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!


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