Cynsational News, Links & Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (Razorbill, 2007)(excerpt)! From the promotional copy:

“Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with an unbreakable bond to the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest and most dangerous vampires–the ones who never die.

“The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a Dhampir; she is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making her one of them.

“After two years of illicit freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. Rose will continue her Dhampir education. Lissa will go back to being Queen of the elite Moroi social scene. And both girls will resume breaking hearts.

“Fear made Lissa and Rose run away from St. Vladimir’s–but their world is fraught with danger both inside and out of the Academy’s iron gates. Here, the cutthroat ranks of the Moroi perform unspeakable rituals and their secretive nature and love of the night creates an enigmatic world full of social complexities. Rose and Lissa must navigate through this dangerous world, confront the temptation of forbidden romance, and never once let their guard down, lest the Strigoi make Lissa one of them forever…”

Learn more about Richelle, read her LJ (Even Redheads Get the Blues), and take this quiz to find out if your school is a vampire academy. Also look for Book #2, Frost Bite, on sale April 2008.

Four copies will be given away! To enter, write me with your name and address by Midnight CST Tonight! Please type “Vampire Academy” in the subject line. Good luck!

More News & Links

Marlene Perez, new official site from the author of Unexpected Development (Roaring Brook, 2004), Love in the Corner Pocket (Scholastic/Point, 2008), and Dead Is the New Black (Harcourt, 2008). Learn more about her books. Read a Cynsations interview with Marlene. Note: Marlene’s Web designer is Lisa Firke at Hit Those Keys, who also designed my own author site.

“A Spoonful of Humor” by Jan Fields from the Institute of Children’s Literature.

Robin Friedman’s JerseyFresh ‘Tude: “a take with ‘tude on writing, books, and life in the Garden State by an author, journalist, and Jersey girl.” Read a Cynsations interview with Robin.

GLBTQ Book List for Youth from the Rainbow Project, “co-sponsored by the American Library Association’s Social Responsibility Round Table and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Round Table, an annual bibliography for young readers from birth through age 18.”

Congratulations to noted illustrator Don Tate on the sale of his first book as an author. Visit Don’s site, his blog, read a Cynsations interview with Don, and read a Cynsations interview with Don and his co-founders of the Brown Bookshelf. Visit Don at MySpace!

Tips for Teen Writers from Cassandra Clare. Here’s a sneak peek: “I can only say what works for me or what I’ve observed, and in this post I’ll talk about what I remember about being a teenage writer and what was helpful for me.” Learn more about The Mortal Instruments. Visit Cassandra at MySpace!

The Literacy Site: “dedicated to funding free books for children. On average, over 70,000 individuals from around the world visit the site each day to click the ‘Click Here to Give – it’s FREE’ button. To date, more than 55 million visitors have helped provide more than a million books to children who need them the most.”

Looking for a reason to smile? Check out Two Lovely Brooklyn Girls from April Lurie at April Afloat. Read a Cynsations interview with April.

Did you know that writers as accomplished as Laurie Halse Anderson actually toss (er, re-file) large chunks of their manuscripts on deadline sometimes? Notes: (a) gives me hope; (b) it’s in this same post that I first heard of Judy Blume’s blog.

The Page Flipper blog has announced that it will begin awarding monthly prize pack giveaways of YA books! See details here.

I.N.K. (Interesting Non-Fiction for Kids): “Here we will meet the writers whose words are presenting nonfiction in a whole new way. Discover books that show how nonfiction writers are some of the best storytellers around. Learn how these writers practice their craft: research techniques, fact gathering and detective work. Check out how they find unusual tidbits….”

Lisa Graff: “Where can you find thoughts about children’s books, the publishing industry, and Lisa’s totally wacky six-month long beauty experiment all in one place? (Hint: Right here.)” Lisa describes herself as “writer, a children’s book editor, and an all-around lover of good books.” See also The Longstockings. Note: Lisa will be speaking April 11 and April 12 at the SCBWI Arkansas conference (along with editor Jennifer Emmett of National Geographic, author Darcy Pattison (author interview), and illustrator Melanie Hope Greenberg). Source: Children’s Book Biz.

Reminder: 28 Days Later: A Black History Month Celebration of Children’s Literature at the Brown Bookshelf is ongoing! Rita-Williams Garcia was the featured author on Feb. 4. Here’s a sneak peek at what Rita said: “Regardless of class, my characters tend to struggle with self and choice, and not with race, although they’re never divorced from issues that surround black teens. I just don’t write from that point of view where the character is suddenly aware of or suddenly confronted with their race. Unless we’re separated from community, our race is a given and we live it.” Read Cynsations interviews with the founders of the Brown Bookshelf (Paula Chase-Hyman, Varian Johnson, Don Tate, Kelly Starling Lyons, and Carla Sarratt) and with Rita Williams-Garcia.

Top Five Children’s Books about the Chinese New Year by Elizabeth Kennedy from Children’s Books. Note: I had the honor of meeting Elizabeth last fall at the Kansas Book Festival.

More Personally

The Superbowl of Authorial Intrusions – Cynthia Leitich Smith from L. K. Madigan at Drenched in Words. Note: I’m still blushing from the flattering introduction. Thanks so much!