Friday, May 31, 2013

Transparent Book Launch

I had a great time at Natalie Whipple's launch party for her debut TRANSPARENT. She was funny and inspiring and has a knack for making you feel like you can do anything you dream. Great party!

The food was delish. How adorable are those mini pop tarts?

A picture perfect crew. With Jeni, Sara, Kate, me, Stacey, and Kathryn. Do you like how I'm glowing?

 Natalie signing my book.

 Me and Natalie.

Because we couldn't get enough of each other...the after party at Olive Garden. With Kate, Kathryn, Sara, Jenilyn, ME, Jenn, Michelle, Jacqui, and Stacey.

Been to any signings lately? Super jealous like I am of all the fun being had at BEA this weekend?

***Edit: Natalie posted a video of her cupcake eating dare today. It's awesome, and also kind of gross. :)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sunshine Award

Thanks to Sheena-kay for awarding me the Sunshine Award...given to bloggers who "positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere." I just have to answer a few questions about myself and pass it on. Here goes...

What inspired you to start blogging?

Nothing profound. Just something I thought I was supposed to do as an aspiring author.

How did you come up with the name of your blog?

It used to be called Ka'ao, which is Hawaiian for 'tell a fanciful tale.' But then I changed it to my name to make it less confusing.

What is your favorite blog that you like to read?

Tough one. Too many to list. So I'm gonna cheat and share a tumblr account that I read faithfully every day: Title To Come.

What is your dream job?

I'm living it, baby. Wife. Mother. Writer. Dreams=realized.

Is your glass half full or half empty?

Yes. As in both. Even if things feel half empty for me on the inside, I try really hard to pretend it's half full. A lot of times, that will change my inside view for the better. :)

If you could go anywhere for a week's vacation, where would you go?

Do you really mean anywhere? Cause my answer would be space. In a rocket. To the moon or Mars or wherever. It's all cool.

What food can you absolutely not eat?

Bread pudding. There is something seriously wrong about soggy bread.

Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?

Dark. Why is this even a question?

How much time do you spend blogging?

Not as much as I'd like, which is probably a good thing.

Do you watch TV--if so, what are some of your favorite shows?

Not much. I'm more of a movie girl. But I'll watch Firefly or BSG or Arrested Development. I was excited for the new episodes this past weekend but lost interest the second one in. If any one else tuned in on Netflix, did it get any better beyond that one?

I'm going to pass the sunshine award along to: EVERYBODY!!!

I want to live where soul meets body and let the sun wrap its arms around me...

Monday, May 27, 2013

Ben Wolverton Donation Bomb

Ben Wolverton, age 16, was in a tragic longboarding accident on April 3, 2013. He suffers from severe brain trauma, a cracked skull, broken pelvis and tail bone, burnt knees, bruised lungs, broken ear drums, road rash, and pneumonia. He was in a coma, but has recently awakened. His family has no insurance.

Ben's treatments are already over $1,000,000. He will need extensive therapy as he relearns how to walk. He is the son of author David Farland, and they need our help. So a bunch of us writers are promoting a donation bomb on June 7th to contribute. You can donate via the button below or go to for other ideas to help. The idea is to bring a surge of support for their family and hope for Ben's recovery.

And if you help spread the word (via FB, twitter, blog, etc.) you have a chance to win one of David Farland's books. Let's share the love and help Ben out! Join us June 7th with your donation!!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Winner! and some thoughts on YA covers

Thanks to everyone who shared their favorite YA novel covers. There were a few repeating titles on the lists and some books I've never heard of before but now want to read because the covers rock. The lucky commenter to win a $20 Barnes and Noble giftcard is...Cortney Pearson! Congratulations.

I've been thinking about book covers lately. You might have heard about Maureen Johnson's Coverflip. Do you think publishers try to target a certain gender readership, and more importantly, do you think they should? Does it create stereotypes? Are boys really that embarrassed to be caught reading a book with a girl on the cover? And if so, should we make covers that are more universal or teach readers to be less critical?

I've also noticed a lot of readers don't like people on covers and prefer more abstract images or scenery. I do like people on covers because it's usually the characters I'm drawn to first in a book, but agree with those who are upset when that person on the cover is not how they imagined him/her at all. Which is why I think the backside view is so popular right now.

What kind of book covers do you prefer?

