Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Antique Emporium

If some of you follow my Facebook fan page, I've been updating a bit more regularly there than I have been here -- for those of you who don't follow there, I've been super busy lately! I'm writing a new book, I'm looking forward to the HQTeen paperback release of Legacy coming up the beginning of next year (I'll let you know when I have a definitive date), and as usual life has been throwing a few curveballs. I've been on a bit of a personal roller coaster ride (and not the fun kind... the kind where you can't wait til its over but you don't know if there will be a happy ending or if by the time the coaster stops you will have puked on the crowd gathered below).

I would really encourage you guys to skip on over to the FB fan page (you don't even need to be a Facebook member to access the content there), and check out the videos and pictures I've posted recently. I've been showing off the foreign editions of Legacy, and I've done some goofy faux interviews with my friends. There are also new press pics up and I'm planning more pictures to come!
Since I can't talk a whole lot about what I'm currently working on, I decided I'd start showcasing my hometown a little bit on this blog. I went downtown to this amazing antique shop we have, called the Antique Emporium, and took a bunch of photos. I've posted a few of them here, followed by the link to the album on Facebook (again, no need to have an account!).

To see the rest of the album, visit the FB fan page HERE.

Thanks so much, and I'll be back as soon as I can!



Friday, July 30, 2010

Books and an Interview

Hi all!

I've got some really cool stuff to share today. First, I did an interview with Alessandra Zengo for her blog Diario di Pensieri Persi. Ale is an amazing person who runs an exceptional blog, and I had a blast working with her. Check out the interview (and her review of Legacy!) here:

Gli Speciali

Thanks so much again to Alessandra for this opportunity!

I'm now reading Anne of Green Gables, which of course means I've finished both Treasure Island and The Haunting of Hill House, so I want to take a bit to talk about my thoughts on both books. If you've read them or plan to, leave a comment and tell me your thoughts, whether they're the same as mine or completely different!

So first, Treasure Island. I've said before that if Robert Louis Stevenson were still alive, I would want to have his babies. I'm sticking to that conviction. Treasure Island is such a classic story -- I remember watching Muppet Treasure Island when I was little (and maybe I watched it again after I finished reading the book...) -- and RLS's writing is impeccable, astounding, amazing, absolutely PERFECT. I've never felt that way about an author's writing before. I'm seriously in love with this man.

As a point of interest, I also watched the made-for-TV version of Treasure Island (starring itty-bitty Christian Bale and Charleton Heston) post-reading. The only place I've been able to find it is on YouTube, but I encourage everybody to check it out! It sticks to the book almost beat by beat. It's the most accurate film version I've ever seen.

Make sure you stick to the vids by balehead28 -- they don't skip at all.
Also, just gonna put this out there, I love Treasure Planet. Awesome movie. :P
The most recent book I read was The Haunting of Hill House. I picked that one up because my friend Annie brought over her favorite scary movie one night -- The Haunting (made in 1963 I believe; it's totally classic), which is based off the book. Anyway, I loved the movie and had heard amazing things about Shirley Jackson (who HASN'T read The Lottery?), so I proceeded to read the novel, and I loved it as well. It's a slow-build book, so there was a point about half-way through that I realized nothing had happened yet -- and I didn't care, because the writing was so beautiful and SJ's style gives you complete confidence that she knows exactly what she's doing, where she's going, and that she expects you to come along for the ride. It's an amazing experience. The Haunting of Hill House is officially one of my all-time favorite books.

Tomorrow the CSN Giveaway contest ends -- until I've posted results, people are still free to enter. I might even wait 'til the first to name the winner, to make sure everyone who wanted in has had a chance to enter their name. Anyway, I think that's about all for now, so stay cool!

Monday, July 19, 2010

CSN Giveaway! (CLOSED)

Hi everyone,

I have a really unique opportunity for you guys -- I was contacted last week by the CSN promo team, and they've given me the chance to do my very first giveaway!

So here's the deal: what's being given away is a $40 gift certificate which the winner can use against a purchase on any of CSN's websites: pick anything from a table lamp to a pair of fashion boots to a set of kitchen accessories. (Certificate does not cover shipping/handling.)

To enter the contest, leave a comment on this post (on my blog, if you're reading via RSS) with your email address. To have your name entered into the pot TWICE, blog about this contest on your site, and share a link to the post in your comment.

The winner will be chosen RANDOMLY.


Be sure to leave your email address, otherwise I can't send it on to CSN Stores!

