Thursday, December 6, 2012

My newest zombie story is out!

The UNDEAD UNCENSORED anthology is out! I'm so excited about my story, "Save-Us", and can't wait to share it with zombie fans everywhere.
Here's the blurb:
Julie thinks she’s in for a fun day at Save-Us Warehouse, grabbing food samples and watching product demos while her parents pick up industrial-sized boxes of laundry detergent and pretzels. But when the horde ruins their shopping experience, she and her mom must dodge fleeing people, reanimated workers, and pallets of household goods to find her dad and escape. Cornered by zombies, they join forces with Luke, an ex-soldier and unlikely friend when Julie needs one the most.

Although she has supplies stockpiled for the apocalypse, Julie’s college courses didn’t prepare her for combat with the undead. Luckily, warehouse stores have plenty of handy killing devices. The name of the store may be Save-Us, but Julie’s going to have to save herself to make it out of Zombie 101 alive.

Here's a sneak peek from the story:
I’d always imagined zombies as male, but they apparently didn’t discriminate on gender… or age. An entire zombie family—toddler in tow—slid across the concrete floor, twisted mannequins with severed limbs. The lady giving out yogurt didn’t stand a chance. Zombie mom dove for her neck. Fresh blood blanketed the sea of white samples.
If you'd like to get a copy, you can order it from the following sites:
Zombie Survival Crew: Undead Uncensored

Zombie Survival Crew Store
Thanks for all your support! If you grab a copy, let me know!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


I was very excited last year to have a story featured in the first anthology for the Zombie Survival Crew (ZSC), Undead is Not an Option.  You can purchase it in paperback here or as an e-book here. You can also purchase the paperback on Amazon here. So when the editors asked if I'd submit a story for a new anthology, I jumped at the chance. And starting on December 1, you'll be able to check it out! I will post more info about my contribution to this book of zombie fun at a later date. For now, you can read the briefing below sent out by the ZSC Commander-in-Chief or check out the ZSC website for more info!

From the mobile unit of ZSC Commander-in-Chief Juliette Terzieff:
After months of anticipation the day has finally come when we can release the cover art for Undead Uncensored, the second Zombie Survival Crew anthology. This year’s anthology is a vibrant collection of short fiction, poetry and non-fiction pieces designed to help you get your zombie freak on and prepare for what we might all face if the zombipocalypse hits!

Undead Uncensored features the work of yours truly alongside other ZSC Commanders actor Michael Rooker, award winning author LK Gardner-Griffie, and authors Jinxie G, R.C. Murphy and Amy Sundberg. ZSC crew members including Wendy Sparrow, Jessica Capelle, Robin Sellman, Amber Revelt, Stephanie Allen, Christopher De Voss and many others contributed their artistic endeavors to this creeptastic collection!!

Undead Uncensored is already available for pre-order here and orders will begin shipping on December 1, 2012.

Now without further ado… (yes, you can stop holding your breath now)

The cover for Undead Uncensored

Monday, October 1, 2012

Books I Recommend: SERAPHINA

In order to get myself blogging somewhat regularly, I've decided to mostly post about things I enjoy, especially books. I'm not planning to become a book blogger by any means, but I do find myself making recommendations a lot (and I do read a lot of books). Because I tend to get very enthusiastic when I read/watch/listen to something I enjoy, I'm hoping this enthusiasm will translate into regular blogging, something I've never been great at.

I chose to start with SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman. This was one of my favorite books this summer. I received the digital ARC from Random House via NetGalley. Full disclosure, I wrote this review on Goodreads when I finished the book, so I am cheating a bit for this blog post!

What a fantastic, gorgeous book. If you're an epic fantasy fan, you must run out and read this now. The writing is beautiful and dense, best digested in small chunks so as to mull it over and re-read to hear the language again, however I often found myself so engrossed in the story that I'd devour 40 pages. It took me a while to read it because of how much I wanted to live in the world for a little longer.

