Introducing the Indelibles!

http://indelibles.blogspot.com

Marketing guru Shelli Johannes Wells has teamed up with twenty-four other indie and small press authors to bring you the Indelibles.

“We are indie authors who write middle grade and young adult fiction. We are dedicated to leaving a permanent mark on the world with our stories and words. We are the Indelibles.”

Each week, we’ll explore fun, fabulous, and fierce topics for today’s teens, drawing on pop culture and themes from the books we write. We’ve got several great things coming up. There will be a “blogger” chat on January 17th and a writer/author chat on January 18th to answer questions about self and indie publishing. See our blog for details.

A little about Stacey Wallace Benefiel: I’m the author of the YA paranormal romance Zellie Wells trilogy, the paranormal romance/urban fantasy serial Day of Sacrifice and The Toilet Business, a collection of essays about all the crappy jobs I’ve had.

I live in Beaverton, OR – which is a suburb of Portland. Before graduating from Portland State University in 2005 with a B.S. in Creative Writing and Theatre, I did a five-year stint at the University of Oregon in Eugene, attended bartending and floral design school, and graduated from the Art Institute of Los Angeles with a degree in Culinary Arts.

I like school.

I grew up in Columbia, MO, but haven’t been back since my ten-year high school reunion because my entire family moved out to Oregon.  I’m very close with my parents and my younger sister, printmaker Valerie Wallace.

I’ve been married to Robert Benefiel since 2002 and we have a 5-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter. We live in an orange house with our dog, Chief, and our two cats, Simon and Willis.

Zellie Wells trilogy

e-book

Requisite blurbage:

Glimpse: Zellie Wells has a devastating crush on Avery Adams, the son of her mom’s high school sweetheart. At her sixteenth birthday party, held in the basement of her dad’s church, she finally finds the courage to talk to him. Turns out, the devastating crush is mutual.
As Avery takes her hand and leads her out onto the makeshift dance floor, Zellie is overwhelmed by her first vision of his death; shocking because not only are they both covered in his blood, but they’re old, like thirty-five, and she is pregnant.
Afraid to tell anyone about the vision, (she’d just be labeled a freaky black magic witch, right?) Zellie keeps the knowledge of Avery’s future to herself and tries to act like any other teenager in love. When they get caught on their way to a secret rendezvous by her mom and his dad, they are forbidden to see each other.
Convinced that their parents are freaking out unnecessarily, Avery and Zellie vow to be together no matter what. They continue their relationship in secret until Zellie learns that their parents are just trying to prevent her and Avery from suffering like they did. The visions are hereditary, they’re dangerous, and if they stay together the visions will come true.
Now Zellie must choose between severing all ties with Avery, like her mom did to prevent his father’s death, and finding a way to change Avery’s future.

Glimmer: Zellie Wells’ life is changing. Her relationship with Avery is growing stronger every day, but their parents are still giving them ultimatums and trying to keep them apart. Her newly discovered powers have all but disappeared. Benjamin, another young Retroact, is back and has brought with him a painful shared vision and a troubled past. While working together to figure out what the vision means, Zellie discovers that Benjamin is a worthy friend and mentor. If only he could keep his hands off of her – if only she wanted him to…

Glow: Zellie Wells has mastered her powers and gotten the guy. She’s lived through her parents’ divorce and being separated from Avery. She’s come back from the dead. What else is there?

Oh, yeah. REVENGE.

Discover how it all ends when Zellie and the gang finally track down Mildred and fight to right the wrongs of The Society’s past, present and future.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

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Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!

Happy Switched Re-Release Day to Amanda Hocking!  I don’t know about you guys, but I’m super excited to read the bonus story, The Vittra Attacks.  More goodness from the Trylle world is always appreciated. (You know I pre-ordered, yo.)

I swiped the cover pic and link from Amazon, but Switched is available, like, everywhere.  Most awesomely, at actual Barnes and Noble stores where you can walk in and stand in front of a book shelf and hold the book. (Even this e-book enthusiast is excited about the prospect of seeing an AH book at the store!)

If you’re not able to rush out and get it right away, my fellow Indelible, Susan Kaye Quinn, is hosting a Switched giveaway on her site.  Check it out!

Okay, that’s probably enough exclamation points for one post.  Talk at you all later.

Happy New Year! *with prizes

Oh, the hilarity and cringeyness of reading last year’s resolutions post.  Ack.

Let’s see, I mentioned something about donating money to Matt Damon to build wells instead of buying the kids Christmas presents. Ha!  Not only did I not do that, I haven’t even donated money to Matt Damon by seeing We Bought A Zoo.  Aw, well (ha ha) maybe 2012 will be my Year Of Philanthropy.

I wanted to lose another 30 pounds in 2011, but would’ve been okay with only 10.  Guess I’m going to have to be okay with gaining 5 instead, because that’s what happened.  There is hope for this resolution in the new year, though, as I’ve signed up for the Personal Paleo Code.  Be prepared for lots of grouchy posts from me as I give up dairy, sugar, bread, pasta, corn, soda and everything else I love besides steak and eggs for a few months.

That’s the personal stuff.  How did I do with my career/writing goals?

Much better.  (I swear it’s one or the other. I will never be thin and productive at the same time.)

In 2011 I published Rebellion, Dormant, Day of Sacrifice Vol. 1-3, Takeover, If You Leave, Glow, the Zellie Wells trilogy, The Toilet Business, and a pen name story.  Seven new things and two bundled together dealies.  More than pleased with that!

I completed four rounds of ROW80 and did a local authors tour with my Pacific Northwest YA Authors group. I joined The Indelibles and the *Death by Chocolate and Dark Tomorrows anthologies. I wrote a short essay for Let’s Get Digital. I participated in Blog tour De Troops, a YA Scavenger Hunt, the 12 Days of Christmas Reading promotion, and did a two-week Glimpse blog tour.  I almost figured out how to use Twitter.  Yay for upping my marketing game!

In 2010, I was really proud of the 2,500 I’d sold in my first eight months as a self-published author.  I’m still proud of that, but am happy to report that I had more than a few months in 2011 where I sold well over 2,500 books. Thank you SO much for taking a chance on me, you all.  I’ll keep writing stories if you keep reading them!

For 2012, I think I’m going to steer clear of making resolutions and just do what I do.  I seem to accomplish more if I let my goals sneak up on me. 🙂

Have a safe and Happy New Year’s Eve and a killer 2012!

*Since you have endured this entire post of me bragging about myself, you are entitled to some books.  The Zellie Wells trilogy (normally $7.99) can be yours for the low price of 99 cents until January 2nd.  All you have to do is go here to get the Smashwords coupon code.

New Covers (Again!) and #ROW80 Grand Finale

Greetings!  It’s been awhile. The 12 Days of Christmas Reading promo is over and now I’m free to blog once more. (Yes, I know I could’ve made it a sticky post, but I didn’t feel like learning how to do that on top of all the other stuff I’ve been up to.  Computer laziness rules this time of year. Ha!)

So, you noticed that I said something about new covers?

Indeed.

Last week I decided to change the covers on the Zellie e-books for two reasons:

1. I’ve had it with people dissing them in reviews. Nothing gets my Big Sister hackles up more than people saying nasty things about my sister’s amazing artwork.  Now, she doesn’t care, she’s been at this art thing a long time and has the portfolio to prove it, but it was really getting to me. I was feeling very strongly like I wanted to ENGAGE and ARGUE and that’s not good for anyone.

2. I was recently invited to join a group of YA authors called The Indelibles (website coming soon) and when I asked them what they thought of the covers, the response across the board was that they liked them, but thought they skewed too Middle Grade.  Their opinions, however, did not make me feel like I wanted to ENGAGE and ARGUE. In fact, I could see where they were coming from. When I looked at some of their covers, I found that I did think the sketched ones appealed to a younger audience more than the photographic ones with models.

To avoid confusion, because I’ve only just uploaded the new e-book covers and they haven’t started to show up everywhere yet, I wanted to make it clear that the new covers are for e-books only and that the paperbacks will retain the drawn cover art. The thumbnails of the old covers do not do them justice and I absolutely love the way the paperbacks look.

*Sidenote: There are still versions of the original, original covers hovering out there. I feel like Createspace issues updates once yearly. I bite my thumb at them.

Ahem.

Here are the sparkletastic new e-book covers:

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Both of the Glow covers are my favorites of the bunch because I think they both capture Zellie exactly.  Feel free to ENGAGE and ARGUE with me about which ones you like best. 🙂

#Row80:

I do believe my goals for this round were to take it easy, write the first draft of Dissent and finish the Glimpse TV pilot.

*snort*

Well, none of those things happened.

Between birthdays and holidays and programs at my son’s school and parties and outings galore, I did not take it easy. Suffice it to say, this round of Row80 has been my most hectic one to date – and in the previous round I was releasing Glow and got into two car accidents. Gah!

Dissent (at least it got a title!) remains at 2K.  BUT I’ve been head plotting on it like crazy, so when I get a chance to work on it I feel like I’ll get the next 5K written fairly quickly.

