Musings of a YA author throwing herself into the fray. Join me on the journey ...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Winner of Graveminder is ...

Robin K!  Congrats, Robin.  Email me your snail mail and I'll drop it in the mail to you.

Sorry this is late: DEADLINES are kicking my butt this week!

Also, I'll be in Houston at Murder by the Book  at 4 pm today  and Katy Budget Books tomorrow at 2 pm. signing Tempest Rising with the Chills and Thrills Book Tour!  Stop by and say hi if you're in the area :)

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Come see me ...

If you live in the Dallas area :)  I'll be at A Real Bookstore in Fairview at 2 p.m. today as part of the Chills and Thrills Teen book tour and I'll be at the Hurst, TX Barnes and Noble (Fortworth) tomorrow.  I'd love to see you!!!!

Since I'm on the road all weekend, I thought I'd ask what you're up to?  Any amazing plans?  Leave a comment and be entered to win a signed copy of the Graveminder ARC by Melissa Marr.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What I'm Working on Now :)

In the middle of all the hullabaloo that comes with releasing Tempest Rising, I am also in the grips of a major deadline to finish my next young adult novel.  Currently titled Zero Day (which is tentative), this is the Pandora story I keep mentioning-- the one where, instead of opening a box, Pandora opens an attachment and hearkens technological Armageddon ...

Anyway, I've been hard at work for the past couple of weeks and thought I'd share a little bit from the beginning of the book.  I'd love to hear what you think.

My seventeenth birthday starts with betrayal. 
It ends the same way but that’s a different story—at least for now.
AP English is my first class of the day and for the past two weeks we’ve been doing a unit on Shakespeare.  Love sonnets.  A history in the form of Henry V.  Biography studies.  And now, a tragedy.  And not just any tragedy, mind you, but Othello, which just might be the most tragic of the tragedies, or so I’ve been told.  My best friends, Jules and Emily, assure me that they have it worse—they’re reading Hamlet in their regular Brit Lit class-- but I’m not so sure.  Shakespeare’s Moor is no picnic, especially at eight forty-five in the morning.
Even worse, Mr. March—who is usually pretty cool—has divided us into groups to analyze scenes.  Again, not such a bad thing, except for the fact that 1) we have to act them out in front of the class and 2) he was obviously off his meds when he chose our partners. My group consists of me, Senior class president and head cheerleader Tara McKinney (who wears about an inch of make-up every day and drives a Barbie Pink Hummer—Barbie Pink!  Need I say more?), Zane Connolly (the biggest nerd in the school, which is totally fine, except he has a crush on Tara and it’s painful to watch him try to get her attention) and the new guy, Eli Sanders (who I know nothing about, except that he’s seriously hot).  Sleepy green eyes partially obstructed by his shaggy blonde hair, super-broad shoulders and a really good face complete with strong jaw, full lips and a dimple. 
A dimple.
I melt a little at the sight of it, even as I tell myself to get a grip.  But it’s hard.  I’m a sucker for a dimple and always have been.  I try not to look at it, at him, as we push our desks together.  Getting to be with Eli might make putting up with the other two group members worth it, except for the fact that I look like hell. 
I know, I know.  You’re used to hearing girls say that all the time.  But I’m not one of those girls who freaks out every time she breaks a nail (though my best friend, Emily, is). Still, today has to be an all-time low.  Not just for me, but for girls everywhere.  I was up way too late last night (insominia, thy name is Pandora—see, I can do Shakespeare) and slept through my alarm this morning.  I didn’t get up until Jules called to find out why I wasn’t already at her house to pick her up.  Needless to say, dressed in the dirty jeans I found on my bedroom floor and the vintage Hendrix tank top I slept in last night, I’m not exactly at my best right now.  Or anywhere close to it.
Eli scoots his desk into the spot next to mine and I am painfully aware of the fact that my personal hygiene is a little lacking today.  I brushed my teeth—on the run—but I’m pretty sure my hair is sticking up in every direction imaginable.  And not because I arranged it that way.

Hope you enjoyed it! Check back next week for another excerpt :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Pictures from the Chills and Thrills Book Tour

Happy Monday!  As you know, I spent the weekend on tour with some of the most fabulous YA authors in Texas :)  We signed in Austin and San Antonio (right before Rick Riordan signed, which was crazy!!!  I've never seen that many people in a bookstore in my life!!!!!!!!!!!!)  Anyway, I thought I'd post some pictures so you could see what we'd been up to :)

I'm the one doing the weird talking with her hands thing. Jordan Dane,
Jennifer Archer and Lara Chapman are to my left.  On my right are
Sophie Jordan and Tera Lynn Childs.
It was so much fun to get to talk to people about Tempest.  Some fabulous
Texas Bloggers showed up, along with a bunch of fans who love to read.

A candid shot of some of us right before the signing.  I'm not
sure what Sophie was doing, but I wanted to make sure I posted
a pick with the beautiful, talented and very pregnant Mari Mancusi.

A photo of some of the books and swag going around the tour--
isn't Tempest pretty, up at the top?

Anyway, that's how I spent my weekend (well, that and writing my Pandora YA).  We'll be in Dallas/Fort Worth next weekend at A Real Bookstore in Plano (Dallas) on Saturday and Barnes and Noble in Hurst, TX (Fortworth) on Sunday.  If you live in the area, I'd love to see you!

Have a great week :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Contest Winner!

Hi everyone :)

Sorry I'm a couple days late posting this, but this week has been a little crazy.  Thank you so much to all of you who pre-ordered Tempest, or who bought it in the stores.  I really, really appreciate it :)

The winner of the $75 giftcard is Andie M.  Drop me an email at and let me know which online bookseller you would like the gift card to and I will send it your way.

Thanks again, everyone!

Btw, I'm giving away a $100 giftcard over at today.  Stop by and comment for a chance to win! 

And if you're in the San Antonio or Austin area, come see us tomorrow and Sunday at the Chills and Thrills Book Tour.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Chills and Thrills Teen Book Tour

Hi, Everyone!  Thanks so much for all your support and well-wishes these last couple of days.  Tempest's release day was a blast for me (yes, I went to BN to stare at my pretty book on the shelves, LOL) then I went to lunch with two of my closest friends to celebrate!!!!!

I'm a little late on getting this up, but in case you haven't heard, I'm part of the Chills and Thrills Teen Book Tour that is going through Texas in the next couple of weeks. Authors signing are:

Tracy Deebs
Tera Lynn Childs
Sophie Jordan
Mari Mancusi
Lara Chapman
Jennifer Archer
Jordan Dane

and we'll be signing in:

Saturday, May 14th
La Cantera Barnes and Noble, San Antonio
12-2 p.m.
(Btw, Rick Riordan is signing right after us, in case any of you are interested!)

Sunday, May 15th
BookPeople, Austin
2-4 p.m.

Friday, May 20th,
Barnes and Noble, Waco, TX
6-8 p.m.

Saturday, May 21st
A Real Bookstore, Plano, Texas
2-4 p.m.

Sunday, May 22nd
Barnes and Noble, Hurst, TX
2-4 p.m.

Saturday, May 28th
Murder by the Book, Houston, TX
4:30-6:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 29th
Katy Budget Books, Houston, TX
2-4 p.m.

Now, not all of us will be at all the stops (though I will be, LOL) so for more info, check out our website at:  It's got all the info on our books and who we are, along with addresses, etc. for all our stops.  Hope to see you at one of the stores!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tempest Releases Tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't believe that Tempest Rising will finally be on the shelves.  It seems so long ago that I decided I wanted to write a YA about mermaids (October 2009) and yet it's finally time, nineteen months after I originally conceived of the concept.  It gives me shivers :)

So far, the reviews coming in are really good.  Here are a few links, in case you want to check them out:

'Tempest Rising is an unpredictable and magical tale about sea creatures and destiny that entranced me. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this book and was really sad when I finally closed the novel." --IB Book Blogging

"Romance and adventure abound in this mermaid tale that’s a fin above the rest. "  --All Things Urban Fantasy

"Tempest Rising was a thrilling, exotic, and romantic read with many twists and turns ... I'm beginning to think that the thrill of the water is more appealing than an eternity of night..." --Allykatzz
"TEMPEST RISING, by Tracy Deebs, is a wonderfully crafted 'coming of age' story about a girl who needs to decide between the life she has always known or another life under the deep blue sea.  I absolutely loved this book."   --Sit Here and Read

“Among the recent spate of mermaid books this easily stands as the darkest ... an exciting  story ... which many young readers will love.” – Kirkus Reviews

And remember, if you're planning to buy Tempest Rising, remember that you have until Wednesday to show me proof of purchase to be entered for a $75 gift card to the online bookstore of your choice  :)

Have a great week!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Preview of Tempest Rising

With Tempest's release date less than a week away (yay!) I thought I'd post another excerpt.  Hope you enjoy :)  And don't forget to check out the contest I posted on Monday for your chance to win a $75 gift card to the online bookseller of your choice.  THanks :)

Up in the sky a full moon the color of a pure, sweet tropical pearl cast a glow over the trees, the only light besides the lone street lamp at the end of the cul-de-sac.  For a moment, I felt like the only person on earth.
     Crossing the street, I ignored the gravel and small rocks that bit into my toes and heels until I could sink my feet into the blessed relief of cold, winter sand.
     I walked along the beach for a long time—right where the tide met the sand--unaware of time passing as the water tickled my toes.  I played tag with the waves, tried to avoid the never-ending cycle of tides as they rolled in.  I lost more times than I won.
     I didn’t have any firm destination in mind as I walked, but when I ended up a mile or so down the beach at my thinking rock, I wasn’t surprised.  I’d been coming here for six years, whenever life got to be too much for me and, geez, did this week ever qualify as too much.
     I climbed the craggy rock swiftly, my hands and feet finding familiar footholds in the rough crevices.  Though I was fast, I was also careful—my legs and hips, even the back of my right hand bore numerous scars from the mistakes I’d made while climbing here in the past.
     The ocean seethed in a crazed cacophony while I settled myself at the top of the rock, a perfect reflection of my mood as I looked out over the water I both loved and despised, praying for just a little bit of the peace I usually got when I was out here alone.   
     But there was no peace tonight.  How could there be?  The ocean throbbed and pulsed while the very air itself crackled with electricity.
     I gazed out over the waves as I searched my very limited knowledge-base trying to figure out how the hell to get out of the mess I was currently in.  Things were happening so quickly that I couldn’t find a way to stop them. 
I didn’t know how to stop them.
     “No!”  I screamed so loudly that my throat hurt.  “No, no, no!”  Again and again until my voice was hoarse and my throat raw.
     The ocean seemed to pulse in and out in time with my screams and I watched, fascinated, as wave after wave pounded the shore—each one bigger and harder than the one before.
     It was great surfing weather.  Dangerous, sure, if you didn’t know what you were doing, but good nonetheless.  For a minute, I longed for my board, the call of the ocean so strong that it was painful.
     You don’t need a board.  The thought slipped in slyly.  You’re a strong swimmer.  Go on out there and see what you’re really made of.
     Overhead, lightning crackled, was followed closely by a burst of thunder that shook my rock and the ground beneath it.
     Go ahead, the little voice at the back of my head whispered again. You know you want to.
     And I did want to, so badly that I could almost taste it.  That was the kicker in all of this—a part of me longed to give myself over to the violent water, a part that was getting harder and harder to deny.
     What would it hurt? the voice urged.  A swim, a chance to—
     I was off the rock before I knew what I was doing, heading towards the ocean with a single-minded purpose I couldn’t imagine denying.
     My gills ached.  My lungs burned, blistered.  My skin stung, itched, like a thousand wasps had gotten to me.
     Yes, go.  The voice was louder now, more insistent.  Triumphant even.  And I gave myself to it.  Let it pull me to where I wanted to be anyway.
     I walked a few steps closer to the water, the sand squishing beneath my toes.
     You belong there.  You need to be in the water, to feel it around you.  Beneath you.
     The water lapped at my ankles, my calves.  I took another step, then another.   Felt it on my knees, my thighs.  The cold sting of it penetrated my near trance-like state and I stopped, confused.
     Just a little more, a few more steps.  The voice was clearer now—ringing in my head, in my ears.  Flowing through me until it was a drumbeat in my blood.  Until it was all I could think about.  All I could feel.
     I took another step.  Then another and another and another.  The water was around my chest now and I was only going deep enough to—
     “No!”  Another voice, fainter and more frantic than the first.  “Tempest, stop!”
     Ignore him, said the first voice.  You’ve wasted enough time.  Come to me.  Come to your home.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

All about me ...

I did a fun bio post over at Supernatural Snark, and since I get a lot of emailed questions about me, Tempest Rising and why I wrote Tempest Rising, I thought I'd repost the blog over here.  Let me know if you still have questions after this ....

 Now, to be completely honest, I get a little antsy when someone asks me to write a bio of myself, because I never have a clue what to include (and what to leave out). But I’ll give it my best shot.

I love lipstick, books and fancy earrings (though not necessarily in that order).

I love to travel, but absolutely refuse to set foot in a tent.

I love dancing, reading poetry (the Beats are my favorite), swimming and trying new recipes.

I’m addicted to chocolate, pickles and strawberry-banana smoothies (though not at the same time).

I love thunderstorms, unexpected downpours, and walking in the rain, but hate the feel of wet clothes against my skin when the storm is over.

When I was young, I watched the Hans Christian Anderson version of The Little Mermaid at least once a day for three years. And though my mermaid obsession eventually gave way to a love of all things Wonder Woman, my interest in mermaids never went completely away (obviously).

My favorite book of all time is Ayn Rand’s Anthem, while my least favorite book of all time is John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.

My favorite book that I’ve read in the last year is Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother.

One summer, I went to every major amusement park in America. Another summer, I ran away with band.

Two of my closest friends and I wrote a book called The International Kissing Club, about four girls who travel internationally and start a Facebook page to keep track of the points they get from kissing boys. It comes out in January 2012.

I’ve climbed the Pyramids in Egypt, walked on the banks of the Red Sea, kissed a boy in front of the Eiffel Tower, gotten soaked at Cleopatra’s favorite bathing spot and surfed Diamondhead Bay in Hawaii. I’ve also skydived over New Mexico and stood at the Cave of the Winds in Niagara Falls.

Despite my love of the water, I have a deep-seated fear of sharks. A serious, awful, unbelievable terror of sharks.

I came up with the idea for Tempest Rising when my agent asked me “So, how do you feel about mermaids …”

I set Tempest Rising on the beaches I used to hang out at, swim in and surf when I was her age.

At seventeen, there was nothing quite like a midnight ride out to La Jolla and a long walk on the beach.

To this day, my favorite thing to do is to curl up with a cup of tea and a book as I listen to the rain hit against the window.

And last but not least, I’m part of the Chills and Thrills Teen Book Tour, which will be visiting all the major cities in Texas in the next month. Check out our website to see the other authors on the tour:

So, now it's your turn.  Tell me one cool thing about you :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Long Time No Post-- Huge Contest Alert!!!!

I know, I know.  I start a blog and then leave it for a month and a half ... so, so sorry.  But with three books out in five weeks, my life has been crazy hectic between conferences, booksignings and blog tours.

Tempest Rising is almost here (May 10th--yay!!!!) and to celebrate I'm giving away the grand prize of a $75 gift card to the online bookseller of your choice.  To be entered to win, all you have to do is pre-order a copy of Tempest Rising, and send proof (any personal info except name removed) to my account.  Though the book comes out on May 10th, the contest will run until May 11th, so that anyone who wants Tempest for Nook can still order it, as it's not available in that format until release day. 

You can pre-order Tempest here:

Barnes and Noble
Indie Bound

There will also be three other prizes for runners-up: a fun bath and body works gift bag, a $10 Starbucks Gift Card and a bag of fun YA ARCs that I picked up at RT.  So enter away and good luck!!!!