Thursday, October 31, 2013

Guest Post: Amie Borst, author of CINDERSKELLA!



I am beyond excited to have Amie Borst here with me today on one of my all-time favorite holidays--National All You Can Eat Chocolate Day! (Also known as HALLOWEEN!)

Amie is currently on a multi-blog tour to launch her debut novel, CINDERSKELLA. It's the first book in the Scarily Ever Laughter Series co-written with her teen daughter, Bethanie. (How cool is that?!)

I was honored to be one of the first to reveal the gorgeous cover (here), and NOW Amie is stopping by to share some of the inspiration behind her delightfully spooky novel!

Even more exciting, at the very end of this post YOU will have a chance to win your very own AUTOGRAPHED copy of CINDERSKELLA!!!

That's right, folks... no tricks here today, just treats. So sit back, join me in unwrapping another chocolate (or three), and dig in:



I love creepy stories. It probably started when I was in middle school when our English class studied Edgar Allen Poe.  Or perhaps it was because of my older brother’s obsession with Fangoria magazine and anything with blood, guts and gore.

Because of this I also started reading scary books and watching horror movies.  Anything from Clive Barker (Cabal – the book/Nightbreed – the movie) to Stephen King (Carrie, Pet Cemetery, The Shining).  Of course this was back in the 80’s (yes, I’m dating myself here) so Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elmstreet) and Jason (Friday the 13th) were the horror movie icons.  But I also loved some other great movies: Silver Bullet with Corey Haim, The Lost Boys (who didn’t love Corey Haim, Corey Feldman and Keifer Sutherland back then??), and Fright Night. 

Now that I’ve reached adulthood, I’m not into the gore so much, just the strange and creepy. I seriously can’t handle the blood and gore like I used to. My stomach is much too squeamish. And oh yeah, keep the strange and creepy rated PG.  Something like Signs or The Others. One of the things that freaks me out the most is ghosts. I’m terrified of ghosts. So yeah, don’t even put me in a room when The Sixth Sense is on. I seriously will not sleep for days. Yes, I’m a wimp.

So perhaps that’s why I love middle-grade books when it comes to the macabre.  It’s just the right amount of tension and fear without being over the top.  From The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire LeGrand and Coraline by Neil Gaiman to Haunted Sister by Lael Littke, The Stolen by Alex Shearer and just about any ghost story by Mary Downing Hahn, I really get my fill of fear!

When I was a kid growing up in the 80’s there were also some really cheesy horror flicks. The ones that were so bad you had to laugh. The ones with dark humor. My Best Friend is a Vampire, Transylvania 6-5000, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, Killer Klowns From Outer Space, and Little Shop of Horrors to name a few. Some more favorites were Ghostbusters, Beetlejuice, Heathers, and Edward Scissorhands.
I think it was this combination of fear and funny that compelled me to write a humorous, yet slightly creepy, middle-grade book with my daughter, Bethanie. While there’s definitely a trick to implementing humor at the right time, when done well, it can really deliver quite the punch! Cinderskella has lots of wit, light-hearted humor and heart. But it also has just enough strangeness to satisfy those with a taste for something a little different.

So if you have a middle-grader (or are a wimp like me) then Cinderskella might just be the perfect Halloween read for you! Of course, I like to think it’s perfect anytime of the year, but it’s especially timely today!

Happy Halloween! And don’t eat too much candy or you might end up like this guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zx0ME65y72E

~Amie Borst


Cinderskella is now available at these fine retailers:

And don't forget to add it to your to-read shelf on Goodreads!

Cindy is just a normal eleven and three-quarter year-old. At least until she wakes up one night and finds out she’s dead. Well, she isn't technically dead—she just doesn't have any hair . . . or a nose . . . or skin. Yep—all bones, no body.  
Human by day and skeleton by night, Cindy is definitely cursed. And because her mother recently died, Cindy has no one to turn to except a father who’s now scared of her and an evil stepmother who makes her do the housecleaning with a toothbrush. To make matters worse, the Spring Fling dance is approaching, and Ethan, the cutest boy in sixth grade, doesn’t seem to know Cindy exists. Of course, Cindy doesn’t think letting Ethan find out she’s part skeleton is the best way to introduce herself.
While facing such perils as pickled pig’s feet, a wacky fortune teller, and a few quick trips to the Underworld, Cindy’s determined to break the curse—even for a single night.


