Don't worry! Canterwood Crest is FAR from over!
E-novellas to come with stories from Sasha & LT!

Monday, December 30, 2013

West Coast Prep: an all new equestrian e-novella series!

West Coast Prep: a new e-novella series coming 2014

I don’t know about you, but I think it’s time for something a little different around here. Oh, say, a new e-novella horse series, perhaps?

You asked for it and you’ve got it!

Coming next year, you’ll meet twelve year old Fallon Black, princess of California and a A-level rider.

Fallon, who rode before she could walk, attends the prestigious West Coast Prep—an equestrian boarding school in California.

For years, Fallon’s had her sights set on one of our favorite East Coast riders, Sasha Silver.

But Fallon’s obsession with being better than Sasha is causing Fallon to overlook one very important rider who is just about to dethrone Fallon: Grace Holt. Fallon’s stepsister and her pony are nipping at Fallon’s heels.

Grace, a year younger than Fallon, attends West Coat Prep, too. Unlike Fallon, Grace doesn’t follow Sasha’s every move. Instead, she follows her sister’s.

Sit deep in your saddle and hold tight.

"West Coast, represent and put your hands up"—as Katy Perry sings.

It’s time to delve into the world of equestrians who train with pop stars, fellow students who spend winter break in Aspen, and a boarding school where everyone rides.

Competition. Never. Stops.

In 2014, pack your suitcase because we’re going to California!

Take a look at two candid photos below! The first is Grace and her pony, Billy. Grace is a model for West Coast Prep as well as a beyond accomplished rider. But you’d never know unless you asked or watched her ride. You don’t meet anyone more modest than Grace.

Gracie and Billy



Lexi and Contero (they celebrated their one-year anniversary this Christmas!)

Lexi is the face of Fallon Black.

In real life, just like Gracie, Lex is an accomplished rider who would rather talk about anything than her wall full of blue ribbons and shelves full of trophies.

Lexi and Contero are a fairy new pair—he was a 2012 Christmas gift. I can’t wait to watch them grow and learn together!

Like Fallon and Grace (the character), Lexi and Gracie are sisters (not stepsisters.) They are the sweetest, funniest girls that I’ve ever met! I know some of you have been ??? about my relationship to them.

I’m all about the “you make your own family” theory. I met Lexi and Gracie through their dad. We started out emailing, then texting, then FaceTiming and soon, we got close enough to be like sisters and best friends to each other. So, they might not be “related” to me by blood, but I would do anything for them! They are, indeed, my sisters! :)

For more updates and to share in our West Coast Prep series behind the scenes fun, follow Lex on Twitter!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

And a little Keek . . .


Dec 16, 2013 | Canterwood this Christmas by Jessica_Burkhart on Keek.com

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: 

LOL!

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 Khaleesi. I would not be able to enjoy myself if I had to wonder every day if they were okay or if something had happened. I really like our sitter--she's a student who's majoring in creative writing, so that was a very cool match!

I finished writing Unicorn Magic #3! After that, I started watching a ton of Christmas movies. Although it's NOT Christmas themed, I highly recommend CHALET GIRL. 


It stars GOSSIP GIRLS'S Ed Westwick who's phenomenal. I loved this movie! 

Also, CHRISTMAS CUPID with PRETTY LITTLE LIARS'S Ashley Benson was fun!


I watched SNOW GLOBE; it was the second holiday movie that I saw starring Christina Milian. 

 Speaking of snow, some is coming down right now!

Back to movies . . . 

My fave Christmas movies are:

Charlie Brown Christmas (If I do NOT watch this and THE GRINCH (animated not Jim Carrey) it doesn't feel like Xmas)

The Grinch (animated, as I said :))

Home Alone 1 and 2

The Family Stone

The Santa Clause

Jingle All the Way

Rudolph

Frosty

Elf

What are your fave Xmas movies? Share! Total Film did a list of the "top 50 Christmas movies" if you're looking to try new ones. 

So, as I'm packing for a warm climate, I'll have a fireplace DVD on loop on my TV. :)


Happiest of holidays to everyone! I can't wait to ring in 2014!


xoxo





Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Yay! Unicorn Magic #3 draft is finished!

