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I write novels for teens and adults. Visit me here & on my website http://www.jenniferarcher.net

Monday, May 30, 2011

Let the Battle Begin...!

Cool news! THROUGH HER EYES has been nominated in the 'Fantasy' category in the 2011 Book Genre Battle over at the Most Important Letter Blog! This is a brand spanking new book battle and looks like lots of fun. Go take a look and VOTE if you're so inclined.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Giveaway Winner!

Ivy is the winner of an autographed copy of IN THE ARMS OF STONE ANGELS by Jordan Dane! Congratulations, Ivy. I know you're going to love this wonderful book.

Happy reading!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thursday's Choice: IN THE ARMS OF STONE ANGELS by Jordan Dane

I have some awesome autographed YA novels that I picked up on the Chills and Thrills Tour, and I want YOU to read them. To celebrate the end of the week, I'll be giving away one title every Friday for the next six weeks, and I'm starting the first contest giveaway today! Every Thursday check my blog for the new title, enter the contest, and the next day (Friday) I'll announce the winner. All you have to do is leave a comment on the blog saying you want to enter.
Tomorrow I'll be giving away IN THE ARMS OF STONE ANGELS by Jordan Dane. If you want to win this book, leave a comment! Then check back here tomorrow for the winner. Here's what the book is about:

Two years ago, Brenna did the unthinkable. She witnessed the aftermath of a murder and accused her only true friend--the first boy she ever loved--of being a killer.

Now sixteen, Brenna returns to Oklahoma only to discover that Isaac "White Bird" Henry isn't in juvie. The half-breed outcast is in a mental hospital, frozen in time, locked in his mind at the worst moment of his life. And when Brenna touches him, she's pulled into his hellish vision quest, seeing terrifying demons and illusions she doesn't understand.

Feeling isolated and alone, she's up against the whole town, targeted by bullying former classmates, a bigoted small town sheriff, and a tribe who refuses to help one of their own. But when Brenna realizes she's as trapped by the past as White Bird is, this time she won't turn her back on him. She's the only one who can free them both.

Even if she has to expose her secret--a "gift" she's kept hidden her whole life.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Writing Class Wednesday: When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Keep Going

In the last Writing Class Wedsnesday post, I talked about finding something to say -- something to write about. But once you've got your story or topic, often it can seem as if life's conspiring to trip you up. There's never enough time to write, or you sit down and stare at the blinking cursor on your computer screen and writer's block kicks in. Or the task of writing an entire story feels so overwhelming you feel a panic attack coming on. When this happens, how can you keep going?

  • If possible, sit down to write at the same time and in the same location every day. Your subconscious mind will begin to recognize that time as writing time and that place as its creative space, and soon the creative juices will begin to flow whenever you settle in.
  • Freewrite. Just start writing. Something. Anything. It doesn't have to be your story. Set a timer for 20 minutes. Or ten. During that time, write fast without pausing. If you're stuck, write one thought or word repeatedly until your mind kickstarts and moves toward your story again.
  • Look at one part of the picture, rather than the entire panorama. Author Anne Lamott says to approach each day's writing in this way: "Write down as much as you can see through a one-inch frame." Concentrate on one scene at a time, or one part of a scene. That one memory of falling into the river on your childhood vacation, for instance, rather than the entire vacation. 
  • Allow yourself to write a shitty first draft. I'm not sure who said it, but a wise writer once made the observation that terrible writing can be fixed, but a blank page can't. You have to fill it before you can revise. 
  • Find the writing routine that works for you and stick with it, even if it isn't the way your favorite author writes, or the way I write, or the way most writers write. 
Until next time,

Happy writing!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

More Chills & Thrills!

Tween blogger Melina from Reading Vacation
& I met up at A Real Bookstore
in Fairview, TX
Well, my part of the Chills and Thrills Teen Book Tour has ended, but many of the other authors will be continuing on and signing this coming weekend in Houston at Murder by the Book on Saturday at 4:30 and at Katy Budget Books on Sunday at 2:00. My books will be at the Katy store for sure, with autographed bookplates. Not sure about Murder by the Book. So if you're in Houston this weekend, stop by and see the authors and buy books!

Ten days away from home, my husband and my dogs was too long, and I'm glad to be back, but I had a blast! It was great to meet and spend time with Sophie Jordan, Jordan Dane, Lara Chapman, Mari Mancusi, Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs. Not only do these ladies write great books, they're wonderful people, too! It was also very special to meet so many readers, bloggers, teachers, librarians and booksellers, and to catch up again with many old friends. 

