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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Blog Tour & Local Launch: The Deets!

Interested to know where this upcoming blog tour will take you? Check it out!

If you would like to share a little badge about the blog tour, here's one you can grab:

And if you're still looking for details on the upcoming local launch, September 19th:

Please feel free to invite all your friends to either of these events. I look forward to seeing many of you back here tomorrow!!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Read The First Two Chapters of Losing Faith NOW!

Thanks to Google Alert, I've noticed that places like Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Chapters have posted excerpts of Losing Faith online! Some places have an excerpt of the first chapter, some have the entire first two chapters. I'll leave the links below, in case you're interested in getting a head start before the book comes out next week. Or, you can cruise by my website and download the PDF version that looks like the real version of the book, complete with butterflies!

Amazon (Click "See All Editorial Reviews" under the description)

Barnes & Noble (Click "Read an Excerpt," right below the cover image)

Chapters (Click on "Read an Excerpt" on the left)

Or drop by my website and see the butterfly version! (Click "Read an Excerpt" at the bottom)

Don't forget to let me know what you think!

Cafe Press Winner

I'm thrilled to announce the winner of the Cafe Press Giveaway!

This fabulous mug...

Will go to....

Caitie F!!!

Congratulations, Caitie! I'll try to contact you offline, but if you see this first, please send me your mailing address at d (at) denisejaden (dot) com

And if you're not Caitie... do not despair! There's still a great messenger bag up for grabs!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Win a Messenger Bag!

I'll be back Monday to announce the winner of the Cafe Press Mug...

But while you're waiting, head over to Wondrous Reads. In celebration of the release of Losing Faith, they're giving away a really cool messenger bag from Medium Control Goods Store! If you're anything like me, you like to take books everywhere you go. But if you're really like me, you either have nothing to carry them in, or walk out the door with some really ratty looking bag that will likely lose it's bottom with the weight of just one more book.

It's super easy to enter, just fill out the entry form. And this contest is open until August 31st! Good luck!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Copies Are Here, The Copies Are Here...

I had heard from a few different sources that finished copies of Losing Faith would be printed on August 16th. So I sat around, barely leaving my computer and biting my nails in anticipation. Finally, this week I received this AWESOME picture from my publicist:

Aren't they so, so pretty?! I'm in love with the new spine, complete with purple and butterflies! I haven't seen the back yet, but apparently there is one on it's way to me right this very minute.

Do you think attacking the mailman is understandable in this case?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Food of Festivities!

As you probably know if you've visited my blog in the past few months, my book launch is approaching quickly. There are many things to prepare, of course, but one of the big things I absolutely do not want to forget is the food! I think it's important to celebrate big occasions with extra-special food, and so I'm starting to compile my shopping list so I'm all ready for September the 7th!'s no fun to celebrate alone.

Will you join me in celebrating? I mean, really join me. Like go out and pick your favorite food or drink and have it all ready in the fridge or cupboard for September 7th, when you'll crack it open with me?

I really hope you will. Seriously, even if you don't plan on buying or reading my book, if you'd take the time to celebrate this huge moment in my life with me, it would really mean a lot. (Okay, that was totally not meant to sound all "woe is me" - I do have family and friends who will celebrate with me in person...but I just consider my online community my friends too, and I want you to be part of the celebration!)

So as I said, I'm starting my shopping list, and I hope you can help me add to it. I still have a couple of weeks to shop. Tell me in the comments what YOU plan to have on September 7th, and if it sounds especially appetizing to me too, maybe I'll add it to my list. Or if you want to choose a few things from MY list, it'll be almost like we're celebrating together. Okay, not quite, but still...

Celebratory Food List:

1. The Drink: Barefoot Moscato white wine

2. Coconut M&M's (Thanks Tami K. and Jenn H. for the tip on these! Apparently you can buy these at Walgreen's, in a white package, but I haven't been able to find any ANYWHERE. If anyone can help scout for these, and let me know where you find them, I'd really appreciate it!)

3. Feta stuffed jalapeno peppers

4. Milsean demmerra butter crunch (a local specialty, you can probably only get if you're from the Vancouver area).

5. Lindt 70% cocoa bar

 Okay, what else? I'm thinking of some Kettle Chips, but still deciding on a flavor.

I need some more of your your favorite tasty treat ideas. And let me know what you will be indulging in for the celebration!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sneak Peek: The Prizes!

This is very exciting. I asked my fabulous publicist at Simon & Schuster if they would donate a few books for giveaways for my online and local launch parties, and look what they sent!!!

In case you have trouble counting, that's forty books. FORTY!!! And okay, a few of these are books I'm donating, but only a very small few. Simon and Schuster was so incredibly generous and I am very, very thankful.

I'm going to share a few closer-up pictures of the books and I want you to let me know if there are any ones in particular that you're excited to read. And if there are...let me know whether you'll be at only my blog tour launch party or only at my local launch party. I have not yet designated which books will be given away at each, and I want to give my blog readers first crack at directing me how to do this.

As you can see, there are several titles that I have more than one copy of.

Besides books, there will be many more prizes to be given away between September 1-14, including Losing Faith swag and books, packs of various bookmarks, and iTunes gift cards!

Writers looking for an's a heads-up: start working on your loglines for your finished novels now! My fabulous agent will also be giving away a ten-page critique for the best logline!

On the Class of 2k10 blog, I'll be giving away an awesome 2k10 gift pack (4 2k10 books plus a swag pack):

And if all of THAT is not enough to entice you to stick around for a couple of weeks...over on The Tenners site, I"ll also be giving away a Tenner gift pack:

That's EIGHT Tenner books, plus swag, in case you can't make it out in the picture. Many of the books I"m giving away are also signed copies.

What is not to love about this blog tour, right? It's easy...I'll leave the links here every day between September 1-14, and it will be as simple as visiting one of the participating blogs and commenting to enter (and the more blogs you visit, the more entries you get!) The only downside is that I may have to take another mortgage out on my home to pay for the postage. But I wanted to make my book launch as exciting for you as possible, as I am already way too excited for words!

So start telling your friends. Don't forget to tell me which of the above books you're excited to read. September 1st is the big day, and I hope you'll help me make it a celebration to remember!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Am I a Jealous Person?

Well, yes, I am. Sort of. But is jealousy always a bad thing?

For those of you who are not aware (aka those who have been living in a cave for the last couple of months!) Kody Keplinger's debut novel, THE DUFF, debuts the same day as LOSING FAITH, September the 7th. THE DUFF has been getting an incredible amount of buzz, and rightly so! I was fortunate enough to score a signed advance copy at the Book Expo of America earlier this summer, and I could not put it down.

I'm absolutely *thrilled* for Kody that her book is finding a slew of avid fans even before it's released. Many are calling it their favorite book this year, and I think that's awesome. It's easy to be happy for Kody, first of all because I agree with those who call hers one of the best new YA writing voices out there, and secondly, because she is such a nice person (I met her a couple of times in New York this year, and also come across her from time to time on Twitter).

So if this is not why I'm jealous. Then WHY could I possibly be jealous, you might ask. Well, let me tell you a little story...

Several years ago, I traveled to Japan with my Polynesian dance troupe to perform nightly at a couple of different hotel chains. Among our troupe, was twelve-year-old Jerrica Santos. There was always something about Jerrica that I liked. I like all the girls I dance with, of course, but something about Jerrica just drew me to keep my eyes on her, and I was never sure exactly what it was. At twelve, she was already an accomplished pianist and singer, as well as working her way up in our professional dance company. At sixteen, she became one of the finalists on Canadian Idol, and recently (I think she's twenty-two now) she's started recording her music and opening for some established, popular musical artists across the U.S.

As time went on, I watched Jerrica's diligence and passion as she pursued her goals, and I was jealous. Not of the things she could do or had done, but just of her drive in so many different areas. I can focus on one thing, yes, but she was excelling at so many things! And on top of all that, she's been going to university for her back-up plan of becoming a doctor!

Jealousy can be a very damaging thing, and I'll admit, I have experienced some negative jealousy toward other dancers, mothers, and even other writers in the past. But with Jerrica...she inspires me. She makes me want to give more of myself to things. She makes me want to try new things. And with Kody, it's similar, but different. She makes me want to be young again. She captures youth in such a tangible way; it really makes me remember all the moments and the dreams and the possibilities.

So yes, I am jealous. Of Kody. Of Jerrica. Of anyone who's young and inspired and doing something cool with their time.

But jealous in a good way.

So why am I talking about this during my Sneak Peek week? Well...for those of you who are able to attend my local launch party, I'm thrilled to announce that Jerrica will be performing! And she has a special treat to share that will interest anyone who is interested in Losing Faith (though I can't say anymore about that just yet - stay tuned!)

