Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fun in Pasadena and other Tuesday updates

Had a blast this past Saturday at the Pasadena TX Barnes and Noble, signing and schmoozing with fans and new readers and #amazingauthors CC Hunter (aka Christie Craig) and Mary Lindsey. Huge thanks to Shawna Stringer and her assistant Lucy for setting up such a wonderful event! Here are few pics:

Mary Lindsey, Shawna Stringer (B&N CRM), me, CC Hunter

Lucy and Shawna and our poster! Which we got to sign!

Yeah -- it really was a great time!!

In other news, the delightful Katie over at Mundie Moms is still doing a SWEET DEAD LIFE giveaway to help celebrate the cover reveal of THE A WORD. Click HERE .

More news coming after Labor Day. HUGE wonderful news.

I'll leave it at that.

~til next time

Thursday, August 22, 2013


So last week I got to show you the gorgeous redone cover for paperback edition of THE SWEET DEAD LIFE, which is coming in February, 2014. I had loved the hard copy cover, but for the pb, my delightful publisher, Soho Press, came up with a new concept that even more fully captures the tone of the novel, of narrator Jenna's sassy, mouthy Texas girl voice as well as hinting at the angels that populate the book. Love! (more in a future post about the series and where it's headed and what people are saying!)

And now today I get to reveal the cover for THE A WORD, which is the sequel to TSDL, and which arrives on May 13, 2014, exactly a year since the TSDL release! I am so thrilled with this cover!!! It is gorgeous and perfect and I owe more huge thanks to publisher Bronwen Hruska and her merry band at Soho Press.

Here it is!!

See what I mean! LOVE!
And you can see here, with the two side by side that, they are really meant to go together on a shelf!

ARCs are coming soon, but for now I can tell you this about where the series is going with THE A WORD: (slight spoiler if you haven't read TSDL, but it does not ruin the central mystery):

Jenna Samuels is about to turn fifteen. It's been almost a year since her stoner brother, Casey, bit the dust. Almost a year since he returned as her guardian angel, along with his "angel boss," Amber Velasco, the hot twenty-something former EMT. Almost a year since Casey and Amber used up their one-time-only angel power of flight to save Jenna from the evil Dr. Renfroe, swooping down to catch her as she tumbled off the balcony at the Houston Galleria. In short, a lot of A-word shenanigans and a mostly happy ending.

Except now Casey's begun to wonder why he's still hanging around—not that he minds protecting Jenna. She's a handful, but there's got to be a bigger picture, right? Something to distract him from his on again/off again, doomed relationship with cheerleader Lanie Phelps, who has no idea her boyfriend is, well, dead. After all, he can't use his angel wings anymore. Neither can Amber. 

Enter Bo Shivers, Amber's "angel boss"—a mysterious A-word guy Jenna and Casey didn't even know existed. Whiskey-guzzling. Handsome in a grizzled way. Unpredictable. Okay, make that crazy. Bo lost his angel wings in an earthly flight a long, long, long time back—and he's been a thorn in Angel Management's side ever since. But Bo knows something is coming. Something big. Something that was worth forfeiting wings for Jenna... something that might just change everything for everyone.

Tell me what you think!!

A WORD cover coming!!!

1 CST today. Soho Press and I, with the help of Mundie Moms, shall reveal the A WORD cover and a lovely blurb!!

The book is coming May 13th 2014.
But the cover will be here today!
The team at Soho Press have outdone themselves on this one!!

Check back at 1 CST!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fall is Coming so it's Time for a Giveaway!!

Yes, I know it's still August. And I'm in Houston so it's still in the 90's and will stay that way for weeks. But we've had some cooler minutes this summer/month --a few miraculous mornings and evenings where I've been able to sit outside and read or walk the dog without slogging through the humidity. Of course then there have been the days where we come back and the bassett/boxer stands IN her water bowl, then collapses to the kitchen tile clutching her head with her wet paws. I wish I had an equivalent...

Still. Pumpkin ale just showed up on the grocery shelves. And school supplies and fall clothes have been wending their way into stores for a while now. Here where I live, the teachers all went back for inservice this week-- except for the ones who went last week because they've already started school. By this time next week, we'll all be back. And after my long haul in the public classroom, I still feel the pull  of it... It's almost time for high school Friday night football, after all!

I guess I have always love fall because I've set more than one book in that season. DREAMING ANASTASIA takes place in the fall. The sequel to THE SWEET DEAD LIFE, next year's THE A WORD, takes place right before Halloween. There is something about autumn that speaks to me. Something about summer's end and winter's beginning and the promise of spring. A new school year and my birthday and so many other things....

So, how do YOU feel about Fall/Autumn? What's your favorite thing or things? Cause even here in Texas where we are more seasonally challenged, it's still fall in so many ways!

Tell me what you LOVE about fall in the comments and one of you will WIN A SIGNED COPY of THE SWEET DEAD LIFE and a $5 Starbucks gift card!! So you can get a fall beverage once they're on the menu! Can you say Pumpkin Spice?

And come on out this Saturday 8/24 to the Pasadena TX Barnes and Noble at 2 PM where I'll be signing with 2 brilliant authors who are also lovely friends, CC Hunter and Mary Lindsey. Here's the link:

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Oh Those Red Cowgirl Boots: New Cover for THE SWEET DEAD LIFE Paperback

So, you know how I adore the current cover for the hard copy edition of THE SWEET DEAD LIFE. It rocks. But I am officially in gooey love with brand, shiny new version for the upcoming paperback, which will be out in February. The team at Soho Press/Soho Teen have totally outdone themselves! Oh those red cowgirl boots!!! Texas makeover of the angel book indeed!!

Let me know what you think!

WRITE ON CON is here!

Thanks to the lovely Lisa and Laura Roecker and other #amazingauthors WRITEON CON is here! You can attend from your computer. You can wear your pajamas! You can learn craft and pitch ideas and do everything you might do at a regular writing conference... just on line!!

I'm up at 11 (EST) talking about voice in YA fiction, gleaning examples from THE SWEET DEAD LIFE and other places.

Here's the link to Writeon Con:

See you there!
More soon.

Monday, August 5, 2013


 A Monday morning list of  THINGS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY:
(in case you should need to send gifts)

1. books/reading/talking about books
2. Authors/talking with authors/hanging out with authors
3. guacamole and avocados in general
4. waffles
5. waffles and bacon
6. Dove chocolate squares (dark)
7. most things lemon-flavored
8. well-crafted and creative or vintage-inspired cocktails (fig Manhattan is currently top of the list, just above a three olive martini
9. going to the movies/movies in general
10. popcorn at the movies
11. sunsets
12. all things Ireland
13. red wine -- just not the really cheap stuff. I believe that once you are over 30 (and I am well over it) drinking 2 buck Chuck should go the way of too much spandex and tube tops.
14. yoga, some days
15. friends -- my old friends, my new friends, my author friends...
16. eggs/breakfast in general
17. coffee and real lattes made by people who know how
18. my wonder agent
19. the hubs -- he is not necessarily 19th on my list. But I believe if he ever reads this post, this will keep him humble and trying harder.
20. music -- pretty much everything depending on my mood-- including the new-agey stuff we listen to during shivasana (the part of yoga class where you just lie still for 5 minutes)
21. pizza
Note: I realize that food and drink comes up a lot on this list. No judgment. Specifically, Chicago deep dish from Lou Malnati's or Gino's East. And thin crust from my own kitchen. (Yes, I make a mean thin crust.)
22. New York City
23. my brilliant editors (they too belong higher on the list!)
24. food trucks
(Yup. There I go again with the food.)
25. genre fiction, including but not limited to the Joss Whedonverse
26. making lists and checking off the things I complete. (It is a family trait. What can I say?)
27. sandwiches -- esp with bacon and guac
28. both the ocean and the mountains
29. road trips
30. Yellowstone National Park
31. people watching/having strangers tell me their life stories. (it happens. ALL THE TIME)
32. son, daughter in law, our family in general
33. our crazy basset/boxer mix rescue dog
34. the beach/driving Highway 1 in CA
35. SCBWI LA conference (which I am missing this year!)
36. Holidays -- pretty much all holidays, even Groundhog Day. Thanksgiving is way up there.
37. Chicago hot dogs. Yes, yes, I know. Food. What can I tell you? This means a poppy seed bun and a Vienna beef frank with neon relish and mustard and onions and sport peppers. NO KETCHUP. EVER. And please, no mayo. When we first moved to Texas someone who is still my good friend put out mayo at a bbq where we were having hot dogs. I about fainted. And not the good fainting. Check out Super Dawg to see what I mean.
38. Houston Livestock and Rodeo/my cowgirl boots (which I wear to the Rodeo and other places)
39. planning trips even if I end up not taking them. Yes, I am a great armchair traveler. I'm a great actual traveler, too...
40. Writing. Writing. Telling stories. Writing.

What makes you happy?