Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Debut Dinner & Schedule of Author Events

So thank you to everyone who sent in pics of TDD in the wild! The winner of the contest is: Sherry Bennett. Email me at readbree(at)gmail(dot)com to claim your prize.

Let's do the schedule first and then get on to the fun stuff (pictures!!).

AUTHOR EVENT SCHEDULE:

1. The Official Launch Party for THE DARK DIVINE will be this Saturday (January 2nd) at 3pm at The King's English Book Store. I'll be speaking, reading, signing . . . and there will be nail polish! Come one, come all!

2. On January 5th, I will be the special quest on the "Book and a Chat" show on BlogTalkRadio.com. You can listen online, and even call in and ask me questions.

3. On January 6th, l8bloomeronline.blogspot.com is hosting a group chat in honor of TDD. Come chat with us and ask me your questions.

4. I'll be doing a reading and signing at the West Jordan (Jordan Landing) Barnes & Noble on January 16th at 2pm.

5. I'll be participating in an Authorpalooza at the Sandy B&N on February 6th. This is a great opportunity to meet several local authors at once, and pick up great V-day gifts for your friends and family.

6. On February 13th I will be signing books at the Orem B&N. Come get a signed TDD for the special someone in your life--just in time for Valentine's day.


Okay, now on to the really fun stuff:

Since my official launch party isn't going to be until January 2nd, I was kind of sad thinking that December 22nd might come and go without any big bang, or fun way to celebrate. But never fear, my Mom was all over the idea of throwing a party for my close friends and family. We enlisted the help of my long-time BFF Michelle Sallay (professional wedding planner and photographer) to help us with the planning, and what she gave me was a beautiful once-in-a-life-time shindig that I will never forget.

My parents let us clear out their furniture and set up tables and chairs. Michelle used the purple theme of the book cover and decorated with purple and silver Christmas balls, purple flowers, and lots of candles.
My mom and sisters spent about two days cooking in order to make a feast for the crowd. There were tons of appetizers, yummy salad, the main course was Meredith Divine's famous Turkey ala king (from the book) and for dessert we had Grace Divine's delicious caramel apple pie (also from the book).
But the only thing that could top the amazing decorations and decadent food were the many close friends and family members who braved a terrible snow storm in order to celebrate with me. Everyone who was there was somebody who was influential on my path to become a published author. This night wouldn't have even been possible without them, and I am so glad they were there on this important night with me.
Me and my boys
Me and Brodi, just after I accidentally grabbed Brodi's boob. . .
and then I had to put a quarter in the boob jar for saying the word--again.

Kid Z, just after throwing a 20 minute fit about having to dress up for the party
James Dashner trying to explain why he didn't dress up for the party--or, you know, shave.
Me and writing buddies: Jamie Wood, Gaylene Wilson, and Kim Woodruff.
These are the friends who challenged me to finish writing TDD a couple of years ago.

Me and my man
The SIX, up to our usual antics
This evening also marked the first meeting of all members of The Other SIX.
They seem to have hit it off nicely. Cruise, here we come!

Me, apparently telling a funny story to my high school BFF, Nicole Hansen
My wonderful dad, getting a little choked up.
And that's my mom in the corner. She kept hiding from the camera all night.

And finally, me with Nicole Hansen and the amazing Michelle Sallay who planned the event.

Huge, huge, thanks go out to my parents and siblings for helping with the party. And big thanks to Michelle Sallay for all the decorating and for taking such wonderful pictures. If you need an event planner or photographer, you should check out her website HERE. Also, you can see Michelle's favorite pics from the party on her blog HERE.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

TDD Day: It's finally here!!

So business first:

1. Thanks to everyone who played the Book Triplets Scavenger Hunt! The winner is: Katie Bulter. Email me your shipping address at readbree(at)gmail(dot)com and I'll get your prize off in the mail.

2. Lots of new reviews for TDD were posted yesterday. Tons of 5-star ones, too! To see all the reviews of TDD, go HERE.

3. Many thanks to Mundie Moms for hosting an awesome Pre-launch Chat Party for TDD last night. We had a huge turnout, and it was so fun to answer questions. MMs also has a TDD forum where you can discuss all things TDD. I am a member of the forum and will be stopping by whenever I can. Be sure to check it out HERE.

Okay, on to the post . . .

So I really can't believe it! TDD Day has finally arrived. I woke up at 5:45 this morning and wanted to rouse my boys and have an impromptu dance party in the family room. But I figured I should probably let them sleep since we have a big day ahead of us. Little KidA is probably going to get dragged all over town in search of copies of THE DARK DIVINE on the shelves of our local bookstores. I hope he's ready to do a lot of picture posing.

Lately, a lot of people have been asking me what they can do to help with TDD. Honestly, the best thing anyone can do is to actually buy the book. My publisher has been really generous with giving out ARCs of my book. Which is great for generating buzz and getting reviews, but I am hoping that people who read the ARCs and loved TDD will still go out and buy the final version of the book. I am hoping you guys will spread the word about TDD to people you think will love it too.

(Side Note: Did you know that there are a few differences between the ARC and the final version of THE DARK DIVINE? And btw, the cover of TDD has more to do with the final version of TDD than the ARC. If you want to know how, you'll have to check out the final copy. *Mawahahaha* The purple and the nail polish totally make sense . . .)

A lot of bookstores are having to be tight with their budgets right now, so they may only have a handful of copies of the book to start out with. So if you go to a bookstore and they're sold out of TDD (as some of the Utah stores already are!) be sure to order the book while you're in the store. If they get people asking for the book, they will be sure to restock it on their shelves--and hopefully with even more copies this time.

I know not everyone can afford to buy books right now, but that's okay. Another great way to help out is to request TDD at your local library. If they don't have it yet, they'll probably order one in for you. Library sales count for a lot in this industry!

And of course, we can't have TDD day without a contest!! A few people have sent me pictures of TDD "in the wild." (i.e. pics of the book on the shelves of their local bookstores.)

Like this one from my agent in NYC:

So I am thinking that we should have an "In the Wild" contest. Go out and find a copy of TDD in your local bookstores or library and send me a picture. I'll be featuring some of the pics on my blog (Hint: Pictures with people in them are more fun! Maybe get a friend to snap a pic of you with the book.) and one lucky photographer will win a fabulous TDD Birthday Present!

What is in this fabulous birthday present you ask?

1. A TDD t-shirt of your choice
2. bottle of TDD nail polish
3. The TDD soundtrack
4. And a signed copy of BEAUTIFUL CREATURES

Here's how to enter:

1. Send me a pic of TDD "in the wild" and receive 5pts
2. Earn additional 1 point for each: tweet, blog, facebook post about the contest.
3. Winners will announced on December 30th, so that gives you a week to get a pic of TDD

And now, a special birthday treat:



This is a fan-made trailer by The Book Jackal. She read on my blog that I love Taylor Kitsch so she made a TDD trailer with the actors from FNL playing the parts of Grace, Daniel & Jude. Taylor Kitsch as Daniel!! *Swoon* Thank you so much, Book Jackal!

Have a Happy TDD Day, and a Merry Christmas,too! I know I will!!!

P.S. TDD would make a wonderful last-minute Christmas gift! (Ok, I'll be quiet now.)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I'll love ya tomorrow. It's only a day away!

So I seriously can't believe that THE DARK DIVINE comes out tomorrow. For the last year since I sold TDD (not to mention the last decade since I started writing) it felt like this day would never actually come. But now I can see it just over the horizon. It's tomorrow!

And some good things are going on that I want to share with you all:

1.Tonight Mundie Moms is hosting a Pre-launch chat party for TDD at 7pm MST/9pm EST. I'll be chatting with readers and answering your questions. So be sure to come on over and join the fun. To find out more info on how to join the chat CLICK HERE.

