Thursday, September 27, 2012

Cursed by Kate and J.R. Angelella on PW


Look what I found on Publishers Weekly Spring 2013 Sneak Previews:

Fire needs a counter-spell for Cursed by Kate and J.R. Angelella, about a girl who comes to believe the curse on her family when she’s pulled into a world of voodoo and demons; Emblazed by Jessica Shirvington, in which Violet is forced to turn over the key to hell to one who has saved, then betrayed her; How I Lost You by Janet Gurtler, a tale about a friendship at stake the summer before two girls’ senior year; My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks by Marc and Maya Silver, an advice book for teens featuring stories from real kids; and Sucks to Be Me by Geoff Herbach, in which nerd-turned-jock Felton faces life changing decisions during his senior year.
Just wait till you all read CURSED. OMG. The cover is S-I-C-K. 
Yaaay besties with a debut YA on the horizon! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Team Canterwood . . . want to guest blog? :)

How would YOU like to be a guest blogger right here? :)

Your post could appear on my blog for thousands of people to read and respond to. I'd love to give some of you the chance to write a guest post.

Interested? Here's what to do:

Send me an email at jess_burkhart AT hotmail DOT com.

Subject: Guest blogger (gotta have it or I might miss your email!)

In the body of your email, tell me what you'd like to write about. You can talk about anything you like--being a teen or tween, your fave books, boys, horses, Canterwood--it's totally up to you! You post should be at least a paragraph long.

Deadline: October 15, 2012

I'll contact you after 10/15 if you're chosen to blog. Keep in mind, there will be a deadline (like, two weeks) after I contact you that I'll need your post. Once I get it and decide on a date, your guest post will go live! :)

Your last name will NOT be used--only your first name and age. :)

Good luck and I hope I get a lot of emails!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Who's ready for Monday?

The weekend FLEW by for me. Anyone else?

I'm about to do a Skype chat with Lauryn (love the spelling!) who bid on the chat via eBay. All proceeds from items that I've been auctioning off are being collected and will be donated to NaNoWriMo's Young Writers' Program. :)

I got my "No typing or being on the computer!" rule lifted from my doctor. YAY! Even though, erm, I've been on the computer . . . I *did* listen about typing a lot. That counts, right? :)

I'm so happy that I can start (slowly, said the dr) working tomorrow. I'm on medication and have to follow RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation as much as I can. I do have to have surgery though. :( It should be minor and only keep me off the computer (for real that time) for 2-3 weeks. I've just started to look for a doctor (orthopedist) in NYC. There are so, so many doctors and if not done correctly, the surgery can make my pain worse (permanently!) so I have to do TONS of research. I'm nervous about letting someone mess with my arm considering it's what I need to do my job. Eep!

That aside, I did a lot of fall cleaning (check out all of the stuff for sale on my eBay page), read, and brainstormed new novel ideas. I fleshed out a YA that I've been wanting to work on FOREVER and after I finish the draft of JEALOUSY, I'll probably try to start an outline and sample chapters so I can pitch my idea to an editor. I wish I could tell you guys about it!!

I've got a phone call tomorrow about a Secret Sparkly Project so fingers crossed that it goes well. 

What did everyone do this weekend? Anything exciting going on this week?

I'll be writingwritingwriting and have 2 doctor appts, but that's it for this week.

Happy Sunday!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hey ya'll

Happy Wednesday!

How's everyone's week going? Comment and let me know! I'm on a doctor-ordered writing break (shhh . . . you never saw me blogging!) because of tendon stress/strain. Boo. But I get to start writing again next Monday and I'm so excited! I'm very lucky to actually *want* to go back to work.

Hugs to all on Team Canterwood! xo


Monday, September 10, 2012

Items for sale on eBay . . . lots of pink and sparkly!

I'm so late to the game, but I'm finally using eBay as I go through my stuff for fall cleaning.

