Monday, August 30, 2010

Stiff, Sore and Sunburnt!

If you're thinking I'm going to write about books, then that's an odd title isn't it?  Actually, I'm writing about me.  I'm very stiff and sore today because I played volleyball ALL DAY yesterday!  Six hours in the hot 90+ sunshine (33C).  My team is part of a summer volleyball league and we've been playing the other teams all summer.  Yesterday was our end of the season tournament.  We had to play each team once - which meant 8 games in a row (except one bye) and the top four teams played in the playoffs (which meant another 3-4 games). 

We went into the tournament as the first place team.  So we had a team meeting before play started and my husband, whose also a teammate asked, "What's our game plan?" and Missy, the cheerleader of the team (and the one who tells us to pick it up when we're dogging) said, "To win."

Well, after two games in that heat, I thought I was going to pass out or throw up! I did survive the day (just embarrassed by how out of shape I was from traveling all summer) and our team stuck to our game plan.  We went undefeated, winning the tournament!!  Probably the first and last time I'll be able to type those words ;>  My other volleyball teams are always in the middle of the pack and I don't mind, I play competitive, but also for fun.  We weren't the youngest or the oldest team, but I think the most experienced (or stubborn).

I just wanted to share that :)  And also this - I did an interview with Book Lovers, Inc today and we're giving away a free signed copy of SPY GLASS to one lucky winner!  So hop on over and enter to win. 

Here's the link:

Thursday, August 26, 2010


According to my bookstore commandos, the book has been released!  And if you already get my Free email newsletter, this should be old news so feel free to skip this post :) 

One of the unique things about this release is SPY GLASS is also going to be available in the United Kingdom and Australia in the same month. Usually, my overseas readers have to wait, but not this time :)

The UK edition will be out September 17th. And, according to my Australian Editor, the AU edition is available now at: SPY GLASS
See all the beautiful covers below??  I must admit...the Australian one (purple with diamond) is my favorite of the  three (shhhh....don't tell!).
I'm thrilled to see this book in print. It was a difficult one to write - Opal had tough choices to make and difficult obstacles to navigate.

For this story, I toured the State Correctional Institute in Camp Hill, PA for men. This facility also has a SMU (Special Management Unit - a.k.a. max security). A friend of mine arranged the tour and helped to educate me on the prison system. Walking among the prisoners was the biggest surprise to me. I thought my tour would be behind bullet-proof glass or at a safe distance, but the facility isn''t all maximum security and my friend showed me the cell blocks, the cafeteria, the gym, the classrooms and the exercise yards. The cafeteria was filled with prisoners and we passed a bunch when we entered the block. We were outnumbered 50 to 1, but everyone was nice and polite. There were correctional officers (they are not prison guards!) nearby, but only a few, and they weren't even armed. That was uncanny and scary.

This is the last Study/Glass book for now – I do see potential in many characters in this world, including Heli (the young Stormdancer), Quinn and Fisk.

My tour schedule if anyone is interested:

August 28, 2010: RELEASE PARTY for SPY GLASS!! The wonderful people who work at my local Borders in Lancaster, Pennsylvania are hosting a release party for SPY GLASS! (940 Plaza Blvd. Lancaster, PA 17601, 717-293-8022) 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

September 7, 2010: Book Signing at Elizabethtown Public Library (10 South Market Street, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, 17022, 717-367-7467) Books will be available for sale. 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

September 11, 2010: Writing Workshop: Maria's Nitpicks for Pennwriters Area 2 one day seminar Writing for Children and Young Adults (The Fire Hall, 911 Market Street, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, 17815) Everyone is welcome to sign up for this writing workshop ($35 for Pennwriter's members, $40 for non-members - includes a box lunch). I will be teaching in the afternoon. To sign up or find out more, contact Kathryn Yelinek through her website: Kathryn Yelinek

September 24, 2010: Reading, Q&A Session and Book Signing at The Pennsylvania State University's Abington Campus ( (1600 Woodland Rd, Abington, PA 19001 at a place called @611. 7:30 p.m. start time. According to my information, this @611 is a quarter mile from campus. There will be books available for sale. This event is FREE and OPEN to one and all!

