MaureenMcGowan

Live Chat Update!

The chat is at 8pm tonight, if you’re in the Eastern time zone!!! (Not 6 pm as originally posted.)

My brain seems to be working backwards these days and I got it wrong before. Sorry.

Here, again, is the link: http://readingintwilight.blogspot.ca/2014/03/maureen-mcgowan-live-chat-starts-310.html

Questions can be posted on that blog, or tweeted using hashtag #MaureenLiveChat.

I’ll be showing a sneak peek of the cover for GLORY.

Here is a tease:

Mcgowan-Glory-JK-FL-v1a.indd

 

What’s New and Giveaways!

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged and I’d like to get back into the habit. Thing is, I probably spend more time on Facebook and Twitter these days…

If we’re not connected there, here are the links where you can find me:

Facebook (like the page to follow me)

Twitter (follow)

In other news…

There are three giveaways happening right now. Check them out to win signed copies of DEVIANTS or COMPLIANCE.

  1. LIVE TO READ: COMPLIANCE GIVEAWAY
  2. LIVE TO READ: DEVIANTS GIVEAWAY
  3. GILDED launch party giveaway: Choice of DEVIANTS or COMPLIANCE GIVEAWAY

I’m going to have lots more exciting news soon. Some short stories will be available, new covers, launch plans for GLORY! Sign up for my newsletter to make sure you’re the first to know!

And here’s a small tease of the new cover concepts…

Snippets of the draft cover concepts

Snippets of the draft cover concepts

 

What do you think?

Color me excited. 😀

 

Giveaway of 250 Books!

Win a signed hardcover of DEVIANTS

The blog Live to Read is giving away a TON of books. (Okay, 250 books might not technically weigh a ton.)

Right now, DEVIANTS is featured front and center. Go enter to win a signed hardcover!!

Click here

PS. I cannot WAIT to reveal the new cover design for the DEVIANTS kindle version!!!

The Power of Pure Joy and Positive Friends

Recently, my awesome friend, Debbie Ohi, aka InkyGirl, aka @inkyelbows had an amazing opportunity. I was privileged enough to have been “in on the secret” from the start and although I don’t think I was much help to her, I was beyond honored that she asked for my help, and my insides were buzzing with excitement for the entire month before she got her good news.

Debbie, is providing illustrations for the new cover designs of Judy Bloom’s fabulous middle grade classics!!! And also illustrations (interior and covers) for three of her chapter books!!!

So exciting!!!

And reading Debbie’s joyful post announcing the news and describing her audition process, I’m reminded why I love Debbie (as if I needed any reminders). And why I so appreciate having positive people in my writerly-life.

So much in publishing can be disheartening. We all pour our hearts into, and work so very, very hard on projects that never go anywhere… And Debbie is no exception to this. She’s had heartbreaks too. But her pure joy that’s so evident in this post says it all.

Please join me in congratulating Debbie!!!!!

All the winners!

Happy New Year to all!

I hope everyone had a terrific holiday season. I know I did, ice storm and power outages aside. Many of us had a pioneer-style Christmas in the Toronto area.

Much of the city looked like this:

Photo from Toronto Star

Photo from the Toronto Star

In other news:  I drew the winners for both contests. (Well, rafflecopter did the draw for one, and random.org did for the other.)

Team Burn Giveaway:

  • Tina A. — Team Burn t-shirt
  • Lee T. — Team Burn t-shirt
  • Tina H. — DEVIANTS (hardcover or audio)
  • Katey B. — COMPLIANCE (hardcover or audio)

Newsletter Exclusive Giveaway:

  • Laura — HUGE prize pack (DEVIANTS, COMPLIANCE, tote bag, Team Burn t-shirt, other swag)
  • Tiffanie — Hardcover copy of COMPLIANCE plus a Team Burn t-shirt

Congratulations to the winners and many thanks to all who entered both contests and helped to spread the word!

If you missed out on the Newsletter Exclusive Giveaway, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter so you won’t miss out next time.

Finally, the kindle versions for both DEVIANTS and COMPLIANCE are still on sale in the US via the Amazon Local promotion. Until January 9th, you can get the books for only $0.99!!! What a deal!

Here’s a link to the promotion information.

 

 

I won!

I was thrilled to find out on Friday evening that COMPLIANCE won the Golden Leaf for best YA! (Thank goodness for twitter! I thought the awards were Saturday night.)

The award is given out by the New Jersey chapter of the RWA. I wish I’d been at the conference to collect the hardware, but alas. :(

This nomination and win were especially gratifying since COMPLIANCE is the middle book in a trilogy, and it’s not exactly a romance… So, I was very pleased that the judges felt that a) it worked as a standalone and b) the romance elements were satisfying. (Worried me in a middle book.)

I had a friend accept the award for me and I’ll have to get together with her soon to get my hands on it!  I’ll post a photo of the award once I see it. :)

In other good news, Compliance made the “Best Books” list put together twice a year by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre!

Speaking of the CCBC, I was at the CCBC’s awards last night, sponsored by TD Bank. It was a fabulous event and a great time to catch up with lots of author friends.

Here’s a slightly blurry snap of me with author Adrienne Kress (also currently starring in a fun Chum FM commercial if some of you local Toronto peeps recognize her).

Sara Hantz Cover Reveal!

Today I’m revealing not one, but two covers for upcoming books by Sara Hantz. Sara’s been an on-line writer pal since — since forever — and I’m thrilled that she’s got two new books coming out!

In the Blood releases November 5 and Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up? releases May 6, 2014.

In the Blood

For seventeen years Jed Franklin’s life was normal. Then his father was charged with the abuse and murder of four young boys and normal became a nightmare.

His mom’s practically a walking zombie, he’s lost most of his friends, and the press camps out on his lawn. The only things that keep him sane are his little sis; his best friend and dream girl, Summer; and the alcohol he stashes in his room. But after Jed wakes up from a total blackout to discover a local kid has gone missing—a kid he was last seen talking to—he’s forced to face his greatest fear: that he could somehow be responsible.

In a life that’s spiraled out of control, Jed must decide if he chooses his own destiny with Summer by his side or if the violent urges that plagued his father are truly in the blood…

Excerpt

Chapter One

Pedophile: Noun

An adult who is sexually attracted to children.

Scum.

Sleazeball.

Creep.

Loser.

Lowlife.

Asswipe.

Dad.

Chapter Two

Benjamin Franklin. My Dad.

Not that Benjamin Franklin.

That Benjamin Franklin.

Pedophile and murderer.

Freaked out?

Did you even know a bastard like that could lead a regular life?

With a wife and two children. A son and a daughter. No, nor did we. Until it was too late.

Too fucking late.

The numbing shock when he was arrested. The disbelief. The conviction that the police had gotten it wrong. Way wrong. Even in the face of damning evidence, we knew that the truth would come out. That the evidence got switched. That there was a cover up, or something.

Something.

Then the police found locks of hair belonging to each of those dead boys, so well hidden in the little trinket box my dad’s mom gave him on her deathbed.

Then we knew. Really knew.

And that’s when our lives changed.

Forever.

Add In the Blood to your Goodreads shelf.

Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up?

Abi Saunders might be a kickboxing champion, but when it comes to being the center of attention, she’d rather take a roundhouse kick to the solar plexus any day. So when her trainer convinces her to audition to be the stunt double for hot teen starlet Tilly Watson, Abi is shocked—and a little freaked out—when she gets the job.

Being a stunt double is overwhelming, but once the wig and makeup are on, Abi feels like a different person. Tilly Watson, to be exact. And when Tilly’s gorgeous boyfriend, Jon, mistakes Abi for the real star, Abi’s completely smitten. In fact, she’s so in love with her new life, it isn’t long before she doesn’t have time for her old one.

But when the cameras are turned off, will she discover running with the Hollywood A-list isn’t quite the glamorous existence she thought it was?

Excerpt

“Abi, for God’s sake, concentrate,” Zak shouts. “Fairies don’t look like elephants when they fly. Legs together, arms graceful, and glide. Please.”

My cheeks are crimson and I want to die. I know he’s the director and has the right to holler, but doesn’t he understand that the louder he is the worse I am? We must have gone over this move fifty times and I still can’t get it. And I know, without even looking, the other guys have lost it with me. It’s easy for them but I’m a kick-boxer, not a freakin’ acrobat.

And now Zak’s saying something to one of the crew. Let’s all guess what it is: get rid of the silly girl. We couldn’t get anyone more incompetent if we tried. In fact a monkey could do better.

Well, he’s right, a monkey could do better. Then again, a monkey wouldn’t need to wear a harness that cuts badly into its thighs so it can fly across the room. We’re doing wire work, the one thing I was looking forward to. Ha. What a laugh that is.

At least we’re not filming yet. This is just the rehearsal or, as they say, ‘prepping’. We’re in one of the studios that’s full of equipment with pulleys and wires. I’ve no idea how it all works, except that it keeps me up in the air. I thought we’d be doing this outside but it seems they film wire work stuff indoors against a big screen, and then edit to make it look like it’s outside by dropping in a background. As Mom would say: “the wonders of modern science”.

What I’m doing is really basic stuff, nothing like the things they did on the Matrix. Which it wouldn’t be, obviously. I remember reading that those actors had months and months of kung fu training even though most of the stunts were done by stunt men.

Right. This is it. I’m going to really concentrate. I will not be beaten. I can do this. It’s not hard.

I’m a graceful fairy, 

I’m a graceful fairy, 

I’m a graceful fairy. 

“Ready,” I call, for the first time feeling confident of success.

The technician holds up his thumb so I know we’re about to go. I take a deep breath, point my toes, bring my legs together and hold out my arms at a forty-five degree angle. So far, so good. I swallow hard as I begin to move.

Yay, I’m doing it. I’m actually doing it. Please let Zak say it’s ok. 

“Hu-fucking-ray,” booms Zak’s voice. “At last, she’s got it.”

I’ve done it. I’ve actually done it. I can do wirework. And even Zak’s sarcastic tone can’t spoil it.

A loud crash, sounding like someone slamming the door, gives me a start and I jerk backwards. My legs splay and I lose all control of my body, until suddenly I’m hanging upside down.

This so isn’t happening to me. My hair flops into my eyes and my arms dangle in mid-air. And let’s not even think about how shallow my breathing is.

Crap.

After what seems like an eternity (which is probably only a few seconds) someone starts a slow handclap. And here’s me thinking it couldn’t get any worse.

I figure it’s Zak and wait for everyone to join in. Except they don’t.

The silence is deafening. Until…

“Look at that crazy bitch. You’re surely not expecting her to be my double.”

Tilly Winters in the flesh. And none too happy to see me!

Add Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up to your Goodreads shelf.

Amazon | B&N

About Sara

Sara Hantz originally comes from the UK and is one of four children, having three younger brothers. Although she was an avid reader from a very early age, she didn’t get the writing bug until much later in life, though English was always one of her stronger subjects. She’s an avid sun chaser and now lives on the beautiful Sunshine Coast in Australia (via 10 years in New Zealand). She writes young adult fiction and her debut book The Second Virginity of Suzy Green was published by Flux Books and made the prestigious list ‘New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age’. Sara has a PhD in Education and lectured for many years before deciding to devote more time to her writing and working in the family hospitality business. She has two grown-up children and w hen not writing, working or online with her friends, she spends more time than most people she knows watching TV – in fact if TV watching was an Olympic sport she’d win gold.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Giveaway

In celebration of the reveals, Sara is giving away a $50 Amazon giftcard! Use the rafflecopter below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway