I write young adult novels whenever I'm not taking care of children, making meals, and tackling the Mount Everest of laundry piles.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

More Upcoming Events!!!!

I've been in the writing cave a lot the past year and so I don't post here often--hopefully sometime soon I'll be able to rectify that. In the meantime, here's where you can find me this spring. If you're anywhere near any of these events. please come find me, I'd love to meet you!

February 19, 2015: Cypress Creek High School Visit

February 20, 2015: Amelia Island Book Festival--I'm teaching a writing workshop with fellow YA Chick, Christina Farley from 2:30-3:15. 

February 25, 2015: Gulf Middle School Visit

March 17, 2015: Wordier Than Thou Event at Studio 620, St. Petersburg, Florida (Details to come--check my website/twitter closer to the event)

April 29-May 3, 2015: Indiana Author Visit w/Reading For Life--events and details to come.

May 16, 2015: St. Leo University Sandhill Writer's Retreat--I will be giving a presentation on writing for YA and essential elements for compelling fiction. Registration is now open.

July 7-11, 2015: ThrillerFest w/International Thriller Writers

Monday, November 10, 2014

Events and Interviews and Updates

It's November already. Where did the time go? I feel like this whole fall was one big blur, probably because lots of stuff went down! Here's a rundown of all of it as well as an update on what events I'll be doing very soon. As well as a pic of my front yard decorated out for Halloween.


I turned in a very rough draft of my next novel, Smash & Grab! So excited about this one--bank heists and romance and adventure! 

I did 4 library visits in 4 days and this happened:

I'm fine, the car wasn't, but she's all fixed up now and running great!

I went to the Tampa Bay Festival of Reading and met these two authors--still can't quiet believe it.

Yep, that's right, RL Stine and Debbie Macomber!

I went to Gatlinburg, Tennessee for a ginormous writer's retreat with so many talented ladies, my head's still swimming (plus one surprise guest: Maggie Stiefvater!!!). 

Maggie's awesome car. 

It is weird and awesome to eat dinner and hang in the hot tub with authors I fan girl over myself! Here's the down low on what happens at this sort of thing--since I know when I heard about authors going on these that's all I wanted to know! 

  • You share a room with another author(s)--sometimes you already know them, sometimes you don't. Last time I did my sleepover time with the amazing EK Johnston, and this retreat I was with my buddy, Amy Tintera--so both times I won the roommate jackpot!  

  • Lots of writing happens during the day, but nighttime is CRAZY time. There is dancing (not me though 'cause you know I can't dance), hot tubbing, laughing, talking, and general hilarity. 
  • We share our goals, hopes, fears, and dreams. This is the part I love the best, the moments when I remember that I'm not the only one who's scared/elated/worried/excited about various stages of this whole publishing thing.

  • Everyone pitches in. We share meal time prep and clean up duties. The food is always good and the company even better.
  • You spend a lot of time hoping everyone will think you are cool/smart/fun because everyone else is so cool/smart/funny. 
  • You realize that all these people you look up to feel the exact same way about their careers and their writing as you do, that you are just an earlier, less well known version of them which is inspiring because if they can do it maybe you can too!
The back of our huge retreat house!

It was a twelve hour drive there and back, one I made with Christina Farley and Vivi Barnes. Still patting ourselves on the back for multitasking and making these two school visit videos while we drove.


Our "we are so overtired we're giddy" video:



This month things are going to slow down some, but not right away. Here's what's happening:

1. I will be in the Pasco section of the Tampa Tribune this Friday. I was interviewed by the very witty and wonderful Ernest Hooper about my writing and my journey to getting published.

2. I'll be heading over to New Orleans this weekend for the Nola Book Festival where I get to do a presentation at 4 pm with Lauren Kate, yep that Lauren Kate, author of the Fallen series and more recently Teardrop and Waterfall! So excited about this (and the possibility of sneaking away at some point for some beignets and bananas foster. Sugar high? YES PLEASE). Find out more about the festival herehttp://nolabookfest.org/

3. I'll fly from New Orleans directly to Orlando to do a library event at the Alafaya Branch with the YA Chicks, Christina Farley and Vivi Barnes as well as Jenny Sanchez. We'll be there talking writing from 2-4 pm.

4. I'll be at the Barnes and Noble at Wiregrass Mall on November 22, from 3-5 pm signing books and hanging out.

5. On a personal note, I'll be headed to the Space Coast Marathon with the family at the end of the month to watch my husband run....while I watch...and eat a bagel. But I will be doing my first 5k in a while on Thanksgiving Day. Gotta try to combat the writer twenty (pounds that come with deadline stress and general angst). Wish me luck! I'm actually out of breath just thinking about it.

That's all for now. Hope to see some of you at one or more of the events above.

Monday, November 3, 2014

International Thriller Writers 1000 Thriller Giveaway!!!

