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.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

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?




Thursday, August 13, 2015

Young Adult Giveaway Hop!



Welcome to the Young Adult Giveaway Hop! I'm super excited for this hop because I've recently revealed my new cover for my upcoming YA novel, A CHRISTMAS KERRIL, and as part of this giveaway hop, I'm giving away an early digital copy of this book!

Here's a little about the book:

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.

"Denise Jaden’s talent for creating believable and compelling characters shines in A CHRISTMAS KERRIL. I stayed up way too late reading this contemporary YA take on the classic Christmas story, completely caught up in the characters’ challenges, secrets, friendships, and romances. Highly recommended!" - Shari Green, author of Following Chelsea 

Coming to online retailers everywhere October 13, 2015.


Enter the Rafflecopter below to enter to win an early copy of this novel!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don't forget to follow the Linky to the next blog:

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

News! A New Book!

It's been a crazy-busy summer, and I've been taking a little time off of blogging. But I have still been around a bit on Facebook and Twitter (starting to share some fast-drafting tips under the hashtag #FastFiction), so you can always find me there.

As many of you know, I'm gearing up for another young adult contemporary novel in Spring, 2016. I'm super-excited for AVALANCHE, which is being published by Leap Books!

But...in the meantime, I've decided to release another book of mine. Anyone who knows me IRL knows how much I love all things Christmas. (I often leave my Christmas tree up year-round - true story!)

So I can't tell you how much I love this book, and how I can't wait for it to go out into the world THIS OCTOBER.

It is another YA novel, and the title is A CHRISTMAS KERRIL, but that's all I can tell you right now. Actin' Up With Books will officially reveal the cover and synopsis on August 11th, but you may be able to tell a little of what it's about from the title. Any guesses?

To celebrate, I'm giving away ONE EARLY COPY of  A CHRISTMAS KERRIL to one commenter below. Just tell me the name of your favorite Christmas story in the comments!

(This is for a digital copy, so I can open it up to international entries. Please include an email address where I can reach you, or check back to see if you won).

All the best, and happy reading!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Summer Reading List for YA Contemporary Fans















Every time I walk into a library lately, I'm seeing summer reading lists and challenges posted. While I love these, one little thing that bugs me is that so many of them contain the same books--most often current bestsellers. I admit, bestsellers are bestsellers for a reason. They struck a chord with a large number of readers. But being a non-bestselling author myself, I'm going to offer up a reading list of a few lesser-known but wonderful young adult contemporary books, as those are the bulk of what I write and read. In no particular order... Fun rom-coms to thrilling thrillers and everything in between...

17563833Kiss Kill Vanish by Jessica Martinez:

One moment, she was wrapped in Emilio’s arms, melting into his kiss. The next, she was witnessing the unthinkable: a murder in cold blood, ordered by her father and carried out by her boyfriend. When Emilio pulled the trigger, Valentina disappeared. She made a split-second decision to shed her identity and flee her life of privilege, leaving the glittering parties and sultry nightlife of Miami far behind.

She doesn’t know how to explain to herself what she saw. All she knows now is that nothing she believed about her family, her heart, or Emilio’s love, was real.

She can change her name and deny her past, but Valentina can’t run from the truth. The lines between right and wrong, and trust and betrayal, will be blurred beyond recognition as she untangles the deceptions of the two men she once loved and races to find her own truth.
 



21462279My Soon-To-Be Sex Life by Judith Tewes:

Charlie is down to her absolute. Total. Last. Resort.

Despite a thoroughly comprehensive list of potential cherry poppers, er…suitors, and careful plotting, Charlie is three weeks into her devirginization campaign, still untouched, and getting desperate. In the movie of her life, this aspiring screenwriter is giving herself a PG, for please, get some.

Her project goes into freeze frame when her mom checks herself into rehab and packs Charlie off to live with her estranged, or just plain strange, grandfather, Monty. How is she supposed to get a date when she has to go pick up his Depends?

