Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My Cluttered Bookshelves

A couple of weeks ago, real actual hilary (formerly known as the Intern) did a fun blog post exposing her bookshelves to the world. Cool idea, but at the time I was too busy obsessing about how busy I was to do the same.

Today I just had to snap my own pics.

If you're wondering what Assistant Mufasa clawed out in order to make space for his wiry body, it was The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama, The Only EKG Book You'll Ever Need by Malcolm Thaler and The US Army Survival Guide. Very interesting reading, indeed! (That's his copy of Twilight, by the way :D).
What are you and your cats reading?


Friday, September 7, 2012


Question: Dear Fiona, Can I have VENOM for free? Kthxbai.

Answer: Man, I wish I could give everyone VENOM for free. Okay, I guess that would negatively impact my sales, so maybe not everyone. But lots of people. Especially people in Bangladesh and Romania and super faraway exotic places that probably won't be stocking VENOM on their library shelves. But I can't. So I did the next best thing and scoured the interwebz for you in order to compile this awesome list of places you can try to win VENOM.

#1 Fellow Apocalypsie Lauren Morrill is giving away a copy. You have until September 15th to enter here. I am not sure if this giveaway is international, so check with Lauren for more details.

#2 Goodreads is giving away three copies here. This contest closes Sept 15th and is apparently for US residents only. I'm not sure who is sponsoring the giveaway because to be honest Goodreads kind of scares me *delicate writer soul* so I don't delve very deeply into GR things anymore.

#3 Nikki at Fiction Freak is giving away an ARC of VENOM or a choice of about a bajillion other books on her blog. Her contest is open until September 30th.

#4 Blogger Monica Lopez, one of my original tweeps, will be giving away my last ARC in combination with an interview I did for her, sometime in September. I know, I know, that's vague, but she's got like school and stuff so just be patient and stalk her blog and/or my twitter feed for more info. This giveaway is sponsored by me so the ARC will be autographed, and hellz yeah it will be international :)

#5 Blogger (and awesome St. Louis Children's Hospital pediatrician) Christina Ahn will be hosting my first signed hardcover giveaway contest which will start on September 25th and run for about a month. Sponsored by me. Autographed. International. Watch her blog for more details.

#6 Author Nova Ren Suma has invited me to participate in this year's What Scares You blog series. I'm totally honored to be invited to Distraction 99 and since I am scared of basically everything, I know writing a guest post for her will be loads of fun. My post will go up sometime in October and will include an autographed hardcover giveaway of VENOM. Sponsored by me. International.

#7 In the days leading up to VENOM's release--October 24th through October 30th--I will be giving away two autographed hardcover books (and possibly more) randomly on twitter to people who have changed their twitter avatar to VENOM's cover in support of the release. Sponsored by me. International. I even made you an avatar. #Helpfulness

#8 Author Jessica Spotswood is doing a Penguin-sponsored hardcover giveaway to celebrate my book-birthday. She'll be bundling it with some excellent Cahill Witch Chronicles SWAG (for some reason I always want to capitalize the word swag. I don't know why) so you'll want to head over to her blog on October 30th.

#9 MY TWITTER PARTY!! OMG guys. The details are still being worked out, but the plan is for me to have a twitter party from 7pm to 9pm Eastern Standard time on October 30th. I'll be giving away my last Breathless Reads slipcase, a signed hardcopy, multiple book-related gift certificates and a slew of ARCs and other stuff that I am currently accumulating via mad begging and bribing of all of my industry contacts. [Edited to add, my editrix of wonder, Jill Santopolo, just offered a few AMAZING things, but I won't tell you what they are until they arrive because the post office ninjas like to steal my stuff.] I'm hoping to give something away every ten minutes, and even if you can't make the party (cuz you know, some people gotta work or go to basketball practice or whatnot) you can still be a winner! More details to come on my blog by October 1st.

#10 My first hardcover signing with my awesome St Louis YA writer colleagues Antony John and Heather Brewer. Come on, dudes. Halloween is on a Wednesday and you're too old to trick-or-treat. Bring yourself and your friends and your kids and your kids' friends to the Spencer Creek branch of the St. Charles Library system in St. Peters, MO on Halloween. (Time TBA). There will be tricks, treats, mask-making, costume contests, and giveaways galore. This is seriously going to be an epic party, and I'm heading to a local haunted house afterward for more fun. So if you want, you can come with and listen to me scream like a little girl as random dudes with chainsaws chase me around.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Get ready for ORIGIN

The first of Penguin Teen's 2012 Breathless Reads releases Tuesday September 4th!!

Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home—and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.

Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia’s origin—a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.

Origin is a beautifully told, shocking new way to look at an age-old desire: to live forever, no matter the cost. This is a supremely compelling debut novel that blends the awakening romance of Matched with the mystery and jungle conspiracy of Lost (via Goodreads).

My thoughts on ORIGIN: I was lucky enough to go to Costa Rica in March and ORIGIN was like a free trip back to the breathless beauty of the rainforest. The flowers, the foliage, the jaguars! To find out Jessica Khoury wrote the book without ever having seen the jungle for realz was astounding! Her research must have been all-encompassing.

While 'perfect' protagonist Pia made me want to strangle her for the first couple of chapters, I warmed to her character as she begin to question her immortality, her humanity, and what was happening in the hidden scientific compound that had been her entire world for seventeen years. From that point onward, this gripping story moves at a breathless pace and culminates in an ending that is both surprising and satisfying.

5 minutes of fill in the blanks with Jessica Khoury:

FP: The most fun part of writing ORIGIN was _____.
JK: Getting to do research on the Amazon jungle and learning all this cool stuff I got to put into my book--especially about the animals! I loved writing about Alai, Pia's pet jaguar.

FP: The hardest part of writing ORIGIN was _____.
JK: The romantic scenes. I wrote them over and over again, because I'd get halfway through and just bust out laughing. That was usually my clue that the scene wasn't working. So I'd sigh, erase it all, and start over until it was just right.

FP: People who like ______ will probably like ORIGIN.
JK: Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck or Across the Universe by Beth Revis

FP: Just for fun, because I am (finally!) reading His Dark Materials, what would be your daemon or spirit animal?
JK: Oh! I've thought about that exact thing for a long time, ever since reading HDM. My daemon would be a red fox. (I'd really want an orca, since that's my favorite animal, but that would be kind of difficult for both of us, I think).

Need more Jessica Khoury? Check out her website, twitter, and facebook!

Buy ORIGIN here or here or here.