Have you heard about the completely awesome giveaway going on courtesy of the International Thriller Writers and The Big Thrill? It has to be one of the coolest, biggest, and most thrilling giveaways I've ever seen (see what I did right there?)! Anyway, if you like thrillers you should hot foot it over here and enter to win. Each winner will receive a new thriller every week for an entire year. Yep,  you heard me right AN ENTIRE YEAR'S WORTH OF THRILLERS!!!

The contest is going on now, so what are you waiting for? ENTER!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Young Adult Book Bash--Tonight!!

Hey there Orlando peeps and all those living remotely close: I'll be at Bookmarkit tonight for the Young Adult Book Bash from 7-9 pm. Join me, Christina Farley, Christina Benjamin, and Jaimie Engle as we talk about our books, publishing, and everything in between. And did I mention that there would be giveaways? Well, there will be! For more information or to register for this event, head here. Hope to see you there!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Upcoming Events: Bookmarkit and Tampa Necronomicon

For the last few weeks I've been holed up drafting my next novel hard core, but I'll be taking a few brief breaks to come out of my writer cave. So if you happen to be at one of the events listed below and you notice that I'm talking waaaaay too fast and acting like a kid after they've downed five giant pixie sticks know that it's because I have barely left my house for a looooong time! Here's where I'll be:


September 29, 2014, 7-9pm

Come see me, Christina Farley, Christina Benjamin, and Jaimie M. Engle talk about our books. There will be giveaways, books, and lots of fun. Register for this event here.

Tampa Necronomicon:

October 3-5, Various times

I'll be attending the con and participating on several panels over my birthday weekend! Can't think of a more fun way to celebrate. Take a look at the full panel schedule here. You get bonus points if you spot me between panels when I will furiously be drafting this book, trying to meet my deadline. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Book Launch Recap

This past weekend we celebrated ASTRAY's release with a launch event. I wanted to do something a little outside the box this time and so we held it at a bowling alley as a nod to one of my favorite scenes in the book. Instead of doing a reading and holding a discussion about ASTRAY I decided to basically have a party. I did have books for sale, but we also had bowling, pool tables, shuffle board and such which made the whole event feel very relaxed and low key. By far it was my favorite event that I've planned for one of my books. I loved that I got to chat with everyone, that they could bring their families, and that we could all enjoy food, fun, and time spent together without things getting too formal. For any fellow authors here's what I did to plan for the event:

1. Picking a Venue: Having the signing some place fun with lots to do drew in a bigger crowd for sure. There was an expense involved, but the place I booked gave me a discount since I would be advertising the event locally. 
2. Design an eye catching invitation
3. Involve your local bookstore. Having Inkwood sell my books allowed me to focus on signing and having fun. They also helped to advertise the event in their store and through media outlets that they work with.
4. Advertise locally and online as much as you can. I contacted every local newspaper and went in to personally hand out invites to librarians at local libraries (which didn't generate a lot of attendees for the launch, but did garner interest in future visits with the library). I also did a Facebook events page and tweeted about the launch over the month or so before.
5. Cut expenses where you can. I made all the cupcakes we served which took lots of time/labor, but saved me on food expense.

Now that I've told you what I did that I think worked, here's what I'd do differently next time...

1. Send invites to local school teachers and media specialists and tie in their attendance to a giveaway. Next time I plan to get a class set of my book together and give it away to a teacher/media specialist that attends (hold a drawing). I've also thought about giving away a YA library of books from fellow author friends along with mine.

2. Have an agenda. I kept things loose this time, but next I would probably make an agenda at least for me of how the party will go, but probably I might put it on a cute poster board too so people know what to expect from the time.

3. Try to tie in the launch to a community event to draw in more attendees.

Overall the day was wonderful and I was both pleased and touched to have so many fellow writer friends attend as well as readers who were fans of GATED! Here's some extra pics of all the fun:

Thursday, August 28, 2014

ASTRAY Blog Tour and Other Online Places I've Been.

ASTRAY is currently on a blog tour! There will be reviews, playlists and more. AND I've been visiting some other blogs as well to reveal plot secrets, talk writing, and such. Want to see where I'm going and where I've been? Here's the complete list:

The ASTRAY Blog Tour

Me, My Shelf, and I Up now.
A Dream Within a Dream Up now.
Candace's Book Blog  Up now.
Stories & Sweeties 8/29
The Children's Book Review 8/31
Evie Bookish 9/2
The Hiding Spot 8/29
Christy's Book Addiction 9/3
Live to Read 9/4
Confessions of a Readaholic 9/5
Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club 9/8
Bundle of Books 9/15
Happy Indulgence Books 9/25

Bonus Posts:

Janice Hardy's Fiction University  "Learning to be an Unapolgetic Planster"

YA Insiders Series Behind the scenes secrets from ASTRAY