Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014!

It's been a great year.:)

I published my first book. I sold two more. I went to my first book convention and my first book festival and then a few more.:) I met TONS of readers and tons of other writers & authors. I fangirled over authors who I still can't believed I got to hang out with, and I laughed and joked with them and learned they were REAL people--like you, and me.:)

And I learned a TON. :) About writing, about me.

I rediscovered things I forgot along my writing/publishing journey, and am SO glad I remembered them.:) Like the fact that books are creative works of art. Not everyone will love each one, but some will, and that's who authors write for. :)

I learned that it's not about the days you can't find the time or inspiration to write; it's about the days you DO.

I learned that not every shiny new idea will turn into a finished book, but some will. And I learned typing The End never gets old.:)

I learned that writing on deadline is different and hard and DOABLE and deeply rewarding.

I learned that publishing is a journey, not a destination--like life, and each writer's road is different at every point. (Whoa-that was freakishly deep. ;D )

I learned that it's hard to say goodbye to characters in a series. And I learned that just because it's easier to let them all live, that doesn't mean you should.

I learned that writing on deadline feels more solitary than expected.

I learned that friendship among writers is real and true and life-saving.:)

I learned that my family and friends are amazing and have blessed me beyond measure, and so have all the readers who took a chance on an unknown debut author and picked up NIL. *hugs all the #NILtribe*

Thank you to all who helped make 2014 an amazing year! I love all of y'all!

See you in 2015!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thankfulness…and a contest for the #NILtribe

Yesterday was Thanksgiving… and I have SO much to be thankful for this year.

My family. 

The love and support this year--and in the years leading to this one--are amazing. I LOVE YOU ALL MORE THAN YOU KNOW.

My friends.

*see above* *sends all the hugs* :)

The entire YA community.

I'm so grateful to all the authors, bloggers, and readers who welcomed and supported me this year as my debut novel, NIL, launched back in March.

You all deserve a little RDJ:


The opportunity to write books.

I'm so incredibly blessed to be able to do what I love. That I get to write stories and share them with the world…and get paid for it. And yet? The money is nothing compared to the satisfaction of making one reader get a full case of the feels…and be able to escape into a new world just for a few hours. I write for you, and am so grateful to my agent and my editor and all the folks at Macmillan for believing in me and allowing me to put my books in your hands.:)


*feels  teary* To all the readers who took a chance on NIL--THANK YOU. I am so, so grateful for you.:) *sniffs*

Which brings me to the #NILtribe.

I ADORE THE #NILtribe. All the readers who supported NIL and the characters in the Nil world… all the readers who have tweeted about NIL or shared a pic on Instagram or taken the time to write a review of NIL or who have told a friend about NIL or played #WinNIL this year… THANK YOU. I love you and appreciate you sharing your love of books and your love of NIL!

Which brings me to a special contest I dreamed up for you. Next spring I'll be sharing plenty of opportunities to win advance copies of NIL UNLOCKED as well as finished hardcopies of NIL UNLOCKED as we play #WinNU.

But for now…I have a special gift for you. A unique #WinNIL: the chance to win a special annotated copy of NIL, with heaps of personal notes and hints linking NIL to NIL UNLOCKED. You'll find out some NIL UNLOCKED secrets early, and I'll share some passages/quotes from NIL UNLOCKED in the margins of NIL at key points and share research I didn't include in the final copy. Also, I've jotted down character secrets and backstory that impacts both NIL and NIL UNLOCKED. I've been working on this special annotated NIL copy for a while, and it's turning out pretty cool. AND YOU CAN WIN IT.

If you're a member of the #NILtribe, leave a comment below telling me why you're excited about NIL UNLOCKED and boom--you're entered to win!

This contest will run until December 31, 2014, and is open to all current members of this #NILtribe. Most of y'all I know by name and/or your Twitter/Instagram avatar…and I hope you win!:) *Winner will be picked at random from the comments below using the random number generator.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tribal Tuesday!

Just a quote note to say that TOMORROW IS A #WinNIL WEDNESDAY!!!!

We're playing a thankful edition.:)

Tomorrow you can win a signed copy of NIL for a friend--a friend you are thankful to have in your life! A friend you would save from tigers…a friend that you would give your last fish wrap to.:)

So be thinking. . . and be thankful.:)

Deets tomorrow on Instagram, Twitter and FB! Hugs to all the #NILtribe!

Until tomorrow--


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tribal Tuesday!

Hi #NILtribe!

I thought I'd share a sneak peek of the front & back flap of the galley, and the epigraph at the front of the book. It's so pretty!!!!!

*stares at galley*

I LOVE MY COVER SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *stops staring* ;)

So first, the front.


I LURVVEEEE the colors on this cover. They're SPOT ON. The orange, the gray. And the cracked gray inside the word NIL here is so cool…because it echoes the cracked, dried lava rock found on the island itself. Also adore the tallymarks, especially how they're reflected in the water. I love how the sunlight shines through the clouds and the overall darker tone….it fits the book PERFECTLY. I honestly love everything about this cover. Macmillan did an AMAZING job! I AM SO LUCKY!!!!!!

And now for the back.

Rives. Skye. FEELS. ANSWERS.
*happy sigh*

Just LOVE!!!!!!!!

Now for the spine. I always love the spines of books; I don't know why. But there's something so gorgeous about having them all lined up on the shelf.

Like this:

(Yes, I'm totally biased. BUT THAT'S OK.:D)

Now, I only have one galley of NIL UNLOCKED right now (the other one is making the YA VALENTINES rounds, but here's the spine of NIL UNLOCKED:

Please ignore the disaster that is the house in the background.
Thank you.
#lifeofawriter ;)
I adore how the front cover wraps around to the spine…how you get the juxtaposition of light and dark BECAUSE IT'S SO WHAT THIS BOOK IS ABOUT. WIN!!!!!

And then there's the tallymarks. OH MY LAND I LOVE THE TALLYMARKS. They're on the inside of NIL, and they're also on the inside of NIL UNLOCKED.

Like this:

Tick tock goes the Nil clock . . .

And they're also on this page with the really-cool and totally-perfect epigraph:

Information. Knowledge. Rives wants it all…and so does Skye. And when they find each other?

Well . . . you'll just have to read the book.;)

(Ok, that was totally an evil author move but I can't give away ALL THE SEKRITS. At least not today.:D)

Happy Tribal Tuesday #NILtribe!!!!! I hope you loved the visual sneak peek!


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

FIERCE news!!!!



It's real. It's really happening. So . . . I'm so excited to announce that I'll be part of the Spring 2015 Fierce Reads Tour!

See? THE #NILtribe has turned FIERCE!:)

The author lineup is AMAZING (Marie! Courtney! Anna! Lindsay! AHHHH! I <3 ALL the Tour authors and their books!) and I'm SO honored to be a part. More Tour details and city information to come, but in the meantime, you can find out more about all the authors and their books over at Mac Teen Books.

So there you go! NIL UNLOCKED comes out May 12, 2015. Then . . .  the #NILtribe hits the road, feeling FIERCE!:)

Are you in?:)


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tribal Tuesday!!!

So many #NILtribe happenings this week!

Tomorrow I'll be talking with students at the St. Johns Country Day School here in Jax AND I'M SOOOO EXCITED!  Cool author visit in the making. (The visit will be cool. Not me. I'm not so cool but chatting with the teens?! Heck yeah--that's BEYOND COOL.:D)

And tomorrow is also a #WinNIL Wednesday! It's a Halloween themed #WinNIL contest (tomorrow! did I mention it's tomorrow?!), and up for grabs?  A signed copy of NIL, plus copies of Kristen Lippert-Martin's TABULA RASA & Lindsay Currie and Trisha Leaver's CREED. Awesome, right? Starts at 8 am EST TOMORROW!!!! On Twitter. And FB. And Instagram. Because I'm inclusive like that.:)

And then . . .

This weekend I'll be at the Vegas Valley Book Festival! I'll be chatting on a panel this Saturday with Amy Tintera, Mindy McGinnis & more. You can check out the lineup and full schedule here.  Come see me! After the panel at the signing, I'll have NIL swag & grass skirts & coconut bras. (JK on the grass skirts & coconut bras but definitely NIL swag.:D)

Coming soon…


*throws candy corn all over the blog and Twitter and FB and Tumblr AND THE WORLD* :)

In the meantime, don't forget to share your favorite  #NILquote. You could win an ARC of NIL UNLOCKED too! That contest runs until Dec 1!!!

Oh, and today?

Live it to the fullest.

It's the only today you have.

"No regrets," as Thad would say.:) (One of my fave #NILquotes.:D)

Happy Tuesday!!!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tribal Tuesday!!!

Just a few newsy things this week!

You still have time to enter to win a galley of NIL UNLOCKED over at Bewitched Bookworms. 3 days left, to be specific. :) The clock is ticking . . .

A signed copy of NIL is up for grabs at Becoming Books . . . plus a Q&A in which I gush about the #NILtribe.:)

 Also, next month I'll be at the Vegas Valley Book Festival on October 18, on a panel with Amy Tintera, Mindy McGinnis and more! Find out all the details here!

Last but not least, I wanted to share the cool tune I've been writing to this week. I'm working on a secret project THAT MAY OR MAY NOT BE NIL RELATED. We'll see.:)

Here you go!

Gaslight Anthem's Get Hurt:

Happy Tuesday #NILtribe!


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tribal Tuesday!!!

Hi y'all!

Welcome to the first Tribal Tuesday!

These are the days when the #NILtribe gathers and noms island snacks…and sits around and gets ALL THE ISLAND SCOOP.:)

Seriously, these are the days when the tribe gets to speak up. To ask questions, about NIL, NIL UNLOCKED, or the island itself . . . about characters and sequels . . . about writing or publishing or cookies or whatever the tribe has on their mind.:) It's also the days when I'll share island scoop.

NIL or NIL UNLOCKED scoop . . .  like the fact the the cover for NIL UNLOCKED was just released and I LOVE IT!

If you missed it, go here to check out the cover goodness and enter to win a galley of NIL UNLOCKED.

And ICYMI, here's the blurb of NIL UNLOCKED:

On the island of Nil, the rules are set. You have exactly 365 days to escape—or you die. Rives is now the undisputed Leader of Nil City, but keeping the City united is tougher than ever.

Raiders have grown bolder, supplies are dwindling, and non-human inhabitants have taken a turn toward the deadly. New arrivals cause rifts within the City, putting the Search system at risk, and calling everything Rives knows into question. Desperate for answers, he teams up with the only other person searching for them: Skye, a new arrival with a mysterious past of her own. Soon the duo find themselves locked in a desperate race to save all the residents of Nil—and possibly destroy the island forever. But at what cost? And who will pay the price?

Cool, right?:)

Ok, #NILtribe, the floor is yours! Got questions? Leave them below! Or you can ask me on Twitter at @LSMatson.:)

And don't forget . . . tomorrow is #WinNIL Wednesday on Twitter and FB--good luck!


Friday, September 12, 2014




It's AMAZING. When I saw it for the first time, I screamed "YES!" (Well, not out loud actually, but IN MY  HEAD.:D) It's so perfect!

Wanna see?

I'll post here but before I do, you should know the official cover reveal is happening over at Bewitched Bookworms and Danny is also hosting a giveaway! You can enter to win a hardcover of NIL and a galley of NIL UNLOCKED.  So go! Enter! And you can read the story behind NIL UNLOCKED too.:)

But if you're still here . . .

and you want to see the cover . . .

scroll down. :)

Keep going . . .

and scrolling . . .

once more . . . .

BOOM. Here you go! The awesome I'm-so-in-love-with-it cover for NIL UNLOCKED! (Which will be out in May. Just in case you didn't know.:D)

Isn't it so cool?!
Love the graphics inside the word NIL.:) And the reflection on the water!

More NIL UNLOCKED scoop coming soon!!! Thanks for stopping by!:)

Monday, August 25, 2014

#NILquote Contest

Hi y'all!

I'm SOOOO happy to say I finished edits on NIL UNLOCKED. *cue crazy happy dance*

To celebrate, I thought have a contest!

And since school is in session, here's the contest assignment:

Tell me your favorite quote from NIL in the comments below, and yes, you can leave more than one! (Max entry=five.:D)

Contest will run until December 1. Open internationally!

I'll pick the winner at random  and the winner will win some special Nil bling from the upcoming NIL UNLOCKED and BE ELIGIBLE TO WIN AN ARC OF NIL UNLOCKED TOO . It will also run on Twitter, FB and if you posted your answer elsewhere, be sure to use the hashtag #NILquote so I see your answer.

Sound cool?:)

Oh, and did you catch that all commenters will be automatically entered in my first contest to win an ARC of NIL UNLOCKED when I get them??? Yup. It's true. Drop a #NILquote and you could get your hands on NIL UNLOCKED early. Just like that.:)

Good luck! I can't wait to hear your favorite quotes!!!

And welcome to the tribe!


Monday, August 4, 2014

It's OFFICIAL! NIL UNLOCKED will be out next year!

I've been waiting for SOOOOO long to share this exciting news! 

NIL UNLOCKED will be out next year. *cue crazy tribal happy dance*

Here's proof:

The official Publisher's Marketplace announcement! Woot!

NIL UNLOCKED is a sequel to NIL, picking up on the island from the moment where Nil left off.  Like NIL, NIL UNLOCKED is told from two different POV's, with each character bringing different information and desires and secrets to the story.

POV number 1? Rives. One of Thad's Seconds in NIL, Rives is a character worthy of more time. I lurrvvvee Rives. Like Charley during her days on Nil, Rives is driven to uncover Nil's secrets and solve all the island's mysteries…but his desire to unlock Nil is quickly approaching obsessive proportions.

And the second POV? Skye. A newcomer with a family past tied to Nil, Skye is a rookie unlike any Rives has ever met.

Want a blurb to make you drool? The tribe's wish is my command!!!

Still on Nil after Thad's shocking play, Rives is the undisputed Leader of Nil City. But keeping the City united is tougher than ever.
Raiders have grown bolder, City supplies are dwindling, and the non-human inhabitants have taken a definite turn toward the deadly. New arrivals cause rifts within the City, putting the Search system at risk and calling everything Rives knows into question: the island, his humanity, and his heart. Rives’s desperate thirst for understanding is rivaled only by Skye’s, a new arrival with a mysterious past of her own. Soon they're locked in a desperate race to save all the teens at once--and destroy the island forever. But the cost of success may be greater than they ever imagined . . . just like Nil's power.
Told from the dual view points of Rives and Skye, NIL UNLOCKED offers a stunning conclusion to the story begun in NIL. Fans of NIL will be glued to the pages until the last one is turned.

Okay, #NILtribe, there you go!  Next year will be full of more Nil, more mysteries, more feels. :) And more #NILtribe!!!! So get your grass skirt ready. We're ALL IN.  More #WinNIL Wednesdays (one a month until April 2015). . . more Nil sekrit scoop.

And coming up next? Tribal Tuesdays. They start Sept 2.:)


Monday, July 21, 2014

Ft. Myers!

Hey #NILtribe! A quick shout-out to say I'll be signing books and sharing NIL sekrits at the B&N in Ft. Myers this Saturday!

Come say hi!!!:)

Here's the link:

And last week I got to go to Chicago and sign books at Anderson's Bookshop…as part of the #MMBB! They were AMAZING!!!:)

Plus I got to meet heaps of the @YA_Valentines….like Paula Stokes, Lindsay Cummings, Phil Siegel, Bethany Crandall, and Amy Rolland PLUS the lovely and talented Anita Grace Howard! I posted pics on my Instagram account.:) So you can go there to check them out.:)


Monday, June 30, 2014

Blog Roll!

Hi y'all! I've been tagged by the amazing Mary Pearson!

Mary is the award-winning author of The Jenna Fox Chronicles, one of my all-time favorite series. Gorgeous writing, mind-blowing premise, and characters to root for. Now Mary also has an incredible new book coming out called THE KISS OF DECEPTION. It's already receiving amazing (and starred!) reviews

Mary tagged me last week in a blog roll, where writers share a bit about how their writing process works. So here goes! (warning: you are about to peek inside my head) ;) 


A sequel to NIL! Tentatively titled NIL UNLOCKED, the novel picks up on the island where NIL left off, although with a different character's POV. Told from veteran Rives' perspective, NIL UNLOCKED explores the island's secrets and history...and its future.:) Why does the island exist? Why do only teens make it to Nil? And why does each teen only get 365 days to escape, or die? And why risk falling in love if your time is short and nothing is guaranteed?


I love this question! For me, it all comes down to the author's voice. Voice is what makes each book unique; it's what makes a book stand out. My books are character-driven with a Twilight Zone twist and heaps of feels, because I want the reader to yearn to linger in that world with my characters just a bit longer. 

I don't think NIL is easily classified (sic-fi? magical realism? sci-fi romance? YA with crossover appeal?) so that helps NIL stand on its own--rather like the island itself.:)


Because the characters that grab me refuse to let me go until I write their stories. I especially love writing YA, because of the firsts and the feels. The powerful nature of the firsts--first kiss, first broken heart, first time running from tigers lol--makes for equally powerful feels.


My books always start with an idea, an "what-if." For example, NIL began with the idea; "What if a girl woke up naked in a red rock lava field and had no clue where she was or how she got there?" After the initial idea, I start writing and the story flows from there. I'm a pantser all the way. After my first draft, I go back and fill in the holes until the entire story is smooth and polished and shinier than a Christmas tree.

The other part? Music. I listen to music from start to finish: during drafting, revising, and brainstorming. Sometimes it's the lyrics, sometimes it's the tunes, but music is critical for me as I write.:)


Honestly, sometimes I just get stuck. It's like a pothole in the drafting road, and for a few days I can't find my way out. The only way out, I've discovered, is to keep writing. I maybe not be writing the right words, but I won't know until I get the wrong words on paper, because if I don't have any words then I have nothing to work with. Also, music. Music has the power to pull me out of a writer's slump same for reading.:) 

Now I get to tag someone!

Tonya Kuper, you're it! :)

Tonya's debut novel, ANAMOLY (the first in the Schrodinger’s Consortium Series) comes out in November and holy cow, AMAZING. Like Mary who tagged me, Tonya writes sci-fi too, and ANAMOLY promises to keep you up late at night until the last page is turned. Plus, also like Mary, Tonya is a sweetie and I LUUURRVE her.:)

So go find out the sekrits behind Tonya's writing!!!:) 


Friday, June 20, 2014

Is NIL on your Summer TBR List?:) Now you can win it!

Today on the YA Valentines blog, the Vals are talking #summerreads….

We're sharing our favorite #summerreads and giving away sekrit summer scoop about our MCs. AND, we're giving away a copy of one of our books--your choice!

Hop over to the Vals' clubhouse and find out why the Vals books make the perfect books for your beach bag!!!:)

Oh, and NIL? (alert: shameless plug ahead :D) It's PERFECT for summer. Set on a mysterious island with a LOST vibe, it's full of shirtless hotties, gorgeous sunrises, and deadly animals   . . . and oh yeah, each character has exactly one year -- to escape, or die.


Join the #NILtribe this summer. I'll be rooting for you. :)

Happy Friday!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

SILO . . . A YA read you don't want to miss. And it's FREE!!!

Ok, as y'all know, a few months ago I was blessed to be a part of the cover reveal for CREED, the keep-you-up-all-night debut from the amazing writing duo #TeamCleaver (also known as the VERY talented team made of Lindsay N. Currie and Trisha Leaver :D).

Here's the CREED cover just to refresh your memory:

Isn't is creeptastic?!

And check out the blurb:

Dee Langley is seventeen and mere months away from total freedom and a life where state social workers, counselors, and foster parents don’t dictate her every move. She has spent years trying to eke out a normal existence, hiding from her past and walking the tenuous line between denial and self-preservation. A weekend away with her boyfriend, Luke, and his brother, Mike, seems like the perfect opportunity to forget and start over. Little does Dee know that she's just trading one hell for another.

When an unexpected storm and a lack of gas force their car off the road, Dee, Luke, and Mike find themselves with no other choice but to wander into the nearby town of Purity Springs for help. But it’s not good Samaritans they find, but rather complete and utter silence, every store and every house abandoned. Forced to seek shelter in one of the deserted homes, they uncover a disturbing book with explicit instructions on how to correctly rear a child, complete with a hand written record of its use. It’s not until the next morning, however, that they discover the alarming truth – the town isn’t abandoned; it is populated by a deadly cult, and the leader, Elijah Hawkins, has plans for the three of them. The group’s only hope for survival lies in the hands of Elijah’s son, Joseph. But is Joseph really their ticket to freedom or is his game just as deadly as his father’s?


Ok, so here's the surprise today from Lindsay & Trisha . . . in their own words:

With the release date of CREED rapidly approaching, Lindsay and I have been fielding questions about what our co-authored voice sounds like, how psychologically twisted our collective mind is, and do I need to read all of your co-authored pieces with the lights on?
Rather than simply answer those questions, we thought we’d take it one step further and actually show you! We toyed with writing a prequel-type novella to set the stage for CREED, but you know us…why write a novella to CREED when you can give them entirely different book to enjoy!

After much discussion with our agents and an enthusiastic ‘go for it’ from our publisher, we have decided to utilize Wattpad to give the world a sneak peek at what they can expect from our co-authored voice. So here it is, a new, psychologically twisted, co-authored YA Thriller. 

“The darkness would’ve scared me years ago, but not anymore—if you couldn’t see it, then you didn’t know it was there to be afraid of.”~Jake Holloway, SILO 
Starting today, we will be sharing a chapter a week of our co-authored book, SILO, on Wattpad for the world to enjoy, hate, question our sanity, run screaming from… The last chapter of the book will drop the week of November 8th, the same week CREED releases!

So, go forth and be appropriately frightened as you realize just what our twisted minds of capable of. Spread the word, leave a comment on Wattpad or simply enjoy the book in the dark confines of your own home.
Link to SILO on Wattpad:
AHHHH!!! Isn't this SILO free read the coolest?! For more info on the amazing writer duo, see below.:)

Trisha Leaver lives on Cape Cod with her husband, three children, and one rather irreverent dog. Her co-authored, YA Psychological Horror drops November 8, 2014 from FLUX. Her solo YA Contemporary, THE SECRETS WE KEEP, releases April, 28th 2015 from FSG/ Macmillan 

Lindsay lives in Chicago, Illinois with one incredibly patient hubby, three amazing kids and one adorable, but irreverent Bullmastiff named Sam. She graduated from Knox College in the heart of the Midwest and has been writing for as long as she can remember.

Today, Lindsay is an author, as well as a freelance editor for young adult, new adult and middle grade fiction. She is a proud member of SCBWI, The YA Scream Queens and OneFourKidLit.


Happy reading!:)

Monday, June 2, 2014

NIL #Summerread Selfie Contest!

It's JUNE!!!! 

It's SUMMER!!! 

Which means it's time for epic reads.  And fierce reads. And summer reads!!! One of the best things about summer is reading…. especially on the beach.

Summer reads are THE BEST. (And I know I'm totally biased, but I think NIL is the perfect summer read.:D)

Want to know some of mine? 

DONE. :) 

Aren't they so pretty? *pets*

Contest alert! NIL love alert!

Tweet/email/instagram/FB a selfie of you holding NIL as your #summerread--make sure to tag me!--and you'll be automatically entered to in my NIL #Summerread Selfie contest! Winner will get a signed copy of NIL to keep or share, plus 2 of the books in the picture above. YOUR CHOICE.

Contest ends August 1.:)


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Mighty Mississippi Book Blast!!!!!

Hey #NILtribe!

So excited to announce that I'm part of the Mighty Mississippi Book Blast U.S. book tour this summer! I'll be signing books in Chicago at Anderson's on July 16th. Come see me! I'll have swag and posters and ALL KINDS OF NIL GOODNESS.:) And there are tons of other authors I adore too!

Here's the official #MMBB site: click this link.

See you in Chicago!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A #WinNIL Contest!

As y'all know, I've been running #WinNIL Wednesday contests on Twitter and FB for the past few months. AND THEY'RE SO FUN!

Each week I'd tweet a question, ask people to RT and answer the question for a chance to win a signed copy of NIL.


I've asked what--or who--you wouldn't expect to find on a deserted island . . . what one book you would bring . . . what you would miss the most. . . . what you think the word "NIL" stands for . . . and more. And y'alls answers are THE BEST.

So guess what? Today I throw it out to you!

Break out your coconut bras and grass skirts, your island mojo, or your creepy island moves...whatever gets your island creativity cooking.:)

Think of a question that you think would be perfect for a #WinNIL Wednesday contest and leave it in the comments below! Two weeks from today, I'll run a #WinNIL Wednesday contest using one of your questions. And if I use your question, you'll win a signed copy of NIL and NIL swag too! 

So really, there are two winners coming! The person who thinks of the most creative/fun #WinNIL contest question, and the person who wins the contest.


Yay! I can't wait to see what the #NILtribe come up with!


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bad Blogger

I've been bad. And not in a good way.:)

I realized today I haven't blogged in weeks. I've been busy with celebrating NIL in the world . . . and book festivals (hello #RHSLitFest!) and signings . . . and WRITING. I'm working on a super sekrit project I hope to share with you soon.
very soon. (I know that's horribly teasery butI  can't release deets yet.  We authors are cruel like that. hehe)  

Lots of NIL scoop coming SOON.:)

But in the meantime, check in with me on Twitter and FB next Wednesday for the last #WinNIL Wednesday of April! You'll have the chance to win not just NIL but another super awesome creepy island book that came out this year too--and YOU WANT IT. Trust me.:)


Thursday, April 3, 2014

YA Scavenger Hunt 2014!

Welcome to the YA Scavenger Hunt! Woohoo

I'm super stoked to be a part of this hunt! This cool annual event was organized by the awesome Colleen Houck to give readers exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors...and a chance to win some amazing prizes! In this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt--a secret number. Add up the numbers and enter to win the sweet prize--a signed book from each author on my team! Woot! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours only! 72 hours of awesome! Hunt ends this Sunday April 6 at noon PST!

You can start right here or go to the YA Scavenger Hunt home page. There are TWO contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or both! I'm part of the BLUE TEAM--go TEAM BLUE!!!-- but there is also a red team for a chance to win a whole different set of signed books!

Looking for my exclusive bonus NIL content? Yay!

Somewhere on this blog hop, I've hidden a bonus scene from Thad's POV. Cool, right?! Before you skip off to find it, check out the amazing author I'm hosting below!

But first, a few rules . . .


Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number in BLUE. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the blue team and add them up (feel free to use a calculator!).

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, April 6, 2014 at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information won't be considered.:(


Phew! Now that all the technical stuff is out of the way, on to the post! I'm super stoked about the author I'm hosting today. She's the lovely & talented . . .


Sashi Kaufman is a middle school English and science teacher who lives in Portland, Maine with her husband and daughter. She is the author of The Other Way Around (Carolrhoda Lab, 2014) and also an amateur trash picker.

The book Sashi is showcasing on this year's YASH is THE OTHER WAY AROUND, which just came out last month! Here's the cover:

Sweet, right?! LOVE!!!

Now for the synopsis:

Andrew has seen a flash of his future. (Dad: unfinished PhD. Mom: unfulfilling career. Their marriage: unsuccessful.) Based on what he's seen, he's uninspired to put a foot on the well-worn path to the adulthood everyone expects of him. There must be another way around.

After a particularly disastrous Thanksgiving (his cousin wets Andrew's bed; his parents were too chicken to tell him his grandmother died), Andrew accidentally (on purpose) runs away and joins the circus. Kind of.

A guy can meet the most interesting people at the Greyhound station at dinnertime on Thanksgiving day. The Freegans are exactly the kinds of friends (living out of an ancient VW camper van, dumpster diving, dressing like clowns and busking for change) who would have Andrew's mom reaching for a third glass of Chardonnay. To Andrew, five teenagers who seem like they've found another way to grow up are a dream come true. But as the VW winds its way across the USA, the future is anything but certain.

The path of least resistance is a long, strange trip.


It's time for the TOP SECRET exclusive scoop that Sashi shared with me. It's an alternative ending of her book! (Be careful...*spoiler alert* We're talking about the ENDING of Sashiu's wonderful her exclusive context *may* be a little spoilery. Just wanted to warn you, okay? :D)

Ok, here you go! In Sashi's words:

At the end of my book – a road trip novel in which the main character takes off for weeks of rebellion with a group of teens living in a VW van and scavenging for food out of dumpsters – the main character heads back on the road to meet up again with his love interest.

In the original version of this ending I wrote that his mother, while dropping him off at the airport hands him a poem. The poem was from his grandmother’s funeral which took place while he was off on his adventures. The poem I picked for this was one of my favorites called “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver. The poem is all about loving who and what you love and not judging yourself for it.

To me adolescence is all about finding what and who you love. And often it’s about making a lot of mistakes in that process. And since so much of life is trial and error I’ve always felt like it’s really important to be forgiving of yourself in that process –even though and perhaps because, it’s not something I’m that good at doing personally.

When I originally submitted the manuscript to my agent she told me I should change
the ending because rights to the poem would be so hard to secure. So, that version of the ending is long gone but I thought I would share the poem. Even though they’re not my words they were important words to me in drafting an ending. Even though I couldn’t use the poem itself I like to think the words were still influential in the end of Andrew’s (my main character) journey.
Poem: "Wild Geese," by Mary Oliver from New & Selected Poems (Harcourt Brace).

Wild Geese
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Ahhhh... I <3 bonus material!!! Thanks Sashi! If you're intrigued, you can 
learn more about Sashi and her wonderful debut novel on her website. You can also find Sashi on Twitter at @sashikaufman.  


And don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win heaps of signed books by me, Lynne Matson, and more authors you'll love! To enter, you need to know that 27 may be the best number EVER. I'm not kidding. My wedding anniversary is May 27 and so is my sister's . . . and I can eat 27 Thin Mints in less than the time it takes to complete this Hunt (this last one may or may may not be true.;D) Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the blue team and you'll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

To keep going on your quest for world domination the hunt, you need to check out the next author
, Maureen McGowen! :)


Last but not least, I'm so glad you stopped by! And to say thanks for stopping by my blog, as a bonus #YASH giveaway, I'm giving away a NIL swag pack AND a secret YA Valentines book!:) Enter below, and don't forget to tell me in the comments which YA Valentine books you're most excited about! Good luck!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

#NILtribe update!

Today is the last #WinNIL Wednesday of April!

Check the hashtag #WinNIL for deets today! As always, all the deets can also be found using the #NILtribe hashtag too!

Coming up tomorrow . . .  I'll be part of the YA Scavenger Hunt, with exclusive NIL bonus material for you to read! It's a fresh scene from Thad'd POV. Also, the #YASH will have heaps of awesome prizes (like copies of NIL and other great books) so you definitely don't want to miss it!

Coming up in May...I'll be doing a live Twitter chat! Date TBA!

Also coming up in May?

I'll be at the RT Booklover's Convention in New Orleans, May 13-18, and I'll be signing books in the YA Alley that Saturday.:)

And coming up in July? I'll be signing books in Chicago and Richmond... dates TBA.:)

*commences tribal dancing* ;)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Debut Month Lovelies!

Ok, so today is Saturday, March 29, and NIL has been out for about three weeks.

It's been an AMAZING whirlwind of three weeks.:) I've had a dream-come-true launch party with family and friends ... been a part of the Riverdale Literary Festival in South Florida (AWESOME!) ...  did my first book signing at B&B in Ft. Myers ... run several crazy fun #WinNIL contests on Twitter each Wednesday ... had wonderful blogger support for NIL in reviews and on-line love ...  dropped into bunches of Barnes & Nobles and Books-A-Million and signed every copy of NIL in stock ... and basically have been touched EVERY SINGLE DAY by someone who read NIL and loved it.

A full photo recap coming soon!

But in the meantime, want to know what started off my debut month with epic goodness? This amazing picture of Charley sketched by my talented author friend, Natalie Whipple:

And sweet Natalie posted this amazing graphic of Charley on the morning NIL debuted . . . her surprise post is here. Natalie has been an amazing supporter of me and NIL from my pre-agent days, and even before I got to know her, I followed her blog, because Natalie is an amazing supporter of all writers. If you're a writer, I encourage you to check out her blog, Between Fact and Fiction, and poke around. Lots of writing and publishing gold over there! Natalie is not only  a fantastic writer, she's a fantastic person & friend. :)

Thank you SO MUCH Natalie, for starting NIL's book birthday off in the most amazing way possible! *sends all the hugs* I can't wait to cheer for HOUSE OF IVY & SORROW in a few weeks!

And #NILtribe, check back Monday for the full debut month wrap-up--with pics!


Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Hi y'all!

It's Wednesday…so that means today you can play #WinNIL!

Check out the hashtag #WinNIL on Twitter and FB for a chance to win a copy of NIL! All you need to do is is RT (or share the FB post!) and answer the following question:

You're stuck on a deserted island. What's the one thing u DON'T want to find?

Don't forget to use the #WinNIL hashtag! And as always, follow the #NILtribe hashtag for deets and winners!:)

Good luck y'all! Contest runs until 9 pm!!!!:)

And we'll be playing again next Wednesday!!!! :)


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

NIL is out today!!!!!!

I've been waiting for this day FOR SO LONG!!!! NIL is out today!



I'm so excited to have y'all meet Charley and Thad and the entire cast of NIL…they belong to you now.:)

And guess what? I just got my first official review!

Here's the review from Publisher's Weekly:

Matson makes a strong debut with this tense, cinematic struggle for survival on a peril-filled island that may have some readers flashing back to episodes of Lost. A mysterious portal transports 17-year-old Charley to the possibly sentient and certainly capricious island of Nil, where she encounters a community of teens who have also been stolen from the lives they once knew. While circumstances remain clouded in uncertainty, Charley quickly learns the chief rule: she has one year to find and catch a portal home (these "gates" appear and vanish at will), or she will die. When Charley falls for handsome Thad, whose own deadline swiftly approaches, she must choose between love and survival, with no guarantee either will last. Matson's eye for detail and skillful characterizations fuel a fast-paced story that blends beauty, horror, romance, and adventure. A memorable cast of attractive and resourceful teens, along with the lush and deadly island, offer an effective hook, while the story's psychological intrigue, cleverly subverted expectations, and slow unveiling of information contribute genuine drama. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jennifer Unter, the Unter Agency. (Mar.)

--Review 03/03/2014

YAY!!!!! SO crazy happy!!!!!

Huge thanks to my family and friends, all my critique partners, my awesome agent, Jennifer Unter, my amazing editor, Kate Farrell, and the whole Macmillan team for making today possible.

I love you all!!!!

Monday, March 3, 2014

1 day

One day.

Actually, 5 hours.

In 5 hours… NIL is OUT.

On the shelf.  IN YOUR HANDS.:)


I'm SO excited!!!!!!:)

*commences island dancing*

Friday, February 28, 2014

3 Days!!!!!


I've been waiting for this for so long!:)

To tide you over, I've posted a Valentine Thad wrote to Charley over at the Bewitched Bookworms blog. It's part of the this month's Big Love Letter Event!

Go check it out!


Monday, February 24, 2014

7 DAYS!!!!

Until NIL's release!!!!


In the meantime, don't forget this Wednesday on Twitter is another #WinNIL contest, so watch for the #WinNIL hashtag! Up for grabs: my last NIL ARC, annotated by yours truly.:)

Good luck!


Thursday, February 20, 2014

11 DAYS!!!!

The clock is ticking!!!!!

NIL is out is 11 days…but you can win a copy right now! The NIL Blog Tour is on, and there are TWO NIL prize packs up for grabs.

Here's all the tour stops:

Feb 17: Dana Square Interview
Feb 18: Book Loving Mom Review
Feb 19: Jenna Does Books Guest Post
Feb 20: Word Spelunking Review 
Feb 21: Book Addict's Guide Interview
Feb 24: Great Imaginations Review 
Feb 25: A Backwards Story Guest Post
Feb 26: Two Chicks on Books Interview 
Feb 27: As Told by Rachel Review 
Feb 28: Paperback Princess Interview 
Mar 3: The Best Books Ever Review
Mar 4: Wastepaper Prose Review 
Mar 6: Good Choice Reading Interview

If you want to know what makes an author CRAZY happy, it's reading reviews like this one: best review ever. Jenna totally "got" NIL, on every level, and she wrote an incredibly well-articulated review.:) Similar crazy-making happy reviews? Go here and here and here. :)

Happy reading everyone! And good luck in the NIL Blog Tour giveaway! :) AND HUGE THANK YOUS TO EVERYONE WHO'S PRE-ORDERED NIL OR WANTS TO READ IT!!!!:)


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

14 days!!!!!!

NIL comes out exactly two weeks from today!!!!!! PEOPLE WILL BE HOLDING MY BOOK IN 14 DAYS.


I pretty much do a Jimmy Fallon move daily that looks like this:

Only I probably look wayyyyy more awkward.:)

Anyway, I'm super stoked! Tomorrow is another #WinNIL contest on Twitter and check the #NILtribe hashtag tonight for deets!


Saturday, February 8, 2014

#NILtribe Happenings!

Only 23 days to go until NIL's release!!!! AHHH!

Here's a quick update of what's happening:

ICYMI: I'm over at The Write Notes talking about the Top Five Songs Behind NIL. I'm also giving away a galley of NIL…with the vintage cover.:) Only 4 more days to enter!

The YA Valentines Winter Formal Blog Tour starts Monday! I'll be over at the lovely Nikki Wang's blog Fiction Freak--please come say hi!!!

And on Wednesday we're having a Twitter party!!! 

This Wednesday, February 12th at 6:30 PM EST, I'll be hanging out with Sara B. Larson (DEFY), Bethany Hagan (LANDRY PARK) and Jen McConnel (DAUGHTER OF CHAOS), some of the sweetest and most talented debut authors around. We'll be chatting about books, embarrassing Valentine moments, and other fun things! There will be prizes! Virtual snacks! The hashtag is #YAValsFormal . . . come hang out with us! 

Also have appearances coming up…will post about them shortly!:) 

Happy Saturday!!!


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Freaky Video That Could ALMOST Be My Book Trailer

I'm over at All The Write Notes today sharing my top five songs behind NIL. Two are from Thad's point of view, two are from Charley's point of view, and one is from the island's point of view. (I'm also giving away a signed ARC of NIL so go check out the post!)

Here is where it gets freaky.

The song from the island's point of view is by a band called Pendulum. And the title? The Island (Part 1) Dawn. 

Perfect, right? I KNOW. Just wait--it's gets FREAKIER.

Here's the thing: as I envisioned NIL, the island is the greatest antagonist of all. There's a definite Twilight Zone undercurrent to NIL. After all, how else do you pass out in a city parking lot and wake up naked in a red rock field?!

So seriously, how perfect are the lyrics to this song? 

You arrive
In the rising sun
The hidden passenger
That I’ve been taking
Close your eyes
Let’s forget again
As you drag me down
I will take you in

What are you waiting for?
Just surrender here tonight
What are you waiting for?
As we go towards the light

When everything is said and done
To looking for answers if only one
Turn my back the urge has gone
Left with no reason we come undone

So perfect it's FREAKY.

Now here's where it gets super freaky. I got the idea for NIL in February 2010, while on a vacay in Hawaii. (You can read the full scoop here). Pendulum's album Immersion wasn't released until May of 2010. I'm not sure exactly when I discovered Pendulum, but I remember it was sometime that summer. I already had the entire first half of the novel written at this point--including the opening scene where Charley wakes up on Nil, which I wrote while in Hawaii back in February.

So this morning, when I was finishing up my ATWN post, I searched for a video of Pendulum's song The Island (Part 1) Dawn. And what I found blew me away. The opening was so much like the start of Charley’s Day One it honestly freaked me out a little. (Or possibly a lot. ;D) The girl even looks a little like Charley. 


See for yourself… I'M IN LOVE WITH THIS VIDEO. The end of the video has a twist that my book doesn't, so watch until the end…so worth it. (Plus, the girl in the video has clothes--if it was Charley she'd be running around naked and this is a PG rated blog. lol) 

Here you go…the video that could *almost* be my book trailer:

Totally cool and creepy and FREAKY, right? To think Pendulum was writing/recording this song as I was writing NIL, and for them to have a similar vision. I think it's the collective unconscious as my fellow Valentine Paula Stokes recently talked about.

So there you have it. The music video that could almost pass for NIL's book trailer. 


Monday, January 27, 2014

A winner and another chance

Thanks to everyone who entered January's #NILtribe giveaway! The Rafflecopter gods have spoken, and January's #NILtribe winner is . . .

Becky Wallace!!!

Congrats Becky!

But here's the thing: Becky has already read NIL. She's actually one of my CP's! Becky is as sweet as she is talented, and she's kindly offered her galley of NIL up to the #NILTribe.

So…let's do a Twitter contest!

Here's the deets:

The contest will be this Wednesday.

I'm going to ask a question on Twitter and post it using both the #NILtribe hashtag and the #WinNIL hashtag.  RT and post your answer--be sure to use the #WinNIL hashtag so I can see it!  :) The question will go live at 9 am (EST) and the contest will run until 9 pm (EST). Winner will be picked at random from all the #WinNIL entries! And the winner gets a signed galley of NIL!

Yay! Only 35 days until NIL's release...

The clock is ticking!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

CREED Cover Reveal

I'm SO EXCITED to be part of CREED's cover reveal today!

I adore Lindsay Currie and Trisha Leaver--as friends, writers, and critique partners, and together they're the brilliant minds behind CREED. (I LOVE Y'ALL!!!! *sends all the hugs*). The duo are kind, funny, and smart…and did I mention FANTASTIC WRITERS? #TeamCleaver is a force to be reckoned with in the YA world…especially in the horror genre.

Here's why:

CREED – November, 2014 from Flux
Three days.
Three of us went in.
Three of us came out.
None of us even a shadow of who we once were

(seriously--don't you have shivers already?! Knew it.:D)

About the Authors:
Trisha Leaver resides on Cape Cod with her husband, three children and one rather excitable black lab. She spent most of her childhood living inside her own mind, creating characters and stories that only a child's imagination could dream up. She now spends her days breathing life into those characters, writing realistic fiction for young adults. Today, Trisha is a free-lance editor and a proud member of the SCBWI, YA Scream Queens, The Horror Writers Association, TheBookYards, and OneFourKidLit, a community of authors with debuts upcoming in 2014. More information about her solo and co-authored projects can be found at the links below.

Lindsay Currie lives in Chicago, Illinois with one incredibly patient hubby, three amazing kids and one adorable, but irreverent Bullmastiff named Sam. She graduated from Knox College in the heart of the Midwest and has been writing for as long as she can remember. She is a freelance editor for young adult, new adult and middle grade fiction, and is a proud member of SCBWI, The Horror Writers Association, The YA Scream Queens, The BookYard and OneFourKidLit, a community of authors with debuts upcoming in 2014.
Dee Langley is seventeen and mere months away from total freedom and a life where state social workers, counselors, and foster parents don’t dictate her every move. She has spent years trying to eke out a normal existence, hiding from her past and walking the tenuous line between denial and self-preservation. A weekend away with her boyfriend, Luke, and his brother, Mike, seems like the perfect opportunity to forget and start over. Little does Dee know that she's just trading one hell for another.

When an unexpected storm and a lack of gas force their car off the road, Dee, Luke, and Mike find themselves with no other choice but to wander into the nearby town of Purity Springs for help. But it’s not good Samaritans they find, but rather complete and utter silence, every store and every house abandoned. Forced to seek shelter in one of the deserted homes, they uncover a disturbing book with explicit instructions on how to correctly rear a child, complete with a hand written record of its use. It’s not until the next morning, however, that they discover the alarming truth – the town isn’t abandoned; it is populated by a deadly cult, and the leader, Elijah Hawkins, has plans for the three of them. The group’s only hope for survival lies in the hands of Elijah’s son, Joseph. But is Joseph really their ticket to freedom or is his game just as deadly as his father’s?

Pre-order: click here   


But first you want to see the cover, right? I mean, it's why you're here. :)

So scroll down . . .

keep scrolling . . .

one more click . . .


HERE YOU GO! The epic cover of CREED:

AHHHHHHH!!! LOVE!!!! The spooky sky . . . the even spookier red letting. And that touch of turquoise in the title --what's that all about!? WANT! A creeptastic cover all around!!!

Congrats Lindsay & Trisha! Thanks for letting me be a part of your big day today! 

Readers, what's your favorite thing about CREED's cover?