Friday, December 28, 2012

GCC Interview with Laurie Faria Stolarz and Deadly Little Lessons

It's the final 2012 book release of Girlfriends Cyber Circuit, and we're sending out the year with a bang, with Laurie Faria Stolarz's new novel, Deadly Little Lessons! This is the third in Stolarz's acclaimed Touch series from Disney Hyperion.

Camelia Hammond's trying junior year of high school is finally over...but her troubles aren't. After she discovers a painful truth about her family, she escapes to a summer arts program in Rhode Island. Determined to put family - and boyfriend - drama behind her, she throws herself into her artwork.

At the arts school, she gets caught up in the case of Sasha Beckerman, a local girl who is missing. Even though all signs suggest that the teen ran away, Camelia senses otherwise. Eager to help the girl, she launches her own investigation. Meanwhile, Camelia realizes how much she misses Ben, despite being committed to Adam.

But time is running out for Sasha, and Camelia will have to trust her powers if she's to save her. Will the lessons Camelia has learned in the past give her the strength to do so?

Go check out a sneak peek of Deadly Little Lessons now!

Here's the trailer for the first book in the series, Deadly Little Secret:

Praise for the TOUCH series:

Texas Tayshas List, 2010 (DLS)

Children’s Book Council’s 2010 & 2011 Teen Choice Book of the Year Nominee

Reluctant Reader Quick Pick Nominees, 2010 & 2011, American Library Association

Teens@Random, Favorite Book of 2009 (DLS)

Gold Star Award,, 2009 (DLL)

"...lively first-person narrative.... CW-worthy dialogue, quirky secondary characters, romance and suspense: a winning combination" - Kirkus Reviews

"An engaging, eerie tale about the darker side of relationships - when it becomes a matter of life and death to know who your friends are." - KLIATT

“The book was full of shocking surprises and revelations, earning the book five stars. This is a must-read for fans of romance, suspense, and mystery because it won't disappoint.” – Teens Read Too (DLL)

"Laurie Faria Stolarz is a master creator of suspense and romance. Her words cause the heart to pound, the palms to sweat, the spine to shiver, and the stomach to flutter. The trepidation born from the anonymous threats will make the pages fly, and the palpable tension between Camelia and Ben as they attempt to ignore their hearts causes the fire to burn hotter." -

Now I'll let Laurie tell you about an exciting new contest she's holding...


In celebration of the release of DEADLY LITTLE LESSONS, I'm so excited to announce the launch of a brand new contest.  I'm calling it Karma Chameleon - yes, after the Boy George song from the '80's (in case any of you have heard of it; if not, you can YouTube it for fun).  I'm naming it that, not because of Boy George or his song, but because the contest is all about karma - good karma that is, and the spreading of it, and because, five books later, I thought it'd be the perfect time to celebrate Camelia from the Touch series (recall that Camelia's real name is Chameleon).

The contest is all about giving and getting - hence the karma part.  As many of you know, the law of karma, in its simplest definition, is that whatever you put out to the world - energy or otherwise, good or bad - comes back to you.  And so, in the spirit of good karma, let's spread some goodness.   I want to encourage readers to do a good deed, i.e. organize a fundraiser or food drive, volunteer to tutor or teach something, visit the elderly or a children's hospital.  All good-karma submissions will be entered into a drawing to win autographed copies of some of my Touch series books. I'll be sharing the most inspiring stories on my website and Facebook, and I'll Tweet about them as well (with your permission, of course).  For more information, see the official guidelines and rules on my web site.

Author Bio:

Laurie Faria Stolarz is the author of Deadly Little Secret, Deadly Little Lies, Deadly Little Games, Deadly Little Voices, Project 17, and Bleed, as well as the bestselling Blue is for Nightmares series.  Born and raised in Salem, Massachusetts, Stolarz attended Merrimack College and received an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College in Boston. For more information, please visit her Web site at You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter, as well as sign up for her newsletter for updates on contests, books, and appearances.

Laurie’s Guilty Pleasures

  • Favorite snack: Popcorn with Earth Balance butter and lemon/pepper seasoning.
  • Touristy Trip: Paris.
  • Fashion addiction (at the moment): artfully torn jeans, tall boots, pretty scarves, and Michael Stars tees.
  • Dessert: Dark chocolate in almost any form - the darker the better.
  • Fast food: French fries at least once every few months (with lots of ketchup).
  • Beauty Binge: Aveda haircare products, which includes indulging in high-and/or-low-lights every eight weeks. Also, Caudalie skincare, Ineke perfume (Field Notes from Paris), Revitalash mascara, and Buxom Lips from Bare Escentuals.
  • Late-Night TV: Real Housewives of (wherever). 
  • Chick Flick: Never Been Kissed, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Juno, Green Card, Once, The Devil Wears Prada, Bridget Jones Diary, Thelma & Louise, Mean Girls, Moonstruck, Clueless, Under the Tuscan Sun, and anything with John Cusack.
  • Nightlife: Pilates in front of the TV (a regular occurrence), answering e-mail (also regular), and dinner and/or a movie out with friends (happens far too rarely). 
  • Cheap Thrill: Window-shopping, tabloid magazines, buying a new lip gloss, a tall cup of coffee from Starbucks. 
  • Ultimate Splurge: G2O Day Spa for a massage.

Other Random Info

  • Favorite Quote: Perseverance is key.
  • Favorite cuisine: Indian food – onion chutney, curried vegetables, and kashmir bread. I also love cheeseless pizza from Bertucci's.
  • Interests: Vegetarian cooking, holistic nutrition, aromatherapy.
  • Favorite Music: Adele, Fergie, James Blunt, Gavin Rossdale, Tori Amos, Sting, Sarah MacLachlin, Gwen Stefani, Black-eyed Peas. 
  • Hobbies: Walking, napping, cooking.

As a special bonus feature, Cecilia Hammond, the main character from the TOUCH series, will tell us how to bring our psychometric senses to fruition:

1. Make yourself comfortable in a place that feels “sacred” to you. For some it’s outside, surrounded by nature; for others it’s a favorite chair or surrounded by candles; for me, it’s wherever I’m doing pottery. 

2. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breath, letting go of any stray or nervous thoughts. 

3. Now, take an object in your hand. A good idea is to have someone give you something they’ve owned for a long time, i.e. a favorite bracelet or a set of keys. 

4. Close your eyes again and concentrate on this object. Be aware of any thoughts or feelings that come about as a result of holding this object. Talk those ideas through, even if they seem silly or insignificant, but never make information up. 

Remember, this takes practice and a bit of experimenting. The goal is to begin tuning in to your own inner awareness and your ability of perception. What often works for me is asking a question aloud, and then sculpting out the answer, using my power of touch in a creative and organic way. 

Good Luck!


Friday, December 07, 2012

Weekend of Legend goal posts and prizes!

As I mentioned last night, the Weekend of Legend is my writing frenzy with a group of author friends, where we all set goals, ask you to help, and reward you with great prizes!

Here's what I have planned, for the writing of The David Book (not the official title, obviously):

1000 words: Your choice of SHADE or WVMP swag pack, which include things like signed bookmarks stickers, buttons, note cards--and new for WVMP: cover flats!

Start Time: 4:40pm EST
End Time: 11pm
Question: @ me a pic of an adorable hat for David's hippie/hipster girlfriend Bailey. I picture her played by Dakota Fanning, if that helps (not creepy Twilight DF, more like natural, no-makeup, even frizzy haired but still gorgeous DF, though I think this photo captures Bailey's sunny outlook best).
Word count: 1,116
Winner: @SteelKimberley

2000 words: A set of David "singles," gifted through iTunes:

Six-pack o' Angst 'n' Doubt:
  • “Love Interruption” by Jack White
  • “Young and Cold” by the Raveonettes
  • “Abel” by The National
  • “Letter to God,” Hole
  • “Radioactive,” Imagine Dragons
  • “Lost Cause,” Beck

Start Time: 11pm EST Friday
End Time: 5am Saturday
Question: For the 6-Pack o’ Angst Tunes, @ me your most heartbreak-y song.

Word Count: 2000 on the dot!
Winner: @jenniferstrand

2500 words: Soul Screamers, Vol. 2, by Rachel Vincent (there is a secret small connection between Tod and David, but you'll have to wait to find out what it is!)

Start Time: 12am EST Saturday
End Time: 6am 12pm Saturday (letting this one last 12 hours since it's overnight for most in the US)
Question: To win Soul Screamers Vol 2, @ me actress for D's sister Mara. 17, bookish "good girl" with a devious heart.
Word Count: 2,506
Winner: @heater_28

4000 words: Choice of SHADE or WVMP swag pack

Start Time: 12:30pm EST Saturday
End Time: 6:30pm EST Saturday
Question: @ me goofy ring tone that a mom might use (that would embarrass her kids).

Word Count: 4,025
Winner: @lynna316

5000 words: $25 gift card to the David-related store of your choice:

Discovery Channel store

Start Time: 4:25pm EST Saturday
End Time: 11pm EST Saturday
Question: @ me what David's girlfriend just doodled in her notebook. Answer can be in the form of words, pictures, or both. Use #5K & #WOL2 hashtags.
Word Count: 5,126
Winner: @jderucki

6000 words: A different set of David "singles," gifted through iTunes:

Six-pack o' Faith 'n' Love:

“Estrella,” Brave St. Saturn
“Kiss Me” by Ed Sheeran
“Love is the Seventh Wave” by Sting
“Spirit in the Sky,” Norman Greenbaum
“Praise You,” Fatboy Slim
“For Those Below,” Mumford & Sons (off Deluxe Version of Babel)

Start Time: 7pm EST Saturday
End Time: 1am EST Sunday
Question: For a 6-pack of Faith ‘n’ Hope, @ me that song that gets you through. Use #6K & #WOL2 hashtags.

Word Count: 6,135
Winner: @Kimberdee

7500 words: Choice of signed SHADE or WVMP books

Start Time: 12:30pm EST Sunday
End Time: 7pm EST Sunday
Question: David & Bailey are (studying) alone at last! What's this frisky, free-spirited gal wearing? @ me pics, use #WOL2 & #7500 hashtags. This giveaway has NO LIMIT! Every entry counts, so send me tons of clothes (no lingerie--she's 17, he's 16).
Word Count: 7,645
Winner: @taccb

9000 words: Choice of albums used for inspiration in writing the David Book, gifted through iTunes:

Arcade Fire, Funeral 
Arcade Fire, Neon Bible
Arcade Fire, The Suburbs
The Black Keys, Attack and Release 
Brave St. Saturn, Anti-meridian 
Johnny Cash, The Ultimate Gospel 
Florence + the Machine, Lungs 
Florence + the Machine, Ceremonial 
Florence + the Machine, MTV Unplugged 
Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More 
Mumford & Sons, Babel 
Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here 
Song of Return, Limits
The xx, Coexist

Start Time: 7pm ET Sunday
End Time: Midnight ET
Question: What's my favorite band? (Hint: it's not one of the above bands, but there is an easy way to find out.) I will do a random draw from all correct answers--you MUST spell the band name exactly right. Please @ me with your answer, using #WOL2 & #9K hashtags.
Word Count: 9,059
Winner: @RPattz

10,000 words: Get your name in the David book, AND be among the first to get an Advance Review Copy (ARC) when they're available next year! Oh, and I'll throw in a copy of Arcade Fire's Neon Bible, the single most important piece of music to this novel and possibly the greatest concept album ever.

Word Count: 10,070
Winner: @c_cass189


When I reach each milestone, I will ask a question on Twitter, adding the hashtags #WOL2 and #1K, #2K, and so on, depending on the milestone.

To enter the drawing, you MUST include:

  • #WOL2 hashtag
  • specific giveaway hashtag (#1K, #2500, etc.)
  • my twitter handle @jsmithready

There'll be many contests going on all weekend on the #WOL2 hashtag, so this'll help me keep track. I will let each contest go for six hours to give people in various time zones more chance to participate, and I will announce when each giveaway is closed. Winners will be drawn using

ALL ENTRIES will put you in the running for the grand prize, but I will only count one entry per person per giveaway. So you'll have a maximum of eight entries.

International peeps, listen up! iTunes won't let me give you stuff, so you'll be ineligible for those prizes, but as I just mentioned, ALL ENTRIES will put you in the running for the grand prize, so don't hesitate to join the fun.

***Also, for international winners of books, I will send your book via Book Depository and mail you a separate signed bookplate, rather than a signed book directly from me. Lately the Postal Service's customs process has become a major pain in the patootie.

All prizes mailed from my home (swag packs, domestic book shipments) will include a David-oriented button, so he can come along for the ride. Here's an example, which his girlfriend Bailey would love:

Hee, get it? Also this one:

Buttons can be found on Zazzle:

Sweet as Pi
i heart Math

OK, time for me to go get ready to WRITE WRITE WRITE so you can WIN WIN WIN!!

Also so that I can meet my deadline.

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Thursday, December 06, 2012

Jeri's Weekend of Legend!

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have been wondering what #WOL2 stands for, and now I can tell you.

Weekend Of Legend 2!

Aww, this blog template won't let me create a blink tag to maximize the cheesiness of that banner. Curse you, webmaster and your twenty-first century design tastes!

Anyway, Weekend of Legend is the brainchild of author Lauren Dane and her best bud/critique partner /occasional co-author Megan Hart. Back in August they held a weekend-long writing frenzy, during which they gave away prizes, involved readers in the creative process, and of course got tons of work done.

She's doing it again, and now there are more of us involved:

  • Carrie Lofty
  • Carly Phillips
  • Lorelie Brown
  • and of course the Godmother of WOL herself, Lauren Dane!

I've been brainstorming the rewrite to Sekrit 2014 YA Novel, and editing a few scenes here and there, but between holidays and appearances and a new book out, I've been squeezing this project into my day, rather than making it the sole focus it was during that lovely writing retreat in Arizona last month.

*slips into decadent desert daydream*

After all that pondering, I'm ready to write!

My goal for the weekend will be ten thousand new words on what I'm calling the David Book (still searching for the true title). The final third of the novel needs to go in a new, exciting direction, so that will be my focus.

I will now copy/paste the rules from Lauren's blog and modify them for my own purposes so that I can go get a good night's sleep.


1. This is a TWITTER contest so yes, you will need a twitter account to play. To be entered in the contests we’ll be running all weekend you will need to @ reply one of us and be sure to use the #WOL2 tag so we can find the responses among all the others to separate out to choose a winner.

My twitter
Lauren Dane
Carrie Lofty
Carly Phillips
Lorelie Brown

2. I will be checking in every 2,000 words written and awarding prizes then. For fun, I will also spontaneously tweet songs from The David Book using Some of my prizes will be music from the book. Others will include signed books, swag, gift cards, etc.

How do you enter?

I'll give you a hint: my characters need clothes, and I am severely, hopelessly fashion-challenged. At different times over the weekend, I'll ask you to tweet me pics of the coolest duds you can find online, for specific occasions and finicky character tastes.

OR I might need a new name for a minor character, or food suggestions for an emergency road trip, or...well, who knows what twists and turns the weekend's writing will bring?

If When I make my ultimate goal of 10K words, there'll be a grand prize!

Prize details will be found RIGHT HERE IN THIS SPOT by Friday at 3pm Eastern, so check back then.

[EDITED TO ADD: I lied! I created a new post with milestones and prizes.]

3. All of us will be running random contests as well, so keep an eye on the #WOL2 hashtag!

You can see the individual rules for each other at these blog entries: Lorelie Brown, Carly Phillips, Carrie Lofty, Lauren Dane.

4. The #WOL2 contest will run from Noon pacific, Friday December 7 through the end of Sunday, December 9 (so say, midnight pacific)

5. My contests will be open to international entries unless otherwise indicated (iTunes has geographical limits, for instance).

Any questions? Put them in the comments and I'll make sure I clarify before WOL2 kicks off at 3pm EST on Friday.

See you this weekend!

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Lend a lass a hand!

Hey, Shade fans! If you loved Zachary Moore, and enjoyed learning about him and his proud, beautiful nation of Scotland, then I have a mission for you....

Sya Bruce of Mountains of Instead was my go-to girl for All Things Scottish during the writing of Shift and Shine. She wrote to me after reading Shade to tell me she loved the portrayal of Zachary, so, being an opportunist eager learner, I asked if she would read the manuscript of Shift and tell me what I got wrong (and right) about his character. She had many insights and suggestions, including a few slang terms I otherwise never would have learned (or believed).

In Shine her aid was even more invaluable as Zachary returned to his hometown of Glasgow (of which I was given a lovely tour by Fraser McFarlane of Street Spirit Photography). She patiently explained things like the Scottish educational system, and taught me a few Scottish Gaelic phrases.

In January, she co-hosted the Team Kilt Burns Night event, moderating the "Ask a Real Scotsman" chat with the aforementioned Fraser. They also held a blog-post duel on which city is better,  Edinburgh or Glasgow.

She's done so much for Shade readers, and now it's our turn to help her!

Sya has made it to the final round of Mira Ink's Blog Ink competition. The incredible prize is a one-year contract to be their in-house blogger. That's a JOB, lads and lasses. A job blogging about BOOKS.

According to her BlogINK post at YAckers, to win she must:

1. Create a video blog (which she did--it's charming and features a BOOK FORT. See below!).

2. Share it far and wide with a MASSIVE social networking campaign. Which is where you and I come in!

Please please please with sugar and kilts on top, help me spread the word:
  • Watch the video (see below).
  • Go to its YouTube page, "like" it, and leave a comment.
  • Tweet it! Something like...

See @Splendibird's pure brilliant book fort at #blogINK @MiraInk #teamSplendibird

...would be very nice. Feel free to use your own words of awe.
If you blog about it, leave a link here in the comments or tweet it to @Splendibird so she can let Mira Ink know about all the wonderful things you guys are doing!

If I had a book fort, my cats would knock it down faster than you could say, "No! Misha, no! Bad cat, don't--hey, Twinkle, don't you--watch it! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!"

But wait--maybe I could build a NEW BOOKSHELF out of books! Then they'd all have a home amongst their own kind. Not that wooden shelves aren't made from the same substance as paper books, but...

Where was I?

OH! When Sya's vlog gets 300 views (and 400, and 500, etc.), Zachary and Martin will each tweet a snippet from their 2013 novella and short story, respectively.

[EDITED TO ADD: WOW, since I scheduled this to post last night, the video has gotten another 100 views and is currently at 385. So look for snippets as soon as I feed the cats and get my breakfast!

EDITED AGAIN TO ADD: Here are their snippets. She's over 500 views now, which means Martin and Zachary will be posting a dance video Friday morning when "they" wake up (which mysteriously is always 5 hours after I wake up, what with the time difference between here and Glasgow. They're teenage boys, they sleep late.)]

But don't help Sya because of this wee incentive. Do it because she's an amazing blogger who shares her love of books in an eloquent, thoughtful way. Her reviews are among the best I've ever read, and Mira Ink would be lucky to have her.

I know I am.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Girlfriends Cyber Circuit Interview with Eileen Cook and The Almost Truth!

Welcome back to the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit, where we spotlight hot new books by YA authors. This week's guest is Eileen Cook with her latest release, The Almost Truth. As someone who writes about con artists, I love stories about liars. This one looks like a ton of fun!

(Also, that dress is pretty much my favorite color in the world.)


From the author of Unraveling Isobel and The Education of Hailey Kendrick, a smart, romantic novel about a teenage con artist who might be in over her head.

Sadie can’t wait to get away from her backwards small town, her delusional mom, her jailbird dad, and the tiny trailer where she was raised…even though leaving those things behind also means leaving Brendan. Sadie wants a better life, and she has been working steadily toward it, one con at a time.

But when Sadie’s mother wipes out Sadie’s savings, her escape plan is suddenly gone. She needs to come up with a lot of cash—and fast—or she’ll be stuck in this town forever.

With Brendan’s help, she devises a plan—the ultimate con—to get the money. But the more lies Sadie spins, the more she starts falling for her own hoax…and perhaps for the wrong boy. Sadie wanted to change her life, but she wasn't prepared to have it flipped upside down by her own deception. With her future at stake and her heart on the line, suddenly it seems like she has a lot more than just money to lose....


".. enormously appealing and great company throughout this breezy read.....the highest quality—like a gourmet truffle. Cook has whipped up a real treat." - Kirkus Starred Review

"Thrilling and creepy, super sexy, and so very hilarious." - Lisa McMann, bestselling author of the Wake trilogy

"Sassy and sly and sweet all at the same time, this book made me laugh out loud." - Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries and Airhead


Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in eight different languages. She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer.  Her latest release, Unraveling Isobel, came out in Jan 2012.

You can read more about Eileen, her books, and the things that strike her as funny at Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.

And interview with the awesome Eileen!

We're always told to "kill our darlings." Do you have a short excerpt--a couple lines or a paragraph--that you'd care to share with us, something you love but just didn't quite make the cut?

When it comes time to cut I have to delete it for good. Otherwise I start trying to convince myself that I don’t really have to delete it. It’s such a good “darling,” surely it doesn’t deserve to be taken out of the book.  I delete it so it’s gone and there’s no turning back. I have no will power otherwise.

That's incredibly brave--I save everything! Now, turn to page 99 of your current release: which word on that page describes your main character best, and why?

Pirate.  (It’s odd that word would show up- but it really is on page 99!)  Pirate describes Sadie because she’s a bit of a rogue, very independent, loyal to her friends and has a flexible sense of morality at times.

Sadie sounds like my kinda heroine. What’s the scariest book-related thing to happen to you in the last year?

The scariest thing was when I had computer trouble and thought I’d lost an entire manuscript. I think it’s safe to say what I experienced would be considered “a freak out.”  I now have a cloud back up system so that my computer automatically backs everything up every 20 minutes.

Yikes! I would've had a hundred heart attacks. Automatic backups rule! Do you have a quirk or detail in common with your main character (e.g., favorite food, habit, phrase)?

We both tend to ask people questions and then get annoyed when we don’t like the answer. I’m working on it. I can’t vouch for Sadie.

Hmm. I'll be extra careful if you ever interview me, lol. So what’s your favorite place you’ve ever traveled for book research?

Last year I had a chance to go to Charleston NC. I fell in love with that city; the history is amazing.

Speaking of travel, which do you like best: planes, trains, or automobiles?

If I can travel first class then I love to fly, but I find train travel to be very romantic.

Me, too! I highly recommend the sleeper car. In the SHADE trilogy, Aura is the first of a generation that can see ghosts. What do you think defines your generation? If your generation could have a superpower, what would it be?

I’ve never really felt like I grew up, so I’m not sure I identify with any one particular generation.  If my generation could have a superpower I think we’d all choose to stay young. We’re having too much fun to get too old.

If you could bring any person back as a ghost so you could ask them about their lives, who would it be?

I’d love to sit down with Dorothy Parker. She was a writer in the early 1900’s and was known for her sharp wit. She was a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table, which was a group of writers.


Loved Eileen's answers, and I will definitely be checking out The Almost Truth! You should, too. 

I have something very special planned for you guys this weekend--check back tomorrow night for details!



This Side of Salvation

This Side of Salvation, Jeri's new contemporary YA novel!

Now available in hardcover and ebook.

“A smart, well-rounded, and unpredictable tale...bringing to light issues of belief versus free will, spirit versus body, and family versus self.” —Booklist, **Starred Review**


Order from Indie Bound, Barnes & Noble, or



"Shattered," a Shade novella!

Available here on this website as a free download in all major ebook formats, as well as a printable PDF (now with photos!).

More about "Shattered"

About the author

Jeri Smith-Ready

Jeri Smith-Ready is a Maryland author of books for teens and adults.

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Photo © Geoffrey C. Baker

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