Cynsational News & Giveaways

Enter to win an autographed hardcover of National Book Award Finalist Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt (Front Street, 2006) from Cynsations. From the promotional copy:

“Keturah follows a legendary hart into the king’s forest, where she becomes hopelessly lost. Her strength diminishes until, finally, she realizes that death is near. Little does she know that he is a young, handsome lord, melancholy and stern.

“Renowned for her storytelling, Keturah is able to charm Lord Death with a story and thereby gain a reprieve–but only for twenty-four hours She must find her one true love within that time, or all is lost.

“Keturah searches desperately while the village prepares for an unexpected visit from the king and Keturah is thrust into a prominent role as mysterious happenings alarm her friends and neighbors. Lord Death’s presence hovers over this all until Keturah confronts him one last time in the harrowing climax.”

To enter, email me (scroll and click envelope) with your name and snail/street mail address and type “Keturah and Lord Death” in the subject line. Deadline: March 30! All Cynsational readers are eligible! Note: there is a slight uneveness to the cut of the back of the cover and a couple of slightly bent page corners, but it’s otherwise in great shape.

Congratulations to Martha in Wisconsin, the winner of paperback copy of Never Trust a Dead Man by Vivian Vande Velde (Magic Carpet Books/Harcourt, 2008)!

More News

28 & Beyond Kimani Tru from Paula Chase-Hyman at The Brown Bookshelf. Peek: “…readers are now presented with the trials and tribulations of growing up young in the hood (and this can be an urban hood or a rural/suburban one) or books with a less edgy more wholesome, christian layer to them. What’s still missing, in mass quantities anyway, are the portrayals that lie between the two. …Kimani Tru fills the void…” Read a Cynsations interview with the founders of the Brown Bookshelf.

Below, Elizabeth Scott reads from Something Maybe (Simon Pulse, March 24, 2009).

Kids book author accumulating accolades for first novel by Kayla Slimp from The Eagle of Bryan-College Station, Texas. Peek: “Kathi Appelt said she still feels like she’s shaking the glitter out of her hair.”

African American Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (AACBWI) will host its first conference on April 25 at the Hilton University Place in Charlotte, North Carolina. Presenters include: Sarah Ketchersid, Senior Editor of Candlewick Press; Eileen Robinson, creator of and former Scholastic Executive Editor and Harcourt Editorial Manager; Eleanora E. Tate, award-winning author; Don Tate, award-winning illustrator. See more information.

Maggie Gets Violent: My Thoughts on Bloodshed in Books by Maggie Stiefvater at Words on Words. Peek: “While I think there’s a time and a place for physical pain in a novel (anyone who has read any of my novels will see that I live by these words), I never think that physical pain will have the same affect on the reader that emotional pain does.” Read a Cynsations interview with Maggie.

Bethany Hegedus: official site of the author of Between Us Baxters (WestSide, 2009). Peek: “I now live in Brooklyn, where I miss the coming of the maganolias but look forward to the blossoms of the cherry trees. I hear ‘outtamyway’ and ‘standclearoftheclosingdoors please’ on a daily basis but I still recall the ‘howdy’s’ and ‘hey’s’ of the high school hallways. I may have left the south, but it hasn’t left me and Coca-Cola Cake willing, it never will.”

what do me, Kate Winslet, and Jamie Lee Curtis have in common? from Sara Zarr. Peek: “I am just really tired of and sad about my friends and random women and girls being so unhappy with themselves because they don’t look like women they see in magazines, who are uber-retouched, limbs lengthened, flesh carved away, etc. And tired of men thinking that’s how women look.” Read a Cynsations interview with Sara.

Class of 2K10: a cooperative debut author promotional group. If you are: 1. the author of a debut MG or YA novel that will be published in 2010 and; 2. being published by a house listed in the CWIM and in the U.S., you are eligible to apply for membership. Source: Dawn Metcalf.

Hats Off to Mom Writers! by Kristy Holl. Peek: “…last week a friend recommended a book for writer/moms that sounds wonderful called Writer Mama: How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids by Christina Katz.”

Something Out of Nothing: Marie Curie and Radium by Carla Killough McClafferty (FSG, 2006): a recommendation from Greg Leitich Smith. Peek: “McClafferty’s volume also weaves in the cultural impact of the discovery of radium: its widespread and casual uses as a medical cure-all and the subsequent realization that it is, in fact, highly toxic.”

Happy belated blogoversary to April Henry!

Audiobooks with Mary Burkey of Audiobooker from Elizabeth O. Dulemba. Peek: “No, I don’t feel that listening to audiobooks is reading – but it isn’t cheating either! In today’s world, we often overlook the listening component of Language Arts. By integrating audiobooks into a literacy program, students increase vocabulary, gain fluency, hear how phrasing and intonation results from punctuation, and experience authentic accents and dialects.”

Book Launch: Jane in Bloom (Dutton, 2009) from Janet Fox at Through the Wardrobe. Peek: “Doing the research on eating disorders was painful because the first-hand accounts are heart-wrenching. I think the hardest part of writing this story was in making it realistic but also appropriate for younger readers. I wanted parents to be comfortable with their children reading this book.”

