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Somehow, the summer has disappeared and fall is in full swing. Have the kids really been in school a month already? I rather dislike how times seems to by flying by so quickly these last few years.
So… lots and lots of stuff is new! I’ll try not to ramble too much I’ve been super, crazy, insanely, sleeplessly, stressfully busy. Thanks to lots of chocolate etc and the occasional ‘crash day’ I’m still going strong… and still busy.
First off… In case you missed it I have a new book out! Whoo hoo! Broken Aro is the first in a young adult epic fantasy series (The Broken Ones). It is a full novel (abt 70k words) and is available at amazon (ebook) and amazon, BN, createspace (print). Happily it’s been getting fantastic reviews so far and I’m plugging along at the next book, Broken Prince, hoping to have it out early in the new year. Please check it out! (If you want to review, feature or otherwise spread the word please feel free to drop me a note)
Open your eyes to darkness. What do you see? Does the darkness frighten you? Now imagine the darkness being the cargo hold of a slave ship. Your city has fallen. Your family is most likely dead. You don’t know anyone around you, and some of them aren’t even human. Giving up would be so easy to do, but not for Arowyn Mason. Not after being raised in a military family with seven brothers. Every great story should begin with a plan. Aro’s was to escape and to survive.
Escape comes, but at a price. As they reach the shore, Aro and the other survivors learn that freedom doesn’t mean safety. The slavers want their property back and will do anything to get it. The party uses every ounce of their brute strength, a hearty helping of cunning, and even ancient magics to keep themselves alive. Sickness, danger, and even love surprise them at every turn. Dealing with danger becomes their way of life, but none of them ever considered that nothing can be quite as dangerous as a prophecy. Running turns into another race altogether as her world falls to pieces again and again.
On to the next thing new… Sean and I have a second volume of Flashy Fiction and Other Insane Tales coming out in a few weeks! We had so much fun writing the first one (and it was so well received too) we jumped into a second right away. Personally I think this one is even better than the first. My very first, and possibly only, psychological horror is included! I’m a scaredy cat to begin with-but just editing it freaked me out LOL. I hope you’ll all give it a read too! The release date for it is set for Oct. 23. Check out the awesome cover! It’s the other side of the spooky face!
Just to keep me even busier, Sean and I are gearing up for the World Fantasy Convention in Toronto Nov 1-4. We’re super excited to be going and having the opportunity to meet so many great authors that will be attending! I keep falling into ‘fangirl’ mode just thinking about it, which is probably good that I get that over with now…maybe I can act normal when I’m actually there. We’ll be in the Dealer Room selling our all of our books in print at the Untold Press table. If you’re attending be sure to stop by and say hello!
As always, lots of hugs and rainbows to you all! Your continued support and friendship are greatly appreciated and mean so much to me. Hugs hugs!
This book will be out October 15th! I can't wait! I'll share more once it's published of course!
The publisher emailed me and I should be receiving my complimentary copies very soon, so time to stalk the UPS guy.. hee.. hee.! :o)
And here is a pic I took of my studio a while back while I was working on this book. This part of the studio looks suspiciously very tidy... I wont tell you how the other side, or the floor for that matter, looked like. ;o)
In the humorous, heartfelt new novel by the author of THE NEXT THING ON MY LIST, a personal organizer must somehow convince a reclusive artist to give up her hoarding ways and let go of the stuff she’s hung onto for decades.
Lucy Bloom is broke, been dumped by her boyfriend, and had to sell her house to send her nineteen-year-old son to drug rehab. Although she’s lost it all, she’s determined to start over. So when she’s offered a high-paying gig helping clear the clutter from the home of reclusive and eccentric painter Marva Meier Rios, Lucy grabs it. Armed with the organizing expertise she gained while writing her book, Things Are Not People, and fueled by a burning desire to get her life back on track, Lucy rolls up her sleeves to take on the mess that fills every room of Marva’s huge home. Lucy soon learns that the real challenge may be taking on Marva, who seems to love the objects in her home too much to let go of any of them.