I went browsing on some of their sites (there are 200+!), and found some really cool stuff, like this accent lamp:

I would LOVE to have that in my office!!
I also found these boots, which I'm dying to own:

My older sister and I collect boots like maniacs. She has an awesome pair similar to these that she bought in London.
And then, what I'm calling The Big Bang... this absolutely toxic WRITING DESK!!!!
So, as I said earlier, comment, blog about the giveaway, and best of luck to everyone!
Thanks so much to CSN Stores for this opportunity.
(P.S. Check here for info on international shipping before you enter.)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Be Italian... (I Have That Song In My Head)

I'm pretty sure Steldor would be peeved that only one person thinks he's perfect. :P Here's how this month's Offkey Poll played out:

Do you think Steldor really loves Alera?
33% He didn't at first but he does by the end
37% Nope, he just wants the crown
27% He always has but just didn't know how to approach her in the beginning
1% Steldor is perfect

So I finished Peter Pan, and I loved it. I was also pleased to discover it's not as politically incorrect as the Disney movie!! ;) Haha, it's such a good story, and so original, and it didn't hurt that the entire time I was reading the book I was picturing Johnny Depp from Finding Neverland as its author. Now I've gone back to the love of my life, Robert Louis Stevenson -- I'm reading Treasure Island.

I'm also plugging away at an entirely new project which my mom has dubbed "The Italian Job" since I don't have a working title for it, and most of the characters' names are Italian-inspired. I'm having fun being behind the keyboard again, but that's why I've been away from Offkey and the Facebook Fan Page quite a bit. It's hard to keep up with everything! I've been doing a number of foreign interviews as well, and its been such an amazing time.

I want to quickly say thanks to you all for reading and for all the comments I got on my last post! I absolutely love to hear your opinions, so let me know what you're reading, what you're thinking, what's going on in the world, and if there's anything you think I should blog about or check out!

I'll be coming up with a new poll in mere minutes... until next time, tata!


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Holy Crap. Shakespeare Makes Sense.

Hello all,

I finished reading Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (and the other stories in the collection) and have decided that, were Robert Louis Stevenson still alive, I would want to have his babies. He is so brilliant. Now I'm reading Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie, which I was inspired to pick up because a friend of mine (David Andino) showed me these videos (of songs from the musical Darling, which is a completely new take on the Peter Pan story):


Lost Boy

So the other day I was wandering through Target and I spied by chance a DVD version of Hamlet starring Patrick Stewart and David Tennant. My older sister and I are HUGE David Tennant fans, stemming from his performance as Dr. Who, and when we found out he was going to be Hamlet in London we actually tried to figure out how to get over there to see it (having no money turned out to be an obstacle). Anyway, we were depressed because we thought we'd never be able to see his take on the character, or Patrick Stewart's on Claudius. But, miraculously, there this DVD was before me, a specially staged edition that seemed to say, "Dear Cayla and Cara: Thinking of you. Love, The Royal Shakespeare Company."

I bought it. We watched it.

Now here's the truth of the matter: I've always known that William Shakespeare wrote some of the most beautiful material ever put to paper, but prior to this Hamlet, every Shakespeare show I'd seen had me bouncing my foot and itching to get out of my seat because I just couldn't make myself enjoy it, and I thought I had to be dumb and uncultured because of it. (I'm still sure I'm dumb, but that's for unrelated reasons.)

But aha! I have been shown: the difference between amateur Shakespeare and professional Shakespeare is the difference between a preschool pageant and a rock concert. It just has to be done right. Patrick Stewart and David Tennant understand the material so completely in this production that the lines they deliver don't seem like high language, or language that's fallen out of use. There's no pretension, it's just like this beautiful melding of brilliant minds and more talent than the planet ought to be able to hold, to form something so utterly REAL that you can't help but be devastated by the progressiveness, uniqueness, awesomeness, and GENIUS that William Shakespeare possessed.

If he were still alive, I would have his babies as well.

Seriously, if you love Shakespeare, buy this Hamlet. If you've never gotten Shakespeare before (like me), buy this Hamlet. Here:

Awesome Amazing Spectacular Hamlet

This blog post in sum: read Robert Louis Stevenson, and watch Hamlet. (Also watch Dr. Who. Because who doesn't love Dr. Who??)

Hearts and loves,


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I'm From Wisconsin

Well. I was watching an episode of Law and Order, and the detectives were searching this person's apartment. One of them picked up a piece of paper and commented that the person had to be a tourist because they kept a subway map.

I thought they meant a map of the locations of all the Subway restaurants in New York City.


I am so from Wisconsin.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

German Cover + Italian Alera

Hi all,

Well, I realized when my browser no longer remembered the web address for my blog that it was probably time for an update.

First off, I got a peek at the cover for the German edition of Legacy, being published by Piper Fantasy this fall (I think... I should double check the date!!). Check it out below -- I LOVE it. I'll also be doing a podcast interview with them shortly. I'll let you know when and where to listen!

So yeah. Totally in love with that cover. "Legacy" translated to German apparently sounds terrible (hehe) so the new name is "Alera: Beloved Enemy." Anyway, next up, I just found out that my Italian publisher, Sperling, will be creating a Facebook page for Alera, and they sent me what will be her profile picture (I'll also post a link to her page as soon as I've got it).

Cool, huh? I'm super excited.

