Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Break in My Break





I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and have been able to enjoy the holidays with family and friends. I also hope all my northern lovelies have stayed safe and warm through the wintry weather.


I'm taking a break in my blogging break. I guess that means it's an unbreak? Hmm...I don't know. I just felt compelled to write a blog post. Okay, admittedly, I'm also procrastinating. Because that's what we writers do best.

First, a shout-out of hugs, thoughts and prayers for my friend Jessica, aka The Alliterative Allomorph. A bomb exploded about a block away from her home in Athens, Greece. Way too close to home. I can only imagine how frightening that would be. Jessica, I'm glad you're okay!!

If you haven't checked them out yet, the cover contests for Promise and Purpose are still going on. These are fun re-makes readers have done, but They. Are. Amazing. You can vote for your favorites at Confessions of a Bookaholic and A Life Bound by Books.

Mindful Musings is also taking votes for a variety of categories, including best blogs, best books, best characters, best series, best covers and most anticipated books for 2011. Promise, Purpose, the Soul Savers series, Alexis, Tristan, Alexis & Tristan (as a couple) and Owen are all up for awards. They're up against really stiff competition, so it's an honor that someone even nominated them. Go check out the various categories and vote for your favorites.

Before I return to my break, I just want to wish you a very happy and very safe New Year!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!






Haha! Just kidding! Christmas goes on!! So, Happy Christmas Eve!!!

A few inspiring images to share this beautiful holiday. Don't they take you to another time and place? Do they make your imagination run wild like mine? I can't help all the questions running through my mind. Who would live here? What are they doing? Would anyone be outside? Why? Or are they all in front of the cozy fireplace? I just love these kinds of images this time of year, bringing nostalgia, wonder and a sense of peace.









And let us not forget, the reason for the season!


Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hangover Recovery

Just checking in to let you all know that I am still alive. I know I've been MIA on the blog here, but after the whirlwind of Purpose's release party, I've just been taking a little breather. In other words, recovering from the hangover - a virtual one, but still... That and catching up on some much needed personal tasks. Because there's this big holiday this weekend, in case you weren't aware, and except for a little decorating, I hadn't done anything.

But now gifts are bought (though not all wrapped), the long distance ones have been sent and cookies and other chocolatey, peanut-buttery delights have been created. The herd has been home from school all week, making it a bit of a sugar-high madhouse around here.

I've also been thinking about this year - the good, the bad and the ugly - and my goals for next year. At least, my writing goals. I'm excited for next week. A whole week off the day job, which I'm going to spend as if I didn't have a day job. As if I write full-time. I'm ridiculously excited about this, especially after realizing how little writing I actually did this year. So while the herd enjoys their Winter Break - which will probably include a day or two at the beach because that's how winter is around here (in which case I might have to join them) - I'll be enjoying a Writer Break.

What about you? Are you ready for Christmas? Any special plans for the rest of the holiday season?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Release Party Wrap-Up and WINNERS!

This party has been a blast and I thank you all for your grats, best wishes, support, participation...for everything. It wouldn't have been a success without each of you. Your enthusiasm with the giveaways, comments, chats and reviews brings tears to my eyes, and it also gives me an energy I've never experienced before...one that will take me into my next writing project. Thanks to you all, I can't wait to get going on it again.

I have a few more tour stops to announce because I really don't want you to miss them. WARNING: Do not drink while reading the first two. I've been told that you will spew it all over your screen if you do.


Now onto winners!!! WOOT!!!!

Winner of Elizabeth Isaacs' Light of Asteria is....drumroll...
Danielle Gorman!!!

Winner of a signed print copy of Purpose for helping us take on Amazon and buying the Kindle version is...drumroll...
Peggy F!!!

And the Grand Prize!! A Florida beach bag with all you need to bring the beach into your living room to warm up your winter (except for the sand because it's just annoying) - signed copies of Promise & Purpose for beach-at-home reading, a towel, flip-flops, Soul Savers series swag, Purple with a Purpose OPI nail polish, Florida souvenirs and more!

And the Grand Prize winner is...

...drumroll...

BETHANY RAY!!!!

WOOHOO!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Congratulations to all the winners today and throughout the party***. Don't forget that many of the blog tour stops also have copies of Purpose to give away.

Today is the last day to enter the Promise and Purpose Cover Re-make Contest! Voting starts tomorrow!

***Winners, please email me at kristie (at) kristiecook (dot) com to claim your prize.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Meet Elizabeth Isaacs

Elizabeth Isaacs is another indie author of a beautiful story, The Light of Asteria. A book-review blogger recommended it to me and I finished reading it about a month or so ago. I found myself drawn into the gorgeous scenery, the engaging characters and the interesting and unique plot line. Beth has created a new mythology and another world that exists in tandem with our own - that's the best way I can put it without spoiling anything, anyway.

I think it's fair to say that if you like Promise and Purpose, you'll like The Light of Asteria. It's YA, so not quite as edgy as mine, but tells a beautiful love story in a paranormal setting amidst and beyond our own world. I recommend you check it out. I'm pretty sure you'll fall in love, as so many others have done.

