Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Before I jump into Teaser Tuesday, I just want to give a shout-out for the contest at The Alliterative Allomorph. And not just because I admire her willingness and ability to type that title all the time! Sheesh. My fingers were tripping over each other. She's having an amazing contest and it's for a good cause to support The Writing Show. If you are a writer, you'll want to jump in. EXCELLENT prizes await. Check it out here. Understand that I'm being very generous here because I really, really want to win and all I'm doing is adding to the competition. Oh, well. A win by any of you is a win for me. :-)

Okay...now onto today's teaser. For a blogfest last week, I posted a portion of the prologue to Promise, which ended up getting cut from the book (a very long time ago). I enjoyed the comments and reaction to the scene, because it was obvious nobody had read Promise yet. Otherwise, I think you'd know exactly what's going on.

I thought it would be fun for both those who have already read the book and those who have not to post the entire deleted prologue. It's under Deleted Scenes on the www.IHavePromise.com website. You'll also find the first two chapters on the Excerpts tab. Read them both to see if you can figure out what's going on in that blogfest scene...and then read the book to really know what's happening. ;-)

Monday, August 23, 2010

We Interrupt Our Regular Scheduled Programming...for MOCKINGJAY!!!

It's Monday, which means it's supposed to be Marketing Monday here on this blog.



(No, not huge butt. Ew.)


It's Mockingjay Eve!!

See that counter down there...less than 12 hours!! I haven't been this excited for a release since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. (Okay, I lie. I was a hundred times more excited for my own release, but that's completely different.)

In preparation, I've been re-reading The Hunger Games and Catching Fire this weekend. And now I'm getting this sinking pit in my stomach in anticipation for Mockingjay. Because I'm really scared about what's going to happen. Who's going to make it? Who's not going to make it? What horrible things are they going to have to suffer? I'm so scared for these characters I've fallen in love with.

The first couple times I read the books, I was totally Team Peeta. Well, really, I was Team Katniss, just wanting her to finally be happy, but I leaned heavily toward Peeta. He's sooo proven his love to Katniss. And I just didn't know Gale enough to feel the necessary connection to love him. But this last time, for some reason, I at least have a better understanding of Katniss's feelings for Gale. And since I really am Team Katniss, I just hope she gets to enjoy the happiness of ending up with one of them.

Because I'm kinda afraid she's gonna end up dead. WWWWAAAAAAHHHH!!! I know, how dare I say it. I read an interview with Suzanne Collins, though (I so terribly wish I could find the link again - I'll update this post if I do), that kind of eluded to this. I'm sooo hoping she was just throwing us for a loop, but then I wonder if she said it so we would think she was deceiving us, while actually providing a huge hint.

I can't wait. And I know I'll devour it the first time, then have to go back and re-read to make sure I didn't miss anything good. And then I'll be thinking about it for a while and then feel the let-down that it's actually over and I have to live with whatever ending the author gave it. I love these kinds of stories and strive to write them. You know, the ones that have you so engrossed, you can't even think of anything else...before you've even read it!

Are you as excited as I am? Do you have that same anxiety that you're about to lose someone you love? What are your predictions? If you, by chance, have already read Mockingjay by the time you read this, you will be forever banned from my blog if you spoil anything! I just want to hear your predictions based on the first two books and your thoughts on what might happen in the last.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Five for Friday

Last week, I had a little whine fest and shared my gratitude, all with the hope of explaining why I've been a little quiet on the blogs lately. I've realized, with another relatively quiet week, that it's all about my feeling of being overwhelmed and the need to re-evaluate priorities and find balance. So I've been in a melancholy mood this week while I try to figure out what to do about the chaos.

Today, I share five things that have inspired me, with the hope that you can fall back on these when you, too, need a little kick in the butt:

