Thursday, July 17, 2014

Remake Giveaway!

Is it just me, or is this the most insane summer ever? Seriously. Between camps and tours and conferences and playing hostess to a stream of visitors staying at my house, I think I'm about to explode. Please tell me I'm not the only one.

Among the chaos, though, a lot of great things have been happening for me and REMAKE. My publisher has done some amazing things to bring my book exposure, and a lot of cool stuff is in the works that I hope to share soon. In the meantime, I'm doing my best to enjoy the journey and remain grateful that my publishing dream is coming true. Less than three months until release...eep!

This email ad was sent out last week from Publishers Weekly--
resulting in one of PW's highest click-through rates of all time. So cool!

After meeting with my publisher earlier this week in which they key phrase was "deep breaths, deep breaths," the next several months of my life have gone from crazy to CRAZY. So apologies if I can't get to everyone's posts or have to pass on critiques or helping with reveals and such. I love supporting my fellow writers, but a little break shouldn't hurt, right?

I did promise an ARC giveaway, so here's my first attempt at one of those Rafflecopter thingys. I hope it works. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What have you been up to this summer?

I'm chasing old ideas...

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Phobic: cover reveal and guest post

I'm super excited to share the cover of Cortney Pearson's PHOBIC, coming September 2014.

BOOK DESCRIPTION:
Fifteen-year-old Piper Crenshaw knows her house is strange. It’s never needed repairs since it was built in the 1800s, and the lights flicker in response to things she says. As if those things aren’t creepy enough, it’s also the place where her mother committed murder.

To prove she’s not afraid of where she lives, Piper opens a forbidden door, which hides a staircase that leads to the ceiling. That’s when the flashbacks of the original residents from 1875 start, including a love affair between two young servants. Each vision pulls Piper deeper into not only their story, but also her house. Piper confides in her best friend, Todd, whom she's gradually falling for, but even he doesn't believe her. At least, not until her house gets axed during a prank, and the act injures Piper instead, cutting a gash the size of Texas into her stomach.

Piper realizes her house isn’t haunted—it’s alive. To sever her link to it, she must unravel the clues in the flashbacks and uncover the truth about her mother’s crime, before she becomes part of her house for good.

Doesn't it sound wonderfully creepy? You can find it now on GOODREADS.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cortney Pearson is a book nerd who studied literature at BYU-Idaho, a music nerd who plays clarinet in her local community orchestra, and a writing nerd who creates books for young adults. She lives with her husband and three sons in a small Idaho farm town.
www.cortneypearson.com | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Cortney is here today to share her inspiration for PHOBIC:

As writers we are constantly gathering inspiration (whether we know it or not). An overheard conversation, watching people interact, teenagers laughing together, hearing others tell stories. I believe we subconsciously refer to our life experiences as we write and create stories. We have to. In order to generate realistic emotion and detail that readers can relate to, we have to have some kind of jumping-off-point to base them on. I'd like to share just a few things that sparked ideas for me as I created the world of PHOBIC, a world which is based on the ethereal aspect of seemingly ordinary places.

 Inspiration #1 My great aunt lived alone in this fantastic old house built by her father, my great-great grandfather. And it felt like stepping back through time every time I walked through the door. BUT. Right off from her back door--the entrance we always used--was a staircase. It wasn't long. It wasn't even hidden like those in my story. But this staircase led to Aunt Vay's basement with its concrete floor and old cast iron stove and that pair of metal roller skates that always sat alone on a shelf. I hated going in that basement, especially by myself.

   

Looking back at these pictures now I wonder why I'd been so scared, but as a kid that basement was terrifying!

 

The basement in PHOBIC plays a huge part in the mystery of the house Piper lives in. It's a place she's been forbidden from entering, but this time she's determined to find out why.

 Inspiration #2 Another instance happened at Aunt Vay's when my mom, sister, and I had pulled in late at night to sleep after traveling from California to Utah all day long. We were tired. It was cold and windy outside. And my mom couldn't find her key to the back door. We tried that knob several times and then as I went to reach for the knob again, the door opened. All on its own. OPENED. My mom, sister, and I all exchanged looks and when I checked the knob (on the now open door), it was still locked. True story! So it prompted the opening and this scene in PHOBIC:

My best friend Todd’s red pickup appears at the curb, spewing exhaust like the truck has a cigarette up its backside. I jerk up. My pulse kicks at the sight of him. That’s been happening a lot more lately, my insides flaring up and doing some sort of spastic dance whenever I catch sight of his alluring smile and dark curls. Leaving the second Pop-Tart on the table, I stuff my phone in my pocket and snatch up my backpack and clarinet case. I dart past the round, velvet-topped table in the wide hallway to the front door. I reach for the knob. It won’t turn. Heart pounding, I try again. One way, then the other. Chick. Chick. The lock mechanism is vertical. The door isn’t locked. “Not now,” I say under my breath. “Please not now.” The hairs at my nape skulk up one by one until they all stand on end. My wrist flicks, and the obstinate knob makes the same chick chick sounds. The eerie feeling spreads down the length of my arm, making the knob cold under my touch. What is going on? I’m used to my house doing strange things, but why won’t it let me out? 

 Inspiration #3 The Winchester Mansion in California has also been intriguing to me, especially the staircase that leads to the ceiling. This whole house is completely creepy, but especially this:

   

Piper's house also has a hidden staircase similar to this one. Her discovery of it knocks her sense of reality way off course, and she begins seeing flashbacks of the original residents of house. Which leads to... Inspiration #4 I LOVE romances, along with Victorian/Regency-era stories. So my final inspiration for the story--particularly the flashbacks that Piper has to the past--is:

   

Downton Abbey (I know it takes place after the two eras above-mentioned. But still, inspiration.) It was after watching the first few episodes that my two star-crossed servants in love sprang into my head. There were many other sources of inspiration as well, but these are the main ones. What about for you? What inspires you when you write?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

My very own book...revealed!

I've experienced a lot of firsts in the last few weeks (taught at a writing conference, received ARCs of my book, signed my first novel, attended ALA, etc.) but none was more exciting than the cover reveal of my book! It was a little different than the norm as it wasn't seen first online, but rather on the front of last week's issue of Publishers Weekly!


Me at ALA holding a copy of PW...
talk about surreal.
The Publishers Weekly booth gave out
copies of the issue to attendees. I saw my
cover everywhere!























Publishers Weekly's Twitter banner last week...what a surprise!

I'm still a little in shock and of course super thrilled for that kind of exposure. At the conference I also signed galleys of my book and met amazing librarians and book lovers. I talked with several author friends and made several new ones, got to hang out with my editor and fellow Shadow Mountain authors, and my husband came along for a fun weekend away in Vegas (and was a sport for carrying all of my spoils...books are heavy, lol) It was an amazing experience!

But now I get to officially share the cover with all of you...


Isn't it beautiful? I love love love it so much! And here's what REMAKE is about:

Imagine a future without family...

Nine is the ninth female born in her batch of ten females and ten males. By design, her life in Freedom Province is without complications or consequences. However, such freedom comes with a price. The Prime Maker is determined to keep that price a secret from the new batches of citizens that are born, nurtured, and raised androgynously.

But Nine isn't like every other batcher. She harbors indecision and worries about her upcoming Remake Day--her seventeenth birthday, the age when batchers fly to the Remake facility and have the freedom to choose who and what they'll be.

When Nine discovers the truth about life outside of Freedom Province, including the secret plan of the Prime Maker, she is pulled between two worlds and two lives. Her decisions will test her courage, her heart, and her beliefs. Who can she trust? Who does she love? And most importantly, who will she decide to be?

And here's a bit about me:


Ilima Todd was born and raised on the north shore of Oahu and currently resides in the Rocky Mountains. She never wanted to be a writer even though she loves books and reading. She earned a degree in physics instead. But the characters in her head refused to be ignored, and now she spends her time writing science fiction for teens. When she is not writing, Ilima loves to spend time with her husband and four children.






REMAKE comes out on October 14th, and you can find it now on:

Goodreads
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound
Books-A-Million

Due to the nature of my reveal, I haven't been able to organize a formal cover reveal among bloggers, but please feel free to spread the news wherever you are online (FB, Twitter, blogs, etc.). I'd love any help I can get. And I'll be back in a couple of weeks with an ARC giveaway!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Vegas Baby!


I'm headed to Las Vegas this weekend to attend the ALA annual conference at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

I'll be signing advanced copies of REMAKE at the Shadow Mountain booth (#227) on Saturday at 1pm and Sunday at 9:30am.

Anyone else going? If you're there, please stop by and say hi!

We could leave the world behind...

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Elemental...

