Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Rockin' New Year's Eve!


Today marks my favorite holiday of them all!  The dressing up, the champagne, the twelve 0' clock smooch--it's all good as far as I'm concerned!

And as I get ready to head over to Sthnarky's annual New Year's Eve Bash- I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of YOU for supporting my books over the last few years. Because of your dedicated readership I've reached so many milestones--awards, multiple printings, top ten lists--things I once only dreamed of--and I truly hope 2009 shines brightly for you!!!!

Happy New Year Everyone!!!!
Here's to a rockin' 2009!!!

Much love,
Alyson
xoxo


Monday, December 29, 2008

GCC Presents . . .Carrie Jones!!!




Hey Everyone-

I'm so thrilled to be touring the awesome Carrie Jones, who's amazing book, NEED, (check out that beautiful cover!), was 
released on December 23, and she was kind enough to stop by and answer a few questions.


Here's the scoop on NEED:

Zara collects phobias the way other high school girls collect lipsticks. Little wonder, since life’s been pretty rough so far. Her father left, her stepf
ather just died, and her mother’s pretty much checked out. Now Zara’s living with her grandmother in sleepy, cold Maine so that she stays “safe.” Zara doesn’t think she’s in danger; she thinks her mother can’t deal.
Wrong. Turns out that guy she sees everywhere, the one leaving trails of gold glitter, isn’t a figment of her imagination. He’s a pixie—and not the cute, lovable kind with wings. He’s the kind who has dreadful, uncontrollable needs. And he’s trailing Zara.

The audio rights to NEED have been purchased. NEED will be released in Germany in 2010, and it's an IndieBound Nex
t Pick for 2009.


Here's the Praise:

Jones easily wins readers to Zara’s side, portraying her as a funny, globally consciou
s teen who also “collect[s} fears like other people collect stamps” (obscure phobias serve as chapter titles). Genre fans will enjoy the sizzle between Nick and Zara as well as the paranormal cast.” – Publishers’ Weekly

“It was a fun read, and I can’t wait for more from Carrie Jones…I’m definitely adding Need to my shelves due to the romance, suspense, and monster element. This goes on the list for those who loved Twilight and “Need” more. I have decided that Carrie Jones NEEDS to continue to write about these characters and add more since I already miss them after finishing Need.” – Diane Chen, School Library Journal

“I finished Need by Carrie Jones and definitely recommend it! It takes place in Maine (my hom
estate!) and has pixies and weres. The jacket recommends it for folks who like Stephenie Meyer and Melissa Marr, but I like Jones’ style better than both.” – E. Kirsten Anderson, book seller.

"Here is a bright new writer who was going to set the world of young adult letters aflame.” - Kathi Appelt, National Book Award finalist

“Carrie Jones is the real thing: a talented author. Her detailing is exquisite, her powers of observation, superb.” - Tim Wynne-Jones

Here's the same 5 questions I always ask:

1. Every story has a backstory, what's the backstory for your book?

I was at the Common Ground Fair, which is this huge, cool fair in Maine that’s sponsored by Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association (MOFGA). To get to the main part of the fair you have to walk through this sweet trail that curves through these tall spruce trees.
Right in front of me was this guy. He had a weird vibe. He was wearing all corduroy – blazer, pants. And sticking out from his blazer was this long tail-like appendage that was wrapped in different colored earth-toned cloth. I guess he could tell I was checking him out because he turned his head and looked at me. His eye was this startling silver color. How startling? So startling that I actually 
gasped and got creeped out.

Then when we were in line to pay we made eye contact again and his eyes were brown.

I know! I know! I probably imagined the silver eye color.

It doesn’t matter. That was one of the main things that got me started. Then, I just had this image of a man standing outside an airport pointing at an airplane this girl was on.

It 
also creeped me out.

So, I started writing.


2. What's your work environment like? Any rituals, totems, or must haves?

My work environment is a cramped table stuck between the fridge and the piano. I have no rituals. I just write, stare at the computer screen, write, beg for my fingers to work, write, jump off the chair, pace, ponder the meaning of strudel, write some more.
3. If you could live inside any book-- which would it be?

It would be Harry Potter. I know that’s not original but it’s where I’d want to be.

4. What book rocked your world growing up?

I was really into this book called ILLUSIONS, THE ADVENTURES OF A RELUCTANT MESSIAH. I think I wanted to be a messiah.
5. If you could visit any time, place, or person- what, where, or who would
it be?


The future. Maybe 200 years from now. I’d like to see if anyone had discovered the meaning of strudel.


All about Carrie:
Carrie Jones likes Skinny Cow fudgsicles and potatoes. She does not know how to spell fudgsicles. This has not prevented her from writing books. She lives with her cute family in Maine, but she grew up in Bedford, NH where she once had a séance with cool uber-comedian Sarah Silverman.

The Meyers brothers are from Bedford, too, so you’d think it would make Carrie funnier, coming from Bedford N.H. Obviously, something didn’t work.

Carrie has a large, skinny white dog and a fat cat. Both like fudgicles. Only the cat likes potatoes. This may be a reason for the kitty’s weight problem (Shh… don’t tell). Carrie has always liked cowboy hats but has never owned one. This is a very wrong thing. She graduated from Vermont College’s MFA program for writing. She has edited newspapers and poetry journals and has recently won awards from the Maine Press Association and also been awarded the Martin Dibner Fellowship as well as a Maine Literary Award and the Independent Book Publishers Association First Place Award for her debut novel, Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend.

