Friday, August 28, 2009

Winner and More Freebies

I'm a mom. It's a great gig, except when something goes wrong. Like this week. My little guy got sick - really sick - one day after school started. He had to have his oxygen levels tested and have breathing treatments and a lot of mom attention. Everything else kind of fell by the wayside. He'll be fine; the doctor said he should be able to return to school on Monday (yay!) but in the meantime, I have missed announcing winners and posting today's Freebie. Apologies all around! I figured you would all understand.

The winner of last week's book giveaway freebie is:

Empress Awesome

Please send me your mailing instructions and I'll get those books out to you. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Next week we'll get back to our author interviews/freebies, but for this week, let's make it easy... two winners, $10 Amazon gift card each. To be entered to win, leave a comment below with your favorite back-to-school experience ever. Winners will be drawn Wednesday, September 2. (Hint: the drawing may be influenced by humor in the posts. I could really use a laugh this week!)

Enjoy your last August weekend!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Freebies Galore!

As promised, today is a multi-book Freebie Friday.
I should start by explaining that I have a sickness. I can't stop myself from buying books. I walk into a bookstore and I'm a goner. No, it doesn't even have to be a bookstore... I can't walk by the book section at WalMart or Target without coming away with a new book, either.

The problem is, my bookshelves are overflowing. My piles are spawning new piles. So as much as I hate to part with any book, I need to make room for more. Especially when I know CRAZY BEAUTIFUL is going to arrive on my doorstep any day now...

So for today's freebie, take a look at today's offering. Leave a comment below, telling me which four books you most want me to send you and why. The winner will be drawn on Wednesday, August 26th.

Apologies to my friends overseas, but since the books will be heavy and thus expensive to send, this freebie is going to have to be limited to readers in the continental United States.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What's up Wednesday AND a winner!

Hi, guys! Sorry about not posting the winner yesterday - Blogger has been off and on for me this past week and yesterday was one of the off days. Thanks for sharing your freaky experiences. By random drawing, the winner of THE LOST SISTER is:


Please send an email with your mailing instructions to gerb @ lindagerber . com and we'll get that sent out to you. Everyone else, be sure to come back this Friday for a multi-book freebie!

And now for what's up... Friday I had a great author visit with The Learned Owl Book Shop up in Hudson, OH. This event was special because it was arranged due to a request from Chelsea, known online to many of us as The Page Flipper. (Shameless self-promotion - you can read about the event and Chelsea's review of DEATH BY DENIM here.) It was great meeting Chelsea and her friend and hanging out with everyone at Cali Juice (they held the event at a smoothie shop. Loud, but too fun!)
Moral of this story, if you want me to come do a signing in your area, just let me know and I'll see what I can arrange!

Other fun stuff:

* Check out Diana Peterfreund's fabulous new killer unicorns website and the hilarious PSA video from Gordian Pharmaceuticals here. Her book RAMPANT hits the shelves August 25th.

* For all of you waiting for Lauren Baratz-Logsted's CRAZY BEAUTIFUL, Amazon is shipping early!!! Check it out! Order your copy now and you can read it before it even comes out!

*Margaret Peterson Haddix's SENT hits the shelves on Tuesday. I'll be going to her signing at Cover to Cover right here in Columbus, so be watching for that one as part of a Freebie Friday coming up!

*TFC sister Sarah Zarr's upcoming book ONCE WAS LOST just got a starred review from Publisher's Weekly! You can read it here (but you have to scroll way down.) Congratulations, Sarah!

*In other TFC news, fans of Melissa Walker will be happy to hear that she has another book in the works - SMALL TOWN SINNERS with Bloomsbury, described as "the story of a small town girl who is excited to star in Hell House, her church's annual haunted house of sin, until a childhood friend appears and makes her question her faith." Congratulations, Melissa!

*AND! Yet another TFC sister, Amanda Ashby, just sold a new MG series to Puffin about a girl who "accidentally gets turned into a djinn the day before starting sixth grade and has to learn to deal with her new powers without her mom finding out." Congratulations, Amanda!

* You still have time to join the birthday celebration over on Hope's Bookshelf and win a copy of DEATH BY DENIM (and a bunch of other great books!) Here's your chance to tell us grown up types what you wish we would remember about being a teenager (and enter to win!)

And that's about it for today. See you on Friday! Ciao!

Friday, August 14, 2009

FREEBIE FRIDAY with Megan Kelley Hall

Happy Friday!

Today I'm happy to GCC sister Kelley Hall to the blog. Megan is the acclaimed author of SISTERS OF MISERY, here to talk up the sequel, THE LOST SISTER. Megan has generously offered a signed copy of THE LOST SISTER for today's freebie.

Here's the official back cover blurb:

THE LOST SISTER takes a chilling look at what happens when hazing pushes someone too far. Sisters are born, not chosen…
Maddie Crane is grappling with the disappearance of Cordelia LeClaire, and trying to escape the grasp of The Sisters of Misery—an insidious clique of
the school’s most powerful girls, whose pranks have set off a chain of horrific events, and who have Maddie in their sights… Beware the sister betrayed…Now in a prestigious boarding school far away from her mysterious hometown of Hawthorne, Massachusetts , Maddie feels free from danger. But when an unmarked envelope arrives at her dorm containing a single ominous tarot card, Maddie realizes with terror that some secrets won’t stay buried. Knowing she must return to Hawthorne—a town still scarred by the evil of the Salem witch trials—Maddie prepares to face the fears of her past...and the wrath of the sister she wronged.

Here's what people are saying about THE LOST SISTER:

Hall maintains suspense until the very end. This story's dark, sinister edge, coupled with the clever use of runes to frame each chapter, will satisfy those fascinated by witchcraft and premonitions.
--Publishers Weekly Review

There’s no doubt Hall knows how to write one heck of a creepy Gothic novel. She pushes the limits with disturbing plot points in this scary, fast-paced story. --Romantic Times Book Reviews

Shivery... Hall hits one over the fence with her debut novel -- a true Gothic. - NY Times bestselling author Jacquelyn Mitchard

"Original,insightful, and scary. Hall writes with an intense, frightening gracethat will have you turning pages long into the night."
--NY Times bestselling author Michael Palmer

And now, for the interview:

What inspired you to write THE LOST SISTER?
The Lost Sister picks up where Sisters of Misery left off. It shows what happens when someone is pushed too far and when hazing pranks go wrong. It’s a continuation of Sisters of Misery, in that it’s a modern-day retelling of the Salem Witch hunts. It has a sort of fairytale-esque Gothic appeal and it will keep you up at night due the spooky, supernatural events that take place.

Are any of your characters based on real people that you know?
It’s funny because every guy I’ve ever known seems to think that they are the love interest in my books, whereas no girls ever see themselves as the mean girls. I’ll simply say that the boys are purely fictional. The girls? Well, Kate Endicott and her crew are a mixture of every mean girl I’ve had the pleasure of coming across in my life. I’ll leave it at that.

What excites you?
Bookstores, my daughter, free samples of skin care products, bargain shopping (I don’t think I’ve ever paid full price for anything), television shows and movies that scare me (many nights my husband will wake up in the middle of the night to find me watching shows about true crime and serial killers. How he can fall back asleep so easily, I’ll never know), spa trips, really nice hotel soaps and lotions, a really delicious chocolate dessert.

What turns you off?
People who are full of themselves and think they are better than others. Guess what? You’re not.

What's the biggest lie you ever told, and what happened as a result of the telling?
I never lie. That’s the biggest one right there. J

What's the most suspenseful thing that's happened to you in real life?
I had a really weird experience with a Ouija board. I kept it under my bed in college and I’d wake up with the feeling of something sitting on my chest. I removed it from my dorm room and the next night the same thing happened. Turns out my roommate put it back under my bed as a joke. Not funny. I ended up bringing it home from school, but I purposely left it in a box in my car—I was going to give it to a friend who wanted it. The first night home from school, I felt that same feeling of having something sitting on my chest. I woke up my parents and asked if someone had brought the box into the house. They had!! After that night, I threw away the Ouija board and will NEVER allow one into my house again.

Another weird thing that happened to me was I went to this old building in Salem, MA that used to be a real estate agency and now is a printing company. Anyway, it’s supposed to be haunted, but everything in Salem is supposedly haunted, so I never really believed it. My boyfriend at the time was in a band, and he and his friends were practicing in the basement of the building and he told me to come meet him during his break. So, it was around 11 pm, luckily I had my sister with me. We noticed that the doors were open in the back so we went inside, but the lights were off. We heard voices in the distance and we kept calling my boyfriend’s name, as well as the other guys in the band. Well, turns out they did take their break—at a bar across the street! They left the door open so they could get back in. NO ONE was in the building. Yet, we definitely heard voices. SOOOOOO creepy!

