Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Winner and What's Up... kinda

Hey! I made it! It's still Wednesday!

This week is already a blur - as often happens when I'm racing to meet another deadline. So this post will be short and sweet. The winner of the Del Rio Bay series is:


Please drop me a note with your mailing instructions to gerb (@) lindagerber (.) com and we'll get it sent out to you. Be sure to put WINNER in the subject line so I get to it quicker. I love you guys and the notes and emails, but I'm getting kinda behind answering them. I'll catch up once I get this ms done!

Meanwhile, here's what's up this week... I'm going to disappear from the cyberworld for the next several days. Discipline! I need to get these revisions done. So, patience, please. We'll return with another Freebie Friday next week.

See you then!

Friday, September 18, 2009

FREEBIE FRIDAY with Paula Chase!

Happy Friday! Today I'm pleased to welcome Paula Chase Hyman to the blog. I met Paula about four years ago at an SCBWI conference. She was just about to get rolling with the Del Rio Bay series at that time. Now, five books later, she's a ground-breaker in African American teen fiction and hard at work on her next novel.

Here's the official bio:
Paula Chase Hyman, writing as Paula Chase, is the author of the five-book, Del Rio Bay series, which includes So Not The Drama, Don’t Get It Twisted, That’s What’s Up!, Who You Wit’? and Flipping The Script.

Her series helped launch Kensington Books YA line in March 2007. Dedicated to working with teens, she co-founded the Committed Black Women in 1993, a high school mentoring group and coached a competitive squad for five years.

She recently co-founded The Brown Bookshelf with five author friends. The site is dedicated to honoring vanguard authors and showcasing the myriad of talented African American children’s lit authors and illustrators flying under-the-radar of librarians, parents and teachers.

Praise for The Del Rio Bay series:

"Contemporary friendship story, which revels in rich diversity of race, color, and class."—Booklist

“Genuine dialogue…there is plenty here for readers to ponder about race, class and popularity.” – Publishers Weekly

"...a fresh contemporary friendship story and worth the read." – Kirkus Reviews

And now for the interview:

What inspired you to write the Del Rio Bay Books?
I think I’ll explain this one using food (because I’m a foodie). I love pepperoni pizza and, truth be told, could eat it several times a week if I didn’t have kids I had to be nutritionally responsible for. However, if one day all I had to choose from was pepperoni I’d be pissed because now and
then I also like a good slice of white pizza, sometimes I crave a load of veggies on my ‘za and sometimes sausage. When I wrote the first book in my series in 2003 the literary landscape was akin to only having pepperoni pizza available to young readers. The books were primarily targeted to what we all politely call the “mainstream” audience – in this case, White, female readers. However, publishing assumed these readers had no interest in reading about characters who, while sharing similar problems as they did, were from a different racial background. Who are we to say these readers wouldn’t want a piping hot slice of pizza with zucchini and pineapple? Okay, that doesn’t sound real appetizing, but you get my drift. The literary world needed some diversity where YA pop fiction was concerned, so I served them up something different than what was typically offered.

Are any of your characters based on real people that you know?
Yeah, me as a teen and my daughter and her friendships. But more heavily towards me, because like my main character Mina, I grew up in a predominately Black neighborhood while going to a school that was predominately White. I have always lived the duality of being a Black suburbanite. It’s what I know. So it’s easy to write.

If you did an infomercial for your book, who would be the perfect celeb to serve as the pitch guy or gal? And why?
KeKe Palmer of Akeelah And The Bee and now True Jackson, VP fame. She is so my idea of what my main character Mina would look like. And she has the right level of range to pull off both innocence and burgeoning maturity.

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?
This is probably supposed to be a writing retreat, right? But if an opportunity like that ever came up I’d have a family reunion with my dad, who passed earlier this year, my grandparents and two aunts. The older you get and the more family you lose, the more you crave the simplicity of your past and/or childhood. I’d love to spend a weekend with them just talking about “old” times. A retreat like that would be good for my soul and likely fuel me creatively for years!