An updated list of my things will always be on my eBay page, but here are a few current items:

14k White Gold Diamond "J" initial necklace

Victoria's Secret PINK Dogs Pack of Five

 Expressions NYC Sequin Wallet


PINK Victoria's Secret LOVE PINK 15" laptop sleeve

More to come! :D

Masquerade pubs tomorrow!

Here's an excerpt from MASQUERADE which hits stores tomorrow! Yaaay! :)

Sorry about the spacing and some lettering being off. Blogspot isn't behaving . . . :/


Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

A SHINY, SILKY BLUE RIBBON GLEAMED FROM Whisper’s bridle. The judge who’d pinned it there extended her hand to me. I shifted Whisper’s reins to one hand and read the judge’s name badge. MS. NELSON. I leaned down and shook her hand. This did not feel real.

“Congratulations, Miss Towers,” Ms. Nelson said, smiling. The brunette in a navy suit had appeared so intimidating when I’d ridden for her a short while ago. But now, I kind of wanted to crown her as my new BFF! She had given me a blue ribbon, after all.

“Thank you, Ms. Nelson,” I said.

My head felt as though it was going to float away from my body and into the cloudless sky. I truly hadn’t focused on a ribbon during my first class with Whisper. My goal had been to do our best. ClichÉ, but true.

That was New Lauren—a competitor who thought of riding well first and placing later. Old Lauren, pre-Canterwood Lauren, would have accepted the ribbon, added it to her collection, and started focusing on the next show. The next chance to win.

But today . . .

My first show since my almost career-ending accident at Red Oak Horse Trials.

My first competition as a Canterwood Crest Academy student.

My first time riding in front of judges on my own horse.

Whisper and I had tried our hardest and had given everything we had in the arena—that had been enough for me to be happy. The win was icing on a trÈs yummy carrot I planned to give Whisper later. A snort from a horse around me pulled me out of my thoughts.

“Blue looks good on you guys,” Lexa Reed said. Next to me, she had a red ribbon on Honor’s bridle. Lexa, a close friend, was also on Canterwood’s intermediate riding team with her strawberry roan mare.

“Thanks, Lex,” I said. “And congrats! We’re so celebrating tonight!”

“Um, yeah.” Lexa smiled, doing a quick dance in the saddle. She glanced around as if looking to see if anyone saw. I tried to hold back a giggle, but it escaped from my lips. Lexa couldn’t stop herself from dancing, and I felt as if I’d had a little too much green tea.

The judges motioned for us to exit the arena. Lexa and I followed a girl on a black gelding who’d come in third. Honor and Whisper had each set a hoof on the grass outside the arena when Lexa and I couldn’t hold it in for another second.

“Number one and two!” Lexa said. “So awesome!” Her smile was bright against her mocha-colored skin. A quick surge of relief pumped through me. My mind had shifted back to Old Lauren’s for a moment, and I’d worried that Lexa would be jealous of my win or mad that I’d beaten her. But that wasn’t Lexa. She was a true friend, and Lex was genuinely happy about our placements.

“We showed everyone how Canterwood riders compete,” I added. “To win!”

“Yeah, we did.” Lexa’s happiness radiated to Honor, and the mare picked up on it. Her neck arched and she half pranced. Whisper, watching Honor, copied her. Her delicate gray head went high into the air as she lifted each hoof a little higher than necessary.

We walked the horses away from the arena and back to a quiet spot under a shady tree. The campus was swarming with riders from four area schools, but Lexa and I had been lucky enough to stake out a place to relax before our next class. Khloe, my other BFF and roomie, had been cheering us on from here, but she was gone.

“Did Khloe have a class?” I asked.

“Don’t think so. She’ll prob be right back. Or maybe she’s off practicing, oh, a mean girl, or a
competitive girl, or some other persona she might need in her acting repertoire.”

Giggling, we dismounted and high-fived.

“Having an actor for a BFF keeps things interesting,” I said.

Lexa nodded. “Life in Khloe Kinsella’s circle is never boring.”

