Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Only a few hours until...

It's finally here


Wooo hooo!!

Now. Before you're off to go shake what your mama gave ya for

 New Year's Eve... 

Let it be known that today the fun begins on TWITTER.

Party with us and many more:


So stop whatever you're doing, and warm up your tweeting vocal 

chords! Let us know what you're excited to read in '14!! 

We hope to see you there!!!

Kudos to the amazingly fabulous @Nikki_Wang and @KelsNotChels for organizing such an epic event! 

Friday, December 27, 2013

CUPID'S ARROW: My love for ... the #hashtag

I'm well aware that not everyone in the world shares my love for the symbolic little gem known as the hashtag. (I contend that these misguided haters are just non-creative types but that's a topic for another post.) But as I see it, the hashtag is a handy little tool that, when properly used, makes a run of the mill tweet/statement/email/opinion a heck of a lot more interesting. Case in point, this video by two of my best pals: Jimmy and Justin. (I just call them J-squared--they asked me to).

See??  Without the hashtag, this would have been little more than a cheesy conversation about cookies, kids movies and JT's teeth. So here's my argument to all the haters: If the hashtag elevated something this simple to hysterical standards, can you imagine what it would do for other ho-hums in our world?

For example:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, #duh that all men #&women are created equal #booyahbitch, that they are endowed #isthatthesameasbigbreasted by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights #score, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." #hellztotheyeah


"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. #impressive #showoff.  Now the earth was formless and empty #yawn, darkness was over the surface of the deep, #lochnessisreal and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. #mysterious #whatgenreisthisbook

 or maybe even this...

 "About three things I was absolutely positive. #overachiever  First, Edward was a vampire. #newsflash  Second, there was part of him #yeahtherewas– and I didn't know how potent that part might be #verypotent– that thirsted for my blood. #ew #buytrueblood And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him." #thisiswhatbiletasteslike

Yeah...I dare you not to love the hashtag now. #caseclosed 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Very Merry Valentine's Christmas

On behalf of every Valentine, I want to wish all of our devoted followers a most enthusiastic

and an even happier NEW YEAR!

But wait…new year. That means 2014 is, like, RIGHT THERE. Our debut year, in all it's terrifying glory, with releases and book sales and (more) cover reveals and and and...

Yeah, let's just stick with wishing each other a merry Christmas for now.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Sweet Six Squared: Meet the Sparkies!

Jen here. I'm so excited for today's post. I've got not one, not two, but SIX amazing authors here with me to answer our Sweet Six questions.  These lovely ladies are my Bloomsbury Spark pub sisters, and they dropped by today to celebrate the launch of our books in just two days!  You will swoon for these diverse YA and NA titles, and I hope you love these girls as much as I do. Without further ado, I give you...

Frankie Brown, author of UNTIL WE END; Christine Duval, author of POSITIVELY MINE; Jenny, Kaczorowski, author of THE ART OF FALLING; Cat Kalen, author of PRIDE'S RUN; Marie Langager, author of BEYOND OUR STARS; and Ashley Poston, author of THE SOUND OF US.

1) Tell us about your book!

Frankie: My book tells the story of Cora, a seventeen-year-old girl from the deep south whose little brother goes missing after the world ends. She meets a guy named Brooks who knows how to get her brother back, but Brooks says it'd be a suicide mission. Cora doesn't care. But Brooks can't let her go...

Christine: Positively Mine is a NA novel about a girl who goes off to her freshman year of college, discovers she is pregnant, and keeps it a secret the entire pregnancy. 

Jenny: Seventeen-year-old Bria Hale knows exactly who she is - the militant vegan, purple-haired queen of the art room - until she kisses the high school quarterback. 

Cat: Eighteen-year-old Pride is a tracker with a hunger for blood. Taught to trick, seduce and to lure, she is the perfect killing machine. Kept leashed in the cellar by a master who is as ruthless as he is powerful, Pride dreams of freedom, of living a normal life, but escape from the compound is near impossible and disobedience comes with a price. When she learns her master intends to breed her she knows she has to run. Pride soon learns if she is to survive in the wild, she must trust in the boy who promises her freedom, the same boy she was sent to hunt.

Marie: Fleeing a destroyed Earth, Hope has become a young leader for the people who remain, and when she is the only one who can withstand the tests of the natives on their new planet she is about to become their last chance for survival.

