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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Book launch, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Craft Book Recommendation – Writing Great Books for Young Adults

Writing Great Books for Young Adults Released – October 7, 2014 By Regina L. Brooks ISBN: 9781402293528 Trade Paperback/$14.99         Praise for Writing Great Books for Young Adults “Written from the perspective of an industry insider, the … Continue reading

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2. EVERBLAZE Official SoCal Launch Party Details

Wow--we are less than five weeks away from the release of EVERBLAZE!!!!

(*cue all the jumping and flailing and scrambling and panicking*)

So keep an eye on this blog--and the rest of my social media--because I have ALL KINDS of fun updates coming for you, including the pre-order swag giveaway you're all so eagerly waiting for, and my Fall tour dates.

But while that's all getting finalized, I wanted to share one event that's already set: The Official EVERBLAZE Lauch Party!!!!  Here's all the deets:


And in case that graphic isn't loading for some reason, here the details are again in plain text:

Monday, 11/3/14
7:00 pm
Barnes & Noble Montclair Plaza
5183 Montclair Plaza Ln.
Montclair, CA 91763
909-399-1966

And yes--you're reading that date correctly. The official Launch party IS the day before EVERBLAZE comes out. So that means--if you come--you can buy your copy a day early!!!!! 

As if that weren't incredible enough, let me give you another AWESOME reason to be there. Everyone who comes to the official launch--and buys a copy of EVERBLAZE--will also be given one of these amazing Black Swan mirrors:



For those who don't live in SoCal, I *will* be raffling off a few of these mirrors at each of my tour stops. Plus there will be a few online giveaways during the weeks after release to give everyone a chance to enter for one. But this Launch Party is the only time they'll be given out to everyone at the event. And they'll be given out first come, first served, while supplies last. So if you're worried about getting one, better get there early. :)

There will also be some very special RAFFLE PRIZES! And CUPCAKES!! And SWAG. And BOOKS!!! So many shiny copies of EVERBLAZE!!!! And I'll be signing ALL of them!!!!! Who doesn't want to be a part of that?????

It'll be the perfect way to kick off launch week, and I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!! I hope to see you there! Mark your calendars for 11/3/14. It's going to be EPIC!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask away in the comments section below.

And ....  that's it for now. But like I said in the beginning--stay tuned. I still have lots more events and giveaways and amazingness coming your way!! The next few weeks are going to be so much fun!  

((Team KEEPER Group Hug))

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3. cakes in space, the london invasion

Yesterday morning we had our Cakes in Space launch! And there were cake hats! Cakes with eyes! Cakes that were ALIVE....


Photo by Rebecca Portsmouth - rebeccalouise.com

The previous day, my co-author Philip Reeve and I had signed stock for indie bookshops and prepared for the next day's event, but we had no idea what sorts of life forms we'd encounter.



In the morning, my trusty companion, Stuart, and I travelled light years to Marylebone High Street to the space station that is Daunt Books.



And we were met by cakes! Cakes with eyes!


Photo by Rebecca Portsmouth - rebeccalouise.com


These fearsome creatures were carefully herded by cake wranglers from Oxford University Press, including Cecily, Camille Davis and Hattie Bayly.



Sweet wheat-based morsels clamped on to people's heads and wouldn't get off!



But somehow, these people took it in their stride...



...They couldn't seem to understand their peril.



In fact - shock horror - some of the visitors even ENCOURAGED the cakes in their ferocious tendencies.



I sensed these cakes had undue influence on their hosts.


Photo by Deadly Knitshade - whodunnknit.com

Fearless scientists that we are, Reeve and I took to the podium to investigate these strange happenings.


Photo by Rebecca Portsmouth - rebeccalouise.com

Philip demonstrated the wonder of SCIENCE, how in the future in Cakes in Space, people can insert protein sachets into the marvellous NOM-O_TRON and produce the most excellent food you can imagine. In Philip's case, it was a chocolate biscuit.


Photo by Rebecca Portsmouth - rebeccalouise.com

Of course, I had to jump in and try out this science of the future.


Photo by Rebecca Portsmouth - rebeccalouise.com

I could envision MUCH more awesome treats than Philip, so I'd be sure to get something at least a hundred times better.


Photo by Rebecca Portsmouth - rebeccalouise.com

But what was this? A carrot?!! ...Science is not all it's cracked up to be.


Photo by Rebecca Portsmouth - rebeccalouise.com

This little girl was seriously skeptical. I expect she'll grow up and become the sort of scientist who relies on things like DATA and EVIDENCE, which is rather an odd concept.


Photo by Rebecca Portsmouth - rebeccalouise.com

But those cakes were still lurking, so we delved into our carefully researched report and read out useful passages to the audience, warning them about their impending doom.


Photo by Rebecca Portsmouth - rebeccalouise.com

Now, I ought not to give away all the secrets of our research, but I can allude to a strange occurrence during the event, brought on by Visitors from Elsewhere, which left Philip struck to the heart with tragic loss. ...A moment of silence, please.