I'm going to try to insert a jpg of the launch party details below. It's fairly low resolution, so I'm not sure how well it will come through for you, but I will have clear details to follow soon. And I really, REALLY hope that if you're somewhere in the area that you'll make a point of stopping by!

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Week Full of Sneak Peeks!

It's pretty close to the last week of August, and my Official Blog Tour starts up September the 1st, so I wanted to use a good part of this week to give my regular blog readers a few sneak peeks into the upcoming activities.

First of all, the Dates and Times:

The first celebration for my book launch will be a virtual one, and you are ALL invited! My blog tour will run from September 1st through the 14th. I wanted to make sure it didn't go on forever, but at the same time, I really didn't want to turn down any of my blogger/writer friends who wanted to host me. So there will be several stops per day, all very fun and very different. Here are just a few of the awesome blogs who will be hosting me (though you'll have to check back after Sept. the 1st to find out exactly when they will host me :)

A few teasers:

  • I'll be blogging over at Simon & Schuster and on Holly Cupala's blog about the Story Behind the Story of Losing Faith.
  • You can stop by and hear one of my teenage breakup stories over on Sydney Salter's blog.
  • I'll have the unveiling of Losing Faith, The Book Trailer, on The Contemps blog. (Keep checking back here this week, because I *may* give my regular blog readers a very quick peek at it ahead of time. I love it and I'm so excited to share it with the world!)
  • My agent will be picking apart my query letter on the Guide to Literary Agents blog.
  • Come and find out about one of my most embarrassing moments over on Katie's Book blog.
Those are just a few teasers for you...there's much more to come. Later in the week, I'll talk about the food. Oh, the food! Because food is important, right? Especially if it's yummy food involving chocolate and coconut, demmerra sugar and butter.

And then I'll give you a sneak peek at the prizes. You won't believe the prizes. I'm dubbing it a "Pulse Party," because Simon Pulse has been so incredibly generous in donating wonderful gifts for a few avid followers of my blog tour.

I hope you'll stick around this week to get excited along with me of all that is coming. But even if you can't be here this week, please stop back on September the 1st.

It will be boatloads of fun. I promise!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Winner of Three Great ARC's!

Thanks so much for everyone who has been so supportive in spreading the word about LOSING FAITH! I'm starting to see it all over the web and it's so much fun!

I've put entries in the hat for all those who have been tweeting about the book or otherwise spreading the love, but of course the greatest number of entries went to those who blogged about it and/or posted one of my widgets in their sidebar and have kept it there.

And so lucky winner will win these three awesome ARC's!

Are you excited to find out who won? I know I am. (Don't you hate it when people stall like this - though I guess on a blog all you have to do is scroll down to skip over my rambling...)

The winner of the Three ARC's is...


I'll do my best to get a hold of you, Melissa, but if you see this first, please send me your mailing address at d (at) denisejaden (dot) com


And for those of you who didn't win...there's still one contest going on right now, for this fun mug from Cafe Press:

Make sure to drop by THIS POST to enter to win before August 27th! Happy weekend, everybody!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Let Me Tell You a Secret....

Have you heard about Holly Cupala's debut YA novel, TELL ME A SECRET? Well, it's no secret that it's a pretty awesome book that's getting lots of buzz.

If you have a moment, watch the trailer to find out a little more of what it's about...

Are you hooked? I know I am. Holly has just launched a free serialized podcast at The entire novel is read by award-winning actress Jenna Lamia (who also narrated The Adoration of Jenna Fox and The Chosen One), and she's releasing 2-3 chapters per week to roughly follow the timeline of the novel. The chapters will be available for a limited time, plus there will be a special edition full version available.

I hope you’ll check it out and help spread the word!

Tell Me a Secret - Free Audiobook Podcast

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I planned to wait with this post until Thursday, but just could not hold myself back, since I have so much to be thankful for this week.

What am I thankful for, you ask?

Well, YOU, for one! I put a call out for help spreading the word about LOSING FAITH, and WOW!!! My inbox is full of not only willing helpers, but excited ones! Do you know how much it means to me that so many of you are excited and willing to help spread the word about my book before it's even out?! More than what I can put into words.

I haven't counted exactly how many are on The Official Street Team yet, but it includes high school teachers and librarians, awesome book bloggers, and plenty of readers. Rest assured, I appreciate every single one of you, and will be sending swag your way very, very soon.

But that's not all I'm thankful for this week....

