Friday, October 10, 2014

A 13tastic Giveaway: 13 Classroom Sets + Skype Visits!

Educator friends, to celebrate the launch of THE 13th SIGN in paperback, Macmillan and I are teaming together to give away 13 classroom sets of THE 13th SIGN, along with Skype visits! Here’s what’s included in each prize package:

-5 signed paperback copies of THE 13th SIGN
-An educator’s guide for THE 13th SIGN
-A free 45-minute Skype visit with your readers!

How do you enter? Easy: simply email me anytime between Monday, October 13 and Friday, October 31 with the following information: your name, the school you work for, and your mailing address (in case you win!) Thirteen winners will be chosen from the entries. Please note that this giveaway is for U.S. educators (teachers, librarians, reading specialists, etc.) only. Thank you!

About the book:
What if there was a 13th zodiac sign? 

You’re no longer Sagittarius, but Ophiuchus, the healer, the 13th sign. 

Your personality has changed. So has your mom’s and your best friend’s. 

What about the rest of the world? 

What if you were the one who accidentally unlocked the 13th sign, causing this world-altering change, and infuriating the other 12 signs?  

Jalen did it, and now she must use every ounce of her strength and cunning to send the signs back where they belong. Lives, including her own, depend upon it.

THE 13th SIGN is a retelling of the twelve labors of Hercules, so a nice fit with a classics unit. Kirkus called it “the ultimate astrological fantasy.” Booklist recommends THE 13th SIGN for grades 5 – 8.

Thank you, friends! Good luck!

Thursday, January 02, 2014

And the word for 2014 is...

I played basketball for one year in seventh grade. (To be truly accurate, I played in A Basketball Game for 10 minutes or so in my seventh grade year.) So when my husband told me that the business buzzword of 2014 would be "pivot," the first thing that came to mind was Ms. Mitchell, my junior high basketball coach, yelling from the sidelines, "Pivot! Pivot!" 

Pivot. "To spin about a central point."  It sounds jargony. And lingotastic. And just vague enough/specific enough to have all the right qualities for a good buzzword. 

And the more I think about it, the more I like what pivot stands for: 
-to be both rooted and moving
-to have a core, an anchoring point, and yet always searching for new opportunities
-to seek out team players

To pivot means you're in a good position, but you are rotating to find a new perspective. To pivot is to see the same spot from many points of view. I am blessed in so many ways, and I feel centered (Usually! For the most part!) by these blessings. But like most folks, I could use a fresh perspective. I could be both rooted and rotating. I could seek out exciting new ways to do what I love, to search for avenues of improvement, to scan my surroundings and be AWARE. 

I could pivot. 

How about you? Care to share your word for 2014? 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Cover Reveal for FAKING NORMAL by Courtney C. Stevens!

Hello, friends! You might have thought that it would take an overwhelming, outstanding event to break me of my blog-posting silence. Well, you'd be right! Today, I'm sharing the cover of FAKING NORMAL, the amazing YA book by Courtney C. Stevens that will debut Spring of 2014. Courtney is in my critique group, so I had the honor of reading this book in its earlier stages. It's a beautiful, powerful story, guys. One you will read again and again, and absorb into your heart.'s more from Courtney! 

Hello awesome people! Before we get into the cover stuff, I want to thank all the bloggers and authors who are helping today with this reveal. This is such a fantastic and talented community, and I'm fortunate to be a part of it.

And now on to the main event, the cover of Faking Normal:

Designed by Laura Lyn DiSiena
Reasons I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the cover:

1. It’s beautiful.

2. It tells a story without words.

3. Have you seen the awesome paper cut trees???

Here's what the publisher (HarperTeen) has to say about Faking Normal:
Alexi Littrell hasn’t told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.

At school, nobody sees the scratches or her pain. The only person she connects with is the mysterious Captain Lyric, who writes song lyrics on her fourth-period desk for her to complete. With pencil marks and music, Alexi carves out a comfortable space for herself as she and the Captain finish each other’s songs – words on a desk feel safer than words spoken aloud.

But when Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend who understands her better than anyone. He has secrets of his own and knows all about suffering in silence. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally speak up.

With her powerful, moving debut novel, author Courtney C. Stevens emerges as an extraordinary new talent to watch.

Faking Normal will be released from HarperTeen on February 25, 2014. Yes, this is earlier than the date listed on Amazon
About the author:
Courtney C. Stevens grew up in Kentucky and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She is an adjunct professor and a former youth minister. Her other skills include playing hide-and-seek, climbing trees, and being an Olympic torch bearer. Faking Normal is her first novel.
The goods on the Cover Reveal Contest:

You don’t know me. Twitter doesn’t know me. Facebook doesn’t know me. Goodreads doesn’t know me. Amazon pre-sales doesn’t know me. (This is one of the great challenges of being a debut author.)

Please help change my anonymity by placing Faking Normal on the radar of readers, bloggers, reviewers, and you know … people who like to win stuff.

