In which I apologize for forgetting to blog. Again.

I’m in serious need of a Time Turner, people. Yet again, time has passed and I have not posted a blessed thing. And I’ve read so many lovely books I want to recommend to you. And I shall. But not today. Probably tomorrow. Be excited.

I’ve actually been spending most of my spare minutes (the ones not tied up in half-marathon training and reading and — let’s be honest — binge-watching Downton Abbey and Breaking Bad) furiously working on my second manuscript, trying to get it ready in time for the SCBWI Midsouth Fall Conference, which was held this past weekend here in Nashville. A whole weekend spent with amazing friends and listening to amazing talks by amazing agents and editors and authors and having amazing ideas and in general basking in amazing amazingness.

Midsouthers LtR: Me, David Arnold, Ashley Schwartau, CJ Schooler, Courtney Stevens, Erica Rodgers, Sarah Brown.
I love these people so much. Remember their names. One day, their books (and albums!) will be on your shelves.

I sang songs. I met wonderful people. I hugged necks. I cheered for the accomplishments of my talented friends. I stayed up too late, woke up too early, and subsisted mainly on coffee. I was validated that my book concept does not, in fact, suck. I filled my brain with the (nearly overwhelming) wisdom being doled out by the awesome faculty.

And I decided to scrap my entire book (who needed those 200-plus pages anyway, right?) and start over.

So that’s where I am, back at square one, except it’s not square one because I have such a better understanding of the story I’m trying to tell now. I’m finally excited about it again, which is good. Writing these past couple months has just been me, angrily punching out words on my keyboard, muttering at the words on my screen, I hate you.

No words wasted. The wrong ones had to come out to get to the right ones. Yes, I wish there weren’t over fifty-one-thousand wrong words needed to find the story, but oh well. It could’ve been worse. I could’ve reached the end of the book and then thrown it out. I could’ve written the wrong book twice. (Who knows, maybe I will.) So put in that perspective, 51K into the trashcan isn’t a bad deal.

So anyway, that’s what I’ve been doing, and what I shall be doing. But in the meantime, I am still reading (always reading) and I genuinely do want to find that balance again of working in time to recommend the books I’ve enjoyed to you. So bear with me, friends. I’m not awesome at this whole time management thing, but there are lots of splendid stories sitting on bookstore and library shelves right now, and I want to tell you about them.

Speaking of which, tomorrow I have every intention of telling you about VICIOUS, the first adult book by V.E. Schwab. It’s about supervillains and scheming and it is brilliant. Prepare for some gushing.

And if you come here tomorrow and there’s no review up, I give you permission to get on Twitter and slap me with a fish.

Review: Deception by C.J. Redwine (and SIGNED ARC GIVEAWAY!)

I absolutely loved C.J. Redwine’s debut post-apocalyptic fantasy adventure, Defiance. It was one of my favorite books of 2012, probably because it’s exactly the kind of story that appeals to me: strong, smart characters battling creepy villains, lots of action, sweet romance, and A DRAGON THAT LIVES UNDERGROUND. Seriously, the underground dragon would probably have been enough for me. Probably. But dragons aside (…did I really just say “dragons aside?” Who even am I anymore?), it’s an amazing story.

So when C.J. offered me an early opportunity to read the sequel, Deception, of course I jumped on it.

I mean…not literally. You shouldn’t jump on books.

And I am pleased to report it totally lived up to my expectations. And this is good for several reasons.

1) Because Defiance is awesome, so it’s good that the sequel is also awesome.

2) Because Deception hits bookstores today, so you can go get your copy right now.

3) Because I’m giving away my SIGNED ARC of Deception to one of you lucky readers!*

So without further ado, let’s talk about Deception, shall we?

The Plot (from Goodreads):

Baalboden has been ravaged. The brutal Commander’s whereabouts are unknown. And Rachel, grief stricken over her father’s death, needs Logan more than ever. With their ragged group of survivors struggling to forge a future, it’s up to Logan to become the leader they need—with Rachel by his side. Under constant threat from rival Carrington’s army, who is after the device that controls the Cursed One, the group decides to abandon the ruins of their home and take their chances in the Wasteland.

But soon their problems intensify tenfold: someone—possibly inside their ranks—is sabotaging the survivors, picking them off one by one. The chaos and uncertainty of each day puts unbearable strain on Rachel and Logan, and it isn’t long before they feel their love splintering. Even worse, as it becomes clear that the Commander will stop at nothing to destroy them, the band of survivors begins to question whether the price of freedom may be too great—and whether, hunted by their enemies and the murderous traitor in their midst, they can make it out of the Wasteland alive.