While trying to stay on course toward a strict deadline—and with an ex-boyfriend back in the picture, a new romance on the scene, and her son’s rehab not going as planned—Lucy discovers that Marva isn’t just hoarding: she is also hiding a big secret. The two form an unlikely bond, as each learns from the other that there are those things in life we keep, those we need to let go—but it’s not always easy to know the difference.
Laugh-out-loud humor, heartfelt writing, relatable characters, and a charming premise all come together to make OBJECTS OF MY AFFECTION the next read for the fans of Jennifer Weiner, Emily Giffin, and Allison Winn Scotch.
The entertaining first novel by socialite Tinsley Mortimer about a Southern Belle thrust into the frenzied world of high society in New York City.
Small town girl Minty Davenport always dreamed of skyscrapers and yellow cabs. So upon graduation from college, she bids adieu to Charleston and makes a beeline for the Big Apple. Landing a job at a PR firm, she crosses paths with the city’s elite, who are charmed by her vivacious personality and no-strings-attached sincerity. When she finds her picture in fashion magazines alongside A-list celebrities, Minty realizes that her future is in front of the camera, not behind it. But it’s a long way from the deb balls of Charleston to Fashion Week in Lincoln Center, and the gatekeepers to New York society upper echelons aren’t easily charmed.
At first, Minty’s attempts to apply etiquette lessons of a southern belle to big city life fail miserably—to comic effect. But she eventually morphs from the girl who alphabetizes the guest list to a boldface n
Now that March has finally arrived, we’re officially in the “T-minus” phase for The Hunger Games movie adaptation, hitting theaters on March 23.
In anticipation, I’ve been perusing several pieces of fine literature, to wit: The Hunger Games: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion (Scholastic, February), Stars in the Arena: Meet the Hotties of The Hunger Games (Simon Pulse, February), and The Hunger Games Tribute Guide (Scholastic, February).
The Official Illustrated Movie Companion is fairly comprehensive, with bios, behind-the-scenes photos, and making-of trivia. We hear from author Suzanne Collins herself, the director, the producer, all the cast members, set designers, costume designers… it’s a big love-fest. There are also lots of huge, shiny pictures of prettiness. The takeaway: the people in the Capitol are going to be fun to look at. And keep an eye out for Wes Bentley’s beard. You’ll know it when you see it.
Speaking of things that are fun to look at, in Stars in the Arena: Meet the Hotties of The Hunger Games, we discover the answers to such questions as “Could Jennifer Lawrence survive in the wild like Katniss?”, “Is Josh Hutcherson as romantic as Peeta?”, and “Is Liam [Hemsworth] in love with Jen in real life?” …Wait, is he?
Sadly, they’re just friends, but I was totally whipped into a frenzy of fandom right there.
There’s obviously a conflation of the actors and their characters in all of these books, but it reaches a whole new level in the Tribute Guide, which begins with a sinister “Citizens of Panem, are you ready?” Now we’re the audience both in the real world and in the story? Not sure how I feel about that. The rest of the meta-exercise is essentially a program for viewers watching the book’s reality TV show, The Hunger Games.
Here is the good news: This week's Thursday News of the Absurd Will Someone Please Write Me This Book Inspirational Moment (TNoftheAWSPWTBIM) is hilarious and different and it is going to make an awesome book.
Here is the bad news: I had this post all written and then The Mighty Thor in his infinite wisdom read the idea and said, "You have to write that."
"Ha ha," I said. "Like I need something else on my To Write list."
And then he told me what he was thinking for the title of the first chapter and it was, well, I can't tell you what it was, but it was code for "Oh My Freaking Goodness I Have to Write This Book" and I haven't had a minute's peace from the voice in my head since (or from my husband, who apparently thinks, despite living with me for 16 years, that one thinks of a book idea Saturday, decides to write it Sunday, and has it written by Thursday).
