thought, "Man, some parts of this are really repetitive and boring, but the language is so beautiful!" And they were mesmerized all the same. I don't always read YA and middle grade. My favorite writer of all time is Annie Dillard, who writes nonfiction—much about the natural world. I think everything informs you as a writer, especially the genres that are not your own.
Okay, now let's get to know Jennifer better!

***5 for Fun!***
1. How many hats do you have in your home?
I have an astounding amount of hats. I seem to collect them! I dislike having a cold head in the winter, and a jaunty hat can perk up one’s mood. I would estimate we have 56 hats within the house.

2.   What’s your favorite breakfast?
I don’t like traditional breakfast foods as things like pancakes and cereal don’t hold me at all; I crash from eating things like that. I would love a nice filet mignon as my ideal breakfast.

3.   Are you Team Dog or Team Cat?

I am Team Squirrel. They are so fecund that there are hundreds of them scampering about my lawn.

4.  What video games do you play?

My boys play incessant Minecraft, but I don’t play many video games myself. I do love a game called Fire Boy and Water Girl. You really have to think strategically in order to get both characters to safety. It’s like a game of Chess.

5.   When would you go to if you had a time machine, and why?

I think I’d have to choose millions of years in the Earth’s future, just to see if any of my sentient creations from The Hundred were there waiting for me!

Thank you, Jennifer! If you have any questions for our debut author, please feel free to leave a comment below. I know her pretty well (considering she's one of my fave peeps in this world) and I know she'd love to chat with you about her writing journey and this incredibly imagined book!

Want to stalk Jennifer online? Here's her haunts:

Unhinged Virtual Tour and some Frabjously Wonderful Prizes!

The Official Unhinged virtual book tour, coordinated by the fabulous ladies at Rockstar Book Tours, is underway for 12 days!

Here are the dates and links to the stops:

10/21/2013--Excerpt of The Moth in the Mirror: Pages From My Thoughts  (Domestic 12 ARC giveaway)          

10/22/2013--Alyssa's & Morpheus's twitter threads: Fiction Freak  (Domestic 12 ARC giveaway)              

10/23/2013--Excerpt of Unhinged: The White Unicorn (Domestic 12 ARC giveaway)          

10/24/2013--Halloween tea party ideas: Icey Books  (Contest: Have a character in book 3 named after you  INTL)          

10/25/2013--Thomas & Alison's fave romantic/scary reads: The Cover Contessa (Domestic 12 ARC giveaway)                 

10/26/2013--Graveyards: Book Hounds (Extra Giveaway INTL)

10/28/2013--Sound effects of Unhinged:  Reading Teen (Domestic 12 ARC giveaway)            

10/29/2013--Scariest Monster, Jeb vs Morpheus: Book Haven Extraordaire (Extra Giveaway INTL)

10/30/2013--Jenara and Alyssa talk scary movies: The Lifelong Bookworm (Domestic 12 ARC giveaway)                         

10/31/2013: Jenara, Al, & Jeb's Halloween memories: Two Chicks on Books (Extra Giveaway INTL)

11/1/2013--Morpheus's tips on entertaining netherlings: Fiktshun (Domestic 12 ARC giveaway)                        

11/2/2013--Tattoos: I am a Reader  (Extra Giveaway INTL)

Thank you to all my wonderful hosts!

As you can see, there are lots of giveaways and prizes to be had (some domestic, some INTL), including 12 Unhinged ARCs and a chance to have a character in book 3 named after you!

Feel free to grab our button if you'd like to post it on your blog's sidebar and help us get the word out:

 Official Unhinged Tour

I hope you'll join us!

Monday, September 30, 2013

E is for Exciting!

And it's also for . . . E-novella.
I wrote one!

Add it on GoodReads
An original 40-page story from the points of view of fan-favorite characters: Morpheus and Jebediah. Morpheus wants to know more about his rival for Alyssa’s affections, so he digs into Jeb’s memories of his time in Wonderland. But he may be surprised by what he finds.
This brand-new story and perspective from A.G. Howard’s dark, magical world stands alone, but also provides a tantalizing glimpse of what’s to come in Unhinged, the sequel to Splintered.
It comes out on October 22, but is available now for preorder. Check out this link for details.
Also, Unhinged's E-ARC is now available on NetGalley!
Hope you get a chance to check these out,
and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Giveaway winners, Splintered in Chinese, and Tumbling into Tumblr!