Beth has a favorite charity she likes to share with others this time of year. When I checked it out, I couldn't believe how much it fits right into the theme of the Purpose Virtual Release Party...which reflects how my characters celebrate Christmas...which is just like Advent Conspiracy. This is a special cause and Beth and I both hope you'll consider giving, even if just a little, this holiday season.

You can stalk follow Beth on her blog, on her book's blog, on Facebook and on Twitter. She's a pretty cool chicklet!

*For the Purpose Virtual Release Party, I'm paying it forward by highlighting books and their authors, blogs and their writers, and charities and causes. For a list of those I've featured, stay tuned to the party's page.

***GIVEAWAY!!!***

Win a signed copy of Light of Asteria! All you have to do is ask Beth a question in the comments below. Open to US residents only. Closes midnight, 12/17. Winner will be randomly selected and announced 12/18.

Purpose Release Day...

...was yesterday! LOL It's been such a crazy couple of days, I didn't even get to post on Release Day! I think I was suffering from a Twitter Party hangover.

I was also Twitter-partying two nights in a row, celebrating Brenda Pandos' release last night. Yep, we shared a book birthday! And it was the second book in the series and the second book in 2010 for both of us. So how could I not celebrate her release of The Sapphire Talisman with her?!? If you get a chance, congratulate Brenda on her blog, on Facebook or on Twitter.

Okay, back to Purpose's release. Besides Tuesday night's crazy party that landed me in Twitter jail and then led into Release Day, yesterday consisted of a couple character interviews and a guest post by me:

Although Release Day has come and gone, the Virtual Release Party & Virtual Release Tour keep going! Today, I'm hanging out with Lisa at A Life Bound by Books. In fact, the cast and I will be hanging out there the rest of the week. Don't forget to enter - or at least check out - all the cover remakes of both Promise and Purpose at Confessions of a Bookaholic or A Life Bound by Books. Entries due by Saturday.

I also have some more indie authors to spotlight, including one later today. Who will it be? Come back and find out!

Thanks for touring and partying with me! I hope you're having a great week. We're on the down slide...to the last shopping weekend before Christmas! Yikes! Are you ready????

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Joining in a Twitter Party

Tonight is the Purpose Release Twitter Party (8 p.m. EST), celebrating the book's official release date tomorrow! I can't wait!

I've had a lot of people ask me about how to do this Twitter thing...or, if they're at least familiar with Twitter, how to do a Twitter Party. So here's a down-and-dirty tutorial.

First, I found a great site that's all about Twitter parties and how to participate or host one. Here' the link for the Beginner's Guide for Participating in a Twitter Party.

Second, I recommend using Tweet Grid for a party. I've never actually used it for a party, but others have recommended it and from playing around, it seems to be the best choice. I usually use TweetDeck, which you can also use. Just create a column for the hashtag #purposebykristiecook to follow all the tweets. I've noticed, however, that there is a delay with tweets posting in TweetDeck. This can be a problem in a party with giveaways because sometimes the winner is simply the first person to tweet something. If you don't know that you're supposed to tweet it because of the delay, you won't be the first. I missed out on everything in the last party I attended because of this. Hence...Tweet Grid.

Here's the scoop:
  • You can go directly to tonight's Twitter Party through this link: Purpose Release Twitter Party. (If that doesn't work, go to this link: Tweet Grid Party Page. In the hashtag box, type: #purposebykristiecook. In the hosts box, type: @kristiecookauth, @alexisames, @tristan_knight. In the last box, type in your Twitter username.)
  • A window will open with three columns. The left column is the feed for the whole party. Every tweet that includes "#purposebykristiecook" will show up in this column. This is where the conversation is. The center column shows only tweets from the hosts (me, Alexis and Tristan). This is the column you want to watch for announcements of giveaways (those tweets might get lost in the full conversation in the left column). The right column is like your regular Twitter feed - all your friends' tweets and your own.
  • Before you can tweet, you have to log in. Right under the long window-bar at the top that says "Tweet" is a link to log-in. You'll need to enter your Twitter username and password and allow Tweet Grid to connect to your account. Now you're ready to join in!
  • To tweet, simply type your message into that long window-bar and hit enter. Tweet Grid will automatically add the hashtag #purposebykristiecook so that your message goes into the party feed. The red number at the right tells you how many characters you have left before you exceed Twitter's 140-character maximum per tweet.
  • You can reply to any tweets by hovering your cursor over the tweet and clicking the arrow that points to the left. The Twitter name of the person you're replying to will be added to the Tweet window-bar at the top. Just type in your message and hit enter. You only need to "reply" if you want that specific person's attention. Otherwise, all tweets in this Tweet Grid window will go the party because the hashtag is automatically added.
  • To retweet (RT), which means tweeting what someone else has said, hover your cursor over the tweet and click the arrow pointing to the right. The original tweet will show up in the Tweet window-bar at the top. You can just hit enter and the message will be sent as is, going to all your followers, not just in the party feed. Or you can add to it by typing before the "RT" or at the end of the message. When adding to the end, you should separate the original tweet and your add-on with a slash (/) or two so people know that you've added your own thought to the original message. When you add to a RT, watch your character count. You might need to edit the message to get it down to size.
  • If you have something to say that is just too long and important for 140 characters, end your first message with ... If you know how many tweets it will take to finish your thought, you can also add 1/3 (as in 1st of 3 tweets), 2/3, 3/3 at the end. The first number is which tweet in the message this is and the second number is how many total tweets you need to say it. For example, this bullet point could be divided into 4 tweets, so at the end of the first, I'd put 1/4; at the end of the next part, 2/4; at the end of the next part, 3/4; and at the end of the final part, 4/4. This helps people know in what order to read the tweets because sometimes they'll get fed funny.
  • If you start to fall behind and want a chance to read everything in the feeds, you can click Stop at the top of the column. This will stop Tweet Grid from posting any new tweets in that column until you click Search! again.
That's pretty much how Tweet Grid and a Twitter party work. Here are some tips for our party tonight:
  • When you sign on, tweet "I want me some Tristan!" as your check-in AND to enter the giveaway for signed copies of both Promise and Purpose. If you're not using Tweet Grid, make sure the hashtag #purposebykristiecook is included.
  • Pay attention to the center column if using Tweet Grid! This is where you'll see something like, "The first person who tweets Alexis's mom's name wins a Nook!" Type in "Sophia!" in the Tweet box and hit enter. Do it fast and be the first to win.
  • Be sure to follow the hosts (@kristiecookauth, @alexisames, @tristan_knight) so you can see our tweets in all three columns (just in case you get distracted in one column and we post a giveaway announcement).
  • Giveaways will be about every 10 minutes or so. We'll give you a chance to catch up - and catch your breath - before doing the next one. But we do have a lot to giveaway, so it could get hectic.
  • You can practice on Tweet Grid anytime before the party officially starts. Tweet this: "Fun & giveaways at the Purpose Release Twitter Party! Tonight, 8pm EST, use #purposebykristiecook @kristiecookauth" to get extra entries for the first giveaway. Feel free to tweet anything else to get used to the program. I'll be on early to answer any questions.

I hope this has been helpful and hasn't confused you more! See you at the party!!! It'll be a blast!

Party Update

Wow! All kinds of partying going on!

For the Purpose Virtual Release Party, yesterday I introduced indie author Michelle Gregory and her book Eldala, which she's getting ready to re-release. We also gave some fun stuff away on Twitter.

For the blog tour, I stopped by Eisley's Ellipses for an interview, and A Gypsy Writer, with a guest post about the fantasy genre. If you didn't see them, I hope you'll go check them out. And if you'd like, don't forget to follow those fantabulous writers.

Today, Extreme Reader Book Reviews posted a review of Purpose - and it rocks! And tonight...

TWITTER PARTY!!!

I am so excited for the Twitter Party! It starts at 8 p.m. EST tonight. Use #purposebykristiecook hashtag. I also recommend using TweetGrid to follow the party. Party hosts are @kristiecookauth, @alexisames and @tristan_knight. Be sure to follow us!

Why do you want to come? Besides a fun chat and laughs, there will be TONS of giveaways. Like Purpose - both print and ebook...Eldala by Michelle Gregory...Karly Kirkpatrick's Into the Shadows ebook...swag and more! Really, you don't want to miss it.

Please let your tweeps know, too. The more who come, the more prizes we can give away. In fact, the first drawing will be from everyone who tweets about the party before the party. Tweet this exactly so I can count your entry:

Fun & giveaways at the Purpose Release Twitter Party! Tonight, 8pm EST, use #purposebykristiecook @kristiecookauth

The more times you tweet it, the more entries you get...but please not several times in a row. We don't want to spam your twiends. I'll announce the winner at the party. Hope to see you there!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Meet Michelle Gregory

Like Eisley, Michelle Gregory is another angel in our midst, and, like Karly, she is also an indie author. Michelle has been a great help to me in preparing for Purpose's release...while also preparing for her own re-release of her first book Eldala and finalizing her second book, Black Heart, coming soon (very soon, I hope!).


I've had the pleasure of reading Eldala and was swept away. Michelle is an excellent story teller, with beautiful descriptions and fabulous characters. Eldala takes place in another world that is similar to our medieval times on earth. Michelle captures the imagery, immersing you into this strange but believable place. I fell in love with the characters and was disappointed when the book ended because I wanted more. I recommend Eldala, especially if you're a fan of historical fantasy.


Besides writing, Michelle homeschools her three children and runs a blog, beautiful chaos, and a website. You can also find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/michelle.d.gregory and http://www.facebook.com/michelle.d.gregory#!/pages/Michelle-D-Gregory/240386576394

*For the Purpose Virtual Release Party, I'm paying it forward by highlighting books and their authors, blogs and their writers, and charities and causes. For a list of those I've featured, stay tuned to the party's page.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Interviews, Chats and...COOKIES!!

