Saturday, June 29, 2013

I Heart Saturdays!

Happy weekend!

I'm lost in unicorn land and working on Sekrit Project! Unicorn Book #2 is gonna be a fun, sparkly book! So excited! Thank you, Alyson Heller, for your ideas and input! :)

Sekrit Project is reaaaaalllly hard to keep a sekrit, lol. I can't wait to spill! I think (hope!) it's something you're all going to be excited about. I am and am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to write it.

What's everyone doing this weekend? Any plans or chilling?

Back to work, but let me know what you're up to!


I want to come see YOU! Help me, TC!

Hi, Team Canterwood!

I've got an exciting idea that I wanted to share with you!

As you know, Home for Christmas (out October 1, 2013) is the final book in the Canterwood series. *I* feel as though I haven't met enough of you yet! I want to sign your books, swap stories, and perhaps give a short speech in a book-signing type setting.

In YOUR city. Or a city within driving distance to you.

The city must have a bookstore and, if it's flying distance away from Brooklyn, NY, a close airport.

What do you think? You guys ARE Canterwood, so how would you feel about me visiting? :)

The thing is: I need help. I have very little money to spend and doing a tour would be impossible without your help fundraising.

For example:

If I went to Chicago, Illinois-- the average plane ticket is $275 round trip and a hotel would be about $150 for a night.

So a tour stop in Chicago would cost (without cab to get to and from the event, food, etc) $425. 

I would love, love to travel to as many cities possible especially places where I've never been to sign books.

It's important to me to go to cities where you guys--my concentrated online friends--live. So if we raised travel funds, I would hold a poll on my blog and see what cities were the most popular and then spread the funds to cover as many of those cities as possible.

Here's how I'm going to do this: I'm working on a page for Kickstarter. Soon, you, your friends, family--anyone--will be able to directly donate to my tour fund. You'll be able to see how much money has been raised and how many people have donated.

Your donations will NOT be used for anything other than travel!

I'll begin accepting donations very soon and you'll have until September 8, 2013. Then, depending on the amount of funds raised, I would plan to tour in April 2014. :) :) :)

I think fom now until September gives us some serious time to raise money for me to visit you! I have my fingers crossed that we raise lots of money and that I'll be able to meet soooo many of you!

Oh! I forgot to mention there will be rewards involved for those who donate different amounts of money. Some will be phone calls with me, a critique of your writing . . .  and an ultimate prize will be  lunch together if I come to your city! Yay!

So, Team Canterwood, please start brainstorming up ways to raise money. I want to see you next spring!

I'll post my link to Kickstarter soon.

Please let me know if you have any questions/concerns in the comments section. Also feel free to swap money raising ideas with each other. You know, like a summer car wash for literacy!

Love you all!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tell me how're you doing! :)

Hi, all,

How's everyone doing? What's new with you? What are you reading or watching or obsessed with right now?

SHARE! :) I want to know what's going on with you and what's big in your life.

So, the comments are all about you guys! I can't wait to read them.

Much love!


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Buh-bye DOMA!

I am so, so proud to be able to one day tell kids that many, many years from now marriage equality won. And hopefully, it’s only going to spread wider from there. 
*dance party*

Saturday, June 22, 2013

We're gonna party!!

You did it, Team Canterwood! FAMOUS is doing so, so well and it's all thanks to YOU! :D Let's

As promised, we're going to have a LiveStream party to celebrate! Get all signed up now so you're ready!

Here's the deets:

DAY: July 13th, 2013 (Saturday)

TIME: 3pm Eastern Standard Time (ask your parents if you're not sure what time zone you live in--for example it will be 2pm Central Standard Time)

WHERE: Go here!

"See" you soon!


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Featuring a Canterwood Crest FAMOUS Girl: Lexi Carson

The Cali Barn Mafia created this gorgeous and amazing video to spotlight FAMOUS.

Endless thank yous and hugs to Lexi Carson, Grace Carson, Contero (our star horse!), Heatherly Davis for the riding coaching, and Edelweiss Farms for hosting the shoot.

I am absolutely in love with this video and thank you, Lex, for being a FAMOUS girl.

Team Canterwood all the way!

Happy release day, FAMOUS! :)


I'm so thrilled, proud, and excited to have FAMOUS out in the world today! Thank you, thank you to everyone who got our 18th and final (except for HOME FOR CHRISTMAS) published. 

Many, many hugs to Team Canterwood! I hope you enjoy this book--I had a blast writing it. 


Monday, June 10, 2013

Final FAMOUS sneak peek

Here's a sneak peek from page 56! (It may not be page 56 in your copy since I picked it from my Word doc!)

