Saturday, December 17, 2011

Win a signed copy of Initiation!

So . . . anyone interested in winning a copy of INITIATION? (Out Jan. 3rd). :) If so, I'm giving away TWO signed copies!

The rules are easy:

You must be a US resident

You have to comment on THIS post and leave your email address so I can get in touch with you

Your comment topic is: "How are YOU going to celebrate Initiation release day?" :)

You get extra entries if: you reblog about the contest, tell your friends about Initiation (I trust you!), Tweet, Facebook, or do whatever you like to let other people know about it's release. If you leave what you did in your comment, I'll add it as an extra entry.

Two winners will be drawn at random at midnight on Monday. Good luck! I'll email the winners the next day. :)


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A ten year old secret

I've been so welcomed into the online community--not just by writers and publishing people--but by teens, tweens and all types of fabulous people I never would have met without my blog. :) I consider you all friends, and I think it's time I share a ten year old secret with you.

I felt the need to do so now because of the volume of mail I've been receiving from wonderful readers who "want to look like me." I feel like a total fraud. Like I am portraying a false image of what they should aspire to look like. Readers who sent me this mail do not know what I've done to my body to look how I have in the past.

I've been struggling with anorexia since I was fourteen. Maybe even a little before then. For me, it was never a "I want to be skinny and then I'll be pretty!" it was a control issue. My home life was chaotic, I had no control and with food, I had the power. I chose what I ate, when, how much.

Over the years, my weight fluctuated depending on how things were at home. I reached my lowest, scariest weight in April 2009.  By then, my body was severely damaged. My hair was falling out, I was growing soft, thick hair on my arms in an effort to keep my body warm, I had more cavities than any religious teeth brusher should have. I fainted. Several times. I was freezing all of the time. Nosebleeds were part of my day. I had no energy.

I moved to NYC, determined to change my habits. I tried and failed. I tried again, failing. Finally, last fall, I saw how much it was hurting someone I loved. She told me she was scared that I'd have a heart attack, that my organs would start shutting down, or something worse would happen. I'd known, all along, that this can happen with anorexia, but I was deeply in it. Those options didn't seem real. But hurting her did. As my best friend, she said I had to change. I had to fix this--either one more try on my own or check into a treatment center.

I was terrified. I didn't think I could do it and I balked at the idea of treatment. But I went online, ordered a dozen Ensure weight-gain drinks, forced myself to start eating meals, and veeeerry slowly, a change happened. I worked so damn hard. You'd think gaining weight is easy.

It isn't.

I had a couple of minor set backs, but nothing even remotely close to the weight I had been. The weight I'd been while standing outside a bar in 2009 and a man walked up to me and said I needed to eat a burger.

Now, it's not a daily struggle. I think about it from time to time, but I will never go back to the place of making my already ill best friend worry that I'm going to starve myself to death. If I'm feeling like old habits might be creeping up, I talk to her about them. Honesty is saving me. My face isn't hollow anymore. My hair stopped falling out. My premature wrinkles stopped forming. I went from a barely A-cup to a C-cup. (And I love it!!) I love my body and feel so confident with it. There's no going back.

I wanted to share this because I know so many young girls, guys, and women are going through it. Mostly, I want to say to my readers--you do not want to look like me. Maybe the me now who is healthy. But not the old me. I will never go back. I say that with absolute certainty. If you're struggling, know that you can make it. We can--and are--fighting this.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Lady Gaga & Greyson Chance

What's everyone up to this weekend? Anyone getting in the Christmas spirit or totally over it? I walked down an avenue block last night after picking up food and so many gorgeous lights and displays were up. I'm like a little kid--they make me SO happy. I live in a very diverse neighborhood and it's interesting to see how each culture decorates for Christmas. There was a Puerto Rican parade today that went down my street, though, I don't think it had anything to do with Xmas. ;)

I'm totally bumming around this weekend. Recovering from post-finishing a book hangover. Next book--COMEBACK--isn't due until March, so I've got some time to chill. I intended to start working on a project today, but chose to read (Ruthless--Pretty Little Liars #10), Teen Vogue, Glamour and some other fun mags lying around.

(CHECK those shoes! I'd *never* be able to stand in them!)

Did anyone catch yesterday's Ellen? Lady Gaga and Greyson Chance we on. First, I adore Greyson! Kate and I saw him the very first time he appeared on Ellen singing "Paparazzi." She discovered him singing that on YouTube, brought him on, signed him to her record label and well, you probably know more than I do about him now. ;) He's such a cutie!