Photo by Rebecca Portsmouth - rebeccalouise.com

To deal with these dangers in the future, we need TECHNOLOGY, mostly in the form of robots who look rather friendly. I drew a diagram of a Cakes in Space-featured robot named Pilbeam. And so that the schematics of this fine robot would not be forgotten by future generations, I had everyone draw Pilbeam along with me, implanting the robot's makeup directly into their brains.



And the implantation was successful, each diagram slightly altered so that the memory could not be wiped out by a single virus. (Clever, yes?)


Pictures by @LAWsomeTweets and Katie on Martin Hand's Flickr page

To lighten this dark, prophetic mood, Philip and I sang a ballad from the future, dating to just the time before everyone gets artsy-fartsy and starts singing only in binary.



What wonderous things these humans have wrought!



We practiced our Battle Cry of the Future, in case our defensive technology is not enough to ward off the killer cakes.



And still the cakes lurked, preferring the cranial regions.



Don't be deluded by their enticing appearance...



...these cakes have issues.


Photo by Rebecca Portsmouth - rebeccalouise.com

Despite the gloom and doom of the presentation, the front window display at Daunt Books Marylebone looked quite jolly. We suspect they may be in collusion with the killer cakes.



After our signing, Philip and I traveled with Norwegian starship captain Karoline Bakken to another satellite of Daunt.



Despite its rather old-fashioned facade, Daunt Books Highgate IS the future and houses a time machine in its basement.



The staff let us inscribe coded warnings for future generations in their Cakes in Space books but pretended not to know what we were talking about when we asked them about the time machine. So we left them, vowing to return when their secret could be revealed.



As we traveled, Captain Bakken lavished unwarranted affection on our captured cake. Being nice to cakes doesn't help anything, you ought to know. Eat the cake before it eats you, that's our motto.



Next stop: Daunt Books Holland Park.



But what is this? My co-pilot decided to go undercover, to wear CIVVIES, while I remained still properly clad in my fighting uniform. Obviously this is a sign of some overarching PLAN we have, but I can't tell you about it or I'll have to kill you.



Be aware. Be vigilant. Run to your nearest bookshop and snatch up a copy of Cakes in Space so that you, too, can be prepared for alien cake attack. You NEVER KNOW when they might strike. I will leave you with our public service broadcast:

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4. Review – Spud and Charli

Does your imagination ever run wild? I bet kids will have no difficulty answering this one and for me that answer is still an empathic, yes! Horse-obsessed Charli finds it difficult to rein in her run-away imagination too in Samantha Wheeler’s new novel for primary-aged readers, Spud and Charli. This story gallops full speed from […]

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5. gary's garden launch!

Last night the Fleece Station studio was out in force to celebrate the launch of Gary Northfield's new comic book, Gary's Garden! You may recognise Gary's Garden as a frequent strip in The Phoenix Comic, one of the comics in there that the parents like as much as the kids do because it works on so many levels.



Elissa Elwick and I both wore Chompy the Caterpillar-themed garb. Gary's Garden makes the perfect prezzie for kids (say, 5+ with some help reading), adults who love nature and gardening, anyone who likes a good laugh. Buy it here a The Phoenix Comic online shop! Gary works so hard on these comic strips, has such great drawing skills an perfectly pitched comic timing; we're all very proud of him. Look, Lauren O'Farrell (aka Deadly Knitshade) makes a perfect perch for Bob the Butterfly!




And here are the lovely Ficklings - David and Caro - who make it happen, at David Fickling Books, based in Oxford. It was also great to see Gary's Garden amazing designer Ness Wood (who also designed Jampires!), DFB's Phil Earle and John Dickinson. Jonathan Main and Justine Crow of Bookseller Crow in Crystal Palace hosted the party, and they've been great supporters of lots of our books, we love our indie. I love buying books from them, even online; they stock a great selection, including lots of beautiful graphic novels.



Gary's sister, Susannah Northfield, made the cake!



...Bits of which were consumed most elegantly by Gary and his partner Nicky Evans.



Speaking of elegance, just as David Fickling was giving his speech, a giant bird swooped down and placed a wafer upon his lips. We all bowed our heads for a moment of awed silence for this great book.



Gary made a big window display; here he is stage directing Nicky in setting it up.



There were a couple other Phoenix Comic people present: the fabulous Jamie Smart (Bunny vs Monkey, also out now as a book!) and the excellent Matt Baxter, who creates the Live from HQ strip with the Phoenix comic-character editorial crew. I didn't manage to get a photo of Jamie, but here's Matt. And you can just spot illustrator and app-creator Heather Kilgour over his shoulder! There were quite a few comics makers there that I didn't manage to photograph, including Francesca Cassavetti.



Hee hee, another hat photo.



This Thursday (called 'Super Thursday' in publishing) was also the official publication date for my book with David O'Connell, Jampires, and wow, a couple of them showed up!



