Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Unfriendly Competition is shipping! :)

Amazon has released it early! Yaaay! The book officially comes out on January 4th. What a happy New Year present! :)

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. Stay tuned for a BIG, like, MAJOR, announcement coming over the next few weeks. . .

xoxo

Monday, December 27, 2010

Xmas gifts in pics












Thought I'd share some superfun and awesome Christmas gifts! Couldn't help throwing in a couple of blizzard pix. It's ridic outside!

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday!!

xoxo

Friday, December 24, 2010

A present for you! Chapter 1 of Unfriendly Competition!

Several readers emailed me to let me know the first chapter is available here! Yay! So, happy Christmas Eve and enjoy! :)

Chapter 1


TWO WEEKS NOTICE

"WILL THE FOLLOWING STUDENTS PLEASE report to the headmistress' office: Heather Fox, Alison Robb, Julia Myer, and Sasha Silver."

The loudspeaker silenced and I jerked up my head. Why was I being called to the office? My palms instantly started to sweat and my pink, sparkly Bic pen became slick in my fingers as I kept scribbling in my math notebook, hoping I'd imagined the announcement.

"Sasha, go ahead," Ms. Utz said. "I'll be sure one of your classmates fills you in about the weekend's homework."

Um, guess not.

"I'll get your homework," Brit whispered, leaning toward me. Her almond-shaped eyes were framed by nervous, pushed-together eyebrows, but I could tell she was trying to hide her worry. Probably to help me from getting more scared than I already was. " Text me when you're out of Drake's office—I know you'll be fine."

I nodded, gathering my notebook, pen, textbook, and butter-soft brown messenger bag that I'd borrowed from Brit. As my BFF and roomie, she had calmed me a little.

But note: only a little.

I slung my bag over my shoulder, stepping around desks, and walked out of the math classroom, closing the door behind me. The second I got outside, my phone buzzed.

It was a BlackBerry Messenger conversation. And Alison, Julia, and Heather were already talking. The Trio wasn't wasting a second dissecting the sitch before we got to Headmistress Drake's. I opened the talk.

Alison Robb:

Why r we being called?

Julia Myer:

Who knows. We didn't do ANYTHING. Don't worry. Heather Fox:

'Course we didn't. Silver? Where r u? Were u wearing earplugs when the impossibly-loud announcement was made?

Geez! I started typing.

Sasha Silver:

I heard it, H. I'm in math and on the way 2 the admin bldg. Where r u guys? Wanna meet up and go 2gether?

Heather Fox:

We def should. Let's all meet at the courtyard ASAP.

Alison Robb:

K. Glad 2 go w u guys. Nervous.

Julia Myer:

I closed the conversation and shoved my cotton-candy-pink BlackBerry into my bag. I pushed open the glass door of the math building and hurried out into the early November air. It was already cold outside, but anxiety made me even chillier. I tugged down my scarlet-colored cable-knit sweater and buttoned my black wool coat, shoving my hands in the pockets.

I made my way across the empty campus and hurried to the courtyard. The cobblestone circle with its fountain and stone benches was only a couple of minutes from the admin building.

Boots clicked on the cobblestones, arms looped together, Heather and Alison walked up to me.

"Any idea what this is about?" I asked, assuming that if anyone knew anything it would be Heather Fox.

She shook her soft blond hair. "Nope. But I'm not worried. At least, not for myself." She shifted her blue eyes to me, then to Alison. "I didn't do anything."

"Me either!" Alison's normally soft voice was loud. She ran her fingers through her sandy brown hair like she always did when she was worried. "I just want to go and get it over with. Where's Julia?"

Alison started to pull her phone out of her camel-colored Burberry coat. But just as she did, Julia came around the corner a few yards away and walked up to us.

Her angled blond bob had two pieces twisted back with tiny purple flower clips with rhinestones (actually, probably diamonds) in the centers.

"We've been waiting for, like, five minutes," Heather snapped.

"Sorry." Julia shrank for a second, then recovered. "I was in the middle of a history pop quiz. I had to finish before I left."

Heather waved off the excuse with her butter yellow leather-gloved hand. "Whatever. Let's go."

The four of us left the courtyard and our boots crunched on the grass, dried by the weeks of cold air. The administration building loomed in front of us, looking imposing like the rest of campus. Even though I'd been at Canterwood Crest Academy over a year, there hadn't been a time when I didn't notice the prestigious, gorgeous campus.

Until now. My nerves wouldn't allow me to do anything but look straight ahead.

We reached the administration building waaay too soon. Even Heather, the fearless Canterwood Queen Bee, paused for a second before stepping up the stairs flanked by spiky black iron railings.

Alison, Julia, and I followed her inside, and I sighed to myself, glad for the heat that blasted us when we walked inside. We followed the gold plaques pointing to the headmistress's office and stopped in front of her secretary's desk.