2. TDD got a smashing 5 star review from The Story Siren. Here's my favorite line: "Three words: I. Loved. It." To read the rest of the review, CLICK HERE.

3. Booklist gave TDD a great review, too. Can't link to this one, but here's my favorite part: "Despain raises complex issues of responsibility and forgiveness and offers no easy answers. Atmospheric and compelling, Despain’s first novel will be popular, and a sequel eagerly anticipated." Squee!

4. Rumor has it that B&N will be featuring TDD on their "Dark Romance" table, so be sure to look for it there. *Crossing my fingers this actually happens.*

5. Mundie Moms has started a forum for all things TDD. This is a great place to discuss the book, characters, your undying devotion for Daniel . . . You will have to register with MM to be able to participate, but don't let that scare you away. The registration is just to keep spammers off the site. They won't demand your first born kid or anything. Be sure to check it out HERE.

6. Today is the last day to enter the Book Triplets Scavenger Hunt. Win 3 signed books from 3 debut authors. Go HERE for more information.

7. Romantic Times just posted the 6th chapter of TDD on their blog. Be sure to look for it HERE. Remember, if you read the chapter and post a comment on the RT blog, and then come back here and tell me about it, I'll enter you in a drawing to win a prize from my random prize grab-bag. The winner from last week is: Brodie
(Email me at readbree(at)gmail(dot)com and I will send you a list of prizes to choose from.)

8. Tomorrow is a TDD Day! Come back here for a new post tomorrow--and a new contest to kick of my book's birthday.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Book Triplets Scavenger Hunt!!

(Note, if you're looking for the winners of the HUGE FRAKKING GIVEAWAY go here . . . but be sure to come back and read this post since there's a contest going on here, too.)

So as you all probably know, today is the 1 week mark until the debut of THE DARK DIVINE . . . but did you know that there are some other awesome books that are also coming out on December 22, 2009? I've teamed up with two of my amazing author buddies, Lindsay Eland (SCONES AND SENSIBILITY) & Rhonda Stapleton (STUPID CUPID) to celebrate the joint birthdays of our books--and we're throwing a scavenger hunt party for all of you!!

The prize is a triplets birthday package with a signed author's copy of THE DARK DIVINE, a signed author’s copy of SCONES AND SENSIBILITY,and a signed author's copy of STUPID CUPID! (I am very excited about both Rhonda & Lindsay's books and I will definitely be giving them out as Christmas presents this year . . . and getting a copy of each for myself.)

Here's what you need to do play the party game:

1. This post contains 2 questions about each of us authors. Find the answers to the questions by perusing each of our websites.

2. Once you find the answers, email them to me at readbree(at)gmail(dot)com.

3. Everyone who answers all the questions correctly will be entered into a drawing for the book triplets prize pack.

4. You can earn additional entries by tweeting, facebooking, or blogging about the scavenger hunt. Be sure to leave a comment here to let me know where you have advertised the contest!

5. All three of us authors are hosting this scavenger hunt with different questions on our blogs. So that means after you enter my contest, you can visit their blogs and play again. (Hint, you may want to collect all of the questions from out blogs before you peruse our websites for the answers to save time.)

Okay, on to the game:

First off it Rhonda Stapleton and her book STUPID CUPID!


Felicity Walker believes in true love. That’s why she applies for a gig at the matchmaking company Cupid’s Hollow. But when Felicity gets the job, she learns that she isn’t just a matchmaker…she’s a cupid! (There’s more than one of them, you know.)

Armed with a hot pink, tricked-out PDA infused with the latest in cupid magic (love arrows shot through email), Felicity works to meet her quota of successful matches. But when she bends the rules of cupidity by matching her best friend Maya with three different boys at once, disaster strikes. Felicity needs to come up with a plan to set it all right, pronto, before she gets fired…and before Maya ends up with her heart split in three.

Now check out Rhonda's website www.rhondastapleton.com to find out the answers to these questions:


1. In her 1st Q&A question, what does Rhonda say she's really bad at?

2. How many different ways total are listed on Rhonda's site for contacting her?


Next up is Lindsay Eland and her book SCONES AND SENSIBILITY being released by Egmont USA on December 22, 2009!

Seek tirelessly and you shall not find a contemporary heroine of middle-grade literature as refined and romantic as Miss Polly Madassa. Still swooning over the romantic conclusions of Pride & Prejudice and Anne of Green Gables, twelve-year-old Polly decides her purpose in life: helping along lonely hearts in search of love. Polly's only task this summer is to make deliveries for her parents' bakery, leaving ample time for this young cupid to find hearts to mend--beginning with the kite-store owner, Mr. Nightquist, who will pair perfectly with Miss Wiskerton (the unfairly labeled town curmudgeon). Polly's best friend Fran Fisk is in desperate need of a mother ever since hers ran off with a man she met on the Internet; Polly must find a match for Mr. Fisk. And while she's at it, it wouldn't hurt to find Clementine, Polly's teenaged sister, a beau worthy of her (so she can shed that brute, Clint). Polly's plans are in full swing, so she definitely cannot be bothered by the advances of classmate Brad Barker.


But maybe Polly should have turned her attention to Miss Austen's Emma next, because she quickly learns the pitfalls of playing matchmaker. How will Polly patch up her own relationships, while ensuring that destined love can take its course?

Now go search Lindsay's website www.lindsayeland.com to find the answers to these questions:

1. What is Lindsay's all-time favorite TV show...ever?


2. True or False: Lindsay loves nuts in her chocolate.


And finally, here are two questions about me. Find the answer at www.breedespain.com

1. True or False: Bree has 3 little girls who keep her really busy.

2. Name 2 of Bree's favorite bands.


Thanks for playing our Book Triplets Scavenger Hunt! Be sure to email me your answers at readbree(at)gmail(dot)com. And don't forget that you can enter the contest on each of our blogs.

Winner’s will be announced on release day…December 22, 2009!

Huge Frakkin' Giveaway winners + more.

So THE DARK DIVINE releases one week from today. Woohoo! (Holy crap, holy crap holy crap... *rushes to find a brown paper bag to stop the hyperventalation*).

Ok. All better now. So one week left, and that means we have some business to take care of and winners to announce.

First, don't forget about the Romantic Times preview of THE DARK DIVINE. Chapter 5 was posted yesterday on their blog. If you go over there and read the chapter, leave a comment on the RT blog, and then come back here and tell me about it, I'll enter you in the weekly random grab-bag prize giveaway.

Our random winner from last week is: Jessy

Congrats! Email me at readbree(at)gmail(dot)com and I'll send you the list of prizes to choose from.

Second, I'm excited to announce that Mundie Moms has launched a THE DARK DIVINE forum to discuss the characters, plot, and other fun stuff. For those that have already read the book, its a great way to discuss the details without worrying about spoilers for those who have not. But if you haven't read the book, you should still check it out (just avoid the topics that have *spoiler alert* in them). Head on over there and join the conversation by clicking here. You can also visit the Mundie Moms blog here.

Okay, now on to the winners of the Huge Frakking Giveaway. I want to thank all of you who entered and especially those that went above and beyond with artwork, book trailers, and other fun ideas like passing out flyers or tying book info to balloons.

All the names of those that entered were given a number. If you earned extra points for doing something extra, you were given additional numbers. I then used Random.org's interger generator to pick the top three winners. So here we go.

