Saturday, April 30, 2011

Moonglass Inspiration Giveway Winner!!!

Moonglass Inspiration Giveway Winner!!!

Wow you guys! Thank you.  Thank you to each one of you who entered. I loved reading your comments this week!  Thank you so very much for such kind words. Of course they got me all teary-eyed, but I've just come to accept that's how I'm going to be for a little while.  At least for three more days until Moonglass comes out!

In th meantime, I'm so happy to announce that this week's giveaway winner....

of a signed copy of Moonglass and a red sea glass necklace....



Alice, I will be emailing you shortly for your address!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Final Moonglass Inspiration Giveaway!

Four weeks ago, I started a giveaway series to count down to the release of Moonglass and take a look at all of the elements that inspired it.  And now there's one week left.  One more thing to give away.

More importantly though, there are so many people to thank.  People who have reduced me to a ridiculous, sappy crier.

I'm not normally like this.  Sure, I cry at a lot of movies and tv shows, but not daily, right out of the blue.  Not out of such gratitude. 

But right now, I get teary at the drop of a hat, or the thought of the lovely and gracious reviews people have written, or the fact that so many of my friends and family will be coming from all over to Crystal Cove to celebrate with me at the launch party.  I get all weepy when I think of every person that helped me work on Moonglass, from my first crit partners to the whole team at Simon & Schuster who turned it  into a 'real book.'  It sends me for tissues every time I look at the finished copies.  Seeing them is right up there with marrying my husband or having my children. It's big, and overwhelming, and so incredibly dear to me.

Which is why I'm a weepy mess.  I don't have the words to truly say how much all of this means to me.  Not even close.

I tried to sit down and write a post that would go with what I have to give away this week, and this is what came out.  Just a big, teary thank you. 

This week I'm giving away a signed, finished copy of MOONGLASS, along with Anna's red sea glass necklace, which is the true heart of the story.  There's a lot wrapped up in her necklace, a lot that she can't begin to say, so I think it's a perfect fit. 

All you have to do to be entered is comment!  

If you want a few extra entries, take your pick!

Tweet It! (+1)
Share on FB! (+1)
Link it up on your blog! (+1)

Be sure to leave your entry total and your email in your comment.  This contest will be open through Friday at noon (PST), US only.

Happy Monday, and thank you!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Moonglass Inspiration Giveway Winner!!!

So sorry I'm a day late with this, but we have a winner for the Mermaid Prize Pack! First let me say, I LOVED your comments this week! I had no idea so many other people adored these lovely ladies of the ocean.  :)

Without further adieu, the winner of the Mermaid Prize Pack


Britney Wyatt!!!

Congrats Britney! I'll be contacting you shortly for your mailing address.

If you didn't win this week, be sure to stop back in tomorrow for the last giveaway of this series.  It's shimmery and purple, and comes with a very special accessory...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bookanista Thursday: Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler

The first Bookanista review I did was for Holly Shindler's gorgeous debut, A BLUE SO DARK, which stunned me with its voice and the sheer beauty of the writing.  So you can imagine how excited I was when I heard she had a second book coming out!  You can also imagine how high my expectations were  after being so impressed the first time around.  Today, I'm so, so happy to say that Holly totally exceeded my expectations. PLAYING HURT is an entirely different kind of book than A BLUE SO DARK, but once again, she gives us a beautifully crafted contemporary full of grace and depth.

From Goodreads:

Star basketball player Chelsea "Nitro" Keyes had the promise of a full ride to college—and everyone's admiration back home. Then she took a horrible fall during senior year. Now a metal plate holds her together and she feels like a stranger in her own family.
That summer, Chelsea's dad hires Clint, a nineteen-year-old ex-hockey player and "boot camp" trainer, to work with her at a northern Minnesota lake resort. As they grow close, Chelsea finds that Clint's haunted by his own tragedy. Will their romance end up hurting them all over again—or finally heal their heartbreak?