All of which is to say: 1. There is no inspiration for you today because for the first time ever, I am keeping it for me. 2. I am doing NaNoWriMo after all. Sigh. This is the ugly news, because I already have ten million things I am supposed to do next month. There goes November. 3. I have to go write now.
... and there is not a person in my house who isn't thrilled about it.
Everyone started new schools and everyone is in love with the new places. Though yesterday Destructo was upset because:
"We were learning to wash our hands and I saw a giant X marks the spot on the floor and it could be real pirate treasure and NONE of my teachers would GET ME A SHOVEL!"
It is also possible he insisted to his Sunday School teachers that his name is "Buzz."
Methinks it could be a long year...
Tink's new school uses the Accelerated Reader program: "MOM! Can you believe my HOMEWORK is to READ A BOOK?! Like I get extra credit for reading a book! Reading! For HOMEWORK. Like it's hard" (shakes head, chuckles to self, and disappears into armchair for hours).
As for me, in the last two weeks I had Tink's birthday (complete with Black and White themed almost sleepover), the first day of new schools for both Tink and Destructo, RoshHashanah, my birthday, Thor's 40th birthday (for which I planned a surprise weekend away with 10 friends), minor household crises (everyone is fine), an unintentionally thawed refrigerator, a barfing cat, minimal child care, house guests, a total of nearly 80 miles run, mysterious lights on in the car,
And yet, as part of my new "no excuses" policy, I will be sending everything my agent wanted by Thursday to her. Today. Yup, two days early. And yup, I am crowing about it.
So lemme just finish formatting this one thing. And then I will be back in Jacqui's Room to tell you all about it.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Marcel The Shell With Shoes On is the best stop-motion animation video I’ve ever seen. If you’re not familiar with this Youtube sensation, I won’t even bother to explain – just do yourself a favor and watch the film (above)!
How will Marcel The Shell translate to a picture book? I initially pictured it as a photographic Chronicle-style gift book, but turns out, the images will be traditional oil paintings instead. Now… who is the artist going to be, I wonder?? And if you’re worried about this style of humor losing its touch without Jenny Slate’s hilarious voice, don’t be. The press release assures us that there will be an interactive audio version to add the voice of Marcel to the reading experience.
Can’t wait for November 1 to see Marcel pulling his lint “dog” around by a hair!
“Sometimes people say that my head is too big for my body, and then I say, ‘Compared to WHAT?’”
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 they were wrong. A powerful new enemy, the Vespers, has emerged from the shadows, sending Dan and Amy on a dangerous journey that will take them from Rome to the ancient city of Timbuktu. If Dan and Amy don't stop the Vespers in time . . . the whole world will pay.
I seem to have been inundated with picture books for review over the past few weeks. Just like buses...you wait, and wait, and wait for one to arrive, and then as soon as you light a cigarette, three arrive at once. I don't actually smoke, but I have seen this theory in action, and it's true! Anyways, I've been fortunate enough to get some good ones in this recent batch and can proudly recommend:
There's always room for more in the Great Fictional Cats cannon (Rotten Ralph, Samson the Church Cat, Jenny Linsky, Henry the Siamese, Slinki Malinki--I could go on and on) so make space for Mr. Pusskins! His books beg the question "just where are the grown-ups?" but in the end, who cares? Mr. Pusskins is the star with Emily as his adoring friend. And now he has a new devotee, the mischievous kitten Little Whiskers.
Gorgonzola is the stinkiest dinosaur this side of the Mesozoic Era, but it's nothing a few well-placed words and a toothbrush can't fix. This "message" book about personal hygiene is funny and clever with fantastic cartoon illustrations and a few choice puns as well. Dinosaurs and B.O.--a great combination!
