Tuesday, August 31, 2010


This is the week of contests and celebrations! One you won't want to miss is for Marley Gibson's GHOST HUNTRESS - THE COUNSELING.

In this fourth installment of Marley Gibson's popular GHOST HUNTRESS series, THE COUNSELING finds heroine, Kendall Moorehead at a crossroads in her life. Kendall has just discovered who her spirit guide really is, lost her boyfriend, and nearly died doing the thing she loves most–ghost hunting. It’s time to take a break and try to reconcile all the changes she’s going through. So Kendall heads to the Sierra Mountains, where there’s a camp especially for young people with gifts such as hers. It’s a time for reflection and self-discovery. But when she gets to California, she once again finds restless spirits–and the boy in her last vision. It may be the end of one chapter of her life and the beginning of a new one.

Marley is hosting giveaways to celebrate the release of THE COUNSELING. Check them out:

Stop in to Books, Boys, Buzz all week (August 29th - September 5th) for chances to win.

And don't miss the Awesome Giveaway for GHOST HUNTRESS - THE COUNSELING on Marley's website. That one will run through September 15.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Be sure to stop back tomorrow for lots more celebrations, including:

The winner of SABOTAGED by Margaret Peterson Haddix
The winner of the $160 CSN cash TRANCE Countdown Kickoff prize
The announcement of September's TRANCE Countdown contest
A puzzle piece for Gena Showalter's UNRAVELED Hunt.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

FF, or Saturday, or Whatever

This is kind of ironic. My planned post for this week's Freebie Friday was supposed to be about writing moms... the reality of being a mom who happens to be an author, how we balance our time, etc. And... I got caught in the vortex of mom responsibilities and didn't have time to post. Obviously, I don't balance the time all that well. So, I'll save that post and the input from my fellow mom authors for another time.

I'll tell you a true-life mom writer story, though. On Tuesday, our critique group met as usual, but since it was Margaret's release day, we also celebrate the launch of SABOTAGED.

Margaret, as you may know, is a celebrated NYT bestselling author. Very glamorous, right? Until... as we were leaving, Margaret got a call on her cell. It was her daughter. Reminding her to pick up cheese cubes on the way home.

It made me giggle, anyway. And introduces this week's freebie: a signed copy of Margaret Peterson Haddix's SABOTAGED. To be entered to win a copy, leave a note below, sharing your best time-management tip. Because obviously, I need it.

This drawing will remain open until Wednesday, September 1. You'll want to come back then because I will be participating in Gena Showalter's UNRAVELED blog hunt, and giving out a piece of the puzzle on Wednesday. Literally. Don't miss it.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


And the winner of Riley Carney's THE FIRE STONE is...

Lea Nolan

Congratulations! Please send your mailing instructions to gerb (@) lindagerber (.) com and we'll get that out to you. Everyone, thanks for your comments - especially for sharing what you can to do promote literacy. I see I am not the only one who was inspired this week to make more of an effort in that area. Come on back on Friday for another Freebie, featuring tips from writing moms and a chance to win a signed copy of Margaret Peterson Haddix's newest, SABOTAGED.

What else is up this week?

The kids are back in school! Yay!!!! (No, really. I love my kids. I also love uninterrupted writing time...)

SO many great MG/YA releases. I blogged about some of the books I've been waiting for over at Teen Fiction Cafe. Pop on over. I'd love to hear what books on your want list, too. (Because, yanno, I don't have enough books in my TBR piles.) Here's a more complete list of this week's releases (including books I missed in my TFC post, but have since added to the list!)

DEAD IS JUST A RUMOR by Marlene Perez, THE CANDIDATES: DELCROIX ACADEMY by Inara Scott, DANGEROUS NEIGHBORS by Beth Kephart, DEVASTATION by Gloria Skurzynski, JOHN BELUSHI IS DEAD by Kathy Charles, HOTHOUSE by Chris Lynch, KISSES FROM HELL anthology featuring Kelley Armstrong, Alyson Noel, & more, MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins, SABOTAGED by Margaret Peterson Haddix, THE WHITE HORSE TRICK by Kate Thompson, YOU by Charles Benoit, THE JULIAN GAME by Adele Griffin

This week's video link - a book trailer that made me laugh:

Friday, August 20, 2010

FF - THE REIGN OF ELEMENTS series by Riley Carney

I'm a little intimidated by today's guest author. She's more accomplished at 17 that I could have ever dreamed at that age. That said, I'm excited by young voices in YA/MG fiction and happy to welcome Riley Carney to the blog.

