Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Contest Winners Announced!

And the winners are:

1st place:

Shaunda Wenger wins a $50 Barnes & Noble gift-card!! Woo Hoo, Shaunda!


Shesten wins an autographed copy of the Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Trudy wins an autographed copy of Sweethearts by Sara Zarr

Winners, watch for an email from readbree (at) gmail (dot) com. I'll be emailing to get your mailing address--or you can go ahead and email me with your address if you're reading this :-)

Thank you to everyone who entered the contest. We are going to have give-aways each month leading up to the release of The Dark Divine, so stayed tuned for your chance to win books and other neat stuff.

Contest now closed

So I should have posted this yesterday (but I was out having fun with Hubby for our anniversary) but I just wanted to note that the contest is now closed. Thank you to the many people who entered the contest--and to everyone who visited the website even if they didn't find the code :-). It was so fun to hear from so many of you!

I'll announce winners later tonight. So come back and check for your name. I'm also thinking of starting a monthly prize drawing to count down to the release of The Dark Divine. What do you guys think about that?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Website Launch Party Treasure Hunt Contest

It's up! It's up! My website is finally up!! It still has a couple of bugs, and there are still a few features that are "coming soon," but the bulk of www.breedespain.com is up and running. We're dancing for joy over here. To celebrate, I'm hosting a Website Launch Party Treasure Hunt with awesome prizes!

Grand Prize: A $50 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble.

1st And 2nd Runner-ups: An autographed book from an awesome YA author (TBA--but I'm crossing my fingers for Shannon Hale and Sara Zarr. I'll know for sure after Thursday.)

Here's how to play:

Visit my new website at www.breedespain.com. (Or you can just click the logo on the header up above and start from there.) Kick back and have a look around. While you're checking things out, be on the lookout for a hidden image of the treasure box to the left (it'll appear when you scroll over it) with a secret code. Once you find the code, go to the "contact" page on the website and send me a message containing the code, and you will be entered into a drawing for the above listed awesome prizes.

Want more than one entry in the contest? Promo this treasure hunt on your own blog, twitter, facebook, wherever . . .and you'll get another entry for every person who finds the code and mentions your name. (So don't forget to tell people to mention your name :D)

The contest runs from now until 11:59 pm on Sunday, April 26th. I will email the winners, and announce them here on my blog.

Another fun hidden treat on the site: The very first romance I ever wrote. It's got forbidden love, political intrigue, poison flowers, a magic book, and a Sea Hag. Oh, and did I mention that I wrote it in the 9th grade?! Sorry, there's no prize for finding this hidden treasure, but you may get a good laugh out of it.

Please Note: The new address for this blog is www.readbree.com. From now on, breedespain.com will take you to my website--but you can always link to the blog from there if you want.

Many, many, many thanks to Brick Despain (aka Hubby) for designing and creating my website!!!

Happy hunting, everyone! Oh, and don't forget to leave a comment here with your feedback on the website. Thanks!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Change is in the air. Oh, and a new contest is brewing too.

I wanted to let all those who may read this blog on a regular to semi-regular basis know that some changes are coming. First of all, the URL www.breedespain.com will no longer be used for my blog. That's because I will be using this for my new website which is very close to going live (oh, and I plan on having another fun contest/give-away to celebrate when it does go live, so stay tuned!). I have a new URL for the blog which will, of course, be linked to from my new website.

As part of the new site, the blog is going to have a new look too, so don't be concerned if you come to the blog and everything looks different.... you know, cuz it will :D.

So what does this all mean? Basically it means the next time you type www.breedespain.com into your browser you might be pleasantly surprised by a completely different site than you were expecting.

For those following the blog via blogger or RSS, you shouldn't have to make any changes or adjustments (fingers crossed!). Just enjoy the ride.

Stay tuned to the same bat channel. (oh wait, I mean new bat channel... you get the idea).

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dairy Hates Me

Yes, it's true. The Dairy Fairy has spoken and he says, "I hate your guts"--literally.

The Great Cheese Experiment of 2009 as failed miserably. In fact, I'm thinking of making my next novel a sci-fi thriller because I now know what it feels like to have some sort of alien parasite living under my skin, and crawling around in my stomach . . .Okay, okay, I'll stop. I don't want to gross anyone out (too much, anyway). Plus, I gotta save it for that book :)

The other thing I learned with this little experiment: I have no self control.

I started out all fine and dandy. Just a half cup of milk in my organic gluten-free brown rice crispies cereal. Yum! (And I mean that in the most sarcastic of ways possible. . .about the brown rice crispies, not the milk.) Then I had a sprinkle of cheese on my plain beef tacos on corn tortillas. But then, by the evening, I'd lost all willpower for moderation and started stuffing my face with Caribbean Chicken with Jamaican Jerk Cream Sauce, and chunks Gruyere with gobs of honey. It was bliss. Until about 35 minutes later . . .followed by 48 hours of agony. I know I probably did it to myself with my sheer lack of self control. But still, all I have to say is: "Curse you, Dairy Fairy! Curse you and your wily cheese ways, and wonderful delectable cream sauces, and the miracle of life that is ice-cream. &%$# you!"

Anyway, I'm thinking of trying again in a few weeks. And this time I'll actually take it slow . . . maybe.

Man, it's a good thing I NEVER drink, or I'd be a raging alcoholic.

