Uncategorized Writing

Online Young Writers Series Week Two; Self-Editing

Welcome back, young writers!


Last week we talked about the things you can do now to give yourself a head start if you’d like to write as a career. This week we’re going to talk about self-editing, because while EVERY writer needs an editor other than themselves, it wouldn’t be nice to give your book to someone else without first doing some work on it. That’s because NO BOOK IS EVER “DONE” right after you finish writing it.

One more time for good measure.


It doesn’t matter how awesome it is or how much you love it. And that goes for every author everywhere.

Even if you circle back and edit as you go (I do this in 100 page increments), you won’t have an objective view on the book until you get some distance from it and then read it front to back. Even then, you will STILL need an outside reader/editor. But they will hate you less because you will have done at least some of the clean up ahead of time.


When I first started editing my work, waaaaaaay back in 2005 when I started trying to get published, I wasn’t sure what I was looking for, and to be honest, I didn’t even realize that I didn’t know what I was looking for. Of course, there was the obvious; typos, inconsistencies in the timeline, pieces I’d forgotten to take out when I’d cut other pieces with which they connected, etc.

But I wasn’t focused on the big picture at first. You know what made me start focusing on the big picture? Reading for OTHER people.

I belonged to a few online writer’s forums and began trading work with a couple of people I liked and admired (one of them is now also published, which was so fun and exciting to find out). It was only when I started reading for other writers that I saw the things that REALLY mattered. And it wasn’t typos (although I should say for the sake of clarification that your manuscript shouldn’t be riddled with them).

That was a turning point in my own self-editing evolution, because I was able to look for the things I knew readers would notice.

But before I get to the checklist, I want to stress one very important thing about self-editing; GIVE YOURSELF TIME AWAY FROM YOUR MANUSCRIPT BEFORE YOU BEGIN EDITING.

I know, I know. You’re DYING to read it! DYING to send it out to other people so they can read it! DYING to start querying agents! DYING to put it up on Amazon and Apple and B&N if you’re self-publishing.

But trust me on this; you will NOT see your work objectively until you give your mind time to breathe. Consider it a palette cleanser, like those little dishes of sorbet they give you between courses at super fancy restaurants. Work on something else, read, take walks, hang with friends, watch movies. Anything BUT start revising your manuscript. In a perfect world, you’d be able to give yourself at least a month away from it, but if you absolutely can’t wait that long, promise me you’ll wait at least two weeks.

Pinky promise?


Once you’ve had a break, go back and start reading your manuscript with these things in mind (this checklist pulls from a talk I give to schools and libraries about self-editing);

1) Setting

Setting is so important to that immersive quality you get in a good book. It’s the thing that makes you really feel like you’re in a different place, like you can taste the food and smell the air and see the trees and flowers and weather unique to that area. A well developed setting makes the reader feel like they are THERE. This was a very big part of Prophecy of the Sisters. The rural New York setting in the late 1800s allowed me to create a lot of the creepy, moody vibe that pervades the book, with fog hanging low over the fields and shrouding the mountains, rain battering the windows, and the wind making an old house creak. In A Temptation of Angels it was Victorian London, its nighttime air sooty with lamp smoke, the clatter of carriages a backdrop to everything outside. In This Wicked Game it was modern day New Orleans with sultry, humid weather, the sound of jazz bands, the smell of magnolias. And in LIES I TOLD it’s a California paradise on a cliff over the water where wild peacocks strut the streets and parrots flit through a thick canopy of trees, the sound of the surf breaking against the cliff like a lullaby to everyone who lives there.

See what I mean? It’s important! And even suburban America has a look, feel, and smell. Your job is to capture it so fully that it almost feels like another character in your book – without distracting from the story.

2) Character Development

This might seem obvious, but the nuances to creating well-rounded characters are many and sometimes difficult to quantify. In short, you want your characters to come on the scene fully developed, with a personality, likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams, habits and tics. And you want your protagonist to change somehow through the happenings of your story. To arc, if you will. The protagonist could start out strong and be broken by the end. He could be broken and grow strong. She could be rigid and unmoving and the grow to see that things aren’t so black and white. The important thing is that your character be so unique that he or she isn’t interchangeable with just anybody.

In Prophecy of the Sisters, Lia starts out the meeker of the two twins and must grow to own the responsibility that is hers, even if it means forsaking her twin. In A Temptation of Angels, Helen evolves from a sheltered, over-protected Victorian girl to someone willing to risk her life to save others. In This Wicked Game, Clare eventually begins to question her disbelief in voodoo, and her harsh judgement of those who practice it, when she realizes that life is a lot more mysterious than we think. In LIES I TOLD, Grace begins to question not only the things other people tell her about herself, but the things she’s believed to be true as well – all in an effort to become more fully HERSELF. Not the Grace everyone else says or believes she is, but the one she in in her heart, and the one she most wants to be.

A big part of the fun and challenge of reading about interesting characters is watching them grow and change. Make sure yours are fully developed from the beginning, and that the main characters make some kind of emotional, physical, or mental journey in the story.

