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The Girl Who Heard Demons by Janette Rallison

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Shy Adelle Hansen hears demons, but she’s determined to make friends at her new high school by keeping her ability secret.

When she overhears supernatural voices celebrating the impending death of the school quarterback, Levi Anderson, she knows she has to do something to prevent it. However, the demons aren’t the ones plotting; they’re just celebrating the chaos, and Adelle must contend with earthly forces as well if she wants to preserve Levi’s life.

Handsome, popular Levi doesn’t appreciate Adelle’s self-appointed role of guardian angel. As Adelle battles to keep him safe, she’ll have to protect her heart, too. Can she do both?

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The beauty of a book written by Janette Rallison is that you know you are going to be deliciously engrossed in the world she created. When I dive into one of her books, I do not want to surface again until I am finished with every last word. I know I will always be entertained by clever, witty characters and treated to an emotional experience that is satisfying and gripping. The Girl who Heard Demons is no exception. Adelle hears demons. Levi is the boy who wants an explanation for how she knew to save his life. The storyline is kind of totally awesome, but the telling of that story is sheer beauty. There are twists and surprises that will leave you breathless. This is definitely a book to own in your personal library. Trust me on this. You will love it!

About Janette:

USA Today, bestselling author, Janette Rallison writes books because writing is much more fun than cleaning bathrooms. Her avoidance of housework has led her to writing 23 novels that have sold over 1,000,000 copies. Her novels have been on many reading and state lists. Most of her books are romantic comedies or action because hey, there is enough angst in real life, but there’s a drastic shortage of humor, romance and hot guys who fight dragons. She lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband, kids, and enough cats to classify her as eccentric.

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Not Always Happenstance

From the Power of the Matchmaker series: 


Lani has lived in Hana, Hawaii for five years. She’s learned to surf, fish, dive, and manage her grandmother’s bed and breakfast. She’s also learned to take one day at a time the way it should be takenrelaxed and unrushed, savoring every moment.

But, like a large wave on the brink of breaking, her life is about to crash out of control. A proposal of marriage, a conniving grandmother, a cryptic Asian woman, and a handsome guest, and suddenly everything calm begins to churn, everything clear becomes confused, and all that was normal segues into peculiar.

As Lani struggles against the current to hold her ground, she realizes that she can either continue to fight and eventually lose, or take a take a leap of faith, hold her breath, and ride the wave wherever it takes her.

 

What people are saying:

 
Loved it! A great escape and like always a lovely story that drew me in and wouldn’t let go until the very end. Highly recommend! Kathy, Goodreads.com



A very quick and beautiful read that made me want to move here and live among the locals. Maureen, Goodreads.com

 
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Goals, Resolutions, and Other Things in the Try-Fail Cycle

Writers understand the try-fail cycle. We understand it perhaps better than anyone because we know it creates good tension. If the character succeeds the first time they try anything, then where is the tension? Where is the conflict? How is that character to grow?

It’s interesting that we love it in our fiction and hate it in our reality.

Because the try-fail cycle is real. It happens. And it happens to more than just writers. At this time of resolutions, goal setting, and do-overs, I’ve been thinking about my personal try-fail cycle. A friend of mine made an incredible bucket list of goals she had achieved and other goals that were still out there. I loved her list and realized that, on the try-fail cycle, I have failed enough that I’ve been able to succeed too.

That is what comes from not giving up.

And so I am shamelessly stealing this idea  and making my own list. Thanks Melanie Jacobson (Truly, thanks, girl. You rock). The ones with the asterisk are achievements unlocked. The ones in bold are still out there to be achieved.

* See my book in print with my name on the cover

* See my book at Barnes and Noble

See my book in hardcover

* Hit a best seller’s list

* See my book on a bookshelf in another state (thank you, New York!)

* Have my books made into audiobook

* Win a major peer-reviewed literary award

* Get an agent (my agent is awesome)

* Get fan mail (not going to lie, I really love my fan mail)

Get published with Disney Hyperion. (Seriously, I want an acceptance letter with Mickey Mouse on the letterhead. I want it like I want to breathe)

Have a box of my books, printed in a language I can’t read, arrive on my doorstep

* Rock a school visit like a boss

* Have a signing with a line that takes hours to work through (this comes from rocking a school visit like a boss)

Sell movie rights

See my books translated to the silver screen (I’d even eat popcorn to celebrate the occasion—even though movie popcorn always makes me sick)

* Be interviewed by a magazine

Get a starred review

* Speak at Comic Con

* Have one of my hero authors stand in my line and buy my book without any prodding from me

* Teach at a major writing conference

* Go on a multi-state book tour

* Go to BEA

Be sent to BEA by my publisher

See a stranger reading my book in the wild (people tag me with photos of people reading my books in the wild, but I’ve never seen it with my own peepers)

* Be on a favorite’s list at a library

Write all the books that are currently in my head.

Be a force for good in helping other authors.

There aren’t as many bolded items as there used to be, which is awesome. But the thing is that I have rejection letters,  abandoned manuscripts, and reviews that are so not nice that they have become hysterical to me. There were a lot of fails that gave me the privilege of changing a bold wish to an asterisk of accomplishment. Something I got from all this is that it is okay to fall and skin your knee. It’s even okay to fall and skin your heart. That’s what band aids and new days are for.

So whatever your thing is–writer or otherwise– there are goals out there to reach and resolutions to be made to reach them. Go out and try today. Don’t worry about the fail part; it may happen or not, either way is okay. Either way, you grow, stretch, become. Either way, you are on your way. 

“Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever.” –Walt Disney

 

Interview for Spell Check Book Club

Some very wonderful ladies recently read Spell Check as part of their book club. They asked me to come to their meeting, but due to distance and time, I was unable, so we did the next best thing: an author interview! I decided to post the questions and answers here because it was fun to answer those questions and because the questions themselves were great. Way to go Book Club!

1. What research did you have to do to write Spell Check and how did you come up with the idea?

The book Spell Check actually came from the research for another book Cross My Heart. I took a whirlwind trip to Boston because the city played such an important part in that novel, and I wasn’t sure I could rely on my memory and Google to get it right. While I was there, I took a side trip to Salem since it’s not too far (and I love Salem). I did all the tourist things available—including going to the witch memorial. It was October, and almost everyone in the entire city was wearing a witch costume. I thought to myself that if I was a witch, I’d hide out in Salem and own a new age store with potions and crystal balls. The tourist trap of the city makes it the perfect cover story.

For other research . . . I already speak Swedish, so the few Swedish words in the book weren’t a big deal at all. As far as real research, I don’t know much about a lot of things. Google was my best friend since trips to Sweden were a little out of my ability. For instance, I wanted the troll trials to be held in the middle of an epic kind of mountain. Those types of mountains don’t really exist in Sweden, but an underground lake does: Lummelundagrottan in Gotland, so it became a foundation for the lake in the story. I also had to research the lore of witches but didn’t like most of what I found, so I made up my own. The prequel that I just finished writing, “Troll Cursed,” takes place during the time when Britta and the other three girls find the stones of power and battle with the trolls. That has required much more research because I have to research the history of the time period and the legends and stories of Sweden. The research has been fun and is a side benefit of writing the stories. Also, to all Swedes: I apologize for making the dala horse out of wax. I know it is blasphemy. Forgive me.

2. Who was your inspiration for the mom in the book? I loved it when Ally asked her if she was a witch!

I love Ally’s mom! She is a mix of a lot of women I admire: the ones who work hard to provide for their kids and strike that beautiful balance between friend and parent. They are the ones who deal with the crummy stuff, have a good sense of humor, but sometimes get exhausted and overwhelmed. They are the ones who cherish their kids.

3. What made you use the Swedish background?

I speak Swedish (turns out, you can take a foreign language to get out of taking math at BYU! Woohoo!) and studied Scandinavian culture in college. I’ve always wanted to set a book there, and I love the fact that Swedes call witches trollkvinnor—literally translating to troll women. It is never not funny to me.

4. The Amazon. Why there? Very exciting, by the way.

The Amazon came from a moment when I told my husband I would rather battle anacondas in the Amazon than do something that was required of me at the moment (I can’t even remember what I was trying to get out of). The phrase kind of stuck, and I decided I probably wasn’t the only woman in the world who would rather battle anacondas in the Amazon than some of the daily garbage they deal with.

5. Who was you inspiration for Lisa Snoddy? Everyone has or has had one in their life.

Lisa is another one of those amalgamations. She is many people rolled into one. But there are a few stand-out-mean-girls in my life. I didn’t have very nice clothes growing up, and I only had one dress when I started going to church every week. I remember this one girl very vividly because she made it her life goal to be hurtful to me. As I was walking to church one Sunday, she called across the street, “There goes Julie Peterson in her one and ONLY dress!” Looking back, I shouldn’t have let it bother me, but the words stung and shamed me. As an adult, I’ve come to realize that she probably had things in her life that weren’t great, and that’s probably why she was so mean.

6. What was your inspiration behind the ring Ally’s dad gave her? It was so sweet.

Honestly, I have no idea where that came from. One day I was writing and realized her dad needed to get her a birthday present and I wanted it to be something special—even magical (though it’s only power was that it was given and received in love). The ring was just one of those happy accidents that happen when you’re writing on a deadline.

I loved writing this novel. For me, it was a fun adventure with humor and heart. It’s a great Halloween read that is squeaky clean. I love that twelve year olds and eighty year olds can read this and enjoy it equally. Thanks so much for highlighting my book in your book group and for caring enough to find out the back story.

Book groups rock!

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Finishing

I recently finished writing my 21st novel which is a definite cause to celebrate! It feels so unreal to have written that many books. I remember feeling startled upon finishing my first novel. As I wrote those last few words, I blinked at them with genuine surprise and realized I had no more words to say for that book. How was running out of words possible?

It took me several years to write another book because I truly believed I had run out of words, but when that book was accepted for publication, it occurred to me to write a second book (I know, I know. How pathetic that it took me so long to figure it all out).

And now I know that running out of words is impossible. If I wrote one book a year and lived to be 100 years old, I would still die with novel ideas never fully realized and written.

My guru grandma once told me something that really stuck with me (most everything she said stuck with me because she was my best friend), but this particular nugget of wisdom is my talisman when things get hard and the idea to maybe run out of words on purpose becomes a terrible temptation. She said, “Be a finisher, Julie. If you care enough about something to start, then care enough to finish.”

Every time I finish a novel, I smile to myself, toss a wink heavenward, and think, “I finished again, Grandma!”

A career as a writer is not always perfect or smooth or everything you dream of, but if you care enough to start, then care enough to finish. If you’re having trouble coming to grips with your own writing career and need a boost of finishing energy, email me, and I will tell you all the reasons you should stay the coarse and just get it done all the way to . . .

The End

back in the days of film, where you didn't know someone blinked until after the film was developed. Grandma Peterson and me

Back in the days of film, where you didn’t know someone blinked until after the film was developed. Grandma Peterson and me (Don’t you love my 80’s rocker haircut?)

Interview with Frank L. Cole

Tell us about yourself: one thing mundane, one thing fun, one thing exciting, one thing happy, one thing weird, one thing hilarious, and one thing of your choice.
  • Weird – I take baths. At least 3 or 4 a week. That’s where I go to read and to plot out a book. In the bath.
  • Mundane – I don’t like Jell-O at all. I think it’s stupid, like an annoying table decoration, wobbling in a bowl, which I won’t eat from. Ever. Oh, and I can’t stand whipped cream. Vomit.
  • Fun – In awkward situations or group meetings, I like to do stupid human tricks. Yoga poses, double-jointery, horrible impersonations (that sound nothing like the person I’m impersonating), and such.
  • Happy – I like to write while wearing wool socks.
  • Hilarious – I’ve been on National Television for slapping a wrestler.
  • Exciting – I sold another book! The World’s Greatest Adventure Machine will come out some time in 2017 from Delacorte, Random House.
  • My Choice – I’m a sleepwalker, sleep talker, night terror professional. I’ve stuck my hands in ceiling fans more times than I can count, and there are permanent indentations in my walls from where I’ve run headfirst into them because I was being chased while sleeping. Ask my wife, who had no idea I did this sort of thing before we were married. 
There you have it, folks . . . Frank has slapped a wrestler. I’m totally taking you out to Jello to celebrate. Not that anything can top wrestler-slapping, out of everything that has happened throughout your publishing career, what is your single best moment ever?

