Thursday, February 7, 2013

Czech it out!

I love seeing international covers! Here are both book covers as designed by my Czech publisher Fragment. And if you are fluent in Czech, you can read my interview on Magician's Book Blog by the lovely Filip Faja. Thanks Filip! 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Wicked Awesome Books

I have always admired the reviews of  Nikki on her book blog Wicked Awesome Books, but this one takes the cake. Thank you, Nikki!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) Review

In the second book of the Prophecy of Days series, Caity and her totally trusty BFF, Justine, continue their quest to unite the world's young people to fight the Shadow Government. Enrolling in an exclusive private school as a cover, they travel to the Dunhuang Caves under the pretext of a research project to find Uncle Li and the Sanskrit texts now in his possession. Aided by hunky Alex and members of The Council introduced in the first book, Caity and Justine arrive in China only to find that many things are not as they appear and that the Fraternitas and Shadow Government are infinitely more powerful than Caity ever imagined. Conspiracies abound in the second book of the Prophecy of Days series, which, if possible, moves at an even greater pace than the first. Raedeke weaves together an impressive array of mysticism, ancient knowledge, and conspiracy theories while keeping the main plot, if not all the details, easy to follow. Caity's emerging romance with Alex is sweet and believable, but readers will certainly enjoy the brief love triangle with the addition of handsome but obviously sinister Jules D'Aubigne. While more literary readers may scoff at the idea that love and good vibes from the under-twenty set can conquer a worldwide secret government that controls everything from electromagnetic energy waves to the World Bank, they are missing the point. Do not bother worrying about plot holes or stereotypical characters; just sit back and enjoy this summer blockbuster of a book. 

VOYA is “the library magazine serving those who serve young adults.” Reviewer: Summer Hayes

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Successful Launch!

Thanks to everyone for coming to Barnes & Noble last night! It was great to see so many people of all ages. A fabulous way to kick off a birthday! And thanks, Jennie for the photo and the blog homage!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Book Release Tonight at Barnes & Noble!

Please join me at 6:00 tonight, Wednesday July 27th, at Barnes & Noble in Medford for the official release of The Serpent's Coil. Wahoo!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Quest for Prophecy of Days at the NY Public Library

So I've been here in Manhattan for almost a week working on a secret project, and it's been very busy. Today was the first day I've had to kick around, so my first task was to catch Prophecy of Days in situ at the main branch of the New York Public Library. It still makes me giddy to think that my book is shelved in this iconic library.
I love this place! It's a Beaux-Arts masterpiece.
My goal was to find the books on the shelves and take some quick snaps (without flash, of course, NYPL staff). I was so bummed that they were all checked out! Well, I suppose that's a good thing, but I was really, really looking forward to that photo. So I snapped a pic of the catalog screen - though all digital, it's technically still a photo of my book in the NYPL. I leave dejected that my life is becoming ever more virtual.
Digital pic of digital representation of PoD in the NYPL.
On my way out my spirits are lifted by two enormous replicas of the lions in Legos. I miss my children terribly, and this meshing of where I am with their favorite toy makes me smile.

100% Legos, 110% regal. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mini Interview and Book Giveaway

Check out the Adventures in Children's Publishing blog - they're giving away a bunch of books that release this week, including The Serpent's Coil!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Serpent's Coil Has Arrived!

Guess what came early? Book II!

Release date was July 8 so I was expecting to see nothing before the second week in July. But yesterday I found this in the mail! It’s very exciting to see the finished cover with the spot varnish. The snake really pops! I kept it in my bag at work and would glance fondly at it now and then.
And last night, as a lovely coincidence, I had tickets to Ray LaMontagne/Brandi Carlisle/Secret Sisters. It was a beautiful evening of music under the stars with my oldest friend Julie and my second book tucked in my bag. 

Perfect day!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

New and Old, Old and New

I was recently  invited to be the guest at a book club that had chosen Prophecy of Days as their monthly selection. I was in the living room of a lovely Virginia home, watching the women speak, answering their questions, telling them a bit about book two – yet I was sitting at my desk at home. Skype is a beautiful thing.

At one point in the conversation I was struck by the delicious notion that we were using newest technology—a peer-to-peer video call system via high-speed wireless connections—to discuss the oldest technology: writing.

