Thursday, December 27, 2012

fur immer die Seele!

There was an awesome box waiting for me at the post office today - copies of the German edition of TRANSCENDENCE! You can't tell from the picture, but the cover is thick and matte, with the title glossy and raised and each book carefully shrink-wrapped. I LOVE it - hope you do too!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Drumroll.....The Cover of INTUITION!

I'm so happy I finally get to share the gorgeous new cover for INTUITION (out in June), the sequel to TRANSCENDENCE:


From the back cover:
As Cole begins to accept her new life as Akhet, every new vision from her past helps explain more about who she is in this life. Her love for Griffon grows as quickly as her Akhet abilities, while Cole learns to recognize other Akhet around her, including Drew, a young millionaire who reveals a startling connection - he was Cole's true love in Tudor England. But Drew's intense desire to restore their past relationship alienates Griffon. Caught between the person she was in the 15th century and the person she is today, Cole must decide who she loves and quickly figure out her place in the Akhet's worldwide plan as a rogue member threatens to destroy them all.

I LOVED diving back into Cole's world and hope you all enjoy it in June!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Skype Visits

I've done a few skype visits lately and wanted to remind the teachers/book club members out there that I'm always happy to visit you via my office chair. This last one was with Ms. Kullen's book club at a high school in Pennsylvania and they took a group photo with the laptop featuring my big old head which was pretty fun.

Skype visits work best when the students are prepared and have preferably read one of my books so that I can answer specific questions. If you're interested in having me 'visit' your classroom or book club, just click on the 'contact' button over on the upper right hand side of the screen and shoot me an email. If you have an iPad, we're also experimenting with FaceTime visits too. Easy and fun!

Thursday, November 29, 2012


 I just got the final covers for two of the foreign editions of TRANSCENDENCE. I love seeing how each country interprets the story - so pretty!

Germany, February 2013

UK, June 2013

Monday, November 26, 2012

Everyone Needs an Editor. Even you.

I was on a panel recently and one of the questions involved the value of having an editor. I was surprised how strongly I felt about my answer at the time, so I figured I'd share my thoughts here on the blog.

Everyone needs an editor. Everyone. Whether you're being traditionally published or self-publishing, the one thing your book needs more than a kick-ass cover or a blurb from that NYT bestselling author is a ruthless editor. I'm not talking about hiring someone to correct your spelling and punctuation - I'm talking about someone who will make you question the value of every single paragraph and the position of every single word.

When I turned in the first draft of my first novel Dirty Little Secrets, I'd already gone through several rounds of revisions with my agent and I thought it was a pretty perfect book. By the time I got my first round of edits back from my editor, I was wondering why in the world they bought the book in the first place. She obviously hated it. Between the multi-page, single-spaced edit letter and the insanely marked up copy, it felt like there was nothing left of the original story. So I called my best writing friend and cried into the phone at the unfairness of it all, at the impossibility of making the changes that she wanted, about the possibility of giving back the advance and just forgetting the whole thing. I put the edit letter away for a couple of days, and when I finally got the courage up to take another peek at it, I had to admit that the suggestion at the top of the second page had some merit. After a few days, I was ready to read and really look at the whole thing and I had to grudgingly admit that almost everything she said was going to make the book better than I'd ever imagined. There was only one suggestion that I didn't take - she suggested that YA readers were going to want a 'wrap up' chapter so that they'd get a sense of what happened after the last scene. In my mind, the book ended at a certain point in my head, so I stood my ground. You know what? She was right. So right, that I wrote an 'After' chapter and put it on my website to answer all of the reader mail I got wanting to know what happened after the last page.

The next two books I wrote with my editor followed a similar pattern. By the time we got through ripping apart characters and timelines, swapping chapters and rewriting (and rewriting and rewriting) endings, they were unrecognizable from the drafts I turned in, and you know what? They were MUCH better for it. I often think her name should be on the front of my book along with mine.

I'm not against self-publishing. Many of my friends have decided to go that route for different reasons, and that's great. What I am against is an author finishing a draft, running it through some rudimentary copy edits and putting it online as a finished work. Without a second set of eyes that is invested in making your book the best in can be, it's not finished. You need to analyze every aspect of your story and be prepared to change everything in order to make it better. And you can't do that in a vacuum. And if you are doing it in a vacuum, you're doing it wrong IMHO and shortchanging your readers. Handing your story to a ruthless editor who will make you question everything has nothing to do with keeping 'control' of your work. It's about making that work the best it can be.