Kari (from The Teen Book Scene) & I talk books at
A Real Bookstore in Fairview, TX

One of the highlights of my trip was having coffee with Kari from the Teen Book Scene who sponsored my blog tour for THROUGH HER EYES a while back and did such a wonderful job. Kari also writes the blog, A Good Addiction.
Signing with authors Tera Lynn Childs
& Tracy Deebs at Barnes & Noble
in Hurst, TX
I also met tween blogger Melina, from the fabulous Reading Vacation, and Katie from Mundie Moms was there. Also, Arena from The Nerd's Wife, and Lindsay from Lindsay Writes. Oh, and I had coffee with Rosemary Clement Moore and lunch with Candace Havens, both of whom are columinists for Fresh Fiction and fab authors in their own right. (And it just so happens, I knew them when -- as in, back before they were published novelists! They've been friends of mine for a long time now!) 

There are many more people I enjoyed seeing -- too many to mention in one post! Thanks to all of you for coming out and making the tour so fun for me. 

Me, Arena (from A Nerd's Wife blog),
& authors Tracy Deebs &
Tera Lynn Childs

To see more photos from the tour, visit the Chills and Thrills website. 

Until next time, 

Happy reading!  
Talking to a reader at Barnes & Noble in Hurst, TX

Monday, May 16, 2011

Talkin' Books in the Texas Hill Country

Hi y'all! The Chills and Thrills Teen Book Tour is underway and I'm having a blast! I've posted a couple of photos below. So far, we've had events in San Antonio at Barnes and Noble in the Shops at La Cantera, and at Book People in Austin The bookstore people have been wonderful to us and they really got the word out! We've had a great turn out at both places, and I've had such fun talking with teens and tweens, parents, librarians and the other authors about books and writing and the publishing biz. The conversations have been lively and interesting; we've been asked questions about everything from what inspires our stories, to our feelings, as authors, about the ebook phenomenon. And I am amazed at how many awesome young people out there are already writing their own novels! I'm impressed!

I am kicking myself because I forgot to bring my camera to the San Antonio event, but I did get some shots from the Austin stop at Book People.

In this one:
authors from left to right in back -- me, Tracy Deebs, Jordan Dane, Lara Chapman 
In front row -- two awesome readers

And here are the authors, minus Lara Chapman (who was off talking to one of her fans, I'm sure!)
Me, Tracy Deebs, Sophie Jordan, Mari Mancusi, Jordan Dane, Tera Lynn Childs (Sorry it's so small but for some odd reason it blurs when I try to make it larger)

Today, I'm working (and doing a lot of chilling out!) in Dallas. Tomorrow I'm talking to 7th graders in Irving. A close friend from my college days is their teacher, so I'm really excited to spend time with her and her fantastic students! I hope to post photos tomorrow night! 

Until then, happy reading! 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Chills & Thrills in San Antonio & Austin

Calling all YA fiction lovers!! If you're in the San Antonio or Austin area this coming weekend, I hope you'll stop by and see me and some other fantastic YA authors on the "Chills and Thrills Teen Book Tour. " After this weekend, the tour will continue on to Waco, the Dallas area and Houston. I'll be signing at all stops EXCEPT Houston, although my books will be available at the Houston stops, along with autographed bookplates. 

Authors signing at some or all of the different stops are:

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

and we'll be signing this weekend at:

Saturday, May 14th
La Cantera Barnes and Noble, San Antonio
12-2 p.m.
(Rick Riordan is signing right after us!)

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

For more info, check out our website at: chillsandthrillsteenbooktour.wordpress.com where you'll find 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!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Writing Class Wednesday: Having Something to Say

I hear it all the time: "I'd like to write, but I don't have anything to say."

Sorry. I'm not buying it. Every life is made up of stories.
      Write about your childhood memories
  • Your happiest or saddest memory 
  • Something that once hurt you physically or mentally         
  • A vacation with your family
  • Your teachers and/or classmates
  • Your experiences in the school cafeteria 
  • Your first kiss/first love/first broken heart

      Write about things that scare you. For instance, some of the things that scare me are:          
  •          Opening a curtain to find a face staring in at me from the other side of the window
  •          Mice
  •          Televangelists
  •          A severed head

Write about the topic discussed in a conversation you had with someone

But, what if you don't want to write about anything personal? The world is full of stories, too. You live in the world. Look around. Listen. Pay attention.

     Write about a conversation you overheard while eavesdropping on someone else
  •        Come on. Who are you fooling? I know you eavesdrop from time-to-time!
     Write about an unsolved mystery       
  •         Who was Jack the Ripper?
     Ask yourself, "what if?" and write down wherever the answers take you      
  •        What if I lived in that old house at the edge of this little town I drive through every summer?
  •        What if I switched lives with that rich girl in my History class?
  •        What if I woke up tomorrow and couldn't remember who I am or anything about my life?
Okay, what are you waiting for? Pick up a pen, grab a piece of paper, set a timer for 10 minutes, choose one of the above and start writing! Don't stop, even for a second, until the timer dings.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Happy Mother's Day, Moms!

