Sunday, August 29, 2010

Winner of the Skip A Starbucks + Countdown to THE LOST SAINT giveaway!


Oi. Sorry to be a day late on this but I got coerced into spending yesterday at Cub Scout camp. Yep. You heard that right. Me + hundreds of hyper little boys + open flame + a dude on stilts. It went just about how you think it might go . . .

Just kidding, no dude on stilts or screaming boys ended up in the fire! But I was surely tempted. . . Um, never mind. *Jedi hand wave* You did not just hear me say that.

On the plus side, I got to pretend to be Katniss Everdeen while at the knot tying station. If only Finnick or Peeta had been around to make it more interesting. *Sigh*

Anyway, the winner of this month's Count Down to THE LOST SAINT giveaway (held early in honor of the Skip A Starbucks Day Fundraiser) is: Julia Girvin

Julia, email me with your mailing address and I will send you your Egmont Paranormal Prize Pack.

Everyone else, be sure to check back here on the 28th of next month for the next Countdown to THE LOST SAINT giveaway. The prize will be worth it. I promise.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Skip a Starbuck's Day + an early Countdown To THE LOST SAINT Contest


Hey all-

I'm kicking off this month's Countdown To THE LOST SAINT Contest a little early this month in order to help a good cause.

My blogger friend C.J. Redwine has asked for my assistance in helping her family bring their adopted daughter, Johanna Faith, home from China. They've been waiting for five years to be assigned a child (a process that was only supposed to take 6-8 months) because of bureaucratic red tape and many changes in rules and policies. Unfortunately they've had to pay their adoption fees many times over in order to keep their application active over all this time. And now that Johanna is finally allowed to come home to the Redwine family, their nest egg of money they've been saving for this occasion has dwindled to almost nothing.

They've only got a few weeks to raise the $8,000 needed to finalize the adoption and pay to bring Johanna home--and that's where the rest of can pitch in a help out.

C.J. is hosting SKIP A STARBUCKS DAY in which a bunch of us bloggers and authors are asking our readers to skip they're daily (or weekly) indulgence (such as a trip to Starbucks. Or Dove Dark chocolate bars in my case.) and donate the money you would have spent to helping the Redwine's bring their little girl home.

And in return, you get entered into contests to win many fabulous donated prizes!

C.J. is hosting the GRAND PRIZE giveaway, so go visit her blog to read all about it--and get more details on her family and their struggle to adopt Johanna. Enter her contest by making a donation, and then you can go aorund to all the other bloggers who are also hosting giveaways (including me) and enter.

Here's what I'm giving away to an awesome donor:

An Egmont Paranormal Prize Pack!

That's a hardcover copy of RAISED BY WOLVES by Jenn Lynn Barnes
A hardcover copy of SIREN by Tricia Rayburn
The Egmont UK paperback edition of THE DARK DIVINE (signed)
And one of my (very few) ARCs of THE LOST SAINT (signed)

And here's how to enter:

Visit C.J.'s blog and donate money to help bring baby Johanna home.

For every $5 you donate, you are eligible for 1 entry in my contest.***

You can earn 1 additional entry by promoting Skip A Starbucks Day fundraiser. (Only 1 extra entry total though. NOT 1 per time you promote.)

Come back here and tell me how many entries you qualify for. (Example: If you donate $10 to the cause and then promote the fundraiser you get 3 entries.)

You can either leave your entry number in the comments here on this blog, or if you're more comfortable (since this involves money) you can EMAIL your number of entries to me at:

Please title your email: Skip a Starbuck's Day

The contest runs until 11:00pm CST on Wednesday, August 25th.
I will randomly draw a winner and announce it on August 28th

***Entries will be verified with C.J. Redwine's donation receipts, so please be honest!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Winner of TLS, and Writing For Charity


Hey all-

So glad you enjoyed the short story. I've never been much of a short story writer (you know, because of my brevity issues) but I may have to write more just for the fun of it in the future. I just posted the story here on my own blog, so if you haven't seen it yet, you can check it out by CLICKING HERE.

ARCs of THE LOST SAINT finally arrived--and they're beautiful!! Freaking gorgeous is pretty much the only way I can properly describe them. I'll show you pictures in a minute and tell you which one of my lucky readers has won one . . . But first, while I have everyone's attention . . .

I wanted to tell you about an exiting a worthwhile event called WRITING FOR CHARITY. We at A Book For Every Child are on a mission to put a book in the hands of every needy child out there, but we need your help! And you get something out of it in return.

