Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Season's Greetings Is Here!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays…
Parish Mail: Season's Greetings is now available

Click here to pick up your own copy of the newest Parish Mail interactive YA supernatural adventure, available on digital platforms including Kindle, Nook, and iBooks.

It's Christmas in New Orleans! Magic, romance, and holiday spirit -- of the ghostly variety -- are in the air as you help Celia race to solve a paranormal mystery before Christmas Day.

Starting this week, Season's Greetings will be making a grand tour of the blogosphere courtesy of some of the best book bloggers on the internet:

There's more... to celebrate the book's launch, we're holding another fantastic giveaway. Enter below for your chance to win your very own copy of Season's Greetings as well as the one-of-a-kind Grand Prize: this gorgeous handmade necklace inspired by Parish Mail's bonewood tree! This is the mailbox tree where Celia finds the antique letters, re-imagined here in silver-filled wire and Swarovski crystal garnet beads.

Click to see a larger version of this photo.
(The necklace was made by my good friend Amanda. She has a cameo in Season's Greetings but is a real person -- you can see more of her beautiful jewelry at her Etsy store.)

Enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Deck the halls and ring those jingle bells, Christmas is here! I hope you enjoy reading this festive holiday story as much as I enjoyed writing it. Tip: Season's Greetings goes great with a cup of cocoa and a cozy fire…

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Season's Greetings: The Cover Revealed! And a Giveaway, Too!

I'm thrilled to finally share the cover for Season's Greetings, the newest Parish Mail interactive YA mystery:

Click image to see a larger version!
I LOVE the vintage Christmas card that the folks at Coliloquy found. It's warm and festive but also a little creepy. Why are there no people in the room? Where did they go? Hmm...  

And I think it's so cool how the red ribbon ties in with the bloody covers of Dead Letter Office and Post Mortem while being more fitted to the murder-free story. Don't worry, though: while the mayhem may be taking a vacation in Season's Greetings, Celia finds plenty of supernatural chills and magical thrills in holiday-time New Orleans. Not to mention romance...

To celebrate the cover reveal, Coliloquy is getting into the holiday spirit early, giving away Amazon gift cards and Parish Mail book bundles! Enter below for your chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Christmas Is Coming... In November

The Parish Mail Christmas mystery Season's Greetings, that is. I'm thrilled to announce the release date for Celia Macarty's newest interactive adventure in supernatural New Orleans:

Tuesday, November 19

And what would the holidays be without presents? Here are some of the goodies in store for you:
  • Cover reveal - Next week we'll unveil the cool cover image for Season's Greetings.
  • Pre-launch giveaway - At the same time as the cover reveal, you'll have the chance to win Amazon gift cards and Parish Mail book bundles courtesy of my publisher Coliloquy! Check back here on my blog on Tuesday, 11/5 to enter.
  • Blog tour - The end of November will be chock full of reviews and interviews all over the Web. I'll post the schedule here.
  • Post-launch giveaway - Stay tuned for details about your chance to win an incredible one-of-a-kind prize after Season's Greetings comes out. I'm REALLY excited about this giveaway, and you will be too. Promise.

Plus, here's a stocking stuffer to tide you over, the OFFICIAL synopsis of Season's Greetings, hot off the press (well, the Coliloquy website):  
Celia Macarty is eager to enjoy her first New Orleans Christmas, but school has barely let out for the holidays when she learns that mystery never takes a vacation. Using the clues on a Christmas card from 1933, Celia must unravel a supernatural riddle that takes her all over festive New Orleans—and deeper into her family’s past. As Christmas Eve draws closer, shameful community secrets come to light, and Celia enlists an unlikely ally to set things right.
With the help of her witchy best friend Tilly and a trio of to-die-for suitors, Celia navigates a mystery and, in the process, her heart. Because in the Crescent City, Christmas is a time of enchantment and surprises, and a little romance might be Celia’s best present of all.
Celia’s latest Parish Mail adventure is an active fiction title from Coliloquy. Your reading choices will help Celia solve the crime!
Don't forget, you can dive into the Parish Mail series with Season's Greetings, or catch up with Books 1 and 2,  Dead Letter Office and Post Mortem (you have time!)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Join the Parish Mail Street Team!

Image from www.dragoart.com

We're looking for a few good elves to help get the word out about PMX, aka Parish Mail: Season's Greetings, teen detective Celia Macarty's latest adventure in supernatural New Orleans.  This special new Christmas mystery in the Parish Mail universe is coming out soon, and you can help spread the news as a member of the Parish Mail Street Team!

Parish Mail Street Team members will get some nifty perks from my publisher, Coliloquy:
  • Access to exclusive content like ARCs and cover art before anyone else.
  • Chance to interact with the author. (that's me!)
  • Participate in the book's blog tour with other amazing bloggers.
  • Win great prizes!
To join, just email parishmail@coliloquy.com or tweet to @ColiloquyAimee for an invitation.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Lit Crawl in San Francisco on Saturday, Oct. 19

Bars and books... what could be better?  Coliloquy is one of the participants for San Francisco's Lit Crawl on Saturday, October 19, and I'll be there along with fellow authors Heidi Kling and Travis Sentell. We'll be at The Liberties Bar and Restaurant, 998 Guerrero St., from 7:15pm-8:15pm.

Drop by for an evening of interactive fun -- I'm planning to read a sneak peek from Parish Mail: Season's Greetings, the special Christmas installment of Parish Mail that will be out in a few short weeks. Hope to see you there!

Read all the details here!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Dead Letter Office Up for Discussion on GoodReads

Are you a GoodReads member? Are you looking for a book club where you can talk about all the twists and turns of Dead Letter Office?

If you join The Next Best Book Club group on GoodReads you can vote for DLO to be their October read! But hurry, voting ends Wednesday, August 14.

UPDATE: DLO won! Thank you all for your votes. Be sure to join the club to jump into the discussion.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Next Parish Mail Revealed!

All right, I've dropped seven hints so far about the new Parish Mail book, codenamed PMX. Have you figured it out?

Here's a photo clue to make it crystal clear:

Image from gonola.com
That's right, the next interactive paranormal mystery in the Parish Mail series for teens is going to be a Christmas tale! As you may have guessed, PMX is short for Parish Mail Xmas (Hint #6).

I'm really excited about this new book, even though listening to Christmas music as I write (Hint #1) is kind of scrambling my brain. It is July, after all, and "Half-Christmas," June 25 (Hint #5), is not an actual holiday.

I'm trying something new with PMX that's one reason it's not named PM3. PMX is going to be a "short story," shorter in length than Dead Letter Office and Post Mortem -- with an appropriate price, of course -- but with the same gamelike interactivity that's a signature of the series (Hint #2). Think of it as a stocking stuffer.

This fluid approach to releasing books is one of the great things about working with a digital publisher like Coliloquy. A traditional publishing house with printing, inventory, and shipping costs is not likely to get on board with a nontraditional-length book and varying price points (Hint #3). And don't you worry about getting another full-sized Parish Mail story. Book 3, a.k.a. PM3, is scheduled to come out in early 2014.

PMX will be a standalone story taking place within the same timeline as Dead Letter Office and Post Mortem, which means you don't need to have read the earlier books to enjoy PMX. But if you have, the Christmas story will be that much deeper and more interesting. It's also going to be a bit lighter in subject matter and tone than the earlier two books. I was inspired by the Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle" by Arthur Conan Doyle. Set during Christmas, it's lighter on the ol' murder and mayhem than the other Sherlock mysteries (Hint #4).

PMX may be less creepy and scary than the other Parish Mail books, but I promise it will be full of magic, romance, and holiday spirit-- of both the emotional and ghostly varieties. Look for it later this year on all the platforms where you can find Coliloquy books.

And here's a clue to keep in your pocket: The Twelve Days of Christmas (Hint #7) is important...

Follow me on Twitter @sugarjonze for more teases, news, etc. as I work on PMX!

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Next Parish Mail: The Clues So Far

I'm hard at work on the next Parish Mail book, and this one's got a unique angle that I'm really excited about. All will be revealed on Monday, July 29, but here are some hints to get you guessing:
  1. It has its own soundtrack.
  2. It's got some special characteristics in terms of both format and content.
  3. It's a concept I discussed very early on with my publishers at Coliloquy, before even coming on board as an author, and is pretty much unique to ebook publishing.
  4. It's inspired (but not based on) one of the lesser-known Sherlock Holmes mysteries by Arthur Conan Doyle.
  5. It's related to a "holiday" celebrated one day during the week of June 23-29. Quotation marks intentional.
  6. I and Coliloquy often use shorthand in emails when discussing the Parish Mail books: Dead Letter Office was PM1 and Post Mortem was PM2. This book's shorthand, however is PMX.

If I was doing this right, there would be 12 hints instead of 7.
Watch this space on Monday for the reveal of PMX, as well as answers to questions about these hints!

Monday, July 01, 2013

Coliloquy Goodreads Group

Did you know that my publisher Coliloquy has a group on Goodreads? Join today for exclusive goodies such as giveaways, members-only sales and promotions, sneak previews, breaking news on all their books (including mine!), and more.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Follow Me on Twitter!

The Gadget that I had in this blog's sidebar to update with my tweets appears not to be  supported any more by Blogger, alas. But please do follow me on Twitter for musings about The 100, Parish Mail, writing, games, life in Los Angeles, and other randomness.

Monday, June 24, 2013

"Spexism": Gender and Spec Screenplay Sales

It seems that whenever I read about a spec screenplay sale in the trades, in pretty much every case the screenwriter is male. Turns out it's not confirmation bias, it's true.

Susana Orozco dug through the stats for Go Into the Story, and their cool if sobering infographic starkly lays out gender disparity in the spec market, a worse gap than in TV writing, which is saying something. Spec script sales for women hit a new low in 2012, with 12 scripts sold by women out of 127 total.

Entertainment website The Wrap picked up the story, which it names "Spexism."

I'd be interested to see the genre breakdown of those 12 sales: I wonder if they're the more typically "female" types of movies such as family dramas and romantic comedies. Of course, there are female screenwriters who work in traditionally male genres such as science fiction, action, and comedy (including The Heat's Katie Dippold), but we've got a long way to go for parity for women and writers of color. The diversity of movies we watch can only be helped by diversity all along the line, in front of and behind the camera.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Seasonal Defective Disorder

Chalk it up to school or years working as a writer, but my psychological sense of the seasons is all screwed up. And and that's leaving aside living in Los Angeles, where the weather is consistent (and pleasant) enough to more or less obliterate your sense of time passing.

For example, spring makes me sad. Usually a season that means that the world is blooming and starting anew, spring to me feels like things are ending: the school year, the theater season, the writers' room for many TV shows.

But fall, on the other hand... even as the world starts turning to winter, it's fall that feels like excitement and anticipation, not spring, because things are kicking off. Students go back to school. Theater companies start rehearsals for their new plays. And in cable TV, where I've worked for the last several years, fall is when a number of writers' rooms get going.

This year, for the first time since working on MOONLIGHT for CBS, I have reason to feel that autumnal giddy sense of new beginnings in the summertime. I've just started working on a new TV show coming to the CW for midseason called THE 100, based on the upcoming YA novel by Kass Morgan. If you like the CW's unique blend of sexy and edgy combined with cool genre/sci fi elements (think BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, THE WALKING DEAD, and LOST) you're going to love THE 100.

Check out this awesome trailer:

I can't wait for you all to see more -- it's going to be fantastic.

And as if that's not enough, I have another new project to announce: I've just broken ground on the next Parish Mail! I'll be sharing more about it soon, but this episode is something I talked to the Coliloquy folks about right when we discussed my coming on board as an author. It's got a special angle both in terms of format and content that we're all excited about. It's scrambling my brain a little bit (in a fun way), and I'll explain why soon.

So, lots of new stuff starting. Summer is the new spring! (or fall. See, I told you I was screwed up...)

What about you? Do you adore blustery, cozy wintertime? Hate hot, hazy summer? Discuss in the comments.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Parish Mail Comes to iBooks and Kobo

I'm excited to announce that Dead Letter Office and Post Mortem are now available in yet more places:

Dead Letter Office on iBooks
Post Mortem on iBooks
Both Parish Mail books on Kobo

And DLO is still on sale for 99 cents across all platforms, but not for long...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter Eggs, Post Mortem-Style

Not many writers can resist slipping in-jokes and homages into what they write-- I certainly can't. In honor of Sunday's holiday, here are a few of the Easter Eggs you can find in Parish Mail #2, Post Mortem.
  • The street where Beauchamp's House of Voodoo is located is named after the city where I wrote both Post Mortem and Dead Letter Office.
  • The look of the mailbox tree in the series is an homage to the special trees in the Song of Ice and Fire books (and the Game of Thrones HBO series) by George R. R. Martin.
  • Celia's description of the Fleur-de-Lis Sisterhood in the dinner scene with her grandparents and Tilly contains a shout-out to Alphas, a TV show I worked on. It's one of Gary's signature lines.
  • If you choose the incorrect path in Chapter 8 for Celia and Tilly to investigate, they'll end up at a location that's an homage to an infamous spot in the TV show Breaking Bad, one of my favorite shows.
  • Depending on the choices you make, you might meet a ferocious Rottweiler who's named after the childhood pet of a good friend. The name's the only thing the two dogs have in common -- the real version was a fairly dim Cocker Spaniel and in no way ferocious, I'm told.
  • Celia's wry words to Tilly in Chapter 11 just as they're about to head into danger include a subtle Eureka reference, another TV show I worked on. Sheriff Carter uses this phrase to describe a terrifying robot. (I didn't write the line, by the way: Co-Executive Producers Terri Hughes Burton and Ron Milbauer did)
  • The name of Celia's mom's band is the name of my band in the videogame Rock Band (and is also another Alphas/Eureka in-joke, one that's too hard to explain...).
Happy hunting, and Happy Easter!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Goodreads Giveaway: DLO Hard Copy

From March 25 through April 26, you can enter on Goodreads to win a limited edition print copy of Dead Letter Office! How is that? I don't even have one of those! (Hmm, maybe I should enter myself...)

Enter today and good luck!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Dead Letter Office Gets an "A"!

A big thank you to Verb Vixen for her review of Dead Letter Office.

Do you like:
New Orleans? Ghost stories? History? Mysteries? Choose your own adventures? Stories set in high school? Magic? Swoon worthy boys? Girls with gumption?
If you replied yes to ANY of the above then you’re going to love Dead Letter Office!
Kate also calls out the book's NOLA setting and interactivity for a positive mention, and I just love this description of Celia:
[Celia] is recklessly brave, endearingly hopeful and most of shines with an inner strength and resolve that we often don’t see in heroines in contemporary YA these days.
Check out the full review!


Thursday, March 07, 2013

FREE Coliloquy Ebooks for Women's History Month

I'm honored to have Dead Letter Office included in a wonderful giveaway my publisher Coliloquy is holding in honor of Women's History Month and International Women's Day. Just email them for a copy of DLO or several other terrific interactive titles.

Check out all the details on Coliloquy's blog!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Post Mortem Interview and Giveaway

I'm thrilled to return to the I Am a Reader Not a Writer blog for a brand-new interview, in which I confess my secret personal kryptonite, share some writing tips, and reveal the weirdest thing I ever ate (trust me, it's about a 9 on the weirdometer).

And that's not all: you can register for a chance to win a copy of Post Mortem!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Parish Mail Kindle Giveaway on Goodreads

From now through March 4, if you write a review for Dead Letter Office on Amazon or Goodreads, you'll be entered to win a Kindle from my publisher, Coliloquy!

Check out all the details on Goodreads here.

And stay tuned for more promos, giveaways, and other goodies when Post Mortem -- available now for download -- officially launches on Feb. 26.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Post Mortem Now Available!

Get ready for Homecoming and mayhem! Post Mortem, Book 2 of my interactive young adult mystery series Parish Mail, is now available for your Kindle, Nook, Android device, and -- for the first time -- the Kindle app, which means you can read the book on your iPad or iPhone. Nifty, huh?

Download the book now to dive into Celia's New Orleans, a city full of magic and ghosts. When a friend vanishes just before Homecoming, Celia's convinced that a letter about a Civil War-era murder is the key to solving the mystery. Decide who will investigate with Celia -- roguish Donovan or enigmatic Luc -- and help her and BFF witch Tilly follow the clues to solve an unspeakable crime. The choices you make will determine if the killer is caught or escapes.

Hope you enjoy reading the book as much as I enjoyed writing it.

(Did you miss Book 1, Dead Letter Office? No worries, you can download it here. And check out the Goodreads pages for Dead Letter Office and Post Mortem to join the Parish Mail community! )