So to all of you out there asking if you need an editor, the short answer is yes.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Griffon!

Many people know that TRANSCENDENCE was inspired by the son of a friend who died five years ago. Griffon would have been 18 today, so I want to take a minute out of this Thanksgiving Day to wish him Happy Birthday:

Griffon's family are warm and wonderful and his mom is one of the most amazing people I know - he'll never be forgotten.

Hug your family today and know that they are what you're truly thankful for.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fur immer die Seele - German Trailer

So I stumbled on the German trailer for TRANSCENDENCE that is coming out from Dressler in February of 2013. I have no idea what they're saying, but it looks awesome and I love the cover!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Theme Songs

Most books end up with a theme song - most of the time just something that gets stuck in my head while I'm writing and won't let go. For TRANSCENDENCE, it was Break Even by the Script, for the sequel INTUITION (coming in June), it was Someone Like You by Adele (you can tell when I wrote these by the theme songs sometimes).  For the new book I'm finishing it's been Hallelujah, the John Cale version, which is funny because the song is a bit dark, but the book really isn't. I go to sleep with this song in my head and wake up with this song in my head. Here, now you can too:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Spartanburg 7 Reads!

A few months ago, I was invited to come to Spartanburg, South Carolina to talk to some students who had read my book. I've never been south of NYC on the east coast, so I said sure, not realizing what an amazing event this really is. This post is mainly for other authors who might be invited to participate in Spartanburg Reads so that you will know what to expect.

Rodney Graves is the Director of Secondary Education in Spartanburg and my contact throughout the process. What he really is, is the reading guru of South Carolina. I've never seen so much effort put into a literacy program that is run so amazingly well. The program basically gives a book to every student in the fairly large Spartanburg 7 school district to read over the summer. The elementary kids are given picture books, while the higher grades are allowed to choose the nominees and then pick the final seven books they can choose to read. I didn't realize what an honor it was to be chosen until Irene who works in the media center showed me the original nomination list - so many books I love had been nominated, it was amazing that my DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS landed in the final seven. In the end, over 400 high school students read my book, and for me, that's reason enough to show up.

When you fly in, you are picked up by one of the staff working the event. I got to ride down with Susan Myers who pointed out the sights (giant watertower in the shape of a peach -or a derriere, depending on your perspective - anyone?) and then took me to Wade's for what is billed as a meat and two veg (who knew that mac and cheese was a veg?) for an authentic NC lunch and my first fried green tomatoes ever. After some great conversation, I was driven to our B&B for a few hours rest. And what a place! The Inn on Main is a 1904 house run by Susan and Wade Sease and it is gorgeous.

I'm not a morning person, but I'd get up at 6:30 all over again for their amazing southern breakfast - grits, homemade biscuits, baked apples, bread pudding, maple-pecan bacon...I could go on. The authors took over the place and they couldn't have been nicer. (Yes, that is E.B. Lewis sitting next to me at breakfast.)

A community event featuring wonderful authors Kelly Starling-Lyons, Kathy Patrick, Johnathan Miller and Hester Bass. 


Me talking about something onstage at The Showroom, a converted Nash dealership.

Me with author Kathy Patrick and the amazing media center staff.

If you're invited to Spartanburg Reads, you'll work hard. I did two community events and four speaking engagements in front of groups of high school students and teachers in less than two days. But you'll also be treated exceptionally well. Every event was well publicized and attended both by people involved in the school district and community members. The kids at my presentations were quiet and polite and asked some really thoughtful questions. They are really glad to have you there and it shows. Just this morning, I got an email with a writing question from one of the kids at the high school.

There were a few hours of downtime every day, and I spent the second warm afternoon on the upstairs veranda of the hotel watching a thunderstorm roll in. It was the perfect ending to a seriously rewarding day. If you get asked and you don't mind a little hard work, Spartanburg, South Carolina is a great place to be.

*Thanks to Rodney Graves, Kathy Patrick and The Inn on Main for the photos!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Giveaway - IF I LIE by Cory Jackson (Signed!)

 A powerful debut novel about the gray space between truth and perception.
Quinn’s done the unthinkable: she kissed a guy who is not Carey, her boyfriend. And she got caught. Being branded a cheater would be bad enough, but Quinn is deemed a traitor, and shunned by all of her friends. Because Carey’s not just any guy—he’s serving in Afghanistan and revered by everyone in their small, military town.
Quinn could clear her name, but that would mean revealing secrets that she’s vowed to keep—secrets that aren’t hers to share. And when Carey goes MIA, Quinn must decide how far she’ll go to protect her boyfriend…and her promise.

What Kirkus said about IF I LIE by Cory Jackson:

“Sophie’s blunt, perceptive present-tense narration takes readers effectively into her personal emotional maelstrom. Relationships and their dynamics play themselves out naturally and with satisfying complexity; readers see all too clearly the damage done in the name of love.
-from Kirkus

I got to go to Cory's launch party last night at Books Inc. in San Francisco and it was so great to see her so excited about her debut novel! There was a candy bar and red velvet cake pops (which were awesome) and a wonderful crowd there to celebrate with her.

IF I LIE is receiving rave reviews even though it only debuted yesterday. I got a copy for me and a signed copy for YOU! This giveaway is international - so spread the word!

Amazon | Indiebound | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Back To School Giveaway!

In honor of back to school (known around here as the most wonderful time of the year-no disrespect to Christmas), I'm holding a giveaway that is only for librarians and teachers. Included in the prize pack are:

  • Signed hardcover of TRANSCENDENCE
  • 35 signed TRANSCENDENCE bookmarks
  • Ankh temporary tatoos
  • Ankh earrings
  • Signed hardcover of DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS
  • Signed paperback of DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS
  • 35 signed DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS bookmarks
  • Shabby Teddy from DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS
If you'd like to add these books to your classroom or school (or public) library, just enter on the Rafflecopter link below. Because the box is fairly large, the giveaway is open to US residents only. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 6, 2012

DARK PLACES-Free eBook Sampler

My publisher, Bloomsbury/Walker has put together an amazing free eBook sampler for the Kindle and the Nook. Called DARK PLACES, it is a collection of first chapters, author notes and bonus chapters from TRANSCENDENCE, Susan Vaught's FREAKS LIKE US, Megan Miranda's FRACTURE and THE UNQUIET by Jeannine Garsee. I'm honored to be among authors that I admire so much and I'm so happy to be included in this compilation.

I'm SO excited for this sampler. I love bonus material and it was so much fun to create something special for fans of TRANSCENDENCE. In my author note, I answer the question of what inspired the story of reincarnation (and cried just a little while writing it) and the bonus material encompasses the two weeks leading up to the moment that Griffon and Cole meet at the Tower of London. The best part? It's told from Griffon's point of view, so we get a glimpse into what goes on in his mind.

I love it and I hope you will too! Check it out on Amazon for Kindle and on Barnes and Noble for Nook. and let me know what you think.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Tour of The Tower of London

A few weeks ago, I was in London and went back to the Tower to revisit some of the sites that are important to TRANSCENDENCE. If you've read the book,  you know that the book opens with Cole taking a tour of the Tower of London with her sister Kat. There, she has some strange visions that start her on a journey that will change her life. 

This is the view from the Tower Hill tube stop just across the street. Cole has her first vision of the executions on the hill on this spot.

This is a view of the Tower of London from just up the hill. In the 1500s, there would have been a moat all around it where the grass is today. The smell would have been amazing.                                                          

These are some of the living quarters over the main entrance gate. Griffon's dad lives here.


Cole comments that it's odd to see all of the historical buildings with the modern glass structures just beyond the walls.  You can see what she means here.

A lot of the warders live on the grounds of the Tower - you can see their homes and the buildings they use for day to day life if you look around. 


A view across the main lawn.

A warder giving a tour.


Beauchamp Tower, where all of the prisoner's graffiti is located. Later in the book, Cole has a memory of sitting in the window that you see on the second floor overlooking the execution spot on the Green.


This is all prisoner's graffiti that is carved right into the walls.  This last one is the one I used as inspiration for the one that Cole finds on the wall that seems to be important to her.

The view from the window in Beauchamp Tower. You can see the glass memorial on the left hand side by the grass. The actual execution scaffolding would have been built on the right of the photo on the other side of the path.

The glass memorial to the executed.

The entrance to the Crown Jewels.

The Armouries Cafe where Griffon takes Cole to have some tea after she faints.

Axe and executioner's block that were used at the Tower.

 I think visiting sites where a book takes place really makes it come to life. If you ever visit London, make sure to stop by the Tower of London and run your hand over the ancient stone walls. You never know what might happen!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

ADAPTATION by Malinda Lo - Giveaway!

Because I know important people (and okay, I begged a little bit) I got an advanced copy of Malinda Lo's amazing science fiction story ADAPTATION. I raced through the entire thing on a flight from San Francisco to London a few weeks ago and it was as great as I expected it to be. 


Reese can't remember anything from the time between the accident and the day she woke up almost a month later. She only knows one thing: She's different now.

Across North America, flocks of birds hurl themselves into airplanes, causing at least a dozen to crash. Thousands of people die. Fearing terrorism, the United States government grounds all flights, and millions of travelers are stranded.

Reese and her debate team partner and longtime crush David are in Arizona when it happens. Everyone knows the world will never be the same. On their drive home to San Francisco, along a stretch of empty highway at night in the middle of Nevada, a bird flies into their headlights. The car flips over. When they wake up in a military hospital, the doctor won't tell them what happened, where they are--or how they've been miraculously healed.

Things become even stranger when Reese returns home. San Francisco feels like a different place with police enforcing curfew, hazmat teams collecting dead birds, and a strange presence that seems to be following her. When Reese unexpectedly collides with the beautiful Amber Gray, her search for the truth is forced in an entirely new direction--and threatens to expose a vast global conspiracy that the government has worked for decades to keep secret.

And you don't have to just take my word for it - check out this great blurb from Holly Black: 
"A clever, fast-paced romantic adventure chock-full of unexpected surprises."

So now you want to read it, right? And you don't want to have to wait for the release date on September 18th? Well, I have a solution for you!

I'm going to give away my previously read (but in very good shape) ARC of ADAPTATION. Did I mention that it went to London, Nigeria and Rome? So not only is it good reading, but it's well traveled too. And because I've looked all over the house and can't find any hoops for you to jump through, I'm going to make it easy for you  - all you have to do is comment below. That's it! Just leave a comment before midnight on July 17th and I'll draw a winner. (I'm seeing Malinda on Friday, so I'll even get her to sign it.) 

Unfortunately, I'm going to have to limit this to readers in the US and Canada. I recently sent several packages to Singapore and Malaysia and I'm flat broke now. But if you live around here and want your very own advance reader copy - just comment below.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Taste of Transcendence

My publisher Bloomsbury/Walker did a great trailer for TRANSCENDENCE that gives just a hint at what's inside the pages:

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Transcendence Review Roundup (#1)

I've been so thrilled at the great early reviews coming out for Transcendence already! Here are links to just a few of them, and I'll update them as we go:

WinterHaven Books blog
Beneath Shining Stars I Read
All Things Urban Fantasy
Letters Inside Out
Into the Hall of Books
OWL for YA

I love that these bloggers take time out to read the books and then write such wonderfully thoughtful reviews - feel free to comment on their posts.

Transcendence comes out next Tuesday - hard to believe it's already here. I posted on Twitter that I'll send this ankh necklace (ankhs figure prominently in the book) to the first person who takes a picture of it on a bookstore shelves and posts it on Twitter (or my Facebook Page).

You can @ me on Twitter at @cjomololu .

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Transcendence spricht deutsch!

So excited to announce that TRANSCENDENCE and the sequel will be published in Germany by Dressler Publishing! The schedule for Transcendence is Fall 2013, followed by the sequel in 2014. I'll post the new covers and information as it becomes available.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Transcendence Playlist

One of the 'don't bug me, I'm writing' signals to the family is when I have my headphones clamped to my ears. While I was writing Transcendence, I listened to a lot of music to get me in the mood and the wonderful folks at Xuni have put up a playlist of music that to me, makes the book come alive. Whenever I hear one of these songs, I'm transported to the part of the book that relates to it for me.

Every book has a theme song, one that I listened to over and over while I was writing it. For Transcendence, it was Break Even by The Script - I must have watched the video a thousand times (this was, after all, in 2010). Just as I got the phone call that we'd sold the book, that song came on the radio in the car and it really was magic.

Click on the 'books' tab on the upper right hand corner of this page, then click on the gorgeous Transcendence cover to see the playlist. Enjoy! In the coming weeks we'll be putting up two more playlists - one for Cole's cello playing and another that is composed of Griffon's favorite songs from his previous lifetime. You can guarantee that the MC5 will be on it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Trailer - The Right and the Real by Joelle Anthony

You know I love a good issue book, and my friend Joelle Anthony has one coming out on April 26th that looks fabulous :

Jamie should have known something was off about the church of the Right & the Real from the start, especially when the Teacher claimed he wasn't just an ordinary spiritual leader but Jesus Christ himself. But she was too taken by Josh, the eldest son of one of the church's disciples, and his all-American good looks. Josh was the most popular boy at school, too, and the first boy outside the drama geeks to give Jamie a second look. But getting her dad involved in a cult was not part of the plan when she started dating Josh. Neither was her dad's marriage to the fanatic Mira or getting kicked out or seeing Josh in secret because the church has deemed her persona non grata.

Jamie's life has completely fallen apart. Finding her way back won't be easy, but when her dad gets himself in serious trouble, will Jamie be ready to rescue him, and maybe even forgive him?

I LOVED Joelle's first book RESTORING HARMONY and can't wait to get my hands on this one. Check out the trailer below:

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Giveaways and Bookmarks and Stuff!

I've been told that a limited number of advanced reader copies are making their way out into the world, and we got one very nice early industry review that I'm hoping to be able to post in the next couple of weeks. Hard to believe that Cole and Griffon are finally making their way into the world!

My publisher Bloomsbury is running a giveaway of 6 copies of TRANSCENDENCE over on Goodreads for the next 30 days- click on the link to enter and good luck!

I got some super gorgeous bookmarks done by the wonderful Su at Earthly Charms.

Awesome, right? I know some people collect these and like to do giveaways on their blogs, so just drop me a request at cyn (at) and I'll sign some and get them right out to you. I'm getting anxious to hold an actual hard copy of the book in my hands, but these baby steps make the waiting easier!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


So there have been several versions of this going around the web the past few weeks, but I'm happy to say that this is the final version of Transcendence, out June 5:

Ta da! Love how Griffon and Cole are portrayed on the cover - they're exactly as I imagined them to be and the crazy title font almost makes it look like it's moving.

I've been told there aren't that many ARCs (advanced reader copies for my non-pub industry friends) out there...want to win one? Head on over to these three blogs: Stalking the Book, Unputdownable Books or Wicked Awesome Books and comment on any of the posts (one entry per person) and we'll draw two ARC winners on March 14th.

Hope you love Transcendence as much as I do!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Where Am I?

I've been a very bad blogger. For the two of you who still pop by to check in from time to time, I apologize. Here's a little summary of where things stand right now:

* TRANSCENDENCE is coming! It will be out on June 5th and is available for pre-order from the usual locations - Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Powells and IndieBound. In many cases, it can be cheaper if you preorder, so feel free to order it before the release date. It should arrive on June 5, so we can all party together.

* If you're looking for an ARC (an uncorrected proof for my non-industry friends), I'm told they should be going out soon - everything is handled by my publicist at Walker/Bloomsbury, so contact them if you're interested. They are also up on NetGalley if you want an ecopy.

*The cover that is on the internet right now isn't the final cover. I love the couple on the cover and I'm not sure how much it will change, but we'll hopefully have a final reveal here in the next few weeks. For those of you in my real life, no the boy isn't my son (although he looks a lot like him and J hates it - hehehe).

*There will be lots of fun and special things happening around the release date in June. Stay tuned for giveaways, playlists and special extra chapters just to tease you a little more.

*I've been asked if there will be a release party. The answer is probably. Most likely in the same place that we had DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS here in my hometown, but nothing has been finalized. I'm not planning on touring at this point, but will do some local bookstores here in Northern California.

*We're revamping the website to include all of the special TRANSCENDENCE features as well as a new FAQ for DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS (I see what all of you Google search when you're trying to finish your homework!). This should launch sometime before the book, probably in May.

*I've turned in the manuscript for the sequel and am waiting for edits. As much as I love TRANSCENDENCE, I love the sequel just as much. We don't have a final title right now (it's up on Goodreads as FATED, but it will be renamed), but hopefully soon. It will be out in June of 2013. Can't wait!

*Just to pass the time (and because I think it's an awesome idea), I am working on a new book that's not associated with the TRANSCENDENCE titles. More on that later. Maybe.

If I haven't been here in awhile, you can always find me on FACEBOOK and I spend a ridiculous amount of time on Twitter (@cjomololu). Follow me on Twitter and you'll know more about me than you ever wanted to.

Thanks for dropping by!