Mrs. Kratz, who might have been here when Canterwood was started in the eighteen hundreds, looked up at us through horn-rimmed glasses.

"I'm Heather Fox, and we're here to see Headmistress Drake."

There wasn't a waver in Heather's voice. She sounded as if she was ordering movie tickets.

"Ah, yes. Ms. Drake is expecting all of you now. Go right in."

Julia turned first, and Heather, Alison, and I followed her across the room to the headmistress's glossy wooden door. Without pause, Julia knocked on the door. The sound seemed to echo in the tiny hallway.

"Come in."

The headmistress's voice came from behind the closed door. My mouth was so dry, I couldn't even swallow. The headmistress was scary.

Julia turned the brass knob and we filed inside behind her. Headmistress Drake, seated in a large, leather office chair behind her desk finished writing on her notepad before glancing up at us. With minimal makeup, a buttoned black blouse and half-carat diamond studs, she looked every bit the headmistress of an elite East Coast boarding school.

Her black hair was pulled into a tight bun, and she was sleek, but looked like she could take somebody down. Ms. Drake's pale skin looked even more delicate against her red lipstick.

She didn't offer any of us a chair and none of us moved to sit. We stood in front of her—waiting.

Headmistress Drake looked at us for what felt like hours. "I know one of you created the gossip blog."

I tried not to let my knees shake.

"The school's technology department did some research and narrowed it down to a certain building—Orchard Hall. With even further investigation, we were able to find Internet protocol addresses that matched two rooms."

Headmistress Drake looked at the Trio. "Your suite." Then she looked at me. "And your room with Brit Chan."

"None of us—" Alison started, stopping when Headmistress Drake cut her off with a shake of her head.

"I have proof, Miss Robb. The only reason I did not call Miss Chan here is because she is a new student and does not have the insight on campus that the blogger does. So, there are two options for the four of you."

I felt as if I'd been punched in the stomach. There was no way one of us had created that dumb gossip blog. The blog that ridiculed the school and made up awful rumors. I hadn't and the Trio was too smart for that.

I glanced at Heather, noticing her eyes were focused to the side for a brief second before she shifted her gaze back to the headmistress.

"You have the choice to step forward and tell me who created the blog," Headmistress Drake said.

Not one of us moved.

"Or, you will all be expelled from Canterwood Crest Academy unless I learn the truth. I'm giving you one week, then I'm telling your parents."

© 2011 Jessica Burkhart

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Compare these...

Compare this above to...

This. I kept meaning to post it! Look. At. The. Gold. Foil. *shiny*

:)

Scroll below to enter my now fixed UNFRIENDLY COMPETITION give away! :)

Updated on Unfriendly C giveaway...

See the post below...sorry, guys!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Unfriendly Competition giveaway! :) Come win!


UPDATED MONDAY, DEC 21--

Sooo sorry!! I had the comments off! Enter away!
Rumor has it that copies of UNFRIENDLY COMPETITION are in! I haven't seen them yet, but I will next week! Eeeee!

Anyone interested in a signed copy? How about *two* of you?

Here are the rules:

To enter, leave a comment here, on my LiveJournal or in both places. You have until Monday, January 2nd at 11:59 EST to enter. I only ship to US addresses. You must leave me a way to contact you and you'll get your prize 2-3 weeks after we get in touch, but likely sooner.

You'll get an extra entry in the contest, btw, if you blog about it, post a note on your Facebook, Tweet about the contest, etc. Just leave me a link in your comment.

Yay for a new Canterwood prize!! :D

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Signing and Q&A scheduled!



Yaaay! I'm having my first ever New York City signing next year. :) On January 19, 2011 at 7pm, I'll be at the Barnes & Noble in Tribeca holding a Q&A, signing and saying farewell to Sasha as the narrator.

I'd LOVE to see you there, so come out! I can't wait to meet Team Canterwood members who live close by. I'm incredibly excited and I'll have reminder posts over the next month.

For the exact location of the store, check it out here.

The exact address is:

97 Warren Street
NY, NY 10007

Many thanks to my publicist, Nicole, for setting it up.

What do you want under your Christmas tree?

It seems like Christmas time came out of no where! But it's almost here--yaay! I think it's going to be an excellent Christmas and I'm excited. If you're friends with me on Facebook, I stared posting pics in an Xmas album for everyone to see. If you don't have Facebook, there are a few pics on Twitter.

I want to hear about *your* Christmas if you celebrate it. What do you hope to find under your tree this morning? Share away in the comments section! :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Unfriendly Competition in less than a month!

Woow! Our farewell to Sasha Silver countdown begins! I love her so much, but this is a new, exciting chapter for Canterwood. Editor K and I are putting everything we've got into Chosen and the new books and I think Team Canterwood will love the mix of everything Canterwood-related. :)

I'll be giving away signed copies when I get them, so stay tuned. I'll also be signing stock of the already released books at my Barnes & Noble soon. So, if you want one and you're in the area, stop by to grab one off the shelf.