My Thoughts:

Everything I read about this book before it came out called it a "summer romance,"--which there is plenty of, believe me. Delicious, steamy romance.  But I think categorizing this book as only that is selling it short. Holly writes at a depth way below the surface, and that's what I loved most about this story of loss and healing between two ex-athletes.

PLAYING HURT is told in the alternating viewpoints of Clint and Chelsea, which is irresistably fun on the romance front.  I don't think there's a single one of us around who hasn't wished we knew what our love interest was thinking.  Schindler gives us that luxury, allowing us to fall for Clint in all his gorgeousness even quicker than Chelsea does.  And in Chelsea, we get to experience that fluttery feeling of falling that's impossible to fight.     

The other thing using alternating viewpoints accomplishes is to show us the similarities between Chelsea and Clint before they recognize them themselves.  Both have experienced painful losses and are in search of their identities in light of those losses.  When they finally let their guard down around each other and move beyond their crazy physical attraction, they're able to help each other toward healing.

In PLAYING HURT, Holly Schindler accomplishes what I admire most about my favorite contemporary stories.  She writes a careful balance of gorgeous prose, fluid plot, and engaging characters who have true emotional depth.  If you're in the mood for a perfect summer romance that's more than a summer romance, you need to read this book.  I thought about doing a giveaway with my copy, but the truth is, I love this one too much to part with it.  You'll just have to pick it up, find a comfy spot in the sun, and soak up this beautifully told story.    

But first, you should check out what the other Bookanistas are up to this week:

And don't forget--tomorrow is the last day to enter and win the Moonglass-inspired mermaid prize pack here on the blog.  Check it out!

Monday, April 18, 2011

This Week's Moonglass Inspiration and Giveaway: Mermaids

In honor of the release of MOONGLASS (in 15 days!!), I've been posting weekly about the elements that inspired me as I was writing it.  I've also been giving away prize packs, and this week is no different!  This week is actually one of my favorites, since I'm writing about mermaids.

Yep.  There are mermaids all over my house...

In the living room...

The kitchen...

My office...

Even hiding in the garden.

I wouldn't say I'm a fanatic.  I don't believe in them or worship them or anything.  But I am fascinated by the mythology behind them, and that's a thing that actually began while I was writing MOONGLASS.  Since then, I seem to have acquired quite a few...

When I was researching sea glass, I found a few sources that called it "Mermaid Tears," which I included in the story.  That led me down the path of researching mermaids, which ultimately gave me a myth for Anna to view her mother through.  In MOONGLASS, she's given a book about mermaids that sums up their nature: 

"They are at once beautiful and cruel, tender and selfish, vulnerable, yet unattainable.  Above all, they offer shimmering glimpses into the deep ocean of secrets that is a woman's heart."

There are no real mermaids in MOONGLASS, but there are moments where Anna draws parallels between the myth and her mother as she struggles to come to terms with her death.

"My mother had always been a mystery to me, even when she was alive.  She'd been all those things, all at once, and we'd tiptoed around her even then.  And now, here, she'd stirred up the placid surface of my life and thrown me into rough, dark water--a deep ocean of secrets. 

I couldn't tell anyone I was flailing."

So.  In honor of these enigmatic, mythical creatures, I'm giving away a special, mermaid-inspired prize pack this week:

This week's winner will win a copy of Brenda Rosen's MERMAID WISDOM, which helps you find your inner goddess, a pewter and sea glass mermaid bookmark so you never lose your place, and a pretty little mermaid necklace.

Wanna enter?  It's easy:

Leave a comment on this blog post and you'll automatically be entered to win!

Wanna snag a few extra entries:

Tweet It! (+1)
Share It on FB (+1)
Become a follower on the blog or Twitter (+1)
Link it up on your own blog (+1)

Leave your entry total in your comment.  I'm willing to work on the honor system if you are.  Contest will be open until Friday at noon, and I'll announce the winner on Saturday.

Happy Monday! 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Moonglass Inspiration Giveway Winner!!!

Once again, thank you for all who entered the Lifeguard giveaway!  And our winner of the Lifeguard Prize Pack...



I will be contacting you shortly for you address.  :)

Thank you again to those of you who've come back each week to read and leave your comments.  You still have two more weeks of giveaways and two more chances to win!  Eep!  That also means two more weeks until the release of Moonglass!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bookanista Thursday: The Pull Of Gravity

Holy cow, how is it Thursday again already???  It snuck up on me, but I'm happy because this week I'm so excited to present Gae Polisner's debut, THE PULL OF GRAVITY.  It comes out soon--May 10th, to be exact, and I can't wait for word to spread about this awesome story.

From Goodreads:

While Nick Gardner’s family is falling apart, his best friend, Scooter, is dying from a freak disease. The Scoot’s final wish is that Nick and their quirky classmate, Jaycee Amato, deliver a prized first-edition copy of Of Mice and Men to the Scoot’s father. There’s just one problem: the Scoot’s father walked out years ago and hasn’t been heard from since. So, guided by Steinbeck’s life lessons, and with only the vaguest of plans, Nick and Jaycee set off to find him.
Characters you’ll want to become friends with and a narrative voice that sparkles with wit make this a truly original coming-of-age story.

My Thoughts:  

I love a great quest story.  If it can be told with wit and quirkiness and heart, that's even better.  In THE PULL OF GRAVITY, Gae Polisner accomplishes all those things, leaving the reader with a touching story of friendship that could easily be taught in the English classroom, alongside OF MICE AND MEN.

At the story's center is Scooter' last wish, and he's a character so tenderly written I'd have taken the trip myself if he asked me to.  And then we have Jaycee, who is the kind of girl I'd love to have as a friend--she's bold and honest, with a touch of rebelliousness.  But it's Nick who makes the story.  His anger at his dad, self-consciousness around Jaycee, and love for Scooter make him a very real, endearing character.  And for me, it's always about the characters.

I followed these characters through the ups and downs of their journey buoyed by the same hopes they embarked on it with.  There were surprises along the way, and setbacks, of course.  But all these things add up to those moments that bring travel companions closer and ensure they'll have a lasting bond over what they've made it through.

As a story, THE PULL OF GRAVITY is the same way.  It's one I won't soon forget because it touched me and made me hope and feel for its characters.  I can't wait for everyone to have the chance to read it!

In the meantime, check out what the other Bookanistas are up to this week:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Going On Tour--Moonglass, that is.

Yesterday's post was all about this week's giveaway, but today I want to highlight a thing that makes me totally giddy.  And nervous, in a good kind of way. 

For the next four weeks, MOONGLASS will be on a blog tour with Teen Book Scene.  This fabulous clan of bloggers has put together an awesome mix of interviews, reviews, guest posts about my teen years (yikes!), and Q&A sessions with some of MOONGLASS's most colorful characters.  Check in daily for the latest!

    Monday, April 11: YA Highway (Author Interview)
Tuesday, April 12: Kelsey at The Book Scout (Character Interview: Ashley)
Wednesday, April 13: Cindy at Books Complete Me (Review)
Thursday, April 14: Jamie B. at Page Turners Blog (Tens List)
Friday, April 15: Britta at I Like These Books (Teenage Garage Sale
Saturday, April 16: Lauren M. at 365 Days of Reading (Review)
Monday, April 18: Patricia at Patricia's Particularity (This or That List)
Tuesday, April 19: Jessi E. at The Elliott Review  (Character Interview: Anna)
Wednesday, April 20: Kari at A Good Addiction (Review)
Thursday, April 21: Corrine at Lost For Words (Tens List)
Friday, April 22: Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer (Into the Past)
Saturday, April 23: Kelsey at The Book Scout (Review)

Monday, April 25: Melanie G. at Reclusive Bibliophile (Author Interview)
Tuesday, April 26: Kari at A Good Addiction (Character Interview: Joe)
Wednesday, April 27: Jessi E. at The Elliott Review (Review)
Thursday, April 28: Cindy at Books Complete Me (Character Interview: Jillian)
Friday, April 29: Jessica T. at A Fanatic's Book Blog (When I’m Not Writing)
Saturday, April 30: Melina at Reading Vacation (Review)

Monday, May 2: Patricia at Patricia's Particularity (Review)
Tuesday, May 3: Lauren M. at 365 Days of Reading (Character Interview: James)
Wednesday, May 4: Jamie B. at Page Turners Blog (Review)
Thursday, May 5: Melina at Reading Vacation (Tens List)
Friday, May 6: Kim P. at Butterfly Book Reviews (Author Interview)

Monday, April 11, 2011

This Week's Moonglass Inspiration and Giveaway: Lifeguards

Got your attention with that one, right?  You're thinking it's about time you had your own lifeguard.  You know the image--red trunks, perfect tan, capable arms....

Something like this:

  I totally wish I could give you these guys, but I can't.  They're too busy watching the water. 

What I can do, though, is let you in on how lifeguards and the whole lifestyle surrounding the profession was an inspiration for Moonglass.  Then give you a prize.  Good, right? 

Okay, here we go--

Once upon a college summer, I worked in a sandwich shop, made minimum wage, and came home every day smelling like mustard and onions.  My boyfriend at the time (now husband of 10 yrs!!), worked on the beach, made twice as much as I did, and came home smelling like sunscreen and summer.

Clearly, his job was cooler than mine.

So the next spring I donned a wetsuit and three swimcaps and plunged into the 48 degree water of Pismo Beach for the lifeguard tryout swim.  Miraculously, I didn't die of hypothermia.  I made the swim, passed the academy, and spent my remaining college summers in a lifeguard tower, smelling like sunscreen and watching the water.  Always watching the water.

Those summers I was part of a crew of some of the most fantastic,fun-loving people I've ever known.  We spent our work hours in our towers watching the water and keeping the beach safe, but it didn't end there.  We were a tight-knit group who also met for early morning surf sessions, sat around bonfires, pulled pranks, jumped off rocks, and generally lived it up.

The personalities of these friends and memories from those years found their way into Moonglass as the fun, lighter side of Anna's story.  I loved writing those scenes and characters because they brought me right back to the free-wheeling summers of my own past.

I want you all to have a little piece of that, so here's what I'm giving away this week:

A Lifeguard Prize Pack, including Crystal Cove Lifeguard T-Shirt and car magnet so you can instantly transform yourself and car, a pair of sweet aviators, the best smelling sunscreen in the world, and a tube of Burt's Bee's Sun Protecting Lip Balm, in passionfruit.  

If you're new to this giveaway series, here's how to enter:

Leave a comment on this post and you'll be automatically entered.

Wanna snag a few extra entries? Here's how:

Become a follower of the blog or @jessikirby on Twitter (+1)
Tweet It! (+1)
Share It on Facebook! (+1)

Then put your total number of entries in your comment.  I'm willing to work on the honor system if you are!

Happy Monday, and remember: Swim near a lifeguard!  :)


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Moonglass Inspiration Giveway Winner!!!

Once again, thank you to all of you who entered and commented and tweeted and shared!  The winner of the sea glass notecards and suncatcher...


Pamela Jo of There's Just Life!!!

Congrats Pamela! Thank you so much for entering! Can't wait to send off your prize!

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Bookanistas Give Back

Charitable donations are a very personal thing. There are so many ways our hard earned money can help others, and lately our world seems to be breaking into pieces around us. Needs are many and great. The Bookanistas want to give back, so in the coming months, we're going to be looking for ways to pour into communities, both bookish and worldwide. 

For the month of April, we've chose to spotlight Run For Your Life an event that's raising money for a cancer hospital, largely because the framework is already set up (we'd like to keep it simple our first time out), and also because of personal connections to the cause. Most everyone has lost a loved one to cancer or knows someone who has. 