That phone call from my agent when we sold The Afterlife Academy. I thought I would be more composed, but I was standing at work surrounded by other managers and my boss, and my boss’s boss, and I squealed and leapt and twirled like an idiot.

Your favorite worst review (I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours).

They all hurt, but this one was particularly rough and yet funny: 1-star on Goodreads. “Cute, imaginative, fun characters–but, boy, does it drag on. Too over the top for me. Should’ve been a short story.” That was my first Hashbrown book, which was not even 100 pages long. 

Mine was a one star, one word, three letter review: BOO. I’m pretty sure she wasn’t trying to scare me but was instead boo-ing me off the literary stage. I felt terrible for all of three minutes before it struck me how hilarious a boo-review really was. And on the topic of reviews: what is your favorite book to read? And why?

I’m about to start reading Harry Potter again, for the umpteenth time. I just need to be whisked away into a believable world and I can’t think of another series that does that for me quite like those amazing Harry Potter books. I think I’ll start with book four this time, and work my way around to book three to finish, because why not?

You’ve been around a lot of authors throughout your career and, doubtless, have heard all kinds of writing advice. What’s the best thing anyone has ever told you about writing?

Move on from my book and write something else. If I had never listened to that piece of advice, I would still be peddling my first novel to agents and publishers and touting it as the greatest book ever. It’s not. And it took writing something else to help me realize that.

That is GREAT advice. What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

You should perpetually be working on your next project. I get excited just as I’m about to wrap up a book, knowing that I can start on something new. The discovery phase of writing is where I think someone advances the most as a writer.

Also great advice. Sooooo . . . E Book or paper?

Oh, paper. A million times over. You can chuck a book when something happens that ticks you off. You can’t do that to an iPad

Dude? You throw books? I don’t know how I feel about that. I sing to books and tuck them into shelves lovingly and pet new books who come to live in my house. (okay fine, I’ve thrown a book or two as well. Some of them just deserve it). Tell us about your process (not in book throwing, but in writing). Do you have daily word goals? Or do you squeeze the words in wherever they might fit?

I think my writing process is really unhealthy. I have to take days off work to write for huge chunks at a time. And then I won’t write for a week or two. Then, I have to reread what I wrote, which takes forever, and start all over. It truly is a miracle I was ever able to finish a book.

Any process that results in a finished work is a successful process to me. Speaking of success, if you could take any three authors to dinner, who would they be and why?

J.K. Rowling (but she’s buying), Stephen King (because I’m a nervous eater anyways, might as well give my indigestion a face), and Julie Wright because I hear she’s a hoot!

J.K. is buying? I am SO there! As long as we’re dreaming about meeting people we’re unlikely to chat with face-to-face, if your characters, Walter and Charlie, were to have a chance to say something about you as their creator, what would they say?

I think they would ultimately be happy with me, although they would have some bitterness towards me. We’d have to have one of those get togethers where they tell me how awful I was as a creator, because I just about gave up on them. Shelved them. Stuck them in a folder hiding on my desktop, because I didn’t think anyone would want to read about them. And every so often, they would scream at me, and I would read what I wrote and think, man, I really like these kids.

So there you have it. Frank is decidedly awesome and also signed a new book deal, which means we have more great stuff to read! Check his book out! He’ll also be speaking on panels at Comic Con, so if you’re going to be there (and you really should), make sure you check out his panels or have him sign your book at the Shadow Mountain booth where he will be signing copies of The Afterlife Academy.

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Old Dog. New Tricks.

So everyone wants to know why I went back to school. I am 42 years old. I already have a career that a degree will not really affect. I am busy beyond belief writing books, speaking at conferences and schools, taking care of my children, my household, and my church and neighbor obligations. With all that, seriously WHY go back to school?

