Friday, August 29, 2008
Happy Friday, everyone! I'm sorry I'm getting a late start... it's almost five here! My apologies... Lots going on today.
As I promised, this week's FREEBIE FRIDAY comes with a surprise and a twist. First, for the surprise... Now that we have finished the edits and the next installment in the DEATH BY series is on its way, I am happy to unveil the cover art for next spring's DEATH BY DENIM! The pockets with the skulls are the cutouts. Too cute, right?! Did I tell you how much I love the designers? They are the best!
Now for twist number one... with less than three weeks to go until the release of DEATH BY LATTE, I'm gearing up for another super cyber release party, with tons of author visits and book giveaways and other fun swag. The party for DEATH BY BIKINI was fabulous... and this time around, we want to share the love! The party will begin on Thursday, September 18 and run through the weekend. So, for your chance to win an advanced copy of DEATH BY LATTE and a Starbucks gift card, help me get the word out! If you have a blog, facebook and/or myspace, post an announcement. Send me the link to your post to be entered.
Twist number two... there will be five winners drawn this week.
Twist number three... you get a bonus entry if any of your friends show up in the comments and tell me you sent them. PLUS they can be entered, too.
Because of the long weekend and because I was so late posting today, this Freebie will remain open until Thursday, September 4th.
Have a fabulous weekend!!!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I just finished reading her latest release, VIOLET IN PRIVATE this weekend. In case you are unfamiliar with the books (gasp!) the Violet series is about an average teenage girl, Violet Greefield who goes from wallflower to star in the world of runways and high fashion. Melissa manages to balance the lighter fare like fashion and boys with meatier issues such as body image and loyalty without skipping a beat. Here's the official press release blurb:
Is there life off the runway?
VIOLET IN PRIVATE is the third novel in the series by former magazine editor Melissa Walker about Violet— the wallflower who blooms into an international modeling star—until she realizes there may be more to life than the runway…
Everyone knows her as Violet Greenfield, the supposedly cultured and worldly nineteen-year-old with sky-high confidence because she’s done fashion weeks internationally. But the truth is, modeling has done little for Violet’s self-esteem. And now that she’s finally headed to college, she’s terrified that she’ll turn back into that girl who blended into the walls all throughout high school…
Violet’s friends in fashion are only a two-hour train ride away in New York City, and they all think she’s crazy to stop modeling. But her best friend Roger hopes she’ll go back to being the girl next door. Of course, things have been weird between them ever since they kissed—and now he’s got a girlfriend. So the question is: if she’s not “Violet on the Runway” anymore, who exactly is she?
Melissa Walker has created a character that teens as well as adults can embrace and relate to. Readers have followed Violet through her highest highs and lowest lows in the modeling industry, and are eager to see how she fares as a regular teenager in college. This wonderful series is a fresh take on the real voice of one girl in the designer spotlight.
Very cool, right? I loved these books because Violet is such a relatable character - even if she is an internationally-famous fashion model. And I'm not alone. Check out the praise Melissa's gotten for the VIOLET series:
“It’s a hard sell, asking readers to muster sympathy for the congenitally gorgeous whose job it is to wear designer clothes and walk. In ‘Violet on the Runway,’ Melissa Walker pulls it off.”
—Holly Brubach, The New York Times
“Part Cinderella, part girl next door, VIOLET ON THE RUNWAY is a story for any girl who ever wondered what it would be like to have her wildest dream come true.”
--New York Times bestselling author Sarah Dessen
“Violet is a hero for all of us wallflowers out there. A fun, fashion-filled, fast-paced read!”
--Carolyn Mackler, award-winning author of Guyaholic
“On the runway or off, Violet shines.”
--Ally Carter, bestselling author of I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You
“Violet is wonderfully witty and sweetly sensitive. She’s not your typical top model; she’s more like your best friend—only prettier.”
--Kirsten Kemp, author of Breakfast at Bloomingdale’s
"Violet on the Runway is a novel about fashion, but it's also a sensitive portrait of adolescence--simultaneously funny and painful. Walker excels at characterizing those moments that we've all experienced, from bumbling in front of the cute boy to being misunderstood by ones parents."
"This novel is a perfect read for teens who want to see what lies beneath the glossy veneer of what seems to be a picture-perfect life."
"Teens will love this fun fashion read."
"Take a peek into a model's life with this hip novel!"
