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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Young Adult Giveaway Hop!

I'm breaking in this brand new blog location with another big giveaway from my bookshelves!

All you have to do to enter is follow this blog, pick your favorite books, and fill out the form below. Most of these books are brand new, but some have been gently read. Some are advance copies and some are even signed! This giveaway is open from now until January 31st.

I'll give away one book for every fifty entries I receive. I apologize to my international friends, but due to shipping costs, this contest is only open to people with a US mailing address (though I hope you'll follow my blog anyway :-)

The YA books you have to choose from:

If you can't see the picture well enough, scan through the list below...

DESIGNATED FAT GIRL by Jennifer Joyner
THE DIVAS INDIA by Victoria Christopher Murray
THE DIVAS DIAMOND by Victoria Christopher Murray
I LIKE IT LIKE THAT by Cecily von Ziegesar
SIENNA SUMMER by Ann Chandler
PUCKER UP by Rhonda Stapleton
JUNGLE CROSSING by Sydney Salter
HUSH by Eishes Chayil
HEARTS AT STAKE by Alexandra Harvey
ENDLESS SUMMER by Jennifer Echols
THE SWEETNESS OF SALT by Cecilia Galante
FURY by Elizabeth Miles
FASHIONISTA by Micol Ostow
GIMME A CALL by Sarah Mlynowski

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

NEVER ENOUGH Secrets Revealed...Everchanging Titles!

NEVER ENOUGH will be releasing on July 10th, 2012, which all of a sudden seems so soon! I'm starting a semi-regular new series on my blog called NEVER ENOUGH Secrets, in which--you guessed it--I'll be revealing secrets about this book. There are many, so stay tuned, and I'll only be leaving these secrets up for a short time before sending them into hidden, secret areas of my website!

Today I wanted to start by telling you a little bit about how the title of this book has changed and developed over the years. This is the second novel I've written (I've now written nine, all in various stages of revision) so in the scheme of my writing life, this is a fairly old book.

It's always been about two sisters. It's always revolved around the struggle for beauty and perfection. It's always been a bit of a heartbreaking book. That's why you may find my initial title a little surprising.


I'm serious. There is a fair bit of levity in the book as well as some very serious moments. In the end, this title was much too light for the book (and felt slightly middle grade). This title stuck for about the first year of the evolution of this book.

The second title lasted much longer, and definitely had more of the right feel for the whole book:


I temporarily used some variations of this: APPETITE, BEAUTY, HUNGER, etc., but overall this title lasted until I sold the book to Simon Pulse. And a little bit longer.

Partway through edits on this book, my editor told me that there had been discussion that APPETITE FOR BEAUTY sounded a bit too adult, and they'd be looking for something with more of a YA feel.

I brainstormed about a million ideas. I even made some changes to the book to suit some of these ideas. My favorite of all those I had chosen was TWO ANGRY BIRDS, and there were lots of references to how the sisters were like birds to go with it.


In the end, it was my fab, wonderful, amazingly brilliant editor, Annette Pollert, who came up with the final, final title...


So there you have it. I've now had the experience that I've heard so much about from other authors. It was kind of a fun experience, in a stressful, terrifying sort of way.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

GCC Presents Lucienne Diver and FANGTASTIC!

I'm excited to welcome another member of the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit to the blog, and aspiring writers pay attention, because this author is also a literary agent!

 Lucienne Diver is the author of the popular Vamped series of young adult novels (think Clueless meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer).  School Library Journal calls the first book, “a lighthearted, action-packed, vampire romance story following in the vein of Julie Kenner’s “Good Ghouls” (Berkley), Marlene Perez’s “Dead” (Harcourt), and Rachel Caine’s “The Morganville Vampires” (Signet) series.” VOYA has suggested that the books “will attract even reluctant readers.”
Her short stories have been included in the Strip-Mauled and Fangs for the Mammaries anthologies edited by Esther Friesner (Baen Books), and one of her essays appears in the anthology Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories (HarperTeen).

Lucienne's next book, FANGTASTIC, releases this month...

What do you wear to face down a cadre of killer kids?
Gina Covello would rather be working on her manicure than missions for the Feds’ paranormal unit to which she’s been recruited.  That changes when a group of killer kids takes out a family in the sunshine state and disappearances begin to plague the lifestylers who only play at the kind of existence our fanged fashionista leads.  She and her crew are sent undercover into the vampire clubs…which turn out to be run by real vampires.  While Gina’s BFF Marcy hangs with the steampunk-styled Burgess Brigade that seems to have spawned the killer kids, Gina herself is supposed to get in good with the fanged fiends behind the scenes, even to the point of playing double-agent, offering to hand over her powerful boyfriend Bobby.  Her playacting threatens to become a bit too real when she discovers things about her spy handlers that make her wonder whether she’s truly on the right side of the battle between Feds and fangs. 

Sample praise for the Vamped series:
“As ever, Gina's feisty, funny narration carries the day. Gina never fails to please, as she strides down the runway of afterlife with just the right mix of humor, make-up advice, youthful lust that never crosses the line and a kung-fu style all her own. This one doesn’t miss a beat.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Perfect for teens and adults, this is a book to share, savor and revisit. ReVamped is full of smart, spot-on dialogue, engaging, authentic characters and a plot that’s so much fun it’s impossible not get swept up.” —

"VAMPED is a total delight!  Diver delivers a delightful cast of undead characters and a fresh, fast take on the vampire mythos.  Next installment, please!"   — Rachel Caine, New York Times bestselling author of the Morganville Vampires series

“Diver uses wit and adventure to hook readers with this teen vampire story.” —VOYA

“Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Cordelia Chase got turned into a vampire? If you have, look no further than Vamped for the answer. It's like Mean Girls with fangs, with witty dialogue and more pop culture references than you can keep up with.” – Wondrous Reads

“Diver takes vampires to a whole new level.” —I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read   
A Short Interview with Lucienne Diver:

1. Tell me about your book in seven words or less.
True vamps infiltrate lifestylers to solve murder. 

2. Other than your main character, who's a favorite character of yours in your novel and why?
I love her guy, Bobby, always have. He reminds me of my husband…killer blue eyes, dark shaggy hair… mixed with Zac Efron. Plus, he’s a geek. And I’m a geek, so we’d have a lot in common.

3. What's one piece of writing advice you would give to aspiring authors?
Don’t give up. Really dedicate yourself to your craft, learning about it, seeking critique, listening to the comments and advice that make sense, incorporating them into your work. Understand that it will take time and that raw talent is only a start. It must be honed. But if you have the talent and the perseverance, you will achieve your goals. The system isn’t set up to keep you down, it’s to make sure that the very best get to stand out.

4. What did you write when you were a teen? Did you journal? Write poetry? Write overly literary or emotional stories? Or avoid writing altogether?
All of the above. I kept a very angsty journal, mostly to do with guys. He’s Just Not That Into You pretty much described my love life. I wrote overly dramatic poetry about things I never experienced, like the Trail of Tears. I wrote clich├ęd stories about unicorns, werewolves and sirens (not all in the same tale!). Mostly, I think I had to get a lot of the dreck out of my system so that I could move on.

5. What's the last book you read that you really loved?
I’m a literary agent as well as a novelist. The last book I read and really loved I hope to take on this week. It’s a debut, so see #3 about that advice!

Thanks so much for stopping by, Lucienne! And just for fun, here's a music video for the Vamped series...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Words DO Have Power!

I wanted to share a little video, celebrating the release of Holly Cupala's newest (wonderful) book, DON'T BREATHE A WORD!

Holly explains this video better than I ever could, but it's great and inspiring, and did I mention that I'm in it?! So I hope you'll take a peek!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

NEVER ENOUGH...Six Months and Counting...

I'm late by a couple of days, but I can't believe how quickly my release date went from being over a year away to ONLY six months away! I'm terribly excited, and over the next months I'll be dishing all kinds of secrets about this book here on the blog, so stay tuned!

But to celebrate my six month countdown, I've listed my first GoodReads giveaway for NEVER ENOUGH. Just click below to enter to win!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Never Enough by Denise Jaden

Never Enough

by Denise Jaden

Giveaway ends July 11, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Favorite Books of 2011

As promised, I've narrowed down my reading list for 2011 to a few favorites. Sorry it took so long. I kept going back over it and changing my mind. This year it was a real chore. Seriously. There were so many books that I absolutely loved, sat in awe at the talent of, and/or can't get out of my mind. There's really no criteria for this favorites list, some just applied so well to things I was going though this year, some just gave me that swirly feeling in my belly that comes back every time I look at the book.

These are in no particular order. It was hard enough narrowing them down--I had to go through my list like ten times--there's no way I could order them further. I'd love to know if you share any of my favorites! 

Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers
Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick
Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz
I Know It's Over by C.K. Kelly Martin

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

Unraveling Isobel by  Eileen Cook
Past Perfect by Leila Sales
Anna and the French Kiss by  Stephanie Perkins

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Couple of Links...

Life has been crazy again, but mostly good crazy. Anyway, I wanted to stop by and pass on a couple of links...

