Don’t Miss the Cress Blog Tour!

Posted on: 20th Jan 2014  /   Categorized: Blog Tours

Cress-blog-tour-banner

 

I get such a kick out of writing the blog tour posts every year! It’s like sharing all these quirky behind-the-scenes things that I’ve been hoarding all year long. :D

 

The CRESS blog tour kicks off today! Here’s the full list of stops. On top of my guest posts, the tour is also full of giveaways, reviews, and more, so make sure to stop by each blog for the full Lunar Chronicles experience. Enjoy!

 

 

Monday, January 20 : That Artsy Reader Girl
In which I explain why I almost named Cress “Arugula” . . .

 

Tuesday, January 21 : Mermaid Vision Books
In which I share my “Ode to Spaceship Captains.” Yes, I wrote an actual ode.

 

Wednesday, January 22 : MacTeenBooks
In which I get a little nostalgic over the music that inspired the book . . .

 

Thursday, January 23 : Refracted Light Reviews
In which Meg Tao, Kai’s fan club president, is devastated.

 

Friday, January 24 : Love is Not a Triangle
In which I *squee* over some of my favorite Lunar Chronicles fanart . . .

 

Monday, January 27 : YA Bibliophile
In which I talk about my experience riding a real-live camel for research.

 

Tuesday, January 28 : The Irish Banana Review
In which I explain how I relate to Cress’s character . . .

 

Wednesday, January 29 : Forever Young Adult
In which I discuss the challenges of writing a quartet (and the third book in particular).

 

Thursday, January 30 : Alexa Loves Books
In which I talk about food. A LOT of food . . .

 

Friday, January 31 : FicFare
In which I discuss 10 things that changed from Cress’s early drafts . . .

 

Monday, February 3 : Mundie Moms
In which you can take a quiz to find out which Lunar Chronicles heroine you are . . .

 

(Posts from previous blog tours can be found on my blog posts Pinterest board.)

Listen to a Clip from the CRESS Audiobook (then enter the giveaway!)

Posted on: 16th Jan 2014  /   Categorized: Cress

I *might* be biased, but I’m fairly certain that I have the most talented audiobook narrator in the history of… audiobooks. Rebecca Soler is AMAZING, deftly weaving in accents and voices for, oh, about EIGHT BILLION CHARACTERS. There are times when I’m writing a scene with lots of characters and feel legitimately guilty when I think about poor Rebecca, but she handles it with so much talent and energy and I just . . . I am really, really impressed.

Listen to the first chapter:

The CRESS audiobook releases the same day as the hardback – February 4! You can pre-order it now wherever audiobooks are sold.

Or enter this giveaway for a signed copy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Scarlet Paperback Blog Tour & Read-Alongs!

Posted on: 13th Jan 2014  /   Categorized: Blog Tours

Three weeks! I can’t hardly believe it, but Cress comes out in just three weeks . . . and guess what! So does the paperback edition of Scarlet, which will also be hitting bookshelves on February 4.

 

There are fifty pages of bonus materials in the paperback edition, including: “The Queen’s Army,” a companion short story; a Cress teaser; Q&A with yours truly; book discussion questions; and a we love bloggers! appreciation page.

 

In celebration, all this week is a special Scarlet blog tour—complete with lots of opportunities to win great prizes and free books!

 

 

Monday January 13: My Shelf Confessions

On the Lunar Chronicles’ science-fiction / fairy tale twists . . .

 

Tuesday January 14: Reader of Fictions

On some seriously swoonworthy boys . . .

 

Wednesday January 15: Scott Reads It

On one terrifying villain . . .

 

Thursday January 16: Michelle and Leslie’s Book Picks

On the Lunar Chronicles’ global settings and their futuristic glory (and chaos) . . .

 

Friday January 17: Book Brats

On our strong and inspiring heroines . . .

 

For your best chance to win copies of Cinder and Scarlet, be sure to follow the complete blog tour and enter all the giveaways!

 

 

But that isn’t all—you can also win awesome prizes by joining in two, that’s right, TWO read-alongs happening this month.

 

 

Scarlet-Read-Along

(Visit http://www.neverendingstoriesbookblog.com/2013/12/scarlet-by-marissa-meyer-read-along.html for details.)

 

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(Visit http://www.macteenbooks.com/ya/join-the-scarlet-by-marissa-meyer-readathon/ for details.)

 

 

Both read-alongs are drumming up plenty of Lunartic chatter, fanart, and fun, and both come with prizes! So grab a copy of Scarlet and get reading (or re-reading) today!