Random Carrie facts you probably didn't know:

--Carrie can not drink coffee. It makes her insane. Do not give her caffeine.
--Carrie is very responsive to loving strokes on the hair, kind of like a puppy. However, do not do this without asking first unless you are a ridiculously handsome man or an editor who is about to offer her a trillion dollars for the first draft of her novel.
--Carrie is secretly really, really shy even though she’s pathetically outgoing in person. She has a very hard time calling people. So, if you want to talk to her, make the first move. And, if you’re her in-Maine female best friend, Jennifer, do NOT get mad at her because she is so bad at returning emails.
--Carrie sometimes wears mismatched socks, if you do not think this is cool, do not tell her. You will hurt her feelings.
--Carrie really, really wants you to like her books. Please like her books. PLEEEAASSSEEEE. She’ll be your best friend forever. That is, if you want a friend who is shy about calling and emailing and who wears mismatched socks and can’t drink caffeine and likes being pet on the head. Hhmmm….
--Carrie is not above begging.
--Carrie, like Belle in TIPS ON HAVING A GAY (ex) BOYFRIEND drinks Postum. It’s for the same reason, too.
--Carrie loves Great Pyrenees dogs. They are huge and white, and furry and it looks like they have white eyeliner and mascara on, which is way too cute. Do you have one? Send a picture!
--Carrie lives in Maine. She has a hard time with this in the winter. It is bleak in Maine in the winter. Imagine everything shades of gray and brown and no green anywhere except for in people’s noses. This is Maine in Winter. Maine in summer is the best place in the world, so it’s a trade-off. Feel free to invite Carrie to your house in the winter, but not if it’s in Greenland, Canada, or anywhere north of Florida.
--Forget that. She’d still probably come

Visit Carrie Here!!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

In Loving Memory . . .


Great Aunt Vera

1922- 12.26.2008

Thank you for reading all of my books!!

May you rest in peace.

I will miss you!

Alyson

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happiest Holiday!

However you celebrate-
May it be Merry!!!!

Much love,
Alyson
xoxo

Sunday, December 21, 2008

GCC Presents . . .Laurie Stolarz!!!

Hey Everyone- 

I'm so thrilled to be touring the amazingly talented, bestselling author, Laurie Stolarz, who's newest novel, DEADLY LITTLE SECRET (A TOUCH NOVEL)  will be in stores December 23!

Here's a bit about the story:

Some secrets shouldn't be kept...
Until three months ago, everything about sixteen-year-old Camelia's life had been fairly ordinary: decent grades; an okay relationship with her parents; and a pretty cool part-time job at an art studio downtown. But when Ben, the mysterious new guy, starts junior year at her high school, Camelia's life becomes far from ordinary.

Rumored to be somehow responsible for his ex-girlfriend's accidental death, Ben is immediately ostracized by everyone on campus. Except for Camelia. She's reluctant to believe he's trouble, even when her friends try to convince her otherwise. Instead she's inexplicably drawn to Ben...and to his touch. But soon, Camelia is receiving eerie phone calls and strange packages with threatening notes. Ben insists she is in danger, and that he can help – but can he be trusted? She knows he's hiding something...but he's not the only one with a secret.

Sounds awesome, right? Well here's the Praise:

"A boy to admire from afar, a girl you want to befriend, a novel to keep you turning the pages because you won't know who to trust. Laurie Faria Stolarz's DEADLY LITTLE SECRET is a blend of mystery, chills, and forbidden touches--one captivating story you have to experience." - Kelly Parra, author of INVISIBLE TOUCH.

“The book was full of shocking surprises and revelations, earning the book five stars. This is a must-read for fans of romance, suspense, and mystery because it won't disappoint.” – Teens Read Too

"...lively first-person narrative.... CW-worthy dialogue, quirky secondary characters, romance and suspense: a winning combination" - Kirkus Reviews

"An engaging, eerie tale about the darker side of relationships - when it becomes a matter of life and death to know who your friends are." - KLIATT

Here's the fun stuff:

To listen to a recording of Laurie reading the first chapter, click here

CHECK OUT THE BOOK TRAILERS!

This one was made by the students at the University of Texas:

And this one was made by the fabulous and talented M2 Productions:


A DEADLY LITTLE CONTEST – In celebration of the release of DEADLY LITTLE SECRET, the first book in the TOUCH SERIES, I’m launching a very exciting contest, the winner of which will have a minor character in DEADLY LITTLE LIES, the second book in the TOUCH SERIES, named after him or her. There are other prizes, too. Please see the official rules in the NEWS section of my website: www.lauriestolarz.com/news.html
Laurie Faria Stolarz is the bestselling author of the BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES series, which has sold over 500,000 copies worldwide. The series comprises Blue is for Nightmares, White is for Magic, Silver is for Secrets, Red is for Remembrance, and the forthcoming Black is for Beginnings. Stolarz's titles have been part of the Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers list, the Top Ten Teen Pick list, and YALSA's Popular Paperback list, all through the American Library Association. Also the author of Bleed and Project 17, her most current work, Deadly Little Secret, the first book in the TOUCH series, is due out in December 2008. Born and raised in Salem, Massachusetts, Stolarz attended Merrimack College and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston. For more information, visit Laurie’s website at www.lauriestolarz.com.