First, here's an awesome contest that my good author friend is holding. Oh, and did I mention there are free video games? Well yes, there are! And it's super easy to enter.

Also, I've been working on setting up a new blog. Why, you may ask. Well, when I set up this blog (I'm sure some access it through my website at ) but the official address is . Baskinex is an old word I made up and it only actually means something to myself and one other person in the world. So...I'm finally setting up a blog at

It will take a bit for me to get fully switched over, but if you enjoy reading this blog, please cruise on over there and just click "Join this site" on the right. Then when I do make the official switch, you'll be set up!

Here's the link for that:

Happy Monday to you all!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Welcome to my New Blog!

I'm in the midst of transferring my blog from (which is a title that only means something to me and one other person in the world) to this location.

Please join this site (on the right sidebar). I will have everything switched over to this location very soon!

Thanks! I look forward to hanging with you :-)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

GCC Presents Eileen Cook and UNRAVELING ISOBEL!

It's not often that I get the opportunity to read a book before I spotlight it on my blog (I try to spotlight it when it first releases) and it's even more rare that I get an early chance to read AND I count it as one of my favorite books.

But it doesn't surprise me at all that Eileen Cook's latest release fits into that category. It's kind of strange being all fangirly with one of your friends, but that's just the kind of relationship I have with her. She's a great person all around, hilarious, I love hanging out with her, and her writing blows me away.

Pick up this book. You will love it too.

And it's not just me that thinks this book is awesome. Here's what others are saying...

"Thrilling and creepy, super sexy, and so very hilarious." --Lisa McMann, bestselling author of the Wake trilogy

“Ideal for readers who like their stories supernatural but their dream guys human.” –The Bulletin
“Spine-tingling setting….Isobel’s sass and her steamy romance with her new stepbrother will help readers race toward the dramatic conclusion.” --Publishers Weekly

“This blend of paranormal romance, murder mystery and quirky, coming-of-age narrative offers tasty moments….Cook gives readers a fast-paced plot, a likable narrator, and interesting characters.” -Kirkus

"Isobel, all snark and sharp edges covering some intense vulnerability as she continuously checks in to see if she has crossed into mental illness (as her father did when she was young), is a compelling narrator."-  Horn Book Magazine
About the Book:

Isobel’s life is falling apart. Her mom just married some guy she met on the internet only three months before, and is moving them to his sprawling, gothic mansion off the coast of nowhere. Goodbye, best friend. Goodbye, social life. Hello, icky new stepfather, crunchy granola town, and unbelievably good-looking, officially off-limits stepbrother.
But on her first night in her new home, Isobel starts to fear that it isn’t only her life that’s unraveling—her sanity might be giving way too. Because either Isobel is losing her mind, just like her artist father did before her, or she’s seeing ghosts. Either way, Isobel’s fast on her way to being the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons.

About the Author:

Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in six different languages. She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer.

You can read more about Eileen, her books, and the things that strike her as funny at  Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.

And a quick interview with Eileen Cook:

1. Tell me about your book in seven words or less.

Ghosts, love, fear, courage, challenges, family, and creativity.

2. Other than your main character, who's a favorite character of yours in your novel and why?

Hard question, I tend to love them all. In this case Richard, or as Isobel fondly calls him, Dick, was fun to write because he was such a jerk. However, I did fall in love a bit with Nathaniel. Who doesn’t love a handsome brooding boy who has a giant house on the ocean complete with a library and a ghost?

3. What's one piece of writing advice you would give to aspiring authors?

If this is really what you want to do then don’t give up. This is a very hard business, but if you keep pushing forward, keep learning, keep reading, keep writing you can do it.

4. 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 always loved writing, although I was terrible at finishing things. I must have had a thousand books and stories that I started and never completed. I did keep a journal. It’s interesting to read it now because I almost don’t recognize the person I was then. Perspective changes everything. Turns out my parents weren’t nearly as mean and heartless as I thought they were.

5. What's the last book you read that you really loved?

One of the very best things about being a published writer is that you get a chance to get a sneak peek at some books. I recently read two that I’m raving about- the first is Never Enough by Denise Jaden (You may have heard of her) and the other is The Right and the Real by Joelle Anthony. People should keep their eyes peeled for both of these books in 2012.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year Giveaway Hop Winners!

Thanks to all who entered my Happy New Year Giveaway Hop! The following are the winners...

Morganlafey will receive a copy of SWOON by Nina Malkin!
Robinblankenship will receive a copy of FURY by Elizabeth Miles!
Rstephen will receive a copy of WEST OF HERE by Jonathan Evison

Congratulations to all!!!