So what food can you not live without?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Distractions and Discoveries

So for the last week, I've been patiently (ha ha) waiting for word from my editor as to whether I need to do more revisions or if we're ready for copy-editing. And in an effort to keep myself from checking my email every 13.5 seconds, I've taken to perusing the internet and favorite place to waist away time (woo hoo Target). Yes, I could be spending my time working on an outline for The Dark Divine sequel, catching up on laundry, emptying my sink of dirty dishes, or editing the content for my forthcoming website . . .but then I wouldn't have made the following fun discoveries:

1. I'm on Amazon! Between sessions of clicking the refresh button in my gmail account, I got the whimsical idea of heading over to Amazon to see what happens when I enter in my name in the search field. I really didn't expect anything to happen other than getting a list of books about French cheeses--but to utter delight, I actually found my book listed there!! There isn't a picture or a synopsis yet, but it is definitely a listing for MY book.

According to Amazon, the book will be released on December 22, 2009--but it also says that my book is for kids ages 9-12 (which it isn't--try GRADES 9-12) so I'm not trusting Amazon's info at the moment. But still, The Dark Divine is on Amazon!! And it even has a pre-order button. How neat is that? Check it out by clicking here.

2. A Daniel Kalbi action figure, for me?! Well almost. Many of you are already aware of my teensy-tiny obsession with Taylor Kitsch and my desire to freeze him in time until somebody decides to make my book into a movie. (If you have no idea what I'm talking about click here.) Many of you may also be aware of the fact that Taylor is playing Gambit (my favorite mutant) in the upcoming X-MEN ORIGINS movie.


Well on Monday, I went to the wonderful Land O' Target in search of b-day gifts for KidA (my baby just turned 3!) and saw a toy display for X-MEN ORIGINS. My curiosity got the better of me and I had to go over to see if they had a Gambit action figure. Because seeing (okay owning) a Taylor Kitsch action figure would be the same as a Daniel Kalbi action figure, right? And who wouldn't want an action figure of one of their main characters? That's totally normal and in no way creepy, right? RIGHT??

Well, anyway, I was holding my breath in anticipation of seeing my favorite character from my book immortalized in plastic . . .but alas, THIS:

this just doesn't do justice to THIS:

I left the toy on the shelf and went and bought a Dinobot for my son instead. Oh well, it was nice distraction for a few minutes anyway.

3. The Diamonds has hit the shelves! At Target, no less!! On another trip to Target this week (yes, I went to Target more than once this week, and I'll probably go at least once or twice more by the end of Saturday) I was perusing the YA book collection and was pleasantly surprised to find The Diamonds by Ted Micheal on the shelf. First of all, because the book isn't supposed to be released until April 14th, and secondly because getting your book into a retailer like Target is BIG TIME, baby. Hurray for Ted! I snapped the book up and can't wait to read it. I'm even sending a copy to one of the lucky winners of last week's contest. And if you're wondering who this Ted Micheal person is, and why I'd be so stoked about his book--well then, just think about who the other Ted is in my life. I heart Ted. Congrats!

4. Twilight the Musical! Yes, it is true, in my many hours of internet surfing this week, I stumbled across this little gem on Youtube. Hilarious. You must watch. Let the video load for a bit first before you start watching it. And while you're waiting, go check out my Amazon listing. Hee hee :)

(Side note: If you're wondering, I haven't been wasting all of my time this week. I have worked on *some* of the productive things on my list from above. Be sure to watch for my website. It's coming soon!)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Contest Winners!

Book Status: Revisions are on my editor's desk. I'm just waiting to find out if we're on to copy editing, or if the manuscript needs a few more tweaks. Hopefully, I'll know by tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Worst Diet in the World Status: After six months on a doctor mandated dairy/egg/wheat free diet, I've finally gotten the "okay" on attempting to add the forbidden foods back into my diet (very very slowly). For one day this week, I get to eat dairy and then keep a diary to see if it makes me sick. There's a $10 piece of cheese sitting in my fridge right now. Yes, that's not a typo, I did say a TEN DOLLAR piece of CHEESE. Gruyere, if you're wondering. I keep waiting for a stress-free day for The Great Dairy Experiment of 2009 so my results won't be tainted, but apparently stress-free days don't exist anymore. (Did they ever?) I'm thinking the cheese will have to wait until Tuesday. In the meantime, I might start writing dairy themed poetry . . .

Contest Status: Thank you everyone who entered my little contest. And extra thanks to those of you who promoted it on your blogs and Twitter. You guys rock. I wish I could send one of my favorite books to everyone who entered, but as my husband likes to remind me: I can't afford to prop up the book buying industry on my own. But at least I can make my little dent with these prizes for now. And I promise more contests and neat prizes in the future!

Everyone who entered was assigned their allotted tickets, and through a very scientific process (involving a spread sheet, scissors, and a bowl) I've chosen our winners! They are, in order:

1. Jessica Kennedy
2. Paradox Revealed
3. D (Danielle Wheeler)
4. Kiss My Book (Erica Lynn)
5. Eliza Jackson
6. Charlotte (from Charlotte's Library)
7. The Not So Closet Geeks

If you are a winner, email me at readbree(at)gmail(dot)com and give me a list of the prizes (1 through 7) according to your preference. The #1 winner will get her first choice of the prizes, and the #2 person will get her preferred prize based on availability, and so on and so on. Please claim your prize by this Wednesday, April 8th, so I can get the prizes assigned and in the mail by the end of this week. THANKS! Oh yeah, and I'll need your mailing address too. (Girl scout honor I won't share it with anyone else.)

These are your prizes to choose from:

1. An autographed copy of WINTERGIRLS by Laurie Halse Anderson
2. An autographed copy of THE WAY HE LIVED by Emily Wing Smith
3. A copy of the newly released MY BIG NOSE AND OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS by Sydney Salter
5. A copy of NEED by Carrie Jones
6. A Young Adult novel of your choice (and, yes, it must be YA :P)
7. A bag of dairy/egg/wheat free Oreo-like substance OR a bag of real Oreos

So send me your list in order of preference, and I'll get these prizes off in the mail! Congrats winners!!

And keep coming back for future contests.