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?
Okay, obviously Johnny Depp – that’s a given – Oscar Wilde and Kathy Griffin to make me laugh, Joan Didion and Alice Hoffman for writing inspiration, Brangelina just to figure out what it’s like to be in their world (and what all the hoopla is about) and Julia Roberts and George Clooney, because after watching that Oprah special, they seemed pretty fun to hang out with. Oh, yeah, Oprah too. My sister got to meet her via Skype on a book club webcast and I’m super jealous. Here’s the picture as proof. She made Oprah laugh! So jealous.

What's one thing most people don't know about you?
I’m not really a people person. I hate public speaking. Absolutely detest being the center of attention (which makes book signings and writer’s panels interesting). Plus, I do not like chick flicks. If there’s a movie or TV show about serial killers or ghosts, I’m watching. I’d rather watch America’s Most Wanted than America’s Got Talent.

What's your favorite quote?
Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.

Milk Chocolate or Dark?
Dark – no question

You can read more about THE LOST SISTER on Megan's website, on her blog, follow her on twitterand check out the SISTERS OF MISERY myspace page..

To be entered to win a copy of THE LOST SISTER, leave a comment below, telling about the freakiest thing that's ever happened to you. This drawing will remain open until Tuesday, August 18th.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

And the Winner is...

The winner of Stephanie Kuehnert's BALLADS OF SUBURBIA is:


Please drop me a note at gerb @ lindagerber . com with your mailing instructions and we'll get that sent out to you.

Everyone else, be sure to come back this week for another Freebie Friday and a chance to win a signed copy of Megan Kelley Hall's THE LOST SISTER.

See you then!

Have a great week!

Friday, August 07, 2009

FREEBIE FRIDAY with Stephanie Kuehnert

Freebie Fridays are back!

For our kick-off post, please welcome Stephanie Kuehnert, who is kindly offering up her new book, BALLADS OF SUBURBIA. Stephanie is also the author of the critically acclaimed I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE and is one woman who really rocks!

Here's the back cover blurb for BALLADS OF SUBURBIA:

There are so many ballads. Achy breaky country songs. Mournful pop songs. Then there’s the rare punk ballad, the ballad of suburbia: louder, faster, angrier . . . till it drowns out the silence.

Kara hasn’t been back to Oak Park since the end of junior year, when a heroin overdose nearly killed her and sirens heralded her exit. Four years later, she returns to face the music. Her life changed forever back in high school: her family disintegrated, she ran around with a whole new crowd of friends, she partied a little too hard, and she fell in love with gorgeous bad boy Adrian, who left her to die that day in Scoville Park. . . .

Amidst the music, the booze, the drugs, and the drama, her friends filled a notebook with heartbreakingly honest confessions of the moments that defined and shattered their young lives.

Now, finally, Kara is ready to write her own.

Here's what people are saying about BALLADS OF SUBURBIA:

" intensely real and painfully honest novel of high-school anxiety." and "....Kuehnert nails the raw vulnerability of teendom and delivers a hard-hitting and mesmerizing read." - Booklist

"Like an American Beauty for the teen set." - NewCity

"With her first two novels, Kuehnert has created vivid pictures of teenage lives that lie in that borderland that abuts adulthood. It is a fertile, confusing and intense place, and Kuehnert never holds back. But like a good ballad, she keeps the stories taut and precise, with a touch of heart thrown in for good measure." - Chicago Sun-Times

"This book is powerful. It's been haunting me for days. Yes, haunting me." - The Story Siren, 5 star review, Recipient of the Luminous Pearl Award

And, the interview:

What inspired you to write BALLADS OF SUBURBIA?

Because Kara’s story has been gnawing at my brain in some form or other since I was a teenager. I say that Ballads is the book I’ve been searching for since I was 13. Back then it was the book I wanted to read and slowly it became the book I wanted to write. I grew up in suburbia, I experienced and witnessed a lot of truly difficult situations that often times me and my friends were too young to be dealing with. But it was real life. I wanted to bring those darker subjects of self-injury, addiction, and depression to light. This was a book I needed and I hope it’s something that can help a lot of teens and open the eyes of a lot of people in general. But mostly, I just wrote it because it felt like a story that needed to be told.

Are any of your characters based on real people that you know?
No. I never do that. Sometimes there are subconscious influences and I can’t help that. The story of how I met my best friend (while shoplifting at a local mall) snuck in there, but the details of the story are totally different in Ballads. Sometimes emotional truths (how I’ve felt emotionally at one time or another) from my life find their way into a story or little characteristics of people I love or relationships I have, but generally it all comes from my imagination.