3) Relationship development

This is very similar to Character Development. In real life, our relationships with others are sometimes complicated, full of love and dislike and competition and jealousy and admiration. And as people undergo change, so too, do our relationships with others. This should be reflected in your story. Relationships should be authentic, backed up by what you show or tell us about them. This is easiest to illustrate in a love story. In a good one, we see the gradual progression from first meeting to love through a series of (hopefully realistic) encounters and exchanges. But relationship development can be more complicated when it comes to other types of relationships. If two people have always been competitive, that should be evident, even subtly, in their interaction and/or the accompanying exposition, and that should be true of any relationship you build. If you show us that someone is protective of someone else, that dynamic should be evident throughout, until and if it isn’t anymore.

In Prophecy of the Sisters, Lia and Alice grow from having a slightly distant relationship to being actual enemies, and then find their way back to each other in a more honest way. In A Temptation of Angels, Helen has an adversarial relationship with Darius, Griffin’s older, cynical brother. But in the end, Darius comes to respect her, and she comes to see beneath his brittle facade. In This Wicked Game, Clare and her parents are at odds. Clare doesn’t want any part of voodoo, but it’s an important part of her parent’s history and current business. We see them clash in the beginning, but gradually Clare’s stance softens, and her mother thaws a bit, too. In Lies I told, Grace and Parker start out close, like the adopted siblings they are, then grow apart as their goals diverge.

Whatever the relationships in your story, make sure they are authentic and fully developed. Think about the complexities of your own relationships! Try to capture them on the page.

4) Pacing

Pacing is the speed with which a reader moves through your story, and it is largely dependent on the things you’ve included, the things you’ve omitted, and the way the story is structured.

When I’m preparing to write a book, I use a screenwriting “beat sheet” to outline the pivotal moments in the story (you can find sample beat sheets online). Then I write a 4-5 page summary of the story, laying out those pivotal moments within the narrative of the story. To keep things moving, you want to move between pivotal moments as quickly as possible.

When you read a book that feels slow, it’s often because the writer has rambled a bit in the space between pivotal events. It’s okay to mention what a character’s wearing from time to time, for example, or to show us what they order at a diner. But we don’t need to see what they’re wearing everyday (unless this is a book with a fashion component or it serves the plot somehow), and we don’t need to hear about every meal they eat.

When I was working on pacing it helped me to visually my book like a movie. In a movie if two people are going to a diner to eat, we don’t always see them in the car in the way there. And indeed we SHOULDN’T – unless something happens in the car that is material to the plot or some other important facet of the story. More often than not we’ll see two people agreeing to go to the diner, and then the director will cut immediately to the diner and the conversation that takes place there, because THAT is the next pivotal moment.

See what I mean?

Structure can play a part in this, too. Sometimes we can most easily see the things we need to see with POV shifts or flashbacks. Whatever it takes!

5) Voice

Voice is that intangible quality that makes you feel like you’re inside a character’s head. It’s a hard thing to learn, so I can’t really tell you how to do it. But I can say the best way to cultivate voice is to first look closely at the things I’ve laid out so far. If your setting is rich and atmospheric, if your characters are fully fleshed out, if their relationships with others are real and sincere, voice will often come naturally.

I heard Lia’s voice in my head before I ever started writing. It was somber and a little heavy. Helen’s voice was young and scared in the beginning and grew to be strong and even a little impetuous. Clare was difficult for me at first. She was just a normal, modern girl. How could I make her stand out? I waited for a long time to start This Wicked Game because I couldn’t hear Clare in my head. I thought about her when I drove or when I cooked, imagined what she would think of various things. Then one day, she was just there. Grace came easily to me and by the time I’d written the Prologue, I had her in my head. Her voice in LIES I TOLD is a little sad, a little weary. I had trouble with voice at first in my current WIP, so I wrote a stream of consciousness narrative for each of the two main characters until I felt like I “knew” them.

You can do this too!

Try writing something short from the first-person POV of someone you know. It could be someone from school, a sibling, a friend, your bus driver. Imagine what that person thinks about, what matters to them. There are no rules! Just choose something to write about and go. It can be about that lonely kid on the bus who never talks to anyone on the way home or the bus driver who always looks so tired. What is he/she thinking about? What matter to him/her? Just write a stream of consciousness something in this person’s POV. You can do this anytime you want as an exercise, and you can do it with the characters in your book if you’re having trouble nailing their voice. In the case of the latter, do it until it feels right, because it’s important that you have that down when you begin.

Voice is also YOUR voice. That is, the unique quality to your writing that will make a reader know they are reading a Michelle Zink book or a John Smith book or a Jane Doe book, even when those books seem wildly different on the surface. That isn’t something that can be taught, but it can be cultivated. How?

Simple. You have to write. A LOT.

6) Authenticity

Few things are as important as this. Have you ever read a book and groaned aloud because, well, people don’t TALK like that!?! Or you just know that character wouldn’t do that? In movies this is a big pet peeve of mine. I call it the “Running from an Explosion” effect. It’s like, really? The building explodes  and they just run and they’re okay? They don’t get hit with debris or anything? They don’t get cut or banged up?

But dialog and narrative can be tricky too. Try to hear your characters in your head (having their voice down will help with this) so you can imagine them talking. Remember that most real people use contractions. They do not say something like this. They’re much more likely to say it like this.


