Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cover Love!

A new edition of Cover Love!
We start with:
Blood Red Road by Moira Young

(US, UK, Dutch)
I really like the US cover, especially the font but the UK cover is something you can't walk past without looking. It's definitely eye-catching.

Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

(US, UK, German)
I really like the German cover but from what I've heard about ASHES the US cover might fit better because the book is pretty scary.

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

(Australia, US, Spanish)

I first noticed this book because of the Australian cover. It's pretty striking but I really like the US cover too.

What do you think?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday's Muse Music

I know a lot of you love music and use it as inspiration when writing. I went to a 10 Years concert a couple weeks ago and I can not get FIX ME out of my head. It's like every YA character's anthem.

Also Avenged Sevenfold's song SO FAR AWAY is truely touching. It's a rock ballat about loosing someone you love. In this band's case it was their drummer, The Rev.

Check them out! And don't forget to shout out what your muse music is!

Happy Writing!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Cover reveal The Other Life!

The moment I’ve been anticipating for months has finally come!!

I can share the cover of The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker (aka Me) with you!

Here it is:

And here’s the blurb from goodreads:

Sherry and her family have lived sealed in a bunker in the garden since things went wrong up above. Her grandfather has been in the freezer for the last three months, her parents are at each other’s throats and two minutes ago they ran out of food.

Sherry and her father leave the safety of the bunker and find a devastated and empty LA, smashed to pieces by bombs and haunted by ‘Weepers’ - rabid humans infected with a weaponized rabies virus.

While searching for food in a supermarket, Sherry’s father disappears and Sherry is saved by Joshua, a boy-hunter. He takes her to Safe-haven, a tumble-down vineyard in the hills outside LA, where a handful of other survivors are picking up the pieces of their ‘other lives’. As she falls in love for the first time, Sherry must save her father, stay alive and keep Joshua safe when his desire for vengeance threatens them all.

I couldn't be happier! Isn't the bleeding butterfly deliciously creepy??

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cover Revamps: Do They Turn Your Head?

I was in Barnes and Nobel the other day and noticed a few books have gotten a cover makeover. I know this is probably a marketing tool to get the novel to appeal to a broader audience and increase book sales. Hell, I even picked up a couple books with new covers. I've always wondered how publishing companies choose which book they're going to invest more money in to revamp. Anyone have any ideas? Is it something they decide to do when the hardback goes paper?

Anyway here are some books I've noticed with a new face-lift:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Peeta, Gale and Katniss!

Entertainment Weekly posted the first look at Gale and Peeta for the upcoming March movie. EW also posted an interview with the two guys! I can't wait for this movie! Katniss was revealed a few months back. So Here they are, what do you think? Are they like you pictured?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cover Love!

It's time for cover love!

Let's start with Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

(US, UK, Australia)

(Portuguese, Croatian)

I think Cynthia Hand really won the cover lottery. All the covers are beautiful. But I think my favorite is the UK version. I find it interesting that the Croatian publisher added wings to the US version. Maybe they wanted to show the reader what the book's about?

Next: Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

(US, German)

Both publishers us the red/black color scheme. What I really love about the German version is how creepy it is!

(US, French, Spanish)

(UK, German)

Most foreign publishers used some variation of the US cover, sometimes using different colors, sometimes different fonts. I like the black of the French version better than the light blue of the US version. It's more eyecatching. I'm not so cure about the "face-covers", especially the UK girl looks very young.

What are your favorites?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Twitter Do's and Don'ts - Guest Post from Melanie Kramer-Santiago

Mel was nice enough to let me cross post this from her visually stunning new blog, YA for the YAt Heart.  Like Mel, I'm still tripping a little bit over my own feet when it comes to Twitter, but as we learn the ins and outs, there are a few things we've noticed and talked about with fellow writers. 

And heeerrrreeee they are!

No, no, no! This is not about you, Weiner!

(Take it away, Mel!)
I am still very new to Twitter. And in trying to figure out how to appropriately and effectively utilize it, I asked a group of fellow writer friends/Twitterers to share with me some of the things about Twitter, Twitterers, and tweeting that annoy the living poop out of them. In other words, I wanted to know what the etiquette to being a good Twitterer consists of and what NOT to do. These are some of the things that came up in our discussion (in no particular order):

1. Follow Fridays aka #FF. Apparently people find this VERY annoying. I myself had not done it simply because I didn't know how to or what it was. But now that I know, and have learned how many people feel about it, I will not be doing it. For a hilarious post on the #FF hashtag that explains what #FF was supposed to be vs. what it's become read this.

2. Multiple tweets--Posting your tweet 10, 15, 20+ times in a day fills up people's Twitter feeds (had to figure out what a Twitter "feed" was--yes, I'm that clueless) and that can be extremely irritating. We get that you want to reach as many people as possible about your AMAZING giveaway/contest, or an INSPIRING post on your blog, or even some FANTASTIC news about your book coming out, but tweeting the same tweet 437 times in a day on multiple days and you are looking to actually lose your audience/fellow followers.

3. Pimping your book and contributing nothing else to the Twitter world or to those following you was another thing mentioned as annoying. Apparently some authors have been known to do this and it is really uncool and uninteresting. Twitter is about making connections with other people who are in the same field/business or share the same interest. Develop and nurture those relationships first and THEN promote your stuff like crazy (but DON'T multiple tweet!). They will care more about your book if they care about you first. (Plus you may find more people retweeting your promotional tweets. WIN!)

4. People who think they look cool because they have 1000 followers and only follow 100. Honestly, you pretty much look the opposite of cool 'cause what this says to people is that there are many people who think you are worth following, but to you there are so few. I understand there can be certain reasons for it, but to most people it just looks really...unbalanced.

5. And to go along with #4 is people who follow you and then UNfollow you after you follow them back. Apparently this has even been done by some "big name" people to others who swear they were respectful followers (not harassing them or filling up their feed) and would only comment now and then or RT them for something that was said that was truly meaningful to them. SO NOT COOL. I understand that sometimes people need to clean out some of the followers that are the afore mentioned things or people who only follow for the purpose of advertisement of a product, but come on people. That is a snobby thing to do (if it's intentional, of course ;-))

6. There is a 140 character limit for a reason, people! To keep things short and tight in your message. People find it extremely irritating when Twitteres write a novel in a string of 500 posts. We're not talking the occasional continued post to finish a sentence or an important point, but do it often enough and you will find yourself UNfollowed.

7. Another one that several people mentioned as VERY annoying is when people go on regular political rants. Just because you have a platform for your fiction dystopian 7 book series, it doesn't give you the platform to spew political rhetoric at your fans. They are following you for your writing and your stories, not your personal political views.

8. Cliques on Twitter. Okay. So, we know cliques kind of exist everywhere. And just because you're on the internet doesn't mean people won't recognize when you are being "cliquish". Apparently, there are many published authors in the industry who will ONLY respond to other published authors on Twitter and ignore comments made by fans or other writers who are working towards the goal of becoming published. It just makes you come off looking like a snob. If you're only interested in other authors being interested in your work and not the other people who are fans and dedicated followers and buyers of your books, then go ahead. Remain in your small circle of Twitter peeps. But would it really hurt to reach out to others once in a while? Not saying you have to respond to every person who tweets you (surely impossible for some), but once in a while just respond to some of your followers to let them know that you know they exist and that you appreciate them following you. There are many authors who are absolutely wonderful about responding to RT@tweets and thanking people who retweet one of their tweets, but there are others who seem to think their poop don't stink and that if you're not published you're a nobody. NOT. COOL.

So there you have it. Some tips for you on What NOT to do on Twitter. I mean, you can do whatever you want, but these are some suggestions on ways to avoid loosing followers. BTW, a friend of mine pointed out this really cool link that allows you to see who you are following that is not following you back. In case you wanted to know ;-)

Anything you can add? Anything I didn't mention that annoys the living poop out of you?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cover Love!

After a short hiatus (I was on deadline for the sequel to THE OTHER LIFE), Cover love is back!

Let's start with INFINITE DAYS by Rebecca Maizel

(US, UK, Spanish)

I love the blue eyes on the US cover and the tear trailing over her face. It's the most striking of the five versions in my opinion. I think the UK cover could use some color.

(Dutch, German)

What I love about the Dutch cover is the bat next to the couple! In today's YA books vampires are rarely associated with bats anymore. The German cover is beautifully creepy and I love the title (The Night is yours)!

Next: NIGHTSHADE + WOLFSBANE by Andrea Cremer

These covers aren't international. Penguin redesigned the covers for Cremer's series and I want to show you the old and new cover design.

(Old version/new design)

(Old design/ new design)

I haven't read the books yet, so I don't know if the new cover design fits the books better. I think the old versions are beautiful and striking, so I'm wondering why Penguin would change the design.

Do you think the redesign was the right decision? Do you know why the covers were changed?

Friday, June 10, 2011


The Dauntless do crazy things like jumping off trains.  Because that's a good idea I guess.

Despite the fact that the official Facebook app that puts you in your house/clan...FACTION (there's the word I'm looking for - it's Friday...) says I'm DAUNTLESS, there's no way I would ever in a million years jump off a train for any reason at all.  That train stops somewhere and that's when my rear is getting off.  On the ground.

See, I'm deathly afraid of heights.  This week was the perfect week for the DAUNTLESS challenge because over the weekend I went to Cedar Point (amusement park).  I was going to be all DAUNTLESS and ride a roller coaster that I had never ridden before due to my fear of heights.  I've been on the tamest of the tame, but I was ready to go just for regular tame.  My daughter, however, had other ideas.  Like me, she's not dauntless and I stayed with my feet planted solidly on the ground next to hers while my husband and son rode the coasters. 