The Author
Riley has been writing since she could hold a pencil. She is an avid reader and spent most of her childhood reading and playing elaborate make-believe games, often with her older brother, Nick. Now she writes for teenagers from the unique perspective of being a teen herself. Her stories are based on genuine adolescent ideas and emotions, and are filled with action and humor.

In addition to her writing, Riley is passionate about children’s literacy. She believes that teaching children to read breaks the cycle of poverty and exploitation of children. When she was fourteen years old, Riley created a non-profit organization called Breaking the Chain with the goal of eliminating illiteracy for children. Thus far, she has raised enough money to build three schools and water purification systems for villages in Africa, has created a children’s literacy center in a woman’s shelter in Colorado, and has purchased over 12,000 new books for high-need elementary school classrooms in the U.S.

Some of the proceeds from her books go toward her literacy program for children.

A senior in high school, Riley has won a number of national and local awards, including Build-a-Bear Huggable Heroes Award, T.A. Barron's Young Heroes Award Distinguished Finalist, Prudential Spirit of Community National Award for Colorado, NBC Colorado Affiliate 9News Kids Who Care, and Skipping Stones Multicultural Magazine Top Youth Writer Award, to name a few.

She lives in Colorado with her parents and her older brother, when he is home from college.

You can learn more about Riley on her website, on her blog, or by following her on twitter. If you'd like to learn more about Breaking the Chain and how you can get involved, check it out here.

The Books: The Reign of Elements is a MG fantasy adventure series. Here are the official blurbs of the first two books:

The Fire Stone: Matt knows how to shovel hay, dig trenches, and dodge his father’s whip, but when three terrifying creatures attack Matt, and he is rescued by a wizard, he kidnaps a baby alorath, and is befriended by elves, Matt’s life transforms overnight from dreary to astonishing. When he unwittingly joins a quest to find the Fire Stone, one of the elusive Stones of the Elements which have the power to destroy the world, Matt is thrust into a string of perilous adventures. He soon discovers that magic does exist and that he has extraordinary powers that can change his destiny and determine the fate of Mundaria.

The Water Stone: After successfully recovering the Fire Stone, fifteen-year-old Matt wants nothing more than to enjoy himself with his friends in the magical forest of Amaldan, home of the elves, but Matt knows that the evil elf Malik will never stop seeking the Stones of the Elements. And when a plague from ancient years resurfaces, threatening the lives of an entire city, the only way to ensure their survival is to find the second Stone of the Elements, the Water Stone, which possesses mysterious magical healing powers. Matt, Samsire, and their friends, set off on another quest, following the clues of a long-dead dwarf adventurer, as they desperately race against time and Malik's forces to find the Water Stone before it's too late. This is the second book in the riveting Reign of the Elements series, an adventure story brought to life by memorable, vibrant characters. Rooted in genuine adolescent thought and emotion, it is a journey of courage, friendship, and danger as a group of teenagers attempt to save their world.

Kirkus Discoveries calls Fire Stone "a charming story ...abundantly blessed with adventure and appeal." Midwest Review gives it five out of five stars and calls it "a treasure for genre fans that should not be overlooked." Bob Spear of The Book Barn compares Riley to a youthful Christopher Paolini and says she "includes the best elements of a good fantasy without going overboard."

The interview:

What inspired you to write The Fire Stone?

Growing up with an older brother, I was surrounded by fantasy and science fiction books. I was fascinated with stories about magic and adventure at an early age, so the idea for The Reign of the Elements series has been growing in my head for a long time.

Do you have any tips for aspiring teen authors?

As teens, we face a lot of obstacles, so persistence is important. Also, always be open to improving your work and trying new types of writing. Every writer has things to learn, especially teens, so keep your mind open. So, my advice would be to work hard to make your writing the best it can be, to be persistent, and to write because you love to write, not because you want to be published because that will show in the quality of your writing.

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?

I would love to spend a weekend with J.K. Rowling. I really admire her work as writer and as a humanitarian. I think she would have many interesting stories to share about her experiences in life, and what she did before she wrote Harry Potter. Also, I would love to hear her thoughts and the inspirations behind Harry Potter.

What is an average writing day like for you?

An average day is fairly busy for me, but I write at every opportunity I can get. I do all my schoolwork in the morning and early afternoon, except on days that I’m speaking at schools. After school, my day is devoted to my nonprofit and to writing. I write for two to four hours almost every day. Even when I’m not writing, I’m constantly thinking about plot and character ideas or analyzing something I’ve already written.

Do you have any special writing rituals or totems to connect with your muse?

Strangely enough, I play with Silly Putty quite a bit while I’m writing. I found it in a cabinet of old toys and started playing with it at my desk. There’s something mentally stimulating about squeezing the life out of the green glob - it always helps to get my creative juices flowing. I just have to be careful to keep it away from the computer keys! I also listen to Coldplay while I write.

