What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(tagged with 'Giveaways')

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Giveaways, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 934
1. Twelve Dancing Unicorns, by Alissa Heyman | Book Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of Twelve Dancing Unicorns, written by Alissa Heyman and illustrated by Justin Gerard. Giveaway begins September 21, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends October 20, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

Add a Comment
2. How Do Fairy Tales Affect Today's Teens? (& POISONED APPLES Giveaway)

When Hannah emailed me about POISONED APPLES, I could basically see her excitement seeping out into the email. It isn't often that she's this stirred up about a book, so when she is, I pay attention. So, of course I agreed to be a part of this blog tour (I promise, Hannah didn't threaten me . . . much). Check out Christine Heppermann's thoughts on Fairy Tales today, and make sure you enter to

0 Comments on How Do Fairy Tales Affect Today's Teens? (& POISONED APPLES Giveaway) as of 9/21/2014 2:04:00 AM
Add a Comment
3. BE A CHANGEMAKER by Laurie Thompson - Guest Post and Giveaway

I've got a slightly different sort of book for you to learn about today... It's called BE A CHANGEMAKER by Laurie Thompson and it's about kids taking charge to change their worlds for the better - powerful stuff! And something I fully support, which is why I was thrilled Laurie wanted to stop by to talk about it...


     I started working on Be a Changemaker in 2004. At the time, I was working on another book about ordinary people who had done extraordinary things. This is a common theme in much of my work, probably because I yearn to do extraordinary things despite feeling so very ordinary myself!
      While researching that book, I came across David Bornstein’s How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, which contains case studies of social entrepreneurs around the world who started innovative programs to solve various kinds of social problems in their local communities. I was so excited by Bornstein’s stories of individuals who had built lasting, meaningful organizations from the ground up and the myriad ways they had directly improved people’s lives. I remember shaking the book at my husband and saying, “You know who needs a book like this? Teenagers! If they knew they were capable of making the changes they care about, the world would be a better place for all of us. Why doesn’t someone write a book like this for them?” Obviously, that was a light bulb moment! I was someone, after all, so I would just have to write the book myself. With a new focus, I turned all my energies toward developing what would become Be a Changemaker.
      The people profiled in How to Change the World were all fellows in an organization called Ashoka, whose slogan is “Everyone a changemaker.” I soon discovered that Ashoka had a division called Youth Venture, which is specifically aimed at empowering young people to make positive changes in their communities, and one of their flagship offices was in Seattle, not far from my home. It felt like it was meant to be!
      Youth Venture invited me to attend a community workshop they were offering. The energy and enthusiasm there was infectious! The teens were thrilled to talk about the problems they saw in their communities and excited to work together to try to find solutions. Seeing them in action validated my ideas for Be a Changemaker. Everyone I met from the Youth Venture staff was supportive, too, despite the fact that I had never even written a book, much less published one! They knew that sometimes passion and persistence can be more important than experience, and their confidence in me was a huge boost.
      I got to work researching, drafting, and revising a proposal. I submitted the proposal for critique, got positive feedback, and kept going. I submitted again, got less positive feedback, and put it away. I learned more. I went back and started over again and again and again, round and round. After six years of this, I felt like I was finally getting somewhere and submitted the proposal to an agent. She liked it but wanted me to address a few issues. Feeling like I only had one chance to get it right, I worked on that revision for an entire year. It worked! Surely the hard part was over, right?
      Anyone who knows publishing knows it’s rarely that easy. It still took a while to find the perfect home for it, and then I had to finish writing it and go through the editorial process under tight deadlines and facing some unexpected medical challenges throughout. After all the initial waiting and painstaking refinement, I worried that the mad dash to the finish might cause me to lose sight of what I had been trying to accomplish and make me miss the mark I’d been shooting for all of those years.
      In the end, though, it turned out even better than I ever imagined. My family was behind me every step of the way. I was fortunate enough to work with a team of people who understood the vision and helped me nurture it all along the way. And, eventually, the process itself ended up coming full circle in the most fulfilling ways: I got to profile Divine Bradley, the inspirational guest speaker at that first Youth Venture workshop, in chapter two of Be a Changemaker; Bill Drayton, the founder of Ashoka, wrote the foreword; and David Bornstein read an advance copy and provided a quote. To an ordinary gal like me, that’s some pretty extraordinary stuff. And looking back on it now, it was worth every minute.

Laurie's favorite writing spot is her Treadmill Desk. Click here to learn more about it.


GIVEAWAY!
Blue Slip Media has kindly agreed to give a free copy of BE A CHANGEMAKER to one of my lucky followers. Must live in the US to win - enter below:

0 Comments on BE A CHANGEMAKER by Laurie Thompson - Guest Post and Giveaway as of 9/20/2014 8:26:00 AM
Add a Comment
4. Captain No Beard Series and Pirate Ship Giveaway of Treasures

The Children’s Book Review | September 19, 2014 In Honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day … Enter to win a complete autographed set of the Captain No Beard series, by award-winning author Carole P. Roman, and a Pirate Ship to deepen the imaginative play encouraged by these great books! One (1) grand prize winner receives: An autographed […]

Add a Comment
5. Friday Feature: Who R U Really? Book Birthday & Elixir Bound Sale and Giveaway


It’s a BOOKBirthday!
The birth of a debut book is often a long labor of love, and Margo Kelly’s Who R U Really? is no exception. Margo finished the first draft of the manuscript in 2010! More than four years later, more than four title changes, and way-more-than four revisions … it has finally arrived! WAHOO!

*.-*.-**throws confetti**.-*.-*
When Thea discovers a new role-playing game online, she breaks her parents’ rules to play. And in the world of the game, Thea falls for an older boy named Kit whose smarts and savvy can’t defeat his near-suicidal despair. Soon, he’s texting her, asking her to meet him, and talking in vague ways about how they can be together forever. As much as she suspects that this is wrong, Thea is powerless to resist Kit’s allure, and hurtles toward the very fate her parents feared most. Who R U Really? will excite you and scare you, as Thea’s life spins out of control.

“Kelly has painted a realistic picture of how a smart girl can get caught up in something dangerous online. … Guaranteed to give readers goosebumps.” -- School Library Journal.  (http://www.bookverdict.com)

“Thea’s mistakes, while frustrating to encounter, are frighteningly plausible, and the relationships among characters are well–fleshed out, especially between mother and daughter. Kelly’s first novel is a suspenseful page-turner.” -- Kirkus Reviews (www.kirkusreviews.com)

Who R U Really? published in hardcover and e-book versions by Merit Press (F+W Media) on September 18, 2014.

Buy online:

You can also enter for a chance to win a copy in the Goodreads giveaway here.

*.-*.-**throws confetti**.-*.-*

Margo Kellyis a native of the Northwest and currently resides in Idaho. A veteran public speaker, she is now actively pursuing her love of writing. Who R U Really? is her first novel. Margowelcomes the opportunities to speak to youth groups, library groups, and book clubs.

Follow her online:
Twitter: @MargoWKelly

Scheduled Appearances:
September 26, 2014 – 5pm – Book Signing at Hastings in Meridian, Idaho
September 27, 2014 – 4pm – Book Signing at Hastings on Overland in Boise, Idaho
October 3, 2014 – 7pm – Book Launch Party at Hyde Park Books in Boise, Idaho
October 11, 2014 – 4pm – Book Signing at Barnes & Noble in Boise, Idaho



That's not all! 



My fellow writer friend, Katie Carroll's YA fantasy, Elixir Bound, is on sale (ebook version) for only $.99 until September 27th. And there's a giveaway on Goodreads for a signed paper back. First, here's her book:




Katora Kase is next in line to take over as guardian to a secret and powerful healing Elixir. Now she must journey into the wilds of Faway Forest to find the ingredient that gives the Elixir its potency. Even though she has her sister and brother, an old family friend, and the handsome son of a mapmaker as companions, she feels alone.

It is her decision alone whether or not to bind herself to the Elixir to serve and protect it until it chooses a new guardian. The forest hosts many dangers, including wicked beings that will stop at nothing to gain power, but the biggest danger Katora may face is whether or not to open up her heart to love.




Ebook on sale for $.99 until September 27:

Prefer paperback? Enter the Goodreads giveaway here.

Add a Comment
6. A CAT NAMED TIM by John Martz - Giveaway!


A CAT NAMED TIM by John Martz is sort of like Richard Scarry for the more mature set. It's a series of stories of adorable and endearing characters such as "Doug & Mouse, Connie (a girl with big glasses), Mr. and Mrs. Hamhock," and of course, "Tim" - all in one book. It also reminds me a bit of Hello, Mr. Hulot in it's mini-story, yet graphic style approach. John stopped by to tell us more about it...

Q. John, Congratulations on A CAT NAMED TIM! How did the book come to be?
A.
Thanks! I have illustrated a handful of picture books for kids, and Annie at Koyama Press told me she was interested in publishing comics for kids and young readers, and asked if I’d be interested in something like that. My kids books up to this point have all been written by someone other than myself, so I jumped at the chance to do a book for kids in which I was both the author and illustrator.
     Click the image to see a larger version in a new window.

Q. Koyama Press does funky graphic novels and artsy books for a wide age-range. Some of their work is definitely not for kids, while other works are for the kids at heart - like yours. How did you hook up with Koyama Press?
A.
I first met Annie at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. We had emailed a few times before then, but hadn’t met. She expressed interest in my comics, and we’ve since worked on a few projects together, including The Big Team Society League Book of Answers, which is a collection of jam comics, and certainly not for young children. My style is heavily influenced by picture books and newspaper comic strips and Saturday morning cartoons, and while I don’t always do kid-friendly work, I do think I come somewhat naturally to it, and working with Annie and Ed Kanerva has been a joy.

Q. Who do you consider your target audience?
A.
I didn’t have a target audience in mind when I began working on the book. I wanted primarily to take the improvisational process I learned from working on both Team Society League and my comic strip Machine Gum, and apply it to a kid-friendly cast of characters. As the book took shape I saw potential to accommodate children who can’t yet read or are just learning; the scenarios and gags are fairly uncomplicated, and it’s mostly wordless. The minimal dialogue there is is more textural than textual, and I hope that the illustrations and scenes allow children to make up their own stories and explanations for what’s going on.
     Click the image to see a larger version in a new window.

Q. There are very few words in A CAT NAMED TIM, mostly series of illustrations with very clever twists. Can you describe your format?
A.
The book is primarily a series of double-page spreads, each one an independent gag or scenario. I don’t know if I can easily sum up the format other than to say that I enjoy playing with the formal elements of comics, and trying different panel layouts and different ways of directing the reader through an image or a series of images. I’m particularly drawn to the idea that comics don’t need to be read solely panel-by-panel, and that inviting a reader to examine the page as a whole, and see different moments in time simultaneously, is something unique to comics and illustration, and a fun thing to exploit.

Q. What is your illustration method and how do you conceptualize the stories behind your narratives?
A.
Each scenario started in my sketchbook as super-rough barely-legible-to-anyone-but-me thumbnail drawing. A sketchbook allows me to get ideas out my head quickly and with minimal fuss. These thumbnails are often only a starting point, and I like to save some of the final problem-solving, details, and specifics for when I’m working on the finished art.
      The illustrations for this book were drawn digitally in Photoshop. The process is similar to the way I learned to draw comics, in which I start with a “pencilled” line drawing of the page that acts as the skeleton of the finished artwork. I put together a palette of colours for the entire book, and I do a quick low-res colour study for each page before starting the final art so that the painting/colouring process itself, which is mostly done on a single layer, involves little to no thinking as all the planning has been taken care of.
     Click the image to see a larger version in a new window.

