Monday, January 31, 2011

Birthday weekend

I had a FAB, fun and awesome Hello Kitty birthday weekend! First, thank you to everyone on Team Canterwood for my gorgeous Power Point and all of the sweet birthday comments. You guys are the best! <3

Kate made Ross and me run "errands" so she could stay home and decorate. I walked into Hello Kitty Land!(I'm fighting to leave the decos up forever, btw . . .)

It was a relaxing, fun weekend with TV, movies, dessert and pizza.

Plus, and not like I'm obsessed with the PINK line or anything, but K matched up THE perf outfit--(see the above!)

It was a wonderful 24th! :)

Happy Monday, all!


Saturday, January 29, 2011

So, it appears I'm 24

A few weeks ago, I joked to Kate that I was having a mid-life crisis. She got a look of utter disgust on her face, looked through the books on her shelves and pulled out one out. "I think you meant quarter-life," she said and tossed the above book at me.

I'm not really having a mid or quarter-life crisis (at least, I don't think I am!) but today is my 24th birthday. So it's almost quarter-life.

Twenty-four doesn't feel different than twenty-three. Actually, lots of 24-year old me things are the same as 23-year old me. Like:

I'm still immature in a lot of ways.

I still love Disney movies.

I wish I had time to reread Harry Potter and Twilight.

I'm obsessed with RPattz.

I love glitter.

I will buy anything that sparkles.

I love my BFF.

I cry when people I love are hurting.

Snow makes everything feel better.

I gained friends.

I lost friends.

Something happened that I'd been wishing for for almost two years.

Most of my paychecks go to my Victoria's Secret credit card because of my love of their PINK line.

I punched a guy in the face who deserved it. I'd do it again this year if necessary.

Gram sends me the best cards and leaves BFF the funniest voice mails.

I'm addicted to my BlackBerry.

I share a birthday with Oprah.

Hilary Duff is still my celeb arch nemesis. (Should have told her that when I saw her on NYE!)

I love pens. I keep stealing them from Ross.

The Ellen DeGeneres show is the one show that makes me laugh no matter how I'm feeling.

24-year old me is different than 23-year old me, though, in ways. Such as:

I have purple tinsel ( in my hair.

I can handle more than I thought I could.

I co-own a business with my bestie.

I lost friends who weren't friends after all.

I saw an ugly side to business.

I love my BFF more than I thought I could.

Team Canterwood has grown to a crazy-horse-loving army.

I don't carry a subway map.

My bestie and I are getting identical second tattoos.

I know I'll never leave my neighborhood.

I'm starting to be honest with myself about what I really want.

I'm more about action instead of words.

I'm juggling multiple projects--YAs, tween novellas, Canterwood and more.

My Brooklyn family is closer than ever--it's a very Meet the Fockers "circle of trust" type of thing.

I can't go a day without watching an episode of Pretty Little Liars.

So, I welcome 24 and whatever 2011 brings. I'm very much the same, but different in a lot of ways than I was at 23. I'm ready to take 24 one day at a time.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Cross post from Violet & Ruby

Kate wrote this post and I wanted to share it with all of you! Find the original post here. :)


So, this website is the first visible evidence of me and my best friend going into business together. It’s like a childhood dream, owning a company with your BFF. But as you grow up, it seems like a really, really bad idea. You think about the fights you might get in—over money, who gets to make all the decisions, who is better at doing whatever and who is jealous and why. You worry someone might get hurt and, ultimately, you worry that you’ll ruin your friendship.

But you know what? I've never had that worry about Violet & Ruby. And there are two reasons why.

One: I never knew the true meaning of “best friend” until I met mine a few years ago. Sure, I’d had friends I’d worn friendship bracelets with, or made BFF friendship notebooks with—notebooks that declared “best friends forever!” But this girl, she means so much more to me than a bracelet or a notebook. When we hang out, I never get bored or annoyed with her and wonder when she’ll leave or when I can go home. I can spend all day and night with her and call her when she gets home and still have a marathon phone call with her. We finish each others’ sentences, love the same things, own many of the same items of clothing, and get asked almost everywhere we go if we’re sisters.

