Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Top 8 of '08 and Resolutions

Canadian author and good friend KC Dyer invited me to join her Top 8 in 2008 year-end blogfest at leftwriter this week. We were supposed to come up with our top 8 picks for 2008. Picks of what, you might ask? Well, she left that up to us. It was tough deciding what to list, but I finally decided on my Top 8 New-to-me Discoveries in 2008.

1. Blog parties. Love them! I hosted a couple to celebrate my last two book releases and have participated in many more. They're a great way to connect, share the love, meet new people and have fun. And you don't even have to get out of your pajamas to party!

2. Scrivener. I'm a Mac user, but I had never thought of using this software until this year when I heard from other authors how much they love it. Perfect for organizing and laying out the story.

3. The Mentalist. My sister Trish introduced me to the series just this fall. I quickly caught up with season 1 online. Smart, funny, and Simon Baker = awesomeness.

4. Twitter. Microblogging on Twitter is highly addictive. But it's also a great way to keep up with other readers, reviewers, librarians, authors and other interesting people. Plus Twitter automatically updates my facebook status, so it's doubly effective.

5. Scotland. I've always felt a tug in my heart for Scotland since part of my ancestry is Scottish (we hail from the clan Colquhoun) but I hadn't expected the awe that came over me when we visited for the first time this summer. When we drove up into the highlands, it was like coming home. Alba gu Bràth!

6. Maggot Milkshakes. In preparation for my gig as the visiting author at our science center's CSI exhibit, I learned all sorts of gross but cool applications for forensic science in criminal investigations. And I got the chance to take my newfound knowledge on the road by offering Forensics in Fiction presentations for school visits.

7. Obama in my backyard. President elect Barack Obama visited our local high school on the campaign trail and we got to see history in the making on our own football field!

8. Ypulse. Geared at marketing for youth, their newsletter has interesting articles and insights from teen contributors. My kids might not think so, but I feel like I'm more in the know by keeping up with the trends.

And, just in time for the New Year, I was tagged by Dominique from The Book Vault to share at least three of my New Year's Resolutions. So here goes:

1. Enjoy the ride!
I tend to worry a lot and I hereby resolve to relax and look for joy instead.
2. Stop procrastinating!
One of the reasons I worry so much is because I procrastinate until small things become critical. Hint: this is not smart.
3. Reconnect.
This year has been crazy. Good crazy, but busy crazy. I've lost track of friends, family and myself. I resolve to give myself at least fifteen minutes a day (which doesn't sound like a lot, but believe me, it's way more than I'm getting now) to stop, reflect and reach out if needed.

So... as part of that reaching out, I tag Jen McAndrews, Nicole Maggi, Ginger Calem, Barb Aschliman and Julie O'Connell.

Have a happy and safe New Year's Eve, everyone! Don't forget to stop by the blog tomorrow for a surprise and Friday for an interview with Carrie Jones!


Happy Tuesday!

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I am just now getting to the computer today. Which means I am way behind on everything, including announcing our Freebie Friday winner. So without further ado - the winner of the Pure Essentials gift set is:


Congratulations! Please send me an email at gerb at lindagerber dot com with your mailing address and I'll get that sent off.

The rest of you, you'll want to stick around. Coming up this week on the blog-

Wednesday: Resolutions and the Best 8 of '08
Thursday: Surprise New Year's Announcement
Friday: Freebie Friday AND interview with YA author Carrie Jones, about her newly-released book, NEED.

See you then!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Freebie Friday - Laurie Stolarz

Happy Friday! Hope you all are enjoying your holidays.

Today I'm happy to bring you another GCC author interview with best-selling author Laurie Stolarz. Her new book, DEADLY LITTLE SECRETS was just released this week and already it's received great reviews. Teen Reads Too gave it five stars and Kirkus Reviews says says, "CW-worthy dialogue, quirky secondary characters, romance and suspense: a winning combination."

Intrigued? Check out the book trailer:

And now for the interview:

What inspired you to write DEADLY LITTLE SECRET?
I wanted to write a story where the main character has to struggle with the idea of falling in love with someone who could potentially kill her (and who’s already allegedly killed someone in the past). I also wanted to continue experimenting with the supernatural – showing how we all have our own inner senses and intuition, and how with work we can tap into those things and make them stronger.