Speaking of covers, I wrote a short story a couple of years ago about a murder mystery writer and had so much fun coming up with titles for her books. Well, for Mother's Day, my 13-year-old daughter surprised me with covers she designed for each of those fake books. Best. Gift. Ever. My husband filmed my reaction...I was crying from laughing so hard, and I hope that video never makes it out of his camera phone. But I would love to share what she came up with. I think she did a pretty awesome job. :)


Monday, May 20, 2013


It was my second year at the Storymakers conference and it was a blast!

In Hannah Bowman's master class, I was able to analyze the internal and external conflicts of my current project and pinpoint how to get them to work together (or against each other) to propel my plot forward. Great hands on class.

Editor Victoria Curran taught me to not be afraid to let my characters act on what they want to do, and that in a romance, it's the power of opposition that causes tension, not the attraction.

Some other highlights include learning all the ins and outs of writing a series, the importance of my YA characters having concrete goals, and how to write story turns to drive the pacing of my novel. I even took a sounds-so-boring but was oh-so-helpful tax class for writers.

Anne Perry was the keynote speaker and taught a two-hour class about fine-tuning your writing. She might be my new favorite author--I could listen to her speak for hours. Every word she says (in her cool accent) is poetic and profound. She made me want to be a more positive, hopeful, and inspiring writer. 

And of course the biggest reason I call this conference a great success was all the writer friends I got to see. Not only did my CP's fly in from out-of-state, but I met several writers from the online community. Here's a quick slideshow as proof of just a few of the people I met. I bet you'll recognize some of them. :)

Have you ever been to a writers conference or met bloggers in real life?

Don't forget to enter my $20 B&N giftcard giveaway to celebrate my recent book deal. I'll announce a winner later this week. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Me...being all official-like

Thanks to everyone who commented on my book deal news! I think I had a little too much fun finding all those Firefly gifs to help announce it. So I'm gonna get serious now. Here's the official announcement from Publisher's Marketplace:

If you don't have super-hero vision, here it is in human-sized font:

Ilima Todd's REMAKE, a girl has to choose a name, trade and gender before her seventeenth birthday, but is catapulted by a gruesome shuttle crash into a world where choice takes on an entirely new meaning, to Chris Schoebinger at Shadow Mountain, in a very nice, two-book deal, for publication in summer 2014, by Jennifer Skutelsky and Katherine Boyle at Veritas (World).

And here I am signing my contract:

So it has to be real now, right? I'm not just imagining it? *pinches self*

To celebrate, I'm giving away a $20 Barnes & Noble giftcard. All you have to do is tell me your favorite YA book cover(s) in the comments. I'll randomly select a winner. Easy peasy!

I promised a Storymakers Conference report, but life is CRAZY this week and I won't have time until next week. Apologies.

Until then, lets reread my PM announcement again. ;)

Friday, May 10, 2013

My Book Deal News...brought to you Firefly style

Once upon a time, I decided to write a book. I had no idea how much fun creating my own world and characters would be.


It was so much fun that I wrote another book. And then another. When I wrote my fourth book, I thought it was pretty shiny.

So I dangled my book in front of the sharks a.k.a. literary agents. And after a little bit of this...

And thoughts about sending them all here...

I found an agent who thought it was as shiny as I did.

We did a happy dance together and went on submission to see if any editors thought it was shiny too.

Turns out they did. We had an offer!

But then we entered the negotiation game, which left me doing a whole lot of this...

 And this...

And even this...

But at the end of it all, it was worth it, because I was completely overwhelmed by the news.

So, drum roll please...I am thrilled to announce that I just signed a two-book deal with Shadow Mountain for my YA science fiction novel, REMAKE. A HUGE thank you to my family, CP's, writer friends, blog readers, agent and publisher. Because of you, this girl is feeling a whole lot like this today...

*all animated gifs courtesy of

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Party Like A Writer

I'm so excited because today I'm headed to the Storymakers Conference in Utah. I attended last year and had a fantastic experience (successful pitch session, praise for my query, second-place prize for my first chapter, etc). But this year I'm mostly excited because I know so many more writers online and get to meet a ton of them at the conference. It's gonna be so fun!

I'll have pictures and a report of the conference up on the blog next week along with some good news to share.

Have a great weekend. I hope everyone comes back on Monday, safe and sound. ;)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Friday Night Alibi Cover Reveal

I'm so very excited to have Cassie Mae on the blog today for her cover reveal! Take it away, Cassie...

Let's all dance together!

I'm super thrilled to show you all my cover for my New Adult debut, FRIDAY NIGHT ALIBI, published by Random House Flirt. This baby comes out on July 29th, but you can buy it now! And it'll just zap onto your ereader the day it's released.