What excites you?
Good music, good books, good conversation. Honesty and Truth. I love songs and stories that really nail some aspect of the human experience. I love seeing life reflected in art. I don’t know, part of the best thing about being a writer is that you are constantly observing and finding exciting moments in even the most average experience. Riding the train and people watching is exciting. Any kind of travel is exciting.

What turns you off?
I hate it when people won’t cop to their mistakes or pretend to be something they are not. If everyone would just be themselves and take responsibility for their actions I think the world would be a better place. Oh and any kind of hate or snap judgment. Racism, sexism, homophobia, all of that stuff disgusts me. And people being cruel to others for no reason other than their own insecurity, especially when I see women and girls do this to other girls it drives me nuts!

What's the biggest lie you ever told, and what happened as a result of the telling?
The biggest lie I ever told was actual a series of lies that spanned over most of high school. I don’t really talk about it and won’t go super in depth, but since I just spoke about taking responsibility for my actions… I was on and off dating a heroin addict and I knew he was really bad for me and if any of my friends ever met him, they would see this. So I told a bunch of different lies to different people about him. Not all of the lies added up and when different friends talked to each other, my lies were exposed. It seriously damaged some friendships including my friendship with my best friend for awhile, but fortunately she and I worked through it.

What's the most suspenseful thing that's happened to you in real life?
This is when I look back over my life and think, man, it’s been pretty boring! Honestly the most suspenseful thing was waiting for my first book to sell. It took over a year. There was one almost sale and I had jury duty that day so I couldn't have my cell phone on while I was waiting to be called to go on a trial (which I never was, ugh!), so I kept running to the bathroom and turning my phone on to see if my agent called. That deal fell through. Talk about anti-climatic. But then a couple months later I got the call out of the blue! Seriously though, that wait, to see if my lifelong dream would come true, was hugely suspenseful for me!

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?
Kurt Cobain. He was my hero. I discovered his music when I was 12 and it helped me gain confidence to use my voice, to write, to speak out about what mattered to me. It’s so sad that he felt his life wasn’t worth living, but I’d still like to talk to him about art, music and words.

What's one thing most people don't know about you?
Hmm, I’m pretty much an open book (no pun intended), so I feel like I’ve spilled most of my secrets. But here’s an odd quirk, I’m pretty superstitious and for some reason I feel like if I’m not wearing certain jewelry (all 13 of my earrings, a bracelet from my favorite city Seattle, a ring I wear on a necklace that belonged to a friend of mine who passed away a year ago, and of course my engagement ring) then bad things are going to happen. I have no idea why I feel this way!

What's your favorite quote?
“If you made a book of what really happened, it would be a really upsetting book”- Angela Chase on My So-Called Life

I opened Ballads of Suburbia with this quote because it inspired the book and it inspires my writing in general. I want to write about real life. Even if it is upsetting at times.

Milk Chocolate or Dark?

Dark because I’m vegan so I don’t do milk.

You can read more about Stephanie and her books at, find her on her (very cool) blog at and follow her on twitter at

For your chance to win a signed copy of BALLADS OF SUBURBIA, leave a message below. Since Stephanie's books are music themed, tell me what song/musician has touched your life and why. This drawing will remain open until Tuesday, August 11.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Aaand We're Back

Hi, everyone! I hope you had a great July. I missed you!

Well, okay, I would have missed you if I'd have had time to think about it. Last month was crazy busy, which is why I was away. The good news is, I finished the first round of revisions for TRANCE and I'm excited about how it's turning out.

TRANCE is about two sisters who receive coded premonitions through trance writing, and what goes wrong when one of them misses a message. It comes out next spring and I'll be sharing plenty of teasers here on the blog.

Meanwhile, I'm happy to announce the return of Freebie Friday! Be sure to come back tomorrow for our kick off Freebie with Stephanie Kuehnert and her new book, BALLADS OF SUBURBIA.

And check out some of the great authors and books we have coming up!


Alyson Noel - BLUE MOON

Melissa Francis - BITE ME

Aprilynne Pike - WINGS

Lauren Baratz-Logsted - CRAZY BEAUTIFUL


Marley Gibson - GHOST HUNTRESS

Paula Chase Hyman - DEL RIO BAY series

(Wondering what the picture up there has to do with anything? Last night we saw Foreigner in concert. They've still got it after all these years. Great concert, even though turned into a sing-along in the section where I was sitting!)