Monday, November 30, 2009

Round II Christmas Gifts

Well, today is the end of the contest for L.K. Madigan's Flash Burnout, and what a time we had with it! Mike Jung is one determined contestant who met his match with Zoe Alea. The judges had so much fun with the Twitter battle that they made me order another signed copy and call Round I a tie.

So a tie it is, Mike and Zoe. You will each have L.K.'s great book in time for Christmas if you send me your snailmail addresses in time.

Now it's time to start vying for Cheryl Herbsman's novel, Breathing. Round II starts December 2 and closes December 15.  In case you missed the post with the rules, here they are again.

Create the most interesting linked posts to this offer and Tweet ever-so-succinctly, but well. Leave a comment on this post with the URLs for your posts. DM me on Twitter whenever you do a Tweet @cleemckenzie

I hope this round is a much fun as the last one.

Friday, November 27, 2009

One Tired But Happy Blogger Reporting to Duty

There are not enough English words to describe a hike in Yosemite and English has more words than any other language in the world. Well, that's hard to determine, but possible to speculate.

Anyway about words . . . I don't need many to tell you what I feel.

Sculpted Granite.
Thank you.

This is not Haiku, but maybe next time.

Photo Credit.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I'm taking a break. It's time to get outside and do some hiking, so I'm off to Yosemite for a few days. 

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

When I come back it'll be time to end the first CONTEST for the free signed copy of Flash Burnout. Looking forward to sending that to someone. 

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Why do you Blog?

Someone asked me why I blogged and my answer surprised me. I started to say that I do it because I've written a book and want to build a readership and a following; then I changed my mind. That may have been why I "started" to blog, but that's not why I continue to blog.

I enjoy the writing and I enjoy stopping by other blog sites to visit people who share that passion. How great to read what's happening on Ramble Street with Nan Marino. I've known her for several years now. We've shared manuscripts, watched the books we edited for each other debut, discovered that we have a lot in common and care about each other.

It's great to stop by Mel Higgins' blog and see what funny Veggie Contest she's doing or what she has to say about writing and living and being Mel. We've also exchanged manuscripts and coffee and a conference. I'd never have known Mel if I hadn't been blogging and sharing writing online.

If I need a mini vacation I zip over to Bish's beautiful island and learn about the flowers and fruit and imagine the sea around me and the sand between my toes. Lovely.

Once in a while I crave music or some family stories and that takes me to Kelly's lively blog where I'm always greeted by her smile and warm heartedness.

I learn a lot when I pop into Market My Words and read Shelli's posts about her writing, interviews with agents, other writers and agents.

There are a lot more and next time I feel the need to answer the question, "Why do you blog?" I'll post about all those other writers who share so much with me and who make blogging worth the time and effort.

I'd love hear why you blog. What keeps you writing and posting?

Oh, and about that free Christmas gift. Mike Jung is obviously going to win Flash Burnout if you let him. He must want to read L.K. Madigan's book in the worst way--quite a compliment to that author.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Christmas Gifts

I know. I know. Thanksgiving isn't even here yet, and I'm on about Christmas, but let's face it these few weeks between now and December 25th are winged and involve jet propulsion.

I just happen to have a lovely autographed copy of L.K. Madigan's Flash Burnout and one of Breathing by Cheryl Herbsman.  I'm  willing to part with these great books, but only because I have my own copies.

So here's the deal: You can win Flash Burnout between now and December 1st.  Whoever does the most interesting linked posts to this offer and tweets ever-so-succinctly, but well, can have L.K's  book by early December.

You can win Breathing between December 2nd and December 15th by doing the same kind of linked posts and tweets. You'll have Cheryl's book before Christmas.

Just leave a comment on this post with the URL(s) for your posts. DM me on Twitter whenever you do a Tweet (@cleemckenzie).

Oh wait! There's more. I still have two pewter horse bookmarks and those will be my runner up prizes. 

The judges from previous contests are eager and ready to start doing judge stuff again, and they remain as impartial as ever, unless you can smuggle chocolate frosted cream puffs in somehow. Ahem. I'm not above that kind of bribe myself . . . No! Wrong!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Writers Writers Writers

The audience was large and enthusiastic at Books Inc. Friday night. L.K. Madigan read from Flash Burnout and four other YA authors read from their novels. There were at least five other YA authors in the audience: Sarah Quigley (TMI), Cheryl Herbsman (Breathing), Heidi King (Sea) and others I didn't catch. Sorry. I was so busy listening, watching, chatting. I'll do better next time.

Anyway, here are the Debs doing Deb stuff.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Another Book Signing

This time it isn't mine. I'm going to see L.K. Madigan (Flash Burnout) and have her sign my book. Should be fun. It's a Not My Mother's Book Club event and Jen Laughran throws a great party.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Holidaze with the Debs

We are pleased to announce Holidaze With the Debs, a series of author events in the U.S. and Canada this holiday season. At bookstores, libraries and schools in the New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Toronto areas, members of the 2009 Debutantes will talk about their own books and other 2009 favorites. A full list of events is available below.

"Publishers are working with shrinking promotional budgets in this economy," notes Rhonda Stapleton, author of STUPID CUPID (Simon Pulse). "As first-time authors, we know that much of our promotion is going to have to come from us, and over the last year we've also learned how much fun it is to do events together. So we're especially excited to be able to talk to readers directly this holiday season."



Dec. 6, 1-3 p.m.
Books of Wonder
18 West 18th St.
New York, NY
Including: Megan Crewe, Sarah Cross, Deva Fagan, Neesha Meminger, Kate Messner, Shani Petroff, Jon Skovron, Michelle Zink


Dec. 5, 1-3 p.m.
161 N. Weber Road
Bolingbrook, IL
Including: Cynthea Liu, Saundra Mitchell, Aprilynne Pike, Kristina Springer, Darcy Vance, Lara Zielin

Dec. 5, 7-9 p.m.
The Book Cellar, Inc.
4736-38 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL
Including: Cynthea Liu, Saundra Mitchell, Aprilynne Pike, Kristina Springer, Darcy Vance, Lara Zielin


Dec. 5, 3-4 p.m
588 Francisco Blvd. West
San Rafael, CA
Including: Lauren Bjorkman, Cheryl Renee Herbsman, Malinda Lo, Sarah Quigley, Jon Yang

Dec. 8, 7 p.m.
Menlo Park Public Library
800 Alma St.
Menlo Park, CA
Including: Lauren Bjorkman, Cheryl Renee Herbsman, C. Lee McKenzie, Sarah Quigley, J.A. Yang

Dec. 9, 12 p.m.
Petaluma High School*
201 Fair St.
Petaluma, CA
Including: Lauren Bjorkman, Cheryl Renee Herbsman, Malinda Lo, Sarah Quigley, J.A. Yang
* Open to the public, but visitors should check in at the school office when arriving

Dec. 12, 2-4 p.m.
Barnes &Noble
119 Colma Blvd.
Colma, CA
Including: Lauren Bjorkman, Cheryl Renee Herbsman, Malinda Lo, C. Lee McKenzie, Sarah Quigley, J.A. Yang


Jan. 9, 2 p.m.
Eaton Centre
220 Yonge St.
Toronto, Ontario
Including: R.J. Anderson, Megan Crewe, Sarah Ockler, Rhonda Stapleton, Lara Zielin

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Appearance

Well, it happened and I survived. I actually had fun hanging out with Malinda Lo and Cheryl Herbsman. (They're my bookends in this picture.) Each of them gave great presentations and the audience was very appreciative. They asked a lot of excellent questions and the program went over the usual time allotted for this Friday Forum.

Friday, November 6, 2009



I posted this in November of 2009! Imagine. I was discumboobled even then. Maybe it should have been discombobulated? At least this year I'm aware that one isn't a word anyone recognized. It must have been a wild 2009.

So here's my Deja Vu Post.

Is that how you spell it? See? Totally out of it here.

Tonight is another book signing APPEARANCE and I'm still putting together what I want to say. Then there's company arriving, my mom who needs some TLC, the cat with a hairball issue, and a leaky toilet. I haven't blogged in days. I'm wearing my baseball hat all day because I can't use Halloween as an excuse for my hair anymore. My Tweets have turned to Chirps and when I looked at the garden from my window one of my patio chairs is floating in the fish pond.

Anybody have a system that keeps writing, family, pets, house, and personal hygiene needs under control? If so, please send ASAP!

In the meantime, wish me luck with tonight.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Interview with Jon Skovron


Thanks for the visit, Jon. Tell us about Struts and Frets.

More than anything, Sammy wants to play guitar in a famous indie rock band. The problem is that his front man is a jerk who can't sing, his bassist is a burn-out who can't remember the songs, and his drummer is just out to lunch. But Sammy needs this band because it's the only good thing he's got going. His father skipped out before he was born, his mother is an overworked therapist with a drinking problem, his grandfather is slowly losing his mind to Alzheimer's, and the girl of his dreams is dating his jerk lead singer.

Now that jerk lead singer has entered them in a Battle of the Bands contest to win free studio time and guaranteed radio play. Sammy has two weeks to get them to sound like a real band, or face public humiliation in front of the entire local indie music scene.

About Jon Skovron

Jon Skovron is an insatiable music geek who can play eight instruments, but none of them well. He was born in Columbus, Ohio, has lived all over the US, and now resides with his wife and two sons in Washington, DC. His short stories and reviews have appeared in publications like Jim Baen's Universe and Internet Review of Science Fiction. Struts and Frets is his first novel.

Can you give us some inside tidbits about the real Jon Skovron? Like, of all your favorite books, which one do you wish you had written?

This one might shock you a bit, Lee: Vanity Fair by William Thackeray. I don't know if I believe in past lives, but I definitely feel a very intense connection to Thackeray's work unlike any other author I've ever read. What's weird is that, stylistically speaking, we're nothing alike as writers.

You don't surprise me, Jon. You are unique, so your tastes must be as well. You make me want to take another look at Thackeray.  Now I'm expecting another unique reply to this question. What fictional character do you wish you could be?

Heh, other side of the coin...Morpheus from Neil Gaiman's The Sandman. He might just be the coolest character ever written.

Unique and interesting. So, after chocolate what do you eat to make the writer-block pain go away?

I don't like chocolate and I don't believe in writer's block. Usually if I'm feeling blocked, it's because I should take a break from writing and fill the creative well. That's when I go on movie-watching or graphic novel-reading marathons.

Great answers that let your fans have some insights into the author of this super book which is now available at AMAZON and Barnes & Nobel.