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* ;)