Monday, February 28, 2011


First, with spandy new jpeg from Viking in my in-box, tomorrow begins the REVEAL of the

NEXT, the WINNER of the Literary Domesticity Prize is....

Raquel Byrnes! 
And, last but not least

ALA's Young Adult Library Services Assn's 2011 Teen Tech Week is March 6-12!

This terrific initiative highlights nonprint resources at the library.  This year will focus on encouraging teens " use library resources to express their creativity by developing their own unique online content and safely sharing it using online collaborative tools." For more info, click the 2011 Teen Tech Week page!  I think Young Adult Books Central,  ReadergirlzWord for Teens and Guys Read also offer cool opportunities for teens to have their cyber-say about books they're reading.  Check 'em out!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Perils of Techno-Improvement

Tried to do a few upgrades to the old computer yesterday and wound up jamming my comment box, among other things.  After a morning of uninstalling stuff, I think I've fixed it!  Sorry to those who tried to comment on FRANKLY FRIDAY yesterday.  So, if you tried to comment yesterday and it didn't work out, please do try again!

Friday, February 25, 2011


THE BOOKANISTAS have joined forces with THE READING ROOM to spread book love around the globe!

Click here to join The Bookanista Book Club at The Reading Room where you can check out all the books we're buzzing about!

It's clean.  Honest.  I washed it all and carried it as far as the front hall.  Note the internal rhyme in the previous sentence.  Far more poetic than domestic.

Do your kids dress out of the laundry basket?  Have you spritzed on the Chanel and worn that cute sweater two days running?  Do tell (or leave a link) in the comments below. And you can win stuff.


At 9 PM Pacific Time this Sunday (2/27), all folks who've left a comment on a Frankly Friday post from this month (2/11,18 or 25) will be entered in a drawing to win the LITERARY DOMESTICITY SUPRISE PRIZE (part awesome arc, part just funny)! US and Canada mailing addresses only, please. If you follow/friend me on Twitter/FB and/or Tweet/FB about Frankly Friday's February Prize, let me know in your comment and you'll be entered twice (honor system). Randomly drawn prize-winner will be announced on Monday, February 28th. Best and comments will be featured here at the blog in March.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bookanistas: FALL FOR ANYTHING by Courtney Summers

Plot without spoilers:  Raw and intense, Courtney Summers' FALL FOR ANYTHING follows Eddie Reeves as she struggles to make sense of her father's suicide.  When her long-time best friend, Milo, is unable to help her find the answers she seeks, Eddie turns to mysterious, older Culler Evans, a photography student of her dad's.  But Culler may be as damaged by the loss of Seth Reeves as Eddie, which may drive them both to a dangerous edge.

Literary Highlights: First, the title, which is rich with metaphor.  As you read along, you discover a million ways to understand this perfect choice.  Next, the descriptions of run-down buildings as on ongoing motif in the novel which counterpoint the emotional states of the people encountering them, both in photographs and (fictional) reality.  Finally, the evolution of Eddie's "cold hand" condition (no explanation here--just read it!)

Finally, just gotta say: The choices Eddie makes at key moments of the novel are stunningly scary but they ring very true.  I'm feeling along with Eddie every step of the way even when my rational brain is crying for her to think twice.  An emotional roller coaster ride that leaves you breathless.

Lookin' for more Bookanistas book love?
Elana Johnson is tickled pink for The Liar Society
LiLa Roecker is blown away by A Touch Mortal
Shannon Messenger can’t lie about her love for The Liar Society
Shelli Johannes-Wells burns for AngelFire
Scott Tracey is more than a touch impressed with A Touch Mortal
Myra McEntire reflects on A Touch Mortal
Beth Revis tells the truth about The Liar Society
Christine Fonseca is leveled by Leverage
Carolina Valdez Miller has tons to say about One
Jenn Hayley adores The Liar Society
Shana Silver can’t imagine you not reading Imaginary Girls
Katie Anderson wants to be Like Mandarin
Matt Blackstone loves The Hate List
Sarah Frances Hardy sings her praises for Mockingbird
Veronica Rossi thinks Unearthly is otherworldly
Michelle Hodkin champions A Dog's Way Home
Click here to join The Bookanista Book Club at The Reading Room where you can check out all the books we're buzzing about!

Closing by sending my sympathy to the many in the writing world who have lost a dear friend in the talented and gracious Lisa (L.K.) Madigan.  Read some lovely words from her agent here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Why is my hair so rockin', so rosy,
so full of pinkitude?

Yup.  I'm part of the
Blog Tour of Awesome
Stop by on March 25 to meet the
amazing authors Lisa & Laura Roecker.

In more AWESOME Bookanista news

the amazing Christine Fonseca

is sharing a chapter from her upcoming book: 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids

Oh, and if any Crusaders are swinging by, I'm NOT actually a fan of imperfection.  Know who guessed my lie?  Super-smarty Heather Hellmann.  Drop on over to her rockin' blog and say hi!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Gretchen McNeil COVER REVEAL!

 POSSESS (Balzer and Bray for HarperCollins, August 23, 2011)
Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her overprotective mom, by the hunky son of the police officer who got her father killed, and by the eerie voices which she can suddenly and inexplicably hear.  Turns out the voices are demons - the Biblical kind, not the Buffy kind - and Bridget possesses the rare ability to banish them.

Isn't it gorgeous?  Stop by Gretchen's Blog and share your passion for POSSESS!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Thanks for the new vocabulary, Rach!

Taking a break from preparing my soon-to-launch new blog, A Year of Auditions, to learn some new words from the amazing Rachael Harrie and to share a few thoughts with my fellow crusaders.  It'll have to be quick, because I'm  also meeting my husband for lunch at a Swiss restaurant (I do not like cheese, but I LOVE fondue). 

On to Crusade thoughts...I always hesitate to sign on to blog events as I worry that I won't be able to participate sufficiently (shh, that's a secret) and I'm constantly asking my writer friends if they think I'm over- or under-doing it (which can be annoying).  Still, I will not apologize for my zeal for fiction and blogging (to briefly bloviate, I am a dedicated writer).   I'm a ridiculous researcher, too, and happy to report that a Bing search for "blade" yields many links to a 2008 vampire film starring the currently incarcerated Wesley Snipes (okay, sorry, I'm really hungry right now and, for some reason, the word blade is yielding nothing but an image of a knife spreading butter on toast).

I spend hours at my computer almost every day.  This would be lonely if it were not for one of my favorite things: my furry secretary, with his fuliguline tendency to nest at my feet.  He's an imperfect Westie, not much bigger than a rabbit, with ears that don't stick up.   Luckily, I'm a fan of imperfection.  Otherwise, I'd never get through a first draft!

I may have revealed something that isn't strictly true, can you guess what it is?



(Did you guess from my shiny-paper hints on Friday?)
I cannot wait to share it.  The final jpeg is coming from my editor this week.
So hang in there.  SOON!

MEANWHILE, a bit of bloggy pondering...

Since starting (pathetically) to blog in 2007, I've gotten new freelance clients, an agent, and a book deal. I've joined a critique group and some writer-blogger collectives. My blog has morphed to reflect these evolutions. Now,

--I am approaching the six-months-before-publication marker.

--My spankin' new author website will go live next month.

--I am launching a new, related blog, called A YEAR OF AUDITIONS (more on this soon).

I imaging my blog will evolve some more.  Do you find your blogging has changed as your relationship with the writing world has changed?

Friday, February 18, 2011


Busy, busy here at the blog. 
So, here's the news-by-number

1 I'm taking part in Parajunkee's View's Follow Friday.  The question, courtesy of Dreaming About Other Worlds, is If you are a fan of Science Fiction what is your favorite book? If you haven't read SciFi before...any inkling to?

While I love contemporary, fantasy and dystopian YA, I'm not a huge sci-fi reader BUT Orson Scott Card's ENDER'S GAME rocks and Louis McMaster Bujold's world-building is a lesson to writers of any genre.

2 SOME UN-FRENCH TOAST: A photo journey through some of the bread products I've forgotten in the toaster after being seized by writerly inspiration...

Got a sad story about scorched spaghetti or a destroyed saucepan?  Have you blogged about food ruined while writing?  Think I should cut down buy a new toaster?  Do share in the comments below.  And you can win stuff.

3 At the end of this month, all Frankly Friday commenters will be entered in a drawing to win the LITERARY DOMESTICITY SUPRISE PRIZE (part awesome arc, part just funny)! US and Canada mailing addresses only, please. If you follow/friend me on Twitter/FB and/or Tweet/FB about Frankly Friday's February Prize, let me know in your comment and you'll be entered twice (honor system). Randomly drawn prize-winner will be announced on Monday, February 28th.  Best links and comments will be featured here at the blog in March.

(Hint: It's about a shiny piece of paper that goes over a book.)

Have a book-tastic weekend! 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bookanistas: THE LIAR SOCIETY by Lisa & Laura Roecker

Plot without spoilers: Kate Lowry is a junior at the exclusive Pemberly Brown Academy, an only child, a tennis player...and possibly losing her mind. It was bad enough losing her best friend, Grace, in a tragic accident. Now, Grace is sending mysterious emails from beyond, encouraging Kate to dig deeper into what happened that fateful night last fall.

Literary highlights: In THE LIAR SOCIETY, the authors depict the prep school world of Pemberly Brown in rich detail. You really feel like you're there. In Kate, they've created an ultra-modern Nancy Drew who embarks on a dangerous mission. And, within this page-turning mystery is a lot of sharp writing and sassy humor. Here's a taste:

"One of the unexpected side effects of your best friend dying and your other best friend publicly disowning you was that people stopped looking directly at you. They stared at my hair or feet or sometimes (and you know who you are) even at my chest, but no one ever looked me in the eye. It was like the grief in my eyes burned with such intensity that no one could look directly into them." (Chapter 11)

Finally, just gotta say: I love the Latin mottoes sprinkled throughout the novel and the way the authors tie them into Kate's moods as well as the plot. Faber est suae quisque fortunae, everybody, and nobody more than the amazing blogger-writer-sister team of Lisa & Laura Roecker. (If you want to know what that means, go read the book!)

Check out what the other Bookanistas are reading this week...

LiLa Roecker hosts a sunny tour stop for POSSUM SUMMER

Christine Fonseca shares her Guestanista Post: The Lost Hero

Shannon Messenger spotlights the cover of SO SILVER BRIGHT

Scott Tracey is inspired by ANGELFIRE

Michelle Hodkin toasts DEMONGLASS

Beth Revis finds MAGIC UNDER GLASS

Carolina Valdez Miller uncovers WORDS IN THE DUST

Megan Miranda joins up with THE LIAR SOCIETY

Bethany Wiggin glows for RUBY RED

Shana Silver gets psyched about WITHER

Jen Hayley raves about RAISED BY WOLVES

Gretchen McNeil gushes over BLOOD AND FLOWERS

Rosemary Clement-Moore revisits HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE

Sarah Frances Hardy is nuts for THE NINTH WARD

Corrine Jackson delights in DIVERGENT

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wordy Wednesday: PANIC!

I was happily anticipating my October novel debut until a few Wednesdays ago when Georgia McBride's amazing YA LIT CHAT featured a conversation about best times to submit to agents, schedule school visits, Tweet news and time to debut a novel.  How did I miss the giant ongoing conversation to the effect that debuting in fall is dangerous because the field is so packed and lots of high-profile authors put out books in fall?  And, this October is chock-full of amazing books I WANT TO READ MYSELF.  So, what am I doing?  Oh, yeah.  Panicking.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Back to Business Monday: SCBWI. Seriously.

Okay, when I make up imaginary award-acceptance speeches in my head (oh, admit it, you do it, too), at or near the top of my THANK YOU list is SCBWI.  Seriously.  Always.

How come?  Because I've learned more about the art, craft and business of developing my own writing career from SCBWI than I have even from my day job in publishing.  Woking to get your own novel published is a very difficult personal journey that, for me, wouldn't have happened without SCBWI.