Here's the same 5 question I always ask:

1. Every story has a backstory, what's the backstory for your book?

I wanted to write a story where the main character has to struggle with the idea of falling in love with someone who could potentially kill her (and who’s already allegedly killed someone in the past). I also wanted to continue experimenting with the supernatural – showing how people can work to make their own intuition stronger.

2. What's your work environment like? Any rituals, totems, or must haves?

When I’m on deadline, I write ten pages per week, revising as I go along. That’s my basic ritual for every book. I don’t have too many requirements. A cup of strong coffee is always nice.

3. If you could live inside any book-- which would it be?

 The Great Book of Chocolate, by David Lebovitz.

4. What book rocked your world growing up? 

The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper. When I got older, it was pretty much anything "Nancy Drew."

5. If you could visit any time, place, or person- what, where, or who would it be?

I’d love to be a participant on the show On the Road Again with Gwyneth Paltrow and Mario Batali.

All about Laurie:




Laurie Faria Stolarz is the bestselling author of the BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES series, which has sold over 500,000 copies worldwide. The series comprises Blue is for Nightmares, White is for Magic, Silver is for Secrets, Red is for Remembrance, and the forthcoming Black is for Beginnings. Stolarz's titles have been part of the Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers list, the Top Ten Teen Pick list, and YALSA's Popular Paperback list, all through the American Library Association. Also the author of Bleed and Project 17, her most current work, Deadly Little Secret, the first book in the TOUCH series, is due out in December 2008. Born and raised in Salem, Massachusetts, Stolarz attended Merrimack College and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston. For more information, visit Laurie’s website at www.lauriestolarz.com.

12.21.08




Happy Birthday Kelsey!!!!!!!!!!!

Love, Alyson & Sandy
xoxo


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gatsby is Great!!




Just read that Baz Luhrmann is planning to remake THE GREAT GATSBY, and I'm psyched!

It's one of my favorite books ever, I've read it a gazillion times!

Now, who do you think should be cast as Jay, Daisy, and Nick  . . .???

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mean Girls


It's Surviving Adolescence week over at The Teen Fiction Cafe and I'm blogging about being bullied as a kid and the surprising twist that just happened after all of these years . . .

Come join me, by clicking HERE!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Presenting Greg Logsted!!!



Okay, so remember when I interviewed The Amazing Lauren Baratz-Logsted just a few days ago? Well, today I'm interviewing her equally amazing husband Greg, who's new book, SOMETHING HAPPENED is available now!

Anyway, he graciously agreed to stop by and answer the same questions I always ask, so without further ado, on with the interview! 

Tell us about your new book.

Hi, Alyson! Thank you so much for having me on your site. My new book is called SOMETHING HAPPENED; it’s my first novel (Simon & Schuster, Nov 2008). It starts five months after the unexpected death of Billy Romero’s dad and Billy is still struggling with the loss. Billy's mom spends more time talking to her Bluetooth than to him, and his best friend, Ziggy, just doesn't get it. There's no one who understands how alone Billy feels...except his new English teacher, the young and beautiful Miss Gate.
Miss Gate offers support and friendship, even giving Billy extra help with his writing outside of school. Billy isn't really sure how he feels about spending so much time with his teacher. It's a little weird, but it's also kind of exciting that someone like Miss Gate wants to hang out with him. But the closer they get, the more Billy wonders what kind of friendship this really is...

Every story has a backstory, what's the backstory for your book?

I guess one of them would be that everyone who read the book at Simon Pulse really loved it but because it deals with a touchy subject they were unsure how to market it. There was a lot of back and forth and I was beginning to worry that SOMETHING HAPPENED was going to turn into NOTHING HAPPENED. In the end they decided to just march into the breach with the original manuscript and a second (much better in my opinion) cover.
All of this did delay the release by at least six months, which for a first time author like me felt like an eternity.

What’s your work environment like? Any rituals, totems or must haves?

I have a small desk in our bedroom. It’s very cluttered. I use three clipboards: one for my outline, one for a list of all my characters with descriptions, and a third for a list of words or phases that I’d like to work into whatever I’m working on.
I guess my main ritual is I like to have a cup of tea while I’m working even if I don’t drink any of it. As for totems, I don’t really have any, unless you count the small collection of political buttons, odd-shaped rocks, pictures and books of poetry that line my desk.

If you could live inside any book – which would it be?

SLAUTERHOUSE FIVE. No, I’m just kidding.
Let’s see, you know I’ve always loved SHERLOCK HOLMES. I love the feel of it. I think it would be fun to sit in his den and watch him work on a case.

What book rocked your world growing up?

ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST by Ken Kesey.

If you could visit any time, place, or person- what, where or who would it be?

I think I’d like to spend a day in John Kennedy’s White House. So much was going on and so much changed in such a brief period of time.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I guess I’ll plug my next book, ALIBI JUNIOR HIGH (Simon & Schuster, June 2009). It’s about a thirteen-year-old boy, Cody Saron, accustomed to living a globetrotting James Bond lifestyle with his mysterious dad. Cody must suddenly learn to cope with regular school life for the first time after he's forced into hiding when a secret mission turns bad. He thinks after everything he’s done that going to a small Connecticut junior high school will be easy, a piece of cake…boy, is he ever wrong.




