Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween My Spooks!

I'm sponsoring a giveaway at Alternative Reads today for a brand new copy of THE DEVOURING by Simon Holt. It's a pretty spooky read :o) To enter, go over to Alternative Reads and tell her which cover you like the best - the US or the UK version!  You can see them both at her site! (confession: the book spooked me so much when I read it that I made it my wallpaper on my lappie for the last couple o' weeks to celebrate Halloween!)  It's ending November 7 and is open worldwide of course.♥

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Trick or Treat, Witches! Pretty Little Liars Sneak Peak

Embedded video not working? See the vid at  and for those of you who can see it, make sure to select full screen!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Frightay Nights with Michelle Zink [Guest Post]

Despite the fact that we live in a house built in 1850, I’ve always reassured myself that it can’t possibly be haunted. That’s because it’s a barn. The old farmhouse next door was once part of our property, and together the two buildings plus hundreds of acres made up an old dairy farm in our part of upstate New York.

It’s a well-known fact that the old farmhouse is haunted by the ghost of old Mr. Keane, the farmer responsible for the old Keane Dairy Farm. It’s said that he hung himself over there and that you can hear him dragging his peg leg around the attic at night.

But my logic about our house seemed sound when I told my children the only hauntings that could occur here would have to be conducted by the ghosts of dead cows who once grazed the surrounding pastures and spent their nights snoozing in our barn.

And it’s held true. Mostly.

We’ve lived here nine years and it’s only been in the past couple that my older son has mentioned some strange occurrences. The first took place in the basement about a year ago. I’ve never been fond of the basement, despite the fact that it used to house a restaurant and bar back when the upper level was a bed and breakfast. It’s just too dark. Standing at one end on a gloomy day even at at noon, one almost can’t see the other end of the 2,000 square foot room.

And then there’s the abandoned kitchen and a supply room that still has it’s original dirt floor. *shudders*

Honestly? I make excuses not to go in either one.

Anyway, about a year ago my son was downstairs playing Xbox late one night when he heard whistling from the nether reaches of the basement. At first, he thought his ears were playing tricks on him. He removed the headset he uses to play Call of Duty and listened. And there it was again. A faint whistling from the darkness at the other end of the basement.

Well, I didn’t raise stupid children. You wouldn’t have to scream, “No! Don’t go into the supply room!” if my kids were in a horror movie. My son did what any smart person would do and got the hell out of there.

Then a few months ago he was in his bathroom brushing his teeth. The shower curtain was closed and he swore he heard it rustle. “The only way I can describe it,” he said, “is that it made the exact sound you would expect if someone were hiding in there.”


He told me he had to brace himself to pull back the shower curtain in one quick motion while the house stood deathly silent all around him.

“Was it one of those horror movie moments?” I asked him. “Where you feel like you’re actually IN a scary movie and something’s going to jump out at you?”

“It WAS,” he said. And he wasn’t laughing.

I don’t know if we have a ghost or not, but if we do, it seems to have a special affinity for Kenneth. The rest of us haven’t seen or heard a whisper.

But Kenneth is always a little nervous when prowling the halls - or the basement - after dark.

Thanks so much Michelle!!  You guys, Michelle is the author of Prophecy of the Sisters and its follow-up, Guardian of the Gate.  You can follow her on Twitter, and

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lenore #2 More With Mr Gosh [Coming Soon]

You guys know how I love Lenore.  Well, issue number 2 is coming just around the corner - January 18, 2011.  That's the trailer.  Here's the press release:


Titan Comics is pleased to announce the return of Lenore, the cute little dead girl, with the release of issue #2 of Roman Dirge's cult comic, Lenore!

“He loved with a love that was more than love.”

After years of shocking physical and mental abuse, extreme violence and unnecessary brutality it looks as if Mr. Gosh’s feelings of unrequited love for Lenore have finally turned? Only time and the twisted creative genius of Roman Dirge can tell.

Featuring more gruesomely grisly tales of Lenore and her demented menagerie of twisted friends, this second chapter in the rebirth of Lenore sees Mr.Gosh, Lenore's long-suffering unrequited paramour, take centre stage.

Lenore #2 will be a must have for all Lenore fans as for the first time, Dirge reveals Lenore’s surname! A teaser trailer to promote this new issue is available on YouTube.

To celebrate the return of Lenore, last year's hit issue #1 is being re-solicited with a brand new exclusive cover by Dirge!

Retailers can order Lenore #2 and issue #1 with this new limited edition collector's cover from November’s Diamond Previews. For more information see Titan Comics Lenore advert and listing within the Comics & Graphic Novel section in Previews.

Take a trip into the dark, surreal world of Roman Dirge!

If you're interested, you can follow Lenore on twitter:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A 2010 Book Utopia? [You're The Expert]

I happened upon an article in The Guardian (seriously, where else?  These people come up with the most thought-provoking content for me!) by Rick Gekoski that mourns the passing of the day when literate and educated people had all read the same set of literature.  He mentions a game called Humiliation, of which I am not familiar, but was apparently all the rage in 1974. (that's totally pre-me btw)  You played by owning to a book that you hadn't read, then for every person in the group that had read it, you got a point.  He concludes his article with the following sentiment: "I wish that the pleasure of reading, across the whole spectrum of literature, in all its variety, were part of a shared culture amongst young people today."

