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Silver Shadows Touring So Far!

Charlie the Unicorn
Silver Shadows is here! And in case you haven't been out on social media, people are freaking out about it--in a good way. If you haven't picked up your copy, make sure you do soon. Big, big things are coming!

I've had a really great time this week talking to fans about the book. On Tuesday, I kicked off SS's release at University Book Store in Seattle, sharing all sorts of stories:


As you can see, there were "a few" people there:


I signed for a little over two hours, but it was so much fun. I got to see familiar faces and new ones and am so thrilled for everyone that came out:


Last night, I had my first ever "virtual event." I Skyped with fans at Schuler's Books in Lansing, MI while I sat at home in my office talking on my pink laptop:


Meanwhile, here's what fans in Lansing got to see:


It was awesome! The store said it was their biggest turnout for a Skype event yet, but the number was still small enough that everyone who wanted to got to ask questions. We got to cover a lot of popular fan topics!


Even more exciting, some fans came in character, which I always love. It's hard to see, but the girl in gray has a golden lily tattoo. What's easy to see is that they're all proudly showing the signed copies of Silver Shadows they bought and free DVDs they won! Thank you so much to all who came out to talk to me!

If you live in Miami or Chicago, I'll be Skyping with you guys back to back tonight, July 31. Check here for times. (Rumor has it Anderson's in Chicago will have pizza!). It'll be the same set up, with us face to face on the big screen, you asking questions, and signed books for sale! Plus, each store is giving away 100 DVDs.

And if you live in Portland, I'll be signing this Saturday at the downtown Powell's (different from where I usually sign in Cedar Hills), so come see me there if you're in town. Looking forward to talking to more people!

Talk to me, yo.

Can you believe we're less than one week away until Silver Shadows is out? I'm SO excited for you guys to read this one. Big stuff happens, you guys. But then, when does it ever not?

In celebration of this, there are a number of events going on that you can be a part of. Here's a run down.

Google Hangout with me, Melissa de la Cruz, Margaret Stohl, and Morgan Rhodes

WHEN: Monday, July 28 at 7pm Eastern/4pm Pacific US time (other places, use a time zone converter)
WHAT IT IS: Me, video chatting with three of my favorite author pals for one hour!
WHO CAN SEE IT: Anyone, anywhere in the world, from the comfort of your home.
WHY YOU SHOULD PARTICIPATE: Because you get to see FOUR authors talking about all sorts of topics and possibly distracting each other into silliness. You can also submit questions at the time of the chat or post them in advance here or on Twitter marked #PenguinTeenChat.
THINGS TO KNOW: This will be awesome. Learn to use Google Hangouts this weekend! Here's the link it'll be happening at.

"Virtual" Book Signing and Skype Chat with Me!

WHEN: July 30 and July 31 in Lansing, Miami, and Chicago (Check schedule for times)
WHAT IT IS: Me, chatting with readers on a giant screen in front of you (hope my pores don't show!) and answering your questions about books, movies, and life. Each host store will have autographed copies of Silver Shadows for you to buy right there! Plus each store is giving away *100* copies of the Vampire Academy DVD.
WHO CAN SEE IT: Anyone who is at Schuler Books in Lansing, Books and Books in Coral Gables, or Anderson's in Chicago at the designated times. Some people are confused that the virtual element means you can do this from home. Nope--you have to be in the bookstore hosting it to talk to me. They're the ones making the Skype connection with me.
WHY YOU SHOULD PARTICIPATE: Because you can ask me all those things you want to know--will there be a fifth Dark Swan book? Will there be a Frostbite movie? What IS Jill's element? Etc. If you're in a bookstore with only 50 other people, you have much better odds of getting questions answered vs. an online chat that's open to the whole world. Plus, you can buy an autographed copy of Silver Shadows and maybe win a DVD! (I feel like your odds are pretty good if they're giving away 100 of those DVDs).
THINGS TO KNOW: Contact your store in advance with questions or to pre-order and make sure they don't run out of signed books!

In-Person Book Signing with Me!

