Sunday, January 31, 2016

Happy Birthday, Evernight Teen! #Giveaway #BirthdayBash



EVERNIGHT TEEN is celebrating their anniversary this month with a 3rd Birthday Blog Hop. It’s EVERNIGHT TEEN’s birthday but we're giving out the presents with a Grand Prize of a $100 Amazon gift certificate!

 EVERNIGHT TEEN books feature fresh teen fiction that is raw, gritty and real. Whether paranormal, contemporary, sci-fi or suspense, our books are about real issues and pack a strong emotional punch. You’ll find cutting edge fiction that today’s young adults can relate to and will keep you turning the pages long into the night.

I’m proud to be an EVERNIGHT TEEN author. Enjoy this tease from my book, FOREIGN EXCHANGE…

Jamie Monroe has always played it safe. That is, until her live-for-the-moment best friend, Tristan, jets off to Italy on a student exchange program. Left alone with her part-time mother and her disabled brother, Jamie discovers that she is quite capable of taking her own risks, starting with her best friend’s hotter-than-hot older brother, Sawyer. Sawyer and Tristan have been neighbors for years, but as Jamie grows closer to the family she thought she knew, she discovers some pretty big secrets.

As she sinks deeper into their web of pretense, she suspects that her best friend may not be on a safe exchange program at all. Jamie sets off to Europe on a class trip with plans to meet up with Tristan, but when Tristan stops all communication, suddenly no one seems trustworthy, least of all the one person she was starting to trust—Sawyer. 


 “Foreign Exchange is a fresh contemporary YA that will keep readers compulsively turning pages until the very end. Combining international intrigue with a steamy forbidden romance makes for a can’t miss read.”
 - Eileen Cook  Author of Year of Mistaken Discoveries. 

"A pitch perfect voice and delicious chemistry kept me turning those pages!"
- Tara Kelly, author of Amplified and Encore

"Foreign Exchange is heart pounding and suspenseful...the teenage dream of escaping the boredom of suburbia by travelling Europe and spending quality time with a hot guy shifts into a dangerous nightmare."  
 - D.R. Graham, author of Rank and the upcoming Noir et Bleu MC series.



Be sure visit each stop on the BLOG HOP for more chances to WIN the GRAND PRIZE of a $100 Amazon Gift Card. You’ll receive bonus entries for commenting on each blog!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Or use this link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/disp 

Or link back to the ET blog: http://evernightteen.blogspot.com

Friday, December 25, 2015

What your favorite Christmas movie tells me about you:

What your favorite Christmas movie tells me about you:


IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE – If this is your favorite holiday movie, you are a deeply nostalgic person who wishes they were living fifty or a hundred years ago. You hold an appreciation for family, and making the holidays center on meaningful interactions, but in reality, you have trouble sticking to your guns in implementing these things.

ELF – You tend to live your whole life a little on the childish side, which can be a breath of fresh air for the people around you (or it can be a self-centered greed-fest if you’re not careful!)

HOME ALONE (1,2,3,or 4) – Well, first of all, if you rated the fourth one above any other Christmas movie, there’s something wrong with you. But if you chose one of the first three, you are a person with a strong independent streak and possibly a secret devious side. You are more capable than even you, yourself, realize. Of course independence and a devious side could lead to some fairly dangerous situations (ones your family and friends may need to worry about).

THE GRINCH – Somehow you always seem to vacillate between  the consumerism of the season, and guilt about those tendencies. You have hope for the future, though! One Christmas, your heart will surely grow three sizes and the beast of dissatisfaction that visits you each year will get squished out by the surge.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL / SCROOGED – First of all, if either of these is your favorite holiday movie, you should DEFINITELY pick up a copy of my new novel, A CHRISTMAS KERRIL! But sales-pitches aside, if you enjoyed these movies, you’re likely a person who enjoys control and making decisions. However, you crave reminders to do the right thing. Perhaps you doubt your ability to make the best decisions, and so you’re always on the lookout for good advisers who you can trust.

THE SANTA CLAUSE (1,2, or 3) – You have a deep-seated dream that if you suddenly became all-powerful, it would solve all of your emotional inadequacies. That, or you want to hold onto a childish belief in a North Pole designed by Disney.


Monday, December 7, 2015

Hello, Hello!

It's been a long time since I've blogged, and mostly that is because I have been pouring out words elsewhere lately. I'm still working away at my Nanowrimo project, which is well over 100,000 words now, but I'm hoping will break nicely into two books eventually. I'm still really enjoying the writing of it, but I'm finding now that November has passed, it is more difficult for both me and my family to keep my writing time as a priority. So I'm still plugging away, but progress is definitely slower. I'm still loving writing the book, though, and often skip any time I may have for reading these days and want to write instead, which is a nice feeling, especially this far into a book.

