Friday, April 29, 2011

Reason Number Five Why I Will Probably Never Run For Office

This is besides the whole public speaking thing, which I think is kinda mandatory.

Reason Number Five Why I Will Probably Never Run For Office:

[drum roll, please]

I keep forgetting to ask people to vote. For me.

I Smell Sheep is having a very cool contest/award ceremony called the First Annual Boogity Boo Awards. And the grand prize is BEYOND cool. They will be donating a sheep (in the winning author's name) to a needy family. This is being done through World Vision, a non-profit organization that does some amazing things.

So, please VOTE. You don't have to vote for me. But this is for a very good cause. And it's fun. And you should really check out I Smell Sheep, because it's one of the most fun blogs out there!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dinah Eng's Amazing Adventures at RT or How I ended up in an article with Melissa Marr and Pamela Palmer

Dinah Eng, a freelance columnist in Los Angeles, wrote an amazing article for Scrippsnews that got posted yesterday. Titled, "Romance novels feature paranormal twist," Eng's article discusses her recent trip to the Romantic Times Convention 2011 in Los Angeles, and most specifically, the Avon Paranormal Party. She interviewed three authors that attended the Avon Dusk To Dark event, Melissa Marr, Pamela Palmer, and believe it not, me.

SQUEEEE. I know. I was trying to play the part of the journalist and tell this story all professional, but it's really hard when someone writes an article that includes ME alongside amazing authors like Melissa Marr and Pamela Palmer.

Okay. Deep breath. Now, back to my "professional" voice...

Here are some quotes from the article:

“All my books are based in folklore that have been popular for centuries. I come from an Irish and Scottish family, and grew up hearing about faeries, ghosts, vampires and things that go bump in the night.” [Melissa Marr speaking.]

“In society, we want our men to be kind and civilized, but in fantasy, it’s fun to think of a man who’s not civilized and can be tamed by love,” [Pamela] Palmer says. “I used to be an IBM engineer, so I’ve got a very logical, analytical mind that can think through the story. But I’ve always had an imagination and story to tell.”

And here's a part about me [pardon me, my SQUEEE is coming back!]:

Another popular aspect of the paranormal romance genre can be categorized as urban fantasy. Merrie Destefano likes to write a combination of fantasy, romance, mystery, and science fiction. Her second novel, “Feast: Harvest of Dreams” debuts June 28, is a story with new monsters.

The characters in the book are a cross between faeries and vampires, and harvest people’s dreams. The idea came to Destefano one night when she was unable to sleep.

“I thought, okay, I can’t sleep... what if there were other creatures who can’t sleep?” Destefano says. “What would they be doing? The main character’s in the midst of the hunt. She’s slightly enchanted, and not horrified, by what she sees. She’s a survivor. I like strong women, and women are allowed to have roles in which they win in urban fantasy.”


So very cool. Really.

And Dinah Eng ends the article with this lovely line:
"Romance novels always have a happy ending."

And this author, who loves to include romance in every story, would have to say, "I heartily agree! I love happy endings!!"

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Contest winners, upcoming events and MORE

I wanted to let you all know about some fun things going on now and in the near future:


Congrats to Renee, Katie, Cath, Natasha, and Patricia! You all won a signed cover flat of FEAST. Yay!! Please note, I will need all of you to send me a quick e-mail with your mailing address and let me know if you want the cover flat signed to you. (If you already have one, this flat could make a fun giveaway on your blog!) My e-mail is: merriedestefano [at] yahoo [dot] com. And thank you ALL for helping to share the love for my next novel, FEAST. You all rock!!

You still have time to enter this contest, where the prize is a book bag that I got at the Romantic Times Convention in Los Angeles. This beauty has been signed by 12 authors including: Kimberly Derting, Melissa Marr, Rachel Vincent, Carrie Ryan, Kami Garcia and MORE. I am dearly in love with this totebag and hope that it goes to a good home! Contest ends Sunday, April 30, and the winner will be announced on this blog on Monday, May 1.

There's still time to enter your fave dessert in the Virtual Feast Dessert Contest. Last date for entry is May 20. Prizes and rules included in this LINK.

Again, a hearty thank you and round of applause to the folks over at Red Hot Books for doing an AFTERLIFE giveaway. And congrats to the winner, Judy!


OCCWF Writer's Conference:
April 29-30: This Friday and Saturday I will be speaking at the OCCWF Writer's Conference in Irvine, California. On Friday evening I'll be doing a panel with all the other speakers. Saturday I will be teaching a class on Backstory: The Secret Reason Why Readers Might Love or Hate Your Novel. I'm really excited and look forward to meeting all the people who will be attending the conference!

Ladies' Guilty Pleasures Book Club
June 17: I will be discussing AFTERLIFE and FEAST with this amazing group of ladies. I've been told that I will be the first urban fantasy author to visit their book club, so that is way cool!


May 12: Interview and AFTERLIFE giveaway at Bookmark Your Thoughts.

June 15: Interview at My Bookish Ways.


June 27 & 28: Review of FEAST and interview with moi at the ever-incredible I Smell Sheep blog. We will be doing a giveaway there to celebrate the release of FEAST.

June 28: Launch Party Extravaganza at Bitten By Books. We will be doing a giveaway to celebrate the release of FEAST.

June 29: Guest post by moi at the delightful Book Faery blog. Again, a fun giveaway in honor of the birth of FEAST.

There will be many more online and live events to celebrate the release of my second novel, FEAST. I will let you know what they are and when they will be as soon as I have more details!!

Meanwhile, Happy Reading!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

You CAN create a Keynote presentation with an iPad

This Saturday I'll be teaching a class on backstory at the OCCWF writer's conference. Of course, I'm still fine-tuning my speech and organizing all the points I'll be discussing. But one way cool thing that I recently discovered is that I should be able to do a Power Point presentation using my iPad.


Suffice to say, I'm just really in love with my iPad. I don't have another laptop, so this puppy has to do everything I need and more.

I just finished up my presentation using a program called Keynote. I downloaded it from iTunes and had to purchase two copies, one for my desktop computer ($20.) and one for my iPad ($10.) A total of $30 for a program isn't that bad. Apparently Power Point doesn't work on an iPad, or I might have used that instead.

I had two sessions at the local Apple store, both one-on-one, and they really gave me all the info I needed. Which, again, was cool.

Of course, the rest of the world runs on PCs, so I had to get a special, snazzy adapter that will connect my iPad to the projector where I'm going to be speaking. But the way I see it, once I conquer this Dragon, I will be one step closer to being Dungeon Mistress.

So, the final word on all of this is: Yes, Virginia, you can do a presentation using an iPad.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Red Hot Books hosts a Cool Giveway

I just found that Red Hot Books is giving away a copy of AFTERLIFE. Woo hoo!! AND they're giving away a copy of Tracey O'Hara's DEATH SWEET EMBRACE.

So, I highly recommend that you check out their blog and their giveaway!

Better late than never (that’s what she said)

It’s no secret that I love to read. I mean, I REALLY love to read. So, I thought I would let you all know what books I fell in love with in 2010. I know, everyone else made their lists months ago. No excuse here. But late’s better than never, right?

I’m taking your silence as a yes.

So, here’s my list of fab, couldn’t put them down books:

1. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
2. Mr. Shivers by Robert Jackson Bennett
3. The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
4. Origin: A Novel by Diana Abu-Jaber
5. Let Me In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
6. The Breach by Patrick Lee
7. Ash by Malinda Lo
8. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
9. The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I posted a partial list over on The Supernatural Underground last week, but then I realized, Hey, this really needs to be a Top Ten List. As I mentioned in my other post, every one of these books ranks five stars for me. You’ll note that I enjoy a somewhat diverse selection of books, but they all have one thing in common.

They’re all fantastic stories told by incredibly talented writers.

That’s always Number One in my list of preferences. I hope that you discovered some new authors this year too and that you continue to look for new things to read. And I’d LOVE to hear about your favorite books. Really. Let me know your faves in the comment section. I’m always on the hunt for What To Read Next.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Killer Apple Crisp (yes, it’s really THAT good)

As promised, here’s one of my all-time favorite dessert recipes. This one will be definitely be included in the Virtual Feast Dessert-To-Die-For Cookbook.

Killer Apple Crisp

4 Jonathon apples
2/3 C brown sugar
¼ C sifted flour
½ C rolled oats
¾ tsp. cinnamon
¾ tsp. nutmeg
1/3 C margarine

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
1. Wash, peel and core apples. Slice each ¼ apple into 4 slices.
2. Grease 8” x 5” pan. Put in apples.
3. Blend remaining ingredients until crumbly. Use spoon to spread over apples.
4. Bake 30-35 minutes.
5. Serve warm. Can be topped with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Virtual Feast Dessert-To-Die-For Contest

It won’t be long before my second novel, FEAST, will have its official Coming Out Party (June 28, 2011 to be exact—Notice the way cool countdown widget to the right). I want this celebration to last for a VERY LONG TIME—so I’m starting the festivities TODAY!! What better way to get the party started than with a dessert contest?

First of you all, you must know that the creatures in my next book LOVE sweets. They really do. In fact, that’s the only human food they like to eat. Right now, we aren’t going to discuss their Number One Food of Choice, but let’s just say that HarperCollins has rightly dubbed my main character, The Lord of the Hunt. And that title SO fits Ash, my gorgeous rascal from another world. (Pardon me while I drool.)

Sigh. Back to the contest and all the sugar-drenched fun.

FIRST, here are the prizes:
One Grand Prize Winner will receive the following: A FEAST tote bag, a signed copy of FEAST and a signed copy of AFTERLIFE, plus a one-pound box of yummy See’s candy.

Four Runner Up Winners will each receive the following: A signed copy of FEAST, plus 5 FEAST/AFTERLIFE bookmarks.

SECOND, here are the rules for entering The Virtual Feast Dessert-To-Die-For Contest:

1. Post your favorite dessert recipe on your site, then post a link to the recipe in the comment section below.
2. Give your dessert a fun name, like Vampire Kiss Cookies or Full Moon Cake or To-Die-For Brownies.
3. Also include the following in the comment section below: Your e-mail address, your name and your state. You can use your first name if you prefer not to share your last name.
4. Link to this contest on your site.
5. DO NOT INCLUDE four letter words or off-color language in your dessert name or your entry will be disqualified.
6. If there are any duplicate recipes (for instance, if I get 5 recipes for chocolate chip cookies), only the first entry will be counted. The others will be deleted. So make sure you look at what previous people have posted.
7. You MAY enter the contest more than once. Just make sure that you post two different recipes.
8. IMPORTANT: After the contest is over, I will compile all the recipes—those that win and those that don’t—into a PDF Virtual Feast Cookbook that will be available to all my blog readers as a FREE download. By entering this contest you are agreeing to be part of the cookbook with no compensation. Your name and state will be included, right below the title of your dessert.
9. The contest will run from April 20th through May 20th. Winners will be announced on this blog on Monday, May 23rd.

So a sample comment/entry would look like this:
Killer Apple Crisp
[link to recipe on your site here]
Submitted by Jill Smith from Wisconsin

By the way, I will be posting some of my favorite desserts too. You know, just to whet your appetite for the impending FEAST. *grin*

I can’t wait to see all of your fabulous recipes!! You better believe I’m going to be trying some of them out. Yum!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Help share the love for FEAST and we can drink the stars together!

If you'd like to help SHARE THE LOVE for my upcoming book, FEAST, you would be my BFF forever!

Below is a fancy-nancy, makes you want to dance-all-night-long countdown widget. All you need to do is click on the Get Widget button and you'll get the code to embed this shiny widget on your own site. Like in your sidebar. Or in a post.

And if you are kind enough to post this clever little widget creature on your site, please let me know in the comment section below. That way we can dance and rejoice and drink the stars together!! *

Post this widget on your site, then let me know that you did in the comment section below. Include a link to your site. And then you will be entered in a SIGNED COVER FLAT OF FEAST giveaway. I will choose FIVE people from the comment section to each win one signed cover flat! Contest runs through next Tuesday, April 26th. Winners will be announced on this blog.

* That was a somewhat obscure reference to a tale that claims that Dom Pierre Perignon, a Benedectine monk, invented champagne. His supposed, but nonetheless beautiful, quote was, "Come quickly. I am drinking the stars!"

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Lord of the Hunt

I just wanted to share the amazing copy that the folks at HarperCollins wrote about FEAST on their site. You can read it below:

"With her brilliant debut novel, Afterlife, author Merrie Destefano earned herself a place of honor at the banquet table alongside today’s top authors of sf and urban fantasy. With Feast, she serves up another heaping helping of thrills, shivers, wonder, and glorious invention while spicing up the recipe with dark romance in the bestselling vein of C.L Wilson, Marjorie M. Liu, and other paranormal superstars. A spellbinding fantasy of supernatural intrigue and forbidden love, Feast blends vampire and fairy lore, with the resulting dish offering a sumptuous new take on both, as a troubled storyteller returns home to the mysterious autumn woods just prior to Halloween, to find her life and her soul captivated by a cursed immortal, the Lord of the Hunt."

I especially love that last phrase, "The Lord of the Hunt." Wow. Wish I had come up with that. (Don't tell anyone, but I might just steal it and use it on some of my FEAST promotional materials!)

STAY TUNED: The first of my Virtual Feast contests and promotions is coming up in a few days. And this one is delectable! I'm going to launch a Virtual Feast Dessert Contest with fun prizes (like books and tote bags and CHOCOLATE!!) and I'm also going to take all the submitted recipes and use them to make something REALLY COOL just for you!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

If this is my blog, then why am I posting somewhere else?

Okay, that was really a rhetorical question. Of course, I post on other blogs. One in particular. The Supernatural Underground. If you didn't already know, I post there once a month, along with other HarperCollins authors like: Terri Garey, Pamela Palmer, Kimberly Derting, Melissa Marr, Tracey O'Hara, Karina Cooper, Tera Lynn Childs, Sophie Jordan, Kerrlyn Sparks, and believe it or not, the list just keeps going. It's a fantastic group and we all chat about a wide variety of topics. You should stop by. Really.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wanna a taste of FEAST?

This is just a quick reminder for anyone who hasn't signed up for my newsletter yet (and if you haven't, why not? It's actually quite shiny and fun). In the next several issues, my subscribers will get EXTRA special sneak peeks into my upcoming book, FEAST.

For instance:

In my next newsletter, which should be coming out in a few days--definitely before the end of April, since it will technically be my April issue--I will be sharing an awesome deleted scene from FEAST.

In fact, it's possible that no one has ever read this scene but me.

And it was one of my favorite scenes in the book.

So, I'm really excited to finally share it with someone.

Sign up now in the little box on the right side of my blog. Very easy. No down payment. No blood ritual. No thievery of first born children. I promise.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Signed RT Swag Giveaway

If you like signed swag, then today's giveaway is pretty darned cool. First, it's a way cool, cherry red tote bag with romance book covers on the front and the back.

But what makes this tote bag EXTRA special is that it's signed. By twelve (!!!) paranormal, urban fantasy, YA and romance authors.

Author signatures include:

Kimberly Derting: author of Desires of the Dead
Kami Garcia: co-author of Beautiful Darkness
Melissa Marr: author of Graveminder
Rachel Vincent: author of My Soul to Steal
Margaret Stohl: author of Beautiful Darkness
Carrie Ryan: author of The Dark and Hollow Places
Sophie Jordan: author of Firelight
Tera Lynn Childs: author of Fins are Forever
Pamela Palmer: author of Hunger Untamed
Kerrlyn Sparks: author of Eat, Prey, Love
Virna DePaul: Chosen by Blood
And me, Merrie Destefano: Feast


1) Comment below and leave your e-mail address
2) Sign up for my newsletter
3) Mention this giveaway somewhere else online with a link to this post: Twitter, Facebook or your own blog
4) Follow this blog


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Romantic Times Highlights

As promised, here are some photos from my journey to the Romantic Times Convention:

The Dusk Til Dark event was about to begin, but first we stopped for a quick photo. Here we have Sophie Jordan, Kimberly Derting, me, and Tera Lynn Childs. Notice the copies of Graveminder Kimberly and Tera are holding. I think we all got a copy. I already started reading mine and I LOVE it!

Below you can see all the authors who were signing books at the Dusk Til Dark event. I was in great company!

This woman amazes me--not just because she a phenomenal writer, but also because she has boundless energy. (I'm always astonished by people with lots of energy.) Here Melissa Marr is signing copies of her new adult novel, Graveminder, during the Dusk Til Dark event.

Just before the Dusk Til Dark event started, I managed to snap a shot of two lovely authors, who are also part of The Supernatural Underground: Pamela Palmer and Sophie Jordan.

Here you can see the superheros behind the Dusk Til Dark event: Erika Tsang, Avon editor, and Pam Jaffee, Director of Paperback Publicity for Avon, HarperVoyager and Harper paperbacks.

After the incredible Dusk Til Dark event, Pam Jaffee and Erika Tsang took us all out to dinner at a fabulous restaurant. On the right you can see Joss Ware. Other authors at my table were Kerrlyn Sparks and Pamela Palmer.

I got to meet the uber-talented Carrie Ryan, author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth. She's one of my favorite authors.

The Unbelievably Epic, Amazing and Astounding, GIANT Book Fair.

If you've ever wondered what I look like on four hours sleep, here it is! I think somebody might be propping me up on an easel or something. Not sure how I was even able to stand up. Oh, wait a minute. Now I remember. Some kind soul gave me a box of chocolate (and delicious) Tim Tam cookies just before the event started. Yum!

One of the best things about going to a conference is meeting fans. I got to meet Jill Bakkum at the Dusk Til Dark event. Jill and I are pals on Facebook and she a regular visitor to The Supernatural Underground blog. Thanks for stopping to say hi, Jill!

Also, how cute are these Cassandra Clare fans? One of them made the gorgeous T-shirts they're all wearing. Note how each shirt has a different cover and how they're each trimmed with scrolls of glitter. Clare's fans had to get numbered wristbands and then had to wait in line in order to get their books signed.

Altogether, RT was a fantastic event and I'm so glad I went! I had an amazing time, meeting and chatting with other people who love books. It really doesn't get much better than that.

Tomorrow: A cool swag giveaway that I got at the conference!! Stop back on Wednesday for details!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Just for fun

Love this cat and his new friend. So cute!

Pinch me

I just got back from the Romantic Times Convention and I must say, I had a fabulous time. I’ve been to a lot of conferences over the years, but I’ve never attended one quite like this. Attendees were divided into four different groups: readers, aspiring authors, booksellers and published authors. And everyone wore a nametag so you knew right away what category she fell into.

I loved that. Probably because I really enjoy talking to writers who hope to get published. I fell into that category for such a long time and I’ll never forget those established writers who took the time to encourage and mentor me. So, whenever possible, I enjoy chatting with other writers who are still seeking publication. I love hearing about their books and their characters, love to hear how much they have written and what their plans are.

I also had the opportunity to meet some of my favorite authors at the event, people like Dean Koontz, Holly Black, Melissa Marr, Carrie Ryan, Kimberly Derting, Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Rachel Vincent, Nicole Murphy, Pamela Palmer, Tera Lynn Childs, Sophie Jordan, Kerrlyn Sparks and Joss Ware.

Authors are like movie stars to me. I’m in awe of the work they do. So this event was wonderful because I got to meet so many writers that I’ve admired for years.

But it was also an opportunity for me to meet people who enjoy my work. That’s something that I haven’t gotten used to yet. It’s strange to think that there are people out there reading my work now.

Somehow I snuck into that category of published authors. I keep waiting for the Publishing Police to come along and revoke my license.

Pinch me, I think I’m dreaming.

Wait. Don’t pinch me. If this isn’t real, then I don’t want to wake up.

P.S. I will post RT photos tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

On the road again

I'm getting ready for my trip to Romantic Times. Packing my bags. Loading up the car. Putting the directions for the hotel in my GPS and then checking my directions again. And again. (I hate getting lost. Big Time.)

If you're going to Romantic Times and you want to say hello (I hope you do want to say hello!), here's where I'm going to be and when:

Friday, April 8
6- 7 p.m.
Hollywood Ballroom

Saturday, April 9
11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Cool note to those attending AVON'S DUSK TO DARK MIXER: We will be GIVING away copies of AFTERLIFE!! Signed copies. Signed by me. How cool is that?

And, if you are one of those folks who can't make it to RT this year, here's a live link to some of the stuff going on:
Link here

Meanwhile, I hope to return home with lots of writing tidbits and photos of authors that I've always wanted to meet. And if all goes according to my typical dastardly plan, I will be sharing some of that with you.

Monday, April 4, 2011

This is how it starts…

My computer screen was pink. I got about 4 hours sleep the night before. I just finished a new manuscript and was waiting to hear back from my agent. Meanwhile, my second novel was coming out in a few months and I needed to get ready for an upcoming conference.

So, in reality, I should have been taking a few days off from writing. For good behavior. Or for moderately good behavior.

Instead, an idea for another novel (yes, that would be on top of the four other novel ideas that I already have) came to me in the middle of the night. Hence one of the reasons why I didn’t get much sleep.

I’m blaming the pink computer screen on my cat.

Anyway, I only had a few minutes and didn’t have enough time to fix my computer, so I wrote two pages of what could be the beginning of my next novel. In long hand. Now, I plan to type those pages into my computer—for me, no story is real until it shows up on my computer screen. For the past several days, I’ve been thinking about the characters, about the story, about the possible complications, and I am really liking this book idea.

A lot.

That’s usually how my story ideas come. When I really don’t have time for them. When I’m supposed to be doing my taxes or cleaning my house. Or sleeping. For me to commit eight months to a year for any story idea, I have to fall in love with it.

Right now, I have a really big crush on this one. So, with fingers crossed, wish me well as I dive back into that land of words.

I may not come up to the surface again for a very long time.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The secret reason why you need to subscribe to my newsletter

Okay, I lied a little bit in my title. There isn’t a secret reason. There are about seven reasons.

The awesome folks who just received my shiny, very first newsletter already know Reason Number One, listed below.

1. Novel Excerpts: You’ll get to read sample chapters from my upcoming books before anybody else. My current subscribers just got to read the first chapter of FEAST, my brand new urban fantasy novel that won’t be released until June 28, 2011.

But, wait, like I said above, there are more reasons. And almost all of them are way cool.

2. Deleted Scenes: From time to time, I’ll include deleted scenes, never before read by hardly anyone—not even my agent or my editor or my very best writing pals.

3. Writing Tips: For the aspiring authors in the bunch, I’ll be sharing juicy tidbits on how to make your writing stronger. I know. I can’t believe I’m going to do that either.

4. Short Stories: For the readers in the bunch, I’ll be sharing some of my short stories. Many of these have been posted on my old blogs or websites, but some will be brand new.

5. Give Aways: Just for you. Really. I’ll have exclusive give-aways and contests just for my newsletter subscribers. Signed books and cover flats and who knows what else might sneak into my bag of free stuff.

6. Updates on Personal Appearances: I admit, like most writers I’m an introvert. But I do occasionally go out of the house. I go fun places like writer’s conferences (like the Romantic Times Convention in Los Angles, from April 6-10 and the OCCWF Writer’s Conference in Irvine, from April 29-30). And sometimes I even speak. Out loud. On panels or in workshops. At the OCCWF conference, I’m going to be teaching a workshop on Backstory. At the recent ConDor Con in San Diego, I was on three different panels (eeeek!), all of them included best-selling authors way more impressive than me. I’m talking people like Kiersten White and Sherwood Smith and Art Holcomb.

7. Typos: Most people wouldn’t consider the occasional typo as a bonus, but it really is. This is an opportunity for you to see how much I really need and treasure my editor, Diana Gill. Without her and her amazing staff of wordsmiths, I am prone to make mistakes. And they can actually be fun. You can laugh at them. Or you can take pity on me (I like that option better.) You can imagine that I had a throbbing headache (I did during my last newsletter) and multiple deadlines (well, not so much with that newsletter) and maybe I’ve even skipped a couple of meals (okay, that never really happens, but you can still imagine that it might).

So, as you can see, there are at least seven reasons why you need to subscribe to my newsletter. Or, if you’re already a subscriber—and if you are, I love you very much—then you might want to consider telling your friends about the newsletter. Or you could just tell them about me. Or about my books. Any of those options are way cool and earn you BFF points.

It's easy to sign up. I promise. No blood rituals or changelings traded for firstborns. All you have to do is fill out that teeny, tiny form in the upper right corner of my blog. And you can opt at any time. I won't chase you or stalk you. I may cry a little, but I vow you will remain a completely free human. Well, you may become addicted to my books, but that was always my dastardly plan.

[Insert laugh here, one both sweet and slightly dangerous.]