Are any of your characters based on real people that you know?
No, though sometimes I’ll steal a character quirk from people I’ve known. For example, in the Blue is for Nightmares series, Amber carries around a pair of chopsticks for whenever she’s eating out. I once knew someone who did that.

What excites you?
Feeling like I’ve made a difference. Seeing people happy. Hearing success stories and stories of triumph.
What turns you off?
Narrow-mindedness, intolerance, ignorance, cruelty.

If you could invite anyone you wanted - living or dead - to hang out with you at a weekend retreat, who would you invite and why?
Gary Zukav. I find his insights and perspective on life fascinating.

What's one thing most people don't know about you?
I once used to want to be a potter. My mom used to work in a ceramics studio. She’d bring me there during some of her shifts and I got really into it.

What's your favorite quote?
Perseverance is key.

Milk Chocolate or Dark?

And now for the Freebie portion of our Friday... up for grabs this week in honor of Laurie's new TOUCH series - to soften up your touch - is a Davies Gate Pure Essentials gift set. To be entered to win, leave a comment below answering one of the interview questions. This drawing is open until Tuesday, December 30.

P.S. In the meantime, check out Laurie's DEADLY LITTLE CONTEST:

P.S. More cool stuff to fill your vacation days:
Lisa McMann, author of WAKE hosting a crazy huge contest on her blog.
Tera Lynn Childs, author of OH MY GODS is bringing you The Twelve days of Stella.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Winner!

No matter how you celebrate, have the happiest holiday ever! I'm going to be taking tomorrow off to spend Christmas with my family, but before I go... here's our Freebie Friday winner:

Lauren from Shooting Stars Magazine

Congratulations, Lauren! Please shoot me an email at ger at lindagerber dot com with your mailing information and I'll get the books sent off to you. Everyone else, thanks for your creative entries! It's been... entertaining reading them this week! Be sure to check back Friday for another freebie and an interview with Laurie Stolarz, author of DEADLY LITTLE SECRET.

See you then!

Friday, December 19, 2008


TGIF! I am not kidding. It's been one of those weeks and I am seriously looking forward to the weekend!

Who starts Winter Break today? My kids will be out of school until January 5th. That seems like a loooong time - especially since we won't be going anywhere this year. When we lived in Japan, we traveled every chance we got, so we were always off somewhere over Winter Break. This year we wanted to have Christmas at home so we're staying put. The thing is, it doesn't feel like Christmas around here. While it seems that snow is dumping on everyone else in the country, Central Ohio remains brown and bleh. I need something to get me into the spirit!

To that end, let's get on with Freebie Friday.

Up for grabs this week are all three DEATH BY books -

To be entered to win, make up your own verse to a favorite Christmas carol (or Hanukkah song, or popular song for that matter) and share it in the comments below to help me get into the Christmas spirit! Don't forget to use the bonus word to earn an extra entry.*

This contest will remain open until Wednesday, December 24th.

Let the songwriting begin!

* The secret bonus word can be found in a previous post.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Week of Taps

Busy, busy week around here. Lots of holiday preparation, diligent working on the new manuscript, much ado about the impending move, and three taps from other bloggers. I appreciate you guys thinking of me and apologize for being a little slow to pass it on...

From Liviania, the Great Job Award

The rules are:
1) Add the logo of your award to your blog.
2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you.
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4) Add links to those blogs on your blog.

5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.

My nominees are:
KC Dyer, AS King, Amanda Ashby, Kelly Parra, Melissa Walker, readergirlz, Tera Lynn Childs

Next, I've been Bookwormed by Julie Weathers:

The Rules are:
1) Open the closest book- not a favorite or most intellectual book- but the book closest at the moment, to page 56
2) Write out the fifth sentence, as well as two to five sentences following
3) tag five innocents [or more]
4)Julie takes it a step further and s
uggests doing the same for your manuscript

Closest book: THE SWEET FAR THING by Libba Bray
I feel odd, feverish. Strands of hair hang limp b
y my mouth. I feel as if I've been visited by a ghost.
It was only a dream, Gemma. Leave it alone.

My Manuscript: DEATH BY DENIM

"Now will you tell me what's going on?"
He exchanged a meaningful look with the red-haired lady. "I think we'd better sit down," he said.

