Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2013

Happy Holidays! What are your fave Christmas movies?

Peace, love, tolerance, understanding, kindness, and acceptance

Happy Holidays, everyone! I can't believe it's almost Christmas!
This is my brain right now: 
But seriously! I can't focus on anything!
On Friday, a car is coming at 7am to take me to Newark Airport. I've got a 10:15am flight to the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California. Only one stop in Phoenix. 
I'm SO excited! It's my first time in CA! 

After I hop off the plane at LAX with a dream and my cardigan . . . just PRETEND I'm going to LAX. ;)
I'm staying with friends who have become family--my "Cali Barn Mafia" that consists of Joey, Suzie, Lex, and Gracie. I've only met Joey in person a few times, but it feels as though I know everyone. Maybe the FaceTime chats help. :) I won't miss the cold, but it will be weird to wear a t-shirt and not a sweater on Christmas. Weird in a way that I'm excited to try.
I hired Petaholics to come every day to visit Bella, Bliss, and …

ER visit. Not for me or K! Shocker, right?!

So. It was almost ten. I was in PJs and just ready to get back to writing.

Then Mr. Frank brought me dinner. He forgot to get me a napkin and despite my protests, he started back down this stairs to get one.

I heard a yelp and crash and bolted out of my apt.

Frank had fallen ten or twelve steps. His left ring finger was bent at the knuckle at a 90 degree angel. If I hadn't been running on adreline, I would have passed out. His left ankle was rapidly becoming the size of a basketball.

I got him back of up the stairs--barely--and he told me where to get his ID, credit card, etc.

I changed out of my PJs and called for a car. We went to a hospital in the 60s on Third or Fourth Ave in Brooklyn.

They took xrays. And drew blood. And fixed his dislocated finger.

Thankfully, he only has a fractured foot. Not saying that his injury is awesome, but if def beats the alternative--if he'd tripped and gone down head first. His back is brushed all up and down his spine (owweee) and he's g…

Twitter contest!

I'm extending the deadline until Friday, December 6 at 11:59pmEST! :)

Shop the Canterwood Crest Store on Black Friday!
District Lines is running a GREAT deal right now! If you're going Black Friday shopping, def hit up the Canterwood Crest Academy Store! Fun new merch is available. :)


Happy Friday!

I am in Unicorn Magic land today! Off to write. Happiest of Fridays to all! xoxo

I JUST got the second cover for my UNICORN MAGIC series and I am BEYOND excited to share!!

Here it is . . .

Flashback #14: First book deal announcement!

Flashback #14: First book deal announcement! Tuesday, June 5, 2007It's a DEAL!! CHILDREN'S: MIDDLE GRADE
Jessica Burkhart's HIGH JUMPS AT COLLINS ACADEMY series, pitched as Saddle Club meets Mean Girls, about a small-town girl who attends a boarding school and must learn to compete with the equestrian elite, to Molly McGuire at Aladdin, in a four-book deal, in a very nice deal, by Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Trident Media Group (NA).

Flashback #13! Take the Reins on submission

Flashback #13! Take the Reins on submission Thursday, May 24, 2007Amazing news!!! Hello everyone!

My lovely and fabulous agent, Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Trident Media Group has given me the go ahead to share some super-exciting news that we have been working on over the past week.

My first young adult novel has been shopped to publishers and has received immediate and outstanding interest from a couple of major publishing houses! I will be weighing offers over the next week and will certainly keep you all updated when I make a decision for the right publisher for my book.

I am incredibly grateful to Alyssa for making this happen and I couldn't have done it without her!! :) She is the dream agent and has been an outstanding partner through all of this.

This is an absolute dream and I cannot believe I will see my book in print! I've been itching to share this news with my blogging family and I hope you're as excited as I am.

I look foward to keeping you all updated with …

Top Ten Mistakes Young Writers Make a video coming soon!

Hello! Happy Saturday, everyone! :)

I'm up to my ears in unicorns :D since I'm writing Unicorn Magic #3.


I wanted to share a new, exciting project with you!

As some of you may know, I am co-writing an e-book geared to helping young writers get published. I am still going to publish it, but like you guys know, I have a pretty bad/annoying elbow tendon injury. I have to be SUPER careful about how long I'm on the computer. Sadly, right now, the pain I am in is keeping me from working, blogging, writing, etc. as much as I want and need.

However, I felt getting this info to young writers was really important.

So, I am filming chapters of the guide! I just sent the first video in for formatting and it will soon (I'm not sure exactly how long the process takes) Amazon will upload my video! You will be either to rent it or purchase it via Amazon Instant Video.

Rentals will be available for 48 hours and purchases are yours forever. The video will look like this on Amazon…

Flashback 12! Signing with my first agent

Flashback 12! Signing with my first agent

Wednesday, February 07, 2007BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! So, here's the deal.

I have been biting my tongue for a couple of weeks now because I've been bursting to tell everyone who reads my blog some big news. As many of you know, I started looking for an agent in January for my YA manuscript. Well, after 3 query letters, I'm beyond pleased to report that I have signed with a brilliant, lovely NYC agent!! At this time, I cannot release the agency's name or the name of my agent, but I assure you that it's an amazing place and I can't wait to reveal the name at a later date.

I'm going to be working harder than ever and will keep everyone updated on my manuscript's progress. It has been SO hard not to share this with my blogging and writing friends, but I finally felt ready to do so.

The moral of the story- if you want something, you CAN make it happen!

Flashback #11! Progress of Take the Reins

Flashback #11! Progress of Take the Reins Sunday, January 07, 2007Manuscript Progress On Friday, I received a request from an agent for my full manuscript of Freshman 15**. Luckily, the agent requested it via e-mail and I was able to send it off within hours of receiving the request. I had to sign a release form and that will be on it's way to NYC tomorrow. It was incredibly exciting to have another request for a full. Hopefully, I'm not the only one who thinks my manuscript is good. :) In the short time that I've been querying agents, I've learned a good deal of info. I've spent days researching agencies, what's "hot" in publishing, why not to follow what's hot in publishing, scary stats of how many authors publish his/her first book and bios of editors and agents. Before I query any agent, I try to get all of the necessary stats (college attended, hobbies, clients) and always attempt to tie something of that sort into my query. Does…

Flashback #10! Querying agents for Take the Reins

Flashback #10! Querying agents for Take the Reins Wednesday, December 20, 2006Prepping a submission package I've been spending all of my time readying my requested submission package to an agent. So far, I have: the resume, coverletter, publishing credits and 3 writing samples. (Why request writing samples when you're getting my complete manuscript?? Interesting.) My manuscript is almost ready to go into the box. Talk about scary! One query I sent to an agent was rejected within a couple of hours and on the same day I had a request for a full. I've only queried 2 agents and I plan to submit this package exclusively to the agent who requested the full.

I'm trying to finish up the submission and get it in the mail so I can have a bit of a break before school starts again. I found a couple of new magazines I want to query and have been listening to way too much holiday music. I think I hear "Jingle Bells" in my sleep.

Happy Holidays to all!

Customize YOUR Canterwood Crest Academy Class of 2014 tee!

I am taking a VEEEERY limited amount of custom Canterwoood Crest Academy Class of 2014 tees!

If you look on the store and don't see colors you'd like, you can e-mail me your request and I will do my best to make the shirt for you.

Here's what you need to do:

Look at the left color palate. Those are the ONLY colors I can use for text and the horse. You can choose a color for the text and the horses. They do not have to be the same.

So, say you want a ORANGE text, you'd email me something like "for text, row 5 second color." 

Then for the horse, how about yellow? "for horse, row 4 sixth color." 

As for shirt color, those are on the RIGHT.

You'd write me, "Shirt color row 2 second color." 

That way, instead of you emailing me and saying "white shirt, pink text, blue horse" there's no confusion about what pink or what blue you want."

Please email these to me at teamcanterwood AT gmail DOT com with "T-shirt request"…

Flashback #9! First query of Take the Reins to an agent

Flashback #9! First query of Take the Reins to an agent  Saturday, December 16, 2006Good Things! Yesterday was a great day to be a writer. First, I e-queried a N.Y.C. agent and she emailed me back and said she'd be "pleased" to read my entire manuscript after Jan. 15. Shock, surprise and excitement! Yes, I realize she'll most likely turn it down but to have her request a full M.S. seems like a good thing. At least I got past a query. So, I'm re-reading my M.S., touching up my resume and am preparing the package that she requested.