"I couldn't put it down! You're kind of rooting for her to make it big, and kind of rooting for her to just go home before the biz ruins her."
"Funny, engaging, and eye-opening, Violet on the Runway is an addictive read full of all the juicy insights about the fashion industry one could hope for, as well as meaningful layers and observations about the importance of knowing one's self."
And now, talking with Melissa herself:
LG: In an article you worked on for ELLEgirl, 10,000 girls were surveyed regarding their own body image. Did any of the results surprise you?
LG: What was your inspiration for writing about Violet? What called to you most in telling her story?
LG: When you originally pitched Violet on the Runway to Berkley Jam, you were thinking one book. They wanted three. How did that change your approach to telling Violet's story? How did it evolve from the original concept?
MW: At first, I thought it would be a girl who tried modeling and found out that she needed to stay true to her friends at home and who she really was deep down inside, all in one book. But when they asked for 3 books, I realized that it was a natural extension. Any girl would be torn about quitting a world with so much excitement and glamour, so Violet had some back-and-forth to do in books 2 and 3.
LG: Can you describe your typical work/writing day?
LG: What are you working on now?
You can find out more about Melissa by checking out her blog and myspace.
Hope your weekend was perfect. Is everyone back in school now? I understand some districts wait until after Labor Day, but that's just weird. : )
So much going on again - pretty exciting stuff.
First, tomorrow I'll be bringing you an interview with the fabulous Melissa Walker, author of the Violet books. Her latest, VIOLET IN PRIVATE was just released earlier this month, so we're lucky Melissa had the time to chat with us. She is very cool. Don't miss it!
Also... Heroes is coming in less than a month! Yes, I'm a geek for that show. Have you seen their fantastic season three trailers?
And speaking of trailers, check out the hilarious TWILIGHT movie spoof trailer. Ggl. That's another exciting thing! (Not the trailer... but that the release of the movie was moved up to fill the Harry Potter vacancy. Yay!)
Which brings me to the purpose of this post... to announce the winner of this week's DEATH BY LATTE drawing. And the winner is...
I love that you wake up in the morning after a slumber party to read!
Please shoot me an email at gerb at lindagerber dot com with your address and I'll get the book in the mail to you!
Be sure to drop by tomorrow for Melissa's interview, and then I'll see you on Friday for another chance to WIN! (With a surprise AND a twist...)
Friday, August 22, 2008
Happy Friday everyone. How's this week going? Sounds like a lot of you are back to school or just about back to school. I hope you got all your summer reading done!
Also, a bonus freebie for all you TWILIGHT fans: teenlibris is giving away copies of A NEW DAWN along with THE BELLA CULLEN PROJECT CD over on their site. The contest remains open the rest of this month.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Yes, I said I would bring you this interview tomorrow, but I couldn't wait. Today I'm excited to bring you Stephenie Kuehnert, author of I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE.
If you've been under a rock (or, you know, on summer vacation) these past couple of months and haven't yet heard about this book, here's the back-cover blurb:
A raw, edgy, emotional novel about growing up punk and living to tell.
The Clash. Social Distortion. Dead Kennedys. Patti Smith. The Ramones.
Punk rock is in Emily Black's blood. Her mother, Louisa, hit the road to follow the incendiary music scene when Emily was four months old and never came back.
Now Emily's all grown up with a punk band of her own, determined to find the tune that will bring her mother home. Because if Louisa really is following the music, shouldn't it lead her right back to Emily?
And check out what they're saying about this book!
"...an empowering new twist on a girl's coming of age..." - Los Angeles Times
"...irresistible..." and "...acidly incisive and full-out entertaining..." - Booklist
"Debut author Kuehnert keeps the story raw and gritty... the intensity of the characters' emotions and experiences will beguile many teen readers." - Publisher's Weekly
"...a rich, muscular story..." - Bust Magazine
"I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone is a manifesto for defiant high school girls, as well as a refresher course for the goddesses they turn into." - Venus Zine
"Emily's coming-of-age story in I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone is allusive, real, and honest. Even I, the most non-rock oriented teen in existence, found it overwhelmingly easy to connect with and relate to Emily. It makes no difference if you're a punk-rock chick or a glam princess, I would recommend this book to any ELLE girl." - Elle Girl
"This book could be any real band's Behind the Music, but Kuehnert creates some realistic characters that drag you down past reading it on the shitter. Congrats, Steph, you got me to read a whole fucking book for once. Solid writing, Ms. Lady." - Racket Magazine
"A wonderfully written and evocative story of a mother and daughter parted by circumstance and joined by music. I heartily recommend it." - Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting
"Some books play at trying to be "edgy"; some books try to hit the right notes; but Kuehnert's prose doesn't notice labels. It just is--which is the purest kinda edge. Teeth. Punk. Combat boots. Attitude. Feminism. Family. Girls with guitars. Relationships that jack you up. Sharp things of the not-good kind. Friendships. Love... It's all here; it's all pure and real. I loved it."- Melissa Marr, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked Lovely and Ink Exchange
"Kuehnert's love of music is apparent on every page in this powerful and moving story. Her fresh voice makes this novel stand out in the genre, and she writes as authentically about coming of age as she does punk rock. She's titled the book after a great song by Sleater-Kinney, and both that band, and the iconic Joey Ramone, would be proud of this effort." Charles R. Cross, New York Times bestselling author of Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain
"I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone is intense, raw and real; a powerful and heartbreaking weave of Emily Black's public dream of making music and the intensely private one of finding her elusive, missing mother. Emily, a gutsy, passionate and vulnerable girl, knows exactly what she wants and strides straight into the gritty darkness after it, risking all and pulling no punches but leaving us with the perfect ending to a fierce and wild ride." - Laura Wiess, author of Leftovers and Such a Pretty Girl
"Stephanie Kuehnert has written a sucker-punch of a novel, raw and surprising and visceral, and like the best novelists who write about music, she'll convince you that a soul can indeed be saved by rock and roll."- John McNally, author of America's Report Card and The Book of Ralph
"Stephanie Kuehnert writes with dramatic flare and all the right beats, as she spins a story with punk rock lyrics, big dreams, and one girl not afraid to reach out to her lost mother through music, while enduring intense journeys in between. A debut like an unforgettable song, you'll want to read I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone again and again." - Kelly Parra, author of Graffiti Girl
And now, without further ado, Stephanie herself:
LG: What was your inspiration for writing IWBYJR?
SK: Music. I live and breathe music, particularly punk rock and it's been that way since I was about 13. I always searched and searched for punk books as a teen, but never really found any, so I wanted to write one. Particularly I wanted to write one about a punk rock goddess because I always identified most with female musicians from Courtney Love to Tori Amos and still, to this day, female musicians are marginalized. I wanted to create a world where a woman was "the queen of rock 'n' roll" as Sleater-Kinney sings in their song, "I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone," which the title of the book is taken from.
LG: In your blog, you mention IWBYJR going through eight revisions during the writing process. How did the story evolve?
Also IWBYJR wasn't originally conceived of as a YA book. I thought teens would read it and adults would read it. As it turns out, that is what is happening and it is more of a crossover book that is usually sold in the adult section of the bookstore, but it was bought as a YA, so there were other sections told by adults other than Louisa that I took out and expanded on more of Emily's story. Also the way I've woven in Louisa's story has changed a bit, but ultimately I found a way that I think works.
For people interested in seeing a bit of the evolution you can see deleted scenes and alternative versions at www.stephaniekuehnert.com/
"Softer, Softest" by Hole- Again, lots of Hole songs I could choose from and this isn't even one of my all-time fave Hole songs, but it is the ultimate song about being the outcast girl so it really sums up how I felt much of my life.
"Journey to the End of the East Bay" by Rancid- Basically this whole Rancid album, …And Out Come the Wolves, reminds me of my best friend and being 16. This particular song just sums up our loyalty to each other despite the stuff that was going on in the "scene" around us at the time. We're actually getting matching tattoos that incorporate the lyrics "To the end, to the end, I'll journey to the end…" very soon.
"The Young Crazed Peeling" by The Distillers- This was the song the restored my faith in punk rock in my early twenties. And I totally related to that need to escape your hometown and find who you are. This is my self-discovery anthem.
"I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone" by Sleater-Kinney- What can I say, I named my first book after this song. I have the music tattooed on my arm because writing that book is my biggest accomplishment.
LG: In IWBYJR, music plays a pivotal in role in both Emily and Louisa's lives. How has music affected your life?
