Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The EVERNEATH Good Guy and Bad Boy Quiz... and What Kid B did with my Sequel

Status: Watching "Through the Wormhole" with Morgan Freeman. My mind is blown. But I have to watch it because I believe the EVERNEATH is accessible through a wormhole. It's research. 

Hey y'all. Sorry for the blog silence on Monday, but every time I tried to blog I came across this:

Yep. That there is a looming deadline, and on Monday it was looming large. My first revision on the EVERNEATH sequel was due Monday. 

I celebrated turning in my revision by sleeping all day yesterday. And having a cold. Partay! I am upright today, though, so here I am. On the blog. 

A couple of things to share with you:

Thing #1: Have you ever wondered if you go for the Good Guy or the Bad Boy? Well, I have the solution for you. Take the EVERNEATH Good Guy or Bad Boy Quiz and your question will be answered. 

For your information, I got the "Good Guy". 

Sam got the "Bad Boy". 

I don't know what this means. But take the quiz, and then come on back here and tell me what you got. And for those of you who have read the book already, you may recognize some of the choices. But you can still make up your mind which thing you'd rather do. And as we all know, The EVERNEATH is all about choices... dun Dun DUN! 

Thing #2: Like any other parent, I've been hanging Kid B's artwork up on the fridge:

Well, the other day I printed out a hard copy of EVERNEATH the sequel, and left it in my kitchen. When I came back, I found various pages hanging up all around the kitchen, like this one on the fridge:

*I had to remove this first picture. Apparently hubby says you can read it, and it contains spoilers. Sorry!*

and these two on the cupboards:

Apparently Kid B is just as proud of my artwork as I am of his. 

So, how was everyone's Thanksgiving? I went to my family's ranch. I'll share pictures next blog. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

EVERNEATH Thanksgiving Teaser Game, as Played by the Pilgrims of Yore

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought it would be fun to play a traditional game. I have it on good authority* that this game was played at the very first Thanksgiving, as a way to break the ice between the Pilgrims and Native Americans. 

It goes like this:

You (blog reader) pick a number between 1 and 374. You (yes, you) leave it in the comments of this blog post. 

I will turn to the corresponding page in EVERNEATH and choose my favorite quote from that page, and add that quote to this post. Making this post a giant post of EVERNEATH TEASERS. 

Some caveats (which are like cravats, but tied differently):

1. I will do as many as I can. But it is the day before Thanksgiving, so I might not get to them all. Or any.

2. If I do your number, you have to leave a comment and tell me what you think of the quote. :)

I also know that since it's the day before Thanksgiving, there's a good chance no one will actually read this post, and hence no one will pick a number. If that is the case, I am talking to myself right now. 

Hey, Bro. What's up?

Nothing, Imagination. What's up with you?

Okay, ready to play? On your mark... get set... GO!!!!!!

*The good authority was my revisionist history professor


pg. 281 (a particularly hot page. Random? I think not):

Cole: "We shared a heart, Nik." He touched his finger to my heart. "Your heart is in me now."

pg. 99 (there was also a great one about a heart, but since we touched on that for the first one...):

Cole: "I had to see what the big deal was. You Returned for this guy, but I have to admit, watching the two of you together... I'm just not seeing it."

pg. 127:

"What is this?" Jack asked, his lip twitching.
"A tea cozy."
"Of course. 

pg. 374 (no spoilers!):

Oops. There is nothing on 374. The book ends on pg. 370. Hee hee. Pick again!

pg: 198

I took a deep breath. "That kiss felt different?"
"Yeah," he said.
"Good different?"
He paused. "Yeah."

pg. 1 (opening line)

I was picturing his face - a boy with floppy brown hair and brown eyes - when the Feed ended. 

pg. 18:

Even in this room, electric morsels of energy reached me, triggering my hunger, reminding me of where I'd been and how much of my own energy had been stolen. 

pg. 268:

"She never had a chance to tell anyone." Mrs. Jenkins gestured to the jar on the mantelpiece. "The current queen found her. Those are her ashes."

I could feel the blood drain from my face. "The queen burned her?"

pg: 169:

Will swung his head around to face me. "They expected me to wear pants!" He sprayed the last word across my face, and I gagged at his foul breath. "Like, all the time... It was so hot."

pg: 19
Now I knew what really happened when emotions were gone Cole bought himself another hundred years of life by draining me, and in the abyss left over there was no peace. 

Robin's request for TIEFU:

He leaned forward and said, "Tell me, friend. Is there more for us?"

I looked down at my feet. "There's everything for us."

pg. 117:

"Cheer up, Nik. You can help me splash some shirts." Cole released a breath of air on my face, and suddenly I was overwhelmed with a strange feeling of loss. 

pg: 353

"I hope you didn't come here to ask for my help. You know I have no power over the balance of the Everneath." Cole glanced at Jack. "Sorry, bro. Even with your biceps, we can't fight the force of nature."

Pg. 222:

"Enough, Becks. This is what friends do. Before we got together, we were friends, remember? The friendship is still there, isn't it?"
I didn't say anything for a moment. It was so much more than friendship on my side.  

Pg. 7:
I landed with a thwump on a surface that was cold and hard, the side of my face smashed against what looked like industrial tile floor. I could smell ammonia, and it was so strong it made my eyes water. 
Where am I?

Pg. 55:

I realized I was leaning against the stall door, my hand over my heart as if I could hold it in. Even if he did tell her he loved her, he was here with me. That meant everything, right?

pg. 96:
The following day, Jack and I were sitting alone in Mrs. Stone's classroom, working, when Cole made good on his promise. A boy, maybe a year older than me, showed up in the doorway. 

pg. 123:

Jack didn't come to Mrs. Stone's room for an entire week. He didn't try to speak to me during class. By lunchtime on the fourth day, I found myself going a little crazy. 

pg. 311:

What if the Tunnels were coming for me no matter what? 
Jack looked like he was about to ask me what was wrong, so I brought his face to mine again. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

EVERNEATH Covers from Around the World

I thought it would be fun today to show a couple of the other covers of EVERNEATH from around the world. 

First up, we have the U.K. version. Close to the U.S. version, but different fonts and stuff. You can compare it with the U.S version on the sidebar. 

Then we have the German cover. Definitely staying true to the Persephone myth, with the pomegranate in view. Every time I see this one, I literally have a craving for pomegranates. Someone once mentioned that there's a device you can use to easily get the seeds out. Does anyone know what that device is?

Germany also did this thing where they sent out the book to bloggers with a dust jacket that had previous blogger comments on it:

I borrowed the images from german blogger Bella's Wonderworld.
I love that idea! I wish every book I ever wrote would be wrapped inside the good things people have to say about it. I'd love to be able to read the comments. Does anyone know a little German? 
No, not that kind. The other kind.

Speaking of, if you read and liked EVERNEATH, feel free to tweet me or email me! I love hearing from readers.

If you didn't like it, send an email to*

So, what do you think of these covers and stuff? Please only nice things, because my U.K. and German publishers read my blog too.

And if you have nothing to say on the covers... what are you doing for Thanksgiving? I am having one dinner on Wednesday night, and another dinner on Friday. I'm free on Thanksgiving. Not that you have to invite me to whatever you're doing. 

*Just kidding. I totally made up that email, so please don't send any emails for reals. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Confessions about EVERNEATH

Hello yon Bloggerville. 

I have a confession. 

I have heard it said that my blog can be "funny". I would never presume to say this. But my friends say it all the time. They also say I'm an excellent cook. My friends can be stupid.

But here's a confession. My book, EVERNEATH?: not funny. Not hardy har har funny. Sometimes it can be funny in a "Can you believe there's So. Much. Death?" kind of way. Other times it's funny in a "OMG she is so screwed! lol" kind of way. 

There's a reason for this. And it's a pretty simple one. The reason is this: Nikki's story isn't funny. It's the one that was speaking to me, but it isn't funny. 

There are funny characters. Cole's probably the funniest, in a "I love to inflict P.A.I.N.!" kind of way.   