I'm working with my editor at HQTeen, Natashya, on Legacy now, and I love her to bitty bits (which is what I always say about my cat and I just realized how creepy it sounds). I also bought a hydrangea, which I have dubbed "Heidi the Hydrangea", for my completely redecorated office. (It's very zen now.)

...And that is my life. In a nutshell. So! I will be back with more updates shortly. I'll also think up a new poll question and some other cool stuff to share on here. Oh, and up top I've decided to let y'all know what I'm currently reading, so you should let me know what you're reading in the comments, or if you've read the same books!


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Despite a Terrible Week...

I'm back! And I actually have good news (despite said terrible week that has kept me from my blogosphere and Facebook page duties).

First, the winners of the laptop raffle have been notified -- congratulations to Victoria and her laptop Charles; Sarah and triSarahtops; and Jenna and Ronaldo! :) Thank you SO much to everyone who entered, and I promise there will be other contests coming up with more fun stuff to win.

Second, HERE'S THE BIG NEWS. Though being with AmazonEncore has been a great experience, and their team is made up of many wonderful, talented people, recently it became clear that it would be in the best interest of the Legacy Series to go in another direction. Thus, I am honored to now have joined forces with Harlequin Teen, who will rerelease Legacy in 2011, and the remaining books in the trilogy at intervals thereafter. For those of you who have been waiting so patiently for Allegiance since the Encore release of Legacy (some of you have even been waiting since the self-published release of Legacy), this may seem disappointing, but I promise this is absolutely the best place for me and the books to be. Shout out to Natashya Wilson and everyone else at HQ Teen for giving me this opportunity! Also thanks so much to my agent, Kevan Lyon, for once again reaching above and beyond expectations.

Moving on, I've got some awesome fan art to share, courtesy of Marissa over at the Facebook fan page. Check out her entire portfolio here: Rissi-Chan's Gallery.

That's about all I think... thanks so much for dropping in! I really feel like I'm forgetting to put something in this post... ah well, just means I'll be back soon. ;)


Monday, March 1, 2010

Allegiance Prologue + Contest!!

Well, ladies and gents, you far surpassed the goal of 137 votes on this month's Offkey Poll -- there are still a few hours remaining to cast your opinion, but as of right now, the number's 186. Thanks so much to everyone for voting!!! For this month's prize -- the Allegiance Prologue -- click the link below:

Allegiance Prologue

Hope you enjoy! :)

I'm sorry to once again disappoint -- I still don't have a release date for Allegiance. I know some of you are probably starting to doubt that it's coming out at all, but I assure you that it IS going to hit shelves. You will have it in your hands before too long, but until then, hopefully the prologue will give you something to concentrate on.

A little while ago, the lovely Joanna over at the Facebook Fan Page started a discussion about laptops. Please stop by and let us all know what the name of your laptop, desktop computer, or notebook is! (We're all a bit quirky!) I've started a raffle as well -- send an email with the name and brand/color/anything you want to include about your computer or writing device to:


If your name is randomly picked, you'll receive a return email asking for your mailing address, which will remain confidential. You'll be sent a signed copy of the original, self-published version of Legacy. There will be three winners so send your email today! (The receipt period ends March 21st at midnight.) Please let me know either here or on the fan page if there are any questions.

I think that's about it for now, except for poll results: What is London's relationship to the High Priestess?

29% They were/are in love
4% They're siblings -- London is actually the Overlord
7% London is her son
58% Something completely differend because Cayla wouldn't post a spoiler

...Or would I? :P

Haha, thanks so much for stopping by, and please join the raffle -- it's all for fun!


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I'm Late... Again.

You guys need to start harassing me when I'm being lazy. And I REALLY need to catch up on the Facebook fan page -- I haven't forgotten!!!! But I am trying to have book number 4 (not in the Legacy series) done by the beginning of March so I've been scrambling a bit on the home front.

Anywho, poll results for: Who is the hottest of them all?

63% Narian
13% Steldor
6% Alera
13% London
2% The High Priestess
0% Other

Narian steals the prize (again). Haha, well the goal was 117 votes and we ended up with 136 so here it is, the first floor map of the Hytanican Palace!

A new poll is up, one that has to do with Allegiance: What is London's relationship to the High Priestess? The reason I chose a question relating to the second book is that as a prize (if there are over 136 votes this month), I'm planning to post Allegiance's prologue. (As a disclaimer, I haven't cleared this with The Almighty's - meaning the people who actually know stuff - yet, but I don't expect it to be a problem.)

Now onto what I've been up to -- as I said, I'm busy writing book #4, and I've also been doing a lot of music recently with my brilliant boyfriend (but more importantly amazing friend) David. We did a show in his hometown this past weekend, for which we sang the duet When the Stars Go Blue and he accompanied me on A Change is Gonna Come. Here's a pic for you (sorry, Davey, you're hitting the wide web):

We had a really good time, and there were some other amazing performers there (ahem, Zoe!!) -- over all, it was a Saturday night well spent.

I will be back with more soon (provided you guys harass me enough)!

Love to all,