Greg Logsted was born in Amityville, New York, raised in Ridgefield, Connecticut, and attended the University of Arizona for Journalism. He lives in Danbury, CT, with his wife, author Lauren Baratz-Logsted, and their daughter Jackie. The three of them wrote a series together called THE SISTERS EIGHT. Greg’s first YA novel, SOMETHING HAPPENED, was published by Simon Pulse in 2008 and his second, ALIBI JUNIOR HIGH, will follow in mid-2009. His website is still under construction, but interested parties can take an early peek at www.greglogsted.com.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Perfect Holiday Gift!


Question- What could be better than giving someone a gift you just know they'll like and doing good simultaneously?

Give up?

Answer- Nothing.

Because that's about as good as it gets!

So, head on over to The Page Flipper blog, where the awesome Chelsea is auctioning a signed and "marked up" copy of SAVING ZOE. I filled the book with notes, and post its, and little drawings, of all the things that inspired me to write it!  There's not another one like it anywhere-- guaranteed!

And the best part is, your winning bid will go straight to the FIRST BOOK charity? How awesome is that!

Auction ends on December 22nd!

See you over at The Page Flipper!

Alyson


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Arrested Development


I'm blogging about my foray into braces over at the Tote Bags and Books blog!

Wondering if they're truly necessary or just another case of research run amok?!

So please stop by and commiserate join me and share your thoughts!

See you there!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Presenting Lauren-Baratz Logsted!!!!!!!




Hey Everyone-

Searching for that perfect holiday gift for the adults, teens, and children on your list? Look no further, Lauren Baratz-Logsted writes amazing books for all three!  And I'm thrilled that the amazing (and I don't use that word lightly) Ms. Baratz-Logsted, (who, by the way, penned the novel, VERTIGO, that my mom and I both devoured), took some time away from what must be an insanely busy schedule (the woman is seriously prolific!) to talk about her new series for kids, THE SISTERS EIGHT.

If you haven't heard of these books yet, then please, stop whatever it is that you're doing (besides reading this blog) and visit the dedicated website by clicking HERE

Now would be a good time. 

Seriously. I'll wait.

Anyway, the site is adorable, the books are amazing, and, lucky for you, you can order them today!

So, without further ado, on with the same questions I always ask:

Tell us about your new book.

THE SISTERS EIGHT is a nine-book series of books, written with my YA novelist husband and our eight-year-old daughter Jackie, launching Dec 29 with Annie's Adventures and Durinda's Dangers, about that rarest of things: octuplets. On New Year's Eve, Mommy goes out to the kitchen for eggnog, Daddy goes out to the shed for firewood...and neither returns. Now the Eights, as they are known, must solve the mystery of what happened to their parents while keeping the wider world from realizing that eight little girls are living home alone. The books are geared toward ages 6 to 10 but with early reviewer comparisons to Lemony Snicket, Roald Dahl and Edward Gorey, hopefully readers of all ages will enjoy. The books are being published by Houghton Mifflin and the first two have been selected by the Junior Library Guild. Curious parties can read more about the series at the wonderful site Houghton Mifflin created, www.sisterseight.com.

Every story has a backstory, what's the backstory for your book?

In December 2006 we were stranded by a blizzard in Colorado with friends who had neither children nor a TV. We were there for 10 days. By the end, looking for things to do, it occurred to me I'd always wanted to write a book my daughter Jackie - six at the time - could read, because she's always been so proud of my career. So I asked her what she'd like; being an only child, she said a book about sisters. Me: How many sisters? Her: eight. Me: What ages? Her: 1-8. Me: What if we made them octuplets, all seven years old, who will be eight on 8/8/08? And we were off and running with my husband Greg providing yet more input, particularly about talking refrigerators and flyting watering cans.


What's your work environment like? Any rituals, totems, or must haves?

Sloppy. I call it my basement cave: small room, no windows, books and papers everywhere. It's not a pretty sight - maybe that's why it works for me? I do have a page torn on the wall torn from a calendar with a picture of Curious George that's captioned: "George sat down on the floor and began to write." There's my ritual in a nutshell - I sit down and I begin to write - well, except for the floor part. My must-have? Time. I always need more time. In terms of totems, does turning on "General Hospital" on the little TV in the corner every day at three count? I hope so, bec
ause I just did.

If you could live inside any book-- which would it be?

Oh, what a wonderful - and devilish! - question. It's a toss-up: Love in the Time of Cholera, my favorite book by a living author; or The Great Gatsby, my favorite book by an author now dead. If I could live in the latter, I'd find a way to get to that swimming pool in time to save Gatsby. They didn't nearly know then what people know now about emergency medical care and such. Of course I don't know anything about it either, and I'm a lousy swimmer, so maybe it wouldn't matter much my being there after all. OK, now I'm depressed.

What book rocked your world growing up?

So many! But since I'm guessing you don't want a whole list, for today at least I'll say A Separate Peace by John Knowles. Like Gatsby, it also has a young man, who is better than all the rest, dying tragically. Maybe I just love people who are better than all the rest? Or maybe I just have, you know, aspirations.

 If you could visit any time, place, or person- what, where, or who would it be?

Can I have something to eat before answering this one? Seriously, you do make a girl think! Back in 1921, my grandfather, looking to escape religious persecution, smuggled my grandmother - pregnant at the time with my father - and her sister out of their Russian village in the back of a hay cart. They're all dead now and I wish I could go back and ask them more about what it was like since by the time I was old enough to appreciate the story they we
re all gone.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Well, I love you and think you're grand. Is that an OK way to end this? Doesn't matter. I'm saying it anyway: You're a doll, Alyson, and a wonderful writer. (Oh, and if anyone wants to know anything else about my life and other books, they should go to www.laurenbaratzlogsted.com .)