Wanna know what it's about? Well, it's about this pig who learns how to fly, but only on friday nights and he grants wishes to people who are not where they're supposed to be, to get them out of a bind. You know I'm totally joking. I just wanted to see how many people just skipped over all these words to get to the pretty cover, lol. You mention the pig in the comments and you get cyber gold stars.

Here's the blurb :D

Rising star Cassie Mae introduces New Adult readers to a practical soon-to-be college freshman who seems to have everything—until a special guy shows her what she’s been missing.

In the wealthy town of Sundale, Kelli Pinkins has hatched the perfect plan to capitalize on her sweet reputation. For a generous fee, she will be every trust-fund baby’s dream: a Friday-night alibi, the “girlfriend” or “BFF” that parents dream about. With college approaching in the fall, Kelli’s services are in demand more than ever, which means that her social life is nonexistent. But Kelli is A-okay with that. She’s raking in cash for school. Besides, relationships are tricky, and sometimes very messy. She’d rather be at home on Xbox LIVE, anyway. Then the unexpected happens: She meets college stud Chase Maroney.

Chase isn’t like the preppy, privileged guys Kelli usually meets in Sundale. For starters, he’s twentysomething, always wears black, and he shoots back one-liners as fast as she can dish them out. But Kelli’s attempts to drive Chase away falter when she realizes that he treats her like he really knows her, like he cares about knowing her. When Kelli finally gives in to the delicious kiss she’s been fighting for so long, she faces a tough decision: make Chase a real-life boyfriend and risk her heart . . . or keep her clients and lose her first true love.

Advance praise for Friday Night Alibi

“Totally entertaining with as many swoon-worthy moments as hilarious ones, Friday Night Alibi is a must-read.”—Jolene Perry, co-author of Out of Play

“A fun, funny, and fantastic story, this is one you will read in a day, and pick up to re-read again the next.”—Kelley Lynn, author of Fraction of Stone

Oh, and stuff about me too.

Cassie Mae is a nerd to the core from Utah, who likes to write about other nerds who find love. Her angel children and perfect husband fan her and feed her grapes while she clacks away on the keyboard. Then she wakes up from that dream world and manages to get a few words on the computer while the house explodes around her. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with the youth in her community as a volleyball and basketball coach, or searching the house desperately for chocolate.

And now the pretty!

You can buy this book HERE, and it takes you to all the places it's available. Yay! My first published book with MY NAME ON IT! Squee!!!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I.W.S.G.--Nerds Unite

Last year I attended a writers conference for science fiction and fantasy writers...and it was a little scary. Not because I worried about my outfit or wondered if I'd make friends like the first day of junior high, but because the attendees were scary themselves. It was a bonafide nerd fest that I wasn't quite prepared for.

Some people didn't seem to understand basic social skills--standing or sitting too close, interrupting a private conversation, stalking-like behavior. Not to mention the capes, swords, and number of times the word "dragon" was mentioned. They even held a class about basic social skills for writers, lol.

I get it, sometimes writers can be awkward introverts who don't get out much, and those who live and breathe stories not of this world are probably nerdier than your average writer. Of course I prided myself in being a completely normal, socially pleasant exception.

Last week, sorely in need of nourishment in the middle of a marathon writing day, I went to Taco Bell. I know, we'll save the health discussion for another time. :) It was a crowded lunchtime rush, and while waiting for my order, I took mental notes of the people around me as character studies: how would I convert her accent into writing, does this guy know he dresses like his mother picked out his outfit, is that teen boy really going to finish All That Food?

Then I glanced to a table filled with greasy dirty car mechanics, and a couple of them were staring at me--ME! And not because I had it going on, either. Their scrunched and disdained faces made that very clear. I looked down to see my capri sweats revealing legs I hadn't shaved in days and a family reunion t-shirt with a mysterious stain in front. I was clutching a handful of mild sauce packets like my life depended on it and swinging my receipt through the air to a frantic beat only I could hear.

And then it hit me...I'm a writing nerd. I acted as though this was the first daylight I'd seen in days, I people-watched without any sense of constraint, and my wardrobe--well, let's just say it was lucky I had clothes on at all.

Why am I worrying? Because next week I'm attending another writers conference where I'll be meeting A TON of writers I've only met online. I WAS excited, but now I'm insecure...will they think I'm socially awkward, look like the blob from outer space, wonder how I manage to function on a daily basis? Also, does it matter? I don't know.

Calling all nerds, how long did it to take you to guess what movie this is from?

Also, ever notice how many characters Tom Cruise plays who are named Jack?