26 March 2014

Cover Reveal: MY NOT SO SUPER SWEET LIFE by Rachel Harris

Next month, the third book in Rachel Harris' My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century series comes out! I'm so excited!! I can't wait to read more about Cat and Lucas!


Can you blame me for being excited? I totally fell in love with Lucas in A TALE OF TWO CENTURIES, and I can't wait to get to know him better, and to see the relationship develop between Cat and Lucas, in book #3! That's why, today, I'm so thrilled to get to participate in the official cover reveal for MY NOT SO SUPER SWEET LIFE.

Isn't this cover gorgeous?  I think it's totally perfect, and it just makes me that much more anxious for  MY NOT SO SUPER SWEET LIFE to release!

Cat Crawford just wants to be normal—or at least as normal as a daughter of Hollywood royalty can be. And it looks like fate is granting her wish: she’s got an amazing boyfriend, Lucas; her fabulous cousin, Alessandra, living with her; and her dad planning his second marriage to a great future stepmom. That is, until her prodigal mother reveals on national television that she has something important to tell her daughter…causing a media frenzy.

Lucas Capelli knows his fate is to be with Cat, and he’s worked hard to win her over once and for all. Unfortunately, Lucas has his own issues to deal with, including a scandal that could take him away from the first place he’s truly belonged.

As secrets are revealed, rumors explode, and the world watches, Cat and Lucas discover it’s not fate they have to fight if they want to stay together…this time, it’s their own insecurities.

Well, and the stalkerazzi.

PUB DATE: April 21st, 2014





Rachel Harris writes humorous love stories about sassy girls-next-door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Emotion, vibrant settings, and strong families are a staple in each of her books...and kissing. Lots of kissing.
A Cajun cowgirl now living in Houston, she firmly believes life's problems can be solved with a hot, sugar-coated beignet or a thick slice of king cake, and that screaming at strangers for cheap, plastic beads is acceptable behavior in certain situations. She homeschools her two beautiful girls and watches way too much Food Network with her amazing husband.
An admitted Diet Mountain Dew addict, she gets through each day by laughing at herself, hugging her kids, and losing herself in story. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romances, and LOVES talking with readers!



24 March 2014

Twelve Days of TWELVE STEPS #1: Crock Pot Chili Cheese Fries Recipe

http://vbartles.com/12Teasers.htm

My daughter decided that, since my book is called TWELVE STEPS, we absolutely have to do something to celebrate the release for each of the twelve days leading up to the big day. So of course, we have lots of fun family celebrations planned, all linking to our favorite scenes and the lines that make us grin. However, as we were planning our activities, we realized that most of our celebrations only make sense if you've read the book. And we didn't want to spoil the surprise of our favorite scenes by explaining all of the inside jokes. But of course, we wanted to include all of you too!

So each day for the twelve days leading up to March 25, we'll be sharing non-spoilery favorite quotes with a new teaser graphic every day. And each day, I'll share something special and book-related with you as well: recipes, sneak peeks, giveaways and more!

http://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Steps-Veronica-Bartles-ebook/dp/B00ILMKZFO/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394648228&sr=1-2&keywords=twelve+steps

Andi lives by one simple rule: always maintain control of every situation. Thomas Jefferson is her hero, and she lives by the motto: "Nothing gives a person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances." Every decision she makes, every step she takes, is calculated and precise. Right down to the way she eats. It's all a part of the persona she's constructed for herself.

Of course, you all know that food is one of my passions, but I (like most people) don't have the metabolism to eat like Andi every day and stay healthy. Still, every time I dive into Andi's story, I start craving delicious, but not so good for me fried foods and sweet treats. The compromise? Turn those not-so-healthy treats into something better!

Crock Pot Chili Cheese Fries
http://vbartles.com/recipes.htm

You will need: 
1 crock pot full of chili (try my Lentil Chili, or Chili with Pumpkin and Cranberries)
4 large russet potatoes
4 large sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. oregano
salt (to taste)
sharp cheddar cheese (or your favorite variety)

Cut potatoes and sweet potatoes into strips about 3/4-inch thick. In a large mixing bowl, toss potato strips, olive oil, oregano and salt together.


Transfer potatoes to a 5-quart Crock Pot and cook on high for approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours. (You can also cook on low for 4-5 hours, but for this I like to cook for the shorter time on high, so the potatoes around the edges will get a little bit crispy.)

Serve warm with a generous topping of chili and your favorite cheese. (Or omit the cheese and use a meat-free chili recipe for a delicious vegan meal.)

Previous | 12 Days of TWELVE STEPS 

23 March 2014

Twelve Days of TWELVE STEPS #2: The Inspiration

http://vbartles.com/12Teasers.htm

My daughter decided that, since my book is called TWELVE STEPS, we absolutely have to do something to celebrate the release for each of the twelve days leading up to the big day. So of course, we have lots of fun family celebrations planned, all linking to our favorite scenes and the lines that make us grin. However, as we were planning our activities, we realized that most of our celebrations only make sense if you've read the book. And we didn't want to spoil the surprise of our favorite scenes by explaining all of the inside jokes. But of course, we wanted to include all of you too!

So each day for the twelve days leading up to March 25, we'll be sharing non-spoilery favorite quotes with a new teaser graphic every day. And each day, I'll share something special and book-related with you as well: recipes, sneak peeks, giveaways and more!


Just two more days until TWELVE STEPS releases!!

In December of 2012, when I was finishing my first draft for this book, I wrote a blog post about how I came up with the idea. I thought I'd repost a portion of that post today, for those of you who may have missed it:

In answering a question about what inspired this manuscript, I shared the following:

My sister read the manuscript for my first novel (KISSING FROGS) and sent me an email with the following page of text and a note saying, "This is the novel you have to write next!" (I laughed and put it aside, but pulled it out again "just for fun" for NaNoWriMo [in 2012].



Many of you may have read my sister Alaina’s tale of her seriously confusing and somewhat enlightening (for her that is) senior year.  However, although it depicts the truth to the best of her abilities, let me tell you know that my wonderful older sister is completely lost.  Not in a bad way.  She just refuses to see the bad in anyone and as her friend Jared likes to say she looks at the world through “rainbows and bubbles”.  She is honestly one of the last true innocents in the world.  Thus her reality is a bit skewed….especially when it comes to seeing herself.

While she views the rest of the world as a wonder and a beauty she never seems to see that same beauty in herself.  I guess part of that is because when all of her childhood friends in elementary school were taking the training wheels off their bikes, she was putting a training bra on.   To say my sister developed early is an understatement.  She had the figure that girls in Las Vegas pay a lot of money for at the age of 12.  She was taller than most, even the boys, so of course before boys realized they liked her, they teased her.  She developed an insecurity about her looks that caused her to hide behind her smarts and try to hide her overdeveloped chest with baggy T-shirts and sweaters.  I had to lover her for her effort, but you just cannot hide an attribute like that and all she managed to do was hide the rest of her flattering figure.

I used to joke with her that she took the stock pile and left me with nothing, because in her senior year and my junior year of high school she was testing the limits of her DD bra and I was trying my best with a push up and my barely there B cup.  Obviously her large chest is not all that she is made of; just like my “sailors dream” (a sunken chest, this was the joke that was told to me my 8th grade year) was not all that I was made up of. 

I learned young that it was going to be tough to follow in her footsteps.  Not just because of her looks, but her smarts and her drive to never disappoint anyone.  I am no idiot, I manage A’s and B’s in school without trying and I know with some effort I could have had a 4.0GPA, but Laina had already done that.  I could have been my parent’s perfect little princess, but Laina has that one down and I could have been that perfect student that the teachers all dream about having, but Laina had that base covered as well.  So I fell into my role of being fun and carefree.  I tried to be cute and bubbly and just be every ones friend.  Plus I learned early that people love to confide, so I became a great listener and I can tell you right now that I could write novels on all the deepest dirt in our little Wyoming town.
So now that you have a little bit of an understanding of how I became who I am now I hope you can see the truths as they really were and not as my silly older little sister saw them.



Previous | Next | 12 Days of TWELVE STEPS

22 March 2014

Twelve Days of TWELVE STEPS #3: Thank You!

http://vbartles.com/12Teasers.htm

My daughter decided that, since my book is called TWELVE STEPS, we absolutely have to do something to celebrate the release for each of the twelve days leading up to the big day. So of course, we have lots of fun family celebrations planned, all linking to our favorite scenes and the lines that make us grin. However, as we were planning our activities, we realized that most of our celebrations only make sense if you've read the book. And we didn't want to spoil the surprise of our favorite scenes by explaining all of the inside jokes. But of course, we wanted to include all of you too!

So each day for the twelve days leading up to March 25, we'll be sharing non-spoilery favorite quotes with a new teaser graphic every day. And each day, I'll share something special and book-related with you as well: recipes, sneak peeks, giveaways and more!

http://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Steps-Veronica-Bartles-ebook/dp/B00ILMKZFO/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394648228&sr=1-2&keywords=twelve+steps
Writing TWELVE STEPS was so much fun! I loved stepping into Andi's shoes and becoming the girl I kind of always wanted to be when I was in high school, even if it was only for a few hours each day. Andi is spunky and fun. She knows exactly what she wants, and she's not afraid to go for it. And I'd like to think that getting to know her a bit has helped me to develop those qualities, at least to some extent, in myself.

But the best part about writing this book was hiding real people and places in the story. I wanted to send out a massive thank-you to all of the people who have influenced me over the years, who helped me become the writer I am in so many little ways. But to truly acknowledge everyone, my formal acknowledgements pages would have been longer than the book itself. So I slipped these awesome and amazing people into the story instead. Maybe by naming a character after them. Or by throwing in a reference to some of the real-life mischief we got into back in the day.

Still, some of you may not realize, even in a close reading of TWELVE STEPS, that you are woven into the story.