It came full circle for him because he got to meet the artist whose song he played that got HIM a record deal. :)

I loved Lady G's "Marry the Night" performance. She also had some of the best one liners I've heard from her. I've always been insanely inspired by her work ethic. The song, too, is about making the choice to commit to your work or give up. She's barely a year older than me and the girl works hard. She said, "People ask me when I'm gonna take a vacation. I'm like, 'I didn't get into signing to sit under a palm tree.'" That's kind of how I feel about writing. I'm "married" to my work because I love it so much. I'm happy to work long hours (except when my wrist or arm hurt! Bleh!) and I want to put everything I have into what I'm doing. That's for you guys--the readers--Team Canterwood.  

Here's her performance if you want to watch. :) Fill me in on what you're all up to this weekend!


Saturday, December 3, 2011

30 days!

Guess what comes out officially in exactly a month? INITIATION! :D

But . . . I'm betting stores have it a week to 10 days earlier. Sooo excited! Let me know when you snag a copy.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Must read: Winterling by Sarah Prineas

I had the pleasure of receiving friend and author Sarah Prineas's new book, WINTERLING. It happened like this:

Me: OMG, Sarah! I love your new cover! It has a horse!

Sarah: Thank you! But it's not a horse . . .

Me: ARC!!

And the HarperCollins publicity team had one at my doorstep a few days later.

Sarah and I share a book birthday, January 3, 2012. I'm not going to spoil the plot, but I will say that Fer, the main female character, is refreshing and curious. I love seeing a girl in this role and Fer learns a lot about herself while she tackles what seems like an insurmountable journey.  It's a true coming of age story that I'd recommend to middle grade and tween readers.

Here's what Barnes & Noble has to say:

We live here, my girl, because it is close to the Way, and echoes of its magic are felt in our world. The Way is a path leading to another place, where the people are governed by different rules. Magic runs through them and their land.

With her boundless curiosity and wild spirit, Fer has always felt that she doesn't belong. Not when the forest is calling to her, when the rush of wind through branches feels more real than school or the quiet farms near her house. Then she saves an injured creature—he looks like a boy, but he's really something else. He knows who Fer truly is, and invites her through the Way, a passage to a strange, dangerous land.

Fer feels an instant attachment to this realm, where magic is real and oaths forge bonds stronger than iron. But a powerful huntress named the Mór rules here, and Fer can sense that the land is perilously out of balance. Fer must unlock the secrets about the parents she never knew and claim her true place before the worlds on both sides of the Way descend into endless winter.

Sarah Prineas captivates in this fantasy-adventure about a girl who must find within herself the power to set right a terrible evil.

Pre-order a copy now! :) <3

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Some updates

Things have been a little rough lately to say the least. We learned this week that Pacey the cat has cancer. His tail is going to be amputated before the cancer spreads and he has two masses in his head. On Saturday, we're meeting with an oncologist to discuss chemo and radiation. All of this is scary, sad, and incredibly expensive. But Pacey will get the care that's best for him. Cats, and pets in general, are members of the family and it's an incredible toll on the ones who love them when they're sick.

Because of Pacey's illness, K and I have postponed her trip to Mayo. We were supposed to leave on Monday, but we just can't not knowing what the future holds with Pacey. Luckily, we got a VERY fast reschedule date and will be going to Mayo on January 5th.

Sorry for such a sad post, but I wanted to keep you all updated.

Hope you're ALL doing well and much love!


Friday, November 25, 2011

Initiation trailer now live!

Enjoy the INITIATION trailer! :D Happy holidays and I'm so thankful for all of YOU! xoxo

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Want your Canterwood Kindle e-book signed?

Someone supersmart has come up with a way for me to do so! Check out this link and submit a request. I'll sign as I'm able (hopefully, I'll have time over the holidays) and will do my best to sign each one submitted to me.

I'm so excited about this! It's completely free, you don't have to mail anything--just follow the Website's instructions. :)

Yay, Kindle! :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Canterwood writing weekend!

Happy Friday!

I'm gearing up for a 48-hour writing frenzy (minus a trip to the vet again). POPULAR is THIS close to being finished and I'm excited. :) Tasting the ending is always sweet. I just landed an unexpected freelance gig, too, that had a veeery tight deadline, so I've got to wrap up POPULAR and work on the freelance project.

What are your weekend plans? Share! :) Anyone seeing BREAKING DAWN? Or have you already seen it? I want to know what you think.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Snow White and the Huntsman trailer = cool!

Love this trailer! Can't wait for next summer. Snow White and the Huntsman looks like a very cool retelling! :) Horses, an evil queen, action, romance, KStew . . . I'm in!

The official Website.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Writing weekend marathon, anyone?

Hey, WriMos!

I'm prepping for a 48 hour writing marathon! (Little nervous bc my arm has been a significant factor as to why I have to stop writing.) But I'm icing it, have my prescription RX and every arm/wrist/hand brace on the market.

Anyone wanna join me for a writing weekend? No timed checked ins, just leave a comment whenever you want about your progress, if you're stressed and need encouragement, doing great and want to share--whatever!

I'll be checking in on my writing breaks. I'm setting my word count at zero for the weekend.

My project: POPULAR (Canterwood #14)
Goal: 7000 words for the weekend
Guestimated cans of Diet Coke to be consumed: 12
Guestimated # of times I'll wonder why I'm a writer: 1
Guestimated # of times I'll love my job: At each successful check in ;)

Let me know if you want to be a writing buddy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Comeback cover reveal!

I just saw the cover for COMEBACK (Canterwood #15) is live on Amazon! Yay! I'm glad I stumbled on it! COMEBACK releases August 7, 2012. :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween! Here's your treat!

As promised, here's the first chapter of INITIATION (out Jan 3, 2011, but available for pre-order now!)

Oh, and because I heart Team Canterwood so much . . . I added chapter TWO! :D

Enjoy reading, be safe tonight, and have a happy Halloween!




11:59pm: Days left: 1!

Tomorrow morning! I leave home and Briar Creek for Canterwood Crest Academy. I got up to blog because I could not sleep. Usually, I’m up late on Friday’s anyway, but not like this. Blogging is than talking sometimes because I can sit down and let all of my thoughts come out unfiltered on the page. I’ve been blogging all summer—Dad’s suggestion—and now I’m totally addicted to it.

I’m scared about tomorrow. So scared. I’m still second guessing all of my decisions about everything. I’ll admit it: all of these questions keep rolling around my brain, like:

Am I leaving Briar Creek too soon?

Am I ready for the competitive riding life again?

Are Whisper and I prepared?

Will anyone find out my secret before I’m ready to talk about it or any other part of my past?

That last question is the one keeping me awake. Tonight and every night. . .

Posted by Lauren Towers



This was really it.

My breath caught, forcing me to sit on the bare twin bed. My parents and older sister, Becca, had dropped me off in my new dorm room only an hour ago.

I already had eight light blue sticky sticky notes lined up along my eggshell colored walls. At least I knew I was still me at Canterwood—the crazy-organized, to-do list compulsive girl that my friends liked to tease me about.

I stared at all the boxes with Lauren scrawled on each in grape Sharpie. My roommate hadn’t arrived yet, so I’d picked the right side of the room, hoping she wouldn’t mind.

This was surreal. I—Lauren Towers—was a seventh grader at Canterwood Crest Academy—one of the most elite boarding schools on the East Coast. The Connecticut school had a reputation for rigorous academics and, the main reason why I’d applied, an even more intense equestrian program. I picked up my Blackberry and scrolled through my photos. There were a few family pics of Mom, Dad and Becca and Charlotte—my oldest sister.

I tightened my grip on my phone’s sky blue gel case when a photo of me posing with my best friends, Brielle and Ana, popped up. In the picture, the three of us were smiling at the camera as we posed on horseback. We were—had been­, I corrected myself—riders at Briar Creek Stable. Even though it was summer in the photo, my skin was as porcelain pale as it was now in the fall. Sunlight glinted off Cricket, the Welsh-Cobb school pony that I’d ridden at Briar Creek.

I put my phone down—unable to continue looking at the pictures. They would only make me miss everyone and everything. I surveyed my room, boxes still dotting my side. Mom, Dad and Becca had helped me move in a ton of luggage, duffel bags and boxes. I imagined how it would look with my poster and my laptop. Right now, the room was empty. Once it was decorated, it would look amazing. I could tell already.

Gentle September sunlight streamed through two large curtainless windows. I couldn’t wait to decorate with my roommate. My room at home had a light blue and white color scheme. Light sky blue was my favorite color and decorating was one of my favorite things to do. I’d brought a messenger bag of pages and pages that I’d torn from design magazines for inspiration.

I lived and breathed for fashion, decorating, and riding. Hopefully, my roommate would like some of my ideas. The last thing I wanted was for us to clash on day one.

Khloe Kinsella, I said her name to myself. My guidance counselor and math teacher, Ms. Utz, had given me and Khloe each others’ e-mail addresses so we could determine who would bring what for our room. I’d started “what to bring to CC” list in a purple-with-silver-polka-dots notebook.

I’d e-mailed Khloe first just to say hi. Her reply was friendly enough, but she seemed really busy. She’d e-mailed sporadically throughout the summer and had given me just enough information to know what to bring to school. We hadn’t exchanged much personal information about each other. My stomach churned a little at the thought of meeting the girl I’d be living with for the year.

