your soul.


your story.


new worlds.


outside the lines.


Wednesday, December 31, 2008

GCC Tours Carrie Jones: Why I need NEED!

I need to read this book NEED by Carrie Jones. Seriously. Luckily, I have some returns to do at the mall and I can sneak over to Barnes and Noble and get my hands on this book, which I highly recommend that everyone else do as well. Treat yourself on this last day of 2008 to a great new book that will carry you into the New Year.

Carrie Jones took time out of her busy holiday schedule to chat about her latest book, NEED, and answer a few questions, as well as offer up some really interesting information about herself, her likes and dislikes, theories on cowboy hats, coffee, Sarah Silverman, mismatched socks and her cat’s weight problem (which may or may not have something to do with its love of potatoes).

Here's a Sneak Peak at NEED

Zara collects phobias the way other high school girls collect lipsticks. Little wonder, since life’s been pretty rough so far. Her father left, her stepfather just died, and her mother’s pretty much checked out. Now Zara’s living with her grandmother in sleepy, cold Maine so that she stays “safe.” Zara doesn’t think she’s in danger; she thinks her mother can’t deal.

Wrong. Turns out that guy she sees everywhere, the one leaving trails of gold glitter, isn’t a figment of her imagination. He’s a pixie—and not the cute, lovable kind with wings. He’s the kind who has dreadful, uncontrollable needs. And he’s trailing Zara.

The audio rights to NEED have been purchased. NEED will be released in Germany in 2010.

It is an IndieBound Next Pick for 2009.

About Carrie Jones

Carrie Jones likes Skinny Cow fudgsicles and potatoes. She does not know how to spell fudgsicles. This has not prevented her from writing books. She lives with her cute family in Maine, but she grew up in Bedford, NH where she once had a séance with cool uber-comedian Sarah Silverman.

The Meyers brothers are from Bedford, too, so you’d think it would make Carrie funnier, coming from Bedford N.H. Obviously, something didn’t work.

Carrie has a large, skinny white dog and a fat cat. Both like fudgicles. Only the cat likes potatoes. This may be a reason for the kitty’s weight problem (Shh… don’t tell). Carrie has always liked cowboy hats but has never owned one. This is a very wrong thing. She graduated from Vermont College’s MFA program for writing. She has edited newspapers and poetry journals and has recently won awards from the Maine Press Association and also been awarded the Martin Dibner Fellowship as well as a Maine Literary Award and the Independent Book Publishers Association First Place Award for her debut novel, Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend.

Here’s the *real* lowdown about Carrie…

  1. Carrie can not drink coffee. It makes her insane. Do not give her caffeine.
  2. Carrie is very responsive to loving strokes on the hair, kind of like a puppy. However, do not do this without asking first unless you are a ridiculously handsome man or an editor who is about to offer her a trillion dollars for the first draft of her novel.
  3. Carrie is secretly really, really shy even though she’s pathetically outgoing in person. She has a very hard time calling people. So, if you want to talk to her, make the first move. And, if you’re her in-Maine female best friend, Jennifer, do NOT get mad at her because she is so bad at returning emails.
  4. Carrie sometimes wears mismatched socks, if you do not think this is cool, do not tell her. You will hurt her feelings.
  5. Carrie really, really wants you to like her books. Please like her books. PLEEEAASSSEEEE. She’ll be your best friend forever. That is, if you want a friend who is shy about calling and emailing and who wears mismatched socks and can’t drink caffeine and likes being pet on the head. Hhmmm….
  6. Carrie is not above begging.
  7. Carrie, like Belle in TIPS ON HAVING A GAY (ex) BOYFRIEND drinks Postum. It’s for the same reason, too.
  8. Carrie loves Great Pyrenees dogs. They are huge and white, and furry and it looks like they have white eyeliner and mascara on, which is way too cute. Do you have one? Send a picture!
  9. Carrie lives in Maine. She has a hard time with this in the winter. It is bleak in Maine in the winter. Imagine everything shades of gray and brown and no green anywhere except for in people’s noses. This is Maine in Winter. Maine in summer is the best place in the world, so it’s a trade-off. Feel free to invite Carrie to your house in the winter, but not if it’s in Greenland, Canada, or anywhere north of Florida.
  10. Forget that. She’d still probably come

Carrie Answers Some Questions for Me:

Do you (or did you ever) have a writing group? Who are the first people to
read your book once it’s completed?

- I don’t have a writing group.

- My agent or the Emster (my super kid) read my book first.

What writers do you consider your “sisters”? Are there any published writers that you hang out or tour with a lot? Call? Email? IM?

Hm… Sisters? Man. I love Jo Knowles and Sarah Aronson and Tiffany Trent a lot. I love Robin MacCready and Laura Hamor and Tami Wight. Oh darn, I love a lot of people. People are going to start thinking things…

Who do you find yourself being compared to or are often put together with in reading lists or book clubs?

With NEED I’m getting compared to Stephanie Meyer a lot. That is very VERY intimidating.