The winner of the Grand Prize including a signed hard copy of THE DARK DIVINE, a TDD T-shirt of her choice, a bottle of TDD nail polish, a copy of the TDD soundtrack, and a personalized 8GB iPod nano is:

Kim Heldman

The winner of Prize #2 - The Egmont Prize Pack including a hard copy of CALLIE'S RULES by Naomi Zucker, hardcover copy of VIOLET WINGS by Victoria Hanley, hardcover copy of LITTLE BLACK LIES by Tish Cohen, and an ARC of BRIGHTLY WOVEN by Alexandra Bracken is:

KatieDoll

And lastly, the winner for Prize #3 - The Utah Author Prize Pack including a signed copy of THE RING by Bobbie Pyron, a signed Copy of THE HOURGLASS DOOR by Lisa Mangum, and a signed copy of THE WAY HE LIVED by Emily Wing Smith is:

ronna15

Congratulations guys and thanks again to everyone who entered! All winners should email me at readbree(at)gmail(dot)com with their mailing address and I will get the prizes in the mail as soon as possible. Prizes must be claimed in one week.

Well, that's it for now. Leave your comments here for this week's Romantic Times commenting contest, and stay tuned for another fun contest either later today or tomorrow.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

T-shirts, Trailers, and Ten Days Until TDD

So, um, holy crap! There's only ten days until the release of The Dark Divine. Can you believe it? I think this calls for some fun . . . before I hyperventilate.

First up, I give you the BEST CHRISTMAS CARD EVER!

The guy on the left with the dreamy hair is my brother. And yes, ladies, he is single.

Second fun thing: the TDD store is finally up and running, and we have T-shirts!!! I'm really excited about these. Here are some of the designs that I really love.












To see all the shirts, check out the TDD store here. And don't forget that the grand prize winner of the BIG FRAKKING GIVEAWAY gets a TDD t-shirt of his/her choice.

(FYI: All shirts are sold through Cafe Press. We designed them, but I haven't actually seen the printed shirts yet, so there may be slight differences in color and such.)

Third fun thing: Speaking of T-shirts, Alice Pope featured me, Brodi Ashton, and Emily Wing Smith on her CWIM blog because of our bad review t-shirts at the L.A. scbwi conference.

Fourth fun thing: We have book trailers! A couple street team members, and a couple of fans (including my #1 fan) have made some awesome book trailers for THE DARK DIVINE. I love them all so very, very much. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! To check them out, go to the trailer page on my website, or click here.

Okay, so um, I need to go hyperventilate now . . .

Monday, December 7, 2009

Top 7 Things I Learned At This Weekend's Writing Retreat

So Business first:

1. Don't forget about the The Romantic Times preview of THE DARK DIVINE. Chapter 4 just went up on their blog. If you go over there and read the chapter, leave a comment on the RT blog, and then come back here and tell me about it, I'll enter you in the weekly random grab-bag prize giveaway. Our random winner from last week is: YA Vampire Books
Email me at readbree(at)gmail(dot)com and I'll send you the list of your prizes to choose from.

2. Don't forget about the BIG FRAKKING GIVEAWAY. All you have to do to enter is comment on that post. But creativity in spreading the word about TDD will get you bonus entries. Also, don't forget that the deadline has changed to December 14th.

3. My first two book signings have been scheduled:

The official launch party for TDD will be on January 2nd at 3pm at The King's English in SLC, Utah. I'll be doing a book talk, reading, and signing. I imagine there will also be refreshments and prizes :)

I will also be doing a reading and signing at the West Jordan Barnes & Noble on January 16th at 2pm.

If you'd like me to do a signing in your hometown, then ask your local bookstore to have me come out for an event, or start pestering my publisher @egmontgal on twitter to send me your way. Hey, it's worth a shot right?


Okay, on to the fun stuff:

Top 7 Things I Learned At This Weekend's Writing Retreat

1. If you don't want to be murdered in your bed, fill your house with a bunch of crazy people. And it snows A LOT in Payson, Utah.


Writing buddy Kimberly Webb Reid had her house in Payson to her lonesome this weekend while her hubby went to Vegas with his brother. And since the sleepy little town of Payson, Utah experienced it's first ever murder a couple of weeks ago (I may or may not be making up that statistic) she wasn't too keen on spending the weekend alone. Figuring no one would want to invade a house filled with crazy people, so she invited our critique group out for a weekend of writing at her place--needless to say, we were ready and willing to come protect her. And since it apparently it snows a lot in Payson, we were pretty much stranded there all weekend. (We were able to make one quick trip Walmart for supplies in Valynne's SUV, but after sliding on the roads we dared not make another trip out.)

2. Brodi Ashton is still #1 Crazy.

Awhile ago, our friend James Dashner asked us who was the craziest person in our critique group. Brodi was named #1. (I'm number #3, btw.) Brodi insisted that the vote was unfair since she wasn't present, and has been campaigning for a re-vote ever since. We debated much, and Brodi tried to explain why we were all crazier than she, but ultimately the matter was tabled, so therefore Brodi remains at #1 crazy.

3. Snuggies aren't all they're cracked up to be.

On our supply run to Walmart, Valynne decided to buy a leopard print snuggie. However, the darn thing just kept sliding off everyone's shoulders. Which kind of defeats the entire purpose of the Snuggie in the first place. I think it should be redesigned with a back like a giant fleece poncho. We could call it a "ponchie" or a "ponchet."

4. Writers Love Titles

And not just titles for their books. Valynne Maetani decided that our writing group should finally have an official name, and Emily Wing Smith decided that we should each have an official figurehead title within the group. We debated much and we went through several names such as: The Clique (too cliquish), The Craft (too witchy), Scribble Sisters (not too fond of the S.S. acronym), and BAM (an acronym invented by Brodi Ashton's son that doesn't actually stand for anything.)

We finally settled on "The SIX." We also assigned each person an official figurehead position. Here they are in order of craziest person:

#1 Brodi Ashton: Crap, um, I can't remember her position. Maybe she's just Official #1 Crazy?
#2 Emily Wing Smith: Official Group Scribe
#3 Bree Despain: Official Hair Consultant and Nutritionist (b/c I insist everyone eat a bit of protein at each meal)
#4 Valynne Maetani: Official Bouncer (seriously, don't mess with V)
#5 Kimberly Webb Reid: Official Ledger Keeper (Not sure how this is different from Official Scribe)
#6 Sarah Bolton: Official Sartorial Advice Giver (Because she supplies our group with fashionable yet affordable shoes. Like the yellow ones I'm wearing in this pic. You should check out her online shoe biz here)

5. A Grouper is NOT an Amphibian

Actually, I already knew this. But get a group of slap-happy, sleep deprived, sugar O.D.ed, snuggie wearing writers into a game of Scattagories and anything can happen--like Brodi adamantly trying to convince us all that fish and amphibians are the same thing. And don't you dare try to get a made-up word past Emily. That girl is a walking dictionary and she will tackle you while wearing a leapard print snuggie and wrestle you over a correct definition. I'm not normally a game player, but I have to admit that this was one entertaining board game experience.

6. Being the group's Official Hair Consultant actually has official responsibilities (who knew?)

Earlier this week, Brodi Ashton asked me if I thought she could pull off being a brunette. I said, "Um, No" because she has really light eyebrows. Well, Brodi, being #1 crazy and all, decided that I was saying that being a brunette required special skillz that she does not possess and took this as a challenge to prove me wrong.

So first she went to a professional hair dresser and had her hair dyed. Then she tweeted me this picture and claimed that she was now a brunette:



But then I saw Brodi the very next day at the BEAUTIFUL CREATURES launch party and she looked like this:

(Sara Zarr, Valynne, Emily, Brodi, Me, James Dashner, Kika, Kika's Friend)

Anyone else notice the discrepancies in these two pics? Yeah, I thought so.

I declared that Brodi was indeed NOT A BRUNETTE, so during the retreat she decided to dye her hair AGAIN. This time with a $7 bottle of dye from Target. (Emily and Valynne decided to get in on the action and also wanted to dye their hair.) And since I had just been voted "hair consultant," I was forced to do the actual dying for all three of them (as opposed to just laughing at their antics like I'd originally planned). Em's hair turned out fantastic. Valynne's you really couldn't tell the differnence. And, well, Brodi's . . . still didn't turn out brunette. It was more like dirty, dirty, dirty dishwater blond (Brodi's own words, not mine).

Devastated, Brodi drove in a snow storm to Walmart to buy and box of blond highlights to try to restore her original hair color, but then we somehow decided to use Emily's left-over bottle of dark brown die on her instead. Which means that:

6. Brodi Ashton still can't pull of being a brunette

Yep. Apparently Brodi's hair is resistant to the color brown. After THREE dye jobs, she is now officially a red head. Em's dye had a touch of red in it, and that's all Brodi's hair seemed to care about. (I'd show you a picture but by the time we'd done four dye jobs in Kim's guest bathroom, we were all looking a little worse for wear and nobody would pose for a pic.)

7. I can actually get some work done in a house full of crazy people

Shocking, huh? Despite all the craziness, I actually got a good 23 pages out of the experience. That's a big deal for me. And they're actually 23 pages that I really, really love. I can't wait for the next retreat!

So what did you do over the weekend?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Street team updates, pictures to share, and more.

So first of all, the winner for last week's Romantic Times random grab bag prize drawing is:

Kiirsi!

Email me at readbree(at)gmail(dot)com and I'll send you the list of random prizes to choose from.

Next item of business: Chapter 3 is up on Romantic Times! If you haven't already--head on over there, comment, then come back here and let me know you did, so you can be entered in a drawing for a prize out of my random grab bag.

Also, don't forget about the Huge Frakkin' Giveaway. Contest ends Dec. 14th and all you have to do is comment to be entered. Extra entries are available for those who do something fun and creative to help promote TDD.

On that note-- I wanted to share with everyone how awesomely cool my street team is. Seriously, they completely and totally rock and I can't thank them enough for all their efforts to spread the word about The Dark Divine so far.

Several of the street team members took advantage of the gatherings centered around the release of New Moon to show some Team Daniel support with their TDD shirts and by passing out bookmarks and stickers at the theaters--so I thought I'd share a few of the pictures they sent me.


Alexus showing off her mad SWAG distribution skills.


Debbie at one of the New Moon Party events she helped organize.


Sarah handing out bookmarks in line (even though she didn't get to see the movie that night, she still stuck around to hand out SWAG. How cool is that?!)


Katie in TX and Kelly in NY were able to put book marks in hundreds of SWAG bags for the attendees of the premier parties they were hosting.


Amber handing out bookmarks and talking up TDD before the movie starts.


And the Literati group went all out filling a whole row with TDD shirts after spending the preshow time handing out SWAG.


Hubby even got into it and was able to get some co-workers to wear the TDD shirt at work and pass out even more SWAG at the movie release that evening.


Like I said: Awesomely cool, right?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Clarifying Countdown Contest rules, and my Thanksgiving gift to you: Grace Divine's infamous caramel apple pie recipe

So I wrote my last blog post really late at night and I've realized that the The Final Countdown to THE DARK DIVINE Contest rules are totally confusing. Therefore, I will clarify them here (and on that actual post). And for being patient with my previous nonsensical rules, I will treat you all to the fantastic recipe for Grace Divine's Caramel Apple Pie.

Here's what you have to do in order to enter The Final Countdown to THE DARK DIVINE Contest:

1. Be a follower of the blog. (So if you're not a follower, start following :D)

2. To get 1 entry in the contest, all you have to do is leave a comment here saying that you'd like to entered. Easy peasy, right?

For bonus entries you can do the following:

1. Get 2 extra entries for Tweeting/Facebooking/blogging about the Countdown contest

2. Get 2 extra entries for Tweeting/Facebooking/blogging about the Romantic Times preview (Plus, you will get entered into the weekly random prize giveaway, if you tweet about the preview, and leave a comment on the RT blog.)

3. Get at least 5-10 BONUS entries (as determined by me or hubby based on what you do) for doing something to show your excitement for THE DARK DIVINE. I'm assuming since you are reading this blog and entering this contest, you are at least somewhat excited about TDD. So all I'm asking you to do is to share that excitement with the people around you. (Creativity will get you closer to the 10 entries)

You can vlog, make a music video, make a youtube commercial for the book, get all your friends to wear all purple and black to school one day, start a campaign to get TDD to be a trending topic on twitter, wear a Team Daniel t-shirt to New Moon, go door to door at your dorm and tell people how excited you are about the book release, call your local bookstores and ask them to carry the book or have me come do a signing, 0r get your entire English class to read the first six chapters of TDD on the RT blog . . .

Okay, you get the point, right? Do something creative to show your excitement for TDD and then come back here and tell me about it. Physical evidence is also requested (not required) such as posting a picture or video on your blog/myspace/facebook/twitter/youtube. Or you can email it to me at readbree(at)gmail(dot)com. (Please nothing obscene or illegal!!)

Remember, this is just for BONUS POINTS, don't let the creativity thing scare you off from entering the contest in the first place.

UPDATE, originally I was going to to end the contest and announce the winners on December 22nd, but I have decided to end the contest on December 14th and announce winners December 15th instead. That way if you want to give away any of the books you win as Christmas presents, you will get them in time for the holiday.

*Sorry, for legal/customs reasons, this contest is only open to U.S. residents.

Okay, I hope that all makes more sense. Basically, all you have to do is comment to be entered in the contest. . . anything else is just for bonus points. You can comment on this post to be entered, or you can comment on the previous post. If you have already commented on the previous post, you are already entered in the contest, so don't worry.

To see a list of the many fantastic prizes (including an iPod nano and 8 different books) CLICK HERE.

And now, for being patient with me, I give you the much requested and much coveted award winning (I'm not kidding, it's really won awards) recipe for Grace Divine's Infamous Caramel Apple Pie:

1 jar of Mrs. Richardson’s Butterscotch Caramel (You can find this in the aisle with the Hersey’s Syrup)

Pie:

Your favorite pie crust (Grace would make pie crust from scratch, but I use Pilsbury pre-made crust that you roll out into the dish. It saves a lot of time and tastes just as good as homemade, in my opinion.)

¼ cup sugar

3 Tbsp flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp salt

5 ½ cups peeled apple, thinly sliced (I use Rome apples)


Mix apples with sugar, flour, and spices and fill pie crust

Topping:

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup flour

½ cup oats

½ cup butter

Mix topping ingredients. You can spoon out the topping onto the top of pie and smooth it out, or roll it out like a giant cookie onto wax paper and then transfer to the top of the pie.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, and then put foil around the crust edges and bake for another 20 minutes or until the top is crunchy and firm. (Grace would like me to remind you not to leave the pie in the oven while you run to the store to get last minute Thanksgiving supplies. Seriously, it's not a good idea.)

You can serve the pie hot or cold. Just before serving, warm a jar of Mrs. Richardson’s Butterscotch Caramel (with lid off) for 30-60 seconds in microwave and then pour desired amount over the top crust of the pie

(Hint, hint: Making Grace's pie for Thanksgiving and telling everyone at the table about TDD would be a great way to earn bonus points in the contest.)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Final Countdown to THE DARK DIVINE (a.k.a. A huge frakking giveaway)

So business first:

1. Don't forget about The Romantic Times' serialization of THE DARK DIVINE. They are posting a new chapter a week of TDD up until the debut on December 22nd. (That's SIX chapters total!!) Plus they are giving away signed hard-copies of the book + TDD nail polish. They will be posting chapter 2 sometime on Monday the Nov 23rd. Go here to check it out.

