Monday, April 29, 2013

And the Winner is

So much fun hearing about everyone's favorite angel titles! (More on that in later posts since TSDL is definitely a Texas twist departure from the typical angel story)

And the winner of the SWEET DEAD LIFE PRIZE PACK/Read it before anyone else is:

Nazarea Andrews -- who wins the hardback copy of THE SWEET DEAD LIFE, the boot coozie and the postcards! If you could email me at joypreble at gmail dot com and send me your address?

But there is a runner up!!
Zoe Balderas -- you win postcards and a boot coozie!! So let me know your mailing addy too!

THANKS!! to all of you who participated.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


THE SWEET DEAD LIFE arrives from Soho Press on May 14th, but I have decided that's still far away! Cause everyone is dying (pun intended) to read this Texas twist on the angel genre. Find out about Jenna Samuels and Casey, her less than saintly brother and guardian angel. There's mystery and poison and breakfast tacos in this irreverent novel of family, love, and the healing power of kolaches. None less than Kirkus declares: "Hallelujah! A paranormal tale of angels that's not a romance. A novel that breaks the mold."

This is the book that begins: "I found out two things today: One, I think I'm dying. And two, my brother is a perv."

You KNOW you want to read on. Casey and Jenna want you to read on!

Best of all, one of you is going to get to read before everyone else!!!

Here's what you could win: A hardback copy of THE SWEET DEAD LIFE! SWEET DEAD LIFE postcards! AND.... A cowboy boot can coozie!  Your SWEET DEAD EARLY READER PRIZE PACK looks like this:

All you have to do is comment here on the blog and tell me your favorite angel book or movie or TV show and why. (of course, after you read TSDL, you will discover what you've been missing and it will be your favorite!)

Contest is open through Saturday. I'll announce the winner on Monday 4/29.
Make sure that you check back or that I can easily contact you when you win! Otherwise the prize will go to someone else!


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Little Turnings: Of the Writing Barn, The Official Sara Zarr, and a genius named Bethany Hegedus

The Official Sara Zarr and Me *
Spent the weekend in Austin in an intensely wonderful 3 day workshop with the brilliant YA author Sara Zarr. The topic was what she calls the "little turnings" of emotional pacing. It was a truly amazing time-- filled with hard work, lessons of craft, and the opportunity both to have my writing workshopped by 20 other mostly published authors as well as to workshop their pieces for them. There is, let me say for those who have never experienced, a certain level of bravery involved in stripping your work bare in front of 20 other writers. A great level of trust and respect that must exist for it to work.

Sara Zarr -- whose STORY OF A GIRL (Little Brown) was a National Book Award Finalist-- and who has written many other equally brilliant books that make me want to read them over and over, is a fine and thoughtful teacher. We talked about tools of writing craft, about beginnings, middles and ends. About how your readers are stepping through the door of your book and you must work to ensure that they are not confused. About character self-awareness and how it guides backstory. Prologues and flashbacks and methods of storytelling. 3 act structure and about the important marker that occurs somewhere at the first 30 or 35 pages. About emotional growth. And much, much more.

By the time Chris Mandelski (THE SWEETEST THING, Egmont) and I hit the road at 5:30 for Houston -- along with EVERY cyclist who had ridden the MS 150 from Houston to Austin and was now driving home on 290, bumper to bumper with us-- we were pleasantly exhausted from learning, talking, digging into the work. Also, there is a certain amount of red wine that is consumed in these events, particularly when 6 of us stay on the top floor of the Albert Oaks B&B and thus ensure that the party continues for a good long while...

Bethany Hegedus, whose most recent MG novel is TRUTH WITH A CAPITAL T (Delacorte/Random House) is not only an author and my friend, but also the Creative Director of an amazing space for writers in Austin called The Writing Barn. Her latest creation, this series of Advanced Writing Workshops designed for working writers rather than novices, is truly fabulous. If you want more information on the Barn,  click HERE .

We writers need our tribe. This weekend allowed us to bond and work and create and laugh. Amazing stuff!!

*Photo by Sam Bond

Up later this week: THE LAURA LINE by Crystal Allen and a contest for an advanced ACTUAL copy of THE SWEET DEAD LIFE!! (you know you want it!!)

Friday, April 12, 2013


And very few things are more thrilling than going to the mailbox and finding author copies of your upcoming book... followed by an entire box of them landing on your doorstep! Here are two pretty author copies of THE SWEET DEAD LIFE! My first hard cover book. With a beautiful dust jacket. See those boots on the back? They're on the spine, too! And when you take the dust jacket off, the book is PINK! And there are still boots on the spine. Oh my. *Fans self* *Swoons*

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

In Which I Gush over Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Have you read Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell? Well, you must. Run now. Get a copy. Download a copy. I promise you will love it.

If you ever wondered how great and distinct and phenomenal voice is achieved through 3rd person, read Eleanor and Park.

If you want to feel that first and passionate love between two people who never would have suspected that they'd fall for each other or even like each other, read Eleanor and Park.

If you want a story about a girl whose life is rocky and tough, who is basically raising herself, who didn't even know such FEELINGS existed for her, then read Eleanor and Park.

If you want a story about a boy who feels like an outsider for his own reasons and is kind to a weird girl for reasons he can't understand and then realizes that this is the person he is meant to love, then read Eleanor and Park.

It will delight you. It will make you laugh. It will make you cry. It will make you happy that you read it. It is a gem of a book.

If that's not enough for you, here's what Amazon has to say:

Eleanor & Park reminded me not just what it’s like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it’s like to be young and in love with a book.”—John Green, The New York Times Book Review
Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.

I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love—and just how hard it pulled you under.

When you read,  let me know what you think!

And if you're in the Houston area, come on out to Blue Willow Bookshop on 4/10 and watch me fan girl over Rainbow Rowell, when she appears with my pal CC Hunter and also Alyson Noel. Click HERE for more deets.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Another Day of THE SWEET DEAD LIFE trailer

Thanks to Marianne Nowicki of NoWicki Productions for another fabulous book trailer! I think it gets the concept of THE SWEET DEAD LIFE just right. Let's all watch it once a day until May 14th when the book arrives!

Monday, April 1, 2013

THE SWEET DEAD LIFE Trailer Reveal:Girls in the Stacks

Thanks to delightful Stacy Wells and Girls in the Stacks -- amazing Texas bloggers-- for hosting today's reveal of THE SWEET DEAD LIFE book trailer!!

Marianne Nowicki has done another wonderful job capturing the essence of the novel!

I'll put it up on this blog tomorrow, but until then here's your exclusive sneek peek! Just click HERE