Jack can be funny too, in a "Why does Nikki make my heart bleed?" kind of way. 

It would've been so much easier if I could've stepped up to the computer and written a prolonged, book-length blog post. Sometimes I totally dream about doing this. Maybe for the next book after the Everneath trilogy? 

It's not a problem for those people who discover the book first, and the blog second. 
Maybe this confession is for those of you who haven't read the book. I want to prepare you. Especially to anyone who's ever said, "I can't wait to read Everneath and LMAO!"

So, writers out there, have any of you ever tried to write something that's in a totally opposite voice to your own?

Have you ever had a story call to you that scares you because you don't think you can write it? I say... write it! I did.

So far, it's worked out okay.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Why I Threatened to Make a Necklace out of Human Hands

Hey y'all. 

Okay, so there are a few things I want to tell you about.

First up
I am one of the Debutantes in Badass Bookie's 2012 Debutante Event! All you need to know is that there will be tons of giveaways of the biggest titles of 2012, ARCs, swag, and each author chooses a prom dress! You can check out the details here.

And next up... actually that Debutante thing was the only thing. It just felt like a few things. Because lately, everything seems bigger than it actually is. Every task more difficult. Every direction more confusing. 

This might be due to the fact that my revision deadline is two weeks away. And then Thanksgiving. And then Christmas. And then Book Launch. Plus Kid B and Kid C's birthdays in the middle of all that.

Sam said to me this morning: "Kid C has to bring a collection to Scouts today. There has to be at least 10 of whatever he's collecting, and it has to be organized somehow."

me (vacant stare): "Um... okay. So?"

Sam: "So... what should he collect?"

me: "Um... bread?"

Sam (long pause): "Lemme explain again. Kid C has to bring a collection to Scouts. Of something he can actually collect. Something that won't, like, mold and stuff. What can we throw together?"

me (looking around kitchen): "Um... light bulbs."

Sam: "No."

me (eying sink): "Water?"

Sam: "Now you're not even trying."

me (staring at cups): "Water spots?"

Sam (waving a hand slowly in front of my face)

me (watching his hand): "Hands! Good idea. He can collect hands. He can string them together and make a necklace."

Sam (backing away slowly): "Um... It's okay. I'll figure it out."

me (calmly): "But you might need help. With the chopping. And you're gonna need my soldering iron to seal the ends of the veins and stuff."

I looked up, but Sam was gone. Truthfully, I have no desire to make a necklace of hands. But at the time it seemed easier to fake crazy than to actually help Kid C with his collection.

Anyone else feeling the stress right now?

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Three Favorite Sentences from the #3ARCs contest! And my scenario for one of them...

I had my nieces choose the winners of the #3arcs contest. Since I knew some of the contestants (either personally or through the interwebz), I didn't want my biases to influence any decisions. 

Here are their favorite tweets using the words SLIDE, GLIMMER and EVER. 

1. from @ashliepants

SLIDE secrets to ears that can't EVER tell, just because the moon GLIMMERS doesn't mean all is well...

2. from @LisaAldin

As I SLIDE my blood-crusted hands from the cuffs, a GLIMMER of light appears under the door, and I wonder if this game will EVER end. 

3. from @woven_

As she let the coin SLIDE from her palm into the GLIMMERing fountain, she knew she wanted this with to come true more than EVER.

I think my nieces did a fantastic job picking the winners. You should've seen them last night poring over the entries. They took their task very seriously.

WINNERS: Please email me your mailing addresses! brodiashton at gmail dot com 

You will receive a 3-ARC prize pack of SLIDE, GLIMMER and EVERNEATH! 

It's hard to imagine a time when anyone would utter those sentences, so I came up with my own scenarios.

For #1:

A man stands by a pond that reflects the moonlight, thinking the toil of his life. Two years ago, a witch cast a spell upon the man, cursing him to speak only in cryptic rhymes. 

A beautiful woman approaches. She has been searching for the man her entire life. "Please, tell me what I need to do to break the curse. Please!"

