Friday, January 07, 2011

Spooky News & Night School Giveaway

Enter to win an autographed copy of Night School by Mari Mancusi (Book Five in the Blood Coven vampire series)(Berkley)! From the promotional copy:

Vampires, Slayers and...fairies?

Sunny and Rayne McDonald are about to get

After their parents’ shocking revelation about their fae heritage and an attack on their lives, the McDonald twins find themselves on the run—forced to hide out at Riverdale Academy, a boarding school for vampire slayers, deep in the Swiss Alps. With no cells, no internet, and no way to contact their vampire boyfriends—the twins are on their own.

Being a vampire stuck in a school full of slayers isn’t easy. Especially with no blood substitute stocked on campus.

Soon Rayne finds herself succumbing to her bloodlust and losing control—especially around the arrogant, but devastatingly handsome Corbin Billingsworth the Third—who isn’t sure whether he wants to kiss her...or kill her.

But when Sunny starts acting strange, Rayne realizes Riverdale Academy may be hiding some deadly secrets of its own—leading to a showdown in Fairyland that may cost the twins their lives.

To enter, comment or email me (scroll and click envelope) and type "Night School" in the subject line. Deadline: Jan. 21. Sponsored by the author; U.S. entries only.

Note: Joint Launch Party: Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Candlewick) and Night School by Mari Mancusi (Berkley) presentation and signing at 2 p.m. Jan. 29 at BookPeople in Austin. See details under "Cynsational Events" below!

More News & Giveaways

2010 Cybils Finalists from the Cybils 2010: Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards. Note: fresh, fierce picks in every category. Take a look!

The Creative Life Workshops from Children's Literature Network. Two long-time SCBWI members/children’s authors (Lisa Bullard and Laura Purdie Salas) are offering a series of online classes that will give you the inside scoop on how to submit your manuscript to a publisher. "Matchmaking Your Manuscript” offers guidance on how to create a “hit list” of the editors/agents that are the ideal targets for your manuscript. “Love at First Sight” offers personalized feedback to help you create a powerful and professional cover letter. The classes will cover manuscripts for children and young adults in all genres. Sessions begin Jan. 13. See more information.

See also Finding a Publisher Is a Lot Like Dating by Lisa and Laura from Donna Gephart at Wild About Words.

16 Must-Have Elements for a Successful Novel by Kathy Temean from Writing and Illustrating. Peek: "Only two thousand words – a suggestion only to change the subject as often as every two thousand words to keep the interest of readers who are growing up as members of the Twitter-Facebook-texting-random-browsing generation."

Are You Ready for an Agent? by Tabitha from Writer Musings. Note: insights from agents Jennifer Matteson and Edward Necarsulmer IV. Peek: "Unless you’ve got several sales under your belt that are doing well, don’t pitch an idea or concept with sample chapters in a query. Agents and editors need to see the completed manuscript for fiction."

Rearranging the Teen Shelves, compiled by Megan Crew from The Enchanted Inkpot. Authors weigh in on Barnes & Noble's recent decision to display books by genre/category.

How to Avoid Getting an Agent by Rachelle Gardner from Rants & Ramblings of On Life as a Literary Agent. Peek: "Sometimes we Google your name if we like your writing and are considering discussing representation with you. If we find things that scare us away, you'll never know we were even investigating you. You'll get a form rejection."

Readers Choice 2010 Winners from Young Adult Books Central.

How Much to Sell Yourself by Mary Kole from Peek: "Where’s the line between confident and bombastic?"

Manuscript Submissions Etiquette by The Buried Editor from Buried in the Slush Pile at CBAY Books. A list of tips for electronic submissions. Peek: "If you are doing multiple submissions, you need to send multiple emails."

Spooky Screening Room

Get to know the Class of 2k11: Debut YA and Middle Grade Authors:

And get to know The Elevensies:

Check out the book trailer for Desires of the Dead (A Body Finder Novel) by Kimberly Derting (Harper, Feb. 15, 2011). Source: Jen Bigheart from I Read Banned Books.

More Personally

Here's a terrific teen review of Blessed from School Library Journal: "A beautiful novel that ties together two other amazing books, Tantalize and Eternal, this story has wonderful characters and a timeless setting. I felt that I had glue on my hands—-I just couldn't put it down! This is a novel for just about any fantasy reader. I would, and will, recommend it to everyone. –-Marissa H., age 14

Turning to the kidlitosphere, Gwenda Bond at Shaken & Stirred says, "This series is set apart by its rich, quirky universe, the way Cyn plays with gender dynamics, and how truly funny and poignant it is. Not to mention it's in direct conversation with Bram Stoker's Dracula. I. Loved. It."

Thanks also to Reading in Color for featuring Blessed as its Waiting on Wednesday Pick!

Excited about the upcoming release of Blessed? Please feel free to grab a countdown widget for your blog or website with my thanks!

Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith ARC giveaway by P.J. "Tricia" Hoover from Roots in Myth. Deadline: midnight Jan. 14. Thank you, Tricia!

Reminder: Blessed: Interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith and Giveaway by Jen Bigheart from I Read Banned Books. Peek: "I started making notes on Quincie in late 2001/early 2002, so it's been quite a journey. She may well have small roles in future books-the graphic novels start coming out in Aug. 2011-but Blessed does conclude her big arc in the prose novels." Giveaway deadline: midnight CST Jan. 9. Scroll for more information.

Author Insight: Sold or Sell-Out? from Wastepaper Prose and Other Literary Woes. Note: I join 14 other authors in discussing the editorial changes we will make, won't make and why.

Reminder: Cat Calls E-Book by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Candlewick, 2010) is now available for free to Kindle users. See details.

Even More Personally

Last week was my birthday! Here are my flowers from Greg, who's blogging today at GregLSBlog about living in the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, a paleontology museum in a Claremont, California High School, and free "Paleontology for Educators" workshops that they're providing this winter. In other news, he recommends Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (Philomel, 2011).

On a sadder note, one of my favorite local restaurants, Katz's Deli, closed. It opened in 1979, ironically, with the slogan, "Katz's Never Closes." My thanks to Mr. Katz and my waiter, Calvin, for many breakfasts, now-and-again lunches, and the occasional dinner.

Farewell, One Pastrami Center! You (and your kosher breakfast tacos) are already missed.

Here's a peek at my work in progress. It's the (still untitled) fourth prose novel in the Tantalize series, and while characters from previous casts are in play, draws more from events in Eternal.

That's Music Choice (Sounds of the Season) on the television. Special thanks to April Lurie for the Diet Coke. Most appreciated.

Congratulations to Shayne Leighton on the sale of her debut YA novel, Of Light and Darkness, to Decadent Publishing. Shayne created the Tantalize and Eternal book trailers. Don't miss her new film, "The Incubus."

Link of the Week: Female Movie Character Rating Scale by Janni Lee Simner. Consider your work in progress with this in mind.

Spooky Events

Save the Date! Joint Launch Party: Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Candlewick) and Night School by Mari Mancusi (Berkley) book party and signing at 2 p.m. Jan. 29 at BookPeople in Austin. Event will include author talks, Q&A, refreshments and signing. Wear red and black if you're on the side of Evil or blue and black if you're on the side of Good. Bonus points (and possible prize) to anyone who dresses up as a vampire, shape shifter, vampire slayer, angel or faerie! Read a guest post by Mari on Kids Don't Read Like They Used To...And That's a Good Thing (on connecting books to technology). Don't miss the Night School blog tour!