So excited!

Now off to work on HEATED and WILD HEARTS!

How's everyone doing?

xoxo

Sunday, December 8, 2013

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 got a light cast on his food and a splint on his finger.

But, like EVERY other ER I have ever been to, we were there forever. 10pm to just after 7am. And they gave him a ridiculously tiny amount of pain killers for the injuries he had. It was a typical hospital.

I got him settled into my bed and he was asleep in two minutes. Leesi is currently keeping him company. :) And as much as I complained in this blog, I would do it again in a heart beat. No one should ever have to go to the hospital alone. He would have done the same for.

So he's asleep and I'm about to head to Crystal Kingdom in Unicorn Magic! :)

xoxo

and I couldn't stop myself . . . plz send me sheets for Christmas. ;)




Sunday, December 1, 2013

Twitter contest!



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

Thursday, November 28, 2013

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. :)

xoxo

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Flashback #19: three days before Take the Reins released

Flashback #19! Originally published January 24, 2009. Three days before TTR officially released! Almost 5 years ago. Eeep!

Friday, November 22, 2013

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 #18: Take the Reins video

Wow, talk about going back! This video was created for TTR by Jo at GlassSlipper Webdesign. Originally published December 7, 2008.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Flashback #17: Reveal of TTR ARC

Originally published September 15, 2008. My unveiling an ARC (advanced reader copy) of Take the Reins. :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

to Lauren who contacted me via Authorgraph

Can you email me so I can respond to your questions? :)

My email is jess_burkhart AT hotmail DOT com

Thank you, Lauren!

xoxo

Flashback #16! Vlog from May 19, 2008 discussing "The Call"

Originally posted May 19, 2008. I discuss (while speaking at an alarmingly fast rate!) getting "The Call" about Take the Reins and learned it was going to be published.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Flashback #15: Day in the Life of a Soon-to-be-Author vlog

Flashback #15: Day in the Life of a Soon-to-be-Author vlog. So. Freaking. Embarrassing. LOL. Posted on April 1, 2008.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Flashback #14: First book deal announcement!

Flashback #14: First book deal announcement!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

It'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).

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Flashback #13! Take the Reins on submission

Flashback #13! Take the Reins on submission

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Amazing 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 details as they come in and I wish everyone a lovely holiday weekend!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

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.

BUT

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 (minus Brad Pitt :D)



TOP TEN MISTAKES YOUNG WRITERS MAKE is the first installment! It is 34 minutes long.

In addition to being a tool for young writers, these videos will also be options for schools, libraries, book clubs, etc., to rent or buy. It's like an author visit without any tech glitches or paying hundreds of dollars for a single session with an author. If anyone is able to spread the word of my series to teachers and librarians, I would SO appreciate it!

It will be SUPER inexpensive--just enough to help cover costs of purchasing DVDs and cover images.

Info about the first video is below! When it goes live, I will reveal the DVD's cover and will post the link for rental or purchase. Just like other Amazon Instant Videos, you'll be able to watch my videos on your iPad, TV, iPhone, computer--however you like! And just like other Amazon Instant Videos there will be no physical copy. :)

Check it out below and I hope you like what you read! If the first one is well received then I will continue the series!

xoxo



34 minutes, NTSC
Taught by Jessica Burkhart, WRITE NOW! GET PUBLISHED AS A YOUNG WRITER, is a must have video series for any writer seeking publication. This first installment is TOP TEN MISTAKES YOUNG WRITERS MAKE.

Published at 14, Jess understands what it's like to be a young writer. Now, at 22 year old, Jess has 20 tween novels published with Simon & Schuster. Over 500,000 copies of her Canterwood Crest series novels are in print.

Jess debunks common publishing myths and highlights truths in this 34 minute long video. This is the first of several to come in her WRITE NOW! series.

Despite the title, TOP 10 is a useful guide for a writer of any age seeking publication.

Jess has visited many classrooms both in person and via Skype. She wanted to create a video for viewers to be able to pause, take notes, or refer back to.