Opening the comments here...what's your favorite Sasha moment?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Miracle in Brooklyn

I just got the best Christmas gift ever.

AND

the winner of the book giveaway is JONI! I'll be emailing you next week for your info! Congratulations! :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A novel gift from Readergirlz

Reposted from Readergirlz! Read the post on their site here!

A novel gift! Over 125,000 free books to low-income teens


BREAKING NEWS! First Book is giving away more than 125,000 brand-new books to low-income teen readers.

They’re great books, too, donated by generous publishers. Among the three dozen choices are P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast’s HOUSE OF NIGHT series and Alyson Noël’s SHADOWLAND.

We need your help getting the word out about the A Novel Gift campaign. Right now! Right now! As in, now!

Let's get organizations serving these teens registered with First Book so they can be matched with inventory during the holidays.

Here’s what we need you to do:

Post to Facebook and tweet your beak off about these books using the hashtag #novelgift.

Here’s a tinyurl link to their registration page: http://tinyurl.com/2a5mwpj.

Or you can link to this blog post: http://readergirlz.blogspot.com/2010/11/novel-gift-over-125000-free-books-to.html

Then, get in touch with every group you can think of that works with young adults–schools, after-school programs, church youth groups, community centers, etc.—and let them know that these books are available now.

The five-minute online registration these groups can use is here:
http://booksforkids.firstbook.org/register/.

First Book is also eager to answer questions, either by email to help@firstbook.org, or by phone at 866-READ-NOW or 866-732-3669.

If you participate, drop us a note at readergirlz@gmail.com to be included in our blog roll of thanks to run December 31.

Be a part of A Novel Gift! OK, go! And thanks, sincerely, from First Book and the readergirlz teams.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I think it's prize time!! :D


I think it's time to kick off December's ahhh-mazing giveaway a little early! What do you think??

To start off an awesome line up of prizes, I'm giving away a copy of THE SHAPE SHIFTER'S CURSE, the second book in the Magic Repair Shop series by my friend Amanda Marrone. It's edited by Editor K, so you KNOW it's good. :) I'm excited to start giving fun things to Team Canterwood!

To enter, leave a comment here, on my LiveJournal or in both places. You have until Saturday, December 4 at midnight EST to enter. I only ship to US addresses. All comments have to be screened, so yours won't appear until I read it. You must leave me a way to contact you and you'll get your prize 3-4 week after we get in touch, but likely sooner.

I'm excited to start giving fun things to Team Canterwood!

You'll get an extra entry in the contest, btw, if you blog about it, post a note on your Facebook, Tweet about the contest, etc. Just leave me a link in your comment.

Good luck and enter right now to win this superfun book!

xoxo

PS--I owe signed books to at least 3 people who have been incredibly patient. They are going in the mail this week. I promise! Thank you for understanding!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Aweome banner from Ally!

I heart this sooo much! Thank you, Ally!

Keep them coming, guys! I love posting your work and giving Team Canterwood a chance to sparkle on my blog. :)

xoox

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Writers, need query letter help?

I've got time now with my Canterwood schedule to start freelance editing queries again! I done MANY and have tons of happy clients. It doesn't matter if you're a teen, author, or tween, if you've got a project that you need query letter help with--let me know. I hooked my first agent at 19 and can help turn your query into something awesome or start from scratch and put together something that matches your book. I'm also doing freelance editing, depending on the project and my schedule, so you may also email about that.

If you're interested in my rates, send me an email at jess _ burkhart AT hotmail DOT com.

If anyone wants to Tweet or repost this, it's much appreciated and feel free! :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Killer UC banner from CowGrl

Thank you CowGrl! Looove it!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Congratulations, Kate and Ross!

I'm suuuperlate in posting this but a zillion things are going on, including moving (K and R), writing CHOSEN, doctor appointments, etc.

BUT

Kate and Ross sold their 2 book series to Sourcebooks this week!


I was lucky enough to witness the entire process from first word to sending it off to their agent. I couldn't be more proud and thrilled to see their book on shelves in spring 2012.

Want to keep track of them?

Kate's Website is so fun

Ross' (some adult content, FYI, tween readers) links you to some of his best work

Kate's Twitter accounts for Editor K and Kate are must-follows as is Ross'.

They just started a joint Twitter for their book and a Website will be coming soon.

Yay to both! Sooo excited! <3

Moving in 4 days...like, whoa

Well, after a crazy encounter with a psychotic neighbor at K and R's apartment, we're moving. It's going to be fast--we'll be out in 4 days so it's going to be CRAZY.

We've all got a ton of work to do, K doesn't feel well and it's stressful but exciting because they'll be moving a street away from my apartment. I've been living with K and R for a few months while K recovers, so I'm moving too. I'm beyond thrilled that they'll be closer and the apartment is gorgeous!!