2. I'm giving away random prizes from my random prize grab-bag for people who read the chapters and then leave a comment on the RT blog. Be sure to come back here and let me know that you commented so you can be entered in the weekly drawing. And you get extra points for tweeting or blogging about it. The random prize grab-bag includes autographed books, TDD Nail Polish, gift cards, and more!)

3. This week's random winner is: Bunny B
Email me at readbree(at)gmail(dot)com and I will send you a list of prizes to choose from.

Okay, on with the actual post:

So this is it! There is officially only one month left until the debut of THE DARK DIVINE!!! Holy crap, can you believe it? I know, I know...I can't either. No matter how many times I pinch myself, I still can't believe this isn't all some crazy tripped out dream and I'm going to wake up and realize that I've been lying in a hospital bed for the last seven years since that terrible car accident.

But just in case this isn't a wacky comma induced fantasy, we need some big time Countdown to THE DARK DIVINE Contest craziness going on. I'm thinking it should be our biggest giveaway yet!

Sound like a good plan?

Yeah, I thought you'd agree.

Okay then, let's get down to business.

Grand Prize:


An autographed hardcover copy of THE DARK DIVINE (The final cover is so fantastically beautiful in person I about died when I held the proof in my hands. Even better than the ARC.)


A bottle of TDD nail polish

A TDD custom T-shirt (Designs soon to be unveiled on the blog. I'm very excited!)


And A purple 8GB iPod Nano engraved with a personal message + the TDD soundtrack

(Apparently, the Beautiful Creatures ladies are giving away a similar package, but this is something I've been planning for a while, so it's honestly just a coincidence. You should go enter their contest, too.)


Prize #2

Egmont Prize-pack including:

Hardcover copy of CALLIE'S RULES by Naomi Zucker

Hardcover copy of VIOLET WINGS by Victoria Hanley

Hardcover copy of LITTLE BLACK LIES by Tish Cohen

And an ARC of BRIGHTLY WOVEN by Alexandra Bracken


Prize #3


Utah Author Prize-pack including:

Signed copy of THE RING by Bobbie Pyron

Signed Copy of THE HOURGLASS DOOR Lisa Mangum

Signed Copy of THE WAY HE LIVED by Emily Wing Smith

Here's how to enter:

(Update: these are the clarified rules and are different from what was originally posted. Please read them over again. You will find that entering is much easier now.)


1. Be a follower of the blog. (So if you're not a follower, start following :D)

2. To get 1 entry in the contest, all you have to do is leave a comment here saying that you'd like to entered. Easy peasy, right?

For bonus entries you can do the following:

1. Get 2 extra entries for Tweeting/Facebooking/blogging about the Countdown contest

2. Get 2 extra entries for Tweeting/Facebooking/blogging about the Romantic Times preview (Plus you will get entered into the weekly random prize giveaway if you tweet about the preview, and leave a comment on the RT blog)

3. Get at least 5-10 BONUS entries (as determined by me or hubby based on what you do) for doing something to show your excitement for THE DARK DIVINE. I'm assuming since you are reading this blog and entering this contest, you are at least somewhat excited about TDD. So all I'm asking you to do is to share that excitement with the people around you. (Creativity will get you closer to the 10 entries)

You can vlog, make a music video, make a youtube commercial for the book, get all your friends to wear all purple and black to school one day, start a campaign to get TDD to be a trending topic on twitter, wear a Team Daniel t-shirt to New Moon, go door to door at your dorm and tell people how excited you are about the book release, call your local bookstores and ask them to carry the book or have me come do a signing, 0r get your entire English class to read the first six chapters of TDD on the RT blog . . .

Okay, you get the point, right? Do something creative to show your excitement for TDD and then come back here and tell me about it. Physical evidence is also requested (not required) such as posting a picture or video on your blog/myspace/facebook/twitter/youtube. Or you can email it to me at readbree(at)gmail(dot)com. (Please nothing obscene or illegal!!)

Remember, this is just for BONUS POINTS, don't let the creativity thing scare you off from entering the contest in the first place.

UPDATE, originally I was going to to end the contest and announce the winners on December 22nd, but I have decided to end the contest on December 14th and announce winners December 15th instead. That way if you want to give away any of the books you win as Christmas presents, you will get them in time for the holiday. 1. This contest is only open to followers of the blog. So if you're not a follower . . . well . . . hint, hint.

*Sorry, for legal/customs reasons, this contest is only open to U.S. residents.

And don't forget to pop over to the Romantic Times blog to see if the next chapter of TDD is up. UPDATE: Chapter 2 can be found by clicking HERE.

Monday, November 16, 2009

SQUEEE!!!! The Romantic Times preview of THE DARK DIVINE is up + giveaways!!

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness, oh my goodness!!! It's up! It's up! The Romantic Times preview of THE DARK DIVINE is finally up!!

Okay, I have been talking about this for weeks now, but in case you missed it: The Romantic Times is offering an exclusive sneak peak of the first SIX CHAPTERS of THE DARK DIVINE!!! They will be posting a link to a chapter a week every Monday up until the debut of TDD on December 22nd. Even if you've read the ARC of THE DARK DIVINE, you should still check it out because. . . 1. The final manuscript of TDD has slight differences from the ARC text. 2. Each week they will be posting a message from me with insider tidbits about the writing of, or the inspiration for, each chapter. 3. Best of all, they are running a contest where you have SIX CHANCES TO WIN A SIGNED COPY OF THE DARK DIVINE & TDD NAIL POLISH!!!

But wait, that's not all! To further incentive you to read and share the preview, I'm having my own contest here in conjunction with it all.

Here's the deal:

For the next six weeks, I'll be giving away random prizes from my Random Prize Grab-Bag (including signed books, TDD nail polish, gift cards, etc.)

Get 2 entries for leaving a comment on The Romantic Times blog posts about TDD.
Get 1 additional entry for tweeting about the previews with a link to the RT blog posts
Get 2 additional entries for blogging about previews with a link here, and a link to the RT blog

Be sure to leave a comment here, reporting your activities so I can give you your proper amount of entries in the contest.

Each week for the next 6 weeks, I'll pick a random winner of a random prize. (They may be random, but they're still GOOD!) Be sure to check back here to see if you've won. And I'll be sure to post a link each Monday to the new chapters for you to read. CLICK HERE to see this week's chapter offering.

Oh, and in case you missed all the flurry on twitter, I am so excited to announce that TDD is a Teen Reads pick on the American Booksellers Association's IndieNext List for Winter. Check it out here (scroll down to Teen Reads). And huge congrats to my author buddies James Dashner (#1 on the overall IndieNext list!!!) and Becca Fitzpatrick (who made #6).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Street Team and Updates (plus more videos!)

So here's what going on over here in ReadBree land:

1. Want to read more than the first chapter of THE DARK DIVINE? Already read TDD but you'd like a few behind the scenes tidbits about the writing of the book? Then get ready, because starting on November 16th until December 21st, the Romantic Times will be serializing the first 6 chapters of TDD on their blog, plus they'll be posting exclusive descriptions by me about the writing of each chapter. They will also be running a contest for 6 chances to win a signed copy the book and a bottle of TDD nail polish. I'll be sure to link to it here and on twitter when it starts.

2. The Romantic Times reviewed THE DARK DIVINE and gave it 4 stars!!! That's pretty awesome considering the highest ranking they'll give a book is 4.5 stars. They also ran an awesome feature on the book called "Saving Grace" that had an interview with me and a lot of background info about the inspiration for the story. I wish I could post it here, but you can buy the mag or look up the article in the December issue at Barnes & Noble. (Available now!) Just ask for the The Romantic Times Book Reviews.