Have you heard about The Contemps? We are a group of 21 YA authors who are Keeping it Real with Contemporary YA Fiction and a new website sharing about ourselves. I say "We" because (and I still can't believe this!) I'm a part of this amazing group of authors. I'm so honored to have been invited to such a great group, filled with several authors who I've admired for years. If you haven't dropped by our website, please do. It's brand new, just launched yesterday,and there's lots happening over there, including this:

Take The Contemps Challenge!

The Contemps Challenge offers you the chance to win all 21 of our books, by committing to read 18 of them this year. I've already started, and absolutely LOVE the ones I've been able to get my hands on early.

So yes, I'm very, very thankful this week. (and if you didn't get a chance to sign up for the Street Team yet, just email me at d (at) denisejaden (dot) com and I'll get you on there right away!)

Celebrate realistic YA with The Contemps!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Calling Team Faith...

Three weeks until LOSING FAITH hits the shelves!

I've always wondered how debut authors manage to assemble "street teams"-- teams of people who will get out there and promote their books--before their novels have even released from the publisher. Maybe it's because a certain amount of online hype surrounded the book, or maybe they were lucky enough to get their hands on an advance copy of the book so they've already had time to read and love it. But I think in many cases, people join street teams to promote books

Which got me to thinking...

Faith is believing and hoping for something you cannot yet see in the natural realm. So this is my proposal to you: what better book to have faith for the success of than LOSING FAITH?!

Did that sell you on the idea? Well, if not, never fear. There is something in it for you!

Starting today, I want to blitz the world with my beautiful new bookmarks:

 I'm happy to send these to anyone and EVERYONE who wants some. All I want to know is what you plan to do with them (and I only ask this so I know how many to send you). Here are some ideas....

Tell me if you have 5 or 10 or 100 friends you want to pass them out to.
Tell me if you have a local bookstore or library you'd like to drop some off at.
Maybe you have a blog and would love to give some signed bookmarks as prizes.
Maybe you want to casually leave some at the counter of your local movie theater?

Or if you have any other really cool ideas, please share (feel free to think outside the box!)

I'll send a combination of signed and unsigned, unless you tell me different, and don't worry, I'll make sure there is enough for you to be able to keep a few (and I'll throw in some author friends' bookmarks for good measure!)

...And, as a bonus, I'll send you a couple of official team "Got Faith?" stickers to display proudly anywhere you like!

The easiest way to do this, is if you just send me an email at d (at) denisejaden (dot) com. Tell me what you'd like some bookmarks for, include your mailing address, and I'll get them out to you as soon as possible (along with a HUGE thank you for helping to spread the faith!)

Or, if you'd rather just leave a comment below, just make sure to leave a way that I can contact you.

I'm looking forward to seeing who wants to be on the team and where my bookmarks will be going on their travels!

Thanks SO MUCH for having faith with me :-)

Calling Team Faith...

Three weeks until LOSING FAITH hits the shelves!

I've always wondered how debut authors manage to assemble "street teams"-- a team of people who will get out there and promote their books--before their novels have even hit the shelves. Maybe it's because a certain amount of online hype surrounded the book, maybe they were lucky enough to get their hands on an advance copy of the book so they've already had time to read and love it. But I think in many cases, people join street teams to promote books

Which got me to thinking...

Faith is believing and hoping for something you cannot yet see in the natural realm. So this is my proposal to you: what better book to have faith for the success of than LOSING FAITH?!

Did that sell you on the idea? Well, if not, never fear. There is something in it for you!

Starting today, I want to blitz the world with my beautiful new bookmarks:

Monday, August 16, 2010

Expectations and Disappointment

When my husband tells me he'll pick me up at 5 p.m., I can usually be sure I won't see him until approximately 6:30. This used to really annoy me, and I admit, from time to time it still does. But for the most part, I've readjusted my expectations for him. He doesn't have a good sense of time, and that's not likely to change any time soon. It only took me, say, ten years or so to figure out this little nugget of wisdom.

I think this conundrum translates really well to publishing, at least it does for me, and I *think* that I'm figuring things out in this arena a little faster. Part of this is probably because I had such little in the way of expectations before starting on this publishing journey. But being included in several author groups, I've been able to learn a lot about the business along the way. The problem is, this business is not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing.

