Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Oooo. How cool to find myself on the front page of one of my favorite blogs today! Do have a look at this review of D100D at Pop Syndicate--it's awesome! Here's the conclusion: "The Dust of 100 Dogs is fast-paced and smart book that you will not want to put down." Yay! I think so too. AND I totally forgot to link you to the new podcasts over at the EYE ON FLUX BLOG. Two new authors are interviewed, and yours truly got to be the guinea pig for a feature called 60 Seconds of Fame, which is a strange sort of word association game that I enjoyed playing very much...though I did repeat the word yellow a few times. (Yellow is my fill-in word, apparently.) And finally-- here's an interview to get to know me better. WITH PICTURES! Now--I've finally packed! I will return in two days with pictures. Promise. (Joanne, stop laughing. I am perfectly capable of taking my own pictures.)

Totally Slacking on Wednesday

Usually, I'm a very organized person. Not to the point of crazy, but to the point of functioning. I do quite well for the circus I run here. However, add in a trip to NYC, and I become completely flaky. I leave tomorrow, to see some of my peeps and check out Book Expo (BEA) on Friday.
  • Have I packed? No.
  • Have I pulled the suitcase down from the attic? Nope. Not yet.
  • Have I scribbled down the cell numbers I'll need? No.
  • Addresses? Nope.
  • Do I know what time the bus even leaves? No.
And so, I hope you'll excuse the absence of Wagging on Wednesday today. But don't forget--tell your friends who have odd pets--there's a Wagging on Wednesday Slumber Party Summer coming! Send us a picture of your pet and a brief introduction, and I will get back to you with questions! Send to WOW (at) . Thanks! Since today is usually for talking about upcoming books, I will tell you what book I am looking forward to in the coming months. FAT CAT by Robin Brande. I was lucky enough to read the ARC of this book last month and I LOVED it. Like L-O-V-E-D it. You will too. It's coming in October! Here's the blurb from Indiebound: "Cat is smart, sassy, and funny--but thin, she's not. Until her class science project. That's when she winds up doing an experiment--on herself. Before she knows it, Cat is living--and eating--like the hominids, our earliest human ancestors. True, no chips or TV is a bummer and no car is a pain, but healthful eating and walking everywhere do have their benefits. As the pounds drop off, the guys pile on. All this newfound male attention is enough to drive a girl crazy If only she weren't too busy hating Matt McKinney to notice. This funny and thoughtful novel explores how girls feel about their bodies, and the ways they can best take care of their most precious resource: themselves. See you next week!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Arg Me Toast.

After much police intervention, we finally have A WINNER. (You guys really do make it hard on these poor judges.) LORI (Anonymous)
Pon’s hibiscus jam would be good on toast. We spread it on banana pancakes. After breakfast, I tromp past the chicken coop where a Burmese python was caught during the dry season. Look up. Always scan the treetops. Snakes might be waiting to drop from branches above, swallow me whole. But only hornbills bend the tree limbs. They leer over the teak walls of my outdoor shower. Squawk! Look! Naked tourist. Inside, I lie beneath mosquito net, wait for sleep. Beneath last night’s Southern Cross, I walked the beach hunting for sea turtle tracks, eggs to rescue, treasure to rehide.
Congratulations! Great story! I loved so many of these & had great fun guessing locations! I wonder, if you have a sec, you all could tell us what your location was in the comment area? (Shawn--I'm pretty sure I know where yours is! I've kissed that stone!) Memory, pepsivanilla, HWPetty & Me (*love* chickens) you were in the top five! And as always, thanks to all of you for your entries. I appreciate your support, and hope you come and play again next time! (I believe I have a severed hand up for grabs...) Randomness I haven't done many shout outs lately, and if I missed any groovy blogs or reviews or mentions, I apologize! I've been squirreled away working on that book I wrote in April (I think it's called THE SIDE EFFECTS OF BEING LUCKY.) I also had some cool events, like a school visit at Avon Grove Charter School last Wednesday. Man, was that fun. The teachers, the students -- I even got to talk to a class of third graders, who ROCKED! Some shout outs, now that I'm catching up a little: Two nice reviews: One at So Many Books, So Little Time. And one at wb32Reads. Thanks, guys, for reading and blogging. I'm so pleased you enjoyed the book! Here's an interesting interview (at The Class of 2k9) with Brian Farrey, my editor at Flux, who proposes hammering a tap into me. I ask you--how much do you think a bottle of pure A.S. King syrup would cost? (Stay tuned for a cool podcast I did with Brian, too, on the Eye on Flux blog.) Next week, I'm headed to Book Expo in NYC & then the week after that, to a remote northeastern location to do some stuff with a thing, and then the week after that, we have visitors from Ireland. Oh! And then JURY DUTY. Never a dull day here at Casa King.
You & your pet are invited to the first annual Dog Fact #9 Wagging on Wednesday Slumber Party. Please send us a picture of your cat/hamster/snake/lizard/whatever-ya-got and a brief introduction, and we will get back to you with some questions. ALL PETS WELCOME, though tarantulas will still get a sideways glance from me. Seriously. What's with them? Send to: WOW (at)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wagging on Wednesday with Wrigley

Wagging on Wednesday is brought to us this week by book blogger and librarian Sarah Bean from GreenBeanTeenQueen and her dog, Wrigley. Sarah wrote: Wrigley is a two year old Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. She is a cute fluffy dog who's super sweet and sometimes shy, but always up for fun. One of her goofiest quirks is when we put treats in a rubber bone for her to chew while we're away, she won't touch it and finally eating her treat is the first thing she does when one or both of her humans gets home (after saying hello of course).
Where did Wrigley's name come from?
Wrigley's name was picked before we got her. Her full name is Wrigley Lee Field. (Lee for Derek Lee) My husband and I are HUGE Cubs fans and going to numerous Cubs games helped bring us together, so what else could we name her?
Does she have any quirks – or any particularly amusing bold moments?
Wrigley has lots of goofy quirks! She loves to lay on air vents and will seek them out in any house she's in. I think because she's so fuzzy, she likes the cool air. It's fun to watch her sit on an air vent after she's gotten her summer hair cut-she always seems surprised that it's much colder now! Wrigley also loves the bathroom--she will follow anyone into the bathroom so she can be with you while you use it, weird, I know. She also has a laser pen that she loves chasing after and begs to play with it when it's not out.
Look at Wrigley right now. Tell me what she's thinking.
Haha, I stole Daddy's chair! And Mom, will you stop with that blogging thing and get my laser?
What book/s is Wrigley most looking forward to in 2009?
Wrigley loves books-she got me in trouble at work (I work in a library) for chewing a few of my library books! Our whole family is excited about Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (Wrigley enjoyed licking the pages of Hunger Games.) We're also looking forward to reading Blue Moon by Alyson Noel.
What do you think Wrigley could teach alien species if, by chance, she were abducted by aliens?
If Wrigley met aliens, first she would cower and crawl on the ground to say hello and then she'd teach them all about licking people and taking up a lot of bed space when you only weigh thirty pounds. She'd also teach them the fun of playing with a laser! Thanks for coming around with Wrigley today, Sarah!
And thanks to all who entered last weekend's contest! If you're here to to learn the winner, I'm afraid you'll have to wait until Friday, May 22nd while my little clown and the lizards duke it out. Until then, have you seen this awesome website? It's for Tanya Egan Gibson's How to Buy a Love of Reading, which ROCKS.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Now Boarding--Flight #100 words or less

It's been rainy here this week, which reminds me of living in Ireland, which, in turn, makes me daydream about the perfect vacation. Now I want you to daydream about the perfect vacation, too. Where would you go right now, if you could go anywhere? What would you do? Challenge: Write a story, 100 words or less, set in your dream vacation location. DO NOT tell us where it is. Make us guess. Give us good hints.
  • For example, rather than telling us that your 737 is headed toward Orlando to see the Magic Kingdom, drop Snow White in there--or Space Mountain, or anything else that might make us think you're talking about Disney World.
  • Or, rather than telling us you are heading to Montego Bay, you might want to talk about the crazy taxi driver who met you at the airport named Sebastian Cornelius Dread, Mon.
Additional Rules:
  1. Your story must include an animal native to the area you're writing about.
  2. Your story must include toast. Yes, toast. (Adding--I'm talking toasted bread, man--not A toast, but TOAST!!) ----------->
Prize: A signed copy of The Dust of 100 Dogs and a pirate toast stamp. Yes, a pirate toast stamp. I have one and it's awesome. Believe me. You want one. Deadline: Monday, May 18th, 11:59PM EST. Winners will be chosen by three Jamaican lizards, a shorter-than-average clown and a three-fingered man. Please leave your entry in the comments area, along with an email address. If you don't want to leave your email address, drop me a line at asking (at) as-king (dot) com, and give it to me there, please. Thanks! Good Luck! (And thanks, Thao, for reminding me to know, you LIVE in my present dream vacation location!)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wagging on Wednesday with Rainy

Wagging on Wednesday is brought to us by Rainy, and her awesome human, E.M. from E.M. Reads. E.M. Wrote: Rainy is a 6-year-old yellow lab. She was born on Halloween and I think that gives her some inherent trickster qualities. Rainy has just pulled out of her puppy stage and is in the lazy adult dog stage. She's a typical lab - loves swimming, people, sleeping/snoring, shedding, and food (dropped, stolen, and/or begged for). What are Rainy's quirks? Rainy is constantly ravenous. You've never met a hungrier well-fed dog than Rainy. She races to the food bowl every morning and evening like it's her last meal. She hops up and down until the food is in her bowl. Then she face plants into the bowl and gobbles up ever crumb in less than 30 seconds (we clocked it). Then she takes a deep drink from her water bowl and slobbers excessively back into the food bowl, then licks it clean. Her food bowl is always spotless. You would think from her behavior that we don't feed her, it's embarrassing. Also, we like to play a game "What WON'T Rainy eat?" We play this while I'm cooking. I'll toss her bites of my choppings - carrots, celery, potatoes, onion, cucumber, pasta, lettuce, apple, banana, broccoli, etc. Healthy stuff. She's eaten everything with foodie passion. You can see the smile on her face. They only thing she's ever spit out was a raw mushroom stem. I can't blame her for that one. They sort of taste like dirt. Does Rainy have bold moments/super powers? Rainy has a "Neck-O-Steel!" She's relentless on a leash and pulls like a freight train. She's only 60 lbs (a pygmy by lab standards), but she knows how to drop it into 4-leg-drive and pull! We tried collar after collar (some very devious looking) to bring her to heel and none worked. It's her Neck-O-Steel™. She doesn't even feel it. Amazing. Eventually we found a bridle-like collar for dogs that's has made walks possible, but still a workout. Apparently her nose isn't as strong as the Neck-O-Steel™. Thank heavens. What inspired her name? My husband named her before we were a couple. I think he saw a dog on TV named Rainy and ripped it off. My first dog's name was Muffin, so I have no dog-naming cred. What is Rainy thinking right now? “It's nap time! What are you doing awake? How close are we to dinner? I sure could eat something. Whatcha got? Can we have some more pita chips? They are all natural.” What books are Rainy looking forward to? Lots and lots, but specifically Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott, City of Glass by Cassandra Clare, Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr, The Thirteenth Child by Patricia Wrede, Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, Fire by Kristin Cashore, and Ignore Vera Dietz by You! Thanks so much for coming around today, Em, with Rainy, the wonder-dog. She is totally awesome. Would you like to see your dog interviewed on Dog Fact #9's Wagging on Wednesday? Send me a picture & tell me a bit about your doggie at WOW (at) thedustof100dogs (dot) com.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Priscilla, Fetch the Winners Please.

Thank you for making these contests so hard to judge. Your entries rocked. Thanks especially to you guys who keep coming around, and to old friends who pop by for some fun--you totally know how to party, man. I wish I could give every one of you a prize. :) Now, for the winners... Best story, The Dust of 100 Dogs and a VOG: WINNER: TIE between Anonymous (aligatrix) and Monika*. The drawing from runners up & bonus point entries: The Dust of 100 Dogs and a VOG = Me A VOG Care Package = shelburns (*Monika, please contact me at asking(at)as-king(dot)com. You didn't leave an email address.) Congratulations to the winners and thanks again to ALL entrants for playing! Rest those brains for next time...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest

Have you heard of it? Today you get to meet the awesome Kay Cassidy, creator of The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest--a free and super-clever library outreach program for teen and youth librarians. When I first heard from Kay, and understood the idea, I totally geeked out. (Ask Kay. I did.) Now she's here, and she's going to tell you about it too. Q: What made you decide to create The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest? A: As a YA author and proud owner of a well-worn library card, I wanted to give something back to all the librarians whose book recommendations helped me grow as a writer and fed my imagination over the years. With the economy in turmoil, funding for public libraries is taking a major hit. School libraries are struggling as well. So I set out to create a totally free program that teen and youth librarians could use to keep kids excited about reading. Plus, I’m a huge fan of trivia, scavenger hunts, mysteries... so The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest was a natural fit. I would’ve been all over this when I was younger. Trivia fans... unite! Q: What exactly is The Hunt? A: The Hunt is a brand-new, super easy, totally FREE library outreach program for teen and youth librarians. The program is open to librarians in the U.S. and Canada, in public libraries and school libraries alike. It offers year-round free programming that’ll keep readers coming back to the library for more. Over 120 YA and middle grades authors have created a 10-question scavenger hunt (i.e. super fun trivia quiz) for one or more of their books. Scavenger hunts include questions like “What was the color of Moe’s hideous car?” or “What is Gemma’s favorite comfort food?” Every scavenger hunt also has a special note from the author to give it a personal touch. Q: How does The Hunt work? A: Once librarians register their library, their readers (called hunters) are eligible to participate. Hunters can check out the list of more than 200 titles in The Hunt, read the book of their choice, complete the scavenger hunt, and turn it in to their librarian. The librarian checks the answers against the quick answer key. If the hunter gets at least 8 out of 10 answers correct, the librarian can enter the hunter in the monthly contest. (NOTE: All scavenger hunts must be submitted to a participating librarian in order to be eligible for the contest. Participating librarians may enter hunters via the official contest entry form.) Q: And thus, the prizes! What kinds of prizes do you have and how can people win? A: Every month, I’ll choose one lucky hunter as the winner. The winning hunter will receive a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card (good in stores or online) to use for whatever their heart desires. Even better? When a hunter wins, the host library wins too… a library prize tote filled with more terrific scavenger hunt books for the library’s collection. It’s a win-win! Q: Definitely a win! So, tell me more about your upcoming YA debut. When will hunters see a scavenger hunt for it in The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest? A: My debut novel, The Cinderella Society, is the first in a new YA series. The series takes readers behind the veil of a secret society of extraordinary girls where ultimate life makeovers are the main attraction. Lifelong outsider Jess Parker thinks life on the inside is her ultimate fantasy until she discovers the real force behind her exclusive society. It’s a battle of good vs. evil played out on the high school battlefield, and the Cindys in power need Jess on special assignment. When the mission threatens to destroy her dream life come true, Jess is forced to choose between living a fairy tale and honoring the Sisterhood… and herself. The Cinderella Society will be an April 2010 release from Egmont USA with book two in the series to follow in Spring 2011. I’m very excited about sharing a scavenger hunt of my own in The Hunt. Come on, next April! Now, let me turn the tables on you for a minute. :-) First of all, thank you so much for participating in The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest. If it weren’t for authors like you, The Hunt couldn’t exist. Authors are incredibly busy people, so I owe a debt of gratitude to each of the authors (like you!) who graciously volunteered their time to create a scavenger hunt. Q: What made you take time out of your busy schedule to participate in The Hunt? Amy: My first thought on this would be: I think it’s one of the best ideas ever so how could I not say yes? Also, my book is about hunting treasure, so it was kinda made to happen. Really Kay, it wasn't much time and I *LOVE* my library. Because I'm involved there, I see how library funding is falling and something like this is a real help and a real boost. Plus, it's seriously fun, and everyone knows I'm a big fan of seriously fun contests. Q: Do you think you would’ve wanted to be a hunter when you were younger? Amy: I was a big reader, so I'd guess yes. Thanks so much for coming around today, Kay, and for inviting me to be a part of The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest. I am so pleased I can be a part of something so awesome. As an author, a former literacy teacher, and a library trustee, I was instantly in love with the project and I can't wait to see how it takes off! If there's anything I can do for you or The Hunt down the line, let me know. And best of luck with The Cinderella Society! Reader--please pass this information along to your favorite youth or teen librarian! Thanks!

2008 Golden Heart winner Kay Cassidy is the author of teen fiction she wishes was based on her real life. Kay is a former college cheerleader and sorority girl, an M.B.A. and a member of Mensa. She thinks it's comical when people are surprised to discover those things aren't mutually exclusive. Kay is a seasoned professional trainer and former leadership development specialist who enjoys teaching motivational workshops around the country. She is also the founder and host of The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest, a national library outreach program that provides year-round free programming for teen and youth librarians. THE CINDERELLA SOCIETY is her first novel. Visit Kay on the web at

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wagging on Wednesday with Lily & Oliver

Wagging on Wednesday is brought to us today by Lily and Oliver, and their friend, author Josh Berk. Josh's debut, The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin is coming from Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers on February 9, 2010 and it looks AWESOME. (And that cover rocks, doesn't it?) Josh wrote: I have two 5 year-old Boston Terriers. The black-and-white picture is Lily. We bought her from a pet store on a whim & she has proven to be completely psychotic. The other picture (with the baby) is Oliver. He was a stray we took in on a whim and has proven to be the world's greatest dog! (In my humble opinion.) He's very smart and good with the baby and everyone loves him. What are some of Lily's & Oliver's quirks? Oliver came from a shelter. He was "pre-programmed" with a huge vocabulary that we are still uncovering the depths of. He knows "out," "sit," "walk," "ball," and every possible synonym and variation of the word "treat." He also, for some reason, knows and deeply understands the word "salad." His fashion sense is also fantastic. Lily has one eye and is insane. She actually lost her eye recently, and has long been insane, so there is really no correlation. She is "quirky" in that she does whatever she wants whenever she wants and thinks it's cute that we are technically her "master." Any bold moments or super powers? Lily's whole life can be defined as a succession of bold moments. She is, however, less a super hero and more an evil genius. As a puppy she figured out how to open the closet and the container where her food was kept. She ate approximately six pounds of dog food at a time she herself weighed just over twelve pounds. We had to call the vet who recommended hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting. I have never seen so much vomit in my life. It was like watching a clown car -- there couldn't possibly be more coming out! Wait: yep. More vomit. One of her other boldest moments came when she tried to wrestle a (much larger) dog on the way through the vet's waiting room after undergoing major surgery. Oliver is generally less bold. But one time he figured out how to take his own leash off because he wanted to go grab a ball he saw some girls throwing. He broke free and stole the ball in one slick move while I stood by holding my infant son. It was a probably the high point of Oliver's day, but the girls, coaches, and umpires of the championship softball game were less amused. What inspired their names? Oliver's paperwork from the shelter for some reason came with two names: "Oliver" and "Pat." Pat is my mother-in-law's name. We went with Oliver. We bought Lily on a whim and named her on a whim. In retrospect, it's perfect that she has a cute and harmless flower of a name. Perfect, that is, if you like irony. Look at them right now. What are they thinking? LILY: Food, food, food. I want foooooooood! OLIVER: Salad? What books are Lily and Oliver looking forward to in the coming months? This is perfect for Wagging on Wednesday! The dogs (and all the Berks) are big fans of the books of author/illustrator Wednesday Kirwan. Her "Minerva" picture books feature a family of Boston Terriers. I don't know if one is coming out soon, but I hope so! We also are looking forward to Cyn Balog's FAIRY TALE (Delacorte) on June 23, 2009. I don't think it has Boston Terriers in it, but Cyn is a family friend and we're so excited for her book and proud of her success! What do you think they would do if they encountered a ninja? How about a pirate? Lily is in fact a pirate (see?) so she would probably just nod her head and greet the pirate as one of her own. Possibly a secret handshake would be exchanged. Looting and all manner of piracy would commence. There would probably be some digging for gold. She's a good one for digging. Oliver, on the other hand, would probably be horrified because the pirate would remind him of Lily. He would flee, and possibly pee, in terror. The ninja's mask would probably make them think of Halloween (their favorite holiday). They'd probably sit at his feet and wait for treats. Thanks a million for bringing Lily & Oliver around to see us, Josh! Love the two-headed Boston terrier picture. I have no random linkage today, but want to remind you that winners of the Janet & the Mysterious Creature Contest will be announced on FRIDAY, May 8th. Thank so much for all those entries. It was a great welcome back to the blogosphere for me after a month away!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Janet and the Mysterious Creature

Challenge: Write a story (beginning, middle & end) that is 100 words or less. Rule #1 = The story must begin with this line: "Janet didn't like him." Rule #2 = The story must end with this line: "As the creature lifted into the dark sky, she could see it dangling from his talons." (No, your story does not have to include a monkey, as pictured to the left. Thinking outside the box is encouraged.) BONUS ENTRIES: You can increase your chances of winning by posting about this contest on your blog or on your facebook page--or even on Twitter. Simply leave a comment with a link to your post/comment/tweet, and your name will get tossed in the hat a second time. (NOTE: You have to enter the contest in order to also get bonus points.) WINNING: #1 - Best story gets a signed copy of The Dust of 100 Dogs and a VOG. (Very Odd Gift) #2 - The runners up will then be tossed into a hat (with bonus point entries) and two more winners will be picked.
  • First pick = A signed copy of The Dust of 100 Dogs and a VOG.
  • Second pick = A VOG Care Package.
Winners will be chosen by magic wand and a point guard from an unnamed Eastern European basketball team. How to Enter: Leave you answer and an email address in the comment trail. Deadline: *Monday May 4th, 11:59pm EDT.* (Changed from Sunday) You only have three days to play!