3. This weekend I will be speaking on a panel at the SCBWI Conference in Salt Lake City. If you are a kidlit or YA writer in Utah or Idaho, you really should be going to this conference. In fact, going to this conference in the past was a huge step for me in my path to publication, and this is where I met the amazing Brodi Ashton who has become one of my bffs and my loyal writing buddy. For more information, CLICK HERE. You can even register at the door on Saturday if you want.

4. Team GI vs. Team Tamale update: Team GI scored a goal by turning in 45 pages of TDD2. Now Team Tamale is up to bat and Brodi MUST finish her entire first draft of her current novel by 11:59 Wednesday night. Do you think she can make it? After that, I am required to finish 50,000 words of TDD2 by November 30th. (And yes I know that I just mixed my sports metaphors--but at least I know what a bat and a goal are. Sort of.)

3. The Street Team is up and running. I am so grateful to this wonderful group of book lovers. So far they've been blogging, tweeting, reviewing, posting interviews, and generally book lusting after TDD. They even created a facebook fan page for the book. There's a spot over in the side bar where you can join and become a fan of TDD. Go do it. Now. Thanks. Okay, now come back over here.

4. Lots of reviews of TDD, interviews with me, and give-aways for ARCs and swag are popping up around the blogosphere.

For reviews CLICK HERE. Look under "announcements" and you will find links to all of the reviews out there of TDD. (Or at least all the ones that I know of.)

For recent interviews CLICK HERE and HERE.

And for current TDD contests where you can win an ARC CLICK HERE and HERE.

5. And last, but certainly not least, I wanted to feature a couple of more videos from the street team members. They're a lot of fun, so be sure to watch and enjoy.

The first is from Sarah. She was actually the very first person to win an ARC of THE DARK DIVINE when I did my very first giveaway. She liked the book so much she decided to join the street team--and take on all of BYU campus in the process.


The second is a by a teen member of the Street Team named Alex who did a few crazy stunts--like dancing in a men's bathroom--to prove her desire for THE DARK DIVINE.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

So many things, so little time

So I have all these things I want to share with you all, including a video and Halloween pics, but I'm going to try to do it quickly since I've got a writing deadline staring me right in the face.

So here we go:

1. Have you heard about the great author smack-down between me and Brodi Ashton? It all started with me having a mental breakdown in a Costco parking lot last week, and ended with Brodi shouting at the top of her lungs "Bree hates BYU!" in the middle of a crowd of BYU fans buying snacks right before the big homecoming game. Basically, Brodi challenged me to a author smack-down and said that I MUST produce 45 pages of my sequel for her by 11:59 pm on November 2nd or else she will break my legs and spread lies about me on her blog. Since then, she has been incessantly tweeting, IMing, and texting me threats/encouraging messages. She's even had her blog followers come over here and leaves threats in my comments section.

Well, not to be threatened without a fight, I've challenged Brodi right back. She must produce a finished draft of her current work in progress by November 8th, or else I will send my burly New Zealand relatives after her.

Brodi has officially dubbed or fight the Chimichanga Challenge of 09. She is team tamale, we are team gluten-intolerance. Please go over to her blog and leave a few threats for me. We at team GI need to show her who's boss! (And don't tell her that I still have 9 more pages of writing to go by tomorrow night.) You can read more about the smack-down here and here.

2. You know how I told you all that I was going to finish my first draft of my sequel by November 24th? Yeah, well, due to unforeseen obligations and a few mental breakdowns (please refer back to the Costco incident) I've realized that isn't going to happen. Instead, I have decided to join the ranks of NaNoWriMo and extend my deadline to November 30th. If you don't know anything about the NaNo, it's a strange phenomenon where writers all over the world gather together during the month of November in an effort to write a 50,000 word novel from start to finish in 30 days. (They each write their own novel, not a giant communal one.) It is basically the NYC marathon of the writing world. You win simply by finishing by the deadline, and there are no prizes, just self satisfaction. Today was the official first day, and I surpassed the daily writing quota by a good 600 words. Go me!

3. Did I tell you that we sold audio rights to THE DARK DIVINE? I know I announced it on twitter, but I think I forgot to mention it here. I used to listen to books on CD all the time while I cleaned my apartment or did homework in college. And now I think it is infinitely cool that people will be able to listen to my book while they drive to work, or while they do the dishes. Just to think that my book may help brighten the mundane tasks of the world!

4. The Romantic Times is going to be doing a huge promotion of THE DARK DIVINE. Starting on November 16th, they will be posting a chapter a week from my book on their blog up until the release date on December 22nd. In conjunction with the serialization, they are also going to be running a 6 week long contest with 6 chances to win a signed copy of TDD and the TDD nail polish. In addition to all that, they will be running 3/4 page ads in their magazine and a feature on the book and a Q&A with me. I'll be sure to keep you guy posted on all of that.

5. Just got word that IndieBound has chosen THE DARK DIVINE as one of their Children's Picks for Winter. I'll link you guys to that when it's officially up on their website.

6. Have I mentioned to you guys just how much I LOVE Halloween? We had an absolutely great time. I carved a dark divine pumpkin to go along with my kid's pumpkins on the porch, and we handed out TDD bookmarks to the mommies who came around on Halloween with their kiddies. But my favorite park of Halloween is getting to wear a costume. I mean, why should wearing costumes just be for kids? Hubby gets even more into the costume thing than I do. In fact, he's the one who makes most of our costumes.

In the last few years we've been: The Scooby Doo gang, The Ghostbusters, The Justice League (yes, I was conned into a Wonder Woman costume by my husband--and NO, I will not post a picture of it here), The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Jedi Knights. This year, we were a little lost for ideas until reading KidA his favorite bedtime story a few weeks ago. That's when we decided to go for a WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE theme. KidZ decided to do his own thing a be a Clone Warrior from STAR WARS. But KidA is still impressionable enough to be talked into being Max while Hubby and I sported Wild Things costumes. Hubby even hand-sewed KidA's Max's Wolf suit. And I dare say he was the cutest kid at every Halloween party we went to.
Max, the king of all the wild things


KidA & Hubby

Me & my little Max

The Whole Wild Gang, including our Clone Warrior

Me & KidZ

7. Last thing: We have finally finalized the Street Team--finally. We were so pleasantly surprised by the amount of applications we got. We were hoping for 10 members at the very least, but because the response was so awesome, we ended up adding a few more spots on the team and ended up 19 official members. But unfortunately, we still weren't able to accommodate everyone who wanted to participate. (Ah, if only promotional fundage grew on trees!)

Members have been contacted, and their goody packages are on their way. I loved the promotional plans and videos we got from everyone. I thought I'd share some of the videos with you all. Here's one of my favorites. I'll feature more of videos and other activities from the street team in future blog posts, but now for your entertainment, I give you Dani and her awesome little brother:


Friday, October 30, 2009

Countdown Contest Winners!

Hey all,

So this is just a quick post to announce the winners of the TDD Countdown Contest. Things are crazy with the sequel writing and Halloween festivities, and we're finalizing the street team, so I apologize about this post being brief. But I promise a better post soon, complete with videos and Halloween pics.

Without any more ado, I give you the winners:

Grand Prize winner of WAR DANCES and THE MAZE RUNNER is: Chase92

Prize #2 of ONCE WAS LOST: Cari

Prize #3 of HUSH HUSH: The Book Vixen

Winners, email me at readbree(at)gmail(dot)com with your mailing address and I'll get your prize off in the mail.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Countdown To The Dark Divine Contest: Help me title my new book!