July 29 (Seattle) and August 2 (Portland) (Check schedule for times)
WHAT IT IS: Me, reading and taking questions in-person, followed by a book signing and possibly pictures. I'll sign up to four books per person, from any of my series, and you can bring them from home. But if you don't have a book yet, PLEASE buy it from the hosting store! It ensures that they'll bring me back to see you for future book releases!
WHO CAN SEE IT: Anyone who shows up to University Book Store in Seattle or Powell's (downtown) in Portland at the designated times.
THINGS TO KNOW: I don't have DVDs to give away here, but I will bring lots of other goodies to give away, like cool foreign editions of my books, t-shirts, and other fun things. So show up, chat, get a book signed, and maybe win free stuff! Arcane Vault will be selling their merchandise at the Seattle event.

Silver Shadows Round-up

Korean VA
You guys, it's July! Do you know what that means? It means Silver Shadows is coming out in English-speaking countries THIS MONTH! That's right. The US, Australia, Canada, and the UK will see the fifth installment in the Bloodlines series hitting shelves on July 29. Here's the latest news surrounding its release.


First Three Chapters are Live
Can't handle the suspense? Want a sneak peek of what's going to happen to Sydney and Adrian in Silver Shadows? You're in luck! Chapters 1-3 are now online for your viewing pleasure. Read them here.

I will be signing books and meeting fans in-person in Seattle and Portland to celebrate the book's release! And if you live in Chicago, Miami, or Lansing, PLEASE come out and meet me via Skype for our first-ever set of virtual events! Basically, you come to the bookstore at the designated time, and they'll have me live on a big screen, so that you can ask all your burning questions, and I'll do my best to answer. Those stores will also have autographed copies of Silver Shadows on sale (you can also pre-order from the store to make sure they don't run out) and will be doing all sorts of giveaways for copies of the VA movie DVD. These are going to be awesome events, so seriously...check them out! Dates and more details are here.

Book Trailers
If the first three chapters didn't cause you enough emotional angst, well, good news! Penguin Australia has just started releasing Silver Shadows book trailers, and they're awesome as usual. Go to their YouTube channel to see what's out so far.

Ordering Signed Books
Not going to be in Portland or Seattle for a book signing? Not near a store hosting a virtual event and selling signed copies of Silver Shadows? It's all good because you can still get a copy of SS or any of of my other titles autographed. My local bookstore is taking orders again, and they'll ship out at the end of this month. And yes, they ship internationally! See this page for all the details and deadlines.

More to Come
That's a lot of stuff, but believe it or not, there'll still be more stuff announced this month! More contests, more chances to talk to me, and maybe even more chapters! So stay tuned here, Facebook, Twitter, or whatever way you prefer for updates.

Silver Shadows Tour

Lots of exciting things going on around here. The Immortal Crown, book two of the Age of X series, comes out in the U.S. this week on May 29! If you live in the Seattle area, I'll be reading and signing from it at Third Place Books on May 31. Everyone who buys TIC there from the store will get a free copy of one of my international books (so long as supplies hold out--I'll bring a bunch!). You can check out the event details and see a sample of what's up for grabs here.

silver120As many of you also know, Silver Shadows (book #5 in the Bloodlines series), comes out July 29. Only two months to go! Have you read the first chapter? Be warned: it's intense! Because my youngest son is still so little, I won't be doing a major tour for this book either. I'll be visiting my usual Pacific Northwest stops of Seattle and Portland, but this time, I have something extra for a few lucky stores on the other side of the USA...

Virtual Touring!

What's this, you ask? Here's how it works. I will be Skyping with three bookstores the week Silver Shadows comes out. If you come at the designated time, you can talk to me and ask questions just like at a "real" signing! These bookstores will also have autographed copies of Silver Shadows for sale that I've signed in advance for them that you can pick up there. And, each store will be doing a bunch of contests for copies of the Vampire Academy movie on DVD. There'll be tons of winners! You don't have to buy a book to come to the Skype chat, but buying a copy of Silver Shadows from the host stores will increase the odds of you being a DVD winner! Plus, it's a nice thing to buy your SS from them since these stores are going to a lot of work. Plus, the book'll be signed! If you plan on going to one of these events, I STRONGLY encourage you to pre-order Silver Shadows to make sure you get a signed copy and get priority for the DVD contest. Call the stores for details on how to do this!

Okay, so which stores are part of this crazy awesomeness? Here we go:

Tuesday, July 29th - Seattle - IN-PERSON EVENT
7:00 PM
University Bookstore
4326 University Way NE
Seattle WA 981105
Richelle will be there in-person to meet with readers, sign books, answer questions, take pictures, and do giveaways! Book signing limits: four per person, one personalized to you and three just autographed.

Wednesday, July 30th - East Lansing, MI - VIRTUAL EVENT
7:00 PM
Schuler’s Books & Music
Eastwood Towne Center
2820 Towne Center Blvd.
Lansing, MI 48912
Richelle will chat and answer questions with readers via Skype! The store will have autographed copies of Silver Shadows for sale and be doing giveaways of the Vampire Academy DVD. Call to pre-order a copy of Silver Shadows!

Thursday, July 31st - Coral Gables, FL - VIRTUAL EVENT
7:00 PM
Books & Books
265 Aragon Avenue
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Richelle will chat and answer questions with readers via Skype! The store will have autographed copies of Silver Shadows for sale and be doing giveaways of the Vampire Academy DVD. Call to pre-order a copy of Silver Shadows!

Thursday, July 31st - Chicago - VIRTUAL EVENT
7:30 PM
Anderson’s Bookshop
123 W Jefferson Ave.
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 355-2665
Richelle will chat and answer questions with readers via Skype! The store will have autographed copies of Silver Shadows for sale and be doing giveaways of the Vampire Academy DVD. Call to pre-order a copy of Silver Shadows!

Saturday, August 2nd - Portland, OR - IN-PERSON EVENT
4:00 PM
Powell's Books
1005 W. Burnside St.
Portland, OR 97209
Richelle will be there in-person to meet with readers, sign books, answer questions, take pictures, and do giveaways! NOTE: this is the Powell's downtown flagship store. Book signing limits: four per person, one personalized to you and three just autographed.

If you're wondering how I'm doing two chats on 7/31, it's because they're in different time zones. So don't worry, I'll be able to chat at least an hour with each one! And if you live in a place that doesn't have an in-person event or a virtual event this time around, remember that you can always order signed copies of my books from University Book Store and have it mailed to you. They ship internationally, and you can get the info here.

Looking forward to talking to a bunch of you in July--in-person and via Skype!

Penguin Teen Australia TV

You read that right! Penguin Teen Australia has launched their own channel on YouTube, and it's full of awesome. Their first episode featured an interview with me, talking about Silver Shadows, The Immortal Crown, and other good stuff. You can watch it here. They have other cool episodes planned, featuring more authors you love, so be sure and subscribe to see more!

Also, when I do the Q&As before Silver Shadows' release, they'll be similar (but not identical) to the format in this episode. But, those questions will be submitted by YOU GUYS! So think about what you want to ask, and I'll let you know when and how to submit them.

Good times, good work!

Charlie the Unicorn
Thank you so much to everyone who participated in my charity push yesterday and donated to Open Arms Perinatal Services on GiveBIG Day! I'm so flattered that you guys would give so generously. Open Arms exceeded last year's GiveBIG totals, and based on the amounts that came in when I put out the call to my readers, it's clear you guys definitely played a big role. Thank you so much.

If you're just tuning in to all of this, we scored some sweet rewards for yesterday's donations. One of them is that you got the first chapter of Silver Shadows! Brace yourself--it's an emotional ride. Along with that, I'm going to be doing some q&a sessions closer to that book's release where you'll be able to send in questions, and if they're selected, I'll answer them on video for you. More details on that coming.

sydneysThe other big reward was this amazing drawing of Sydney from Emma Vieceli. Emma is the artist who draws the Vampire Academy graphic novels. We still haven't heard from my publishers if the other graphic novels have sold well enough to justify a Blood Promise one, so I was worried we might never get to see Sydney! As a result, I'm so excited Emma did this to give us a taste of what Sydney could be like. Emma and I both have our fingers crossed we'll get to see more of Sydney in a full graphic novel and--dare I dream--a Bloodlines series.