It was really Gary's night, but we had a happy mix of new creative stuff.



I was very proud of my Chompy hat, made from a pencil case, foam balls and pipe cleaners from Poundland, some felt, a yoghurt pot and a coat hanger.



When creating Gary-themed characters, it's very important to get the wonky eyes right.



Before the launch, we went for a top-notch Afternoon Tea in Alex Milway and Katie Lee's garden (Gary lived with them for a couple years while he was working on Gary's Garden), and Dave and I brought along some of our local Butch Institute Jampires-themed jam.



Huge congratulations, Gary! Gary's Garden is amazing, and everyone, spread the word and help it fly off the shelves! And subscribe to The Phoenix Comic for ongoing Gary's Garden goodness.

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6. jampires book launch!


Photo by James Petrie

Hee hee, it's great fun to stand in the middle of a field wearing sparkly red platform heels when everyone else is walking around in wellies. This weekend my co-author David O'Connell and I launched our new picture book, Jampires, at The Big Feastival in Oxfordshire.


Photo by James Petrie

I couldn't believe it, I forgot to pack my Bakewell Tart hat! Nooooo!


Photo by Dave Warren

But never mind, our book was well and truly launched with a dramatic reading by David and me. (Dave's very good at doing the voices.) And I can rock a converted poodle skirt. (Thanks to my mum for helping me sew on all the Jampires.)


Photo by Neill Cameron

And I taught everyone how to draw a Jampire! 'But what is a Jampire?' you may ask. Well, if you've ever bitten into a jam doughnut and found it disappointingly dry and jamless, they are the culprits. These little critters suck out them jam. They LOVE jam. Our book is basically a hymn to jam.


Photo by James Petrie

And you can learn how to draw a Jampire, too! David and I have put all sorts of goodies on our new website, so do have fun exploring it: jampires.com


View as a PDF

We have masks, too! Check out the website! :)


Photo by James Petrie


Since the Jampires are obsessed with jam, we had actual jam on site...


Photo by James Petrie

...and an actual jam maker, who has joined our Jampires team! Meet Emma Preston-Dunlop, jam maker extraordinaire, who gave us a little lesson on how to make jam, and treated us to samples of her tasty concoctions.


Photo by James Petrie

Emma runs a jam company called The Butch Institute and while raspberry jam is always my favourite, she gives it a real run for its money with her Cherry Bakewell with amaretto syrup and almonds.


Photo by James Petrie

Since The Big Feastival's all about food, we explored, and went straight for the PIE. Gotta love a pie. Emma taught me how to eat it from a carton without getting gravy all over my skirt.


Photo by James Petrie

And our lovely publisher, David Fickling, cycled all the way over from Oxford - a two-hour journey across many hills - to be there for our launch. Hurrah! (He didn't cycle in his signature bowtie, but he put it on as soon as he arrived.)


Photo by James Petrie

JAM. Who doesn't dream about The Great Jam Pot in the Sky? *wistful sigh*



Dave and I couldn't be there both days, so actor Devon Black stepped in and led her own Jampires session on the Sunday, which looked brilliant. She made a costume, a whole new show, and I hear she did a brilliant job! Thank you SO MUCH, Devon!!


Photo tweeted by Philippa Perry

Feastival had some rival vampiric creatures, not all as small and cuddly as our Jampire.


Photo by James Petrie

After a little scare, he got a cuddle from Neill Cameron, and everything was all right.



So Neill was mostly busy drawing comic characters over in The Phoenix Comic area. He's the amazing creator of stories such as Pirates of Pangaea, Mega Robo Bros and has a new book out, How to Make Awesome Comics. Here's a Cyborg Mode Jamie Oliver (the chef who hosts the festival, along with Blur bassist-turned-cheesemaking-farmer Alex James):



The drive to Feastival was quite a long one, and our friend James Petrie was a hero and gave us all a lift in his car. As you can see, Dave and I were terrible back-seat drivers.



Lovely Dave. It's not just his genius talent, you see; I mostly work with him because he has such beautiful flowing tresses.



Big group selfie! Huge thanks to David Fickling for publishing us, Emma for being such a great Jam Master, Devon for Sunday's awesomeness, Feastival for hosting us, fab publicist Philippa Perry for organising the day, James for driving and photos, and Ann Lam for our knitted Jampire. Jammy times!



Head over to the David Fickling Books website to see their blog about Jampires, and jampires.com for all your jammy needs.

Jammy Twitter links: @davidoconnell, @DFB_Storyhouse, @ButchInstitue, #JAMPIRES

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7. WELCOME HUMPHREY!: BK Launch!

We at CAT agency are so happy to help Launch the wonderfully friendly new series about the Hamster Humphrey and his Tiny Tales from Penguin Putnam!  See his first two books here, and a little video about how he is created by our artist PRISCILLA BURRIS         https://vimeo.com/104481200

Humphrey1 (3)

Humphrey2 (3)


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8. Lights, camera. . .CAKE!


I ask a lot of my kids.

I ask them to read manuscripts and give me feedback. I ply them (and their friends) with questions about the age-appropriateness of certain (sometimes embarrassing) grade school behaviors. I make them stop what they're doing and quickly write down a story idea when I'm elbow-deep in potting soil or cooking dinner (or in the shower) and can't jot it down myself.

They put up with all of it, as I imagine most offspring of children's book writers do—and I'm grateful.

Recently though, I asked more of them than ever. "Um, girls how do you feel about standing in a hot kitchen in the middle of summer for four hours while three strangers make you crack and egg nine times in a row?"

Well of course, I didn't say it like that. 

It was more like, "Guess what?! You get to be on YouTube! Eating cake!"

As it happened, the experience was much closer to the latter than the former. With the help of a brilliant group of filmmakers—writer/ producer/director Leigh Medeiros, cinematographer JJ Rok, and sound tech Tebello Rose—we created a little piece of art, for our little piece of art.

Baking Day at Grandma's is a very personal story. It's based on memories of my Grandma Rose, as well as the baking traditions my mom began with our girls. The art is inspired by the Adirondack region of New York, specifically Lake George, where I spent summers (and quite a few winters weeks) as a child. Each spread contains a nod to our families—Grandma Bear's cabin, touches of her furniture, the cookbook, the victrola—all come from the people and places we love. It's a love letter to our family, and a celebration I hope many readers and families will enjoy. As we set out to make the book trailer, we hoped to capture the personal nature of the book, to let readers know that like Grandma Rosie's chocolate cake—the book was made with love.

When the day of the shoot came, I felt confident in our concept. Like any gifted documentarian, Leigh had spent a great deal of time getting to know my story. She'd browsed old photos with me, and listened as I recounted memories of baking with my grandma. She hadn't wanted to over-script it. Sure, we had a shot list and some talking points, but the real gems were going to be found in the unscripted moments, we decided.

If I had one concern going into the day, it was about the kids. Would they freeze up? Look at the camera too much? Get grumpy? Especially my little one. She's three and generally well behaved, but...well... she's three.

Both Leigh and JJ did a wonderful job making the kids (and all of us) feel comfortable. When I asked for some direction before we began, Leigh smiled and said to me, "Just bake a cake, and don't worry about us." I wasn't sure it would be possible, with the lights and the big boom mic and the camera pointing at us, but to my amazement, once the measuring and the mixing began, we did sort of forget about the camera. I was a mom, baking with my kids. It was fun! And messy. Flour dusted every surface; there were egg shells in the sink and splatters of chocolate cake batter on our aprons. It was the the real deal, not the scrubbed up version. (Ok, I admit, I cleaned my house for two days before the crew arrived, but the baking scene was authentic.)

The kids did great! And most importantly, they enjoyed it. Now, in addition to a lovely book trailer, I have a little time capsule to help me remember the sounds, spills, giggles, bloopers and joy of baking with my girls.

It's really a pleasure to get to share this heartfelt collaboration with the you. Thanks for cheering us on, spreading the word, and making the homestretch of this book's journey to publication so delicious! I'll say thank you in every way I can think of, including offering free baking day recipe cards and gift tags if you'd like to host your own baking day at home, or make a special treat with grandparents for Grandparent's Day on September 7th.

For bookstores, libraries, classrooms and home-schoolers, I'll soon be adding a downloadable story hour kit to my website, which includes a Baking Day at Grandma's song (!!!) composed and recorded by my talented friends at Little Hands, reading prompts, activities, posters, crafts, snack suggestions—everything you'll need to get kids, reading, dancing, singing and connecting with the book.

For bloggers, I'll have an extra-special Baking Day at Grandma's giveaway (to be revealed soon)!

I hope you'll stay tuned as we cook (and bake) up new goodies and giveaways! (One great way to keep up to date and connected is to join my new mailing list.)

Until then, happy reading and baking! Here's a peek at the book trailer. . .




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9. Picturebook Complete: 1,000,000 points!  Super exciting...
















Picturebook Complete: 1,000,000 points! 

Super exciting announcement! As some of you might have heard, the picturebook I have been working on from Feb- June has been printed and is (almost!) available for purchase. I just received my hardcopy this weekend, and it is beautiful!

When I was contacted by Plymouth Puzzles about creating a storybook to accompany their upcoming line of Christmas reusable gift bags I was thrilled! The book, Santa’s New Tradition, follows the story of a little girl as she discovers the waste caused by wrapping paper and decides to make a positive change. 

I really enjoyed working on this book and am super excited to see it up for sale (looks like late August/ Early September release).

More coming on my process of idea to final later- and thanks for reading!















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10. Launch of RULES to live by…..

 

Because I was at the dentist for 2 hrs this morning…this RULE seemed appropriate!

1385266_10151772393158001_645715645_n[1]

EXCITING that this new book from Little Simon/Simon Spotlight is hitting the stores today!!   ISABELLE AND ISABELLA’S LITTLE BOOK OF RULES  illustrated by our own Priscilla Burris!  Sure you saw and read about how one of them dropped the book in a parking lot and it was rescued by an employee and the news got a hold of it…then Little Simon jumped on it!  We’re ever so glad….. READ and enjoy!


1 Comments on Launch of RULES to live by….., last added: 10/1/2013
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11. more launches! ….

Xmas cover Kornacki

so pleased today to also note the launch of Christine Kornacki’s illustrated new book THE FIRST CHRISTMAS NIGHT written by Keith Christopher and published by Ideals Children’s Books ((a Guideposts company). Her lush finished oils are amazing!

 

And thought I’d mention that Stacey Schuett’s newly illustrated HANUKKAH IN ALASKA written by Barbara Brown and published by Henry Holt is also newly launched.

Priscilla Burris’s newest HEIDI HECKELBECK series book   “and the Christmas Surprise” is out now as well from Little Simon…a MOST popular series indeed.  Written by Wanda Coven.

and why not mention a couple of other nice mentions in PW I missed before! Aug. 19 edition of the magazine noted DON’T SNEEZE AT THE WEDDING by Pamela Mayer, and illustrated by our Martha Aviles!  both “find broad appeal and comedy in each of their vividly imagined vignettes.”  This book is just launched in Sept.

The Aug. 26th edition nicely reviewed THE INVISIBLE BOY written by Trudy Ludwig and illustrated by our Patrice Barton for Knopf.  These two “understand classroom dynamics (Baron is especially good at portraying how children gauge the attitude of their peers and act accordingly) and wisely refrain from lecturing readers….”  Wow. It launches in Oct.      congratulations all! most exciting!  board INV BARTON


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12. another launch!

I almost forgot to mention the Sept. launch of another fun fun Jewish story from KarBen, Lerner and illustrated by our Ann Iosa… A WATERMELON IN THE SUKKAH! 

Watermelon_in_theSukkah_Cover IOSA


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13. The Christmas Owl

OwlCover_Kindle_optimized

We are thrilled to announce the release of our latest children’s book, The Christmas Owl.  This ebook is available at a special discounted price of $.99 through November 14th on Amazon.  We have also released this book on Barnes & Noble.  A Barred owl becomes injured and must ask others for help. He promises to give back to those who have a generous heart and he is true to his word.


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14. I Love My Cat – Now Available to Download to Kindle!

Hello.

The wait is over and I’m happy to let you know that my 10th children’s book is now live!Cat Book for Kids

I Love My Cat is now available to download to your kindle app on your tablet, PC or phone.

One of the things I’m really excited about this book is that I worked with a very talented illustrator – Diana, who I’ll be working with on more projects as  .

This fun animal book for kids shows different breeds of cats and fun facts about them. To make this book more interesting and one that your and your loved ones will love reading again and again, the book is formatted in such a way that you get to guess the name of the cat by looking at a cartoon image of the cat accompanied with some fun facts. When you flip the page, you then see a real photo of the cat.

You’ll have to get your copy to see what I’m talking about. Children will enjoy the illustrations in this book and also learn about the different breeds of cats and their unique idiosyncrasies.

It’s only 99 cents for this launch period and I would greatly value a review from you once you’ve read it.Birman Cat

Thanks for all your support and I really do hope you enjoy reading this book with your loved ones.

Click the link below to get a copy

US - http://amzn.to/1kqQnGB

UK - http://amzn.to/1fBUvf1

Thank You.

0 Comments on I Love My Cat – Now Available to Download to Kindle! as of 3/3/2014 2:32:00 PM
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15. Heidi Heckelbeck greets her creator!

Sometimes characters are just climbing the walls to say HELLO! …and for Priscilla Burris  on a visit to Little Simon offices after the SCBWI Winter Conference, Heidi Heckelbeck, most popular child ‘witch’, did JUST THAT!  (written by Wanda Cloven)  Here are Ciara Gay (designer) Chani Yammer (Executive. AD) and Sonali Fry (Ed. Dir.) and many of the Heidi series books greeting Priscilla as she gets off the elevator!  Such moments aren’t forgotten…. ever!

Heidi and Friends SS (3)


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16. LET THE STORM BREAK Launch Day Celebration

Wow, I can't believe LET THE STORM BREAK's launch day is finally here.

These last few years have been a crazy whirlwind of a ride (see what I did there? Yeah, that probably won't be the only wind pun in this post) and I can't believe my fourth book (second in my YA series) is now hitting shelves. No wonder I haven't slept in 2 years!!!

ahem.

Anyway, I know you all have so very many books you could choose to read, so I wanted to do something to show how much I appreciate those of you who give that time and love and support to Vane and Audra and all their adventures. (and the haboobs!)

