Sunday, August 30, 2009

Countdown Winners!

So it's time to post winners!!

I am so happy for the enthusiastic response to this month's Countdown to THE DARK DIVINE Contest. We had over 90 different people enter, with several entries per person. Hubby spent a good two hours making a spread sheet of all the different entries, then cut out all the entires and put them in KidA's toy boat, hubby jumped up and down and shook it around while doing a little jig, and then we drew out our winners.

So the winners are:

Grand Prize Winner (pedicure kit, TDD nail polish, ARC of THE DARK DIVINE, & $15 B&N gift card): Jessica Kennedy

2nd Place Winner (signed copies MY BIG NOSE AND OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS and LIFE IN THE PIT): Book Dragon

3rd Place Winner ($30 B&N gift card): Hillary

Winners, please email me at readbree(at)gmail(dot)com with your mailing address so I can send off your prizes.

And to everyone else, the SCBWI L.A. contest is still on-going. You can click here to enter that contest, and I PROMISE I'll post the 3rd (and final) list of favorite SCBWI L.A. moments soon (I know, I know, I've been saying that for a week now). All you have to do for this contest is comment on one of the 3 SCBWI L.A. posts (or all--multiple comments gets you multiple entries). I'll then enter you in a drawing for one of three signed books I picked up at the conference:


BREATHING by Cheryl Renee Herbsman

KING DORK by Frank Portman

(Sorry, I really wanted to get 13 REASONS WHY for the contest, but they were all sold out :( )

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Countdown to THE DARK DIVINE contest and purple toes too!

So its that time of the month again! Wait...I don't mean that... well I do...but that's not what I wanted to talk about. Wow. TMI. Um.... yeah.

So what I mean is "Yay, its the 22nd of August and that means only 4 months until the release of THE DARK DIVINE!!!!" And to celebrate? You guessed it-- CONTEST TIME!

But before we get into the contest, I have to tell you about something really cool. Hubby and I thought it would be really neat if we found some nail polish to match the girl on my cover's pedicure. Then we took the idea one step farther and said, well what if we actually found a manufacturer who could make THE DARK DIVINE nail polish? It seemed like a long shot, but we presented the idea to my publisher (who loved it by the way) and long story short, I give you THE DARK DIVINE nail polish!
Okay how cool is that? And I totally know that you want to know how you can get one for your very own. I mean, they are awesomely cute, don't you think?

Well, that's where the contest comes into play. And since the girl on my cover has beautiful feet (though oddly squarish toes), the grand prize this month includes a THE DARK DIVINE pedicure kit! (A foot file, a tub of peppermint smoothing pumice scrub, a bottle of peppermint cooling foot lotion, and a bottle of the nail polish.)

So here's how this month's contest will work:

Qualified participants will be entered into a drawing to win one of three prizes:

1. A pedicure kit complete with my new THE DARK DIVINE nail polish! + An autographed ARC of THE DARK DIVINE + $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble.
2. Signed copy of MY BIG NOSE AND OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS by Sydney Salter + Signed copy of LIFE IN THE PIT by Kristen Landon
3. A $30 gift card to Barnes & Noble

What's a qualified participant you ask? Well, you must be a follower of the blog or twitter to qualify, so if you are not already a know...become one :D. You must also earn a minimum of 5 points from the list below to qualify.

1. Already a blog follower= 4pts
2. Already a twitter follower= 2pts
3. Become a new blog follower= 3pts
4. Become a new Twitter follower= 1pt
5. Post a twitter update about contest= 1pt
6. Blog about the contest= 5pts (must be in a post)
7. Post a comment responding to the questions posed below= 2pts

To enter, and make sure I don't miss anything, please post a comment to this post with the URLs of your blog/twitter posts and totaling your points (While you're there, you might as well comment on the questions posed and earn a couple extra points too).

