OA Today with a Special Announcement

I'm over on OA today with a special announcement--or at least, special to me! Click on over and see!

The Best April Fools' Day Pranks Come Early

Back in the beginning of March, we sent out a call on Operation Awesome for applications from possible new members. I couldn't resist pranking my fellow operatives with the following entry:

Hello Operation Awesome,

I heard of your call for new members, and I've been an enthusiastic lurker on the blog since the very beginning. I would love to join such an awesome group of bloggers!

I'm currently living in Edinburgh with my husband and three children, though I do travel quite a bit as well. I've written a popular series for children--which spans the length of the school years for several characters--and the novels I've written for an adult audience have gotten some notice recently. I am well familiar with rejections from agents and publishers, as well as juggling the demands of family and book tours, so I believe I may be able to offer some humble contributions to Operation Awesome.

Please let me know if you have any other questions for me, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours in hope,
Joanne "J.K." Rowling

Here are my books in case you haven't heard of them:
Harry Potter series

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (26 June 1997)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2 July 1998)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (8 July 1999)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (8 July 2000)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (21 June 2003)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (16 July 2005)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (21 July 2007)

Other children's books

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (supplement to the Harry Potter series) (1 March 2001)
Quidditch Through the Ages (supplement to the Harry Potter series) (1 March 2001)
The Tales of Beedle the Bard (supplement to the Harry Potter series) (4 December 2008)

Adult books

The Casual Vacancy (27 September 2012)

Cormoran Strike series

The Cuckoo's Calling (as Robert Galbraith) (18 April 2013)
The Silkworm (as Robert Galbraith) (24 June 2014)

After deciding to not to send it from a faked email address, I claimed it came to my personal mail because "she wants to make sure she has a real chance at it before giving out her contact info".

It could happen, right? Why wouldn't JK Rowling decide the next chapter in her life is to join a group blog? Hee hee

OA Today

Oops, almost forgot to post that I'm over on Operation Awesome today, with some tips on writing back cover copy. Click on over and check it out!

Moonflower by Angela Townsend

There's only a week left before the March 31 release of Moonflower by Angela Townsend! I got to read this one last year and it's a great twist on the Chosen One trope:

Natasha remembers little from her Russian childhood, other than the lingering nightmares of her mother's tragic death. So when someone close to her hands her a one-way ticket to Russia, along with the deed to her family farm, and then is brutally murdered, she has little confidence about what awaits her in that distant land.

With doubt and uncertainty, Natasha has no choice but to leave her life in America for an unknown future. Once overseas, the terrifying facts as to why she was really summoned home come to light.

Fact one: Monsters do exist.
Fact two: The only thing keeping those monsters out of the world is an ancient mural hidden below her family's farm.
Fact three: The mural that keeps the evil out of the world is falling apart.
The final fact: It's up to Natasha to restore it and save the world from a horror unlike anything seen before.

Luckily, Natasha isn't alone in her mission. Three Russian Knights are tasked with protecting her from the demons as she restores the mural. And leading the Knights is the handsome and strong Anatoly, who seems to be everything Natasha could hope for in a man. Unfortunately, there is one huge problem. Her Knights are forbidden from having relationships with the artists they protect, and Anatoly is a hardcore rule follower. But rules cannot stop the way she feels.

When a horrifying demon breaches the barrier and pulls Anatoly inside the mural, Natasha can’t help but charge, once again, into the unknown—this time to save the man she secretly loves. Now on the demons’ turf, she risks her own life to free the very one who is supposed to be protecting her. Little does she realize that if she should fail, it could mean the destruction of the very last barrier shielding mankind. Will Anatoly refuse Natasha’s help? Or will he finally realize, when love is at stake, the rules will be broken.

Add it on Goodreads!

OA Today

I'm over on Operation Awesome today, St. Patrick's Day, talking about Pookas! In honor of those tricksters, no owl photo today. Instead, here's a creepy horse because horses are one of the shapes that Pookas favor:

So click on over and see what I have to say about Pookas and writing!

Retreat Scholarship Opportunity

Author Deborah Underwood shared this news on Facebook over the weekend:


In 2008, several children's writers joined together for a retreat in Boyds Mills, PA, the home of Highlights Magazine and the wonderful Highlights Foundation. We were all working on different stories in different genres, and so we planned a working retreat, not one where we would meet often to learn from a speaker, but one that would allow us the time we needed to dive deep into our stories and come up for air when we needed it. As it turned out, we usually came up for air about 4:00 pm every day, meeting together to share not only what we had written, but also a few tears and a lot of laughter.

The time we spent alone writing and the time we spent together encouraging one another was important for the stories we were working on at the time and to prepare us for the stories we would work on after our retreat at Boyds Mills. It was so important for us that we want to provide the same opportunity for another writer. The Highlights Foundation is offering Unworkshops during various dates throughout 2014. Consider it time to get away and write what your heart most wants to work on. We can't work it out for any of us to go back right now, so we're sending one of you!

If you are a sincere and dedicated writer who could use this focused time, our retreat group is offering 5 night's stay at a Highlights Foundation Unworkshop, daily writing prompts/encouragement from the members of our retreat group (picture book, non-fiction, middle grade and young adult authors) for the length of your workshop and hopefully even a Skype gab session with one or more of us during your Unworkshop (depending on dates and availability.) (You would be responsible for your own transportation to Boyds Mills.)

To qualify for consideration for this prize, send a statement by March 31, 2014 (to retreatscholarship@gmail.com) explaining why this retreat could be important to you as a writer/illustrator of children's literature. Share a little about the project you would plan to work on during the retreat and your experience writing or illustrating for children. We'll consider all entries and announce the recipient on April 15, 2014.

Happy Writing!

Loree Griffin Burns
Kristy Dempsey
Katy Traffanstedt Duffield
Kathy Erskine
Alma Fullerton
Sara Lewis Holmes

Anne Marie Pace
Tanya Goulette Seale
Linda Urban
Cassandra Reigel Whetstone

What an awesome opportunity! I tend to do my best retreats in my own home (and with my husband elsewhere), but this is awfully tempting. Good luck if you apply! 


Happy Book Birthday to Alison Kemper!

My crit partner, Alison Kemper, has her debut today with Donna of the Dead, a teen romance in the thick of the zombie apocalypse! As part of Entangled Teen's March release promo, Donna is only .99 for a limited time! Click on the cover (designed by another friend, Kelley York, btw) and get your copy!

And while you're waiting for it to download, here's a catchy zombie song to entertain you