Now he's not saying that we don't all read.  He's saying that it's a shame that we don't all read the same things, so we can't all discuss how these things are relevant to us.  I'll admit that when I first started reading this article, I was a little skeptical.  Then he listed the following list of books that everyone who was literate in 1974 had read:
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex (1953)
JD Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (1953)
William Golding, The Lord of the Flies (1954)
Herbert Marcuse, Eros and Civilization (1955)
Allen Ginsberg, Howl (1956)
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving (1956)
Jack Kerouac, On the Road (1957)
Norman O Brown, Life Against Death (1959)
RD Laing, The Divided Self (1960)
Joseph Heller, Catch-22 (1961)
Marshall McLuhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962)
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1962)
Pauline Reage, The Story of O (1965)
Alex Haley, The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965)
Desmond Morris, The Naked Ape (1967)
Eldridge Cleaver, Soul on Ice (1967)
Norman Mailer, Miami and the Siege of Chicago (1968)
Carlos Castaneda, The Teachings of Don Juan (1968)
Arthur Janov, The Primal Scream (1970)
Germaine Greer, The Female Eunuch (1971)
Robert M Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycling Maintenance (1974)
The great part about that is that I haven't read a single one of those. I read the Cliff's Notes for Catch-22 and Catcher in the Rye, so I could probably discuss them with you to some degree, but honestly? I read them to pass tests, and I honestly don't remember the content or themes.

It dawned on me that even within the YA community we face a similar conundrum to the one Gekoski describes.  Even within young adult, teen, and adults categories there are so many genres and sub-genres that there is no way we could have all read the same list of books.  It's a rare find these days to find someone who likes the same type of literature you like, let alone someone who reads the same set of books as you do.  In this I luck out, as I tend to be my friends' source for books, so I usually have someone to discuss with, but we still read different books and still love/hate books that the other doesn't.  The environment that Gekoski describes seems to me like a literary utopia, and one I'd love to have.  But.  I don't think there's any way I'd sacrifice the literary diversity that 2010 brings to achieve it.  How 'bout you?

If you had to put one book on everyone's must-read list, what would it be?  What book would you want everyone in the world to have read so that you could discuss it with them freely and openly?  It's a ginormous question, and one worthy of some thought, as it might provoke some lightbulb moments for you as it did me.  You're not obligated to share your pick, but we'd sure love it if you did.  ♥

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Tales with Tom Leveen - Changing Hands, Sat 10/30, 7pm

Guys! ♥  If you're in the Phoenix area, consider heading over to Changing Hands on Saturday to see Halloween Tales with Tom Leveen whose YA debut PARTY, came out earlier this year.  Oral interpretative is one of my fav types of performance, especially for Halloween (as you might have guessed from my rave about Poe) so this event has been on my calendar since I first read about it!

Halloween LIT at Changing Hands on October 30 at 7 pm! Free event, family-friendly!  Cast includes Amy Nelson-Melle, Matt Dixon, Larry F. Penunuri Jr., Trevor Starkey, Joy Leveen, Kit Kough, Jeff Melvin, Tina Perez, and Mark Young.

Authors include Ray Bradbury, Shel Silverstein, and Bill Watterson ("Calvin & Hobbes"), with original pieces by poet Mark Young and YA author Tom Leveen.

Tom's pieces include both published and unpublished work, including:

  • Tree Fort (originally published in Aoife's Kiss)
  • Alone (originally published in Wanderings)
  • Eating For Two
  • Dinosaurs Downstairs

 The cast is made up of actors who have performed with the former Chyro's Voice Theater, where Tom was Artistic Director.  This performance is the fifth such Halloween event Tom has produced.

So go.  Have fun.  Get your spooky on! (and Tom, thanks for all of the extra info!!)

Will we see you there?

Tom's website
Tom's blog
Tom's Twitter
Tom's Facebook

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ghost Press: Cindy Pon visits for Frightay Nights [Frightay Nights] [Guest Post]

The Chinese called it ghost press.

It only ever happened when I napped, waking suddenly, seeing through hazy eyes, trapped within my own body. Those few times, I'd fight down the overwhelming sense of panic and willed myself awake, recapturing my smothered breath. I would step from lucid dreams to emerge disoriented, but relieved.

This time was different.

A shuddering moan woke me. Fading sunlight filtered through blinds--how long had I slept for? My hands were clasped, folded across my chest.  I could see them beneath heavy eyelids, but it was as if my body were not mine. Something crashed to the floor, clattering. My heart thundered and a low hiss escaped from between my lips.  I tried to turn my head, toward the dark shape slithering at the edge of my vision. To open my eyes wider, to wake and dispel it.

I was paralyzed.

The blinds shook, rattling like bones, and the room spun with crazy shadows.

