Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bookinistas: MATCHED by Ally Condie

It's no surprise that people have been buzzing about Ally Condie's MATCHED. When Lisa and I first read this Publisher's Weekly article, we began buzzing too--mainly about how we were going to get our hot little hands on an ARC. Thanks to the Bookinistas, our dream became a reality. And this book? TOTALLY buzz-worthy. Check it out...

About the book:

In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s barely any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one . . . until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.

LiLA's* Take:

We get it. The buzz makes perfect sense. This book rocks. The society is pitch-perfect, the idea of a perfect match fascinating (especially since every other commercial these days promises just that through a "scientific approach to matching highly compatible singles" (Thank you eHarmony). And yet no matter how controlled Cassia's world is (and just wait till you read the details about her world. The clothing, the food, the jobs...controlled, controlled, controlled), there's still a glitch. And not just any glitch, a glitch that impacts her entire future. But our absolute favorite part of this book are the "what ifs" you're left with. It's the kind of book you finish reading and immediately call a friend who has also read to say, WHAT IF...a million times over. It's the kind of book that makes you wonder. And aren't those the best kind?

So, we highly recommend. Two thumbs up. Preorder right now. We can wonder together...

Check out what the other Bookinistas are up to this week:

Beth Revis and Jamie Harrington are spreading some cover love for POSSESSION.

Veronica Roth is dying over some upcoming SCI-FI/Dsytopian book covers.

Christine Fonseca is raving over THE REPLACEMENT.

Elana Johnson has a special Friday edition where she helps launch the book, EMOTIONAL INTENSITY IN GIFTED STUDENTS.

Carolina Valdez Miller is crying over JOHN BELUSHI IS DEAD.

Shelli Johannes-Wells is tempting us with a DESIRES sneak peek!

Shannon Messenger is showing some serious MG love with MG SPOTLIGHT.

*This power tastes so, so good.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Introducing Laura and Lisa Write

My solo blog internship will officially begin tomorrow. Although if I know my big sister, she won't stay away for long. In fact, she's been sending me a few last minute texts* just to be sure I don't break the blog...

Lisa: u ready?
Laura: um...r u ready? u know ur having a baby, right?
Lisa: yeah, yeah, just dont forget about bookinistas and schedule posts for 6 am...and facebook, and twitter, and...
Laura: what are the bookinistas again?
Lisa: laura!
Laura: kidding, kidding. i. can. do. this. go 2 sleep, u know ur going to be up every 3 hours until x-mas, right?
Lisa: jack slept through night at a month. best. baby. ever.
Laura: um, r u forgetting mia? she still doesn't sleep through the night.
Lisa: i hate u.
Laura: take ur time. i'll be fine. i have all sorts of fun posts planned. oh...and do you think theres a way to change our blog name to laura and lisa write?
Lisa: thats it. changing password. we can go dark for a few wks
Laura: take a joke hormonster
Lisa: not. funny.
Laura: don't try anything funny or i'll report you to ken
Lisa: you are evil. the power has gone to your head.
Laura: muwhahahaha. guys are stuck with moi--well, at least for a little while. Lisa will be clawing her way back to her MacBook in no time at all. Maybe I'll have to transcribe a few of her new mama truths for Tuesday.

In the meantime, welcome to Laura and Lisa Write, bitches. The blog where second sisters rule and the number of followers drops by the hour.

You hear that sound? It's Lisa sobbing from her delivery room.

This is going to be fun.

*We are now forced to communicate primarily through text because Skype is banned and our husbands want to divorce us after having to listen to our phone conversations all night.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tell the Truth Tuesday: The In Between

I am in a weird place right now.

Baby #3 is due (literally) any second. We're thisclose to having ARCs for THE LIAR SOCIETY. And we have some crazy new ideas for our WIP.

But right now, at this very moment, we're waiting. It's strange because I feel like I can see all of this amazing stuff on the horizon, but it's all a little hazy. A little out of reach.

There's uncertainty in the air. A lot of exciting, scary, once-in-a-lifetime-type things are just lurking out there. And I'm left feeling...unsettled.

You know that weird feeling when you're sure you should be worrying about something, but you can't remember what you're so worried about? It's like that. Only 24/7.

So what's a total Type-A control freak like yours truly to do?

Why freak out, of course. Anyone care to join me?

Check out the WriteOnCon site for a transcript of our chat last night (it was AWESOME) and a list of all the contest winners (including THE LIAR SOCIETY ARC and major secret about the next book in the series!).

AND the winner of the 50 page manuscript critique is Rachael Harrie! Racheal e-mail us the first 50 pages of your manuscript. We can't wait to read!

Monday, September 27, 2010

WriteOnCon Chat TONIGHT!

Okay, so we know everyone has cleared their calendars and is limbering up those typing fingers for 9 PM EST tonight because it's the very first live chat! And we've got yet another all star line up of agents and editors.

Literary agent Jessica Sinsheimer of Sarah Jane Freymann Literary: Jessica Sinsheimer has been reading and campaigning for her favorite queries since 2004. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she went east for Sarah Lawrence College and stayed for the opportunity to read soon-to-be books for a living.

Now an Associate Agent at the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency, she’s developed a reputation for fighting office members to see incoming manuscripts first—and for drinking far too much tea.

Always on the lookout for new writers, she is most excited about finding literary, women’s, and Young Adult fiction, and—on the nonfiction side—psychology, parenting, self-help, cookbooks, memoirs, and works that speak to life in the twenty-first century.

Literary agent Roseanne Wells of Marianne Strong Literary Agency:

Roseanne Wells is an agent at Marianne Strong Literary Agency. An avid reader, she discovered her passion for book publishing during her internship at W.W. Norton and hasn’t looked back. She is also an arts reviewer for and a volunteer for Housing Works Bookstore Cafe in Soho, NYC. Wells is interested in narrative nonfiction, science (popular or trade, not academic), health, history, true crime, religion, travel, food/cooking, and similar subjects. She is also actively expanding the agency’s fiction list and looks out for strong literary fiction, YA, sci-fi, fantasy, and detective mysteries (more Sherlock Holmes than cozies).

Associate editor Jocelyn Davies of Penguin Razorbill

Jocelyn is the editor of the forthcoming young adult novels Ripple by Mandy Hubbard, The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff (author of The Replacement), The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder, Crush Control by Jennifer Jabaley, and Michele Jaffe’s next YA thriller, among others, and is also working on the multi-media project, Chopsticks.

She began her career at HarperCollins Children’s Books, where she worked with a variety of YA authors, including Kim Harrison, Carolyn Mackler, and Francesca Lia Block, and wrote the HarperTeen “HipLit” newsletter. She is actively looking for young adult fiction with strong concepts, vivid characters, and unique points of view—ranging from realistic to otherworldly—and has a soft spot for magical realism. Jocelyn is also the author of A Beautiful Dark, the first in a paranormal YA trilogy about one girl’s struggle between the forces of destiny and free will, and love that transcends both, which debuts in Fall 2011.

Associate editor Kari Sutherland of Harper Collins Children’s Books.

Kari began her publishing career at Disney Publishing where she was fully immersed in the world of Pirates of the Caribbean but had limited contact with princesses. For the past three years she has been at Harper where she works primarily on YA novels including the bestselling Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard as well as Sara’s new series The Lying Game, Firelight by Sophie Jordan, Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting (author of The Body Finder), the interactive mystery The Amanda Project by Amanda Valentino and Melissa Kantor, and the Avalon High manga series by Meg Cabot.

She is actively looking for paranormal teen fiction and realistic stories with a twist, but will read anything as long as the characters are compelling, the plot is gripping, and the voice is strong. She spent much of her childhood overseas and her argument for why her DVR is so full is that she’s making up for all that lost TV time. She loves to travel, read (of course), and dance, but is not a huge fan of walks on the beach because she can never get all the sand off her feet.

Yeah, epic doesn't even begin to describe it. As always, transcripts will be available, but we hope you’ll be able to join us live! Even better, the topic is wide open, so you'll have the chance to ask these rock stars anything and everything about the glorious world of kidlit. Get. Excited.


P. S. We'll be announcing all the winners of the WriteOnCon contests (including the 50 page manuscript critique and LIAR SOCIETY ARC we donated!) immediately after the chat. Can't wait!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Five

1. At book club last night we discussed MOCKINGJAY with semi-mixed reactions. Most loved, some liked a lot, everyone appreciated the message and thinks Suzanne Collins is a genius. We were wondering if she should quit while she's ahead though. How do you follow the HUNGER GAMES trilogy?

2. Next up is SEA by Heidi Kling, which we're all super-pumped about. If the cover doesn't make you want to read the book the description will. We've been waiting to read this one for a while!

3. Got a text while at book club that read, "Lydia peed on our bed." This simple message left me with so many additional questions and yet no desire to actually hear the answers. Needless to say, I took my sweet old time getting home.

4. Lisa seems to think labor is imminent. This coming from the girl who went to the hospital three times (all false alarms) with her second baby. Her biggest fear is delivering on her bathroom floor sans epidural, which we learned at a past book club is, in fact, possible--just ask Kellie.

5. I'm really looking forward to her popping out the baby. I'm over her complaining about being photographed (She's a diva. So much so that she told me I was smoking crack if I thought she'd take a family pic on vacation. Vacation! You should have seen her when Christina tried to snap a shot at book club.), forcing me to eat Chipotle (Unfortunately, I am not eating for two and the fact that I can house the entire thing in one sitting is just plain wrong.) and could do without the whole, "Soooo, both of your sisters are pregnant, how about you?" *wink, wink.* Not. Fun. Oh, and I can't wait to meet my new niece or nephew! Obviously.

Stay tuned and have a great weekend!

P.S.: We will be donating 7 copies of SPEAK to libraries and schools! The comments will remain open until midnight tonight. Remember, every 25 = 1 copy!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bookinistas: Cover Love!

Now that 2011 is right around the corner, covers have been popping up around the blogosphere left and right and we can't get enough. We're just a couple of cover whores and like to drool over covers like the best of 'em. Here are a few of the ones we're loving at this moment. How pretty are they?

First up, Veronica Roth's DIVERGENT, in stores May 2011...

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris, and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together, they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes-fascinating, sometimes-exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret: one she’s kept hidden from everyone, because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly-perfect society, she also learns that her secret might be what helps her save those she loves . . . or it might be what destroys her.

Excuse us while we drool. The ring of fire pops against the stormy sky exuding mystery. And the Chicago skyline? So cool. There's no doubt this book will fly off the shelves in May--what a package!

Next on our list is BLOOD MAGIC by Tessa Gratton in stores April 26, 2011.

The murder of her parents has left Silla damaged and lost, and Silla's insistence that her father is not to blame only alienates her further from her friends and family. When a mysterious spell book arrives, Silla hopes it will lead to some answers about her parents' killer. In her first attempt at magic, in an old graveyard near her home, Nick, the new boy in town spies on her; he recognizes the magic that Silla is performing as the same magic his mother performed with him, before she went mad. Before long, Silla and Nick connect, though Nick is unwilling to share his history with blood magic with Silla. When Silla's friends start showing signs of possession, Silla, Nick and Silla's brother, Reese, must contend with a deadly, immortal woman who will stop at nothing to take the book of spells from them.
You don't even have to see a large version of this cover to recognize the attention-grabbing qualities. Black, grey and white with splashes of red? Yes please. And the creepy flower, oh don't get us started on the flower. Can't wait to see this one on shelves!

It wouldn't be cover love without Elana Johnson's POSESSION available June 2011.

In a world where thinkers control the population and rules aren't meant to be broken, one fifteen-year-old girl is tired of belonging to someone else.
This cover is, in one word, stunning. The colors of the butterfly against the crystal-like icecube and stark white background? Flawless. And we're sure there is deeper meaning behind the entire image, which is even more exciting. There is no doubt this book will catch your eye with its color-scheme alone. Then when readers check out the cover copy? Sold.

Check out what the other Bookinistas are up to...

Elana Johnson is loving LOSING FAITH.

Christine Fonseca - is showering praise for her BOOKANISTA buds and their covers.
Beth Revis recommends INCARCERON.
Carolina Valdez Miller dives into DARK WATER.
Kirsten Hubbard praises PARANORMALCY.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


We finished our first pass at line edits and then had the choice between attempting to write a witty blog post after deleting hundreds of overly expressive eyebrows from our manuscript or watching Glee.

Guess what we chose?


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tell the Truth Tuesday: Line Edits

Things we've learned after line editing:

  • Our characters do nothing but raise eyebrows. We're like the literary equivalent of Groucho Marx.
  • Our characters also like to lower their chins. Does anyone even do this in real life? They probably look like they have neck cramps or something.
  • We like to say, "I was pretty sure." A lot.
  • We have a whole lot of smiles pulling at a whole lot of lips.

And there's more. Oh so much more. Our writerly tics are on display and it ain't pretty. My head feels like it might explode.

So, tell us your truth this Tuesday. What are your lamest writerly sins?

We've picked the names for the TeenFire Name Two LIAR SOCIETY Characters Contest and they're bitchtastic. Can't wait to reveal the winners and send off the first chapter to everyone who entered! Even better, this first contest was such a huge success that we have bigger and better contests coming up. Get. Excited.

Monday, September 20, 2010

#SpeakLoudly: Your Comments = Donated Copies of SPEAK

Since I am the worst tweeter ever, Lisa informed me of the #Speakloudly Twitter campaign that's happening as we speak. It brought back some memories...
  • I always kept a few copies of SPEAK in my classroom. In my 6th, 7th and 8th grade classrooms.
  • Students who read one of my copies wanted to talk about it. In fact, they couldn't NOT talk about it.
  • SPEAK was the first YA book I recommended that Lisa read way back when. From that moment on she was a goner. She devoured YA, eventually began writing YA and never looked back. Thank you Laurie Halse Anderson for my writing partner.
  • I live in a smallish town and a bunch of parents were up in arms last year about a teacher choosing SPEAK as required reading in 8th grade. When they asked my opinion, I gave it. And quite loudly.
  • From Laurie Halse Anderson's Twitter: "I've spoken to more than half a million students about SPEAK. In EVERY school, there was a kid who came up to me in tears." EVERY teenager should read (or at least have the option of reading) this book. 
SPEAK is a book I will never forget. One of the most ridiculous arguments I heard during the SPEAK drama came from a parent who was concerned that *SPOILER ALERT* Melinda eventually opened up to a teacher. He didn't understand why Melinda couldn't open up to a parent and why schools encourage students to forge relationships with counselors and teachers when they should encourage building relationships at home. This sounded like complete jackassery to me. He missed the entire message.

I KNOW there will come a day when Lydia will not talk to me. In fact, it will hit some time around the end of 6th grade and probably continue through high school. I will try to talk to her, oh how I will try, but if she's more comfortable opening up to a counselor at school or a teacher or a doctor, PLEASE talk to my daughter. In fact, I'll talk to YOU about my daughter, but someone needs to talk directly to HER. God forbid she ever finds herself in Melinda's position and loses her voice. How devastating it would be if she didn't have a way to find it once again.

Our parents gave us a gift. They never censored the books we read. Not when Lisa wanted to read Stephen King in 6th grade, not when Laura flew through Judith McNaught in high school. They encouraged us to read any book we could get our hands on and we would not be writing today if it weren't for them (for so, so many different reasons).

Let children and teenagers escape to any world they want to escape to. Let them read until they find books that excite them, inspire them and teach them. Let books be the means to get a conversation started, to discuss touchy subjects, to open doors. Let SPEAK continue to convert adults to YA enthusiasts, create writing partnerships and give teenagers the courage to speak out.

A HUGE thank you goes out to Paul Hankins for not only starting this campaign, but for being an amazing teacher and human being in general.

For every 25 comments we get on today's post, we will donate a copy of SPEAK to a school or library. So start speaking!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Fabulousity

1. It's Book Blogger Appreciation Week! To celebrate go follow these AMAZING book bloggers. We're always stalking their sites for the latest and greatest YA/MG book reviews.

These are just a handful of the blogs we read regularly for book reviews. What are some of your favorites?

2. I'm obsessed with my new phone. I got a Droid X after my friend recommended it to me and holy crap you guys, it's kind of amazing. Definitely puts my Blackberry to shame. And yeah, I might have purposely got it now so I'll be able to stay better connected during my "maternity leave." I mean if I'm up with the baby at 4 AM, I might as well check Twitter.

3. I'm FINALLY getting caught up on the current season of Project Runway. This means it's back-to-back PR episodes in my house. Favorite part? When my husband can't help but sneak a peek from the kitchen and weighs in. "I love how Gretchen threw that guy under the bus when she said she wasn't going to" or "That's the final outfit?" My little fashionisto.

4. Lydia is off to Time for Tots next week. For the first time I'll have 2 whole hours (I know, I know, 2 hours is not a lot of time) in the morning all to myself. I'm not even going home, I'm headed to the library to WRITE!

5. Speaking of writing, we are officially back on deadline. We are jumping back into our WIP and couldn't be more excited about it. Back to work!

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

P.S.: Christina Lee, you're the winner of NIGHTSHADE CITY! Congratulations!!!
P.P.S.: Fill out the contest form by 11:59 PM PST on Saturday, September 18th to have the chance to win a 50 page manuscript critique!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Bookinistas: NIGHTSHADE CITY by Hilary Wagner (comment and win!)

Hilary Wagner is yet another innocent victim of LiLa's cyberstalking. We've been following Hilary's rise to superstardom since she was looking for an agent. And now her debut middle grade novel, NIGHTSHADE CITY, is being being blurbed by Rick Riordan. Wow.

"Fans of Redwall and the Warriors series will love this heroic tale of good versus evil in a subterranean society of rats." 
--Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series 

Here's what the cover copy has to say:
Deep beneath a modern metropolis lies the Catacombs, the kingdom of remarkable rats of superior intellect. Juniper and his maverick band of rebel rats have been plotting ever since the Bloody Coup turned the Catacombs, a once-peaceful democracy, into a brutal dictatorship ruled by decadent High Minister Killdeer and his vicious henchman, Billycan, a former lab rat with a fondness for butchery. When three young orphan rats--brothers Vincent and Victor and a clever female named Clover--flee the Catacombs in mortal peril and join forces with the rebels, it proves to be the spark that ignites the long-awaited battle to overthrow their oppressors and create a new city--Nightshade City. View the trailer on the Nightshade City website!

Lila's Take:
First cats and now rats! Okay, so it's not every day that you come across such a unique premise in a book. NIGHTSHADE CITY is fresh and different and has classic written all over it. Even if rats aren't your thing, give this book a shot. Hilary is an incredible writer and her rats are relatable to the point where you end up falling in love with the little guys. At its heart, NIGHTSHADE CITY is a book about the battle between good and evil and the story is one that children and adults of all ages will enjoy.

Because Hilary is amazing, she agreed to stop by to answer our usual (random) questions:

1. Tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.
Eleven years after the corrupt Killdeer takes over the Catacombs, three young rats, along w/a group of rebels, fight to reclaim their freedom.

2. Where did you get the idea for NIGHTSHADE CITY (as the official idea whores, we have a vested interest here.)
I better not see any Lisa & Laura rat books! Ha, ha! My agent uses the word "organic" a lot and I'd have to say that's how NIGHTSHADE CITY came to be. It was very organic. The book started out extremely different. It was supposed to be something short and sweet for my kids, nothing I ever intended on getting published and--well--here I am today! I wanted a story that was at times dark, but also redemptive. Redemption is very important to me in my writing. As is humor--you can never get too much of that and gosh darn it, rats can be funny!

3. Someone has a pair of scissors to your head (oooh, SCARY!) and you have to choose: Awesome title or gorgeous book cover?
Gorgeous cover! I'm a visual artist and I'm also one of those suckers for a great cover. I've bought many a book based on the cover artwork.

4. When did you know you had to be a writer?
I suppose I knew the day I almost got into what could have been a bad car accident. It was back when I was writing Nightshade City. I live in Chicago, so a long highway commute to and from work. During my daily drive, I'd think about the book, plotting it in my head, etc., always with a pen and notebook in the passenger seat. Needless to say, I had a breakthrough moment in the car, which had to be written down. Stupidly, I almost ended up in the backseat of some poor guy's Honda! Thankfully, I had good breaks! I risked my life (and possibly Honda guy's) over my book! After that, it was pretty clear in my mind that I was bound to be a writer for life! Oh, and don't worry, no more writing in the car--ever!

5. Twizzlers or M&Ms
Oh, that is just not a fair question! On first grab, I'd go for the M&Ms (dying to try the new pretzel ones, btw). After all that chocolate, you need something light and refreshing, so that's when I'd go for the Twizzlers! They make fun straws too! ;)

OK, so after all of that we know you're DYING to read NIGHTSHADE CITY and lucky for you we're giving away our gorgeous hardcover to one lucky reader. Leave a comment before midnight tonight and we'll announce the winner in our post tomorrow.

Here's what the other Bookanistas are up to this week:

Christine Fonseca is celebrating THE DUFF
Elana Johnson is raving about FIRELIGHT
Shelli Johannes Wells is giving us a preview of DESIRES
Shannon Messenger is loving THE MOCKINGBIRDS
Carolina Valdez Miller is gushing about THE UNIDENTIFIED
Scott Tracey is ravenous about HUNGER

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

WTF Wednesday


Just Lady Gaga, walking through JFK, about to catch her flight.

Half-naked. In hoof-boots. With what appears to be a pair of handcuffs chained to her underwear. Again.


For the record, I'd pay good money to watch her go through security. Can you imagine how long it takes her to successfully make it through the metal detectors? The act of removing her chastity belt alone must take hours.

P.S.: Don't forget to head over to WriteOnCon for a chance to win a LIAR SOCIETY ARC. Yeah, yeah, we don't have any cryogenically frozen characters, Beth-Best-First-Chapter-You'll-Ever-Read-Revis*, but we do have an email from a dead best friend. And...who knows? That best friend might not be dead. Maybe she's just FROZEN. Muwhahahahaha.

P.P.S.: The winner of Saturday's PERSONAL DEMONS Amazing Race contest is ~Joy~! Congratulations! Email us with your address so we can send it off to Lisa.

*Um, it really is the BEST first chapter we've ever read. And Laura may or may not have read it aloud during our YA book club last night. Those girls think we're crazy, but they're now DYING to get their hot little hands on ACROSS THE UNIVERSE.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Read the first chapter of LIAR SOCIETY and Win a 50 page Manuscript Critique

Holy contests Batman! We're not quite sure how it happened, but this appears to be the week that every single contest we've ever conceived of happens at the exact same time. 

Get excited. Get very excited.

First up: Name two LIAR SOCIETY character names and WIN!

That's right people. Head on over to the Teen Fire site to name two of our most bitchtastic characters and you'll automatically win the first chapter of LIAR SOCIETY. AND if we end up choosing one of your names as the winner you'll be entered to win a LIAR SOCIETY ARC hot off the press this fall! 

Next up: Enter to win a 50 page manuscript critique from LiLa:
All you have to do to enter this contest is follow our blog and fill out the contest form below by 11:59 pm PST on Saturday, September 18th

For Extra Entries:
+1 for commenting on this post
+1 for each of my co-organizer’s blogs or websites that you follow
+10 for donating to the WriteOnCon website

About WriteOnCon Donations: WriteOnCon is something we designed to be totally and completely free for everyone, so we HATE asking for donations. But, unfortunately, the only way we can avoid another Error 403 disaster is to have better web hosting, and that doesn’t come for free—no matter how much we bat our eyelashes.

So sadly, in order to keep WriteOnCon alive we need to raise money ASAP. We feel sort of awkward about the whole thing and want to make a few things clear: 

-You DO NOT have to donate to enter (or win) any of these contests
-You DO NOT have to donate to participate in the live events
-You DO NOT have to donate to attend our next conference
-IF you decide to donate, we’re only recommending something small, like $5.00
-IF somehow we raise more than we need every extra penny will be donated to a literacy charity.

So it’s completely up to you if you want to donate. If you can—THANK YOU, and we wanted to reward you with extra contest entries. If you can’t—no big deal AT ALL.


Okay. Back to the contest rules. All entries will be made into a spreadsheet and we'll let choose the winners. 