I’ve been lucky to have teenagers and young people in my house for the last ten years, so I’m pretty much surrounded by youth speak at all times. The downside is that I probably sound like a sixteen year old sometimes, but the upside is that I’ve always gotten compliments on my dialog. Just remember that speech, like everything else, is affected by character development. A surfer from California probably won’t sound the same as a street-wise kid from New York City, and THEY will probably sound different from someone who’s grown up on a farm.

But one word of warning; don’t make caricatures out of your characters! Just because someone is from the Bronx doesn’t mean they Towk Like This. And just because they’re from California doesn’t mean they’re, like, soooo stupid! Think about your character, where and how they grew up, who they ARE, and let that inform your dialog and the story to make both authentic.

7) Plot

This is kind of a loaded bullet point for the sake of this online series. There are TONS of diagrams and graphs online to illustrate story arc. As I’ve said, I use a beat sheet when I plot out my books, but it doesn’t matter what you use; just make sure your books HAS a plot.

Most plots are made of up the following; Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, and Climax. You could go crazy looking up all the varying perspectives on plot. There are subcategories to the above, and sometimes subcategories to subcategories. But the main thing to remember is that a plot has CONFLICT, and pretty much everything in the book revolves around the resolution of that conflict. Sometimes it helps me to see Conflict as Goal. In Prophecy of the Sisters, the goal was to figure out the Prophecy (first book) and then bring it to an end (in the second and third books). In A Temptation of Angels, it was for Helen, Griffin, and Darius to figure out who was hunting them and why, and then eliminate that danger. In This Wicked Game, it was for Clare to figure out what the mysterious woman wanted and how she was connected to the Guild – and to Clare’s family. And in LIES I TOLD, it’s Grace’s internal conflict between staying on the grift with her family even if it means betraying someone she loves or finding a way to have a real life.

A plot isn’t wandering around in a made-up world seeing interesting things and it’s not just people talking. There has to be a conflict, and from that conflict a goal typically arises (goal=to resolve conflict). Make sure your story has these things, and it will also have the kind of order that makes a book readable and engaging.

Whew! That was quite a lesson. I hope it helps. Please feel free to leave any questions in the Comments section, and please pass this along to any other young writers.

Remember that you can go back and read last week’s lesson about how to prepare for a future writing career. There are lots of different ways to get your words to reader, and next week we’ll be talking about the different paths to publication and the pros and cons of each, including traditional publishing, boutique publishing, and self-publishing.

And you guys! Less than a month until LIES I TOLD releases. Then you can all read Grace’s story.



Life Reading

A Quick and Easy Gift for the Reader on Your List!

Prophecy_PB_COVER_HRNeed a personal book for the reader on your list? I’ve got you covered!


Right now through 12/8 you can purchase ANY of my books (online or in person) from Oblong Books and Music and I’ll sign and personalize it for you in time for the holidays. That includes Prophecy of the Sisters, Guardian of the Gate, Circle of Fire, A Temptation of Angels, and This Wicked Game.

Nothing makes a better gift for a book lover than a signed book, plus you’ll be supporting an awesome Indie.

Just order here and tell me to whom you’d like the book signed. Easy peasy!



A Temptation of Angels Contests & Giveaway Uncategorized

Angels and Revenge Giveaway

So a few months ago the paperback edition of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS came out. And I’m embarrassed to admit that I hardly noticed. I guess this is what happens after you’ve published a few books; you get busy — writing more books, meeting deadlines, thinking about the next project — and things like a paperback release can slip right by.

So not cool, because my paperback baby deserves at least some of the love of its hardcover predecessor. And you guys — some of you have been with me since Prophecy of the Sisters came out in 2009 — deserve a little something for all the support you give me, too.


Which is why I’m going to try and make it up to you both.

With that in mind, I’m offering up a super awesome giveaway reminiscent of my past super awesome giveaways. But this one’s even more special, because I just so happen to have some copies of the newly released SCHOOLED IN REVENGE, the new companion novel to the REVENGE TV show (which I’m totally addicted to). I’ve had the opportunity to read it, and it’s so much fun! Besides, what could be better than angels and revenge?


There is a first, second and third prize, plus five — yes, FIVE — additional prizes of both books. You can win entries by commenting, tweeting a link to the contest (up to once a day for the duration of the contest) and adding the TEMPTATION cover to your Pinterest board.

Contest open to US residents (or those with a US mailing address) and runs from today through 9/15 at midnight.

After that, it’ll be time to kickoff a huge round of fun and giveaways leading up to the THIS WICKED GAME release November 14th!

Note: If the Rafflecopter entry box does not appear on your screen, try refreshing the page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


A Temptation of Angels Music Song of the Week

This Time Tomorrow

Before I get to this week’s song, I have a few orders of business!

First, a big thanks to MTV’s Hollywood Crush for the AH-mazing review of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS. Hollywood Crush calls Temptation “a heavenly read” so please head over there, share the link on Facebook, tweet the link, and leave a comment to show them — and me! — some love!

I also received wonderful reviews from bloggers Well-read In YA, Lauren’s Crammed Bokshelf, and WTF Are You Reading (one of my favorites for it’s mention of “no wing molestation”). If you read and enjoyed A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS and reviewed it on your blog and I’ve missed you, please send an email to Rebekah at with a link and we’ll try to post it for you here. I truly appreciate all reviews, bloggers or otherwise.

On a related note, if you enjoyed the book and haven’t yet left a review on B&N, Amazon, etc., please do!

I spent the weekend and the Houston TeenBookCon and had SUCH A WONDERFUL time. I wish I had pictures for you guys, buy I’m an in-the-moment kind of person and rarely remember to take them. I had an amazing time, though, meeting hundreds of readers and bloggers and hanging with so many incredible authors. It was a reminder to me that while I tend to be introverted and covet my alone-time, it really is good for the soul to interact with others who share your passion, even if you have to force yourself out the door to do it. As a bonus, A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS was sold out by lunchtime, which was pretty awesome.

This week’s song was posted on my Facebook wall by my beloved Caroline when I left for Houston, It’s one of my favorites. Hope you enjoy it!


A Temptation of Angels Music

A Temptation of Angels Playlist Song #10 – Be Mine

This is Griffin and Helen’s song from the A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS contemporary playlist. It’s tres romantique!


We only have two more songs to complete the playlist and then we’ll be back to our regular blog features, including Movie/Mystery Monday, Song of the Week, and the Friday Poll. If there are other features you guys would like to see, speak up! Bog features are a work in progress. It’s all for YOU, so if there’s something you want, I’m happy to comply.

On another note, I’ll be Rocking the Drop tomorrow by leaving copies of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS, PROPHECY OF THE SISTERS, and some other surprise books in and around my hometown. Hope you will all join me in celebration of Teen Lit Week!

Also want to remind you all that I’ll be in Houston this week for the TeenBookCon, so if you’re within driving distance, please stop by to say hello and get one of my infamous hugs (just say you follow me online and the hug is YOURS).

A Temptation of Angels Music

A Temptation of Angels Playlist Song #8 – Firestarter

I can’t tell you how much I love this song. It’s a kind of anthem for me, and it’s also perfect for Helen and Raum. Embedding has been disabled on this one, but I want to give it to you anyway.

Firestarter by Jimmy Eat World

I hate putting up a link instead of an actual video, so I’ll give you Song #9 as well. Sowing Season by Brand New was chosen as the theme song for Raum’s redemption. This also happens to be one of my favorite Brand New songs.

I also want to remind you all that I’ll be at the Houston TeenBookCon next Saturday, and I’d love to see you all there. A ton of amazing authors are attending. There will be panel discussions and signings and all kinds of awesomeness.

I’ll also be at Oblong Books for an event with author Jacquelyn Delorme on Sunday April 22nd at 4pm. Oblong is a fantastic Indie in historic Rhinebeck, New York, and I love these kinds of signings because they usually provide more opportunity to really talk and hang out with the audience. Plus, there will be snacks! And free books!

A Temptation of Angels Contests & Giveaway

And the Ipad Contest Winners Are…

I know you’re all waiting anxiously to hear the winners of the Ipad giveaway, so without further ado…

The Grand Prize winner of a new Ipad and $50 Itunes gift card is Tiffany Mahaffy.

First Place Prize Pack; Jessirae Lloyd

Second Place Prize Pack; Aurora Momcilovich

Third Place Prize Pack; Crystal Martinez

Congratulations to all the winners and A HUGE THANK YOU for helping me spread the word about the release of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS. Please send an email to to claim your prize. All winners were chosen my Random Number Generator, but with over 6,000 total entries, I don’t think it’s a surprise that these four peeps had the most entries. They all worked tirelessly — some in very inventive ways — to get the word out. At the same time, there were tons of people who helped out and aren’t on this list, and I want you all to know how very much I appreciate you.

As always it means so much to me to have your support. If you enjoyed A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS, please continue to spread the word by recommending the book to your friends and posting a review on Amazon or B&N online. For the time being, I’m going to continue offering free bookplates to anyone who purchases a copy of TEMPTATION. If you have a reading friend or family member and would like to purchase a copy for them, just send an email to and we’ll send you out a bookplate as long as they last (or until I get tired of buying them!).

I also want to announce that I will be hosting monthly giveaways until my next book comes out next year. Sometimes the prize packs will feature books signed by other authors, sometimes other goodies of my choosing.

But you all know I give good swag, so stay tuned.


Congrats again to our winners!

A Temptation of Angels Contests & Giveaway Music

A Temptation of Angels Playlist Song #7 – Vices

I know, I know… Another Brand New song! But this one is perfect for sickle training.

I’m also pleased to announce Shelley Koons as the winner of the $250 bookstore gift card! Thanks to everyone who rushed out to buy a copy of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS in-store. And stay tuned, because I will continue to offer AH-mazing giveaways and will announce the Ipad contest winners on Saturday.


In the meantime, check this song. And don’t’ be turned off by its militant vibe. As with all Brand New songs, you really have to listen to the lyrics.

A Temptation of Angels Music

A Temptation of Angels Playlist Song #6 – Hurricane

Chosen for the warehouse scene in the book, the sixth song on the A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS contemporary playlist is Hurricane by 30STM. I’ve always loved this song, and it’s a particularly good fit for everything that transpires at the warehouse.

Hope you enjoy it!

And don’t forget; you can still get an entry (or more than one!) in the $250 gift card giveaway by buying A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS in any brick-and-mortar bookstore — but only until Midnight EST tonight. So hurry!