Two: I met my bestie DOING business. We were in business together first, and became best friends later. We were partnered together, long distance, as author and editor on a series called CANTERWOOD CREST. We started talking on the phone once in a while about things non-Canterwood-related. But then something life-changing happened. I learned I was going to have to get a spinal fusion surgery. Even though I’m an adult, the idea of surgery on my back terrified me! I told my friend over the phone, who also happened to have had that same surgery—and she was amazing. Even though she was nervous for me, she talked to me all about her experience and made me feel so much better and like everything was going to be all right.

During the time I was out of work to recover from surgery (two months!), and even though one of us lived in Brooklyn and one in Florida, we talked every day for at least a couple hours a day. We planned the time in advance, both made tea before our calls, and spent hours talking and laughing and telling each other things about ourselves that we’d never told anyone else. Eventually, we visited each other and decided we couldn’t live so far apart. Just three months later, we were both living in the same exact neighborhood in Brooklyn!

We decided to start Violet & Ruby one night when we were painting our nails. We have a ton of beauty rituals that we do together all the time—facemasks, mani/pedis, online lip-gloss shopping, and slew of shared accessories. We started talking about how cool it would be if we made a blog where we posted about all of our favorite things: fave glosses, makeup, nail polish, TV shows, books, etc.
We agreed on the blog . . . and then Violet & Ruby became Violet & Ruby Productions. The latter still included the sparkly website, but it also included something just as cool: a packaging company partnership that consisted of just the two of us. We’d brainstorm the way we always did for Canterwood—but we’d brainstorm ideas for other books and novellas and then we’d write them together! A few months later, here we are. Our first real project, with an e-novella close to being published! And you know what? Every day has been so much fun. We don’t fight, we haven’t stopped finishing each others’ sentences, and we’ve already come up with a ton of ideas we’re both super proud of—ideas we can’t wait to execute together.

Cheers to that old middle school saying that we’ve both discovered is as true when you’re an adult as when you’re in middle school or high school: BFFs 4ever!

Violet & Ruby

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happy book birthday, TAKE THE REINS!

Wow. It's crazy to think that two years ago on January 27, TAKE THE REINS was released into the world. I was a total newbie author with a four-book deal and had no idea if I was doing anything right. The only thing I knew for sure: I had a book that I loved and was passionate about.

I have to first thank Molly McGuire for acquiring the series. Then, all thanks, praise and hearts go to Kate Angelella for turning a four book series into twenty books including a super special. It's rare to find an editor who turns books such as THE ROCK AND THE RIVER into an award winner and a commercial series like Canterwood into a long-running series. I am incredibly grateful to Kate for the countless hours she has put into my books. But she wasn't just focused on Canterwood or award winners. She stayed at the office till 11 many nights (I was there!) and worked all weekend on her projects. I'm friends with several of her authors (hello, Lauren Barnholdt!) and wish they could have seen her in action.

Now, as TAKE THE REINS is almost 2 years old, book 12 has just released--ending Sasha's reign as the narrator of Canterwood. It's an exciting, happy, sad thing all at once!

I cannot wait until May when you will all get to meet our new narrator in the JUMBO sized super special. (Seriously, it's HUGE.) :)

I'm working on #13 INITIATION and Kate and I are preparing to bring you something amazing in between waiting for Canterwood--our new e-book novella series--WELLINGTON PREP. More details to come as we move forward on this new venture.

Thank you all, Team Canterwood, for sticking with me since the first book. I owe you many thanks because you allow me to do the job I love. Thank you. <3

Here's the post I wrote in 2009. :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lovely Team Canterwood-made video tribute to Sasha & Co.

A beautiful video made by NoCureForHorses9. Go subscribe to her YouTube Channel! Thank you so much, NoCure, for making this gorgeous video! Many <3sss!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

oh, tax joy

Not, lol. 8+ hours later over 2 days, I'm getting close to finishing taxes. Yay!

That's the biz side of writing--the numbers and figures. I can't do math to save my life. I failed math in 6th and 7th grade. Not even a tutor or my friends could save me. :)

But I'm almost done and then . . . I'm outlining INITIATION and working on DOMINATE with Kate. Soooo exciting to have a new series to work on. Violet & Ruby Productions is going to be putting out the hottest, most fun e-book novellas for tweens and teens.Be sure to follow us on Twitter: @Violet_and_Ruby

I can't wait for you guys to read our first project! Be sure to scroll below and leave a comment (it can be anonymous if you like) or email me with a question for our PINKY SWEAR novella. How cool would it be to see your question in print? We're already getting a lot of great questions about friendships, so keep them coming.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Video from reading at Barnes & Noble! Secrets revealed!

Welcome to Wellington Prep!

Cover copyright © 2011 Violet & Ruby

Yay! Kate and I are very excited to share the cover and title for the first novella in our upcoming e-book series, WELLINGTON PREP. The title is dominate. :) It will be available soon for download from and for a killer price. Get your e-readers ready!

Here's the teaser again:

Wellington Prep: home to the notorious Jasmine King. And if you think Jasmine's a mean girl . . . meet the one who taught her everything she knows.

The release date will be coming soon!

Happy Saturday!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Pics from Barnes & Noble signing :)

Barnes & Noble in Tribecca. So pretty!

I. Have. A. Sign. Several, actually! OMG. And those are CC books next to the table.

Just started speaking. I love having a podium to, um, hide behind. :)

Love the green curtain.

Posing with my bestie/Canterwood partner extraordinaire Kate.

Jill aka "Sasha Silver" signing autographs! She's a rock star.

Jill and a reader girly.

Smiling for the camera with Miss Jill. I totally heart her!

Signing for some awesome girls.

More signing!

Smiling because we're having a great chat.

I look very serious here, LOL.

She came on crutches! Aw!

If you click on this pic, you can REALLY see my purple hair tinsel. :)

Signing it a glittery pink pen.

Still signing . . .

Ah, see the tinsel now! :)

Signing a book for Jill.

Pretty smile. :)

I had so much fun at my B&N signing! We had special guests--Jill aka Sasha and Editor K.

Also, instead of reading from UNFRIENDLY COMPETITION, I read an excerpt from CHOSEN and showed the full front and back of the cover.

I also announced that . . .

I'm incredibly excited to announce that I've signed a new four-book deal to continue Canterwood! We're up to *20* books, guys!!! YAY! And how lucky are we to have Editor K on board. Sooo excited.

I've got video of the event that I'll upload soon so YOU can see me read from CHOSEN.

Hope you like the pics!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Editor K is now Author/Writer K!

Hi, guys!

I am beyond excited to share some news! My best friend has come over to the dark side ;) and is now a full-time writer/freelance-editor. She is no longer with Simon & Schuster after a wonderful four years of editing award winning books, many series and some fab stand-a-lones, she is now pursuing her dream as a writer. I could not be happier or more proud. (Um, plus, that means we get to write together every day in our pajamas. Woot!)

We have teamed up to form Violet & Ruby and soon we'll be bringing you the hottest, most fun e-book novellas for you to download via and Barnes & (They will not be available in physical book stores--only online.) They'll be published under Jessica Ashley & Kate Angelella.

Want a teaser of an e-book novella coming to you soon in forty page installments? How about this?

Wellington Prep: home to the notorious Jasmine King. And if you think Jasmine's a mean girl . . . meet the one who taught her everything she knows.

A title reveal, cover and more will be coming VERY soon, so stay tuned! :)

Team Canterwood, don't worry! Kate is staying with us! She would never leave the series and will continue to edit Canterwood Crest, have input on our beautiful covers and make sure we give you what you deserve--awesome books.

Writers--if anyone is looking for a freelance-editor, Kate's your girl. Her rates are reasonable and she's incredibly talented. Contact her through her Website if you want more info.