I weighed options, flipping through the Canterwood campus guide I’d gotten in the mail weeks ago. I wanted to go to the stable to see my horse, Whisper. But I was nervous about going to the stable alone. I’d been there with my parents and Becca to get Whisper settled. But everything had been so new and unfamiliar, I hadn’t paid attention to anything but Whisper. It was as if I hadn’t gone to the stable at all—I couldn’t even remember much of what it looked like let alone how to get there. It had been a whirlwind of activity around me. I did remember that Whisper had a giant, roomy box stall that she’d settled into quickly. And before I’d left, she’d taken a delicate sip of water from her pink bucket and started munching hay.

And okay, maybe there was…another reason I was stalling. Even though I knew no one recognized me—that no one paid attention to seventh graders—my nerves still wouldn’t go away. The fear that someone at the stable would look at me sideways, squint for one second too long and wonder if maybe I was that girl from TV. I tried to shake the thoughts from my head. I didn’t want to fixate on that.

Mom and Dad already spoke to Mr. Conner, I reminded myself. They’d already met with my riding instructor, Mr. Conner, and explained my background. He’d understood that I wanted to keep my past just that and had promised not to mention past competition experience or anything else that would connect me to what had happened. No one would find out anything from him—not one student on campus would know until—if—I ever decided to tell them myself.

I glanced out the window again, chewing the inside of my lip. I wanted to be with Whisper, but I wasn’t ready to face the new stable yet. Just a little more time. Maybe some unpacking would distract me. I began to visualize where I wanted to put some of my belongings. I stood, surveying the layout of the room again. The double room was even bigger than I’d expected. There were two twin beds separated by space for two beside tables. The windows above each bed looked over the gorgeous courtyard, which made the room feel even bigger.

On my side of the room, near the door, was a skinny counter with a microwave, two cabinets and space for the cheerful yellow mini-fridge that would be arriving any day from Pottery Barn Teen. Khloe and I had gone in on it together.

Each side of the room had its own closet with enough room on each side for one desk. I squinted my eyes. There was enough floor space for a small coffee table if Khloe and I decided we wanted one. I walked into the private bathroom, on Khloe’s side of the room. New white tile had been scrubbed clean, along with a shower with a glass door, a decent sized vanity mirror, and a wooden cabinet under the sink. I already had several ideas for color schemes in mind—I couldn’t wait to talk about them with Khloe. We’d learned over e-mail that both of our parents had given us “decorating allowances” to make the room feel like home.

I walked out of the bathroom, looking in the full length mirror beside the entrance. It had taken me almost all summer—no exaggeration!—to choose my first-day-at-Canterwood outfit.

Since it was Saturday, I’d decided to go for comfort-slash-chic. Skinny dark wash distressed jeans, a short-sleeve slouchy black tee with thin gray horizontal stripes, and a white tank underneath. For accessories, I’d decided on pearls. Classic and never out of style. I’d seen them on legendary icons from Audrey Hepburn to today’s hottest celebs featured in Trends Magazine.

I smoothed my long, wavy brown hair—letting the soft curls cascade down my back. My makeup was minimal—a sweep of shimmery caramel eyeshadow that made my blue eyes pop, concealer where needed and a coat of CoverGirl’s LipSlicks in Princess. Before we’d left home this morning, I’d applied a thin layer of Neutrogena moisturizer with SPF 30. I never left the house without sun block. Becca said my sunscreen obsession made me smell like summer all year round.

Footsteps stopped outside the door and a key turned in the lock. Khloe! My hand flew to my necklace—a beryl birthstone on a thin silver chain with a tiny diamond above it. Beryl stones were naturally clear, but my parents had gotten me one with a light blue tint.

The door opened and I clutched the blue stone tighter. A pretty girl with warm brown eyes stared at me. She was about my height, tan and her long blond hair hung in beachy waves around her shoulders. She looked as if she’d come from California, not Boston where she’d told me she lived. She looked trés glam in a white tier-ruffled A-line skirt, a clover green v-neck shirt and a three-quarters sleeve cardigan. Gucci sunglasses were perched on top of her head and delicate silver bangles hung from her tiny wrists.

She dropped two purple faux-crocodile bags that she’d had slung over her shoulders and they thudded to the floor.

She turned to face me, put her hands on her hips, and jutted out her chin. Her pearly pink lips pursed. “Well,” Khloe said flatly. “I guess you’ve already chosen my side of the room.”

copyright 2011 Jessica Burkhart

Friday, October 28, 2011

Thanks, Womango Regional High School!

I had the best Skype with you all! Everyone asked awesome questions and bravo Nick for jumping in! :) I love having guys in my sessions.

Good luck to all of you during NaNo and Tweet or Facebook me with your progress!

And, just because, here are some pics I took with my Webcam while waiting to Skype, lol . . .

(The kitty hat is from Kohls, btw!) :)

Happy Friday! xoxo

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hello, NaNoWriMo 2011!

Ahh, NaNoWriMo is in the air! November 1st brings one of my favorite times of year--the month where hundreds of thousands of crazy writers try to write 50,000 words in a month.