The story of Lauren:

Lauren grew up in Monroe, CT, where her father owned a drugstore at which her mother was the pharmacist. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut at Storrs, where she majored in psychology. She also has what she calls her “half-Masters” in English from Western Connecticut State University (five courses down, another five to go…someday!).

Throughout college, she worked semester breaks as a doughnut salesperson, a job that she swears gave her white lung disease from all the powdered sugar she breathed.

Upon graduation, she began work at the venerable independent bookseller, now sadly defunct as such, Klein’s of Westport. There, she bought and sold for the better part of 11 years.

In November 1994, Lauren left the bookstore to finally take a chance on herself as a writer. Success did not happen over night. Between 1994 and May 2002 – when Red Dress Ink called with an offer to buy THE THIN PINK LINE – Lauren worked as a book reviewer, a freelance editor and writer, and a window washer, making her arguably the only woman in the world who has ever both hosted a book signing party and washed the windows of the late best-selling novelist Robert Ludlum.

Since Red Dress Ink’s call in 2002, Lauren has been kept very busy with writing more novels and checking her Amazon ranking on a daily basis. She still lives in Danbury, with her husband and daughter, where she has lived since 1991.

In addition to writing, Lauren’s daughter keeps her busy, accounting for the rest of her time.

Lauren’s favorite color is green.

Lauren’s favorite non-cat animals are penguins.

Lauren wants you to know that, however you are pronouncing her last name, you are probably pronouncing it wrong.

Lauren is available to talk at schools, libraries, book fairs and conferences – really, anywhere! Depending on time and distance, a fee may be required.

Slumdog Millionaire


Go.

See.

This.

Movie.


It's awesome!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Do Good

Who doesn't like to do good?

Seriously.

Who out there doesn't enjoy that happy, fulfilled, somewhat smug feeling of reaching out to help others?

Well, here's one that won't cost you anymore than a few moments of your time:

For everyone who becomes a fan of Piperlime's (the online shoe retailer) Facebook page- they will donate $1- to soles4souls!

And to make that happen, all you have to do is click HERE!

How easy was that?

Oh, and there's more! You can also donate your "gently worn" shoes, and they'll give you $15- off your next purchase!

No need to feel guilty about those shoes you just had to have but only wore twice. Give them to someone who needs them-- and save $$ on that next pair you've had your eye on. You know, the ones you'll definitely wear.

Come on--- you know you want to!

Have a good day everyone-
A




Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Freebies Galore!!!

Question:  What's better than five free book giveaways?

Answer: Um, six?

Yes, that's right SIX separate book giveaways are happening now- and all you have to do to win these AWESOME titles 








is click HERE. 

And Here.

And Here.

So what are you waiting for?? Off with you!!

Monday, December 08, 2008

And the winner is . . .

The EVERMORE winners have been chosen!

Click HERE to see if it was YOU!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Friday, December 05, 2008

All Manner of Awesomeness including a signed copy of EVERMORE!!!


So, I just got back from an amazing b-day weekend in Las Vegas with my husband where we 
stayed here:


We had an amazing view of the dancing waters that go off every 15 minutes, beautifully choreographed to a variety of songs, everything from Frank Sinatra to the Star Spangled Banner!

We ate here:



Mix restaurant is on the 64th floor at The Hotel in Mandalay Bay, it has an amazing view of the city, and those glass balls hanging from the ceiling make you feel like you're eating in heaven! Of course the food is heavenly too . . .



Oh, and we saw this:

Turns out it's our least favorite of all the Cirque Shows-- we are major fans, we've seen 'em all-- but this one needs some serious work!

We even tracked down a beautiful new bookstore in The Palazzo Shops, Bauman Rare Books that had all manner of seriously drool worthy first editions of Le Petit Prince, Franny and Zooey --my all time favorite and very tempting, but since the slot machines stole all my money, I refrained from buying it!

Anyway, it was a really nice break from what's turning into a very hectic time (the good kind of hectic though!), and I came back so happy and relaxed I figured I'd pay it forward by giving away two signed copies of my upcoming EVERMORE-- and all you have to do for your chance to win is click HERE!

Oh, and I also just learned that CRUEL SUMMER is nominated for the Best Books of 2008 sponsored by TeensRead and the Children's Book Council!! To see the full list, and learn how to vote for your top 5, click HERE.

Oh, and BLUE MOON is now available for preorder on Amazon!!! Check it out HERE!

Have a fun weekend everyone!!



Monday, December 01, 2008

It's Live!!!


Yup, my new, improved, website is officially up and running and I'm so excited about it I could spend the entire morning just visiting the portal again and again. 

Oh, and listening to the playlist.

And reading the guide on how to see auras.

Not that I would actually spend an entire morning like that . . . 

Anyway, if you want to see for yourself just click HERE.

Then click on the EVERMORE cover and take a look around!

Have fun!


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Popcorn Hangover

So I just found out during my morning blog hop that The Book Lady sent me one of these:




How sweet is that? And if you're not reading her blog then . . . well . . . just read it because she's really funny and nice and takes the most amazing photographs!

And so now, of course, I can't just sit back and beam because someone likes my blog, oh no, not me. Now I feel pressure. A sort of performance anxiety so to speak. Like I need to come up with some really great blog posts, pronto.