If you're in Utah, come join us this Saturday and the Writing for Charity Daytime Writing Workshop. 25+ nationally published authors are donating their time to run a fun writing workshop. Come meet the authors, ask any writing/publishing related questions you might have, get some of your own writing critiqued by a pro, and attend a multi-author book signing.

Where: The Waterford School in Sandy, Utah
When: Saturday, August 21st at 10:00 am
Cost: $70

But what if I'm not a writer, you ask? Well if you're a book lover, comedy lover, or music lover--or just looking for something fun to do on a Saturday night. Then come join us for the Writing for Charity Evening Extravaganza. This part of the event is open to everyone (including families and children) and will feature a "celebrity author panel," comedy troupe, live music, and a silent auction. Come meet Shannon Hale, Brandon Mull, Brandon Sanderson, James Dashner, Sara Zarr, Jessica Day George, Ally Condie, (and me) and get books signed and ask them any burning questions you might have.

Where: The Waterford School in Sandy
When: Saturday, August 21st at 6:30 pm
Cost: $15 for an individual, or $25 for a family

And if you're not in Utah, you can still help the charity event by bidding on items in the silent auction, or making a direct donating.

For more information about registering or donating, visit:

Okay, okay, on with the beauty that is the ARC of THE LOST SAINT.

What did I tell you?--They're gorgeous!

And look: Sisters!

Don't they look so great next to each other?

And the lucky reader who wins their very own signed copy of TLS is:

Meaghan at A Bookworm's Haven

Meaghan, email me at readbree(at)gmail(dot)com with you're mailing address and I'll send you your book.

Thanks everyone for entering the contest!

TDD + TMI Short Story

Here's the short story I wrote for the YA Showdown to show what would happen if Daniel from THE DARK DIVINE were to meet Jace from THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS.

Also known as . . .

The *Real* Reason Daniel Didn't Go After Grace The Night She Found Out What He Did

by Bree Despain

Daniel clutched at his moonstone necklace, gripping it so tight the porous rock bit into the tender scar in his palm. He’d punctured his hand only moments before to show Grace how he could heal his flesh over with just the power of his own concentration. But really, he’d done it to feel the pain. To feel the cutting of his guilt.
And because he’d wanted to scare her.

She ran. She knew what he was now—she knew what he’d done—and she ran. Just like he knew she would. Just like he’d wanted her to.

But that’s not what he really wanted, was it?

Grace blamed herself now for what Daniel was—for what he’d done three years ago. But that wasn’t true. Not at all. He needed to tell her that. Stop her from running. Wipe that look of anguish from her face.

“Wait!” Daniel shouted. He let go of his moonstone and darted out of his basement apartment and up the cement steps into the yard. “Stop, Gracie, please.”

He was too late. She was already driving away, the taillights of her car flashing brighter as she paused momentarily at the 4-way stop at the end of the street. And then she was gone.

Daniel heard a small gasp. He looked up and saw a girl he recognized from school, staring at him from across the street. A small white dog pulled at the leash in her hand. Her cheeks flushed pink and Daniel remembered that he was shirtless. The girl pulled a cell phone from her pocket and started texting as she hurried away with her yapping dog.

Daniel shook his head. He could go after Grace. Chase her down. Stop her before she got home. He was fast enough, no doubt about that.

But as Daniel took the first step to go after Grace, his sensitive ears picked up a swooshing noise, like metal slicing through air. His muscles tensed and he jumped sideways, just as the metallic flash of a knife went sailing by. The point of the blade nicked his neck. It was a small cut, but it burned like acid.

Silver. Daniel barely had time to process that thought before another blade came flying at his throat. He jumped out of the way just in time. The dagger lodged in the trunk of an old aspen tree in the yard.

“Where the hell . . . ?” Daniel cast about in the moonlit yard, searching for his invisible attacker.

“Well, if that’s your destination of choice, I’ll be happy to send you back there,” a voice said as he noticed a shadowed figure leaning against the railing of the porch. His arms crossed in front of his chest. The light from the porch lamp glinted off a silver blade—longer than the others had been—in one of his hands. “That’s where Downwolders belong after all.”

“Down . . .what?”

“Downwolders? Demons? Scum of the Earth?” The guy with the sword took a step closer. The light from the porch illuminated his blonde hair. Weird tattoo-like markings painted his arms.

“Who are you?” Daniel wiped at his burning neck. His fingers came away sticky with the blood that trickled from the silver-caused wound. It would take a while to heal. “What do you want?” He wracked his brain, trying to remember if he’d crossed this stranger before—Daniel had crossed a lot of people in the last few years.

“Jace.” The blonde guy uncrossed his arms and held his sword in front of him. “As for what I want, that’s easy. You. Dead.”

Jace let out a shout, almost like he relished the moment, and lunged at Daniel with his sword. Daniel countered out of the way. Jace flew past him and then stopped short and spun around. He slashed at Daniel, but Daniel darted out of his reach.

“Whoa. Take it easy. What did I ever do to you?”

“You exist,” Jace said. “I know about the girl who disappeared from that party in the city the other night. And the old lady who got attacked on this porch. Not to mention what happened to that little kid yesterday. And your Downworlder stench is all over every one of the crime scenes. I don’t normally attack your specific breed. But if you’ve gone rabid, then somebody has to put you down. That’s what Shadowhunters do.”

Shadowhunters? Daniel had heard of them once. They were like the Urbat—back before the Urbat lost their way and became worse than the very demons they’d sworn to protect humans from.

“I’m not what you think I am,” Daniel said. “Well I am, but not . . . I didn’t do what you think I did. You can’t prove anything—”

“You are a monster,” Jace said. “I tracked you here. I heard what you told that girl—what’s her name, Grace?—about what you did to her brother. That’s cause enough for me to take you down.” Jace smiled. “Besides, it’s been awhile since I’ve gotten to kick somebody’s ass.”

He lunged at Daniel again. Daniel dodged the attack. It took all his strength not to lash out at this guy. Jace had been right about one thing, Daniel was a monster. Or at least he had one inside of him. One that ached for a good fight.

Screamed for it.

And that’s exactly why Daniel couldn’t do anything.

If Daniel let the monster out—let it have any control at all—it would take over and finish this Jace person. Rip him to shreds. And then what?

Go for Grace?

Yes, now that the monster knew that Grace was the one, it would definitely go for her next. It would kill her.

Daniel’s muscles ached and flared as the monster tried to break free. His body convulsed and he clutched at his moonstone necklace.

“Please,” Daniel said, ducking under the swing of Jace’s silver sword. “I don’t want to fight you.”

“Then stand still and let me kill you already. I’ve got places to be tonight.” Jace kicked Daniel in the stomach.

Daniel flew back and hit the trunk of the aspen tree. His bare shoulder knocked into the silver hilt of the dagger that had lodged in the trunk only minutes before. The dagger fell to the ground. A stinging burn blistered up on his skin where the silver had touched him. He pushed himself away from the peeling bark of the tree. His side ached and he knew at least one of his ribs was cracked.

Daniel coughed.

Jace smiled.

“But I also don’t want to die,” Daniel said and an electric feeling washed through him—like that connection he’d felt when he first held Grace’s hand in the Garden of Angels—and he realized that he really did mean what he’d just said. For the first time in his life, he had something to live for.


Jace shouted and came at him with all his might, swinging the sword with ruthless force. In a lightning quick move, Daniel’s hand shot out. He slammed it against Jace’s arm, knocking the sword from his grasp. The silver thing went flying across the yard. Daniel’s other fist slammed against Jace’s jaw. Jace stumbled back, rubbing his face. A look of shock blinked in his eyes, but then he narrowed them. “So the passive little puppy act was just that, huh?” Jace smirked. “Good. This will be more fun.”

No, Daniel thought, his body shaking even more. He’d done too much. He was in real danger now of losing control. Jace came at Daniel with bare hands this time. He smashed his fist into Daniel’s cheek—repaying the blow Daniel had landed on him. Jace’s other fist slammed against Daniel’s side, into his broken ribs.

Daniel shouted with pain and fell to his knees. He took another blow to the head from Jace. Then another and another. Spots blurred his vision. The night suddenly felt blacker and thicker. Another blow would render him unconscious, and then he’d be at the mercy of this hunter who meant to kill him.

Daniel could try reasoning with Jace. Tell him about Grace. Tell him why he’d come back to Rose Crest. Tell him who was really responsible for all those attacks. But he could see it in Jace’s eyes, nothing he could say would stop him. Jace was convinced Daniel was a demon who needed to be exterminated.

Daniel leaned forward on his knees. His head bowed and his hands buried in the cold, dead, grass. But as he felt the rush of air of Jace’s fist sailing toward his head to deliver the final blow, he felt something hot and metallic against his fingertips in the frozen lawn.

With a burst of super-speed, Daniel snatched up the hot metal thing in his hands and rocked back on his knees. He knocked Jace’s fist out of the way just as it was about to land against his forehead and pounced at him like a mountain lion. Jace went sailing backward. He slammed into the ground—with Daniel on top of him.

Jace gasped for air and Daniel could tell that the wind had been knocked right out of chest. Daniel pinned Jace’s arms down with his knees, and held the point of the dagger he’d found in the grass to Jace’s throat. The silver of the dagger’s hilt seared Daniel’s hand. But Daniel gritted his teeth against the pain and held the knife closer against the pulsing vein in Jace’s neck.

Jace tried to say something but no sound came out. He still hadn’t regained his breath.

“Hear me now,” Daniel said, trying to hide the agony in his voice. His body shook like an earthquake erupting in his bones. He wouldn’t be able to keep the monster from breaking free for much longer. “I am not who you think I am. I did not do the things you think I did. If you leave now, you will live.” Daniel grunted. The blazing of the knife in his hand only made the demon inside of him angrier for a kill. “But I promise you this: If you don’t leave now, if you try anything, anything at all—You will die.”

Jace blinked and nodded.

Daniel backed away. He stood, gripping the dagger in front of him and let Jace get up.

Jace clutched his hand against his chest and coughed. “I underestimated you,” he rasped.

“Yes. You did.”

“Clean up whatever the hell is going on in this town, or this won’t be the last time you’ll see me.”

Daniel grunted in agreement. Jace stumbled to the street. He climbed onto a bullet bike that was stashed behind the bushes in the neighboring yard.

Daniel watched Jace drive out of sight. He listened for another few minutes, straining his super-hearing as far out as he could, until he was sure the Shadowhunter was really gone. With a scream of pain, he released the knife. It fell to the ground next to his bare feet. The acidic silver, gripped in his palm so long, had burned through his flesh, exposing the sinew in his hand.

He fell to his knees again, and tried with all his might and concentration to heal the wound. But the stubborn burn wouldn’t ease.

And now there was no way that he could go after Grace tonight—before it was too late.

How could he ever win her trust back now?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"The *real* reason Daniel didn't go after Grace the night she found out what he did"...and a TLS giveaway


Hey all-

Some blogger folks are counting down the days until the debut of Suzanne Collins's MOCKINGJAY by hosting a YA Showdown in which they are pitting characters from different books against each other to see who will come out as the YA fighting champion.

Editor Greg was practically giddy when the Showdown bloggers asked if I'd be willing to contribute my own version of what would happen if Daniel Kalbi were to fight Jace Wayland from Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments books.

Honestly, the idea kind of freaked me out. Writing fight scenes is probably one the hardest things for me to do--and why on Earth would Daniel and Jace ever fight each other in the first place?

But Editor Greg was so excited about it, and the idea really was an interesting one, so I decided to try my hand at writing a short description of what would happen if (and why?) these two characters were to face-off . . .

And ended up having so much fun with it, it turned into a 7 page short story.

Um, did I ever mention that I have issues with brevity?

Anyway, the short story is set within the framework of TDD book #1--right after Daniel reveals to Grace what he did before he disappeared 3 years ago. It explores the *real* reason (haha) why Daniel didn't go after her when she left that night. And it's written from Daniel's POV, which was way too much fun to write from. (I may have to explore this more in book #3.)

You can read the short story by CLICKING HERE.

Then you can go HERE to read an alternate version of what would happen if these two characters fought. And then you can VOTE as to which version you like better--or who you think would win in the match-up. Personally, I think you should all vote for Daniel--but if you don't, I'll still be your friend. And you can see all the other character match-ups here. (Warning: there may be a few TDD book #1 spoilers on this website.)

And since I just got an email from my editor saying that my ARCs of THE LOST SAINT should be arriving at my doorstep any minute now . . . I think I might just have to give one away to somebody who reads the short story.

So go check it out. Read. Hopefully enjoy. Vote for your fave. Come back here and tell me you did so. And then I will enter you in a drawing for a signed ARC of THE LOST SAINT.

Voting ends on August 12th, so the contest will end at 11:59 pm on that day too. And if you spread the word about the contest/the short story/the YA Showdown, you'll get 1 extra point in the drawing.