I've been NaNoing since 2006 and my first NaNoNovel was TAKE THE REINS--the book that started the Canterwood series!

Here's what I've learned about NaNo:

FACT: You will consume more caffeine than you ever have.

FALSE: Your book won't be worth editing because you wrote it in a month.

FACT: You've got to write FAST. This forces you to turn off your inner editor. Buh-bye little editorial voice!

FALSE: On December 1st, your book will be perfect! Time to query agents or submit it to your editor if you have one already.

FACT: There are many NaNo critics. That's fine. To each his own. But I love NaNo!

FALSE: You've got to wait for the "perfect" time to do NaNo. This year's just too busy.

FACT: There will never be a perfect time to write a book. Life happens. Let it while you write a book!

FALSE: You need to invest in fancy software.

FACT: Use MS Word or whatever program came with your computer.

FALSE: You're too old. Or too young.

FACT: No one's too old or too young to write a novel.

I wish you ALL the best of luck this November. Get out there and rack up those words! I'll be NaNoing for the first couple of weeks of the month, but then I have to switch to editing for my POPULAR deadline.

Check out lots of tips on NaNo's Website that will offer much more help/advice.

Special shout out to the man who made it all possible, Chris Baty.

Go NaNoers!

Spook-tacular giveaway!

The witching hour nears! Halloween is almost here! I LOVE Halloween and haven't missed one year of watching It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. :)

So, who else loves Halloween? Anyone trick or treating? Dressing up for a party?

But . . . I think Team Canterwood deserves a Halloween treat--not a trick!

Anyone interested in the first chapter of INITIATION?

Leave a comment here about anything Halloween related AND if I get 30 comments by midnight on Halloween, I'll post the first chapter of INITIATION right here the next day! :)

Yay Brazil and Poland!

September 15, 2011

International rights: Children's
Polish rights to Jessica Burkhart's CANTERWOOD CREST series, to Dolnoslaskie, in a two-book deal, by Marcin Biegaj at Graal on behalf of Simon & Schuster Children's.
September 15, 2011

International rights: Non-fiction
Brazilian rights to Jessica Burkhart's CANTERWOOD CREST series, to Fundamento, in a ten-book deal, by Rachele Rabbino of the Sandra Bruna Literary Agency, on behalf of Simon & Schuster Children's.

I blogged about this before, but missed the actual PM announcements. I'm so excited and cannot wait to see Canterwoood in other languages! :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Back to Brooklyn

K and I got home late last night from Mayo. Thank you ALL for the well wishes and inquiries about her surgery. She is healing, but the tests did not reveal anything that helped doctors determine how to stop her pain. So, we'll be going back in December.

I hope you're all having a good week and are getting ready for Halloween. It's my fave holiday--and Kate's!

Are you dressing up? Trick or treating? Attending a party?


Back to writing veeery fun scene in POPULAR. :p

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Half a million!?

You guys! Thanks to *YOU* and I mean, each and every member of Team Canterwood, there are half a million Canterwood Crest books in print. Talk about insane! What great news for a stressful week.

We're getting ready to leave for Mayo #3 on Saturday. Thank you all for chiming in on the Facebook page and saying you'll take 10 seconds out of you day to send good thoughts to Kate during her surgery next Tuesday. We love you all.

I think I'm going to take a break from work and watch GOSSIP GIRL: season one with Kate. We're starting at episode one. We both stopped watching after two or three seasons, but I loved the first.



Sunday, October 2, 2011

Horses Never Lie About Love by Jana Harris

“With lyrical writing and a gift for drawing in the reader from the first sentence, Jana Harris has created a memoir that any equine-enthusiast would devour and any reader unfamiliar with horses would find identifiable. The love Harris has for horses is palpable on the page and every chapter made me fall in love with her memorable horses and their incredible story.”

--Jessica Burkhart, author of the Canterwood Crest series

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book and was asked to blurb it if I liked it. I LOVE this memoir. I can't say enough about it and cannot wait for it to release in early November. It's a must-read for any horse lover. The pages flew by and I stayed up waaay too late reading this book. I, erm, even missed my train stop once. :)

Definitely check out HORSES NEVER LIE ABOUT LOVE by Jana Harris. It's available for preorder in many locations.

And don't take my word for it, here are all the blurbs and a summary of the book:

(Thanks to Amazon.)

I lost track of all time and space once I opened this incisive, eloquent, sometimes lyrical, sometimes comic book. The story of True Colors and the raising up and training of her foals mesmerized me. Harris's memoir won my heart."

