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Showing posts from January, 2009

My fear of emailing EK a hot mess

First, I need to round up a few links!

We've got:

A review of Take the Reins from Mara at Whitebrook Farm. Thanks, Mara! :)

An interview up at Harmony Book Reviews. Thanks again, Harmony!!

A guest blog at Presenting Lenore. I did a Letterman-style "Top 10 Things I've Learned About Writing" list. Thanks for letting me stop by, Lenore!

And now, back to my little writing corner. I'm *almost* finished with TRIPLE FAULT.

Probably a week or so until it's done. Then it gets sent off to Editor K. But my OMG-I-so-suck cycle begins just before I email the draft. :) Hitting the send button to email my book off to EK or Agent A is still sooo hard! I pull up Hotmail, attach the file, sit, stare and then close out the window. I open the Word doc, scan a few pages and then convince myself it's really time to let it go. So, Hotmail comes up again and I reattach the file. There's pacing, glossing of lips, eye rolling at myself and then I finally press send.


Nooooo! Why …

22 and review! Party!

Take the Reins was reviewed in the February/March 2009 issue of Discovery Girls! Thanks so much to Jan Fields! :) Ahhh! So exciting! It makes the perfect birthday gift!!

Yep, I'm 22 today! Woo! Birthday and book launch in one week = crazy fun.

Last night, I did a drive-by signing at my local Books-a-Million. Yep! I signed the four-copies they had on shelves and it was so fun!

Tallahassee Democrat article about Canterwood Crest

The Tallahassee Democrat ran an article in yesterday's paper. Want to see it online? View it here! I love the title, too, "Rider-turned-writer is in winner's circle." Very sweet.

Thanks so much to Kathleen Laufenberg. She wrote an article about me when I got the book deal back in 2007 and I'm glad she was able to write this new article. Thanks also to the Democrat for being supportive of a new author. I so appreciate it!

Thank YOU all for your congratulations yesterday!! It was a special day and I'll never forget it! :)

Take the Reins is here!! And a giveaway!

La, la, la! It's finally here!!!!!


That's right! TAKE THE REINS officially hits stores today! OMG! Seriously, if you're my agent, editor, friend, someone I've known for five minutes--I'll apologize now because you're going to be getting a very hyper/excited phone call from me. Possibly more than one. And I will not apologize! :)

I've been waiting for this day since early spring 2007 when TAKE THE REINS sold. I've gone through a lot in two years--personally and professionally--and those experiences only make me appreciate this moment even more. It's surreal to think that my book is out there. Wow. Just wow.

I can't say enough that I'm surrounded by the best people in the business--my Trident Media Group and Simon & Schuster families. I wouldn't have made it here without them--thank you! :)

Last night, I read though my 2006 posts documenting the writing of TAKE THE REINS. They're funny and often embarrassing--like an old journal--bu…

Tomorrow, tomorrow!

Even though many people have spotted TAKE THE REINS in stores, tomorrow is its official release day! Woo!

I'm trying (unsuccessfully) to stay focused on the TRIPLE FAULT draft. But really? I want to be out there looking for my book and, you know, shoving it into people's hands. :)

My local paper, The Tallahassee Democrat, is running an article tomorrow. I'm excited to see it and will post the link.

If you e-mailed me and I haven't responded, I will! Promise! Your email is flagged for a response and you'll get one. Before spring. Kidding.

How do you stay focused when you're waiting for something? Share!

Canterwood Crest in the Effingham Daily News

Yay! The Effingham Daily News posted their article about Canterwood Crest! You can read the online version here. I used to live in Dieterich, IL, which was about 10 minutes from Effingham. But I went to school in Effingham and spent a lot of time there.

Thanks so much to Bill Grimes for writing the piece! :)

Aww! Thank you, family!

Look what I just got! Gorgeous flowers. Thank you so, so much Aunt Lorrie, Uncle Speedy, Kayla, Aunt Gerri and Uncle Bob. The pink and purple flowers are so lovely! Thanks for being exciting about TAKE THE REINS. :)

Interview at Book Chic's

Thanks so much to everyone for putting up with me and my, ahem, three posts yesterday. :)

I've got an interview up at Book Chic- In My Mailbox and More! Thanks, again, BC for all of the support!