So I've put together a very special giveaway, with three very special prizes,  I think you're really going to love. Here's what's up for grabs:


In case you can't tell, whan't you're looking at are signed hardcovers of LET THE SKY FALL and LET THE STORM BREAK, all featuring original artwork drawn by me. Three winners will win one of each book, which can be signed and personalized if they would like*
*If you're wondering if you can request which drawings you win specifically, the answer is unfortunately "no." That would make things way too complicated. But I promise, they all look awesome, and I made them each different so you'd know you have a prize that's truly unique.
Since these are very special, very time consuming prizes for me to make, I want to make sure they go to true fans of the series. So like I've done in the past, I'm going to make you guys put in a *little* extra work to enter--but I've still done my best to also keep it as simple as possible. So here's the details.

To enter, you MUST complete these two simple steps.

STEP NUMBER ONE:

You must either:

  • Post a review of LET THE STORM BREAK on amazon / goodreads / B&N / youtube / your blog or website / ANYWHERE ELSE YOU POST YOUR REVIEWS
  • Tweet / Instagram / FB / tumblr / google+ / ANY OTHER WAY YOU ATTACK THE INTERNETS with a photo of LET THE STORM BREAK somewhere in the wild (could be your own personal copy in your hands, or a shiny copy on display in a store or library--doesn't matter to me. And if the store you go to is sold out, you can always request they bring in another copy. In fact, I would love you FOREVER for doing that!)
  • Tweet / Instagram / FB / tumblr / google+ / ANY OTHER WAY YOU ATTACK THE INTERNETS with your own Sky Fall series fan art (Anything goes here--feel free to be as creative as you want.

You only have to do one--though you are welcome to do as many as you want. I'll reward you with an extra entry for everything you do (and every social media platform you post it on)--you'll just need to tell me what you've done so I can count your entries accordingly. Which brings me to:

STEP NUMBER TWO: 
  • Fill out the form at the bottom of this post, along with links to anywhere you posted the pictures/reviews. Form must be filled out by 11:59 pm pacific on Tuesday, March 18th, 2014*
*I'm giving you more time for this contest, because I know some of these things might be slightly time consuming (especially the reviews, since you'd probably, yanno, wanna read the book first) So I'm giving you two full weeks to enter. 

Step two is an absolutely essential step, because it's the only way I will see your entry. So don't forget to fill out the form. And International entries ARE accepted. 

I'm pretty sure that's everything, but if I missed something you are welcome to ask in the comments. 

Okay, here's the form! And if you can't access it for some reason, click HERE.

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17. Book Launch Party for St. Louis Folks

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18. Book Birthdays, Sick Kids, and Selling the House

If you don't want to listen to a writer who is completely overwhelmed go on and on about being completely overwhelmed, then stop reading now. Don't read one more word. But if you want to read and find out why this really nice writer is feeling stressed out and why she posted on Facebook, "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade or use them to squeeze into your vodka tonic," then please keep reading.

Full disclosure: I am a very lucky girl. I know this with all my heart. But sometimes, sometimes, life is so overwhelming.

On with the story. . .within one week, actually within four days, these events did and/or will occur:

  1. My 3-year-old has the stomach flu.
  2. The young adult novel I worked on for 7  years is finally born into the world. (Title is Caught Between Two Curses, and you can check it out here: http://www.rockinghorsepublishing.com/new-release.html)
  3. The closing date of the house we have been trying to sell for 3+ years is finally going to occur, and we are thankful we didn't lose "too much money."
  4. A book launch party 
 Here's the deal. I'm just going to admit it. I have a hard time with balance anyway. Being a writer and editor and a stay-at-home mom are all full-time jobs. I have help from my husband and grandparents, but it's still difficult to balance and keep the guilt in check. When I have a thousand things to do this week with the closing of our house and the book launch party--both happening at 4:00 on Friday!--I am well. . .feeling a little crazy.

What can I do?

Here's the part of this post where I am supposed to come up with some words of wisdom for you. Something like: take care of my family first, ask for help with the closing and book launch party, do as much as I can and focus more on book markeing next week, etc. This is good advice, right? This is what I am telling myself; but really, did you come to this blog post to get advice from me? OR would you like the opportunity to give advice? How often do you really get asked for your two cents?

I am asking you for your two cents! What do you do when you are feeling overwhelmed with your writing career and your personal life? How do you manage? Please share with me. I will be forever grateful. I will try your advice! I bet others will benefit from your advice, but they are just too scared to ask.

And if you want to check out Caught Between Two Curses--well, that would just make my day. It's a young adult novel for ages 14 and up. It's about:


Seventeen-year-old Julie Nigelson is cursed. So is her entire family. And it’s not just any-old-regular curse, either—it’s strangely connected to the famous “Curse of the Billy Goat” on the Chicago Cubs.

Julie must figure out this mystery while her uncle lies in a coma and her entire love life is in ruins: her boyfriend Gus is pressuring her to have sex, while her best friend Matt is growing more attractive to her all the time.

Somehow, Julie must figure out how to save her uncle, her family’s future, and her own love life—and time is running out!


I'll owe you one! 

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19. Reading under the Stars

photo (2)

Yesterday I read PLEASE, LOUISE aloud with students of The Wilkes School at Grace & Saint Peters and Midtown Academy. It was an enchanting afternoon sitting under the stars of Enoch Pratt’s Night Room chanting aloud the text from PLEASE, LOUISE. After we read together, I shared a bit of my journey as a young reader and artist along with a conversation about where ideas come from and how long it takes to make a book. And of course, there were plenty of questions that followed. At the end, I did a live draw of Patrick, a second grader I believe. Unfortunately, though, most of the students didn’t think that I nailed his likeness. Tough crowd ;-). Afterward, I signed about 60 books and gave away posters and bookmarks to all of the students who attended. What a great celebration of PLEASE, LOUISE and the power of reading!

A SUPER THANK YOU goes to the amazing Deborah Taylor, Coordinator of School and Student Services, who graciously offered her support of this launch and a second super THANK YOU to Dr. Carla Hayden, who provided each child with their very own  copy of Please, Louise. Dr. Hayden believes that children should not only have books available at their neighborhood library, but that they should also have books in the home. I concur! Thanks also to Selma Levi, for all of her support and for sharing the space with us!

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Exchange of the day:
After passing out books to everyone at the beginning of the presentation, one young man just couldn’t believe his luck.
Him: “I can keep this?”
Me: “Yes, it’s yours.”
Him: “FOREVER?”
Me: “Yes, forever.”
Him: “Whoa.”

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Special shouts out to the two big kids against the wall, literary homies, Mathew Olshan, and Jonathan Bean who came to show their support!

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20. LAUNCH: Maggie and Milo: frog hunters

Just in time for spring, a grandma (!) sends a surprise package of JUST what you need to Frog Hunt…so off go Maggie, a wee lively gal, and Milo, a huge loving dog!  Our Priscilla Burris brings the characters alive in her usual adorable and spunky way:  do check it out…. and it just begs for more adventures!  Kirkus Review loves it! as do others…. go Maggie and Milo!  and happy Spring finally to all….

A Maggi and Milo pic (3)cover, and below author reading to class….

milo author

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/juli-brenning/maggi-and-milo/

 

KIRKUS REVIEW

What do you need for a frog hunt? Big polka-dot boots, a book about frogs and one giant border collie best friend.

Maggi, a wisp of a girl with spindly legs and a large, wobbly head, is an excellent adventurer. She can’t wait to try out her new boots and search the pond for frogs. After a good night’s rest—and imparting forbiddingly specific instructions to her brother at the breakfast table (“Please keep the chitchat to a minimum. I’m in a hurry!”)—Maggi and her shaggy sidekick, Milo, are ready. However, after waiting “a million minutes” (or three) in the water, they haven’t found a single frog. With shoulders slumped and head bent low, Maggi declares frog hunting to be capital B-O-R-I-N-G. Until…Milo finds a frog! And another. And another. After 16 frogs total, Maggi and Milo rest. (Frog hunting is hard work.) As the sun sets and the palette changes to a dusky blue, the frogs quietly croak “good night” to their new friends. Debut author Brenning has created a charming duo; Milo’s steadfast loyalty (and joyful, lolling tongue, courtesy of Burris) fully balances Maggi’s quirky proclivities. A simple, everyday adventure is always better when shared with a friend.

Move over Ladybug Girl (2008), there’s a new spunky gal-and-canine twosome in town. (Picture book. 3-6)


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21. OUR PLEDGE…..BOOK LAUNCH!

CATugeau Agency is so proud to announce the launch today of I Pledge Allegiance written by Pat Mora and Libby Martinez and illustrated by our own PATRICE BARTON for Random House Children’s Books (Knopf).  Seems a wonderful time to remind ourselves how lucky we are who can make that pledge…and share it with our children. ENJOY!

I PledgeSmall (4).jpg BARTON


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22. Review – The Croc and the Platypus

The Croc and the Platypus I commented recently on the Further Adventures of the The Owl and the Pussy Cat by Julia Donaldson and Charlotte Voake. Donaldson’s ineffable lyrical style does indeed take Edward Lear’s nonsense tale one step further and is a jolly expedition for the reader to navigate through. As you’d expect, it’s a very good picture book. Then I found an even better one.

Jacki HoskingWith ute-fulls of respect to Donaldson and Voake, Jackie Hosking’s and Marjorie Crosby-Fairall’s debut creation of The Croc and The Platypus is a very, very good picture book.

Fans of Lear’s will relish the lilting musical quality of Hosking’s verse as she transports us as effortlessly as Julia Donaldson through the Australian outback with as an incongruous couple as the Owl and Pussycat; Croc and Platypus.