For example, when I heard from an author friend that she received 30 ARC's for her debut novel, it would have been easy to assume I would too. It would be easy (and exciting!) to think about all the things I would do with my ARC's to promote my precious first book. Or when I heard from another author friend how quickly movie rights sold for her book, it would have been easy to let myself rejoice in the fact that mine surely would too. But unfortunately, these comparisons, while they can be enlightening about what *can* happen or give us a quick high, they can also be a path to waves of disappointment.

Unrealistic expectations can wreak havoc on the emotional system, and I've had my ups and downs like anyone else. I find it's easier to assume the lowest of expectations: i.e. assuming I probably would not be one of those rare people who gets an agent on her first ten queries; or assuming I likely will NOT be the next J.K. Rowling. I think too many times, we base our expectations on our needs and desires, rather than on what is realistic or on the special talents of those around us.

Publishing is filled with people who are passionate about stories and authors. It's probably not uncommon for an agent or editor to promise to read a manuscript this weekend and not get to it until next month, or a publisher to talk about their plans to promote your book in certain ways and then not follow through. Is this because the people who work in publishing are liars? No! It's because they are passionate people, they speak and promise out of their passion for our books, and I don't know about you, but I want passionate people on my side along for this journey. Even if it means being disappointed from time to time.

Another problem I've seen (and experienced) is taking things too personally.

My husband asked me these questions once and they really stuck with me:

What if you were driving along, minding your own business, maybe singing along to the radio, when a car came out of nowhere and cut you off. How would you feel? What if the person driving didn't bother to even acknowledge that they had cut you off? How would you feel then?

I know how I would feel. First shocked, maybe scared they would hit me. Then angry, offended that they didn't even have the decency to look my way with a sorry look on their face.

But now...what if the car stopped at the next traffic light, you hopped out of your car to go give this guy/gal a piece of your mind, and as soon as you approached their car, you saw a child or an animal who was seriously injured in the backseat? Does your attitude change?

For me, this story has been life-changing, as I have tended to take things personally in the past in many areas of my life. But now I'm becoming more prone to thinking that people are generally good-natured, and chances are if they do something that makes me feel less than important or celebratory, they didn't mean it that way, or were possibly just very distracted with something serious in their own lives.

I wonder about your thoughts and journeys with expectations? Do you find positive thinking works better for you? Do you think you tend to have pretty realistic expectations, or do you find, like me, you're always finding areas you can adjust them?

Note: I'm feeling introspective today and my post is based on lots of stories I've heard through author-friends as well as my own. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the people who are on my team for this publishing journey, and I would hope this post in no way reflects badly on them. I honestly could not ask for a better group of people to work with!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday Four

1. A little over three weeks until LOSING FAITH releases. (If you haven't gotten the countdown widget yet, it's in the right sidebar of my Blogger blog.) I'm filled with excitement and terror, thanks for asking.

2. Weirdest. Dream. Ever. Last night I dreamed that I was auditioning for a magic show in front of a hundred people by singing a song about the size of my boobs. I think this is reflective of my fear of having my worst faults (I'm talking about my singing voice - I've made peace with my small chest) displayed in front of critics for their judgmental enjoyment. Probably has nothing to do with my book coming out.

3. You know that period-between-each-word-for-emphasis thing like I've done at the beginning of point #2? I've seen it in almost every book I've read recently, and I'm getting a little sick of it. Anybody with me? (BTW, I've probably done it in all my books to date as well, so this is NOT a slam on other authors or their writing. But it seems like a device that's getting overused, so if I continue to do it? Somebody slap me.)

4. My most exciting news of the week is that I'm on submission again! My book 2 (which actually IS my 2nd book - Losing Faith was my 4th) has gone out to my amazingly talented and insightful editor (do you think sending some yummy cookies AS WELL as talking up her best qualities all over the internet would be taken as a bribe?). I don't expect to be getting much sleep this month, but my agent has been doing a formidable job of talking me down from the ledge. I need some more vitamin B.

5. Okay, I lied. I have 5 this week. In my hometown they're having one of the largest international airshows in the world this weekend. You have to practically sell your car to attend because it's so expensive, but I plan to watch it from a friend's house who lives nearby. With jets roaring over your head every five minutes, you might as well find somewhere to watch it, right? Somewhere to sip fruity drinks in the sun with friends...ahhhh.

Happy weekend everyone! What are you all up to?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I haven't posted a Thursday Post in a while and I'm way, way overdue!

1. I asked my publicist for a few Simon Pulse books I could give away during my online launch party. She sent me a HUGE box of awesome, awesome books. Very thankful.

2. I'm going to Oklahoma!! A few authors from various 2k classes proposed a panel of New Voices for the Encyclomedia educators conference in Oklahoma this October, and our panel was chosen! I've never been to Oklahoma and I'm very, very excited!

3. Losing Faith has been getting some amazing and thoughtful reviews. A really great one came out today on Good Books and Wine blog. So, so thankful.

4. I've had a heck of a time booking a location for my local launch party, but I think it's finally working out. I can't announce the location until it's absolutely finalized, but it's looking like Sunday, Sept. 19th at 3 P.M.

5. I'm so thankful that my family and friends have been so incredibly understanding about my busy, stressed-out state lately. I will make up for it in October. After Oklahoma :-)

Hope you're all having a great week! What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Would You Rather Wednesday

This has been a busy, but productive, week for me. I'm finally making some progress on getting the details of my launch party together, which I'm thrilled about. But I am a bit short on time. So today I'm throwing out three very quick Would You Rather Questions, and I'm hoping you'll have time to give me three very quick answers.

So...The first thing that comes to your mind...

All things being equal, and if all of the following were quality and engaging writing...Would You Rather read a book with...

1. a male protagonist or a female protagonist?

2. an under 18 year old protagonist or an over 18 year old protagonist?

3. A real-world setting or an other-world setting?

I'll be back with my answers later. Ready, set, GO!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Secondaries: Why do we love them so?

I'm taking a short break from Teen Author Tuesday, but if you are an author who would like to be featured, please contact me, and I'll set you up for when I get going again.

I've been thinking lately on the subject of secondary characters. There are A LOT of secondary characters out there that I absolutely love. In fact, in many cases, I'd say I love the secondary characters better than the protagonist of novels. I also find I'm more drawn to the love interests, as people, than the protagonists in many cases.

And I don't think I'm alone in this.

As way of examples, I could start with the-series-that-shan't-be-named-because-everyone-is-tired-of-hearing-about-it by Stephanie Meyer, and I think we would all agree that the love interests outshine the protagonist in this novel. I also LOVED Alice as a character. The protagonist? Not so much.

There are so many more that I can think of as examples, and I had a conversation with my critique partner, Shana Silver, to discuss this topic, and she came up with several more that I hadn't considered.

I LOVED Kristi and Wes in Sarah Dessen's THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER. I liked Macy, don't get me wrong. But Kristi and Wes were unusual and entertaining.

One that Shana suggested was Felicity from Libba Bray's A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY, a secondary character who stole every scene she was in. "She's gutsy and rebellious, and betrays social norms..." says Shana.

I LOVED Teri more than Kate in Laurie Halse Anderson's CATALYST. Kate is a great character too, but Teri was just so different and ballsy.

Shana mentioned Alaska in John Green's LOOKING FOR ALASKA, and I suspect even the publishers knew that she would be the big draw in this book, since she's the object of the title.

Another secondary character who was so good she made the title is the KIKI STRIKE series from Kirsten Miller.

There are many more, but those are just a few we've come up with off the top of our heads. I've been pondering why this is. Is it because a secondary character can be a little more quirky, without getting on our nerves? Is it because secondary characters can hold a bit more mystery? Is it because the main character is so naked before us, showing us their zits and scars, their selfishness and personality flaws? Is it because the love interests tend to get most of the witty dialogue?

I've only received a few reviews for LOSING FAITH, so far, but this seems to be a trend I'm noticing already. People like Brie, but they LOVE Tessa. It got me to thinking more about this topic.

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of books in which I love the protagonist more than any other character: E. Lockhart's Ruby Oliver, Suzanne Collins's Katniss (though, I admit, the boys make a pretty good rival!)

What are some books that you love where you prefer the secondary character or love interest to the main character? And why do you think this is?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Author Revealed! Am I LOSING FAITH?

Remember when I went to NYC a couple of months ago and was terrified about shooting an author video at Simon & Schuster? Yes, well, I recently got my first glimpse at it!

And now it's up on the S&S website! Eep! I'll paste it below here and see if it works. I very much dislike myself on video, so anything at all you could say to make me feel better would be much appreciated! (Gotta love that still shot that looks like I'm kissing the camera!)

By the way, here's a little interesting tidbit...My editor suggested that I wear something brightly colored for the interview. She specifically said that black doesn't show up well. So I wore this cute dress with pinks, and oranges, and greens. And what does the camera catch? The black trim, and only the black trim, at the top. Oh well!

So this is now up on my Simon & Schuster page here, along with some other tidbits for anyone interested.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Win Three Great ARC's, Including HALO!

It's Friday, and our latest winner will soon be enjoying her advance copy of FORGE by Laurie Halse Anderson. So it's time for a new contest!

Here's what I have up for grabs this week:

An ARC of HALO by Alexandra Adornetto - I know this will get your attention! ARC of TRANCE by Linda Gerber...

...AND...if that's not enough, an ARC of HOLD ME CLOSER NECROMANCER, by Lish McBride...

Now, all these great books will go to one lucky winner, but you're going to have to work a little harder to win these. Tomorrow is my "one month until publication" anniversary, and so it's time to get busy and spread the word about LOSING FAITH. Here are some ways you can enter to win these three books:

1. Post the book cover and the description of LOSING FAITH (below)  on your website, blog, or Facebook. Share the link in the comments for 5 entries.

2. Share your personal outlook on why you're excited to read LOSING FAITH or why you're excited about this contest (but it still must include the LOSING FAITH cover) on your website, blog, or Facebook and share the link in the comments for 5 entries.

3. Commit to putting one of my widgets (on the right of my Blogger blog) somewhere prominent online, and leaving it up until September the 7th. The top one is a countdown widget - you just have to click "get widget"  and it will direct you how to share it. Because this one takes a bit of work and a bit of commitment (but lasts a little longer), I'll give you 10 entries for this, as long as you come back and tell me where it is.

4. Or if you scroll down, you'll find the Simon & Schuster widget. Simply click, "copy this," and it will direct you from there. Again, commit to showing it somewhere prominent (blog sidebar, website main page, etc) until September 7th, and you'll earn 10 entries. Now remember that you are committing to leaving it up there for the month, even if you don't win the above prize.

5. Come up with some great and creative way to get people excited about LOSING FAITH, and I will award you a minimum of 5 ADDITIONAL entries. Just make sure to tell me about it so you get the credit :-)

I can only mail the prize within Canada or the U.S. I'm leaving this contest open for two weeks, until the end of Thursday, August 19th, in order to give people a chance to do these things, since I know they take a little more work. And spread the word, because if I get lots of entries I may add a second prize (like perhaps my ARC of INFINITE DAYS...or...something?1)

Below you'll find a copy of the LOSING FAITH cover art, the cover description, and a few early blurbs from reviewers. Use them as you will! And good luck!

A terrible secret. A terrible fate.
When Brie's sister, Faith, dies suddenly, Brie's world falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood and barely even liked, everything in her life seems to spiral farther and farther off course. Her parents are a mess, her friends don't know how to treat her, and her perfect boyfriend suddenly seems anything but.

As Brie settles into her new normal, she encounters more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don't line up. Brie soon uncovers a dark and twisted secret about Faith's final night...a secret that puts her own life in danger.

Find out more at

"This book was extremely well written and has an intriguing mystery that left me wondering what really happened until the final reveal... I recommend this one to YA and adult fans alike. Mysterious, action-packed with romantic, and religious aspects, but all rounded out nicely to form a great read." - from Angel at

"Suspense, religion, romance, teenage angst, this book has it all and it is all well-done. Losing Faith was an amazing read that hooked me in the beginning and when it was done I was well-satisfied with the conclusion. Great from start-to-finish!" - from Crystal at

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Winner of the FORGE ARC!

Okay, so I asked for a hundred and one reasons that we all love Laurie Halse Anderson, but we actually topped that number out at 124!!!

And they are NOT generic or repetitive reasons! I so enjoyed reading your responses, and was reminded of how much Laurie is doing for libraries, how fun it is to read about her chickens, how much she allows readers into her life, and encourages readers and writers alike. It's so wonderful to remember that a person can be so talented AND so nice! I'm glad we could give her a little something back by telling her all the things we love about her and her books.

So out of the 124 entries, unfortunately, I could only choose one, as I only have one advance copy of FORGE. The winner is...


Since you entered via Twitter, I will try to contact you that way. If you see this message first, please email me your mailing address to d (at)denisejaden (dot) com.

Thanks and congratulations!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Would You Rather Wednesday

Because of the GREAT response to the contest for the FORGE ARC (thanks to Laurie and all those others who passed the word around), I'm still busy tabulating. I should be back with a winner tomorrow, and then another contest with more AWESOME prizes on Friday!

