Friday, June 29, 2012

Megan Shepherd Takes the Dare

Can I just say, you guys sure do know how to suggest some good Truths & Dares.

As I was going through the list of submitted truths & dares, I was sorely tempted to pick this one from Alyssa Sooklal that goes, "I dare you not to bathe for a week." Except then my friends reminded me that's more or less a normal week for me. Welcome to the glamourous life of a writer!

So in the interest of personal hygiene and keeping my friends, I instead chose this dare submitted by Heather Zundel:

That was a great dare, Heather. I now know how to accurately write about sheer terror. Thanks, I guess?

Next up is Brandy Colbert, our newest member, on Tuesday, July 3! This will be Brandy's first Truth or Dare, so let's make it a great one. You can submit truths & dares for her here.

Megan Shepherd is a young adult writer living in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Her debut novel, The Madman's Daughter, comes out January 29, 2013 from Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins, and is the first in a Gothic thriller trilogy. She’d love to hear from you at her blog, TwitterFacebook, or on Goodreads.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Introducing Our Newest Mystery Author!

I'm so excited to introduce you to the newest Thirteener! Please join me in welcoming the lovely Brandy Colbert to the group!

Brandy was born and raised in the Ozarks – more specifically, Springfield, Missouri – and earned a Bachelors Degree in Journalism from Missouri State University. Brandy works as a freelance magazine copy editor and while she's a picky eater and a vegetarian in real life, she's an adventurous foodie at heart. She tap dances and is an avid fan of Degrassi, the Flintstones, Louis C.K., and Hello Kitty. Brandy is represented by Tina Wexler at International Creative Management. Her debut novel, A Point So Delicate, comes out Fall of 2013 from Putnam/Penguin.

We know 2013 is still pretty far off, and fall of 2013 even further still, but we can't help but squee over Brandy's book. Check out this premise:
A ballet prodigy's life begins to unravel when she’s forced to admit to the role she played in her childhood friend’s abduction.
Talk about an amazing one-line pitch, huh? Maybe you want to go add A Point So Delicate on goodreads. (*nudge, nudge*)

And now comes the best part of introducing new members: truth or dare! Leave your especially torturous dares for Brandy here. She'll be answering one a week from today. In the meantime, let's give Brandy a warm welcome in the comments.

Monday, June 25, 2012

PIVOT POINT Cover Reveal (plus more fun news)!

We love to share good news, and Kasie's had quite a bit of it these last few weeks.

To start, her absolutely stunning cover for PIVOT POINT was revealed exclusively on YABC this past Friday. Here it is in case you missed it before the weekend:

Gorgeous, don't you think? The mirrored instance of the girl? The title splitting them in two? The fractured light?! Plus, check out that blurb! And here's the official jacket copy:
Addison Coleman's life is one big "What if?" As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It's the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie's parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with–her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the "Norms," or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it's not.
In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school–but she never wanted to be a quarterback's girlfriend. When Addie's father is asked to consult on a murder in the compound, she's unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she's willing to live through...and who she can't live without.

And to add to all the excitement, Kasie recently sold another two-book series to HarperTeen! That's right, she'll have two YA books hitting shelves next year: PIVOT POINT and THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US!

Here's the official sales announcement on Publishers Marketplace:
Kasie West's THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, a humorous love story about a girl who has her lifelong disdain of the wealthy challenged by the son of a hotel mogul, whose attention and loyalty almost convince her that being rich isn't a character flaw, until she finds out that money is a bigger part of their relationship than she realized, to Sarah Landis at Harper Teen, in a very nice deal, in a two-book deal, for publication in Fall 2013, by Michelle Wolfson at Wolfson Literary Agency (World English).
And for those of you craving to know more about THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, here's the full summary:
Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.
So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.
She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.
Doesn't that sound fantastic? And both of these coming out in one year! I'm in awe.