*To encourage you to donate, we're going to give away some sweet prizes! 

Here's how it will work:* 

2. Make a donation. $5 is suggested, but lower or higher is fine. (Also know 
that for every dollar you donate, you'll be entered to win a private, advance screening for twenty people for Breaking Dawn. The Bookanistas have NOTHING to do with that part - that's all Charlie Bewley and Summit Entertainment.) 

3. Come back and fill out the entry form on this page. We're *trusting you* to be honest about giving, and about the amount you give. Don't be a mamby pamby. Keep up our faith in mankind. 

4. The Bookanistas will be giving away a selection of prizes (see list below). You will be entered *one time *for* each dollar* you donate ($5 = 5 entries). If you wish to be entered to win a specific prize, let us know in the designated section of the entry form. 

5. We're following the guidelines set forth by Run for Your Life, which means this particular event will only be open to those in North America. Entries will be closed on April 30th, and we will contact randomly selected winners shortly thereafter. 

6. Spread the word. Tweet, post the Run For Your Life logo (above) with a link to Charlie's site on your blog, or Facebook about the event, and receive an entry (one entry TOTAL for doing all or one of these things). Place a link/links in the place provided on the entry form.

HERE'S THE LIST OF BOOKANISTA PRIZES (this list WILL be added to, so check back): 

JUST ADDED by an anonymous donor!:
A signed copy of CITY OF FALLEN ANGELS by Cassie Clare

A fifty page manuscript critique

Signed copies of BLOOD MAGIC by Tessa Gratton, XVI by Julia Karr and RIVAL by Sarah Bennet Wealer

A signed copy of WHITE CAT and a signed copy of RED GLOVE by Holly Black

A 50 page manuscript critique

From Jessi Kirby: 
A signed copy of MOONGLASS

A swag pack of POSSESS goodies, a signed copy of A TOUCH MORTAL by Leah Clifford and a query critique

A 50 page manuscript critique 

A signed copy of AUDITION

A query and first chapter critique

A signed copy of LIAR SOCIETY and bookmarks

A box of ten mystery advance reader copies

A Dystopian Trifecta of Awesome - a signed copy of DARK AND HOLLOW PLACES by Carrie Ryan, a signed copy of MATCHED by Ally Condie, and a signed ARC of Elena's own POSSESSION


A signed copy of DEMONGLASS by Rachel Hawkins (AND Rachel is throwing in a signed Demonglass totebag), a signed copy of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by Beth Revis, a signed copy of TORMENT by Lauren Kate, a unicorn, and a signed, annotated HOURGLASS. 

So, what are you waiting for???? Click here to enter! 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bookanista Thursday: Nothing but LOVE for The Liar Society!

I'm pretty sure all of the internet has heard of the amazingly awesome Roeker sisters and their debut novel, THE LIAR SOCIETY.  It hit shelves the shelves March 1st and if you haven't read it yet, it's time!

From Goodreads:

Kate Lowry didn't think dead best friends could send e-mails. But when she gets an e-mail from Grace, she’s not so sure.

Sent: Sun 9/14 11:59 PM
Subject: (no subject)

I'm here…
sort of.
Find Cameron.
He knows.
I shouldn't be writing.
Don't tell.
They'll hurt you.

Now Kate has no choice but to prove once and for all that Grace’s death was more than just a tragic accident. But secrets haunt the halls of her elite private school. Secrets people will do anything to protect. Even if it means getting rid of the girl trying to solve a murder...

My Take:

A funny thing happened when I picked up this book.  Laundry formed a mountain on my couch.  Then dishes piled up in the sink.  My children had to remind me repeatedly that while I was perfectly content devouring the mysteries of secret societies and hidden symbols, they needed a real dinner.  I cooked it one-handed.

THE LIAR SOCIETY is that kind of book.