Enter Eric, a hot rehab grad on the road to redemption, and the only one who can make Charlie rethink her strategy. The more she gets to know him, the more convinced she becomes that is the one, and not just another to add to the list of people who will abandon her.

In this hilarious and heartbreaking story of one girl’s detoured road to womanhood, Charlie’s list develops a life of its own – right when she realizes there’s so much more to lose.
 


18048731The Edge of Falling by Rebecca Serle:

Growing up in privileged, Manhattan social circles, Caggie’s life should be perfect, and it almost was until the day that her younger sister drowned when Caggie was supposed to be watching her. Stricken by grief, Caggie pulls away from her friends and family, only to have everyone misinterpret a crucial moment when she supposedly saves a fellow classmate from suicide. Now she’s famous for something she didn’t do and everyone lauds her as a hero. But inside she still blames herself for the death of her sister and continues to pull away from everything in her life, best friend and perfect boyfriend included. Then Caggie meets Astor, the new boy at school, about whom rumours are swirling and known facts are few. In Astor she finds someone who just might understand her pain, because he has an inner pain of his own. But the more Caggie pulls away from her former life to be with Astor, the more she realises that his pain might be darker, and deeper, than anything she’s ever felt. His pain might be enough to end his life…and Caggie’s as well. 

22753362Alice in Wonderland High by Rachel Shane:

Sixteen-year-old Alice suppresses her need for rebellion after a petition to start a farmer’s market receives more snickers than signatures. That is until Whitney Lapin, a girl who speaks in cryptic riddles and spends her free time turning abandoned warehouses into beautiful gardens, leads her on a rabbit trail into the underground–aka secret society–of Wonderland High. Curiouser and curiouser.

Even though Whitney’s group of teenage environmental vigilantes operates on the wrong side of the law, Alice has never felt more free to be herself. Soon she stomps on her good girl image by completing a series of environmental pranks to impress them: flooding the school and disguising a pig as a baby in order to smuggle it out of a testing facility. But the group refuses to help with the farmer’s market or reveal their hidden agenda. She wants to trust them, and she especially wants to trust (or maybe kiss) Chester Katz, a boy with a killer smile, a penchant for disappearing, and a secret that will really turn Alice‘s world backwards. When one group member tries to frame Alice for all the pranks, she must figure out their secret before she ends up in front of a jury that’s screaming, “Off with her head!”



17323659Anywhere but Here by Tanya Lloyd Kyi:

Cole’s small town is a trap he’s determined to escape in this fresh and moving debut novel that balances loss with humor.

Ever since his mom died, Cole just feels stuck. His dad acts like a stranger, and Lauren, his picture-perfect girlfriend of two years, doesn’t understand him anymore. He can’t ditch his dad, so Cole breaks up with Lauren. She doesn’t take the news very well, and Cole’s best friend won’t get off his case about it.

Now more than ever, Cole wants to graduate and leave his small, suffocating town. And everything is going according to plan—until Cole discovers the one secret that could keep him there…forever.



23365164


 Following Chelsea by Shari Green:
#16thingsithoughtweretrueWalking in the footsteps of a dead girl isn't easy... 

After her social life flatlines, seventeen-year-old Anna Richards wants nothing more than to lie low at her new school. But it seems Anna looks an awful lot like Chelsea, the sweet and popular girl who recently died, and Anna finds herself stepping into the void created by Chelsea's absence. 

Anna is determined to make the awkward situation work in her favor, because Chelsea didn't just leave a spot open with the in-crowd; she also left a gorgeous—and now available—boyfriend. But it turns out that following Chelsea might be a lot more complicated than Anna expected.



#16thingsithoughtweretrue by Janet Gurtler:

Heart attacks happen to other people #thingsIthoughtweretrue

When Morgan's mom gets sick, it's hard not to panic. Without her mother, she would have no one—until she finds out the dad who walked out on her as a baby isn't as far away as she thought...


Adam is a stuck-up, uptight jerk #thingsIthoughtweretrue

Now that they have a summer job together, Morgan's getting to know the real Adam, and he's actually pretty sweet...in a nerdy-hot kind of way. He even offers to go with her to find her dad. Road trip, anyone?

5000 Twitter followers are all the friends I need #thingsIthoughtweretrue

With Adam in the back seat, a hyper chatterbox named Amy behind the wheel, and plenty of Cheetos to fuel their trip, Morgan feels ready for anything. She's not expecting a flat tire, a missed ferry, a fake girlfriend...and that these two people she barely knew before the summer started will become the people she can't imagine living without.
 


16074758Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas:

It's Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives. But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations.

As Anna sets out to find her friend's killer; she discovers hard truths about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.

As she awaits the judge's decree, it becomes clear that everyone around her thinks she is not just guilty, but dangerous. When the truth comes out, it is more shocking than one could ever imagine...
 


15777621This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales:


Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, This Song Will Save Your Life is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.
 


13505666
The Almost Truth by Eileen Cook:


Teen con artist Sadie might be over her head. To escape her backwards small town, delusional mom, jailbird dad, and the tiny trailer where she was raised, she also must leave Brendan. Sadie wants a better life, and she has been working steadily toward it, one con at a time, until her mother wipes out her savings.

Brendan helps devise ultimate con. But the more lies Sadie spins, the more she starts falling for her own hoax, and perhaps for the wrong boy. Sadie wanted to change her life, but she wasn't prepared to have it flipped upside down by her own deception. With her future at stake and her heart on the line, she suddenly has more than just money to lose.
 


13326677OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu:


When Bea meets Beck, she knows instantly that he’s her kind of crazy. Sweet, strong, kinda-messed-up Beck understands her like no one else can. He makes her feel almost normal. He makes her feel like she could fall in love again.

But despite her feelings for Beck, Bea can’t stop thinking about someone else: a guy who is gorgeous and magnetic... and has no idea Bea even exists. But Bea knows a lot about him. She spends a lot of time watching him. She has a journal full of notes. Some might even say she’s obsessed.

Bea tells herself she’s got it all under control. But this isn’t a choice, it’s a compulsion. The truth is, she’s breaking down...and she might end up breaking her own heart.
 


25305923The Handler by D.R. Graham:


He promised he would never be an outlaw . . .

While searching for the member of an outlaw motorcycle gang who murdered his dad, Cain Allen is offered a boatload of cash to "handle" the stunning teen popstar Lincoln Todd. Although he doesn't need the headache of a high-maintenance celebrity, getting out of town will help him keep a low profile until he testifies against the other two killers.

Touring Europe with Lincoln proves to be more complicated than Cain anticipated, and despite his efforts, the line between their personal and professional lives blurs. She’s sweet, smart, and totally unpredictable. And he loves it.

But Lincoln’s association with Cain puts her in more danger than anyone could have imagined. When he joins forces with the Noir et Bleu Motorcycle Club to protect her, Cain discovers the lengths he's willing to go, and the person he's willing to become to protect the people he loves…



I tried to keep this list to 10, but it was impossible. (In fact, I'm going to post this quickly, so I'm not tempted to just keep adding and adding...)

I'd love to hear if you've read any of the above and what you've thought of them, and also, what's on your summer reading list?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Celebrating ALL Women Today!

My annual salute to all women, whether they are mothers or not... Mother's Day is an interesting holiday. I don't deny that mothers give a lot of themselves for their kids--24/7 for many years beyond the ones when they're changing diapers or helping with homework. I agree that this deserves celebration. I have a wonderful mother, and I wouldn't be the person I am today without her. Thanks for everything, Mom! But I've looked at the holiday from a different perspective many times as well. As someone who has struggled to become a mom, struggled to sustain a pregnancy, our society and it's focus on Mother's Day can feel pretty wounding. I can't tell you the number of times I felt inferior on a Mother's Day because I couldn't do something that so many women seemingly achieve so naturally and easily. Since then, of course, I've realized that is not necessarily the case. I can't count on my fingers and toes the number of women who have contacted me after I post something about this on the blog and mention that they've struggled with something similar. And that they've struggled with feeling like less of a person on a day that celebrates mothers. I've been blessed with a wonderful little boy who is eleven now. This is after four miscarriages, one tubal pregnancy, and many years of trying to conceive. I can't say that the parenting journey has always been easy either (even though I know I've had it really good compared to some). So I honor and salute all my friends who have endured the joys and sorrows of parenting. But I also honor and salute all of you who, for whatever reason, haven't. I salute you even more, because there are probably less of us that understand each other and can give each other (((cyber-hugs))) Many blessings to all of my women friends today! May you be honored, cherished, and understood among your friends and family!