It started something like this:

Me to Mr. Wright: I want to know how to design book covers.

Mr. Wright: You can just pay someone to do it.

Me: Yes, but when they’re done and presenting it to me, how will I know if it’s any good if I don’t know anything about the elements of design?

So I signed up for classes. I took some professional editing classes as well and, while in the frenzy of signing up for things, thought about my great grandma Dezi Irene Jones Dunlap who received  her degree as an old woman. I’ve mentioned her before.  She received her degree. I should do the same.

Once I started, there was no way to quit because my daughter who is currently in school told me that if I quit, she could as well. So yeah . . . I’m getting a degree now. No daughter of mine will walk the earth uneducated. It sucks to be the adult sometimes.

But I’ve actually really enjoyed so much of this new experience–far better than I would have had I finished as a cheeky little twenty-year-old who thought she knew everything. Okay, I don’t love math or physics and I think writing academic papers is a waste of my time. But aside from that, the learning! I love the learning. I love looking at Jane Eyre from a different point of view. I love discovering how to calculate the escape velocity from our galaxy. I love feeling as though my design teacher is a magician as he manipulates Adobe Illustrator to make amazing art.

It’s been a good exercise for me, a wonderful expansion of my intellectual reach. And though my own personal writing is much slower, it’s still coming along. I finished my twentieth novel last month and am on page 42 of my newest novel. I love reaching page 42. It feels like I’m sharing a cosmic joke with Douglas Adams. I mentally curtsy to him at that particular crossroads. I like page 42 versus page 60 where everything I write feels wretched, shallow, boring. I get over it again by page 80. Fall int0 despair again by page 150 and am doing some version of a maniacal villain laugh by page 200. Does anyone else have such a bizarre process?

Anyway, yes, I am back in school, yes, I am a little worse for the wear physically, and I cry whenever someone says the words “imaginary numbers” to me, but I’m not sorry I took this step. And I’m managing to make time to continue on with important things like speaking at writing conferences and making time for family and friends. Life is good. Drink it up.

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A bunch of amazing authors and me teaching at Teen Author Boot Camp

J. Scott Savage and me at his awesome steampunk dragon. COVE is a book to be on the look out for!

J. Scott Savage and me at his awesome steampunk dragon. COVE is a book to be on the look out for!

Life, the Universe, and Everything

LTUE is a highlight of my year. It is a time when I have the luxury of getting together with likeminded people to debate the finer points of the literature we all love. The symposium is one of reflection, education, and absolute fun. It’s a place to get your nerd on and wear it with pride. If you feel like talking nerdy with me, join us:

February 12-14, 2015

Provo Marriott Hotel & Conference Center

I’m kind of completely thrilled over this year’s schedule because, for the first time ever, I am on panels that will take a journey through the spectrum of being an author from start to finish. Panels allow a dialogue between  the panelists and audience that always feels like it’s just getting starting at the time it’s ending. Doing this series of panels will allow us to explore ideas of what it really means to be a writer with greater depth than we’ve had before. I’m serious. It’s thrilling. And I have very cool co-panelists.

Friday 9:00 am: From Start to Finish 1: Ideas and Preparation: Julie Wright, J.R. Johansson, Stephen Gashler, Tristi Pinkston, Bryan Beus (m)

Friday 1:00 pm: From Start To Finish 2: Drafting And Revision: Julie Wright, J.R. Johansson, Stephen Gashler, Tristi Pinkston, Bryan Beus (m)

Friday 4:00 pm: From Start To Finish 3: Publishing And Promotion: Julie Wright, J.R. Johansson, Stephen Gashler, Tristi Pinkston, Bryan Beus (m)

Saturday 6:00 pm: Writing for Children: Julie Wright, J Scott Savage, Ben Sowards, Andrea Pearson (m)

This is the symposium where I met incredible artist Kevin Wasden and Hazzardous Universe was born. This is the symposium that stretched me as an author and inspired me to write in a new genre. This is the place where a six foot tall steam punk dragon will be unveiled in anticipation of Jeff Savage’s new series. In short, this is the place to be this weekend. To learn more, and to be where all the cool kids are playing, go here: LTUE

And to celebrate the life the universe and everything, I leave you with a bit of fun trivia and an emoticon from God.