The thing said my name. Long, low and guttural. As if it tasted it on its tongue, savored it. I couldn't speak or scream. The knot in my throat spasmed.  It was beside me now, chanting my name.  Whispering. Cajoling. And in a swift motion of jerking limbs, it was on top of me, dense yet amorphous. It clasped my face with long, cold hands and sank into my solar plexus.

Silken hair brushed against my throat, black like its fathomless eyes.

Was it a woman?

I tried to shove her off, to look in her face. But her long locks hid her features, which shifted subtly, like a reflection in the water. Her pungent scent of decaying leaves and stagnant pond filled me, as she trailed sharp nails across my shoulder blades.

Blood welled, warm, pooling in the hollow of my neck. My tears felt hot against my cheeks. She cooed--an almost motherly sound--and opened her gaping mouth wider to expose jagged teeth. Wider still until her face crumpled, disappeared. She settled into me, anchored in my chest, and lowered that misshapen mouth, teeth gnashing, toward my face.

I whimpered, frozen still. Forced my eyes wide open, compelled myself awake. The lights overhead flickered on, blazing like the sun, and I winced, squeezing my eyes shut.

Someone whispered my name.

cindy's note:

okay. confession. only the first two paragraphs of the
above is actually true. i have experienced what the chinese
call ghost press before, but not anything as horrifying as what
i described.

i was so fascinated by this phenomenon that i researched online
a while back. apparently, it is a state where upon waking from
sleep when your consciousness is fully awake before
your brain is, so you don't have full control over your body, thus
producing the terrifying paralyzed feeling.

i'm a big fan of ghost stories and all things paranormal
and unexplained. i can't watch it in the theatre (i'm a real
chicken) but i love reading a scary story! i hope you enjoyed
this short piece of fiction that i wrote for shesten's halloween month!
thanks for having me, shes!!

Thanks for participating, Cindy!  We ♥ you!  Guys, make sure you check out, and follow Cindy (@cindypon) on Twitter.  If you haven't read SILVER PHOENIX yet, what are you waiting for?  Pick up a copy at Amazon today, and if you have read SP, you must be as eagerly awaiting FURY OF THE PHOENIX as I am, so why not preorder it?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Poe by Arizona Curriculum Theatre (8pm showing) [Theatre]

This weekend I got the opportunity to go to another wonderful show by Arizona Curriculum Theatre, Poe.  Oral interpretations of Annabel Lee, The Cask of Amontillado, and The Raven were performed beautifully.  I attended with my mother, and we had been heavily anticipating it for weeks, ever since we got our Groupons to go.  Due to unforseen circumstances, I was only able to get 40 minutes of sleep on Friday night.  I considered not going to Poe, favoring sleep over pretty much anything, but my enthusiasm for Poe, and the prior experience I've had with this company drove me to push through the sleepies and get my butt to Grand Avenue.

The evening started with the interpretation of Annabel Lee.  Can I just say that I never really thought of that poem as creepy until I saw this performance?  Fantastic.  Totally creepy.  Oh, and I didn't once feel like I needed to sleep.

Next came the Cask of Amontillado.  Okay.  I'm going to be honest.  Cask was probably my least favorite Poe until Saturday night.  Seriously.  I didn't ever really get it until Saturday with this interpretation.  Holy creepy, Batman.  I'm so never getting drunk.  Let this be a caution to all of you drunkards out there, for reals. Don't go around following old men into wine cellars.  You're gonna get walled up and eaten or something.  Totally freaky.  Amazingly performed.  Wonderfully eye-opening.  Thanks.

Last was The Raven.  Now, I went to this session specifically for this performance.  The Raven is one of my all-time favorite poems, because I mean, how could it not be?  I'm dark and dreary like that.  Not only was this performance the best of the night, it was the best I've ever seen it performed.  I never thought of the raven speaking in such a hostile tone as the interpreter spoke for him, and it was powerful the way it was done.  So much more powerful than I ever imagined this poem could be.

My only criticism on the whole night is that I was not sure which actor was doing which piece, and I would have loved to have raved about them by name.  To both of you - Jason Barth, and Jim Coates - awesome, polished, and appropriately-disturbing performances.  *me. raving.*  The fact that I had forty minutes of sleep in the 48 hour period prior to coming to your show, sat in a warm room, a room that was dark enough to sleep in, and didn't want to close my eyes one single time speaks to your talent and the quality of your performance that night.  Bravo.

So, once again, Arizona Curriculum Theatre has taken my high expectations and shattered them.  They've taken a critic and made her into a fan.  They've taken a true fan of Poe's and shed a whole new light on his work for her.  They've done an amazing thing here.  I rarely rave.  I'm raving.  Twice in one year about one company?  Practically unheard of.  We're going back for a 10pm showing on the 29th, which will include The Tell-Tale Heart and The Black Cat, just in time for Halloween!  If you live in the Phoenix area and like lit at all, this is a do-not-miss.  I think there are still a few tickets available.  Visit for more information on tickets and show times, and get your butt to a performance!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cast Your Villain at Word For Teens

Because I stumbled on this when Harper Teen posted it to Facebook and it looked fun, and I thought you might want to participate too... so leave her a comment or me a comment telling us who you'd cast as your favorite villain.

My favorite villain from a book has to be Alice from Prophecy of the Sisters.  I love her.  She's soooooo bad.  So.  I think I'd cast Emma Roberts.  She looks appropriately evil to me!

Head over to Word for Teens to participate for yourself... and be entered to win some great prizes, namely Kimberly Derting prizes.  And if you're not a blogger (even though it seems everyone is these days) leave me a comment and tell me who yours would be.

The Bookish Cafe: D'Espresso in NYC

The minute I saw this freakishly bookish cafe, I had to share it with you guys. The image of walking into a cafe that is on its side, where you walk on the books on the shelves either totally excites me or totally horrifies me, I'm not sure which yet, but I keep thinking about this picture. A little research shows that these aren't actually books, but are "glazed tiles printed with images of books create the illusion of bookshelves tilted sideways, running along the ceiling, down the rear wall and onto the floor." Notice also that the floor is actually on the wall. So fun.

This location of D'Espresso is located one block from the New York Public Library near Bryant Park, so its theme is totally appropriate and hella awesome if you ask me. It's going on my list of places to visit if I ever actually make it to NYC. How 'bout yours?

Design firm nemaworkshop is credited for creating this theme with a $500,000 budget for the 500 square foot space. That's $1,000 a square foot! I wish I had that type of budget.

[via Changing Hands via Fast Co Design] [also sourced: New York Times]

Monday, October 18, 2010

Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl [Book Signing Report]

I got to The Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale on time, even though I totally thought I was going to be late.  There were a surprisingly small amount of people at the signing, which I totally blame on it being at 4pm.  No explanation was given for the odd time, but I'm totally not complaining.  It was great to have such an intimate session.

Apparently the signing was available on Blog TV, with Kaleb Nation hosting the online portion, but I'm not even sure where you could check it out.  Rosemary Clement-Moore of Prom Nights from Hell was present to do the interview portion of the event.

Kami & Margie talked about everything from the emerging Southern Gothic genre to what their favorite Southern foods are (pretty much anything with pecans {pronounced pee cans}).  They explained that the series was originally supposed to be six novels, but shrunk to four because they were able to fit in so much into the novels.  They were witty and funny, and there was an ongoing story about this stuffed beaver that wears a crown that Melissa Marr talked Kami out of buying during the Smart Chicks tour.  Taxidermy is an art form, by the way.

Speaking of the Smart Chicks tour, they totally ripped off the speed round feature of that tour and brought it to this one, but they totally admitted that they ripped it off, so it's okay in my book.

They also spent some time commenting on their writing process - with two authors, they exchange constantly, and claim that you can NOT have any ounce of ego going into the process, because they are constantly degrading (my word, not theirs) each others' work.  Margaret claims to do all the work, and Kami just shakes her head.  It's quite a fascinating dynamic and I hope that you get the chance to see them!

Overall, it was a great event, and I really had a lot of fun listening to them banter and laugh.  I hope that you'll see Kami & Margie if they're coming to a town near you.  Here are the rest of the tour stops:

October 18
Boulder, CO
6:30 PM MST
Boulder Book Store

October 19
Highland’s Ranch, CO
6:00 PM MST
Tattered Cover Bookstore

October 20
West Jordan, UT
7:00 PM MST
Barnes & Noble

October 21
Salt Lake City, UT
7:00 PM MST
King’s English Bookshop  (I went to this bookstore on vacay this summer and it was delightful.  But I'm wondering where the event will be because the bookstore is pretty darn full of books!)

Kaleb Nation is putting together a documentary about their tour - Part 1 is below, and Part 2 will be available aon Kaleb's blog on Friday.

Oh and P.S.  The first two people to email me their mailing address (open worldwide) will receive a Beautiful Darkness bookmark and a Prom Nights from Hell Bookmark too! (WINNERS HAVE BEEN EMAILED.  GIVEAWAY CLOSED)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Traumatized? You betcha. by Dia Reeves [Frightay Nights]

When I was much younger, around thirteen or so, I was all alone at home because Ma had gone to the store. I was sitting in my room reading (of course) when I heard a noise. I opened my door and heard the noise again coming from behind the door of my brother's room, which was directly across from mine.

The sound was unmistakable, like an animal inside a box trying to find its way out. The only problem was we didn't have any pets. So I crept to my brother's door and called his name. And the noise stopped. I asked my brother what he was doing in there and then something slammed into the door so hard it rattled in its frame.

I freaked and ran into the living room. I would have run out the door except I hadn't combed  my hair and I didn't know if the thing in my brother's room would give me the time I needed to spruce myself up. So I grabbed the Bible, for protection, and jumped on the couch and stared toward the hallway, fully expecting something to come leaping out at me. I was so convinced it would happen that I fainted. I know I fainted because the sound of the front door opening woke me up.

Ma came in with the groceries and I don't remember ever being gladder to see anyone in my life. But before I even said hi, I went to my brother's room and threw open the door. There was nothing in there that sounded like what I'd heard--no puppy or turtle in a box--nor was there anything near the door that could explain why it had rattled like something had been thrown against it.

I went to join Ma in the kitchen and she asked why I looked so upset. I told her that my brother must have played some mean trick on me while she was gone. She asked how could he have tricked me when he was away spending the weekend with our cousin.

Traumatized? You betcha. I was probably the only kid in junior high school who still jumped into her mother's bed and hid under the covers whenever she got scared. So if anyone has ever wondered why I write about doors and all the weird things that may or may not be on the other side of them, wonder no more.

Dia is the author of Bleeding Violet and coming-soon Slice of Cherry.  You can follow Dia's blog/website, her Facebook or her Twitter.  Also, you can preorder Slice of Cherry, or order Bleeding Violet today!  Make sure to leave her a comment telling her how much you hearted her fright!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

It's Read-A-Thon, Yo

And I so totally didn't start on time.  I was up super-late trying to get some last minute details organized (shame on me) for the schedule, so I had to sleep in a little.

My Read-A-Thon Goals:

ONE book.  I'd like to get ONE book read today.  And it needs to be The Luxe by Anna Godberson.  So remember that post I posted earlier this week with all of the fun books I was going to read during the 'thon?  Yeah, not gonna happen.  I've got to read The Luxe so that I can get through Rumors in time for book group next week!

I'll be stepping out for a little bit this afternoon to attend a bridal shower (oh yea.)  so I'll be taking Shiver by Maggie Steifvater on audiobook along with me, since that is book group selection for November!

Hour 8:  I've listened to an hour of audiobooks: Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer.
Hour 16:
Hour 24:


Show Me The Books at My Reading Room:

Book Puzzle from 1lbr:

Mini Challenge: MICROFICTION [Readathon]

Morning Readathoners!

My minichallenge is simple.  All you need to do is tell me a story in 100 words or less.  Microfiction is becoming more and more prevalent, so just take a break and try your hand at it!  Check these out too... they're fun micros.

Add your story in the comments, or sign this linky with a link to whatever post you've posted it in.  One winner will be drawn for a book of their choice from Book Depo up to $15.

(If you're serious about microfiction, check out this article with a whole lot of wonderful pointers!)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Frightay Nights: Roses for Poe with Kelly Creagh [Guest Post]

On January 19th, 2009, during the dark hours of a freezing, snowy morning, I became one of the few to witness the Poe Toaster.

For those of you who are Poe fans, or for those of you who have read my debut novel, Nevermore, you’ll know that I’m referring to the man who appears in a locked cemetery during the early morning hours of Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday. To this day, no one knows how this stranger gets in or how he exits. But every year it’s the same. The Toaster appears out of nowhere, cloaked in black and shrouded in mystery. Stooping before Edgar’s grave, he leaves three red roses and half a bottle of cognac, toasting the writer before vanishing into the night.

      When I first heard about the Poe Toaster back in 2005, I knew I wanted to include him in my story. The following year, I took my first trip to Baltimore, the city where Poe is buried. On my last day in the city, I paid a final visit to Edgar’s grave and offered my own tribute. Taking my cue from the Poe Toaster, I left three roses, which I had taken from the dozen my mother had bought to celebrate my twenty-fourth birthday.

      As we left the graveyard, I remember looking back at Edgar’s grave, unaware of how much things would change within the next few years. And equally unaware that I would one day return to bear witness to the rite myself.

      For remembrance sake, I wrapped the roses that my mother had given me in green floral paper and took them with me on the plane. They were still fresh and beautiful when we arrived in Louisville later that afternoon, with huge, tea-cup sized antique-yellow blossoms tipped in a wine red hue.

      Bundling the stems together with twine, I hung the flowers upside down in a clear and open portion of my closet later that night. My hope was that, in a week or so, the blossoms would dry, and I would be able to preserve them.

      I went to sleep. Hours later, however, around three in the morning, I awoke to a very strange sensation. A heavy smell permeated my room. Thick and oppressive, it was an aroma that I recognized immediately.
It was the smell of flowers. Dead flowers.

      If you have ever left fresh lilies or roses sitting several days too long in their vase, then you know the scent that I mean. I’m talking about that unmistakable and pungent odor of decay. Sticky sweet and slightly bitter, it’s the type of scent that usually hits you only when you remove the flowers from their vase in order to toss them into the trash. It was this exact smell that had somehow pervaded my entire room.

      I remember sitting upright in bed. I stayed still for a very long time, watching and waiting, checking each of my senses to be sure I wasn’t dreaming. Through the darkness, I stared at my closet door. I somehow knew that it must be the nine roses I had brought home from Baltimore.

      The rational side of my brain attempted to argue with this idea. How could that be? They were fresh this morning. Flowers couldn’t decay over night, could they?

      The smell seemed to grow stronger, gathering itself into an outright stench. I became increasingly frightened as well as nauseated. My fear escalated quickly into panic. I was, after all, alone in my house.
Kelly, I said to myself in my mind, trying my best to remain calm. If you don’t want to see something really weird, get out of your room. Now.

      Don’t ask me why I thought this. Be it a dream or a hallucination or the supernatural, it was as though my entire being was telling me that If I did not want to experience what was scheduled to happen next, then I should leave my room—immediately. So I got up. Calmly, I padded out of my bedroom, my eyes locked on the closed closet door as I made my escape. I went straight into the living room where the air seemed instantly lighter. The difference in atmosphere astounded me. It was as if I had walked out of a musky dungeon and into an open field.

      I sat down on the futon, wide-eyed and with my heart fluttering in my chest. I wondered about the whole experience and listened for any sound that might come from my room. I heard nothing. But I was far too rattled to go back to sleep. So I did what any other cowardly knee-knocker in my position would have. I popped Happy Gilmore into the DVD player and tried very hard not to dial my mother’s phone number.
Eventually, well after the movie ended, I did fall asleep. When I awoke the next morning, it was with enough bravery to re-enter my room. The intense smell had since vanished. I opened my closet door and inspected the roses. They were still fresh, the petals supple and as soft and pliable as felt. I sniffed the blooms, rewarded with a very subtle scent more chemical in essence than floral.

      Needless to say, I threw the flowers out.

      Looking back, I almost wish I would have had stayed in my room that night to see what would havened, if anything. And I sometimes regret getting rid of those roses. Though I did not keep the flowers, I did hold on to the memory of that moment and that very distinct smell, locking them both away within one of the many skeleton-key drawers of my mind.

      It is from this experience that my character, Reynolds, draws his signature smell.

      And if you think about it, given what you find out about Reynolds in the story and his ties to the “Poe Toaster,” it seems fitting, doesn’t it?

Kelly is the author of Nevermore, which debuted at the end of August.  Catch her at, her blog, Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.  Find Nevermore at Amazon, Book Depo, or Changing Hands.

Meg Cabot's Avalon High Adapted for TV Movie [Movies] [News] [TV]

Disney Channel, yo.  Meg Cabot's Avalon High (the book that made me fall in love with YA) is going to be a made-for-tv movie.  It's starring that chica from Life Unexpected, Britt Robertson.  Anyone excited? I sure am!

Looks like it'll be airing in November, dates yet to be determined.  Here's the synopsis from Disney:
"Avalon High" follows Allie who, after transferring to Avalon High, discovers that her new classmates are reincarnations of King Arthur and his Court. The deeper Allie searches these interesting parallels between the past and the present, the more convinced she is that her school is a contemporary Camelot, and it's up to her to solve the mystery before the notorious traitor Mordred wins again.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Bookish Wreath [Crafts]

So some of my bestest buds and I were out garage sailing a few weekends ago and we happened upon a very very cool craft idea.  Well, at least we thought it was.

This lady had taken a book that was falling apart and made a wreath out of it.

All in all, I thought it was worthy of a picture and a blog post, but had left my cameraphone in the car, so my friend snapped one for me (which is quite an impressive picture - lighting, composure, saturation, etc - for an iPhone pic, dontcha think?  Thanks, T)

I could see this being super fun with a collection of Poe's poems for Halloween... or A Christmas Carol for Christmas... or Shakespearean sonnets for Valentine's.  Fun potential, right?

Tell us your thoughts, do you heart the bookish wreath?  Or think it's a visual trainwreck?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Ghost & Graves Tour: Jessica Verday & Michelle Zink

So, you guys got a really long list of events in Arizona this month.  One notable tour that IS NOT coming here, but you should totally know about anyway, is The Ghosts & Graves Tour featuring Jessica Verday, author of The Hollow and The Haunted, and Michelle Zink, author of Prophecy of the Sisters and Guardian of the Gate.  So if you live in New York, Connecticut, or Pennsylvania, listen up!

Not only will attendees be swept off of their feet by the awesome that is Michelle and Jessica, they will also be eligible to win "fun giveaways including an iPod Shuffle, t-shirts and stickers, and an exclusive first look at giveaways of Abbey's Hollow's NEW perfume set featuring the cast of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow!"

Um, plus, um, dude, look at where the first tour stop is.  I'm so jealous it's not even fair.  Have fun at that one all you New Yorkers!!

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery
Date: October 24
Time: 2:00-4:00 pm
Location: Sleepy Hollow Cemetery
540 North Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591

The Otis Library
Date: October 25
Time: 6:30-8:00 pm
Location: The Otis Library
261 Main Street
Norwich, CT 06360

Easton Public Library
Date: October 26
Time: 7:00-8:30 pm
Location: Easton Public Library
515 Church Street
Easton, PA 18042

Borders Express
Date: October 28
Time: 6:00-8:00 pm
Location: Borders Express
298 Exton Square Mall
Exton, PA 19341

Jefferson Market Library
Date: October 29
Time: 6:00-8:00 pm
Location: Jefferson Market Library
425 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10011

Saturday, October 2, 2010

My Smart Chicks Boon Is Your Boon [Saturday Steals] [Giveaway]

Saturday Steals is hosted by Camille at Archives of our Lives.  Head over this weekend to share your steal!
Back during the Smart Chicks tour a couple of weeks ago, I had the best luck evar.  I won the basket of books that they were raffling away.  Talk about a steal.  The event was free and I walked away with a basket of twenty books.  Seriously awesome.

But wait, that's not all.  I got to do an interview (which I will post about next week) with five of the six authors (Holly Black was running late), so that was even more fun and made it so much more of a steal.

So.  I think the best part about winning all of this awesome swag is that not only do I get to sit here and tell you about how fun the event was, and how much I loved attending it, and how totally, supremely awesome it was to win, but I GET TO SHARE MY WINNINGS with you guys.  So it's a total steal all around.

One of you will win the books that I already owned before my awesomesauce steal.  Here's the list:

  • A paperback copy of City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  • A paperback copy of The Forest of Hands And Teeth by Carrie Ryan 
  • A signed paperback copy of The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
  • A copy of the new bind-up for the first two books in the Morganville Vamps series by Rachel Caine
  • A signed ARC of White Cat by Holly Black
  • A hardcover of The Hollow by Jessica Verday
  • A signed hardcover of Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr
  • A signed copy of The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Good luck! 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Bloodthirsty by Flynn Meaney [Giveaway]

Inspection coming soon.  BUT, you get your opportunity to enter to win this title right now!  Three lucky devils will win a glossy new hardcover as well as an iron-on Bloodthirsty badge that reads “Vampires: Faking it to get girls since 1897”  (I totally want a hardcover of this one... totally!)
Some vampires are good. Some are evil. Some are faking it to get girls. Awkward and allergic to the sun, sixteen-year-old Finbar Frame never gets the girl. But when he notices that all the female students at his school are obsessed with a vampire romance novel called Bloodthirsty, Finbar decides to boldly go where no sane guy has gone before-he becomes a vampire, minus the whole blood sucking part. With his brooding nature and weirdly pale skin, it's surprisingly easy for Finbar to pretend to be paranormal.

Not reading this on the site?  Enter your dets into this form.

October's Indie Exchange... YA-Relevant Events In Arizona

What's going on around Arizona in October?  Dude.  A ton.  YA Awesome abounds.  Mark these on your calendar, and make an effort to get to the ones that interest you!

October 2nd, 2pm : DIANA GABALDON - THE EXILE: GRAPHIC NOVEL Historical sci-fi, adventure and romance -- Diana Gabaldon's novels have it all, and now they have the amazing artwork of Hoang Nguyen to tell the stories with images. Outlander is now a graphic novel! Signing at Barnes & Noble, Eastside, 5130 E. Broadway, Tucson

October 3rd, 2pm: JEWELL PARKER RHODES - THE NINTH WARD Communicating with ghosts, including the spirit of her mother who died giving birth to her, is a gift that Lanesha, 12, has had for as long as she can remember. The girl's beloved caretaker, Mama Ya-Ya, a midwife and healer, has a gift that allows her to predict the future. Signing at The Poisoned Pen, 4014 N Goldwater Blvd, Scottsdale

October 6th, 7pmDIANA GABALDON - THE EXILE: GRAPHIC NOVEL Diana Gabaldon, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Outlander Saga, visits with her latest, The Exile, her first-ever graphic novel, illustrated by Hoang Nguyen. Readers get a fresh look at the events of the original Outlander from Jamie Fraser’s side of the story. Signing at Changing Hands, 6428 S McClintock Dr, Tempe

October 7th, 7pm: KALEB NATION, creator of, returns with his new novel for young readers, Bran Hambric: The Specter Key, the much-anticipated sequel to Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse.  Signing at Changing Hands, 6428 S McClintock Dr, Tempe

October 10th, 2pm: LAUREN CONRAD, #1 New York Times bestselling author Lauren Conrad, star of MTV's The Hills, presents her new books Lauren Conrad Style and Sugar and Spice. Signing at Changing Hands, 6428 S McClintock Dr, Tempe

October 14th, 4pm: KAMI GARCIA & MARGARET STOHL, Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.  Signing at The Poisoned Pen, 4014 N Goldwater Blvd, Scottsdale

October 17th, 3pm: RICK RIORDAN, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, presents The Heroes of Olympus, Book One: The Lost Hero.  Signing sponsored by Changing Hands, but held offsite at Dobson High School, 1501 W. Guadalupe Rd., Mesa (my alma mater!) Tickets $18 and include a copy of the book.

October 18th, 7pm: LINDA GERBER, LISA MCMANN, & APRILYNNE PIKE:Three authors in one night! Linda Gerber presents her new teen novel, Trance. Every time something bad is going to happen, Ashlyn Greenfield knows what's to come—a trance. She’s pulled in, an unwilling seer of events she’s never been able to stop, not even when the vision was of her mother's fatal car accident. Joining Gerber is Lisa McMann with the conclusion of her New York Times bestselling Wake trilogy, Gone. Janie is spending her summer with Cabel, but deep down she's panicking about how she's going to survive her future when getting sucked into other people's dreams starts to take its toll. In Spells, Aprilynne Pike continues the story of Laurel, introduced in her New York Times bestseller Wings, as she accepts her true identity as a faerie and faces a heartbreaking choice.  Signing at Changing Hands, 6428 S McClintock Dr, Tempe