It reminded me of everything I loved about reading Nancy Drew mysteries as a kid, only Kate is this spunky mix of bold and willfull and sarcastic that is waaaay cooler.  She's hilarious and relatable--the kind of character you love and root for from the very first sentence.  I want my own Kate as a best friend.  I'd sneak into old buildings and sit down with a full fat frap to Google with her any day. 

The mystery surrounding Grace's death is intriguing, and well-spun, with the kinds of twists and turns that take you on a wild ride and make you neglect your responsibilities. Lisa and Laura have a truly great knack for leaving each chapter with a pull that tempts you to read 'just one more' every time. 

One of my most favorite things about this book though, is Pemberly Brown itself.  The school, with it's latin stations, ivy-covered brick buildings, and dark history, is the perfect backdrop for this story.  Only it doesn't stay in the background.  Pemberly Brown comes to life as its own mythic kind of character that draws you in and creeps you out at the same time.

 I have nothing but love for this book. It's a twisty mystery with a well-paced plot and pink-haired kick ass heroine.  If you haven't read it yet, go get it! But make sure your kids are fed first.  :)

And make sure you check out what the rest of The Bookanistas are up to this week!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Moonglass Inspiration Giveaway 2: Sea Glass

In case you weren't around last week, I'm hosting a giveaway series to count down to the release of Moonglass on May 3rd!  Each week, I'll post on a different inspiration behind Moonglass, and each week you'll have a chance to win a corresponding prize. 

This week's inspiration:  Sea Glass

A few years back, I had a vague notion of what sea glass was.  I knew they sold bags of it in Pottery Barn and Pier 1, and that it looked pretty in jars.  I like the shades of blues and greens and the frosty whites. I might have even bought some to put in a vase.

I had no idea I could find real sea glass on the beach steps from my door.  Or that once I started looking and actually finding it, I'd be so drawn to these little treasures I'd walk that beach for hours, sometimes alone, sometimes with my kids, eyes scanning the sand in search of the next glimmer.  In those hours we've found some beautiful pieces:

In those hours I also fell in love with the idea that every bit of smoothed glass is a little piece of history long forgotten.  The marbles and stoppers, ordinary bottles and bits of art glass that wash up in every brilliant shade of the rainbow, all of them have tumbled over the sand beneath the waves for years, being smoothed over into something new and different and beautiful. The glass and this idea of what lies beneath it's smoothed surface wove themselves perfectly into the story of Moonglass. 

In Moonglass, Anna's fondest memories are of walking the beach with her mother in search of sea glass.   The word 'moonglass' comes from one of those memories in particular, but I won't ruin the surprise.

What I will do, though, is let you in on the giveaway for this week:

This week I'm giving away a set of 20 gorgeous sea glass notecards (in four different designs), and a sea glass suncatcher handmade by yours truly. In an effort to do something with all of the glass I pick up, I started making these and even selling them in the Cove store.  Now though, I can't seem to find the time, so we'll be extra fancy and call it a limited edition sea glass sun catcher.  The cool thing is, I found all of the glass in this piece at Crystal Cove, so you'll be getting a little bit of the Cove too!

So. You know you wanna enter...

It's easy! Comment on this blog post and you'll automatically be entered to win!

Wanna snag some extra entries?  Do this:

*Become a follower of the blog! (+1)
*Tweet it! (+1)
*Link to the contest on your blog! (+1)
*Share it on FB! (+1)

Leave your entry total in your comment.  I'm willing to work on the honor system if you are.  :)  Contest will be open until noon on Friday, and I will announce the winner on Saturday.

Happy Monday!!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Moonglass Inspiration Giveway Winner!!!

First off, I just want to say thank you to all who entered, commented, tweeted, and shared!  I loved reading all your comments and hearing your thoughts about the beach!  I wish I could choose you all as winners, but there can only be one this week.

And the lucky winner of the Crystal Cove Prize pack is....

Alexis Salcido!!!

Congrats Alexis! I'll need your address to mail your prize, so please email me at and I'll put it in the mail right away!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend, and come back Monday for the next inspiration and giveaway in the series!