Tuesday, October 14, 2014

*Reality Natalie* Teaser #3

Here's your last teaser for Reality Natalie, released tomorrow!!

Teaser #3:

“Drum roll, please!” Chloe said. The entire audience buzzed. 

I sucked in my breath. Please, please let me be the next Kidz Konnection guest talk show host! I know I would do the best job EVER. Maybe better than Oprah (that’s a very big maybe, though). I promise I will be funny and very nice to all guests.

Allie took a bright red envelope from Chloe. She looked up and smiled at the audience.

I will try not to trip or air burp on TV. And with enough practice, my Fake Shakes will disappear, poof! 

Like magic. 

She slid her finger through the top of the envelope.

“And the winner is....”

Closing my eyes and wrapping my fingers over my acorn necklace, I sent up a silent prayer, hoping the Talk Show Goddesses had all ears open.

*Reality Natalie* Teaser #2

Tomorrow is the BIG DAY!! Reality Natalie will FINALLY be released! Both eBook and print will be available to order!

Teaser #2:

“I have an announcement to make,” I said loudly. “You’ve decided to become the next president?” Dad piped up, walking back into the room. “I always thought President Greyson had a nice ring to it.”

“Actually no. But personally, I think my news is just as cool, if not better.” I nodded for emphasis.

Mom shooed Chase and Sydney toward the stairs. “Go put your clothes in the hamper. I’ll be up in a second to give you guys a bath.”

“Me first!” Sydney squealed, running after Chase. With the twins finally gone, I cleared my throat and took a deep breath. “I have decided to try out to become a guest talk show host.”

“Have you?” Dad asked. I pulled out the announcement from the Kidz Konnection website I had printed off earlier. “Remember? Channel 10 is holding a contest to find a Kidz Konnection guest host.” 

Mom adjusted her glasses and looked over Dad’s shoulder, her lips slightly moving as she skimmed the article. She raised her eyebrows the way she does whenever she is about to say absolutely not. I took a deep breath and cracked my knuckles. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the microwave clock tick over to 6:58.


“Well,” Dad said after what felt like an eternity.

“Hmm,” Mom said.

These were not encouraging sounds. The last time my parents said back-to-back words of “well” and “hmm”, I was forced to keep an eye on Chase and Sydney for an entire afternoon while Mom watched “The Sound of Music” in the family room and Dad went golfing. 

Every time a song came on, Mom would sing at the top of her lungs. If the “hills came alive” once more, I was going to puke. I drummed my fingers on the table, glancing at Mom and Dad as they perused the piece of paper. Maybe if I stared long and hard enough, I could somehow use mind control to force them to say “yes”.

But, mind control is not one of my talents.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

*Reality Natalie* Teaser #1

As promised, several teasers of my upcoming middle grade novel, Reality Natalie, will be featured on my blog.  I will not be announcing these days, so please make sure to come back and check for more!

Also, be sure to check out www.katie-sparks.com/in-a-nat-shell.html for posts from Natalie herself!!

Teaser #1:


If I didn’t hurry, it would start. Without me.

My legs burned and cramped as I sped up. I winced in pain. Don’t slow down. Bursting through the front door, I dropped my backpack and sweater to the floor. I paused for a millisecond as I passed the kitchen.

No time for a snack. I’d rather starve than miss this surprise announcement. I half-sprinted/half-hobbled through the hallway and into the family room.

“HeyMomHeyDadSchoolWasGreatThanks,” I said in one big rush. I grabbed the remote and clicked the ON button. The TV screen lit up before me. 

There they were.

REALITY NATALIE is being published!

Reality Natalie, my middle grade novel, is FINALLY being published!  I am excited and proud to announce that on October 15, 2014, Natalie Greyson and her quest to become the next guest host on her favorite kids show, Kidz Konnection, will finally become a reality!

Here's the cover of the upcoming novel:

Synopsis: CAMERAS ROLLING...ACTION! The most popular kid's TV show, Kidz Konnection, decides to hold auditions for a guest host spot, and the show's BIGGEST fan decides to audition.

                               [Cue Natalie Greyson]

Eleven-year-old Natalie is determined to overcome her habit of turning into a tongue-tied, air ball burping, runny-nose disaster whenever something embarrassing happens in front of an audience so she can audition for the coveted role. As the show’s biggest fan, no one could possibly deserve it more than her. Except a giant obstacle stands in her way: her parents, who deny her permission, think she is too young to be on TV. To make matters even worse, Natalie's naturally talented best friend, Kailyn, decides to audition too, and will stop at nothing to win – like lying during a practice session and tearing up their friendship pact. 

With their friendship suddenly in question, Natalie turns to her blog, In A “Nat” Shell, to vent her frustrations about Kailyn's spiteful actions, but Natalie’s emotional outpouring and lies only creates more anxiety for herself. With the stakes high, Natalie goes against her parent’s wishes and decides to audition, but Kailyn has her own secret plan to be Number One, even if it means doing so at the expense of her best friend. Can Natalie find a way out of the drama and into the spotlight? Or will the competitive pressure cause her to lose her ultimate dream along with her best friend?

Want to add Reality Natalie to your collection? Pre-order your Kindle copy now! Print and all eBook formats available on October 15, 2014.

Publisher: Firedrake Books, LLC

Friday, August 15, 2014

Review: One Smart Cookie by Kym Brunner

One Smart Cookie
By Kym Brunner

Here's a story sure to intrigue readers who fell in love with the worlds built Sarah Dessen and E. Lockhart. It's a (sweet!) bite right out of reality!

Author Kym Brunner's new YA book, Once Smart Cookie, is a refreshing, diverse take on the typical contemporary teenage love story filling bookshelves today. Sixteen-year-old Sophie Dumbrowski pulls readers in immediately with her relatable and often very humorous personality and outlook on life. Her situation consisting of no boyfriend and a best friend whose focus is solely on her new man = one sizzle less summer. 

In Sophie's eyes, she can't take the heat anymore -- and decides to get out of the kitchen. Er, bakery, that is. Living above her mother-owned pastry and coffee shop is just the icing on top of the kolacky. In hopes to appease her spirit-conjuring grandmother and hopefully snap a boyfriend, Sophie makes a deal with the love-seeking spirit, Dola. But when she encounters two boys in one day, Sophie is left to wonder if her luck is finally about to change or if Dola's magic is in full effect. With Gio, a suave, Italian gentleman and Nick, a sexy, polish (!) bad boy, how will Sophie choose?! 

Sophie's use of profanity, sexual reflection and emotional mindset seemed spot on for a female teenager of today. In a world when technology dominates every teenager's life, Brunner made sure to weave in just the right amount of text messaging without it seeming contrived at all. She's a bit on the klutzy side, but any girl who has been in the same situation as Sophie will find her perfectly endearing! Adding Busia, a hardworking, yet loving grandmother and Sophie's scantily dressed mother, adds even more flavor to the story, sure to incite much laughter.

As the summer progresses and Sophie learns to like both guys for different reasons, she is left wondering which path is right. Should she stick with Gio, a sweet guy who is more her type, or stay open minded and continue to see adventurous Nick? Will Dola figure it out for her or is it all up to Sophie? 

Make the decision and pick up this book and you'll be, well, one smart cookie!

Find more information on Kym Brunner!
One Smart Cookie Tour Schedule: http://wp.me/p20ttU-3bV

Monday, November 11, 2013

Day Eleven of NaNoWriMo

Guilty as charged! I was not able to write the past few days, however, I was able to get some more brainstorming and research in, including a mapped out timeline of each chapter, the plot points and any inciting incidents.

I'm continuing to read middle grade novels (one in particular that contains pranks in the book too!) in order to submerge myself in the middle grade novel tone of a male protagonist. Since my first novel is from the viewpoint of an 11-year-old girl, switching gears the second time around has proven to be quite a challenge. But I will admit, I am absolutely LOVING my new story and where it is going!

I am thrilled that the motivation NaNoWriMo provides has been so successful for me these past few days, and cannot wait to see what my novel becomes by the end of the month. I'm even more excited for you all to see it -- one day!

After 540 words, the total is now up to 6,028!

Today's excerpt: "They raised their long green bony hands and pointed their sharp fingernails at me.  I tried to stop and turn around but my back felt as if it were up against a wall, pushing me forward, the heels of my gym shoes screeching along the floor tile as the hallway got smaller and smaller. The sickly stench of burning rubber filled my nostrils..."

Best writing wishes to all!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Day Five of NaNoWriMo

After such an exciting win for the Chicago Bears against the Green Bay Packers last night, my adrenaline has been running ever since! Day Five of NaNoWriMo picked up after an intense ending to Chapter 3.  Chapter 4 begins with some awkwardness and self-doubt. Friendship lines are blurred and morality is questioned.

Here's today's excerpt: I leaned over and picked it up. My fingers burned as the temptation to rip it open coursed through my hand. I coughed loudly and shoved my arm in Ty's direction. "Here, I, uh, I think you dropped this."

An addition of 627 words for Day Five brings the grand total thus far to 5,491.

Please share some of your favorite, exciting or thought-provoking excerpts from your NaNoWriMo works in progress!

Looking forward to hearing everyone's personal journeys!