Sunday, June 28, 2009

Winners of the Countdown to The Dark Divine ARC Giveaway . . .and The YA Carnival!!

So I can't tell you all how much fun I had with the first crush contest! Your stories were so amusing, and I can't thank you all enough for sharing with me. I wish I could buy you all a copy of THE DARK DIVINE in return . . .but I think that might make my husband a tinsey bit cranky. But I do have a couple of ARCs that I've promised to giveaway, so let's get to it.

Since we are celebrating 2 contests this month (The Dark Divine Countdown, and The YA Carnival) I decided to choose each winner by a different method. The first winner was determined by the first crush story that amused me the most. I don't know if it was because it was so late at night when I read it, but "Stan, Stan, the Ice Cream Man" made me laugh so hard that I MUST award the first ARC of THE DARK DIVINE to: SARAH STEELE!

I decided to choose the winner of the second ARC (in honor of The YA Carnival) by a random drawing. So I printed out all the comments, cut them apart, and put them in a bowl. Then I let KidA draw a name. And the winner was . . . my mom.

Yeah, so we threw that name out (sorry, Mom!) and tried again. Which makes the second winner: DEBBIE'S WORLD OF BOOKS!

Congrats winners! Please email me at readbree(at)gmail(dot)com with your mailing address. And if you'd like your book inscribed to a certain name (such as your own :-D) let me know.

Thank you so much to the many people who entered the contest!! I'm sorry that not everyone could win. But don't worry, I'm kind of obsessed with giving stuff away, so there will be plenty more countdown contests in the future (on the 22nd of each month up through December 2009!). Also, I've heard rumor from my publisher that they might send me another box of ARCs, so hopefully I'll have a couple more to give away in one of those future contest.



p.s. I finally decided to let my parent's read my book, and ended up giving them one of my ARCs . . .so don't feel too bad for my mom ;-)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Countdown to THE DARK DIVINE ARC giveway, the YA Carnival, and who was your first crush?

So I had this realization yesterday. And that realization is that I don't know how to count. Actually, I've already had that realization several (no, thousands) of times in my life. So the real realization that I really had was that last month during the Countdown to THE DARK DIVINE Contest I claimed that the debut of my novel was a whole 8 months away, but once I figured out how to count, I realized it was actually only 7 months away. (How's that for a long sentence?) Which means now, a month later, the debut of THE DARK DIVINE (on December 22nd) is only 6 MONTHS away!!!! Holy crap, let's do the time warp again, Batman! Seriously, only 6 months away! It's like somebody knocked a whole month off of the time we have to wait until the book debuts. Isn't that cool?

Well, I think it is.

And since 6 months sounds way cooler than 7 months, I've decided to make the prize for this month's Countdown to THE DARK DIVINE Contest/Giveaway extra special: A signed ARC of THE DARK DIVINE!!

But wait! It gets better . . . I've also decided to participate in the YA Book Carnival started by Shooting Star Magazine. And in honor of this fun event, I'm going to give away a second signed ARC of THE DARK DIVINE to another winner.

That's right, you now have 2 chances to win one of the signed ARCs. Neat, huh?

Well, I at least think so.

So how do you enter to win? Well, I'll tell you. . .

In THE DARK DIVINE, the main character, Grace, has had a crush on her brother's best friend, Daniel, ever since she was nine years old. She's been tagging behind her brother and Daniel ever since she was old enough to walk, and even though Daniel loved to tease her, she couldn't help totally crushing on him. But then, one night when she was fourteen years old, something terrible happened between Daniel and Jude, and Daniel suddenly disappeared. Grace thinks she's moved on, she thinks she's buried her feelings for Daniel in the past . . .That is, until three years later when Daniel mysteriously returns to town, enrolls in Grace's small Christian high school, and Grace realizes that maybe what she'd always felt for Daniel wasn't just a crush after all.

So what does this have to do with the contest, you ask? Well, since Grace tells us all about her first crush in THE DARK DIVINE, she wants all of you to tell us about yours. All you have to do to enter the contest is leave a comment to this post, telling me (or Grace, I guess) about your first crush. And you know you've had a first crush, so don't go claiming you don't have a story to share!