(Note: If you came here looking for info about the street team, click here.)

Shout outs to some awesome friends:

1. Congratulations to bff Emily Wing Smith for winning The Utah Book award for her exceptional YA novel THE WAY HE LIVED. The awards ceremony was neat, and our adventures afterward were some of our wackiest--complete with blood, gore, cheesecake, and Brodi Ashton walking barefoot down 4th South and me screaming things like, "Don't smell that, you might get hepatitis!" I'm sure Brodi will blog about it in much funnier ways than me, so be sure to pop over there.

2. Congrats to James Dashner and his whirl-wind tour of the USA to promote his new book THE MAZE RUNNER. Plus, he was featured in two articles in PW Daily yesterday, and according to them, the book is doing A-Mazing.

3. And huge congrats to new friend Becca Fitzpatrick whose novel HUSH HUSH is debuting at #10 on the NYT bestseller list!!! YAY! She'll be signing at several Utah Costcos over the weekend, so if you are in the area, check out her schedule here.

Shout out for myself:

Did you guys see my beautiful ad in PW Daily? It's run three times over the last week. It's so beautiful. Click here to see it, then scroll down until you see it in its purple glory.

Okay, on with actual post:

HOLY CRAP, SO I JUST REALIZED THAT IT'S ONLY 2 MONTHS UNTIL THE RELEASE OF THE DARK DIVINE!!!! Excitement! Joy! Fear! Trepidation!

So, this next month is going to be a bit crazy. I am attempting to finish the first draft of the sequel to The Dark Divine in the next 32 days. As a result, my brain power failing....words not coming.... loosing ability to type...

Sooooo, yeah. The rest of this blog post will be short and too the point (I hope) and my posts will likely be a bit sparse between now and November 23rd. Never fear, though. The Street Team will still be announced a couple days after the deadline (which is the October 26th btw if you have not yet applied. And if you haven't applied, why not? And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, click here).

Ok, on to the point. Time to celebrate only 2 months left! This month the prizes are as follows:

Prize #1: signed copy of WAR DANCES by Sherman Alexie, and a signed copy of THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner
Prize #2: signed copy of ONCE WAS LOST by Sara Zarr
Prize #3: signed copy of HUSH HUSH by Becca Fitzpatrick

So here's what you gotta do for me if you want to be entered in the contest. As I mentioned, I am in the middle of writing the sequel to THE DARK DIVINE. I am loving spending more time with the characters from TDD and am very excited about where the story is going, but here's the deal, it doesn't have a title yet. Got any suggestions? (No titles with spoilers please!) (UPDATE: I'm thinking of things that either play of the words "dark" or "divine" or "desire" or "Grace" or "temptation" or some variation of similar words--yet not something that sounds like a steamy Harlequin romance novel.) Post a comment to be entered into the contest. Rules are below:

1.) Must be a follower of the blog and post a comment to qualify (UPDATE: You don't have to suggest a book title . . . you can always just say"hi")
2.) Answer question = 1pt
3.) Already a follow of blog = 2pt, Become a follower = 1pt
4.) Already a twitter follower = 2pt, Become a twitter follower = 1pt
5.) Tweet contest = 1pt.
6.) Post contest on your blog = 1pt

The contest ends at 11:59 pm on October 28th. Winners will be announced sometime within the next two days after that. . . I promise . . . assuming I'm still alive.

Okay, back to my writing cave. And don't forget to spread the word about the STREET TEAM!!! We need you!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Help Wanted: What Would You Do For THE DARK DIVINE?

So a couple of months ago, I went to a writing conference and work-shopped a few sample pages from my sequel to TDD. I met a lot of new friends in my workshop group, including a sarcastically funny guy named Douglas Cootey. Ever since the conference, my workshop buddies have been trying to get me to give them one of my ARCs of THE DARK DIVINE. (Hopefully, this means they got hooked by the 1st chapter of the sequel *fingers crossed.*) A few of them tried to bribe me with with promises of wheat/dairy/egg free chocolate chip banana bread (Hey, I'm still waiting for someone to deliver on that one! :D), and then Douglas Cootey asked if I would give him a autographed copy of my book if he "squeed" in public for it.

I thought he was kidding, so I said "Sure, go for it. Oh, but you have to wear TDD purple nail polish and post a video of it online." However, much to my delight, Douglas was 100% serious. He (with the help of his very cool teenage daughters) went down to the Gateway Mall and publicly SQUEED (several times, I might add) for THE DARK DIVINE, and then posted this video for your viewing pleasure.

Wow, Douglas, you and your daughters definitely earned an autographed copy of THE DARK DIVINE. Seriously, hats off to you, my friend.

Also, my friends from The Inking Cap have been wearing my TDD purple nail polish all around town in an effort to promote THE DARK DIVINE. Every time someone comments about their beautiful purple toes, they tell them "This is Bree Despain purple! You should go check out her website." They have even decided to take pictures of their purple toes at interesting locations. One of the Inkers promised to get a pic of her TDD toes while meeting with the governor, and another Inker (Debbie) took a picture of her foot at James Dashner's launch party for The Maze Runner (in stores now... go buy it... it's really good!)

Well, both Douglas and The Inkers' efforts to get the word out about THE DARK DIVINE has inspired a whole new idea that I need YOUR help with.

So here's the idea: We all know that word-of-mouth is extremely important for the success of any book, right? But word-of-mouth doesn't really work without you. Yes... if you are reading this, I am talking to YOU. You are really important to this effort. In fact you ARE this effort. I am looking for 10 or 15 friends and fans (or potential fans if you are just excited for the book but haven't read it yet) to join a VIP group to help me spread the word. That's right, I'm recruiting you to join my street team: The Divine Underground (or some other name you guys think would be cooler. I'm still on the fence about that name :D).

As a member of (insert street team name here) you will get some pretty cool stuff. For example, the list of items you will receive currently includes*:

100 TDD bookmarks
100 TDD stickers
10 TDD cards
1 TDD Soundtrack
1 TDD nail polish
1 TDD Street Team T-shirt
and....
1 signed ARC of The Dark Divine!

What will one do with all this abundance of SWAG? Why, share it of course! As a member of the team I ask you to utilize the tools given to you to do the following:

1. Read the book
2. Love the book. This is very important. I need people who love the book to share their enthusiasm with others if this is going to work. I know not everyone will love the book though (that would be impossible), so if you do not love the book after reading it, you can opt out of the team.** If you have already read the book and love the book, that's even better. You can skip straight to step three. Which is:
3. Use the materials given to you to promote the book with family, friends, perfect strangers, etc. both online and offline.
4. Tell your local bookstores and school about the book and me. Maybe even mention that you'd really like for them to have me come out for an author visit or signing.
5. Document your efforts to spread the word about TDD. Take pictures, make videos, blog, and vlog. Tell me about your efforts and I will post your pics and videos here on my blog.

Once you are a member of the street team, you will get further instructions and ideas. The street team campaign will start at the end of October and run through Valentine's day, and will involve biweekly challenges for additional prizes.

The street team member with the best "get the word out about THE DARK DIVINE" campaign at the end of February will win the GRAND PRIZE: Have a character in the TDD sequel named after you, or a name of your choosing. (Sorry, nothing obscene or overly bizarre.)

Ok, so now you're asking, "How does one become a member of this elite and socially upward group?" Good question.

Well, the first step is to go read the first chapter of TDD here. If after reading the first chapter, this seems like the kind of book you would really like, then move on to step 2.