The Glimpse pilot simply requires me opening the file and finishing it. I hope to work on it next week. It’s one of those things that no one is waiting on and therefore gets pushed down the to-do list first.

So, what did I do this round? Glad you asked. 🙂

Last week I completed an original story for the Death by Chocolate anthology that will be out on Valentines Day. It hovers around 14K, which is a lot for me to write in the two months that I had to finish it.  It’s already been sent to Sarah and the beta readers and their comments were all positive.  Back in Time is a time travel story and I’m stoked because I always wanted to write one of those.  (I flirted with the concept in Dormant.)

I am also going to have a much shorter story in The Indelibles Valentines Day anthology In His Eyes.  It is written from Raleigh’s (from Glow) POV and I’m nearly done with it.

Looking forward to the new year, I’m excited about all the fun writing I’m going to get to do.  I’ll finish Dissent and begin working on the final DOS story, I’m co-writing a contemporary New Adult novel with the awesome Vicki Keire and I’ll finally get started on that Ben book I’ve been procrastinating on.  Lots to look forward to!

Many thanks to all my readers, Row80 friends,  PacNWYA buds, The Indelibles, and, of course, my family and IRL friends.

I wish you all the very happiest of holidays.

12 Days of Christmas Reading

The 12 Days of Christmas Reading promotion starts today!  Go here to get a complete list of all the authors involved and comment on that page to enter to win copies of some or all of the books! If you enjoy this essay, be sure to enter to win a copy of The Toilet Business, my collection of humorous essays.

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You never realize how weird your family is until you’re an adult.

At least, I didn’t.

When I moved out to Oregon from Missouri in the early Nineties for college, I assumed most families who celebrated Christmas had similar traditions to mine.

Here’s how Christmas went down in the Wallace household in the Eighties:

My mom decorated the crap out of the house.  My sister and I had our own Christmas trees in our rooms.  There were wreath-shaped novelty soaps placed by the sink. (Under no circumstances were you to use those soaps!) The mantel was gussied up with silver and gold spray painted and glittered pinecones.  My dad’s recliner space was usurped by the enormous fake tree – always fake except for the year I was sixteen and I guilt tripped Mom into getting a real one. Those were my vegan-Birkenstock-patchouli-no showering days.

Tinsel. Garlands. Styrofoam egg carton ornaments my parents made when they were newlyweds. Bubble lights. Popcorn strings. Construction paper chains.

Lights in the bushes out front. Lights on the sliding glass door to the back porch. Luminaries lining the driveway.

It was awesome.  Christmas perfection.

On Christmas Eve, my sister and I would put on our white tights and our nearly matching dresses – often a variation on the theme of what my mom was wearing.  Lots of plaid taffeta and velvet and scratchy lace collars. Mom would put our hair in hot rollers and let us wear some of her pearlescent pink lipstick and lavender cream eyeshadow. Dad would wear a nice navy or grey suit and top it off with either his London Fog trench coat or his orange-tan leather jacket that made him look kind of like a pimp, so we never let him wear a hat as well.

We’d pile into the station wagon and slog through the snow to the midnight service at church.

Trinity Lutheran was always decorated beautifully, a lot like our house, but with more poinsettia and less glitter.  We’d all take our seats in a pew about halfway up the aisle and we sat: Dad, Stacey, Valerie, Mom. We’d wave to our friends and stage whisper to one another about how sparkly we all looked.

The organ music began up in the balcony, the choir practically blowing the doors off the church with Hark! the Herald Angels Sing and I’d get this rush, be so overwhelmed by the Christmas of it all that I’d want to cry.

That feeling would stay with me throughout the service. More singing, the sermon, the acolytes extinguishing the candles. Joy to the World! while Pastor Gerike walked down the aisle, a smile on his face, his Bible clutched to his chest.  We’d file out and meet in the lobby and wait in line to talk to  him. Back slapping and handshakes for the men, hugs for the women, boys pulling on their clip-on ties, us girls trying to walk with grace even though the crotches of our tights had stretched out and shimmied their way down to our knees.

Then we were back in the car, back home, putting out cookies and milk and beer for Santa and carrots tied with bows for his reindeer. My sister and I would put on our nearly matching flannel nightgowns – me navy or lavender, my sister red or pink – and we’d get a few hours of sleep before we’d sneak to our parents’ room and climb in bed with them, asking every few minutes if those were in fact reindeer hooves we heard on the roof.

At six a.m., we’d drag our parents from their bed and my sister and I would wait at the top of the stairs while my mom went down to see if Santa had visited.  The answer was always, “I think I see a few more presents than were here last night.”