A Temptation of Angels Music

A Temptation of Angels Playlist Song #5 – Breathe Me by Sia

Oh, you guys… I have such a soft spot for this song. Those of you who know me probably know why.

For those of you who don’t, just listen and enjoy. It’s perfect for Helen and is labeled “Helen Goes Home” on the playlist.


A Temptation of Angels Contests & Giveaway Music

A Temptation of Angels Contemporary Playlist Songs 3 and 4

Sorry I blew it on the Temptation playlist song of the day yesterday! I spent the day on a college visit with Rebekah and came home BEAT.

To make it up to you, I’m giving you Songs 3 AND 4 tonight!

This one is song #3 and is labeled “Helen discovers her identity” on my playlist. I’ve always loved this cover of the Eurythmics original, and it’s a perfect fit here.

The 4th song on the contemporary playlist is Heartbeat by the Fray. I see this song when Helen and Griffin first become friends, walking the streets of London, getting to know each other, and doing sickle training in the ballroom.

Hope you guys enjoy these!

On another note, the Ipad GIveaway is officially closed. Thanks so much to everyone who entered in the month of March by helping me spread the word about A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS. You really made a difference. Winners will be announced on Friday April 7th, so stay tuned!

You still have a couple days to enter for the $250 store gift card by buying a copy of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS in any brick-and-mortar bookstore (ANY store, as long as it’s not online). So many people bought copies online that we have surprisingly few entries for this mega gift card, which means great chances of winning. So hurryyy!

A Temptation of Angels Contests & Giveaway Music

Temptation Playlist Song #2 – Search and Destroy by 30 Seconds to Mars

After posting the first song on the A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS playlist yesterday, I wanted to continue by giving you guys the second song, chosen for Helen’s escape. Those of you who have read the book will know what I mean.

Hope you enjoy it! And don’t forget there’s still a few more days to enter the $250 gift card giveaway for buying a copy of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS in any brick-and-mortar store as well as two more days to enter to win the Ipad and assorted other goodies.


A Temptation of Angels Music

Temptation Playlist Song #1 – Noro by Brand New

This is the song I chose for the opening scene of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS. Those of you who know me know that my adoration for Brand New if well documented, so this probably comes as no surprise. Still, it’s a perfect fit, and those of you who have read the book will know why.

And I always have to post lyrics for Brand New songs, because they are a true writer’s band. No one writes songs like Brand New.

I hope you enjoy it and that you’re all accumulating entries for the $250 gift card and the Ipad. Not long now!



Little light lead us through the night
And if we die burn down the forest
chariots, carry us
distance says we don’t care to walk

I’m on my way to hell
I’m on my way to hell

Why doesn’t anyone in Noro sleep?
Are they all just scared of their dreams?
When they lay down there heads down at night,
What are they haunted by?
Why won’t anyone just close their eyes?
Could it hurt them to rest for a while?

I’m on my way to hell
(Well I’ve tried, god knows that I’ve tried)
I’m on my way to hell
(One time, two time, three time)

Sitting duck
Running out of luck
And I caught up on the train crossing
How are we ever gonna know peace
How will I ever see a life through the tress
I wanna burn down everything we begun
I wanna kill and eat my young

I’m on my way to hell
(Well I’ve tried, god knows that I’ve tried)
I’m on my way to hell
(One time, two time, three time, again)
I’m on my way to hell
(Well I’ve tried, god knows that I’ve tried)
I’m on my way to hell
(One time, two time, three time, again)

I’m on my way to hell [x4]




A Temptation of Angels Contests & Giveaway Uncategorized

Looking for a Tempting Vibe?

I’m all about atmosphere, so if you’re looking for a little taste of the atmosphere in A TEMPTATION IF ANGELS, here are two good ways to check it out!

You can go to the A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS Pinterest board, which is a virtual bulletin board of images that fit in with the vibe in the book. It’s GORGEOUS, if I do say so myself! I had so much fun choosing all the beautiful images.

You can also listen to samples of Kenneth’s original A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS score, either on Itunes or on Amazon. It’s a perfect fit for the book. Kenneth and I collaborated for months on the project, with Kenneth coming up with new pieces and calling me over to listen when he thought he had something good. We have a lot of fun with these projects, and I feel so lucky to have someone around who really “gets” the atmosphere in my work and is able to so perfectly match it with his own.

You have almost a week left to buy a copy of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS in any brick-and-mortar store (an Indie, a B&N, Books-a-Million, etc.) for an entry into the $250 gift card giveaway, and you have a little less than a week to accumulate entries in the epic Ipad Giveaway (which includes lots of other great prizes in addition to the Ipad).

So.. yeah! Tons of awesome prizes and chances to win, in addition to quite a few blogger giveaways still going on.

And with that, I need to share some links of more awesome blogger reviews fro A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS. I try to say thank you to bloggers who enjoy my work and review. If I missed you, it was entirely unintentional! If you’d like me to link to your review, just send it to

Gothic Angel Book Reviews wrote, “I must say that few books end with me in tears with a pile of tissues beside me. Even fewer books still that start with tears and end with a wry kind of smile. A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS was one of the latter.”

Book Kitty Blog called TEMPTATION, “Dark and beautiful.”