So far, this weekend has been spent catching up on interviews and guest posts, as well as reading and sleep. Our family received a staggering blow last week that knocked me way off course for pretty much everything. So it's been nice to just relax and try to get back to a (new) normal.

The release of PURPOSE and all the exciting news surrounding it has been a huge mood lifter. So thank you to everyone for your good wishes for the release and participation in the party and tour. Thank you for sharing the series with your friends and followers. Every purchase, every review, every recommendation helps and I love and appreciate them all.

Anyway...yes, the party has gone on and it still does! In case you've missed anything, here's what's been happening:

  • One of my favorite interviews yet posted up on YA Addict. Jami had some tough, but good questions for me.
  • I introduced you to a real-life angel and a very special cause that we hope you'll support.
  • Help me take on Amazon! We're trying to take PURPOSE to the Amazon Bestsellers list and it only takes a few purchases in a short amount of time to get there. So I'm offering a giveaway for anyone who purchases PURPOSE for Kindle by midnight tonight. Whether you actually have a Kindle or you download a FREE application for your phone, iPad or PC, you can buy PURPOSE for your immediate reading pleasure. Then send me the receipt and I'll enter you into a drawing for a signed print copy and swag. It'd be great if you shared this!!!

Still going on today:
  • I'm going to a cookie party with the girls, many of whom I haven't seen in a long time. About 10-14 of us making cookies together, flour, sugar and laughs flying. That will be lots of fun! It's also turned into an impromptu signing party for all their books.
  • Tonight, starting at 7 EST/4 PST, I'll be chatting LIVE with Book Reader Addicts on Facebook. Come join us for some fun and laughs.

I have some Soul Savers swag to give away! To enter, just comment with your favorite homemade cookie OR share a baking-related tradition you have for the holidays. Winner will be picked by random.org and prize includes special edition bookmark, bookplate and other swag.

Don't forget to enter the 'BIG ONE' - the Grand Prize drawing.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and I hope to see you tonight on the chat!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Meet an Angel & Give to a Child

I write about angels and their...hmm...activities on Earth (that's sort of a way to put it without giving the books away, anyway :-P). If angels do reside on Earth, embodied in human form, then Eisley Jacobs must be one.

I think Eisley was the first writer-friend I met on Twitter and I am so grateful I did. She's a beautiful person and a wonderful writer. And, dude, she'll make you laugh until you literally are rolling on the floor. Or, at least, falling out of your chair.

Eisley leaves right after Christmas for a mission trip to Ethiopia. She's been sponsoring a child for several years and she might even get to meet her. How cool is that?!? Her story of how this trip finally came about for her is a lovely one. You can read it here.

If you're looking for a worthwhile way to give this holiday season and throughout the year, Eisley and I ask that you consider sponsoring a child through the World Vision Organization. I've heard so many great things about this organization and what they're doing for children around the world. You get back way more than you ever give.

If you don't know Eisley yet, you want to. She'll bless your life, even if just with some much needed laughs. You can stalk her get to know her at www.EisleyJacobs.com or @eisleyjacobs on Twitter.

*For the Purpose Virtual Release Party, I'm paying it forward by highlighting books and their authors, blogs and their writers, and charities and causes. For a list of those I've featured, stay tuned to the party's page.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Purpose on Bestsellers List? And More Giveaways!

Purpose is now available on Smashwords and Amazon! Woohoo!!!

The Amazon listings include the Kindle version and I have a favor to ask you all. If you have any kind of Kindle app, whether for the ereader itself or on your phone or computer, and you've been waiting for the Kindle version of Purpose, you can help me take on Amazon and get it on the Bestsellers list! How? Just purchase your copy for $5.99.

See, it only takes a few purchases in a short amount of time to get ranked on their Bestsellers' list. I'd love to see Purpose on there, if only for a short time. How cool would that be?!? Here's the link:

Also going on today...

Get to know Tristan and Alexis a little better. Jessica at Confessions of a Bookaholic interviewed the couple the other day and has posted the interview. Warning: Tristan is NOT on his best behavior.

More giveaways! Email a receipt of your Kindle purchase dated 12/8-12/12 to kristie (at) kristiecook (dot) com and I'll enter you into a drawing for a signed paperback. You get the ebook to read right away AND a signed copy for your bookshelf and collection...or to give away. You can enter through next Friday, 12/17, midnight, but the receipt must be dated no later than Sunday, 12/12, midnight. Please pass the word! (Open to US residents only. Kindle version not yet available internationally. If you know otherwise, please tell me!!)

We'll be doing another giveaway - a random one - on the interwebz tonight. So pay attention! :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Into the Shadows Winner!

We have a winner for Karly Kirkpatrick's Into the Shadows!

Congratulations to...

NOOKIE!!!

I don't have an email address or way to contact you, so send me an email with your address to kristie (at) kristiecook (dot) com and I'll forward it to Karly. You have 24 hours or might just keep it myself. :)

For everyone else, you can support a new and independent author by purchasing Karly's book for yourself or as a Christmas present for a Young Adult on your list:

Purpose Virtual Release Tour - Stop #1 (and a Contest!)

