Monday, September 24, 2012

Contest Winners!

I'm finally announcing my contest winners. I got a bit distracted last week with Open House at school, Grandparents Day and finishing my latest manuscript which I aptly named THE BEAST (that's its nickname).

I am happy to say that my poor agent now has it and now he gets to face THE BEAST. *laughing deviously* Although, if anyone can deal with monsters or impossible manuscripts, it's my agent.

ANYWAY! (yeah, my critique partners won't let me ramble in my stories so I get to torture you here)

The winners are:

Kelly Polark for DEVIANTS by Maureen McGowen

and Stina Lindenblatt for I'M BORED by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi.

Email me your address. My email is farley dot christinaL at gmail dot com.

Woohoo! I still have my review and contest for SANCTUM by Sarah Fine coming up and a stack of autograph books that I've been meaning to do a giveaway with. Soon! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Interview with Debbie Ohi and Giveaway!

I am thrilled to have my critique partner from the MiGsDebbie Ridpath Ohi, chatting with us here at Chocolate for Inspiration. I've known Debbie for a number of years and I've had the chance to read her middle grade and picture books. She is incredibly talented and I can't wait to see all of other projects come out to the light of day over the next few years.

Now for the interview!
Me: There is so much fun and humor in your illustrations. What springboards you to come up with these creative ideas?
Debbie: Thanks, Christy! I draw a lot, just for the fun of it, and I think that helps a great deal. If I only drew for work-related projects, I suspect my illustrations would tighten up and lose much of the energy that people seem to like. So I try to sketch and doodle digitally and on paper as much as I can.

I admit it was an adjustment at first. Once I started working on I'M BORED, my doodling went way down at first because I figured I needed to put the time into workstuff instead…but then I found this had a negative influence on my workstuff. Once I started drawing for fun again on the side, things got better again.

Now I'm thinking I should starting doing more of the same for my writing as well. I used to keep a private daily journal, just for random thoughts, and I think I'll start it up again.

Me: How do you look at a story from an illustrator's perspective?
Debbie: That's an interesting question, mainly because I've always looked at stories visually when I'm reading.

However, working on I'M BORED as well as my new picture book project for Simon & Schuster BFYR has certainly started me thinking a lot more about the picture book reader experience. There are so many aspiring picture book writers and illustrators out there who think that it's just a matter of writing the story and then adding pictures.

It's so much more, however. Writing picture books is HARD. Or rather, writing a good picture book that stands out in the marketplace and is appealing to young people (rather than grown-ups who are used to the classic type of picture books from the past) is hard.

Those who illustrate as well as write have a definite advantage when it comes to creating picture books because/we can't help but think of how the text and illustrations can function as one unit AS we write the story. I'm always asking myself, "How can I show this in the illustrations instead of in the text? What can I add in the illustrations that will enhance the story?"
It's a challenging but ultimately immensely satisfying process.

Me: And the most important question, what's your favorite chocolate?
Debbie: Good quality dark chocolate.

A fellow chocolate lover! Yay! Thank you so much Debbie for hanging out with us!

Stalk Debbie at:

Twitter: @inkyelbows


Debbie and Simon and Schuster have also offered to give away a copy of I'M BORED! Just comment in the section below. Get an extra entry for tweeting, blogging or mentioning this interview on Facebook. Just let me know in the comments section!

Contest open internationally until Sept. 19th.

Monday, September 10, 2012

DEVIANTS and ARC Giveaway!

Today's highlighted book is DEVIANTS by Maureen McGowan published by Amazon Children's Publishing. I received the ARC in the mail late last week and as soon as I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. The style and action-packed pace made it impossible to set aside.

The release date is Oct. 30th!

Here's the blurb from Amazon:

In a post-apocalyptic world, where the earth is buried by asteroid dust that’s mutated the DNA of some humans, orphaned, sixteen-year-old Glory must hide and protect her younger brother. If their Deviant abilities are discovered, they’ll be expunged—kicked out of the dome to be tortured and killed by the Shredders.

Glory would give anything to get rid of her unique ability to kill with her emotions, especially when Cal, the boy she’s always liked, becomes a spy for the authorities. But when her brother is discovered, and she learns their father, who was expunged for killing their mother, is still alive, she must escape the domed city that’s been her entire world.

Outside in the ruins, they’re pursued by the authorities and by sadistic, scab-covered Shredders who are addicted to the lethal-to-humans dust now covering the planet. Glory’s quests to transport herself and her brother to safety make up the thrilling and fascinating first volume of The Dust Chronicles.

What I love about this book: I really fell in love with the main character, Glory. She's tough and knows how to kick butt, yet at the same time she's thoughtful and sacrificial. Glory is willing to do just about anything to keep her brother hidden. Because of this, she is drawn into a whole new world that she never knew existed.

What makes this book unique:

I loved the angle that McGowan brought in at the end of the book which leads into book 2. Of course I can't ruin the ending but I thought it was unique and something I hadn't seen in dystopian literature that I've read. At the same time I was slightly annoyed because now I'll have to wait for book 2 to be released before I get to find out what happens next! What's up with cliffhanger McGowan? I think she's trying to torture us.

Why you should read it:

The writing was just flawless. As a writer myself, I'm a tough critic when it comes to style and the right mix of well, everything. McGowan knows how to tell a fast-paced story without allowing the writing to suffer. And excellent world building!

My favorite line:

"I've tried to be a good person, to do the right thing, but I am not a good person."

Stalk Maureen on her blog or Twitter: @MaureenMcGowan

I'm also giving away my ARC of DEVIANTS! It's simple. Leave a comment below. Tweet it and tell me you did so and get an extra entry. Contest ends Sept. 17th.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Last week was a big week for Cory Jackson with the release of IF I LIE. So many great books coming out this fall!

Here's the blurb of IF I LIE:

Cheater. Traitor. Slut.
Quinn’s done the unthinkable: she kissed a guy who is not Carey, her boyfriend. And she got caught. Shunned by everyone she knows, Quinn loses her friends, her reputation, and her identity. Because Carey’s not just any guy—he’s a Marine who’s serving overseas, and beloved by everyone in their small, military town. But Quinn didn’t cheat. She could clear her name, but that would mean revealing secrets she’s vowed to keep—secrets that aren’t hers to share. So she stays silent, and waits for Carey to come home.     
Then Carey goes MIA, and Quinn must decide how far she’ll go to protect her boyfriend…and her promise.

Check out Cory's website here.

Over at the YA Rebels we all talked about a time when we lied or withheld the truth in celebration of the release of IF I LIE. This was actually my last vlog with the YA Rebels as a guest poster. I had a lot of fun vlogging with them!

You can check out my vlog here where I talk about how I lie every day.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I'M BORED Releases Today!

A big happy book birthday to I'M BORED written by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by my critique partner from the MiGs, Debbie Ridpath Ohi! I'm just so excited for Debbie. She is incredibly talented and has great things in store for her in the future, including two more picture books that she will write/and or illustrate through Simon and Schuster!

Over at the MiGs we are celebrating the book birthday of I'M BORED all week long. Each day we're chatting about being bored or something related to the book. For every comment made, you can enter to win you very own copy of I'M BORED!

Check it all out here.

Also, check out I'M BORED in the wild. You can submit pics too!