Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Excitement! Book Excitement! EXCITEMENT EXCITEMENT!

Too many good things in the world and not enough time to tell you about them fully because I need to go tease my hair. It's Halloween, after all, and since I pretend every day is Halloween, when it's really Halloween, I need to go big to differentiate.

Anyway, let me explain. Or maybe I'll just pull an Inigo.

EXCITEMENT 1: My son turns 10 today! DOUBLE HOLIDAY WITH DOUBLE DIGITS. He's the best. He used to look like this, but now he doesn't. Well, he still makes that face, but it's bigger and with more orthodontia now. Also, he's awesome. I love being a mom in general and his mom in particular.

EXCITEMENT 2: Lots of new Carrie books are coming! The Bad Hair Day paperback releases November 12, and Sally Slick and the Steel Syndicate is starting to ship EARLY from the Evil Hat store. WOOP! Ordering there will net you a free ebook copy along with the printed one, so your ereader won't go hungry. The Young Centurions RPG, which will allow you to play in the same world as Sally Slick and the Steel Syndicate, is in the editing stage, so you should see that in the early stages of 2014! WOOP WOOP! And I just saw the full book jacket for Demon Derby, which means ARCs should follow soon-ish. ALL THE WOOPS!

EXCITEMENT 3: Furthermore, a NEW new Carrie book will be coming out sometime next year! That's right, peeps! I sold another one, and this is a bit of a new direction for me, so I'm crazy excited. I'm writing a tie-in book for War of Ashes, which is currently a miniature game, will soon be an RPG, and hopefully will go in even more exciting directions after that. The War of Ashes world is "grimsical," and let me tell you--after I heard THAT I pretty much prostrated myself on the floor and refused to move until they let me write a book there. The WoA world is kind of like the love child of Tim Burton and Terry Prachett...populated by Muppets with pointy objects.

It's probably important for me to say that this book will be adult in the same way that Terry Prachett is "adult." In other words, it'll be longer than my other ones, and there might be a few swear words in it. There will likely be jokes in it that kids won't get but should generally be safe as long as they're interested. So what's it about? I'm glad you asked! Here's the pitch:

War of Ashes: Off on a Ylark:

Gicca Nummus is the Senior Ylark Handler of the village of Dumas. It’s a prestigious position, and he’d be thrilled if he hadn’t just left a more prestigious position designing Things That Do Things—machines—for the priests of Ilunui. But his elder brother Ficca is the new priest of Dumas, and someone has to keep that cheese-brain from burning down the village where they grew up.

Elani Usus has a similar problem. She’d much rather be anywhere but Dumas, doing anything other than serving unending drafts of kogg in the inn. But her father, Lukkus, is the town elder, and he deals with things he doesn’t understand by faking it. Badly. The idea that his little fawny-wawny might want to do anything other than pour kogg? It doesn’t compute. After all, the blubber-noggin can’t count past three. And uses phrases like “fawny-wawny.”

When the first wave of the Vidaar fleet appears in the great sea to the south, Gicca and Elani have to step up. If they leave the village’s defense to their relatives, the whole town of Dumas is going to explode. Or be enslaved. Or explode, be enslaved, and then explode again for good measure.

His inventions and her leadership skills turn the tide of battle and save the town despite the bumbling efforts of Ficca and Lukkus. All they manage to do is burn down the inn and cover the enemy with cheese curds. But the defense of Dumas is just the beginning. Someone has to get to Ilunui. Someone has to alert the Houselords. And most of all, someone has to keep those dumbasses from burning Dumas.


Exciting, right? This should explain why--despite repeated promises that I'll do it more often--I haven't been blogging. I've been writing books instead, and I hope that's cool with you. :)

I have to send out a thank you to Josh at Zombiesmith, creator of War of Ashes, for letting me live in his world for a while. And to my brothers-from-another-mother at Evil Hat, for recommending me to him in the first place and failing to mention the part where I'm an over excitable diva.

So, in celebration of all this awesome, I'm throwing a party! First, we're going to dance like this...

Then I'm going to give out ALL THE BOOKS. Signed copies of Bad Taste in Boys, Bad Hair Day, and Sally Slick and the Steel Syndicate. Enter before November 8th to win!

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Monday, September 30, 2013

The SOUL POSSESSED pre-release blog tour!

One of the best things about being in this whole writing biz is getting to meet awesome people. And Katlyn Duncan is one of them! I remember when she sold her first book, Soul Taken, and I got really overly excited and probably creeped her out. But hey, I like it when good things happen to good people. Anyway, when she asked if I could take part in her Soul Possessed blog tour, I was all HECK TO THE YEAH. So without further ado, here's Katlyn!

PS - Her cover is gorgeouser than gorgeous. That is too a word.


I am so excited to be kicking off my Soul Possessed Pre-release Blog Tour with Carrie Harris! Keeping with the zombie theme of the first book in her series, Bad Taste in Boys, Carrie came up with a great post question.

What four YA characters would you like to hang out with during a zombie apocalypse?

I’m a big Walking Dead fan (and of zombies in general) so I pretty much think about this situation at least once a day. Well, with real people at least. But the YA character theme is very fun!

First off, I would want someone with brains. Hermoine Granger (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling) hands down. She is extremely intelligent and carries a tiny bag with endless supplies, perfect for keeping anything we find in a safe place. Also her having a bit of defensive magic always helps.