I've got to tell you: I actually asked Emma to do this on zero notice. I've been sick and had to scramble when GiveBIG Day came. Emma is super busy but was so nice in agreeing to do it for me. Thanks, Emma! One of the things she's busy with right now is a comic series of her own, called Breaks, which is full of love and dysfunction and all the other things we adore. You can check it out here. And if by chance you haven't picked up the VA graphic novels (gasp!), you can read about them here and order a copy from Amazon or other retailers to help push the cause!

Thanks again, everybody!

Today, May 6, is GiveBIG Day in Seattle. What's that mean? It means something pretty awesome. Each year on this day, the Seattle Foundation--a large philanthropist group--will "enhance" donations given to select local charities. So, if you donate money to a group on this day, the SF will donate as well, increasing how much the group gets. Lots of very worthy groups are eligible, and each year, I give to one called Open Arms Perinatal Services. Open Arms helps babies:


Open Arms provides support to women in-need during pregnancy, birth, and the early years of childhood. These are women who don't have many resources or who may be new to this country. Open Arms helps educate them and make sure they're taking care of themselves during pregnancy. They provide doulas to assist with birth and breastfeeding and then continue checking on the babies and helping with parenting education for up to two years. Because here's the thing: having a baby is hard. That sounds like a cliche, but it's so true. If you've had one, you know. It was hard for me knowing what to do, and I had plenty of resources and support. I can't even imagine what it would've been like figuring out how to care for a new little person without the proper knowledge or even speaking the local language! Open Arms visits these families to help make sure these babies are taken care of and that their parents are able to keep taking care of them. Studies have shown this kind of intervention helps prevent child abuse/neglect and increases the likelihood of babies growing up healthy and well-adjusted. That alone is a reason to help them. But I'm going to give you another.

How about this one:

What, what, WHAT?

Here's the deal. I'm donating to Open Arms today. If you do too, there are a set of very nice rewards in your future--if we can reach certain goals. It starts by going to this page and donating. (You can also learn more about Open Arms there). If you don't have a ton of money, no problem. There's no minimum--just click the "other" box to give what you can. Whether you donate $5 or $50, it's all good. Every little bit helps, and they'll email you a tax deductible receipt. It requires a credit card, and you don't have to be in the US to contribute, so long as your card works with American websites. I've seen you guys come through before to help groups like the Red Cross, and I know lots of you will be happy to help give these babies and their mothers their best chance at life! I'll be checking in with Open Arms throughout the day to see how much money they've raised, and here's what's in store...

*If Open Arms raises $250, VA graphic artist Emma Vieceli will reveal an exclusive sketch of SYDNEY! If you're like me, you've been waiting FOREVER to see this. Sydney wasn't supposed to be revealed unless there's a Blood Promise graphic novel, but Emma's going to do it early for us!
**UPDATE** We've reached this goal! Check out Emma's amazing sketch here!

*If Open Arms raises $500, I will do a series of video Q&A's the month before the release of Silver Shadows that anyone in the world can submit questions for. Penguin Australia has graciously offered to spearhead this and will review and select submitted questions. Then, I'll answer them on video for you. For some of you, this might be like getting to a book signing!
**UPDATE** Goal met! We'll have info about this closer to release day.

*If Open Arms raises $1000, I've arranged with my publisher to be allowed to post the first chapter of Silver Shadows early. How early? Well, I'll post it TODAY if we reach our goal. Normally, it wouldn't go live for at least another month or two.
**UPDATE** Goal met! You can read the first chapter of Silver Shadows here!