But the truth is, I got nothing. 

Nothing but this idea that popped into my head when I woke up this lazy sunday at--- wait for it---9:47 am:

POPCORN HANGOVER


Is that even possible you might ask?

Why, yes.  Yes it is. And I should know since I'm currently experiencing one having seen more movies in the last few days than I have all year. A few them watched in the comfort of my own home, and a few in an actual theatre, including not one but two separate viewings of TWILIGHT, one being the infamous midnight showing with Jessica Brody where we sat so close it felt like my eyeballs were on fire. And the second in a nearly empty matinee with my husband (yes, he truly is a saint. And no, I can never repay him for the sacrifices he makes.) all because I wanted to see it from a normal perspective in a seat that didn't require me to contort my spine, crane my neck, and pray for the safety of my retinas.


And then yesterday, we saw QUANTUM OF SOLACE, which I didn't like near as much as CASINO ROYALE, but it was still fun in a drool worthy, white knuckle, 007 kind of way.

And now all I can think is: Which movie next?

Because I've got a feeling that the only way to cure this particular hangover is another popcorn fix.

Any suggestions???  Which movies make your must see list??

Thursday, November 27, 2008

BOOKS = GIFTS


In honor of Black Friday-- (that massive shopping free for all I've no plans to partake in, choosing instead to stay tucked away in my home office, working on the third book in my upcoming THE IMMORTALS series, which I fondly call, UNTITLED BOOK #3)-- I thought I'd write a bit about shopping. Or more specifically-- Holiday Shopping. Which officially starts today.

And whether you celebrate Christmas, or Hanukhah, (or Chrismukkah like me!), or Kwanzaa, or Bodhi Day, or Yule, or Festivus (I'd love to be PC and list them all, but in the interest of time and space let's leave it at that, shall we?), you're probably thinking about marking the occasion with a gift--or several gifts even--hey, go wild! And though it's clearly no business of mine what you give to your loved ones, (including your not so loved ones), I'd still like to make a suggestion of:

Books.

Yes. Books.

And they don't even have to be my books (though they do make good gifts!)--anybody's books will do!

Because:

Books are a gift you can open again and again! 

Brilliant, huh? But I didn't make that up, so please send all kudos to Meg Cabot- who, as you know, also writes books!

And I don't think it's any kind of spoiler if I say that pretty much everyone on my list this year, is going to get either a book, or a gift card for a book, or some 
other book related type item. And it's not just because in these tough times a good book is one of the quickest, most economical, ways to escape (though as far as reasons to purchase--that's a pretty dang good one!), but because a really good book is something to cherish, to share, to blog about, and to highlight passages and earmark pages you want to read again and again.

A good book will teach you something you didn't know, make you think about something that never occurred to you, allow you to travel somewhere you've never been,  and make you experience something - exciting, scary, romantic, thrilling, funny, or sad- in the safety of your own home--hair salon- coffee shop--backseat-park bench-or wherever it is that you like to curl up and read. 

So go ahead, add a book, or two, or ten to your give and get list-- and then tell me, what books are on your list this year??
  

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Giving Thanks

Okay, I'm just gonna go out on a limb here and admit to something you may find shocking. Ready?

I've never been big on Thanksgiving.

There. I said it--and I feel so much better now that I've confessed.

And just to illustrate this point even further, a long, long, (okay veeeery long time ago) my mom spent an entire Thanksgiving waiting for this particular butterball to drop, but I held my ground and refused to be born until December 3. So as you see, I have a long and storied history with this particular date.

But just because I'm not a big fan of turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie-- that's not to say I'm not about giving thanks-- cuz I am. And this year in particular I feel I've sooo much to be thankful for that I thought I'd make a list. So without further ado, here's my top ten list of things that I'm grateful for:

1. My amazing husband who not only serves as my best friend, legal advisor, personal gourmet chef, bad mood eraser, silver cloud chaser, comic relief, tireless proofreader, one man cheering section, tech support, (the list of things he does for me is endless!), but who just so happens to be, the smartest, nicest, most amazing person I've ever met! 

2. The City of Hope. In particular, the amazing Dr. Foreman, who saved not just my husband's life, but my sister in law's too. 

3. My readers- you guys are THE BEST! Seriously, awesome. And your letters and e-mails and posts to my bulletin board mean more to me than you could ever imagine.

4. My incredible agent, editor, and publisher-- I couldn't do it without them! 

5. My family immediate, extended, the entire clan! Their love, support, and enthusiasm knows no bounds.

6. My mom in particular for showing me the moon at a very young age and encouraging me to shoot for it! 

7. My friends, near and far-- you know who you are!  You guys ROCK!

8. Snarky- who welcomed me into her "snark" clan, and my life's never been the same since! (and I mean that in a good way!)

9. Hope. And Change. And the belief in better days to come.

10. And lastly, I'm grateful to live in a place and time where anything is possible!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Love,
Alyson

PS- What are you thankful for??

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Vampire Weekend


It was truly a blood sucker weekend! What with the Twilight Midnight Movie Going Madness to the season finale of True Blood--it seems like my entire weekend was hijacked by the undead!

And rather than posting a Twilight Movie Review, partly since I'm not so big on reviewing stuff, but mostly because you probably already saw it and have drawn your own conclusions by now, I thought I'd post a Twilight Movie Goer Review--as in the hundreds, maybe even thousands--who knows?--of teens (mostly girls, though there were a few smart young men there as well--I mean, hello? A theatre filled with cute young girls- it should be a no brainer, right?) who lined up hours ahead of time to watch the 12:01 am showing of Edward and Bella.

The theater I went to in Aliso Viejo showed it on five screens simultaneously, and since Ms. Brody was smart enough to purchase advance tickets online, I thought our 10:45 pm arrival would get us a decent place in line, along with pretty okay seats--wrong! 

We ended up standing in the alley, waaay behind the theatre, the very last ones in line until a really nice mom showed up behind us. And once inside it was third row center--great at a concert--not so much in a theatre!

And while the movie was entertaining (it has it's flaws, yes, but still it was fun), and Jessica was rewarded for her vast knowledge of all things Edward and Bella by winning a Twilight T-shirt for correctly answering that Bella ate mushroom ravioli on her first date with Edward, the very best part for me was chatting with the three girls who stood in line in front of us, and who ended up sitting in front of us in the theater as well, and the whole crowd in general. To see that many people get so excited over characters from a book (yes, I missed out on the entire Harry Potter mania never having read any of the books--gasp! And only seeing one of the movies, well past its release date), wearing their Team Edward and Team Jacob T-shirts, and squealing every time a new character came on screen was truly amazing!

And a $$$70.5 million dollar opening weekend fueled almost entirely by teen girls is a site to behold!!!

Never underestimate the power of girls!

Did you see the movie? If so, what did you squeal when Edward came on screen??



Thursday, November 20, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Colorstrology!!


As if it wasn't enough that I buy ELLE pretty much for the astrology and numerology sections they print in the back of the magazine-- now there's THIS.

Colorstrology!

Yup, you read that right- a fun little tool combining your astrological birth sign with-- er-- color!

And with a December 3 birthday my color is "celestial" (it's a blue tone).

Oh, and it also indicates that I'm:

Private
Independent
Quick Minded

Which is so true!

So, to find your special place on the color wheel go HERE

Then come back to post your results if you want!

And if that leaves you wanting more then go HERE to buy the Colorstrology book!

Special shout out to the very awesome Lamia who finds the most amazing thing on the net and blogs about them way before me!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Twilight Movie Madness!



Thanks to the ever industrious Ms. Jessica Brody, I am now an official ticket holder for TWILIGHT's opening night!!  And even though I haven't read past NEW MOON yet, I totally cannot wait to see Edward on the big screen!

And speaking of Jessica Brody, be sure to stop by her awesome sites FREE BOOK FRIDAY and FREE BOOK FRIDAY TEENS for your chance to win a signed copies of Amanda Ashby's YOU HAD ME AT HALO and Melissa Walker's VIOLET IN PRIVATE! Hurry--the contest closes on Friday!


Also, ever wonder what happened to the naked baby on Nirvana's iconic NEVERMIND album cover-- (come on, you know you've been wondering!) -- well wonder no more! He's all grown up now having reached the ripe old age of (gasp!) 17-- and he's recreating his most famous pose --albeit with swim trunks this time! To see the pic and read about his no fail pick up line (I seriously hope it fails more than it works!)- click HERE.


So tell me, are you planning to see TWILIGHT the movie??

Friday, November 07, 2008

More EVERMORE news!


Yay! Khyrinithia, aka- The Frenetic Reader likes EVERMORE!!!

Here's what she said:

" . . .I found myself unwilling to put the book down, even though I had to at some points, because I wanted to know what was going to happen with everyone and see how all the little subplots would be woven together.

Also, Alyson Noel knows how to write her characters. Ever was so real and her emotions were so believable that it was a little creepy. It's like Alyson Noël is actually a grieving, lovestruck teenager. She got Ever completely perfect. And by perfect, I mean delightfully flawed and deep. Also, I'm kind of smitten with Damen even though he got on my nerves a lot. He's fascinating to read about because of his past. Love him.

Alright, since I know nobody went and preordered this before reading the review, you better go do it now. You're really going to want this one. I swear. It's a great start to the series, especially considering that the ending isn't a big cliffhanger but still leaves you wanting more. (Well, actually me since I've read it. You just sounds better. But once you read it you'll want the sequel. Trust me.)"

8.7ish/10

To see the full review, click HERE!

Also, congrats to the winners of the Last Two EVERMORE ARCs over at Free Book Friday Teens, make sure to check back tomorrow for more chances to win!

Today I'm finishing up revisions on BLUE MOON so I can get started on Untitled Book Number 3 (hopefully that title will change!)

Have a good weekend everyone!!


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Seriously, this is your LAST CHANCE!!


This is it, your very last chance to win one of the very last two EVERMORE ARCs!!

So if you haven't signed up at Free Book Friday Teens yet-- be sure to do so soon!

The winner will be chosen on Friday!

Best of luck!

Oh, and then check back to Free Book Friday Teens on Saturday for more awesome giveaways!

More reasons to celebrate!


It's official!  I've just agreed to write three more books in my upcoming Immortals series for St. Martin's Press--making for a total of five!!

The first book, EVERMORE, is scheduled to drop on 02.03.09, the second book, BLUE MOON, will be in stores in fall of 09, and the following three will be published in 2010!!

And I'm so excited I would totally celebrate-- but I really should be writing instead!

Be sure to check back in December though--I've got an exciting new website makeover planned!!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Vote for free cupcakes!!