Q. It's truly an unusual book, and yet one that I think will really grow on people. Kids will love studying all the fun things you include in your illustrations. What were your influences with all the little details going on?
A.
You mention Richard Scarry in your introduction, and his books were a huge influence, of course. I loved his books as a kid, and I could spend hours poring over all the little details and miniature dramas in his busy pages. I have so many other influences, but for this book a short list would have to include Richard Scarry, Jim Henson, vintage Sesame Street, Sergio Aragonés, Where’s Waldo? books, Hanna-Barbera, Super Mario games, and Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.

Q. How are you getting the word out about A CAT NAMED TIM?
A.
The book debuts/debuted at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda Maryland, and I’m doing a joint launch party with Britt Wilson for her Koyama book Cat Dad, King of the Goblins at the kids comic store Little Island in Toronto on October 26.
      I’m grateful to be published by Koyama Press. Annie has fostered a lot of community and good will in the comics world, and that sort of thing (in addition to putting out good books) goes a long way in terms of generating buzz and support.
      You can also follow me on Twitter, @johnmartz, which is my social media platform of choice.

Q. I look forward to seeing more from you in the future!
A.
Thanks!

Enjoy this great video about John and his work (or CLICK HERE if the video gives you any issues):

John has also been very active with the TD Summer Reading Club in Canada.

GIVEAWAY!
Koyama Press has kindly agreed to send a free copy of A CAT NAMED TIM to one of my lucky followers. Must live in the US or Canada to win. Enter below:

0 Comments on A CAT NAMED TIM by John Martz - Giveaway! as of 9/18/2014 8:57:00 AM
Add a Comment
7. BLACKBIRD by Anna Carey {Giveaway}

Hello & Welcome to the BLACKBIRD blog tour! Check out today's feature below & enter to win a signed copy of BLACKBIRD! About the Book Written by: Anna Carey Published by: Harper Teen Releasing on: September 16th, 2014 Add it to Goodreads Get it From: Amazon | B&N Read a Sample A girl wakes up on the train tracks, a subway car barreling down on her. With only minutes to react,

0 Comments on BLACKBIRD by Anna Carey {Giveaway} as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
8. Coloring Page Tuesday - Crows Nest

     Friday is Talk Like a Pirate Day! Methinks our young pirate might run the ship aground if he keeps his nose buried in Treasure Island instead of on the view in front of him. Arrrrrrr!
     CLICK HERE for more pirate-themed coloring pages!! And be sure to share your creations in my gallery so I can put them in my upcoming newsletters! (Cards, kids art, and crafts are welcome!)
     Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week and... Please check out my books! Especially...

my debut novel, A BIRD ON WATER STREET, coming out next week! Click the cover to learn more!
     When the birds return to Water Street, will anyone be left to hear them sing? A miner's strike allows green and growing things to return to the Red Hills, but that same strike may force residents to seek new homes and livelihoods elsewhere. Follow the story of Jack Hicks as he struggles to hold onto everything he loves most.
AWARDS
**A SIBA OKRA Pick!**
**A GOLD Mom's Choice Award Winner!**
**The 2014 National Book Festival Featured Title for Georgia!**
**eLit 2014 Gold Medal Winner in the Environmental/Ecology/Nature Category**

0 Comments on Coloring Page Tuesday - Crows Nest as of 9/16/2014 8:20:00 AM
Add a Comment
9. Happy Book Birthday to The 8th Continent by Matt London!

Happy Hour banner

featuring

Matt London

8CIt’s always fun to celebrate an author’s debut novel, and this one’s in the family; Matt London is a dear friend of mine, as well as Jordon Hamessly London’s other half. Matt’s one of the hardest working writers I know, and I’m so excited that people finally will be able to read his novel. Tomorrow, his first book, The 8th Continent, will start finding its way into the hands and hearts of middle grade readers — as well as older readers who love a good adventure story and anyone who hasn’t quite grown up.

Yep, I’m definitely the latter. While I was reading an advance copy of The 8th Continent last weekend, it kept reminding me of favorite stories from my childhood. I used to love adventure books starring smart kids like the Danny Dunn series by Raymond Abrashkin and Jay Williams; the Alvin Fernald books by Clifford B. Hicks; the Three Investigators by Robert Arthur, Jr.; Matthew Looney by Jerome Beatty, Jr.; and of course, the Tom Swift books by Victor Appleton. It also captured the same humor, epicness, and thrills of one of the best cartoons of all time, DuckTales, and the fun and gee-whiz factor of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and Spy Kids.

I know I’ve just horribly dated myself, but what I’m getting at is I loved The 8th Continent, but 10-year-old me would have been obsessed with it. Oh, for a time machine…

The 8th Continent has broad appeal in the age of its readers and their interests, but if your kids love science, technology, and biology, you have to give them this book. There are lots of teachable moments throughout, from little quizzes forced upon the main characters — 10-year-old Evie and her 11-year-old brother, Rick — to discussions you can have with young readers about ecology, zoology, and even morality and family dynamics.

There’s also plenty of action and excitement with some tense chapters that will keep you turning the pages, and Matt sure knows how to turn a phrase. His liberal use of goofy similes always made me smile, and I often laughed out loud. One of my favorite sentences: “And then he saw it, a vacant white socket behind the wires, looking at him like a surprised ghost.” So adults will enjoy reading this adventure with their kids, too, and it could also be an introduction to other stories they’ll like: Matt has filled the book with sly nods to books like The Wind in the Willows and Charlotte’s Web, and when kids pick up on them, they’ll probably be grinning as much as I was.

But wait, what’s it about? Here’s the synopsis:

Evie and Rick Lane are determined to transform the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — a real life pile of floating garbage — into an eighth continent, using a special formula developed by their father. This new continent will be a place where their family can live free from the intervention of Winterpole, a global rule-maker run by bumbling bureaucrats. But eleven-year-old pink-and-plastic-obsessed Vesuvia Piffle, the secret mastermind behind the villainous Condo Corp, also has her sights set on this new land, and she wants to use it to build a kind of Miami-on-steroids. Now, it’s a race against time and across the world as the kids gather the items they need to create their continent. Because whoever controls the eighth continent controls our future. And the future can’t be both “green” and pink.

In honor of Matt’s release day, I’m giving away one hardcover copy of The 8th Continent (open internationally). To enter, just leave a comment saying what you would do with your own new continent and then fill out the Rafflecopter form below. And be sure to wish Matt a happy release day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congrats again, Matt! I’m really glad I won’t have too long to wait for the next book. :) I think this is a charming and clever series that will stick with kids for a long time and one day be remembered as a childhood favorite by a geeky 36-year-old reader like me.

EC MyersE.C. Myers was assembled in the U.S. from Korean and German parts and raised by a single mother and the public library in Yonkers, New York. He is the author of the Andre Norton Award–winning young adult novel Fair Coin and Quantum Coin, as well as numerous short stories. His new novel, The Silence of Six, a thriller about teenage hackers and government conspiracies, will be out on November 5, 2014 from Adaptive Books. You can find traces of him all over the internet, but especially at http://ecmyers.net and on Twitter: @ecmyers.

 

 

Add a Comment
10. Monday Mishmash 9/15/14


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Scholastic Book Fair  I'm helping out with the Scholastic Book Fair at my daughter's school this week. That's always dangerous because I can't be around books and not spend a lot of money.
  2. Kiss of Death  I have a FREE Touch of Death prequel novella from Alex's POV. It's no secret I love Alex, so I had to tell his story. It's been in my head since I wrote Touch of Death. Check out the cover below, and download it FREE here.
  3. Into the Fire Challenge  Have you seen my #IntotheFire Challenge? If you review the book on Amazon before October 10, you'll be entered to win an awesome prize. You could become a phoenix in the Birth of the Phoenix series and get signed copies of all the books! Check out my video about the challenge here.
  4. FREE!  In celebration of the releases of Perfect For You and Into the Fire, I'm making Campus Crush permanently FREE. It's already free on Nook and I'm trying to get Amazon to price match. Hopefully soon.
  5. Milayna Cover Reveal  Michelle Pickett has a cover reveal today. Milayna releases March 17 through Clean Teen Publishing. Check it out. 
    It’s hard being good all the time. Everyone needs to be bad once in a while. But for seventeen-year-old Milayna, being good isn’t a choice. It’s a job requirement. And it’s a job she can’t quit. Born a demi-angel, Milayna steps in when danger and demons threaten the people around her, but being half angel isn’t all halos and happiness. Azazel, Hell’s demon, wants Milayna’s power and he’ll do anything to get it. But he only has until her eighteenth birthday, after which she becomes untouchable.

    With the help of other demi-angels, Milayna thwarts the trouble Azazel sends her way. Fighting by her side is Chay. He’s a demi-angel who’s sinfully gorgeous, and Milayna falls hard. But is Chay her true love… or her nemesis in disguise?

    When she learns of a traitor in her group, there’s no one she can trust… not even the one she loves.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

Add a Comment
11. The Grisha Series Giveaway

   

This signed set of Leigh Bardugo's Grisha series could be yours! Shadow & Bone (paperback), Siege & Storm (paperback), and Ruin & Rising (hardcover)... and maybe some other goodies thrown in. What could they be? Buttons? Nail polish? Etherealki-blue kefta not included in the prize pack, though.

We love Leigh so much, we've already put her latest novel, The Dregs (due out summer 2015) on our to-be-read shelves. We cannot wait.

US addresses only (until I properly hit the lottery and can afford worldwide shipping).

Giveaway Rules:

  1. Open to US residents only. Ends 09/21/2014.
  2. We are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items. 
  3. One set of entries per household please. 
  4. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address. 
  5. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends. 
  6. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner. 
  7. If you have any questions, feel free to email us. You can review our full contest policy here
  8. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find. Thanks!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

0 Comments on The Grisha Series Giveaway as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
12. {Giveaway} Paying it Forward with Futuredaze 2: Reprise

By Erin Underwood One thing that people may not know about the science fiction community is the strong ethic to "pay it forward." [i.e. When someone shows you an act of kindness, instead of paying the person back, you pay that kindness forward to someone else.] This is one thing that I love about the people as well as the SF genre. It's a philosophy that I try to live by, especially

0 Comments on {Giveaway} Paying it Forward with Futuredaze 2: Reprise as of 9/14/2014 12:48:00 AM
Add a Comment
13. MIchelle Knudsen's EVIL LIBRARIAN - guest post and giveaway!

A dear friend of mine - Michelle Knudsen (of THE DRAGON OF TRELIAN, THE LIBRARY LION, etc...) has a new novel coming out called EVIL LIBRARIAN and it is a hoot! I'm thrilled she stopped by to talk to us about it today...

People often want to know the story behind a story — where the idea came from, what the process was from blank page to publication. The later stages are usually easy to talk about, but the beginning part is always hard for me. I try to pay attention, when I first start to get an idea, because I know people are going to ask me about it later ... but I’m usually just so excited to feel an idea coming together that I don’t want to think too much about where it came from and risk messing it up. Ideas can be fragile things when they first begin to materialize. And then of course once it feels solid enough to hold up to more intense scrutiny, often I’ve forgotten what the initial moment of inspiration actually was.
      Here is what I do remember about the very beginning of Evil Librarian: I wrote the first draft of the first chapter in late March/early April 2009. I was in my second semester at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, working toward my MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, and needed a break from the heavier fantasy novel I was focusing on as my main project. I seem to remember starting it while on a plane, but I may be making that up. It was only the second time I’d attempted a novel in first person (the first being my other VCFA novel-in-progress, started a few months before). I’d been purposely choosing first person at school because it was hard for me; close third person was my go-to POV, and I wanted to push myself to try different and more challenging things. It had been a real challenge with the first novel, slow and sometimes painful, but Cyn’s voice in Evil Librarian came so quickly and naturally to me that writing her story was a pleasure. I had no idea what the story was going to be about when I began. I just started writing. And then I liked it, and I kept going.
     I kept working on Evil Librarian throughout my MFA program (along with my other novel, various picture book drafts, critical essays, etc.), and by the time I graduated I had about 80 pages. I sent those to my editor, who liked them (yay!) and then worked on a synopsis to show her I could figure out where the story was going to go. And then I wrote another, longer synopsis, and then a chapter-by-chapter outline (another first for me) and then eventually I had the whole novel, which went through another couple of revisions under my editor’s guidance and then a lot of last-minute tweaks and fixes until they finally made me stop touching it and it was done.
      One of the hardest things about this book, other than eventually trying to figure out what was actually going to happen in the story, was getting past my fears of trying to be funny. At the beginning, I could see that at least some of the initial pages I’d written were funny; my advisors at school thought they were, and when I read little parts out loud at occasional writerly gatherings, the people listening laughed in all the right places. That was nice. When you read something serious to an audience, even if it’s great, the most reaction you get in the moment is sort of a hushed “hmmmm” sound. But when you’re funny, people laugh. Sometimes a lot. And it feels like very honest feedback — there they are, in the moment, reacting with pleasure to your work. It was amazing. But then I realized I had to keep being funny. On purpose. How could I manage to be funny for an entire novel? What if I couldn’t? What if only the beginning was funny, and then everyone kept waiting for the next funny part and it never came?
      One of my MFA advisors wisely advised me to stop worrying about it. I had enough other stuff to worry about; the plot, for example, since in the beginning I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. And I had Cyn’s voice, and Cyn was funny. So if I just kept going, it stood to reason that more of her humor would come across, and I could trust her to keep my readers engaged and laughing. So that is what I tried to do. And of course there was a lot of other stuff to focus on: not just the plot, but what I wanted the book to ultimately be about, the themes underneath the story, the relationships among the characters, the pacing and the (hopefully) exciting or scary parts and the integration of all the musical theater elements that Cyn and I both loved so much. It ended up being a story about a lot of things, I think, and also brought back a lot of my own high school memories, which were wonderful to re-experience. My high school friends are still some of my best and closest friends today, and although none of them actually make a specific appearance in the book, all of them influenced my take on this story and my vision for what Cyn’s high school experience was like.

BLOG BOOK TOUR!
Visit other blogs on Mikki's tour for EVIL LIBRARIAN:
WhoRuBlog, http://www.whorublog.com/ - 9/9/2014
Elizabeth O. Dulemba, http://dulemba.com - 9/13/2014
Random Chalk Talk, http://randomchalktalk.blogspot.com/ - 9/10/2014
Books 4 Your Kids, http://www.books4yourkids.com/ - 9/11/2014
Green Bean Teen Queen, http://www.greenbeanteenqueen.com/ - 9/12/2014
Katie's Book Blog, http://katiesbookblog.com/ - 9/15/2014
Word Spelunking, http://www.wordspelunking.blogspot.com/ - 9/16/2-14
Book Chic Club, http://www.bookchicclub.blogspot.com/ - 9/17/2014

GIVEAWAY
Candlewick has kindly agreed to give away one free copy of EVIL LIBRARIAN to one of my lucky followers. Must live in the US to win - enter below.

0 Comments on MIchelle Knudsen's EVIL LIBRARIAN - guest post and giveaway! as of 9/13/2014 8:38:00 AM
Add a Comment
14. Of Monsters and Madness, by Jessica Verday | Book Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of Of Monsters and Madness, by Jessica Verday. Giveaway begins September 13, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends October 12, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

Add a Comment
15. Uni the Unicorn, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal | Book Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of UNI THE UNICORN by Amy Krouse Rosenthal; illustrated by Brigette Barrager. Giveaway begins September 12, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends October 11, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

Add a Comment
16. Friday Feature: Into the Fire and Perfect For You Release Week SWAG Pack Giveaway!


I have two young adult novels that released on September 9th! Yes, two! They are both Ashelyn Drake titles. For those who don't know, Ashelyn Drake is my romance pen name. The first is a YA romantic fantasy called Into the Fire.
Seventeen-year-old Cara Tillman’s life is a perfectly normal one until Logan Schmidt moves to Ashlan Falls. Cara is inexplicably drawn to him, but she’s not exactly complaining. Logan’s like no boy she’s ever met, and he brings out a side of Cara that she isn’t used to. As the two get closer, everything is nearly perfect, and Cara looks forward to the future.

But Cara isn’t a normal girl. She’s a member of a small group of people descended from the mythical phoenix bird, and her time is running out. Rebirth is nearing, which means she’ll forget her life up to this point—she’ll forget Logan and everything they mean to one another.. But that may be the least of Cara’s problems.

A phoenix hunter is on the loose, and he’s determined to put an end to the lives of people like Cara and her family, once and for all.

Goodreads
Amazon
Barnes and Noble



The second is a young adult contemporary romance called Perfect For You.
Seventeen-year-old Meg Flannigan isn’t very self-confident, but what girl would be after her sophomore-year boyfriend dumped her by making out with another girl in front of her locker? 

Now a senior, Meg catches the eye of not one, but two gorgeous guys at school. Sounds good, right? What girl wouldn't want to be in Meg's shoes? One cute boy happens to be her boyfriend, and the other? Well, he wants to be. And Meg? She's torn between Ash, the boy she's been with for nearly five months, and Noah who is pretty irresistible. 

But Meg is playing with fire. Pitting two boys against one another, even if she doesn't intend to, could end badly if she isn't careful. 

Goodreads
Amazon



To celebrate the releases Ashelyn is giving away a SWAG pack that includes:
  • A flame pendant from Into the Fire
  • a phoenix button
  • a heart bracelet from Perfect For You
  • $5 Amazon Gift Card
You know you want to enter, so fill out the rafflecopter. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want to be a phoenix in the third and final installment of my Birth of the Phoenix series? Now you can be! Check out my Into the Fire challenge!

Add a Comment
17. FLASHLIGHT by Lizi Boyd - GIVEAWAY!


FLASHLIGHT by Lizi Boyd is a fascinating book. As a teacher of Design in the picture book MFA program at Hollins University, I often talk to my students about directing the reader's eye - usually through the use of light, contrast, saturation, etc. FLASHLIGHT hits all those buttons and more! With strategically located cut-outs and the flashlight beam highlighting small mysteries, I kept flipping back and forth through the book to catch vignettes I'd missed, like babies in a nest, or bugs in a bush. Truly, the book is brilliant. I'm thrilled to have Lizi here today to ask her about it!

Q. Lizi, congratulations on such a lovely book and all the fantastic praises it's receiving, like "This is creative genius at work" from Kirkus! How did the idea for this book come to you?
A.
My black labs, Zuli and Olive, went out for an evening ramble. I was working and suddenly realized they’d been gone for a long time. It was late fall, pitch black outside, so I took along a flashlight. I could hear them in the apple field below our house and when I caught them in the beam of light; their eyes, collars, the apples, field grasses were all in color. It was so utterly cool and simple. At that moment it became the idea for a book. My theory about ideas is that they’re all only ten feet off the ground and whomever reaches up and plucks it down gets to do it. I was excited this one was mine.

Q. This is a wordless picture book. How did you get the idea of it across to Chronicle Books?
A.
At the time I was working on INSIDE OUTSIDE, another wordless book so It wasn’t surprising to Chronicle. The next day I prepared a black paper mock up book and starting sketching it out. My mock ups are pretty tight and they have a somewhat finished feel and look, although they're not elaborately done. When I’m presenting an idea it seems best to show a mock up where there isn't a need for a ‘visual leap’ between a rough rough sketch and a finished piece. The closer the idea looks when it's presented the easier it is to ‘see’ where it can go.

Q. You must have dummied this up a million times to get it all to line up just right, yes?
A.
Thank you for appreciating how many go arounds one might need for such a seemingly simple book. Luckily it wasn’t even close to a million. I did do several rounds of mock-ups and many ideas for possible die cut shapes. Sara Gillingham, brilliant art director, did plenty of thinking too and Binh and many others in the production at Chronicle. It was truly a collaborative work.

Q. What is your illustration method?
A.
I used designer’s gouache on 100% cotton rag.The paper was quite unforgiving so it was very careful work and because it was rag I had to do several coats of the gouache to get the colors to pop.The die cuts were not part of the finishes so I used templates to trace out the reveals. There was a bit of reconfiguring of the die cuts by Sara Gillingham once all the paintings were done. Sara has a great eye and sensibility and knows all the computer tricks which I don’t know... here in a studio surrounded by two hundred plus paintbrushes.

I did most of the gray line illustration while I was at our summer house on Lake Sunapee. This is where I met the Luna moth, the tiny white spiders who crawled onto my paint tray one night and the small white moths. Our house sits by the water on one side and the woods on the other. I’d hop up, go hunt for some little forest greens, mushrooms i.e. and bring them back to the table. I finished the book in Vermont but needed to make a terrarium to remind myself of the Sunapee woods and all the smells.

Q. I love how the boy is curious, but when he loses his flashlight, it quickly turns to the animals being curious about him! How did where you live influence the story?
A.
Living in the country influences my work in many different ways. I take long walks with the dogs everyday so I‘m always seeing ideas along the way. And any work that’s going on in my studio is encouraged by these walks; the road, the quiet around me, subtle changes always help me to imagine different possibilities and directions.

Q. How are you celebrating the release of FLASHLIGHT?
A.
I had a wonderful launch party at our house/studio in collaboration with The Norwich Bookstore. We had a basket of little gray or black flashlights. I’d never done a launch party so it was really fun to celebrate this book.

Q. What's next in the works for you?
A.
The next project is different and has a bit of text. It’s working title and likely it’s final title is The Big Little Book. I’m in the midst of the sketches so I don’t want to talk too much about it because it’s still changing and showing me new directions. It’s a skinny, tall book, so look for it in 2015.

I will! Wishing you much continued success!
Check out this lovely book trailer!

CLICK HERE if the embedded video gives you any trouble.


GIVEAWAY!
Chronicle is generously offering one free copy of FLASHLIGHT to one of my lucky winners. Must live in the US/Canada to win - enter below:

0 Comments on FLASHLIGHT by Lizi Boyd - GIVEAWAY! as of 9/11/2014 10:48:00 AM
Add a Comment
18. Children’s Activity Atlas, by Jenny Slater | Book Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of Children's Activity Atlas, written by Jenny Slater and illustrated by Katrin Wiehle and Martin Sanders. Giveaway begins September 10, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends October 9, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

Add a Comment
19. A FALLING STAR by Chantel Acevedo - Guest Post and Giveaway!

Chantel Acevedo will once again be my kind host at the Auburn Writers Conference in November. She's so generous to other writers, so it is my great pleasure to help her celebrate the release of her latest book, A FALLING STAR. Take it away Chantel!

      One of the questions writers are often asked has to do with inspiration, and the places where ideas come from. I thought I’d share with you where the idea for A Falling Star came from.
      First, you need to know that it was an idea twenty years in the making. Second, you need to know that A Falling Star is set against the backdrop of the Mariel Boat Crisis of 1980, and the Cuban rafter crisis of 1990—two massive Cuban exoduses ten years apart, with enormous consequences for the island and for South Florida. In the story, Daysy, a 14 year old girl who arrived in Miami as a child as part of the Mariel boatlift, discovers that her parents have been keeping a very tragic secret from her. So, Daysy goes on the hunt for answers to her past.
      The story is inspired by the very true Mariel story of my childhood friend, Arlenys Casanova. She was five when she came to the U.S. with her parents as one of over 100,000 Cubans who sought exile on our shores over the course of one spring. Upon disembarking in Key West, she was lost for hours among so many thousands who milled about the docks. Her parents, panicked, inhibited by the language barrier, searched and searched, exhausted by the boat ride, terrified that after everything they’d gone through, they’d come to a new country only to lose their daughter. Arlenys was found, eventually, in the arms of an elderly blind man, who huddled with her in the shade, waiting for someone to come and claim her.
This is a photo of my favorite writing spot, which is in my living room, beside my colorful bookshelves, with my grandparents' engagement photo from Cuba looking on. My grandmother, who is still with us, is a wonderful story, and I feel as if I owe my artistic sensibilities to her.

      Arlenys gifted me with this story when we were fifteen, sitting on the sidewalk waiting for another friend to emerge from her house. She told it casually, softly, and I always remembered it.
      When I sat down to write a story about the many ways that Cubans have come to the U.S., Arlenys’ story bubbled up in my imagination, and I found myself asking, “What if parents never found her? Or worse, what if she’d been lost at sea?”
      Those are the horrifying and gripping questions that novels are born out of, and so Daysy came to be. I will be forever grateful for that afternoon in Miami, when Arlenys told me her story, for her enduring friendship, and for her parents, who had the courage to seek a better life for their little girl and brought one of my dearest friends into my life.

Bio: Chantel Acevedo has received many awards for her fiction, including the Latino International Book Award and an Alabama State Council on the Arts Literature Fellowship. A Cuban-American born and raised in Miami, Florida, Acevedo has spent time in Japan and New Zealand as a Fulbrighter, and currently resides in Auburn, Alabama with her family, where she is the Alumni Writer-in-Residence and Coordinator of the Creative Writing Program at Auburn University. Acevedo’s fiction and poetry have appeared inPrairie Schooner, American Poetry Review, North American Review,and Chattahoochee Review, among others. She is the editor of theSouthern Humanities Review, the founder of the annual Auburn Writers Conference, and the author of two additional novels, Love and Ghost Letters (St. Martin’s Press) and A Falling Star(Carolina Wren Press), as well as a novel for young adults, Song of the Red Cloak. A new novel, THE DISTANT MARVELS, is forthcoming from Europa Editions. She holds an MFA from the University of Miami.

GIVEAWAY!
Chantel has generously agreed to give an autographed copy of A FALLING STAR to one of my lucky followers. Must live in the US to win - enter below.

0 Comments on A FALLING STAR by Chantel Acevedo - Guest Post and Giveaway! as of 9/6/2014 10:02:00 AM
Add a Comment
20. Giveaway & Review! MADE FOR YOU by Melissa Marr

Thrilling contemporary romantic suspense from New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr. Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital to discover an attempt has been made on her life. But who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? Before she can consider the question, she finds that she's awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee

0 Comments on Giveaway & Review! MADE FOR YOU by Melissa Marr as of 9/8/2014 12:28:00 AM
Add a Comment
21. Monday Mishmash 9/8/14


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Into the Fire Goodreads Giveaway  Month9Books is offering 2 copies of Into the Fire on Goodreads. Go enter here!
  2. One Day, Two Releases  Tomorrow (September 9th) I have two YA novels releasing—Into the Fire and Perfect For You. Both blog tours begin this week and there will be giveaways associated with the tours and a SWAG giveaway here on Friday.
  3. Editing  Something must be in the air because I got six new editing jobs over the weekend and I was already in the middle of one at the time. This makes me happy. :)
  4. Renovations  My house still isn't completely finished. *sigh* My downstairs is almost back together, and we had the electrical inspection for the upstairs. Now just framing and plumbing inspections and then we can finish the upstairs. This will eventually end, right?
  5. Reading  My reading slowed down this summer so I'm now reading three books at once to try to catch up. Why is it that when I have more time for writing (during the school year) I feel like I have less time in my day as a whole?
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

Add a Comment
22. Giveaway: Fragile Destiny by Suzanne Lazear (US/CAN/Intl)

Book’s Title: FRAGILE DESTINY (Aether Chronicles #3)

Author’s Name: Suzanne Lazear

Book’s Release Date: 8/8/14

 

About the Book

 

Broken into pieces and hidden in the mortal realm long ago, the Staff of Eris bestows vast powers on whoever possesses it. King Brogan, V’s treacherous uncle, is trying to rebuild the staff. If he succeeds, the consequences for the Otherworld will be dire.


In a desperate effort to keep the Otherworld safe, Noli and V plot the daring theft of a jewel that is needed to complete the staff. But Brogan is not so easily defeated. When he and Noli finally come face to face, the balance of power shifts, and Noli must consider joining forces with an u nlikely ally in order to save the Otherworld.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_standing.jpgAbout the Author

Suzanne Lazear is the author of the YA fairytale steampunk series The Aether Chronicles. INNOCENT DARKNESS and CHARMED VENGEANCE are out now. The next installment, FRAGILE DESTINY, releases 8-8-14. Suzanne lives in Southern California with her daughter and the hubby where she’s currently attempting to make a raygun to match her ballgown. She’s also part of the Steampunk group blog Steamed http://wwww.ageofsteam.wordpress.com Learn more about the Aether Chronicles at http://www.aetherchronicles.com.

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr | Instagram | Pinterest

 

Giveaway Details

 

THREE winners.

- One US/CAN WINNER  will receive the Grand Prize - a Fragile Destiny Prize Pack (signed copy of fragile destiny, plus top hats, treats, and swag for 6).

- One US/CAN WINNER will receive a signed copy of all three books in the series.

- One INTERNATIONAL WINNER will receive a swag pack.

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries:

What new character's POV is included in FRAGILE DESTINY?  (If you don't know you can use the peek inside feature at Amazon to read the prologue and find out.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Read More

0 Comments on Giveaway: Fragile Destiny by Suzanne Lazear (US/CAN/Intl) as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
23. Awesome BLACK ICE Tote + ARC Giveaway

I am SUPER excited about this post today! I mean I'm usually pretty excited about giveaways, but this one is extra special. You may have noticed a certain blogger that has been showing up a lot on this blog lately. If not, that's ok, we forgive you, just try to pay attention.  Becca Fowler, from Pivot Book Reviews has been graciously helping out with reviewing through the "Review my Books"

0 Comments on Awesome BLACK ICE Tote + ARC Giveaway as of 9/9/2014 2:26:00 AM
Add a Comment
24. Coloring Page Tuesday - E is for Elephant!

     As a continuation of filling in my alphabet gaps, I give you an Elephant! Okay, okay, I've drawn elephants for you before. But they're just so danged cute and fun to draw!
     CLICK HERE for more coloring pages! And be sure to share your creations in my gallery so I can put them in my upcoming newsletters! (Cards, kids art, and crafts are welcome!)
     Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week and... Please check out my books! Especially...

my debut novel, A BIRD ON WATER STREET, coming out next week! Click the cover to learn more!
     When the birds return to Water Street, will anyone be left to hear them sing? A miner's strike allows green and growing things to return to the Red Hills, but that same strike may force residents to seek new homes and livelihoods elsewhere. Follow the story of Jack Hicks as he struggles to hold onto everything he loves most.
AWARDS
**A SIBA OKRA Pick!**
**A GOLD Mom's Choice Award Winner!**
**The 2014 National Book Festival Featured Title for Georgia!**
**eLit 2014 Gold Medal Winner in the Environmental/Ecology/Nature Category**

0 Comments on Coloring Page Tuesday - E is for Elephant! as of 9/9/2014 9:22:00 AM
Add a Comment
25. YA Authors as YAs: The Bethany Neal Edition + Giveaway (US only)

image
 

Welcome to the latest YA Authors as YAs interview!

Our goal? To prove that your favorite authors — no matter how AWESOME and COOL you think they are — were once awkward, weird, and they geeked out about fandoms and guilty-pleasure music JUST LIKE YOU when they were teens. (Most of them still do, you know, and that’s totally COOL, because being yourself is the ultimate in EPIC COOLNESS.)

Don’t believe me? 

Maybe Bethany Neal, author of MY LAST KISS, out now from FSG Books for Young Readers, can convince you with tales from her teen years. 
 

>> Click here to read the hilarious interview and enter to win a copy of the book! <<

 

image

MY LAST KISS

ISBN: 0374351287 (ISBN13: 9780374351281)

Publisher: FSG Books for Young Readers

Release Date: June 10, 2014



About MY LAST KISS

What if your last kiss was with the wrong boy? 

Cassidy Haines remembers her first kiss vividly. It was on the old covered bridge the summer before her freshman year with her boyfriend of three years, Ethan Keys. But her last kiss—the one she shared with someone at her seventeenth birthday party the night she died—is a blur. Cassidy is trapped in the living world, not only mourning the loss of her human body, but left with the grim suspicion that her untimely death wasn’t a suicide as everyone assumes. She can’t remember anything from the weeks leading up to her birthday and she’s worried that she may have betrayed her boyfriend. 

If Cassidy is to uncover the truth about that fateful night and make amends with the only boy she’ll ever love, she must face her past and all the decisions she made—good and bad—that led to her last kiss.

"A thrilling story of love and betrayal where a teenage girl must not only face her actions in her former life but discover which of her friends was her killer. A bittersweet contemporary romance that had me in tears in the final pages." – Amy Plum, author of Die For Me trilogy

image

 

About BETHANY:

Bethany Neal write YA novels with a little dark side and a lot of kissing! She is obsessed with (but not limited to): nail polish, ginormous rings, pigs, dream analysis, memorizing song lyrics, pickles, dessert, predestined love, not growing up, sour gummy candies, music videos, Halloween, and fictional boys who play guitar.

You can find her locked in her writertorium for insane amounts of time. But, hey, insanity is fun! Connect with her on Twitter @BethDazzled and Facebook.

 

 

>> Click here to read the hilarious interview and enter to win a copy of the book! <<

 

 

 


Read More

0 Comments on YA Authors as YAs: The Bethany Neal Edition + Giveaway (US only) as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts