Monday, October 31, 2011

The Clock Tolls 6--Winners of the Hallowed for Halloween Contest

Okay, first let me start out by saying this was HARD. I had no idea when I came up with this little contest idea that I'd get such a big response, which is so cool. There were more than 100 entries, and I have to narrow the winners down to 4 (2 for the cover, 2 for the description). I wish I had like 100 ARCs to give out, seriously.

But, there can only be 4.

Plus 6 runner-ups, who will not receive Hallowed ARCs (boo), but who WILL receive any other kind of Unearthly-related stuff I can scrounge up, like bookplates and bookmarks and maybe Clara's favorite Halloween candy.

So, without further ado, the winners:

For the cover contest:

an entry by Jessica M. I thought this was gorgeous, first of all. And I liked how she incorporated the quote from Unearthly but gave it a whole new and devious meaning. Awesome. Congrats. An ARC of Hallowed is yours.

The other ARC will go to Roberta Mansfield, for this image:

This made me laugh out loud. Tucker's dismembered head was such a nice touch, and changing the name to Hollowed and having a hollowed-out space in Clara's chest. Classic. Plus fire and black wings and blood. Wow.

And now the runners up, who won't get an ARC but some other cool stuff:

Priscilla Peters, who sent me this lovely image:
Priscilla sent me 5 different entries, and they were all beautiful, but in the end I went with this black and white one. It was just . . . creepy. Bravo.

Christina Rose:
This was the first entry I received that really made me sit back and go, WOW. So Halloweeny. I loved it. I swear Clara's been looking a bit thin lately.

And last, but not least, Katie Kelly:
This was so beautiful and eerie and cool. I loved it.

Maybe this is torture, but I also want to mention Alexandra Torres, Ashley Ferguson, Faithe Maher, Kaylee Maddox, and Olliver Hood (Olliver's had this quote: "Simply brilliant"--The Devil, which also made me laugh out loud.) You guys made my top 10.

And on to the book descriptions.

Winner #1, funkelstein17, with this:

She´s waited such a long time for this day. It was October 31. Halloween. Night of demons and vampires. Her night. This was the night to finally fulfil her purpose. Clara Gardner, supernaturally beautiful and pale faced vampire, who had the ability to switch between dimensions - has trained for this day for years, mentally and physically. It was the darkest night of this year too, no moon, no stars, just blackness. Together with her mate Christian Prescott, scarred and red-faced king of demons, she´d do it tonight. Standing on top of a mountain near Jackson lake she´d raise her hand and with her high pitched scream a gap in space and time would appear like tongues of flames out of nowhere. Through the tunnel-like flame hole she would be able to see right into Cynthia Hands home, watching Cynthia writing at her desk while she was being completely oblivious to what was coming for her. Christian Prescott writhed in agony as he read Clara´s thoughts: Tonight Clara would torture Cynthia painfully to death if Tucker could not be her boyfriend anymore in the next book. He was determined to avert this, he was supposed to be her soulmate for eternity…

I was highly entertained by the idea of Clara torturing me to death if I separated her from Tucker.

Winner #2:
Mimi Valentine

Clara Gardner wasn't dead.

But every zombie hunter wished she was. Dubbed the legendary Severed Hand because of her missing right arm, Clara was one of the most notorious undead beings to haunt the Earth. She ate hearts and stole hands, as if to compensate for the she'd lost; according to rumors, she didn't even chew before she swallowed. There wasn't a single hunter who had managed to stop her wrath.

Until Tucker. Gorgeous, golden, and absolutely determined, Tucker Avery was one of the best zombie hunters out there... except he was dead too. As a zombie-hunting zombie, he was trusted by neither the dead nor the alive. Not that it mattered much to him. After watching his family die at the hands of a zombie and then being infected by the same guy, Tucker's only goal was to rid the world of all undead beings -- and then himself.

So it was natural that he'd take it upon himself to destroy the one-handed girl who haunted the boonies. Only problem? There were some things about the mysterious Severed Hand that not even the gory stories told.

Like the fact that, once upon a time when they were both alive, Tucker and Clara had known each other.

And she remembered him.

I picked this because, well, it was just an excellently written description. I want to read that book. And nothing says Halloween like Clara and Tucker as star-crossed zombies.

Runners up for this were Shannon (my agent liked this one!), Sara, and Gabi. Bookplates, bookmarks, and fun stuff for you!

If you didn't win, never fear. There will be more giveaways and contests in the future, and some not as difficult, I promise.

Whew. This was SO fun. Thanks for all the support for Hallowed.

Unearthly comes to PAPERBACK tomorrow! Tell your friends!

