Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine's Day Contest!

Happy Valentine's Day weekend and happy three day weekend (President's Day) for all of our US readers!

Since it's the weekend of love, I thought it would be great to have a contest for a few YA romance books. Just leave a comment by Monday, February 15 at 10am PST telling us why you deserve a little romance in your life!

I will pick and post two winners on Wednesday! Good luck.

Here are the books that are up for grabs (the two winners will pick which they would like, first come, first serve).

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles:
(From When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more. In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey (ARC):
(From The undead can really screw up your senior year . . .

Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s senior year “get-a-life” plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth—and he’s her long-lost fiancĂ©. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica makes a dramatic transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war—and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction.

Evermore by Alyson Noel:

Since a horrible accident claimed the lives of her family, Ever can see auras, hear people's thoughts, and know a person's entire life story by touch. Going out of her way to avoid human contact and suppress her abilities has branded her as a freak at her new high school—but everything changes when she meets Damen.

Damen Auguste is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy. He's the only one who can silence the noise and random energy in her head—wielding a magic so intense, it's as though he can see straight into her soul. As Ever is drawn deeper into his enticing world of secrets and mystery, she's left with more questions than answers. She has no idea just who he really is—or what he is. The only thing she knows to be true is she's falling deeply and helplessly in love with him.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Taking the Stage

Though I've been a musician, singer/songwriting for more years than I care to mention. Public speaking gives me the willies. I can't hide behind a guitar or bass or share "WE ROCK" grins with band members.

We're talking. Just me. Talking.

I've been gearing up for a few author visits and workshop presentations and I gotta admit, I'm nervous. Last year I did a few visits to the local high school and the public library's teen reading club. But those were home-town venues. I knew the librarians, hell, I knew half the kids. But the gigs I have coming up are all over Alberta and there will be no familiar faces.

As an elementary school library technician, my usual interactions with classes involves going over their overdue books - aka - holding a cup of coffee in one hand and reading from the "list of doom" in the other. It's very casual. There's storytime where I read from picture books, sure, but most of my interactions involve hunting through the stacks for that missing copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Not a lot of typical public speaking involved.

I needed more experience speaking in front of kids for longer periods and keeping their attention. So what's a newbie author/elementary school library technician to do? Why, go from class to class in her school and talk about writing of course! I sent an email out to the teaching staff offering myself as a resource to present a short spiel on any writing related topic: character development, plot, hooking readers, editing, you name it.

I've had a blast presenting to the kids, discovering what they were currently writing and fostering the love of the written word. As a bonus, I've also logged in some extra "stage" time. Thanks to my school for being so supportive! The lesson from this? Take whatever steps you need to, to feel comfortable with the various roles an author has to play. If you're having fun - so will everyone else.

On that note (sorry, lame segue) the Class of 2k10 has a lot of fun planned for February - SWAG giveaways! All ya gots ta do is comment on our blog - giving a shout out to those you love, or who have inspired you in some way. Contest ends midnight February 14. Open to US/CANADA residents only. Must be at least 13 years old to enter. Winner announced February 15.
Check it out: The Feel The Love Giveaway