Mark Your Calendars for the CRESS Launch Party and Livestream!

Posted on: 10th Jan 2014  /   Categorized: Cress

I am SO EXCITED to be posting the details for the CRESS launch party! If you live anywhere in or near Western Washington, I highly recommend making the drive, because it will be worth it.

 

 

WHAT: Celebrate the launch of CRESS: Book Three of The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer! Be entertained, eat some food, and get your books signed!

 

WHEN: Tuesday, February 4. Doors open at 6:30. Show begins at 7:00. Book signing to follow.

 

HOSTED BY: Garfield Book Company at PLU

 

WHERE: Karen Hille Phillips Center (formerly Eastvold Hall) at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA

 

PARKING: There are two parking lots on the corners of Garfield & Park Ave. (On this map: Mortvedt Lot and Harstad Lot. The event will be held at #25 Eastvold Hall.)

 

TICKETS: Due to limited seating, this will be a ticketed event. See below.

 

Cress flyer 8x11

 

Q: I can’t wait!! How do I get a ticket and ensure a seat at the event?

 

Get your ticket by pre-ordering CRESS from Garfield Book Co. Each CRESS pre-order comes with one event ticket. Each person must present a ticket to be admitted into the launch party.

 

OR you can purchase just the event ticket for $5.00 online at http://www.garfieldbookcompany.com. (Tickets for children under 10 are free.)

 

Q: I’m from Seattle/Portland/Oklahoma. Is this party really worth the drive to Tacoma?

 

Abso-friggin-lutely! The CRESS Launch Party will include:

 

- Marissa Meyer talking about her inspiration for The Lunar Chronicles, telling at least one fairy tale (Marissa-style), answering questions, and generally making a great hullabaloo about the fact that she’s written three books now, holy cow, when did that happen?

- Special musical performances by singer/songwriters Angie Lynn and Dave Hannon

- Special Lunar Chronicles balloon art by Dr. Twistin

- Hand and body paintings by local henna artists

- A costume contest

- Salon Ish facilitating donations to Locks of Love

- Raffle prizes

- Swag

- Book signing

- FREE FOOD! <~ if that didn’t convince you, you may be a lost cause.

 

 

Q: I’m coming to the party and I’m psyched!! How can I be a part of the festivities?

 

All guests are encouraged to wear red hats or hair accessories. (For Cinder everyone wore red shoes, for Scarlet it was red scarves—it’s a super fun way to dress up for the occasion!)

 

If you don’t have any red hair accessories, or you forget—never fear! We should have special CRESS hairbands available for purchase, hand-made by my own mom, who also made the special Scarlet scarves from last year, because she’s all amazing and stuff.

 

Overachievers are encouraged to wear Lunar Chronicles-inspired costumes. Depending on participation, we’re hoping to host a costume contest, where you could win a really awesome prize!

 

Do you have un-bleached hair longer than 10 inches? Consider donating it to our Locks of Love campaign! In return, you’ll receive awesome Lunar Chronicles goodies and free swag from Salon Ish in Puyallup. If you aren’t sure if your hair fits the requirements, our volunteer stylists will be able to help.

 

PLUS, if you would like to volunteer your hair during the livestreamed show, you will win an even bigger prize! Please comment if you’re interested.

 

(Locks of Love is a non-profit organization that provides high-quality hairpieces to children in the United States and Canada suffering from long-term medical hair loss. What better way to celebrate Rapunzel’s lovely locks?)

 

 

Q: Can I buy additional copies of CRESS and/or CINDER and SCARLET for signing?

 

Yes, indeed! Bring and purchase as many books as you like. I’ll sign until my hand falls off. Or PLU kicks us out. Whichever comes first.

 

 

Q: I can’t come to the party and my heart is breaking! How else can I be a part of the fun?

 

Never fear, Lunartics! The CRESS launch party is going to be livestreamed, so anyone far and wide can partake in the entertainment.

 

Details are still being worked out. For now—mark your calendar for Tuesday, February 4, at 7:00 PST.

 

You will also have the opportunity to ask questions during the livestream. If your question is chosen, I’ll answer it on-stage, and you could even win a special VIP prize.

 

I’ll post more information on that once I have it.

 

Closing statement: Eeeeeeeehhhh I can’t wait!!

My 2014 Writing Plan

Posted on: 7th Jan 2014  /   Categorized: Writing Life

Last year I posted about my writing business plan and my goals for 2013, so today I thought I’d look back and see just how much I did (and did not) accomplish, and also give some insight into my upcoming year.

