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Showing posts from October, 2008

Author Visit: P.J. Hoover!

Please welcome author of THE EMERALD TABLET, P.J. Hoover!

THE EMERALD TABLET's ARC cover. Both great and so different!

About the book:

Benjamin and his best friend Andy love being different from the other kids. They like being able to read each other’s minds and use their telekinesis to play tricks. In fact, they are getting set to spend their entire summer doing just that when Benjamin's mirror starts talking. Suddenly, he's looking at eight weeks of summer school someplace which can only be reached by a teleporter hidden in his hallway. And the summer only gets stranger.

At school, Benjamin discovers he isn't really human but something called a telegen. It turns out the powers he always thought made him special only make him normal. But then the mysterious Emerald Tablet chooses him as its champion, and all chances of an uneventful summer (well, as uneventful as summer school on a hidden, submerged continent can be) disappear.

Where did you get the idea for The Emerald…

Tomorrow is Halloween!

Tomorrow is my fav day--Halloween! I'm blogging about it today because I've got PJ Hoover posting on the actual day of Guilt Free Candy Consumption.

Tomorrow, I'll be passing out candy, walking around the neighborhood and um, eating lots of candy, too.

Since I'm a total wimp, this movie-- as scary as I get on Halloween.

I can hear you laughing!

Enjoy and fill yourself with enough of a sugary buzz that you're ready for NaNoWriMo tomorrow! See you bright and early! :)

Remember, check out my giveaway and interview with PJ TOMORROW!

No NaNoWriMo for me

So, with the big change in my schedule, November will NOT (sniff) be NaNoWriMo for me. Instead, it'll be NaNoEdMo.

Since I finished the first draft of BTB already, I won't be writing all through November as I'd planned. Instead, I get to cheer on my WriMoing friends and still hang out on the forums. :)

It's crazy mode around my house with pre-PR prep, editing, consuming coffee at a scary rate and brainstorming for Canterwood Crest #4. I adore the title, TRIPLE FAULT, and can't wait to get started on it!

PS--I still haven't gotten around to finishing the blog roll. I didn't delete everyone--promise! I'll get that up this weekend.

PPS--In case I don't blog tomorrow, definitely check back on Friday for an interview and giveaway with author PJ Hoover!

Take the Reins--3 months away! Whoa! Take the Reins (Canterwood Crest #1) comes out in 3 months. OMG. OMG. (Repeat that a zillion times.)






And a dozen other emotions. I feel like !!!!!!!. It's REALLY happening. In 12 weeks, actual people who are not my editor and agent will read my book. Yikes. This debut author thing is a crazy roller coaster! :) Right now, I'm in the "OMG, what if no one reads my book and/or they hate it" stage. Last week, it was "Heh, I have plenty of time till it comes out." Next week? Who knows!

Off to breathe...and write...

If you're a debut author with a book coming out soon, how do you deal? Share!

BTB draft #1 complete!


It's coming out of the printer and I'm doing a nerd dance. Yay! :) :)

I am SO done on my computer.

Canterwood Crest quiz

Which Canterwood Crest girl are you?
Click here to find out!

The quiz is now up on the Canterwood Crest Website! I think it's fun and cute. :)

Totally random, but I'm getting SUPER excited about the Twilight movie. Crazy excited. Like maybe I should read Twilight for the third time excited. I can't wait.

This weekend, I'm going to be a hermit and stay in. I'll be writing non-stop and getting that word count meter bar moving.

Author Visit: Kristin O'Donnell Tubb

Please welcome author Kristin O'Donnell Tubb!

About the book:

Autumn Winifred Oliver has charmed a hive of bees, wrangled a flock of geese, and filched a stick of dynamite from the U.S. Government.But it’ll take a whole new kind of gumption to save her Cades Cove home.Loggers, farmers, volunteers from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park – everyone wants Cades Cove.But the Cove is unique – encased in a ring of mountains, the Cove’s culture has evolved unlike any other.It keeps the new out and the old in, according to Autumn.But all that is about to change, unless Autumn and her family figure out something different, and fast.Set in 1934 East Tennessee, the formation of the Great Smoky MountainsNational Park drives Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different.
Here we go!

First, thank you inviting me to your blog, Jessica!I’m looking forward to your new series.I live in horse country, and Take the Reins sounds right up my alley!
Tell us about your novel writing process.

My process…

Quick announcement

Just a note that I've got Class of 2k8 author Kristin Tubb on my blog tomorrow. She's super-funny and I had a great time interviewing her. :)

BEHIND THE BIT status update:

Word count: 28,456

Date started: 10/10

Number of times I used "grinned:"11

Number of times I used "smiled:" 34. Uh oh...must fix.

Writing a series

As of today, I'm just over half-way through the first draft of BEHIND THE BIT, book 3 in the Canterwood Crest series. Half-way. Mmmm. Two magical words for writers! Now, I didn't say the draft was pretty, or anything, but it's down. Ahh.

So, I've been thinking a lot about how different writing a series is compared to a standalone book. I wonder how different the draft to publication process would have been for my first book if it had been on its own. Maybe not at all. I'm not sure.

I do know I've learned a lot about series writing. Let's see...

What I've learned:

* Keep a spreadsheet of vital information like character eye color, hair color, names of siblings, etc. You swear you'll remember everyone's shoe size, but as more characters come into play the easier it becomes to confuse them. Actually, I should do this with standalones, too....

* Remember that you're writing a series! I want people to read TAKE THE REINS and say, "OMG! I have to …

Great Halloween Reads

I wanted to do a quick Halloween book round up! These are some of my favorite Halloween books that I've either read this year or in years past. They're spooky, scary and perfect reads for this season! :)

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Classic, right? The good old Headless Horseman tale is frightening and it'll keep you up all night! I love it.

Tantalize grabbed me when I saw the cover. (I know, bad me for picking a book that way...) The plot blew me away and I fully plan on reading it for a second time this weekend. It's one of those books you can't forget.

Ah, Bliss! Lauren knows I almost didn't even open it because I was too scared. I'm sooo glad that I did! It's creepy, oh yes, but the pacing is INSANE. (Seriously, L. Kudos!) My favorite parts are the journal entries and the d'oh! moment when I figured out who was writing them.
Finally, though a fantastic read for any season, the Twilight series certainly is fun for Halloween. Y'all know the story,…

Halloween cookies and ghost pretzels!

Sooo...that's how today's baking turned out! White chocolate coated pretzels and cookies! Woo hoo! :)

Anyone else making Halloween treats soon?

Moving into the adult magazine market

While I've been drafting BEHIND THE BIT, I've been thinking about my freelancing and I'm feeling the seven year itch. ;)

Since I was fourteen, I've been writing for teen magazines. That's fantastic and I absolutely love it, but I think I'm going through a new phase. I've been reading lots of GLAMOUR, REDBOOK, ALLURE and FAMILY CIRCLE. These were magazines that I used to look at and say, "Can't write for them yet. I just don't have the clips and I'm not in their target age range yet. (I think Redbook is for the 25+ age group, but I might be wrong. Pretty sure, though.)

But the more I read of adult mags, the more I realize they're JUST like SEVENTEEN, TEEN VOGUE and COSMOGIRL (RIP, CG!! Thanks to Melissa Walker for bringing that to my attention. Melissa knows EVERYTHING about the mag biz!)

No, the magazines obviously don't publish articles in the same tone, but the subjects and topics are often the same--men or boys, beauty, health, life…

Halloween socks and randomness

My awesome Halloween socks! (There, you needed a visual EK!) So far, I've watched MONSTER HOUSE (adorable) and PRACTICAL MAGIC (Nicole and Sandra--a perfect onscreen pair!). I've got THE WITCHES and something else (I forget!) to watch next. I've also been considering the Johnny Depp version of SLEEPY HOLLOW...but I'm too scared. LOL I love me some JD, but don't know if I can make it through the movie. People who have watched it, where does it rate on the scary factor?

This weekend, I might try a new recipe--white chocolate covered pretzel rods with little faces that make them ghosts. They sound cute and I think I'll need a few hours off from drafting.

I'll share pics of my weekend Halloween baking on Monday.

Fast drafting Behind the Bit

I'm in crazy-drafting stage right now! I started writing the third Canterwood Crest book, BEHIND THE BIT, and it's such a fun book to write! Horses! Boy drama! Friendship issues! I love this stage. I get into fast-drafting and try to get everything down and revise later.

I'm about 32 pages in and am going strong. Last week, though, my carpal tunnel came back with a vengeance. It made me contemplate removing my arm. Veeerrry intense pain in my elbow and wrist. Of course, it HAD to be in my right hand. Nothing worked. Not my brace, hot/cold wrap, massive doses of Aleve or an arm rest.


I typed with my left hand for a couple of days before deciding that was a total waste. I went to my local Office Max and picked up Dragon Naturally Speaking. Yeah, I was quite skeptical that it wouldn't work. Well...guess what? It's AWESOME. It took half an hour to set up and do voice training, but now I'm using it almost more than I type. It ROCKS. Now, I can talk if I can't …

Behind the Bit (Canterwood Crest #3) cover reveal!

That just popped up on S&S's Website and it's the cover for BEHIND THE BIT (Canterwood Crest #3)! On the cover is Callie Harper, my main character's BFF. Callie is looking at her horse because....well, that's a plot secret for now. :)

BEHIND THE BIT hits stores on June 23, 2009. Woo hoo!

TGIF and happy weekend! I'm off to watch a movie...not sure which one. Something funny.

Ocala's Horse Fever and lots of pics!

My favorite!!