What's one thing most people don't know about you?
I’m a Type A mental strategist. You would think most writers would be more laid back, but I’m like a General in the Army when it comes to strategic planning and everything having its place and time. That doesn’t mean I can’t be spontaneous. I embrace the side of me that can be footloose and fancy free. But my days are hectic and they require a good deal of control just to get through them.

What are you working on now?
A standalone novel about a teen girl who has a fragile relationship with her mom. In my head, it’s about the struggle some kids endure when they have wayward parents. They love them, but they don’t want to and yet they’re unable or feel too guilty not to.

What is an interesting writing quirk of yours?
My quirks are different with each book. For That’s What’s Up, I had to write in the morning. No other time of day worked well. For Who You Wit’? it had to be at night. For this current novel, it’s I have to write in total silence. I’ve tried writing when my entire family is home and nada. If the house isn’t totally empty and silent I hit a creative wall.

Milk Chocolate or Dark?
Milk. Yummmmm.

You can read more about Paula and the Del Rio Bay books at and

For this week's freebie, Paula is giving away the entire Del Rio Bay series! For your chance to win, leave a comment below. This week, it's anything goes. The drawing will remain open until Wednesday, September 23.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

WInner and What's Up Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!

Thanks for sharing your horse stories with me. I'm such a sucker for horses. Have been forever. I would have completely devoured Jessica's books when I was growing up. The winner and lucky future devourer of TRIPLE FAULT is:


Please drop a note to gerb (@) lindagerber (.) com with your mailing instructions and I'll get that sent out to you. Please put Winner in the subject heading so it doesn't get spam filtered or lost in the several pages of emails in my inbox I am trying to work my way through.

Everyone else, come on back on Friday for a fabulous freebie with Paula Chase Hyman, who will be giving away a complete set of her DEL RIO BAY series!

Meanwhile, here's what's up this week:

Kanye interrupts everything!
Kanye West's outburst at the VMAs may have been a carefully-executed publicity stunt or it may have been plain stupidity, but what ever it was, it sure made him big news this week, turning him into a meme and even a twitter trending topic. It'd be cool if he could get the same kind of attention for doing something good. Still, thanks for the laughs...

RIP Patrick Swayze. 1962-2009.

Shannon Hale fans - FOREST BORN hit the shelves yesterday!

Margaret Peterson Haddix fans - SENT hit the NYT bestseller list at #4 this week! Congratulations, Margaret!

Other fabulous releases this week include:

GIVE UP THE GHOST by Megan Crewe
ONCE A WITCH by Carolyn MacCullough
THE CUPCAKE QUEEN by Heather Hepler

Book Bloggers Are Made of Awesome. This is Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Some of my favorite book bloggers and reviewers were nominated and won an award. Some weren't. But I appreciate the time, effort and thought that all of them have shared with us. Thanks you guys! Have you hugged a book blogger today?

Good News!!! Well, this one is going to have to wait until it's announced, but... yay!

See you Friday!

Friday, September 11, 2009

FREEBIE FRIDAY with Jessica Burkhart

Today we have a special freebie. Instead of an interview, tween series author Jessica Burkhart dropped by to tell us about the photo shoot she attended this week for books 9-12 in the series. I have to tell you, this is a kind of dream of mine. How cool would it be to meet the real life personification of characters you created?

If you aren't familiar with Jessica's books, she writes the CANTERWOOD CREST series, which follows a young riding student, Sasha Silver, as she attends the Canterwood Crest Academy, an exclusive (and highly competitive) school for gifted equestrians. (Sasha is living my dream! (One of them, anyway...) )

And now, I'm going to turn the post over to Jessica:

I was so excited when Linda asked me to stop over and talk about the Canterwood Crest photo shoot that happened on Wednesday. I’m lucky, as an author, that I got to attend the shoot and was even luckier that I got to vlog and take photos this time. I interviewed each Canterwood model, talked to the stylists about what every girl needs in her wardrobe and took some candid shots of the girls relaxing in hair and makeup. So. Much. Fun. I’m dying to spill everything on my blog right now, but I want to save it and show it to everyone in bits and pieces.

It’s the third time I’ve met and worked with the models who play Sasha, Callie and Heather so it was like a Canterwood reunion. :) I see their faces when I write their characters, so it was good for me to see them and spend time hanging out. And there was a LOT of that going on since it was a solid 12+ hour day of work. I thought being a writer was hard some days—the CC models are rock stars! We added two new models to the group (one for a character we’ve yet to feature and one who is a fan fave) and they fit right into the mix and started working.

I love that I’m able to come to the shoots and that I’ve got the best team of people who are as invested as these books as I am.

The best moment of the shoot: laughing hysterically (it sounds mean, but it wasn’t, I swear!) when a horse nibbled on Editor Kate’s jacket and she almost had a coronary.

The worst moment of the shoot: getting up at 4:15am. Ugggh.

I can’t wait to see what our designer puts together with the covers. She’s a genius, seriously, and I know the final products are going to be fab.

You can read more about the photo shoot over on Jessica's blog, and check out the CANTERWOOD CREST books on the website. You can also follow her on twitter!

Jessica has generously offered a signed copy of TRIPLE FAULT for this week's freebie. To be entered to win, leave a comment below. Do you love horses? Do you ride? Have you ever wanted to ride? Have any horsey stories? Share them here!

This drawing will remain open until Wednesday, September 16.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

What's Up Wednesday and a Winner!

Happy 9/9/09!

I've been looking forward to this day for months, since I started looking into numerology while researching for TRANCE. (The number nine is significant to one of the characters.) I learned that in the Chaldean Numerology system, nine was held to be holy and sacred. A very powerful number.

It's also considered lucky in the Thai culture. Odd numbers are considered luckier than even, with the number 3 being very lucky. And since 9 = 3x3, it's ultra lucky.

Today is about to be a very lucky day for one lucky reader - the winner of CRAZY BEAUTIFUL. And that winner is...


Please send me your mailing instructions at and we'll get that sent out to you!

Everyone else, come on back on Friday for another super sekrit Freebie!

What else is up today?

Claudia Osmond's SMUDGE'S MARK hits the shelves today!

Rosemary Clement Moore's THE SPLENDOR FALLS hit the shelves yesterday!

Also new this week -Janey Lee Carey's STEALING DEATH and Robin Wasserman's CRASHED!


Glee starts tonight! Woot!

May the rest of your week be faulous! See you on Friday!

Friday, September 04, 2009

FREEBE FRIDAY with Lauren Baratz-Logsted!

Happy Friday! Today I'm excited to bring you a special pre-launch freebie with Lauren Baratz-Logsted, whose book CRAZY BEAUTIFUL hits the shelves on MONDAY! I have wanted this book ever since I heard about the premise and then saw the sensational cover. My copy just arrived on pre-order from Amazon! Yay! (But I can't read it until I get this next round of edits done and to my editor. Boo!)

Here is the blurb for the book:

In an explosion of his own making, Lucius blew his arms off. Now he has hooks. He chose hooks because they were cheaper. He chose hooks because he wouldn’t outgrow them so quickly. He chose hooks so that everyone would know he was different, so he would scare even himself.

Then he meets Aurora. The hooks don’t scare her. They don’t keep her away. In fact, they don’t make any difference at all to her. But to Lucius, they mean everything. They remind him of the beast he is inside. Perhaps Aurora is his Beauty, destined to set his soul free from its suffering.

Or maybe she’s just a girl who needs love just like he does.

Le sigh.

Love it.

For those of you who don't know Lauren yet (or at least know of her,) she is the crazy busy author of over a dozen books, including Angel's Choice, Secrets of My Suburban Life, The Sisters Eight series and four new releases (yes, four) in the upcoming year. Check out the descriptions below. More love! You find out more about Lauren on her website, myspace, facebook, or follow her on twitter!

Now for the interview:

What inspired you to write CRAZY BEAUTIFUL?
I've always liked Beauty & the Beast best of all the Disney-fied fairy tales and, after seeing it on Broadway, concluded the reason it's so successful is that it's the only one where the male lead is more than just mere window dressing to make the female look good; if anything, he's by far the more compelling character. So I decided I wanted to do my own version, focusing on how surface values - Aurora's beauty, distinctive physical features like Lucius's hooks, even rumors - affect how others perceive and treat us, thereby affecting how we perceive and treat the world in return.