The man replies, "SLIDE secrets to ears that can't EVER tell, just because the moon GLIMMERS doesn't mean all is well..."

The woman grunts in frustration. 

I'll let you come up with scenarios for the other two. Please feel free to share! 

So... how's everyone doing? I'm armpit deep in revisions, with only my blog readers to tell me whether it's sunny or snowy outside. So tell me.

Friday, November 11, 2011

My Deepest Wish, and a Fairly Accurate Portrait of Kid B

The other day, Kid B was asked to draw a self-portrait. Here's what he came up with:

I think it's pretty accurate. He does have a head. He most definitely has two feet. And sometimes he wears stripes. 

You might not think a kid could resemble the picture above, but I would argue that you haven't met my husband. His genes include: short legs, green feet, and no arms. (No offense to my in-laws!)

Speaking of awesome things, you have until Sunday to tweet a sentence using the words EVER, GLIMMER and SLIDE to enter to win a package of three ARCs: EVERNEATH by this girl, SLIDE by Jill Hathaway, and GLIMMER by Phoebe Kitanidis. Remember to include the hashtag #3arcs. Details here

So, I heard that on 11/11/11, at 11:11 (am or pm) you get to make a wish. I'm wishing for a better year for my boyfriend Rafa. And by boy, I mean man, and by friend I mean lover. 
What? You think I just wasted a wish? Fine. I wish for world peace too. 
What are you wishing for today? Be honest. This is for prosperity.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Highlights of the Paranormal Ball, and your chance to win an autographed book

If you haven't yet entered to win 3ARCs, check it out here

On to the post:

You know how you go to host a paranormal ball, and you think you look like this:

But really you look like this?

That happened a lot. 
I thought I looked like this all night:

But after seeing so many pictures tagged on Facebook, I realize I looked like this all night:

Despite the fact that I looked like a drunken, rotund angel whose wings couldn't have lifted her an inch off the ground, we had a great time. 

It was the first year they had Young Adult authors at the Vegas Valley Book Festival, and the fabulous Crystal Perkins was able to get an excellent roster of authors!

Who wants to take a crack at naming them all? I'll name a few: Daisy Whitney, Lisa Schroeder, Becca Fitzpatrick, Lindsey Leavitt, Heather Davis, Rachel Hawkins, Suzanne Young, James Dashner, Jay Asher, Bree Despain, Emily Wing Smith... and many many more. 

I would name them all, or at least provide links to their websites, but I'm under deadline and that would require a lot of extra typing. 

The day started with a paranormal panel of authors, moderated by about the funniest person I've ever met, Rachel Hawkins (Hex Hall, Demon Glass)
l-r: Rachel Hawkins, Veronica Wolff, Becca Fitzpatrick, Rachel Caine, Bree Despain, James Dashner, Sophie Jordan, Tera Lynn Childs
One interesting tidbit that came out of the panel was that at least two of the participants had applied to the CIA. Can you guess which ones? There's a signed book in it for you... More about that at the end of the post.

The Festival ended with the Paranormal Ball, where I was happy to report that nearly everyone (except James Dashner) dressed up. 

See if you can recognize your favorite authors:

Suzanne Young, Rachel Hawkins and Lisa Schroeder

Lindsey Leavitt, getting into the whole Zombie Princess facial expression

Bree Despain, Becca Fitzpatrick, Lindsey Leavitt, Emily Wing Smith
And here's the whole group:
I had a fabulous time, and I hope it becomes a yearly tradition. Who's with me? For a yearly pilgrimage to Vegas forthwith?

And can anyone guess which two authors applied to the CIA? I'll take guesses in the comments until 5 this afternoon (MST), when I'll reveal the answer. Whoever had the correct answer first will win an autographed copy of Rachel Hawkins' DEMON GLASS, the sequel to Hex Hall. 

I won't give anything away about the book except to say... the cat did it. 

Good luck!

Monday, November 7, 2011


Hey y'all! Vegas was so fun, but it's very good to be back home. 

Here's a pic of me, Bree Despain and Emily Wing Smith in our costumes at the Paranormal Ball:
The wings are on our shoulders. So really, if we were to fly, it would resemble a tree falling. And if no one was there to see it, would it make a sound?
I'll blog more about Vegas on Wednesday, because today I have an exciting (EXCITING!) thingee!!! HarperCollins is giving away packages of three ARCs, including SLIDE by Jill Hathaway, GLIMMER by Phoebe Kitanidis, and EVERNEATH by... this girl. 

Here's what you do. 

1. Go on over to the Twitter, and create a sentence that creatively uses the words SLIDE, GLIMMER AND EVER. 

2. Include the hashtag #3ARCS. (This is very important)

3. Tweet away! 

Each author will pick our three favorites, according to my very strict criteria (which is: how much I like it) and each favorite will win all 3 ARCs!!! If you do the math:

=9 Packages of ARCs!

And if you do some more math, you'll find that the total equals 27 ARCs!

The contest will run for a week, and will end on November 13th at Midnight. 

So, go forth and create! Sentences, that is...

p.s. Just because you're going over to twitter doesn't mean you shouldn't comment on my blog.

Friday, November 4, 2011

She is gone and I am here

So, Brodi is gone.  Headed down to Las Vegas.  Without me.  Brodi is headed down to the Las Vegas to be a part of the Vegas Valley Book Festival (website is here).  If you have nothing to do and you want to drive to Vegas, you can see such fabulous YA authors such as Bree Despain, Emily Wing Smith, Lisa Shroeder, Becca Fitzpatrick, James Dashner, Lindsey Leavitt, Stephanie Perkins and many, many others.  It should be awesome.  Brodi is hosting the Paranormal Ball where she will be dressing up as Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Actually, she won't, but that would have been cool.

So I know that you are all asking, 'What will Sam do this weekend?'  Let me tell you!  I have big plans for today.  I will work, pick up kids from school and then probably clean the house.  Tonight, I just may do laundry.  But I may save that for tomorrow to bring some excitement to my Saturday.  Tomorrow, I will also be doing a bunch of little projects around the house.  Watching some football games.  Probably have a dance contest in my house (you are all invited!!) later in the afternoon.  I will probably have to re-clean on Sunday.  Twice.

So party on!  Brodi wins and I win.  Hope you all have a rockin' weekend.  If you decide to come to my dance party, please bring gifts and food.  We can't survive on Top Ramen alone for the entire  weekend.  If you have any ideas on some awesome things for me to do this weekend, let me know.  If you have any awesome plans for your weekend, feel free to rub it in and let me know as well. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The EVERNEATH book trailer, and some Behind-the-Scenes tidbits about making it

Hey y'all!

I know a lot of you have seen this already, since it went live yesterday, but I'm showing it anyway since I'm sort of addicted to it. Plus I'll add some behind-the-scenes tidbits!

Presenting... the book trailer for EVERNEATH!

I love LOVE what the HarperCollins team did with this trailer.  

When they first sent me the idea for the trailer, it was called a "creative brief" and it looked like this:



"Have you ever broken a heart wide open?" 
*smoke* *smoke* *smoke*
"I have" (repeated a bunch of times)


And my tiny brain was trying imagine what it would look like, but all I came up with was this:

Which is why I'm so happy I'm not in charge of this stuff. 
They sent me a "first draft" of the trailer, and I was blown away by the graphics, but the music didn't feel quite right. So I hopped on over to confer with my nieces and nephew, who are my music gurus. My nephew came up with some music that fit the mood of the trailer and the book perfectly.

We put the music together with the graphics and sent it back to the Harper team. They weren't able to get the rights to use the exact song that we sent, but they searched and searched and found some similar music that worked even better. 

Then I sat around, a little impatiently, wondering when the video would be ready, until yesterday morning when I got an email from a friend who was all, "Hey! Look what I just saw on the world wide web!" 

And that's a behind the scenes look at the EVERNEATH trailer, from a person who was very minimally involved in the creation. 

Much thanks to the HarperCollins team for all of their hard work and the brilliant result!
So, what do y'all think?