What writers do you wish would be in your “clique”? (It doesn’t have to be in your genre….doesn’t even have to be living! For example, I’d pick Alice Hoffman, Jodi Picoult, Sarah Dessen, Oscar Wilde, Stephenie Meyer, Meg Cabot, Stephen King and Joan Didion).

Oh… Yay!

I’d pick Sherman Alexie and Stephen Wedel and M.T. Anderson and Meg Cabot and Tim Wynne-Jones and Sharon Darrow and Rita Williams Garcia and Kathi Appelt and Cynthia Leitich Smith. I’d pick those cool NY writers like Maureen Johnson and John Green (although he’s not in NY anymore) and E. Lockhart.

For dead people? I’d pick Arthur Miller and Sappho and Winston Churchill and Oscar Wilde and Hemingway and Anne Sexton.

If someone was going to join your book club, what would be a “must read” in order to join?

Oh, I couldn’t do that to people. I’m not good with mandates, which is probably why I’m not in a book club.

What was your “initiation” to writing?

I wrote poems and newspapers.

When did you first feel that you’d officially joined the “published writers’

I still don’t feel like I’m in it. I’m sort of in the “Oh my gosh. Did they really give me money for these books?” club.

What was your best/worst memory of high school?


Possibly the time my best friend was going out with someone for three weeks and DID NOT TELL ME because she knew I didn’t like him. And I yelled at her. And she yelled at me. And then we didn’t talk for a month.

That was a horrible month.

In SISTERS OF MISERY, the last place new members want to go to is Misery Island. But if you had the choice, what island would you go to and what would you take with you?

I would go to the Isle of Margarita and I refuse to write down who I would take with me. I would get in too much trouble.

Finally, what can you tell me about your book? Give me a quick run-down
about why I’d want to pick it for my own book club.

NEED is a contemporary novel with gothic, fantasy, romance and suspense elements. The heroine is really cool and she is no typical damsel in distress.

Praise for Carrie Jones

Jones easily wins readers to Zara’s side, portraying her as a funny, globally conscious teen who also “collect[s} fears like other people collect stamps” (obscure phobias serve as chapter titles). Genre fans will enjoy the sizzle between Nick and Zara as well as the paranormal cast.” Publishers’ Weekly

“It was a fun read, and I can’t wait for more from Carrie Jones…I’m definitely adding Need to my shelves due to the romance, suspense, and monster element. This goes on the list for those who loved Twilight and “Need” more. I have decided that Carrie Jones NEEDS to continue to write about these characters and add more since I already miss them after finishing Need.” – Diane Chen, School Library Journal

“I finished Need by Carrie Jones and definitely recommend it! It takes place in Maine (my homestate!) and has pixies and weres. The jacket recommends it for folks who like Stephenie Meyer and Melissa Marr, but I like Jones’ style better than both.” – E. Kirsten Anderson, book seller.

"Here is a bright new writer who was going to set the world of young adult letters aflame.” - Kathi Appelt, National Book Award finalist

“Carrie Jones is the real thing: a talented author. Her detailing is exquisite, her powers of observation, superb.” - Tim Wynne-Jones

For more info on Carrie Jones, check her website:



Sunday, December 28, 2008

GCC Tours Laurie Stolarz

I want to bring to everyone's attention the next amazing book by one of my favorite YA writers, Laurie Stolarz. If you haven't read her Blue is For Nightmares series, Bleed, or Project 17, then go right out and buy them---along with her latest book, Deadly Little Secret. Not only is Laurie super-cool (we recently discovered we live one town over from each other and got to hang out and grab a coffee together) but she's a GREAT writer and her stories are very spooky (which is probably why we get along so well!!)

Laurie Stolarz's newest novel, DEADLY LITTLE SECRET (A TOUCH NOVEL) will be in stores December 23!

Here's a sneak peak...

Some secrets shouldn't be kept...
Until three months ago, everything about sixteen-year-old Camelia's life had been fairly ordinary: decent grades; an okay relationship with her parents; and a pretty cool part-time job at an art studio downtown. But when Ben, the mysterious new guy, starts junior year at her high school, Camelia's life becomes far from ordinary.

Rumored to be somehow responsible for his ex-girlfriend's accidental death, Ben is immediately ostracized by everyone on campus. Except for Camelia. She's reluctant to believe he's trouble, even when her friends try to convince her otherwise. Instead she's inexplicably drawn to Ben...and to his touch. But soon, Camelia is receiving eerie phone calls and strange packages with threatening notes. Ben insists she is in danger, and that he can help – but can he be trusted? She knows he's hiding something...but he's not the only one with a secret.

Praise for Laurie's latest:

"A boy to admire from afar, a girl you want to befriend, a novel to keep you turning the pages because you won't know who to trust. Laurie Faria Stolarz's DEADLY LITTLE SECRET is a blend of mystery, chills, and forbidden touches--one captivating story you have to experience." - Kelly Parra, author of INVISIBLE TOUCH.