  1. Writer friends - They ROCK!!! Regardless of what stage they're in - from writing or revising their first novel to querying to writing or revising their next contracted book - they inspire me with their commitment, perseverance, passion and courage.
  2. Reader friends - Whether real-life or online, occasional or die-hard readers, book bloggers or not, their love for one story or many brightens a writer's day. When they share their love of a book and its characters, it's like the sun coming out on a cloudy day.
  3. Bloggers - Regardless of their topic or theme, they provide a connection to others with similar interests, challenges or accomplishments. They lift me up with their positive words when needed; enlighten me with their insights; broaden my mind with new perspectives and ideas; and give me new goals to shoot for. They often remind me that there is a whole world out there to be enjoyed.
  4. Family and friends - because I just can't leave them out. They are my rock.
  5. And last, but not least, this one quote was exactly what I needed this week. I've been thinking about it for several days, since someone posted it on Facebook. I've decided it needs to be my new mantra (though I think I'll paraphrase it for myself, to make it a little easier to remember). There are so many things to do all the time, but not all of them are truly important. It's also easy to put off the ones that really are the most important. Here's the quote:

"Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone." - Picasso

One thing I can't put off this weekend is my youngest son's birthday. 15!! Yikes!!! He can get his learner's permit now. Double-yikes!!! And now, for the next 6 weeks, my kids will be 15, 16, 17. How did we get here already????


Happy Birthday, bud! I love you! (No, he doesn't read this...but just in case.)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday

Sorry I haven't posted much this week, my lovelies. I've decided to re-think my Teaser Tuesdays for a while, because I don't know what to tease you with. Promise is out and I think I've already teased the hell out of it, anyway. And until more people read Promise, I don't want to get into Purpose. So...I'm thinking of replacing it with something else, but haven't figured out what.

And yesterday I had a post completely written in my head. I even had a title for it: Whiner Wednesday. Because that's all I was doing: whining. Complaining about not having enough time, money, space and sleep. Whining about everything I had to do, which keeps me from doing all those things I really want to do. Sharing my envy for all of you who get to read a lot and write reviews and manage beautiful book-blog sites...or those of you who get to write without a deadline or are so involved in your writing, you think of nothing else and wishing I was in that place again but there's just too much to do...or those of you who have been taking trips - whether long or short, nearby or far off - because it's been so long since I've traveled for fun.

Yes, it was all about whining. And who am I to whine right now? Sheesh! My first novel has just been released. I'm living my dream! So I mentally spanked myself and put myself into gratitude mode.

Because I am so thankful for all the blessings I have - my family, my friends, my day-job that pays the bills, a roof over my head, vehicles that get us all from point A to point B safely and reliably (perhaps without A/C, but at least we're safe), the ability to purchase school supplies and clothes for my kids, and, of course, my writing and all the people who have supported me, past, present and future. We're all generally healthy (although it's football season so that can change quickly), my kids stay out of trouble and do well in school, we both have jobs and aren't suffering nearly as badly as many during this economy. God has truly blessed us.

I'm also thankful for all of you, who check in here to see what nonsense I have to share. Who have read my book and suggested it to others. Who comment here or on Twitter or Facebook or email or real-life. Thank you for reading my ramblings and joining me in the celebration of Promise's release. Thank you for sticking with me for what's to come. *Love and hugs thrown at you all*

So...what are your thoughts for this summer's day? What are you thankful for? Or, if you feel like it, what do you have to whine about today? Go ahead, I don't care. Sometimes we need that bit of time to let it all out. It helps us to release it from our souls and then to regain perspective. So use this opportunity to whine, if you'd like. We can all whine together and offer cheese to each other to go with it, and then move onto better thoughts.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Five for Friday

Friday is more than half over, although there's still Friday night. That's the best part, right? ;-) But today has just been full of really cool and crazy things:

  1. First, it's Friday! Cool all by itself!
  2. I found out one of our day-job clients is married to a prolifically published author! I hope to meet her one day very soon. That's just too cool.
  3. We got tickets to see Aerosmith in Tampa tomorrow. I've never seen them and I'm really looking forward to it. Especially to the fact that I won't be the oldest in the crowd. LOL Recently, we've been to Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace and 30 Seconds to Mars and we've always been the geezers. Now I'll be the baby. :-)
  4. My son got inked! Yes, it's frawesomely cool. But he's 16 and he's my son! A part of me weeps, but I like it and I'm glad he got something that will still mean something to him in 25 years - he'll still be Irish. LOL And it refers to a Bible verse, so that's pretty cool. It's very well done and if I decide to get an Amadis tattoo, I know where I'll go now (if not Miami Ink). What is Amadis? You'll have to read Promise to find out. ;-)
  5. And last but definitely not least...Promise has been selected as a finalist for the Royal Palm Literary Award by the Florida Writers Association! Woohoo!!

Many reasons to celebrate. So I'm going to do just that. Have a cool and crazy weekend, lovelies!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Party Pics

The Promise real-life release party was a blast. I wish you all could have been there. Maybe next time? A few fun pics to share:

These beauties were my very first readers, before I ever really thought about publishing my writing. That book I'm holding is a beautiful scrapbook they made for me. Did I cry? Of course! I love these girls.
A few members of the herd of teens. I wasn't kidding about them! This is the core group - minus my oldest's girlfriend and a couple friends of my youngest - but there are usually others around, too. (Back row, first three from the left are mine. And I'm in 2 1/2" heels!)
My lovely business partner, Chrissi, and me. Yes, we love confusing our clients with our names. Not really.
Readers checking out their books. :)
Friends enjoying the Promise cupcake...and other refreshments.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Tasty bites from the reviews of Promise...

"The love between Tristan and Alexis will leave you breathless! Their relationship is strong and even though they seem to be "good versus evil", everything fits together perfectly. This book takes us into their world, and the world Alexis never knew existed. Some questions are answered while some are left for the next book. The "Angel's army" must be saved and it is all in their hands." -- Jessica at Confessions of a Bookaholic

"The story flowed easily from one page to another with the descriptive writing, strong characters that were easy to cheer for and a love story to leave your heart tingling - Kristie’s Promise is a book bursting at the seams - with an ending that’ll leave you wanting more." -- Lisa at A Life Bound by Books

A little line I found in the blogosphere in a wrap-up for the 48-Hour Read-a-Thon: " picked up Promise by Kristie Cook.. again.. :-) I first read Promise in July and LOVED it. And now at second reading it is just as much enjoyable and wonderful. I feel like this one will be a book I'll be re-reading quite a few times in the future." -- Stella at Ex Libris

A couple delish teases...

The Promise Cupcake by Sassy Cakes - yes, they custom-developed a cupcake for the book. A total surprise and VERY cool! Chocolate and raspberry...YUM!!! Isn't it beautiful?

I got these for my birthday from a dear friend and they're so beautiful, I had to take a picture. They're chocolate!!!! Norman Love Confections are sold around the country in upscale hotels and restaurants and made right here in Southwest Florida. But until a couple weeks ago, I had never had one. They're so gorgeous, I don't want to eat them...but because they're made with no preservatives, they're supposed to be eaten within 21 days. And I certainly don't want them to go to waste! :)

The cupcake has been devoured, but I'll share the chocolates. Go ahead, take one. Hehe I'm such a tease, huh? ;-)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Winners!!! Final Daily Giveaway & THE Grand Prize

After a much needed weekend of relaxation, it's back to hitting it hard again. After all the chaos and hoopla last week and Friday night, then retreating to the comfort of home and family for two days, I kind of had this mixture last night of relief, then a brief moment of post-climactic let-down and then the realization that I am now a published author. For real. It's out there. Weird!!! And cool! So freakin' cool that I'm all excited again just writing this. :)

And there is still plenty to do to keep spreading the word about Promise. I still need to put the final touches on Purpose, too, so I can get it ready for release. So the fun and excitement have definitely not ended.

Especially because I still have winners to announce! Yay!!! Without further ado...

The final daily drawing winners are...
  • Local winner: $25 Lux Boutique gift certificate + Promise t-shirt + Promise bookmark; Lisa!!
  • Non-local winner: Signed copy of Promise + Got a Date To-Knight OPI nail polish + Promise t-shirt + Promise bookmark: Caitlin!!!
Congratulations, winners!!

And the Grand Prize winner of this amazing gift basket:
  • Signed copy of Promise
  • T-shirt
  • Got a Date To-Knight OPI Nail Polish
  • Purple Leather Necklace
  • Bookmarks
  • Bottle of Nothing
  • $5 Starbucks Gift Certificate
  • $10 Amazon Gift Certificate
Drum roll, clapping, stamping of feet, noisemakers sounding...

Congratulations, Natalie!!! WOOHOO!!!!

Winners, email me at kristie (at) kristiecook (dot) com to claim your prizes.

Next week we'll get back to normal with Marketing Monday. Later this week I'll post pictures from all of last week's crazy fun. Thank you, everyone, for playing along and celebrating with me. Welcome to my new followers. Glad to have you along for the ride!