Max's Bunny Business is really here as an honorable mention, simply because it involves the venerable Max and Ruby who seem to have the same adventure over and over again: Ruby, industrious and focused, is sidetracked by Max, who just wants a set of vampire teeth/chocolate chicken/sparkle ring. Fortunately, they still amuse. And just who's side is Grandma on anyways? After all these years, I still can't tell.
... but I certainly didn't stay up until 1:30am to finish Eclipse all in one night and Breaking Dawn* the next. No sirree, not me. I was busy reading Faust. What kind of dunderhead would stay up all night to find out if Bella picks the vampire or the werewolf when she has a book to revise, children to raise, a ... blog ... to ... wri ... zzzzzzzzzzz.
I hate myself.
I was so tired that I didn't realize what Tinkerbell was doing during the following conversation until it was too late:
TINK (to new friend's dad): You are very tall like her. DAD: Yes. TINK: And you have black hair, with like, some silver in it. DAD: (laughs indulgently) TINK: And you have that thing, that bump. DAD (and JACQUI): ???? TINK: You know, that thing. You have that bump like her. DAD (laughing less): What bump? TINK: There. JACQUI: (looks, notices small raised mole on new friend's dad's nose; reacting in slow motion due to Twilight-related exhaustion, thinks: Does she mean that mole? Who is "her?") TINK: So you look just like her! DAD: Who? JACQUI: (catching on)(slow mo) Tiiiiiink! Noooooooo! TINK: The wicked witch in The Wizard of Oz! You look just like her!
Coming soon to Jacqui's Room: How to End Your Novel, The Least You Need to Know: Agents, and Faust: the Jacqui's Room production...
*the third and fourth books in Stephenie Meyer's Twilightquad-rilogy? four-logy? series ** Oh, and for any fans out there. The answer to your next question is "Jacob. Definitely." Sigh. Display CommentsAdd a Comment
Am I frightened? Yes. But in the immortal words of the hottest member of the Fellowship, not nearly frightened enough.
See, I know what hunts me, and it is eighteen family members ranging from age 2 to age 92. They will descend on my house tomorrow and hope for turkey and stuffing and assorted other things I can't possibly anticipate. There is a turkey in my garage that won't even fit in my fridge, and the ingredients for three different kinds of pies sitting on the counter mocking me, saying, "Go ahead, make us tonight. See if you aren't at the grocery store by midnight, begging them to sell you replacement pies you can beat up until they look homemade."
There are two centerpieces shaped like "horns of plenty" waiting on my table, which does not seat eighteen. They are full of delicious looking fruit, each piece of which is damaged because every time Captain Destructo escapes whoever is supposed to have him trapped be watching him, he runs to the table, grabs a piece of fruit, takes out one bite, and tosses it back into the horn of plenty.
And then there's the gravy. Oh, I hadn't even remembered the gravy.
Oh well. Perhaps I can suggest we all focus on how grateful we are to be together and not on the fact that nothing is warm.
I will not be blogging tomorrow. I will be gobbling stuffing until I can't see basking in the glow of my family. But when I return, there will be much fun: December features! The In What Ways Is Jacqui Like The Grinch Quiz! What do get your niece for Hanukkah! And maybe even pictures of pie.
Dear Blog, I am not ignoring you. I am in Ohio and have only Thor's iPhone on which to compose. I am typing this One Letter At A Time. It is no fun and not conducive to eloquence. I will love on you on Monday in the manner you deserve. I promise.
Fact: I can only be obsessed about two things at a time. My children have a permanent position as one of those things. That only leaves space for one secondary obsession. Therefore, I cannot be obsessed with running and with blogging and with household details and with my book, all at the same time.
Fact: this week I wrote two chapters, revised two others, giggled to myself while scribbling about angry beagles and snorking chlorine, and promised my agent several chapters soon.
Fact: I also gained three pounds, completely forgot to do my taxes, and totally slacked on this blog.
Fact: Writing is the secondary obsession that makes me happiest. And life is a pendulum, and as much as I love my own book right now, the love affair will surely sour and then I will dig myself out from under the cat fur and consult an accountant and be miserable but full of bloggy brilliance.