Rebecca’s Book Blog said, “If you love historical fantasy, or if you love paranormal romance but want to read something that’s different and unique, I highly recommend this book.”

You can still enter Reading or Breathing’s giveaway for personalized copies of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS, and Novel Thoughts is still running their giveaway for two wonderful prize packs, including book store gift cards.

Tomorrow I’ll start unveiling the contemporary A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS playlist. Come back to check it out!


A Temptation of Angels Contests & Giveaway

In Store Book Purchase = $250 gift card and Ipad Giveaway Entries

Wow. You guys continue to amaze me. I watched my numbers at B&N climb OVERNIGHT after launching the initiative to give readers an entry for a $250 gift card for EVERY COPY of A Temptation of Angels they purchase in an actual store – any actual store.

This is because, as I’ve said more than once, my readers RULE.

And that’s not all, purchasing a book in-store qualifies you for tons of other contests and giveaways, too, with some amazing prizes up for grabs including an Ipad, gift cards to Itunes and Starbucks, Visa gift cards, Victoria’s Secret swag, and MOAR!

You can read more about the giveaways in play here, but here’s the gist; buy A Temptation of Angels at any bookstore and get an entry in the $250 gift card giveaway. This also entitles you to TEN ENTRIES per copy purchased for the Ipad giveaway (an online purchase counts for this one, too) as long as you purchase before Sunday April 1st.

And that’s not all.

I’ll send you a free signed limited edition bookplate and bookmark for each book (this makes for an amazing and personal gift for the reader in your life) you purchase, too.

So basically, but a book in-store and be entered to win a $250 gift card, an Ipad, and assorted other swag, PLUS get free personalized bookplates and bookmarks for each copy.

Not a bad deal, if I do say so myself!

Thank again to all of you who have mobilized on my behalf by going out to your bookstores and buying the book, as well as those of you who have bought online. What would I do without you?!


A Temptation of Angels Contests & Giveaway Uncategorized

Blogger Reviews, Giveaways, and a $250 Gift Card!

Okay, I’m sort of recovered from the crazy that was release day for A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS. If I owe you an email or a tweet or a Facebook comment or ANYTHING, I promise you, I’m working on it.

First things first; Like many people, I buy a lot of stuff online. I live in a very rural area where the nearest bookstore is almost an hour away, the nearest Thai restaurant is 40 minutes away, and the only restaurant in town that delivers is a pizza place – four of them, to be exact.

As a single mother to four teenagers, sometimes I just can’t get in my car and make the haul somewhere to buy something (not to mention how expensive gas is – eeek!). Enter online shopping.

That said, I would HATE to come to a place where we don’t have any more brick and mortar stores, because sometimes, there’s nothing like going to a bookstore or a music store or a natural foods store and just… wandering. So I’m going to do something to encourage brick and mortar buying.

I’m offering up entries for a $250 bookstore gift card (you can choose – Indiebound, Books-a-Million, B&N, Book Depository, Amazon, etc.) to anyone who purchases A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS in ANY brick-and-mortar store.

Yes. $250!

All you have to do is send a picture of your receipt (please make sure it’s legible) to

And I’ll give you one entry for EVERY copy of TEMPTATION you purchase at a brick and mortar store.

This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada (the release date for Temptation is different in other countries) and runs from the release day of TEMPTATION (March 20th) through Midnight EST on Tuesday April 3rd. So if you purchased the book at a brick and mortar store prior to now, you are still eligible to win. If you’ve already supplied a brick and mortar receipt for a bookplate, just shoot as en email and we’ll enter you automatically. Plus, I’ll still send you a signed bookplate for your book and a bookmark.

That’s it! No tweeting, no Facebook status, no blog posts. Just a receipt for your copy or copies of TEMPTATION from a brick and mortar store.

Now, I need to give a little blog review and giveaway love!

Seventeen Magazine said A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS, “…will leave you craving more until the very end.”

The Story Siren is hosting a TEMPTATION swag giveaway and said about the book; “An absolutely beautiful story! I only hope there is more to come! There is more, right?”

Alice Marvels said A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS is, “… always a delicious, captivating ride.”

Dark Faerie Tales said, “Zink builds a convincing and mysterious world around historical London that will keep you turning the pages!”

Esther’s Ever After called TEMPTATION, “… an addictive, fascinating, page-turner that’s remarkably refreshing for its genre.”

Christine Fonseca, author of another angel book called LACRIMOSA, says TEMPTATION is, “… a beautifully crafted historical tale that tackles themes I can really relate to – love, betrayal, temptation.”

The Book Faery said Temptation was, “… most definitely a One-Sit-Read for me, my highest honor!”

Nina Reads said, “Michelle Zink has once again created something completely original… If this is not on your to-read list already, add it now!”

Starting the Next Chapter said, “Michelle Zink has created a wonderfully imaginative take on the battle between angels and demons that will set your imagination alight.

Thanks for all the kind words, you guys!

And there are some blogger giveaways still in play, too!

Novel Thoughts has two awesome TEMPTATION prize packs up for grabs!

There is ONE MORE DAY to enter WhatchYAReading’s giveaway, including swag and book store gift cards!

The Story Siren’s TEMPTATION giveaway also includes swag and a book store gift card!

You have two more weeks to enter I Am a Reader Not a Writer’s giveaway for a signed copy of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS plus swag.