Trivia: The escape velocity to leave our galaxy (from Earth) is 42 Kilometers per second.

Latest picture from the Hubble Space telescope

Latest picture from the Hubble Space telescope

Connected

I’m a writer. Obviously.

I’m actually a lot of things: Wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, housekeeper, student, marketer, photographer, cover designer, historian, cook (not a good cook though–more like the kind at a fourth rate restaurant in a creepy back alley; don’t ever ask me to cook for you if you value our life). In spite of all the things I do and am, writer defines me. My first indication of being a writer was in second grade. The teacher asked us to write down what we did best and how we thought we could use it as a career. I put down write as my thing I did best and put writer as my career choice. So I’ve known for a long time that this is who I am.

I’ve worked at being a writer my whole life, from poetry to short stories to novels to screen plays to articles to ad slogans. If a thing can be put into words, I’ve tried to be the one to make the words.

But I don’t always succeed. I have more rejection letters than most people I know. I have nice letters, form letters, letters that feel they were written by the head of the department of ruination, letters that sing praises to my words and curses to the timing. I have acceptance letters too. And I’ve actually made a career out of this thing I said I could do back in the second grade.

While cleaning out my garage the other day, I found something that halted pretty much all work: a box of old things. Really old things. The kinds of things where the paper crackles with fragility. Newspaper articles from my long dead great grandmother. Her name was Dezi Irene Dunlap.

She was a writer.

I had some vague knowledge of this before but never had I realized the depth of our connection. My great grandma wasn’t just a dabbler-writer. She was serious about her craft. The first news article–the one that caught my attention as I moved the box from one shelf to another– announced on the society page in bold print

Feasting the Muse . . .

The article shares the details of an awards banquet for short stories. A picture of my great grandmother ties up a good portion of the left bottom corner of the newspaper and the caption declares her to be a “national magazine writer for the Saturday Evening Post and other slicks” My great grandmother! How cool is she? And I hadn’t really known the extent to how much she wrote, to how dedicated she was to the craft.

Inside this particular box I found several of her stories as they were published in national magazines including the Ladies Home Journal, Saturday Evening Post and Good Housekeeping. I found rejection letters. I found signed contracts. I discovered she’d actually been the president of the League of Utah Writers at one point in her life.

And on April 16th, 1944, my grandma was featured in a newspaper article that  discussed how Salt Lake City would one day be a focal point of great creative writing. The article mentions how many Salt Lake writers were coming to the fore in ever increasing numbers, their names appearing in national magazines standing as a witness to their success.

It was interesting to me how seventy years later, Salt Lake could indeed be considered a focal point of great creative writing. With so many of my friends being on the New York Times list and so many more winning awards and signing movie contracts and myself achieving so many things in the literary world,  I can only smile. My great grandmother and I would have been great friends had we had the chance to know one another. She died just one year before I was born. We would have sat through banquets together, clapped and cheered for one another’s successes and maybe provided a thoughtful critique or two for each other. I am so glad I found this box and had a chance to connect to someone whose blood runs through my veins. Thanks, Grandma, for this connection to my past and congratulations on your successes, but more importantly . . . congratulations for sticking it out through the rejections and slush. That is an accomplishment to be truly proud of.

Grandma is the lady on the left

Grandma is the lady on the left

I wonder how long it took her to pin up her hair like that . . .

Cover Reveal

Boardwalk Antiques Cover small

Isn’t it cute?

It’s exciting to have a new work finished–especially right now when I feel overwhelmed with busy. Almost as exciting to completing a new project is completing it ON TIME. It’s the little things that make life great. And so I am happy to announce The Boardwalk Antiques Shop written by two of my favorite people and me. The book releases in January 2015 and is filled with sigh-worthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines. Lots of heart. Lots of fun!

In other news, I am heading to Southern California this weekend to sign books at the Disneyland hotel. If you’re in the area, come say hello.