Friday, April 24, 2015

IT'S OUT! IT'S OUT! FALLING FOR ALICE is On Sale Today! #contest #freebooks @falling4alice

I'm so VERY EXCITED to celebrate our unbirthday of our new Alice-in-Wonderland themed anthology with you! To celebrate these five new YA stories, I'm giving away an entire BOX of great YA fiction to one lucky winner (due to postage costs, this is open for US mailing only).

I'm so honored to have my story among some amazing other authors, including Dawn Dalton, Shari Green, Kitty Keswick, and Cady Vance. You will love all of their stories!

Here's a little bit about the anthology...

24833107
New Alice. New Wonderland. New stories ​to love.

From ​the modern Alice dumped in the Aquarian ​Age of the late sixties, to the ​present day Alice, tormented by body image and emotional issues, to the Alice of the future, launched forward through time and space, FALLING FOR ALICE offers five fresh takes on ​Lewis​ Carroll’s classic tale. For 150 years, people all over the world have fallen under Alice in Wonderland’s spell. ​Now, follow five Young Adult authors down the rabbit hole to discover Alice like you’ve never seen her before. One thing is certain—this is not your mother’s Alice.
 


And if you have not seen it yet, here is the book trailer...




And now for the contest! All you have to do to enter to win is send a photo or copy of your receipt of purchase of FALLING FOR ALICE (e-copy or paperback) to me at d(at)denisejaden(dot)com with the words FFA Contest in the subject and you will be entered! Pretty simple, right?

Here are a few places where you can get the book:


And here's a little glimpse of the books you could win...


And if you are an international reader and would still like to enter this contest, I will also award an e-copy or an audio-copy of one of my books if I draw the name of an international winner!

Best of luck, and happy reading! This contest will be open through the first week in May.

Don't forget to raise a glass of champagne or apple juice with us today to celebrate.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

My Crazy Life!

I just got back from a very last-minute whirlwind vacation. You see, my husband had to attend a seminar in LA, and we decided we could make it a road trip for the same price as his flight. So the three of us, plus my mom, hopped in the car and drove pretty much straight through from just outside Vancouver, Canada to LA.

We're not as young as we used to be. That's the first thing our aching backs and knees told us. But all in all, we did have a great time. We started with The Joker strapped to the front of our car...

When we were a lot younger, my husband and I made the same trip with a Barbie strapped to the front of our vehicle. When my son heard this little tidbit, he came up with this idea.

Both my son and I braved California Screamin', which is a huge feat for us, since neither of us are daredevils...

And I got to share my favorite ride, Space Mountain, with my husband and son, who both ended up loving it. (This was a great point of contention early in our marriage, actually, when my husband was terrorized by his first experience on this ride.)

We got home just in time for me to teach at a homeschool co-op I'm a part of, only to have to turn around that afternoon and head back to Seattle for my husband to judge a bodybuilding competition. Oh, and did I mention I have an anthology releasing this Friday...

And half an hour before we left for California, I spilled tea on my laptop and had to leave it at home in a box of rice! But it turned out that unplugging was a great thing for me. I feel tired, yes, but at the same time more relaxed and centered. I highly recommend unplugging from technology for a time (hopefully by choice and not by tea mishap!)

Anyway, this is just a quick post to let you know why I have been so absent as of late. My life has been a bit crazy, but I'm back and excited to share our Alice in Wonderland inspired anthology with you. Stay tuned for an awesome contest to celebrate its release!