"I trusted Whisper. She was at a near gallop, but it was controlled. Wisp hadn’t stopped listening to me, and as long as she didn’t forget about me, I wanted to give her a little freedom. Wind whooshed in my ears as we swept past Mr. Conner. The saddle seemed to disappear between us, and it felt as though we were one. I’d never felt closer to my horse before."

I'm SO pumped about FAMOUS!

C'mon, tomorrow! 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

I'm going to do ONE more reveal of FAMOUS! :)

Pick a number between 16-172 and leave it in the comments. I'll close my eyes and pick a random commenter. I'll go to that page in the manuscript and selection at least a sentence and up to a paragraph and I'll post it on Monday.

Comment away! I know we're gonna make the best selling Canterwood book EVAH so we get to have our LiveStream party! Woo!


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Famous chapter 2 :)

You asked for it . . . so here is chapter 2 from FAMOUS! Hope that'll help till 6/11! :)

I hope you enjoy it, Team Canterwood!




Brielle sipped the tea I’d made her and gave me an appreciative smile.

“I missed this,” she said. “You making tea for us. I tried to make a cup after you left, and it was so gross! I mean, I don’t know how you mess up tea, but I did!”

This I had to hear more about. “How’d you make it exactly?” I asked.

Brielle rolled her eyes to the ceiling. “Um, poured water into a mug. Dropped in my tea bag. Put it in the microwave for a minute and a half. Took it out and added a pack of Splenda.”

“Oh, sweetie,” I said, reaching over from my end of the couch to pat her leg. “No tea bags in the microwave, remember?”

Bri smacked her forehead with her hand. “Duh! Ugh! No wonder the tea tasted like burned rubber. Ick.”

“Well, I’m here now, so I can service all of your tea-making needs,” I said. “Now tell me, how did you get here?”

“It wasn’t easy,” Brielle said. “But I talked to my parents a lot about what I wanted for myself. What they wanted for me. You know my parents—they’ve always been concerned that I don’t take school seriously enough. At first, they were convinced I only wanted to go to boarding school so that I could goof off more and get out from under their roof.”

“That does sound like your parents,” I said. “Have to admit, though; you don’t have the, erm, best track record with grades.”

Brielle raised her tea mug. “I take total responsibility for that and accept it. I wasn’t a model student at Yates. I did the bare minimum to get by and used you and Ana a lot for help. I fessed up to my parents that I hadn’t been doing my best.” Bri took a sip of tea. “I told them I wanted a fresh start at a school that I already knew had a stellar reputation—Canterwood.”

“Were they blindsided by the idea of boarding school? I am. It’s something we never talked about. I mean, did Ana know? Why Canterwood, really? Why even boarding school?” I had so many questions for Brielle. We might be in the common room all day.

“I want to let you know, first, that I didn’t choose Canterwood to come and step on your toes. I know you’ve got a new life here. New friends, new riding circle—new everything.”

I shook my head. “Please. I wasn’t worried about that, and I don’t care about stuff like that. You know it.”

Brielle smiled. “I know. But it’s just something I wanted to say. Boarding school has been in the back of my mind since you got accepted to Canterwood. I never brought it up to anyone because it seemed like such an out-there idea for me. My grades weren’t that great at my current school, so why would I transfer to a harder school?”

I nodded, listening.

“Well, it’s because of you, actually. You inspired me, Lauren. You were a model student at Yates and obviously a much better candidate for Canterwood than me, but you pushed me to want to try. I felt like I wouldn’t get a fair shot at Yates because my teachers know me as ‘Bri the kind of ditzy girl’ and the boys know me as ‘Bri the girl who is guy crazy.’ Everyone has an opinion of me that I felt would be hard to change.”

“I know all about that,” I said. “Reputations aren’t easy to change. I hate hearing you say that teachers think you’re ‘ditzy,’ though. You’re not, Brielle. I don’t think any of our teachers ever thought that.”

Brielle raised her eyes to mine. “If not that, then they definitely thought I wasn’t working up to my potential. It was a repeat note I got on all of my report cards.”

“I’ll give you that as long as you acknowledge that you know you’re capable of doing the work and getting great grades.”

“That’s why I’m here,” Brielle said. “No one has any preconceived notions of me. The teachers will view me like a new student, and I’m going to work my butt off to impress them. I want a good reputation in the classroom. It just kind of . . . clicked for me over the summer that I was wasting a lot of time focusing on boys. They’re just so not worth it right now!”

“Whoa!” I said, putting up a hand in a stop motion. “Who are you and what did you do with Brielle Monaco?”

Bri laughed. “I’m serious! Guys are great, okay, fine, but I was sooo obsessed with flirting and getting a guy that if I’d put half of that work into school and riding, I would have been getting awesome grades and would have been a stronger rider.”

“Oh! I have to interrupt! It’s killing me,” I said. “Are you riding a stable horse? Which horse is it?”