Back to writing and hope you're all having a good Black Friday! Tell me what you're getting! :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!


by Shannon--love it!



Thank you, Jenna!


Two awesome banners from another Jenna! :)



What's everyone up to on the holiday? I hope you're spending time with friends or loved ones.

I started the morning by catching the last bit of the parade after sleeping in.

Today's second BK Turkey Day is going to play out something like this:

* Marathon of Supernatural

* Working on Chosen

* Cozy on the couch under blankets with tea and candles

* Reading PLL

Tonight's dinner, since K can't eat turkey, is Mexican! We're doing taco bowls (aka taco salads) and we're all very excited for our non-traditional meal.

Happy Turkey Day!

xoxo

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

More fun Canterwood banners of awesome!

Supersparkly banner from Aishah!

Soo pretty from Hannah!!

Super scandalous from Jessica!!



Looove this banner by Larah!

Happy Thanksgiving, Team Canterwood! Much love to you all! xoxo

Another Canterwood banner!


Isn't this gorge?! The supertalented Olivia created this and I looove it! Thank you, O!

Keep sending me banners if you'd like them posted on my blog. I love sharing your creativity and amazing artwork.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The agent hunt

It's such a weird thing being back on the agent hunt. It's been over a year and a half since I parted ways with First Agent and I decided this September that I was ready to find an agent for the YA proposal and ideas I have ready to write. :)

It's a waiting game now (welcome to publishing!) and it's in the apprehensive/scary zone of "will I any agent want my YA?". Sure, I've got Canterwood, but my YA is very different--it's dark, in verse and has difficult subject matter in places. The proposal is my passion project.

Any YA will go under my real name--Jessica Ashley--which is exciting.

Back to Canterwood! Chosen is due soon. *deadline panic*

Monday, November 22, 2010

Amazing Canterwood banner!


Thank you, Showgal!! I loove this! If you make a CC banner, email it to me or post it on this thread and I'll put them on my blog. <3s to Team Canterwood!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Holiday fun all next month!

Schedule permitting (I've got CHOSEN due--and it's a super special so it's obvi SUPER important), I'm going to have LOTS of fun things for Team Canterwood on the blog, likely starting in mid-December. Hopefully, sooner, though.

There will be some give aways, fave book reviews, vlogs and other sparkly things!

Stay tuned! :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Review by students writing for The Chase Courant

I love it when readers review Canterwood! I was lucky enough for Casey S. to post an incredibly nice review that you can check out here. Thank you so much, Casey!

I spent most of today sleeping--catching up after the all-nighter I think--and got a mani/pedi with Kate.

Tomorrow, I'll be writing all day as I will through the holiday and next week. CHOSEN is such a fun, sparkly book and I'm loving it!

Again, thank you all for reading SCANDALS and letting me know your thoughts! You guys are the reason Canterwood went from 4 books (that's where the series was originally going to end!) to sixteen. Many hearts!

Happy weekend!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thank you, Patton Middle School!

Just finished the most amazing Skype classroom with Mr. Brian Kelley's eighth grade class! I spoke for about half an hour and the kids asked questions for the next 15 minutes. Mr. Kelley had to cut off their questions to get them to the next class. They were thoughtful, listened so well and had tons of great questions.

Thank you, Patton Middle School in Kennett Square, PA, for hosting me! I hope to visit you again one day!

If you'd like to set up a visit via Skype visit www.jessicaburkhart.com and check out my contact page. You'll find all the info you need to get started.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What're you doing for Thanksgiving?

This week has been buuussy. BFF has been sick, I had a doctor appointment and have been doing a few Skype classroom visits. I'm still scheduling them with schools and book club, so if you want me to Skype with your school, have your teacher email me at jess_burkhart AT hotmail DOT com for details. I've meant so many members of Team Canterwood this week--it's been a blast! :)

So glad you all have been enjoying SCANDALS. Now, I'm totally focused on January and am waiting until UNFRIENDLY COMPETITION comes out on the 4th. It'll be a new year and time to let go of Sasha, in a way, and focus on the new lead character.

Okay, I've got to write 10-15 pages today to stay on schedule. Wish me luck! I haven't opened the blog to comments in FOREVER because of past problems, so I'm going to open this post for you all to chat, if you like. I have to approve/reject comments so they won't show up until I read them.

**Spoilers will be deleted!**

My question for you: What are you doing for Thanksgiving?

I'm having dinner with BFF and Ross.

Answer away--I want to know!

xoxo

Monday, November 15, 2010

Team Canterwood, I heart you!

You guys are buying out copies of SCANDALS like crazy! It's so, so sweet and rewarding as a writer that you all have stuck with me through 11 books. It means so much and I hope you like what you've read or will read soon.

If you want any signed books to get back to you (S&S mailroom permitting--no guarantees, sorry!) for Christmas, check out www.jessicaburkhart.com and view the "contact" page. Follow the instructions for sending me your book or books to sign. Sparkly pen and all! :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Next week is gonna be busy!