Jessica at Confessions of a Bookaholic kicks off the Purpose virtual release tour with an interview of yours truly. Also this week, she'll be interviewing Alexis and Tristan and posting her review of Purpose (I'm so excited, I can't wait!).

And that's not all! (said in late-night infomercial voice)

Confessions of a Bookaholic and A Life Bound by Books are hosting a Promise and Purpose Re-cover Contest! Here are the deets:

You can decide to only enter for one cover, or both. They each have their own prize pack for the winners.


Prizes:


The Promise cover winner with the most votes will receive...
A signed copy of Promise, a t-shirt, and a bookmark.


The Purpose cover winner with the most votes will receive...
A signed copy of Purpose, a t-shirt, and a bookmark.







Rules:

You must be at least 17 to enter.
You must sign up through the Linky tool below.
You can have a PROMISE and PURPOSE cover in the contest. Only one of each.
You can do a blog post with the cover(s) or just link the image below.
Contest is US ONLY and sign ups end 12/18.
Covers will be voted on starting 12/19 and the contest ends 12/31.
Once contacted, the winners will have 48 hours to respond with their mailing address.

Details:

You can re-create the Promise cover, Purpose cover, or both. Here are the covers and summary to give you ideas.



Summary:

Alexis Ames has a life full of promise…but not all promises can be kept.

When Alexis Ames is attacked by creatures that can’t be real, she decides it’s time she learns who she really is, with or without the help of her mother, who guards their family’s secrets closely. After meeting the inhumanly attractive, multi-talented Tristan Knight, however, Alexis retreats behind her fa├žade of normalcy…until she discovers he’s not exactly normal either. Then their secrets begin to unravel.

Their union brings hope and promise to her family’s secret society, the Angels’ army, and to the future of mankind. But it also incites a dangerous pursuit by the enemy – Satan’s minions and Tristan’s creators. After all, Alexis and Tristan are a match made in Heaven and in Hell.



Summary:

Lost in despair, Alexis teeters on the edge of an abyss, her lifeline of hope fraying into a thin thread. If it snaps, she’ll plunge into complete darkness. With the help of her son and her writing, she’s been able to hold on. Until now. Erratic impulses, disturbing delusions and her own demonic blood threaten her sanity. When she’s forced to choose between hanging onto hope or letting go to serve her Amadis purposes, she faces a decision with inconceivable sacrifices.

Alexis runs to the one place she thinks will provide answers, only to find herself at the center of another battle of good versus evil, not only with the Daemoni, not only within herself…but also against the worst opponent imaginable. But even if she wins, what will she lose?

Character Descriptions:

Alexis: Petite; long, reddish-brown hair usually pulled into a ponytail; big brown eyes; olive skin; Mediterranean look (her heritage is mostly Greek and Italian); can usually be found wearing jeans and a T or shorts and a tank; shy and reserved and full of secrets; a writer.

Tristan: Tall; muscular build but not overly brawny (yes, think of your wildest fantasies); light brown hair; hazel eyes with gold sparkles (or flames – yes, real flames) around the pupils; square jaw; full lips; enjoys physical activity, especially aikido (martial arts) and basketball; usually rides a motorcycle – owns both a crotch rocket and a Harley; almost always in jeans, and, in my mind anyway, hardly ever wears a shirt LOL.

Sign up on their sites or right here:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Meet Karly Kirkpatrick

Karly has recently joined me and a growing number of others in the indie/self-publishing world with her brand-new book, Into the Shadows.


Paivi Anderson has it all—friends, a spot on the varsity basketball team, wonderful parents, and quite possibly, her first boyfriend. It was everything a freshman in high school could ask for. Her perfect life begins to crumble when she discovers her name on a list distributed by a power-hungry presidential candidate. How could anyone think of Paivi as an Enemy of the State? Could it be because of her special powers? No one was supposed to know about them, but the mysterious messages in her tater tots say otherwise. In INTO THE SHADOWS, Paivi quickly learns who her friends are and is forced into a reality she didn’t see coming.


Karly is a teacher and a mom, living with her family in the Chicago suburb of Elgin, Illinois. She's also pursuing a Master's degree. How she finds the time to do it all, I have no idea. Plus, she also blogs, hangs out at Facebook and on Twitter. Go follow her! And check out her book!

I haven't had a chance to read Into the Shadows yet, but it's definitely on my TBR list. Lucky you - you get a chance to win a copy of Into the Shadows. Just ask Karly a question in the comments and you're entered. I'll randomly pick a winner and announce tomorrow.

*For the Purpose Virtual Release Party, I'm paying it forward by highlighting books and their authors, blogs and their writers, and charities and causes. For a list of those I've featured, stay tuned to the party's page.

Teaser Tuesday - Virtual Release Party Style

Every party needs some music, including the Purpose Virtual Release Party! So I'm sharing a couple songs that could be theme songs for Purpose. Listen to the words and you'll get a tease about the book. These weren't out yet when I was writing, so they're not part of my playlist. But they definitely belong on the Purpose soundtrack, if there ever is one.