Thanks to my mother for my life and her love, and to my sons for making me a mom! (Scroll down and enjoy!)

Before I was a Mom,
I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not
my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom,

I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind
and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom,

I never held down a screaming child
so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night
watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom,

I never held a sleeping baby just because
I didn't want to put him down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much. I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom,

I didn't know the feeling of
having my heart outside my body..
I didn't know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond
between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small
could make me feel so important and happy.


Before I was a Mom,

I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom

Friday, May 06, 2011

My Very Own Award Show

Here ye, here ye! It's finally here -- the day we've all been anxiously awaiting: My announcement of the blogs I've chosen to receive The Stylish Blogger Award, which was bestowed upon me by Anita Howard at A Still and Quiet Madness.

I won't keep you waiting another moment. Let's get to it! The winning bloggers are:

1. Travis Erwin for his blog: Lettuce is the Devil (The culinary dogma of a devout meat man).Although I'm a fan of veggies and disagree with Travis's belief that they're evil, this blog is just plain funny! 
2. Valia Lind for her blog: Words are Things (My journey as a writer).  I love to talk about writing, I love book recommendations, I love book trailers and vlogs. This blog has it all!
3. Kayeleen Hamblin for her blog: Kayeleen's Creation Corner. Kayeleen's thoughtful posts inspire me.
4. Jen Daiker for her blog: Unedited. This is a fun, informative blog!
5. Leanna Ellis's blog. She posts about kids, pets and writing -- three of my all-time favorite things!

Congratulations to my winners! Your award, should you choose to accept it, comes with a few rules. They are that you must:

1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
2. Share seven random facts about yourself on your blog.
3. Pass the award along to five buddies whose blogs epitomize said theme.
4. Contact those buddies to congratulate them.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Seven Random Facts

When I accepted the Stylish Blogger Award, bestowed upon me by the ever-so-creative Anita Howard at A Still and Quiet Madness, I agreed to post seven random facts about myself. So without further ado...
 Seven Random Facts
  1. I know how to dance the "Funky Chicken." I acquired this knowledge while attending college. Yes, my tuition was well spent.  

2. My first real kiss was a guy named Johnny. He was a lifeguard at the pool where

my friends and I swam in the summers. He looked like a lifeguard, too: sun-bleached hair, very tan, gorgeous. I was fifteen and mega shy. That was a spectacular summer. Alas, it ended before the leaves began to change color and school started. Sigh.
3. When taking driver's ed at the age of sixteen, I turned into oncoming traffic on a busy street one day, backed over a parking lot median on another day, and never mastered parallel parking. Two years later, I ran into my driver's ed instructor in a McDonald's restaurant in the town where I was attending college. When I told him he had been my instructor and started to remind him of my name, he interrupted, saying, "Jenny Browder -- I remember. How could I ever forget?" 
4. One of the first stories I ever wrote was a limerick called, "A Frog Named Fred and a Fly Named Flo," about a frog and a fly that fall in love. I was in elementary school. My grandmother thought it was wonderful and funny. She sent it to Readers' Digest and was quite disgusted with them when they didn't publish it.

5. When I was a kid, I loved to eat mustard sandwiches. Mustard and bread. That's it. 

6. I often forget where I parked and have been known to wander through Walmart parking lots, hopelessly lost, while pushing a cart filled with groceries. 

7. A moth once flew into my ear and got stuck. Every time its wings fluttered I completely freaked out. My husband had to pull it out with a pair of tweezers. 

    Monday, May 02, 2011

    "I'd Like to Thank..."

    I've won an award! I never win ANYTHING! At least, I didn't. Until now.

    Er...uh...maybe not. My BLOG won the award. This blog.

    The lovely, talented, amazing Anita Grace Howard of the fabulous blog A Still and Quiet Madness presented me with a Stylish Blogger Award. So maybe I did win. I am said "blogger," afterall. Anyway, whatever the case, I humbly accept. Thank-you. Thank-you very much. (Bows) I am honored.

    Honor comes with responsibility, and the Stylish Blogger Award is no exception. In the days ahead, I will gratefully and eagerly meet those responsibilities here, so please check back to find out what I've been asked to do. Until then, I hope you'll hop on over to A Still and Quiet Madness to soak in all of its awesomeness. You'll love it there and you'll love Anita; I promise.