Just in case my last post didn't convince you to get out and vote, this might:

The Cupcakery, which just happens to be one of my must visit spots whenever I'm in Vegas (along with the Primm outlet stores!), is giving away a FREE CUPCAKE to anyone who shows up at their Texas location with an "I Voted" sticker.
Seriously, all you have to do is vote and one of their amazing cupcakes is yours! You can read about it HERE!

So come on Texans, do it for democracy, do it for the cupcakes!


Rock the Vote!


My husband and I have OCED (obsessive compulsive election disorder)- a very serious condition ruled by 24/7 election coverage (CNN in the car anyone?)- with only one cure- November 5th.

And as eager as I am for Wednesday- I've no idea what we'll do with ourselves when it comes (besides celebrate-hopefully!). Surely we used to discuss other topics, watch other channels, but it's been so long, I can barely remember . . .

We voted absentee two weeks ago- the decision was easy, there was never a choice. And while I missed actually going to my local polling place and getting my "I VOTED" sticker, it was nice to check the box in the comfort of my own living room.

Heck, it was nice to have the opportunity just to check the box. Eighty eight years ago that wasn't the case.

Which is why it's so important to vote. To take the time to register your voice and be heard. If the lines are long bring a good book, start a conversation, listen to you iPod, whatever- Just get out of your house, over to your polling place, and do it!

Apathy is the enemy of democracy--and this is the most important election of my lifetime--and quite possibly yours!

So while I won't tell you who to vote for (though believe me, I'd love to!), please just get out and vote! Check your box and be heard! Exercise your right--and don't let anyone intimidate you or turn you away.

And on Wednesday, November 5th, we'll look for new ways to distract ourselves.

I promise.

Have a good day everyone!
A

PS- And if you're not old enough to vote--feel free to bother those around you who are until they vote too!

Friday, October 31, 2008

All Hallows Eve . . .


So, I've come to the realization that I really love Halloween--in  a theoretical way. I love the idea of dressing up, and every year I come up with elaborate couples costume for my husband and I to wear (this year we'll don  hypothetical Marie Antoinette and Count Fersen costumes--it's an EVERMORE thing!). But the truth is, it never really gets past the idea stage--I haven't dressed up in over a decade.


As a kid, I always had the coolest costumes on the block. Though it had nothing to do with me, it was all because of my mom. I had one of those mom's that made everything from scratch--hand embroidery, smocking on my dresses--it was no problem for her. Though my favorite costume of all was the turquoise blue fringed flapper dress with the matching boa and feather headband she made--I didn't want to take it off--and would kill 
for that costume today! 

And when it came to candy, I was all about the Butterfinger. M&M's, candy corn, they all had their place, but give me a bite sized Butterfinger and I was in heaven!

But today, I'm not so big on candy. And when it comes to passing it out--well, it's a hit or miss thing. Some years I'm home with a bowl full of the good stuff (ie Butterfingers, Krackle, and M&Ms), and other years I purposely stay away until it's safe to come home.

Mine is not a house you can count on.

So tonight, whether I'm home between the magic hours of 6-9 remains to be seen, though by ten o'clock you can find me curled up on my couch, wearing my PJs, watching a season two DVD of DEXTER. And on Sunday, in the interest of "research," I'll be getting a past life regression with Dr. Brian Weiss-- I wonder what I will see???  Last time it wasn't at all what I expected . . .

Oh, and if you haven't done so already, make sure you head over to Jessica Brody's brand spankin' new Free Book Friday for Teens.  She's kicking it off by giving away the only remaining EVERMORE ARCs, and since the book doesn't drop until Feb 3, 2009--this is your last chance to get an early read!  Also, everyone who signs up will automatically get a sneak peek at chapter one!  So don't miss it, click HERE!


So tell me, how do you celebrate All Hallows Ever? Do you dress up? Pass out candy?? Or will you be watching Dexter like me?


Happy Halloween Everyone!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Free Book Friday Teen Edition Is Now Open!!!


Hey Everyone-

Just wanted you to know that the teen edition of Jessica Brody's Free Book Friday Teens is now open for business--and she's giving away the VERY LAST Advanced Reading Copies of the first book in my new paranormal YA series, EVERMORE, (generously donated by my awesome publisher!) And since the book isn't scheduled to drop until February 3, 2009, this is your very last chance to get an early read!

Also, everyone who signs up to win will receive a sneak peek at chapter one!

So don't delay-- head over to Free Book Friday Teens now!

Just. Click. HERE!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Freebies!!


Those of you who read this blog know how I love a good freebie. And in an economy like this, who doesn't? That's why I'm so excited about the fabulous Jessica Brody's Free Book Friday website, where she gives away a free book every Friday (pretty self-explanatory, I know!). But when she told me she's branching out into a Free Book Friday for Teens, well, I was thrilled.

And while the Teen site won't go live until next week, (when we're giving away The Absolutely Last Two Advanced Reading Copies of EVERMORE generously donated by my awesome publisher, St. Martin's Press since my supply is depleted!), this week she's featuring New York Times Bestselling Author, PC Cast, who pens the totally addictive HOUSE OF NIGHT series with her daughter Kristen! Oh, and there's an awesome podcast interview to go with it!

So don't miss it-- Click HERE for you chance to listen and win!




Also, in celebration of her new release, THE MEMORIST, MJ Rose is offering a free download of her first book in the series, THE REINCARNATIONIST. To get your copy, click HERE.

That's it for now!
Have a good night!
:-D