For every point you earn in addition to the 5 points needed to qualify, you get an additional name entry in the drawing. For example, if you are already a follower, blog about the contest, and also post a twitter update (10 points), you would get 6 entries in the drawing (1 for the 5pts to qualify and 5 more for the additional 5pts earned). Contest ends midnight Aug. 29th. I'll post winners the following day.

Now, as mentioned, you can respond to a couple questions to earn points toward the contest. So, I'm wondering loyal followers:

1. What was the last book you read that gave you a new perspective?
2. Who's your favorite fictional bad boy?
3. What's your favorite paranormal creature and why?

Now, go forth and blog and tweet and comment, and may the best readers win! (Oh, and as a side note, the "Favorites from SCBWI" commenting contest for Sherman Alexie's ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART TIME INDIAN and other books I picked up from the conference is still going on. I'll finish my stories sometime early next week. . . and then pick a winner for that contest shortly thereafter.)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A chance to win an ARC, a chance to help kids, and favorites from SCBWI L.A. Part 2

So let's put business first.

My blogger friend Taschima is having a mega-palooza on her blog and is giving away a ton of cool books--including a signed ARC of THE DARK DIVINE. So if you want a chance to win the book, head over there (after you read this post, of course) and check it out. She's also giving away an ARC of my Tenners pal Becca Fitzpatrick's HUSH HUSH. Which I would pretty much give my left arm for. (Anyone out there with an ARC of HUSH HUSH who's in need of an extra left arm?)

Secondly, if you're in Utah, you should definitely come to the 2nd Annual Writing for Charity event on August 29th. Spend a full day learning more about the craft of writing, how to get published, and even get the first page (the most important page) of your manuscript critiqued by a published author. The cost is only $45 if you preregister ($50 at the door), and all the proceeds go to helping low income kids. Over 20 authors are donating their time to the event, including Shannon Hale, Sara Zarr, Brandon Mull, and James Dashner. (And me--but those other authors are cooler.) Click here to check it out.

Okay, on to the fun stuff. More SCBWI L.A. favorite moments:

4. Getting to meet my publisher, Elizabeth Law . . . who mistook me for a 12 year old. Nice, huh? But I guess it's better to be mistaken for being almost 2 decades younger than 2 decades older. Elizabeth also gave my book a couple of big shout outs during both her keynote address and one of her breakout sessions. It was interesting to hear that she was dead-set against acquiring my book (without having read it) because she didn't want any paranormal romance on her list--that is until Greg and Regina MADE her agree to read the first 50 pages over a weekend. When she came into work the next Monday, the first thing she said was, "Daniel is SO hot! We have to buy this book." That made me smile for like an hour straight.

5. The Belly Boobs incident. Really, Brodi tells this story better than I ever could . . . so I'm totally copying and pasting the following from her blog (Hope you don't mind Bro, but um, you DID eat all my brownies.) :

Saturday night of the conference was the Blue Moon Ball in the courtyard of the hotel.
There was a shortage of elevators in the hotel, and so the wait to get one was always long, and once it arrived, it may or may not be too full.

Brodi and Bree were waiting for an elevator to take us down to the Ball, and Brodi was explaining to Bree why she couldn't possibly get away with not wearing a bra.

Below is the recap, in extra slow motion so you can benefit from the timing of it all.

*Brodi and Bree, waiting to see which of the four elevators will ding*

Brodi: "I really can't go anywhere without a bra."

Bree: "Why not?"
*Elevator Dings*

Brodi: "Because I end up looking like Kathy Lee Gifford."
*Arrow Lights Up*
*It happens to be the elevator in front of Brodi, and toward which she is now facing, two feet away*

Bree: "What's wrong with looking like Kathy Lee Gifford?"

me: "Seriously? I have two words for you." *Doors Open to a packed elevator car, all of whom are staring at Brodi, who is also staring back*

me: "Belly Boobs!"

Awkward silence as we all just stand there, looking at each other. Bree and Brodi can't fit on, and Bree's across the room anyway, so it's just Brodi still staring. Doors close.

Bree starts laughing hysterically.