Check out the book trailer for Taken By Storm by Angela Morrison (Razorbill, 2009). Source: The Compulsive Reader.

Marvelous Marketer – Sarah Davies (Greenhouse Literary) from Shelli at Market My Words: Marketing Advice for Authors/Illustrators from a Marketing Consultant & Aspiring Children’s Book Author. Peek: “On one hand, it is an agent’s job to fight for their author. Yet, on the other hand, I think there are times when an agent has to manage their author’s expectations. There will never be limitless funds available to promote every book in the way every author hopes (there is probably a finite overall budget for the whole list and whole year, laid down in advance, to be sliced up by the marketing director).” Read a Cynsations interview with Sarah.

A Birthing of Sorts: author Kimberly Willis Holt shares her process (including marked manuscript) for writing Skinny Brown Dog. Peek: “Christy always includes positive remarks in her notes. I have to admit when I first receive her editorial letters and notes, I search them out.” Read a Cynsations interview with Kimberly.

Author R.L. LaFevers of Shrinking Violet Promotions fame will be appearing at 11 a.m. March 22 at BookPeople in Austin. Read a Cynsations interview with R.L.

Interview: Cyn Balog – Author of the upcoming Fairy Tale (Delacorte, June 23, 2009) from Want My YA. Peek: “Fairy Tale is about a teenage girl who learns her boyfriend is a fairy, and that he’s due to leave her and return to Otherworld on his 16th birthday. She decides to fool the fairies and fight to keep him with her.” Learn more about Fairy Tale.

Skate by Michael Harmon (Knopf, 2006): a recommendation from Greg Leitich Smith at GregLSBlog. Peek: “…a remarkable novel of responsibility, family, and self-reliance.”

Fillers and Drainers by Kristi Holl at Writers First Aid. Peek: “After you attend your next writing event (large or small) ask yourself: ‘Was I filler or a drainer today?’ Did you make encouraging comments as well as ask for help? Did you give as well as take?”

The Best Present A Writer Could Ever Want by Siobhan at The Longstockings. Peek: “Mrs. Hetzel has always been my biggest supporter. Even when I was a crazy student who had endless energy (aka: behavioral issues) and probably drove her, and countless other teachers, completely bonkers, Mrs. Hetzel never told me to quiet down or reign it in. She was nothing but completely encouraging of me.”

Join author Michelle Knudsen to celebrate the release of The Dragon of Trelian (Candlewick, 2009) from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. April 14 at Books of Wonder (18 W. 18th Street) in New York City! Peek: “A middle-grade fantasy adventure involving a princess, a mage’s apprentice, a dragon, a hundred-year war, several secrets, old grudges, new enemies, lots of danger, a little romance, and an evil plot against the kingdom of Trelian that must be stopped at all costs!” Read a sample chapter (PDF file). Read a Cynsations interview with Michelle.

Shifty by Lynn E. Hazen (Tricycle Press, 2008): a recommendation by Greg Leitich Smith at GregLSBlog. Peek: “…an engaging, heartwarming, and sometimes funny story of growing up, responsibility, and what makes a family. ” Read a Cynsations interview with Lynn.

Children’s Book Biz from Anastasia Suen. Note: feeling overwhelmed by staff/organizational changes at children’s-YA publishers? Anastasia is 100% on top of it for you.

School Visit to Foley, Alabama! from Shana Burg. Peek: “In one workshop, The Power of a Question, we talked about how writers need to ask excellent questions to uncover information from sources. I shared details of the interviews I did when researching my book, and then we practiced what we learned by playing a game that left us all laughing.” Note: a former teacher, Austin-based debut author Shana Burg is highly recommended as a speaker. Read a Cynsations interview with Shana.

More Personally

Attention MySpace readers: you may want to check out the fan-generated Eternally Tantalizing Role Playing Game and new character page for Sabine on MySpace. In addition, there are now over 400 members of Tantalize Fans Unite! (Thanks, Britmett Bear!).

Attention Facebook readers: you may want to check out my featured author interview at The Ultimate YA Reading Group.

Publishers Weekly says of Eternal: “The confessional style, alternating between Miranda and Zachary’s points of view, is intriguing as a diary—readers should be hooked by this fully formed world, up through the action-packed finale.”

Gwenda Bond of Shaken & Stirred says of Eternal: “the best kind of sequel–the kind that’s even better than the first book… If you never thought guardian angels could be awesome, we have something in common: We were wrong. Dark, witty, fabulous. Read this now.”

{Insert Book Title Here} YA Book Blog chimes in: “The whole vampire/guardian angel concept was interesting… I loved how she left us with a glimmer of hope at the end that left me begging. I want the third novel now! I can’t wait to see what this author will come out with next.”

Thanks to Kim Winters at Kat’s Eye for re-reading Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007)!

Thanks to Donna Bowman Bratton for her report on author Lila Guzman’s Austin SCBWI presentation (with photos!).