“Bye-Bye Borders” – Zombie Jesus Edition

One of my friends always texts me on Easter with a “Happy Zombie Jesus Day.”  Most of my Easter stuff happened yesterday.  Of course, that involved the Ten Commandments, the season premiere of Doctor Who, dyeing eggs, dressing colorfully, and starting my chocolate bunny.  Today I get to work.  But I do get to eat some dyed eggs, probably in the form of deviled eggs or egg salad, yum.

In honor of Zombie Jesus Day, I thought I could offer you zombie books, but, wouldn’t you know it, none of the books I got from Borders feature zombies (as far as I know).  So instead I’ll head on over to another type of undead–vampires.  And for good measure I’ll throw in some werewolves too.  This week you can get eight books.

1. The featured vampire book is: Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead.

This is the fifth book in the Vampire Academy series (there are six).  I’ve only read two, but I bought this one and Shadow Kisses from Borders to add to my own collection.  I was able to get an extra of this one, so I’m passing it on to you.

I’m not going to do the cover copy of this book because it’s a spoiler for the earlier books.  (I’d already been spoiled, unfortunately.)

2. The featured werewolf book is: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer. 

From the cover copy: Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she’ll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers.  But when she violates her masters’ laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything–including her own life.  Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

3. Dust City by Robert Paul Weston

4. The Immortals: Night Star by Alyson Noel

5. Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis

6. The Drake Chronicles: Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey

7. Night Runner: End of Days by Max Turner

8. Kisses from Hell (short stories) by Kristin Cast, Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Richelle Mead, and Francesca Lia Block

Rules are the same as last week.

– Leave a comment that includes some way to contact you (like an e-mail address or your twitter name).  This way I can get in touch if you win 🙂

– Leave the title, artist, and genre (just so I’m not surprised) of a song, and give me a description of the story that song tells to you.  Can be as simple or as complicated as you like.


That Kind of Day – Sarah Buxton – Country – This is the story of a girl who just has a day where everything goes wrong.  From having a bad hair day to being told she looks like she’s gained five pounds to being flipped the bird while she’s stuck in traffic… by an old lady, no less.  (This story is right there in the lyrics, so it’s pretty easy)

Intermission – Scissor Sisters – Genre??? – This person is trying to be happy and stay positive, but all he hears around him are people telling him how life sucks and then you die.

– You can get an extra entry if you tweet about the contest, so leave your twitter info in that case.

One winner will be chosen at random for each giveaway, which will each have the same entry requirements (but please choose different songs from any earlier giveaways you entered).   This contest ends on Saturday, April 30 at 11:59 p.m. I’ll announce the winner on Sunday, along with the next giveaway.

Oh, and you want to know who won the last contest?  All right, I suppose… 😉  And the winner is:

Heather Dougherty

Congratulations, Heather, and thank you, everyone, for your songs and stories.  I love reading about them.  And once I get this new computer all set up, including iTunes, I know I’ll be downloading some of those songs.

Speaking of songs…

Currently on iPod: Invisible Man by Theory of a Dead Man

Lots of love,



Crash (but no burn, yay)

First let me remind you that it’s the last day of my first book giveaway.  A new one starts tomorrow with totally different books.

Yeah, so I dropped my netbook on Wednesday night.  It was stupid.  I tend  to bring too many things downstairs to watch tv, and then I have to bring them all up again.  So I folded a blanket, put my book on top of it, put my netbook on top of that (dooooom), wrapped my arms around those, and carried my power cord and water bottle in my hand.

Well, I was also talking to roomie and dancing around the kitties at my feet when I entered my bedroom.  And I felt something slip off the blanket, but thought it was the book (which I didn’t even like) so I didn’t stretch to catch it.

Nope, it was the netbook.

And I’ve dropped this netbook before with no effect whatsoever.  In fact, I was pretty happy with how sturdy it’s been, considering how tiny it is.  Actually, this has been the BEST computer I’ve ever had.  I’ve had such bad luck with them.  Spyware invasions, and internal stuff gone loose during shipping, and backlights going out, and power cords not working, and so many video card problems, and wifi receiver not working.  But that little netbook, it had no problems…until I dropped it.

And even then, well, it worked.  The hinges broke, so the lid was about a centimeter above the base when I picked it up off the ground.  But I could see through that centimeter that it was working.  This, even though the corner of the lid had busted open so I could see the inside.  The screen even survived.  But I couldn’t open it any further than that centimeter.  So peeking into the little space I had, I managed to move the cursor around until I could shut the laptop down for the night.

So I took it to Best Buy, which is where I bought it.  I knew I had gotten a warranty, but I didn’t know for sure for how long.  Well, it was covered, but not for me dropping it, boo.  It would take two weeks to fix it, booooooooooooooooooo.  Also it would cost half the price of a new one (except that I don’t know that for sure because the Geek Squad was like, “We’re not good at this, don’t trust this estimate, they’d give you a real estimate as soon as it gets to the guys fixing it”).  So… I bought a new one.

But the Geek Squad did open it up (and now I don’t dare close it because of those bad hinges), and so I saved everything that I wasn’t sure I had backed up, then used one of those easy transfer cables to move everything from one netbook to the other.

I still have a little buyer’s remorse.  A) That really was the best computer I’ve ever had and there’s no guarantee this one will be as good (but no guarantee that the other would work as well after fixing it either), B) there are a bunch of around-the-house and other electronic stuff that we’ve been talking about getting and this is money that I could have used for that, C) I’ve done no research on today’s netbooks, so there might have been a better choice, and D) this netbook doesn’t really give me anything that the other didn’t have (aka, I’m not getting a shiny new toy, just a replacement with the pain of getting everything back the way I like it).

But I have 14 days to decide that I should have fixed the other instead, and my birthday is coming up and I’m getting money that can help me justify that.  So it’s possible I’ll be responsible and return this.  But less likely every minute, really, as I set everything up the way I like it.

Plus, seriously, two weeks is way long without a computer when you’re a writer.

Currently on iPod: Invisible Man by Queen

Lots of love,

Happy Release Day, Hannah

As of today, you can buy Hannah Moskowitz’s Invincible Summer.  If you like novels about strong family relationships, summers at the beach, love triangles, American Sign Language, or people obsessed with Camus, you’ll probably love this book.

The trailer for the novel is here:

And don’t forget you can win Invincible Summer this week here on this blog, along with five other excellent books.  All you need is a song and the story you hear in that song.


Currently on the iPod: Inside Out by Vonray

Lots of love,


“Bye-bye, Borders” Book Blowout Extravaganza, part 1

It’s here.  The first (and possibly best?  Well, I don’t know) installment of my book giveaways.  There will be six books given away in part 1.  All of these books are books I own, although I haven’t yet read some of them.  In the future I might feature a specific book per giveaway, but I really couldn’t choose one from this bunch.  So here they are, all six books:

1. Invincible Summer – Hannah Moskowitz 

Cover copy says: Across four sun-kissed drama-drenched summers at his family’s beach house, Chase tries to come to grips with his family’s slow dissolution while also finding himself in a chaotic love triangle, pitted against his own brother in pursuit of the girl next door. Invincible Summer is a gritty, sexy, page-turning read from a talented teenaged author that readers won’t want to miss.

Other notes:  I haven’t read this particular one of Hannah’s novels, but you know I love her stuff.  It doesn’t really come out until Tuesday, so I’m just adding it as a bonus novel.

2. The Unidentified – Rae Mariz

Cover copy says: Fifteen-year-old Katey (aka Kid) goes to school in the Game – a mall converted into a “school” run by corporate sponsors. As students play their way through the levels, they are also creating products and being used for market research by the Game’s sponsors, who are watching them 24/7 on video cameras.

Kid has a vague sense of unease but doesn’t question this existence until one day she witnesses a shocking anti-corporate prank. She follows the clues to uncover the identity of the people behind it and discovers an anonymous group who call themselves the Unidentified. Intrigued by their counterculture ideas and enigmatic leader, Kid is drawn in. But when the Unidentified’s pranks and even Kid’s own identity are co-opted by the corporate sponsors, Kid decided to do something bigger–something that could change the Game forever.

Other notes: I loved this book.  That is all.

3. Liar – Justine Larbalestier

Cover copy says: Micah will freely admit she’s a compulsive liar, but that may be the one honest thing she’ll ever tell you. Over the years she’s fooled everyone: her classmates, her teachers, even her parents. And she’s always managed to stay one step ahead of her lies. That is, until her boyfriend dies under brutal circumstances and her dishonesty begins to catch up with her. But is it possible to tell the truth when lying comes as easily as breathing?

Taking listeners deep into the psyche of a young woman who will say just about anything to convince them–and herself–that she’s finally come clean, Liar is a bone-chilling thriller that will have listeners seesawing between truths and lies right up to the end. Honestly.

Other notes:  Liar really had me thinking about it weeks after I read it.  I was surprised by the nature of some of the twists, but I really love the way her lies leave everything ambiguous.

4. Marcelo in the Real World – Francisco X. Stork

Cover copy says: Marcelo Sandoval hears music no one else can hear–part of the autism-like impairment no doctor has been able to identify–and he’s always attended a special school where his differences have been protected. But the summer after his junior year, his father demands that Marcelo work in his law firm’s mailroom in order to experience “the real world.” There Marcelo meets Jasmine, his beautiful and surprising coworker, and Wendell, the son of another partner in the firm. He learns about competition and jealousy, anger and desire. But it’s a picture he finds in a file–a picture of a girl with half a face–that truly connects him with the real world: its suffering, its injustice, and what he can do to fight.

Other notes: This was a pretty cool book with an interesting POV.

5. Grace – Elizabeth Scott

Cover copy says:  Grace was raised to be an Angel, a herald of death by suicide bomb. But she refuses to die for the cause, and now Grace is on the run, daring to dream of freedom.

In search of a border she may never reach, she travels among malevolent soldiers on a decrepit train crawling through the desert. Accompanied by the mysterious Kerr, Grace struggles to be invisible, but the fear of discovery looms large as she recalls the history and events that delivered her uncertain fate.

Other notes: I haven’t read this one, and don’t know much about about it, but everyone talks about how powerful Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott is.

6. Hummingbirds by Joshua Gaylord

Cover copy says: Hummingbirds is a wonderfully compelling novel about the intertwining and darkly surprising relationships at the elite Carmine-Casey School for Girls in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where the rivalries and secrets of teachers and students intersect and eventually collide.

In the world of students, popular Dixie Doyle battles to wrest attention away from Liz Warren, who spends her time writing and directing plays based on Oresteia. In the world of teachers, Leo Binhammer must now share his territory with Ted Hughes, the new English teacher who threatens Binhammer’s status as sole owner of the girls’ hearts. Seasons change and tensions mount as the students, longing for entry into the adult world, toy with their premature powers of flirtation. The deceptive innocence of adolescence becomes a trap into which flailing teachers fall, as the line between maturity and youth begin to blur.

Other notes: I haven’t read this one either.  It sounded interesting so I got a copy for me too.

Super shiny books, yeah?  And half of them are hardback.  And here’s the best part.  You can have them for a song.

Here’s what you have to do to enter:

– Leave a comment that includes some way to contact you (like an e-mail address or your twitter name).

– As you know, I love music.  I love making playlists for my novels and finding new music that I love.  I’m pretty eclectic, though there are some genres I just don’t usually get.  And my new secret project that I’m working on when I can’t concentrate on Fireflies includes music that tells stories.  Plus, one way I fall in love with a song is if I can connect it to some story, even if the story wasn’t the artist’s original intent.  So leave the title, artist, and genre (just so I’m not surprised) of a song, and give me a description of the story that song tells to you.  Can be as simple or as complicated as you like.

A couple of examples:

Fireflies – Owl City – Electronica/pop – To me this told the story of a whimsical insomniac who was obsessed with fireflies and sort of lived in her (in the case of Fiona) own fantasy world at times

Trouble is a Friend – Lenka – Pop – A good girl is best friends with the spirit of trouble and is realizing that she’s falling for him.

Both those songs led to books, obviously.

– You can get an extra entry if you tweet about the contest, so leave your twitter info in that case.

One winner will be chosen at random for each giveaway, which will each have the same entry requirements (but please choose different songs if you enter future giveaways).   Contest ends on Saturday, April 23 at 11:59 p.m. I’ll announce the winner on Sunday, along with the next giveaway 🙂

Hope to see you in the comments.

Currently on iPod: Inner Glow by Blue October

Lots of love,


Goodbye, Borders

Both the Borders in town are closed as of 5 p.m. today.  I’m pretty sad about it.  Not only was Borders my favorite bookstore, it was also my favorite cafe to write in.  My friend and I used to write every Friday night at the Borders that closed yesterday.  I also had several friends working at that one, but luckily, they’d all moved on to other jobs long before it closed.

But the other Borders?  That was my absolute favorite place to write.  Sitting at a cafe table felt like home.  It wasn’t the healthiest place for me–I didn’t like the coffee, but I did love the javanilla shakes–but when I convinced myself I deserved a treat, the shakes were a great one.