And don't forget to check out the amazing contests on the other WriteOnCon founder's blogs:

Monday, September 13, 2010

Epic Announcement Monday - Our very first LIAR SOCIETY ARC Giveaway

Just to recap (or for those of you who can’t watch the video)—WriteOnCon will now be hosting monthly live events. Each one will have a different topic and features—and possibly even a different night of the week, depending on the participant's schedule, so we’ll be announcing each one as we arrange them.

The WriteOnCon Chat
Monday, September 27th 
At 6:30 pm EDT

So mark your calendars you guys. We have all kinds of awesome things planned and you do not want to miss out.

But wait—there’s more! (I'm totally channelling my inner infomercial sales guy here, you like?)

To celebrate, we’re holding a huge, epically awesome contest on the WriteOnCon website, giving away over 25 AMAZING books that you won't be able to get anywhere else because (shhh!) most of them won't debut until 2011!  Check in at for all the details. 

And...we're giving away one of the very first THE LIAR SOCIETY ARCs. Yeah, we can guarantee that it will be one of the very first because they, um, technically don't even exist yet. But they will. SOON! On top of that, once the lucky winner has finished the ARC we'll tell you a super exciting secret about the next book in THE LIAR SOCIETY series.

And let me tell you, it's juicy.

The contest will go live on the WriteOnCon site Wednesday at 8 AM EST. Get. Excited.

In addition we thought it would be fun to have a separate (slightly less exciting) contest on our blog to promote WriteOnCon. So, we're also going to be giving away a 50 page manuscript critique! Details to enter this contest will go live tomorrow, so be sure to check back!

And remember to mark your calendars for September 27th. The WriteOnCon Live Chat is going to be EPIC! We hope to see you there!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


We were lucky enough to get our hands on an ARC of PERSONAL DEMONS and we have one word for you: HOT.

Here's a bit about the book:

If you had to choose between Heaven and Hell, which would it be?

Are you sure about that...?

Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a wicked streak. She's spent years keeping everyone at a distance--even her closest friends--and it seems her senior year will be more of the same...until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can't seem to stay away from him. What she doesn't know is that Luc works in Acquisitions--for Hell--and she possesses a unique skill set that has the king of Hell tingling with anticipation. All Luc has to do is get her to sin, and he's as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn't stand a chance.

Unfortunately for Luc, Heaven has other plans, and the angel, Gabe, is going to do whatever it takes to make sure that Luc doesn't get what he came for. And it isn't long before they find themselves fighting for more than just her soul.

But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay...for all of them.

Lila's Take:

I devoured it in one night while drooling over Luc and Gabe, teetering back and forth between the two, before finally settling on Luc. I've never been able to resist a bad boy. Anyway, lucky for you, PERSONAL DEMONS hits the shelves this Tuesday, September 14th so you can do some teetering of your own! Even more fun, Lisa is hosting a prize package giveaway--one for Heaven and one for Hell. Fun, right??? Even more fun, each prize package includes a signed copy of PERSONAL DEMONS AND an iPod Shuffle loaded with the PD soundtrack, among other awesome goodies. It doesn't get much better than that.

Here's where YOU come in. Visit each stop on the tour and collect the bold words (ours are marked in green). On Tuesday, Lisa will have an entry form on her blog where you'll do some rearranging of the bold words. Easy-peasy.

Also, one lucky commenter will win the following PERSONAL DEMONS swag pack.

So, what are you waiting for? Leave a comment telling us which way you swing--heaven or hell, good or evil, collect the bold words and head over to Lisa's blog on Tuesday to celebrate! Oh, and go ahead and pre-order the book as well. It's steamy.

Check out these blogs to pick up your words...

Elana Johnson
Carrie Harris
Myra McEntire
Tomorrow: Beth Revis
Monday: Andrea Cremer
Tuesday: The fab Lisa Desrochers


Friday, September 10, 2010

Because really, it's all about ME

I'm a total narcissist. [Editorial note from Laura: You should see our home videos. She's a hard-wired narcissist.]

I'm a little selfish and very opinionated. It's kind of a wicked combination. [Editorial note from Laura: I wouldn't have in any other way. You're so much more fun this way.]