Ashley: It's a story about two young people who have both lost the person they love the most, and how they learn to stand again with a little help from their friends. And maybe a small dash of classic rock.

2) What scene in your book do you LOVE the most?

Frankie: I love the opening scene where the reader meets Cora and finds out how she's survived for nine months without leaving home. I had to do a lot of research to figure out how that'd be possible, and it was such a fun puzzle.

Christine: There are a couple but so I don't reveal the ending, I'll say my favorite is when my MC Laurel goes to visit her friend Audrey from her young mother's pregnancy support group. Audrey has everything Laurel doesn't. She's married to the father of her baby, has a huge loving family, and is on her way to finishing her degree. But in this one particular scene, Laurel realizes that Audrey is actually jealous of Laurel's independence. I really like their exchange. It made me cry when I was writing it.

Jenny: The almost-kiss in the shower, where Ben & Bria compare their scars. (Note from Jen: I LOVE this scene, too!!)

Cat: My absolute favourite scene is during the night of the full moon, when the boy she was sent to hunt, takes her into a cave, and uses distraction to keep her mind off her hunger! 

Marie: Ohh, the angry-kissing scene, the I'm-mad-but-I-can't-resist-you scene.

Ashley: Isla Lona. That's all I'm going to say. Isla. Lona.

3) If you had to pick a character you LOVE (and not your own!), who would you pick and why?

Frankie: A character that I haven't written? Well, if you follow me on Twitter, you know I'm a die-hard Sherlockian. So I have to pick Sherlock, of course! :)

Christine: Hazel from The Fault in Our Stars because she is just so strong for someone so young facing more than most ever face in a lifetime.
Jenny: Merrin Grey from ONE by Leigh Ann Kopans. She's small yet mighty, stubborn and fragile all at once. Everything I love in a YA heroine - and she made me cry the first time I read her story. 
Cat: Katniss Everdeen, Hunger Games!  She is fierce!

Marie: Captain Jean-Luc Picard! Indiana Jones! d'Artagnan! Too many options, I can't choose. 

Ashley: Gosh, this is hard... but Sophie from Howl's Moving Castle. I absolutely adore her gumption. Diana Wynne Jones always had a way of making fantastical characters believable and heartfelt, and I aspire to do that someday, too!

4) What's the craziest/most memorable valentine you've ever received?

Frankie: The most memorable valentine I've ever gotten was a hot stone massage followed by a five-course brunch. Maybe I'll treat myself to that this year!

Christine: An engraved Tiffany bracelet from a grown man when I was only twelve years old! Yup. It was kinda creepy and very Humbert Humbert.

Jenny: Our second year of marriage, after swearing we wouldn't do gifts, my husband bought me flowers, which we totally couldn't afford. 

Cat: Years ago, when I was pregnant and had strange cravings, for Valentines my husband brought me home a big sack of potatoes! LOL.  I was eating like 5 lbs. of potatoes a day! It was funny and thoughtful!

Marie: It involved a path of rose petals leading to a candle lit dinner of Chinese take-out with Boys II Men blasting in the background. I married him.

Ashley: Eeeek, well, I can honestly say I've never had a valentine. But the most memorable/craziest gift I've ever received was a Scrooge McDuck piggie bank, and every time you put money in it Scrooge would say, "AAH, THE MONEY. LOOK AT ALL THE MONEY!" Highlight of my childhood.


5) If you were a Brach's Heart, what phrase would be written on you?

Frankie: Kiss me.
Christine: Be True
Jenny: You Rock
Cat: Naughty...
Marie: <3's Magic
Ashley: Probably ALL THE FEELS.


6) The all-important choice: flowers or candy?

Frankie: CANDY. Of course candy! Anything with chocolate.
Christine: Flowers.
Jenny: Flowers. I buy my own chocolate ;)
Cat: Candy for sure!!
Marie: Sugarrrr!! My answer is candy. Preferably chocolate.
Ashley: Haha! Um, candy for sure! Can I say strawberries dipped in chocolate? Oh-hoho those are my favorite.

Thanks so much, ladies! Congratulations on the launch...I’m sure we’ll all be celebrating with candy, flowers, AND streamers on Thursday!

Connect with Frankie:

Connect with Christine:

Connect with Jenny:

Connect with Cat:

Connect with Marie:

Connect with Ashley:

Friday, December 13, 2013

A Valentine for the Valentines

Good morning! Normally on Fridays we profess our love for something suggested by our fans, but today I'm doing something a little different because 2014 is almost upon us: I'm professing my love for the other Valentines! Here it is--a Valentine for the Valentines.

