Wednesday, September 10, 2014

And the Lame Posts Continue!

I know. I know. Not exactly the post of the century, but hey, I'm in the middle of a new book and I'm on a roll, so the blog must suffer (more). My love for LOL Cats will never die, though, so at least you get some writer/kitty humor out of me. :)

All the best!


Friday, August 1, 2014

Keep Moving Forward

Approximately 200 rejection letters sent between 2008 and 2009, when most rejections still came via snail mail. That's a lot of stamps and some serious carpal tunnel. 

My lovely agent, Marietta Zacker of Nancy Gallt, who I signed with April 2009.

 My first book contract for Nightshade City, September 2009

 Spring: 2010 My first real live editor edited manuscript. This was scary!

 Fall 2010: The first time I spotted (well, more like stalked) my book in a bookstore. Wow! 

Fall 2011: My 2nd Book 

Books published to date. 


Friday, April 11, 2014

French Cover Reveal for Catacomb City Tome 2, La Rébellion!

Bonjour, mes amis! I'm so lucky to get a sneak peek at the cover for Catacomb City, Tome II, which releases this June! This is the French version of The White Assassin, from Albin Michel--who have been great to work with. I'm in utter awe of this cover. The red is so incredibly striking and Billycan couldn't look more regal! The illustrator, Richard Collingridge, has really outdone himself. I think he may be a mind reader! 

I've been really lucky to have Richard and Omar Rayyan, my US illustrator, for the series. What great talent from both! Below is Omar's cover for The White Assassin. I love seeing two completely different takes on my books!  Très bon!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Free ebook of Nightshade City now through Spring!!

 No, sorry, no ribbons, but I do have free ebooks! :)
In honor of the release of Lords of Trillium and the new official Nightshade City website, my publisher, Holiday House, is giving out free ebooks of Nightshade City, Book I of the Nightshade Chronicles all through spring!  

To get your book, go to Amazon, Kobo, or Barnes & Noble and download the book that started it all (including my career) for free!  

Thanks everyone and happy spring!!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

BOOK BIRTHDAY: Lords of Tillium Giveaway and FREE STUFF!

Read an excerpt of Lords of Trillium here!

Finally, finally, finally, I get to celebrate my book birthday! It's been a while! Hopefully it's St. Patrick's day providence that my post is today!

In honor of the Lords of Trillium release, Book III in the Nightshade Chronicles, my publisher, Holiday House, will be providing free e-books of Nightshade City, Book 1, starting this week and for the next few months! The promotion will be through BookBub, so if you're not already a member sign up now (it takes literally a whopping 5 seconds) and they'll alert you every time free promotional books from publishers come out in the genres you choose! They have more than 2 million subscribers. You simply choose the genre you want and BookBub will send you links to books currently being promoted on their site. For all of you authors looking to promote, this is a great site to do so on, no matter what your genre. It supplies links for most e-readers (Kindle, Nook, Apple, Kobo, etc), so you do little to no legwork, other than clicking a couple times for awesome free reads.

Also, in further honor of the Lords of Trillium release, I'll be giving away 2 signed hardcovers of Lords of Trillium on Project Mayhem today. In order to enter, please follow PM if you don't already and leave a comment on the post (Project Mayhem Giveaway). Winners will be announced this Thursday on Project Mayhem and books sent out ASAP!

Thanks to everyone who's been so supportive of the Nightshade Chronicles! I love that writers and readers alike are so kind. What a great community we are part of!

Now go signup on Bookbub and they'll alert you the moment Nightshade City is available AND comment to win Lords of Trillium on the Project Mayhem blog! May the leprechauns be ever in your favor! ;)



Friday, March 7, 2014

Lords of Trillium Book Trailer!!

So, excited to finally see this book trailer on the...well...small screen! :) Please enjoy and look for Lords of Trillium coming March 14th, 2014! 

