Monday, September 26, 2011

I know, I know.

I'm a terrible blogger. Always have been.

I plan on doing a series of posts about ABNA and Spookygirl's progress; I'm just waiting until I have a little more info (like whether Spookygirl will still be called Spookygirl once everything's finalized!). The publishing industry operates at its own unique pace.

Also, August through January is my busy season over at Mint Conspiracy. At the moment I'm trying to put together something resembling a winter collection while still keeping the Halloween spookies and everyday monsters in stock.

So... Soon, I promise! ABNA recaps, publication progress. They're on the list.

I do have a little Spookygirl content to share. Freelance writer Rosy Moorhead recently interviewed me for her blog. Here's the link!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Drive-By Post

Just wanted to toss out a quick thank you to Lindsay Grant and for the congratulations! I might never have written Spookygirl without NaNoWriMo.

Got a murmur of a story in your head? Are there characters tugging on your sleeve? Remember, November's only 135 days away...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

ABNA Gets Spooky!

It's official -- Spookygirl is the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award winner in the Young Adult Fiction category!

To everyone who voted during the final round...

To everyone who helped spread the word...

To everyone who kept their fingers crossed for Violet (and for me)...

And to everyone who has already pre-ordered the book...

Thank you!

I  deeply appreciate your support, and I couldn't be prouder of my spooky little girl.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thank You!

Just wanted to post a quick but sincere thank you to everyone who voted for Spookygirl and helped spread the word. I appreciate your support so very, very much. Now, as a very wise friend recently suggested to me, it's time to trust the universe. Amazon and Penguin will announce the ABNA winners June 13 -- let's see what that day brings!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

NaNoWriMo Gets Spooky

If you're a writer, you've probably heard of National Novel Writing Month. Maybe you've even participated -- posted on the forums, gone to local write-ins, and written an entire 50,000-word book in thirty days.

I love NaNoWriMo. Why? Without it, Spookygirl might not exist. Spookygirl was my 2008 NaNo project. Or was it 2007? Yep, just checked my records. I've been giving out the wrong year all this time. When you've NaNo'd as many times as I have, sometimes the years get a little fuzzy. I wrote my first NaNo novel in 2003, and I've participated every November since then. I even have my very own mascot -- remind me to post a pic of NaNoMonKey sometime. The only year I didn't reach my goal was 2010, and that's only because I landed in the hospital for a week with appendicitis. Yeah, yeah. Excuses.

NaNoWriMo is a fantastic program, especially if you have a story in your head but lack the compulsive determination to get it down on paper. Check out the site for all the details -- and if you haven't given it a try in the past, consider joining in the fun this November. Hey, if I can finish 50K words while also keeping up with the monsters during one of the busiest months of the retail year, so can you! I already have this year's story brewing in my brain...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Big ABNA News!

I'm a finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition! The winner in each of the two categories will be decided by popular vote, so please go to the ABNA page and vote for Spookygirl by Jill Baguchinsky in the Young Adult Fiction category. Violet and I would both appreciate your support!

(I found out on the 16th. Do you know how hard it is to keep a secret like that for over a week?? I thought I'd burst before the official announcement!)

Also, Violet's new domain,, is up and running. It'll be some time before the site has real content, but feel free to visit if you're curious.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Franklin's New Gig

Back in 2009, Blood Blade and Thruster Magazine published a zombie-comedy story of mine called "Fresh." Fresh is about a down-on-his-luck undead actor's attempts to avoid decay and keep his agent. Franklin made a living as an extra in zombie movies and supplemented his income with roles in (mostly local) commercials, and when he'd accidentally snap off a finger (which is an all-too-common problem for animated corpses), he'd reattach it with spackle.

Imagine my surprise when I saw this Honda Civic commercial a few weeks ago:

Watch for the shots of the zombie. It's like my Franklin finally got a gig in a national ad. He even snaps off a finger at one point -- get the spackle!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Yipes, Stripes

Stocked some new Striped Somethings at Mint Conspiracy this morning!

Aren't the colors gorgeous? This kind of brightness makes me smile.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spooky is the New Normal

Spookygirl is in the ABNA semifinals! It received a Publishers Weekly review as part of the contest, and I am totally wowed by the reviewer's take:
Sparkling with a light and humorous touch, this paranormal YA novel skillfully balances entertainment and substance. Violet Addison has just moved in with her dad above his funeral home in Florida. While some think it's freaky, it doesn't bother her -- she's comfortable with the dead. So comfortable, in fact, that she's perfectly happy to have conversations with the ghosts that hang around the house. What does bother her, however, is starting at a new school for her sophomore year and knowing that rumors will soon surface about her dad killing her mom during their last paranormal investigation. Violet knows that can't be true, even though she's never had a chance to ask her mom's ghost herself. But once school starts there's a bigger issue: a possible hellgate in the girls' locker room. "I couldn't very well explain that I needed to transfer out of gym because the locker room is full of vile, dripping evil," Violet notes. As she digs through her mom's old ghost-hunting equipment so she can investigate the malevolent force in the showers, Violet finds the unfinished report on her mom's fatal investigation. Hoping for answers and maybe some closure, Violet decides to finish her mom's write-up, never realizing how much danger she's about to uncover. Written in a clean and natural style, this novel manages to be both poignant and fun. Solid pacing and well-developed characters support a fresh take on this genre that will appeal on many levels.
Violet herself isn't too sure what to make of the word "sparkling" -- no self-respecting spookygirl wants to be sparkly. I'm trying to convince her it's a compliment.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Small Persons with Wings

Recently got a treat in the mail from Rebecca Enzor of Sticky Note Stories! I won a contest she held on her blog, and the prize was a galley of Small Persons with Wings by Ellen Booraem. Thanks so much, Rebecca! I look forward to reading it.

(Notice how the galley cover matches my lip gloss. That's always a good sign.)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 Editorial Reviews: Spookygirl

The Amazon editorial reviews that got Spookygirl into the ABNA quarter-finals:

This is an extremely polished and professional piece of writing! Even without being remotely interested in the paranormal, and not being a big YA fan, I want to read more. The author has captured the voice of the narrator, has a knack for a dialog, a strong sense of humor (that never becomes ponderous) and the ability to shift from witty (controlling [Buster]) to poignant (her dread of school and the cliques) almost effortlessly. In fact, I'm astonished that the author hasn't been published yet, based on the caliber of this excerpt. Oh yeah, and it ended with a GREAT hook. If I don't get to read the rest of this, I will be tremendously disappointed! 


I really, really, really loved it. I would kill to have the rest of this manuscript in my hands. I am dying to know more about Violet and her life. In a time when Paranormal YA books are plenty, it is so easy to read similarities between them This one stands out as original and refreshingly different. I thought the writing was engaging and I was into this story from the very start. My only regret is not knowing what happens next!! This looks to be a fun book and I can see it turning into a terrific series! 


Thank you, Amazon editors and Vine reviewers! I appreciate your comments, and I'm glad you enjoyed getting to know Violet. :D 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Step Up

Do not challenge Mickey Mouse to a dance off. You will be schooled.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spookygirl: The Basics

Get the first chapter of Spookygirl as a free Kindle download on Amazon.

The populars at Palmetto High call sophomore Violet Addison "Spookygirl," and it's not hard to see why. As if living with her funeral director father in a tiny apartment above his mortuary weren't enough to make her a social outcast, there's a rumor going around that Violet can talk to the dead. Unfortunately, that rumor's true. Violet's not interested in crossing anyone over; she's as cool and impatient with the deceased as she is with the living. The dead can be incredible pests, though, and despite her reluctance to help the spirits who seek her out, soon she's reuniting a ghost jock with his goth girlfriend and investigating a hellgate in the girls' locker room. Each experience puts her closer to discovering the truth behind the paranormal investigation that resulted in her mother's death.

Along the way, Violet begins to recognize that real people with interesting secrets hide behind the high school stereotypes she assigns her classmates and teachers. She needs all the allies she can find -- after all, surviving high school is tough enough without a bunch of dead people spooking around.

Ghostbusters meets a gothed-up Glee in this mix of high school drama and supernatural snark. Although Violet deals with heavy issues -- the difficulty of being different and not fitting in among one's peers, the reality of death, the loss of a family member -- she does so with a sharp, dark sense of humor that keeps her narrative engaging and relatable for young readers.

Spookygirl is a 53,000-word young adult novel. Although it is slated as the first volume of the Riley Island Paranormal series, it stands on its own as a complete story.

Looking for more info on Spookygirl? Contact me at mintconspiracy (at) gmail-dot-com.

Just one of those test posts.

Nothing to see here, pardon the dust, etc.