Roughly 5,000 years have passed since Sumerians pressed their reeds into soft clay tablets and then fired them. This encoded information allowed them to pass on knowledge; to allow future generations to learn virtually. Essentially removing the barrier of space and time, a person unrelated in place or decade could decode the wisdom imprinted on that clay and reconstruct its meaning. It’s an astonishing leap, really. A truly human invention.

Fast forward five millennia and we are using the technology of writing more extensively than ever before. More than a million books are published every year! It’s thrilling to me, this unprecedented body of knowledge growing and growing. What’s more, were applying new technology to this old technology, as in the case of Skype. Just as my book was encoded in writing and decoded by the human brains that read it, I myself was encoded by my computer in Oregon and decoded by Shawn’s computer in Virginia. 

There’s some beautiful recursion here that makes me happy late on a Sunday evening ...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Fifth Grade: It's more than just the year you get B.O.

I recently took some time off work to go with my daughter’s class on the annual fifth grade Oregon Coast field trip. I had three big revelations over the three-day event: 1) Eleven year old boys are like perpetual-motion machines, 2) Fifth grade is the year you start to smell, and 3) Learning is hard!

I had forgotten how exhausting it was to actively learn. This was stuff I was really interested in and it was still difficult to pay attention and really be engaged with an instructor hour after hour. Now I have a bit more sympathy for my kids who come home wiped out from school. I used to be all, “Suck it up! You should try working! You have two recesses and snack time!” Now I get it. At the end of a day of cramming information into every wee crenulation of your brain, a little Sponge Bob can be a balm.

Some highlights:

Juliet driving the trawler up the estuary.

Awaiting the bottom-dwelling creatures!

Mmmmm, a frosty glass of English Flounder.

Trying not to get blown off the cliff for a photo op.

Rife with life!

Juliet falls in love with a sea slug.

The Yaquina Head Lighthouse.

Putting together a deep-diving whale. How do we know it was a deep diver? It  has stinky, oily bones. 

In the shark tube at the aquarium that Keiko built. 

This is the inside of a Yurt. Is this an Oregon thing? It's like camping, without a tent.

Friday, May 27, 2011

First giveaway for the new book!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Serpent's Coil by Christy Raedeke

The Serpent's Coil

by Christy Raedeke

Giveaway ends July 11, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Monday, April 25, 2011

Snake Eyes

You never know what you’re going to get at the animal shelter. Based on who she grew up to be, our last cat (RIP Stimpy!), came from a long line of domesticated couch potatoes. This new kitten? Not so much. I think her parents weren’t even one generation out of the jungle—they must have been straight-up feral. For instance, she refuses a water dish, preferring to take her water from what she considers “natural” sources (like the vase of greenery above) and her razor blade claws open up my kids’ skin so often I’m afraid the school will suspect them of being cutters.

A couple of weeks ago, new kitty woke us up “playing” at 4 am. She was running around the room like crazy, scratching around under the bed, meowing, and just being generally annoying. Later that day – out of exhaustion from the kitty night antics –I lay down to take a short nap before we had to go to a party. Once my head hit the pillow I heard a little scritch scritch sound coming from my bedside table. In an act of great bravery, I called my ten year old daughter in to open the drawer. “I think something’s in my bedside table,” I told her, adding, “open it slowly, please!” in a wavering voice. She pulled the drawer out an inch and we saw all we needed to see. Beady eyes. The kitty had dragged a rodent in to our bedroom, where it had sought safe haven in my bedside table, chewing nervously on a paper snowflake Juliet had made for me. Naturally, we screamed and slammed the bedside drawer closed so hard that it forced the little guy out the back of the drawer. By this time I had only a few minutes before we had to be at a dinner party, so we decided to let nature take care of the problem: we threw the cat in the room and closed the door. It was the first time in my life I’d ever left the house hoping to see a dead rodent in my bedroom upon my return. 
Five hours later, we tentatively opened the door. On the bed was the kitty, sitting like a proud sphinx. At the threshold of the door was the poor furry creature, laid carefully on its side without any mess. That night I slept in my daughter’s room and the next day was devoted to deep, Clorox-fueled spring cleaning.
I’d hoped this was a one-time deal, but last night we experience rodent redux. This time we were able to corral the two into the bathroom. I had to sandwich my head in between two pillows to drown out the horror of mouse screams (yes, they scream). I felt great guilt at what was my second active hit on a rodent inside the house. But this time the cat got bored and mewed at the door after awhile. Scott went in to find the mouse doing skateboard moves up the half-pipe of the tub, completely unable to get enough purchase on the porcelain to get out. He put the poor thing outside where it ran back to the enormous hedge that surrounds our house. This hedge is like something out of a Beatrix Potter book, large enough to house all kinds of birds and squirrels and mice. A veritable buffet for our feral kitty.
Personally, I prefer my cats to be less “stalker beast” and more “lap warmer with attitude”. You roll the dice with pet adoption, and this time we came up snake eyes. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

SCBWI LA - Anyone?

I just registered for the 40th annual SCBWI conference in LA. I missed it last year and really missed it. I went in 2008 and met many, many amazing writers I still keep in touch with, and again in 2009 where we all reconnected. I do hope many of them will be there this year!

So, anyone else going?

Monday, April 4, 2011

On Getting Unstuck

See this tiny room? That’s what I was supposed to share with a stranger. The other bed? That would be where the photographer is standing in order to capture the charming shot. So when I showed up to the Asilomar Writer’s Conference and saw this, I bailed. I immediately turned around, walked outside, and looked at Hotwire for a room in town. With that kind of short notice, all I could get was a place in an old 40s drive-up motel, the kind that in less touristy towns might rent by the month. But it was mine, all mine! The funny thing is, I spent no time there. The conference hooked me, from breakfast through the last glass of wine well after midnight.

Inspiration is a funny thing. Sometimes all you need is an idea; sometimes all you need is energy. And sometimes you get a conflation of both. For me, that happened at Asilomar.

The speakers were great – I think this is the first conference where I attended every session. Like a seed feeling for the warmth of the sun on the damp earth above it, I soaked in everything the various authors, Illustrators, editors, and agents had to say. But it was the evenings that provided the heartiest sources of inspiration for me. After the last evening session, groups would congregate in different areas. Both nights I ended up sipping wine and eating Moose Much in the fireside lobby of the very lodge where I was originally booked to share a 76 square foot room with a stranger. Shame on me for not staying - the commute would have been far easier up two flights of stairs than across town. 

It was here that 20 or so of us gathered and talked about what we were working on, what we had in the pipeline, what we dreamed one day to do. I heard some amazing success stories and some cautionary tales, and I got some great advice without even asking for it. Some conferences are magical that way. But perhaps most important, I came home with the first 16 pages of a new manuscript. This was something I had been thinking about for months, but had neither the energy nor the inspiration to start. I love this project. I feel like I was born to write this book. In fact, I did a middle school visit last week and instead of reading from Prophecy of Days, I thought I’d try out the new piece. To my utter delight, they were riveted!

So, if you have a chance to attend the Asliomar Conference, I highly recommend it. You get to listen to speakers in this beautiful and historic conference center: 

 And you will take a million photos of Pacific sunsets that will all disappoint because nothing can really capture that kind of magic:

And you will meet authors like the humble and brilliant Newberry Honor recipient Cynthia Lord, who will remind you that being a writer is incredibly difficult but ultimately satisfying.

And perhaps, if you are stuck as I was, you might just get some mojo back…

Saturday, February 12, 2011

It's Real!

 It’s alive! This week I received my first Advanced Reader’s Copy (ARC) of book two! I've looked at the cover art a hundred times, yet nothing quite prepares you for seeing it in book form.  Funny as it may sound, it reminds me that the other book is still out there! My husband told me this morning that a high school boy came up to him yesterday and was raving about how much he was enjoying my book. We both kind of marveled at the fact that we don’t think about the book that often; it almost feels like a movie that came out and then went away. Release time was hectic with all the readings and school visits, but once the initial few weeks of fervor were over, we all went about our normal lives—which for me includes a pretty intense day job. So when I get an ARC in the mail or hear about a kid who is reading my book, it snaps me back to this alternate reality, the reality where I am an author. I didn't intend to have a double life, it just sort of happened.

My kids have been trying to get me to play Mario Kart on the Wii since Christmas. I’d honestly rather clean those vile little bolts around the base of the toilet than play video games, so it’s taken them a while to get that silly white steering wheel in my hands. When we started playing I felt like I was 15 again the first few minutes of having learner’s permit. I was overcompensating so hard that I was bouncing off rocks and guardrails and enormous mushrooms and whatnot. It was infuriating—just when I got up enough speed to clip along there’d be another obstacle or a quick turn. I asked the kids if there was a course that was simply a straight road so you could just gun it. They looked at me as if I’d just revealed a vestigial tail, and said, “Uh, no. What would be the point?”

