Tuesday, July 31, 2012

YA Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This tri-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors...and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize--one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours.

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are TWO contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the BLUE TEAM--but there is also a red team for a chance to win a whole different set of twenty-five signed books!

If you'd like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt homepage.

Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the blue team, and then add them up (don't worry, you can use a calculator!).

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by August 5, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


I am hosting the fabulous Amy Plum for the YA Scavenger Hunt! Amy Plum is the author of the DIE FOR ME series, a YA trilogy set in Paris. Amy grew up in Birmingham, Alabama before venturing further afield to Chicago, Paris, London and New York. An art historian by training, she can be found on most days either daydreaming or writing (or both) in a Parisian café.

Find out more information by checking out the author website or find more about the author's book here!
Amy Plum's website

About Until I Die:
Kate has chosen to leave the comfort and safety of her human world in order to join Vincent in the dangerous supernatural universe he inhabits. For his part, he has sworn to go against his very nature and resist the repeated deaths that are his fate as a revenant—even though it will bring him immeasurable suffering. Heady with romance and rife with danger, the second book of the DIE FOR ME trilogy follows Vincent and Kate as they search—separately—for a solution to their plight, pursuing their quest from the glamorous streets of Paris to the city’s squalid underbelly.

It sounds amazing! I love the lush romance and drama of this series.

And don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Amy Plum, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 87. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the blue team and you'll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

Also, while you're here don't forget to enter the bonus contest for a signed copy of GLITCH I am running exclusively during the YA Scavenger Hunt. Click here to go to my Rafflecopter giveaway on Facebook!

To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author! Click HERE!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Imaginary Casting for GLITCH

I always love it when authors put pictures of what their dream cast would be if their book was ever made into a movie. Not because we ever expect for it to get made into a movie, but just because it's fun to put real faces on these characters who have lived only in our imagination. So without further ado, my dream casting for Glitch:

Zoe would be Vanessa Marano from Switched at Birth:

Adrien would be a younger version of Gael García Bernal:

And Max would look something like Alexander Ludwig (most recently seen as Cato in The Hunger Games):

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Waking Up & Great Love Stories

These last few weeks I feel like I'm finally coming awake after a long, long sleep. This is both literal and metaphorical. I've finally weaned myself off of sleeping pills that I'd been taking for two years, and I hadn't realized how much they'd been affecting my waking life until I stopped taking them. I knew I hadn't really felt passionate about anything artistic for a long while, but I thought it was just creative and physical exhaustion. My CFS had been kicking my butt since May and I've spent most of the summer stuck on my couch or in bed. And then there was the vertigo that completely immobilized me for a few weeks there.

BUT! So as to not go on like your grandmother listing off all her weird health problems, suffice it to say, physical therapy has helped the vertigo, the CFS has finally chilled out a bit, and life without sleeping pills has become suddenly more vibrant and alive in a way I hadn't realized I was missing until it has returned.

I find that my imagination is finally spinning again in a way that it hadn't for a long while. I've had three fully realized novel ideas this past month, wrote about twenty pages of each of them, and have settled on a project I feel so passionate about I wake up grinning I'm so excited to get started working on it.

I've also been watching a slew of movies that are full of the passionate ideals I'm trying to touch on in my writing. Most recently, Moulin Rouge, which is the perfect mix of ridiculous camp and stop-your-heart melodrama. I love me my melodrama. Those are the kinds of stories I love to devour as a reader and the kind of stories I want to create as a writer. As I was settling on the WIP idea I wanted most to work on, I was thinking about the kind of story I wanted to write.

First and foremost, I want to write a love story. And I want to write a love story about how the intersection of two people meeting and falling in love can change the entire course of their lives. This idea is near and dear to me: it's been my personal experience of love. I met the most amazing man on my first day of college, and our being together (through both good times and bad) has been the single most important factor in directing the paths my life has taken. I think about it sometimes--how very different our lives would have been if we hadn't met. I think about certain decisions and events that could have so easily happened a different way so that we'd never crossed each other's acquaintance. I've been married ten and a half years. A person is bound to change in that amount of time, and if you are very lucky, you learn how to change together in ways that continue to be compatible with one another. I've been incandescently happy in my marriage lately, but I think any great love, whether it ends happily or in tragedy, changes you, and those are the stories I want to read and write about.

Some of the movies I've been watching recently that highlight the kind of love that changes everything:

Friday, July 6, 2012

Last ARC Giveaway of GLITCH!

I'm doing a giveaway of three signed Advanced Reader's Copies of GLITCH. Giveaway is international! Click HERE to enter!

Monday, July 2, 2012

On Heather's Bookshelf

Wow, in a few days, it'll be just a month out from Glitch's release date on August 7th! This is insane and makes me teeter back and forth between being so excited I can barely sit still and feeling absolutely petrified. I'm trying to check off the things I need to do: get all my swag ordered in plenty of time for the release party, answer emails and interview questions, work on writing, deal with health problems, and occasionally flee from everything and lose myself in a good book ;)
Here are a few of the books I've read and really enjoyed this past month:

 Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini. I felt so lucky to get to read an ARC of this extradorinary and beautiful novel that explores some powerful themes of healing and forgiveness. And the swoonworthy boys don't hurt either ;)
 The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. This is an older book, but it came up on a Goodreads lists about great fantasy novels, and when I saw it was a Newberry honor book, I knew I had to check it out. It was a bit different from my normal reads, but I loved Gen's voice and the clever plot-work.
What She Left Behind by Tracy Bilen. This book was intense and powerful throughout. What do you do if right before your mom can enact her plan to leave your abusive father, she disappears? This psychological thriller had me flipping pages well into the night.