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YA Scavenger Hunt Spring 2018!

Welcome to the YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors, and a chance to win some awesome prizes! On this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play quickly because this contest (and all of the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 120 hours!

Green Team (1)Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are SIX contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am part of the GREEN TEAM. I am representing the anthology LIFE INSIDE MY MIND: 31 AUTHORS SHARE THEIR PERSONAL STRUGGLES, edited by Jessica Burkhart and featuring essays by Francisco X. Stork, Sara Zarr, Ellen Hopkins, and Maureen Johnson, among others.

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Go tothe YA Scavenger Hunt page if you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full the list of prizes up for grabs!

DIRECTIONS: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the GREEN TEAM, and then add them up.

ENTRY FORM: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure to fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

RULES: Open internationally. Anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent of guardian’s premission to enter. To be eligible fot the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by APRIL 8 at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

Now, I’m excited to share with you the person I am hosting on my site….

Stephanie Elliott

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Here’s some information about Stephanie from her website:

Stephanie Elliot is the author of the young adult novel Sad Perfect (Margaret Ferguson Books/FSG, Winter, 2017), which was inspired by her own daughter’s journey with ARFID, Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. She has written for a variety of websites and magazines and has been a passionate advocate of other authors by promoting their books on the Internet for years. She has been, or still is, all of the following: a book reviewer, an anonymous parenting columnist, a mommy blogger, an editor, a professional napper, a reformed Diet Coke drinker, a gecko breeder and the author of three self-published novels.

A Florida native, Stephanie has lived near Chicago and Philadelphia and currently calls Scottsdale, Arizona home. She graduated from Northern Illinois University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. Stephanie and her husband Scott have three children: AJ, McKaelen and Luke. They are all her favorites.

 

And, here’s some information about Stephanie’s book, SAD PERFECT: 

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Not all picky eating is harmless. Not all eating disorders look the same.

Told in second person, Sad Perfect is the story of a 16-year-old girl with ARFID, Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, a unique eating disorder. This is a heartbreaking, visceral perspective on disease, love, and recovery.

Sixteen-year-old Pea knows there has always been something wrong with the way she eats–textures, smells, and even the sight of some foods are frightening. When she’s finally diagnosed with a little-known eating disorder called Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), her “picky eating” starts to make sense. Pea has always felt alienated, anxious, and depressed, and with her diagnosis, she is hopeful that she’ll get the treatment she needs to get better.

Thanks to therapy, her loving yet dysfunctional family, and the support of her sweet and caring new boyfriend, Ben, Pea finally feels like she’s in control for the first time in her life. But when she decides to go off her antidepressants, things start to spiral out of control. It will take inner strength and the support from her loved ones to get the help she needs to begin to challenge her eating disorder.

 

And, now for the bonus material!

Click on this  link to get some inside information about SAD PERFECT: SAD PERFECT BONUS INFO YASH

And, now, here’s my favorite number. Be sure to write it down and follow the directions:

23

And now it’s time to move on to the next author in the scavenger hunt:

Tera Lynn Childs

GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN!

The 15th Happenings: June News

2015 YA & MG Debut Authors

Launch Days

YOU'RE INVITEDTHE WITCH HUNTERTHE EDGE OF FOREVERBOOK SCAVENGERSKYSCRAPING

May 19th:YOU’RE INVITED by Gail Nall and Jen Malone
2nd: THE WITCH HUNTER by Virginia Boecker
2nd: THE EDGE OF FOREVER by Melissa E. Hurst
2nd: BOOK SCAVENGER by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
2nd: SKYSCRAPING Cordelia Jensen

SECRET OF THE SEVENSSURVIVAL STRATEGIES OF THE ALMOST BRAVERAISING RUFUSTHE SACRED LIES OF MINNOW BLYLAST YEAR'S MISTAKE

8th: SECRET OF THE SEVENS by Lynn Lindquist
9th: SURVIVAL STRATEGIES OF THE ALMOST BRAVE by Jen White
9th: RAISING RUFUS by David Fulk
9th: THE SACRED LIES OF MINNOW BLY by Stephanie Oakes
9th: LAST YEAR’S MISTAKE by Gina Ciocca

MOTHMAN'S CURSETHE NIGHT WE SAID YESBETWEEN THE NOTES

16th:BETWEEN THE NOTES by Sharon Huss Roat
16th:MOTHMAN’S CURSE by Christine Hayes
16th:THE NIGHT WE SAID YES by Lauren Gibaldi

coversAN INFINITE NUMBER OF PARALLEL UNIVERSES by Randy Ribay @YA Highway

Of InterestCindy L. Rodriguez discusses suicide and aftermath for Mental Health Awareness Month at Disability in Kidlit.

Angelica R. Jackson shares some bumps in her writing journey, talks research…

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The When Reason Breaks Blog Tour Round-Up

For the past two weeks, book bloggers have participated in the When Reason Breaks blog tour. This post is just to say thank you:

Robert Downey Jr. Thanks

And…You’re awesome!

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I know there are so many books and so little time, which is why I really appreciate it whenever someone tells me they have read my debut novel. A very special thanks goes out to these bloggers for highlighting When Reason Breaks on their sites and doing very cool things, like spine poetry, connecting the book to Emily Dickinson poems, or making a playlist.

Here’s the full round-up of the tour:

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Guest Post On Emily, Poetry, and My Writing Journey (E. Kristin Anderson’s blog, Write All the Words!) (4/6/2015)

The YA Kitten connects ED’s “How happy is the little Stone” with When Reason Breaks. (4/7/2015)

Book Spine Poetry by Jen at YA Romantics (4/8/2015)

Q&A on Adventures of a Book Junkie (4/9/2015)

Guest post on Itching for Books about the use of Dickinson’s poetry in the novel (4/10/2015)

Q&A on Fic Fare (4/13/15)

Book spine poetry by The Book Belles using WRB. (4/14/15)

Guest post for Novel Ink about books that affected me deeply (4/15/15)

The Reading Nook Reviews connects a Dickinson poem to the novel (4/16/15)

Ashley at YAdult Review created a playlist for the novel (4/17/15)

THANK YOU!

My Novel in Word Art

This is a quick post to show off my novel in word art form. In the past, I have had my students run projects through Wordle to create a “word cloud.” The actual size of each word in the cloud is based on the number of times it is used. It’s a great way to have students analyze key words and phrases that may have been overlooked during a first read.

I wasn’t surprised by the results for the characters’ names. Emily and Elizabeth are the main characters, and Ms. Diaz, Kevin, Tommy, Sarah, and Abby are supporting characters. I was surprised at how small “Dickinson” was (to the right of Elizabeth) considering Emily Dickinson’s life and poetry heavily influence the story. I also have a thing for body parts, it seems: face, eyes, hands, head. Hmmm.

Anyway, I’m a visual person, so I thought this was fun and cool. Try it! If you do, take a screen shot and share it in the comments.

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Happy Holidays, Everyone!

I recently received my next round of revision notes from my editor. She said this round was more polishing than heavy revising, so I named it the “polish version” on my computer, which of course sounds like I’m writing it in Polish. Anywho, my deadline is January 6. I will not be posting anything until then since I’ll be busy revising-polishing-tweaking while celebrating Christmas and ringing in the New Year. So, HAPPY HOLIDAYS, EVERYONE! Enjoy this festive time of year. I’ll post an update soon after the new year. For now, I leave you with this from me, my daughter, my dad and siblings. I couldn’t resist! It cracks me up every time I watch it! Enjoy!

 

End of Year Reality Check

The last time I blogged was October and the post was about being so busy September was a blur. Now it’s December. What the?

I recently celebrated a birthday and the year is coming to an end. I’m not one to make serious resolutions, but I’ve found myself thinking about my life and making plans to slow down so I don’t feel like life is passing me by at warp speed.

One of my realizations is that I can’t keep up the pace I’ve set for myself since the time I first had a job and goals and a personal drive that once got me labeled as a “rabid overachiever.” Are there shots for that? Anyway, I still have a job and goals and the desire to achieve them, but I have to manage everything in a way that won’t leave me feeling like I’m treading water.

Don’t get me wrong, life is good–really! I have a great job, an amazing daughter, supportive family and friends, and a debut novel on the way, which is a dream come true. Still, a personal reality check recently led me to this simple conclusion: I’m not a spring chicken. I’m not old. I know that. But, I can’t keep moving at the same pace I set for myself when I was in my early 20s.

In addition to work, family, and writing, I have become involved with two websites: Latin@s in Kid Lit and the Fearless Fifteeners. I love being a part of both groups and have spent a lot of my time building the site over at Latin@s in Kid Lit with some author-friends-colleagues. I don’t want to give those up. I don’t want to give anything up, really, but I do need to scale back so I can do things well instead of simply getting things done.

Part of my plan is to scale back here. I’ll keep a more regular schedule–I’m thinking Mondays and Thursdays–but I’ll do quicker posts like you might see on Tumblr. But I can’t join that site or Pintrest or anything else. I am the camel and those are the shiny, time-consuming straws I need to avoid. I’ll also engage in some cross-pollination with the other sites I mentioned. Since I’ll be posting on those sites, I’ll either reblog posts here or announce what’s on those sites and link to them.

I want to keep this site active (which it’s not really right  now) especially in the coming year, when all sorts of exciting things will happen like cover reveals and Advanced Reader Copies!!! AHHHH!! But I also want to keep my sanity and be a great mom and teacher and have enough energy to write more books! So, shorter blog posts on a regular basis will be part of the solution. A long soak in a hot tub and regular massages couldn’t hurt either! :.)

Does anyone else struggle with balancing it all? Any tips?

The Calm Before What Comes Next

So, it’s been almost a month since my novel RESURRECTING EMILY was bought by Mary Kate Castellani at Bloomsbury/Walker, and I have been……exhausted. Weird, right? I mean, I screamed and danced and told just about everyone I spoke to, and then I was like, Whew! (wipes brow), and I’ve been  napping a lot since. I like to think I’m recharging during this calm before what comes next.

When I think about it, I tend to work this way. I push  myself for an extended time, and then when a goal is reached, I crash. I remember once coming home from college after finals and a year as managing editor of The Daily Campus. I fell into a dead sleep for so long that my mom came in and put her finger under my nose to check if I was still breathing.

Now, I work full-time as a teacher, I’m raising a 6-year-old daughter and caring for a 15-year-old mutt, I’m writing and attending my monthly critique group, and I’m doing a mediocre job with Weight Watchers (stuck at 11 pounds). So, yeah, I’ve got a lot going on, and I’m generally sleep-deprived.

On top of all this was the brewing book deal. When emails were being exchanged about the acquisitions process, I thought I was cool, but I was so not cool. I was freaking out inside. So when the deal was done and the excitement was released, I settled into this post-news calm and have allowed myself some time to crash, just like I did each summer after college.

After spending a significant amount of time on a project that required loads of emotional and intellectual energy, I’ve cleared a major hurdle. But the race isn’t over–not even close.

I’ve reached a personal goal, but there’s lots of hard work ahead of me. My editor said I will probably receive her revision notes by the end of April, so soon enough, I will dive back into this project and dig deep to make it even better.

In the meantime, I’m going to allow myself a little mental break. I’m going to enjoy the glorious weather (finally) and push my daughter on the swings. I’m going to spend time with family and friends, and I’m going to nap every chance I get. I’m going to recharge my batteries so that I’m ready for the next leg of the race.

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