Hosking is spot on with this ingenious retelling of a childhood classic however, somehow makes it feel much more loose and flowing and bizarrely, even easier to read than the original. Her narrative sings with a down-to-earth gritty realism but is delivered with Lear’s same congenial, nonsensical joie de vive. Hub caps ring and didgeridoos blow as Platypus and Croc ‘play up a hullabaloo…baloo.’

I love Hosking’s incorporation of recognisable Aussie icons; Uluru, tea and damper and lamingtons to name a few as Croc and Platypus trundle across the plains eventually camping under the Southern Cross after cleverly procuring their tent. For those not so familiar with ‘click go the shears’ terminology, there’s even a neat little glossary.

Extra applause must go to Marjorie Crosby-Fairall for her truly epic acrylic and pencilled illustrations. The outback is vast and engulfing as are the illustrations of this picture book with gorgeously generous helpings of full colour, movement and sparkle on every single page.

Hosking’s appreciation of, commitment to and finesse with the rhyming word are self-evident. She works them all to perfection in this richly Aussie-flavoured celebration about embracing unlikely friendships and sharing stellar moments with those closest to you whilst enjoying a good old Aussie road trip.

The Croc and the Platypus has every reason to glow proudly alongside The Owl and the Pussycat, and dare I suggest outshine it. Croc and Platypus launch invite June 2014

Discover and rediscover all three books here. For those in Sydney around early July, make sure you don’t miss Jackie’s launch of The Croc and the Platypus.

Walker Books Australia June 2014

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23. Launch and award …

I’m a bit late in congratulating our CAT artist Martha Aviles (in Mexico) for her SILVER MEDAL Honor from the SYDNEY TAYLOR BOOK AWARD  presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries.  This award for STONES FOR GRANDPA from KarBen/Lerner publishing, is in the younger readers category. CONGRATULATIONS all!

Stones Aviles

ALSO, Priscilla Burris illustrated a wonderful trade picture book that just launched…. EDGAR’S SECOND WORD written by Audrey Vernick from Clarion.  It’s so endearing and might help an older impatient sibling should you know one!  congratulations Priscilla!

edgar COVER (3).jpgBurris


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24.

I've been a bad, slow, blogger lately (even more than usual!) but my excuse, apart from having a wonderful four weeks of travel, inspiration and, yes, even a holiday – is that I was copyediting, rereading, proofing and driving my editors crazy with last minute fiddling around with commas and words in Rescue on Nim's Island, right up to the time I left.

A month later, when I got home, my advance copies were waiting for me. Some have already been mailed to the winners of the Name the Character competition. But most of the books are on their way to bookstores now, for release at the end of the month, and so I'll be doing some running around to share them.

So here's a list of some of the events I'm doing in the next few weeks. (Though just if you were wondering, the NSW Writers' Centre Festival and CYA conference weren't organised around my book's release - just a very happy coincidence for me.)

                        Panel on Page to Stage and Screen
                        Panel on Writing, Pitching and Publishing a Series
  
July 1, 2014:  RESCUE ON NIM'S ISLAND  published (Australia)
  
July 3, 2014:  Carindale Library AuthorEvent, Carindale, QLD, Australia,
                    2:00 pm
  
July 4, 2014 Black Cat Books, Paddington, QLD, Australia
                 Launch of Rescue on Nim's Island                 11:00
  
July 8, 2014: East Melbourne Library Author Event, with the Little Bookroom              2:00pm
Address: 122 George Street, East Melbourne, VIC, 3002
Library Contact: Fiona Campbell, Events Manager, P: (03) 9658 9658
  
July 9-11, 2014: Mornington Peninsula Library Author Events 
July 9: Mornington Library, 2:30 
July 10, Rosebud Library, 2:30
July 11, Hastings Library, 11:00
  
July 26, 2014, Petersen's Books, Hastings,  launch of Rescue on  Nim's Island -launched by Sue Flockhart, commissioning editor, Allen & Unwin.
          2:00 pm           
Come dressed as one of the new visitors to Nim's Island!
           Colouring competition
           RSVP to info@teachersresource.com.au by 23 July


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25. Celebrating Trans Bodies, Trans Selves

We kicked-off Pride Month early this year, celebrating the publication of Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community in late May. Taking Our Bodies, Our Selves as its model, Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is an all-encompassing resource for the transgender community and any one looking for information. Covering heath, legal, cultural and social questions, history, theory and more, the book weaves in anonymous quotes and testimonials from transgender individuals, adding hundreds of voices to share the diversity of transgender experience.  Contributors, allies, friends, family members and community leaders gathered in the lobby of Oxford University Press’ New York office to fête the book. Here are some highlights from the evening.



Laura Erickson-Schroth, MD, MA, is a psychiatry resident at New York University Medical Center. She is a board member of GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality, as well as the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists. She is a founding member of the Gender and Family Network of New York City, a group for service providers interested in the health of gender non-conforming children and adolescents. She is the editor of Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community.

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