“The book was full of shocking surprises and revelations, earning the book five stars. This is a must-read for fans of romance, suspense, and mystery because it won't disappoint.” – Teens Read Too

"...lively first-person narrative.... CW-worthy dialogue, quirky secondary characters, romance and suspense: a winning combination" - Kirkus Reviews

"An engaging, eerie tale about the darker side of relationships - when it becomes a matter of life and death to know who your friends are." - KLIATT

Cool Stuff to Check Out!

To listen to a recording of Laurie reading the first chapter, click here:


This one was made by the students at the University of Texas:

And this one was made by the fabulous and talented M2 Productions:

Here's some info about the contest from Ms. Stolarz herself:

"A DEADLY LITTLE CONTEST – In celebration of the release of DEADLY LITTLE SECRET, the first book in the TOUCH SERIES, I’m launching a very exciting contest, the winner of which will have a minor character in DEADLY LITTLE LIES, the second book in the TOUCH SERIES, named after him or her. There are other prizes, too. Please see the official rules in the NEWS section of my website:"

About Laurie
Laurie Faria Stolarz is the bestselling author of the BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES series, which has sold over 500,000 copies worldwide. The series comprises Blue is for Nightmares, White is for Magic, Silver is for Secrets, Red is for Remembrance, and the forthcoming Black is for Beginnings. Stolarz's titles have been part of the Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers list, the Top Ten Teen Pick list, and YALSA's Popular Paperback list, all through the American Library Association. Also the author of Bleed and Project 17, her most current work, Deadly Little Secret, the first book in the TOUCH series, is due out in December 2008. Born and raised in Salem, Massachusetts, Stolarz attended Merrimack College and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston. For more information, visit Laurie’s website at

I've been delayed in posting this interview due to the Christmas holidays, but now that my blog is back up and running, here is my long overdue interview with my friend Laurie, whose book I'm DYING to read:

Do you (or did you ever) have a writing group? Who are the first people to read your book once it’s completed?

I used to have a writers group, but we all moved away from one another (geographically), and some stopped writing along the way, and it got harder and harder to keep up with each other. The first person to read my work is my husband, then I’ll give it to some select writer-friends (for Deadly Little Lies it was Stacy DeKeyser). (MKH: Um, hello? Share the love, Laurie!) Then, it goes to my agent and editor.

What writers do you consider your “sisters”? Are there any published writers that you hang out or tour with a lot? Call? Email? IM?
I e-mail back and forth with Stacey DeKeyser – she’s so cool, down-to-earth, and supportive, not to mention a very talented author. I also keep in touch with many authors (too many to list here) via listservs and chat sites. I periodically keep in touch with some of the members from my original writers group: Tea Benduhn, Lara Zeises, Kim Ablon Whitney, and Steven Goldman.

Who do you find yourself being compared to or are often put together with in reading lists or book clubs?
I’ve been compared to Lois Duncan a few times. (MKH: A great comparison!)

What writers do you wish would be in your “clique”? (It doesn’t have to be in your genre….doesn’t even have to be living! For example, I’d pick Alice Hoffman, Jodi Picoult, Sarah Dessen, Oscar Wilde, Stephenie Meyer, Meg Cabot, Stephen King and Joan Didion).

I’d love to hang with Cecily Von Zeigesar, R.A. Nelson, Carolyn Mackler, Gail Giles, Aimee Friedman, Stephen King, Alice Sebold, Donna Tartt, Meg Cabot, Robert Cormier, Raymond Carver, Francesca Lia Block, Judy Blume, and Megan Kelley Hall. (Awww, so sweet! Anytime, Laurie!)

If someone was going to join your book club, what would be a “must read” in order to join?
Good question. I really love The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. I also love The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

What was your “initiation” to writing?
I’ve been writing since I was a child. Before I could even put pen to paper, I was making up stories and telling them to whomever would listen.

When did you first feel that you’d officially joined the “published writers’ club”?
I don’t really think of it as a club. And, if this were high school, I’m not exactly sure where I’d fit in. I’d hope to be included.

What was your best/worst memory of high school?
I was a cheerleader in high school (don’t laugh, it was militant). Junior year, during a competition at Boston College, one of my co-cheerleaders peed on my head during a stunt. She said she couldn’t hold it. I still had to hold/support her in place and smile the whole time like nothing happened. The entire spectacle was caught on tape and the following few weeks were miserable at school.

In SISTERS OF MISERY, the last place new members want to go to is Misery Island. But if you had the choice, what island would you go to and what would you take with you?
Honestly, if I had my choice, I’d be a participant on the show On the Road Again with Mario Batali and Gwenyth Paltrow.

Finally, what can you tell me about your book? Give me a quick run-down about why I’d want to pick it for my own book club.
When else are you going to have the opportunity to read a suspense thriller about a girl on the fringe of developing her own supernatural powers, who falls in love with someone who’s trying to control his, all the while being stalked by a mysterious someone, whilst trying not to get herself killed by the one she loves (the one who’s already allegedly killed someone in the past)?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Give a book for the holidays!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Finishing up THE LOST SISTER

I'm in that crucial point where I've gotten 3/4 of THE LOST SISTER (the sequel to SISTERS OF MISERY) written, and I'm starting to freak out a little bit. I think that I'd feel better if I had a pygmy tarsier as a pet (they just rediscovered this little guy, one of the world's smallest and rarest primates, in Indonesia that was thought to be extinct for eight decades. If he was my writing partner, I think that this task would be a lot easier. Well, not really easier, just more fun!)