The giveaway has ended, and the winners are posted here. Thank you everyone who took part!

Also, I came home the other day to a very sweet surprise ... author copies of Splintered translated into Complex Chinese:

*swoons* You might not be able to tell by the picture, but the title actually sparkles! Soooo cool.  And to see my words translated into such beautiful and intricate characters, just wow. :)

Much gratitude to my Taiwan publisher, Wisdom Distribution Service, for making it all possible!

And any of you who are on Tumblr, look me up! I finally got brave enough to open an account. I'll be posting Unhinged teasers over there from time to time.

It's so fun, and I'm trying very hard not to get addicted...

Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Unhinged ARC Giveaway!

Finally, I get to reveal Unhinged's official playlist and giveaway some goodies!

INTL Giveaway dates:
September 13th-27th, 2013
Prizes up for grabs:

3 Unhinged ARCs

1 Splintered Audio Book

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Unhinged ARCs and a face lift...

First of all, as I'm sure you've already noticed, my blog has a new face. Or *faces* if you want to get technical. ;) I've spent the past couple of days updating my website's theme and motif, so I had to adjust my blog . It's the fashion diva side of me, everything has to match.

The best part is, Splintered and Unhinged now have their own themed pages with information pertaining to each individual book, including playlists, book club questions, and special giveaways. This should make my website easier to navigate.

I hope everyone likes my new duds!

And now for the ARC announcement: They're here! (Click on the pictures to see bigger versions)

They arrived on my doorstep on Friday, and boy was I happy to see them! They have all been soundly kissed and are awaiting new homes, so I'll be having a giveaway for a few coming up SOON! Oh, and I also received a handful of Team Jeb and Team Morpheus buttons--displayed against the back of the cover there--so I'll be sure to throw some of those into the mix.

Yay! I love having giveaways. :) Keep checking back here for deets.

Until then, I need to make up for all the writing I missed so I'll be quiet for a few days. See you soon, and happy Labor Day!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

O Frabjous Day! Callooh! Callay!

Yesterday I finally got to announce some great news! I've known for several months, but we were waiting for Amulet to put out a press release. So here it is, along with the Publishers Marketplace announcement (click on pictures to enlarge):

And this is me (that's my hubbie against the tree; it's part of his cool act, to dress Robin Hoodish and be all brooding and stuff...*swoons*)

Entangled gif photo Entangled_zpsa91c72a3.gif
Best day ever! :) 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Falling Down the Rabbit Hole...Cyber Style.

My dream vacation one day will be to take a week off from everything and go on a tour of Oxford. This city in England played a huge role, both in Alice Liddell's young life and Charles Dodgson's (aka Lewis Carroll's) education and inspiration. In other words, without Oxford, there would be no Alice's Adventures at all.

The first thing I'd do is take one of the official guided walking tours... preferably When Alice met Harry Tour and Tea.

Here's the official descrip from the website:

"Quintessential English charm with a twist. Following your tour enjoy afternoon tea served at the old prison. Indulge in delicious teas, slender finger sandwiches and cakes - Mal style! Turned upside down and back to front, you'd be as mad as a hatter to miss it. You are welcome to dress as an Alice character for the occasion.
Alice in Wonderland was inspired by Alice Liddell. She spent her early years in Oxford, and her friendship with Charles Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll, led to the writing of the two Alice books. Another favourite, Harry Potter, appeared here when some of his film scenes were shot in Oxford locations. Join this tour to explore their worlds of wonder and wizardry."

Who could beat that? Paying homage to Harry Potter and Wonderland in one fell swoop?

The next leg of my trip would be dedicated to shopping. There's one particular shop I'll have to be sure to stop at, because some of Tenniel's illustrations in the second Wonderland tale were based off of it (and, little known fact as of yet, there's a mention of a magical shop in Unhinged based on that very scene from Through the Looking Glass):

To check out more of the shop's history, here's a link to their website.

Of course, most importantly, I'll have to plan this magical vacation for the first week of July, because there's an Alice Day held by The Story Museum every year around that time.

About Alice's Day (official descrip from website):

"One golden afternoon on 4 July 1862, Charles Dodgson, an Oxford don, took Alice Liddell and her sisters on a boating picnic up the River Thames from Folly Bridge in Oxford. To amuse the children he told them a story about a little girl, sitting bored by a riverbank, who finds herself tumbling down a rabbit hole into a topsy-turvy world called Wonderland. The story so delighted the 10-year-old Alice that she begged him to write it down – the result was Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, published in 1865 under the pen name Lewis Carroll. It became one of the best-loved children’s books ever written.

To celebrate that first telling, Oxford turns into Wonderland for one magical day every year."
Doesn't that sound like a galumphing good time? *dreamy sigh*

Until then, I'll have to continue to visit the rabbit hole through my imagination and cyberspace. Here's a tribute to Alice in Wonderland I recently ran across that feeds my cravings for the whimsical and the strange. If you have about six minutes to spare, it's fun to watch. This is just a clip, but the movie in its entirety is available for streaming on Netflix, for anyone interested.

Alice (1988 Czechoslovak film directed by Jan Švankmajer).
Original Czech title is Něco z Alenky, which means "Something from Alice".
So, what about you? If you got to plan a dream vacation, where would it be, and why?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Writing and Publishing Tips!

The blogging and writing communites have been AMAZING to me during my long journey to the bookshelves, and I've always wanted to give something back.

So, I added a page to my website (located on my sidebar) to help other up-and-coming authors. It has everything from how to write that debut novel to marketing your books. Now, when someone asks me for writing tips or for deets on my own personal journey, I can direct them to this link:

Tips for Aspiring and Newly Published Authors

I hope writers will find something there to inspire and motivate them to take the next step in their career, whatever that may be.

Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Novella sneak peek...

I made it back in one piece after my Las Vegas trip, and now I'm settling in to work again. 

Today my editor sent the flap copy (the plot teaser that goes inside the hard cover's jacket flap) my way for input. Another step closer to Unhinged being on the shelves!

I've also heard a rumor I'll be getting ARCs next week. Here's hoping it's true! I want to kiss and hug them. :)

And I received line edits for the Splintered novella I've written (in Jeb and Morph's POVs). My publisher does edits electronically via track changes for the most part, so it saves both time and trees.

Here's a glimpse into the novella and the process, in case you'd like a peek (click on it for a bigger view):

Hope everyone had a productive week, and I plan to return very soon with pictures of Unhinged ARCs, along with a chance to win one or two.

Happy weekend!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Goats in VEGAS!!!

HEADS UP! This week I'll be running with the goats in Las Vegas, so I'm going to be pretty quiet on twitter, FB, and GoodReads.
WHAT? You didn't know there was a sport similar to running with the bulls that involved goats?
That's because there's not. Heh.
Truth is, I'm going to be hanging with some awesome writer pals. We call ourselves the #goatposse. I'm busy doing laundry and packing, so for further explanation, please hop over to Jennifer Lopez's posse page here, or you can also read this meme I did as part of the #goatposse hazing, or check out Darke's posse pinterest board.
In the way of news, I finished my Splintered novella (in Jeb's and Morpheus's POVs) and turned it in to my editor, so hopefully come October, you'll be able to purchase it as an ebook to tide you over until Unhinged is out in January.
Also, I have it on good authority that Unhinged ARCs are on their way. Which means I'll be having a giveaway for one or two VERY SOON for those of you who'd like a chance at an early read! I can't wait!
But in the meantime, I'm off to play with my bearded writerly pals. Good thing our gate keeper didn't read the sign:

And thank goodness what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas...
Everyone have a wonderful week and I'll see you again soon, pending I survive the party! <3

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

First pass pages!!!

One of my favorite parts of the publishing process is when my lovely editor sends along my first pass pages. I've also heard these called galleys (but I've also heard galley is interchangable with's all so confusing).

Anyway, first pass pages are formatted and printed in book layout, complete with font and chapter headers (except they're unbound). This is the stage right before ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) come out. I've been given a capped amount of time to look it over for typos and formatting issues, etc... and there are editors doing the same from my publisher's end.

This means that ARCs are just about to be printed. I'll let you know when they're here, but in the meantime, here's a sneak peek at the galley pages (all 197.5 pages worth, which will be 395 pages when bound in book form):

Oh, and one more seekrit, I have it on good authority they're going with a different color ink this time. Just as pretty as the purple, though. No worries! <3   

I'll be offering up the signed title page (the one with the book cover picture) in an upcoming giveaway. But for now I'm off to reread Unhinged for the fifty-somethingeth time. Wish me luck! :)

Friday, June 28, 2013


Things are going to be quiet here for the next week or so. First, I'm off to ALA in Chicago to shmooze with other authors, my editors, readers, and librarians.

For any Splintered fans / readers who live in the area, I'll be attending two events that are free and open to the public:

Saturday, June 29th

If you're in the vicinity, I'd love to meet you!

After I wrap things up in Chicago, I'll be hanging with my family for a week to celebrate the 4th of July, so I'll be back in blogland sometime after that.

Everyone have a fun and safe holiday!

Monday, June 24, 2013


Announcing the *WINNERS*
of the UNHINGED Teasy, Flippy Giveaway!!
Andrea F Chapman & Kayleigh Dolly Blossom D'Andilly
will each receive a signed
Splintered/Unhinged flip ARC
Full SPLINTERED story w/bonus chapter of UNHINGED

Hazel Houghton
 Gets a signed copy of THE SHADOW GIRL
Gabi Gabriella
Gets a hardback of THE PECULIARS
Bea Tejano, Bella Belikov Colella, & Kari Wall
Each win one signed bookplate

Thanks everyone who entered!
More giveaways and prizes will be forthcoming over the next few months, so there are still lots of chances left to win.
Have a great week!

Monday, June 17, 2013

UNHINGED Teasy, Flippy Giveaway!

To celebrate finally being done with my frumious (albeit necessary) line edits, I'm sharing some Unhinged teasers and having a giveaway! And yes, it's INTL.
Let the futterwacken-ing BEGIN!

First, the Unhinged teasers:

Throughout book 2, Alyssa's Wonderland key and a keyhole heart locket are symbolic of a battle she has to face:

heart and key photo heartandkey_zpse75df612.jpg
Image attribution: Unlock by nondani on deviant art
Several more Carrollian elements are brought to light, including:

What exactly is tulgey wood?
What are the looking glass insects, really?

The meaning behind the following two lines of the Jabberwocky poem will be revealed:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Odds are, it's a bit scarier than you think ... (◕‿◕)

Also, this verse from Lewis Carroll's Prologue to Alice poem plays a huge role in the book:
A childish story take,
And with a gentle hand,
Lay it where Childhoood's dreams are twined
In Memory's mystic band...

Assorted Unhinged tidbits:

Morpheus has a new hat, and the moths are more than just decorative.

Morpheus and Alyssa have an intense moment in the midst of a raging fire.

Jeb's artwork catches the attention of a mysterious and beautiful art collector, but is his art really the only thing she's interested in?

Alyssa and Jeb bond while taking a magical train ride.

Alyssa's mother returns home from the asylum.  
Alyssa learns the truth about her mother's past, and the secrets her mother has kept could prove to be Alyssa's undoing.
And, last but not least, Alyssa has a new artistic medium for her mosaics. It's even more morbid, and creepier, than the bug art.


Now for the contest portion of the post...

What's up for grabs?

2 lucky winners will receive a signed
Splintered/Unhinged flip ARC

Two- 1st prizes: Full SPLINTERED story w/bonus chapter of UNHINGED

2nd Prize: Signed copy of THE SHADOW GIRL

Three- 4th place prizes:
One signed bookplate 

Use the rafflecopter provided below to enter, and good luck!

Also, if those teasers made you impatient, you don't have to wait to see if you won the flip ARC to read a free sample chap of Unhinged. One is available on NetGalley right now.
Click the picture below for information.
Unhinged Sample Chapter

Monday, May 20, 2013

Giveaway WINNERS and a small favor...

Thank you everyone who entered the UNHINGED Trailer Reveal Giveaway!

And the winners are (as chosen by
(Which I can now reveal as a special limited edition flip ARC, one side SPLINTERED cover and full story, then flip to the other side for UNHINGED cover and one sample chap! NICE, right???)
Grand Prize Winner: Ava Lassak

Unhinged personalized poster:
Danielle Duffield

Pocket watch necklace:
Jenelle Riane
Alice in Wonderland print:
Cali Willette
Personalized Splintered swag pack:
C Daniella Alvarado-Reano

Congrats to all the winners! You will be receiving confirmation emails from me today. Also, I MIGHT have an extra one of those flip ARCs, in which case I MIGHT be giving another away soon. But no matter what, I WILL be having more giveaways leading up to Unhinged's release with all kinds of awesome goodies, so keep your eyes peeled!

As for the favor, did you know that the nominations for the 3rd annual YA Crush Tourney begin today? The YA Sisterhood has 4 bloggers helping out with the nominations:


If any of you would like to vote for Jeb or Morpheus in the DEBUT category, I would sure appreciate it! I'm hoping at least one of them can make it! Also, it would be great exposure for Splintered and Unhinged. :)

Thanks everyone, and have a great week! <3  

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Junk-food for thought...

Now that I've had a month-long break from writing (and while I'm waiting for my next set of edits) it's time to start planning another book. And although I can't officially announce what it is, I can share my crafting process. 
I'm totally about the visual. My first stage of starting a story is building characters: what they look like, what their GMC (Goal/Motivation/Conflict) will be, and their personalities/names. To aid in this, I have a pinterest board for fascinating faces that fuel my imagination:

Click to go to pinterest board

 Since my current project is one I started a while back, I've already got the characters lined up.
Which means I move on to stage two: creating the settings and world. This is how I feel when I get to start world-building:
 It's one of my favorite things EVER. Maybe because it's when I really turn my imagination loose and embrace the crazy. Anyone who's read Splintered knows what I mean. Again, I have inspirational pinboards for world-building:



But, one of the most fun things about world building is I get to indulge in all the junk-food my wee little brain can digest.
I'm not talking cheetos or twinkies (although those do have their place, along with coffee and inordinate amounts of chocolate). I'm talking about horror movies with surreal plots, tons of shock value, and reel upon reel of grotesque eye candy.
Creepy critters and disturbing settings work like a defribrillator to my muse, and it's even better if the plot is mainly black and white without too many grays (in other words, junk food for the mind). That way, my brain is free to gorge itself on the visual aspects without having to think too hard about layers or predicting the ending.

Recently I've discovered the Silent Hill movies. Because they're based on computer games, the plots are mainly good vs bad and there is no shortage of gruesome graphics, scenery, and monsters.

Here are two of my favorites from the 3rd movie:

(1) A spidery creature made up of mannequin pieces. The first time I saw it scuttling down the wall, it was SO CREEPTASTIC I salivated. Heh.

I posted a still shot, but if you're brave enough to see the creature in action, feel free to click on the video clip...

(2) Mutated rusty-razor-bearing nurses whose faces are a macabre twist of skin that looks like an exposed brain. Since they have no eyes or noses, they react to their other senses: touch and sound, and move in a really jerky manner that makes them even freakier.  

Watching movies also keeps me attuned to the distinctive movements of the creatures and how they react to their setting, which puts that foremost in my mind as I'm building my own worlds and monsters.

As for an actual setting that has spoken to me, there was a scene in a decrepit amusement park that inspired a deliciously eerie idea for a carnival in my newest project.  I can't WAIT to write it. ;)
I mean, seriously, with an entrance that looks like this, who wouldn't be inspired to create something terrifying ... or at the very least, to run far, far away.

Seeing as I'm a glutton for weird creatures and places, I guess I've found the perfect calling and outlet by writing dark and creepy novels. ;)