Friday, April 20, 2012


Just a quick post today--the list of things to do is very long and includes taking a friend out for her birthday and giving her a gift bag that includes things like devil duckie band aids and a notepad for Things You Should Do to Make Me Happy. In other words, a pretty stereotypical Carrie gift.

But in the meantime, thank you all for the lovely words about Demon Derby! I'm working on edits now, and your comments and support have really fired me up. And all the derby things you've been sending? KEEP IT UP! Here's just a sampling of the awesomeness.

There are derby cookie cutters. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!?!

You can contribute to a Kickstarter project about how derby is empowering. HOW EVEN AWESOMER IS THAT?!?!

The rollerballs tumblr has all kinds of derby funny, including THIS:

Oh, and if you're pregnant, you could NAME YOUR BABY AFTER A DERBY GIRL. I'm...just...


Monday, April 16, 2012

My Third Book!!!

ENOUGH WITH THE TAUNTING. I’m finally going to tell you about my third book! But before I do, I want to tell you a little about why I wrote it and what it means to me. BEWARE, PEOPLE. I’m about to be a little serious, but there will be evil bobbleheads at the end, so it’s totally worth it.

Those of you who follow my random internetty things probably know that I’m married. I call my husband Slayer because of this one time he saved me from a swarm of killer bees. (The full and humiliating story is here if you want to read it.) But before that, we were just friends who played Ultimate Frisbee, until he stopped showing up. He’d been diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia. He was 19 years old.

The details aren’t mine to tell, but suffice to say that the prognosis wasn’t good. At all. But Slayer is stubborn as all get out. He didn’t give up, even when it seemed like there was no reason to keep trying because there was no hope. He went through hell, but he survived through a combo of terrific medical care and sheer bullheaded WILL. More than one person called it a miracle.

We started dating just as his hair was growing back. There were a few setbacks and health scares. There was survivor’s guilt. And sure, I did what I could, but I always wished I could do more to show him how much I admired him for being the kind of man who will not back down regardless of the odds. In my mind, that kind of man won’t let you down. That kind of man is a keeper.

He changed his major from engineering to pre-med. And then came miracle number two—the treatment had supposedly destroyed his chances of having children. Our son was born in 2003. (And let me tell you, the conversation where you tell the inlaws that their “sterile” son is your baby daddy? AWKWARD.) Our twins followed in 2006. (And the conversation was much less awkward that time, in case you were wondering.) He’d beaten the odds once again.

Then he became a pediatric oncologist. He works side-by-side, quite literally, with the doctors who saved his life. And more than anyone else, he knows what those kids are going through. Sometimes he’s the only one who can reach them, because he UNDERSTANDS. And true to form, he won’t give up on them or on their families, no matter what.

With all this in mind, it’s probably no surprise that I have a strong emotional reaction to cancer books. And it bothers me that with a few very notable and very awesome exceptions, most cancer patients in YA either die or are broken. I’m not saying that the death stories aren’t important, because they absolutely are. Those kids absolutely deserve to be heard and remembered. I’m just saying that I want more stories about the other side of the coin. There are people out there who more than anything need to hear about the successes. I wanted to see a story about a former cancer patient who not only survived but THRIVED.

So I decided to quit whining and write one.

It’s the book of my heart, the one that was so hard to write and so incredibly worth it. I was so thrilled to hear that it officially sold a couple of weeks ago, although I don’t yet know when it will be released. I owe a special round of thanks to my agent, Kate Testerman, and my editor, Wendy Loggia, for throwing their support behind it.

And thanks always and forever to Andy, aka Slayer, my own personal hero. Woven into this book are bits of his story, and I am so grateful to him for trusting me with them. If my heroine Casey is half a kickass as he is, then I’ll consider it a job well done.

The book is called DEMON DERBY. It’s about a cancer survivor who becomes a demon fighting derby girl. It’s full of roller derby, and ninjas, and Kong Tut, and foam parties, and bad guys with 80s hair, and hot avatars in gaudy Hawaiian shirts, and evil bobbleheads. It’s about realizing that your old life might be gone, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make something amazing happen. It’s about taking risks and falling in love against the rules. It’s about falling down on roller skates. It’s about getting up and skating some more. It’s about owning the fact that you’re bald and you have scars and some people can’t look past that. And it’s about how lucky some people are, because they see the real you, and that person is a heckload of awesome. It’s about standing up to all-encompassing evil because it needs to be done. And did I mention there are evil bobbleheads?

Casey Kent is a girl who won’t back down regardless of the odds. She reminds me of someone I happen to be married to, except he never drew on his bald head with a hot pink marker as far as I’m aware. I can’t wait for you to meet her.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bookanista Recommendation: STRUCK by Jennifer Bosworth

It has occurred to me that it's been ages since I passed along a book recommendation. And coincidentally, I belong to a group of writers who recommend books every Thursday! It's like the universe has aligned or something.

So this week, I'd like to tell you about STRUCK by Jennifer Bosworth, which comes out on May 8th. Have a synopsis. Don't say I've never gotten you anything.

Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.

Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.

Cool, right? This book was a lot more complex than I expected. I expected lots of lightning strikes, and one obviously good cult and one obviously bad cult, and then I expected Mia to at least temporarily choose the obviously bad cult, because that always happens, right? And then I end up screaming at the book, "NOOOOO! THAT'S THE BAD CULT!"

But these things didn't happen. Well, there were quite a few lightning strikes, and that bit was pretty awesome, but there were a lot of shades of grey, and it was hard to know who to trust because everyone seemed pretty shady in general, and that was pretty cool. This was some killer world-building, and I'm always in awe of that.

The romance is kind of secondary, which worked for me (which shouldn't surprise anyone who has read one of the Kate Grable books). Jeremy might seem a little too good to be true, but isn't that how first love often feels? I hope there's another book, because I'd love to see how their relationship develops.

I'd definitely recommend this one to fans of postapocalyptic books.

Before you go, don't forget to enter the contest for a free full manuscript critique! And after that, check out what the rest of the Bookanistas are reading:
Christine Fonseca  gives a shout out for REGRET
Corrine Jackson cries heaps over STORY OF A GIRL
Stasia Ward Kehoe loves up THE LIBERATION OF MAX MCTRUE
Debra Driza gives away WANDERLOVE
Katy Upperman delights in GRACELING
Tracy Banghart shares some CLARITY and PERCEPTION
Jessica Love delights in THE SCORPIO RACES
Hilary Wagner hosts a Guest Post by Author Aaron Kato on YA Voice

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

That Time When There Were Lots of Contests

So I'm finally climbing my way out of the Valley of Time Suckery and getting back to the Blog of Procrastination, Which Is Really Time Suckery in Disguise. Or something like that, anyway. The point is that I'm back, and I'm excited to tell you a couple of things!

First, thank you all so much for participating in the Juicy Giveaway of Aimee Carter's Goddess Interrupted and my Bad Taste in Boys! I think you're all totally awesome. I especially think the following winner is totally awesome:

Memrie, the Totally Awesome!

I mean, of course she's totally awesome. It's in her name. Anyway, congratulations, Memrie! I'll be in touch pronto to make prize-ish arrangements.

Aaaaaaand, I'd like to talk to you about more prizey goodness. See, it's been a long time since I've given things away, and I like to do that, and it seems to me that maybe you like free things, so it's a total win no matter how you look at it, right? Plus, I'm hoping to clear out my stash of BTIB hardcovers, because the paperback comes out in June, and I'll need to make space for the stash of THOSE, plus the stash of BHD hardcovers, and THERE WILL BE LOTS OF STASHES. I think I need a new house.

So this is a very long-winded way to tell you that I'm going to open up a new contest TODAY. And this one is even bigger than the last. Woot!

The premise is simple. All you have to do is review Bad Taste in Boys. Now, I realize that it takes time to read a book and post a review, so I'm making the prize big. Like full YA or MG manuscript critique plus 30 minute follow up call with me plus signed BTIB hardcover big. And three runners up will receive 10 page critiques and signed BTIB hardcovers. During my pre-agented days, I used to get really discouraged because I kept bidding on full critiques in auctions and things, but I didn't have the cash to win. Here's an opportunity to win one without spending a dime!

Reviews can be posted on a blog, Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, or LibraryThing. (If you have a place you'd like to post that's not on this list, let me know!) If you've already reviewed the book, your task is easy! Just repost it in one of these places. If you've already posted it all those places, then you're automatically entered, and I think I love you. But otherwise, your review must be posted (or reposted) in April 2012 to qualify.

And if you haven't yet read the book, you've got a month to get your hands on it and put something together! This contest ends on May 3rd. The critique prizes can be redeemed any time in 2012, so if you're not done with your manuscript, you've got time for that too.

Also, reviews don't need to be positive in order to enter. Please, people, be honest! I'm wearing my big girl undies. But also please consider--if my book wasn't for you, am I the right person to give you manuscript feedback? I want you to get something useful out of this experience!

Lastly, this contest is open internationally, although I think we'd probably have to Skype rather than call. We'll work it out somehow.

I HOPE that I've covered all the bases, but if you have questions about the contest, please do leave them in the comments below. I'll update this post as questions come in. Enter via the rafflecopter below. Good luck, and happy reviewing!