Jaye Robin Brown, better known as Jro, is also an art teacher. Not only does she juggle her busy teaching career with writing, she manages a blog, too. How can I steal this woman's energy and bottle it for myself?

Lindsay Cummings just got married and has TWO books coming out next year. I think it's safe to say that she's in the middle of the most wonderful ride of her life.

Bethany Crandell isn't only an amazing writer, she's an amazing mom, too. Listen to how sweet her kiddo is: Recently, one of her daughters looked through her publisher's catalog at the upcoming titles and said, "Mom, this is what you were meant to do." Aww. If that doesn't melt your heart, then you're made of stone, my friend.

Bethany Hagen and I are both librarians, which means we obsess over the Dewey Decimal System too much. One day, while leaving work, Bethany posted a picture of a towering stack of library books she was checking out with the caption, "Hi, my name is Bethany and I have a problem." What's not to love? A book addict, librarian, and writer--officially the best combination ever! (Okay, I admit, I'm probably a tiny bit biased here...)

Kristi Helvig doesn't just write nail-biting science fiction--she's also a clinical psychologist. How amazing is that?! You know how some author's characters sometimes act in ways that don't make sense? Bet that doesn't happen to Kristi's characters.

Sara B. Larson must have an incredible sense of hearing. She can watch her little kids play and write a scene simultaneously--without letting her children's chatter creep into her book! If that isn't talent, then I don't know what is.

Kristen Lippert-Martin is the person to spend time with if you want to lose weight. Not because she'll force you to run around the block fifty times. Because she will make you laugh constantly until your stomach and cheeks ache. Doesn't laughter burn 40 calories an hour?

Lynne Matson has the best autocorrect on her phone in history. Seriously. Once she emailed the group from her phone, and the message was signed Zloty. We've all begged her not to get a new phone because the autocorrects are so hilarious.

Jen McConnel is probably the most positive person I've ever met. I don't think I've heard a single cross word from her. She's always encouraging and upbeat. Tell me your secret, Jen!

Sara Raasch is our fearless leader and one of the funniest people I know. Just don't take a drink while simultaneously reading an email from her because you'll end up snarfing out of your nose. Not that this has ever happened to me. Ahem.

A. Lynden Rolland is the queen of multi-taskers. She finished her edits and took care of her little kids while hobbling around on a broken ankle! Amy, we all bow down to you in awe.

Phil Siegel is the calm voice of reason. Whenever the rest of us get nervous, he talks us down from the ceiling. He's kind of friend everyone needs.

Paula Stokes is the wise of experience. She's been published before under a pseudonym, and has explained the intricacies of the publishing process to us newbies. If you want to know why she's called "Wise Panda," check Lynne's section.

That concludes my Valentine to the Valentines! I'm so glad I'm on this crazy rollercoaster with all of you!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

It's DECEMBER 2013, Which Means It's Practically JANUARY 2014!!!

If you have a heart condition that makes reading exciting news inadvisable OR you have an allergy to awesome blog posts, then you should stop reading this right now. 


There are just 28 days until 2014, and 2014 is when the tsunami of literary epicness will be unleashed like a sassy lady Godzilla onto an unsuspecting Tokyo! (Yes, you’re Tokyo in this metaphor. Don’t ask, just go with it.)


There are 34 days until Sara B. Larson’s DEFY is going to rock you like a hurricane. In the jungle. With swords. And swoony guys. That’s what I’m talking about.

And 62 days until Bethany Hagen’s LANDRY PARK is going to break your heart into three million pieces and then put them back together again, but you’ll never be the same. No, you won’t.

And 91 days until LYNNE MATSON’S NIL makes you wonder what you would do if you woke up naked in a field of lava rocks. Because someday you just might. It happens more often than has been reported in the mainstream media.

Oh, and about that last one. I have some insider information to share. If you take your fine self over to Lynne’s blog tomorrow or to Macteen, you might just stumble into Lynne’s #NILtribe giveaways. She’s got swag, NIL ARCs up for grabs, all that good stuff! The clock is ticking. Go, go, go! I’ll cover you as you run naked across the lava rocks!

It's completely understandable if you've begun to hyperventilate. Just stay calm, grab a paper bag from the display below the comment box, and do like Sheldon. 

I know. Right now you totally can't even, can you?