elizabethwrites.com : the internet home of
Elizabeth Scott

link salad and tell me about TV

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer TV is depressing me. (Yes, NYC Prep, I mean you. Couldn't you have been fun and not annoying?) Shows I should try??? Shows I should Netflix???

And of course I come bearing links:

USA Today looks at kids and teens who have cosmetic surgery

John Green talks about advances--Loads of comments from authors and a few from an editor in the comment section, making for great reading.

Allison Winn Scotch offers tips from agents on query letters

One last thing: Thank you Publishers Weekly, Horn Book, and BCCB for the kind reviews of Love You Hate You Miss You--yesterday was a very happy day in my house!

Saturday thanks

Monday, June 29, 2009

A big thanks to everyone who came out on Saturday (and James, it was great to finally meet you!)--I was going to share pictures, but a certain person (*cough* my husband * cough*) got caught up in looking for sneakers and missed the whole thing. He offered to take a picture of me when we were walking to the car afterward, but I figured that probably wouldn't cut it.

Anyway! It was fun to sign with a NYT Bestseller again (it makes me feel popular by association!) and Claudia Gray is so much fun and so sweet--plus she does a great job reading, changing her voice for different characters.

oooh, just realized it is almost time for my yearly obsession, aka the Tour de France . YAY! Plus the stage right before the end is a mountain one--and the mountain climbing days are my faves.

I must go stare at the map and check out the teams, but before I go, I want to say congrats! to barbrafl, who was the winner of the books mentioned in last week's guest blog. (And yes, there's another one this week, so stay tuned...)

tackling Australian slang...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Adele, who runs the blog Persnickety Snark, has been kind enough to have an Elizabeth Scott week (which, hello, WOW!)--you can read about Love You Hate You Miss You, find out if I dog-ear my books and what my high school English teacher were like and then--and this is my favorite--watch me attempt to decipher Australian slang

I've also got some links to share:

John Scalzi on why most new novelists are "kinda old" -- As usual, whenever John (hey, look at me pretending we're on a first name basis!) talks about writing, you know I'll be reading.

John Green talks about the economics of publishing, springing off the insightful and extremely honest Susan Beth Pfeffer blog post I linked to the other day

Lauren Barnholdt talks about blogging bad professional news--as well as reading about other's good news--I especially like this: It’s important to be happy with where you are. Sounds simple, but it can be so hard, and many thanks to Lauren for reminding me that it is important to savor what you have.

Beth Bernobich has another poetic and inspiring post about writing--it's so lovely I want to quote all of it, but will settle for this: "And the small strong warrior inside you says, You can."

Just a reminder that *tomorrow* I'll be at the Barnes & Noble in Tysons Corner at 1 PM, signing books with Claudia Gray--yes, THAT Claudia Gray, and I hope to see some of you there!

And, of course, don't forget about the Summer of Books contest--there's about a week left to enter and hey, who wouldn't want twenty of the hottest new and upcoming books?

links and guest blog

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Great news--the paperback of Stealing Heaven is now available in bookstores!

I know a lot of you had a hard time finding the book in hardcover, but I'm happy to say you can now pick up the paperback in your favorite local bookstore, and it's priced at $8.99--so a big all around YAY! for that.

I also have some links to share:

Author Anne Stuart has some advice about letting a book go during a interesting post about the upcoming Romance Writers of American conference -- But ... publishing is the price you pay for being able to write. It's a crazy-making process, horrendously unhealthy, mentally. You pour your heart out into a book and then it's taken away and everything that happens after that is out of your control. It's like having your toddler taken away from you and put into military school. You never know how things are going to turn out, and yet your entire life may depend on it.

Editorial Anonymous has tackled Bookscan, and now agent Andrew Zack discusses it as well--be sure to read the comments, as there is even more info-and debate!--to be found.

Twitter may be popular with celebrities, but it's still not reaching that desired 18-24 and younger demo...yet.

Author Susan Beth Pfeffer has a incredibly honest look at advances and royalties, drawing from her experience (money-wise) with her amazing book, Life As We Knew It. It's very rare for an author to be this open, and I applaud Susan for doing so, and urge you to read what she has to say--long-time readers of this blog will know that posts about authors and money in terms of real dollars are very rare indeed. So yes, go read!

And finally, today I'm happy to have another guest blogger on board!

Today's blogger is Adam, another of the organizers of the Teen Author Carnival, and who usualy blogs at So Adam, How's That Book?

I asked: If you could get publishers to do one thing, what would that be?

Adam said: Publish meee! : ) Other than that, I would like it if publishers made more of an effort to get their author's out there on a personal level. One of the thing's BEA taught me was that authors are people too, remarkable cool people, but people all the same. It would be much better if publishers had support programs to help authors set up internet outreach websites, and blog/vlogs, so that their readers can get to know them. As it stands now, if an author wants to set up an online community, they have to figure it all out themselves, and pay for it out of pocket. The publishing companies should put more cash away for helping their authors build communities of fans online. Hollywood dumps millions into actor images, and authors should get as much fame and reward for their creativity as Hollywood stars do.

I asked: What do you wish authors would do more of online?

Adam said: Talk with people. Going back to my authors are people too point, I think that getting to know authors on a personal level has really made me a more interested (and more devoted) reader. If authors could meet, in person, every reader and prospective reader in the universe (Aliens love books too!), nearly every person they met would be interested in their books, because people are more intriguing(and memorable) in person. For example, at the infamous BEA, I, and a number of my colleagues, spent a few days just hanging out with young author Robyn Shcnieder, and although I had never even heard of her before that, I found myself drawn to reading her books, because now she wasn't some interesting name on a shelf, she was a person and a friend. Happily, we do not all have to travel to New York to meet really interesting people(who happen to write books), we can meet them online. If authors actually talk with the hordes of cyber fans they meet, they'll end up with thousands of people who are not just readers, they're friends.

I said: What is your favorite book of all time?

Adam said: Single book? Impossible. But my favorite series is the Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind, followed closely by the Harry Potter and His Dark Materials series. But let me see if I can defy the impossible and pick just one..... AH-HA! And the winner is.... (has anyone ever noticed that there is no point in drawing out a suspenseful conclusion in text, since people can just skip ahead?).... drum roll please..... Looking for Alaska by John Green! *cheering and yelling* Looking for Alaska was deep, powerful, emotive, fun, and it pulled me in like a crusty old fisherman using his lucky rod. John Green's writing in Alaska is genius (did you know genius and Green start with the same letter?!) and it made significant change in my outlook on the world. So that's my not-cheating-by-picking-a-series answer.

I said: Best young adult novel you've read recently?

Adam said: Well, that answer depends on the use of “recently” in the question. If recently means the last week, then I would have to say Going Bovine by Libba Bray, unfortunately, that was an ARC, which I have been told doesn't count. So, if the constrains on our “recently” are stretched, we could go back six weeks to Paper Towns by John Green. But that was awhile ago, so we'll settle with 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson that I read three weeks ago. 13 Little Blue Envelopes, was a deeply moving experience hiding in a cute and charming adventure. It made me smile, laugh, and even tear up a little (they were very manly tears though), but mostly it just made me want to visit Europe again.

I said: Best young adult novel you love that doesn't get nearly enough love?

Adam said: Um, well (INCOMING COP OUT ANSWER) all young adult book don't get enough love. The genre itself suffers from adult themes being pushed into the box of children's literature discrimination. More libraries and bookstores need to give YA it's own section! Okay, real answer: the book Graceling by Kristen Cashore, which has been getting a little more love lately but deserves a whole second helping of it (especially with the prequel and sequel coming out soon). It was touching, inventive, and fantastically fantastical (which is a good thing, because I like fantasy)(and I use to many parenthesis). So everybody go out and love Graceling, and then go love your local library, and tell them to pass that love on to a YA section.

Wow! Thank you, Adam :-)

As I said last week, I think what amazes me most about the Teen Carnival organizers is how passionate and articulate they are about books. And so I'd like to give away one copy of each book Adam suggested that I give away, Looking for Alaska and Graceling.

For your chance to win, just leave a comment by midnight EST this Friday, June 26th telling me what one thing YOU would like to see publishers do regarding young adult novels and you could win a copy of Looking for Alaska and Graceling! I'll pick the winner at random and yes, you can enter this contest if you live overseas.

good dog news and links

Monday, June 22, 2009

Got word from the vet on Friday afternoon that the dog doesn't need surgery--at least not yet--which made me and my husband very happy! (The dog, predictably, slept through the phone call, just as she sleeps through much of everything. Except for now, when I'm typing this and she has decided I'm not paying enough attention to her and is giving me *the stare*--you know, the "why-don't-you-come-pet-me" one.

Will I fall for it?

Of course I will. (puts blog on hold)

Okay, back. Dog is satisfied and is now snoring. I envy that about my dog. She can be wide awake one minute and wham! fast asleep the next. I have never been able to fall asleep easily.

Now for the links:

The New Yorker (weeks of June 22, 2009) has a great article about Nora Roberts--one of the most prolific and popular authors out there. It's not available on the New Yorker website, but you can listen to a podcast about the interview here

Interesting blog post from Elizabeth Bluemle over at Publishers Weekly about what booksellers want to get from publishers/authors--and what they don't.

YA New York
wonders about this article in the New York Times, which says that Catcher in the Rye is no longer something teens find all that relevant. If you're under age twenty, have you read Catcher in the Rye? Did you like it?

I have a confession to make regarding the whole thing--I've never read Catcher in the Rye. It never made the reading list on any of my high school English classes (let's just put it this way: I read a lot of Pearl S. Buck. A LOT--and do you know how much I remember about it? Not. a. thing.), and when I was in high school, the last thing I wanted to read was something else published in or prior to the 1950s (that was all we read!), and when I got to college, it was never discussed in any of the English classes I took (maybe because it was assumed I already read it?)

Finally, congrats to H, who won last week's guest blog contest, and if you live in the DC area, I'll be signing books this Saturday, June 27th, starting at 1 PM in at the Barnes & Noble in Tysons Corner with New York Times Bestselling Author Claudia Gray!

why I heart you all

Friday, June 19, 2009

Check out this AMAZING alternate cover Mary created for Bloom (just click on the picture to see the entire image, which--trust me--is SO worth it!)

You all continually amaze me with your kindness, and THANK YOU so much for that!

P.S. Don't forget about The Summer of Books contest--you know you want an ARC of Catching Fire, Tricks, Prophecy of the Sisters, plus a signed copy of Along For The Ride and more!!

lost phones, links--and you all move fast!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My parents were in town the other day and I took them out to the Reston Barnes & Noble because my mother wanted a signed copy of Love You Hate You Miss You even though I pointed out that there were closer bookstores where she could get a copy and that, hey! I'd be happy to sign it for her!**

But we ended up in Reston and I found out that all the signed hardcovers of Stealing Heaven are gone--wow! You all work fast!

So, for those of you who wanted a copy but weren't able to get one, I'm very happy to report that the paperback will be in stores around July 4th. I'm really looking forward to seeing it on shelves--I think the cover is amazing, plus it will be my first paperback from a hardcover. I will probably mark the occasion by eating a piece of cake. (I know you are all shocked by that!)

In other news, I have managed to lose a phone. Not my cell phone, thank goodness, but we have three cordless phones and I was talking on one the other day, then put it down somewhere--and now I can't find it. And you know how cordless phones have those little beeper things that you can set off and use to find a phone if you do what I did?

Well, wherever I put the phone, the beeper thingy isn't working. Or me and my husband can't hear it. I spent last night looking everywhere--I even checked the washing machine!--but I can't find it. (It will probably show up in the fridge. It's like everything I lose turns up there. Hmm. Maybe there's some sort of black hole/vortex thing in my house that sucks things into the fridge. Hold on while I check to make sure the dog is still asleep on the sofa...........okay, she is. The vortex doesn't have her! Just the phone.)

And now that I have reminded you all of my stellar ability to misplace things, I think I'll share some links and then check the fridge...

Tess Gerritsen has a blog post up about how research almost got her arrested -- as someone who has done exactly what Tess has (right down to the note-taking!) I am very glad that what happened to her didn't happen to me because I never carry copies of my books with me!

Editorial Anonymous on name changes and the difference between earning out and selling through

**yes, what you're thinking is true. I don't give my parents copies of my books because I give away all my author copies to libraries because the nearest library (my county didn't have a library of its own) was my only source of books for years, plus librarians are just awesome in general. Also, I would feel weird giving family/friends my books because the "You should read this!" would be implied and I'd rather they buy the books and read them because they want to rather than feel that they have to. Luckily, I have awesome parents and they buy copies of everything I write and then even read them which just makes them that much more amazing and also adorable because then they do things like call and say, "So how did you know all that stuff about stealing silver? Is there anything you want to tell us?"

guest blog and links

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

After the Teen Author Carnival in New York, I thought it would be fun to interview the people behind it. So I'll be running a series of guest posts for the next few weeks, all by the teen bloggers who created and ran the Teen Author Carnival (which was no small feat!)

Today's guest blogger is Genevieve. She's part of Five Awesome YA Fans (they can also be found on YouTube) and runs the blog Something Bookish. She also found time to answer five questions about publishing, authors, and fave books...

I asked: If you could get publishers to do one thing, what would that be?

Genevieve said: As a blogger/vlogger, I would like publishers to put more faith into the teens and young adults that review books for fun. Devyn, who is on Five Awesome YA Fans with me, wrote a fantastic blog post about publishers and podcasts. He points out to the reader that some of the various YA book related podcasts out on the market are ran by 'suits' rather than teens. Just because many of us are teens, it doesn't mean that we cannot be as responsible or as insightful as an older crowd. Some of my favorite bloggers have turned out to be under 18 and even as young as 13 years old. Also, as Devyn pointed out, many bloggers would be willing to read/review books for podcasts (or other forms of book reviewing) if they have the incentive of a free book or two each month to discuss.

I asked: What do you wish authors would do more of online?

Genevieve said: When I read a book that I like, I go online to see what kind of presence the author may have on the internet. If an author is as engaging online as their books, then I will follow them on a regular basis. If not, I'll be lucky to remember their name. I'm terrible with remembering author names or book titles, I'm a visual person who remembers covers. (At the Teen Author Carnival I felt so embarrassed a few times because I didn't recognize names of the authors and I had read/loved their books! Many times I had to see the cover to know what they wrote.) Most of the authors that I really like are pretty active online. I am always pleased when they have interactive websites, a blog, facebook, or twitter (or all of the above!). In some cases, such as with Melissa Walker, I find the author blog before I read the books. I fell in love with Melissa Walker's fun blog that mixes all things YA and fashion. Because her blog is awesome, I bought (and loved!) her books. I know that many authors have busy lives but it is exciting when they reach out to their readers. I don't expect every author to have a blog, facebook, AND a twitter but I do like it when an author at least has a blog. However, the worst is when an author has a blog but rarely updates it or only has generic news about signings or their stats on the bestseller list. As a reader, it's so disappointing to go on an author blog, hoping to obtain some insight on the author's daily life, and end up with boring news.

More recently, video has become the newest media that authors are exploring. We all know of John Green and his YouTube success and the many YouTube groups that have spawn in his wake. Vlogs can be so fun to watch! I know of many authors that have made a few videos and it is even better than blogging because we get to actually SEE the people behind the wonderful books! Maureen Johnson has a handful of quirky vlogs that detail her going around doing some the most random things, and they are awesome! I saw her vlogs before I ever ended up on her website or read her books. Although, it is more than annoying when an author only makes vlogs to talk about their books. If I am going to spend 5 min with headphones on, watching a video, then I want to see authors being themselves and having fun. I can read on their website about the book, I don't need to hear/see them talk about it in a video for 5 minutes repeating the same information.

I asked: What is your favorite book of all time? (I know, I can never answer the question, but I wanted to see if other people could!)

Genevieve said: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle is my all time favorite book. I read it for the first time when I was in fourth grade, probably about nine years old. I love Madeleine L'Engle's books and I never get tired of reading them. As a nine year old, I was able to get lost in the sci-fi and fantasy themes of her books. Now that I am twenty years old, I see other themes that cause me to both enjoy and admire in the quality of writing. I've probably read A Wrinkle in Time more than thirty times, and I will read it at least another thirty.

I said: Best young adult novel you've read recently?

Genevieve said: Ooooh. Hard question! I'm going to rebel and not choose one book because I hate have to choose one book when I've read so many amazing ones over the past few months. Here are the books that I've read this year that I love:

Looking For Alaska by John Green
The Dust of 100 Dogs by A. S. King
Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Wake by Lisa McMann (and Fade)

And also:
Willow by Julia Hoban.
Since Willow was the book I read most recently from that list, I'll tell you a bit about it and why I LOVED it. Willow is about a teenage girl who cuts herself because she thinks that she killed her parents. As you learn in the first few pages, Willow's parents had drank too much wine at dinner and asked her to drive when they went home. Because of bad weather, she lost control of the car and her parents died in the accident. Now, all of this information is told within the first few pages. It is an amazing book. I rarely cry when reading books but Willow (and Looking For Alaska) had me so engaged that I was far more than teary. I am not terribly into novels that focus on subjects like self-mutilation, but Willow was done so perfectly. When I finished the book, I wasn't thinking about the cutting, I was thinking about the relationships that Julia Hoban wove between the various characters. And by relationships, I don't simply mean romantic relationships... I mean every relationship Willow had with each of the characters in the book. It was a perfectly crafted novel, 5 out of 5 stars! (Note: You can see Genevieve's video review of Willow here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTBgIG_D-Zo)

I said: What's one question you wish people would ask authors?

Genevieve said: People generally ask the typical questions about advice to aspiring authors, road to publication, and 'why YA?'. I love hearing the answers but after a bit, you start to see that a lot of people have the same advice or similar stories about how they became published. One of my favorite questions to ask is “What have you done in the name of 'research'?” because Janni Lee Simner, author of Bones of Faerie, said that for her next book, she went to Iceland in the name of 'research'. I love hearing about things that authors do or buy in order to make sure that their description is accurate. It's like method acting for the books!

I think what amazes me most about the Teen Carnival organizers--besides the fact that they organized and ran an entire event that would have left some people (like, say, me!) running around flapping their hands like a chicken--is how passionate and articulate they are about books. And so I'd like to give away one copy of Genevieve's favorite book, A Wrinkle in Time, and her most recent favorite, Willow.

For your chance to win, just leave a comment by midnight EST this Friday, June 19th telling me what YOU would like to see authors do on their websites/blogs, and you could win a copy of A Wrinkle in Time and Willow! I'll pick the winner at random and yes, you can enter this contest if you live overseas.

Rounding out today's entry (and thank you again, Genevieve, for answering my questions!) are some links:

Susane Colasanti mentioned this site yesterday: Teens Writing For Teens. It's exactly what it says it is, and if you're a teen writer, be sure to drop by!

Laurie Anne Gilman on how you find--and stick--with an idea--It wasn't the answer the person who asked the question was looking for, but it's a dead honest one. "People, just as there is no secret handshake that will get you published, there is no secret push that will get your book written. It's AiC all the way down. Pick your shot, follow through, start at the beginning and end at the end, and that's how you write a book. No other damned way. If you get distracted by a shinier idea, over and over again, then you're not a writer, because You're. Not. Writing."

Allison Brennan points out that authors don't usually have control over the publication of their book series (that is, if your series doesn't sell well, the publisher can (and usually will) cancel it, that release dates are set by publishers, and that sometimes writers have real-life problems that may prevent them from getting out books as fast as they--and you--want

And finally, although my husband isn't a vegan (I don't think he could live without cheese), he is a vegetarian and so I was intrigued when I read about this vegan ice cream book--if I end up getting it and trying some of the recipes, I'll let you know how they turn out!

get signed copies of Stealing Heaven plus links

Monday, June 15, 2009

Yesterday was my book signing at the Barnes & Noble in Reston--I want to thank everyone who came out (THANK YOU!) and a super special thank you to Katy, who created the Elizabeth Scott Fans Facebook and GoodReads groups. Katy, it was wonderful to finally meet you!

I also have some news about the signing and Stealing Heaven--I've gotten so many emails from you about how hard it is to find the hardcover and there is a pdf up on the book's page about how to order it BUT--the lovely people at the Reston Barnes & Noble ordered a bunch yesterday and asked me to sign them all. And when I explained that, as far as I knew, they were the only Barnes & Noble in the country carrying hardcover copies of Stealing Heaven, do you know what they offered?


If you want a signed--and personalized (because I hadn't seen hardcovers of Stealing Heaven in ages myself, I wrote little notes in all of them!)-- copy of Stealing Heaven, now you can get one. To do it, you just have to contact the Reston Barnes & Noble at 703-437-9490 or email CRM2703 at bn.com and say you'd like one of the signed copies of Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott. They'll even ship it for FREE to any Barnes & Noble store across the country!

I also have some links to share:

Author Lynne Viehl on Pride and Predjuice and how it relates to publishing--it's cute and thought-provoking

Editorial Anonymous on what lay-down date means

Dear Author explores why books are usually released on Tuesdays (which ties into the lay-down date post above)

Finally, a blog by a publishing intern who is also going to be published: The Intern--there aren't a lot of entries, but some of the ones that are there are fantastic. For instance, did you know that the acquisitions editor listed in Writer's Marketplace sometimes doesn't exist? (I didn't either!)

And of course, a reminder that the Summer of Books Contest (featuring TWENTY of the hottest upcoming or current young adult novels) is still going strong...

live in DC? come see me on Sunday! plus links and twenty books...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Just a reminder that I'll be signing books at the Barnes and Noble in Reston, Virgina this Sunday, June 14, starting at 2 PM -- you can get more info about the event, as well as directions to the Barnes and Noble in Reston here

Hope to see you there!

Also, if you're on my mailing list and have a yahoo account, check your spam folder--my latest newsletter seems to have ended up there (sob!)

I've also got some links to share:

Agent Nathan Bransford has a revision checklist and is also wondering how you know when you're done with a novel? He's also put up a master list of all his writing advice posts, which is a great way to see everything he's written about writing (and it's a lot!!)

One last thing!

Don't forget that this weekend is the perfect time to enter the huge twenty book giveaway, which includes ARCs of Catching Fire and Prophecy of the Sisters plus signed copies of books like Along for the Ride....

Win A Summer's Worth Of Books!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Here's the contest I've been talking about, and believe me, this is a big one because the grand prize winner gets enough books to last the whole summer....

In fact, you win twenty--yes, TWENTY--of the hottest books out there!

You get:

ARCs of Tricks by Ellen Hopkins, Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (with audio sampler AND pin); Alphas by Lisa Harrison; The Eternal Kiss (a vampire anthology featuring stories by Libba Bray, Melissa de la Cruz, and Cassandra Clare), Deadly Little Lies by Laurie Faria Stolarz, Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, The Devouring: Soulstice by Simon Holt, After by Amy Efaw, Ash by Malinda Lo, Geektastic, edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci, Impossible by Nancy Werlin, Goth Girl Rising by Barry Lyga, Fire by Kistin Cashore, Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink PLUS Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson PLUS **signed** copies of Sea Change by Aimee Friedman, Revelations: A Blue Bloods Novel by Melissa de la Cruz, A Map of the Known World by Lisa Sandell, The Real Real by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus and Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen.

And twenty second place winners will each get a $25 gift card to the bookstore of their choice (and again, yes, twenty! I like things nice and even like that.)

Ready to enter? Here's how:

1. Buy a copy of either Something, Maybe or Love You Hate You Miss You between May 26th and July 5th, 2009.

2. Email your receipt to elizabethscottcontest@gmail.com

3. You must email a copy of your receipt for either Something, Maybe or Love You Hate You Miss You to elizabethscottcontest@gmail.com before 5 AM EST on Monday, July 6th.

4. If you buy both books, you will be entered twice. If you decide you want copies of both books plus a copy of one (or both) for a friend, you will be entered the number of times for each copy of Something, Maybe or Love You Hate You Miss You that you buy. (I figure that's only fair!)

Please note: I will ONLY take receipts, and receipts MUST be dated between May 26, 2009, when Love You Hate You Miss You first came out, through July 5, 2009. The date of your purchase MUST be visible on your receipt and it MUST fall between May 26th and July 5th of this year.

All winners will be chosen at random and notified via email. And because the grand prize winner will be mailed so many books, this contest is open to US residents only.

Lovestruck Summer winner. And cake!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Congrats to WhatBrirReads, who won the copy of Lovestruck Summer! And speaking of contests, I'll be announcing a VERY big one soon...

In other news, remember those cookies I was crazy about, the butterscotch ones that I was convinced would make a great cake? Well, I'm proud to say I've come up with a recipe and if you like something that's sweet and a little salty and tastes, in my husband's words "like salted caramels," then this is the cake for you. Here is the recipe, which is a very simple adaptation (I just doubled everything and changed the flour) of this Butterscotch Thins recipe:

2 cups cake flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter or dairy free margarine
1 box dark brown sugar
4 eggs
4 tsp vanilla extract

You'll also need: one large microwave safe bowl, one mixing spoon, and two eight-inch round cake tins.

1. Get out two 8 inch cake tins. Turn oven on to 350 degrees.
2. Melt two sticks of unsalted butter (or unsalted dairy-free margarine) in a large microwave safe bowl. Use the wrappers to grease the cake tins.
3. Stir an entire box of dark brown sugar into the melted butter/dairy-free margarine and stir until the sugar is melted and completely mixed into the butter. (Note that you *have* to use dark brown sugar here--light brown won't cut it in this recipe)
4. Add in four eggs, putting in one egg at a time and stirring until it is incorporated before you add the next (I find it's easiest to do this by poking the yolk with my wooden spoon and then stirring)
5. Once you've gotten all four eggs in, add in the following: 2 cups of cake flour*, 4 teaspoons of baking powder, 2 teaspoons of salt**, and 4 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
6. Stir until everything is just mixed together. The last thing you want to do is overbeat a cake. It makes it tough.
7. Pour the dough--it will be thick--into the cake tins. I usually count to ten when I dump dough into each one and then divide whatever is left between the tins.
8. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes (my oven runs hot, so it may take longer in yours). The cake is done when the edges start to pull away from the sides of the tin a little and have also turned a nice dark brown. The middle will have also sunk slightly. Do not panic about this--it's how the cake is supposed to look! (The sunken parts are all gooey and extra delicious)
9. Cool. Eat.
10. That's it!

* if you must, you can use all-purpose flour, but cake flour really does produce a nice cake. Plus for those allergic to barley, it means you can eat said cake!
** if you only have salted butter, just cut back a little on the salt here. I'd say make it 1 1/2 tsp of salt instead of 2.

Serving size: 16 pieces, unless you are a cake fiend like me, in which case it will serve 8 and you'll get a big wedge of cake to enjoy.

dog update, links, and quick contest

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Good news on the dog front: we're waiting for test results to see if she needs surgery or not but even if she does, what she has is treatable. Cue HUGE sigh of relief from me and my husband, who both spent the better part of yesterday in vet's offices worrying our heads off (well, that, and in my case, almost nodding off, as I'm allergic to cats and was on so much Benadryl that I spent all day feeling like I was operating at about half speed)

And I want to thank all of you who wrote or left me notes on facebook about the dog--seeing them all when I finally got back online was really wonderful and more proof that you all are THE BEST EVER!


And to thank you, I want to give away a a book I read over the weekend that I just adored and that I ended up wishing I had with me yesterday because even if I was too stressed out/Bendaryl stupored to actually read it again, it is the kind of read where just looking at the cover makes you happy. You know the kind of read I'm talking about, right?