For many people, I know December marks one of the busiest times of the year, but for me several things that were keeping me busy through the last few months have actually come to a close. I hope this is a month where I'll be able to catch up a little and get organized.

Other than writing a new novel and a half, I have been quite busy working on different movie and TV sets. It's a lot of fun, but also has its down points - such as not knowing where and when I'll be needed on set, or wardrobe requirements, until late the night before. Also I've been doing a lot of outside work in the cold, rainy weather. Brrrrrr!

We've also had a variety of house guests and I've been working hard to organize a huge homeschool co-op for the spring (as well as tying up the first term in my son's homeschooling efforts).

Oh yeah, and I had a book come out in October.

Like I said, it's been a busy season!

But I'm not complaining. This is all very good stuff, and I'm so very blessed to have the life I have. I just wanted to drop a note to say hello, and catch up with anyone who still might read my blog. *Yells hello into the void*,

If you're out there and listening, what have you been reading or writing or doing with your time? What have been the recent challenges and successes in your world?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Denise Jaden's Top Tips for Winning #NaNoWriMo! #FastFiction

With NaNoWriMo right around the corner, I'm hearing many writers talk about how they are planning to try it this year, give it a shot, write a first draft novel in a month. Last year, I gave my top five tips on the NaNoWriMo Blog, but the more I hear from real writers, the more I'm tweaking those tips.

So here are a few of my best tips to win NaNoWriMo as I see them today...

1. Believe you can do it! You know how sometimes you'll be reading a great book, but then something happens in the plot that seems way off base? You have a choice at that point. If you're enjoying the book enough, you'll likely choose to suspend your disbelief on that one plot point. You'll give the author the benefit of the doubt, keep reading, and likely really love the book and forget about that small point that had stopped you up for a brief time along the way. Or you can get angry at the author, feel a glaring sense of disappointment, and throw the book in the garbage.

I liken these attitudes to authors as they approach NaNoWriMo. There is a suspension of disbelief that you have to CHOOSE when entering into a challenge like this. The truth is, it's a ridiculous challenge. It doesn't actually fit into most REAL LIVES. We should, by rights, feel a glaring sense of disappointment that this challenge even exists, let alone that there are hundreds of thousands of super-humans that somehow leap close-to or even past the finish line. And we have every right to say, "No, it's stupid. I'm not going to waste my time on it." Or even, "I'll try it..." followed silently by, "...but it won't work." And to be honest, those are the unspoken statements I hear when I chat with most writers about NaNo. It's sad, but I'm quite sure from the cadence in their voices and the words they don't say that they probably won't succeed with writing a first draft in a month.

The first thing I believe writers need to succeed with the NaNoWriMo challenge is a conscious decision to suspend their disbelief. Making a choice to say, "Yes, it's a dumb idea, but just for thirty days, I am going to believe it is possible. Not only that, but I am going to believe that I am the writer who is quite capable of achieving it."

You don't have to believe in yourself for ever and ever, amen...only for the next thirty days.

2. Gather lots of ideas and keep them all in one place. This is the bit of advice I give most often for people who want to fast draft. Writing a novel over a period of months or years is a little different, because you can wait for inspiration, or take the time to stumble upon the sticky note that held that great idea you jotted down six months ago. With fast drafting, you don't have time to stop. When you feel stuck, you need to be able to flip open your moleskin notebook or click onto your iPhone app and pull up a list of ideas to pick and choose from. I keep my ideas in my phone notes program, because I always have my phone with me--when I discover a supermarket clerk's name that I really love, or when I overhear an interesting line of dialogue in a coffee shop.

Figure out the storage system that works best for you, and then build your idea bank.

3. Break your goal down and put it in your own handwriting. 50,000 words seems like a lot to accomplish in a month. 1667 words per day doesn't seem quite as impossible. But at the same time, it's important to realize that if you skip a day, even just ONE day, that means you either have to write 3334 words the next day, or up your count to 1724 each day for the rest of the month...every single day. Plus, missing a day makes you lose your sense of momentum.

Writing every day, even if it's just a paragraph, helps you keep your story in the forefront of your mind. You'll think about your characters when you're driving. You'll dream about new and crazy plot points at night. Plus, I believe in writing your goal down in your own handwriting, even if you've signed up on the NaNo website and tweeted to all of your friends that you're doing it. There's a certain sense of integrity that comes with taking the time to hand write your goal. Obviously no one has pushed you into it. You wrote it, and so you will accomplish it.

4. Don't jump in without a plan. You don't necessarily have to stick to your plan, but it's great to have something to come back to if you're feeling stuck. This next part is going to sound like a pitch, like I've only brought you here to sell you something, but I don't mean it to be. You see, I wrote FAST FICTION because I believe in my methods of planning for NaNoWriMo. I believe they can help any writer, whether they are a plotter or a panster. I believe my methods will help any writer who is trying to push through and needs a nudge to make him/her-self get to the end. My Story Plan is a very loose plan that will encourage you to think ahead of time about your characters' greatest strengths, desires, and flaws, about the settings that will inspire more words and detailed descriptions from you, about the themes you're passionate about and you'd like to see emerge from your work.There are other guides out there as well, of course. I encourage you to find one that inspires you and encourages your belief in your abilities.

5. Don't do it alone! Sign up at NaNoWriMo.org (I'm denisej over there if you'd like to become my "buddy"), follow Twitter hashtags #NaNoWriMo, #NaNoWriMo2015, "NaNosprints, #FastFiction, #amwriting, #WIPMadness... to name a few. Make some friends and keep each other accountable. Track other writers down and ask them about their progress...and they'll likely do the same for you if you disappear from the Interwebs for a few days. Just that little nudge from someone else can make all of the difference!

This is not, of course, an exhaustive list about what will help you write 50,000 words this November. These are simply my best tips as I see them today, and as I've sensed from those I've been chatting with lately.

Please share your best tips in the comments. Do you write twice a day? Get 500 words down before breakfast? Gnaw on carrot sticks when you're stuck for inspiration? What helps you reach toward the finish line?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

On Sale Now! A Christmas Kerril!

On Sale Now - A Christmas Kerril by Denise Jaden!

I'm thrilled to share my latest book with the world...

In this modern take on a holiday classic, high school junior, Kerril, faces her past, present, and future to be reminded of the good in others, and in herself. 


Haunted by the memory of the worst of her divorced parents’ public Christmas blowouts, Kerril, will do almost anything to avoid the upcoming tinsel-filled season. Unfortunately, a teacher with a grudge casts Kerril as the lead in the school’s holiday production. To add to the misery, she will star alongside ultra-awkward Adam as her love interest. Wanting to ditch the play, Adam, her parents, and Christmas altogether, Kerril accepts an invitation to take off to a cabin with her ultimate dream crush, Perry – only Perry may not be the guy she hoped he was, and it’s not until she’s left Adam behind to fend for himself onstage that she realizes he might just be the guy of her dreams.


Get my newest novel before October 15th at the special release price of only 99 cents!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

YA Scavenger Hunt Welcomes B. Kristin McMichael!


Hello, and welcome to my blog! I'm Denise Jaden, author of critically-acclaimed fiction for teens and nonfiction for writers, and I'm excited to be a part of TEAM PINK this year! 

SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE RULES

Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on TEAM PINK, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!)
HINT: THE SECRET NUMBER IS HIGHLIGHTED IN RED!
Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you 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 or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4TH, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
On this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each participating YA author, you also get a secret number. Add up the numbers, and enter it for a chance to win a major prize–one lucky winner will receive at least one signed book from each author on my team in the hunt! But play fast. This contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online until noon PST on Sunday, October 4th!
There are EIGHT contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the PINK TEAM, but there is also a RED TEAM,  GOLD TEAM,ORANGE TEAMPINK TEAM, PURPLE TEAM, TEAL TEAM,  & GREEN TEAM! Check out each team for a chance to win eight different sets of signed books!
If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.



I'm super-excited to welcome B. Kristin McMichael to the blog for the YA Scavenger Hunt, Team Pink! Her new book Carnelian sounds fantastic, and Kristin was good enough to share a little unpublished scene of more than 7 paragraphs for your eyes only! 

(PS...if you read to the end, I have a special "extra" giveaway along this Scavenger Hunt!)

Synopsis:

Carnelian
Everyone has a past, but for most it isn’t so far in the past as Seth Sangre. His past is literally from thousands of years ago. Seth’s past led him to the present seeking something that might help him save his country from destruction. He has been in the present for over three years now, and he just found exactly what he has been looking for. Mari had dreams of college being a fresh start, one where she would start over and not fall for the good looking player like high school. Unfortunately for her, that’s exactly what ends up falling into her lap on the first day she moves into the dorms. Now she has to hold to her promise to herself not fall for the handsome Seth Sangre. But he doesn’t plan to make it easy for her. Seth has already marked her as his next conquest. 

As the semester progresses, Mari learns that Seth might just have a past of his own that’s literally in the past. Suddenly, Mari finds her future along with her past put into question. She’s connected to Seth far more than she ever wanted to be, and maybe he isn’t the player who she thought he was. If Mari can trust her heart enough to follow him, Seth will lead Mari on an adventure of a lifetime-and reveal family secrets she never knew existed.


Carnelian is available for $0.99 at the following retailers:


Bonus Material
At the end of Aventurine, I included the first part of Chrysocolla as a bonus. It’s kind of a cliffhanger that left people wondering what was going to happen next in the story. For my bonus content, I’m including the rest of the section that immediately follows the cliffhanger. Chrysocolla will be available October 13th.

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That made no sense. “What?” I asked, standing and joining him.
Was he serious? We had just executed a plan that he’d made. Would he really plan something that would result in his disappearing? That wasn’t right. Kye was my friend now. He was part of my life. How could putting the past together make it so that he wouldn’t exist? I didn’t want him to go anywhere else.
“I’m the mistake in the future that changes everything,” Kye answered, placing his face in his hands. “I failed you again. Somehow, Logan still wins.” He turned his eyes back to me. I could almost make out faint tears. “I’m still here.”
I stood in shock and stared at him. I didn’t understand, but the tears that looked like they wanted to spill over his eyes told me that this was very serious. I moved to join him, but he quickly stood and walked to the other side of the room. He paced around a bit with his back to me. Turning abruptly he left through a doorway that I assumed went to the river. I was alone.
What did it mean? We just risked everything and won, at least I thought we won. If Kye was sure it wasn’t over, then we had to prepare for Logan to return. I didn’t want to get stuck again. I didn’t want to lose my ability to travel. One thing was certain: I wasn’t going to trust Logan ever again. If I’d learned one thing, it was that behind his charm, Logan wasn’t the guy I ever thought he was. I wasn’t going to fall again for his smile and kind ways. Logan wasn’t that man. I knew that much now.
Kye walked back into the room and directly over to me.
“It looks safe from the river,” Kye replied. “But I’m still going to ask your father to move you to another room. There are guards out there, but I doubt a few men would stop Logan if he showed up and decided to take you by force.”
All the emotion from only moments before was gone. He was back to being his soldier self.
“You think he’s going to take me by force?” That thought scared me a bit. If he came for me, I doubted he would take Kye with him this time.
“He has no choice now. To get his future, he is going to have to trick you or force you. I’m betting on force. He isn’t a very patient person, at least when it comes to you, and I think you might not be trickable this time either. He has to know that by now.” Kye shrugged and began looking around the edges of the room. His tears were completely gone.
My stomach turned at the thought of being Logan’s prisoner. It could be a really long time since I was a time traveler. If Logan chose to not return me to the time I was born, I wouldn’t ever die, and essentially I would live forever as his prisoner. Living forever with someone you loved sounded nice, but this did not. A long life didn’t sound too inviting now.
Kye was satisfied with the first wall he checked and moved on to the next. I had no clue what he was looking for, but he was very thorough in examining the walls. His face was set in concentration as I approached him to watch.
“How do you know this isn’t over?” I still didn’t understand that much. I needed an explanation.
Kye paused where he was looking but then went back to examining the wall. He didn’t reply as he looked it over. When he was satisfied with that wall too, he finally turned to me.
“You won’t be safe until Seti makes it back here. I hope he isn’t too far away,” Kye answered, but it wasn’t the answer to the question I’d asked.
I grabbed Kye’s arm and stopped him from moving to the next wall. I felt the warm tingles I had felt before with him. There was something with Kye that was different than Logan. Was I able to tell who the good guys were? I felt the same warm tingles before. It wasn’t the same as with Seth, but more like how it was with my mother or with my father. My heart stopped a second as I looked closer at him, and realization set it.
“Kye, how are you related to Logan?” I asked. I thought back through every conversation I had with Kye about his family. Kye had never denied being related to Logan, but he never confirmed what I assumed was that he was Logan’s brother.
Kye didn’t move but stared right back at me as I worked through my memories.
“Are you his brother?” I asked already knowing that he wasn’t.
“No,” Kye replied as he watched me.
Logan’s same purple eyes stared at me, but it was different to look at Kye's eyes. They were the exact same color, but so unlike. I saw the compassion in them. I saw his goodness. For the first time, I saw myself in him.
“Are you…?” I couldn’t even ask.
I already knew, but I needed him to confirm it to make it true. I held my breath and stared at him. The words couldn’t come out. Kye saw that much.
“I am your son. Logan is my father,” Kye finally replied, still watching me with his purple eyes. He was waiting for me to react.
“You’re my…” I couldn’t say it. It was too improbable. I was looking at the face of a grown man who technically was just as old as I was. How could he be my son? I had no children, and there were no plans in the immediate future, yet here I was looking at the face of the child I had yet to conceive. It was too surreal. How was it even possible? I wanted him to say he was joking, but he wouldn’t. He wasn’t lying. I felt it. He was family. I just didn’t expect him to be my son. I hadn’t even considered having children yet. That was for a time long away from now. I was just a college student in her freshman year. This was meant to be a year of exploring, not of life-changing events such as children. This was too much. I felt my legs giving out before I could even think another thought.
Kye’s arm snaked around me as my world blackened. The warm tingles followed his touch. It was just too much to understand. My head was on overload and shutting down.