In the mean time, I'm going to throw three quick Would You Rather questions your way. Some of these are for readers, some are for writers, so feel free to answer one of them or all of them, as they apply to you.

1. If you had to choose, and if both books were good, would you rather read a book full of suspense, or a book full of humor?

2. Would you rather read the paper version, the electronic version, or the audio version of a book, if all three were available to you?

3. Would you rather talk through edits with your agent or editor on the phone or discuss through email?

Have fun, and I'll be back tomorrow with the FORGE winner!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Teen Author Tuesday Presents Laura Toffler-Corrie

I'm happy to welcome another fellow Tenner, a debut author who writes for teens, Laura Toffler-Corrie. Her book, THE LIFE AND OPINIONS OF AMY FINAWITZ, is due out August 3rd, 2010 (today!) from Roaring Brook Press, MacMillan. It is contemporary, upper middle grade/lower young adult.

Welcome, Laura! Can you tell me about your book in seven words or less?

Smart ass girl, cool Manhattan, unlikely friendships.

Sounds great! Other than your main character, who’s a favorite character of yours in your debut novel and why?

Beryl Plotsky, the Hasidic (orthodox Jewish) boy who travels around Manhattan with Amy to help her with her immigrant journal school assignment and develops a crush on her. He’s old fashioned, somewhat dogmatic and completely exasperating, but he has a good heart.

And can you tell my readers a bit about yourself, Laura?

Things I don‘t like: the computer doesn’t write stories itself, my parrot tells me to shut up, winter is too cold, summer is too hot, too many chai lattes make me nauseous.
Things I like: the computer has a backspace, my parrot asks for a kiss then makes a kissing sound, my pool, the writing salon that is my local Starbucks.

I SO want your parrot! What’s been the most surprising thing about your path to publication so far?

That there actually is a path to publication and that I’m on it.

Ha. I'm with you there! What’s one piece of writing advice you would give to aspiring authors?

I would say, read the signs on your journey and be flexible. For example, if your book isn’t singing to you, or anyone else, shelve it and go onto something else. If your agent is Aunt Fanny’s second cousin who claims to know Stephen King but can’t sell your work, move on. Don’t get stuck, feel discouraged and give up, just keep adjusting your approach.

Great advice! What did you write when you were a teen? Did you journal? Write poetry? Write overly literary or emotional stories? Or avoid writing altogether?

I wrote poetry as a young kid, mostly stuff about clouds. Then by about ten or eleven the poems morphed into stuff about the meaning of life, death, the universe (aka - crap). But I think my best writing started around sixth grade and was in the form of plays, poems and satirical short stories. My friend and I wrote back and forth to each other as a lark; just bits about our lives, boys, family. This went on from Middle School all the way through college (I was downtown at NYU and she was uptown at Columbia). These correspondences were the inspiration for AMY FINAWITZ.

What’s the last book you read that you really loved?

Well, I’ll always love CATCHER IN THE RYE but, recently, probably ELSEWHERE. Simple, haunting and poignant. It really stayed with me. I’m in awe of THE HUNGER GAMES. Masterful on every level from start to finish. Brilliant. ANGUS, THONGS AND FULL FRONTAL SNOGGING made me laugh out loud.

I'll have to add those to my list (I think I'm the only human over the age of 12 who hasn't read CATCHER IN THE RYE yet). If readers want to find out more about your writing, Laura, where should they look? 
My website:, (my blog is there)

Thanks so much for joining me today, Laura. And for my readers, if you'd like to pick up a copy of 
THE LIFE AND OPINIONS OF AMY FINAWITZ, you can find it on Amazon or at your local independent retailer.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Cafe Press Celebrates Books!

In celebration of my upcoming release of LOSING FAITH, Cafe Press has generously offered up a prize from their awesome online store.

Wouldn't you just love this mug?! Cafe Press is the world's favorite place to make unique t-shirts and gifts and you can find out more about Cafe Press and their personalized gifts at this link. Here are a few pictures of the really cool things you can find on their website:

So I can't give ALL of these away now, but to enter to win the above mug, just tell me in the comments whose novel YOU would most like to end up in! Tweet your answer (I'd like to be written into one of _______________ novels) using the hashtag #losingfaithgiveaway for another entry!

Or...if you're too rushed (or lazy) to head to Twitter, simply click the button below, and your entry will still be counted!

You have until August 27th to enter. Good luck!