This weekend, I'm in The Cave. You know, the 24/7 writing cave. As long as my arm holds out, with the help of medication, I'm working my way through CHOSEN. And man, it's FUN. I think, well, hope, it's going to be a great book and the voice is very different as are the horses, boys, characters and drama!

Next week, I've got 2 Skype classroom visits. If you want me to visit your classroom, have your teacher contact me. I'd love to "meet" you! :)

Back to work--got an orange cat and a sick :( BFF next to me. What's everyone else up to?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

SCANDALS releases early!

Yaaay! It's shipping from Barnes and Noble, Amazon and other bookstores. I'm so excited for Team Canterwood to read this book--I hope you all like it! :)

Oh, and guess what? I saw the other 3 *brand new* covers for the rest of the books and they are So. Good.

OMG.

Wait till you see--I'm dying to show them and will as soon as I can. They're superstunning and I heart Jess H for making them so fab! <3

Back to CHOSEN--it needs serious marathon style work. I think the Starbucks Double Shot and the endless supply of black tea will be a good start. :)

Let me know when you get SCANDALS!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy birthday, Kate!


Happy birthday, Kate!

Thank you sooo much, Team Canterwood, for your birthday emails! I gave Kate her present this morning in a Zac Efron folder (just like how Sasha described Jacob for the first time) and she looooved it. She even took it to work to show all of her co-workers what you'd written. You guys are the best and it's making her birthday more sparkly with each letter she reads.

And since we're on the topic of her awesome books, I'm reading K's copy of Kekla Magoon's CAMO GIRL next (out Jan '11) and from everything she's told me, it's going to be fantastic. It even got a mention in Publishers Weekly!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Halloween pics!




Better late than, you know, never!

Here are a few pics from Halloween! I was sick (blerg!), but Kate (also under the weather) managed to turn me into a cute kitty. She and R dressed as the Salahis from The Real Housewives of DC. Super cute!

What did you dress as?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thank you, all!

Thank you so much to everyone who helped participate in the super secret project! I'll email the winners this week, so check your inbox by Friday to see if you've won a signed copy of SRL.


And who's counting down with me to the release of it?? I sure am! I can't wait! This was one of the most fun books to write in the entire series and I hope you'll all love it!

Tomorrow's going to be superbusy--I've got a lot of work to do on CHOSEN. Gotta live up to that gorge cover. :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Scandals, Rumors, Lies chapter one!

Team Canterwood member of awesome Sophie was the first to spot that chapter one of SCANDALS, RUMORS, LIES is up on Simon & Schuster's Website!! Major yaaay! Thank you, Sophie!

Here you go and I hope you enjoy! :)

Chapter 1

1 DECISIONS, DECISIONS

ONE BOX TO GO.

I kneeled in front of a cardboard box that I'd shoved in the corner of Brit's—well, our—room. It was the only box left to open after I'd moved into Orchard Hall two weeks ago. I stared at the scissors in my hand, clenching them and waiting for the chest crush to come when I thought about how I'd moved out of my old room. The space I'd shared with my ex(?)–best friend and roommate, Paige Parker.

But, instead, the sadness was only a twinge. Fourteen days wasn't enough for us to even begin to reevaluate our friendship, but it was enough to allow me to realize that I liked living with Brit.

And I was ready to unpack the last box and make this room completely mine, too.

I slid the scissors along the tape at the top of the box and pulled out summer clothes that I hadn't needed to unpack right away since it was mid-October. The tank tops, shorts, and T-shirts fit into the top drawer that Brit had cleared out for me in our dark wooden dresser. I slid the drawer closed and stood back, hands on my hips, surveying the room as mine for the first time since I'd moved in.

The room was bigger than my old one and had glossy hardwood floors, a whiteboard with notes written in neon-colored markers, and soft cream-colored eyelet curtains that swayed gently in the breeze through the slightly open windows. Above the window panes, Brit had twinkly star-shaped lights that made the coziest shadows at night. My feet sank into the pink plush carpet and I sat down on my desk chair.

A key turned in the doorknob and Brit, carrying a FedEx box, stepped inside. She looked every inch runway-ready in her tall black boots with skinny jeans tucked into them and a ribbed, plum-colored V-neck sweater. She may have looked it, but Brit wasn't from New York City like many of the students at Canterwood Crest—she was a small-town girl like me. A fact that had definitely fast-tracked our bond.

"Hey, Sash," she said. Her smile brightened her almond-shaped eyes when she looked at me. Her glossy, long black hair was in a side braid.

"Hey, looks like you got the box you were waiting for," I said.

"Yep!" Brit put the box on the floor, nodding. "My parents got us Halloween decorations for our room. Stephanie had them in her office and I almost ripped the box out of her hands."

I laughed, pulling my light brown hair into a loose ponytail. "Halloween is our favorite holiday."