Brielle’s face morphed into a giant grin. “Nope. I’m not riding a stable horse. Laur, my parents bought Zane from Kim! He’s coming today! I have my very own horse!”

“Omigod!” I squealed. “BRI!”

The albino gelding had been a school horse at Briar Creek for years. Brielle had been the one to ride him the most, and she loved him.

“I know! Mom and Dad said if I got bad grades at any point, though, the first thing to stop is my riding. There’s no way I’m letting anyone take that from me, so you know I’m going to work hard.”

“When did you apply?” I asked. I stretched my legs out on the couch so my left foot rested on top of Brielle’s knee.

“I wrote a letter to the headmistress and asked if I could submit myself for consideration in August,” Bri said. “It was so late in the year that I was sure she’d say no. I got an e-mail back, though, with the go-ahead to submit my transcripts and stuff.

“Did you tell anyone then?” I asked. “I wouldn’t have been able to keep that to myself.”

“I told Ana,” Brielle said. “She told Taylor, but they were the only people who knew.”

Students passed by the common room, laughing. Thankfully, the door didn’t open and no one came inside. I wanted every second of one-on-one time with Bri that I could get.

“How did Taylor respond to your news?”

Brielle stared into her tea mug, then back at me. “He was totally fine with it from what Ana said. We still weren’t speaking after the voice-mail fiasco. Ana said Taylor told her that he didn’t care that we’d both applied.”

“What about Ana? I feel bad for her! She’s the only one of us left.”

“I feel the same way. She was supersupportive of my applying and thought it would be really good for me. I could tell, though, that she was sad and hiding it. I’m just glad she has Jeremy. It’s not the same as having a best friend, but they’re close.”

Almost two hours later, Brielle finished her story. I’d interjected every so often with questions. In front of us were two empty tea mugs—we’d drained two cups each—and napkins with crumbs from the kitchen’s brownies.

This was a new side to Brielle. An academic-minded Bri who wanted to be a better student and rider.

“After you see all of the cute boys on campus,” I teased, “I give you three days before you’re gaga for them.”

We giggled.

“Nooo!” Brielle said, her tone a half whine. “Don’t do that to me. I’m still . . . weak. You can’t tell me about cuties this early in my detox.”

I laughed so hard I felt my face turn red. “Okay, okay,” I managed to get out between laughs. “No boy talk.”

“Except about your boy,” Bri said. She raised an eyebrow. “I never said I couldn’t talk about my bestie’s boyfriend.”

The warm blush didn’t fade from my face. I hadn’t had much time during Parents’ Weekend to talk to Brielle about Drew. Now I could talk to her all day about Drew! Maybe not all day, but . . .

“Look,” I said. I woke up my BlackBerry, went to my “Drew” album, and set it on slide show. I held my phone between us, and Bri oohed and aahed at the pics. A lot were candids that I’d snapped of Drew swimming or riding. Some were of us that we’d gotten friends to snap of us together.

“Asking about Drew is dangerous,” I added. “You’ll have to slip me Sleepytime tea to make me be quiet after I tell you the fiftieth story about us.”

“Um, I’m still the same Brielle,” she said, a wicked grin on her face. “I want to hear boy stories!”
“You asked for it.” With that, I snuggled back into the couch pillow and told my best friend all about my boyfriend.

First Aladdin M!X edition June 2013
Copyright © 2013 by Jessica Burkhart
All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

Monday, June 3, 2013

FAMOUS chapter one reveal!

Hi, all!

Here's an exclusive first look at FAMOUS! I'm sharing chapter one tonight. YAY! But . . . I don't think *one* chapter is enough. Do you? If you want me to post chapter two this week, let me know in the comments section! :)





Everyone—Mom, Dad, Becca, and Brielle—grinned at me. They all stared at me, waiting for my reaction to Brielle’s sudden proclamation. But I stood frozen in the Canterwood Crest parking lot. Brielle’s words from seconds earlier rang through my head: Now your bestie from home is here!

Brielle didn’t live in Union anymore.

She wasn’t a student at Yates.

She didn’t take riding lessons at Briar Creek.

As of today, Brielle Monaco was an official Canterwood Crest Academy student.

Blond Brielle, who’d just released me from a hug, put both hands on my upper arms and gently shook me.

“Laaaureeen? Hello?! Omigod, are you speechless or what?!” Brielle asked.

I nodded, furiously trying to form words. “I—oh my God—Bri—” I stopped and took a deep breath. Everything was finally starting to sink in. “Brielle Monaco, you go here now! This is the biggest surprise ever!”

Brielle laughed. “I can’t believe I pulled it off. There’s no way I would have without your parents and Becca.”

“So many things make sense now,” I said. “I couldn’t figure out how you’d really gotten on campus for a family-only weekend. Or why you seemed so off at times. I can’t believe two of my Union friends are here now.”

Brielle frowned a little at my last sentence. I remembered her earlier fight with Taylor, my ex-boyfriend who was also from Union, and felt bad for bringing him up.

“We’ve got a lot to talk about,” I said, slinging my arm over Bri’s shoulder. I wiggled my fingers into my fleece jacket—the late November air was cold, and I wondered if we’d see snow at the Connecticut boarding school soon.

“We’re going to leave you girls to catch up,” Mom said from the passenger seat in our SUV.

“Have fun, you two!” Becca, my older sister, called from the backseat.

Dad waved, backed up the SUV, and guided the vehicle out of the parking lot and down Canterwood’s driveway.

I hugged Bri, laughing. I tugged on her coat and pulled her in the direction of the dorms.

“Let’s go inside before we freeze, and you are going to tell me everything,” I said.

“Lead the way,” Bri said.

Giggling, we made our way through the mass of students and parents who were headed for the parking lot and walked back to Hawthorne—my dorm hall.

“Take it all in,” I said, breathing deeply. “Looking at this campus never gets any less exciting.”

Bri’s eyes were wide as she nodded. “I had a feeling that was true. Even though I was here all day, I don’t really think I saw the campus for what it is.”

We went up a winding sidewalk away from the stable. As we walked, we passed a pasture with turned-out horses. Two horses, blanketed, lay down next to each other.

“Aw, nap time,” I said, smiling.

Bri asked me to point out buildings to her—even ones I’d told her about this morning when I’d given her the tour with my family.

“Of course,” I said. “It would be insane to think you’d remember where everything is after an afternoon. It took me days of getting turned around to finally be able to stop sending SOS texts to Khloe that I was lost.”

We passed the media center, administration, tennis courts, and finally reached Hawthorne Hall. The three-story building was home to dozens of seventh-grade girls. Bri’s eyes were wide as she stared up at the building. I could tell the realization was hitting her that this was her home now.

“As if this dorm isn’t awesome enough, it also happens to be adjacent to Orchard Hall,” I said. Goose bumps ran up and down my arms, but they weren’t from the cold.

“What’s the big deal about Orchard?” Bri asked.

“Sasha Silver lives there.”

Bri’s mouth formed an O.

Inside my dorm hall, I shook off shivers and stopped when we reached Christina’s door.

“This is Christina’s office,” I explained. “She’s our dorm monitor. Looks like she’s gone right now, but I know you’ll like Christina once you get to meet her.”

“She sent me a few welcome e-mails,” Brielle said. “It’s so weird to be living without my parents. That part hasn’t hit me yet.”

“Oh, it will,” I said as we made our way down Hawthorne’s hall. “You’ll miss them a lot, but being on your own is pretty cool. Except the stuff like laundry!”

Brielle and I walked into the common room, kicked off our shoes, and plunked down on the couch, facing each other.

“I almost texted all my friends, but I want some alone time with you first,” I said. “Then we’ll tell Khloe, and Clare, and everyone.”

Brielle’s brown eyes were wide. “Hopefully, they’ll be as happy as you are that I’m staying.”

“Of course they will be,” I said. “They barely had five seconds with you, but I could tell they loved you.”

Today had been the definition of insanity. Parents who had decided to go out on their own had wandered around with lost looks on their faces. Some had reminded me of what my mom and dad had taught me to do when I was little. The parents had sat on a bench, not moving, just waiting for their kid to find them. It was like I’d been taught—stay where you are and Mom and Dad will find you.

I’d barely seen any of my friends today, and we’d all had a lot less time together than we’d planned. It seemed like parents took over as priority, and everyone had a different way of handling their family.

I stood, unzipped my coat, and tossed it onto a nearby recliner. I was happy that the common room was empty. Brielle and I could openly talk in private.

“Before we start talking,” I said, “want a cup of tea?”

“There’s my LT!” Brielle said. “I’d love a cup of whatever you’re having.”

With a smile, I made us both one of my fall favorites—apple spice.

“Okay,” I said. I pulled an orange throw blanket over my legs and raised my mug to my lips. “Start at the beginning and tell me everything.”

First Aladdin M!X edition June 2013

Copyright © 2013 by Jessica Burkhart

All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Tons of new merch at the Official Canterwood Crest Store!

I took a break from writing and finally uploaded these new shirts!

I took a break from writing and finally uploaded these new shirts! They're all available from the Official Canterwood Crest Academy Store! This isn't all--over 30 new shirts and hoodies are up for sale.

I wanted to offer holiday tees to go along with HOME FOR CHRISTMAS. It's something I want to wear when I read the finale of Canterwood and celebrate Christmas. There are tons of options, so check it out!

More clothes and posters will be coming as soon as I'm off deadline!


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