October 1, 2010: Book Signing at Borders in Glendale, California (100 S. Brand Blvd. Glendale, California, 91204, 818-241-8099). 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m

October 2, 2010: Book Signing at Mysterious Galaxy book store. (7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, Suite 302, San Diego, California, 92111, 310-542-6000) 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

October 3, 2010: Participating in the Orange County Children's Book Festival! at the Orange Coast College (2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa, California, 92626) 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. I will be on the teen stage for a presentation and will also be signing books. It's FREE with FREE Parking - you can't beat that price :)

October 21, 2010: Book Signing & Book Group Discussionat the Cupboard Maker Books (157 N. Enola Road, Routes 11 & 15, Enola, Pennsylvania 17025. 717-732-7288). The Cupboard Maker's Urban Fantasy book group is going to discuss INSIDE OUT. The book signing is from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and the discussion group is meeting from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. All are welcome to the discussion, but I'd recommend you read the book first otherwise you'll hear spoilers :)

Here's some links to reviews (watch out for Spoilers to SEA GLASS - can't be helped since SPY GLASS starts right after!):

  • All About Romance Book Reviews

  • Kyle Borland

  • Fresh Fiction

  • AmberKatze Book Blog

  • Night Owl Reviews
  • Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    Winners Announced!

    I'm back from my last trip of the summer.  It's been rather busy with two trips in June, two in July and two in August.  Two of them were for writing - the conference in Orlando, FL and a trip up to Seton Hill Univeristy to teach and meet with my mentees. I'm glad to be home for a few weeks before flying off to LA and San Diego, California in October.  I do enjoy traveling, but that was too much as I really couldn't enjoy my summer with my children.

    As you can see - I've re-designed my blog.  Not me - my good friend Sarah who designs my bookmarks and did my MySpace page.  I decided I wanted something light and fun with butterflys and she whipped this together for me.  What do you think?  I love the blue butterflys that look like they're made of water.

    All right - now onto the winners of SPY GLASS!  I can't believe there were 152 comments and I now how 101 followers - that's just amazing and I hope I can keep up with regular posts.

    Mindy Rupp
    Kelly (the one who posted on 8-21)

    Congrats to them All!!!

    If you're a winner - please email me your name and mailing address - my email is 

    To EmmaVivian - What's your English teacher's name (I might know her :)

    Sunday, August 15, 2010

    Wow - 99 comments in 2 days!

    Two of them are mine, but still... I wonder if it's the new blog (instead of going through Myspace and Goodreads) or the weekend timing, or the 5 books I've dangled on my little glass hook ;>

    No worries if you couldn't follow (I didn't know it would be tricky!)  - I'll pick a winner from the commenters as well.  Oh and I forgot to mention the contest includes international as well - I have to celebrate in style.

    Some news and links - I did a guest blog over at Eve's Fan Garden about strong female characters - titled, Before there was Buffy...  go here, if you'd like to read it:

    And my local paper did a review of SPY GLASS in today's paper.  Here's the link if anyone is interested:

    Friday, August 13, 2010

    Celebrating the new Blog!

    Hello!  Welcome to my new blog.  I know I'm not the best about blogging, but hopefully this will make things easier for me to let you know what's going on.  Things like Valek is currently fighting Aragorn from LOTR over at the YA Fantasy Showdown and he needs help so go here to help:

    In order to celebrate this new blog - I'm giving away FIVE signed copies of SPY GLASS!!!  What you need to do to win is to sign up as a follower and leave me a comment that you did and I'll randomly pick five winners next Sunday, August 22nd!

    SPY GLASS will be release on August 24th - and some stores will have it on the shelves that week and others will wait until September 1st.  Amazon always ships early.

    Here's an excerpt you can't find anywhere else!

    By the time I met up with Nic and Eve at the Pig Pen, the evening rush had subsided.

    “’Bout time,” Nic complained.

    Eve plucked a horse hair from my cloak. “She’s been hanging out at the stables.” She peered at me.
    “What else have you been doing at nights?”

    “Breaking and entering, petty theft, shoplifting and drunk and disorderly until I pass out,” I said. All true except the D and D, and I returned everything I stole.

    “Funny,” Nic said, but he didn’t smile. “Maybe we should switch our schedule and start working nights. Sounds like quite the party.”

    “I thought you did work nights,” I said.