"And hello—it's in two weeks!" Brit brushed her bangs out of her eyes. "Since it is a Sunday and all of our homework is done, want to decorate?"

"Hmmm …" I pretended to think about it. "Yes!"

Brit and I kneeled on the floor beside the box and she sliced it open. She pulled out a layer of black and orange tissue paper. Plastic spider confetti sprinkled onto the carpet and we giggled. A note was under the layer of paper.

Brit—Happy Halloween! Dad and I hope you and your new roommate like the decorations. We miss you! Xoxo, Mom and Dad

"Let's see what we've got," Brit said. She reached into the box and started handing me items. There was a giant cardboard cutout skeleton to hang on our door, a set of plastic tombstones with funny names like "Barry A. Live," "Reed N. Weep," and "Otta B. Alive." There were two pairs of fake wax fangs and a giant bagful of mixed gum and candy bars. I wanted to dive into the orange M&M's immediately.

Brit handed me a giant rubber spider with an orange sticker that said SQUEEZE ME! on its stomach. I did, making it squeak. Brit and I laughed. I looked at the spider, unable to either stop the flashbacks to last Halloween or stop thinking about how different things were now. Last year, Callie, my ex-BFF, and I had been dressing miniature horses up in costumes for a charity auction. Paige, my other BFF, and I had spent days leading up to Halloween watching funny-slash-scaryish (read: no blood!) Halloween movies and eating a ton of candy corn. This year, well, Callie hadn't been a part of my life for a while and that had been painful enough. But now, with the possibility of losing Paige completely, there were moments when I didn't know what to do. But having Brit definitely made things easier.

"Sash, isn't this cool?" Brit handed me a sheet of vinyl window decals. They had jack-o'-lanterns with different faces—some creepy, some silly—plus bats, ghosts, black cats, and a few stars.

"These are so fun. They're going to look great."

Brit got up and plugged in a pumpkin that looked real. She pushed a button on the cord and a warm glow came out of its eyes, mouth, and nose. It looked perfect on our small end table.

"Love it," I said. "I'm going to start the window clings."

I took a sheet from Brit and pulled up the blinds, letting sunshine filter through the glass. Standing back, I stared at the window, deciding where to place each cling. This was obviously very serious. A laughing ghost fit at the corner of the window, angled and looking just right.

Brit and I spent another hour arranging the decorations exactly as we wanted them. We laughed and chatted the entire time as if we'd been BFFs our whole lives. Some days, I'd questioned the decision to move out of my room with Paige and there had been nights that I'd been awake for hours wondering if I'd made the right decision. But now, looking over at Brit and feeling comfortable and stress-free in my own space, I knew I'd made the right decision.

"And I think we're done," Brit said. She stepped back and surveyed the room, hands on her hips.

"I think you're right!"

The room was spectacularly spooky with orange, black, and silver in every corner.

I stood, a slight chill making me shiver, and thought about how different this Halloween was going to be from last year.

© 2010 Jessica Burkhart

Friday, November 5, 2010

10 days until SCANDALS! :)

10 more days till SCANDALS comes out! Yaaay! Superbusy plotting CHOSEN and doing personal stuff, but I'm going to be stalking bookstores when SCANDALS comes out. :) Some of your stores may already have it since a lot of stores release it early. It's craaaazy to think about CC #11 being out there soon. I Tweeted a pic of my copies and you can see the front and back. Very exciting!


A million hugs to all who have been helping me with my special super secret project. I'm overwhelmed with gratitude and touched by your kindness and support. You're all amazing and generous. Many hearts! I'll update you all about how it goes when I present Editor K with her present from Team Canterwood.

I hope you all have a great weekend.

xoxo

Saturday, October 30, 2010

It's almost Halloween! *<:)

Happy Halloween weekend! It's my fave holiday and I'm excited! What's everyone dressing up as? Remember to check out my Halloween contest here!

Also, if you haven't been on the Canterwood Website recently there have been ALL NEW updates on the site! Have fun checking them out. :)

Have a happy, spooky and safe Halloween, everyone!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Super Secret Project Update :) Prize!

Sooo many of you have been superkind and generous and have sent birthday e-mails (and a few other notes) to me to give to the fab Editor K on her birthday.

And . . .

I decided to give something back.

If you've already sent me a birthday note

OR

You send me one via e-mail (jess_burkhart AT hotmail DOT com (this is the easiest for me to print :))

then you're entered into a random drawing to win one of two *signed* copies of SCANDALS, RUMORS, LIES, when I get them. Yaaay!

Deadline: November 7th

Thank you, Team Canterwood, it has meant so much to read all of your birthday notes and I can't wait to pass them on. :D

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Shhh . . . secret and I need Team Canterwood's help!

Okay, so . . .


Editor K's birthday is November 10th. As you know, she's the one who made Canterwood possible. She has worked on every book to make it as fun, fast, and horsey as can be and she's the reason why there are going to be 16 books.