But seriously, I'm into the novel by about 250 pages. I've got at least fifty pages to go and I need to end the book. Unlike some writers, I rarely know how my book is going to end. Some writers won't even put pen to paper (or fingertip to keyboard) if they don't know how and when a story will end.

I like to be surprised.

Yet, right at this point is when I start kicking myself for not being more prepared for the ending. I know how I want it to end. I think that it's a good way to end. But getting there is not as easy as it seems. I need to go back throughout the book and make sure that everything leading up to the ending makes sense and doesn't detract from the story line. I need to make sure that there aren't any loose ends that need tying up. I need to make sure that my characters' motivation remain consistent throughout the book. And I also have to make sure that the ending is satisfying for everyone. Myself included.

So, as I await the arrival of my pygmy tarier (there very few left in the world, so I'm assuming that I'll have to just settle for a screensaver of the cute little guy), I will be wrapping up Maddie and Cordelia's story as they, along with everyone else in my family, impatiently wait for me to finish.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fun Procrastination Tool

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

New stuff online

New Review!


New article!

Thanks Charlene Peters!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Thanks Amazon! #18,510 in Books

I need to mark this occasion down so that when my number heads back up into the 400,000 range, I can look back and say, "See Stephenie Meyer, you only beat me by 18,509. Ha!"

So, now I need to get back to finishing THE LOST SISTER. A friend asked me in an email the other night what my process is for writing a book. Do I outline? Do I know where the book is going? Do I have a big picture or do I write scene by scene?

Realizing that I would have to answer his question, I figured that I would post it here for other writers struggling with the same questions. First, let me start off by saying I'm NOT an expert at this. Having only one book published (and another on the verge of being published if I ever finish it), I should NOT be giving advice.

Now that I've made this disclaimer, here goes: everyone has their own writing style. What works for Steven King won't necessarily work for Donna Tartt. What works for Cormac McCarthy won't work for Dennis Lehane. Basically, everyone has their own style, their own timing, their own writing rituals. There isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to writing.

I recommended to my friend to check out the National Novel Writing Month and give that a shot. It's a great way to just slam out a book, get words down on the page, ignore the inner critic and just get the story out.

If I were to dissect my own writing style, it would be like putting a puzzle together. But not any puzzle, one of those mystery puzzles where you don't know what the final picture is.

Sometimes I lay out the framework of the puzzle and then try to connect the pieces slowly and efficiently within the frame. (In other words, I've set an outline of the whole story and I know where I'm going, I just need to fill it in.)

Other times, I focus on small areas of the puzzle (in terms of writing, these would be individual scenes). I know that all of these smaller parts need to fit together, so I have to start looking for ways to connect them so that they make sense in a larger picture. When I write this way (without an outline), I can't really see where the story (or the puzzle) is going until I have enough of the puzzle put together and the story starts to emerge from the random pieces.

This is by far my favorite way of writing, because I like to be surprised by the outcome as much as the reader. Yet, this is also the most difficult way of writing, because it's so open-ended. You can end up putting the wrong pieces together, getting frustrated and throwing the whole puzzle away. Or, you can leave it on the table for awhile and look at it, come back to it every now and then and see if you can fit a piece in here or there. Eventually, if you are dedicated enough and want to see the final picture, you will stick with it until the puzzle reveals itself to you.

There are some writers that are so strict with an outline, a daily word count and deadlines. I'm not one of those writers. Then again, I'm not a writer who waits for "the muse to whisper in my ear." I've waited long and hard for that muse, and she constantly bypasses my house.

I've also heard writers say that the characters talk to them. God, that would make my life so much easier! No, my characters don't talk to me (maybe that's a good thing considering writers already have a reputation for being a little out there). But there are times when I'm writing that I will surprise myself and the story takes unexpected turns, characters do things that I wasn't planning on having them do and connections are made that I didn't see until I completed the whole puzzle...I mean picture...I mean story.

So, there you have it. My writing style is a mystery puzzle, even to myself.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Are you there, Amazon? It's me, Megan.

Just running a little test to see why my blog posts aren't loading on my AmazonConnect blog. Nothing too exciting here. Except that it's Halloween!!!! And today I'm going to share a spooky story (along with some pics) of what happened at my launch party for Sisters of Misery. There was a recent article about "moi" and my book in my hometown newspaper that gives a little hint to the spookiness that occurred the night of my signing.

