Giveaway of Autographed Copies of Tantalize at Vampress.net


Win an autographed copy of Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Candlewick, 2007) at Vampress.net. All you have to do to enter is send an email. The deadline is April 30. See complete information.

Becky’s Book Reviews says: “No one is safe in this thrilling vampire tale of murder and seduction.” Read the whole review.

Author Alex Flinn writes: “It’s more mystery than horror, more horror than comedy, more comedy than coming-of-age story (and probably more Thirsty than Twilight), but it’s all these things and more. Even if you don’t know much about vampires, I highly recommend Tantalize. It’s good undead fun, and I hope Cyn plans a sequel.” Read the whole review.

In other news, Tantalize is now in its fifth printing!

Thanks to all for your support!

More News & Links

Melissa Wyatt has launched a new MySpace page. Melissa is the author of Raising the Griffin (Wendy Lamb, 2004).

Enchanted Fridays – Journey of a Novelist features an interview with Polly Shulman, debut author of Enthusiasm (G.P. Putnam’s, 2006) from Kimberly’s Wanderings: Thoughts, Musings, and the Writing Life of YA Author Kimberley Griffiths Little.

Alma Fullerton Offers Interviews with Authors Karleen Bradford, Dianne Ochiltree, Katy Duffield, Robin Friedman, and agent Scott Treimel

Alma Fullerton offers new interviews with authors Karleen Bradford, Dianne Ochiltree, Katy Duffield, and Robin Friedman. She also offers a new interview with agent Scott Treimel.

Here’s a peek at Scott’s: “Editors, once authors’ in-house protectors, are themselves often treading water, beholden to marketing and sales executives, and often job hopping as a result. An author needs an advocate inside the industry, and that’s an agent.” Read the whole interview.

Alma’s books include In the Garage (Red Deer, 2006) and Walking on Glass (Harper, 2007).

More Personally

“Chatting with Cynthia Leitich Smith” from Hello Ma’am. A look into the writing of Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007). The interview is mirrored at Melissa’s MySpace blog.

“Shop Talk Tuesday with Cynthia Leitich Smith” from Laura Bowers at Writing Without the Reins. Light and entertaining, beauty-shop style chat. Laura is the debut author of Beauty Shop for Rent (Harcourt, 2007), which is highly recommended.

Thanks to Sara’s Holds Shelf for the rave about Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007). Sara says: “Don’t read this book on an empty stomach! I’m serious. In the very first paragraph of the first chapter, we find Quincie, our heroine, eating fettuccine with scallops and garlic. I think my mouth actually started watering at that point.” As a vampire-restaurant novelist, I can think of no higher praise! Read the whole recommendation.

Girl Uninterrupted Features Cynthia Leitich Smith; Tantalize Readers Form Online Group

Presenting…Cynthia Leitich Smith:” a Girlfriends Cyber Circuit interview by Lara M. Zeises of Girl Uninterrupted: the rambling confessions of a not-so dangerous mind. Lara’s books include Anyone But You (Delacorte, 2005), which was a A Pennsylvania School Library Association Fiction Selection for 2005-06 and A Teen People Top 10 Pick. Read a Cynsations interview with Lara.

Thanks to it’s not just a sunset, it’s a moonrise too, Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Candlewick, 2007) readers may join a new MySpace group, Tantalize Fans Unite!

Tantalize Named Borders Original Voices Title

Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Candlewick, 2007) has been chosen as a Borders Original Voices Title for March.

The other children’s/YA books honored for March are Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard (Scholastic, 2007) and Jacob’s Ladder by Brian Keaney (Candlewick, 2007).

In other news, thank you to Dragon’s Lair Books & Comics of Austin for passing out promotional postcards for Tantalize! Most appreciated.

Thanks to Kim Winters for blogging about the Tantalize giveaway contest at YABC!

Buried in the Slushpile gives Tantalize four out of five wax seals of approval and says: “There were a couple of times, especially near the end, that I was just as shocked as Quince at the revelations. And let me tell you, these days it’s pretty darn hard to actually surprise me with a plot twist. Bravo!” Read the whole review.

“How Do You Discover Books?” asks a poll from Galley Cat. Source: Anastasia Suen at Create/Relate.

Jingle Dancer Named to Montessori Life’s Best Mulitcultural Books List

Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith, illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu (Morrow/HarperCollins, 2000) has been named among best Multicultural Books for Early Childhood Educators in the most current issue of Montessori Life, Volume 19, Number 1, 2007. See page 97. Thanks to Debbie Gonzales for letting me know about this honor.

In other news, Finding Wonderland: The WritingYA Weblog discusses my revision process as mentioned in my recent interview on Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007) at Not Your Mother’s Book Club.

Thanks to A Fuse #8 Production for highlighting the YABC giveaway contest (20 copies of Tantalize) and Greg’s post “How Bleak Thou Art.” Thanks also to Stephanie Burgis for ordering Tantalize (enjoy!).

More News & Links

Poetry Friday: Yoga Poems. A recommendation of Twist: Yoga Poems by Janet Wong, illustrated by Julie Paschkis (McElderry, 2007). Source: Writing with a Broken Tusk by Uma Krishnaswami. Read an interview with Uma.

Tantalize Giveaway Contest at YABC

Young Adult (& Kids) Book Central is sponsoring a giveaway contest that features 20 available copies of Tantalize. The challenge is: “Make up a favorite recipe/dish for either a vampire or a werewolf. Be Creative! And remember, answers DO count!” See the entry form. The event is co-sponsored by YABC and Candlewick Press. Please help spread the word!

In review news, Publishers Weekly cheers “…horror fans will be hooked by Kieren’s quiet, hirsute hunkiness…” I love the alliteration “hirsuit hunkiness.” How fun is that?

Thanks to BookPeople of Austin, Texas for featuring the book in its March newsletter! This is my local independent bookstore. Yay, Austin!

Thanks also to Cat for her kind and enthusiastic welcome to MySpace. I’m honored.

And last, I’d also like to note that I’ve signed a contract for a new picture book (“Holler Loudly”) with Dutton. I’ll keep you posted on illustrator and pub-date news.

More News & Links

Congratulations to my pal and fellow Austinite Chris Barton of Bartography on the sale of his SECOND book! Wahoo!

“How Bleak Thou Art:” my comedic writer (and very cute) husband and sometimes co-author, Greg Leitich Smith, blogs about the dearth of YA/tween comedies at Blogger. See also comments on his LJ syndication.

Debbie Reese at American Indians in Children’s Literature blogs about Less Than Half, More Than Whole by Michael and Kathleen Lacapa (Northland, 1999). See my bibliographies on books with interracial family themes and Native themes.

Cynsational News & Links

I found out yesterday that my new novel, Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007), which was released Feb. 13, is already in its third printing. Thanks to all for your support!

Thanks also to A Fuse #8 Production and Buried in the Slushpile for the kind words about my recent article “How to Throw a Book Launch Party” at Create/Relate.

Here’s the latest:

“An Appetizing Gothic Fantasy:” a review of Tantalize by Norah Piehl of BookPage. She cheers: “Quincie’s sarcastic narration and take-charge attitude, will appeal to fans—both teens and adults—of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. …readers will certainly be licking their lips at the end of Tantalize, their appetites whetted for Smith’s next enticing adventure.” Read the whole review.

In other news, I have launched a new MySpace! For now, I have selected the sunset lake design because it reminds me of Austin. Although there will be some crossposting, my plan is to emphasize YA lit on this site–both my own and books by other authors. Please surf by to check it out and consider adding me as a friend.

From Vermont

Union Institute, the current owner of Vermont College, is selling its three MFA programs (including the one in Writing for Children and Young Adults), the campus, and various buildings to the newly-formed Vermont College of the Fine Arts. See the article in the Barr Montpelier Times-Argus. Read interviews with past faculty chair Kathi Appelt and present chair Sharon Darrow.

More News & Links

“Building with Plot Blocks” by Jan Fields from the Institute of Children’s Literature.

Learn more about Cecil Castellucci‘s graphic novel The Plain Janes, illustrated by Jim Rugg (DC Comics/Minx, May 2007). More soon on her fierce and amazing new prose novel, Beige (Candlewick, 2007); read a Cynsations interview with Cecil.

The Den of Shadows: author site by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes.

“Every picture tells a story in Selznick’s ‘Invention'” by Heidi Henneman from BookPage. See also “Recent graphic novels explore strange new worlds” by Becky Ohlsen from BookPage.

BookPage also offers reviews of the children’s books Skyscaper by by Lynn Curlee (Atheneum), The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron (Atheneum), Runaround by Helen Hemphill (Front Street), Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson (Putnam), and A Dog Called Grk by Joshua Doder (Delacorte). In addition to Tantalize, featured YA titles include Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson (Viking), The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti (Simon & Schuster), and Harmless by Dana Reinhardt (Wendy Lamb/Random House).

Congratulations to Brent Hartinger on the glowing review by USA Today of his new release, Split Screen: Attack of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies/Bride of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies (HarperCollins, 2007). Read a recent Cynsations interview with Brent.