The second step is to apply. I know, it makes it sound all snooty, but really it's to help me get a better feel for who will be a part of the group, and I can't let EVERYONE join (I just don't have that many bookmarks, or ARCs for that matter). Fill out the attached application and release form, then scan and email them back to me-- readbree(at)gmail(dot)com. Or you can snail mail it to me at:

Bree Despain
P.O. Box 95316
South Jordan, Utah 84095

You must sign the release form, or have your parent sign it if you are under the age of 18 (for all those legal-schmegal reasons.)

Application

Release Form

Ok, you've got part one and two done now. The third and last step is the fun one. To complete your application to join the street team, you must submit a vlog or YouTube video or email answering the question "What would you do for The Dark Divine?" You can answer this either by one of two ways:

1.) completing a task that is fun and entertaining while expressing your desire for The Dark Divine.*** (Think of Doug while brainstorming ideas.)

or

2.) explaining and outlining what you will do with the materials given you to a.) promote and spread the word about The Dark Divine, and b.) have a ton of fun while doing it!

If you don't have access to a video camera, you can email me with the second option above (But Hint Hint: Creativity and zaniness will get you more brownie points). Submit all videos and emails to readbree(at)gmail(dot)com.

Current deadline for submitting your full application (including your What Would You Do video or email) is October 26st. (So if you are sending anything by snail mail, you will probably want to get it in the mail by the 22nd.)

If you don't know if being a street team member is for you, but you know a teenager and/or book-lover who would enjoy it, then pass the word on to them. ARCs and supplies are limited, so please only apply if you are dedicated to spreading the word about TDD.

Good luck! and THANK YOU!!!

*Contents of the street team package are subject to change... probably for the better though... and you'll definitely still get the ARC no matter what.

**If you wish to opt out of the street team, I would ask that you return the bookmarks, stickers, cards, and the ARC so we can find a new team member and supply them with the same printed materials. You can find my mailing address on under "contact" on my website.


***Please nothing obscene OR illegal!! I want to post some of these videos on my blog and I don't want you to get in trouble, either :D.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Contest Winner, and Author Events Galore!

First Thing: The winner of the Denver goodies giveaway is: thetruebookaddict

(Email me at readbree at gmail dot com with your mailing address, and I'll send you your prizes)

Now on with the post:

I love autumn. September rainstorms. The smell of fallen leaves. Anticipating Halloween. Cool jacket weather air that gives me the perfect excuse to buy more jackets . . . And the beginning of a whole new season of book releases. And one of the highlights of this autumn has been getting to go to my local Indie bookstore, The King's English, for the launch parties and signings for a few of my favorite authors. In fact, I have been to TKE for an author event 4 times in the last 4 weeks. I'm sure the ladies of TKE would get totally sick of seeing my face--except that I spend a small fortune every time I walk through their doors. (After all, I MUST pick up autographed books for my blog readers, right? At least that's what I tell hubby . . .)

In September, I went to Shannon Hale's launch party for FOREST BORN with Brodi Ashton and Hubby. Shannon did a great presentation. She's one entertaining lady. And because she is such a rock star, we had to take a number in order to get our books signed. My number was so far down the list that hubby and I went out and ran errands, then went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants (Mazza--yum!) and then went back to TKE and still had to wait 20 minutes in line before we got our books signed. Wow, now that means you've definitely made it as an author. Congrats, Shannon!

Also in September, I was invited to a signing for Debutante author Michelle Zink (PROPHECY OF THE SISTERS) by another Deb, Sydney Salter. Michelle did an amazing book talk and I wished I'd had a a notebook handy so I could have written down some pointers on how to be an engaging speaker. I absolutely loved how she handled to Q&A portion of her talk. For every question someone asked her, she then asked the audience a question (after answering the question addressed to her, of course). Apparently, she asked the same book-related questions to each of her audiences during her tour, and then compiled the answers on her blog here. I thought this was a great way to engage her readers, and I think she ended up with some interesting feedback.

After the signing, I got to go out to dessert with Michelle, Sydney, James Dashner, and SpeedReader (one of the cutest bloggers on the planet--from My Favorite Author), along with a few of Michelle's family members who live in Utah. (Did you know that Michelle is originally from Utah? Dude, Utah really does rock when it comes to the YA scene.) It was so fun to get to know Michelle, and she even gave me a few pointers about what to expect at my first bookseller dinner.

October started off in a great way with a launch party for Sara Zarr's ONCE WAS LOST on the very first day of the month. It was a great event. I absolutely love listening to Sara speak, and Emily Wing Smith made some awesome cookies in honor of Sara's book cover. (At least I can say that they looked awesome since I couldn't actually eat any of them.)

Sara told us about how her book was inspired by the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping, and by her own struggles with faith--which only made me want to read the book more.

After the event, we went over to The Dodo restaurant for dessert (again, I had a fruit plate). The group included Sara Zarr, her hubby, Matt Kirby, Emily Wing Smith, Dan Smith (Em's hubby), Sarah Dufford Williams, a very nice writer named Melinda (sorry can't remember her last name), Valynne Maetani Nagamatsu, Sara Bolton, Brodi Ashton, and James Dashner. Wow, that was a big group! I'd recount our wacky antics and conversations, but Brodi has (of course) already done a hilarious recap here--so you should go check that out.

Only five days later, I found myself back at TKE for the launch party for James Dashner's THE MAZE RUNNER. The evening started off a little harried when a semi rolled over on the the freeway, making Hubby and I almost a half hour late with all the traffic delays. Luckily, they started the event late so I didn't miss any of James's book talk. It was so fun to sit in the audience and listen to some of his die hard 13TH REALITY fans ask him questions. They are a dedicated group! One 10 year old boy almost acted as if James's decision to write THE MAZE RUNNER was an act of treason.

Aside from watching a dear friend finally launch his much anticipated book, the best part of the night was getting to see the bloggers from The Inking Cap who I'd met at the Writing for Charity event back August. I'd given them each a bottle of THE DARK DIVINE nail polish--which they were all wearing on their toes at James's party! They even took a picture of one of them attempting to kick James in the head with her painted toes--which I would show you now, but nobody has sent to me a copy of it yet. (Hint. HINT.)
Update: Hinting worked! Here's the pic of Debbie from The Inking Cap kicking James with her Dark Divine toes. Though for some reason the polish shows up pink in photos rather than purple. Oh, and I guess she's kicking him in the shoulder and not the head, but still, it's pretty cool.

After this event, we went to The Dodo again, but this time we got dinner. The group was me, Hubby, Sara Bolton, Valynne, Brodi, Emily Wing Smith, and another friend of mine named Emily Allen (who was an old college friend of James's, and she informed us that back in the day, James used to go by the name Jamie. So be sure to call him that the next time you see him. He'll just LOVE it.) James (ehem, Jamie) even graced us with his presence for a few minutes before he left to go pack for his whirl-wind national book tour. See you in a month, James!
Me, looking slightly demented, and kind of gargantuan compared to James (center--duh, I guess) and Brodi.

Emily Wing Smith, Valynne Maetani Nagamatsu, and Sara Bolton
Valynne, Emily, Brodi, and Me (looking almost as demented, but less gargantuan)

Besides the semi truck rollover, the $25 parking ticket I got at TKE, the driving debacle that got us home at 10:15 pm despite the fact that we left the restaurant at 8:30 pm (don't ask), it was a great night. And once again, for a much funnier take on the evening, visit Brodi's recap of the night here. (Thanks for always posting the funny stuff before I get to it, Bro. You are a better blogger than I.)

So that's my month of author events so far. Did I mention I'm going to The King's English again this Wednesday to hear Sherman Alexie speak about his new book WAR DANCES? Now if only I were cool enough to get him to go share a fruit plate with me at The Dodo afterward. Hmmm, perhaps that should be my new mission in life. Operation: Get Sherman To Have Dessert With Me. I'll report next week on how it goes.