A few bullet points to elucidate...
  • Got encouragement for my w-i-p at SCBWI Western WA's annual Great Critique.
  • Attended SCBWI NYC Author Intensive last year where I met an editor who requested my ms.
  • Presented at SCBWI Western WA 2010 conference where I met the awesome agent Michael Bourret who gave me a proverbial "kick-in-the-pants" and told me to start submitting my stuff.
  • Received several offers of agency representation and turned to fellow SCBWI-ers for decision-making advice.
  • Found my new critique group through SCBWI and am now at work on a new novel with their wonderful support.
So, seriously, if you don't belong to SCBWI join--both SCBWI International and your local chapter.  And if you live in the PacNW, come to the SCBWI-WWA annual conference on April 16 & 17.  You will not regret it.  Here's the link to the SCBWI Western Washington 2011 Conference.

Friday, February 11, 2011

DOUBLE-UP FRIDAY: Build your blogger platform & don't forget...

Check out the Second Writers' Platform-Building Crusade at Rach Writes.  It's an awesome opportunity to meet fellow-writers and like-minded bloggers.  Link on over and join in the fun!

AND, while you're clicking, don't forget to enter TO WIN COOL SWAG here at the blog.  Just follow the link and share a comment about an ordinary task that got neglected because YOU WERE WRITING (and you rock, you know it, so don't feel bad about all the tv your kids watch or whatever).

Happy Friday, everybody!


It turns out even the most tv-addicted preschooler will lose interest if you try to get them to watch (hypothetically) five hours of Wonder Pets while you finish copyedits.

Have you failed your kids, spouse, or pet for the sake of your manuscript?  Do you have a woeful tale of forgotten drycleaning, missed orthodontist appoinmtents, or running out of doggie's prescription ear meds? Do tell (or leave a link) in the comments below.  And you can win stuff.


At the end of this month, all Frankly Friday commenters will be entered in a drawing to win the LITERARY DOMESTICITY SUPRISE PRIZE (part awesome arc, part just funny)! US and Canada mailing addresses only, please. If you follow/friend me on Twitter/FB and/or Tweet/FB about Frankly Friday's February Prize, let me know in your comment and you'll be entered twice (honor system). Randomly drawn prize-winner will be announced on Monday, February 28th. Best links and comments will be featured here at the blog in March.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bookanistas: LEVERAGE by Joshua C. Cohen

Plot without spoilers...Danny is gymnast with dreams of a college sports scholarship.  Kurt is a football player trying to escape the nightmare of his troubled past.  Then, a horrific incident of school violence binds them into an unusual friendship.  Cohen's exploration of a terrifying side of high school athletics is counter-pointed by fascinating depictions of the diverse individuals who make up sport teams, each with different reasons for playing and different lengths to which they'll go to protect their teammates.

Literary highlights...Cohen tells his story from the alternating viewpoints of Kurt and Danny, often revisiting the same incident in two consecutive chapters, giving readers an almost cinematic experience of a given scene.  His descriptions of Danny's routines on the high bar make you feel like you're flying through the air with him.  And the way Cohen writes football behemoth Kurt's stutter is heartbreaking--a great metaphor for the involuntary silence that has been invoked upon others in the story.

Finally, just gotta say...LEVERAGE made me think hard about the pain not-belonging can cause--the risks some teens take, and the cruelties they are willing to inflict upon others, to avoid being alone.  This is an important story on the topic of bullying but, more importantly, it is simply a powerful and terrific read.

Looking for more Bookanista book love?  Hop on over...

Elana Johnson raves over BIRTHMARKED

LiLa Roecker is going bonkers for BETRAYAL

Christine Fonseca is dizzy for DELIRIUM

Shannon Messenger features WHERE SHE WENT plus an ARC Giveaway!

Carolina Valdez Miller is loco for LIKE MANDARIN

Beth Revis is remembering MEMENTO NORA

Jessi Kirby is sweet on XVI

Shana Silver is pumped for BUMPED

Carrie Harris gets hexed by HEX HALL

Rosemary Clement-Moore is enraptured by WARPED

Katie Anderson covets the cover of Myra McEntire's HOURGLASS

Corrine Jackson is dazzled by I AM NUMBER FOUR


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordy Wednesday: DEDICATION

So, working through the copyedits last week, I had one of those OMG moments.  I made it past the title page with my name and the publisher on it (though that was cool) and the copyright page (not too interesting), and then I got to the Dedication Page with its little note from the my editor: "Stasia, do you want to add a dedication?"
Do I?!?!?!?!