My Victims - er tagged innocents: Marsha Skrypuch, Mel Francis, Jenny Meyer, Wendy Toliver, Marley Gibson

And finally, I was tagged for a meme from Chelsea.

25 Things about me (some of this you may have heard/read before.)

1. I grew up at the base of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains. I love mountains.
2. I have two brothers and three sisters.
3. My dad is a professor and also writes books.
4. My grandpa was an artist, my mom is an artist and my brother is a professional artist and a professor.
5. Two of my sisters are photographers, my other brother is a cartoonist and my other sister is an artist on a sewing machine. Creativity runs in the family.
6. I have four kids. They keep me busy.
7. I'm not a very good housekeeper.
8. I have lived abroad in Japan and Finland and am preparing to move to Germany.
10. I still get a thrill when I see one of my books in a bookstore. Here's a photo my sister took yesterday at the Orem Barnes & Noble, on the Best Sellers table. (!) Look at DBL right next to Wicked and Masquerade! Squeee!
11. When I was in 5th grade, I wrote a story as a gift for my teacher. He graded it and handed it back. I was crushed and didn't write for a long time after that.
12. I love old Hollywood musicals like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, South Pacific, Singin' in the Rain and Kiss Me Kate.
13. I love newer Broadway musicals like Wicked, Les Mis, Mama Mia and Phantom.
14. I wish I could sing better.
15. My sister just got me hooked on "The Mentalist."
16. I can't wait for the new season of LOST to start next month!
17. I collect books without even meaning to. They're like my security blanket.
18. I love to read.
19. I'm a huge fangirl of other authors.
20. I love doing school visits when the kids ask great questions!
21. I am a Christmas nut. (Interpret that as you will.)
22. I love my husband.
23. I wish I could make myself stop procrastinating - it would make life so much easier.
24. I often procrastinate by reading books, so you can understand why I don't try too hard to stop.
25. I actually like my dentist!

I tag people I've never tagged before: Zoealea, Mrs. Magoo and Shannon Hale.

Whew! If you've waded through all of this, thanks. You've earned a bonus word for tomorrow's Freebie Friday. The word is Inconceivable! Use this word in your reply and you will receive an extra entry for the drawing.

See you tomorrow!

Winner! Books Make Great Gifts!

Thanks to everyone for their great gift book suggestions! I hope you all got some good ideas from each other. I know I did.

By random drawing, the winner of this week's gift card is:


Please shoot me an email at gerb at lindagerber dot com and let me know where to send it, and if you prefer Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

Thanks everyone for playing. Be sure to check in Friday for another chance to win! Meanwhile, here are a few contests still open:

Only two days to get in on AS King's DUST OF 100 DOGS ARC giveaway. What are you waiting for? Contest ends midnight, December 18th.

There's a little more time for Stephanie Kuehnert's Inspired By contest, for a chance to win an ARC of BALLADS OF SUBURBIA and other great prizes. Contest ends January 15th.

Good luck!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Freebie Friday - Holiday Edition

This musical interlude is just a reminder... Only twelve days left until Christmas.
Thirteen Days until Kwanzaa.
Eight days till Hannukah!

With all the holiday gift-giving coming up, let me suggest to you that books make great gifts! They are relatively inexpensive. They come in many colors. They can be used over and over again. They will never freeze up or shut down. They are easy to wrap. One size fits all.

To help with your last-minute gift book purchasing, this week's freebie is a $10 Barnes and Noble gift card OR Amazon gift card - your choice. To enter, just leave a comment with at least one book suggestion and tell us why you think it would make a great gift.

I'll start:

For the thoughtful on your list:
THE LAST LECTURE by Randy Pauch.
Dr. Pauch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University who shares his wisdom and insights in the last lecture of his life - cut short this summer by pancreatic cancer. Intelligent and touching.

For kids or kids at heart:
SNOWMEN AT NIGHT by Caralyn and Mark Beuhner
Very cute picture book about the secret lives of snowmen while the rest of us are sleeping. Thanks, Trish, for recommending!

For just about anyone:
Five tales from the world of Harry Potter, translated by Hermione Granger, with commentary by Albus Dumbledore. Magical!

Your turn!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Wow - you all have some great guest lists! I wanna party with you!