Later in the week, look for pics and video from my B&N signing. There were a lot of surprises and secrets revealed that you'll get here.

Finally, we're working on a project and we need YOUR input. If you'd like the possible opportunity to see your first name and age (or make up a name if you like) in one of our e-books, post any questions you have here about friendships, keeping friends, losing friends, mean girls, etc. Ask away and you might find your question answered in a novella coming soon from us! :)


Monday, January 10, 2011

Canterwood Crest #13 title reveal!

I thought it would be fun for a little Monday pick-me-up! So, how about the reveal of the title for Canterwood Crest #13?!

(In case of any confusion, CHOSEN does not count as #13 because it is a super special.)

The title, brainstormed by the always-fab-and-brilliant Editor K, is . . .


I looove it! We're working on the book now and the title is perfect. There couldn't be a better title to fit the story.

The cover is fabulous and I can't wait to share it with you all!


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Win a $100 Walmart gift card from LipSmackers!

LipSmackers is hosting a supercool contest with a big prize--a $100 gift card to Walmart!! What do you have to do? You have until Jan 31 to upload YOUR equestrian look to the Website. Click on the photo which will take you the page with full instructions.

Thank you, Bonne Bell! <3

Go enter and let me know if you win! Yay Unfriendly Competition Sweeps!


Weekend work

Got some work to do today. The upcoming week is going to be *busy!* I've got a sekrit phone call tomorrow, a book club/dinner on Tuesday and a bunch of work in between.

Most important, I'm gearing up for my B&N signing next Wednesday. There will be TWO huge surprises that night! Two very, very big and veeeerry secret surprises that you must be there for. Eeeek! :) :)

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thanks, Team Canterwood!

I've been receiving some lovely e-mails from Team Canterwood regarding UNFRIENDLY COMPETITION. I know we're all sad to say goodbye to Sasha, but I'm thrilled that you guys are excited about the next chapter for Canterwood. :)

I just finished copy edits on CHOSEN last night--yay!

Today, I'm working on my YA project and outlining the next Canterwood book. Veeery exciting!

Have a great day, guys!

PS: Any of my blog readers attending my NYC signing on the 19th? I hope so!


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Check this or be "cursed!"

This is the blog of 2011, guys! (Tweens, this is YA content, FYI . . .) Kate and Ross started their blog for their two books (Crossed and Cursed) from Sourcebooks' FIRE imprint. The first debuts in spring 2012!

Go check it out--it's amazing and it's going to be so cool to follow them from sale to publication. For Team Canterwood, go show Editor K some sparkles and comment to say hi! :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Win a Skype chat with me!

On January, 4, UNFRIENDLY COMPETITION releases. I think that means we need some prizes!

I want to meet some members of Team Canterwood! Lucky for us that Skype is awesome! We can video chat or talk via Skype's phone feature if you don't have a Webcam. Best of all? It's totally FREE!



Three winners will get 15 minutes to chat with me via Skype in March! I want to give everyone plenty of time to enter and then we can coordinate our schedules.

This is a biiig prize, so here's how to enter starting today (you can do one or as many as you like--you get one entry per activity that you do):

* Blog about this contest and UNFRIENDLY'S release and put the link to your post on the comments here or on my LiveJournal

* Write a Facebook status update about the contest/UNFRIENDLY'S release

* Tweet about it

* Make a banner, avatar, graphic, etc., related to Canterwood and email it to me at jess _ burkhart @ hotmail DOT com. I will post all the graphics--not just one--if any--that wins.

* Take a pic of yourself with UC (it will NOT be posted on my blog) and e-mail it to me

* Take a pic of the Canterwood books at your fave bookstore and email it to me

* Snap a photo of the Canterwood books on your shelf

* Post a Facebook note about the release of UNFRIENDLY COMPETITION

* Get creative! Come up with something not on the list! :)

You have until Sunday, February 13, 2011 to enter. Good luck and I can't wait to talk to the winners! I'll announce them the week of Feb 13th. :)

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