-- Maxine Kumin, Poet Laureate, 1981-1982

“Most horse books are practical, but a surprisingly large proportion of the literature focuses on the spiritual relationship between horses and women. Jana Harris’s inspiring memoir about her relationship with True Colors, a Thoroughbred mare whose problems are offset by her success as a broodmare, explores the psychological aspect of their bond, but what sets this book apart from the others is that the author also provides an enormous amount of practical information about her education in the art of raising horses. We struggle right alongside her as she copes with serious medical and behavioral issues and we share her joy in welcoming each new foal. The author has succeeded in making the reader part of her dream, and this is a remarkable accomplishment.”

-- Barbara Burn, author of The Horseless Rider and 101 Dressage Tips and co-author of The Whole Horse Catalog.

"I could not put down this engrossing, beautiful book and savored every page. Harris’s writing is so delicious that I could feel the country breeze, smell the hay, and hear the horses nickering. Her characters are so real and colorful that you’ll be captivated immediately. Each animal has a unique personality, likes, and dislikes. This book is a treasure, to be re-read over and over again. A lovely, delightful experience."

--Stacey O’Brien, author of Wesley the Owl

“With lyrical writing and a gift for drawing in the reader from the first sentence, Jana Harris has created a memoir that any equine-enthusiast would devour and any reader unfamiliar with horses would find identifiable. The love Harris has for horses is palpable on the page and every chapter made me fall in love with her memorable horses and their incredible story.”

--Jessica Burkhart, author of the Canterwood Crest series

"I fell in love, page after page, with Jana Harris' horses and the rough landscape where she raises them, following with her the pain, doubts, and joys of tending them, not unlike what I experienced with the pigs and goats that I once tended."

-- Georgeanne Brennan, author of A Pig in Provence

“What a beautiful book Jana Harris has written about the horses--remarkably individual, lovingly described and given life by her incandescent prose--that have entered her life! Horses Never Lie about Love is also an intimate portrait of a marriage--the story of Jana and Mark and their family of horses through the years. It's a tender book, often a funny book; sad, heartrending, uplifting, exuberant and suffused with hope.”

-- Joyce Carol Oates

Product Description

When Jana Harris moved with her husband to Washington State for a teaching job, she realized that she could also fulfill her lifelong dream of having a horse farm. And Harris knew the horse on whom she could build her dreams the minute she saw her on a ranch in the Eastern Mountains where a herd had been corralled to be sold: a beautiful, deep dark red–colored mare known as a blood bay, standing about sixteen hands, with a pretty head with a white star and a narrow stripe that slid down her face to two black nostrils. Something about the way the mare guarded her handsome foal, a black two-month-old 200-pound colt, spoke to Harris. The mare was named True Colors.

But when True Colors was delivered to Harris’s ranch three months later, she was unrecognizable. She had gone feral, run away, and been recaptured. Terrified of people, she was head-shy from the infected sores on her face and her lungs were damaged by smoke-induced pneumonia. She sensed demons hiding in everything from the scent of fabric softener on clothes to a gate in a fence. Her will to escape was enormous. This injured, traumatized horse existed between two worlds—wild and domesticated—and belonged to neither. But there were glimmers of hope: The other horses fell in love with her on sight, just as Harris had. And true to her name and herself, True Colors would never pretend to be something she was not; with her wise, intuitive nature, she would end up changing the lives of everyone she encountered, animal and human.

Horses Never Lie About Love is the story of this remarkable horse and the revelations about life and love that she gave Harris over the course of their decades together. Now thirty-three years old, this complex, magnetic animal retains the outsize personality that transforms everyone around her, both human and equine. True Colors has grown to become the heart of the range and the farm, her quiet wisdom transmitting a strength of character that transcends the thin line between animals and the humans they love. There is a famous horseman’s saying: A horse never lies about its pain. But maybe we should also consider: A horse never lies about love.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Favor, please

If you have Facebook, will you take a look at my "Good Thoughts for Kate" event on October 11th? I'm asking people to take 5 seconds out of their day then to send good thoughts Kate's way while she's in surgery. Surgery we hope will help her with pain.

If you join and spread the word, I'd be so, so grateful. Thank you for everything you've all already done!



Saturday, September 24, 2011

Update on Kate

I promised you all an update and Team Canterwood (and our friends, especially Alex, Lauren, Becca, Katherine, Bri, and Andi) have been so supportive with e-mails, Facebook messages, etc.

I don't want to put too much of Kate's personal medical history online, but this last visit at Mayo was good and bad. Good because we have a surgery scheduled. Bad because doctors still don't know how to stop/help her with the screaming pain she's in every day.

We're going back to Mayo for the third time the second week of October. Kate is going to have surgery where doctors will try to find a cause for her pain. It's extremely exciting to have this chance, but also absolutely terrifying because of the fear that they won't find anything.

So, we are both very nervous and anxious right now. Going back to the hospital is not fun. I don't know how Kate has done it so many times. She still edits Canterwood while living every day for the past year and a half with a pain that medication won't cover. Pain that makes her scream. It's heartbreaking to witness and there's a helpless feeling.

We thank you all for being there to back us--your support has brought happy tears to Kate's eyes more times than you know.

I ask you all to send good wishes into the universe for Kate on October 11th--the date of her surgery. I'll create a Facebook page as soon as I have time.

Thank you, guys. We love you all!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Chat with me!

There's a 15 minute chat with me up for grabs! Click here for deets! :)

Last time, I talked to Team Canterwood member Lauren for half an hour because we were having so much fun. I'd LOVE to talk to another TC member!


Video from Rochester B&N Canterwood Event

If you've seen the pics below, you know I had a wonderful time at Rochester's B&N at the Apache Mall. Kate came and introduced me to the crowd while Ross shot all of this footage. Thanks, Ross and Kate!

In one of these videos . . . I read an excerpt from INITIATION! :D Enjoy!

I've got serious writing to do. Have Diet Coke, coffee, kitty, gloss . . . all set!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pics from signing in Rochester, MN

This past Sunday, September 18th, I had the pleasure of signing books and doing a surprise reading of an excerpt from INITIATION! :) The members of Team Canterwood who came were AMAZING. One reader got a bright blue feather in her hair because I had them! And Olivia brought me a lip gloss! So. Sweet.

The Rochester crowd was filled with TC people from all over--some even driving two+ hours to get to B&N. I can't thank you all enough for coming. I had so much fun. :)

Enjoy these pics and the video will be up soon!

Thanks to Kate for playing photographer. Thank you, also, to Brianna for helping with the event and Ross for filming.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Book signing this weekend!

The Brooklyn Trio got into Rochester on Tuesday night and crashed. There have been lots of appointments at Mayo and, for the first time, a doctor who listened. Dr. H has an idea of what could be causing K's pain and though we won't know for a while, there need to be more tests, etc., we're all happy that there is finally the tiniest bit of hope and something to go on. I don't want to share too much of K's personal stuff, but I wanted to thank you all for the love and support. I promise to keep you updated with how she's feeling and if this doctor's guess turns out to be correct.

I'm writing a piece that's due soon and using the hotel's color printer like CRAZY. Been printing tons of Facebook pics that I've wanted to have. Now, I'll have things to frame at home.

I'm probably going to head over to the downtown Rochester Barnes & Noble to sign stock like I did last time. How can I NOT visit that castle-like B&N?

I'm also superpumped about my signing on Sunday. Again, the details:

Sunday, September 18th at 2pm
Rochester, Minnesota
Barnes & Noble at the Apache Mall (NOT the downtown location)

Come say hi! I don't want to be all alone, lol! :) I'm already superexcited that Lauren, the winner of my 15-minute phone chat from eBay, is coming. Our talk turned into half an hour because she was so supercool. Her awesome mom won the chat and the proceeds from all of my eBay auctions are going to the ASPCA.

If anyone else is interested, I'll add a Skype video chat, phone call, etc., to eBay and we'll see if we can help more animals with donations!

TGIF! What are your weekend plans?

Monday, September 12, 2011


OMG, sooo busy! A zillion things to do before leaving for Rochester tomorrow! Eeep!

If only you could see the mess that surrounds me...

Just wanted to give a quick shout out of thanks to the Rochester Post-Bulletin for the note about my signing:

(It wouldn't turn into an active link, sorry!)

If you're near the Apache Mall on Sunday, September 18th at 2pm, come see me! I'll be at Rochester's Barnes & Noble! :)


Away we go!

Off to Rochester, Minnesota!

Again, I'm asking for your good luck wishes, prayers, thoughts, etc., for Kate as we try to find a way to get her feeling well again.

I hope our Mayo Clinic experience is as good as it was last time.

Also, I hope to see some TC members at my signing on Sunday. :)


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

#3day comes to a close

Thank you to all of the participants in my spur of the moment Three Day Write a Thon! I had so much fun writing and editing with my Internet friends. :) I hope everyone's proud of the work they accomplished.

I STILL haven't been to bed! I'm deep into editing and writing. Probably will be done soon and then crashing hardcore. ;)

I will definitely be hosting another Write a Thon in the future. I think it was a great tool to bring writers together--I saw some of you agreed to exchange work with one another. That's wonderful!

Enjoy the short week, everyone, and talk soon!


Sunday, September 4, 2011

#3daywat progress

So many people are participating--I LOVE it! I think I'll open this spot for new comments if you want to check in, give a progress report, discuss your project, ask each other questions or for advice, etc.

I'm definitely going to host another write-a-thon event in the future. Next time, I'll give advanced notice and we can all hang out and write together virtually. :) I'm having so much fun.

My progress:

I rewrote chapter 1 of POPULAR (CC #14.) It was waaay too passive. Beginnings always take me the longest and it took about six hours to get the opening right. I edited and wrote more of chapter 2. Got stuck on chapter 3 and skipped ahead to a horse scene. My faves. :) Lauren's about to start a lesson with Mr. Conner. Horse scenes flow fast for me.

So, if you like, check in here or on the first 3daywat post.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Writing advice for #3daywat

If anyone has writing questions before our AWESOME Three Day Write-a-Thon begins tomorrow, read this link. I answered tons of questions from young writers seeking advice.

If you want to join, sign up on yesterday's post! We're hashtagging it as #3daywat on Twitter. :)

See you bright and early tomorrow!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hello, three day weekend!

I'm soo excited that it's a three day weekend after tomorrow! Well, weekends or weekdays really don't make much different to me as a writer, but it does mean no business related e-mails, stopping for publicity, etc., so I'll be kicking off a Three Day Write-a-Thon on Saturday morning!

Want to join me?

If you do, cool! Leave a comment here that you're going to be writing/editing/outlining, etc., and what you're working on if you like. Throughout the weekend and Monday, check in here to cheer each other on and report your progress. I'll be doing word count updates via Twitter. :) I love writing with other people. It, um, keeps me from getting distracted. Plus, it's embarrassing if I report back with a sad word count.

So, join me via Twitter, Facebook, my blog and let's WRITE!

I'm going to be outlining POPULAR and writing it, too. That's my project. I want to get as far as possible into it.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Help animals affected by Hurricane Irene and win!

I love animals and want to help those affected by Hurricane Irene. So, I put 10 items up for bid on eBay. Nine are signed books and the other is a 15 minute chat with me!

So, go check out the items for sale and help the ASPCA at the same time. :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

What happened to August?

I can't believe it's almost September! August is going by sooo fast--aahh!

Things are in the quiet slash insanely busy stage, know what I mean? I'm waiting on copyedits for Initiation, am outlining Popular and am expecting to be able to announce some superexciting news very soon!

K is not feeling well. Actually, feeling the worst she ever has. We're getting ready to head back to Mayo in mid-September. I'll also be signing while we're there--on Sunday, September 18th at the Apache Mall B&N in Rochester, MN. Definitely come by and say hi. :)


Friday, August 19, 2011

Subscribe to the CCA newsletter

I erased my old database of subscribers to the Canterwood Crest newsletter and it's time to start fresh!

If you'd like to receive a no more than once-monthly e-mail from me, sign up here!

Subscribe to the CCA Newsletterr

I'll NEVER give your e-mail address to anyone and you'll never receive spam. :)



Tuesday, August 9, 2011


So, the Canterwood cover photo shoot was last Monday! I got pics via text and I think these new covers are going to be AWESOME! I'm so excited to see them.

A few days ago, I finished INITIATION and am waiting for copy edits. Yay for another book down! I'm really in writing mode and want to start POPULAR this weekend. POPULAR is going to be crazy! :)

When does everyone go back to school?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Team Eric or Team Jacob?

You KNOW you have your fave Canterwood boy! Are you on Team Eric or Team Jacob? These hot new tees are available now! :)

Awesome graphics by Hannah F!

I heart these so hard core! Thank you, Hannah F for sending these! The lip-gloss one, especially, made me grin. :)

Many hearts!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Team Canterwood merchandise! Let's go shopping!

You've been asking and for months, I've been working on designing these Team Canterwood, Team Sasha, Team Lauren, Team Eric and Team Jacob T-shirts.

This is only the first batch--there are MANY more to come with different slogans, colors, etc. But I wanted to give you all some options now as you get ready for back to school shopping! :)

I'm having a blast designing these shirts and I can't wait to bring you more. This is a project I've been working on in my time when I'm not writing or editing Canterwood. I hope you all find something you like and happy shopping!

PS: The first 10 people to send me a photo of themselves in any of those shirts will get a signed copy of INITIATION when it releases. :)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Want to be published? Ask me anything!

This is your shot to ask questions about getting published. Whatever you're dreaming about--a book deal, writing for your school newspaper, publishing in magazines--leave a comment and ask your question.

I'm not answering questions about HOW to write, but rather how to get published. I won't be answering the questions in the comments section, however, they'll be answered in a different (soon to be revealed!) way. :)

You've got until I close the comments (probably two weeks) to leave yours. You can ask more than one, so go for it! Feel free, if you like, to leave your first name and age. I'm interested to know how old you are in consideration with your question.

I'm excited to read your questions! :)

Downloadable graphics from Pickle Monsta

Here are some fab graphics that have been uploaded to my PhotoBucket account. These were made by the wickedly talented Pickle Monsta!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

The next Canterwood cover photo is on Monday. I wish everyone a great time and hope the covers turn out well! :)

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