October 19th, 7pm: The oh so AWESOME JAMES A. OWEN, Join us as we kick off the newest release from James A Owen and the fifth in the 'Chronicles of the Imaginarium Georgraphica' series. Catch the next installment of the Caretakers: John, Jack and Charles.  Signing at Barnes & Noble, Desert Ridge Marketplace, 21001 N. Tatum Blvd. Suite 42, Phoenix

October 22nd, 7pm: A.S. KING signs Please Ignore Vera Dietz.  Signing at Barnes & Noble, Chandler Fashion Mall, 3111 W. Chandler Blvd #2054, Chandler

October 23rd, 1pm:  JAMES A. OWEN, visits with The Dragon's Apprentice, the fifth book in his acclaimed YA fantasy series Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica. Seven years after the events of The Shadow Dragons, John, Jack, and Charles return to their beloved Archipelago of Dreams. But new concerns shadow the reunion: the threat of Ecthroi, the primordial Shadow. Signing at Changing Hands, 6428 S McClintock Dr, Tempe

October 23rd, 4pm: A.S. KING, A. S. King, author of The Dust of 100 Dogs, visits with Please Ignore Vera Dietz. Vera's spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she's kept a lot of his secrets, even after he betrayed her. So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows more than anyone. But will she emerge and clear his name? Does she even want to? Ellen Hopkins, author of the New York Times bestselling Crank and Glass, raves, "Please Ignore Vera Dietz is a 'please go away and don't bother me, I have to finish this book before I do anything else' kind of book. Brilliant.”  Signing at Changing Hands, 6428 S McClintock Dr, Tempe

October 24th, 2pm: 5 AUTHOR HALLOWEEN BASH, James A Owen, Larry Correia, Sam Sykes, SS Wilson, Weston Ochse, Larry Correia signs Monster Hunter: Vendetta (Baen $7.99), which follows Monster Hunter International ($7.99),  Sam Sykes celebrates the US release of Tome of The Undergates, James A Owen joins us with the release of his latest, The Dragon's Apprentice, from the The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica, Weston Ochse talks about his latest piece of horror, Empire of Salt, from his Tomes of the Dead series, SS Wilson, writer of the screenplays Tremors and Short Circuit joins us with his novel Tucker's Monster.  Event at The Poisoned Pen, 4014 N Goldwater Blvd, Scottsdale

October 28th, 7pm: CECIL CASTELLUCCI, presents her latest novel, Rose Sees Red. Set in New York in the 1980s, this story of two ballet dancers (one American, one Russian) recounts the unforgettable night they spend in the city, and celebrates the friendship they form despite their cultural and political differences. Signing at Changing Hands, 6428 S McClintock Dr, Tempe

October 30th, 7pm: HALLOWEEN TALES WITH TOM LEVEEN, Young adult author of Party and artistic director, Tom Leveen, puts on an evening of performance literature from classic, modern and original works! A full cast of actors from the former Chyro Arts Venue performs a variety of scary (and fun!) Halloween fiction and poetry.  Event at Changing Hands, 6428 S McClintock Dr, Tempe

Phew.  We've got YA overload in October!  No complaints from me though.  You see James A. Owen's name up there a lot.  If you haven't read the story (my super-embarrassing one), read it now.  It'll demonstrate why his books are worth a read!

As always, leave us a note and let us know which events you're going to, and if you're not in Arizona, leave us a note to tell us about the events going on near you!

Introducing... Frightay Nights

Every Friday in October, we're going to be hosting a frightening story just for you guys in preparation for Halloween!  So, get ready, get your boos on and listen to some frightening stories from some awesome people.  You lucky little witches get to start out with me!

One night, before we were married, Monster and I were hanging out in my parents' house, watching Pearl Harbor at like one in the morning.  My dad was chaperoning us (yes, I was old enough to not be chaperoned, but I was under my parents' roof... so total fair game), but was asleep in his chair.  We were sitting on the floor with our backs up against the couch and Monster had his arm around my shoulder.  Go ahead, get that "awww, so cute" picture in your head.

Next thing we know, we see the lights flicker.  We look down the hall back towards the bedrooms and see this dark mass heading toward us.  Neither one of us said anything to the other.  We just sat there and stared as this dark thing came down the hall and eventually crossed over the top of us.  While it was passing, the temperature dropped at least 20 degrees and both of us started sporting goosebumps.

It continued past us, coming in between us and the television.  We could still see our movie, but it was dimmed by the orb of evil.  Eventually it hovered itself out of the room and right on out the back door.  We both looked at each other, asked if the other had felt and/or seen that crazy orb, and then got freaked out, realizing that what we had just experienced was actually real.

Monster went home.  I didn't sleep well for a week, convinced that the orb had originated from my bedroom. But with all of the other wacky spooky things that happened in the haunted house I grew up in, I soon pushed it to the back of my brain and was able to sleep again, but I never did finish Pearl Harbor, or ever start it again.

Hope you have a wonderful Frightay Night, my dearies.  Tune in next week for another spooky tale from someone else in the world of YA awesome.  Peace out.