Friday, April 30, 2010

My First Review!

So it's Book Release Eve and I got the best present ever! A nice review from Booklist by Ilene Cooper. You have NO IDEA how relieved I am by this. I was really starting to sweat the review thing. Now who cares if I get some bad ones? Ilene Cooper liked my book!

The Daykeeper's Grimoire, Raedeke, Christy (Author)
May 2010. 384 p. Flux

Caity doesn’t mind spending the summer at her parents’ newly inherited Scottish castle. For one thing, there’s a monkey that can do origami. For another, there’s the hunky nephew of the housekeeper. But if that wasn’t enough, 16-year-old Caity soon finds herself embroiled in a fantastical mystery. The castle itself, sitting on a lonely spit of land, is full of strange symbols and hidden spaces. In short order, she learns that she is to be one of the teenagers who will bring the world to a new enlightenment. First, of course, she has to squash the evil doings of some very secret societies. Just about every New Age totem one can think of gets a mention here: runes, sacred spaces, ancient prophecies, and especially the countdown to 2012. What leavens book one in the Prophecy of Days series is Caity herself. A delightful heroine, she’s funny, frank, and mostly true to the way a real teen would act if she found herself in such an odd circumstance. Readers will want to follow Caity’s adventure.  — Ilene Cooper

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Free Books! Free Books, I Tell You!

There are free books to be had and a very fun game to be played.! Where In the Blogosphere Is Jon is an ingenious scavenger hunt that takes you to various blogs that you may not yet know about. The writers who run the game, Tina Laurel Lee, Jonathon Arnston, and Heather Kelly, describe it as, “A cross between cribbage, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, and the New York Times, if the NYT had a scavenger hunt.”

It’s super fun AND this week there are great prizes—free books! Check it out and play. 

Monday, April 26, 2010

First Pages

Some Tenner authors are posing their first pages, so I thought I'd play. Go here to read more first pages from 2010 debut authors. Here's mine:

(Or: The Cliff’s Notes Version of My Life Up Until Now)

First off, I’m going to save you from reading seventy-two pages of how I got to a Scottish castle on the Isle of Huracan in the middle of a black churning sea. I need to tell it fast because if you read the long, drawn-out version you’re going to think you’ve heard it all before. It has all the clichés: super-smart, young girl ripped from her cushy life in San Francisco, taken away from her best friend Justine whom she’s known since preschool, relocated to a dreary island castle in Scotland (inherited, of course!) for the summer before her junior year so her parents can see if they want to turn it in to a bed and breakfast, even though they have not made bed nor breakfast for this super-smart girl in years. You’ve heard it a million times, right? Wait, there’s more! The girl finds a secret room attached to her bedroom, because there just has to be a secret room.
            And of course, there’s a monkey. A small monkey that was abandoned at the castle years ago by a Chinese visitor. PETA should give me a medal or something because I convinced Thomas, the whisky-soaked groundskeeper, to move him from the cold little shed behind the castle to the wood cubby by the kitchen fireplace. We lost two cooks over this, but that’s okay. The new cook, Mrs. Findlay, is amazing and she has a beautiful grandson a year older than me that looks like he could be posing for a J. Crew ad every minute of the day. Because there has to be a boy, right? (Thank God!)
Anyway, this monkey knows how to do origami, so his highly original name is Mr. Papers. I know it sounds hard to believe, but he communicates through his origami—kind of like sign language but with paper.
Having a monkey at the castle was a bonus; I would never have been able to get one on my own because Mom is all righteous about caging up animals that live in the wild. You should have seen her face when Thomas first told her about Mr. Papers—I knew the minute she heard the words “monkey” and “origami” she was probably picturing the little guy in a Taiwan sweatshop cranking out origami ornaments for Walmart.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ashland Event

Yay! I have an Ashland book party date! I'll be at Bloomsbury Books on Wednesday, May 19 at 7:00 in the evening. If you live in the Rogue Valley, please stop by!