 

 

My 2013 Business Plan

- Launch and promote SCARLET (success!)

- Final revisions/edits for CRESS and early promotion (success!)

- Turn WINTER in to my editor

- Turn the Secret Nano Project (a.k.a. HEARTLESS) in to my editor

- Brainstorm and outline whatever will come next (semi-success)

- More regular updates to the Marissa Meyer Facebook fan page (esp. while traveling) (success!)

 

In the end, it turned out that I way, way, way (way way way way WAY) underestimated how much time it was going to take me to revise WINTER. This book has been about ten times the headache that the first three books were. Not to worry. I am nearing the end (finally!) and I’m hopeful that I’ll have it off to my editor soon, but… yeah. It definitely did not happen in 2013, and the thought that I’d hoped to revise both WINTER and HEARTLESS last year is seriously laughable.

But! I did write two short stories and a novella tied in to the Lunar Chronicles universe, and those hadn’t been on the initial business plan, so all in all, I’m pretty pleased with my progress last year.

And now…

 

My 2014 Business Plan

- Launch and promote CRESS (one month to go!!!)

- Final revisions/edits for WINTER and early promotion

- Turn HEARTLESS in to my editor

- Final revisions/edits for HEARTLESS? (publishing schedule TBD)

- Outline and draft at least the first book in my next series. (Come November, if I’m feeling ambitious, I may attempt to draft two or even three books, like I first did with TLC. But . . . we’ll see. I might decide to take a 30-day nap instead.)

- Start a book club.

- Go on my first group writing retreat.

 

Which sounds like a crazy-fun productive year!

 

Interested in making your own writing business plan? Check out my original post for more strategies.

And feel free to post your own goals for this year in the comments!

My Top Ten Reads of 2013

Posted on: 2nd Jan 2014  /   Categorized: Book Love

I didn’t read nearly as many books as I’d wanted to in 2013 (acknowledging that I could read 500 books in a year and still not be satisfied), but there were definitely some great ones!

Total books read: 61 (29 fewer than 2012, despite all my best efforts)

 

Genre breakdown:

Young Adult: 45*

Nonfiction: 8 (4 memoir, 2 self-help, 1 on adoption, 1 writing guide)

Graphic Novels: 3

Romance: 2

Middle Grade: 1

Fantasy / Literary: 1

Science-Fiction: 1

 

*YA can be further broken down into:

YA Paranormal / Horror: 13

YA Sci-fi / Dystopian: 10

YA Romance: 9

YA Fantasy: 8

YA Thriller: 5

 

The complete reading list can be found on yesterday’s blog post.

 

My Ten Favorite Books I Read This Year

(In alpha-order by author. Series grouped together.)

 

1. Of Triton by Anna Banks

I am so smitten with Anna Banks’s writing voice, and both Of Poseidon and Of Triton came with the perfect mix of humor, action, and romance. I’ve heard through the grapevine that the conclusion of the series, Of Neptune, is even BETTER, and I cannot wait to get my hands on it.

 

2. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

I had no idea that I could care about a vampire book, but this one entirely swept me off my feet. The concept was both unique and familiar, and I was hooked from page one. It doesn’t hurt that I happen to be painfully in love with Gavriel…

 

3. Texas Gothic and Spirit and Dust by Rosemary Clement-Moore

I just discovered Rosemary Clement-Moore this year and since then I have tried to force these books onto every person I know who enjoys fast-paced books filled with ghosts and witches and mysteries and seriously hot guys. Seriously. I love them so much.

 

4. Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

This book has been out for a while and I finally got around to it last year and, in true Shannon Hale form, I adored every page. Both the story and the voice read like a fairy tale and I loved watching the protagonist grow over the course of the story.

 

5. Prodigy and Champion by Marie Lu

Marie really left us hanging at the end of Prodigy so it was such a relief to be able to dive into both books in 2013. Day! June! My heart! Also – who else so could not have predicted the epic world-building from Antarctica? I kind of want a spin-off series to be set there. *nudges Marie*

 

6. Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

The moment I heard about the His Dark Assassin series—teenage girls who are nuns secretly trained to be assassins—I knew that I would love these books. And I was absolutely correct. Robin’s knack for combining historical details with brilliant protagonists and one seriously terrifying villain is mind-blowing.

 

7. Nerve by Jeanne Ryan

This was another book that sold me on concept alone, and it exceeded every expectation. Maybe it spoke to my nostalgia for “Truth or Dare” games? Either way, it’s so full of twists and suspense I couldn’t put it down.