Next, I need a guy with brute strength. You know, just in case we are scavenging for food in a house and Hermione is on a bathroom break. So I picked Jacob Black (Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer). As much as I think Taylor Lautner is adorable, I am talking book Jacob. Six feet seven inches of muscle with the ability to turn into a bloodthirsty creature at a moments notice? Heck yes! And with his abnormally high body heat, I know my toes and fingers won’t fall off if we encounter cold weather.

For strategizing and a great fighter, I chose Prince Ash (The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa). He is smart and calculating, making him the leader of our little group. If he can successfully navigate the Nevernever, I am convinced he can handle a zombie apocalypse. And he’s not hard to look at either. *swoons*

And even though my group is already pretty amazing I thought I’d add a necromancer into the mix. Chloe Saunders (Darkest Powers trilogy by Kelley Armstrong) may be a doe-eyed petite girl but when it comes to things that are dead, having her to control them if needed would be a key to our survival.

So there you have it! The five of us would have many adventures trying to find food, shelter, and possibly a way out of one scary situation. That could be a book in itself! Thanks for having me Carrie!

I am hosting two giveaways below. The international giveaway is for a $25 or gift card. All you have to do is pre-order Soul Possessed and email me your pre-order confirmation at and you are automatically entered! The second giveaway is for U.S. only and it is an eBook of Soul Possessed from Good luck!

Release Date: October 28, 2013
Publisher: Carina UK
Series: Book 2, The Life After Trilogy
Genre: YA Paranormal
ISBN: 9781472044556
Pre-Order Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
iTunes US | iTunes UK
Add on Goodreads
Life after Life

Now Maggie has been given the chance of her after-life to become a Guard, nothing will stand in her way. Not even the undeniable attraction she feels for her trainer and past love—Jackson. But when the battle between Shadowed and Guard begins again which side will she choose?

When her boss, Felix, partners Jackson and Maggie up with Ally and Cooper to investigate terrifying Shadowed activity, she doesn’t think it could get any worse. Jackson and Cooper barely tolerate each other and this time, Maggie isn’t just proving her loyalty to the Guard during one mission...she has a side mission too. One so secret and so dangerous she can’t tell a soul...

"Margaret!" Gemma shouted with glee. "Come out of there, I know you are trying to scare me!"

I watched the young red-haired girl put her hands on her hips, trying to be brave. She scanned their father's study, narrowing her eyes. The fire roaring in the hearth was the only source of light in the room, casting dark shadows across the furniture.

Maggie hid behind her father's chair, in silent wait for her prey.

"I'm going to tell Mother!"

Maggie's little hands tightened on the chair but she didn't make a sound. I walked over to her, watching her mouth twist up into a sly grin. She was the older of the girls, but she protected her sister fiercely, proclaiming she was the only one who could tease her. Gemma hated when Maggie played games, but it thrilled Maggie no end and I could feel excited anticipation roll off her in waves.

Gemma's bravery faltered as she stepped forward toward the overstuffed armchair, expecting her sister to jump out at her at any moment.

But Maggie waited. She had incredible patience, but I sensed that part of it was stubbornness and a desire to test boundaries. Her head poked out from behind the chair just as Gemma turned toward the love seat. I watched as Maggie slowly came out of her hiding spot and charged at her sister.

Gemma let out a scream but Maggie covered her sister's mouth with her hand.

Both girls collapsed on the floor, Gemma's muffled squeals threatening to break through Maggie's tiny fingers.

"Shh," Maggie cooed.

Gemma managed to wrestle her mouth away from Maggie's hand. "I hate you!" Her indignation faltered into a fit of giggles and Maggie quickly joined her.

As she helped her sister up from the floor Maggie said, "Gemma. You need to always expect the unexpected. You can't go through life being scared all the time." Even though Maggie was a mere nine years old, she spoke as if she'd lived lifetimes before. It was one of the things that drew me to her more than any other Prognatum I'd watched.

Maggie took a handkerchief and wiped her sister's cheeks.

"A lady wouldn't do that to her sister," Gemma said, finally relaxing.

"I don't want to be a lady," Maggie stated firmly. "I want to see the world and not just make babies for the rest of my life."

Gemma shook her head. "That's what we are supposed to do. That's what Mother does."

Maggie's indignation flowed through her and into me. I knew Maggie was born to follow through with her Prognatum duties, she just didn't know it yet. It was rare for a Prognatum to want the Guard position but Maggie would be thrilled when her father revealed it to her at seventeen.

As Maggie reached down to help Gemma up from the floor she whispered, "It's not for me."

Gemma wrapped her sister in a tight hug. "I will love you either way, dear sister."

Maggie rested her head against Gemma's shoulder. "I love you too."

Release date: June 4, 2013, Carina UK
: Book 1 in The Life After Trilogy
: YA Paranormal
: 978-1-472-01709-3
After-life just got a lot more complicated

Maggie is a Soul Collector. It’s her job to transport souls from the Living Realm to the After – but during a mission to find a stolen soul, she ends up stuck in a teen mean girl’s body. Trapped, Maggie’s soul is catapulted into Ally’s life – and the human world she hasn’t experienced for one hundred years. But, as a descendant of the most powerful beings in the After, Maggie must rescue Ally before the girl’s soul dies…

To survive, Maggie must uncover devastating secrets – because with one soul taken by a terrifying enemy, Maggie’s could be next!
Excerpt: I knelt down again next to Ally and reached out to touch her skin. Even though the sensation was unpleasant, I could feel her pulse as it rapidly declined.