SK: Music has been my guide, my outlet, my solace, my security blanket since I was ten years old. That summer I met one of the few free spirits I knew in grade school and she had MTV. We discovered bands like Jane's Addiction and Faith No More and REM and I started to drift away from pop music like Janet Jackson and Madonna. That friend turned me on to Nirvana right before they hit it big with "Smells Like Teen Spirit." I discovered a lot of punk rock through Nirvana because there were bands that Kurt would mention in interviews and I'd go check them out and discover other bands and so on. Pre-Nirvana, I was the weird girl who was afraid to express herself because she was sick of getting picked on. When Nirvana broke and punk started coming into the mainstream, I saw that weird, creative types could find an audience. I never would have started writing seriously if I hadn't heard Nirvana. So music truly made me who I am.
LG: What's next? What can you tell us about your upcoming book, BALLADS OF SUBURBIA?
SK: Yep, next is BALLADS, which comes out next summer, so I'm about to start working on revisions on that one soon. I have a really hard time summing it up. I can't wait until they write the back cover copy and I can just cheat and use that. It's not as easy to explain in one sentence like IWBYJR (not that I was able to do that in one sentence til probably about three months ago). Basically it's about a teenage girl named Kara, who has always felt like an outcast in her suburban town until she starts hanging out at this park with the other misfit-types—skaters, punks, ravers—at the end of her sophomore year. She and her new friends all come from messy family situations and as much as they try to help each other out, things start to spiral out of control. It's pretty much your classic coming-of-age story, but of course it has a musical touch to it because that's what I do. You can find out more about it at: www.stephaniekuehnert.com/
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Happy Tuesday, ya'll! Thanks for sharing what's new with you. Lots going on!
On my end, we finally saw Dark Knight last night (shivers). So. Good.
Meanwhile, I'm drawing the name early this morning and will be offline most of the day because my revisions are due TOMORROW. Wish me luck!
Now, without further ado, the winner of this week's ARC of DEATH BY LATTE and the totally cute book thong is:
Please send me your mailing address at gerb at lindagerber dot com and I'll drop it in the mail for you.
Everyone else, drop on by Thursday for an interview with the fabulous Stephanie Kuehnert who will talk about her new book, I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE.
And, of course, I'll see you again on Friday for another FREEBIE!
Have a great week, everyone!
Friday, August 15, 2008
Happy Friday, everyone!!! Welcome to this week's DEATH BY LATTE GIVEAWAY!
Wow... Lots of stuff happening this week.
I hope that you get a chance to peek below this post at the interview with Megan Kelly Hall, author of SISTERS OF MISERY. Megan's is the first of several author interviews I'll be bringing you in the coming months.
School is about to start!!! Has school begun where you are? Some of the kids in our area go back Monday, my kids are back in school the 25th. I am counting down the days...
The OLYMPICS! Yah! Have you been watching? How about that Michael Phelps?!? Phenomenal!
Not so phenomenal: the disgraceful switcheroo at the opening ceremonies. Yang Peiyi's voice was heard singing 'Ode to the Motherland,' but China's Olympic organizers didn't think she was perfect enough to be seen on stage, so another little girl got to stand in the spotlight, lip synching to Yang Peiyi's voice, taking the accolades and the bows. I hope they will allow Yang Peiyi to sing at the closing ceremonies. As herself. You can sign a petition on her behalf here.
Reactions to Stephenie Meyer's BREAKING DAWN are all over the charts. Looks like readers either accept out of loyalty, love, or really hate this last installment to the TWILIGHT series. Anyone here read it yet? What did you think?
Oh, and Aphra has begun to twitter... And watch for Kelly Parra's upcoming SECRET FATES Extravaganza wherein Aphra will be revealing secrets, leading up to...
The release of DEATH BY LATTE - just over a month away!!!
Which brings us to this week's FREEBIE FRIDAY GIVEAWAY. To be entered to win an advanced copy of DEATH BY LATTE and a really cool book thong, leave me a reply telling me what's new with your week.
Entries open until TUESDAY. Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
I have a special treat for you today. Megan Kelly Hall, whose fabulous new book SISTERS OF MISERY just hit the shelves last month is in the house! I had a chance to ask her a little about her book and I'm excited to bring you the first of several author interviews I'll be posting in the coming months:
LG: Peer pressure can be a terrifyingly strong force - strong enough to bring about the Salem Witch Trials and strong enough to test the loyalty of family. Have you ever been pressured by your peers into doing something you wouldn't have otherwise chosen to do?
