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...

...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!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Contest/Giveaway: Last Chance!!

It's your last chance to enter the Mr. Beautiful's Halloween Hop & Birthday Bash contest and giveaway! Right now, we have 9 entries for the "big one." And they all ROCK!!

We need 16 more entries to give away a Kindle. Is it possible? Maybe if we all work together! But if not, we will be awarding a nice prize pack that includes:

$15 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
$25 Applebee's Gift Card
A book of the winner's choice from the following list:
Promise by yours truly (Signed)
Purpose by yours truly (ARC) (Signed)
If you haven't entered yet, why not? You still have time...though the clock is ticking.

And now for some great Promise in the Wild photos:
Cheyanne (Cheyanne with an a) in Texas on her Sony Reader
Dawn (It's in the Book) in Wyoming
Caitlin at Scarrlet Reader

Thank you, everyone! LOVE. THEM!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Splitting Up

No, this is not about me spilling my guts about a nasty break up. No one (that I know of anyway) is breaking up around here. I'm talking about my blog. Yes, this one, right here. It's time to split it up.

I'm not blind to the fact that there's been a lot of self-promotion lately. I wrote the stuff, after all. There's just been a lot of exciting news regarding my books, Promise and Purpose. Since this is my official author's website, it's kind of the place to be putting this kind of news. And, with Purpose's release coming very soon, there's going to be more.

But I still want to share, celebrate and commiserate with all my writer friends, do blog fests, writer interviews and other stuff not specific to me and my books or topics not particularly interesting to readers and fans (ok, so maybe there are only 20 of you, including family and besties, but maybe some day...). I mean, many of you don't really want to read about the mundane life of writing, editing, revising, researching, procrastinating and, more often than any of that, the wonderful qualities of coffee and chocolate.

But with everything going on with the books and the author side of life, I just don't have room to post here, without over-posting. I have a Marketing Monday post ready to go, but the last couple of Mondays have been devoted to breaking news. I have a series of interviews I want to do and a blog fest I want to host.

Soooo...I'm doing the split. (Not splits. Ouch. No.) Splitting up the blog. After Mr. Beautiful's Halloween Hop and Birthday Bash winners are announced next week, I'll be getting to work. All the behind-the-scenes, writerly stuff will be moved over to A Mused Writer, leaving this as my true Official Author's Website (putting it in caps makes it official, right?).

If you're a writer or have an interest in what a writer's life looks like on the other side, please go follow A Mused Writer (it's kind of boring and ugly right now, but I'll be working on that). I hope you'll still follow this one, too. There will be lots about my books and other communications with readers and fans, yes, but I also plan to discuss, spotlight and review others' books, too. Think of this one as my professional-dress site and the other one as my work-in-pajamas blog.

Before I go... I can't let a post go by without mentioning the giveaways. We're getting closer to being able to give away a Kindle!!! This is not a random drawing that's all scientific and your chance of winning is based on some geeky algorithm. No, this is about creativity. But it doesn't have to be a lot of work. It can be simple. Check it out and join in the fun. And if you like the geeky-random.org-number-generator type of giveaways, there's one of those, too.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Promise in the Wild

We have a Promise in the Wild photo all the way from Madrid, Spain!

Thank you, Andrea B. for showing us your copy of Promise, via Smashwords! I hope you've entered the giveaway, because you get all kinds of extra entries for that. :-)

And now a word from our sponsor...(sorry, lovelies, but I thought you might want to know - and if you get it, take a picture and send it to me, especially if you're entering the giveaways)...

The Promise ebook's price has dropped. Now only $4.99! Through November only. Use coupon code AG94Dat Smashwords for Nook, Kindle and other eReader formats.

Or for the Kindle at Amazon:

Monday, November 1, 2010

We're Going International!!!

Promise is finally available on The Book Depository!! Woohoo!! So all you peeps in Canada, Mexico, Europe, Australia and South America who have been asking - you can now get Promise delivered straight to you with free shipping! Check it out here.

I'm so excited that my book can now be (easily) delivered worldwide that I've been bouncing in my chair since discovering it this morning. And more good news?!? I've been given the go-ahead to open the giveaways and contests internationally!!! Go enter here.

I've been trying to work on a Marketing Monday post, but too much going on to focus. I'll try to get it finished up and posted later, though.