Seraphina is a marvelously complex and interesting character. It blows me away that this is a debut novel. The writing is so tight and lyrical, especially when the author makes descriptions of music come to life. I love dragons and castles and intrigue, and the author delivered and then some. I also really enjoyed the execution of the political intrigue, and the way Seraphina was caught between protecting her secrets and being truthful with those she cared about. This was a unique book that I plan to purchase and read over and over. I cannot wait for the rest of the series.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Love Letter to Houston

Can I just say that I'm so grateful to live in Houston?

We have a fabulous community of writers here, especially writers for children, and a fantastic support system through local groups, readers, and bookstores.  I've known this ever since I started to dip my toe into the writing world.  But this month especially, I'm feeling the love more than ever.  There have been and will be so many literary events this month, and I wanted to take an opportunity to say thank you to some of the people who put in the hard work to make all this stuff possible.

Our local SCBWI Chapter is freaking fantastic.  Houston is really blessed to have such a great group.  The volunteers consistently put together the most amazing, inspiring events.  On March 31 and April 1, I attended our chapter's Annual Conference and a special intensive workshop on voice with editor Heather Alexander.  To say that I got something out of that weekend would be an understatement.  The feedback from critiques was invaluable.  The presentations during the main part of the conference were informative and interesting.  And the intensive on voice? Priceless. It's rare that I get to attend a monthly meeting, Monday nights are usually really rough for me, but I always feel welcome and supported when I'm able to attend events.  So many wonderful people put a lot of time and effort into this group, and I want to give them all big hugs!

This past weekend, April 14, was the Teen Book Con.  It's an annual event at a local high school where many authors come and do panel discussions and signings.  This was my first year, and I wasn't disappointed.  The authors were gracious and patient and seemed genuinely interested in meeting their fans.  I watched author after author interact with the kids, asking them about their favorite books, school, and what they liked about the event.  My little brother, who's in high school, came with me and was blown away by how "real" the authors were in talking with him.  He came away inspired to focus on his own writing and kept telling me "I'll be up there one day".  How awesome to have events like this where kids can interact this closely with adults they look up to! A very cool moment for me came during a panel where Siobhan Vivian mentioned that her editor was David Levithan and the kids literally swooned.  I'm not lying.  It was incredible.  The kids were so enthusiastic and excited to be there.  Kudos to the organizers of Teen Book Con and the authors who attended for giving back so much to the readers and encouraging them to be more involved in reading and writing.

The night before Teen Book Con, I had the privilege to attend a meetup hosted by several Houston book bloggers.  Not only did I meet and interact with some incredibly fabulous bloggers (local and out of town), but I was able to talk with several of the authors attending Teen Book Con, which was a nice surprise.  I sat next to Michelle Zink, Trinity Faegen, and Jessica Spotswood.  I'd been looking forward to meeting Michelle since a mutual friend had said such nice things about her, but I was thrilled to get to talk to Trinity and Jessica as well.  They were so lovely, as were all the other attendees I met.  As a writer, it was interesting to listen to the bloggers talk about reviews and review policies.  The bloggers I spoke with are genuinely concerned about posting reviews that will hurt the author and try to focus on the positive aspects of the book even if it wasn't for them. All of them clearly have a passion for books, and it made for an enjoyable evening of discussion.  Thanks to Cari and Kate for hosting!

This week is the Texas Library Association Conference.  I am SO excited since it will be my first library conference, and I don't have to go out of town for it (it travels every year)!  So many wonderful authors are heading to Houston to speak at the conference and sign books.  I won't be attending the workshops unfortunately, but I will be visiting the exhibits area on Wednesday and Thursday.  One of my friends is actually helping coordinate a lot of the stuff going on, and I know it's going to be great.  I'm looking forward to connecting with writer, blogger, and librarian friends at the conference.  Librarians are so full of awesome.  I have several friends who are currently librarians or have their MLS degrees.  Despite budget cuts, red tape, hiring freezes, and a million other difficulties, they manage to stay enthusiastic about promoting reading and encouraging kids who want to read and/or write.  Librarians have encouraged and helped me from elementary school through law school and beyond.  They are truly rock stars.

Saturday the 21st, we celebrate the Two Year Anniversary of the Houston YA/MG writing group.  When Mary Lindsey, Iona McAvoy, Rose Garcia Moriarty, and I founded the group, we wanted a casual group who would meet each month to complement what we'd learned in other groups and provide support to each other along our journey to write with the "teen brain" in mind.  Along the way, we've met so many fantastic people and had some wonderful speakers.  We've seen so many of our friends sign with agents and get book deals, but, more importantly, we've seen our friends grow as writers and become more focused in achieving their goals.  Thanks to my co-founders and all the wonderful writers who participate in the meetings and on the message board! Also thanks to Cari and Kate (links above) who will make our 2 Year Anniversary meeting so fantastic as they talk about promoting our books using bloggers and blog tours!

Lastly, without the support of our local bookstores, the Houston literary community wouldn't be nearly as fabulous.  While there are many fantastic locals, Blue Willow Bookshop deserves a shout-out for all the support it gives children's book authors.  Valerie and the gang host launch events for local authors, handle the book sales at the SCBWI Conference and Teen Book Con, and bring tons of children's author events to Houston.  Our community couldn't do it without you.

Are you feeling the love yet? ;-)

If you'll be in town, we'd love to have you at the Houston YA/MG meeting on Saturday the 21st.  Details are at the website. If you're headed to TLA, send me an email at jessicacapelle (at) gmail (dot) com and let's meet up! I'll be there Wednesday and Thursday.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Memes, Zombies, and Adverbs... Oh My!

Happy Monday (on the West Coast at least).  I tend to keep blogging early Tuesday morning instead of Monday.  Maybe I should change my blogging day to Tuesday! :-)

A new meme has been going around on the Internet this week called Lucky Sevens.  I wanted to play along, really I did, but I just couldn't follow the rules.  It requires you to go to page 7 or 77, start with line 7, and post the next 7 sentences or paragraphs.  Sounds like a blast, but here's my problem: I can't post anything I'm working on.  Really.  Here's why:

1) My #norobotschallenge YA manuscript, MW: Both page 7 and 77 are pivotal parts of the book for the main character.  Within those sentences/paragraphs are things integral to the plot.  Really don't want to post stuff like that.  Plus, I'm about to query, and I don't want an agent to stumble across it before he/she receives my query.

2) My partial roughdraft, MG manuscript, TI: Both pages 7 and 77 are bare bones with compressed time scenes that need to be fleshed out and have notes woven throughout.  The sentences aren't even complete since I've been jotting notes all over them.  Not really good for playing along.

3) My zombie short story for the Zombie Survival Crew's upcoming anthology: Not going there without permission!

So, since I can't do the Lucky Sevens meme, I thought I'd do something related that's also fun.  I ran across a snippet from my first zombie short story.  I posted it on my Facebook page when I was working on the roughdraft. It's from August 31, 2009. After I wrote it, I couldn't find a home for it until I heard about the first Zombie Survival Crew anthology contest.

"Erik cold? Jaimy warm up.” She pulled my face down to kiss me. After
a long kiss, she paused and pulled back. She opened her mouth
unnaturally wide and worked a loose tooth out of her decaying gums. It
popped out like she was 8. She giggled and made a comment about the
Tooth Fairy. That’s the thing with dating a zombie; you have to watch
out for errant body parts.

Now compare it to the final version, published in May 2011 in the anthology UNDEAD IS NOT AN OPTION:

“Erik cold? Jaimy warm up.”

Her hands hold my face in a vise-like grip as she pulls me toward her
deformed lips. Zombies are surprisingly strong for dead people. After a
long, drool-soaked kiss, she pushes me back and feels around in her
mouth. She opens it unnaturally wide as she yanks a loose tooth out of
her decaying gums, and a smell similar to rancid meat fills my nose for
just a second. As the acid rises in my throat, she giggles and mumbles
something about the Tooth Fairy. It doesn’t take me long to compose
myself since I’m used to it by now. Dating a zombie, you learn quickly
that you have to watch out for errant body parts.

What is with all those adverbs?! Yikes! LOL It's interesting to see how the structure remained the same, and even a lot of the language, but I think I upped the "ick" factor. :-)

 Not only is this cartoon awesome, it's by the fabulous Debbie aka Inky Girl. You should check out her site. Like now.  She rocks.

It's amazing to look back at my writing from when I first started seriously working on it (late 2008) and compare it to now.  I've learned and grown so much, but I continue to learn every day.  Craft improves the more you work at it, but there's always room for improvement.  I'll be continuing to hone my craft and learn as much as possible while I'm still breathing.

This time, the adverbs are going down.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The #norobots Challenge

This weekend I attended the SCBWI Houston Conference. It was so fabulous! The volunteers that run the conference outdid themselves. I learned so much and got some great feedback from my critiques.

After I had my first critique, I handed my friend Iona McAvoy my feedback letter. It was full of praise for my writing and voice and gave only minimal notes for improving my first 10 pages. Yes, I was beaming! After she finished, she said something along the lines of "now will you freaking send it out?!" Of course that could be what I heard, not what she actually said! ;-)

Accordingly, Iona gave me an ultimatum: send out queries soon or she will add transforming robots to my manuscript. Yes, transforming ones. And she has a whole slew of them in mind already (she's been trying to get me to add them for a year or so). She texted me about a German Shepherd one this morning. I have a feeling this will happen daily until the queries go out and she has proof.

I convinced her that I should be allowed to have a few more passes through the manuscript to make it perfect. She also will allow my beta readers and critique partners to take one last pass. This gives me a drop-dead, queries-in-the-"sent mail"-deadline of May 31. At 8 am on June 1st, Iona will begin putting transforming robots in my manuscript (aka "MW"). MW is part sci-fi, but it's not THAT kind of sci-fi! Apparently my genre is actually "sci-fi grounded heavily in realism with elements of light urban fantasy". Whew! No room for robots though.

My plan is pretty simple- I mapped everything out last night. If I do a close read of 50 pages each week, I will finish in 5 weeks. I will send the first half to readers when it's done, then the second half will follow after at the end of the 5 weeks. I'll take the last four weeks to do "nit-picky" stuff, read it aloud again for any spots that don't flow well, and make sure I've addressed any nagging concerns the readers have. One evening during each of the nine weeks is devoted to tightening my query letter and synopsis and updating all the agent research I've done. I even have a color-coded agent spreadsheet that I've been using to track preferences for a while. What can I say, I really like the highlighting function in Word. :-)

Cat2 is just as exhausted by my revision schedule as I am!

I will need help to stay motivated, encouraged, and on track! Please tweet, Facebook message, email, or text with gentle nudges and reminders. If you are willing to read for me, let me know that too. I know at least one of my readers isn't available right now, and I'd like a fresh pair of eyes or two to read the full. It's young adult, so if you don't regularly read young adult, I won't be able to use you. If you have a teenager who would be willing to read it, that would be fantastic!

Those of you who follow me on Twitter may see me tweet with the hashtag #norobots from time to time over the next two months. When I do, you'll know I'm talking about this challenge.

Wish me luck and remember... #norobots allowed.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Special Guest Post- Danyelle Leafty on her Kindles for Kids drive

I'm a little delayed with my post, since I've been sick. This is what happens when I let myself get run-down between emergency apartment moves, missing cats, and work insanity.

Today's post came about because of the awesome Danyelle Leafty. Danyelle is the author of the Fairy Godmother Dilemma series. I follow her on Twitter, so when I saw posts about her Kindle for Kids drive, I had to get the scoop.

I asked Danyelle to share a little about the idea behind Kindles for Kids as well as how it all works. Here's her guest post:

What exactly is Kindles for Kids?

Kindles for Kids is my way of paying it forward. My goal is to raise enough funds to purchase 10 Kindle Fires for the pediatric unit of a local hospital in UT.

How does Kindles for Kids work?

From March 12th-31st of 2012, I will be donating the *royalties I make on THE FAIRY GODMOTHER DILEMMA: CATSPELL--both in paper and e-book form--toward the purchase of the Kindle Fires.

Royalties are paid a month to two months after the fact. Factoring in that as well as putting in the order, receiving them, and getting them ready, I will be delivering the Kindle Fires to the hospital in June of 2012.

How can you participate?

If you are an author (published) or a writer (unpublished), this link will explain it more. A more detailed link can be found here. In short, I'm hosting an open call for donating **books you have the rights to for the hospital. One book per Kindle Fire. You can also participate by writing a ***short story for a fairy tale anthology I'm putting together for the hospital. If you're a reader, this link will give you a few ideas on how to help spread the word.

How can you help?

The greatest help of all is to help me get the word out. You can do this by talking to people--online and in real life, posting about Kindles for Kids on forums, groups, on your blog, and by printing out and posting fliers. More detailed link here, as well as details for a photo contest. Link for the flyer here.

I can't do this without you, so thank you to all who participate in any way they can!

*Royalties up to 249,000 copies. After that, I have to buy an extended license for the photographs I use for the cover.

**All books will be vetted by me personally for both formatting and content. Since the Kindle Fires are going to the pediatric unit, I would ask that any donations are formatted and edited well, and that they go no higher than a PG rating.

***As with the books, please keep the short stories at a PG or G rating. Again, all stories that are chosen for inclusion in the anthology will be vetted by me personally. Also, because digital copies of the anthology will be donated to the hospitals, and there will be no money made off of them, neither the editor (me) nor the authors will receive payment or money for them. However, everyone who is included will receive a digital copy as either a PDF, a kindle file, or epub.

What a fantastic idea, Danyelle!

As a way to drive traffic to the site (hopefully getting more to participate and therefore more Kindles donated), she's hosting a fantastic giveaway. You can read more about it here. You can check out the first book in Danyelle's series, CATSPELL, here. Love that name!

Let's help get the word out for this great cause!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Everything I Need to Know About Goals I Learned From My Cats

Some people would call me a crazy cat lady, and they’re probably right.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hoarding 100 cats and avoiding relationships with people.  But, I do refer to my three cats as my boys, talk to them, and post way too many pictures of them on Facebook.  So if that makes me a crazy cat lady, then hey, I own it. *

There’s nothing funnier to me than the cat craze that has swept the internet.  It started with LOLCAT pictures (what is an LOLCAT? See here), specifically this little guy:

Simon’s Cat continued the cat obsession with its adorable videos here.  Heck, when you type in “cat” on You Tube there are 1,760,000 results!  Then there’s the awesome collection of cat-related posters and comics on The Oatmeal (If you don’t know The Oatmeal, you must drop everything and run over here, then please come back and finish reading.  GO NOW I SAID!!)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of all animals, but obviously I’m not alone in thinking cats are hilarious.  A big reason why is cats are pretty entertaining when they’re curious about something.  A cat’s goals are generally simple: get food and attention, play, sleep, and chase things.  But while they may be simple, a cat’s goals are just as important to him as our goals are to us.  People can learn a lot about goals from cats, even so-called “dog people”. **

Take Cat 1 for example.  He’s built like a linebacker, and no one would call him graceful.  He’s also one big mess of fur (I threaten to turn him into a dustmop so he’ll earn his keep).  Being klutzy is a handicap for a cat.  It results in lots of skidding across tables, rolling off couches, and climbing half-way up the tree trunk before freezing and sliding back down slowly.  I feel bad laughing when he tries to jump on the coffee table but glides across it and lands on the other side.  Really, I swear I do. ***  But even when I laugh, Cat 1 ignores me.  He’ll jump right back up on the table and plop down in his favored position.  He does what he wants to do, even if he doesn’t get it the first time.  If he can’t climb the tree right now, he’ll wait a few minutes and try again.  If it’s still not happening, he’s back the next day.  Cat 1 pushes himself but also accepts that he won’t meet his goals all the time.  Often, he’ll fail miserably, but he doesn’t give up and won't let criticism affect him.