A few deets on the prize package-

The winner receives:

-          A signed ARC of Faking Normal

-          A hand-painted cover rock by Court

-          Signed postcard

-          Silicone “Channel Your Brave” bracelet

Since hand-painted cover rock isn’t usual book swag, I thought you might want a little background. In my little family, we paint rocks for significant events. I currently have three different book rocks that someone in my family made. One for when I got an agent, another for when I went out on submission, and finally one for when we sold Faking Normal.

I thought it would be cool if I shared the tradition with one lucky winner by making a cover-inspired rock.

(You might also be interested to know the bottom of the rock contains a spoiler: some of the first lyric quotes written by the main character and her Captain Lyric.)

Enter by filling out the Rafflecopter below.

(U.S. only. Giveaway ends July 8, 2013.)

You can find Courtney here:

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

And the winners are...

Congratulations to the following folks who were winners in the 13 Days of THE 13TH SIGN Preorder Contest!

Day Aries, sponsored by The Book Vortex: Lucile @ Book Sp(l)ot Review!
Day Taurus, sponsored by TheHousework Can Wait: Becky Levine!
Day Gemini, sponsored by Magnet 4 Books: CJ Schooler!
Day Cancer, sponsored by Abby the Librarian:  Julie Patton!
Day Leo, sponsored by the Mother-Daughter Book Club:  Penny Piva!
Day Virgo, sponsored by Market My Words:  Michael Gettel-Gilmartin!
Day Libra, sponsored by Elizabeth O. Dulemba: Betsy Fitzpatrick!
Day Scorpio, sponsored by Citrus Reads: prize donated back by winner for launch
Day Ophiuchus, sponsored by Young Adult Book Central: prize donated back by winner for launch
Day Sagittarius, sponsored by Bloggers [heart] Books: prize donated back by winner for launch
Day Capricorn, sponsored by Middle Grade Mafioso: Margo Sorensen!
Day Aquarius, sponsored by Smack Dab in the Middle:  Leane Gill!
Day Pisces, sponsored by From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle-Grade Authors: Kayla Beck!

And the Grand Prize Winner of the Nexus 7 ereader: Betsy Fitzpatrick! 

Thank you to the 13 amazing bloggers who participated in this event, and to everyone who preordered a copy of THE 13TH SIGN! A $1-per-preorder matching donation has been made to Reading Is Fundamental. I’m delighted to support an organization that puts books in the hands of kids who need them most.

And thank you, friends! I am floored by your enthusiasm and generosity! And if you haven’t already, hop over to take the super-fun 13th Sign Quiz!

You guys are the greatest. I am one lucky/blessed/happy author! 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Day Taurus of THE 13TH SIGN Preorder Contest... up! It's over at The Housework Can Wait blog, and there are some more great prizes today! Hop over and see how easy it is to enter! Preorder THE 13TH SIGN and make me give $$$ to RIF!

Friday, November 23, 2012

13 Days of THE 13TH SIGN Preorder Contest!

Greetings, everyone, and WELCOME, WELCOME to the 13 Days of THE 13TH SIGN Preorder Contest! I am lucky/blessed/very, very thankful to have 13 ahhh-mazing bloggers help me with this contest! There are over 80 prizes to be won (several each day for the next 13 days) and a grand prize of a Nexus 7 ereader, which can read ebooks bought from indie stores! (The grand prize winner will be announced here on Friday, December 7.)

AND! For EACH AND EVERY preorder receipt of THE 13th SIGN I receive, I will donate $1.00 to Reading Is Fundamental (RIF). RIF is dedicated to placing books in the hands of kids who need them the most. Please: make me give gobs and gobs of money to RIF!

Day Aries of this contest is sponsored by Hannah Courtney over at The Book Vortex.  Hop over there for all the details and see what TODAY'S prize is! There are many ways to enter the contest to win:

-Each preorder of THE 13th SIGN = 10 entries into grand prize drawing and 10 entries into that day’s drawing
- Each person who blogs about the contest = 10 entries into that day’s drawing
-Each person who changes Twitter or Facebook avatar to cover = 5 entries into that day’s drawing (for each day it is present)
-Each Tweet or Facebook status mention of the book and contest = 2 entries for that day’s drawing (must include hashtag #the13thsign)
-Each RT of book and/or contest = 1 entry for that day’s drawing

BUT. You have to preorder THE 13th SIGN to enter to win the grand prize and to have your purchase matched with a RIF donation.

ALSO. To make sure you get the correct amount of entries, please let me know if you’ve done any of the above! You can email me at with everything you’ve done to enter. 

So. Plan to visit each of these blogs over the next 13 days to see each day's prize package. There are books! And swag! Gift certificates! Jewelry! And MORE!

DAY ARIES: The Book Vortex
DAY TAURUS:  The Housework Can Wait
DAY GEMINI:  Magnet 4 Books
DAY CANCER:  Abby the Librarian
DAY SCORPIO:  Citrus Reads
DAY SAGITTARIUS: Bloggers [heart] Books
DAY CAPRICORN: - Middle Grade Mafioso
DAY AQUARIUS: Smack Dab in the Middle

And finally, just for fun: there is now a 13th SIGN Quiz! Take it and pass along the results of which horoscope sign YOU act like!