Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. Stay tuned for a BIG, like, MAJOR, announcement coming over the next few weeks. . .
Monday, December 27, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
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.
Why r we being called?
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.
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?
We def should. Let's all meet at the courtyard ASAP.
K. Glad 2 go w u guys. Nervous.
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.
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
Sunday, December 19, 2010
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
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.
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
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
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
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.
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:
First Book is also eager to answer questions, either by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 866-READ-NOW or 866-732-3669.
If you participate, drop us a note at email@example.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.
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