 

8. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

Oh. This is one of those books that every time I think about it my heart sighs. It should be required reading for everyone who has ever felt like an outcast. (Which I suspect is… everyone.) So much love for this book.

 

9. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Another heart-sighing book, this one continues to give me gushy feelings even months after I read it. I can be an enormous sucker for meant-to-be romances, and this book manages to fill that need without ever feeling melodramatic or clichéd. A perfect pick-me-up.

 

10. The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Without a doubt, these are the books that left me with the biggest book hangover in 2013. So, um, HOW LONG do we have to wait for the next one?! (She asks with irony.) I am so crazy in love with every single character in these books and on the edge of my seat to see how certain seemingly-doomed plotlines will be resolved. Unless Maggie Stiefvater plans on breaking my heart. *cries*

 

 

There you have my favorite reads of 2013. And for an added bonus, here are:

 

The Top 10 Books I Didn’t Get To But Am Seriously Dying to Read in 2014 

1. Splintered by A.G. Howard

2. Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood

3. Vicious by Victoria Schwab

4. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

5. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

6. The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

7. The Wicked and the Just by J. Anderson Coats

8. Transparent by Natalie Whipple

9. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

10. Everything on Rosemary Clement-Moore’s backlist.

 

Game on, 2014!

 

Feel free to post your favorite reads of 2013 or most anticipated book for 2014 in the comments!

4th Quarter Reading List 2013

Posted on: 1st Jan 2014  /   Categorized: Book Love

Happy New Year!

I’m wrapping up some loose ends, running some errands, making a plan, and all-around preparing myself for a fantastic 2014… and no doubt a very busy 2014 as well.

In 2013, I revised and edited CRESS and wrote the second draft of WINTER. I also wrote one prequel novella and two companion short stories.

I also read 61 books, many of which blew me away. There were a gazillion on my TBR that I didn’t get to, including the sequels and conclusions to some of my favorite series, so I look forward to jumping back into some of my favorite fictional worlds this year!

My Fourth Quarter Picks

Without a doubt, the books that spoke to me most this quarter were The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater. I am so in love with these books, and I was left with such a book hangover after reading them. Everything from the story and history and atmosphere to the characters – oh! The characters. Some of the most dynamic characters and relationships I’ve ever read. If you haven’t started this series yet, I highly recommend it!

I also really enjoyed Nerve by Jeanne Ryan, which completely caught me off-guard with its intensity. My heart was racing for the last 100 pages and there were plenty of twists I didn’t see coming. Think Truth or Dare – meets – viral videos – meets – The Hunger Games. *chills*

I’ll be posting my Top Ten Books of the Year tomorrow. In the meantime, here is the complete reading list.

1st Quarter
1. Style, by Lauren Conrad
2 Perfect Chemistry, by Simone Elkeles
3. The Archived, by Victoria Schwab
4. The Madman’s Daughter, by Megan Shepherd
5. For Darkness Shows the Stars, by Diana Peterfreund
6. Shades of Earth, by Beth Revis
7. Suite Scarlett, by Maureen Johnson
8. The Summer Prince, by Alaya Dawn Johnson
9. Fair Coin, by E.C. Myers
10. First Frost, by Liz DeJesus
11. Prodigy, by Marie Lu

2nd Quarter
12. Redshirts, by John Scalzi
13. Ashes, by Ilsa J. Bick
14. Article 5, by Kristen Simmons
15. Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality, by Elizabeth Eulberg
16. Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection, by A.J. Jacobs
17. Cinder, by Me!
18. Scarlet, by Me!
19. Don’t Expect Magic, by Kathy McCullough
20. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, by Jennifer E. Smith
21. Sailor Twain, or The Mermaid in the Hudson, by Mark Siegel (graphic novel)
22. A Midsummer’s Nightmare, by Kody Keplinger
23. The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
24. Antigoddess, by Kendare Blake
25. Texas Gothic, by Rosemary Clement-Moore
26. Spirit and Dust, by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Third Quarter
27. The Tao of Martha, by Jen Lancaster
28. The Know-it-all, by A.J. Jacobs
29. Book of a Thousand Days, by Shannon Hale
30. This Is What Happy Looks Like, by Jennifer E. Smith
31. Populazzi, by Elise Allen
32. A Week to be Wicked, by Tessa Dare
33. A Lady by Midnight, by Tessa Dare
34. The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern
35. Dead is a Killer Tune, by Marlene Perez
36. Pluto, by Urasawa Tezuka (graphic novel)
37. Clarity, by Kim Harrington
38. The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate
39. Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong, by Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks (graphic novel)
40. The Madness Underneath, by Maureen Johnson
41. Grave Mercy, by Robin LaFevers
42. Dark Triumph, by Robin LaFevers
43. This Song Will Save Your Life, by Leila Sales
44. Possess, by Gretchen McNeil
45. The Successful Novelist, by David Morrell
46. The Fallout, by S.A. Bodeen
47. Tumble & Fall, by Alexandra Coutts
48. Of Triton, by Anna Banks
49. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, by Holly Black