    “Not anymore.” Eve shook her head. “You’ve been distracted. Councilor Moon has her own guards now. All trustworthy and with excellent records.” She swigged her ale. “We’re assuming you’re ignoring us for a good reason? Your side project?”

    “I wouldn’t ignore you for a bad reason. Well, maybe Nic, but not you Eve.”

    “Should we be worried?” Nic asked.

    “No. Everything’s progressing well.” I waved Ian over and ordered a meal. “What are you doing now? Patrolling the streets?”

    “Sometimes,” Eve said. “Our unit tends to fill in where needed, depending on what’s going on.”

    “Today we got to watch prisoners build a wall at HQ. Here’s to another thrilling day on the job.” Nic raised his mug as if making a toast. “One inmate actually tried to talk to me. Gasp.”

    Despite the sarcasm, I sensed another current under Nic’s words. “What did he want?”

    “He asked about you, Opal. Seemed concern about your welfare.”

    Devlen. “That’s was nice.” I tried.

    “Yeah, downright decent of him. Something you don’t see too often in convicted criminals.”

    “Okay, Nic. Spit it out,” I ordered. “What’s really the matter?”

    He bunched up his napkin and tossed it onto the bar. “I don’t like being kept out of the loop, and when I meet a prisoner who knows more than I do about someone who is supposed to be my friend, I get a little testy.”

    “He does know more about me than you, Nic. Probably more than anyone except Kade.” And Valek. There was no hiding with Valek. Yelena may be the Soulfinder, but he was the Soulseer. “That prisoner was one of the men at Hubal.”

    Nic looked surprised. “What’s he doing in Dawnwood? He should be at Wirral.”

    “It’s complicated, but he redeemed himself in the end.”

    “Is that why you’ve been visiting him?” Eve asked.

    Alarmed, I asked, “Have you been following me?”

    “No need.” A half smile played on her lips.

    I groaned. “The gossip network strikes again. I forgot you have friends who work at Dawnwood.”

    “And it upsets them when the Councilor’s assistant starts visiting a prisoner,” Nic added. “I suggest you stop.”

    An unpalatable thought. “I can’t.”

    “Why not?” Eve seemed curious, but Nic glared.

    “He’s the only one who understands how it feels to suddenly be without magic.”

    “We understand. We don’t have magic—”

    “And you never did. It’s different, Nic.” I sighed. He didn’t quite comprehend. “Look at it this way. you’re a strong man. You can lift heavy things and swing that hunk of metal you call a sword with one hand. What if I took away your strength? You can’t carry a barrel of water on your shoulder or draw your sword to defend yourself. Who would you identify with? Your brother, who can still heft a casket of wine, or Eve, who never could, or me, who also lost it?”

    The lines on his face smoothed. “All right. I see your point. I still feel like I’m out of the loop. Like one of those neighbors.”

    My turn to be confused. “What neighbors?”

    “The people who live next to a crazy psychopath and tell us, ‘He was such a good neighbor. Quiet. No trouble,’” Nic said in a high squeaky voice.

    “How about if I promise to tell you about the bodies buried under my factory before security digs them up? Will that make you happy?”

    “Ecstatic.” He deadpanned.

    Eve changed the subject and we were soon laughing and joking. As the evening drew to a close, they walked me home.

    “Are you watching prisoners tomorrow?” I asked.

    “Sort of,” Eve said. “We’re escorting a trio from the Greenblade Clan from our holding cells to Wirral.”

    “Best part is seeing them gape in horror when they realize what their future holds,” Nic said. “Some break down and bawl.”

    “I’d cry, too,” I said as a chill zipped down my spine.

    "Don’t feel too bad about those three. They discovered a way to extract the venom from Greenblade bees. They sold the poison to others. At first, the murders appeared to be accidents. Poor man, stung by a lethal bee.” He tsked.

    “How did they catch them?” I asked.

    “Greed and stupidity,” Eve said. “They sold the venom to anyone who could afford the price, without thought to where the murder would be committed. After the second bee sting in the middle of the city where there are no bees, the authorities became suspicious.”

    “Greed and stupidity are our friends,” Nic said. “It’s amazing how creative and inventive criminals can be, but eventually greed, sheer stupidity or both will bring them down.”