This will be a very special event for me, a long-time Ashland girl. Not only do I still have a lot of family and friends in the area, many teachers who were very important to me still live here. Mrs. Bohn taught me to write in the first grade and Mrs. Reynolds encouraged me to enter my first writing contest (which I won!) in third grade. In fourth grade Mrs. Houck got me addicted to summer reading programs at the library, in the fifth grade Mr. Gettling proved that 11 year olds still love to be read to, and in sixth grade Mr. Maulsby instilled a love of vocabulary by doing things like holding a kid upside down by his ankles to illustrate the word inversion. (No one ever forgot that one.) Mrs. Lininger, Mr. Sharp, and Mr. Cicerella were all instrumental in cultivating a deep love of reading and writing in Middle School. And Rooklyn, McBain, and Vondracek were iconic figures in the Ashland High School English department—without a doubt, some of the best teachers I have ever had.

It’s a rare treat to be able to know so many of these teachers in adulthood, and I hope some can make it to the book launch!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Self-Deprecating Sunday

Sparks & Butterflies is one of the funniest blogs around. Thanks for helping me realize the dream, Jody!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Village Books! June 5, 12:00

Village Books in Bellingham, Washingon has been a favorite of mine ever since my sister moved there years ago. Not only are they one of the best run independent bookstores in the Pacific Northwest, Village Books also sits atop the Colophon Café, where I once had the best quiche of my life.

Books, coffee, and quiche? Life doesn’t get better than that!

If you live in the Bellingham area, please come see me there at 12:00, June 5th. I’ll also be at Fairhaven Middle School on June 4th. Thanks for having me, Village Books! Can't wait!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

All Points Bulletin: I need a monkey, STAT.

It’s true. There’s a monkey in my book. Not only is this capuchin cute, he’s also clever: he communicates through origami. My publisher didn’t even want to mention the monkey on the jacket copy because apparently it skews the book younger. To me this is a head scratcher. I mean, I’m 43 and I can’t read enough about monkeys, especially when they’re doing interesting things like the ancient art of paper folding! But I digress. This post is about finding a monkey.

My friend Tonya thinks that all I need to do to get my book to sell when it releases in May is get a little video footage of a monkey doing origami. She swears she can get the thing to go viral, but we’re missing the key component: the monkey.

I put some feelers out on Facebook and got a lead on a marmoset named Maxwell, but marmosets look more like Gremlins than monkeys. Plus Maxwell’s owner told me he was in a “time out” and the photo he sent showed the little guy in a tiny Superman sweater, so all signs point to him being difficult to work with.

Then I found a guy in LA who rents out a capuchin that looks remarkably like my character. There’s even a photo of him at the wheel of a tiny pirate ship looking quite competent at the helm of a schooner.  I called his agent and asked about taking about five minutes of video of said monkey opening up a piece of origami. I just need the footage, I told him, and then I’d edit it and play the video backwards, making it look like the monkey was folding instead of unfolding the paper. (Genius, no?) He said he’d need $800 just for the shoot and maybe as much to “train” the monkey.  When I remarked that I thought a monkey might just be naturally curious and open up the folded paper on his own, the agent scoffed and said that kind of thing would take a lot of training. Right.

Now I’m at a dead end. I implore you for leads. Someone out there must know someone who knows someone who has a capuchin monkey! Six degrees of separation anyone? The future of my book depends on it!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

P.O.D. Bookmarks

I swear one of these days I’ll write an actual post again. Since I turned in my draft of Book 2 I’ve been luxuriating in weekends and evenings that aren’t spent in a sweaty panic trying to get pages out. Instead, I’ve turned my attention to some fun promotional things, like bookmarks! Complete with a shiny silver tassel, which my friend Miles likes to call The Prophecy Cord. The word “Prophecy” seems to give everything a bit more gravitas, no?

If you're a bookmark fan, send me you address via email (christy at christyraedeke dot com) and I’ll get a few in the mail to you!