Season's Readings Giveaway

Want to win ***FIFTEEN*** fabulous signed Young Adult Books?

Of course you do. 

To Enter: Head over to my Instagram account, follow me, and like the Season's Readings Giveaway pic, then follow the instructions in the comments! 

It's super easy, and you can win ALL the books on this pic from...

Me
Renée Ahdieh
Rachele Alpine
Victoria Aveyard
Chandler Baker
Alexis Bass
Virginia Boecker
Jody Casella
Liz Coley
Christina Farley
I.W. Gregorio
Kristin Halbrook
Andrea Hannah
Jamie Kain
Beth Revis

Holiday shopping? Done.

Books Make The Best Gifts

This Christmas, I am pledging to give books as gifts. (And not just LOOP, although it would make an awesome gift, if I do say so myself.) I'm hard-pressed to think of a Christmas when I didn't buy at least one book as a gift, but this year, I'm going to be even more intentional about it. And so I give you....


The Top 5 Reasons Books Make The Best Gifts
1. Easy to wrap. Seriously. If you can't wrap a rectangle, you probably need to stay away from the roll of paper, period.

2. For the same or less than the cost of a movie, you get a story that lasts a lot longer. Potentially, your whole life.

3. You're supporting writers. Who have put thousands of hours into that book. And who are awesome. (Not that I'm biased or anything.)

4. No one's worldview was ever changed forever by underwear.

5. You're not just giving a book. You're giving a whole world.


What book are you hoping to find under the tree this year?

Show Me Your LOOP!

Hey there, LOOPers (oh, wait, that's been taken). Hey there, LOOPies (nope). Hey there, LOOP readers! I am so excited that LOOP is out in the world now (and it's getting around).

It's relaxing at the beach.

Hanging out with Olaf. As one does.

Just chilling in Boo's mouth.

Paying homage to one of its favorite time travel movies Somewhere in Time on Mackinac Island, MI.

So. Want to win a signed & numbered, limited-edition bookplate? Well, the time-traveling Shifters in the book can pop up anywhere in any time. And now so can LOOP! So just post a picture somewhere on the internet (Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook) with the hashtag #LOOParoundtheworld with your copy of LOOP, then come and fill out the form below. It can be somewhere fun, somewhere silly, somewhere exciting or famous or everyday. There are only 250 bookplates, so SHOW ME YOUR LOOP to get one!

(Ironically, due to postage costs, I have to keep this open to US residents only. I know. BOO, International postage rates! But I'd still love to see your pics in other countries! I just unfortunately can't mail a bookplate to you.)

Thank You.

LOOP has officially been launched into the world. And what an amazing launch it's been so far. Thank you so, so much to everyone who has bought it, read it, left a review for it, tweeted about it, squealed about it, told friends about it, told a librarian about the free Swag Pack they could request, and celebrated with me.

I don't have words.

But, hey.  A picture is worth a thousand words, so as a tiny token of my appreciation, please help yourself to these free 5x7 printables that I designed. Some are silly. Some are funny. Some are encouraging. Print them out, frame them, stick them on your locker, tack them on a bulletin board. In short...enjoy!

Again, thank you.


(p.s. The colors on these images might be slightly different from what's on your screen due to paper and printing differences. Also, unfortunately, I'm a bit of a techno-dunce, so if you have a problem downloading these files, I'm not going to be able to help you. At all. On my computer, you just click on the picture, then right click on the image and select "Save Image As...")



















What I Want You To Know

I've had several people flip through the advance copy of LOOP, stop at the dedication page, and ask me who Tim Berry is. I've responded by saying, "He's a friend of mine who died in a car accident in high school."

It was twenty years ago today, in fact.

I had a huge crush on him at the time (and for a good chunk of time before then). I never found out if he liked me back. To be honest, I'm not sure if it would have made the grieving easier or harder.

When I was revising LOOP for my agent, there was a part she pointed out where she wanted to feel more of the main character's anguish. I ended up describing it as "drowning in an ocean of what-if's." Tim's death was the experience I drew on to capture those words. Because that's what the loss felt like at the time. Drowning. 

But that's not what I want you to know.

I want you to know that Tim was funny. Like, a wicked good sense of humor. He had this laugh that I can only describe as a chuckle that dug down deep.

He was compassionate and tender-hearted and genuinely kind.

He was artistic and creative.

He had a strong faith in Jesus, and it was the kind of rare faith that drew people in rather than driving them away.

And then there are those random things I remember. His favorite book was The Stand by Stephen King. His favorite band was The Pixies. (I used to go after school and sit by his grave and eat pixie sticks and then leave one for him until I worried his family might think I was littering.)

We used to pass notes back and forth in Biology in his notebook. To this day, I'm sad I don't have them.

And more Biology shenanigans...we made a deal with our other lab partners that if they'd perform the dissections, we'd clean up. So the two of us sat underneath the lab table and talked while our lab partners sliced. And then we stood shoulder-to-shoulder at the sink and talked some more while we scrubbed out pans. I look back, and even with the memory of cleaning up frog innards, I still think I got the much longer end of the stick.

I want you to know that he has a family that loves and misses him very, very much. I don't think I could grasp the crushing weight of loss his mother feels until I had children of my own.

The fact of the matter is that what I really want is for you to not know any of this. What I really want is for the accident to never have happened. I want him to be vying with his brother for the position of favorite uncle of his precious niece and nephew. I want to laugh at pictures from a prom that never was on Throwback Thursday. I want to be Facebook friends with him and hit "Like" under pictures of him and his wife and kids. 

But that's back to that ocean of what-if's.

So here is what I want.

I want those five words, "In Memory of Tim Berry," to provide some tiny bit of encouragement and comfort to his family and friends. I want them to know that he is not and will not be forgotten.

Getting my SWAG on!

I'm printing up these stickers for my inaugural signing, and I just had to share. :)

Sign-Up for Release Day Celebration

Hey! Just a quick note that Amber at Me, My Shelf, and I is organizing LOOP's Release Day Celebration. If you'd like to be a part of it, just click on the banner below. :)



Why I Write

First of all, let me just say...WOOOOOTY HOOOO!!!

It's now less than a month (almost three weeks!) from LOOP's birthday (10/21/14!!), and I am so excited.

Also busy.

Was maybe not fully prepared for the degree of busy. There have been giveaways to organize and share (This one on Goodreads for a signed ARC is open until the day before LOOP's release date. And this one from my publisher is open until September 29th.)

The first two chapters of LOOP are up exclusively at Tor.com. You can go read them now!

My quest to shower awesome librarians with love, appreciation, and bookmarks has been so much fun.

I have interviews set up that I'm working on (and very excited about), a Blog Tour that's in the works, and other fun behind-the-scenes stuff that's percolating.

All good stuff. All amazing stuff. But it's still a big change for me. 

That's when I stop, take a deep breath, and remember why I chose to pursue this dream of writing. I'm brought back to this....

I love books.

I love to read them. I love to smell them. I love the way the pages feel in my hands and the way the stories transport me to other worlds. I love the way my e-reader fits in my purse and turns itself off at night when I fall asleep reading. I love that there are book characters out there that feel like true friends. I love readers of books. I love writers of books. I love that they are my tribe.

I. Love. Books.

And that is why I write them.


Want to Win An Advance Copy of LOOP?

My publisher, St. Martin's Press is giving away twenty (TWENTY!!!) advance reader copies of LOOP! 

I know.
TWENTY!!!!!!!

All you need to do is go fill out an entry form. So easy!

And good luck!!

I Want To Send You* Free Stuff!

* if you're a librarian.

Even as I type this, bookmarks and tattoos and other fun swag items are headed my direction. If you're a librarian, I want to send you some! No strings attached.

Just fill out the form below. Public and school librarians are both welcome.

You can read more about LOOP here. It's a twisty and fun YA time travel story.

Also, check out reviews from School Library Journal, Kirkus, and Publisher's Weekly.

Thanks, and I hope you and your readers enjoy LOOP!

LOOP The World in 50 Days

Hey, there!

It is officially 50 days until LOOP hits the shelves. (I know. Kind of hyperventilating a little here.)

To celebrate, Hubbykins and I have a little friendly wager going. I bet him that I could get this picture to travel to all 50 states and 25 different countries by LOOP's release date, October 21st.



The winner of said wager gets to pick which charity we donate $500 to. I chose Doctors Without Borders. The reason for this is because I modeled one of my characters off of a DWB volunteer worker. He travels anywhere in the world where he's needed to provide medical care. Well, and he's a time traveler, so "anywhere" might include 1863.

The loser of said wager gets to rise and shine bright and early with the Pea and Boo every Saturday morning for a month. :)

Clearly, I need to win this bet.

You can track my progress here:

#LOOPtheworldin50days
Make yours @ BigHugeLabs.com
Make yours @ BigHugeLabs.com
#LOOPtheworldin50days
Make yours @ BigHugeLabs.com
Make yours @ BigHugeLabs.com

Two Months Until LOOP Comes Out!

It's getting real, folks! 

Especially as I'm putting sparkly polish-dust on LOOP's sequel right now, TWIST. No spoilers other than to say, Bree just can't cut a break. Also, the ending...is bringing swoony back.

Win a pre-order of LOOP!

Yep. It's my first giveaway! I'm giving away a pre-order of LOOP along with some sweet signed swag.

(Note: this is a giveaway for a *pre-order* of LOOP. You'll receive it when it releases in October, but I'll send the swag...a signed bookplate, bookmarks, and a super-sekrit fun thing that I'm unreasonably excited about...before then.)

All you need to do is enter the Rafflecopter below. With awesome bonus entries available. And note the +10 bonus entries for joining the newsletter, which you can do in the link on the left sidebar of this site or enter your e-mail here: 

 
  
This giveaway is open to North America only.

That's all.


  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter, you should.

Cover Reveal for OPERATION PUCKER UP

How fun is this?

Hafsah over at Icey Books is hosting the official cover reveal (and giveaway of a Barnes & Noble gift card and lip gloss!) for Rachele Alpine's adorable Operation Pucker Up today, but here's a sneak peek at the cuteness:

Seriously. Isn't that adorable?

And the synopsis:

Haddie Shaw is thrilled to pieces when she wins the coveted lead role in her school play. That is, until she realizes she’ll have to kiss Prince Charming. On the lips. And not only is Prince Charming—a.k.a James Lowe—the most popular boy in school, but Haddie has never, ever been kissed.
To help, Haddie’s two best friends create Operation Pucker Up—a plan for Haddie to score a kiss before opening night so she doesn’t make a total fool of herself in front of a live audience. If that weren’t enough to think about, Haddie’s father, who left six months ago, suddenly walks back into her life. Haddie, her mom and sister have bonded as the “Terrific Three” – and while two of the “Three” welcome Dad back with open arms, Haddie isn’t sure she can forgive and forget. 
With Operation Pucker Up spinning out of control, and opening night fast approaching, will Haddie manage to get her happily ever after—both on-stage and off?

You can add it to Goodreads here.

And you can find Rachele here

LOOP is up on Netgalley!


That is all.

You can request it here.

May the odds be ever in your favor.

Librarian ARC Tour for LOOP

First, what's an ARC? It's an Advanced Reader Copy (also called a "galley" in the publishing world). It's not the final hardcover version of LOOP, which will be released October 21, 2014. Rather, it's a paperback early version which will have some typos, mistakes, and small changes because it hasn't been through the final proofreading stages. Only a small number of ARCs are printed, and it's usually a single print run.
Sorry. The lighting is terrible.

What does this mean? Unfortunately, it means that there are very few copies of LOOP's ARCs available. Most of them are already committed to various promotional efforts.

Seriously, I'm feeling a little like this guy:

I hate it. I wish everyone could read it right now.
But, of course, that's not feasible.
And let's be honest, I'm also kind of like...
Sorry. I mean...
But back to my conundrum. How to get LOOP into the hands of as many readers as possible? That's when I had the idea for an ARC Tour. 

This is how it will work:

If you are a public or school librarian, I would love to send you a copy of LOOP's ARC. You will have the chance to read it and then pass it on to the next person in the ARC Tour.

All you need to do is fill out the form below.

Please read LOOP as quickly as possible and then send it on to the next person. The more quickly you read it, the more people will be able to participate. This is going to be strictly first come, first served. If you realize you won't be able to read it within seven days, please send it along to the next person.



Questions:
I'm not a librarian. Is there any other way I can receive an ARC? LOOP is uploaded to NetGalley. My publisher makes all decisions regarding request approval. You can also enter my Goodreads giveaway to win a signed ARC. 

Is there a cost to participate in LOOP's ARC Tour? Nope. I will be enclosing pre-paid postage and mailing labels to send the ARC along to the next person. If you would like to help out with the cost of postage, you can note that when you fill out the form. I will be able to budget a certain amount of money for shipping, so the more people who volunteer to help with the postage, again, the more participants I'll be able to include, but it's strictly voluntary.

Am I guaranteed a slot on the tour? Unfortunately, I can't make that promise since I don't know how many people will sign up. Also...see above regarding postage. So sign up as quickly as possible for the greatest chance of getting to read it!

Are there any other requirements? No. Just read the book and pass it along. 

Really? No other requirements? Really. I'm a debut author, and my main goal is to get the word out about LOOP to readers, especially teens. Would I love for you to tell your patrons and students about LOOP? Yes. Is it a requirement? No.

Anything else I can do to help spread the word about LOOP? Well, thank you for asking. One of the best ways to help others discover LOOP is to post an honest, thoughtful review on GoodreadsAmazonBarnes and Noble, and/or LibraryThing's websites. Not required, but it would be super-dee-duper appreciated. (Note: You can't post a review on Amazon or Barnes and Nobles until after the publication date.)

And, of course, the number one thing you can do to help spread the word is suggest it to a reader.

I have a question you didn't answer. How do I contact you? Feel free to e-mail me at karen.d.akins (a) gmail (dot) com.

Again, this will be first come, first served so sign up now! 

About LOOP:
A time travel student accidentally brings a boy from the past into the 23rd century, only to discover he’s already in love with her future self and is keeping his own set of secrets. 

On a final note, this is the first time I've attempted anything like this, so please be patient with me. <3

Cover Reveal for More Than Music

Y'all! I'm so excited to be a part of the cover reveal for my friend (and awesome writer) Elizabeth Briggs' new adult romance More Than Music that's coming out June 17th!!

First the synopsis then drumroll....the reveal!!:

Music major Maddie Taylor seems to have her life all figured out. She’s just finished her junior year of college, has a summer internship lined up with the LA Philharmonic, and plans to go to grad school to write movie scores. Only her roommates know she practices guitar every night and secretly dreams of a louder life. But geeky girls like her don’t get to be rock stars.

Tattooed singer Jared Cross has a new girl every week, but when he catches Maddie playing one of his songs, she attracts his attention in an unexpected way. His band needs a fourth member for The Sound, a reality TV show competition—and he wants her. Though Maddie refuses to be another notch on Jared’s bedpost, she agrees to risk everything for the chance to be a rock star.

Once on the show, Maddie discovers there’s more to Jared behind his flirty smile, and with each performance their attraction becomes impossible to ignore. When the show pressures Jared to flaunt his player image, they’re forced to keep their relationship secret, but Maddie can’t help but want something real.

As the competition heats up, Jared will do whatever it takes for his band to win, and Maddie must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.

Really rock-n-roll drumroll please!!!

......

.....

....

...

..



AHHHH!!! The pretties!!!!!!


I've actually already had a chance to read an advanced copy, and whew, it is so good. (And kind of face-fanningly smoldering, so not for the younger readers. It is NA, after all.) And did I mention gooooood?

AUTHOR BIO:
Elizabeth Briggs is a full-time geek who writes books for teens and adults. She plays the guitar, mentors at-risk teens, and volunteers with a dog rescue group. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a pack of small, fluffy dogs.

She's pretty, too.


You can add it to Goodreads here. And you can learn more about Elizabeth Briggs and see pictures of her pack of small, fluffy dogs here.