What's one thing most people don't know about you?

My older brother, Nick, is exactly one foot taller than I am. Just when I’m starting to feel tall while he’s away at college, he comes home and reminds me that although I’m 5’6”, which is taller than the average female, I am really quite hobbit-like next to him (without the hairy feet, of course).

What's your favorite quote?

"I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious." - Albert Einstein. I feel like this quote is as applicable to writers as it is to scientists or any other intellectual pursuit. Curiosity is what makes us seek to discover life’s mysteries. For me, that’s what writing is about; discovering the mystery of personalities, relationships, history, and our place in the world.

What are you working on now?

I just completed a YA urban fantasy trilogy that puts a new twist on reality. I’m really excited about it. I’m working on an idea for a new trilogy with more of a science fiction and dystopian angle.

The Freebie:

To be entered to win a signed copy of THE FIRE STONE, leave a comment below, telling us one thing you can do this week to support literacy. This drawing will remain open until Wednesday, August 25.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


The winner of the ONLY YOU movie gift pack is:


Please send your mailing instructions to gerb @ lindagerber . com and we'll get that sent out to you. Be sure to put "winner" in the subject heading.

Everyone else, please come on back on Friday for a freebie featuring debut teen author, Riley Carney and her brand spanking new release, The Fire Stone.

What else is up?

Censorship is nasty and we won't put up with it. Ellen Hopkins was recently uninvited from a Texas book festival due to a complaint from a middle school librarian. I respect the librarian's right to decide she doesn't care to read Ellen Hopkins's edgy books. I respect her right to not listen to the presentation. But the minute any person or group denies the right for other people to decide what's best for them, that's censorship, and it's wrong. The only silver lining in this mess is the solidarity of the other YA authors who had been invited, who politely refuse to condone censorship by taking part in the festival.

THE INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD is making a comeback! So cool. I met Lynn Reid Banks a few years ago when she came to speak to our SCBWI group in Tokyo and she's a lovely, fascinating lady. Loved hearing from her how this book/series came about, and I'm excited to introduce it to another generation of readers.

Scholastic is looking for kid reporters. Do you know any 10-14 year old who would make a good reporter?

This week's video linkie for those of us who can't wait for CRESCENDO (coming October 19). Best Book Marketing Campaign Ever.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Extra Day!

I'm still experiencing some email issues - my account is migrating to another server and I can't access all my emails - so I'm going to keep the current Freebie Friday contest open for another day. If you haven't entered yet, you still have time...

And don't forget the TRANCE Countdown Kickoff contest going on all this month. You could win $160 in CSN money!


Friday, August 13, 2010

Freebie Friday the 13th

I'm not superstitious. I'm really not. So I don't believe that Friday the 13th is unlucky. In fact, I was born on a Friday the 13th. I'm not going to count that as unlucky.


Well, if I was ever going to rethink my stance on superstition, today might have been a tipping point. I won't go into the boring details, but let's just say a lot went wrong. Including the tiny little problem that our scheduled Freebie Friday guest will not be joining us today.

But in a little twist of fate...

Since I couldn't get my act together, I decided to re-watch an old movie - "ONLY YOU" with Marisa Tomei and a young Robert Downey, Junior. (I'm currently breaking down movies after taking a workshop with Alexandra Sokoloff, and this was one of the movies I chose.) Loved, loved, loved it.

Marisa Tomei plays Faith, a hopeless romantic who believes she is destined to meet and marry a man by the name of Damon Bradley (a name spelled out on her Ouija board when she was 11.) Despite her dream that she'll find Damon, she becomes engaged to a less-than-romantic podiatrist. Shortly before the wedding, her fiance's classmate calls asking for him. The classmate is none other than Damon Bradley, who is on his way to Venice. Of course, as these movies go, Faith believes the phone call is fate, and races to the airport to meet Damon. This movie was made pre-9/11, so she's able to race right up to the gate, just in time to see Damon's plane pulling away. So - what else - she follows him to Italy. Her sister-in-law Kate (Bonnie Hunt, whom I adore) accompanies Faith to help her find Damon and realize her destiny.

Just a note - Robert Downey, Jr. speaking Italian is hot.

Memorable line, Kate's husband Larry (Fisher Stevens), upon hearing that Kate has gone to Italy: "IT-lee? What the hell is my wife doing in IT-lee?!"

This was a great movie to break down. It followed the romantic formula so well. Among the themes - very clearly stated - were, "You can't push it, you have to just let it happen." "True love is what counts" and, of course, destiny. "You make your own destiny."