I want her birthday to be a big deal.

So, guys, I'm asking for a favor--a really, really important one.

If you could, whenever you like, e-mail me (long, short, whatever you like!) a happy birthday note to Kate, I'll save them all, print them and give them to her on her birthday.

If you don't want to send an email, then maybe you could Tweet at her--she's @EditorK on Twitter on 11/10.

This would mean SO much to me and I really want to give something back to the amazing person who has done so much for our favorite books. We owe her a ton of thanks and I want this to be a supersparkly birthday.

And guess what else? You can also send cards to:

Kate Angelella
c/0 Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020

Thank you all. Much love! <3

Friday, October 15, 2010

CHOSEN cover reveal!

Ta-da! It's already live on Simon & Schuster's Website and without the cover on Amazon, but here's CHOSEN! This is a super special unlike *anything* you've read in the Canterwood series. More drama. More boys. More horses. A new girl.

I'm starting to outline it this weekend and I can't wait. CHOSEN hits stores in MAY 2011. :)

Happy Friday! :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Canterwood title announcement!

Yaaay! Team Canterwood member Dolbear6 emailed me to say the name of the Canterwood Super Special was released on Amazon. So . . . that means I can share it here! The official, sparkly title is:


CHOSEN (May 3, 2011)

:)

Check it out here! (No cover yet, it's coming!)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

New Canterwood trailer



Circle of Seven productions produces this new video for Canterwood! Details about where you'll see it to come... :) :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Halloween contest for Team Canterwood!





So, guys, my FAVE holiday--Halloween!!--is coming up! What are *you* dressing up as? I'm going as

Charmy Kitty (the sweet Hello Kitty)
and Kate's going as Kuromi, the bad Hello Kitty. :)

Fun!!

So many of you have Facebooked, Tweeted or emailed me to say you're dressing up as a Canterwood character for Halloween. That. Is. So. Cool. :D

For those of you who do, here's a new CONTEST! Yay!

RULES:

US residents only

1 photo per entry

Deadline: November 30, 2010

The deal:

Your *parent* or guardian has to e-mail me a photo of you in your Canterwood-themed Halloween costume by the deadline date. The email CANNOT be from you since I've got to have parental permission to post your pic on my blog. (Or I'll, you know, get in trouble. Eek!) There won't be any details about you posted--just your first name.

In the email from your parent, it has to state:

* Your first name
* The character you're portraying
* A photo of you in costume
* Permission for me to post the photo on my blog

Have your parent send that info to jess_burkhart @ hotmail dot com

One lucky winner will get a signed copy of the newest CC book! :) Start planning your costume now. I can't wait to see what you all come up with!

PS: I am taking a little time off for personal reasons. I'll blog/e-mail, etc., when I can.

xoxo

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Surprise! Cover copy for Scandals, Rumors, Lies! Enjoy! :)

Team Canterwood is sooo awesome that I thought I'd give everyone a weekend surprise!

Here's the cover copy for SRL, which comes out this November! :)

Enjoy!

Who’s the hater?

Things are coming to a boil at the elite Canterwood Crest Academy. Lies have been revealed, lines have been crossed, and now . . . an anonymous tell-all blog featuring Sasha & Co. is turning secrets into campus-wide scandal.

So who’s the hater? The girl with everything to lose, or the girl who has already lost it all?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Unfriendly Competition sneak peek day

Writing UNFRIENDLY COMPETITION all day. Team Canterwood, stay tuned to my Twitter (which feeds into Facebook) for spoiler hints, possible lines from the book and other updates as I write! :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

And it's agent query time!

Wrote my first agent query letter last night since, well, 2006 and it's going to need some tweaking before it's ready to go out. Exciting, though! Got my agent list set and plan to query soon. Crossing my fingers!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

What's everyone up to this weekend?

Happy Saturday, Team Canterwood!


What's everyone up to? Fall is in the air--that's for sure! And the weathers been, well, interesting. Brooklyn had a tornado a couple of days ago and my suburb got hit, but luckily there wasn't any damage on my street.

Got a fun weekend planned. Kate introduced me to SUPERNATURAL, so we're watching the 5th season on DVD. (She is v v v excited, lol) ;)

And we're relaxing and chilling for the weekend. I'm also working on Canterwood and as soon as the manuscript is done, I'm writing an agent query and sending them out. I've got a list started and am excited to be agented again after taking a break for about a year.

Let me know what you're all up to! :) Happy weekend!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Busybusybusy

Busy doesn't begin to cover it right now! Book due in a week or so plus a million personal things. But, after UNFRIENDLY COMPETITION is done, I think I'm going to start looking for agents who rep YA. Eeek!

Team Canterwood, if you've read ELITE AMBITION and want to give it a review (be totally honest, obvi!) feel free to do so at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, Borders.com or any other bookseller site. YOU guys are keeping the series going.