In this daring sequel to Defiance, with the world they once loved forever destroyed, Rachel and Logan must decide between a life on the run and standing their ground to fight.

My Thoughts: 

If you’re still reeling from the catastrophic ending of Defiance, fear not. Deception picks up very shortly after Defiance ends, with Logan and Rachel trying to figure out what to do with the hundred-plus survivors of Baalboden. It hits the ground running, and the first couple chapters introduce a lot of new characters. At first, I was a little concerned about all the names being flung at me. Defiance was mostly Rachel and Logan alone in the wilderness, so I didn’t have to worry about oodles of secondary characters. But never fear; C.J. Redwine handles her new, expanded cast deftly. Within a few chapters, the glut of new names were fleshed out into fully realized characters. I had no trouble remembering who was who, and I loved so many of the new players. Quinn and Willow, in particular, rocketed up to the top of my Favorites list. Their story was so layered and intriguing. If C.J. ever wants to do a spin-off series about the two of them, I’d read it.

There are two main conflicts in Deception: the problem of what to do with all the survivors, who are still being pursued by the nefarious Commander, and the alarming realization that there is a traitor in their midst. The resulting balance between action-driven tension as they flee the Commander’s army, and internal tension as Rachel and Logan try to suss out who has betrayed them, was masterfully handled, and kept me turning pages long after I should have turned out the lights and gone to bed.

Personally, my favorite part of the book was the murder mystery. C.J. gives the reader enough clues that it is possible to guess the murderer (I did), but you’re never 100% sure you’re right. I think that’s the mark of a well-handled mystery. I don’t like it when the answer comes out of nowhere, nor do I appreciate it being so obvious that it kills the tension. There’s a fine balance, and Deception does it well. The fact that it performs this feat while the characters are fleeing through the wilderness and fighting armies and blowing stuff up and cowering from dragons just makes it that much more amazing. And when you do find out who the murderer is, it comes with a few twists of its own that perhaps a more savvy reader could have guessed, but took me totally by surprise. In a good way.

I also really appreciated that Deception did not fall prey to the common practice to break up the two main characters who spent a good chunk of the first book coming together. A lot of times, it seems storytellers get bored with functional romantic relationships, so they throw in DRAMA and pull the characters (that they spent so much time convincing us were MFEO) apart. Not so in Deception. Rachel and Logan mature both as characters and as a couple, and like most couples who have weathered a few storms, are allowed to get upset with each other and disagree, without it having to mean they CAN NO LONGER BE TOGETHER EVER, OH THE ANGST.

Speaking of angst, Deception does not shy away from high stakes and raw emotion. Much like a certain wagon scene in Defiance, one chapter needs to have a warning label to have a box of tissues handy, or at least change your shirt into one that can double as a tissue. A lot of times in books, and perhaps in YA in particular, it seems that the Strong Female Characters can’t show their emotions. They can’t grieve their losses or feel broken from pain. In these books, I appreciate that Rachel is strong, but also feels so much. Emotions don’t make a character weak. Neither do tears. And I think it speaks so much to the character of Rachel that she can hurt and weep and break, but then she gets up and keeps going. She carries her losses with her, and they make her stronger. But because the reader is in Rachel’s head when horrible things happen to the people she loves, we get to feel all that strong emotion right along with her.

So. As I said. Box of tissues. Change of shirt. You have been warned.

I could go on for ages about how much I love this series, these characters, this world, but I think you’ve got the gist of it. Adventure. Murder. Dragons. Villainy. Romance. Swordfights. Treachery. Anguish. Triumph. All stirred up together in a fantastic, masterfully executed whirlwind of action and tension and twists and emotion. I couldn’t put it down.

And now the giveaway! Enter below to win my signed ARC of DECEPTION! U.S. only, please. Giveaway will run for one week. (And I shouldn’t have to say this, but no cheating. I’ll be checking.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*You can put it in a place of honor on your shelf right next to the shiny hardcover that I know you’re totally going to buy, right? Because ARCs are cool (especially signed ARCs), but real books are better. And C.J.’s real books are so very pretty.

Thoughts on Waiting and Contentment

(I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while. Then today, my dear, wise friend Courtney posted on her blog about conditional happiness — nearly the exact topic I’ve been mulling over for weeks — and I took it as a kick in the pants to go ahead and write my post. So thanks, Court, for being my shoulder angel, yet again.)

So. I suck at waiting. But I find myself forced to do it a lot — in life in general, not just in writing — and it occurs to me, perhaps some of you are waiting too, and would like to know if your crazy is Crazy crazy or normal crazy.

Well, I can speak with zero authority on normal. But I can tell you what waiting is like for me, and what I’ve learned from it about contentment.

As I sit here smack dab in the middle of my search for an agent (no news on that front yet, so you can let out that breath you’ve been holding), I’ve read lots of “How I Got My Agent” posts from other writers. It sometimes makes the waiting easier to read stories of writers who went through this process and survived. Of course, it also sometimes makes the waiting harder, especially when I read a post about how the author got an email five minutes after querying and ten full requests and eight offers of representation, all in the course of two days.

That is not the norm. And it has most definitely not been my experience.

I’m not going to get into details of my agent search, because in case you haven’t noticed, it’s not over, but I will tell you I’ve had ups and downs. I’ve had form rejections and enthusiastic requests. My work has been met with both wonderfully encouraging feedback and thunderous silence. I’ve had critique partners praise an aspect of my writing, only to then have an agent pass because of that very thing.

It’s enough to drive a person batty.

I’ve done all the things I swore, months ago when I first dipped my toe into the query waters, I would not do. I’ve compulsively refreshed my email every 30 seconds. I’ve Twitter-stalked the agents who had my query/pages/partial/full. I’ve prayed for immediate good news, and given God ridiculous deadlines, because I was tired of waiting (He said to chill). I’ve texted friends lamenting how badly I suck as a writer, asking them to please drop everything to give me a pep talk because otherwise I’m going to set fire to my computer.

(Sorry, friends. I hope to never do that to you again. Especially not in the middle of your hair appointment.)

Waiting is hard, folks. Especially when you don’t know if the light at the end of the tunnel even exists. I don’t know if I’m waiting right now on acceptance or rejection. Waiting for something good — like a birthday or Christmas — can be hard enough. Same goes for waiting for something bad, like a root canal. But when you’re not sure if the thing you’re waiting for is Christmas or a root canal — well, that’s the hardest of all. Do I wait with excitement or dread? Fear or giddiness?

I started querying five months ago, and at first, my heart would sink with every rejection and soar with every request. I would bounce with nervous anticipation for days after shooting off an email. A surge of adrenaline would course through me with every ding of my inbox. I quickly learned to hate promotional emails with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. (Darn you, Chili’s!)

In case you’re unaware, for most authors, every stage of the publishing process is long. It takes a long time to write a book. It takes a long time to revise a book. It takes a long time to query, a long time to hear back from agents, a long time to revise again, a long time to submit to editors, and a long time from sale to publication. Yes, there are those happy few who find some of their steps abbreviated, but they probably experienced other steps that seemed to stretch out interminably. Such is the nature of the beast.

Now that I’m a few months into this process (and my journey thus far has been a tad different from many other querying writers, which I may explain to you someday…or I may not. It depends on how my story plays out. Suffice it to say, right now, I’m doing a lot more waiting and a lot less active querying), I’ve learned to calm down a bit. I don’t think so much about the things I have no control over. I can’t control whether an agent likes my book, or whether they think there is a market for it. All I can do is send my best work into the world, and hope someone loves my story as much as I do.

And meanwhile — and here’s where I get philosophical — be content. Because if I let the waiting and the agent (and later, the book deal and the book release and the sequel and the movie and on and on to infinity) become The Thing That Matters, that’s going to be a problem. Not only because I don’t know if I will achieve any of those things, but because none of that gives me any enjoyment or fulfillment right now. And now is the time I have to live in. (Unless someone wants to drop by in a TARDIS.)

Here’s the thing. None of my future goals are guaranteed. Heck, the future itself is not guaranteed. I could be hit by a bus later today, or struck by lightning tomorrow, or abducted by aliens next week. That doesn’t mean I need to hunker down and await my inevitable demise. That’s the Crazy talking. I still need to live my life with a purpose and work toward my goals.

But I also need to be able to be content with where I am, now. At peace. I need to live my days as if they have value in and of themselves, and not merely as a piece of a greater, as-of-yet unrealized Future Goal.

Because I hear — tell me if I’m wrong — that the waiting never stops. Never. So we’d best learn how to deal with it.

Taking a page from Court, I’m going to list a few things I’m thankful for, right now, today, that writing has given me, even if I never get an agent or sell a book. These are the reasons I’m grateful to be doing what I’m doing. These are the reasons that, regardless of what happens with my publishing career (or lack thereof), writing has been, and will continue to be, worth it. And these are the things that I can enjoy, no matter how long the waiting takes.

  • I have sitting on my bookshelf, right now at this very moment, four ARCs of friends’ books coming out in the next few months. FOUR. And even more book launches for friends on my calendar. I can’t begin to express how happy I am for them.
  • Speaking of book launches, I live in a city that has fabulous book events all the time. Friends’ events aside, there are a bunch of book and author events coming up locally in the next few months that I am ridiculously excited to attend. In my experience, book people rock.
  • There’s a book coming out next week with my name in the acknowledgements. It’ll be the first time that’s happened for me. You have no idea how happy this makes me. A friend once told me that having your name on a spine is great, but what matters most to her is how many acknowledgements she appears in. I think she’s right. Life is more joyful when you can sincerely celebrate the achievements of others with as much enthusiasm as your own.
  • I’ve spent the majority of the past four days with various people I met through writing, but who are now some of my dearest friends. Books and words were discussed, but we also went to restaurants, drank margaritas, watched action movies, stood in line for ice cream in the rain, went shoe shopping, and talked about everything from So You Think You Can Dance to German U-boats (okay, those two conversations might have happened simultaneously). These are my people. I have no idea how I functioned before I knew them.
  • In the past couple weeks, two of my friends have signed with wonderful agents. I can’t wait to see their hard work turned into books on shelves.
  • I’ve written an entire book. A book I love. Whether or not it ever sees the light of day, I can be proud of that.
  • I’m working on two others, and have ideas for many more. In the past year, I’ve discovered a love of writing I never knew I possessed. I’m so thankful to have learned that about myself.
  • I’m running a half marathon in twelve weeks (?!?!) for the first time in my life, because a writer friend talked me into it. I’m not entirely convinced that I won’t live to regret this, but I can say that I can now run further than I ever have in my life. It’s not 13.1 miles (yet), but just training is an accomplishment.
  • I’m attending the SCBWI Midsouth Fall Conference in September, and I will know tons of people. Last year I just attended the mixer, and I only knew a couple people. What a difference a year makes.
  • I’m traveling to Charleston, SC in November with four writer friends to attend YALLFest. Again, these are all people I either hadn’t met or barely knew a year ago, and now we’re going to cram five of us in a hotel room for three nights so we can attend a weekend full of YA book goodness.

So there you go. My thoughts on waiting and contentment, and how contentment makes the waiting easier.

Do I still compulsively check email or Twitter stalk? Very possibly. Would I be over the moon thrilled if my dream agent were to call me tomorrow and offer representation? You betcha. Do I still dream of one day walking into a bookstore and finding my name on a spine (or several)? Absolutely. And I will keep working toward that goal, for as long as writing brings me joy (which I imagine being the foreseeable future).

But in the meantime, I can take happiness in the journey. Not just in the writing itself — which is a gift — but also the people, the opportunities, and the experiences it’s given to me. And if you’re waiting, and struggling (as one does), I hope that you too can find contentment in the present. To be excited for what’s to come, but also to take joy in the now.

Thus endeth my philosophical musings for today.

EDIT: A few (wonderful) friends in the comments and via various other methods of communication have felt the need to encourage me after reading this post with some version of “And don’t worry, I know it feels like it’s taking a long time, but I’m sure you will get there!” To you, friends, I first say, thank you. Your confidence in me is bolstering and inspiring, and I am in constant awe of the utter fabulousness of your friendship and this community I’m so blessed to be a part of. I appreciate you.

But also, I just wanted to clear up, in case it is somehow unclear: this post is not intended as a lament that I have not yet achieved my goals. I’m not in despair, or even moderate discouragement. I’m actually really, really good with the whole waiting thing (obviously I have my days of WHY WAITING WHYYYYY, but fortunately, those are few and far between. And not today). I just  thought it may help some people — or maybe just me — to have a post about what waiting feels like, written by someone who is still in the midst of waiting and has no promise to ever emerge victorious on the other side. Most posts (that I’ve read) that talk about waiting are written from the finish line. I wanted to write one from heart of the race.

It doesn’t mean I think I won’t, someday, reach the finish line (of course, then there’s another finish line after that, and one after that, and one after that…). Just that I know it’s not guaranteed. And that I can still be okay with the waiting, no matter what happens, because there are still things to be grateful for in the now.

#SYTYCD Book Pitch: Season 10, Top 20 (@DANCEonFOX)


Last year I did a little feature on my blog where I took some of my favorite routines from the television show So You Think You Can Dance and pitched books based on them. This seems a bit random, but after I heard authors like Victoria Schwab and Myra McEntire talk about how SYTYCD affected their books, I realized how interconnected all art is, and how artists all tend to take inspiration from each other. Music, photographs, paintings, dance, poetry, film, books…they all come from the same creative spirit.

Also, I love, love, love this show, and this gave me an excuse to talk about it on my blog.

It all started with this post, which was so much fun to write and let me revisit many of my favorite routines from seasons past. It got a huge positive response, so I turned it into a weekly feature. Every week, I’d pick a dance and pitch a book inspired by it. I’d also pick an author whose voice and skills I thought suited that story, but I’m not going to do that this yearMostly because my author knowledge is finite, and I used many of my favorites last season, and besides, that’s really not the point of doing these posts.

Last year, I posted faithfully the day after the show (which airs Tuesdays at 8:00 EST). This year…I’m not going to do that. Because I’ve gotten so erratic in my posting, and because sometimes ideas need a few days to stew, I’ll just promise to put posts up sometime before the next show airs. Which, in the case of this week, is going to be mere hours before the next show airs.


Guys, I am super-psyched about this year’s Top 20. So very many good dancers! I haven’t been this excited since Season 7 (which I know many people didn’t like, but I luuuuuurved. Kent! Lauren! Billy! ROBERT!). I’ll get into my opinions on this year’s crop of dancers in a minute, for those of you who care. I’m guessing most of you just want me to get to the book pitch.

Which I will do in just a second.

First, I just need you to watch the opening number from the Top 20 performance show. It doesn’t tell a story, but it is in my top 3 SYTYCD group dances ever. The other two are Comanche (S6) and Ra (S7), if you’re interested. With an honorable mention going to Ramalama (S2).

…I’m getting sidetracked.



I’d apologize for all the caps I keep using, but you should know by now I just have lots of all-caps feelings about this show.

(For those of you who don’t watch the show and are confused by the random…more mature…participants in this dance, they’re the choreographers and judges.)

ANYWHO, BOOK PITCHES. (Disclaimer: It is highly possible in any given week that you will watch the dance, then read my pitch, and have no idea how the two are related. If so, I am sorry. I promise it works in my head, but my head is a strange, strange place.)

Here we go!

Song: Elsa by The Valerie Project

Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh

Dancers: Amy and Fik-Shun

Pitch: While awaiting her execution for the murder of the royal family — her family — a princess-turned-assassin escapes from prison, with the aid of a guard who believes she is innocent. With the kingdom’s armies in pursuit, they must help each other as they brave a vicious wilderness neither of them is prepared for. Meanwhile, the guard begins to question the princess’ innocence, and his own role in her story, as she is haunted by the memories of her dead family.

What do we think, friends? Are you picking up what I’m putting down? Does this dance give you something totally different? What other dances from last week inspired you?

And for those of you who care, I have many people I’m pulling for this season. For the guys, I’m a fan of Tucker*, Aaron**, and — although he was not impressive in last week’s show — Nico***.

For girls, Jasmine M, Makenzie, and Amy are my frontrunners. Amy astounds me.

I’m also watching the show with my two daughters (ages 7 and 4), and I told them they could each vote for one girl and one guy. They took this responsibility very seriously, making notes (or in my four-year-old’s case, drawings) of their favorite dances throughout the show, then making me rewind so they could watch the recaps at the end three times, before settling on their favorites.

Anyone want to guess which couple this is? Hint: Not the couple she voted for.

My seven-year-old’s favorites are Malece and Paul. The four-year-old voted for Jenna and Fik-Shun.

Between the three of us, we’re sure to pick some contenders.

If you’re watching and voting, who are your picks? Are you as excited for this season as I am? And if you’re in Nashville, WHO WANTS TO GO TO THE TOUR WITH ME? Because I’m already pretty sure this is a tour I’ll want to see.

P.S. I’m totally posting a book review tomorrow. I promise.

* Tucker is from Nashville — I think I might have driven by his house the other day. At any rate, they had a gigantic sign in their front yard cheering him on. Next time I drive by, I’ll take a picture.

** Who else is SO HAPPY that he squeaked into the show? Please, please let him get farther than the last time I liked a tapper this much and was so very disappointed by his early elimination. *Nick Young cough cough*

*** I’m hoping he redeems himself this week, because he absolutely stood out to me in the Meet the Top 20 show, especially in the Top 10 guys dance. But I’m prepared for him to be this year’s Dancing Gosling Matt Kazmierczak, who I loved and had a similar style (to my untrained eye), yet never really wowed the judges or the voters.

Cover Reveal + ARC Giveaway: FAKING NORMAL by Courtney C. Stevens

I am BEYOND thrilled today to be able to host Courtney Stevens’ cover reveal for her debut YA Contemporary, FAKING NORMAL. Courtney is a dear friend of mine, and while I have not read FAKING NORMAL (yet!), I have read a bit of her other writing, including some involving a few of the characters from FN, and mark my words, friends: She’s going to be A Someone in the book world. I can feel it in my bones.

FAKING NORMAL doesn’t hit shelves until next February (not April! It got moved up! *happy dance*), but until then you can all salivate over the gorgeous cover. I could probably write a sonnet about how much I love it (her eyes! her freckles! the trees!), but I won’t. Instead, I’ll let you form your own opinions, while introducing you to Courtney. She’s a person worth knowing, friends.

Without further ado, here’s Courtney Stevens!

Hello awesome people! Before we get into the cover stuff, I want to thank all the bloggers and authors who are helping today with this reveal. This is such a fantastic and talented community, and I’m fortunate to be a part of it.

And now on to the main event, the cover of Faking Normal:

Designed by Laura Lyn DiSiena

Reasons I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the cover:

1. It’s beautiful.

2. It tells a story without words.

3. Have you seen the awesome paper cut trees???

Here’s what the publisher (HarperTeen) has to say about Faking Normal:

Alexi Littrell hasn’t told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.

At school, nobody sees the scratches or her pain. The only person she connects with is the mysterious Captain Lyric, who writes song lyrics on her fourth-period desk for her to complete. With pencil marks and music, Alexi carves out a comfortable space for herself as she and the Captain finish each other’s songs – words on a desk feel safer than words spoken aloud.

But when Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend who understands her better than anyone. He has secrets of his own and knows all about suffering in silence. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally speak up.

With her powerful, moving debut novel, author Courtney C. Stevens emerges as an extraordinary new talent to watch.

Faking Normal will be released from HarperTeen on February 25, 2014. Yes, this is earlier than the date listed on Amazon

About the author:

Courtney C. Stevens grew up in Kentucky and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She is an adjunct professor and a former youth minister. Her other skills include playing hide-and-seek, climbing trees, and being an Olympic torch bearer. Faking Normal is her first novel.

The goods on the Cover Reveal Contest:

You don’t know me. Twitter doesn’t know me. Facebook doesn’t know me. Goodreads doesn’t know me. Amazon pre-sales doesn’t know me. (This is one of the great challenges of being a debut author.)

Please help change my anonymity by placing Faking Normal on the radar of readers, bloggers, reviewers, and you know … people who like to win stuff.

A few deets on the prize package-

The winner receives:

–          A signed ARC of Faking Normal

–          A hand-painted cover rock by Court

–          Signed postcard

–          Silicone “Channel Your Brave” bracelet

Since hand-painted cover rock isn’t usual book swag, I thought you might want a little background. In my little family, we paint rocks for significant events. I currently have three different book rocks that someone in my family made. One for when I got an agent, another for when I went out on submission, and finally one for when we sold Faking Normal.

I thought it would be cool if I shared the tradition with one lucky winner by making a cover-inspired rock.

(You might also be interested to know the bottom of the rock contains a spoiler: some of the first lyric quotes written by the main character and her Captain Lyric.)

Enter by filling out the Rafflecopter below.

(U.S. only. Giveaway ends July 8, 2013.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can find Courtney here:

Email –




And she would love if you would add Faking Normal to your Goodreads shelf and pre-order Faking Normal on Amazon.


Special thanks to the other bloggers and authors participating in the Faking Normal cover reveal:

S.R. Johannes (to be posted 6/27)

Myra McEntire

Kristin Tubb

Josie at All Booked Up

Kai at Amaterasu Reads

Taherah at Books As You Know It

Jessica at Lovin’ Los Libros

Alli at Magnet 4 Books

Petra at Safari Poet

Jonathan at Scott Reads It