I've actually know to whom I would dedicate this book for a very long time.  Even before I finished it.  I wrote it very much with two people in mind.  It's a secret for now, but the dedication means a lot to me.  I'm kind of tearing up just thinking about the comment I wrote in the Track Changes program.  So, the answer to my editor was YES!  And that page may just be the one I most want to see in print.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Back to Business Monday: VSITS TO INKWELL & VIKING

Viking is an imprint of the Penguin Group, along with Dutton, Dial, Razorbill, Philomel, Putnam, and many others.  Their offices are in the West Village, a lovely, quirky part of NYC.  It was a thrill to stop by before attending SCBWI's NY conference last month.

I must preface the rest of this post with an admission of failure: I FORGOT TO TAKE PICTURES OF ANYTHING.  Oh, I had my camera in my purse, battery charged and at the ready, but I forgot to take it out even once.  SORRY!

Still, the day was amazing from start to finish.  It began with a visit to my literary agency where I met my agent, Catherine, for the first time in person. Then, we headed downtown for a yummy lunch with my editor, Kendra, and the talented writer Katy Longshore (her YA historical fiction trilogy will be published by Viking starting next year).  Finally, Kendra and I walked by to her office where I had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful people in editorial, sales, and marketing--and grabbed a pile of amazing arcs!.

The day was so overwhelming, so full, that I'm finding it rather difficult to find the words to describe it and WISH, WISH, WISH that I had a few pictures, since they say they're worth a thousand...

Friday, February 4, 2011


I am moving my book reviews to Thursdays because I've joined the awesome book-blogger-writer collective known as The Bookanistas!

I'm not sure why they took me in as I am NOT a snappy dresser. And these folks definitely like to make a fashion statement, as in the newest look for fellow Bookanista's, Lisa & Laura Roecker...

Yep, pink hair to match their main character. Now that's devotion to one's novel! I'll be reviewing their book, THE LIAR SOCIETY, soon. But, maybe I should head to Nordstroms tomorrow. Hmmm...

Oh, wait. I can't go shopping this Saturday because it's SAVE OUR LIBRARIES DAY, which means I'll be hanging out at my local public library and encouraging friends and kids to do the same. I found out about this special event for February 5th via the FACEBOOK PAGE of the American Library Association's great I LOVE LIBRARIES WEBSITE. ALA is helping raise awareness for this campaign started by the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals (whew--a long, British title). But, seriously, show your library some love tomorrow and stop on by!

Perhaps I'll go shopping on Sunday. 'Cause who couldn't use a cute little black dress?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wordy Wednesday: SCBWI & COPYEDITS & WORK, OH MY!

Today I was planning to post some more thoughts about my trip to NYC, meeting my agent in person for the first time, touring Viking with my editor, and the SCBWI New York Conference but, well, sometimes life gets in the way. So...

For an amazing, complete wrap-up of the events of SCBWI NY 2011, hop on over to the SCBWI Team Blog.

To read some of my personal thoughts on the conference, stop by the YA MUSES where I guest posted on the topic yesterday. The post includes a picture of me with the great Ellen Hopkins.  Oh, heck, here it is again because can you really see a snap of yourself with Ellen too many times?

Wondering how life got in the way (besides a new freelance job and catching up for work and plugging away at my author site and other online projects)?

Yesterday, my editor sent the copyedits for AUDITION. It is exciting to see your work in this form.  I am so grateful for the gorgeous job done by the copyeditor--excellent points/questions and clearly the work of a wonderful writerly hand.  Still, I must admit that I am not the best at the Track Changes mode in Word and working in this format makes me feel a little bit like...

Okay, gonna stop complaining and get back to work.  Sorry for the whine.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

COOL TUESDAY: I'm Guest Posting at YA MUSES!

I'm thrilled to be guest posting about the SCBWI NY Conference at YA MUSES. The Muses are a great group of YA writers.  Hope you check out their blog.

And, while you're blog hopping, be sure to stop by YA Highway where you can enter to win their "Super Shiny ALA Arc Giveaway" -- amazing swag!