And then..

I got an email from Guideposts Sweet 16 and the editor asks me to revise 2 questions on the spec quiz I sent in Sept. It appears that they will probably publish it next year! Elation!

The blog may be neglected until Jan. since I must focus my attention on my M.S. and get that thing to New York. Cross your fingers!

Flashback #8: finishing the draft of Take the Reins

Flashback #8! I finished the draft of TTR!  Sunday, November 26, 2006Winner! So, I got up early and typed like a fiend. I trotted over to the NaNo "official" word counter and pressed "submit." Oh, yay for 50,000 words!! Woo hoo! My wrists hurt, fingers are cramped and I'm sick of staring at my computer screen. I'm off to watch a movie and relax. The next project for my NaNo draft, you ask? March 2007's National Editing Month or "NaNoEdMo." 50 hours of editing on the NaNo novel. Bring it on!

Flashback #7: publication journey of Take the Reins

Flashback #7! Monday, November 20, 2006NaNoWriMo Day 20 Wow, only 10 days left until the end of National Novel Writing Month! At times it was painful, depressing and scary but most of all- it was EXCITING! Rarely do we get up the drive to force ourselves to write 50,000 words of fiction in 30 days. Yes, 30 days people. It's an insane contest but sooo worth it! Instead of reading books about writing, scouring the writer's market and reading other writer blogs, I wrote. Plain and simple.

Today's stats shape up like this:

Word Count: 34,620
Today's caffeine intake: 2 coffees and 1 green tea
Character's goals: Make the advanced riding team, hook the boy she's lusting after and outsmart the evil girl who is making her life miserable

How do WE get Hollywood to notice Canterwood?

I talked about this in a vlog, but wanted to blog it since HOME FOR CHRISTMAS is out in some places and very soon coming to others.

So, we all want a Canterwood movie or TV show, right? :)

*I* have zero control over it. It's all up to people in Hollywood.


There are things we can do.

The #1 most important thing is book sales. We have to get friends, family--everyone to get copies of the Canterwood books (e-books count, too!). Hollywood takes notice when books sell well.


Review the books on,,, and/or any other book retailer. Of COURSE I want your review to be honest. Please don't rate one of them 5 stars if it's not how you really feel.

Take the review--however long or short--(Seriously! Even a 1 sentence review is AWESOME!) and copy and paste it on the book retailer sites I mentioned.

Why are the reviews important?

They tell people who haven't read Canterwood that, let's say, CITY SECRETS is worth …

Flashback #6: publication journey of Take the Reins

Flashback #6! Monday, November 13, 2006NaNoWriMo Day 13
NaNo Stats:

Word Count: 28,102
Character Count: 14ish (minors and majors)
At this rate I'll be finished on: November 21.

Yesterday really picked up. I typed late into the night and managed to type about 2500 words. I'm swamped with schoolwork today, so I won't get to NaNo until later. I'm finished with my entries for Harper and have to wait until Wednesday to find out it I made the finals. My chapters weren't as good as they should have been, so I'm not too hopeful for round 2. I hope to work more on my entries for round 3 and I'll need to be more creative with plot twists and such.

I'll probably be checking my email every 5 minutes today to see if I hear from an editor at Sweet 16. I'm hoping it doesn't take too long to get a yes or no!

Flashback #5: publication journey of Take the Reins

Flashback #5! Thursday, November 09, 2006NaNoWriMo Day 9
Word Count: 23,265
Plot Holes: 1 MAJOR hole!
Fits thrown: 1 (mine-not my character's)

Yep, I have this feline staring at me when I'm typing furiously and trying to write. I get a cold nose shoved against my hand, a paw on my keyboard and the occasional lick on my hand.

As you can tell, I'm one of those cliched writers who loves cats. No, I don't plan to be sixty, live alone and mutter to myself while living with 10 cats.

