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Showing posts from May, 2008

Book Expo America in NYC '09--anyone?

Everyone online is chattering excitedly about BEA in LA and damn, I want to go! :) It sounds like soo much fun and since I've never been, I'm dying to see what it's like. I keep hearing the words free books and that just grabs my attention. :)

So, I'm marking my calendar for BEA in NYC in 2009. The dates are from May 28-May 31 at the Jacob K. Javits Center.

Is anyone else looking ahead and planning to go? I hope nothing pops up for me between now and then, but I'm definitely looking at booking it as soon as tickets are available. If you're going or thinking about it, let me know! It would be so much fun to meet people from the online writer communities.

It would be a great time for me since it would be right before the release of Chasing Blue.

Weekend reads--share yours!

So, I've got a dilemma. My pile of weekend must reads is very large. My weekend reading time? Slim for the next couple of months. But on writing breaks, I've got what sound like fantastic reads.

My choices?

THE SCHOOL FOR COOL (The Social Experiments of Dorie Dilts) by PG Kain
THE HOST--the second weekend in a row...
HOME by Julie Andrews (I could just break into song right now)
PRINCE CASPIAN (I haven't seen the movie yet)


RIDING LESSONS by Sara Gruen (I read this book once and had a rare WOW reaction, so I want to read it again.

That's my weekend book pile that I'll be shuffling around and trying to read as much as I can before next week's pile pops up.

What's on your weekend reading list?

Happy Sex and the City Day!! (I wanted pink, but alas, there is none.)

Officially Obsessed with Twilight...again

Okay, am I the only one who has become re-obsessed (not a word, I know) with Twilight? I started rereading it on Friday and am in full-blown "I <3 style="font-style: italic;">Twilight wallpaper on my laptop...yikes. I spend waaaay too much time here when I should be, you know, working.

Back to reading, erm, I mean working!

PS--There is no author interview scheduled for this Friday, but on June 6, I've got author Daphne Grab and she's giving away a signed copy of ALIVE AND WELL IN PRAGUE, NEW YORK. Be sure to stop by and try to win!

Working on a new Diary of a Debut Author Video

I'm working on a new video that I'll post within a couple of weeks. I've been getting a few e-mails and MySpace messages from people wanting to know how to break into magazines, read mastheads, write a query, etc. So, the video that I'm working on will tell you how to do all of that. If anyone else has freelance questions they want answered, let me know and hopefully I'll know the answer!

I've realized, too, that I love making videos! They're a break from writing and it's fun, creative and a new medium to reach people. In November, for NaNoWriMo, I'll be doing a weekly video to share my progress each week and give myself a video pep talk. 'Cause you know, it would be embarrassing not to hit 50k after vlogging about doing so. I'd toyed with the idea of doing a daily video in November, but I think that's too much.

It's a busy time for freelancers to get winter queries in, so I've been doing a little of that and getting ready to dive …

Chasing Harry Winston and holiday

The holiday weekend was great! I got a lot of little things done such as updating my Website that I’m building and writing an essay. We were hoping to go to the beach, but our beach was closed when 40 people got caught in rip tides and one guy died. Scary. Instead, I tore through my TBR pile and finished an outline. I'm STILL working my way through THE HOST. I put it down for a couple of days and hope to resume reading it today. I started rereading Twilight for the first time yesterday. It's fun now that I know what to expect!
We also finished painting, yay! I would insert pics here except, well, I accidentally deleted them when I was taking video for a new Diary of a Debut Author Segment for next month. Urg.
I’m also verrrry excited because Lauren Weisberger’s new book CHASING HARRY WINSTON comes out today. Eee! Lauren did a video for S&S and you can check it out here: to self: try to look as chic on camera as Lauren in my next Dia…

Thanks and Happy Weekend!

Just a quick post on this holiday weekend, but I wanted to thank everyone over at SCWC blog for commenting on my video. Y'all are so sweet and I'm definitely going to keep making Diary of a Debut Author videos. :)

Everyone have a safe and happy weekend! My book bag is full and I'm ready to hit my porch with a Diet Coke and a cup full of watermelon and read:

BRALESS IN WONDERLAND -- Debbie Reed Fischer
HOW TO HOOK A HOTTIE -- Tina Ferraro
THE HOST (still plugging away) --you know, Stephenie Meyer
FOREVER IN BLUE -- Ann Brashares

PS- Check out Julie Prince's article in this month's SCBWI newsletter! Yay, Julie!