Laura and I were discussing the recent posts from Hannah Moskowitz and Ally Carter about the online community of young adult writers, and this whole "echo chamber" concept. For those of you who haven't had the chance to read the posts (Um, stop reading this and go read them now. They're fascinating. Seriously. We'll wait.), the echo chamber is essentially about a bunch of young adult writers blowing smoke up each other's asses. We discuss books on our blogs, leave good reviews on Goodreads and Tweet to our hearts content, but who's really listening?

Mostly other aspiring writers, some literary agents and editors. Maybe a handful of librarians and teachers. But not a whole lot of actual young adults. 

And you know what? I'm totally okay with that. [Editorial note from Laura: She is. No one will make Lisa stop tweeting. No. One.]

I don't tweet about the latest episode of Vampire Diaries because I'm trying to sell more copies of LIAR SOCIETY. [Editorial Note from Laura: Laughing out loud that Lisa linked to Amazon. We're not trying to sell more copies, but if you want to pre-order, who are we to stop you?]

I don't write lengthy blogs venting my concerns about Angelina's children or Jessica's wardrobe because I think it's going to help promote our book.

I do it because I love it.

All my life I've had all these random opinions that I've kept bottled up.  And FINALLY I have a forum to unleash my random thoughts upon the world. [Editorial note from Laura: Lisa may or may not have started writing books so she could write a blog. She is absolutely the only reason we have a blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. If I wrote alone, I'd be a hermit.]

So, echo chamber be damned. No one is going to get me to shut up anytime soon. [Editorial note from Laura: Well, in mere weeks, a roughly seven-pound sleeping, pooping, crying mini-human just might. At least for a few hours.] 

I like hearing myself talk way too much for that.

P.S. Congratulations Linda Benson, CLEO is all yours! Send us your mailing address and we'll send it out to you ASAP!

P.P.S. Tune in tomorrow for a super-special Saturday post. See you then!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I've never been much of a cat person. Dogs? Oh yes--in fact, apparently when I was in fourth grade, my teacher contacted my parents asking if they could please get me a dog. I guess I wrote about my wish daily in my journal and she felt sorry for me. Quincy, the best dog ever, was the result. Anyway, when we were asked to join the blog tour for CLEO: The Cat Who Mended a Family, I wasn't prepared to fall in love with the book. But I fell. Hard.

Here's what the back cover has to say:

Helen Brown had no intention of adopting a pet when she brought her sons, Sam and Rob, to visit a friend's new kittens. But the runt of the litter was irresistible, with her overlarge ears and dainty chin.

When Cleo was delivered weeks later, she had no way of knowing that her new family had just been hit by a tragedy. Helen was sure she couldn't keep her-until she saw something she thought had vanished from the earth forever: her son's smile The reckless, rambunctious kitten stayed.

Through happiness and heartbreak, changes and new beginnings, Cleo turned out to be the unlikely glue the affectionately held Helen's family together. Rich in wisdom, wit, heart, and healing, here is the story of a cat with an extraordinary gift for knowing just where she was needed the most.

And a bit about the author:

Helen Brown hails from New Zealand, where she worked as a journalist, TV presenter and scriptwriter. Now living in Melbourne, Australia with her family, Helen has been voted Columnist of the Year several times. CLEO rose to the top of the bestseller lists in its first weeks in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia and has been translated into more than eight languages.

Lila's take:

This memoir is about so much more than Cleo the cat. It is about life and loss and picking up and moving forward. It is about the strength of a mother, the love for her children and the connection humans can form with animals. At its core, this book is about love.

Helen's life will bring you to tears. I had to stop reading several times to give myself a chance to cry. Her writing is incredibly moving and as she tells her story, it feels as though you're right there living it. As the chapters unfold, her incredible strength will inspire. Brown's ability to make room for this crazy cat enables her grief to take a back seat when she needs it to the most. Cleo's antics help the entire family move forward to begin the healing process. There are certain lines of this memoir that I have shared with others and will never forget. It would make the perfect gift for cat lovers and non-cat lovers alike.

Leave a comment for a chance to win CLEO: The Cat Who Mended a Family. I promise you will not be disappointed.

Here's what the other Bookanistas are up to this week:

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