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!!).


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 You can listen online, and even call in and ask me questions.

3. On January 6th, 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 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 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

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'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:


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:


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?