Brodi (turning reluctantly to Bree): "Did I really just shout 'belly boobs' to an elevator full of people?"

Bree: nods, still laughing.

So, their doors opened, and there was this girl, just waiting to say 'belly boobs'. Almost like it was some sort of password to get on the elevator or something.

And why is it that people in an elevator have absolutely no sense of humor? The inside of a packed elevator is more somber than a freakin' funeral home. Nobody even cracked a smile. It was like I had said 'belly boobs' and everyone inside the car was thinking, ah, belly boobs. Yes. Interesting point.

And yes, this is pretty much exactly what happened. Except that there was a HUGE dog in the elevator too--which just made the whole incident even more surreal. For more of Brodi's hilarious stories, be sure to check out her blog here.

Okay, this post is getting really long . . . and I have at least 2 or 3 more favorite moments to share, so we'll have to adjourn until a "Part 3" post. Be sure to comment so you'll be entered into my drawing for books I picked up at the conference. (Including an autographed copy of ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART TIME INDIAN!!!) And even if you commented on the last post, you can get a second entry into the drawing by commenting again.

And to make Brodi feel better, you can always share an embarrassing moment of your own with the group :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Favorite Moments from SCBWI L.A.: Part One

So I think the maniacal bunny men are sufficiently subdued enough (and the kids are finally asleep!) for me to blog about my many adventures from SCBWI L.A.!! There's so much to tell, I think I'll have to sift it down to my favorite moments--and probably break it into more than one post. So here we go:

1. Almost missing the plane to L.A.--and no, I didn't sleep in and get to the airport late. In fact, I got up at 3:30 in the morning and got to the airport by 5:00 am for my 6:00 flight. My BFFs, and conference buddies, Brodi Ashton and Emily Wing Smith got there shortly after me. We sat there waiting for our flight to be called . . . and waited and waited and waited some more . . . until the guy with the little microphone suddenly called out in a very snippy voice, "Passengers Ashton, Despain, and Smith, this is your final call. Are you planning on joining us this morning?!"

The snippy man with the microphone claims that he called our flight several times, and called our names individually several times. But I still think he was lying. I mean, we were staring right at him the whole time . . . But anyway, we made it onto the already filled plane just in time, and apart from poor Brodi's eardrum almost bursting mid-flight, we made it to the conference without a hitch.

2.The Tenners Meet The Bloggers Lunch: One of the best things I did while in L.A. was to get to meet some of my fellow tenners, and some of the awesome YA bloggers I've made friends with on twitter. Fellow Tenners were Kim Derting, Lindsey Leavitt, Christy Raedeke, Jennifer Cervantes, Suzanne Young, Denise Jaden, and Matthew Kirby. And a few other authors showed up, too. Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Beautiful Creatures), along with Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why) and even Holly Black (Spiderwick Chronicles) was there for a bit.

The bloggers included Catt from The Dreamer Reader, Alicia from Shooting Stars Mag, Vania from Reverie Book Reviews, and Khy from Frenetic Reader. Some of the bloggers came with their moms--who I think are some of the coolest moms I've ever met!! I mean, any mom who would drive their teenage daughters out to meet a bunch of authors are totally awesome in my book.
(Khy, Catt, and Alicia--3 of my favorite bloggers! Too bad I can't get the picture bigger.)

Khy and her Mom made each of authors a cool gift bag full of specific presents based on our blog posts and our books.

My bag included:

A purple matchbox Mustang . . . Because I LOVE Mustangs and will eventually buy myself one someday.

Purple duct tape, so hubby can make me something cool to wear out of it.

A box of pastels . . .Because the MC in my book is an artists and needs a new box of pastels.

And a box of Ghiredelli Brownie Mix bigger than my head! (Because I'm a chocoholic.) The box was so big I couldn't fit it into my suitcase so Brodi offered to carry it home for me . . .Hey, wait a second, I haven't gotten those back yet!!

(Me with the brownie box bigger than my head. Seriously, Bro, where are my brownie?!)