Stay tuned for a creepy coincidence that's very fitting for Halloween.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Quietly taking over the Internet

Again, I want to thank all the bloggers who've been kindly promoting my book, SISTERS OF MISERY, as a great Halloween Read. Here are a few posts to some recent blog entries, reviews, giveaways, and interviews, as well as a link to an article written about little old me in my hometown newspaper, The Marblehead Reporter. One amazing blogger even started a fan page on Facebook for me. How sweet is that? And another made a little mini-movie review. I've never felt so much support for my writing as I have over the past few months. I'm so excited to connect with readers about SISTERS OF MISERY and I'm working my butt off to make sure that THE LOST SISTER is just as good (if not better) than my first book.

In the meantime, I'd love to connect with more readers, so I've set up all sorts of online places to connect with everyone. I've become crazy Internet lady, you can't escape me, I'm everywhere online, which is good, because I'm not any bestsellers lists...yet!! (Hey, you can help me onto those ultra-exclusive lists AND buy a great Christmas present for someone under $10 at the same time! 2 birds, 1 stone! Good idea, huh?)

Click here to join me on MySpace, Facebook, Shelfari, Goodreads, LibraryThing and Red Room. Phew. It's hard to be in so many places at one time, but I'm trying!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thanks Mabel's House!

I love stumbling onto bloggers' pages when they mention my book. I love it even more when they are hosting a giveaway for my book, SISTERS OF MISERY.

This is what Liz at Mabel's House is doing. Not only did she give a great review of my book and recommended it as a wonderfully spooky Halloween read, but she's also hosting a giveaway on her site.

So, I'm linking to her site, not because I want to win a copy of SISTERS (I have more than enough copies, thank you very much. Plus, I know how it ends...hee hee!), but because I wanted to thank her for hosting this giveaway. It means so much to me to get the word out there about my book. And hopefully those 50+ blog readers that don't win the book will go out and buy it anyway. (I think it's less than $10 on if I remember correctly.)

Again, thanks Liz and a big thank you and shout out to author Elizabeth Scott for including my book in her Halloween Scary Reads giveaway as well. Check out her giveaway contest here. To enter her contest you have to say what your least favorite Halloween Candy is. I, on the other hand, am going to say what my favorite Halloween Candy is, just to be different. I'm addicted to those 100 Grand mini-bars and I can't stop buying them. Somebody please help me stop!!

Thanks ladies for posting my debut novel as a Spooky Halloween read. I have a spooky story about my book launch that I'll be blogging about soon that will DEFINITELY want to make everyone run out and buy/read my book. A very weird coincidence occurred during my launch party and I'll share it with you all if you want. Until then, Happy Halloween and happy reading!!


Monday, October 27, 2008


As you are gearing up for a spooky Halloween, how about checking out a new mysterious YA novel by my fellow GCC author Kelly Para?

In honor of this upcoming holiday, Kelly has graciously accepted my offer to be interviewed on my blog about her new book, INVISIBLE TOUCH. Check out our interview below...

Do you (or did you ever) have a writing group? Who are the first people to read your book once it’s completed?

K: I have a number one critique partner, author Tina Ferraro (How To Hook a Hottie). We were partnered through a critique service years ago when we were both writing suspense and hit it off right away. We email every day and read each other's books chapter by chapter, then the whole draft.

What writers do you consider your “sisters”? Are there any published writers that you hang out or tour with a lot? Call? Email? IM?

K: Again, my writer "sister" would be Tina, as well as author Dianna Love and Anne Frasier. I can really be honest with these talented ladies and I have a load of great author friends I meet up with at conferences when I can.

What writers do you wish would be in your “clique”? (It doesn’t have to be in your genre….doesn’t even have to be living! For example, I’d pick Alice Hoffman, Jodi Picoult, Sarah Dessen, Oscar Wilde, Stephenie Meyer, Meg Cabot, Stephen King and Joan Didion).

K: I'll just name my favorite authors which include my writer sisters hands down, as well as Laurell K. Hamilton, Stephanie Plum, JD Robb, Rachel Caine, and Marjorie M. Liu.

When did you first feel that you’d officially joined the “published writers’ club”?

K: Even after I accepted a contract for my first novel Graffiti Girl, I still felt like a big newbie. Even when I finally got to sign my contract and received my first payment the "published author" feeling didn't set in. I finally felt official when I saw my book at a book store! haha. And now with my second book Invisible Touch on shelves, I still feel "new" to the publishing world and I'm not sure when that feeling will go away.

Finally, what can you tell me about your book? Give me a quick run-down about why I’d want to pick it for my own book club.

K: Invisible Touch is about Kara Martinez, a teenage girl who has a gift--or is it a curse?--of seeing visions and signs on individuals and has to piece the signs together in order to stop an unfortunate fate. She keeps an anonymous blog called Secret Fates to share her feelings about her ability and the mystery she's trying to solve. Soon she sees the dangerous sign of gun and when she meets a boy from the wrong side of town, she's thrust deeper into danger than ever before. Invisible Touch is a story of mystery, romance, and family drama and what I hope is an entertaining read.

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Megan!

Here's some more info on Kelly Para's thrilling new novel, INVISIBLE TOUCH!

by Kelly Parra
MTV Books | October 14, 2008
ISBN: 1416563377
(For ages 13 and up)

Do you believe in fate?

Kara Martinez has been trying to be "normal" ever since the accident that took her father's life when she was eleven years old. She's buried the caliente side of her Mexican heritage with her father and tried to be the girl her rigid mother wants her to be -- compliant and dressed in pink, and certainly not acting out like her older brother Jason. Not even Danielle, her best friend at Valdez High, has seen the real Kara; only those who read her anonymous blog know the deepest secrets of the Sign Seer.

Because Kara has a gift -- one that often feels like a curse. She sees signs, visions that are clues to a person's fate, if she can put together the pieces of the puzzle in time. So far, she's been able to solve the clues and avert disaster for those she's been warned about -- until she sees the flash of a gun on a fellow classmate, and the stakes are raised higher than ever before. Kara does her best to follow the signs, but it's her heart that wanders into new territory when she falls for a mysterious guy from the wrong side of town, taking her closer to answers she may not be able to handle. Will her forbidden romance help her solve the deadly puzzle before it's too late...or lead her even further into danger?


Invisible Touch Book Trailer:


Barnes & Noble:

Praise for Invisible Touch

"A magical blending of mystery, romance, and deep and dangerous secrets. Kelly Parra’s Invisible Touch is an action-packed coming-of-age novel, sure to keep readers turning pages and begging for a sequel." 
-- Laurie Faria Stolarz, Bestselling author of Blue is for Nightmares and Deadly Little Secret

"Readers are going to delight in this fast-paced, gripping story, and be kept spellbound until its surprising finish." 
 -- Tina Ferraro, author of How To Hook A Hottie

"The Gold Award of Excellence! An amazing, touching novel that deals with big issues in an original context." -- TeensReadToo

"Five out of five gold pens for Invisible Touch."—The Salinas Californian

Secret Fates Extravaganza

Through the month of October, Kelly Parra is hosting a Secret Fates Extravaganza with 26 authors sharing secrets and giveaways on the Secret Fates blog ( It has been a fun-filled month and it’s almost over. The Extravaganza will end October 31st.

About the Author

Kelly Parra is the author of Graffiti Girl, a double RITA nominee and a Latinidad Top Pick, and the contemporary paranormal, Invisible Touch. When not pulling her hair while writing her current novel, she likes to play with her abundance of websites and feed a serious television addiction. For excerpts visit, or follow the Secret Fates blog at

invisible touch ~ out now!
graffiti girl ~ available

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

GCC Tours Stacy DeKeyser

This month I'm so excited to tour another member of the GCC -- Stacy DeKeyser. Stacy's novel, JUMP THE CRACKS, has been widely praised and is a fast-paced, suspenseful read. (It's on the top of my TBR list for sure!) Here's a little more info about the book and my interview with Stacy:

When fifteen-year-old Victoria witnesses what she believes to be child neglect on a train to New York, she makes a split-second decision and takes the young boy with her on the next train out in order to protect him. But, in her effort to make sure the child doesn’t slip through the cracks and end up back with the neglectful parents, she’s unwittingly branded a kidnapper and is forced to stay on the run until she can clear her name. JUMP THE CRACKS is a fast-paced, suspense-driven thriller set in motion when a young girl is forced to confront the fine line between doing the legal thing and doing the right thing. Debut novelist Stacy DeKeyser offers a memorable and honest portrayal of a teen whose efforts to take on a child’s demons leads her to take on her own in the process.

Jump the Cracks
by Stacy DeKeyser
March 2008 216 pp.
Flux, paperback, $9.95
ISBN 978-0-7387-1274-1

Do you (or did you ever) have a writing group? Who are the first people to read your book once it's completed?

I have a weekly writing group, who are a godsend. They hear one chapter at a time, hot off my computer. Also, I'm lucky to have a mom who's a writer, so she reads my stuff, but she has to wait until I have a complete draft. My other go-to crit partners are writers Laurie Stolarz and Kim Marcus.

What writers do you consider your "sisters"? Are there any published writers that you hang out or tour with a lot? Call? Email? IM?

I'm lucky to have lots of sisters! I have 3 "real" sisters, who are very supportive. Can my mom be my sister? We email almost daily. And author Kim Marcus is my complete soul-sister, writing-wise and otherwise.

If someone was going to join your book club, what would be a "must read" in order to join?

It sounds ridiculously obvious, but you have to actually read the book. I was once in a book club where some members liked the meetings, but didn't want to read the books. I've also gotten "reviews" of my book from people who haven't even read the whole thing. What the heck?

What was your "initiation" to writing?

I've always written, and have always been drawn to the written word. On the first day of second grade, I discovered I'd already read our class "reading book" on my own over the summer. My mom was a writer when I was a kid. To me, it was always an option.

When did you first feel that you'd officially joined the "published writers' club"?

When I signed my first book contract. :)

What was your best/worst memory of high school?

Worst: Once, going up the stairs between classes, I tripped and fell into some guy ahead of me. My face smashed right into his butt. Thank goodness I didn't know him!

Best: Any day where I didn't fall into someone's butt going up the stairs was a good day in high school.

In SISTERS OF MISERY, the last place new members want to go to is Misery Island. But if you had the choice, what island would you go to and what would you take with you?

I'd go to the island of Great Britain! I'd take sturdy hiking boots, a good waterproof hat and jacket, and hit the walking trails.

Finally, what can you tell me about your book? Give me a quick run-down about why I'd want to pick it for my own book club.

It's a great book for discussion, I think. People argue over what they'd do in Victoria's situation. Is the legal thing always the same as the right thing?

Reviews for Jump the Cracks:

“Bracingly realistic….With a combination of lively adventure and humane treatment of its characters, this is an absorbing and emotionally effective read.” — BCCB

"Strong characters and fast-paced action." — VOYA

"Thought-provoking....Introspective tweeners will find plenty to chew on." — Booklist

“Teens are sure to find this an interesting read.” — School Library Journal

  • Nominated for YALSA'S Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, 2009
  • Nominated for the Texas Lone Star Reading List, 2009
  • Under consideration for the 2009 Edgar Award

About Stacy DeKeyser:
Despite being “the girl who was always good in math and
science” and getting a BA in Psychology, Stacy DeKeyser
(Connecticut) has always harbored a passion for reading and
writing. Her subsequent Master’s degree in Health Services
Administration led her to a career in hospitals and clinics but
even then, she found her favorite part of the job was writing

Segueing into life as a full-time mom, she found she had scads of
time but no creative outlet. An editor at a writer’s conference
suggested she try her hand at a novel and when she witnessed an
upsetting incident involving a small child on a train, Stacy knew
what she wanted to write about. Originally from Milwaukee, Stacy now lives in
Connecticut where she’s at work on her next novel.

For more info on Stacy DeKeyser, check out the following links:




Saturday, October 4, 2008

My Sister: An Extra in Paul Blart: Mall Cop

Yup, that's my sister Jocelyn (or at least the back of her) on the set of Paul Blart: Mall Cop. I was there as an extra as well. My daughter was a featured extra, which meant that she actually had her own scene with one of the stars of the movie (she was called "bubble girl" because she got to blow and pop bubbles).

That was my first and last time as an extra on a movie. Being from Boston and not familiar with the way extras are treated (the phrase "I feel like cattle" was spoken more than once), I didn't realize that I would be standing around for 14 hours or so, walking back and forth aimlessly, being shuffled around and bullied by production assistants, being yelled at, scolded, told to be quiet, and basically treated like crap while walking around in the most uncomfortable pair of high-heeled boots I've ever worn (I wanted to burn them at the end of the day). By two a.m. I was shuffling my swollen feet, trying to look like a happy mall shopper, while silently cursing Kevin James and everyone in the movie (not that they had anything to do with how we were treated.) That was mainly due to the P.A.s on the set--basically glorified interns with a headset and a superiority complex. (Yes, Army Pants Girl and Evil Chad, that means you!)

But Piper had a wonderful time, and I hope that her scene doesn't get cut from the movie. I think it's the scene where Kevin James runs his Segway into a parked car. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie in January, even though I haven't been able to watch King of Queens reruns since my Mall Cop experience. If I see Kevin James my feet start to hurt, and I get a nervous tick just remembering how awful it felt to be trapped in a mall. Lesson learned.

I now have a whole new respect for people in the background of movies. To all of you background extras, I will definitely be paying more attention to you in the future, because I literally feel (and have felt) your pain. Ouch!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

GCC Tours Linda Gerber

The next GCC Tour is Linda Gerber, author of the fabulous book, Death by Bikini (I think we can all relate), who has come out with a new book called DEATH BY LATTE! I was actually just at a book signing at Wellesley Booksmith near Boston, MA and her book, Death by Bikini, was prominently displayed as a top read. Silly me, I didn't even think to bring a camera that day (and I haven't figured out how to work the one on my Treo yet -- come to think of it, I can't even make calls on the darn thing. What's the point of having a cell phone that you can only use for emailing people? Grrrrrr.....) Sorry for going off on a tangent. Back to Linda and her awesome book that everyone should go out and read. I also should mention that Linda is throwing a launch cyber-party on her blog. The party will run from September 18-22. Here's the YouTube promo video link:
Check it out!!

Here's a little more info on Linda, her book and the answers to my GCC questions:

Do you (or did you ever) have a writing group? Who are the first people to read your book once it's completed?
Yes! I have a phenomenal writing group. We've been together for over six years. They are the first to see the finished product, along with my two daughters.

What writers do you consider your "sisters"? Are there any published writers that you hang out or tour with a lot? Call? Email? IM?
I absolutely consider my crit group to be my sisters. My agency also has an "agency sistahs" listserv where we can talk and support each other. I also have gotten close to several members of my TFC blog group. Speaking for myself, I'd be lost without the understanding and support of these smart, fabulous women.

Who do you find yourself being compared to or are often put together with in reading lists or book clubs?
I've been pleased to see my name on the same lists as Jenny O'Connell, Sarah Dessen and Meg Cabot. Perhaps my favorite list was the "must, must, must reads for teens" on the Tyra blog along with Melissa Walker and Stephenie Meyer. Yeah, I'll take it.

What writers do you wish would be in your "clique"? (It doesn't have to be in your genre….doesn't even have to be living! For example, I'd pick Alice Hoffman, Jodi Picoult, Sarah Dessen, Oscar Wilde, Stephenie Meyer, Meg Cabot, Stephen King and Joan Didion).
Oh, man! How big can my clique be? I'd pick Lisa Unger, Marcus Sakey, Tess Gerritson, Lee Child, Brad Meltzer, Stephen King, Lisa McMann, Melissa Walker, Sarah Dessen, Meg Cabot, Stephenie Meyer, Melissa Marr, Libba Bray and sooo many more.

If someone was going to join your book club, what would be a "must read" in order to join?
It would probably change as I found new favorites. I think right now it would be Sisters of Misery…

[[ get brownie points for that answer!!! xoxoxoxox - mkh]]

What was your "initiation" to writing?
Waaay back in fifth grade, I wrote a story for my teacher's birthday. As a gift. He corrected it and handed it back. Totally deflated me. But it did show me that I loved writing enough to stick with it, even in the face of disappointment.

When did you first feel that you'd officially joined the "published writers' club"?
Wait. There's a club? Seriously, getting published used to be the one true goal, and now it's all about getting starred reviews, making the lists and winning awards. I'm not sure when I'll ever feel I'm 'in.' I'm just having fun doing what I love to do.

What was your best/worst memory of high school?
Best: Friday night football games. They were a social event at my school, better even than dances. Worst: Squeezing into Sasson jeans.

In SISTERS OF MISERY, the last place new members want to go to is Misery Island. But if you had the choice, what island would you go to and what would you take with you?
Kauai is the only Hawaiian island I haven't been to yet, so I would go there and I would take a suitcase full of books!

[[I've been there!!!--one of the few islands I've ever been to and it's amazing!!! Not to mention that Josh "Sawyer" Holloway films LOST there. *****sigh******* If you go, I'm going to sneak into your suitcase of books!) - mkh]]

Finally, what can you tell me about your book? Give me a quick run-down about why I'd want to pick it for my own book club.
Death by Latte is a quick read. It's fast-paced and lean, but suspenseful with a touch of romance and a lot of action - something for everyone!

Thanks for stopping by my blog to answer my questions, Linda. Here's some additional info on her latest book, Death by Latte. It makes me want to run right out to Starbucks right now to get my caffeine fix (and yet, protect myself at the same time). Thanks, Linda!!

by Linda Gerber

Paperback: 224 pages

Publisher: Puffin (September 18, 2008)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0142411183

ISBN-13: 978-0142411186

Following on the heels of this summer’s killer YA mystery, DEATH BY BIKINI, DEATH BY LATTE (Puffin Paperback; September 18, 2008; $9.99) is a modern-day romantic mystery/suspense in the tradition of Victoria Holt and Philippa Carr.

DEATH BY LATTE Aphra Connolly, who had been living a quiet existence on her father’s secluded island resort, until Seth Mulo turns up and steals her heart… and provides information that leads her to find her mom in Seattle. But the reunion isn’t quite what she expected. Aphra’s mom, Natalie, doesn’t seem happy to see Aphra, and Natalie’s boyfriend, Joe, insists that Aphra go home. Even worse, Seth shows up, only to ask her to return the ring he had given her that summer. At least Natalie’s good-looking neighbor is sympathetic. But when Joe is found dead at a nearby coffee shop, Aphra discovers her whole trip to Seattle has been based on a lie. And now someone just might be trying to kill her. . . .

Praise for DEATH BY LATTE:

Great characters, plot twists, and non-stop action and excitement.”

YA Books Central

Full of action, suspense, and mystery, Death by Latte is a thrilling edition to the Death by series!”

The Story Siren

An entertaining Seattle joy ride that… teens will appreciate.”

Genre-go-Round Reviews

Death by Latte is a compelling read for those who like mystery, action, and adventure with a little romance and humor thrown in for good measure.”

Purple Pens Reviews

Enjoyed quite thoroughly!”

Critical Mass

This exciting installment features non-stop thrills and leaves you guessing right up to the end.”

Presenting Lenore

High action and suspense.”

Library Thing

Praise for the DEATH BY series:

Will capture mystery fans.”

G. Engberg - Booklist

Strong writing and plenty of plot twists.”

The Providence Journal

Fast-paced, fun, and maybe just a little scary.”

YA New York

Just “the right amount of intrigue, suspense, humor and romance.”

Flamingnet Book Reviews

Five enchantments.”

Enchanting Reviews

Refreshing read.”

Simply Books


Linda recently returned to life in the Midwest after four years in Japan, where she served as the Regional Advisor for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. She currently lives and writes in Dublin, OH, blissfully ignoring her husband, four kids, and one very naughty puppy.