Some praise for her teaching: 

"Jess Burkhart's Skype author visit was an inspiration to my Middle School Book Club students. She did an amazing job integrating her own personal life story into a motivational talk about the writing process. My students were left feeling excited about doing some writing of their own!" ~Cathie Bashaw Morton, Library Media Specialist, Millbrook Central School District, New York

"Jessica Burkhart is an excellent speaker who engages students by connecting with them through her many experiences as an author. She is engaging and inspiring while encouraging students to follow their dreams and persevere in their writing. She also shares tips on how to get their writing noticed. I highly recommend this experience for your students!" ~Abbe Waldron, Library Media Specialist, Wamogo Regional High School

For more about Jess, visit www.JessicaBurkhart.com or Tweet her @JessicaBurkhart.







Flashback 12! Signing with my first agent

Flashback 12! Signing with my first agent

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

BIG 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!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Flashback #11! Progress of Take the Reins

Flashback #11! Progress of Take the Reins

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Manuscript 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 it help? Who knows.

**This was the original title of Take the Reins when it was a YA :)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Flashback #10! Querying agents for Take the Reins

Flashback #10! Querying agents for Take the Reins

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Prepping 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!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

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" in the headlines. 

The graphic has TWO options:


 OPTION 1: WALKING HORSE



OPTION 2: JUMPING HORSE

Please specify either option 1 or 2. 

Those are the ONLY graphic options. :)

Can't wait to make some shirts for Team Canterwood!

PS: I cannot add text graphics to the back. I can only do what I have explained here. :)

PPS: You don't need to send me sizes or anything. I will create the shirt and upload it to the store where you can then purchase it. :)

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, 2006

Good 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!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Flashback #8: finishing the draft of Take the Reins

Flashback #8! I finished the draft of TTR! 

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Winner!

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!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Flashback #7: publication journey of Take the Reins

Flashback #7!

Monday, November 20, 2006

NaNoWriMo 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.

BUT

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.

#2

Review the books on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, IndieBound.org, BooksaMillion.com 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 reading. People base a LOT of what they buy or do not buy on reviews. It will directly impact #1 above.

Thank you, thank you for all of your help, amazing Team Canterwood! I love you all and let's get movie/TV makers to notice us! :)

J

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Flashback #6: publication journey of Take the Reins

Flashback #6!

Monday, November 13, 2006

NaNoWriMo 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!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Flashback #5: publication journey of Take the Reins

Flashback #5!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

NaNoWriMo 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.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Throwback Thursday: HorseGirlTV



August 19, 2009
with HorseGirlTV host Angelea Walkup's mare

Watch my 2009 interview with Angelea here

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Flashback #4: publication journey of Take the Reins

Flashback #4! 

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

NaNoWriMo 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 and haven't heard anything for 2 months. Do you follow up on a follow up?!

Ooh...I just heard an interview with Sara Gruen (I mentioned her in a previous post) on WriMoRadio. Chris Baty, NaNo's founder, mentioned that Sara struck a two book deal that is rumored to be worth....$5 million. I couldn't believe it! When I interviewed Sara over a year ago, she was still somewhat new in the book business and I don't think she was making anything near $5 million for a two book deal. That is such exciting news and I'm so proud to have spoken to her. There is hope for the rest of us!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Flashback #3: publication journey of Take the Reins

Flashback #3! Here's what I wrote a week into drafting TTR.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 7

A 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'll hit 3000.

I'm also working on a holiday short story for a newspaper contest and the deadline is November 15, so I better get going. :)

Reading this week: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. I loved her two previous books and had to give this one a shot. I was lucky to interview her last year and highly recommend her novels

Monday, November 4, 2013

Home for Christmas (Canterwood Crest) chapter one read by Jessica Burkhart

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

Sunday, November 3, 2013

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 encouragement....it goes a long way. :)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

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 and not put a final end to the series.

I will be working on a vlog of me reading the first chapter of HFC and will make/upload it soon. :)

How are you guys, my Team Canterwood family, feeling about HOME FOR CHRISTMAS?

xoxo

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!