The cafe was the first thing to close.  I thought, “I better go as much as possible  the next two months before they close.”  And I got there, and it was roped off.  I almost cried.

But that didn’t keep me from going back to that Borders over and over to monitor the sales and the inventory.  I bought about 20 books at 50-70% off, but it wasn’t until yesterday that I really made a killing.

Yesterday the first one closed.  This is the one where my friends used to work.  The YA section had been pretty well depleted, so I only got 13 books.  “Only?” you say.

Well, yeah, “only.”  The YA section at my favorite Borders was still pretty well stocked.  Today I bought 60 books.

And so, to paraphrase Cordelia Chase, my loss is your incredible gain.  I’m having a series of BOOK GIVEAWAYS.  Not just one book, but 5-9 books per giveaway, all sort of organized by theme.  There will be at least 7 contests and they will be super easy.  I’m not even going to make you blog about them (but if you want to tweet them, I might hand out bonus points).  Here’s a hint: Start thinking about your favorite songs.

The first one will start tomorrow.  I’m pretty excited.

Even though, I’m still pretty sad, no lie.

Lots of love,


Lots of Love Thursday, 4/14/11

Look, look, it’s Thursday and I’m doing a LoLT.

Here are the exciting things from the last week.

  • I posted a teaser for the first time in a while
  • The government didn’t shut down.  Our lab gets a lot of EPA work, and the difference between them shutting down and not shutting down is the difference between being forced to take vacation versus possibly getting overtime.  (Not because my work changed, but because we’d have more workers in the lab who couldn’t do other projects)
  • I realized that I’m really excited about my latest full request
  • I bought 17 books (including 4 manga) and a blu-ray for $40.  This may be less exciting than what I buy tomorrow and Saturday as (sad, though) our Borders both shut down.
  • I wrote several pages for Script Frenzy (which I’m not really doing, shh)
  • The garbage disposal broke…and we fixed it…for free
  • Our siding was finally fixed (after being broken for like a month)
  • I bought a sports bra that gives me awesome support
  • My zumba instructor gave me the title of my favorite zumba song and I downloaded it

So it was kind of an eventful week.  Oops, gotta post this now, while it’s still Thursday.

Lots of love,


Teaser Tuesday – Losing Jason

Here’s a Teaser Tuesday.  I’ve fallen back into ignoring the blog.  Sorry.  I plan for a big book giveaway contest soon, which will hopefully inspire me to post here more often.

I’m still working on revisions for Fireflies, which I’ve been making a YA from a MG.  This week I crossed over into the minimum YA length, but there are still many changes to be made.

Here’s an excerpt I wrote recently.  Context: Fiona put her little brother Jason into time-out and took her older brother, Troy, who has the traumatic brain injury, to breakfast, and when she came back, her mom didn’t know where Jason was.  The “her” at the beginning is Aunt Sonia, who runs the inn.

“Have you seen Jason?” I ask her, a little breathless from my search.

She looks up from her frying pan, where she’s frying some bacon.  Whether it’s for her own breakfast, for Uncle Jerry, or with the hope that some guests will come down and eat in the dining room today, I don’t know.

My question alarms her, and she puts the frying pan down on another burner, turning off the one she was using.  “No.  What happened?  Is he missing?”

I nod.  “I put him in time out, and he escaped.”  I want to go off on a rant about how Mom was supposed to be watching him, but I know that now’s not the time.

Aunt Sonia nods and takes off her apron, hanging it on a peg near the oven.  “Let’s find him.  Where’s Elise?”

“Watching Troy,” I say, although it’s entirely possible she’s left the suite to look for Jason too.  Although Troy does need babysitting, just like I said, he can be better trusted than Jason to stay if commanded.  In fact, I’m not sure that he wouldn’t rather stay on the couch while Mom and I search for Jason, rather than helping us look.

The thought makes me feel sick because that’s not Troy.  It’s not.  And I want to believe that even after the TBI, he’s fighting so so hard to get back to himself.  He’s sending those fireflies in different directions and rebuilding his brain where the swelling has killed parts of it.  But I don’t know if he’s fighting.  He doesn’t look like he’s fighting.

He’s not fighting to find Jason, that’s for sure, because when Aunt Sonia and I finish looking under tables and behind the oven and in the pantry and around the tasting room, we go back into the hall, and he’s not out there searching with us.

Hope you enjoyed.

Currently on iPod: Infidel by Five for Fighting.

Lots of love,