This weeks winners are:



Please shoot me an email at gerb at lindagerber dot com with your mailing information and I'll get your books send out to you.

Everyone else, I'll see you on Friday for a
holiday freebie!

Meanwhile, for more chances to win, check out Amanda Ashby's blog contest for a copy of ZOMBIE QUEEN OF NEWBURY HIGH. Her contest will remain open until Sunday.

And don't forget AS King's DUST OF 100 DOGS contest, open until December 18th.

AND, Sara Zarr is giving away two copies of SWEETHEARTS over at the TeenFictionCafe! Get your entry in before Friday!

Oh, and one last thing - I have an interview up at Susanne Saville's blog this week. Feel free to stop and say hello!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Pardon the Dust

Please forgive some temporary weirdness on the blog today - my dear friend Jenny Meyer from Scribe Pages is helping me to improve the look and functionality of the blog and to fix the broken subscribe link once and for all. It shouldn't affect any of the existing posts or the Freebie Friday contest, but just in case, if you are trying to enter and it doesn't work, try back again in a few minutes. I'll extend the close date until Wednesday in case this messes anyone up.

Thanks for your patience!

Friday, December 05, 2008


Today's Freebie Friday celebrates a couple of my favorite authors - Melissa Walker and Mari Mancusi. This week, Melissa and Mari celebrated the release of their latest books (VIOLET IN PRIVATE for Melissa and GAMER GIRL for Mari) at a party in New York where the guests played board games and sampled gourmet chocolate. My kind of party!

As Mari said, “It was the perfect way to celebrate both our books and young adult fiction in general. Elegant, with a hint of whimsy.”

Sounds like so much fun! I wish I could have been there! But check out who was: Vogue, Teen Vogue, ELLE, InStyle, Daily Candy, AOL, Parents TV and CNN. AND their guest list included Scott Westerfeld, Justine Larbalestier, Maureen Johnson, Bennett Madison, Deborah Gregory, Diana Peterfreund, Michael Northrop, Liz Maverick and Anisha Lakhani. (That's Scott Westerfield and Diana Peterfreund in the photo with Mari and Melissa.)

In celebration of their successful book party, two prizes are up for grabs for this week's Freebie Friday - one copy of Melissa's VIOLET IN PRIVATE and one super cool Japanese edition of Mari's BOYS THAT BITE. (Yes, that means two winners!)

To be entered to win, leave a message below telling me who you would want on your guest list for the ultimate party. This contest will remain open until Tuesday.

MEANWHILE, jump on over to A.S. King's blog for a chance to win the one and only ARC of DUST OF 100 DOGS - guaranteed to be one of next year's huge sellers!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Thanks for sharing your worst movie nominations, everyone. At least I know now what to avoid!

By random drawing, the winner of this week's Amazon gift card is:


Please send me an email with WINNER in the subject line to gerb at lindagerber dot com and send me your snail mail address so I can get it sent off to you.

Meanwhile, for any of you who are interested, I'm talking writing thankfulness over at Author 2 Author today, and they are giving away a copy of DEATH BY BIKINI and DEATH BY LATTE!

Friday, November 28, 2008


Every Thanksgiving, my family and I go out to see a movie. Since we have kids of varied ages, the selection process is kind of tricky - it has to be something that we think everyone will like. This year we went to see Australia.


Whoever made the movie trailer did a great job because they managed to find the 90 seconds of compelling footage in the movie and make it look as though the whole thing had potential. In reality, we were stuck with nearly three hours of really bad dialog, weird acting and fake-looking sets that looked like they came from those old 50's movies (maybe that was intentional, I don't know.) Even Hugh Jackman couldn't save this one.

We were entertained mostly by my ten-year-old's running commentary and his groans of boredom at the most inopportune moments. Oh, and the elderly gentleman behind us who snored through the whole thing. In short, Australia was supremely bad.

Just for fun, for this week's FREEBIE FRIDAY, tell me about the worst movie you've ever seen. Keep it PG-rated (even if the movie wasn't...) The winner will receive a $15 Amazon gift card to buy a really great movie to make up for your bad movie experience.

Let the tales begin!


Happy Frantic Friday everyone.

(For any readers outside the U.S., Frantic Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, so dubbed when I used to work in retail years ago because that's the day Christmas shopping officially begins and stores and malls are typically packed with people.)

OK, I said I would save my review of Twilight until you all had a chance to weigh in. Thanks for all the great comments, by the way. I enjoyed reading what your reactions were. As for me, I enjoyed Twilight. Yes, I thought some of the acting was very wooden (as my friend Kate said, in the meadow scene, it was so wooden, you could build a boat and row across a lake...), the makeup was awful - and not consistent, and the special effects were like stepping back 30 years and watching one of those bad B movies.


I loved so much about it, that I'm excited for the next movie. Jacob, for one thing, was adorable! I love Taylor Lautner in My Own Worst Enemy and I have complete confidence that he can pull off a buffed Jacob in New Moon. Plus, he can cut his hair and ditch that silly wig. Alice was likewise just as I imagined her. The scenery was beautiful - especially when Edward takes Bella to the top of that tree (even though the special effects of them getting there were laughable and the Bella of the book could never have stood up there, holding on with only one hand...) And the great thing is that they made so much money off of Twilight in the first weekend that they can pay for better makeup/special effects/writing/acting coaching for the next movie, so that gives me hope!

In any event, thanks for sharing your experience with me. I wish I could select you all as the winner this week, but alas, I would go broke. So, by random drawing, this week's Freebie Friday winner is:


Please send me an email with the word WINNER in the subject line and let me know which prize you would prefer, and your mailing address.

Everyone else, stay tuned... another Freebie Friday is on it's way!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008


OK, all you Twilight fans, this week's Freebie Friday is for you.

Up for grabs this week is your choice of either a $15 iTunes gift card so you can download the Twilight soundtrack or a $15 Barnes & Noble gift card so you can find the next great book to read.

To be entered to win, leave a comment below with a brief review (100 words or less) of the Twilight movie. I'll keep the contest open until next Friday to give you a little more time to see it and write your review.

I'll be going to see the movie this afternoon, but in the interest of fairness, I'll save my review until the contest is over.

Let the reviews begin!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Chat with Jonathan Friesen!

Wondering what to do with yourself on Thursday evening as you 're waiting for the midnight showing of the Twilight movie? Check this out - Jonathan Friesen, Author of JERK, CALIFORNIA, will be chatting live at The Knight Agency chat room on Thursday, Nov. 20th @ 9pm ET!

Jonathan Friesen is the author of the novel, JERK, CALIFORNIA (Penguin/Speak, September 2008). Like the main character in his book, Jonathan has had to learn to live with Tourette Syndrome. Here's what Booklist had to say about his debut:

"Sam and his story are quixotic in the best possible way: he is a good-hearted dreamer trying to do right by his dulcinea. Debut author Friesen has Tourette syndrome, and he brings complexity and nuance to Sam's struggle for understanding and self-acceptance. The pacing is leisurely, but like any good road story, there are enough corners and bends to keep readers eagerly anticipating what lies ahead at the journey's end."

You have to sign up with a user name and password to enter the TKA CHAT ROOM, and you must have a Java-enabled browser in order to chat, so be prepared.

See you there!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Winners and Quirks

Happy Tuesday! Only three more days until Twilight!

Now, before I announce the winner of the DEATH BY DENIM ARC, it appears that I have been tagged by Donna... so without further ado, 6 strange/quirky things about me...

1. I don't drink coffee in the morning. I drink Diet Coke.

2. I can't write when someone is sitting next to me. Even if they aren't looking at the computer screen. Edit, yes. Write, no.

3. Much to my kids' dismay, I can find a song for every occasion. If the lyrics don't really fit the moment, I'll make up new ones.

4. I think I'm dyslexic with numbers. I often transpose numbers when trying to remember a phone number or a time - which is how I ended up once checking into a 3:51 flight only to find that it was actually scheduled to leave at 3:15 and the gate was closing...

5. I love mint M&M's, but I am picky enough to prefer the kind they used to make. Now they are rounder and feel different in the mouth.

6. I am a terrible procrastinator so it's a good thing I work well under pressure...

MEANWHILE, the winner of the first ever DEATH BY DENIM ARC is:


Please send me an email with the subject line 'winner' to gerb at lindagerber dot com and give me your mailing address.

Everyone else, I'll see you back here on Friday for another chance to win!