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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Power of Tantalizing Titles

Let's face it, there are some titles out there that grab you and won't let you go until you purchase the books and read them. Whether they induce intrigue, a laugh or a shiver up your spine, the author has been successful at getting your attention with limited words; it's quite a significant feat if you think about it. Clearly, a book's title is the author's first chance to hook potential readers. If the title isn't what the publisher and its marketing team think is best for that particular book, you better believe it's going to be changed quicker than a llama can spit (no matter how attached the author may be to it). Thankfully I haven't dealt with a title switcheroo yet, but I've seen it happen to several of my writing friends. This goes to show just how important titles are in the book world.

I'm definitely not immune to the lure of a tantalizing title. I admit, I've been guilty of purchasing books simply because their titles have hooked me like a hungry fish. When recalling past YA title love that propelled me to pull out my book-buying wallet, these three books come to mind right away:

My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters by Sydney Salter

Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler

The above titles hooked me immediately because they're quirky, funny and tend to make me think of girl-related topics. That's exactly the type of YA book I'm drawn to the most. Hence, the magnetic power of the perfect title hook for my reading taste lured me in from the get go.

So all this title talk leads me to some questions:
What do YOU think makes a great title?
Which book titles have hooked you?
What do those titles reveal about you and your reading preferences?

If you'd like to learn more about the importance of titles from a publishing insider, check out this interesting ARTICLE.

For even more title fun (if you're easily entertained like I am), do a google image search for funny titles...and see what comes up. Here's one I couldn't help but laugh about like a five-year-old boy:

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Winner of the signed copy of FAITHFUL by Janet Fox

Thanks to all who commented for a chance to win a signed copy of FAITHFUL by Janet Fox! I used the Random Name/Word Picker Fruit Machine at to help me randomly select the winner from the entries I received.

The lucky winner is: Julie Musil. Congratulations, Julie! You'll be receiving the signed copy of this fabulous book sent straight from Janet herself. I will be in touch to discuss the details soon.

To all you hopefuls who didn't win this time around, there will be plenty more giveaways on my blog in the months to come. In fact, I will be participating in Denise Jaden's LOSING FAITH online launch party blog tour in September where you will have the chance to win a signed copy of Denise's debut (which she's generously donating) on my blog. She also has oodles of awesome books and swag that she'll be giving away on her own blog to celebrate (check out the prizes HERE). It's a launch you will not want to miss! Be sure to check her site out for all the details and blog tour dates and remember to stop by my site for a LOSING FAITH blog party on September 9th!

PS: Isn't it ironic to go from a Faithful giveaway to a Losing Faith giveaway? For the record, I have endless faith in both titles!

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Sunday, August 29, 2010


I don't typically watch America's Got Talent, but I happened to catch a snippet of it this week when Jimmy Fallon made a guest appearance and did a compilation of comedian impressions. Considering my best impression is of a napping mute, his talent impressed me and cracked me up. I think he's dead-on with most of these, what do you think?

*Impressions start 1 min. in*

My personal favorite was Adam Sandler, but then again, I LURRRRVE Adam perhaps I'm biased. Do you agree that he saved the best for last?

You can catch more of Jimmy tonight while he's hosting the Emmy Awards (Yay for Glee!).

*Please don't forget, this is the last day to enter for a chance to win a signed copy of FAITHFUL by Janet Fox. All you have to do to enter the drawing is read Janet's interview below & comment. The winner will be announced tomorrow!*

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Interview & Signed Book Giveaway with Author of FAITHFUL, Janet Fox

I'm happy to welcome the very talented and super sweet Janet Fox to my blog for an interview and book giveaway. Janet's book, FAITHFUL, is a beautifully written historical YA novel that's sure to please. For a full description, check out FAITHFUL's goodreads page HERE. The entry guidelines for a chance to win a signed copy of this amazing book will follow Janet's interview below:

What's one thing you hope readers will take with them upon finishing FAITHFUL?

I hope you don’t mind if I mention more than one thing. I hope that readers who have suffered a loss – especially loss of a parent – will take some comfort in Maggie’s discovery. I hope that girls who read FAITHFUL will recognize how difficult it was for a girl in 1904 to have the freedom to choose her own path. I hope that readers are moved.

What about Maggie's character do you think is a product of the time period she lives in, and might change if she were alive today?

At the beginning of FAITHFUL, Maggie is trapped – and feeling sorry for herself, and helpless, and she isn’t sure what she wants. By the end of the novel, she has discovered her inner strength and the core of her that is like her mother. The “prison” in which Maggie is caught is a reflection of her time – men dictated all the terms to their wives and daughters. If Maggie were alive today, she would never have felt compelled to do exactly as her father wishes; she would have walked out on the situation in which he places her. But, then, she might never have discovered the magic of Yellowstone.

Why did you pick Yellowstone as the major setting for this book?

Yellowstone is a place that is close to my heart. And it is a place of natural magic – like another realm, fantastical. I thought that setting a story there could evoke that fantastic element and provide a rich backdrop for Maggie’s transformation.

If you were to travel back in time to 1904, the era of FAITHFUL, what's one modern day amenity you'd want to take with you and why?

Things weren’t so bad in 1904, as long as you were wealthy – wealthy people did have indoor plumbing and electricity and telephones, and even automobiles. But for the poor or even middle class, that was a different matter. If I were poor, what I’d miss the most is indoor plumbing. I can’t imagine using an outhouse at 20 below. I would hate to only be able to bathe once a week and have to haul my water and heat it on a stove before I could bathe, and then in a tub in which the water was first used by my older siblings so the water would already be dirty and cold.

You have already published a non-fiction book called GET ORGANIZED WITHOUT LOSING IT. What's the biggest difference that you've encountered between the publishing process for non-fiction and fiction?

When writing non-fiction it’s acceptable for submissions to be outlines – that is, you create the concept and market that. Only rarely would you write a non-fiction book in its entirety and try to sell it. But fiction requires a complete manuscript, at least for a beginning writer. Perhaps once you’re successful you can sell a fiction concept, but not initially. I sold my non-fiction book from a synopsis and chapter outline; I had to have a complete and well-revised manuscript of FAITHFUL before it sold.

What's your best advice for aspiring writers wanting to be published?

Read. Read constantly and broadly. Write. Write daily and reexamine your writing in craft terms. Learn the key components of craft: character, pacing, voice. Find a critique group and share and be willing to listen. Revise, then revise again. Find like-minded writers and learn from them. Writing is a career; it’s not easy. Most writers do not get rich. If you’re in it for the fame and fortune, good luck. If you’re writing for the long haul and because you love crafting beautiful stories, I promise you will succeed.

Thank you for stopping by my blog for an interview, Janet! To learn more about Janet and her book(s), visit her WEBSITE, BLOG and/or AMAZON PAGE.

For a sneak peek, check out Faithful's trailer, created by Janet's talented son:

FAITHFUL Signed Book Giveaway Entry Details:
1) You must be a follower of my blog for a chance to win.
2) You will be entered once by reading and commenting about Janet's interview and/or book in the comment section below.
3) You will also receive an extra entry for each online shout-out you give about this giveaway (tweet on twitter, facebook status, and/or blog about it). Be sure to leave links to your shout-out(s) in the comment section of this post.

***That means you have the chance to be entered up to four times in the random drawing, increasing your odds of winning. The lucky winner will be chosen at random from the entries I receive and will be announced on Monday, August 30th. Good luck!***

*Sorry, this giveaway is for US and Canada participants only*

Adriana will receive an extra entry because she was the first to correctly guess the book in this blurred cover image post.


Are you looking for more interview fun? Check out THIS INTERVIEW with me today over at Unedited.

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Website Launch Celebration Giveaway Winners!

Thanks to everyone who helped me celebrate my website launch! I rounded up the (200+) giveaway entries, and used the interactive fruit machine at to help me randomly select these four winners to receive a $30 Amazon gift card:

Elie @ Ellz Reads
Jen D. @ Unedited
Cindy @ Princess Bookie
Nicole @ One Significant Moment at a Time

One of these four winners will also win a signed ARC of The Lipstick Laws (as soon as it's available) plus a fun assortment of TLL goodies. Without further ado, the ARC winner is:

Jen D.

Congrats to all the winners! I will be in touch shortly with prize details. To everyone who didn't win this time around, I plan on holding many more giveaways in the coming months (including more TLL signed ARC giveaways)... so there will be plenty more chances to win!

Speaking of more giveaways, please be sure to come back this Monday (the 23rd) for an interview with Janet Fox, where you'll have a chance to win a signed copy of her book, Faithful! Isn't this cover stunning?!

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Website Launch Celebration Giveaway!

$30 Amazon Gift Cards!

The Lipstick Laws Signed ARC Giveaway!

Come help me celebrate by looking around my website and entering below for a chance to win!

It's official! My author website is up and running, thanks to the very talented Denise Biondo! To celebrate my launch, I'm holding a giveaway in which I will randomly select FOUR lucky blog followers to shower with cold hard cash. Okay, I'm not really giving away cash, but Amazon gift cards are just as good, right? Each winner will receive one $30 Amazon gift card... and ONE of those lucky winners will then be randomly selected to win a signed ARC of The Lipstick Laws (when they're available), plus a fun assortment of TLL related goodies!

How do you sign up, you ask? Good question! Just follow these guidelines...

Website Launch Celebration Giveaway Entry Details:

*You must be a follower of my blog for a chance to win.*

You will be entered for a chance to win by answering ONE of the following questions in the comment section below:

1) From the info you've gathered from my website, what's one thing that you and I have in common?

2) What interests you about The Lipstick Laws?

3) After checking out Denise Biondo's list of web designs, what's the name of one other author on this list who has a site that you adore?

That's all you have to do to enter for a chance to win! But if you'd like to increase your odds of winning, you'll get extra entries for doing any (or all) of the following:

Tweet about my site launch & giveaway on twitter = +1 entry

Mention my site launch & giveaway on facebook = +1 entry

Vote for The Lipstick Laws HERE on goodreads = +1 entry

And/or vote HERE = +1 entry

Add my giveaway info to your blog sidebar = +1 entry

Write a blog post about my site, giveaway and/or book = +2 entries

*Be sure to tell me how many extra entries you should be getting, and where I can find your online shout-out(s) in your comment.*

That means you have the chance to be entered up to EIGHT times in the random drawing (4+4 to pay homage to TLL's April 4th release date). The lucky winners will be chosen at random from the entries I receive and will be announced on Saturday, August 21.

Good luck and thanks for helping me celebrate my website launch!!! Woohoo!

PS: Feel free to leave a comment even if you don't want to enter this giveaway. I'd love to hear from you! :)

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Monday, August 9, 2010

Book News

My book has survived a cover tweaking! Here is the new cover... it's the same concept as the first, just a tad bit different:

Also, I have an official pub date: 04/04/2011!
Woohoo! I love the sound of April 4th, what do you think?

But it doesn't end there... check out The Lipstick Laws listed on Publishers Weekly 2011 Sneak Previews

AND I've saved the best part for last! The Lipstick Laws is available for pre-order on Amazon!!! Ahhhh! I just about hit the floor like a fainting goat when I saw it!

If I'm not mistaken, I think this all calls for a celebration dance:

Come back for a continuation of this celebration for my website launch & corresponding contest on Wednesday, August 11th! See you, here.... you get the idea.

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dreams = Boatloads of CASH. Who knew?

"If you can dream it, you can do it" - Walt Disney

I love this quote; it's one of my favorites. And I never realized just how true it is until I read this cool-beans ARTICLE about wealth-magnets accruing fortunes from real snoozetastic DREAMS. That's right, you heard it here first (or second, depending on if you've already read the article in question) -- If you DREAM it, you really CAN do it... and make boatloads of moolah while you're at it!

By this point, you'd have to be living under a partially unearthed rock not to have heard the story about Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series coming to fruition from a dream. (For all you living under those partially unearthed rocks, I'm sure your homes are lovely...and I'm very impressed that you get an internet connection underground). So Stephenie's dream that started it all is old (albeit fascinating) news, I know. BUT, did you know that James Cameron got the idea for Avatar from a dream? Or that the legendary Paul McCartney came up with the song Yesterday while in a dream-state? Or how about the Declaration of Independence? Yep, I'm declaring that it might be thanks to a snorefest. Cool, right?

This is precisely why I think we should wear pajamas to work/school...and snooze every time we're supposed to come up with a good idea. We should start a snoozing revolution... and soon we'll be sleeping on wads of cash. Who's with me?

If you're not fully on the pajama bandwagon, you could always wear these pajama jeans. That way, only you will know you're snooze-ready:

Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to take a nap.

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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Socks and Sandals, Oh My! Tasteless or trendy?

I've decided to take a break from my WIP to comment on a topic that can no longer be ignored...

If it's cold enough for socks, it's too cold for sandals. If it's warm enough for sandals, it's too flippin' warm for socks. It seems practical, right? Alas, my friends, practicality is underappreciated these days.

During the summer, the inevitability of seeing socks and sandals in the wild increases tenfold. The natural habitat of socks and sandals typically consists of campgrounds, gas stations, and some of these endangered fashion species can even be spotted in your very own neighborhood while mowing the lawn. But thanks (or no thanks) to some fashion "trendsetters", this wild, contradictory fashion species is being torn from its natural habitat, tamed, and displayed on the runway as a 2010 fashion trend. Yes... I said runway. If you don't believe me, check out this ARTICLE or THIS ONE. What in the name of holey socks is going on, you ask? Join the confused club.

What are your thoughts? Are socks and sandals a cool new trend or a tacky fashion flop? If you're with me or against me on the anti-socks/sandals front, I beg you to voice your opinion below. Important issues like this should be discussed.

And if you can't get enough of the socks and sandals extravaganza, you'll go gaga over this SOCKERIFIC SITE.

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