Author Visit: Jennifer Bradbury

Please welcome SHIFT author Jennifer Bradbury!

Book: When Chris Collins and Winston Coggans take off on a post-graduation cross-country bike trek, Chris's hopes are high. He's looking forward to seeing the country, dodging a dull summer at a minimum wage job, and having one final adventure with his oldest friend. The journey from Hurricane, West Virginia to the coast of Washington state delivers all those things... and more. So much more that when Chris returns home without Win at the end of the summer, he's certain their 10 year friendship is all but over. But when an FBI agent begins asking questions—and raising suspicions about Chris—he learns that saying goodbye to a friend like Win is never as simple as riding away. Shift offers an adventure story and a missing persons tale spinning around a single question: What happens when you outgrow your best friend?

Here we go...

What was the "oooh, I must write this book!" moment for you?
Honestly? I was just looking for something…

Yay David Cook!

Yay, David Cook! I thought Archie had it wrapped, but DC won! :)

And Simon's apology? Seriously? Either he thought he cost Cook the show (at that point) and thought Cook deserved to win but would lose against Archuleta OR he already knew Archuleta had lost. Interesting.

The night was great overall--one of the best finales ever. Carrie Underwood totally rocked it out. I loved her flow-y outfit.

Did your fav win last night?


Pretty paint colors!
I heart Crimson Silk
What a soothing name

First, I had to draw a new winner for FRENEMIES! Marjolein, you win! Please e-mail me with your address to ship your prize. :)

So, we're painting this week! We started over the weekend, so I've been sleeping in the living room for a few days because my room was first and it smells paint-y. My room was a kind of starchy white and now it's a creamy, pretty French Vanilla color called "Innocence." Pics are coming!

The bathroom...oh, yes. It was a muddy/brownish/? color and now wait till you see. So. Lovely.

I was in awe of the many, many color choices. How much fun would it be to say, "Ah, yes my walls are "crimson silk" and my hallway is "violet bouquet." Mine aren't, but you get the idea. My bathroom, however, is now "Honeydew."

Thanks to everyone who wished my hand a speedy recovery! I'm not whining (so much) as I type today. ;) I'm trying to get a lot of work d…

Cat scratch...ow & news

So, I had a minor accident on Sunday evening.

It was almost 7pm and I just got back from a walk. All of our screen doors and windows are open because we’re painting. (I’ll show you the colors tomorrow!) I sat in front of the door leading out to the back porch and slid open the screen door so I could pet the outside cat who comes to visit. And eat. And get her fix of cat nip.

I’m petting her and she’s purring and being sweet. She’s also intrigued because the door’s open and that NEVER happens. She’s not allowed inside, since she’s not my cat and I’m not sure if she’s been in a house before. I’m guessing she’s an indoor/outdoor cat, but I really don’t know.

Okay, so I’m petting her and then in a flash, she rocks back on her haunches and leaps over my shoulder into the house. Remember how I said we’re painting? Yeah, all we need is for the cat to get into the paint and get sick. I’d feel awful! In the split second that I see her launching over my shoulder, I stick out my hand to grab her an…

Diary of a Debut Author video and Frenemies winners

Okay! We have two lucky winners of FRENEMIES! Drumroll.... Sara and Book Adorer! Congrats! You two have 48 hours to e-mail (jessica [at] jessicaburkhart [dot] com) me your name and an address for Alexa to send the book. If I don' t hear from you within two days, I have to draw a new winner. Thank you to Alexa and check the sidebar for new contests!

Onto other things...

This is a new video that I made over the weekend. It's almost my one year anniversary in publishing since I got The Call that TAKE THE REINS was going to be a book. So, this video looks back at my year and shows a few things that I love and keep close to me. I hope you enjoy the video! :) (And isn't my shirt SO TTR appropriate?!)

Author Visit: Alexa Young and a Giveaway!

Please welcome the fabulously funny author of FRENEMIES... Alexa Young!

Alexa today

Alexa in eighth grade. (Aww. So. Cute.)