My seven-year-old son is DAUNTLESS though.  He had no qualms about riding the big boys - any he was tall enough to get on.  The biggest so far was the Magnum XL 200.  Here it is for your DAUNTLESS viewing pleasure:

Monday, June 6, 2011

Guest Post by Katherine Easer Author of Vicious Little Darlings

by Katherine Easer

Before I began writing Vicious Little Darlings, I thought I had a pretty good idea of who my narrator was. Her name was Sarah Weaver, and she was a brown-eyed, raven-haired seventeen-year-old from California. I knew Sarah’s religious beliefs, past experiences, fears, weaknesses, and talents. I even knew her thoughts on Justin Timberlake. Feeling fairly prepared, I began to write.

Thirty pages into my first draft, I realized I didn’t know Sarah at all. The pages were lifeless; her voice was flat. Sarah said what I wanted her to say, and she did what the plot required her to do, but she didn’t feel like a real person. She existed solely in the left hemisphere of my brain—though I didn’t know that at the time—and hadn’t yet come to life. I threw away my pages and spent the rest of the day trying to get to know her. Frantic brainstorming ensued. I interviewed Sarah, free wrote, drank a lot of coffee, free wrote some more. Still, she eluded me. Maybe what I needed was to relax, I thought, and to let my mind wander. I ran a bath. I lit candles and waited for inspiration to strike. Nothing happened. Frustrated, I decided to sit at my desk and try writing again, but three dull paragraphs and an hour later, I was exhausted. It was midnight, and I needed sleep.

When my head hit the pillow, a strange and magical thing occurred. I heard a voice in my head. It was a voice I didn’t recognize, but I knew that it belonged to Sarah. Though I had heard about this kind of thing from other writers, I’d never experienced it firsthand. My subconscious was now engaged, and Sarah, in her own words, was telling me about her life. She was sassy, snarky, and a little bit angry, and she wouldn’t stop talking. I turned on the light and wrote down everything she said.

Writing didn’t exactly become easy after that, but it became easier. I realized that it was when I stopped trying to define, control, judge, or even think about Sarah that she sprang to life. I learned that I didn’t have to force the writing; I just had to let go and trust my narrator. And when I did that, interesting things began to happen. --Katherine Easer

Katherine Easer is the author of Vicious Little Darlings. You can visit her at:

THANK YOU Katherine for a brilliant guest post. Those are exactly the kinds of stories readers want to know. I wish you much success on the books release!

Be Sure and check out Katherine's novel VICIOUS LITTLE DARLINGS (Hits shelves June 21st 2011). It's one of my favorite novels this year! Put this one down on your to be read list IMMEDIATELY. You can read my review ->HERE<- and see how I gushed away about it even before I knew how awesome the author was. ;)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Divergent Faction Challenge. Accio Sorting Hat!


Let me be honest with you.  I always do pretty well with candor.  (See what I did there?)

But online, can you really put your candor out there?  There's been way too much talk about this already, and it's come down to this:  If you're an aspiring author, do as your Mama always told you...If you don't have something nice to say...

Keep your big trap shut!

Moving on to ERUDITE.

Even though the official Harry Potter online sorting hat put me in Ravenclaw, I have little use for this house...I mean faction.  Sure, smart people are necessary.  Where would we be without Thomas Edison, or Albert Einstein? 

That's usin' your noggin.
But let's be honest, we all know how awkward braniacs without any social skills can be.  Being in Erudite, or Ravenclaw--either/or--would be a bit like living with Sheldon Cooper.

You love me, Jamie.
I do. :)

Friday, May 20, 2011


AMITY was NOT a CALAMITY!  My AMITY week was successful in many ways. 

1.  I didn't anger/alienate/enrage/or otherwise terrorize any of my coworkers. 

Happy co-worker Dan can attest to that.

2.  My husband, who I refer to using many different names--Hot Air Blair, Dr. InvinciBlair, and several other NSFW names at times--has been hobbling around all week with a swollen knee.  I've been the ULTRA wife to him.  Getting him ice packs (okay, bags of frozen peas), serving him his dinner, all kinds of '50's wife things that I never did before.  Plus!  I haven't called him any names this week! (out loud)

WHOA there June! This week has made me want to bust a cap in someone too. 

3.  Instead of repeating myself over and over and over and over in the morning and at night for my son to get dressed, brush his teeth, comb his hair, in ever increasing decibels until every kid in the neighborhood can hear me (and has dressed, brushed and combed before my kid), I've turned it into a game.  I've played Simon says in the morning to make getting ready for school fun, and turned brushing teeth into a race against the clock.  My kid is now down to 10 second tooth brushing.  Yeah, I know, that's probably not a good thing, but hey - he's brushing!

See! Look how good he does! (This is NOT my son's mouth.)

I haven't worn red or yellow this week...unless you count the pizza sauce I got on my shirt Wednesday. 

Overall - Amity success!