Are any of your characters based on real people that you know?
In the interest of not getting sued: no. In the interest of telling the truth: no. I don't know anyone as stunningly perfect as Aurora or as gorgeously flawed as Lucius.

What excites you?
My daughter. Reading. Good TV. Good food. I'm easy to excite. Really, I'm practically stir-happy here.

What turns you off?
Close-minded, judgy people.

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?
It'll change tomorrow, but since Little Women is on my mind today I'll say Louisa May Alcott. I'd like to grill her on a question that's been bothering me and countless others for decades: How can Laurie not end up with Jo??? Then I'll pour Louisa a glass of Prosecco and we can watch the sunset together.

What's one thing most people don't know about you?
That I have a secret desire to be Mayor of Danbury.

What's your favorite quote?
Ack! I did *not* see that one coming! OK, let's see... "Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds..." I'm a closet romantic. Come to think of it, I'm ditching Louisa May Alcott on that weekend retreat. I'm taking Shakespeare with me instead.

What are you working on now?
I've got four new books coming out in 2010. Two more YA: The Education of Bet, due out in April, is set in the Victorian era and is about a 16-year-old girl who impersonates a boy in order to get a proper education; and The Twin's Daughter, due out in the fall and also set in the Victorian era, about a girl whose life is changed forever when she discovers that her gorgeous and wealthy mother has an identical twin who was raised in the poorhouse. (Linda's note: Oooooh!) The other two books are Books 5 and 6 from The Sisters 8 series for young readers which I created with my novelist husband Greg Logsted ( and our nine-year-old daughter Jackie. Phew!

What is an interesting writing quirk of yours?
I use "that" too much and (some people think) I use "and" too little. It's a tone and weight-of-sentence thing. OK, I'm weird.

What songs would make the playlist for CRAZY BEAUTIFUL?
I wouldn't normally be able to answer this question quickly but since someone else just asked me... Rob Thomas's "Lonely No More" - I love the moody sound of it - and "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol. I'd also add Howie Day's "Collide" and "Listen to Your Heart" by Dht.

Milk Chocolate or Dark?

OK, now for the freebie. Lauren has graciously donated a signed copy of CRAZY BEAUTIFUL for this week's lucky winner. We're going to do it a little differently this week. You can earn one drawing entry each for the following:

*Refer someone to this pre-release celebration blog post. (Just have them say you sent them.)
*Post about the CRAZY BEAUTIFUL release on your blog, facebook or myspace (or whatever.)
*Send Lauren a Happy Release Day message on Monday.
(Send me the links to the last three.)

This drawing will remain open until Wednesday, September 9.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Winner and What's Up Wednesday

Happy hump day! Half-way to the long weekend!!!

Thanks for all the back-to-school memories. The winner of the gift cards by random drawing are:

lesley and S.o.L.a.R.

Please drop me an email at gerb @ lindagerber . com and I'll send those out to you.
Everyone else, you are going to want to be here on Friday for a special freebie celebrating the release of Lauren Baratz-Logsted's CRAZY BEAUTIFUL. Lauren will drop by for an interview and will be giving away a signed copy of CRAZY BEAUTIFUL. You do not want to miss this one!

What else is up this week?

My friend and crit partner Kate Coomb's fabulously funny book, RUNAWAY DRAGON hit the shelves just yesterday. If you love clever characters and witty dialog, you'll want to grab this sequel to RUNAWAY PRINCESS.

Jennifer Brown's HATE LIST also made its debut yesterday. She's having a blog party to celebrate the launch right here: (CLICK!) And check out the trailer. Wow.

Other waited-for book releases this week include Suzanne Collins' CATCHING FIRE, Mary E. Peterson's THE MILES BETWEEN and Jill Alexander's THE SWEETHEART OF PROSPER COUNTY.

In other news...Jacob Black is front and center in the newest NEW MOON movie trailer.

I heart Quileute Werewolves. : )

Check out Taylor Lautner's spread and interview in Teen Vogue.

That's it for now. See you on Friday for the CRAZY BEAUTIFUL freebie!