BOOK SUMMARY:Best friends Avalon Greene and Halley Brandon have big plans for eighth grade: Not only are they coauthoring a fashion column for their school’s online newspaper, but their celebration of their forever friendship is sure to be the blowout party of the year. But when the girls begin to disagree about…well, everything, these two besties turn into full-blown worsties. From sharing custody of their puppy, Pucci, to drawing up a list of who gets which friends, Avalon and Halley discover what happens when you battle the person who knows you best—and isn’t afraid to use your secrets to get what she wants.Here we go!
What was one thing that kept you in your seat and working away on FRENEMIES?Well, I guess the obvious answer would be the deadline—and that was a definite motivator (especially because the deadline was pretty tight!)—but honestly, as sappy as this s…


I was tagged by elmarshall, so here goes! :)

What were you doing 10 years ago?

Ooh, let's see. I was graduating from fifth grade and preparing to move from Tennessee to Illinois.

What are 5 things you need to do today?

1. Keep working on my PR plan for TAKE THE REINS.
2. IM session with a friend
3. Finish INK EXCHANGE so I can finally get back to work! :)
4. Walk 2 miles
5. Send a magazine query follow up

What are some snacks you enjoy?

* Crackers (esp. of the cheesy variety)
* Cherries
* Heart to Heart cereal (dry)
* Gum (does that count?!)

What would you do if you were a billionaire?

* Hire a hot gardener a la Desperate Housewives.
* Get a garden.
* Buy a log cabin in a rural area where it snows.
* Build a new wing at my local Humane Society
* Contribute to stem cell research.

What are 3 bad habits?

1. I worry about everything! Plus, I read into stuff that doesn't require it.
2. I'm a hopeless work a holic. Can't stop.
3. I'm a TV junkie. I could leave the TV on all day if Global Warmi…

Who knew Florida had so many libraries?!

O.M.G. My brain is about to die. I swear. I just finished compiling a list of E-V-E-R-Y library (with branches!) in Florida along with phone number, address and name of children's librarian. You don't want to know how many pages long it is. It took 10+ hours to complete. But it's sooo worth it. Plus, I've been talking lots with my local librarians and am going to pick their brains again about libraries and how they work with authors.

Now, I'm working on a list of indies in Florida which is significantly easier to compile than the library list. I have to work on this in spurts when I can and since I have time today, I've been making serious progress.

This weekend, I'll be making a new vlog. Yep, it was almost this time last year when Take the Reins went out on submission and then I got The Call. The video should be fun, so look for that over the next couple of weeks.

Happy Mother's Day!

Myspace Graphics at

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! I love you!

New Blog Template :)

It was time for a change on the blog and as part of my summer relaunch of my blog, Website and other online presences, I started with the blog. I love the double columns and it gives me so much more room!

Hope you guys like it! :)

Fall Florida Book Festivals

It has almost been a week since I’ve been home and things haven’t slowed down for a day. In between outlining and writing an assigned article for Children’s Writer, I also had one of those middle of the night ideas on Tuesday. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been wracking my brains for a new MG idea because now I’m on a MG kick. Sure, they can’t be worked on for a while but I like to have them in my brain to toss around and flesh out. That’s how I worked on my new YA. Whenever I needed a break from my current project, I switched over to the YA and wrote a few pages a week. That quickly added up and soon it equaled a book. Then. It. Hit. Me. I’ve got 4 Agent A approved YA ideas that all can be morphed into MG ideas. Woo hoo! :) Now, at least, the what MG idea is next thought is gone. Whew.I got one rejection on a mag query yesterday, but not for the VIQ (very important query) I’m most waiting for. I also got out my big (pink!) wall calendar and started marking off fall dates. It’s u…

Take the Reins is on S&S's Website! Woo hoo!

Just found this on S&S's Website... eeee!!! :)

Take the Reins (Canterwood Crest) By Jessica Burkhart
Cover by Monica StevensonThis Edition: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: January 27, 2009
Our Price:$5.99Availability: Ships on or around January 27
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Waiting for the VIQ response

Veerry busy today. I'm working an outline (and cooking up evil mean girl tricks for a book...) and writing an article for Children's Writer. Yep, that big batch of queries I sent out at the end of April is starting to come back. Trickling, thankfully, but still coming. I've got a few windows open on my protesting laptop and am switching back and forth between the article, my outline and Dreamweaver for the new Website I'm designing for fall launch.