Anyway! That book? Melissa Walker's fantastic Lovestruck Summer. I have one extra copy to give away, and for your chance to win it, just leave me a comment here by midnight TONIGHT, June 9th. You can just comment, although if you wanted to tell me about a book you've read that just made you feel super happy and content when you were done, I'd love to hear about it!

And I can't forget the links:

This is an older one, but I think it's very interesting--Agent Nathan Bransford wonders if *how* you write impacts *what* you write--as is usual with Nathan's blog, loads of comments to check out.

Finally, birthday cake candles that are useful! I am tempted to get some just so I can pretend it's my birthday, blow out some candles, and then dig right into the most important thing of all--the CAKE!

Editor Cheryl Klein offers up a definition of YA Literature

Agent Janet Reid on when it's too soon to query--and springing off that, agent Nephele Tempest on the importance of being able to write a one-page synopsis

And if you're wondering what the heck I mean by query and synopsis, then you should check out agent Jessica Faust's Publishing Dictionary

One last thing: the winner of a signed copy of Ally Carter's newest book plus a Geektastic ARC was soundistheword3.

And don't forget to leave your comment by midnight tonight for a chance to win the wonderful Lovestruck Summer!

won't be online today

Monday, June 08, 2009

I've been up since three, because our dog is sick and we had to take her to the emergency vet's office. Turns out she's really sick and we have to go to our regular vet later today to talk about things.

I know some people do not believe in getting attached to pets (I grew up around loads of people who felt that way, actually) and if that's your view, that's fine.

However, I'm not one of those people. I love my dog, and I am scared.

Win BEA books, like Ally Carter's latest!) Also, blogger seems to really REALLY hate me today.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Tonight I'll be reading from my new novel, Love You Hate You Miss You, at the Jefferson Market Branch of the New York Public Library--there's going to be loads of amazing authors there, and it starts at six pm--you can read all about it here and if you're in the area, I'd love to see you before I head back to DC!

I've also decided to share some of my BEA goodies--Ally Carter, who is so sweet and funny, very kindly autographed a copy of her upcoming book Don't Judge A Girl By Her Cover just for YOU (I'm anxiously waiting for amazon to let me know they've shipped my copy!) and I'm going to give that away PLUS an ARC of Geektastic, which contains stories by Holly Black, Libba Bray, Sara Zarr and other famous authors .

For your chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment by midnight EST this Friday, June 5th--and in your comment tell me one cool/interesting thing about where you live. For instance, did you know that in Washington DC there is no one building taller than the Washington Monument? (DC is a city of many large and long--but low--buildings!)

So tell me what's different/fun/interesting about where you live by this Friday at midnight and you could win Ally Carter's BRAND NEW book plus an ARC of Geektastic!

Hope to see some of you at the reading tonight and I have to share one thing I love about New York--and that's how there are always little hidden patches of green, gardens growing where you'd least expect them. (I had a picture but Blogger is being ornery this morning, which is when I'm actually writing this, and won't let me share)

BEA 2009

Monday, June 01, 2009

BEA was, as always, a book lover's dream come true!

See? AWESOME. And because you know how I am about giving away books, I got a bunch for you, so starting next week, keep your eyes open for some new contests!

My husband has taken to calling this BEA "The Fattening" because he discovered a deli a few blocks from the hotel that sells egg salad made with blue cheese, which he has decided is his new favorite thing. (Trust me, I don't get it either, but let's just say we've been here for four days--today is day five--and they know him on sight as soon as he walks in. It's like hanging out with a deli rockstar!)

I close with a picture of my dog, who I love dearly even though she woke me up at six this morning and who is now, OF COURSE, fast asleep.

(Also, Alea, Sharon, and Laura? You all are THE BEST and I heart you for being so super kind on Saturday *and* for stopping by the signing on Sunday)

Oh! And today I'll be at the Elizabeth Public Library at 4:30--and yes, I do have a few things to give away...