Saturday, March 27, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

First chapter of HOME SWEET DRAMA

The first chapter of HOME SWEET DRAMA (out April 6!) has been released! Here it is! :) Thanks to the reader girlies at the forum for letting me know.

Hope you like it! :D


Chapter 1



JULIA AND ALISON’S REVENGE WAS COMPLETE. They’d taken out the biggest threat at school.

Jasmine King had been expelled from Canterwood Crest Academy.

I’d been standing in Jasmine’s empty dorm room for a long time. Just staring.

I leaned my back against the wall and drew my knees to my chest, lowering myself to the bare wooden floor—shaking my head in amazement. It had happened so fast. I’d gone to the indoor arena to practice and had been using Mr. Conner’s camera to film my session. Jas hadn’t known the camera was on and she’d started to brag about how she’d framed Julia and Alison by making it look as if they’d cheated on their history test. I’d texted Julia and Alison about the tape and they’d taken it to the headmistress. I’d just left the Trio’s suite after a this-close-to-tears Heather had thanked me for saving her friends.

Jas was gone. I remembered her moving into my dorm and how I’d felt—I’d hated that she had transferred from Wellington Prep to Canterwood. It felt like she’d done it just to torture the Trio and me with her presence. Now, there was no trace of her in her old room. It was as if she’d never existed. Part of me felt a little sorry for her that she’d been yanked away to a new school, but mostly, I didn’t care. She deserved what she got for everything she’d done to us.

I reached for my phone to text Julia, Alison, and Heather. Everything had happened in an instant—Heather probably had no clue that Jasmine had been expelled. But before I could start a text, my phone buzzed.

Come 2 r suite & celebrate. ~H

That almost made me laugh out loud. Of course Heather knew. I should have known that. She was aware of everything that went on at school.

K. B there in a sec. I sent my text.

I got up and stuck my head of out the doorway and looked down the hallway toward my room. I’d planned to spend the rest of the evening with Paige, my BFF and roommate, but I couldn’t say no to celebrating Jas’s departure—something I’d hoped for since the day she’d arrived. I stepped out of Jas’s old room and left the door wide open behind me.

I left Winchester and walked back toward Orchard. I hurried, then caught myself. I surely wasn’t excited about hanging out with the Trio—it was just glee over Jasmine. Right? But maybe a tiny part of me wanted to hang with them. We still weren’t friends, but things had sort of changed.

I walked across campus and marveled at how gorgeous it was, especially with the fiery orange-red sunset. The manicured lawns were trimmed like golf course grass and the dark lacquered fence rails gleamed. Every inch of the winding sidewalks looked as if someone had just swept them. No matter how many times I crossed the campus, it never felt any less prestigious. There was a reputation to uphold as one of the top East Coast boarding schools.

When I got to Orchard Hall, I stared at it for a minute. The brick building was four stories tall and each window had a stark white frame with a small ledge underneath. Black shutters on either side contrasted with the frames and the rooms on the top floor had peaks over the windows. Two chimneys rose from the back of the building. A black old-fashioned street lantern was on each side of the front of the building. Soon, their light would illuminate the heavy wooden door that led into the dorm hall.

I took a breath before opening the door. Callie, my ex-BFF lived here, and the last thing I wanted was to run into her. But I pushed the thoughts away—tonight wasn’t about Callie—it was about celebrating Jasmine’s exit from Canterwood.

I walked down the glossy wooden floor and stopped in front of the Trio’s door. I’d barely knocked when a bouncy Alison pulled the door open.

“Sasha!” she said, grabbing me in a hug.

“I’m so happy for you,” I said. She let me go and I walked into Julia, Heather, and Alison’s living room. “You can start riding tomorrow.”

From her spot on the couch, Julia smiled at me. “Yeah, I bet we can.” She took a breath, glancing down before looking back up at me. “Thanks.”

I nodded. “I’m sorry I didn’t believe you before.”

Julia shook her head. “Don’t be dumb. You’re the one who saved us—you don’t have to apologize for anything.”

Heather appeared from her room and motioned for me to sit on the couch. On the coffee table in front of us, there was a bottle of ginger ale and four plastic champagne flutes.

“Let’s toast,” Heather said. She tossed her long blond hair over one shoulder and sat beside me. Julia poured ginger ale into all of our flutes and we raised them.

“To Jasmine,” Heather said.

“To Jasmine,” I echoed with the Trio.

© 2010 Jessica Burkhart

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Skype author visit a success!

Here's a screenshot of a library visit I did in New Jersey yesterday, only I was still in NYC. We did the visit via Webcam and Skype. It was so great! I loved chatting with the readers. It's also beneficial to the schools because it's super cost effective. Plus, the technology is easy to set up.

I'm scheduling Skype visits now, so if you're interested, shoot me an e-mail at jess_burkhart AT hotmail DOT com for more info. There's also more detail on my

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tallahassee Writers Conference pics!

Finally have a second to post about my awesome trip with Kate to the Tallahassee Writers Conference! Here are a few pics of the trip--Kate's got more of my actual events on the camera, which is, um, still packed.

First up--the room. Loooved it!

The second pic is signed stock at the Tallahassee Barnes & Noble. I love them and they were so gracious and sweet!