That’s kind of what I wanted the writing life to be. You know, put out a book and then gun it. But, as my kids would say, “What would be the point?” Perhaps there’s a reason I’ve run in to an enormous mushroom or slammed into a guardrail. Perhaps it’s not supposed to be easy. Because we tend not to value what comes easily.  

Raising good children, finding work you enjoy, getting published—none of it is easy. But there are moments, like the first time you touch a book that bears your name on its spine, that make it all worthwhile. I’ve just had one of those moments. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Live in the Hunt!

You know when you come across an idea so amazing yet necessary that you wonder why no one had thought of it before? Author Kay Cassidy (The Cinderella Society) has done just that with The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest. Kay has devised a free game for libraries to run that encourages reading, promotes authors, and rewards librarians - a triple win! I think more than 600 libraries are now participating, along with scores of authors and thousands of kids.

I'm so proud to announce that this month Prophecy of Days is finally in the race! And to celebrate I'm donating an extra $50 certificate to the mix - so there will be an extra winner in December. Yay!

I really don't know how Kay has tome to write, promote her book, run the incredibly time-intensive Scavenger Hunt, and manage a family. Thanks for helping promote authors to libraries where we might not otherwise get acquired! My hat is off to you.

And librarians, be sure to check out The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest - it's a great way to engage kids and get them reading a real variety of books!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thirteen Days of Giveaways!

Wonderful book bloggers Fragments of Life and Amaterasu Reads are teaming up for an incredible December Book Giveaway Extravaganza! Each day from December 13th through the 24th they’ll be featuring a book by posting a review and/or interview and a giveaway. Then to top it all off, on the 25th they’re have a big prize pack giveaway that will be open internationally.

Here’s the lineup:

1. December 13 – Kick-off Giveaway of The Other Side of Dark by Sarah Smith + Review
2. December 14 – Interview with Adele Griffin + Giveaway
4. December 16 – Interview with Holly Cupala + Giveaway
5. December 17 – Interview with Amy Holder + Giveaway
6. December 18 – Interview with Inara Scott + Giveaway
7. December 19 – Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver Review (Prize Pack Giveaway)
8. December 20 – Interview with Kimberly Derting + Review of The Body Finder (Prize Pack Giveaway)
9. December 21 – Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers Review (Prize Pack Giveaway)
10. December 22 – Interview with Brenda Pandos + The Sapphire Talisman Review
11. December 23 – Interview with Julie Chibbaro + Review of Deadly (Prize Pack Giveaway)
12. December 24 – Review of Misguided Angel (Prize Pack Giveaway - Revelations)
13. December 25 – Prize Pack Giveaway

That’s a lot of books to win! Good luck to all. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Turkish Rights! Çok heyecanlıyım!

I can’t tell you how excited I am to accept an offer from Artemis/Alfa for Turkish language rights for Prophecy of Days, Books I and II! I’ve dreamed of visiting Turkey for decades and am overjoyed that my books will be there to represent me! I might just have to make a trip there to see the Turkish versions in their native habitat. The architecture! The Tea! The Bosphorous! It's all just so captivating!

Thanks to Taryn Fagerness for adding Turkey my little collection of foreign rights. It is an absolute thrill!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Asilomar Anyone?

It's been awhile since I've been to a Writers Conference, Retreat, or Workshop, so I just booked myself into the Golden Gate SCBWI Conference at Asilomar. Anyone care to join me near Carmel, California in February? I've never, ever done the "shared room" thing , but the private rooms were already sold out. Should be interesting! And by interesting I mean terrifying.

The lineup is top-notch. Editors include Namrata Tripathi (Atheneum), Katherine Jacobs (Roaring Brook Press), Courtney Bongiolatt (Simon and Schuster), and Arianne Lewin (Putnam Books for Young Readers) and Agents include Josh Adams (Adams Literary) and Ginger Clark (Curtis Brown). Rick Richter, President of Ruckus Media Group and Mark Holmes from Pixar will be there along with Caldecott winning author/illustrator David Wiesner and NYT Bestelling author Cynthia Lord. WOW! 

And if that's not enticing enough, check out the facility, a shrine to the Arts & Crafts movement:

The view is not too shabby either!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Cover Reveal: Prophecy of Days II

Behold! The new cover for:

Prophecy of Days
Book II The Serpent's Coil

Hits Bookstores in July, 2011! What do you think?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Well, hello!

You know how it is when you don't return a call from an out-of-town friend and then a couple of days go by and you feel a bit of nagging guilt but you still don't call, and then the days become weeks and weeks turn into months and by that time you really want to call but it feels like calling would be weird? Do you know what I'm talking about?

That's kind of what happened with me and this blog. But now I have my new cover for Book II and I really want to post it but it feels a bit like calling that friend you didn't speak to for so long and telling her you're going to prison for awhile - it's too much after no contact. So here's my "ease into it post" so that tomorrow I can reveal my new book cover.

I love it and can't wait to share it...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Worst Archivist Award

I suck at scrapbooking or journaling or keeping any decent record of life. Most the time I forget to take photos and the ones I do have, mostly from other people, are scattered in a million places on my computer. I would make a terrible librarian; I catalog every group of photos a different way, so there’s no easy way to find and sort. But I just discovered something to organize me! All for the price of exactly nothing, I downloaded Picasa 3 and it magically arranged my photos by date. Suddenly the blur that was the last few months makes some visual sense!  

So, in addition to the day job in Marketing, here’s what I’ve been up to this summer:

Per our Father’s Day tradition, we camped in Northern California with friends and kayaked on the Lower Klamath River. 

I did 9 Book events, from the San Francisco Bay Area to Bellingham, Washington, and many stops in between. It was quite a trip to see my face at the top of the escalator in the Seattle Barnes & Noble!

I spent some time in exile at Mom’s cabin working on revisions for Book 2. Snapped this shot from the pool deck after a mind-clearing swim.

Went on a Moms + Kids camping trip (which Scott generously set up for us) for Juliet’s birthday, in a spectacular spot on the Upper Rogue River. Best! Swimming holes! Ever!

Celebrated writing group member Jennie Englund’s big agent news – she is now a client of Holly Root! Her YA book is on submission with a big NYC publisher at this very moment.

Enjoyed a long weekend with college friends at Toni’s beach house on Camano Island, and had the best shrimp boil in the world.

Took kids on mini-adventures, like this one with writing group pals and children to one of my favorite childhood swimming spots on the Applegate River.

We acquired a face-eating, needle-toed kitten, who looks like an angel when she sleeps.

And, alas, I turned 44. Love that number! 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mayan Calendar Resources

If you're curious about the Mayan calendar that's based on the human cycle (called the Tzolkin), there are two easy resources that I recommend. Click here for the best website I've found for finding out what your Mayan "sign" is and for looking at the calendar in a way that's recognizable. There is also a fantastic Mayan calendar app for the iPhone that's easy to use and easy to understand! One tap gives you the information for the day. Click here to give it a try.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Currently in love with all things Turkish...

I loved this talk by writer Elif Shafak. In addition to being inspiring, it fueled my deep, deep need to go to Turkey asap.

One More Book Giveaway!

Giving away another signed book on GoodReads, complete with fancy Prophecy of Days tasseled bookmark.

Click here!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Book Giveaway!

Hey, if you're interested in winning a fresh new signed copy of Prophecy of Days, head on over to Angelina Hansen's blog!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, Sweet Juliet!

Today my daughter turned 10, so I feel like I get to brag on her a bit. She deserves it! Juliet is an adventurer, a prolific creator, a straight-A student, and a kind and thoughtful daughter/sister/friend. It’s late at night and I’m running out of words, so let me show you in photos why I love this little girl so much.

I love this photo of Juliet on a ferry to Orcas Island because it captures her zest for travel and adventure—she is always up for anything and finds as much pleasure in packing for a trip as I do!

I love this photo of her in the front row of my Portland Borders reading/signing because of how proud and happy she looks. She has been one of my biggest supporters!

I love that dragonflies and butterflies always land on Juliet, and then have a hard time flying away. She has an intrinsic flowery scent that these beauties love.

I love that she genuinely adores her little brother and she’s not too cool to play with him when he gets crazy.

I love that she can enjoy quiet moments, like sitting on the porch with tea.

But most of all, I love her because she is all mine.

How lucky I am to have caught this soul in my belly ten years ago!