Ooooh, and guess what? I saw text pics from the cover shoot yesterday and WHOA! Wait till you see the new covers!! I can't wait to share them with you! :)

xoxo

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Finally back online! :)

Happy Saturday, everyone!

I've been under the weather for a week or so, so I've been offline. But, I'm slowly getting back to normal. I missed blogging and chatting with Team Canterwood!

Also, the photo shoot is on Monday! Um, YAY!! Sadly, I'm not feeling well enough to go. :( :( But I've got the best team ever and we've got some amazing stuff already lined up for the covers. They're going to be FABULOUS--you'll see.

I'm about to get back to working on UNFRIENDLY COMPETITION, so I'm glad to jump back into Canterwood land. The book will be finished soon and, sniff, it'll be the last time I write from Sasha's POV. But, I'm also extremely excited. When this book is done, Kate and I will be working on our YA idea together and *that's* supersuperexciting. :)

I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Introducing Jessica Ashley :)

Happy weekend, everyone!

I'm superbusy working on Canterwood, but wanted to announce a little news that's unrelated to the series but *is* writing related.

I thought it was time to unveil my real last name as I'm in the very early stages of working on a young adult novel project and that book, if it ever sold, would be released under my real name. I blogged a while ago that Jessica Burkhart was my pen name and wanted to let all of my awesome readers know what name to look for when future projects (hopefully!) pop up on shelves in the future. All Canterwood books and likely any new tween books will be published under Jessica Burkhart. So don't worry about having to look for Canterwood on a different shelf in your bookstore.

Later this fall, a Website will go live under my name. I've already started a blog, but don't have much time to update it right now.

Anyway, if you want to keep up with my projects for older readers, check out my new *blog. And my real name? Jessica Ashley. :)

* Keep in mind that this blog will be discussing more mature content than Canterwood depending on the nature of my projects.*

Hearts to you all and happy long weekend!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Canterwood live action fan movie!

Oh. My. Gosh. This is AMAZING! I'm so, so in love with it and thank you to prancinghorses12! You and your friends are wonderful for bringing Canterwood to life. :) Hearts and sparkles to you!


Everyone, definitely go subscribe to her YouTube channel.

And watch this:




Bubbly girls' nite




Busy day today. Two appointments then back home to prep for champagne celebration girl-date with BFF. (Cross your fingers that I don't trip in my new heels. They are pretty and sparkly!)

Nothing like a low-key night at a gorge Manhattan hot-spot to relieve a some stress. :) Pics to come!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Early release of Elite Ambition!!!

It's here! It's here!! ELITE AMBITION released early from Barnes & Noble online! **Link has been updated to the correct book!**

That, sadly, doesn't mean it's in physical stores juuust yet, but it will be soon! Start asking your local bookstores and you'll probably be able to get your copy early. I'm superexcited for you guys to read this one. *Everything* changes.

Drama.

Boys.

Best friends.

Ex-best friends.

Ex-boyfriends.

Sasha's entire life at Canterwood turns upside down in this book. I cannot wait to hear what YOU think on the forum! And, you know, since it's a special day, I'm going to open this post for a week or so and moderate comments. Your comment will not appear right away--I have to screen it for content and/or spoilers, but I'll post them as soon as I read them. It's celebration time, Team Canterwood!

Many, many hugs to all of you for getting me to book # TEN. (Snap!) You guys *are* Canterwood and I can't tell you how much I heart you all. When you get a copy or if you want to freak out with excitement with me, say hi on Twitter to me or Editor K. Or, comment here, on Facebook or wherever you like.

I don't have early copies (sooo sorry!), but if/when I get them, I'll do a giveaway!

Thank you again to everyone at Aladdin for their support--you know who you are.

xoxo

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Mystery of Kate Angelella


Kate and I have recently become addicted to My Little Pony snacks. This came after a long convo about how we both had MLP collections as kids. They're just so cute and fun and pretty! Kate, however, reveal a deep dark secret! Yes, she used to bite the legs of her ponies! Totally admit--they had a certain scent that was . . . intriguing as a kid. (I, um, went through a cherry chapstick eating phase, so . . .) But it makes me heart her more!

But sooo cute! And nostalgic!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Canterwood series trailer! :)



It's time for another Canterwood movie! Since we're revamping the series, I thought it was time for a new series trailer. Hope you all enjoy! :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Elite Ambition (Canterwood Crest #10) teaser trailer!

Hi, Team Canterwood!

Thought it was time for a new trailer! I just finished one for ELITE AMBITION (CC #10) and I hope you guys enjoy it! :)

Go Team Canterwood!

xoxo


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Downloadable Canterwood Twitter background

Canterwood Twitter Background

Want this background for your desktop or Twitter? You can download it! Click on the pic and it'll take you to get the code. :D


Thanks so much to S&S for making this! :) More to come this fall!

 
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