Today, I'll be staying home to start editing the TRIPLE FAULT draft. I've yet to open the Word doc because that moment of "What was I thinking when I wrote that?!" will hit. And I need soda and/or coffee before I start to angst over the draft. :)

Signing stock at Barnes & Noble Tallahassee!

Wow. Just wow. It's my book. At a store. Barnes & Noble in Tallahassee. OMG!

There they are! The customer service rep, Kate, had the fourth copy at the desk with a sticky note on it. It said author is coming in tonight to sign copies.

Signing with my pink pen! The power of pink! :)

I love stalking my book.

Barnes & Noble in Tallahassee

So, I intended just to go in to gawk at my book on the shelves. But instead, I got to sign copies and leave signed postcards. I just missed the manager, but she was super nice on the phone. I hope to go back to sign new books whenever they come in.

Thanks so much, B&N Tallahassee, for supporting Canterwood Crest!!

Take the Reins pic and guest blog at Book Chic's

Another pic to share! Emily Hendricks sent me this from her store, The Book Rack, in Cape Girardeau, MO. Those copies have signed postcards inside, too. Fun!

Also, the Book Chic posted my guest blog today. I talked about how not even electric shocks could keep me away from horses when I was a kid. :)

I spoke with the manager at my local Barnes & Noble and she told me to feel free to come in and sign stock. Yay! I'm going tonight. Very excited.

Someone likes my book! :)

That's my new friend, Julia. I about died when I saw this pic. So. Sweet. Thank you for reading, J!! :) I'm feeling all special because someone other than friends or family like my book. Woo!

Want more pics? I posted some of my visit to Simon & Schuster. They're on yesterday's post.

Also...this is a new non-fiction horse book from Aladdin. It's called YOU AND YOUR HORSE: HOW TO WHISPER YOUR WAY INTO YOUR HORSE'S LIFE and it's by Dandi Daley Mackall. It's packed with great tips on riding, horse care and everything a young rider needs to know. Plus? It has TAKE THE REINS on the back, which is super cool.

And!! Twilight has a DVD release date! March 21! Woo! E! is predicting midnight madness.

My visit to Simon & Schuster! Pics!

Signing TTR at Simon & Schuster in the big, but not-so-scary boardroom.

Handing a signed book to Venessa Williams from marketing. (Unfortunately for Venessa, she's a Gator (University of Florida) and I'm a Seminole (Florida State University.) We had to go to separate corners for fear of a fight.) ;)

Signing! It was sooo beyond me that someone would actually want a book that I signed. Crazy!

That's my "OMG, I'm in shock" face. I couldn't believe I was at THE S&S!

Signing away and feeling important, LOL. :)

Chatting and not signing.

Isn't the table shiny??

Chating with the famous Jessica Handelman. She designs all of the Canterwood Crest covers and I adore her!

Jess and Jess

First shot at the S&S lobby. Big thanks to the fab Alyson Heller who put my books on display!


So, obviously, I finally had time to post trip pics!! I had THE most amazing, wonderful, crazy time in New York City. On Friday, my editor, Kate Angelella, threw a meet-and-greet for m…

Blog tour stops

The super cool Little Willow asked me to participate in her fun "Looking Forward" blog post. See it here. Thank you, LW! :)

Also, I answered five questions at Keri Mikulski's blog. Thanks for letting me stop by, Keri!

I'm waiting on a couple of big things to go live or go into print before I can share, but the waiting is SO hard!! Argh.

Cannot wait for noon. So. Excited.

Article up on Shriners Hospital for Children Website

I wanted to give a shout out to Tammy Robbins at Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Louis. Tammy helped get this story posted on Shriners' Website. Thank you, Tammy! :)

Things are SO busy! I just got off the phone with a newspaper reporter and, for once, I didn't say anything dumb! :) That's been my trademark in many interviews, but I made it through this one without a problem. Maybe working with the media really is something that takes practice.

Visiting Girls Horse Club

Just a quick note! An announcement went up at Girls Horse Club about my visit. I'm so, so excited! On February 7-14, I'll be answering questions from horse crazy girls. It'll be so much fun and I'm honored that I was asked to visit. Terri Farley was a previous guest, so I'm kind of nervous. :)

I'm also just starting to organize trip pix and will get them up soon. Likely on Monday or Tuesday. Woo!

I'm in super draft mode at the moment and am doing the I-can-barely-pull-myself-away-from-the-laptop sort of thing. I just broke 30k. Yep. More coffee.

So on overload

OMG, so when a book comes out early, guess what happens?

The author freaks out. :)

I kicked my PR plan into overdrive and have been mailing books, making endless phone calls, scheduling interviews, writing a zillion guest blogs, etc.

I have sooo much news to share and some fab pics from my NYC trip. I just have absolutely no time to give everything the proper posting it deserves. Not yet, anyway. I'm working on it! As soon as I get a bigger chunk of the Triple Fault draft written, I'll start the giveaways and will blog about all of my news.

But thank you sooo much to everyone who has emailed, IMed, Facebooked and every other mode of communication to say you've ordered TAKE THE REINS. Yay! :)

Win and give back--a contest from Brooke Taylor

Friend, horse fan and author of UNDONE Brooke Taylor is hosting a wonderful contest on her blog! I'm reposting all of the details right here:

Okay ya'll--you've heard of Bake Sales, but in response to the many horses in need due to the flooding in Washington a couple of amazing organizations are throwing a "Flake Sale" (more detail below) and since I've been super-duper excited about the release of Jessica Burkhart's horsey series Canterwood Crest and it's finally released today--well why not combine the two events somehow? This is what I've come up with:

For everyone who comments (tell me if you've had a memorable horse experience or other animal if you've never been around a horse OR OR OR purge your soul and tell me something you've totally flaked on)) I will donate $1 to the Flake Sale (so 100 comments = $100) PLUS you will get entered to win 1 of 3 Take the Reins (Canterwood Crest) books +Plus a super cute plush horse. Can't bea…

Take the Reins available NOW! :D

Okay....see those two magic green words?! IN STOCK.



Take the Reins is now available from Amazon!!!

*faints* (Quiet Maggie!) ;)

It's horse picture time! :)

Since I missed blogging for a while, I thought I'd double post today.

I felt like sharing pics! I hope you can ignore my annoying look-at-me attitude and enjoy the pretty horses. ;)

The pic above is Sallie and her foal, Misty. I was sooo shocked when I got a white (technically gray) foal! Aren't her eyelashes super adorable?

This pic is from 1993 when I lived in Greenbrier, TN. I always talk about the stable behind my house and that was it. See that fence? It's electric. I shocked myself on it the FIRST day I moved in. Ow.

It wasn't Christmas without horse stuff. I wore that sweatshirt till it fell apart.

This gorgeous guy is an Arabian named Blue. He had a mysterious blue dot on his nose and no one knew how he got it. He was huge--over 16 hands high--but he was the sweetest horse at Triple Springs. I adored him.

The appaloosa is AJ! He was the first lesson horse that I rode. He knew I was green and pulled every trick he could to keep me off guard. But I loved him. Notice ho…

I'm back!

So, a girl goes away to NYC for a few days (details to come) and comes back to lots of link love! :) My poor blog has never felt so abandoned, but that'll change...

Harmony at Harmony Book Reviews posted a review for Take the Reins! Thank you sooo much, girl! :) Read it here.

Agent Sistah Sarah MacLean interviewed me on her blog. Check it out! Thank you, Sarah! :)

Arya on LiveJournal also interviewed me. It was so much fun and thanks for hosting me, Arya.

Simon & Schuster revamped their Website. It's sooo awesome. Authors have their own portals with special S&S blog entries, exclusive Q&As, my life in eight words, videos and more. One of my fave questions--"Who is your favorite fictional villian?" My answer will probably surprise you. My page is up and you can see it here.

The PR Ninja mails to schools

Yesterday, I started mailing my "Hi! I'm a local author!" packets to local elementary and middle schools. Who knew there were so many in my area?! Awesome. So, I included a postcard and letter. (Yes, I blurred stuff.) But all of the letters will go to the school librarians. It's not a hard sell type of pitch, but rather a way to let them know my book is coming out and that I'm available for talks.

Also, there's a B-I-G article about Canterwood Crest coming out in March/April (that means it'll be out in Feb) and I'm keeping it a secret for now (just want to make sure it's not yanked at the last second for whatever reason), but it's soooo exciting. I can't wait!

And, Google-stalking produced a new find! I have an article in the Florida SCBWI Newsletter for fall 2008--"Vlogging: The New "It" Thing." You can read the article (in PDF form) on page 2. Then, on page 4, there's member news and a bit about TAKE THE REINS. Yay!…

Tick, tock.

Last night, I hit 50 pages on the Triple Fault draft. It's a start! :)

This week is just insane for me. I've been doing lots of blog interviews (thank you, all, for hosting me!) and have been lining up all of the publicity stuff that needs to be done over the next couple of weeks. Now is the time when I'm sooo glad I spent all of those hours months ago making my PR plan and compiling lists of what needed to be done in January. I think I'd be overwhelmed if I tried to start planning publicity at this late stage. And anyway, I'll learn what works and what doesn't for Take the Reins and can apply it to Chasing Blue. March 24 isn't that far away. :) I'll have to make a new countdown clock when TTR's expires. On January 27. :)

By the way, did I ever mention how much I LOVE that pub date? Two days before I turn twenty-two. That'll be quite a week! I'll be at the height of my book store stalking. You know, hanging out like a creepy person in the MG a…

PR Ninja strikes the Tallahassee Democrat

Today, I went here! That's the Tallahassee Democrat. :)

Nice sign, huh?

I did a follow up interview with Kathleen Laufenberg, the writer who interviewed me when I got the book deal. I was excited about going and had so much fun!

Kathleen asked me to read the first chapter of Take the Reins and it will go up on the Democrat's Website as a podcast. Yay! :) I was such a dork while I was reading, LOL. I had to redo it at least 5 times because I got distracted and/or messed up simple words. But I think the final result turned out okay. I'll post a link when it goes live!

Thank you, Kathleen, for the interview.

I feel like Buddy the Elf

Tomorrow, I'm off to my previously mentioned secret PR Ninja activity! :) I'm not complaining about spending a little time away from the computer. Yes, I'm drafting TRIPLE FAULT, but my attention span is awful this week! I get more distracted the closer I get to the TTR release. I feel like Will Ferrell in Elf. There's a scene in the movie when he's eating M&Ms with spaghetti and maple syrup. He might be drinking Coke or coffee, too, but I don't remember. Anyway, he's bouncing off the walls and I'm feeling like that!

Remember to leave a comment here if you want to be entered to win a signed copy of

And yeah, I'm totally aware that my countdown clock has 22 days left. Twenty-two. Must. Ignore. :)

PR Ninja strikes again

On Monday, I get to slip into my PR Ninja costume! (I really should find an avatar for this...) I'm going to meet someone downtown to do a PR-related thing. Could I be any more vague, LOL?

I'll spill when it goes online. :)

(Other 2009 debut authors, does it just freak your freak (thanks, Ellen!) to see your countdown clock go down?!) I get dizzy/tingly/crazy watching my Sprout countdown clock tick.

~*~TRIPLE FAULT progress~*~

Yesterday: Um. *looks away* Well...okay. 4 pages. Distractions, distractions!
1 giant pumpkin spice-flavored coffee
20+ attempts to actually write
2:30pm was the time I gave up and vowed to start again the next day

P.S. My blog had its highest monthly hit total in December 2008 since I started blogging. Thanks so much, guys!

P.P.S. Want to win a signed copy of TAKE THE REINS? Check yesterday's post for details.

Want to win a signed copy of Take the Reins?

My friend and fellow author Keri Mikulski is giving away a signed copy of Take the Reins on her blog! She's also giving away two other books--one of which is Lauren Barnholdt's Reality Chick.

Check here for rules and to enter! You have until 1/31 to leave a comment on the entry to win.

Thank you, Keri! :)

Yay, 2009!!

Happy 2009!! Woo! Last night, Kellie Pickler hosted the festivities on ABC with Ryan Seacrest.

Even NYE spirit couldn't make her any less annoying. Sorry, Kellie! But seriously.

2009 is finally here!! It's a fresh start and I'm sooo excited about this month.


Yesterday: 8 pages written
1 leftover gingerbread man consumed
1 glass of sangria
4 different pens used for notes (pink, purple, blue and green)