We turned our attention to the horses. I petted Whisper’s neck. “You were the superstar, girl. I want to hug you like crazy, but we have trail class left. I don’t want to mess up your braids or get covered in Whisper hair and lose points for appearance.”

Lexa kissed Honor’s muzzle. The beautiful strawberry roan mare squeezed her eyes shut, clearly enjoying the affection.

We loosened the horses’ girths and gave them tiny sips of water from a shared yellow bucket. Mike and Doug, two of the stable grooms, were doling out water buckets to the competing horses.

Whisper’s gray coat was dry under her saddle pad, and she didn’t show any signs of nerves from all of the action. She also didn’t exhibit symptoms of fatigue—either from stress or our class.

“I couldn’t love you more,” I told Whisper. “You treated that class like any old lesson. Wait till we’re done for the day.”

Whisper flicked an ear in my direction and lowered her trimmed, velvety muzzle into my hand. I kissed it and scratched under her forelock.

“Laur! Lex!”

We looked up and a blonde bounced up to us, leading a bay mare.

“Ahhh! Congratulations again!” Khloe said. She ground tied Ever, who reached out her muzzle to say hello to Honor and Whisper. “I’m so glad that I got to watch you both get your ribbons.”

“Thanks, KK,” I said. “It feels like . . . I don’t even know!”

“Awww,” Khloe said, winking at Lexa. “Our LT is in shock. Should we pour cold water on her?”

“Let’s not pour cold water on her,” I said, playing along. “Lauren would have to retaliate in the middle of the night. Something involving glitter and glue, perhaps.”

Lexa took off her helmet, full-out laughing. “I kind of want this to happen so I can see whatever glitter idea you have!” She ran a hand over her curly black hair. It was in a chic low bun—not loose and down like Lex usually wore it. Natural reddish highlights made her dark skin look even prettier, and a single coat of mascara made her deep brown eyes look bigger.

Khloe shot Lex a pretend I’m going to hurt you look. “I’d like to remain glitter and glue free, thank you very much. So I’ll skip the cold water.”

Khloe’s brown eyes had a playful look when they landed on me. She certainly didn’t look like she’d been up since four this morning. Her tan, freckle-free skin was sans makeup except for clear gloss. We’d both woken instantly when the alarms had gone off hours ago. Adrenaline during show day wasn’t something I could sleep through. If only it was that easy to wake up on school mornings!

“Truce?” I asked, tilting my head.

“Truce.” Khloe shook my hand, looking serious.

I unsnapped my black velvet-covered helmet and clipped it to Whisper’s saddle.

“Here comes someone for Lauren,” Lexa said in a singsong voice.

“What? Who?”

I turned. He headed our way. Drew Adams. An insta-smile came to my face. Drew and his blood bay gelding, Polo, hadn’t competed in the intermediate dressage class. When I’d entered the ring, I wished Drew had been able to see my ride. See me in my element. But when my name had been called for a ribbon, I’d spotted Drew cheering for me. He’d been in the stands the whole time.

“Hey,” he said, smiling at all of us before his gaze settled on me.

“Hi,” I said.

“Awesome ride, Lauren.” Drew stretched a hand to rub Whisper’s neck. “You and Whisper deserved first.”

I felt my fair cheeks start to flush. I tried to think of something—anything else but the cute guy standing in front of me—but my mind blanked.

“Thank you,” I said. “I came out of the arena feeling like we’d done our best, but I had serious competition. Like Lexa.” I tipped my head in my friend’s direction.

“Sorry, Lex,” Drew said. “I saw your ride too. It’s too bad there couldn’t have been a tie. Honor executed those turns beautifully.”

Lexa waved her hand. “Second place is what we deserve. Lauren and Whisper blew us away. I’m so happy for her! Plus, it’s going to make Honor and me raise our game.”

Lexa was such a great friend. Gracious, positive, but still competitive. She was the best kind of teammate I could hope for—someone who was there for her fellow teammates even when it came down to individual ribbons.

“How does it feel?” Drew asked. He stepped closer and patted Whisper’s shoulder. His sea-blue eyes were soft. I could stare into them forever. They stood out against his black hair and looked like gemstones against his pale skin.