Friday, November 1, 2013

I'm baaaaaack! :) :)

It's officially back to work time!

I am NERVOUS and SUPEREXCITED!

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 mean I won't read every single email! They go straight to my iPhone so I won't miss ONE. And, instead of typing back answers, I'll try to Keek responses at least a couple of times a month.

So, you don't have to have Keek, but if you want to ask me a question, @ reply to me on Twitter or e-mail as usual and make the subject: Question for Keek. Keep in mind, it's something I have to be able to answer in 30 seconds or less. I've done this before and used #qandaforJ. You can also post them here, if you like. :)

Okay, off to work! Let's hope I didn't forget how to be a writer. ;)






Tuesday, October 22, 2013

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, or something like that.

Even if I end up not being able to participate, I'll be on the forums and checking on everyone! I'm so excited for this year!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

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 BarnesandNoble.com and Amazon.com.

WRITE NOW! A YOUNG WRITER'S GUIDE TO GETTING PUBLISHED is a Violet & Ruby Productions e-book.

The forward . . .


Write Now! A Young Writer's Guide to Getting Published focuses on getting your work in print--whether it's a book, magazine article, or commentary in a school newspaper. It also discusses hooking an agent. This guide covers self-publishing versus traditional publishing, writing a strong query letter, hooking an agent, what goes on behind the scenes at a major publishing house, and the top ten mistakes writers make that cause rejection. 

It’s co-written by an author (Jessica Burkhart) with 20 published books by Simon & Schuster and Kate Angelella, a Simon & Schuster editor turned full-time writer. We’re offering you the best of both worlds—advice from an author and words of wisdom from a former editor. 

This isn’t a how-to-write guide. If you’re looking for guidance about formatting your manuscript to industry standards, developing ideas, curing writer’s block and several other similar topics, another e-book addressing these topics will be coming soon from Violet & Ruby. If you enjoy the advice that Kate and I offer about publication then I hope you will consider our future e-books about writing. Even if you’ve already completed a manuscript, our upcoming "how to" guides will help you make sure your creation is as ready as possible to head out into the world.

When Kate and I talked about this e-book, our goal was to offer advice to young writers seeking publication--advice we wished we would have as young writers. We both receive many e-mails with questions on how to publish a novel and this guide gives you the steps to begin your journey. 

If you’re ready, grab a snack and get comfy. Kate and I are ready to spill all of our secrets to getting published with you!


Text copyright © 2013 Violet & Ruby Productions. May not be reprinted without the permission of the authors.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

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!



Wednesday, October 16, 2013

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+ Hangout. This is also totally free (you do have to sign up for a Google+ account to video chat). NINE winners (I will have a contest soon!) will join me live online where we will all (me plus the other chosen 9 members of Team Canterwood) can video chat with each other. OMG! Team Canterwood members from across the country will get to meet! That is soooo awesome!

If you don't win the contest, you can still watch the party--you just will not be able to message me or the other Team Canterwood members who are on video chat.

This contest is only be open to US and Canada residents because other countries will be charged to video chat. However, if you are just watching the party--you can live anywhere. 

You can view the party from your iPhone, iPad or other smartphone if you can't be on a computer.

If you are one of the 9 people who get to video party, you're more than welcome to grab any friends that want to attend and share your Webcam with them. :)

If you're not able to make it to the party, it will be recorded and will go up on YouTube for you to watch at any time.

Below, is a random Google video chat that I just started watching a few minutes ago (no Google+ account needed to watch). I took a screen shot so you can see how it would look for all of us via video chat. Isn't it cool?!


So . . . if being part of the video chat party interests you, please do some reading about how it works, what you need to do to participate, etc.

The poll for the two party dates will close on October 30. Then, the dates will be announced. I will blog or vlog very soon about how you can participate in a contest to be on the video chat.

Soo excited! What do you guys think? 

*


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

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Home for Christmas video

Monday, September 16, 2013

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 November 19th! Let's GO, Team Canterwood!

Ways you can help sales (both e-book and paperback count):

Ask your local bookstores to order Home for Christmas

Post reviews of HFC on Websites such as Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Bookamillion.com and other bookseller sites.