Please join us in congratulating Kasie, squeeing over PIVOT POINT's cover, and maybe adding THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US and PIVOT POINT to your goodreads shelves! :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Kasie West Takes The Truth

As I was reading through some of the truth and dares you guys have submitted I came across one submitted by Alyssa Sooklal. She asked: "When was a time you lost your dignity?" And I couldn't resist. I had to share a post I wrote about three years ago for my own blog about this very topic. How as a mother of four I wasn't sure if I had any dignity left. So forgive me for recycling a post, but maybe you mother's out there will relate. 

Who Needs Dignity?

I sat down to check my e mail and smeared across the back of my hand was a dried booger. Yes, dried, as in, it had been there for a while. It would have been disgusting enough had it been my own, but it wasn’t. It was my two-year-old son’s. It would have been understandable had I not remembered exactly how it had gotten there, which would have been the case on any other day (there had been other days).

As I looked at this particular booger, however, I knew how it had come to be there. It had been bath time, it had been hanging out of his nose, and I had wiped it, (with my finger, of course, what else would I wipe it with?) and as I had gone to throw it away, it had disappeared. I thought to myself at the time, ‘huh, I wonder where that booger went?’ And then just as quickly I had thought, ‘oh well.’
So, fast-forward to the now dried up booger. What would I do? Would I get a tissue for it, like I should have done when I originally saw it hanging out of his nose? Or would I let it sit for another few minutes while I checked my e mail? It wasn’t getting any drier or less disgusting, of course I waited. Which brought me to the question I asked myself a lot as a mother of four children under the age of ten—did I have any dignity left? And the answer I always came back with was—of course not.

I thought back, trying to remember at exactly what point, over the last ten years, I had lost it. I concluded that it wasn’t something that had happened all at once. It was a culmination of many experiences. After all, I had at one point been a very self-respecting individual. Or so I had successfully fooled myself into thinking for many years.

It wasn’t something I lost merely by becoming a mother. In fact, I can remember clearly my first child as a baby. When her binky would fall on the ground, I would wash it under hot water for several minutes. I would carefully check her diaper for any signs of a “stinky” by lifting it away from her leg and peeking inside. I even remember gagging when I was changing her diaper one time and poop came squirting out, landing on my arm. I must’ve used just short of a million wipes to scrub my arm clean.

Then my second child came. I was slightly more relaxed in my dignity. If her binky fell on the floor, thirty seconds under luke warm water seemed sufficient for disinfection. Checking the diaper became a job for my nose instead of my eyes.

The public humiliation seemed to come more frequently with the new addition to the family. My first child, perhaps in an attempt for attention, thought it was her duty to take off her diaper and streak through the aisles at large, crowded, stores. When I had my bits of dignity left, it was very hard for me to hunt down an employee and say, “Um, there’s been a spill in aisle four.” “What kind of spill,” they would inevitably ask.“Urine,” I would mumble before leaving as quickly as possible.

Then my third child came and I came to the realization that certain behaviors of practice previously attempted now seemed unrealistic. If the binky fell on the floor, my own mouth provided just the right amount of disinfection. After all, I rarely had access to a faucet of running water. Was she poopy? A finger directly into the side of the diaper could find out quickly. Did that make you gag? Not me. In fact, I rarely gagged at all these days. Not even when my fourth child spit up directly on to my face, causing momentary blindness.

Public humiliation seemed to happen less these days as well. Oh wait…no…it happened more, I had just become less humiliated. Did it bother me when I walked through the isles at a grocery store with no children, but a large chocolate drool stain down the front of my shirt? No, because if I had put on a new shirt before I left, it would have been dirty by the end of the day too, and that would have just equaled more laundry.

Have I made proper reference to all bodily functions yet? Just making sure, a person lacking dignity would include every last one.

I finally went to the sink and rinsed off the booger. After drying my hands on a towel, I rubbed my finger across my now clean hand. It felt soft, as if I had applied an expensive mask to my skin, the kind they sold for a lot of money in the department stores. Who needed expensive masks when they had kids? And who needed dignity? Not me. I had so much more.

Thanks for the truth, Alyssa! Maybe you know me a little better than you wanted to now. :) But I want some loss of dignity stories in the comments section. I don't want to be humiliated by my booger-hand all by myself. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

TAKEN Cover Reveal!!

This is such a huge week here at the Thirteeners! And here we go again! We are so happy to present Erin Bowman's cover of her debut novel TAKEN.

Is this not simply AWESOMENESS?!!! How can you not love this cover? The colors, the font, the tree, the positioning of the figures, and that mirrored floor! This is such an intense cover! Imagine picking it up at the bookstore and then flipping to the inside jacket and reading this:

There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends . . . and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate—until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot—a structure that no one can cross and survive. Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken—or risk everything on the hope of the other side?
I seriously think the ground just shook with all the people stamping their feet in frustration that this book is not out yet! Ok, maybe that was just me in my own house.

So the cover came out exclusively yesterday over at Pub(lishing) Crawl and you can go add to the hoopla over there also. The book is not out until April 16, 2013, but in the meantime, go ahead and add it to your Goodreads page here cause you know you want to read this book!

Congratulations, Erin! We are so ecstatic over your cover and can't wait to get TAKEN into our own hot little hands!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

PROPHECY and THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER Double Cover Reveal and Signed ARC Giveaway!

Us Friday the Thirteeners couldn't be more proud and excited to reveal not one but TWO brand new covers today! Getting a cover is a huge step in the journey toward publication, so you can imagine how hard we're celebrating such a memorable day with two of our own. Major congratulations to Ellen Oh and Megan Shepherd for their phenomenal covers for PROPHECY and THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER!

Make sure to keep reading so you can find out how you can win signed ARCs of both PROPHECY and THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER!

by Ellen Oh

The greatest warrior in all of the Seven Kingdoms . . . is a girl with yellow eyes.

Kira’s the only female in the king’s army, and the prince’s bodyguard. She’s a demon slayer and an outcast, hated by nearly everyone in her home city of Hansong. And, she’s their only hope. . . 

Murdered kings and discovered traitors point to a demon invasion, sending Kira on the run with the young prince. He may be the savior predicted in the Dragon King Prophecy, but the missing treasure of myth may be the true key. With only the guidance of the cryptic prophecy, Kira must battle demon soldiers, evil shaman, and the Demon Lord himself to find what was once lost and raise a prince into a king.

Intrigue and mystery, ancient lore and action-packed fantasy come together in this heart-stopping first book in a trilogy.

byt Megan Shepherd

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London-working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward-both of whom she is deeply drawn to-Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island's inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius-and madness-in her own blood.

Inspired by H. G. Wells's classic the Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman's Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we'll do anything to know and the truths we'll go to any lengths to protect.

Absolutely gorgeous covers, right? And both these fabulous books kick some serious ass! For your chance to win SIGNED ARCS of both PROPHECY and THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER, head on over to Young Adult Books Central to enter!

PROPHECY (HarperTeen) and THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER (Balzer + Bray) will both be published in January of 2013. Visit Ellen at her website and add PROPHECY to your Goodreads! As well, visit Megan at her website and add THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER to your Goodreads, too!

 Huge congratulations, Ellen and Megan! You're both so incredibly talented and we're so happy and excited for you! 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Erin Bowman Takes the Dare

Hi, guys! Today I'm tackling an entry from Kristen Lippert-Martin, who dared me to write my bio in the voice of a well-known literary figure. She gave me four different options, but this turned into such a fun exercise in voice, that I couldn't pick just one!

To begin, let's look at a snippet of my actual bio, as written by regular old me:
Erin is a twenty-seven year girl who likes to write. She grew up in rural Connecticut, where she spent most of her childhood telling stories. It is rumored that her first words were not "mama" or "dada," but "once upon a time." In middle school, when kids were going off to sleep-away camp for the summer, Erin was attending writing camp and penning short stories.

When not writing, Erin can often be found hiking, geeking out over good typography, and obsessing over all things Harry Potter. She drinks a lot of coffee, buys far too many books and is not terribly skilled at writing about herself in the third person.
Lovely. Now let's get to the good stuff. My bio, if I were any of the following...

Assuming you want to know, I guess I should probably tell you my name, and what I do, and how I got into this career and stuff, but truthfully, it's a long and boring story and I don't really have the energy to get into it right now. All I can say is I write. Have been since the day I could mumble "once upon a time." You probably find that lame. You think I'm lying. You think I'm the biggest phony alive. But who isn't a phony? Nobody, that's who.

So I write. And when I don't write, I obsess over pointless crap like good typography and Harry Potter and I drink a lot of coffee because it makes me feel somewhat alive, which is a blessing and a curse, and dammit, why am I still telling you all this? It's making me depressed as hell.


The act of writing a captivating story is nuanced as concocting the most complex of potions. I've appreciated stories from birth; their beauty and magic, the power of convincing dialog, the delicate entwining of plot threads, the hypnotic effect of pitch-perfect pacing. I've spent much time perfecting this craft, but maintaining focus can be trying on occasion. Especially with all the imbeciles in the world fawning over Harry Potter. How anyone could love that spoiled, arrogant, insufferable excuse of a wizard remains a mystery to me. Even after all this time.


The time has come to tell you a little bit about myself and the great honor it is to be writing novels for the masses. I pride myself on my utmost sense of style and impeccable manners--especially given my non-Capitol upbringing. Rural Connecticut can be full of heathens, eating food with their hands and exhibiting other vile behaviors. It's amazing I still have an appetite after my childhood there. But at least we had some delicacies. Like coffee and dessert. (Can you believe that some people are deprived of dessert?! The odds are not in their favor.)


No measure of time with words will be enough, so I'm planning on writing forever. I can't stay away from books...Don't want to. The smell of their pages. The warmth and comfort they provide. I should probably tell you something useful, something biographical, but I'm too busy sitting outside this window, brooding.

Photo Credits: Holden / Snape / Effie / Edward

So what do you think? Who's voice sounds the most authentic to you? 

A big thank you to Kristen for the fabulous dare. I truly had a blast writing these. (Kristen, if you email me via fridaythethirteeners [at] gmail [dot] com, I'll be sure to send an amazon gift card your way as a proper thank you!) 

Have a great weekend, everyone! And be sure to check back next week to meet our newest mystery author!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Jenn R. Johansson Takes The Dare

When I played truth or dare as a teenager, I usually picked truths because I was afraid of what they'd make me do...

I should've remembered that before choosing this dare.

Anyway, I picked a dare from Tiana Smith (whom I still consider to be a sweetheart even if this vlog makes statements to the contrary). Her dare was: Record yourself reading an excerpt from your novel in a ridiculous accent.

Oh, yes... I did.

Thanks for the fun dare, Tiana! Since this is my first time playing, you get to choose a prize. A $13 giftcard or a young adult book from my secret stash! E-mail me at fridaythethirteeners[at]gmail[dot]com and let me know which you'd prefer.

Thanks again for joining in on the fun! Come back this Friday, June 15th for a post by the uber cool Erin Bowman!


J.R. Johansson loves reading, playing board games and sitting in her hot tub. Her dream is that someday she can do all three at the same time. She is a YA thriller author represented by Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. Her debut novel, INSOMNIA, is due to be released in Spring 2013 with Flux. You can find her on twitter, goodreads, her website, or her personal blog.  

Friday, June 8, 2012

Elsie Chapman Takes the Dare

WARNING: This vlog is a reading of material that is of a sexual nature. So if you're under the age of 13, please do not watch.

All right, now that I've gotten that out of the way, I'm taking the dare this week. It comes courtesy of my friend and fellow Thirteener, April Tucholke, who dared me to do a reading from Flowers in the Attic. With its touchy themes, I'm not sure how it would do today, but back when I was a young teen it was the book to read. Not only was this the book we hid from our parents, it was also the one we hid from our teachers at school.

Up next on Tuesday, June 12th, is the lovely Jenn R Johansson! Got a humiliating truth or dare for her? It'll be her very first as a Thirteener, so go here to submit!
Elsie grew up in Prince George, BC, before graduating from the University of British Columbia with a BA in English Literature. She currently lives in Vancouver with her husband and two kids, where she writes to either movies on a loop or music turned up way too loud (and sometimes both at the same time). She's repped by The Chudney Agency, and her debut novel, DUALED, will be published by Random House in February, 2013. A sequel, DIVIDED, will be published February, 2014. Find her online at

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Introducing our next mystery author!!

It is my extreme pleasure to introduce our fifth mystery author to the blog. She is a dear friend of mine and all around cool person. (I may be a bit biased but I don't think so.)

Jenn R Johansson!!!!! Yay!!

J.R. Johansson (Jenn) has two amazing sons and a wonderful husband who keep her busy and happy.  In fact, other than her cat, she is pretty much drowning in testosterone. They live in a valley between huge mountains and a beautiful lake where the sun shines more than 300 days per year. She loves writing, playing board games, and sitting in her hot tub. Her dream is that someday she can do all three at the same time.

Welcome, Jenn. We're so excited to have you. Not only because we think you're great, but because your book is amazing too! And I know, because I've read it. INSOMNIA will be published through Flux in the spring of 2013. It's creepy and twisty and awesome! Trust me, you're going to love it! Here's a blurb so you can get excited for it:

Sixteen-year-old Parker spends every night trapped in the dreams of 
the last person he made eye contact with, and it’s killing him. He 
misses soccer practice, falls asleep at the wheel, and his mom thinks 
he has a drug problem. His exhaustion from never reaching the deeper 
levels of sleep is getting worse every day, and he knows his time is 
running out. Until he meets Mia. 
Mia’s dreams are the first Parker’s encountered where he can finally 
get real sleep. A good night of rest after so long is addictive. He 
has to have it. But getting it means he must follow Mia and find a way 
to make eye contact every day. Mia is increasingly freaked out, even 
turning Parker’s best friends against him. To make matters worse, Mia 
starts to receive threatening e-mails, and her wonderful dreams become 
scenes of a horror movie—and Parker is cast as the villain. He must 
discover who is truly tormenting her, and clear his name, before she 
turns him in for a crime he hasn’t committed–or worse, the true 
stalker makes good on his threats to end her dreams forever. 

Doesn't that sound amazing? So now is the time where we torture the newest member. Leave your especially torturous dares here for Jenn. :) Because we want to see her squirm. And stay tuned, her completion of the selected truth/dare will be posted next Tuesday! But don't forget to check back this Friday because Elsie will be tackling a truth or dare.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Ellen Takes on an Embarrassing Photo Dare

So a friend of mine, who shall remain nameless because I'm still debating how to get back at her for this, dared me to post my worst hair day photo. As if that wasn't enough, she then says go ahead and post up some old bad pics to really humiliate yourself. Sigh. I can't believe I'm doing this.

Ok so, this is definitely my most awful hair day photo ever. Hands down. Bad perm. Bad bangs. Bad everything! I've seen better wigs on clowns. (btw - quality of photo is bad because I snapped it with my iphone through the plastic album protector thing bc I was too lazy to take it out for a clearer shot.)

What? This is not bad enough for you? Ok, how about worst tan ever?

That white spot under my chin is not an adam's apple. It's the part of my throat that my chin covered so I had a perfectly symmetrical white spot the size of my chin on my neck. I assure you, I'm not a man. I remember this tan so well. I couldn't go anywhere without people staring at my neck and smirking.

Still not satisfied? Curse you! Ok, my most unfavorite picture in the whole world I will share with you today. Argh. Here's me all dressed up like a Korean wedding doll piggybacking Da Man who is wearing his Korean Mickey Mouse hat.

Da Man complained bitterly about how heavy I was and at one point nearly pitched me completely over his head. Don't let the smiles fool you, I was mad, he was drunk and we were both hot and whiny. And that stupid tassel in front of my face drove me freaking bonkers! The red spots on my cheeks are stickers and they itched like crazy. And let me tell you, the raging feminist in me disapproved of several parts of the old school ceremony. Ah but that's a post for another day!

So there you have it! Hope you have enjoyed my embarrassing photos as much as I cringed sharing them. Next up is Elsie Chapman so please think of some terribly embarrassing dares for her too!