Fourth Quarter
50. Unthinkable, by Nancy Werlin
51. The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater
52. The Nightmare Dilemma, by Mindee Arnett
53. The Dream Thieves, by Maggie Stiefvater
54. Allegiant, by Veronica Roth
55. The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant, by Joanna Wiebe
56. Adoption for Dummies, by Tracy Barr and Katrina Carlisle
57. Bossypants, by Tina Fey
58. Champion, by Marie Lu
59. Nerve, by Jeanne Ryan
60. United We Spy, by Ally Carter
61. The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin

A Real-Life Post: Babies and Adoption!

Posted on: 26th Dec 2013  /   Categorized: News

My husband and I have just made the official announcement to our friends and families, and I wanted to share the exciting news here as well.

We are currently in the process of adopting our first child!

(!!!!!)

Though there are no guarantees with these things, we hope to have a new addition to our family by this time next year, and I look forward to sharing adorable pictures when I can.

We made the decision to adopt back in August, and since then have noticed some continuity in the questions people ask, so here are some…

FAQs

Domestic or International?
There are certainly valid arguments for adopting both domestically and internationally. Jesse and I have chosen to adopt domestically, right here in Washington state.

Private or Public?
Private adoption typically refers to babies who are relinquished by their birth parents at birth. Public adoption refers to the foster care system. Jesse and I have chosen to work with Amara, an adoption agency that fosters both types of adoptions, and we are open to both. So we’re kind of letting fate decide on that one.

Age? Gender?
For our first child, Jesse and I are hopeful in adopting a baby (0-24 months). We have no preference on gender. Again, we’ll see what fate hands us.

What is the process even like to adpot a child?
The process varies based on a variety of factors (domestic v. international, private v. public, and more), but generally, adoptive parents complete a home study, either through an adoption agency or the foster care system. The home study includes a series of interviews, a home inspection, training and classes, and lots and lots of paperwork. It typically takes three to six months from start to finish.

From there, families undergoing private adoption will usually put together a profile that introduces themselves to birth families – their lifestyle, values, etc. That profile is given to birth families who can choose who they think is the best family for their child.

With public adoption, you work with a social worker who will find a child from the foster system that will fit your family, and that you will be a good home for.

(That is obviously a very, very simplified look at the process.)

Aren’t you worried about all the risks?
This question comes up a lot, but can refer to a multitude of different “risks.”

Risk 1: You have an arrangement with a birth family/pregnant woman, but when the child arrives, they change their mind and decide to keep the baby instead.

Risk 2: You receive a child from the foster care system, but then they’re reunited with their birth family before your adoption can be finalized.

Risk 3: Any number of health issues, both in the child and the birth parents, or psychological issues due to abuse or neglect.

Risk 4: The “you’re not my real parents and I don’t have to listen to you!” rebellion stage, and/or your child wanting to learn more or even meet their birth family at some point.

The fact is, the adoption process can indeed be a rollercoaster with lots of ups and downs, but we’re willing to weather the storms as they come. A lot of the training that adoptive parents go through is focused on making them more prepared for these potential heartaches.

(Not to mention that there are plenty of risks with having a biological child, too!)

It’s probably none of my business, but . . . why adoption?
This is my favorite question because everyone wants to know but everyone also recognizes that it’s probably rude to ask. But we are an open book and have no problem talking about our decision. :)

Obviously, it’s common for people to choose adoption after experiencing fertility issues, so that tends to be the first assumption. In our case, adoption is and was our first choice for having a child. Jesse and I recognize that there are a lot of children all over the world in need of stable, supportive families, and it was more important to us to offer our home to one of those children rather than have a genetic connection. Without negating the biological bond that forms between a parent and child, we feel strongly that the true value of parenting is about the love and security you give. So adoption felt like the best choice for us from the beginning.

That pretty much covers the big ones.

I am very, very excited to meet my child!!

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