“Increasing the Odds That the Book Will Be Read:” an exclusive Authorlink interview with Alan Gratz, author of Samurai Shortstop (Dial, 2006), by Susan VanHecke (March 2007).

Melissa Marr, author of Wicked Lovely (HarperCollins, 2007), visits the YA Authors Cafe. Read her interview and ask her a question. Visit Melissa’s site, and learn more about Wicked Lovely.

Newly featured authors and illustrators at Children’s Literature include Cynthia Kadohata, Walter Dean Myers, and Susan L. Roth. Read a Cynsations interview with Cynthia.

“Rising Star – Sy Montgomery” from the Bulletin of the Center of Children’s Books. Here’s a peek: “Sy Montgomery‘s enthusiastic and skilled nonfiction work first came to the attention of the Bulletin with The Snake Scientist [Houghton Mifflin, 1999], a look at the work of zoologist Bob Mason, who studies, among other subjects, the red-sided garter snakes that inundate Manitoba.”

“Writing a Memoir: Should You Do It?” by Lisa Silverman at Absolute Write.

How To Throw A Book Launch Party

Learn “How to Throw a Book Launch Party” via an article I’ve written that has been posted to Anastasia Suen’s blog, Create/Relate: News from the Children’s Book Biz.

Speaking of which, the lovely Elizabeth Garton Scanlon at Liz In Ink is the latest blogger to chime in about my Tantalize launch party. Liz is the author of A Sock is a Pocket for Your Toes: A Pocket Book, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser (HarperCollins, 2004). Visit her author site and read her recent interview at Cynsations.

Don’t miss the other party reports from Cynsations, GregLSBlog, Don Tate’s Devas T. Rants and Raves, Camille’s Book Moot, Jo Whittemore’s LJ (great pics!), and Alison Dellenbaugh’s Alison Wonderland. Read Cynsations interviews with Greg, Don, and Jo.

Cynsational News & Links

My new novel, Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007) received a five-star review from Karin Perry at TeensReadToo.com! Karin calls the novel “…a stimulating paranormal mystery mixed with romance. The relationship between Quincie and Kieren is touching and so deep that the reader feels Quincie’s pain at the thought of losing Kieren, while at the same time understanding Kieren’s reasons for keeping Quincie at arms length…” Read the whole review.

Speaking of Tantalize itself, though, Alison Dellenbaugh (AKA She Who Brought Her Own Fangs) offers her report on the novel’s launch party at Alison Wonderland. So does Jo–news with many party pics!–at her LJ. And Tanya Lee Stone offers cheers. See the full launch party report.

More News & Links

Interview with Robin Friedman on The Girlfriend Project from Little Willow at Slayground. The Girlfriend Project will be published by Walker in April. Read an excerpt. (By the way, The Girlfriend Project official site is an excellent example of a book-specific site and was designed by Lisa Firke of Hit Those Keys.

The lovely and talented Newbery Award honor recipients offer a show of solidarity for this year’s recently challenged winner, Susan Patron, at Cynthia Lord’s LJ, “from Jennifer Holm, Kirby Larson, and Me.”

Alma Fullerton offers new interviews with authors Kristy Dempsey, Dori Chaconas, and Douglas Rees. She also offers a new interview with agent Nadia Cornier of Firebrand Literary. Nadia says: “I’ll overlook a lot for a great story. I mean, I’ve read some fabulous books that are perfectly crafted but really boring stories – but a really perfect story, even if it isn’t perfectly crafted will have such MEANING and resonance. I want those.” Read the whole interview.

Tantalize Launch Party

Thanks to all who celebrated with us in person or in spirit at the launch party for Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007) on Friday, Feb. 23!

In keeping with the Sanguini’s motif (the fictional vampire restaurant in the novel), guests were asked to sign in as predator or prey.

We decorated in low-key Gothic colors, mostly with accents–including the framed Sanguini’s fangs-style logo in the foyer, black-and-red linens for the daybed, black tapers in the candlesticks, black votives in the tray display, black-and-red pillar candles in the fireplace, red drop crystals in the parlor chandelier, black coasters, and black table cloths. Off-limits rooms were marked with crime-scene and police-line tape.

We also set three tables with the matching linens on the front terrace for those who wanted to enjoy the bright, breeze, 70-something degree night.

So far as wardrobe went, I opted for a slinky black shell and pants, black cowbody boots, my snake-wrapped earrings, my antique gold watch necklace (originally grandma’s), and a full-length black net cape.

The previous day, Barbara Marin at Bo Salon on South Congress had taken my hair to a near black featuring a subtle dark blue sheen with red stripe accent streaks in front, and Kate Pham, also of Bo, painted my nails in alternating red and black. Many guests commented that they thought I should keep the ‘do permanently.

The to-die-for menu, from Primizie Catering, featured: antipasto; smoked salmon gravlox; fresh vegetable crudite platter; imported and domestic artisan cheese board with vineyard grapes and seasonal berries; fresh seasonal fruit; oven dried tomatoes finished with local goat cheese balsamic vinaigreette and snipped chives; Italian sausage “spiedini” with peppers and pecorino romano cheese; calzone with mushrooms and Italian cheeses; miniature stuffed and baked pizza pockets filled with Italian cheeses, wild mushrooms and charred tomato; cocktail sandwiches (wild mushrooms, garlicky spinach and artichoke herb spread on Italian flatbread); and stuffed porcini mushrooms. Absolutely delicious! The calzone and porcini mushrooms were especially popular with our crowd. Guest Anne Bustard graciously provided an Italian creme cake.

Colby Neal ‘s The Flower Studio designed the gorgeously gothic buffet flowers.

Candlewick Press co-sponsored a giveaway of the final book (guests were each welcome to take one). I pre-autographed the copies. A few folks also bought (prior to the party) and brought more for me to sign.

Door prizes included ARCs of the following 2007 novels by Austin-area authors: Brothers, Boyfriends, and Other Criminal Minds by April Lurie (Delacorte); Onaj’s Horn: the Silverskin Legacy (Book Three) by Jo Whittemore (Llewellyn); Runaround by Helen Hemphill (Front Street); and Wonders of the World by Brian Yansky (Flux).

We also gave away a basket filled with fixings for an Italian dinner from Central Market. Contents included: black squid ink pasta; pesto sauce with truffles; sun-dried tomatoes; parmesan; dark chocolate; Sanguini’s mug, sticker, mousepad, and magnet; wine biscuits; and a bottle of Travis Peak Cabernet Sauvignon.

We had a crowd of about eighty from throughout Central Texas, though with ebb and flow, there were usually only about sixty people inside the house at any given time.

Guests included such luminaries as writers Brian Anderson, Kathi Appelt, Anne Bustard, Janie Bynum, Betty Davis, Alison Dellenbaugh, Peni R. Griffin, Lila and Rick Guzman, Helen Hemphill, Frances Hill, Varian Johnson, Lindsey Lane, April Lurie, Mark Mitchell, Sean Petrie, Lupe Ruiz-Flores, Liz Garton Scanlon, Elaine Scott, Jerry Wermund, Jo Whittemore, and Brian Yansky, illustrators Gene Brenek, Joy Fisher Hein, Christy Stallop, and Don Tate, current and former Austin SCBWI RAs-authors Tim Crow, Meredith Davis, Debbie Dunn, Julie Lake, and Nancy Jean Okunami, as well as a bounty other book pros (teachers, school and public librarians, university professors of children’s/YA lit, and so on), including author-librarian Jeanette Larson, librarian-blogger Camille Powell, and a number of additional book lovers, friends, and significant others.

Kathi Appelt was kind enough to propose a toast!

I’d say about a third of the guests were writers or illustrators, about a third other book folks, and about a third significant others and additional guests, which made for a lovely mix.

My special thanks to the central Texas children’s and young adult book community for all of its enthusiasm and support. I’m so honored and thrilled to have such amazing people in my life.

Cynsational Notes

Thanks also to our servers, Anna and Eric! They looked fierce in their custom Sanguini’s T-shirts designed by Gene Brenek. Thanks to author Julie Lake for facilitating their hiring.

Thanks also to Michael Helferich for lending us his chainsaw. Because the weather cooperated, we didn’t need to have the outdoor fireplace on the terrace, but it gave us peace of mind to have it as a back-up plan.

Primizie Osteria – Italian Café and Wine Bar will open soon at 1000 E. 11th Street, Suite 200 in Austin.

See more party news and pics at GregLSBlog. Once the festivities started, we were too busy to keeping shooting photos, but I’ll be sure to highlight any other party posts that may arise. Speaking of which, check out Don’s “A tantalizing party” at Devas T. Rants and Raves, Liz’s “Community” at Liz In Ink, Camille’s “Friday Night Highlights” at Book Moot, “Tantalize Party” (with excellent party pics!) at Jo’s LJ, and Alison’s “A tantalizing weekend” at Alison Wonderland.