In fact, it was a wonderful book series about Siamese cats that got me interested in writing and desiring my own Siamese cat. Ever hear of the Cat Who series by Lilian Jackson Bruan? Yep, her famous felines KoKo and Yum Yum made me want to write. And I did. Dozens and dozens of awful cat stories. Oh well, everyone has to start somewhere!

Before cats, I found horses but that's another day.

Throwback Thursday: HorseGirlTV

August 19, 2009 with HorseGirlTV host Angelea Walkup's mare
Watch my 2009 interview with Angelea here!

Flashback #4: publication journey of Take the Reins

Flashback #4!  Wednesday, November 08, 2006NaNoWriMo Day 8 Today's word count: 20,891 (almost halfway!!)
Coffees: absolutely none
Background noise: Election coverage (go blue!)

Well, I'm not as productive today. I'm trying to write an essay for my Gender and Society in Ancient Greece class and the topic is a bit difficult to work around. But, I'm making progress. I was up half of the night biting my nails and cheering for change in the House and Senate. Looks like I may get my wish! :)

Still plowing through my novel and it's getting tougher as the days go on. I'm waiting for the book Secret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund to arrive. I met her on a NaNo forum and I think I'm going to love her book. Can't wait to start reading that one! She has been offering me great advice and I'm dying to read her work.

I need to get back to typing and stop wasting time. I should be doing follow ups on a few magazine queries. I sent one follow up to an editor …

Flashback #3: publication journey of Take the Reins

Flashback #3! Here's what I wrote a week into drafting TTR. Tuesday, November 07, 2006NaNoWriMo Day 7A week into NaNo and I'm still going strong!

Word Count: 17,234
Sanity: 98.5%
Diet Sodas: 2
Current writing location: Living room floor with cat on lap

The plot is moving along at a nice clip. I tried the BIC method "book on an index card" and plotted heavily last night. That helps tremendously! After a week, I was starting to get a bit lost in my plot as to where I was in the month. I really like the book Novelist's Boot Camp and started to use that to help my draft. I struggle with turning off that inner editor!

I've learned a LOT from NaNo forums in the past day or so. People searching for agents aren't limiting themselves to following the "rules" that writing books tell them. I've learned of some unconventional ways to query an agent and I think I'm going to try them.

So, today's goal, you ask? At least 2000 words, hopefully I&…

Flashback #2: publication journey of Take the Reins

Flashback #2! Here's what I posted on November 5, 2006:
NaNoWriMo Day 5 So, NaNoWriMo day 5 is coming to a close. The progress:

Word Count: 13,102
Coffee: 0
Miles walked: 1.5
Treats given to cat: 3

Once again, I've been incredibly happy with the people I've met on NaNo forums, particurarly the YA writing forum. Learning about the agent search from others who are going through the process or have had success is INCREDIBLY helpful.

I've been moving through my first draft at a good clip and I fully anticipate to make 50,000 words. I'm studying agent listings and trying to get a feel for what agents are looking for and see if I can incorporate any of that into my draft.

Okay, well, still typing and trying to watch ice skating. Happy Sunday

Start of flashback posts chronicling my publication journey of Take the Reins

I'm going to be doing several blogs that will be from back in the DAY! I want to take a look back at the journey from writing TAKE THE REINS in 2006, to selling it in 2007, to it pubbing in 2009.

Let's kick this off with November 2006!

This is my third day of writing TTR. :)

Friday, November 3, 2006
NaNoWriMo Day 3 Words: 6061 by noon today
Sanity level: 95%
Coffee intake: 2
Swear words used: 5

Those are the stats! Lookin' good so far. I've met more people of interest this year in NaNo and the Harper Teen FanLit contest than I met last year. I was surprised to find successful authors on NaNo willing to help someone like me with the agent and publishing process. I figured authors with books on actual store shelves wouldn't give time to the little people but I was wrong! Kudos to those who have offered me goes a long way. :)

Who's ready for HOME FOR CHRISTMAS?!

I have so many things to say about the finale of Canterwood Crest. Like, SO many things.

But I try to write this post and I'm not ready. Not yet. :) I'm in complete denial that this is the last book of the Canterwood Crest series. That said, there are so many things that I am so grateful for--the series reaching 20 books being one of them. Plus, I am loving writing UNICORN MAGIC and WILD HEARTS.

Another, is that I will have the chance to continue to tell stories from Sasha and Lauren via upcoming e-novellas. I want you all to know that, due to contract reasons, I will not be publishing these myself. Instead, Simon & Schuster will be in charge of making these e-novellas available to you. I will have complete control over mostly everything aside from pricing. I do not yet know what the e-novellas will cost now that I am not in control of that.I will make sure the cost is as low as I can get it--I promise. But I am happy that S&S is working with me to continue Canterwood…

Canterwood in Dover Saddlery catalog--um, cool!

Just stumbled on this . . . so exciting! I HEART Dover so, so much! Even though I can't ride anymore, I still fangirl when a new catalog arrives. :) Seeing Canterwood in Dover (no clue how long it has been there) is really, really cool!

I'm baaaaaack! :) :)

It's officially back to work time!


I'm anxious about how my arm/elbow is going to acclimate being used again. I don't have time in my new schedule to take it snnnaaaaiiil slow, but I am going to start off a little easy and then get ready for full tilt go-mode. Fingers crossed that the rest, new medication, and other pain management techniques will work.

Because I have three books to write. :D

THAT makes me freak out with happiness!! I get to spend time in the chapter book/fantasy world with the third UNICORN MAGIC book. With WILD HEARTS, I go back to horses and the rugged setting of Wyoming and wild mustangs. Plus, it's YA so I don't have to keep the content G-rated. THEN, I can be back to Canterwood (yaaaaay!) with HEATED my first Canterwood Crest e-novella.

What a fun, fab mix of projects!

I missed you all and am glad to be back! I AM going to put the breaks on replying to Team Canterwood mail via email right now. That doesn't m…

Who's doing NaNoWriMo 2013?

November 1 is getting closer!

Who's participating this year? I'm trying to save my arm from too much typing, so I'm going to vlog this week about NaNo, my experience, etc. As many of you may know, TAKE THE REINS was my 2006 NaNoNovel. I am obsessed with the contest and have SO MUCH love for it. :)

If you want to friend me on NaNo, I'm jessicab_87.

I really, really want to participate this year. However, 11/1 is my first day back to work after two months on medical leave for golfer's elbow. I'll still be in recovery in November and how well--or how poorly--my arm reacts to the break, new medications--all depends on whether or not I'll be able to participate this year. I may do a halfsies version and go for 25,000 words in Nov. We'll have to wait and see!

I can't wait to see who's in this year and will be there every step of the way cheering you on. I hope to at the very least Keek daily with a message of encouragement, a tip that worked for me, o…

Write Now! A Young Writer's Guide to Getting Published--an e-book coming in 2014

Cover copyright © 2012 Violet & Ruby Productions

Coming early 2014 for $1.99.  Will be available at places such as and
The forward . . .

Fab Skype session with Womango Regional HS

Don't worry! I am allowed to be online. :) My doctor wants me to use the computer for about half an hour to chart my pain level.

I just finished a fab, fun Skype classroom visit with 7th and 8th graders from Womango Regional High School in CT.

I've visited with Abbe's (the coordinator of my visit) school twice before and always have a blast. I would Skype with them every month if I could! :)

These students are going to be the next crop of published young authors--I know it!

Two parties! One for all and one super special VIP party!

So, I want to have amazing online Home for Christmas/goodbye to Canterwood Crest parties.

For everyone (international too!)
First, we party via LiveStream like we did for the Famous release. You create a free account, get online at a set time and you'll have access to a chat box and to me via Webcam. You'll be able to type questions/comments to me that everyone can see. I'll answer them via my Webcam. I'll be online for one hour and you can pop in whenever you like to lurk or ask a question.

Everyone and anyone in the world can participate. LiveStream will allow as many people who want to join in. It's anonymous because you can use a screen name. You get to "see" me via Webcam.

If you can't make it to the actual live event, it will be recorded for you to view later. 

Party #2 is one that I've never done and is the ULTIMATE VIP party! I mean, Home for Christmas is a super special, so we need a super special party, right?

We will use Google+ H…

Home for Christmas online party!

I'm hosting an online party to celebrate the release of Home for Christmas! If you want to attend, please vote for the date of your choice and whatever date has the most votes will be the live party date! The date with the most votes will be the party day! :) How the party will be hosted will be asked in the next blog post. What date should our party be? November 16 (Saturday) November 23 (Saturday) November 30 (Saturday) November 17 (Sunday) Acepoll More polls: Free polls

Home for Christmas contest (it's Kate writing for Jess) :)

Hi! It's Kate writing for Jess. :) She asked me to do a quick blog post for Team Canterwood.

 The models posing at the photoshoot 
 Alexis and Dayton!

Jess says to tell you all that she's super excited about HOME FOR CHRISTMAS which releases on November 12, 2013. Today, she's launching a contest!

* If the pre-orders and first week sales of HOME FOR CHRISTMAS are better than any other book in the Canterwood Crest series, Jess will gift you all with a holiday treat in early 2014 . . .

a Canterwood Crest e-novella picking up EXACTLY where UNFRIENDLY COMPETITION left off will be written and published online! It will be a Sasha featured, lip gloss packed, drama, and horses filled e-novella that will be able to download for $.99. Jess would set the price at zero, but Amazon doesn't allow authors to self-publish free books anymore.

So, if you want a special, never before read e-novella, start spreading the word about HOME FOR CHRISTMAS! :) The contest starts NOW and ends on N…

Goodbye for now!

I wanted to let you all know that starting today, I will not be blogging or writing until November 1st.

It's doctor's orders that I give my arm/elbow eight weeks of rest while I try new medications and therapies for it. I've been in a pretty severe amount of pain for years and it's now increased to the point where I cannot type.

I am incredibly grateful to my editors and Simon & Schuster and Bloomsbury who were so very kind about my sudden break from work. They each are working on new schedules for me and have been great about giving me medical leave.

This also means I will not be writing HEATED or SANCTUARY until after November 1st.

I will respond to business emails, but not to Team Canterwood mail during this time. I will still read EVERY one of your emails, though.

I'll be back just in time to celebrate the November 12th release of HOME FOR CHRISTMAS!

I'll also be Tweeting (with my LEFT hand) occasionally and posting photos to my Instagram account. (je…

Keep Calm and read Canterwood Crest tees!

Several new items have been added to the Official Canterwood Crest store! Grab these super cute tees while you can! Look for more mixes of colors and styles soon!

Stephenie Meyer's response to the controversial VARIETY interview on my blog!

I've been so crazy busy that I haven't been watching my blog comments as much as I should have been, but it appears that on August 14, Stephenie Meyer commented on my blog post regarding her interview in Variety. I can't be sure it was Stephenie, unfortunately, as it was an anonymous comment and she didn't email to say "hey, it's really me!" :) But, if it is in fact Stephenie Meyer, I'd love for you all to read her response pasted below.

Stephenie, if you truly did comment, I sincerely appreciate you stopping by and offering your take on what happened with this interview. It means a lot to me that you took the time to comment with such thoughtfulness and address the points I brought up about this interview.

Your coming forward and leaving this response certainly has changed my opinion about the interview and I can definitely understand the miscommunication that sometimes comes with talking to a reporter. Your response about the "being over it&quo…

MTV VMA ticket for sale! Auction ends in 3 days!

Hey, all!

I've got a ticket to the MTV VMAs that I can't use as I won't be able to go. :( But I want someone to enjoy the show, so my ticket is up for sale on eBay. Please spread the word to anyone you know who might want it.

Here's the info and there's a map on the link to show you where my seat is:


I have one ticket that I purchased via StubHub for the VMA's for sale. The physical ticket will arrive to me on or before 8/23 (according to StubHub) and I will immediately mail the ticket to you via USPS Priority Mail Express.

This info is from my StubHub order:

MTV Video Music Awards Tickets
Barclays Center 
Brooklyn, NY, U.S.Sun,
9:00 p.m.
EDTUpper 206
Row: 16
As a potential buyer, I would understand the fear of a scam for a ticket. So, I am putting up a link to my personal Website so you can see that I'm not a fraud or selling a fake ticket. I Upon purchase of the ticket, we can exchange email …