We’d give ourselves rug burn on the backs of our thighs as we slid down the stairs. I’d run to my corner of the family room and my sister would run to hers. Wrapping paper thrown into the air. Pictures taken with Barbies and Walk-mans and telephones shaped like pianos and nearly matching sweaters.  Mom got earrings and a silky blouse, Dad got leather gloves and a Bill Cosby sweater.

My sister, on alternating years, got coal in her stocking or a clown figurine. Both made her cry, but she was soothed on that day only by maple candy. We’d tell her she was a good sport.

Mom made biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, cinnamon rolls, bacon. We’d have tall glasses of orange juice and eat the gigantic apples we’d received in our stockings, while she cooked.

During breakfast, Mom started making lunch.

Lunch included a birthday cake for Jesus.

Four hours later: Ham, pea salad, ambrosia, scalloped potatoes, noodles, green beans, rolls with butter, dressing, steamed carrots, relish tray, sherbet and Sprite punch.

We were stuffed.

Mom would bring out the birthday cake. It had about a million lit candles on it – because GO BIG or get the heck out of my awesomely dramatic family’s  home – and we’d sing.

We’d blow the candles out and clap and say Happy Birthday Jesus to the ceiling. We’d force ourselves to eat a piece of cake. It would’ve been rude not to.

Then we’d retreat back to the family room and my sister and I would lie back under the Christmas tree and look up at the lights. I’d take my glasses off and brag about how much cooler a view I got due to my blurry vision. My sister would tattle on me for bragging.

And Christmas would be over for another year.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, and yes, when I talk about my Christmas memories, people do laugh at me for the Jesus birthday cake, but that’s not the tradition I assumed everyone had.

I assumed that everyone had a house full of Christmas, got to dress up nice, got a church rush, ate too much, received too many gifts. I thought that surely, on Christmas, everyone got to have a perfect day.

When I realized that wasn’t true, I also realized how lucky I was to have my weird family and the childhood that I had.

Merry Christmas!  I hope you have the best possible weird and wonderful holiday you can, whether you’re reliving old memories or making new ones.

Winner of the Zellie trilogy!

I posted on Facebook and Twitter who won the copy or the Zellie Wells trilogy, but completely forgot to announce it here!  So sorry to all that have been waiting to hear the news.

The winner is Kim Waters, a book blogger from Australia!  Congratulations Kim!

I sent the book out to her today and one to the GRAND PRIZE winner, Sandra Lin.

If you didn’t win this go around, take heart, I do giveaways all the time -like the 12 Days of Christmas Reading promotion that starts on the 10th and another around Valentine’s Day.

Also, don’t forget that the e-book of Glimpse, the first book in the trilogy, is free at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and other retailers right now. AND, the e-book of the trilogy is only $6.15 on Amazon!

Thanks to all who signed up for the giveaway and please forgive me for not letting you all know sooner who the winner was.

ROW80 update

Quick update today: 1094 on Back in Time on Monday and 372 today.

Tuesday I finished up my Christmas shopping and today I had four kids 5 and under in my house, so not a lot of time or peace and quiet to write!  I’m still enjoying working on BiT and have set things up so that it can be a series.

Because, if I need anything, it’s another series to write. 🙂

I’ve also got a new idea in the works – I’m going to be writing a novel in real-time on a blog.  I’ll let you all know more about that when I actually set the blog up.

That’s all I’ve got to report for today! Stay tuned for my 12 Days of Christmas Reading post that will magically appear at midnight on the 10th.  Or noon.  I sometimes do that.

Tangent:  Have you all seen Friends With Benefits?  You should, it’s funny.  Anyway, Justin Timberlake’s character, Will, has a real problem with math.  I could not stop laughing because it’s the first time I’ve seen someone else, who is otherwise intelligent, be just as perplexed by math as I am.  Military time confuses the hell out of me. Also, measurements.  I never would’ve made it through culinary school if I couldn’t have based everything on the size of a pint of beer. I could get that two pints of beer could fit into a quart, but trying to understand how many cups are in a quart made my head hurt. (I totally just Googled “how many pints in a quart?” just to make sure.)

Stop laughing!  I’ve got a learning disability, y’all! 🙂

Where is my mind? and #ROW80

I capped off a busy week with a super fun breakfast/reunion this morning.  I got together with two friends who went on an exchange program to England with me in 1990 and the guy whose family hosted two of us.  I had a wonderful time catching up with everyone – we talked about work and following your passion and kids and we reminisced and laughed and ate good food. It was one of those “picking up where you left off” experiences, really. And, I scored a roll of Rowntrees Fruit Gums. 🙂

Then I took the kids to a fun Star Wars birthday party (did you know that there are blow-up lightsabers?) and now we’re all worn out and I finally have time to do my ROW80 update.

I was a blogging fool this week. I participated in the YA Scavenger Hunt – which was a blast!  Many thanks to Colleen Houck for including me. I also wrote a lengthy post that will go up on the 10th for the 12 Days of Christmas Reading.  So, if YA books aren’t you thing and you didn’t get in on the scavenger hunt, you’ll want to make the rounds on 12 Days – lots of giveaways of all types of books.

Writing-wise, this week was a bit of a bust, but I don’t feel too badly about it because I was doing so many other author-centric things.  600 words on Back in Time and 87 on a pen name story on Friday.  I want to finish both stories this week.  We’ll see what happens –  when I think my week is going to be chill it suddenly becomes busy.

Here’s to us all getting off one stop before Crazytown Central.

Winter YA Scavenger Hunt

On this hunt you will be able to gain access to exclusive bonus material, sign up for giveaways, and get an all access pass to top secret insider information. This fabulous sneak peek into what’s coming up in YA literature is for three days only!

As an extra bonus we’ve put together a puzzle with one keyword found on each website. Complete it and you will be eligible for a fantastic GRAND PRIZE which will include signed editions of books, signed bookmarks, jewelry, and many more exclusive gifts with at least one gift from EVERY AUTHOR!

Now on to the bonus material! I’m happy to be hosting author Gretchen McNeil.

Bio: I write.  YA urban fantasy, paranormal and historical fiction and I’m repped by Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown.  My debut YA horror/paranormal POSSESS will be published by Balzer and Bray for HarperCollins August 23, 2011, edited by Kristin Daly Rens.

I’m a former coloratura soprano, the voice of Mary on G4’s Code Monkeys and I currently sing with the LA-based circus troupe Cirque Berzerk. I’m a founding member of vlog group the YARebels where I can be seen as “Monday” and an active member of both The *Enchanted* Inkpot, a group blog of YA and middle grade fantasy writers, and The Apocalypsies, a group blog of 2012 (oops) children’s book debuts.

Possess: Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her over-protective mom, by Matt Quinn, the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, the voices are demons—and Bridget possesses the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from. Literally.

Terrified to tell her friends or family about this new power, Bridget confides in San Francisco’s senior exorcist, Monsignor Renault. The monsignor enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession, but just as she is starting to come to terms with her freakish new role, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. And when one of her oldest friends is killed, Bridget realizes she’s in deeper than she ever thought possible. Now she must unlock the secret to the demons’ plan before someone else close to her winds up dead—or worse, the human vessel for a demon king.

To find out more about Gretchen McNeil, visit her website here.

Purchase a copy of Possess here.

To see Gretchen’s bonus material go here.  *The hunt is over! I hope you all had a great time.

Scavenger Hunt Puzzle

Directions:  Search for keywords as you proceed through the Scavenger Hunt, one on each website that will be highlighted in RED. (Except for on this site where it is in BOLD and sandwiched by *’s.)  When you are finished, fill out the Google form here.

Rules: To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit this filled in puzzle before noon on Dec 4th Pacific Time. All the keywords must be in the correct place and you must include your full name and address. Entries sent in without name and address will not be considered.

Thank you all so much for visiting my website and I hope you are all enjoying the tour.  While you’re here, sign up to win a signed copy of the Zellie Wells trilogy.

***Also, if you read e-books, the first book in the Zellie Wells trilogy, Glimpse, is FREE on Amazon, Barnes and NobleSmashwords, iTunes and other outlets right now.

To qualify to win the prize simply leave a comment on this blog.  Note: to be eligible to win you also need to submit a valid entry for the YA Scavenger Hunt grand prize.

!

#ROW80 update

I don’t have much to report as I haven’t worked on any of my stories since last week.  Mostly I’ve been putting up my Christmas tree and the lights outside and cooking and eating and drinking and dancing.  Decoratin’ and cele-bratin’. 🙂

I’ve eased myself back into writing this week by writing blog posts – one of which is for the YA Scavenger Hunt that starts tomorrow.  There are going to be a ton of prizes and books up for grabs!  It should be lots of fun.

Today I have plans to write my 12 Days of Reading blog post – that starts on December 12th – and to finish up the pen name story I started last week.

The deadline for Back in Time is fast approaching, so I’ve got to get on that beginning tomorrow.  That gives me two weeks to finish it!

Has November been a blip for anyone else?  Jeez time goes by so much faster when you’re old. 🙂