(Secondary stipulation, this contest is only open to my blog or twitter followers, so if you're not a follower . . .well, become one! :-D)

To kick off the contest (and so you'll feel a little bit less shy about sharing) I'll tell you all about my first crush: So my brother had this best friend (we'll call him Drew). They did everything together--and I tagged along constantly. And even though Drew loved to tease me, I was totally smitten by him. His dad was my dentist, and he would always tease me about how Drew and I were going to get married. Well, then as Drew and my brother got older, they had some kind of weird falling out, and then awhile after that Drew ran away from home and totally disappeared off the face of the planet . . .oh wait, this is starting to sound familiar . . .

Okay, time to share away! The contest runs until midnight on June 27th. Winners will be announced on June 28th. So bring on those first crushes!

(And if you're new to the blog and you don't know anything about THE DARK DIVINE, you can read the first chapter by clicking here.)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

ARCs . . .or Galleys . . .or Uncorrected Bound Proofs . . .Whatever they're called, they're here!!

So stalking the mailman for the past couple of days has finally paid off. Today, I got a lovely package of ARCs.

(Side Note: For anyone who is unfamiliar with the term ARC, it means "Advanced Reader Copy." Basically, an ARC is a cheap paperback version of your book that publishers send out to reviewers and such a few months before your book comes out. ARCs are typically "uncorrected." As in, they may still contain typos and grammatical errors that will be fixed before the final hardcover copies are produced. ARCs are also referred to as Galleys or Uncorrected Bound Proofs. And if you're lucky, your publisher will send you few to give away on your blog!)

Anyway, when the mailman came to the door, KidA started yelling, "Is it pizza? Is it pizza?" (Which is weird since we haven't ordered a pizza in over 8 months . . .Unless Hubby has something to tell me . . .) KidA was sorely disappointed that it wasn't pizza--until he caught onto my giddy squeals of excitement. (Which made the mailman raise his eyebrows as he tried to coax me to stop jumping around and sign the receipt already!) Then KidA insisted on getting his "crap scissors" (craft scissors) so he could help me open the box.

We were just pulling the ARCs out of the package when KidZ came running up the stairs to see what we were so excited about. When he saw my books he said, "So does this mean you get lots of money now?" Yeah, I laughed pretty hard at that one.

It is so absolutely amazing to hold my words in my hands in the form of something that is so much like a real book. Serious dream come true!

All of my babies together!

Twins: I started the first draft of THE DARK DIVINE before I was even pregnant with KidA, and finished it just a few weeks before he was born. KidA just turned 3. His twin has taken much longer to get here. (But worth the wait!)

Apparently, I'm having a hard time letting my new baby out of my sight. Hubby snapped this pic when he found me putting on my make-up . . .with one of my ARCs in my lap.

And for your viewing pleasure, my older children begged their dad to let them record a message for me. (And it pretty much sums up KidZ and KidA's personalities to the tee.):

Yeah, you heard him right. That is what he said. See what it's like at my house?

Anyway, as hard as it is to let my baby go so soon, I might be persuaded into giving a signed ARC away on June 22nd for The Countdown to THE DARK DIVINE Contest. Come back then!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My Cover Is Here! My Cover Is Here!

So I've been sitting here for the last few minutes, trying my darndest to think of something clever and witty to say in order to introduce you all to my new cover . . . but I'm so freaking excited about how awesome and beautiful it turned out, all I can think of to say is: MY COVER IS HERE!! AND I FINALLY HAVE PERMISSION TO SHOW IT TO YOU!!

So without any further ado, I give you THE DARK DIVINE cover:

Take a minute to stare at it. Let the image sink into your brain. The more you look at it, the more you love it, right? Or is that just me? Anyway, I'm in love. Hopefully, you love it too! Now go share that love with everyone you know. Hehe. *Sheepish Grin* Or at least tell me what you think.

Oh yeah, and the winners of the First Chapter Sneak Peek Contest are as follows:

Grand prize winner of my random free copy of THE CHOSEN ONE is Jackie Johnson!

And because I love to give things away (if you haven't noticed), I chose a few runner-ups who will receive a $10 Amazon gift card each. They are:

Ginna Hendricks
Brooke Morris

Jessica Kennedy

Email me at readbree (at) gmail (dot) com to claim your prize.

P.S. Don't forget to come back on the 22nd of this month for the Countdown To THE DARK DIVINE Contest. (And if you follow me, then you'll be sure not to miss it. *Another Sheepish Grin*)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sneak Peek: Read the First Chapter of THE DARK DIVINE

This last week has been full of interesting happenings and surprises. . . to say the least. Most of them were pretty awesome. Except for the time I got head-butted in the mouth at the grocery store by an enraged 3-year-old who had been denied pumpkin cookies, resulting in a in split lip that has healed into something that looks like a cold sore . . .Or when I was babysitting 7 kids in a house with no Internet or TV, and the two houses next door were burglarized and ransacked in the middle of the day. (Freaky!)

Anywho . . .some pretty darn good things happened this week to balance out the craziness. I now get to share some of them with you:

1. I got to see my cover. And it's absolutely gorgeous. It really was a surprise since I thought that it was going to be a few more weeks before it was done. I even thought I'd end up with advanced copies of the book with a blank cover. This I can't share it with you yet, but you WILL see it the second I am allowed to share it publicly. Seriously, I can't wait!!

2. My book went to the printers for Advanced Reader Copies. . . And they have a cover! ARCs should be done by the end of the month. And I'll be sure to give a few away on the blog.

3. I randomly got a free copy of THE CHOSEN ONE by Carol Lynch Williams in the mail. Cool thing to get, eh? Too bad I'd already bought three copies.

4. And most exciting of all (since I can't yet share my cover)-- My editor sent me the formatted first chapter of THE DARK DIVINE. And he said I could share it with all of you!

So here's the deal: I've posted the first chapter of THE DARK DIVINE on my website, and you can get to it by clicking here, or by clicking on "books" above, then "sneak peek." And since I have a random free copy of THE CHOSEN ONE sitting next to me, I've decided to give it away to one of my readers. All you have to do is read my chapter, and then go to my contact form on my website and send me the answer to to this question, "What does Grace keep in the lunchbox?" If you answer correctly, I'll enter you in a drawing to win Carol's book. And you can still read the chapter even if you don't want to enter the contest (hehe).

Happy Reading!

(P.S. Please share the chapter with anyone you think might be interested. Thanks!)

(P.P.S. I've also updated the synopsis page on my website, so you can check that out too if you want.)

Monday, June 1, 2009

I've been blurbed!

Today has been a really surreal day. I wish I could tell you everything that is going on in ReadBree land . . .but, Agent Ted would kill me . . .and I don't want to jinx anything. (Random fact about me: I'm really superstitious. I knock on wood at least once a day . . .if not multiple times. In fact, I've said too much already. *Commences knocking on wood.*) Let's just say that in between changing poopy diapers and microwaving chicken nuggets, I got to write and respond to a few exciting emails that felt really trippy when compared to the poop wiping and nugget nuking that is my regular schedule.

Anyway, I am allowed to share one little tidbit with you all. While it's not the cover art for my book (which looks like it's still a while out :-( ), it is something that will go on the cover: My very first book blurb!!

Now for those who are wondering what a book blurb is, go pick up any novel and scan the jacket until you find a little quote about the book by another author, or a reviewer. Publishers send out advanced copies of a new book to well-known authors and reviewers in hopes of getting a little nugget of praise to adorn the cover (and entice buyers). I don't have advanced copies of my book yet--but they should be ready by the first of next month (watch for giveaways!)--so I had no idea that my publisher had sent out my book in manuscript form to get blurbs. Therefore, I was very, very, very, over-the-moon, excited to find a wonderful surprise in my in-box from my publisher this morning.

The following is my first ever book blurb. It's from Lesley Livingston, author of the novel WONDROUS STRANGE (which is a modern, paranormal, A Midsummer Night's Dream set in NYC):

“Reading THE DARK DIVINE feels almost like following a trail of moonlight into the heart of a forest at midnight--at once spooky and compelling. Bree Despain takes familiar myths and legends and wraps them elegantly around a haunting story of love, loss, family and forgiveness. Beautiful.”

"Squeee!!!!!" is seriously the only word I can use to describe how happy this blurb has made me. It is so lovely and well-worded . . .and complimentary!! Seriously, if I had to write a blurb on someone's book it would probably just say, "This book is cool. I loved it." Wow, just serious WOWNESS! I am in love with this blurb. I may just have to take it out for dinner and a movie.

Many thanks to Lesley Livingston (who I've never met, btw) for her kind and beautiful words. I'm off to go reread that email a few hundred more times. Have a great (and surreal) day!

P.S. We are getting ready to post a sneak peak of THE DARK DIVINE on the website. Stay tuned for the first chapter! It's coming really, really soon. I promise.