"No," I moaned.

I looked up again to see if any of the Guard could help, but no one was around.

I looked back down at Ally. Her face was paling by the second. My soul started to tingle. I leaned closer to her body, reaching my hand out to touch her face again, when her arm moved toward mine.

I jumped back.

Heather pushed through the crowd. “Did she just move? Did I see her move?” Streaks of black mascara ran down her cheeks.

A ringing sensation tickled my ear and I tuned in to the True Soul’s presence. I looked at each human. The True Soul was close, but who had it? They all seemed equally shocked at the tragedy.

An uncomfortable pressure in my chest drew me closer to her body.

My soul slanted toward hers until I was practically on top of her. I helplessly watched my hand morph and stretch toward her body. "What the—?” I tried to pull back but the strength of whatever was happening had other ideas. My hand disappeared first, then my arm, then my torso.

But before I could call for help, my world went dark.

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To Purchase: Mills&Boon | Kindle (US) | iBooks (US) |  Kobo | Google Play | Sony Store | Kindle (UK) | Nook (UK) |  iBooks (UK)

I knelt down again next to Ally and reached out to touch her skin. Even though the sensation was unpleasant, I could feel her pulse as it rapidly declined.

“No,” I moaned. I looked up again to see if any of the Guard could help, but no one was around.

I looked back down at Ally. Her face was paling by the second. My soul started to tingle. I leaned closer to her body, reaching my hand out to touch her face again, when her arm moved toward mine.

I jumped back.

Heather pushed through the crowd. “Did she just move? Did I see her move?” Streaks of black mascara ran down her cheeks.

A ringing sensation tickled my ear and I tuned in to the True Soul’s presence. I looked at each human. The True Soul was close, but who had it? They all seemed equally shocked at the tragedy.

An uncomfortable pressure in my chest drew me closer to her body. My soul slanted toward hers until I was practically on top of her. I helplessly watched my hand morph and stretch toward her body.

“What the—?” I tried to pull back but the strength of whatever was happening had other ideas. My hand disappeared first, then my arm, then my torso.

But before I could call for help, my world went dark.

About the Author: Katlyn Duncan was born and raised in a small town in western Massachusetts. Her overactive imagination involved invisible friends, wanting to be a Disney Princess and making up her own stories. Her bibliophile mom always encouraged her love of reading and that stayed with her since. Even though she works full time in the medical field Katlyn has always made time for books, whether she is reading or writing them.

Katlyn now lives in southern Connecticut with her husband and adorable Wheaten Terrier and she is thrilled to finally share her stories with the world.
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Goodreads | Carina UK

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bookanistas: Sally Slick Cover Love

For this week's Bookanista post, I'm so thrilled to finally be able to show off the cover of my upcoming book, SALLY SLICK AND THE STEEL SYNDICATE! Sally's an exciting book for me. It has the same fast paced silliness you can find in the Kate Grable books, so it should appeal to people who liked them. But it's also the kind of book you can give to younger siblings too, without fear that they'll be grossed out by kissy bits or puking zombies. And I watched a lot of Indiana Jones while I wrote it, and any excuse to do that is awesome.

Anyway. I should shut up and let you see the gorgeous cover that was designed by Dani Kaulakis. She's a suuuuper geeenius.

Let me tell you, I got the HUGEST kick out of seeing all of these characters that I'd written come to life on this cover. It's my first illustrated cover, and I lurve it with a lurvely lurve. SO THRILLED.

And here's a little about the book!

Every hero has a story. This one starts with a girl and a racing tractor.

Sally Slick knows she’s meant to be more than a Midwestern farm girl. What she wants more than anything is to be an inventor when she grows up—and she has the custom-built racing tractor to prove it. But good girls in 1914 don’t go off to the city in search of adventure. Everything changes when Sally’s big brother comes back from Chicago with a robot in hand and mobsters on his heels. With the help of her friend, wannabe hero Jet Black, Sally will risk everything to protect the people she loves.

Those bad guys are about to get a giant wrench thrown right into their plans.

I want to send a special shout out to some awesome people who are helping me show off the pretty today: Courtney, Matthew, Jessica, Amanda, Denis, Lisa, Jen, Larissa, Fauzan, Cari, Courtney Ann, Matt, Elana, Julia, Ashley, Katie, Jen, Stasia, and Jenn. If I had to choose between having all of you in my posse, or having Sally's brothers, I'd totally choose you. And that's saying a lot. :)

You can now preorder the book (hopefully Amazon will eventually realize that I wrote the darned thing), and add it to your Goodreads list too!

And if that's not awesome enough, check out all this Bookanista coolness!!!!
Shari Arnold marvels at THE MOON AND MORE by Saran Dessen
Tracy Banghart is thrilled by 3:59 by Gretchen McNeil
Christine Fonseca shivers over SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi
Elana Johnson reveals the cover of SALLY SLICK & THE STEEL SYNDICATE by Carrie Harris
Corrine Jackson is nuts for AU REVOIR, CRAZY EUROPEAN CHICK by Joe Schreiber
Jessica Love joins the BY BLOOD by Tracy Banghart book blitz – with giveaway
Shannon Messenger  raves about JELLICOE ROAD by Melina Marchetta
Tracey Neithercott adores THE ARCHIVED by Victoria Schwab
Kimberly Sabatini is touched by OUT OF REACH by Carrie Arcos
Katy Upperman gushes over THE GIRL GUIDE by Christine Fonseca

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Bookanistas: INSOMNIA

Welcome to Bookanista Thursday! Lots of excitement going on here today, so let's get right down to it! Today, I'm featuring a book that I loved enough to BLURB--Jenn Johansson's INSOMNIA. Here's what I said about it:
"Completely unputdownable. I've decided to nickname Johansson 'Scary McScarypants,' because she spooked me in all the best ways. Who do I have to bribe to get book two now?!"
 You should call her Scary McScarypants too. I think she'd love that.

A little about the book, courtesy of Jenn's website!

It's been four years since I slept, and I suspect it is killing me.

Instead of sleeping, Parker Chipp enters the dream of the last person he's had eye contact with. He spends his nights crushed by other people's fear and pain, by their disturbing secrets--and Parker can never have dreams of his own. The severe exhaustion is crippling him. If nothing changes, Parker could soon be facing psychosis and even death.

Then he meets Mia. Her dreams, calm and beautifully uncomplicated, allow him blissful rest that is utterly addictive. Parker starts going to bizarre lengths to catch Mia's eye every day. Everyone at school thinks he's gone over the edge, even his best friend. And when Mia is threatened by a true stalker, everyone thinks it's Parker.

Suffering blackouts, Parker begins to wonder if he is turning into someone dangerous. What if the monster stalking Mia is him after all?

Scary, right?!? This book really creeped me out, but not so much that I wouldn't interview Jenn herself. Here she is, kindly responding to some very random questions!

C: When I met you, I knew we were kindred spirits because we both write emails that are all: RANDOM CAPITALS!!!!!! :) :) :) Can you tell us about a !!!!! :) :) :) moment you've had recently?

J: Sure! It feels like I'm having those almost every day right now with all the crazy release happiness. A particularly fun one though was when I received my final author copies and saw the cool things my publisher did to the cover. The matte with glossy cracks looks INCREDIBLE in person. I just sat and stared...then jumped up and down...then stared more. 

C: I have to admit that I'm a little flummoxed. On one hand, you're all !!!!! :) :) :), but on the other hand, there's a reason I've nicknamed you Scary McScarypants. You bring teh scary in INSOMNIA. How on earth did that happen? Have you always been a horror fan?

J: Haha, it flummoxed me at first as well. I have not always been a horror fan. In fact, for a long time I was terrified of all scary movies. But I have always enjoyed reading scarier books. I think there is something special about the way the brain filters a scary book. It pictures mostly monsters and images that the person can handle, like a built in filter. Brains are tricksy like that. I guess you could say I love playing with people's brains...but not eating them...I'm not a zombie (that I know of).
C: Imagine this: you have insomnia, and your only hope of true sleep is to try and match eyes with either David Hasselhoff or Richard Simmons each night. Who do you choose and why?

J: Oh wow...tough choice. I'd have to consider David Hasselhoff as the lesser of two evils here. I can't handle the incredible amount of bounciness and hyper energy that Richard Simmons give off and I'm certain I'd end up killing him. The Hoff and I, I have a feeling we'd hit it off. We both love Germany and the color red, for example. It's like we've always been destined to be friends.

C: Totally random questions! I specialize in them! What one TV show or movie franchise do you wish they'd revive? I want more Space Ghost Coast to Coast with the fire of a thousand suns.

J: This is hard actually because there are so many that I think they'd mess up if they brought them back (like Friends...I LOVE it...but please don't ruin our happy memories with a depressing revival). My top choice would have to be Eureka. It lends itself well to starting off in a new place. Plus, I adore how much it makes my brain work. (Wow, I talk about brains a lot. I'm suddenly ultra-aware of it.) If you all haven't seen Eureka, every season is currently on Netflix instant. You must remedy this immediately. I have three names for you: Nathan Stark, Zane Donovan and Holly Martin (Felicia Day). 

You can all thank me for this later. C: Imagine this: You're in high school, and I'm your best friend. A sparkly vampire and a glow-in-the-dark werewolf want to take us to prom. Should we ditch them, or should we go?

Oh...we definitely ditch them. And go party it up hardcore on our own. We could invent new dances and do a spotlight-Thriller-duet performance. There would be much envy had by, so much.

Plus, we could make vampires and werewolves cry, which has been on my to-do list for quite some time now. ;-) 

C: If you had a theme song, what would it be?

J: My theme song would be Dark Side by Kelly Clarkson. My kids call it "Alien Baby Music"...I really don't think I need to say anything more than that...

C: And for my last question: !!!!!!! :) :) :) ! :D????

J: !! ;-)!! :) :) :) !! =oD =oD ^^ !!!!!

Thank you so much for having me! This was such a fun interview. You = the best! :)
Thanks so much for visiting us, Jenn! And the best part of this is that Jenn is giving things away! Books! Critiques! Enter below!
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And don't forget to stop here to sign up to review SALLY SLICK AND THE STEEL SYNDICATE before you visit the rest of this week's Bookanista awesomeness!
Carolina Valdez Miller celebrates 17 & GONE by Nova Ren Suma
Christine Fonseca praises THE PLEDGE by Kimberly Derting
Corrine Jackson is wild for WHEN IT HAPPENS by  Susane Colasanti
Elana Johson invites you to her ABANDON release par-tay!
Katy Upperman is bewitched by NANTUCKET BLUE by Leila Howland
Lenore Appelhans  swoons for STAR CURSED by Jessica Spotswood…with an annotated snippet
Stasia Ward Kehoe is wild for THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER by Stephen Chbosky
Tracey Neithercott  highlights WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE by Trish Doller
Tracy Banghart  raves over JUMP WHEN READY by David Pandolfe

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sally Slick cover reveal!

I'm happier than Richard Simmons on...well, than Richard Simmons. I just got the final Sally Slick cover in my inbox, and it releases on December 3rd, which is NOT THAT FAR AWAY! Seriously. I'm Simmonsing, only without the short shorts.

This means that I get to start planning the release things, and that is something that makes me super mega happy! (But still no short shorts. Sorry.) Are you interested in participating in the exclusive SALLY SLICK AND THE STEEL SYNDICATE cover reveal on June 20th? Would you like to review an advance copy? Would you like to participate in a blog tour? Sign up via this form, and I will do my absolute best to make it happen.

Not entirely sure if the book is up your proverbial alley? The full description will be released along with the cover, but I can tell you that this is a pulp-style adventure that falls somewhere in the younger YA/tween range. It has ADVENTURE! CHILLS! THRILLS! And I watched a lot of Indiana Jones while I wrote it. So yeah. If that appeals to you, signeth up, and I will try to hooketh you up!

Um....yeah. I don't get all the eth-ing either. But at least it's not short shorts.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Bookanistas Relaunch with Giveaway!

As May draws to a close, we're celebrating the start of summer and another great beginning: THE RELAUNCH OF THE BOOKANISTAS! New members, new logo, new website design and a whole lot more of the book love we all adore!

You know those moments where you see the cool people from across the room--like in the cafeteria or something--and the only thing you really want is to be a part of the cool people, only you're secretly convinced that they are probably total butts in real life, only maybe they aren't? (This makes total sense to me. Doesn't it to you?) Anyway, I'm so thrilled to be a part of the Bookanistas, because they are cool people. This means that at least a small part of me? COOL.

Now that I've convinced you of my coolness, I'm going to book-geek out on you. I tend to fly through books during the summer more than I do any other time. Some of them are comfort reads--I read GOOD OMENS by Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett every summer and laugh like a complete hyena. (As opposed to a partial hyena? Whatever.) And I usually go through the Harry Dresden books during the summer. DEAD BEAT is one of the best. Books. Evar.

I'll be rereading the DIVERGENT books in preparation for the movie (and I totally squealed when I was in Chicago last weekend and saw a series of gates labeled with the various factions). And HOLD ME CLOSER, NECROMANCER, which never fails to make me laugh (because hello--potato hockey). And DEVILISH, which I think is the unsung hero of Maureen Johnson's backlist and the reason I queried my agent.

The Bookanistas are looking forward to bringing some new titles to your attention, but do you have any comfort reads that you'll never EVER tire of?

And don't forget the prizes!

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  • IF I LIE and TOUCHED by Corrine Jackson PLUS ARCs of JUST ONE DAY and SPEECHLESS
  • LET THE SKY FALL by Shannon Messenger
  • BY BLOOD by Tracy Banghart
  • TOUCHING THE SURFACE by Kimberly Sabatini (plus a swag surprise)
  • BAD TASTE IN BOYS by ME!!!!!!
  • AUDITION by Stasia Ward Kehoe
  • THE GIRL GUIDE by Christine Fonseca (plus sweet swag)
  • MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza
  • LEVEL 2 by Lenore Appelhans
AND A SECOND WINNER WILL GET A BOX FILLED WITH: Bookanista-beloved reads including DITCHED by Robin Mellom, JELLICO ROAD by Melina Marchetta, TAKEN by Erin Bowman, CLOCKWORK ANGEL by Cassandra Clare, MONSTROUS BEAUTY by Elizabeth Fama and SPARROW ROAD by Sheila O’Connor.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bookanistas: The Dinocalypse Trilogy by Chuck Wendig...with a giveaway!

Welcome to Bookanistas Thursday, in which a bunch of super cool authors (and me) talk about books you might not have heard of yet. Because we all need excuses to buy more books. That's what I keep telling my husband, anyway.

Actually, come to think of it, I don't need an excuse at all.

But anyway. Today, I'd like to tell you about the Dinocalypse trilogy, because psychic dinosaurs are always cool. This series starts with DINOCALYPSE NOW, which is already out, and continues with BEYOND DINOCALYPSE, which hits shelves June 18th. So there's just enough time to read book 1. BAZINGA!

Here's the official blurby thing for DINOCALYPSE NOW, courtesy of Goodreads:

Spirit of the Century presents Dinocalypse Now! When the Century Club is called in to prevent the assassination of FDR, it's just another day on the job - but what they discover puts not just the President, but the entire world in jeopardy. With psychic dinosaurs taking over Manhattan and beyond, it's up to Sally Slick, Jet Black, Mack Silver, and the other Centurions to save humanity - from extinction!

Now, I have a confession to make--I just finished a book for Evil Hat Productions which is set in the same world as DINOCALYPSE. I work for them. I am biased. However, in some ways, that makes me a little more critical rather than less. Let's face it; if you wrote a book for a series, and the rest of the series SUCKED, that would be bad. So it was a tremendous relief to me when I opened up the book and began laughing within minutes of reading. I dare you to read about when FDR beans a psychosaur with a microphone stand and NOT laugh.

The best way to describe this series is like an Indiana Jones movie, with all the action and wisecracks and impossible odds and weirdness. It starts off fast and never lets go. And one of the best things about it is that it's clean enough and FUN enough to appeal both to me and to my 9-year-old son. In fact, shortly after my copy arrived, he claimed it and won't give it back. Endorsement-wise, it doesn't get much better than that, and he doesn't work for Evil Hat. :)

Now, one thing that my EH connection gets me is TEH COOL STUFF. I have a copy of DINOCALYPSE NOW, plus a Spirit of the Century collector's patch, plus a Spirit of the Century pin. Enter to win via the Rafflecopter below, open to US residents only. Give it to an adventure-loving kid you know or keep it for yourself. I promise not to tell.

a Rafflecopter giveaway And while you're at it, check out these awesome Bookanistas!

Lenore Appelhans  is blown away by REBOOT by Amy Tintera
Tracy Banghart & Debra Driza join THE GIRL GUIDE by Christine Fonseca book blitz!
Corrine Jackson is stunned by BREAKING BEAUTIFUL by Jennifer Shaw Wolf
Nikki Katz  wonders at THE GRAVE WINNER by Lindsey Loucks
Gretchen McNeil talks TRUTH OR DARE by Jacqueline Green
Elana Johson admires INSOMNIA by Jenn Johannson
Tracey Neithercott celebrates THE YEAR OF SECRET ASSIGNMENTS by Jacqueline Moriarty
Katy Upperman fawns over FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK by Melina Marchetta
Rebecca Behrens is wowed by THE FIFTH WAVE by Rick Yancey

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Bookanistas: The Collector

It's been a tremendously long time since I've passed on a book recommendation, and that's a problem that must be solved. Okay, it's probably not that urgent, but we all know how much I like to exaggerate. Anyway, welcome to Bookanista Thursday! We've got new blood in the Bookanista circle, so make sure to check it out. We're chatting up books you might not have heard of. You can add them to your TBR pile and then blame US. We don't mind.

Today, I'm talking about THE COLLECTOR by Victoria Scott. Have a blurb! You know you want one.

He makes good girls...bad.

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence have made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple: weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal-opportunity collector and doesn't want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within ten days.

Dante doesn't know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect, he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector…and uncover emotions deeply buried. (Summary and cover courtesy of Goodreads.)

I think this summary says it all--I expected one of those bad boy narrators that you love to hate or hate to love or some combination of confused emotions, and that's exactly what I got. Dante is just such a rhymes-with-crass, but he does it with the kind of humor and swagger that makes you root for him anyway. I couldn't decide if I wanted the good girl to redeem him or him to bring her over to the dark-and-charming side. This was a fun, entertaining read that would absolutely appeal to people who liked Lisa Desrochers's PERSONAL DEMONS. I'm definitely looking forward to the next one.

Luckily, I have these other recommended reads to tide me over...

FIRST…Jessica Love welcomes our FIVE NEW BOOKANISTAS!
Corrine Jackson adores CONFESSIONS OF AN ANGRY GIRL by Louise Rozett
Shelli Johannes-Wells hails HYSTERIA by Megan Miranda
Stasia Ward Kehoe celebrates YALSA’s TEEN LIT DAY
Nikki Katz raves about ROOTLESS by Chris Howard
Gretchen McNeil adores UNREMEMBERED by Jessica Brody
Rebecca Behrens andTracey Neithercott share why they’re excited to be newbie Bookanistas

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Post Writing Fun

So I finished Sally Slick and sent the manuscript off to critiquers. I'm not sure about other writers, but there's always a funny feeling in the Carrie Brain after I finish a book. I feel like the world has somehow shifted an inch to the right while I wasn't looking--everything's still where it's supposed to be but it all feels a little altered somehow. So in the spirit of distracting myself from the weirdness AND rewarding myself for writing all the words, I try to make the week post-book a lot of fun.

For starters, I went out and got a copy of Axe Cop. This is one of my favorite comics EVAR. It makes me snarf things out my nose, and this time I swear I'm not exaggerating. It's that funny, and the best part is that it's clean enough for me to share with my kids. It's written by a five-year-old, so yeah. I cannot recommend this book more highly--you can check out the web version to see more, but the book is definitely worth it for all the behind the scenes commentary. And right now, the illustrator of Axe Cop is offering a bunch of really cool artwork to help fund his upcoming wedding. Personally, I think this is a great opportunity to support a snarfworthy artist AND twue wuv all at the same time. You should check it out.

Also, I got a copy of a farging hilarious card game called WE DIDN'T PLAYTEST THIS AT ALL. It will live in my purse for the rest of eternity, because it's fast (like a couple of minutes per game), my kids can play it without my having to gloss over any complicated rules or pervy bits, and it contains ninjas, zombies, and kitten ambushes. Let me tell you, there's nothing funner than screaming, "KITTEN AMBUSH!" in the middle of a bar. I tried it. I'm an expert now.

The reason we were in the bar was so my husband could give a talk and then get his head shaved to help support children's cancer research. This is where I give you the obligatory reminder that he's raising funds for MOAR children's cancer research, and we'd both tremendously appreciate any help in donations or word spreadery.

I told them to stop cutting there, but they didn't listen.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Man of the Year

I'm just going to come right out and say it: MY HUSBAND ROCKS THE CASBAH! Let's pretend we all know what a casbah is and why anyone would want to rock it, shall we? Anyway, he's cool for a number of reasons, including the time where he saved me from a swarm of bees and that other time where I said, "Hey, would you mind cutting this watermelon in half with a katana for me on camera?" and he said, "Of course not!" I mean, seriously. He fruit ninjaed for me, and that's true love right there.