Aaaaand! Don’t forget that you still have 9 days to enter the massive Ipad giveaway right here! There are tons of amazing prizes, and all you have to do is help me spread the word that Temptation is out in the world. Easy!

And lastly, a big shout out and thank you to Kelsey at Reading or Breathing for rallying the troops to help me with a little distribution problem. 😉

A Temptation of Angels

What You Can Do

Now that A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS has officially released, many of you have approached me to ask what you can do to help.

It means so much to me that so many of you want to support me and my work. Many of you have been with me since Prophecy of the Sisters published in 2009. You have supported me through so much and helped spread the word about my work in a way that has made a true difference in my success.

TEMPTATION is a bit of a departure for me. It’s the first non-Prophecy book I’ve published and also the first book with my new publisher, Penguin/Dial. While it’s still dark and Gothic in style, it’s got a Steampunk edge and a lot more action than Prophecy. I think it’s a dark, sexy read with the same kind of psychological undertones that made Prophecy a cult favorite, and I’m very excited to share it with you.

I welcome your support in any way you can offer it. Purchasing the book – particularly in the first couple of weeks when sales are closely monitored by the publisher – helps tremendously. It tells publishers that there is immediate demand for the book and sometimes increases early print runs and prompts the publisher to increase marketing. If you go to purchase the book and your store doesn’t have it, please take a minute to inquire with the staff. Often, the books haven’t been unpacked yet and are sitting in the back. Having a customer ask will prompt the booksellers to put them on the shelf. If the store doesn’t have it all, special ordering sends a signal to corporate that there is demand for the book.

And I’ll do my part by providing a free bookplate and bookmark (for as long as they last) for each book that you buy.

But buying the book isn’t the only way to help! Requesting it at your library also drives sales (libraries buy tons of books and provide such a tremendous service tot heir communities) as does tweeting about the book or posting a Facebook status about it with links to it at Indiebound, Amazon, B&N, or Book Depository (links make it easy for people to click through). Once you’ve read the book, leaving positive reviews on sites like Amazon, B&N, and Goodreads help other readers feel more comfortable taking a chance on the book.

Writing is my lifelong dream. My lifelong passion. Everything you do to spread the word helps support that dream, and for that, I can never thank you enough. There are many of you that I’ve never met in person, and yet I’ve found that I remember you and think of you as friends. That friendship, more than ANYTHING else, is truly invaluable to me.

Thank you so much for everything you do!

A Temptation of Angels Contests & Giveaway

Temptation Twitter Launch Partay Instructions

Whew! This day has been CUH-razy. But in a good way!

I’ve been sitting on my Twitter and Facebook feeds more or less all day, trying to keep on top of all the tweets, retweets, and statuses about A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS. You’ve been so wonderful, really working to get the word out all day long. I can’t thank you enough. You guys rock my socks!

Now I want to give you instructions for tonight’s Twitter partyso everyone knows how its works.

Kenneth and I will be co-hosting the chat. You must be following us both to win prizes. Kenneth is @kenneth_zink and I’m @michellezink.

You must use #atemptationofangels in all of your chat/party tweets to win. Just copy and paste it if you’re not using a Twitter chat app that does it automatically.

Kenneth and I will ask questions related to our conversation (which we’ll play by ear but will likely be about the book, Kenneth’s score, book in general, music, movies, and video games) and the book. I WON’T ASK YOU ANYTHING YOU CAN’T KNOW IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK since it just came out today. I’ll only ask you things that were part of the party convo and/or that you might have learned by reading the TEMPTATION THURSDAY excerpts here on my website.

I may give you fun games and tasks to complete for prizes as well. Mwah-ha-ha-ha!

The first person to supply the correct answer or complete the task will win a variety of prizes from gift cards to body sprays to nail polish to bookmarks to books!

If you win, please send an email to with “Twitter Party Winner” in the Subject line and what I said you won (Rebekah will kill me if I attempt to keep track of it myself since I just randomly give stuff away without any record of it… O_o).

Feel free to ask questions of either of us, but when you do, please format your question this way so it doesn’t get lost in the chat feed; “Question for @kenneth_zink; do you write the music first or choose the scenes you want to write for first?”

The feed moves very, very fast. We’ll try to keep up and not lose or miss anyone, but if we miss your question, please know it’s purely by accident. Just tweet it again and we’ll probably catch it the second time.

That’s it! It should be fun. I hope you’ll all join us!

Also want to remind you that you can still get a free limited edition bookplate and a TEMPTATION bookmark just for buying the book. Each book purchase also earns you TEN POINTS in the Ipad giveaway. Just send in a receipt or order confirmation or a picture of either to with your mailing address and we’ll get it right out to you!


A Temptation of Angels Contests & Giveaway


Welp, tomorrow’s the day! A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS will start shipping and I’ll be able to share Helen’s story and the world of the Keepers with all of you. I’m super excited and so hope you enjoy reading the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

I have a couple of updates for you about the release and the many contests and giveaways going on right now;

You can still enter the Ipad giveaway for a free Ipad, Victoria’s Secret goodies, gift cards, jewelry and more! Check out the rules here. Contest runs through the end of the month, and while there are a few people who have been going HARD since it started, there are plenty of ways to make up entries FAST. But you gotta get on it! Even though the winners (there are four prize packs) will be chosen via Random Number Generator, you definitely up your odds of winning something by having a lot of entries (last year’s winner of the Ipod Touch had the most entries of anyone, which I’m sure wasn’t a coincidence).