I'm excited to spotlight Elana Johnson's new ELEMENTAL series on my blog today. The first two installments are available NOW. Congrats, Elana!



About Elemental Rush: Eighteen-year-old Adam Gillman has trained for twelve years to earn a coveted spot on the Supreme Elemental’s elite sentry squad. His brother, Felix, is the commander, but Adam is still thrilled when his official assignment to serve Alexander Pederson comes. 

He moves into nicer quarters and can stop getting up at four a.m. to complete his mandated work out time. He still rises early though, because he needs the solitude of early morning to practice his airmaking Element—something that Adam has kept secret from everyone, even Felix, because he can’t be both an Airmaker and a sentry. 


When Alex assigns him to kill a group of rogue Elementals, he balks at completing his mission for the first time. See, his only friend is Isaiah Hawking, and he’s the Earthmover on the accused Council. When faced with the prospect of killing him, Adam finds he can’t do it. 


He’s well trained in assassination, but he thought he’d be murdering bad guys—not innocents. 


When Alex buries the Elemental Academy—and kills over one thousand Elementals—in a fit of rage, Adam’s loyalty cracks. When he discovers that Alex is really a woman, and his brother’s lover, he defects. He hops from city to city, from Elemental school to Elemental school, always escaping only minutes before Felix can embed a knife in his heart or a tsunami can make a classroom his watery grave.


He tries to fight back, but he’s just one Airmaster with exceptional tracking skills. He does his best to warn those in danger, but as the last Elemental school goes up in flames, he knows he needs to get some real firepower on his side. 


ELEMENTAL RUSH is a prequel novella to the full-length futuristic fantasy novel, ELEMENTAL HUNGER, which is also available now.

Find this novella on Goodreads, Amazon, Smashwords, iTunes, Kobo, and Wattpad


About Elemental Hunger: The second installment in the Elemental series, a new futuristic fantasy for young adults and new adults, ELEMENTAL HUNGER is a full-length novel.

Sixteen-year-old Gabriella Kilpatrick can shoot fire from her hands, which would be great if she didn’t get blamed for a blazing inferno that kills 17 schoolmates. When Gabby is commanded to Manifest her Element, everyone knows what she is: a genetic abnormality. Not to mention guilty.


So she does two logical things to survive.

1. She runs.
2. She hacks off her hair to assume a new role—that of “Gabe”, because in her world, only boys are Firemakers.

Not only does she have to act like a guy, she has to pretend to know everything a Firemaker should know. When Gabby meets Airmaster Adam Gillman, he believes her act and pledges to serve on “Gabe’s” Council. But Adam has the mark of a sentry and spent years obeying Alex, the Supreme Elemental. And Alex wants Gabby-the-genetic-freak dead and gone before she can gather the magical protection of a full Council.


With Adam’s lies that sound like truths and rumors that Alex isn’t really a Firemaker—or a man—Gabby sets out to charter a Council of her own. In order to uncover the truth, Gabby will have to learn who she can trust, how to control her own power, and most of all, how to lead a Council of Elementals, most of whom have more control over their power than she does. If she can’t, she’ll find herself just like those 17 schoolmates: burned and six feet under.


Look for the third and final installment, ELEMENTAL RELEASE, an Elemental novella, coming on July 2, 2014.

Find this novel on Goodreads, Amazon, Smashwords, iTunes, B&N, and Kobo


About Elana: Elana Johnson is the author of the Possession series, which includes full-length novels POSSESSION, SURRENDER, and ABANDON, and short stories REGRET (ebook only) and RESIST (free). She is also the author of ELEVATED, a young adult contemporary romance novel-in-verse.

Her novella, ELEMENTAL RUSH, began a new futuristic fantasy series. ELEMENTAL HUNGER, a full-length novel, is the second part of the story. The series will conclude with ELEMENTAL RELEASE, the final novella, which will release on July 2, 2014.

Elana wishes she could experience her first kiss again, tell the mean girl where to shove it, and have cool superpowers like reading minds and controlling fire. To fulfill her desires, she writes young adult novels. She runs a personal blog on publishing and is a founding author of the QueryTracker blog, a regular contributor to The League of Extraordinary Writers, and a co-organizer of WriteOnCon.


Find her on FacebooktwittertumblrWattpad, or her blog.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day

I'm so blessed to have the best father in the world and a husband who is the perfect example of what being a good father is all about.

Happy Father's Day everyone!