Yesterday, I gave away a signed copy of Purpose to a fan of my author's Facebook page. Congratulations to Melissa R! She has until 7 p.m. tonight to claim her prize.


Where will I be giving away a prize today? I don't know yet...that's the idea of random, right? So make sure you're following everywhere: here, the Promise site, the Purpose site, my Facebook author page, my Twitter account, Alexis's Twitter account and Tristan's Twitter account.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Meet Ebyss

One of my favorite writers I've met online is Ebyss. You might already know her, but if not, you should. She's known as Ebyss Writer or Ebyss Leann on the interwebz. She was kind enough to critique Purpose for me after reading and reviewing Promise. I've had the pleasure and immense honor of beta-reading for Ebyss. Watch out for her, lovelies! Her dystopian fantasy RAWKS!!!

She's also managed to land some great interviews with authors, agents and publishers over at her blog, Ebysswriter. Be sure to follow her, especially if you're a writer.

You can find her on Facebook as Ebyss Leann and on Twitter as @ebyss.

*For the Purpose Virtual Release Party, I'm paying it forward by highlighting books and their authors, blogs and their writers, and charities and causes. For a list of those I've featured, stay tuned to the party's page.

Living My Purpose Blog Award

To start off the Purpose Virtual Release Party, I'm giving all of you a blog award! It's the brand-spanking-new "Living My Purpose Blog Award," because I believe we are all living our purposes in one way or another.



To accept the award you must:
  1. Right-click the picture to save and post on your blog.
  2. Share one way you are living your purpose.
  3. Share three other things about yourself.
  4. Give the award to at least three other people, including links so we can check out their blogs.

I'll start:
  • Writing is my purpose and, more specifically, writing the Soul Savers Series is what I was meant to do. You can read about it over at my writer's blog.
  • 3 other things about me:
  1. I love spicy food.
  2. I'm a Certified Professional Resume Writer (yes, there is such a thing!).
  3. When I was young, instead of playing "house," I liked to play Secret Garden and other books, and, when I was a little older, "Grease." I was a Pink Lady, of course!

Let me know in the comments if you decide to take the award so I can learn about your purpose and see who you pass it on to.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Purpose Virtual Release Party Kick Off & Giveaway

It's time to party!
Purpose Virtual Release Party Kick Off!


From 12/6-12/18, we'll be celebrating the 12/15 release of Purpose, Book #2 in the Soul Savers Series. Taking a Random-Acts-of-Kindness approach, prizes will be awarded randomly every day here, on Facebook and on Twitter. And in the spirit of Pay It Forward, I'll be highlighting others' books and their authors, blogs and their writers, and charities and causes.

Join me on 12/14 at 8 p.m. EST for a TWITTER PARTY!!

Start the party by entering for the Grand Prize: a Florida Beach Bag packed full with Promise and Purpose; a beach towel; flip-flops; Purple with a Purpose OPI nail polish; Promise, Purpose and Soul Savers swag; beach stuff; Florida souvenirs; and more. Bring the beach to your living room and brighten up your winter!

Simply fill out the form below to enter. Spread the word to earn more entries. Open to US residents only (sorry, but this is too big to ship internationally*). Entries close at midnight 12/17. Winner announced 12/18.

*Other prizes throughout the party will be open internationally. To maximize your chances of winning these, be sure you follow here, the Promise site, the Purpose site, my Facebook author page, my Twitter account, Alexis's Twitter account and Tristan's Twitter account.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Getting Ready for the Purpose Virtual Release Party

I promised on Tuesday that I'd post on Wednesday more about the Purpose Virtual Release Party. Yeah, didn't happen. Sorry. I'm still nailing down some details...besides that thing called "life" kind of got in the way, too.

But I'm really, really excited about this party. Because I'm turning the idea of a virtual release party upside down. In other words, it's not going to be all about Purpose and me and the Soul Savers Series. As described in Teaser Tuesday, my characters celebrate Christmas a little differently than most of us and I'm taking their lead.

Since the release party is virtual, I can't exactly go out on the streets to do random acts of kindness. Instead, I'll be out on the interwebz, "purpose"-fully looking for opportunities to help people out. And to give stuff away. Like books. And swag. And not just mine. I have all kinds of fun stuff to give away and can't wait to do it!

Here on the blog, I'll be randomly featuring blogs and their writers, books and their authors, and charities and causes. And I'll be giving away more stuff. Tis the season for giving, right?

Sooooo...what does it mean for you? Well, as the term "random" means "without aim, reason or pattern," you never know what will be going on, who will be visiting or where I'll be giving stuff away. It might be here at any given time. Or maybe Facebook or Twitter. Or maybe on your blog. And it might be from Alexis or Tristan.

To maximize your chances of winning, be sure you follow here, the Promise site, the Purpose site, my Facebook author page, my Twitter account, Alexis's Twitter account and Tristan's Twitter account.

We'll also be doing a standard giveaway for the grand prize, which I'll announce on Sunday. I "promise." I have to - that's the kickoff day. So be sure to come back to start gathering entries for that one, too. 