Fact: regardless, this week's Thursday News of the Absurd Will Someone Please Write This Book Inspirational Moment is a doozy, and there are definitely some odes to unusual things in the works. So stay tuned.
... but I don't know anything about a secret raid on the Hyatt Regency Candy Stash at SCBWI-LA this weekend. I don't know anything about a pair of giggling bandits who snuck in and stole their weight in red vines. I was busy grinding organic whole wheat to make bread to feed orphans. Yup. And so was Tammi Sauer.
In other news, I ask again, WHEN DO YOU L.A. PEOPLE SLEEP? I have a beautiful blog post about the conference planned. It is informative. It is funny. It will leave you inspired and motivated and... I... can't... stay... zzzzzz (drools). Snort. Huh? Where am I? Oh. Sorry. Stupid red-eye flight. I'll try again tomorrow.
Here’s lots of juicy stuff about the book, here's the 1:16 minute book trailer and here’s a summary of the book, which got a starred review in Publishers Weekly:
Izzy’s favorite part of Rosh Hashanah is Tashlich, a joyous ceremony in which people apologize for the mistakes they made in the previous year and thus clean the slate as the new year begins. But there is one mistake on Izzy’s “I’m sorry” list that he’s finding especially hard to say out loud.
Humor, touching moments between family and friends, and information about the Jewish New Year are all combined in this lovely picture book for holiday sharing.
So...how can you win your very own autographed copy?
Simple. Since the book is about the new year...do you have a new school year goal? Great! Then post one reading, writing or teaching goal you'd like to accomplish by December 31, 2009 in 25 words or less.
Do you want the courage to delete all of your emails so that the clutter isn't keeping you from writing the next Charlotte's Web?
Do you want to set aside 30 uninterrupted minutes to read for pleasure each day?
Do you want to send out a manuscript by Halloween?
What is that one goal for this bright and shiny new school year?
Be specific. Here’s the place to ‘fess up!
Win-an-autographed-copy-of-New-Year-at-the-Pier CONTEST rules:
1) Read the two quotes at the top.
2) Take a deep breath.
3) Post ONE reading, writing or teaching goal for the new school year in 25 words or less.
4) Your goal must be posted on one of the Teaching Authors blog posts between Friday, August 28, 2009 and Monday, September 7, 2009.
5) You must include your email address in your post so that we can contact the lucky winner.
Here are our general give-away rules.
The winner will be announced Tuesday, September 8, 2009.
We expect to hear back from you in the first two weeks of January—every one of you. If you don't win this time, you'll have another chance in January when you report on your progress. How did you do? Who or what helped you? Who or what hindered you?
Coming next week: more on New Year at the Pier!
And finally, because it's Poetry Friday...and to REALLY confuse you now that you're thinking about goals...I leave you with a beautiful completely contrary anti-goals poem by my wonderful friend, poet and author George Ella Lyon:
First homework, then housework, now soulwork. No list, no checking off, no done. ~ George Ella Lyon
image of girl with a goal by April Halprin Wayland
After years of writing, rewriting, editing, re-reading, and repeating, I am finally putting the finishing touches on Oriana's Eyes the first novel in the Great Oak Trilogy. The book will be available online this winter!
Oriana's Eyes is a young adult fantasy novel that takes place in a unique world. This book has really been about overcoming obstacles including yourself. It's also about believing in yourself despite the construct of the outside world. Oriana's world is one divided into races and hierarchies. They trust in an unseen force or God, who they call "Odon." Oriana lives inside Odon's University, where students are brainwashed into thinking that being pure is best and being a cross-breed is worthless.
Oriana can't help but feel that the world around her is a complete lie. She doesn't know why she feels this way, but she can't ignore it. Especially when she meets Dorian, a half-blood, the lowest class of students.
I'm so proud of this novel, and I can't wait to finally share it with everyone!