MKH: I’ve never been pressured into doing something I felt strongly opposed to. I’m sure that there were one too many drinks or shots that I was coerced into taking during my early twenties (or even in college. Yikes!). But, overall, I was pretty strong in my own convictions and wasn’t the type of person to let others push me into something I felt bad or comfortable about. And I’d never do anything to hurt another person—especially within my own family!
LG: What was your inspiration for writing this book and how did the idea for this book evolve?
MKH: I live right next to Salem, Massachusetts and I’ve always wanted to write something that captured the essence of the gothic undertones of growing up in a place that had such a dark history. Plus, I wanted to show how people really haven’t changed all that much—that persecution and ostracism are still alive and well in today’s society. The book actually grew out of a recent local legend. There’s a stone wall in a neighboring town that supposedly was the site of a car crash not too long ago. Three kids were killed in the car crash and some say that if you shine your headlights on the wall at a certain time of night, you can see their faces in the wall. I’ve never actually seen it, but I decided to build my book around that haunting image.
LG: SISTERS OF MISERY has been called "a true Gothic." What are some of your other favorite Gothic novels?
MKH: I’ve always loved suspense novels, especially as a teen. So many YA suspense novelists like Lois Duncan, Christopher Pike and Stephen King inspired my writing. In college, I devoured any short stories with a gothic element; stories by Edgar Allan Poe, Shirley Jackson, Joyce Carol Oates, William Faulkner. Other favorites include Wuthering Heights, The Turn of the Screw, The Haunting of Hill House and my all-time favorite, The Secret History by Donna Tartt.
LG: Which of the characters in your book are the most like you and how?
MKH: I’m not as cool as Cordelia, not as wishy-washy as Maddie and definitely not as mean as the girls in the Sisters of Misery. I’m probably somewhere between Cordelia and Maddie. Like Cordelia, I was never a follower and I’ve always stood up for myself and others, but I was similar to Maddie in terms of being a bit shy and quiet at times.
LG: What are you working on now?
MKH: I’m working on the second book in the SISTERS OF MISERY series. It’s called THE LOST SISTER and will come out in August 2009. I’m also playing around with a nonfiction memoir describing how I overcame major health setbacks (open heart surgery two years ago) to fulfill my dream of being a published author. Additionally, I am a partner in Kelley & Hall Book Publicity, an independent literary publicity company (http://www.kelleyandhall.com/) that I started with my mother and sister. It’s a challenge to keep authors (especially fiction authors) in the news, but we’ve worked with some great authors – NY Times bestselling authors to self-published debut authors – and it never gets boring.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
This week's winner of the DEATH BY LATTE ARC is...
I couldn't resist the McHottie-Hot-Hot reference for Seth. : )
Everyone else, be sure to check in tomorrow for an exclusive with Megan Kelly Hall, author of SISTERS OF MISERY!
And I'll see you back here on Friday for another chance to win DEATH BY LATTE.
Friday, August 08, 2008
Happy Friday, everyone!
I'm still in New York City, about to begin the last day of the Backspace Conference. Heard fellow Backspacers Lisa McMann and Heather Brewer, among others, speak yesterday. Met AS King, whose upcoming book, DUST OF 100 DOGS is one to watch for. My head is already filled up to here | with stuff and there's more to go.
AND, we now have less than a month until the release of DEATH BY LATTE! In anticipation, I'll be giving away ARCs and various swag this month, culminating in another online launch party in September that you won't want to miss.
In DEATH BY LATTE, Aphra travels to Seattle to track down her mom. She visits one of my favorite Seattle locations, Pike Place Market. To be entered for your chance to win the ARC, leave me a reply telling me what your favorite Seattle landmark is, and why. If you have never been to Seattle and/or don't have a favorite place in mind, make something up. Extra points for descriptions!
Thursday, August 07, 2008
I have to say, this week's biggest winner was... me! I had such a fabulous time at the signing, hanging out with the other authors and meeting some of you! Here I am... between Jenny Davidson (The Explosionist) and Lisa McMann (Wake). It was a fantastic way to celebrate Melissa's brand new release and to bask in being amazing.
And speaking of amazing... here's our list of winners:
The Violet Series goes to: c-alexis
You're Amazing to: Shira Lipkin
A New Dawn to: Chelsea
You know the drill... please send your mailing address to gerb at lindagerber dot com so we can get your prizes mailed out to you.
And come on back TOMORROW for another Freebie Friday where I'll be giving away an advanced copy of DEATH BY LATTE!