What I Write

My young adult novels are dark, edgy, and realistic. Although I love paranormal and fantasy books, I prefer to create stories that could really happen (and in many cases, really are happening). For me, the echo of a story set firmly in the real world always haunts me long after I've read the final word. If you like Ellen Hopkins, Jay Asher, and Neal Shusterman, you might like my books, too.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Show Me Your Indies!

Calling all independently published authors!

If you're a follower of my blog, you already know about my Five Faves reviews.  As a lover of books, and as a YA writer, I read a lot. A-L-O-T.  I've always got my ear to the ground for the latest, greatest works of fiction (whether best-sellers or unknowns) and I love to brag about them to my friends, colleagues, and (before my maternity leave) my high school students.

The latest craze seems to be self-pubbing, so, in honor of all those awesome folks out there who decided to forgo to the query letters, the agents, and the publishing houses, I want to find my Five Faves, Indie Style.

If you HAVE ALREADY SELF-PUBLISHED and your book is CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE, please contact me at laurastanford at ymail dot com to submit your indie novel for review.

Here are the guidelines:

1.) Books must be complete, published, and available for purchase (e-books only please) by the general public.

2.) Your book must be YA or MG, but all genres are welcome.  Submissions must be within the generally-accepted word count for the age group (no 250,000-word epic fantasies, please) and it must not contain language or content deemed unacceptable for the target audience. *I reserve the right to exclude vulgar or otherwise inappropriate submissions or submissions that are intended for adults or younger children.

3.) You must email me your e-book (PDF is preferred) on or before Memorial Day (11:59 p.m., EST) I was originally going to take paperbacks as well, but it's turned out to be too confusing.

4.) In the subject line, please put SHOW ME YOUR INDIES! so I don't lose your submission.  If you don't hear back from me within 3 days, please resend.

So, what's in it for you?

My Five Faves will be featured here on the blog, bragged about on Twitter & Facebook, and I'll lovingly write a review for you on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, and/or any other site you'd like me to hit.  And, when I do get back into the classroom this fall, I'll hang up a large poster featuring the winners' covers and websites. FYI, there are about 2500 students in my high school, 45,000 YA/MG students in my district.

Still not enough?

If I choose your indie as my Spotlight book (My FAVE fave of the Five) I'll send you a bookish prize (still TBD) for being so awesome.

Once I've reviewed all the submissions, I'll contact the winners via email and post my results.  My goal (depending on how many submissions I receive) is to announce the winners before August 1st.  I know it seems like a long time to wait, but I want to read every book cover to cover, and enjoy it--the way books are meant to be read! 

Want more ways to promo your indie?  Check out IndieARCs and Novel Publicity on Facebook. 

Good luck!  I can't wait to see your indies!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Worst Nightmare & The Fastest $20 I've Ever Spent

Last night I watched a show called Close Calls.  I hate shows like this.  Hate them.  Like, seriously.  They freak me out.  They keep me up at night.  They bother me for DAYS.

And last night's episode was no exception.

The show is a compilation of amateur videos featuring people who nearly die, but manage to escape--and not unscathed.  In fact, in nearly every case, the people were badly, badly injured.  To top it off, this particular show seemed to be all about young, defenseless children.  As a mother, these are the scenes that feed my worst nightmares.  A situation where I'm unable to save my child.

Here's the one that literally kept me up last night. It shows a mother and her two young children, trapped in a burning vehicle.  It's the most frightening two minutes I've ever watched on television. Viewer discretion advised.

If you listen carefully, you might be able to hear the off-duty fireman screaming for someone to give him a knife.  That's because the little boy's seat belt was locked (a standard result of an accident) and the buckle had melted because of the blazing fire surrounding him.

The first thing I did when I woke up this morning?  I packed up my 2-year-old daughter, went to Ace Hardware, and bought a Lifehammer.

It was the fastest--and possibly the best--$20 I've ever spent in my life.

About Me

I'm a writer of contemporary teen fiction. My bookshelf is SLAMMED with young adult novels and I should be on some sort of twelve step program for my spending habits in Barnes and Noble. And, for the record, I LIKE having real books, so no Nook or Kindle for this gal.