Cat 2, on the other hand, is borderline reckless.  He lacks fear, so it's fortunate he’s super strong and graceful. Everything he does looks choreographed.  He flings himself out of trees onto rooftops.  He leaps onto my shoulder from the top of a bookcase.  He stares down large dogs, raccoons, and possums and convinces them to run away.  This makes for some awe-inspiring viewing (of course never when I have a camera handy).  Cat 2’s brain is always working the angles.  He studies, calculates, and plots.  It reminds me of the scene in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes movie where Holmes envisions every second of the fight to come in great detail and then executes it flawlessly.  I once watched Cat 2 sit on the landing of my staircase and analyze how to make it around the room without touching the floor.  His head moved back and forth, eyes focused, as he studied each piece of furniture to determine a path.  A few minutes later, he stepped out with no hesitation onto the back of a chair, the treadmill, a bookcase, the tv, another bookcase, the fireplace mantle, another chair, an end table, the sofa and another end table.  He then leaped onto the stairs and started the process again, probably to see if he could do it faster.  It’s rare that Cat 2 doesn’t meet a goal, but I often see him repeating something or doing it in a different way.  He is always striving to do things better and more efficiently.

Cat 3 is still a kitten, so he’s not 100% comfortable in his own skin yet.  At times he’s just as klutzy as Cat 1, careening off the couch or dangling from the kitchen's pass-through bar because he misjudged the distance.  However, he can be as graceful as Cat 2, shimmying up a tree and leaping from branch to branch with no effort.  When he executes one of these amazing feats, he runs to me looking for praise.  If I’m not quick with it, he gives me a certain “rolling” meow that increases in volume to get my attention.  It’s the feline equivalent of a kid yelling “Mommy, Mommy” and shoving a picture he drew in her face. ****  When Cat 3’s efforts to meet a goal fail, he heads straight to me and cries with a certain high-pitched squeal.  This one’s like a kid crying for Mom when he falls off a bike into the grass, more wounded in pride than in body.  He isn’t good at gauging his limitations and strengths yet, nor is he good at figuring out ways around them or learning from his mistakes.  Cat 3 has ambitious goals, as any kitten does, but he wants to jump headfirst into achieving them without the preparation needed.  Sometimes luck is on his side, but often he’s not quite ready and fails over and over since he won’t adjust his technique or expectations.  After several tries, he’ll sulk off and attack one of the other cats or my feet in irritation.

Sometimes I’m like Cat 1, fumbling and making lots of mistakes but plugging along trying to accomplish what I desire.  I occasionally make a fool out of myself.  Sometimes I figure out I’m not quite ready and need to regroup.  However, I often meet my goals.  Like Cat 1, I don’t let it get to me and keep trying until I get it.

Other times I’m like Cat 2, refusing to accept that it won’t work and fearless in taking something on.  I’ll leap out and grab what I want with both hands and not let go.  Confidence carries me through sticky situations just like it carries Cat 2 across the divide between tree and roof where failure means a long drop to the ground.

With my writing, though, I’ve often been like Cat 3.  For the longest time, I wasn’t comfortable in my writing skin at all.  Like lots of new writers, I looked for praise and when I didn’t find it, I’d get discouraged.  If I tried something and failed, I’d beat myself up and whine.  I couldn’t accurately gauge when to make a leap, and my lack of preparation would drag me down.  Sometimes I’d get lucky and hit the target, but usually I fell just a bit short.