"Fast-paced and full of intrigue, this is one fantasy lovers won’t want to miss."
                                                                                -Kirkus Reviews

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cover Reveal! LORDS OF TRILLIUM - March 2014!

Hello, again! Happy soon to be Thanksgiving! Since I don't have a turkey to show off this year, I will instead show you the amazing new cover for LORDS OF TRILLIUM, the final chapter in the Nightshade Chronicles trilogy coming March 2014. Omar Rayyan, the illustrator, really outdid himself! I'm blown away by the detail, not to mention his masterful skill at animal illustration. For those of you who don't know him, he's known as the "Animal Guy" in the publishing industry. Clearly, with good reason!

For all the wonderful teachers and librarians who have requested bookmarks, they will be on their way soon! Thank you for your patience. :)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Parle Vous Francais? French Release of Nightshade City!

CATACOMB CITY, NOVEMBER 1, 2013 from Albin Michel
I've always loved foreign releases of American books! To see a book you love written in another language, with a brand new cover, is just fun to see. On that note, I'm elated to show the French cover of Nightshade City, retitled Catacomb City. The book releases next month and I'm overwhelmed to see my book in another language and from the great French publisher Albin Michel. Five years ago, I never would have believed you if you told me this would happen. I didn't have an agent back then and many times I thought I never would. Long story short, if this can happen to me, it can happen to you. :)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Building Characters with Depth & Detail -- Sept. 14th SCBWI IL

Click the picture for more information!

I'm going to be speaking to the IL SCBWI on Saturday, September 14th in Shiloh, IL and I'm so excited to speak to this fantastic group of writers! So if you live in downstate IL or St. Louis, maybe I'll get to say hello!

The workshop I'll be presenting deals with crafting and developing your characters and there will also be a session on writing a query letter. Perfect for writers of all levels!

I can't wait to see some old friends and make a bunch of new ones. Hope to see you there!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Hey! Ho! Let's Go--to Chicago! ALA has started!

ALA welcomes our colleagues, vendors, and other attendees to Chicago for the Association’s 137th Annual Conference June 27 to July 2. From the first year Chicago played host—in 1893, during the World’s Columbian Exposition—to now, 120 years later, we remain as committed as ever to the profession.  

Hello everyone! So excited it's ALA time in the beautiful city of Chicago! Are you going? If so, let me know. I'll be there signing books at my publisher's booth (Holiday House #2220) on Sunday at 3:00PM so please come say hello! I'll be arriving early to go check out the booths as well and preview all the delicious new books I want to devour! :)

Fun Fact: This is the 137th ALA! That is a lot of books! 
Chicago first hosted it in 1893! 
That's like 120 years ago! 


Oh, and here is something to get you going for the weekend! ;)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Good News!

Can't give deets yet, but my agency sold some awesome foreign rights for the Nightshade Chronicles series! I'm so excited about it! I'll just say the country is in Europe. Way to narrow it down, I know!

Also, the new expanded version (which I'm in!) of Demigods and Monsters: Your Favorite Authors on Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series, just arrived on my doorstep. I'm so honored to write along side such amazing authors, including Rick Riordan himself! My piece is all about Hades and Nico and their badness...but are they really that bad? You be the judge!

This is fun. This is me on my panel at the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival in the UAE. You can't hear me because of the translator, but I had no idea I talked so much with my hands! ;)

In other breaking news I'll be at the ALA on Sunday the 30th (3PM Holiday House Booth) for a signing, so please come say hello if you're going to be there! I also wished my agent a happy birthday over a month in advance yesterday, so that was kind of funny and a total fail on my part. And, last but not at all least, I'm waiting on the 2nd round of edits from my editor for Lords of Trillium, the final book in the Nightshade Chronicles series, which makes me excited, but also a little weepy. It's hard to say goodbye! 

Okay, back to writer's cave. I'm working on something new--and yes, as always, it's slightly dark and creepy. ;)