I got the SCBWI LA summer conference brochure yesterday. The line up looks fantastic! Wow. It's neat to "know" so many people on the speaking list and it sounds like it'll be a blast. Is anyone going? The date doesn't look as if it'll work for me, but I'll be reading lots of attendees' blogs to get the scoop.

I started blogging today as a distraction to keep myself from chasing down the mailman. I sent a VIQ (very important query) to a big, glossy teen mag about a month ago and I'm trying …

Weekend movies

Saturday was busy—I was adjusting to getting back home after my trip and editing. That night, I decided okay, I’m going to watch The Golden Compass since I completely missed it in theaters and *know* I’ll love it. I was super-happy that I finally had time to watch it. Very excited about my fav actress and the dashing Daniel Craig.I get to an hour and forty minutes in and they start to play the “this is the end of the movie, get ready to exit the theater music.” I freaking jump out of my recliner and scream (thereby scaring parents and brother who almost dropped his soda) at the TV. Oh. My. Goddess. Was that the worst moving ending ever?! Plot and camera shots were just WEIRD. The last shot of lovely NK we see is of the back of her head, we wonder if Lyra will make it to her dad in time and did the poor kids get their daemons back? Sure, we know all of this from reading the books but I want to S-E-E it on film. I Googled The Subtle Knife and it’s *supposed* to come out in 2009, but I’m…

2008 Kentucky Derby!

As I predicted yesterday (see Sat's blog post) Big Brown did win the Kentucky Derby! It was a gorgeous day for the races and Billy Bush did a pre-race hour of "Access at the Derby" that was so much fun. Big Brown started in the WORST post position at 20 waaay on the outside and he was one of the few horses ever to win from that position. He didn't dominate the field from the beginning, but took his time getting to the front and won by 5 lengths.

The other favorites, Pryo and Colonel John, just didn't fire yesterday. Pyro got blocked within seconds of being out of the gate and never overcame it.

But the race did end in tragedy. The only filly, Eight Belles, came in second and I was screaming that she did so well. She was galloping out after the race when she fell to the ground and never got up. She broke both ankles and was euthanized on the spot. That's an incredibly painful break and there was no chance she'd ever have a pain-free or normal life after tha…

I'm baaack! :)

Somewhere in New England...I forget where...oops.

The view from our near-DC hotel! So lovely!

Sign says it all!

I'm glad to be back home and regularly scheduled blogging resumes next week. As you guys might be able to tell from the photos, none are from the photo shoot. It turned out to be a closed set, sorry guys! But the covers are worth the wait, trust me! :) I had the best time ever and loved hanging out with Agent A, Editor K and the rest of the crew.

Today, it's dreary out and I've been editing and...writing my dedication and acknowledgments. I thought it would be hard. It's really, truly not. I know exactly who helped me with this book and it's ridiculously cool to be able to thank them in print. I'm not telling any of my family and friends if they're on the page--I want it to be a surprise. Plus, for some of the most meaningful lines, I want to actually see their faces when they read it instead of telling them over the phone. So yeah, I'll be hittin…

Author Interview: Marissa Doyle

Marissa Doyle at a signing

Marissa's rabbit, Maple! :)

Bio:Marissa Doyle lives in Massachusetts with her family, far too many books and antiques she swears are just bought for research purposes, and a bossy pet rabbit.She likes listening to Bach, growing things, making quilts, and eating Juicy Pear Jelly Belly jellybeans.Book summary: Persephone Leland would far rather devote herself to her secret magic studies with her governess Miss Allardyce--Ally--than plunge into the social whirl of the London Season.The only thing drawing her there this spring of 1837 is the prospect of seeing her idol, Princess Victoria.Then Ally disappears, and Persy and her twin sister discover that she’s been kidnapped as part of a devious plot to enchant the soon-to-be queen.Persy also discovers that one should never cast a love spell after drinking too much brandy punch at a party, that pesky little brothers can sometimes be handy, and that even boys who were terrible teases when they were twelve can som…