I might never be 100% comfortable in my own skin as a writer, but I’m growing into it, like I know Cat 3 will do.  I’m at the point where I recognize my limitations and difficulties and am finding ways to work around them and improve in those areas.  I know I have issues with certain aspects of my writing, so I’m working around them by using critique partners and doing revision passes to look for these issues.

Just like Cat 1, I need to recognize my limitations but not be afraid to keep working towards my goal even when I fail.  Just like Cat 2, I need to keep my confidence in my abilities high but recognize there is always room for improvement.  And, just like Cat 3, I need to remember that sometimes I need to curl up in a corner, have a good cry, and lick my wounds.  The tricky part will be to learn to balance all three.

So what about you? Are you more like Cat 1, 2, or 3 in your life and/or your writing?

Hope you enjoyed this post.  See you next week!

*DISCLAIMER: As much as I love cats, I would get a dog also if I didn’t have a crazy schedule and had an actual yard.  I heart doggies.
** “Dog People” isn’t meant to be an insult, it’s just a handy reference for people who prefer dogs as pets.  Please see disclaimer above.  Dog people rule too.
***Laughing when your cat does goofy things is not animal cruelty, so please don’t send me any nasty messages.  You can, however, ask me to post videos on YouTube for a fee.
**** Yes, I compared my cats to your human kids.  As anyone with pets (cat, dog, rabbit, ferret, etc.) will tell you, taking care of pets is often not that different from taking care of children.  Many will even talk back to you.  I’m not saying I’m better than you, busier than you, or work harder than you.  I am, however, much more likely to grab my passport and fly off to Paris at a moment’s notice unencumbered by anything other than changing the cat litter and dumping a bunch of food and water into bowls.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Blog Relaunch with a FABULOUS Cover Reveal!

I've been a very bad blogger.  *hides face*

So recently, I made a commitment to myself to relaunch my blog. I'd planned to start again at the end of the month, but then I saw a post from one of our Houston YAMG members about her upcoming cover reveal...  What better way to kick off my new and improved blog! I'll be tinkering around with the format a bit over the next couple of weeks, but you can count on a blog about some random subject at least every Monday.  Once I get that down, we'll see about other days!

In the meantime, I'm so happy to announce the cover for Rachel Harris' MY SUPER SWEET 16TH CENTURY! I'm so excited for Rachel, and I cannot wait to read this book!


MY SUPER SWEET 16TH CENTURY by Rachel Harris releases September 11, 2012. It's available for pre-order on: Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Also, be sure to add it to your TBR pile on Goodreads!

Be sure to connect with Rachel at:

Here's an excerpt from the book:
I hear their muffled whispers and understand every Italian word. Every witty comment made at my expense.
It’s like my brain is automatically translating.
I bunch the soft fabric of the dress in my hand and then reach up to feel the ribbon in my hair. I lightly skim my fingers over my chin and feel my lack of zit. I take in the costumes of the crowd, the stench of the animals, and the Italian I can now speak and understand. And suddenly it hits me.
Reyna must have pulled some kind of gypsy mojo.
Maybe this is one of those nifty “change your life” magic scenarios like in the movies. I mean, mostly I’m still expecting to blink and be right back in the midst of overpriced, gaudy tourism, but for now, the gypsy-time-warp explanation is infinitely better than thinking I’ve lost my mind. As I decide to go with that option, I feel my frantic tension melt away.
The growing crowd seems to notice my change in demeanor and begins shooting one another amused looks, but I don’t care anymore. A smile stretches across my face. Evidently, I was wrong earlier; Reyna is a psychic mind reader, because if this is her special brand of bibbity-bobbity-boo, then she made my exact daydream from earlier in the courtyard come to life.
The long red gown, the braided hair, the Italian merchant’s daughter, the time period. I am in Renaissance Florence.
I stare dumbly at the ground, the words and reality sinking in.
I’m in Renaissance Florence!

So cool! Major congrats to Rachel!  The cats give it three paws up since it's set in Italy... they're demanding Rachel take them in her suitcase when she does research for the sequel.
See y'all next Monday!