He wasn’t asking how it felt to win. “I feel like I can finally close the door on Red Oak,” I said. “I needed this—a show—to be able to move a thousand percent past what happened.”

Drew smiled, and I couldn’t help but do the same. “That’s great. I’m happy for you.”

“How’re you doing?” I asked. “You had cross-country, right?”

Drew shook his head. “Yeah, but we’re talking about you. About your win.”

“Drew! I asked you! How’d it go? Tell me!” I lightly pushed his arm.

“Okay, okay!” He laughed, holding up a hand in a conceding gesture. He reached under his helmet, which was hanging on Polo’s saddle. There was a flash of blue, and he produced a winning ribbon.

“Omigod! Congratulations!” I said, shaking my head. “I wish I could have seen your ride. Why didn’t you...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Get Masquerade (signed!) now!

That's RIGHT! You've got 2 days and 23 hours to bid on a signed copy of #16.


Also, books 1-12 and Chosen are up for bid on eBay and they're signed, too.

Come bid and help raise money for the awesome Young Writers Program! Please tell your Canterwood crazy friends! :)

(I am canterwoodcrestfan on eBay and I'm also Tweeting about these contests. I have no other eBay accounts!)

Author Stock Photos

(cross-posted from
Welcome to Author Stock Photos!
What's this site for?

 Author Stock Photos are pictures taken with self-publishing authors in mind to aid in book cover creation. ASP are shot with an 18 mega-pixel camera (full camera detail in future post). The photos are covered with a watermark until they are purchased for use.

How much per photo?
No matter what photo you choose, there is a flat rate fee of $2 USD. That's a huge savings! Consider one site's photo rates: 
Your images never expire because they will be downloaded onto your computer. 
How do I buy one?
I only accept payment through PayPal. If you are interested in a photograph, e-mail me at authorstockphotos AT gmail DOT com with the number(s) of the photo(s) you're interested in. I'll e-mail you back with my PayPal e-mail address.
What kind of photos will be available?
I'm striving for a large variety! I live in New York City and will be photographing many districts of the city as well as areas of Brooklyn. Some of my most recent photographs have included pictures of a cemetery, horses and carriages in Central Park, blooming flowers, and a night shot of the Brooklyn skyline. 
How often will the site be updated? 
Often. I'll begin uploading photos immediately. I also take photo requests if you have a particular image in mind for your book cover. Give me as much detail as possible so I can strive for the image you want. I may NOT be able to accommodate all requests based on where I live, seasons, etc., but I'll do my best to work out something. 
Requested photos, which I'll send five sample pics to you, will cost $10 each.  

Is it of any benefit to you?
How many times have you (including myself!) visited a royalty-free photo Website? Maybe you've spent hours combing through expensive photos only to settle for a picture that "kind of works." It's my hope to provide inexpensive photos of the highest quality. Each photo will be taken with a "could this be part of a book cover?" mentality. No other royalty-free photo Website thinks of authors first!
The photos are also available for use on author Websites, promotional material, book trailers, etc. Endless possibilities!
That's the brief bit about Author Stock Photos! I can't wait to get the site filled with pictures!
Here are five photos shot last week so you can see what's to come!
1. Just before a storm at a cemetery (Brooklyn, NY) 8/30/12

2. Crane-like flower bud (Brooklyn, NY) 8/30/12

3. Dirt covered hand  (Brooklyn, NY) 8/30

4. Iron gate (Brooklyn, NY) 8/30

5. Tree stump hidden by grass (Brooklyn, NY) 8/30

To celebrate ASP kick-off, all of the above photos are for sale at half-price! 
Woot $1!  
Many, many more photos to come and don't forget to send requests. I hope this endeavor helps self-published authors find the cover image they've been searching for!

Book Lovers Unite for World Suicide Prevention Day 2020

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day. Authors, readers, and bloggers are uniting again his year to fight stigma, spread mental hea...

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