Sound good? If so, then let's help some babies have happy, healthy lives! I'll keep you updated throughout the day about how we're doing. And thank you so much for being so generous. Even though there are rewards out there, it's still YOU making that donation, and I am super grateful to have so many readers who have helped with charitable endeavors time and again. Small groups like this improve lives in the community, which can later improve the world...and your big heart makes it happen. Thank you!

(Note: I'm not personally affiliated with either Open Arms or the Seattle Foundation. For any questions about the websites I've linked, payment process, etc., direct them to the pertinent groups. Thanks!)

German Shadow Kiss
Wow, it's been a longggg time without a blog entry! I had to do so much online promotion to get ready for the movie that once it came out, I took a much-deserved break and haven't spent much time here or even on social media. Lots of people are asking if there's going to be a Frostbite movie, and I honestly don't know yet. The VA movie pulled in plenty of book fans (thanks, guys!) but not so much in the way of newcomers. Without those numbers, it's hard to say if the producers and financers will be able to afford to do more. I'm told it's not impossible...but not easy either. If I hear any more news on what they're doing, I'll let you know!

We did definitely get some newcomers to the theaters, and it was great to see how many of them loved the movie (and even better, went on to read the books!). I saw a lot of these new people saying, "Wow, it was so different from what I expected, based on the title!" That's been a recurring theme since the series first came out. I've often been asked: where did that title come from, especially since half the series doesn't even take place at the academy? Here's the scoop.

When I sold the first book in 2006, it was called Kissed By Shadows. Now, the book business involves a lot more than just a story. Marketing that story is a huge factor, and people at my publishing house felt that title didn't have good marketing appeal. Also, some worried it was too similar to certain Laurell K. Hamilton titles, which were huge at the time. So, I was asked to suggest other titles...and I did. Over and over. How many titles? Well...nearly eighty. We had tons of email exchanges, and every title kept getting rejected. By the end, we were all really starting to go in some crazy directions. When someone finally suggested Vampire Academy to me, I was so exhausted by the process that I said, "Yes, go for it." Readers always remember that title, even if it doesn't fully cover what ends up happening in the series. But hey, there's A LOT going on in the series, so could one title cover it all anyway? Hard to say, and that's what the individual book titles are for.

And now you're probably wondering...what were those titles that got rejected? So glad you asked. For the first time ever, I give you all the suggested and rejected titles for the Vampire Academy series.

Now you can see why I was so exhausted by the process... :)


I'm guessing some of you will look at these and think, "That never would've worked!" But I guarantee if an alternate title had been chosen, and then I told you Vampire Academy was a possibility, there'd be people saying, "That never would've worked!" :)

What would you have called it?

My Review of the Vampire Academy Movie

Well, if you didn’t hear the news that came out recently, here it is again: the Vampire Academy movie’s US release date was moved up to February 7! That means, incredibly, that we Americans are only a few short days from it. I’m super excited about this and really hope you guys are too. I recently had a baby, so I wasn't able to go to the Hollywood premiere last night, but those who went are already loving it. They're not the only ones--I love it too! Yup, that's right, I got to see it in the comfort of my own home, and it is awesome. I could go on and on about what I love about it, but instead, I’m going to tackle some of the common questions I get, now that I can answer with certainty.

Is the movie a comedy?

No! I know some of the advertising really plays up the humorous side, but you have to trust me that the movie exactly matches the tone of the book: a dark, action-packed story with elements of humor and romance spliced throughout. That humor angle was played up in the ads and posters to pull in new viewers who think supernatural books/movies are dull, and it worked! We’ve seen an increase in new readers, which is awesome news. People who are worried about comedy are also worried this is “too high school.” But remember: all the angst and Russian adventure happens later in the series. This first book IS set in high school, but all the dark and serious issues are still totally there. If you watch TV, the odds are good you’ve probably seen a commercial that plays up the movie’s serious side. If not, check out these two trailers to see what I mean: Last Stand and Learn to Kill.

Is the movie true to the book?