The next pic is Kate checking out the killer kitchen. We were in shock that there was an actual kitchen in our hotel room. #majorwinhello

I fell in love with the pool/whirlpool area. The pool was FREEZING so I opted for the whirlpool. So. Nice.

Last pic is another room shot.

Thank you so much to Donna Meredith and the fab gang at the Tallahassee Writers Conference. We had a fab time!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Winner of Home Sweet Drama

Hi, guys!

Sorry if when I was going to announce the winner of HOME SWEET DRAMA was clear. I meant to add to that post that I wouldn't announce until Monday because I just got back from Florida last night. The posts you all read were already pre-written and set to post on certain days.


the winner (by random drawing) is...

Olivia Alison M!

Olivia, I'm Facebooking you the info! CONGRATULATION! *sparkles*

There will be tons more give aways for CITY SECRETS, so no worries if you didn't win.

I'm still exhausted from my awesome trip and will recap soon. But now, it's time for a bagel and OJ in bed with NEW MOON On Demand. :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bye, NYC!

Conference day is finally here! Kate and I are grabbing an early flight and leaving chilly NYC for warm, sunny Florida. I'm speaking at the Tallahassee Writers' Conference (check my Website for details on a free event open to the public) and Kate's attending the conference with me. She'll be front row at my talks, no doubt, probably making faces to get my attention or make me laugh. (If she heckles me--security is free to remove her from the room.) ;)

Our hotel looks amazing and I can't wait to hit the whirlpool since it'll be a little chilly to swim. Look for pics and possible vlogs to come when we get back.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Writing with friends

I've always been a solo writer. It felt like something I had to do on my own without people around. When I moved to New York, I tried the coffee shop thing. It was okay aside from my people watching. And I would have gone broke because I kept buying frozen yogurt, coffee, etc. Not. Good.

But several of the past few weeks have been marathon working sessions with Kate and Ross. When we're together working--stuff gets DONE. We're pulling our hair out at the end of the day, but there's also a huge sense of accomplishment. I wrote 13 pages yesterday, Ross knocked out a bunch of revisions and Kate got a ton of editing done.

So, I like the BK Trio we've formed to work and it's proving to be quite productive and fun. :)

Don't forget to see yesterday's post and enter to win a signed copy of HOME SWEET DRAMA!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Win a signed copy of Home Sweet Drama!

Guess what I have?? Finished copies of HOME SWEET DRAMA! Yaay! Its official release date is April 6, but it'll likely hit stores a week to 10 days earlier. So, if you want to win a signed copy, here's what you can do:

Tweet about the giveaway and be sure to include @jessicaburkhart so I know about it.

Facebook about the contest and write on my wall if we're friends telling me about your FB update

Leave a comment here saying whatever you like!

Blog about the contest

Follow supersparkly @EditorK on Twitter and tell me you did

Or something else that's creative! You get extra entries for everything you do in addition to the entry for commenting here.

The contest closes on Tuesday at midnight and I'll draw a random winner. I'll post the winner on Wednesday and will mail the book the following week since I'm going out of out for a conference. I'll only ship to US addresses, btw.

When you leave your comment on this post, let me know if you did anything extra and that'll count as an additional entry! :)

Good luck, everyone!

**I've fixed the comments so you can leave them here! They were accidentally closed before.** :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

weekend wrapup

Where did the weekend go, seriously? *scratches head*

Mine was busy with fun things, a little bit of work and hanging with BFF while we went to Macy's and got our nails done. It was kind of an we're (including R)-all-waiting-for-Monday couple of days. R was actually the one who convinced me to replace my ridic sneakers. So, Kate and I went to Macy's and petted shoes we couldn't afford if we combined our bank accounts. But we did find some killer heels and sneakers for K and two preeettty pairs of walking/exercising shoes for me. Kate and I decided we're going to start walking around our park soon (under the strict ruling that I'm somehow supposed to protect her from ALL nature.) and I sooo needed shoes. Pink and gray and pink and white Pumas. I heart them!

We hopped the train back home and later got our nails done. Now, this is soo picture worthy. I got mine done in honor of ALICE IN WONDERLAND in a shade called "Mad as a Hatter" by OPI.

Yes, it is an explosion of sparkles. Love. Love.

Must start writing now though I'm super distracted, so "working" might mean cleaning or mindless organizing. Or rewriting my to-do list for this INSANE month. But it's insane in a good way because it's something I'm really excited about--going to Florida (hello, 75 degrees!!) and presenting at a conference. Plus, BFF's coming and we're going to have fun. :)

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

a random mess

Been soo busy writing ELITE AMBITION and doing other things, BUT a new vlog will be coming soon. Hopefully, from a supercool location. I'll also be vlogging from the Tallahassee Writers Conference and will encourage (read: force) Kate on camera with me. :)

It's warming up to the fifties this week and I am INSANELY excited. I know that weather talk is, like, boring but a little warmer will be awesome. It also, you know, means shopping for those in between weather clothes...

Got dinner with friends tomorrow night and then Friday is Kate's version of TWILIGHT. ALICE IN WONDERLAND hits the big screen and we're SO going to see it. She's very fangirly and cute about it and it's like me with my RPattz obsession. I can't wait!

And now to wrap up my random two and a half hour cleaning/rearranging apt spree. Really? Was that necessary? (No.)

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