Thursday, December 30, 2010


As 2010 comes to a close, I keep bumping into A BLUE SO DARK end-of-the-year reviews and best-of-the-year posts. How cool is that?

Check it all out:

...The Story Siren called BLUE the "Most Beautifully Written Book in 2010" Now that's what you call ending on a high note. Here I come, 2011!

...And a few more: A cool review at Zoe's Book Reviews, and BLUE is on the 10 Best Titles for 2010 at YA Librarian Tales, and is Fiction Folio's Most Surprising Book of 2010!

Monday, December 27, 2010


Okay, I'm really excited about this: I've finally gotten my virtual tour finished! (I shot the footage in September, if you can believe it...) Here, you'll get to see for yourself the landmarks that show up in both my YA books, A BLUE SO DARK and PLAYING HURT.


...And I'm using this video as a kind of extended trailer to spread the word of both A BLUE SO DARK and PLAYING HURT, so feel free to embed the video into your own blog, send the link (you can also find this video on YouTube) to your friends, etc.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Okay, okay...I know I said in my last vlog that I'd see you guys in '11, but there're just too many cool things going on to keep mum about 'em all until January...Like this new vlog review...This comes from Karen at ocdofbooks:

...And I've got a cool vlog post I'm going to put up tomorrow (I've been working on this thing forever, I swear), so staaaay tuned!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


2010 is wrapping up...and what an incredible, incredible year it's been! I wouldn't change a single moment of it...and I have you guys to thank for that. You're the best. I mean it.

So here's an "in-person" happy holiday message to all of you...from me and "I-Am-So-Above-This" Jake Schindler.

...I'm also going to be doing many more vlog posts in 2011 (vlogs are just about as addictive as dark chocolate), so feel free to subscribe to the YouTube channel...

Happy holidays, everyone...See ya in '11!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I finished PERFECT CHEMISTRY a while back…(This book was my elliptical read, and I have to say, it made me want to exercise beyond my usual thirty-minute routine…)

But this isn’t a should-you-read-it kind of review. I mean, Simone Elkeles isn’t a name we’re unfamiliar with. This is more like a, “Why is she good?” kind of a review. A, “Why did this book win a Rita?” kind of blog post.

Basically, I think Elkeles is a great YA writer for the same reason so many teens butt heads with authority figures.

Really. One of my own biggest pet peeves as a teen was that I was expected to perform intellectually on an adult level but was often treated as a child by adult superiors when we interacted on a one-to-one basis.

Simone, though? She doesn’t write teen romances. She writes romances that just happen to be about teenage characters. The emotionally charged love scenes between Brittany and Alex really could have taken place between a couple of twenty-somethings. Elkeles respects her teenage characters enough to treat them as adults—not just intellectually, but emotionally as well. Her characters have the same kind of sexual tension (loved the scene in the library, and the depiction of Brittany putting Alex’s hand on her face) you’d find in any adult romance. And in my opinion, that’s what makes Elkeles a great YA writer…

Sunday, December 19, 2010


I just found what I believe is the very first vlog review of A BLUE SO DARK! I love it because I think this reviewer winds up saying different things than she would if the review was written...There are just things you'd put out there in conversation that you wouldn't in writing...Plus, we get the benefit of facial expressions, etc. Quite a cool way to get a review of a book, actually.

(And anytime you hear your book compared to a Laurie Halse Anderson novel, it’s suddenly a very good day…) You should also feel free to check out the entirety of this reviewer's YouTube Channel...

Chelsea (The Page Flipper) also posted what is not just a fantastic review of BLUE, but a beautifully written review of BLUE. (To read such powerful words about your own book? Now that doesn’t just make a writer’s day, but her year…) Please check it out: The Page Flipper’s Review of A BLUE SO DARK.

…And if any of you out there get brave enough to post your own vlog review (vlog posts really are addictive), send me the link and I’ll put you up on my blog, too…

Friday, December 17, 2010


Book Blogger Hop I loved Follow Friday so much, I decided to take part in this week's Book Blogger Hop! This week's question? "What do you consider the most important in a story: the plot or the characters?"

Uuuugh! The torture! How can an author ever decide? If you don't have a great plot, the book's never going to sell (writing tip: snoring from a potential editor is never a good sign). But...what hooks me in as a reader is always character. When a voice comes screaming right off a page, that's when I know I've just encountered a fantastic writer.

So...that's my answer (I think I rode the fence a I a cheat?) Let me know where you weigh in on the subject...(And if any of you are here for the first time, as a result of the Blog Hop, please leave a comment and I'll head on over to your own blog...)

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Thanks to all of you for voting and taking part in my Flash Fiction Challenge (which I had a blast putting together)!

Results are in...but it was a neck-and-neck race all the way.
Congrats to Kate Higgins, who sent in the prompt for September's entry! (Kate also sends along a thanks to those who voted)...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


This is it, kiddos—the last installment in the Flash Fiction Challenge. I’m sorry to see it go, but it won’t be the last piece of creative writing you see here on the blog. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, I’m happy to announce that the last prompt comes to us courtesy of Jo Stapley, who blogs at both Once Upon a Bookcase and Ink and Paper. She suggested the phrase “What the eyes can’t see,” which I’ve also used as the title for December’s entry:

“What The Eyes Can’t See”
Holly Schindler

Ice struck Heather’s forehead as her numb fingers struggled to latch the chains her father had put in her trunk last month, when she was home for Thanksgiving. She panted, having already tossed every four-letter word she knew against the night sky. Her glasses slipped farther down her nose as she fought.

She’d heard the forecast; she knew she only had until seven-thirty, eight at the latest before getting caught by the storm. But Professor Franklin was famous for his sadistic streak. That, and his scarred face. Gouges and dips and silver stripes, evidence of a boyhood nightmare. Dog attack—the words circled through the English department, around the TAs’ mailboxes and the coffee machine in the student lounge. Wild stories about some crazed, rabid encounter.

Heather had told her friends that the attack had changed Professor Franklin into something wild, dog-like. He’d barked at her, in class and in red ink on her essays: Poor citations. Weak argument. She couldn’t win with Professor Franklin, any more than he could have won against the dog who had tried to chew him to bits when he was little. Someone had to save him, then. She’d wished someone would save her, too.

She should have known he’d unleash a brutal all-essay Brit Lit final. The kind of test that made her legs feel like crumbly, overworked dough. The test she’d worked on until a quarter after nine.

And now, the ice.

Heather coughed against the stream of exhaust pouring from her ten-year-old Dodge. Her fingers slipped; the chain gave. Her glasses flew off her face as a black sedan passed.

The crunch of lenses made Heather’s stomach drop like a bowling ball into a pile of feathers.

She just wanted to go home.

Now, though, there was no driving anywhere. Not with 20/900 vision. She’d have to buy another pair of glasses first.

She screamed, unleashing another round of violent curse words as she picked up the mangled fragments of her glasses.

Disgusted, tired, and lonely, she climbed into the car to cut the engine. Without her glasses, the world beyond the windshield was a smear of colors. The street lamps at the edge of the parking lot were planet-sized gold balls from her mother’s Christmas tree.

But Heather wouldn’t see the tree for another couple of days at best, now. Her friends had already left town. Stupid night class, she thought, through tears. Stupid suitcase college.

A knock to her window rattled her. “Heather?” The voice through the glass was saturated with such kindness that her tears stopped, instantly.

Rescue? But by whom? Who was left?

“Are you hurt? I saw the car—he didn’t hit you, did he? Please, open this door. I need to know you’re okay.”

Heather squinted. Her heart leapt. Yes. Rescue. It had actually come. “Who?”

She rolled the window down, thrust her face forward. The truth, blurry and clear at the same time, attacked her with its teeth.

“It’s me—Professor Franklin.”

…Now, it’s time to vote on your fave! If you’d like a look back at the past entries, check out:

September: “The Fear Of Clouds”

October: “…Until The Laughter Dies”

November: “Free Of Charge”

Go ahead and vote below! (If you'd like to view the form on a larger screen, click here.) Voting is anonymous, and you can vote as many times as you’d like! But be sure to tell your friends, because voting ends December 15. I’ll tally up the votes and notify the lucky winner…Good luck to the entrants! (Can’t wait to see who comes out ahead…)

Monday, December 6, 2010


Figment’s just gone public! For those of you who might not have heard, Figment is a brand new site where YA authors and fanatics get a chance to connect via creative works. I was a part of their private beta site, where I posted the entries in the Flash Fiction Challenge (and got really great response, which unfortunately didn’t carry over when the public version launched)…

The Figment Review is also going to be a stop on the PLAYING HURT Blog Tour...

So please, head on over to Figment, where you can follow me and post a piece of writing yourself!

Friday, December 3, 2010


I just discovered this meme, and I love it...What a cool way to find new followers and meet up with great book bloggers! Head on over to Parajunkee and get in on the fun...

...If you're new to my blog, be sure to leave a comment so I can visit / follow your own blog!
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