Amie Borst still believes in unicorns, uses glitter whenever possible and accessorizes in pink. She enjoys eating chocolate while writing and keeps a well-stocked stash hidden away from her family. A native New Yorker she currently resides in Northern Virginia with her husband, three children and a cute dog named Lily. She wishes she had a hot-pink elevator with carnival lights to travel the world. But for now, her minivan will have to do.
Bethanie Borst is a spunky 13-year-old who is an avid archer with Olympic dreams, enjoys the outdoors, loves reading and is quick to make lasting friendships. When she is not writing, she swings on a star.


You can follow Amie and Bethanie on facebook , or find Amie on her blog, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.


Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below to win a signed copy of CINDERSKELLA:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

SPOOKY FUN IS ON THE WAY...

I have been SCARY busy lately. Hence the no-posts-in-a-while thing. But tomorrow, just in time for HALLOWEEN, the eerie silence will finally end.

BWAHAHAHA-COUGH-cough-cough.

Hhhmhmmhm. Anyway. I just wanted to let you know, you should keep your eyes peeled for a very special and timely guest-post right here on my blog because I promise, if you miss it, you will be one sad little pumpkin.

Don't be a sad pumpkin.

Don't do it.

Just come back tomorrow, okay?

sad halloween photo: pump3 sad-48x48.png

Monday, September 23, 2013

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: CINDERSKELLA, the First Book in the Scarily Ever Laughter Series by Amie & Bethanie Borst



I am honored and so super duper excited to be one of the blog hosts for Amie Borst's big COVER REVEAL and giveaway today!!!

That's right...I said GIVEAWAY! Read all the way through to see how YOU can sign up to win fabulous prizes including a $25 Amazon gift card, or even a brand new Kindle Fire! (I feel so Bob Barker right now. Do I sound Bob Barker?)

While I have not had the pleasure of reading Cinderskella yet, I have read the story that will be the second book in this same series, and I can tell you that it is snort-out-loud funny. All of the middle grade readers in your life will adore it. I can hardly wait to read the book that kicks the whole series off, but unfortunately I will have to wait... for one more month anyway until it becomes available October 26th. You can however pre-order it on Barnes and Noble RIGHT NOW! Go ahead and do it if you'd like, but then come right back because you really don't want to miss out on this giveaway.

The thing that I (and you) will NOT have to wait any longer for is the chance to see what Cinderskella's beautiful cover looks like because here it is, for the very first time, in all its bookish splendor:
 
She is a beaut isn't she?

In case you don't already know what Cinderskella is about, here's a nice little description for you:

Cindy is just a normal 11¾-year-old girl. At least until she wakes up one night and finds out she’s dead. Well, she isn't technically dead—she just doesn't have any hair . . . or a nose . . . or skin. Yep—all bones, no body.

Human by day and skeleton by night, Cindy is definitely cursed. And because her mother recently died, Cindy has no one to turn to except a father who is now scared of her and an evil stepmother who makes her do the housecleaning with a toothbrush. To make matters worse, the Spring Fling dance is approaching, and Ethan, the cutest boy in sixth grade, doesn’t seem to know Cindy exists. Of course, Cindy doesn’t think letting Ethan find out she’s part skeleton is the best way to introduce herself.
  
While facing such perils as pickled pig’s feet, a wacky fortune teller, and a few quick trips to the Underworld, Cindy’s determined to break the curse—even for a single night.
Cinderskella is available for purchase at Barnes& Noble.

And THESE are lovely ladies responsible for the book:




Amie and Bethanie Borst are a mother-daughter writing team. Amie believes in Unicorns, uses glitter whenever the opportunity arises, accessories in pink and eats too much chocolate.  Bethanie is a spunky 13 year old middle-schooler who loves archery, long bike rides and studying edible plant-life. Cinderskella is their first book together and is part of the Scarily Ever Laughter series. You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, From the Mixed-UpFiles of Middle-Grade Authors, as well as their blog.

NOW, without any further rambling on my part, the details of the non-cover-reveal feature of this blog you've been so patiently waiting for:


THE GIVEAWAY –
Amie Borst is celebrating her book release and cover reveal with a monthly drawing in The Great Cinderskella Giveaway! If you’d like to win a $25 Amazon gift card, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. By participating in this month's giveaway, you’ll be automatically entered into the grand prize drawing for a Kindle Fire in October!

Good luck everyone!!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway