Last week’s winner of A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly is… Pretty! Email me your address, P.
So you know how I went to the Tyra Show last week? Well, I did promise that I’d be giving away the Dereon necklace I got for embarrassing myself with some awkward butt-shaking on stage, so that’s one prize that’s up for grabs this week–I can’t find a picture of it online but it’s a pearl-and-gold chain with a big gold “Dereon” symbol hanging from it (and by “pearl-and-gold” I mean totally fake pearl-and-gold… sorry.) I feel like this prize is timely, because did you guys see Beyonce just kill it last night at the Inaugural Ball? Tears! Just watch:
Now, the second prize you can win this week is a copy of The ABCs of Kissing Boys by Tina Ferraro. I just finished it, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable story because I kind of fell in love with the two main characters and really got into how much I thought they should be together. Isn’t it the best when that happens? You’ll like it. And isn’t the cover so great? I love how the colors are muted a little–very sweet and soft.
To enter for either prize (specify if you’re going for just one): Comment below and tell me if you watched the inauguration yesterday. Where you were, who you were with, what you thought, etc. And it’s okay if you didn’t watch it… just tell me that. I’m curious to see if schools let people watch in class, if offices gathered in conference rooms, etc. I watched it at home with my friend and co-iheartdaily.com editor Anne while we had a “business meeting” that involved pizza and Obama.
Then we went to a NY Times party at the New Museum, and they had a photo booth. Woohoo! Our pictures totally ended up on the NY Times Facebook page.
I’m just a fan of A.S. King, a fan of this trailer, and–most likely–a fan of this book (can’t wait to read it!)
Today is the day!
I couldn’t resist. That’s me on my stoop.
How’d I do it? Visit I Heart Daily to find out!
PS-Original photo by the awesome Quito Ziegler.
The fabulous and funny Alexa Young released Frenemies #2: Faketastic this month, and she’s here to share her cover story–it’s a doozy (and one of my favorites!).
“I had an idea in mind for the cover of FRENEMIES, but only because my editor sent me some of the early cover concepts a designer had been working on. I loved them–especially one with two separate pairs of girls all over the cover, and the cool bedazzled font. I especially liked how there weren’t just two characters representing ‘frenemies’ but that there were four girls, leaving the reader to decide which of them–if any–were supposed to represent the characters in the book.
“I was never asked for, nor did I ever offer, any cover design ideas. Alloy (a book packager) came up with the initial concept for the series and the preliminary designs (hence the author name in that pic–I hadn’t been hired to write the books yet!). I just figured they already had a vision for how the series should look. I’d coauthored one nonfiction project in the past and had a TON of input into how that book looked–but that was with an independent publisher and it was nonfiction. My assumption–accurate or not–was that I was just supposed to focus on the writing and let the industry veterans handle everything else on this one.
“I think the first mock-up had stock images of supermodels. (I’m pretty sure I recognize at least one of them from a runway show.) But the girls who appear on the covers of FRENEMIES and FAKETASTIC and on the website were all models that were shot specifically for the series. (The dog on the website is actually my dog-niece–my brother and sister-in-law’s dog, Leona!)
“This is going to sound HORRIBLE, but I wasn’t all that happy with the cover of FRENEMIES the first time I saw it. Let me immediately follow that up by saying that I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like ANYTHING at first. My husband makes fun of me for this all the time. I take a really long time to warm up to things. I’m not terribly good at adapting to new people, situations–anything! That said, it was difficult to see something that was pretty different from what I’d been shown initially, except for the bedazzled font which I loved. The hardest part was seeing a photographic representation of these characters who had only existed on the page and in my head. When I saw that Halley had the wrong eye color and they both had certain physical features that didn’t match my description or vision, that was really hard!
“By the time I saw the cover, it was pretty much on its way to the printer, so I didn’t have an opportunity to comment or suggest any changes. But once I got used to the look of the cover and I showed it to some other people who liked it, I began to embrace it. I realized that the models weren’t supposed to be literal representations of the characters in the book but rather representations of the concept–two best friends who become worst enemies. I do love the beachy feel of both the FRENEMIES and FAKETASTIC covers. I love the colors.
“And, as much as I loved the step-back/keyhole cover for FRENEMIES, ultimately I’m glad they decided to change that for FAKETASTIC. I think it’s much cleaner and eye-catching with the full cover image of the girls–and I like that it’s two new models, which sort of reinforces the fact that these are all just sets of ‘frenemies,’ not specifically HALLEY and AVALON. I do feel like these girls don’t look nearly as fashion-forward as they should. (But I don’t look nearly as fashion-forward as I should, either!
“Of course, the cover that wins–hands-down–for me is the FRENCH cover:
“I love every last detail of it: The way the girls look super-stylish (especially the shoes)–but in very different ways from each other; the fact that they look very much like they’re described in the book (with the right eye colors!); the subtle destructive images of bombs and skulls-and-crossbones; the way Halley is sticking pins into an Avalon voodoo doll and Avalon is drawing a picture of Halley as a pig (even though Halley is the artist–that might be one tiny change I would have made).
“I seriously could not love this cover more. I can’t wait to see what FAKETASTIC looks like–and what the title for that winds up being. I’m hoping they call it FAUXTASTIQUE! The book doesn’t come out in France until June, so we’ll have to wait a bit to find out all the details on that.”
This is a great cover story, Alexa! Lots of drama, emotion and sparkle–just like in the books! Also, on the keyhole cover thing (you know I love me some keyhole covers), bookseller E. Kristin Anderson explains that they’re sometimes evil on the shelves.
So what do you guys think of these covers? I’m with Alexa–the French ones are tres jolie!
PS-Still time to enter to win a copy of Violet in Private from Harmony! (And she’s also hosting a contest to win Jessica Burkhart’s debut, Take the Reigns.)
A few things:
1. I’m over at Harmony Book Reviews, celebrating her one-year anniversary and giving away a copy of Violet in Private, so come enter to win!
2. I just got this dress (in purple) from Delia’s, and I love it. It would be perfect if the sleeves weren’t elastic–they should be more batwing, I think–but I recommend it anyway.
3. Have you guys ever eaten pomegranate seeds, just on their own? They’re my new favorite things. Plus, the method for getting them out of the fruit is fun! You fill a large bowl with water, break the fruit up, and pick off the seeds. The seeds sink to the bottom while the rind floats! It’s so pretty because the seeds are so bright. And they’re super good for you. I highly recommend this snack.
This morning I went to a taping of the Tyra Banks Show with my friends Anne and Sarah Grace. I have to admit that I didn’t expect to love Miss Tyra–my experience with talk show hosts has been that they’re all on-camera-smiles and off-air-grumps–but she really won me over!
First of all, the three of us got sat in the front row, so Ty Ty was about five feet away from me and I can confirm that she has the smallest ankles you’ve ever seen. She’s genuinely gorgeous, and her body is a great mix of not-too-thin curves.
She bantered really well with the audience, took questions after the show, did some quick and smart ad-libs during taping, and even spoke to me and my friends. Well, sort of. We talked for two seconds about Gossip Girl, and she looked right at me and Sarah Grace and smiled. Because she’d already won me over, I felt a thrill.
Oh, and the good news for you blog readers is this: I got pulled up on stage to dance with the audience prep guy (who ruled and knew all the moves to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)“) and because of my participation, I won a necklace from the House of Dereon that I’ll be giving away next week. Aw, yeah. My humiliation is your triumph. I’m one of those people who won’t even get in the middle of a dance circle among friends, so I was mortified and did some horribly doofy moves up there!
And I can’t tell you about the taping and who was on because it’s all “non-disclosure agreement” and lawyerly stuff. But I can tell you that it was fun!
Meredith gave me a Fabulous Blog award, which has a fabulous icon! I’m supposed to pass it along to five new blogs, but I’ve decided that Fabulous is a self-appointing adjective, so anyone who feels fabulous about their blog, this one’s for you! Post away!
The official rules are as follows:
1. Put a link on your blog from whom you got it.
2. Give it to 5 new blogs (which in their turn have to give it to 5 new blogs). MW: Breaking this one in the name of fabulousness!
3. Put a link on your blog to those blogs you give it to. MW: Put your link in the comments if you post this!
4. Give the blogs you give the award to a note that you have given them this award.
5. Write 5 things you are addicted to:
2. DVR (namely, Oprah, Friday Night Lights, The Biggest Loser, Gossip Girl, American Idol and others too numerous to name)
3. UNC Basketball.
4. My yoga pants.
5. Finding cool stuff for I Heart Daily!
Also, Liviania gave me the “Great Job!” award, and again, I say: Post this if you’re feeling it!
The rules are:
1) Add the logo of your award to your blog.
2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you.
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs. MW: Rules are made to be broken!
4) Add links to those blogs on your blog. MW: List your great-job-doing self in the comments!
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.
PS-Author Jennifer Banash has set up a new blog on wordpress, so find her here! She’s even hosting a contest to win a signed copy of the newly released In Too Deep and its predecessor, The Elite.
I, for one, was ecstatic to see the third cover in The Elite Series (below–it might be my favorite of the three). How gorgeous can one book series’s covers get?!
Last week’s contest got intense! And now I have to random-number-generate the winner, who is… Shari! Send me your address, and you will soon be reading Judy’s wonderful signed book.
Today I’m giving away a copy of Jennifer Donnelly’s A Northern Light, which happens to be the readergirlz pick for January. We’re discussing the book in the forum (join us for a Live Chat with author Jennifer Donnelly tomorrow–Thursday–night at 6pm PST/9pm EST!).
I really loved this book! The story takes place a hundred years ago at the turn of the last century–16-year-old Mattie, a thoughtful and whip-smart wordsmith, has big dreams that are sometimes blocked by her big obligations. She’s a fantastic heroine, and you will love spending time with her. Also, this book was awarded a little thing called the Printz Honor so, you know, it’s officially good.
To enter to win, go visit my guest spot at at A Blog of Books this week and leave comments. I’m being interviewed and reviewed. Look for my guest post about great fashion moments in books later this week!
Every entry that you leave comments on counts as one entry in this contest, so then just comment below and tell me you did that. Also, +1 if you post about this contest or twitter or send a bulletin or whatnot.
You know I love word-spreading.
PS-Have to promote I Heart Daily today because it’s a do-good heart: Shop For A Cause! Sign up for the newsletter if you haven’t already!
Anyone remotely near NYC should join me at this reading on Saturday. Seriously! The keynote speaker is Judy Blundell, the author of the amazing What I Saw and How I Lied (which is this week’s Win-It Wednesday prize, btw–winner announced tomorrow!). And girls who’ve spent all year working on their writing with mentors will read from their very own works.
Learn more about Girls Write Now here.
It’s a can’t miss. Come say hi to me if you’re there, and please feel free to steal that announcement up top and spread the word!
Eileen Cook is here to chat about her new release, What Would Emma Do? Yay! I happen to be incredibly interested in this book because Emma’s escapades–kissing a friend’s boyfriend and getting all confused and heading for major social disaster–mirrors an episode in my own life. I can’t wait to dive in.
In the meantime, this cover story is a great one. Here’s Eileen:
“I believe there are few things more scarier than the first time you open the jpeg of your cover. While the saying might be ‘don’t judge a book by its cover,’ I am well aware that is exactly what we tend to do. I wasn’t sure what I wanted the cover to look like, but I was certain that I wanted to grab the reader’s interest by raising some questions in their mind. If it could raise a question then hopefully the reader would pick up the book.
“My editor and the cover designer involved me in the discussion for the cover and even sent some candid photos from the day they did the photo shoot. It was a freezing cold day and they used a hair dryer to heat up the model between shots. There were concerns that because the model was so cold it came across in her expression. When I saw the first draft overall (left) I was fairly happy. I didn’t love it, but I also didn’t hate it. I’ve known a lot of writers who had covers that they detested so I felt like the situation was a win. A few weeks later they emailed me again saying they had decided the cover wasn’t bang on and they were doing a different version. I chewed down a few fingernails until it arrived.
“As soon as I saw the final cover it was love. I love the awkwardness of her sneaking a kiss in the bushes and that she’s stepping on his foot. I was thrilled that they went from what was a good cover to one that felt like a great cover.”
Thanks, Eileen! I love the final cover because I think it conveys the “being bad” side of the story more. What do you guys think?