Author B. Kristin McMichael

B. Kristin McMichael is the author of YA and clean NA paranormal fiction. Her vampiric "Night Human World" includes the YA coming of age series "The Blue Eyes Trilogy" and the spin-off adventure series "The Day Human Trilogy". She's also the author of the NA time travel romance series "The Chalcedony Chronicles".

B. Kristin graduated with her Ph.D in biology at Ohio State where she worked as a scientist before taking her passion for writing full-time. Besides writing, she enjoys chasing her kids, playing outside, and baking cookies. B. Kristin McMichael lives in Ohio with her husband and three children. For more information on all of her books, visit http://www.bkristinmcmichael.com Subscribe to her mailing list for new release notifications and deals: http://www.bkristinmcmichael.com/list

The Chalcedony Chronicles

 Chrysocolla [October 13, 2015]

The Night Human Series
The Blue Eyes Trilogy (series 1)


The Day Human Trilogy (series 2)



Standalone Books




Thanks so much for visiting, B. Kristin McMichael! 

To continue The Hunt, stop by Caroline T. Patti's Blog.

As promised, I have a special giveaway for all those Scavenger Hunters who have read to the end! I'd love to give one lucky winner a digital copy of my upcoming YA novel, A Christmas Kerril! All you have to do to enter is tell me in the comments one of your favorite Christmas stories (book or movie) and a way to contact you if you win. Thanks for stopping by, and happy reading! 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Back to School, Back to...a World of Opportunities

I've been seeing on Facebook, moms who are meeting for pedicures after they get their kids off for their first days at school. As a homeschooling mom, that's not exactly my life! I hear of woodworking and mechanics classes that other public or private school kids are excited about--classes I will never be able to teach. However, it's not all doom-and-gloom either. Last year, my son and I spend the first day of public school on a nearby beach at a Not-Going-Back-to-School Picnic.

I was blessed over the summer to have been invited to speak to many groups of teen writers, including a writers' camp in Penticton, and a week-long event at the Vancouver Public Library. I'm looking forward to several events in October and November as NaNoWriMo approaches. I hope to be able to inspire many writers to try fast drafting, maybe for the first time! I'll give updates on these events closer to time, if you're local and interested in attending.

But back to school... Homeschooling really has afforded us a lot of freedom for different and exciting opportunities. We have spent plenty of time on movie sets in the last year, and I almost never have to say no to a speaking engagement because it interferes with school obligations. Over the summer, my son enjoys catching up with his neighborhood school friends, and I enjoy catching up on some writing projects. This summer, I wrote a first draft of a new novel, plus revised a couple of novels and polished off my first script and entered it into my first screenwriting contest.


This year "Back to School" doesn't mean picnics or other relaxing pastimes for us...but that's because I've had another wonderful opportunity that has come my way. For those of you that don't know, besides writing and homeschooling, I have also performed with a Polynesian dance troupe for many years. And this month, I will be departing with that troupe on a cruise ship to Hawaii, where we will get to perform on board, and then at one of the biggest luaus in Honolulu. I am very excited for this! And while my son doesn't get to come along, he has a new opportunity of his own--becoming more of a self-starter and independent on his learning journey. The reason I started homeschooling in the first place was because I wanted our son to pick up a love for learning from his dad and I, and this, when he's starting to take responsibility for his own schooling, is where I'm really starting to see that love for learning kick in. So while his journey may not be as tropical as mine, I think it is just as life-giving.

So that's a little bit of what Back to School means for me. What does it mean to you? Are you off for a pedicure? Or does life feel even busier when school obligations kick in? Do you have any special traditions you keep to during Back to School times?