Review HFC on your blog

Ask your school librarian to order HFC

Set up a Skype visit so Jess can virtually come to your classroom

Tweet about HFC on its release date

Update your Facebook status to let people know of HFC's release

Make a YouTube video for or about HFC

Instagram your copy of HFC

Get creative!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

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. (jessashley87). But staying off the computer is important to healing--my writing career depends on my hands!

If any major news occurs, I'm sure I can talk Kate into posting it here for me. :)

In the mean time, I'm going to be reading tons and tons (yaaaay!), loving my kitties, spending time with Kate, going to California to visit with my Cali Barn Mafia, and working on my other hobby--photography.

Much love to you all and see you in November!

xoxo

Monday, August 26, 2013

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!

 


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Lady Gaga - Applause MTV Video Music Awards 2013 HD

Lady Gaga - Applause MTV Video Music Awards 2013 HD

Exciting, stunning performance! So, so happy she's back! Yay, Gaga! <333 br="">

Saturday, August 24, 2013

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" comment made me so grateful that you addressed it and got to fully express how you feel and what you were over exactly. Of course no one could fault you for that!

I wish you all the best moving forward and thank you for giving *us* a great decade! I'm incredibly appreciative of your explanation and I apologize for jumping to conclusions based on something I've read. I learned a valuable lesson here and will keep it in mind going forward and reading future interviews.

Here's what Stephenie had to say:

Anonymous said...
http://stepheniemeyer.com/

Read her response, Aug. 14th

August 14, 2013

Hi everyone,

I'm just back from my short publicity tour for Austenland, and very glad to be home with my boys. I hope you all are having a wonderful summer with your families, and that you have a few more weeks to enjoy (unlike Arizona, where we were back to school last week).

With all the travelling, I only just heard about the current controversy, and I am both surprised and dismayed. I am horrified that my words could be construed in any way to mean that I am "over" the lovely people who embraced Twilight, made it such a huge hit, and changed my life. The time I've spent with my fans has been one of the most precious gifts of this whole experience and I will certainly never forget them or think of them with anything but immense gratitude. I was lucky enough to see a few of them Tuesday night at the Apple "Meet the Filmmakers" event, and they were so lovely! I'm always surprised and touched that people still care about my stories.

Any of you who have ever watched me answer a question live, especially to an indulgent inquirer like a fansite, know that I do tend to go on. Though I try to be as concise as possible to make editing easier for whichever news outlet I'm working with, I'm (still) not very good at it. If you look at the Variety article, you'll notice that I'm speaking in very short statements. Of course, I didn't actually. I spoke in run-on paragraphs and made the poor, sweet man who interviewed me comb through painstakingly trying to find a few completed sentences that he could use to convey the idea of what I was saying. Unfortunately, in shortening the interview to a usable size, some of the meaning of what I was trying to say was lost, and I believe the statements I made ended up sounding much more harsh than I meant them.

Even those of you who love Twilight the most (in fact, especially those who love it the most) have probably noticed that there's been just a teensy little bit of backlash following the success of the books and films. I try my hardest to be thick-skinned, but I'm not much better at that than I am at brevity. So when I speak of Twilight becoming a negative place for me, it is entirely that near-omnipresent Twilight antipathy that I am speaking of. And I'm not complaining or saying it's unfair—I totally understand and even empathize with its existence. I'm just saying that Twilight isn't the wholly positive place for me that it once was.

Also, in regards to being "over it," I will admit, it's getting harder to answer the same questions about Twilight that I've been answering for the past decade (especially when I'm so excited to talk about Austenland). I can only imagine you are just as over reading those same answers. And the little bit about posting which characters died? That was referring to a solemn oath I made years and years ago to some cool fans. I swore I would not take to my grave the ideas I had for future stories, even if all I could to was list the outcomes in bullet points.

So please, never think I don't appreciate the people who read, watch, and love Twilight. I am grateful for your existence every single day. Thanks for the most amazing decade!

Love,

Steph

August 24, 2013 at 12:15 PM

 
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