And now I'm off to trick-or-treat with my kiddos.



Hallowed for Halloween Cover Entries

Below you'll find a video I made of the entries (so far) for my Hallowed for Halloween contest. You guys. This has been CRAZY. There have been more than 60 submissions to the cover part of the contest alone, and they are wicked awesome. I have no idea how I'm ever going to choose two. Thank you so much for making my Halloween so fun and showing such support and excitement for Hallowed. You make me proud!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Why I Love the CW

Hi, y'all. I didn't intend to blog for a few days, (writing, writing, writing Book 3) but then some news broke yesterday and my tweeps are going wild and I thought I would clear some things up.

Yes, it IS true. Unearthly is being developed into a television series for the CW! This is so unbelievably exciting and surreal for me. I love the idea. I have been an avid CW watcher for a long time, my fave show for years and years being The Gilmore Girls. There's nothing like the rapid-fire dialogue from that show. <3 In fact, Unearthly was influenced quite a lot by Rory and Lorelei--I wanted the relationship between Clara and Maggie to be fun and friend-like and snappy like this (and there is a reference to the GG in the book, can you find it?). So I am soooooo pleased that my little book is being developed into a show for this network.

That said, it is being DEVELOPED into a show on the CW. This does not mean that it is definitely going to BE a show on the CW. Unearthly has a lot of hoops to get through before that happens. Right now we're still in the script phase-- Kevin Murphy is writing a what-I-am-sure-will-be-awesome script for the pilot. Then the network has to greenlight the pilot to be made, it has to be cast and shot, and then the network has to decide if it makes it to primetime. Like I said, lots of work ahead of us. So keep your fingers crossed, and thank you for all the squees and excitement and good wishes.

Love you guys! (collective hug)

P.S. The entries for my Hallowed/Halloween giveaway are AWESOME. Keep them coming. I will announce the winner at 6pm Pacific Time.

now: write, write, write, write, write. Book 3, book 3, book 3.

UPDATE: 7-30-12
Just wanted to let you guys know, since a lot of people are still coming to this post and getting excited, that Unearthly didn't make it to the pilot stage last February. :( Such is the business. So we are basically back to square one with the Unearthly-to-film-or-television stuff. Thanks for all your enthuiasm and support, and if news on this front changes I will let you know!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Get Hallowed for Halloween!

Okay, so here's my contest for HALLOWED on Halloween. I am seriously so excited about this. I am going to be giving away four (count them, FOUR) ARCs of Hallowed!

There are 2 ways to win:

#1 Download this, the US cover for Hallowed. Aw. Isn't it nice?

Then, using Photoshop or Paint or whatever artsy program you like, dress up my cover for Halloween. Let's pretend, instead, that this is a horror book. Instead of "aw," we want, "ew!" The funnier, grosser, and/or most Halloweenlike, the better. (But nothing, you know, truly obscene or something that would traumatize a person under 12).

I'm not great with Photoshop, but I had all kinds of fun coming up with this example:

Bwa ha ha. I love it.

Anyway, mess with my cover. Then email it to me at Make sure the image is a decent size, since I've had trouble posting super large pictures or pictures in a strange format here before.

For those of you who are not artistically inclined, here is method #2 for winning your very own Hallowed ARC.

Let's read the description of Hallowed, shall we?:
For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

Awesome, isn't it? Makes you just want to jump right in and read. But now (you guessed it) you get to rewrite the Hallowed description. What if Hallowed were a horror novel? You can either write it like a really messed up, scary sequel to Unearthly, such as:

For months part-demon Clara Gardner trained to start the raging forest fire from her visions and murder the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott during the blaze. . .

or you can toss the original story and start from scratch, using just the cover and the title, like:

 Six years ago, Clara Gardner drowned in the icy waters of Jackson Lake right after the Halloween dance.  For 364 days of the year, she rests peacefully in her coffin as a corpse. But every year on Halloween night she comes to life and claws her way out of the grave, determined to find Christian, the boy who jilted her, and literally eat his heart out . . .

Leave your description in the comments below (not on Goodreads or on Facebook, please, but here). Have fun with it! I can't wait to see what you come up with.
I will award ARCs to the 2 best covers and the 2 best descriptions, along with a few other little tricks and treats of my own. On Halloween night, sometime in between taking my kids trick-or-treating and lapsing into a candy coma, I will announce the winners.
*Yes, I will ship internationally, thanks for asking, although I only have ARCs in English.
Good luck, and Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Library Time, Nixed Covers, and Sequel Syndrome

I am into the hard-core writing to get a draft down for Book 3, so I don't have much time to blog these days, but I wanted to tell you that today, I put M in daycare for a half day, and I drove to Malibu and spent 4 hours in the Pepperdine library, writing my brains out. And it was wonderful. So quiet and uninterrupted. I got loads done. I plan to do it again on Thursday.

Things are heating up for Hallowed, the release date creeping closer and closer. I want to have some sort of ARC giveaway tied with Halloween (Hallowed on Halloween, get it?) but haven't hit on a great idea for how to do this yet. For as creative of a person as I believe myself to be, I am dreadful with contest ideas. Any suggestions on a contest that would be fairly simple where I could give away, say 3 or 4 copies of Hallowed? I am all ears and eager to give some away. . .

And there is one piece of news regarding the UK version of Hallowed. The publisher nixed the Christian cover. I am, of course, disappointed. I loved that cover. It was my favorite of all my covers to date, I think because it channeled the feeling of Hallowed so well. But the booksellers were nervous about a boy on the cover, so Egmont UK completely redesigned it with a girl. And it's very nice. But it's not Christian. Sigh. Oh well. Such is life in the publishing world.

Happier news: Kristi at The Story Siren blog, which is indisputably one of the best blogs, like, ever, read Hallowed! And liked it! Her exact words on Goodreads were "Holy shiz!!!! AWESOMESAUCE!!!" I laughed at that and breathed a huge sigh of relief. It's crazy how much more pressure I feel about whether people will like Hallowed, not because I don't think it's a good book--in many ways, I feel it's a better book than Unearthly, more sophisticated in the telling, more powerful and more emotional on all kinds of levels, but because it isn't Unearthly.

I'm that way about sequels myself. I fall in love with the first one, and then I'm all "meh" about the second one because what I really loved about the first one was being introduced into the world, meeting the characters, discovering what the story is about with them. And the second book is a middle book, typically. A book full of struggles, but not usually solutions. The book where the characters get hurt, they fall, and then they're going to have to get back up. Not saying that Hallowed is a bummer, mind you. Clara is still Clara, after all; she's still got her sense of humor, her sarcasm, her dumb jokes. She makes me laugh as much as she makes me cry. But she is absolutely smack in the middle of her emotional struggle in this book. And some people don't like middles. They like beginnings. They like endings. But not middles.

*Refrains from biting nails thinking about it. Refers you to a blog post by Kiersten White where she basically says the same thing but way more articulately here. Tells myself to STOP READING the FREAKING reviews!!!!!

Lol. I need sleep. And some more time in the library. That is all.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wicked Lovely Day

Today I'm sick. I got approximately 1 hour of sleep last night, because my baby is also sick. Croupy, camp out with a snuggy all night on her bedroom floor to make sure she keeps breathing kind of sick. Uh to the Guh. So I am trudging around in a yucky exhausted haze, coughing, rasping like a chain smoker, hating that today was supposed to be a writing day, and it has turned out to be a delirious every-part-of-my-body-hurts day.

But hark, what news from yonder email breaks? It is my editor, and through my yucky haze I am able to glean two pieces of ASTOUNDING NEWS that makes me feel super awake in a flash.

Piece #1: They have moved the release date of Hallowed up by one week! So the new date is: January 17, 2012!  Yay! Y'all can get your Tucker-grabby hands on the book one whole week earlier!

Piece #2: MELISSA MARR has blurbed my book! Seriously, I need a pinch. For a better understanding of the utmost respect I have for this woman, see here, where a year ago I got so tongue-tied in MM's presence at the Smart Chicks tour that I totally forgot to get a picture with her. I was like, "ummmmmm, hi, I'm Cindy, please sign my. . .um, copy of Ink Exchange, I really liked it, I really like you, um. . .thank you so much, ummmmm," and that was it.

Those of you who know me well know that tongue-tied is not something that happens to me all that often. She is Just. That. Cool.



(much, much later)

Wow. Note to self: don't squee with laryngitis. It hurts.

I having such a surreal moment, guys, seriously. I'm flashing back to my first days of writing Unearthly, when I said to myself, "I need to read more YA, right now!" and dashed off to the bookstore where I spotted this:

on the shelf, and I thought. Well, yeah, I gotta read that. And that night I was totally freaking over whether Aislinn would become the Summer Queen or if something terrible would happen to her. It was a magical story. I fell in love with reading all over again, reading that.

So, yeah. She rocks. I am so humbled that she would have even read Hallowed, let alone liked it enough to blurb it. I am so humbled, period.

What do you know? :) It turned out to be a wicked lovely day.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Vlog in which I show you my Unearthly corkboard

And now for something completely different. A video I made, showing off the giant corkboard I used when I wrote Unearthly.