Isn't that butterfly amazing?!

The Starbucks where I met the writer...

Marion County's INSANELY awesome library!!

Yesterday, I went to Ocala to be interviewed by an awesome magazine for a future issue. I completely lucked out because there were horses in the downtown square!! Marion Cultural Alliance produced this display, "Horse Fever," and it was sponsored by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association. These are fiberglass life size horses with acrylic paint. Just amazing! I almost DIED when I saw them in the square.

I also drove by the Marion County Public Library and WOW. The library's outside is covered in mosaics and one is "Misty's Twilight." How cool! I think I have a pic of it...I'll look for the next post.

Ocala was great and it was nice to go on a relatively short road trip. It was only a 3 hour drive to get there--so much shorter than the drive to St. Louis.

Hope you guys like the pics! :)

Halloween pics part 2 and presidential chocolates!

The outside of the house

The back door

The famous Zombie from 2007 (recreated for '08!)

Yep, more pics! Note how in the first pic, the sky is insanely blue. It was 85 degrees and I was muttering about how it MUST be colder for actual Halloween feelings to begin. :) The decoration war has started in my neighborhood. Everyone's trying to outdo each other with bigger, scarier and more elaborate decorations. Mine are simple, but I love them. The Decoration War of 2008 kind of reminds me of Matthew Broderick's Christmas flop (I still love you, Mr. SJP!)-- Deck the Halls. Except, obviously, people here are trying to best their neighbor's pumpkins and candy offerings.

What if I gave out something like this to trick or treaters?

It's presidential chocolate! I saw that on the news a few days ago and thought it was cool. So many jokes to make about that... ;)

Tomorrow, I'm being interviewed by another Florida magazine. I'm driving south to Ocala (Horse Capital of the Worl…

Halloween decorations! Pics galore!

Desktop display

In the kitchen


Close up of mantle

Close up of mantle 2

Sooo, it's time for Halloween decoration pictures! If you remember from last year's assault of Halloween posts, it's probably my favorite holiday. I absolutely adore Halloween and even though I'm too much of a wimp to watch scary movies (I hear chuckling, friends!) I love, love it.

Last year, I posted these on October 1. And pictures of Martha Stewart's Zombie Craft here. Then, you've got your Halloween cookies. Finally, pics of me in my Regis and Kelly 3-D glasses. ;)

That was 2007. I'm kicking off Halloween 2008 with the above pics to start! There will be many more Halloween pics to come over the month. :)

Yesterday, I went to a Halloween outlet to look for a certain someone's Halloween mask (they were OUT, boo!) and the displays were freaking scary! Fake blood...I, um, can't handle it. Maggie
says I'm very Victorian with my fainting tendencies and I guess I can't disag…

The World's Best Paid Authors--according to Forbes

On Wednesday, Forbes published a list of the "World's Best Paid Authors." Interesting!

Was there ever a question about who is number one? Of course not! JK Rowling tops the list and is joined by James Patterson, Stephen King, Danielle Steel, Dean Koontz, Janet Evanovich and Nicholas Sparks. I'm guessing that Stephenie Meyer will hit the list one day. The Twilight movie could certainly boost her stock even more. :)

Read the full article here!

Scoliosis: an explanation with my actual x-rays

After posting about the video shoot at Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Louis, I got a couple of emails with questions about scoliosis. So, let me give you a quick explanation. It's best told with pictures.

This was my spine (I was around thirteen and a half) BEFORE spinal surgery. See the "S" shape? That's an S-curve from scoliosis. Doctors aren't sure what causes most cases of scoliosis. Maybe, with more research, they'll soon have answers to that question.

So, it's pretty obvious that my spine was waaaaay out of shape. Even after years of wearing various back braces and doing different exercises--it looked like that. My spine was so twisted that it was pressing on my heart and lungs. Not good, you know?

That scary x-ray led my doctor at Shriners to do this...

Yep, two titanium rods and a handful of screws. Can't feel a thing and I don't know that any of that "hardware" is there. Before surgery, I was in constant pain, had shortness o…

Interview and NaNoWriMo 2008!

Today, I'm being interviewed by a writer for a local magazine. The magazine is interested in featuring me in a future issue and I'm meeting the writer this afternoon. I'm excited and it should be fun. :)'s exactly one month until my favorite writing event--National Novel Writing Month--begins!! Yay!! I heart NaNo and it's soooo much fun. Writing 50,000 words in 30 days is the craziest and hardest writing challenge I've ever done, but I keep doing it each year. :) I'm not sure where I'll be in my draft on November 1, but I'm trying to schedule things so I can start something new for November. We'll see how that goes.

So, if you haven't friended me on NaNo, please do! I'm "jessicab_87" and I'd love to add you to my friend list. The forums are already busy with activity and I'll be popping in and out on those over the next couple of months. Love it.

Who's with me for NaNo '08?