The other cool thing about lunch is that I got to share chips and salsa with the awesome Jay Asher.

(This is Jay sitting across from me at the restaurant wearing an Egyptian hat given to him by Khy. I know the picture is really fuzzy, but I put it in here to prove that I really did eat lunch with JAY ASHER!!)

3. Meeting Sherman Alexie . . .and he LOVED our shirts. At the beginning of the conference, each member of the faculty was forced to share one word with the nearly 1000 conference goers in the audience. After many got up to share inspirational words like hope, listen, acceptance, Sherman Alexie got up and said, "Inappropriate." Well, we were all already crushing on Sherman's brilliance and plotting a way to get to meet him, so hearing that gave us the perfect plan. You see, Brodi, Emily, and I all made "bad review" shirts in order to "wear" the things people had said about our books. Well, Emily's shirt just happened to say "inappropriate" because of a ridiculous B&N review of her book . . . So we knew we HAD to show our shirts to Sherman. So anyway, Sherman LOVED out shirts and was happy to take a picture with us.

Me: Blasphemous (and looking very shiny), Sherman the Awesome, Emily: Inappropriate, and Brodi: Violent

Okay, wow, this post is getting long . . .and we're only 24 hours into the conference. Let's adjourn for now, but be sure to leave a comment. For everyone who comments on this (and future) SCBWI L.A. posts will be entered into a drawing to win one of three awesome AUTOGRAPHED books I picked up at the conference.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A post in which I TRY to blog about SCBWI L.A.

So I swear there are manically little bunny men out there trying to prevent me from blogging. Every time I sit down to do it, something comes up. Like KidA says he needs to poop for the 5th time in 25 minutes (and no, he doesn't have a disorder, he just says "never mind, I don't need to go" each time after I get him undressed and on the toilet), or blogger decides that it doesn't feel like letting me upload pictures, or Zac Efron does that really cool move in 17 AGAIN where he catches the basketball with one hand--therefore rendering me too distracted to string together coherent sentences.

So the fact that I've been back from L.A. for 4 days and I'm just now getting to blogging about it, I blame completely on the bunny men playing maniacal tricks on me . . . and Zac Efron's smile. Damn that smile. (Side note, I've never been a ZE fan before this week, but now I'm thinking he might be a contender for playing the role of Daniel in a THE DARK DIVINE movie. You know, if you bad-boyed him up a bit? Zac is now the dark horse sneaking up on Taylor Kitsch in the running. What do you think?)

Anyway, I'm going to try to type out this blog post before the bunny men attack again (ggrrr, KidA just got out of bed for the 3rd time since I put him down an hour ago . . .just a sec. . .okay I'm back . . .) and hopefully blogger will let me post pictures. (Gah, hubby just walked in with a DVD from Redbox. . . Must. Keep. Blogging. . .Grr, now he's talking about Amy Pohler's impersonation of Dakota Fanning on SNL . . .and I told him I'm writing about how he's distracting me and now I swear he's doing it on purpose. . .GAH!!! He just broke out the chocolate. Okay, chocolate and movie win out. WILL. BLOG. TOMORROW. I swear . . .I really really swear. There will be pictures. I promise. . .Gotta go. Bye.)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I'm leaving on a jet plane

So I just wanted to leave a little note to let you all know that the blog will be quiet this evening as I am headed off (way too frakking) early tomorrow morning for the SCBWI national conference in L.A. I doubt I'll get a chance to blog, but I will be twittering all about my adventures with sister authors Brodi Ashton and Emily Wing Smith as we test out our "bad review t-shirts," meet some awesome bloggers, and stalk Sherman Alexie. You hear that, Sherman? We'll be the ones in the red t-shirts following your every move. Be afraid, be very afraid . . .

Brodi has informed us that she is hopped up on several different kinds of decongestant, and since she was previously voted #1 Crazy of our writing clique, this should be a very interesting trip. I promises pictures and wild tales to come on the blog next week, but for now you can follow action on twitter @breedespain

Talk to you all next week!!