This is the big question on everyone’s mind, and I say yes! As I watched it, I was really amazed at how many scenes they kept from the book. I expected more cutting. Some scenes go by fast (understandable with a 1:45 running time), but the moviemakers worked really hard to give at least a nod to every fan favorite scene. Here’s one of my favorites that I could watch over and over: Christian using fire magic in class.

But were changes made?

Of course. Anyone expecting a page by page translation of the book should just listen to the audio version because that’s the only way such a thing is possible. Books and movies are different mediums. You have less time in a movie, and some things that are awesome on the page aren’t so great on the screen. You also have to make sure the movie makes sense to people who’ve read the book AND to those who haven’t. That’s where a lot of adaptations go bad: they cater too much to readers only or too much to newcomers. I’m happy to say this movie hits the right balance, and all the changes made were really smart ones. There’s nothing that radically alters the main plot or characters. They make things look bigger and better and also clarify confusing issues. For me, tweaks like that are part of the adaptation process, and I actually enjoy seeing them.

How was the cast?

Um, awesome! Seriously. I’ve said from the beginning that I’ve loved the casting, and seeing them act just proved it. Every casting decision was spot on, and they were cast not just on their ability to play the character but also on how they interacted with the others. Chemistry is key in this series! Zoey IS Rose, and you’re going to have a hard time deciding which guy you love most because Danila, Dominic, and Cameron all knock it out of the park as Dimitri, Christian, and Mason. I especially love that everyone in the movie--whether they were the star or a small side role--really “got” their character. Lucy Fry, for example, read the book five times to understand Lissa. Seeing the cast bring the characters I created made me feel so emotional and reminded me why readers love those characters so much. It even made ME remember why I love those characters so much and that...gasp...maybe I want to keep writing stories about them!

Is the movie just the first book or all the books?

I’m so surprised this keeps getting asked. I can’t even fathom putting all six books into one movie. It’s just the first.

What about scenes in the trailer that appear to be radically different from the book?

I stand by my earlier statement that this is very true to the book. There are some flashbacks, dream sequences, and background scenes that were added, and seeing snippets of those is what’s confusing some people. Watch the movie. It’ll all make sense.

Are there werewolves in this?
THEY'RE PSI-HOUNDS, modeled exactly off a drawing I made for director Mark Waters.

Is there going to be a movie of Frostbite?

That depends on the success of this one! If it does well, there’ll be a sequel (and hopefully more). Part of the reason such a young cast was chosen was because everyone hopes there’ll be six more years of movies! But this one needs to do well. VA has a big following, but it’s no Harry Potter or Hunger Games. Half of those series’ fan bases could stay home, and they’d still succeed at the theater. We need our full fan base and new people at the theater to be successful, which is why the marketing team has worked so hard to pull in new viewers who don’t normally go to paranormal films.

What’s the final word?

The final word is that I’m super thrilled with the way the movie turned out, and I think you will be too. I’ve seen jaded people comment that I HAVE to say I like it, but here’s the truth: you can believe what you want, but I have a very hard time lying to you guys about things. For example, when my publishers give me covers I don’t like (yeah, it happens), I can’t bring myself to tell you I think they’re good. So, I’ll find a different positive way to spin it, like, “My publisher worked really hard on this and is so excited about it!” That’s what I’d be doing if I thought this movie was bad. Instead, I can say to you straight on that I really love it and hope you guys will as well. From cast to dialogue to breathtaking visuals, they really outdid themselves. The future of the franchise is in your hands now, so go see it! See it on opening day, and bring a bunch of friends because those opening numbers are critical. And remember, a successful first movie means we could very likely see Adrian and Eddie soon...

PLEASE! Mark all spoilers in your comments.

*If you have questions about books, release dates, tour dates, or anything else, please check my website instead of leaving the question in comments or using LJ mail. You're more likely to find an answer!.*

I have red hair and subsist entirely on Kona coffee.

Other crucial information--such as my books, background, and appearances--can be found by clicking the links below.

Please note: I am HOPELESSLY behind in responding to e-mails and LJ comments right now. Be patient as I catch up!



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