Of course, there's also the part where he inspired my last book, and the part where he survived cancer and then became a pediatric bone marrow transplanter. If I put his story--the whole, real, unvarnished thing--into a book, people wouldn't believe it. And I'm so happy when he gets recognition for all the awesome he's done, like today when his nomination for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Man of the Year was announced.

Guys, I'm married to the potential Man of the Year. That makes me cool by association, right? RIGHT?!?!

Anyway, I wanted to do a couple of things. First, I just wanted to publicly squeal, "ZOMGMYHUSBANDISSOCOOLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" So consider that done. I also wanted to invite you to take two actions in honor of this momentous occasion.
  • First, you can donate to cancer research and support the FRUIT NINJA FOR MAN OF THE YEAR campaign by visiting Andy's page and clicking Donate Now. I know money's tight, but this really is a tremendous opportunity to make a difference, and every little bit helps.
  • Second, you can help spread the word that survivorship happens! If there's a cancer survivor in your life, send me their picture, first name, and the type of cancer they survived to carrie at carrieharrisbooks dot com. I'll feature them on this website and in the DEMON DERBY book trailer. They're heroes. They deserve every bit of recognition we can give them, and there are so many people out there who need to see that there is life after cancer, and it can be AWESOME.
If you can do either or both of those things, that is beyond terrific. And if not, I totally understand that too.

I'm also trying to talk him into renting out his fruit ninja skills for parties. So far, he's resisting the attempts, but I have high hopes that it'll happen. I can be persuasive. And annoying. Eventually, people say yes to things just to shut me up.

And all joking aside, I am the luckiest person in the world.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


So this very pretty thing started making the rounds yesterday. It looks kind of like this:

And when I see it, I go kind of like this:

I was going to tell you to figure out which one of them I am, but obviously I am BOTH OF THEM. SIMULTANEOUSLY.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Demon Derby jacket copy...and a cover reveal!

I'm so excited. (And I just can't hide it.)

Sorry. I've just given MYSELF an earworm, and I wanted to share the love. We're going all monster disco up in here.

Kind of like this only not as awesome, because nothing is as awesome as this.

Anyway. I'm extra excited today, because I've gotten the okay to share the jacket copy for DEMON DERBY...and we'll be revealing the cover in just a few weeks! First, la copy. I know I've been talking about this one for a while, and usually the excitement makes me so incoherent that in all likelihood you have no idea what the bleeping thing is about. Here. This will clear it all up.

Casey kicked cancer’s ass. Now a demon wants to kick hers. . . .

Casey hates being known as the girl who survived cancer. She wants people to treat her like her old self, fearless and strong. And after a creepy encounter with a crazy guy in an alley, Casey is all about reclaiming her power.

So when she has a chance to try out for the Apocalypsies roller derby team, she jumps on it. Being a derby girl would prove that she doesn’t need anybody’s pity. It doesn’t hurt that Michael, the team manager, is almost unnaturally hot. Which makes sense when Casey finds out that he’s not even human.

Michael’s got a secret: he trains demon hunters. That crazy guy in the alley? Demon. And the fact that Casey went head to head with evil and lived makes her a threat to demonkind. Casey thought she’d already fought and won the battle of her lifetime. But it’s only beginning. . . .

From Carrie Harris, author of Bad Taste in Boys and Bad Hair Day, comes a knockout new read for anyone facing their own demons—inside and out.


Er...yeah. Anyway, as you might imagine, I was pretty neurotic about the cover for this book. It's such a special book to me (and yeah, all my book-kids are special, and you're not supposed to have a favorite, but SUE ME IT'S MY FAVORITE). I try not to get the covers all built up in my head, but of course I do it anyway, and I quite literally had heart palpitations when I opened the file for the first time.

Guys, it's PERFECT. It's the most awesome cover in the history of the universe, and there are demony shadows on it, and fire, and roller skates, and AWESOME. Did I mention it's awesome?

Anyway, I'm so excited about this that I wanted to plaster it all over the internet so I can go to blogs and SQUEAL with ALL THE PEOPLE. Would you like to sign up so I can squeal at you? (Hrgh. That sounded wrong. But you know what I mean, right?) Go here to sign up to participate!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Can-can girls, Voltron, and...a New Job?

You know it's an important announcement when it's announced by a bunch of celebrities dancing the can-can in drag. And also me.

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

That's right! More excitement at the Casa de Harris! I'm the new Marketing Manager over at Evil Hat Productions, and I'm pre-casting the movie about our lives (hint: I didn't pick those dancers for no reason), and if this video is right, I am secretly a man. This last part is news to me too.

But seriously. Evil Hat is all about games and stories and GAMES WITH STORIES IN THEM and BOOKS THAT COME WITH GAMES and I have to tell you that there's a game coming out with Sally Slick in it, and I took one look at it and squealed because I am writing about a character that will be in a real game with game tokens and stuff, and is it just me or is that freaking cool!?!?! WHO WANTS TO COME OVER AND PLAY IT?

At some point, I'll have to tell you all about how I got this job, but the short version is that it happened because I am on twitter and because I am pushy. But when I talk to the people at Evil Hat, I don't call it "pushy." I call it "really excited about the possibilities of spreading the word about your awesome products and also very pushy."

In short, I'm super excited. If the gushing here hasn't communicated it fully, you can go to the Evil Hat site and read the announcement there in which I decide we're Voltron. THE PINK LION IS MINE, DAMN IT! MINE!!!!!!!!

Monday, February 18, 2013

WriteOnCon is live!

So you know that feeling where you are acquainted with some really cool people, all of whom are friends, and they're always doing cool things, and you would like to do those cool things too, but you are decidedly not cool and entirely certain that if you showed up to do those things, they would immediately spot you as the poser you are...or worse, take out a restraining order?

If you followed that entire sentence, you deserve a cookie.

Anyway, that's kind of how I've always felt about the people at WriteOnCon. They are uber cool, and I've always loved the whole idea of hosting an online convention to give back to other writers. After all, we were all newbies once, right? It takes some big brass clangers to leap out into publishing knowing the odds, and that's the kind of thing I think deserves some serious respect. Also, the phrase "big brass clangers" has always made me laugh.


The point of this whole rambling thing is that the WriteOnCon PitchFest opens today! It starts with a pitch workshop--the perfect time to refine your book description and wow the commemorative t-shirts off everyone who reads it. Then, during the PitchFest itself, your work will be read by agents...and published authors...and bloggers...and readers. All of these people will vote and advocate for the pitches they want to see published. That pitch could be yours.

Obviously, if you aren't an aspiring writer but ARE an agent, published author, book blogger, or reader of things that are not this blog, this is an opportunity for you to become involved in the process! Cast your vote, make a stand, shout your love of that book about the wombat-vampire-pirate love triangle! Then when it hits the shelves, you can say, "Yeah, that's kind of my fault."

What are you waiting for? Checketh outeth WriteOnConeth NOW. ETH.

As for me, I'm going to be running around like this all day:

Sorry. It's seasickness distilled on video, but it's FUNNY seasickness!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Life Gets in the Way

I've heard this phrase before. Lots of times. And yeah, I get it. Today's the third snow day for our district in the past couple of weeks, and that on top of the fact that February already has lots of vacation days in it, plus that thing where the car window got stuck open the night it decided to rain...and then freeze...and then rain a little, plus projects new and old that are plenty exciting but a little O_o when considered en masse? It could easily get in the way of writing dreams (or insert other dream here but not THAT kind of dream because this blog is PG-13, thanks).

Waiting for circumstances to be perfect to chase the dream never works. So you just have to inject the dream into your life. This explains why my kids play zombie tag, and why a lot of their stories from school have to do with killing vampires, and why I woke up this morning to THIS:

It's INSPIRATIONAL. How can you not write when faced with brilliance on this level? What are you using to inspire yourself lately?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Psychobilly Sally

I'm not usually the kind of person who spends days on Pinterest trying to assemble the perfect collage of pictures to inspire my latest book. Although I have to say in complete honesty that this is because I haven't allowed myself to join Pinterest. I know it'll suck me in. It's the same reason I don't spend a lot of time on Facebook anymore. The games call my name, and I could lose an entire afternoon's worth of writing time just on those alone.

But as I get close to the dreaded middle of the project, where the honeymoon inevitably dies and you start to think it's all CRAP CRAP CRAPPITY CRAP, and just opening the file on the computer takes a major act of will, I start to look for a few inspirational bits. For Sally Slick, I've been listening to some psychobilly music. Again, in the interest of honesty, I listen to it anyway, but it seems to fit. I think of psychobilly as swing music for lunatics. It's full of monsters and zombies and girls with cherry red lips who always manage to get into trouble, and it cracks me up in all the best ways.

One caveat I have to make when recommending psychobilly is that it's tough to find songs without at least one swear word in them for some reason, and some bands feature a big old helping of sex and drug lyrics along with their rock and roll. But then you run into a band that's full of pure monster camp that you can dance to, and it's just the kind of thing that's perfect to inspire a book full of robot mafia and mad scientists and plucky girls who design racing tractors.

One of my personal favorites is Mad Marge and the Stonecutters. I'll be listening to it today while I write a fight scene.

What are you listening to lately?

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Games and Stories and Werewolves in Trees

We used to tell stories.

As a culture, I mean. No TV. No video games. When you were done working for the day, you hung out around the fire and told stories, and who you were helped shape them. But we lost that somewhere, and now we're used to spectating. We go to the movies, and people tell us stories. We watch TV, and they tell us stories. We watch them pass us by. It's very melodramatic and has a soundtrack full of electronic violin music.

I think that's what attracted me to tabletop RPGs in the first place. I wanted to be a part of a story, and I wanted to get to do something amazing, even if it was only in my head. I learned what makes stories work. Our gaming group was full of theater people, so our games were less roll-dice-and-kill-monsters and more act-out-the-aftermath-and-the-beforemath-and-any-other-math-but-not-algebra. When we played, I learned about dialogue and suspense and drama. I also learned about humor, because it's impossible to play a game in which the giant werewolf hides BY PRETENDING TO BE A TREE without laughing hysterically. I don't know if this is true where you come from, but here, our trees don't have fur.

ME TREE. Still makes me snarf.

I've said this before, but I honestly think that gaming is a large part of my success as a writer. (All faults are obviously still my own.) I learned to love stories and to be a part of their making. I GOT HOOKED. Now of course there's a fine line between good-hooked and bad-hooked, and I've wandered over it a few times. You can forget reality if you're not too careful. But you can also use games to enhance your reality. To challenge yourself to do big things. To remember that you too have a story to tell, and it may or may not involve werewolves disguised as trees.

By the way, if you google "werewolf tree," you get THIS. It also makes me laugh.