If you like the idea of paying it forward and helping others out, feel free to use it. Of course, it's not my idea. But I'm pretty sure the originators wouldn't mind if you borrowed it, being that's the point and all. And if you've heard a great story or have your own example to share, I'd love to hear it!

P.S. If you'd like to be part of the virtual tour and host a guest post or an interview of me or any of the characters, there's still space. Just drop me a line at kristie (at) kristiecook (dot) com.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

This week's Teaser Tuesday comes from Promise. It's not a particularly exciting passage, but there's a reason I'm sharing it. See, Alexis and Sophia, her mother, don't celebrate Christmas like most people. Sophia started these traditions when she herself was young and alone for the holidays. Here's a couple paragraphs about it, then I'll explain why I'm sharing it. You'll want to know. Trust me.

Christmas Day was the best Mom and I ever had. After delivering the cakes to a homeless shelter and nursing homes, we drove around, scoping out opportunities for random acts of kindness. The first one came when we saw a lady and four small children clambering out of a car. She tried to unload gifts from her old station wagon, while keeping the kids out of the street. Tristan and I carried the gifts to the house for her while Mom helped her with the kids. Tristan slipped her something as we left and she stared after us, her mouth hanging open with shock. He did the same thing each time we helped someone. I didn't ask about it because that was the point of the day, but I knew when we stopped at a convenience store.
We'd just bought drinks and the man behind us argued with the clerk about why his credit card didn't work at the pump. He carried on about how he needed to get to Miami to see his kids for Christmas. Tristan tucked something into my hand, nodded at the man and strode out of the store. I looked at the folded one-hundred-dollar bill in my hand, smiled and stepped over to the man at the counter.
"Here, go see your kids," I whispered. I placed the bill in his hand and hurried out the door before he could stop me. We took off as soon as I was in the car. When I looked back, both the man and the clerk stood outside, watching after us.
Other parts of the chapter explain it more, but basically, Sophia and Alexis make Christmas a birthday celebration and spend the day doing what they believe the Birthday Boy would do - random acts of kindness in the spirit of paying it forward. Tristan just takes it another step, since he has the means and all.

The Purpose virtual release party will be taking this pay-it-forward and random-acts-of-kindness approach. I'll tell you more about it tomorrow, including the prizes. And there will be lots! For now, be sure you're "with" me all over the interwebz, because you'll never know where and how winners will be chosen (it's random, peeps!).

Follow here, the Promise site, the Purpose site, my Facebook author page, my Twitter account, Alexis's Twitter account and Tristan's Twitter account. Then stay tuned and pay attention! How's that for a tease? :-)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Miami Book Fair Fun

Two VIP members of my publishing team and I spent a long weekend in Miami at the Miami Book Fair International a couple weeks ago. They were long days, but we had fun, ate great, met lots of people and learned a lot. I share what we learned from an author's perspective over at my other blog.

The "Before" picture of our half-booth - the ugliness we were given at 9 a.m. Friday morning. Notice the two venti SB cups - we couldn't have made it without them!

An "After" picture of me and Chrissi, the greatest business partner evah. Except for the parking garage in the background, our booth turned out quite pretty , if I must say so myself. :)

Me and Lisa, the other VIP of my publishing team, with our newly created sign.

Me and my new writer-friend, Tracy. It was the last day, so yeah, we look a little wiped. At least, I do.
We met a ton of people, some who were real, uh, characters. Like Madeline, an old favorite from my youth.

I also met Ellen Hopkins and she signed my copy of Fallout. Still deciding whether to keep it or give it away... Hmm...

Guess you'll find out in the upcoming Purpose virtual release tour, launching this week. So check back because we have lots of fun stuff planned and all kinds of goodies to give away!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Even I Have Deals for Black Friday & Cyber Monday!

Be safe, all you crazy Black Friday shoppers. You wouldn't catch me out there, except maybe at the Christmas tree stand. Although, that requires me to accept that Christmas season truly is here. What happened to 2010???

I do have some deals for you and any readers on your list:

Promise ebook is FREE this weekend only at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/19238. All formats, including Kindle. Only good through Monday night.

Promise and Purpose together make a great gift! Buy them together and get FREE shipping. They'll both be signed and delivered before Christmas if ordered by 12/15. http://www.readourwrites.com/shop/ 

Of course, if you've already read Promise and are ready for Purpose, don't forget to pre-order a copy for yourself. :-) http://www.readourwrites.com/item/Purpose-Soul-Savers-2-Paperback-3

Enjoy the rest of the long weekend! When we come back, we'll be gearing up for Purpose's release, including contests, giveaways and lots of prizes. In the meantime, if you see any good fights at the store, take a picture!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just a quick note to wish you a great Thanksgiving with good food...
 ...Family...





...and Friends!


I'm thankful for every one of you! Have a blessed day!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Can I Hang Out at Your Place?

Had a great time at the Miami Book Fair. Met some new friends and fans, but also came back with the beginnings of a head cold and not feeling so hot right now. I'll post pics as soon as I can.

Real quick, though, because December 15 still approaches and I still need to finish planning the blog tour for Purpose's release. Would you be interested in joining the fun? Can I hang out at your place for a day? Or maybe you'd like Alexis or Tristan...or Sophia or Owen...or maybe even a villain instead? We can do a guest post or interview or whatever else you'd like. Fun and unique ideas greatly welcomed!

Let me know by sending an email to kristie (at) kristiecook (dot) com. Thanks!


P.S. Prayers and health vibes greatly appreciated.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What is a lykora?

While I'm at the Miami Book Fair International, I'm also hanging out over at Elizabeth Mueller's place. I won a contest a while back and part of my prize was a drawing of one of my characters by the very talented Elizabeth. She drew me this beauty:


Isn't she beautiful??? If you've read Promise, you might know what she is, though she doesn't really appear in the book. What is she? Find out here.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Harry Potter!!!!

I just have to say I'm jealous of all you who get to see Part 1 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows this weekend. I'm at the Miami Book Fair, having all kinds of fun, and the theater show times just don't work for us to get to see it. Waaahhhh!!!!

It's the first time I haven't seen the movie opening weekend. It's the first time since Prisoner of Azkaban, I think, that we haven't gone to the midnight showing. And, saddest of all, it's the first time I won't get to see it with my kids. Because I'm sure they'll be going while I'm gone. *le sigh*

Enjoy it! And keep your reactions to yourselves, please. :-)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Headed Out to Miami Book Fair

Today we head out to the Miami Book Fair International, which doesn't start until tomorrow, but we have to check in today. It's a 3-day street fair, open to the public. Lots of authors, publishers and booksellers AND readers! My favorite kind of people. :-) Oh, and LOADS of books!!!

It's supposed to be a big one with tons of traffic. I hope so! I also hope we're appropriately prepared. I guess the worse thing that can happen is we sell out of books and we have to ship some. Not a bad problem at all.

Confirmed authors include Ellen Hopkins, Dave Barry, Laurie Halse Anderson, Pat Conroy, Jonathan Franzen, Scott Turow, Scott Westfeld and many, many more. I now wish I'd purchased some of those books I meant to, in case I get a chance to have them signed!

I'm not a "confirmed author" - I don't know why - but I WILL be there. Our booth is in section E, the purple one (must be a good sign), so if you're going, please come visit!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Do you have Promise? Do you want Purpose?

Of course, you DO have promise - we all do! And we all have purpose, too, but sometimes it takes a while to figure out what it is.

But, of course, I'm talking about the books. I'm also talking about Teaser Tuesday, which I haven't done in ages. Tuesday's almost over and you're probably reading this on Wednesday, but...well, whatever. Here's the point:

 Are you ready for Purpose? How about a little peak? Excerpts are now posted over at the Purpose website. If you're tired of waiting to know what happens to Alexis next...well, these bits won't exactly tell you, but they'll whet your appetite for the real thing. A little tease for you. :)

Only 29 days to go! Woot!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Splits and Other Feats Accomplished This Weekend

I did it! The splits! See, here I am:



Haha! Yeah, right. This is about as close as I get to the splits:



So, actually, I split the blog. You may not notice any difference here, although there are some past posts missing. But there's a big change over here. While you're checking out my new writer digs, learn about the seemingly never-ending road of revisions and how Purpose still looked like this last week:



And please don't forget to follow that other blog, especially if you're a writer. All my writing, publishing and industry related posts will be over there, leaving this one for my books, author news and other official author stuff. We'll still have fun here, but more readerly fun than writerly fun.

Besides the split, which wasn't as bad as I expected, I also accomplished this over the weekend. Plus the beginnings of a website for my publisher. And put together the first issue of my newsletter, which will be going out shortly.

But probably the greatest accomplishment of all? Four generations of a family dinner and NO FIGHTING. We even played a game. I have three teen boys, 16 and 18 months apart. They define "competitive." So I cringe a little when a game is brought out for them. But we all played and had a great time and a fun dinner. Makes me look forward even more to Thanksgiving.

What did you get done this weekend? And did you have time to just hang out, too? Any good stories to share? Promise, I won't tell. :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

We Have Winners!

Thank you to everyone who played along, participated and spread the word for the Mr. Beautiful's Halloween Hop & Birthday Bash! It was a lot of fun and I particularly loved seeing all the renditions of Tristan. :) I wasn't a judge, which is a good thing because I wouldn't have been able to choose. They were all great! The judges complained about how hard it was, too, but have come to a decision.

So without further ado, the winner of the Halloween Hop:






Congratulations, Jessica at Confessions of a Bookaholic!!!!!

Check out the list here and let me know which book you'd like to accompany your gift cards. Send me an email with your choice and your address.

And the 1st winner of the Birthday Bash, randomly chosen by random.org:

Email starts with DawnEmbers!!!!

Yay, Dawn! Go pick out your choice of books here (scroll down for the list) and shoot me an email with your choice and address.

The 2nd winner of the Birthday Bash, randomly chosen by random.org:

Email address starts with cheyelizabeth!!!

Yay, Chey!!! Please email me your shipping address and I'll get your prizes sent out to you.

Thanks, again, everyone for playing!