I’m still giving out free bookplates to anyone who pre-orders Temptation before midnight EST tonight (3/12/2012). A bookplate is a sticker (these are custom designed to match Temptation) that can be signed (by me, of course!) and placed inside your book, effectively giving you a signed copy. Just send your receipt and/or order confirmation or a photo of one of them to and include your mailing address and the name of the person you’d like the bookplate made out to. This is a double bonus, because you also get TEN POINTS in the Ipad giveaway for EVERY SINGLE copy of Temptation that you purchase. This means that if you buy one for yourself, one for a friend, and one for your niece (all of who will get signed bookplates), you get 30 ENTRIES. If I have bookplates left after today, I’ll offer them up first come, first served to anyone who buys the book in the first two weeks. So stay tuned!

Tomorrow night from 9pm – 11pm EST, Kenneth and I will be hosting a Twitter launch party for A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS. During this time we’ll give you fun tasks and ask you questions related to the book, Kenneth’s original score, and/or our conversation during the launch party, all of which will give you opportunities to win fun prizes! All you have to do to participate is log-in to Twitter and use #atemptationofangels on all of your contest-related tweets. To win, you’ll need to follow both Kenneth (@kenneth_zink) and I (@michellezink). This is the first time Kenneth and I have done something like this together, and it’s going to be a blast! Kenneth has so many interesting things to say about music and books and movies. I’m super excited for you all to get to know him better.

There are tons of other contests and giveaways going on for A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS and other assorted swag, among them giveaways at WhatYAReading and Stephanie, A History. More giveaways will be added daily, so keep your eyes on my Twitter feed for updates. I try to RT them when I see them! I’ll also be posting a fresh round of great blogger reviews very, very soon.

And here… we… go.


A Temptation of Angels Contests & Giveaway

Three. More. Days.

Ahhhhhh! I can’t believe A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS will be out in just three more days. So very excited to finally be able to share this world and these characters with every one of you.

This week has brought some more AH-mazing reviews for the book, including Booklist who said about Temptation (among other wonderful things);

“Set in a steampunk London, where gas lamps and rudimentary computers share time with corsets, waistcoats, and a bit of magic, this well-paced and delicately detailed story is full of recurring imagery, creeping terror, deftly wrought secondary characters, and slowly building sexual tension that has a gothic romance feel. Caught between light (her fellow Keeper, Griffin) and dark (Ruam, a childhood friend who turns out to be much more dangerous than she could ever imagine), Helen must make a choice
and learn that love and sacrifice cannot be separated.” — Charli Osborne

Love it!

One of my favorite reviews this week came from Jessirae at Words, Pages, and Books. Jessirae happens to be one of my favorite readers and bloggers (if you haven’t been following her Tweets about Temptation, you’re missing out!). Jessirae had a lot of incredibly flattering things to say about A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS including, “Each moment had me reeling. I wanted to devour this book at the same time savor it to keep from reaching the end. The action and excitement in the book was never ending. Not a single dull moment in this book was present whatsoever. The plot and build-up are breath-taking and heart stopping. There is no measurement to how much I love this book.”

Another reason to check out Jessirae’s blog is her one-of-a-kind Team Griffin button. It — and he — is smokin!

A great review from earlier in the month (but which just came to my attention this week) was from Danny at Bewitched Bookworms who called A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS a, “Fantastic introduction into a new world of Angels secrets, love and friendship. Wonderful heroine, smart and hot boys and so much more!! I’m eager to get back into this wold!”

Thanks so much, Danny!

I also loved this review from Kari at A Good Addiction, who said, “… Zink has created a type of story all her own, and done it masterfully. Vivid in setting, with beautifully written scenes and actions, this one will easily play out like a movie in reader’s minds, and setting them right beside Helene the entire time. The writing is stunning, saying so much in few words, and having a lulling air about it while also keeping with the tense and sorrowful emotional atmosphere that comes with the situations Helen finds herself in. This book is easy to get lost in, and memorable in many ways.”

That review made my day, Kari!

Thanks so much to everyone who has taken the time to read and share their love for the book through reviews and tweets and Facebook posts and Goodreads reviews. You guys are totally my secret weapon!

I try to stay on top of good reviews (yes, I said it, because while I know there are bad ones out there for every book, no writer goes out of their way to read them) and to repost and help drive traffic to your blogs. But it’s tough to stay on top of everything, especially as I get closer to the release date for TEMPTATION. If I’ve missed your review and you’d like me to feature it here, please send a link to Rebekah at and I’ll try to post it for you. Any omission is purely accidental!

I’ll be hosting a Twitter launch party on Tuesday night that will include a Temptation-, writing-, and reading-related chat with prizes given throughout. Just log-in to Twitter at 9pm EST (party goes to 11pm EST). You must be following me and tweet with #atemptationofangels to win!

Lastly, don’t forget you still have a couple of weeks to enter the Ipad giveaway. There are lots of amazing prizes in addition to the Ipad, so what are you waiting for?!