So here's today's Freebie Friday question - do you believe in fate/destiny? Why or why not? Up for grabs is a movie pack - microwave popcorn, Junior Mints, and a copy of "ONLY YOU" on DVD.

Oh, and don't forget the TRANCE Countdown kickoff contest going on all this month. Enter and you could win $160 in CSN money!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Another short post because I'm squinting at the screen with a migraine. I haven't had one of these for a long time, so I'm counting my blessings. Just... ugh.

But the good news is that we have two winners. Rah! Rah!

The winner of Ally Carter's I'D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU BUT THEN I'D HAVE TO KILL YOU is:


The winner of Melissa de la Cruz's THE VAN ALEN LEGACY is:


Please send your mailing instructions to gerb(@) lindagerber (.) com and we'll get those sent out to you.

What else is up?

Don't forget the TRANCE countdown going on now. You could win $160 in CSN money. Check out the details here.

And in if you're a writer and haven't heard (or have forgotten...) Drop in on WriteOn Con for some happening workshops and craft discussions. Today is day two out of three, but the workshops will stay on line for a while. And it's free! You can check it out here.

This week's video linkie because I love the Old Spice guy and I thought this was clever:

Friday, August 06, 2010

Freebie Friday with Melissa de la Cruz and Ally Carter

First of all... HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to my sweetheart, Aaron. Mwwwwwaaaaaaa!!!!!

And now, I have to tell you about my geek out moments last week while I was at RWA... So, Wednesday evening, I got to party with the YA Golden Heart finalists before the Literacy Signing. Very cool group of ladies. I had to leave early to go get set up for the signing, so I leave them to their margaritas, and step onto the elevator, and right there in front of me is Melissa de la Cruz! I do the complete geek thing and gush to her about what a fan I am. Yes, I am smooth like that. Anyway, Melissa walks to the signing with me. Such a genuine and nice person.

And then! I've known Tera Lynn Childs online for forever, but never had a chance to meet her in person until this conference. Again, nicest person alive. I love her.

And I got to hang out with Marley Gibson and Wendy Toliver and Rosemary Clement-Moore and meet Tina Ferraro and hold Simone Elkeles's Rita statue, and... it was so cool.

Oh! And I met Meg Cabot!!! She's one of my most favorite authors ever. I am completely in love with Jesse, the hot Spanish ghost in her MEDIATOR series. They gave copies of her new book, INSATIABLE away at the conference and I devoured it in like two days. Anyway, I got my picture taken with Meg Cabot!!! Yes, I am such a geeky fangirl.

But back to Melissa de la Cruz... she and Ally Carter did a workshop about author branding. Afterward, I went up to talk to Melissa, and... she remembered me from Wednesday and greeted me warmly. Can I just say what a thrill that was? As was meeting Ally Carter for the first time. My daughters and I have read every one of the GALLAGHER GIRLS books as well as HEIST SOCIETY and we all just love her.

Both Melissa and Ally were kind enough to sign copies of their books, THE VAN ALEN LEGACY and I'D TELL YOU THAT I LOVE YOU, BUT THEN I'D HAVE TO KILL YOU for our Freebie Friday giveaway, which means... two winners!

To be entered to win, leave a comment below, telling me... have you ever totally geeked out when meeting someone famous? (Or even someone you really liked, or were crushing on?) This drawing will remain open until Wednesday, August 11.

And don't forget this month's TRANCE Countdown Drawing. Up for grabs is $160 in CSN Store money. Be sure to spread the word and enter below. Or click here.

Monday, August 02, 2010

TRANCE Countdown Kickoff

I don't know about you all, but I'm psyched for the TRANCE release in October. This book has been a long time coming and I can't wait to share it.

To get the official Countdown to TRANCE started, fabulous Lauren from Shooting Stars Magazine has arranged with CSN Stores to offer a $80 gift code good toward any merchandise on their site to this month's lucky winner.

I'll match that $80 with another $80, for a total of $160 in CSN money.

Here's how you can enter to win:

+4 Post the countdown widget on your blog, facebook, myspace or livejournal page. (Click on "Get Widget" beneath the countdown Widget on the left sidebar.) Send me the link to be credited.

+3 Spread the word. Talk about TRANCE online. Tweet about it. Blog about it. Wax poetic on Facebook. Let me know where and what you're saying and you get points for each legitimate mention.

+2 Send your friends to the blog to join the countdown celebration. Make sure they tell me who sent them.

+1 If you don't already follow this blog, become a follower. (If do follow, let me know and you get credit.)

The winner will be drawn on August 31.

PLEASE NOTE: I am switching website/email servers this month and will lose all saved emails, so please respond here as a comment to this post so I can be sure to credit you properly.

Let the countdown begin!