In my original draft, for example, I named characters after every single one of my nieces and nephews. Not all of those scenes made it through to the final draft, but I still smile each time I read the finished story, knowing that these characters exist in Andi's world. (To my nieces and nephews who don't find their names on these pages: Rest assured. I have other stories waiting to be born.And many characters who need names!)

And then, there's the boy who inspired Nick Carver, my absolute favorite minor character in TWELVE STEPS. I had a crush on this boy for years, but I never worked up the courage to tell him. I had so many crushes back in high school (I used to keep a running list of at least ten boys, so I'd never have to worry about being crushed by my crush!), but this boy was special. He had a lot of admirers. Almost every girl I knew had a crush on him at one point or another, and I didn't want to be just a part of the crowd. So I never wrote his name on my official list, and I almost never mentioned him in my diary. But I totally floated through the day every single time he said hi to me in the halls.

And no, I'm not going to reveal his name here either. But I will share a story, and maybe this boy will read it someday and remember the moment, and then he'll know he was important to me.

When I was in ninth grade, my family moved across the state, from Rock Springs, Wyoming to Cheyenne. I'd had very few close friends in Rock Springs, and because I was painfully shy, I was certain I wouldn't make any friends in my new hometown. And even though some amazing people welcomed me with open arms and pulled me into the social scene at Carey Jr. High (Thank you, Monica, Amy, Jason, Jon, Sean, Bryan, Scott, Christy and Jenni!), I still felt like no one ever noticed me personally. I was certain that, when my group of outgoing and amazing friends weren't around, I simply faded into the background as the invisible girl.

Then, midway through the year, we had a giant writing project in our English literature class. And our teacher announced that on the day we were to present our papers to the class, we could bring in treats to share and make a party of it.

I passed around a plate of my favorite double chocolate chip cookies, and sat nervously in a circle on the floor with the rest of my class. Of course, the teacher called on me first to read my essay. And I thought I might hyperventilate, as every set of eyes watched me read. But then this boy, who was sitting directly across from me in the circle, smiled at me, and he looked like he was genuinely interested in what I had to say. So I ignored everyone else and read my essay just to him. And I made it through.

He asked questions. He pointed out the sections that he really liked in my essay. Others joined in the discussion, and I felt, for the first time, like people really noticed me for who I am, and not just for the friends I hid behind.

Then, other people read their essays, and the class discussion moved on. But this boy kept smiling at me every time our eyes met across the circle. And he interrupted several other people to ask "Can someone pass me another one of Veronica's cookies?" until the teacher finally got frustrated and gave him the rest of the plate.

And it's such a silly, little thing. This boy liked the cookies I baked for an English literature class back in 9th grade, and it made me feel so important and worthwhile that to this day, every time I'm feeling down, I'll bake cookies or some other decadent dessert and give it to someone else for an instant mood lift. And each time, I remember that moment when I felt invisible, and that one special boy noticed me. He became Nick Carver, the "super-hot fairy godfather, changing Cinderella's ragged self-esteem into a beautiful ego made of awesome."

To that boy, if you read this: Thank you!
http://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Steps-Veronica-Bartles-ebook/dp/B00ILMKZFO/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394648228&sr=1-2&keywords=twelve+steps

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21 March 2014

Twelve Days of TWELVE STEPS #4: Signed Ninja Unicorn Print Giveaway!

http://vbartles.com/12Teasers.htm

My daughter decided that, since my book is called TWELVE STEPS, we absolutely have to do something to celebrate the release for each of the twelve days leading up to the big day. So of course, we have lots of fun family celebrations planned, all linking to our favorite scenes and the lines that make us grin. However, as we were planning our activities, we realized that most of our celebrations only make sense if you've read the book. And we didn't want to spoil the surprise of our favorite scenes by explaining all of the inside jokes. But of course, we wanted to include all of you too!

So each day for the twelve days leading up to March 25, we'll be sharing non-spoilery favorite quotes with a new teaser graphic every day. And each day, I'll share something special and book-related with you as well: recipes, sneak peeks, giveaways and more!

http://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Steps-Veronica-Bartles-ebook/dp/B00ILMKZFO/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394648228&sr=1-2&keywords=twelve+steps

One of my favorite scenes in TWELVE STEPS is when Andi and her friends go to the movies to try to "accidentally" run into Jarod. One of the movies that's playing is Ninja Unicorn Strikes Back, and my amazingly-talented artist husband, Phil, drew the movie poster for me!!


Today, I'll be giving away three signed prints of this amazing picture to lucky winners!

How do you win? My Ninja Unicorn and his trusty frog sidekick need names! Comment here on my blog, or on my Facebook page, or on Twitter (make sure to include the hashtag #12D12S) with your names for the Ninjacorn, the frog or both! I'll choose one winner from each location (Twitter, Facebook & this blog) at 5pm EDT on Monday, March 24th.

Bonus entries:
* Tell your friends! If your friend enters to win, and they mention your name, you each get one bonus entry into the drawing.
* Share any of my Twelve Days of TWELVE STEPS teaser graphics, including the Amazon preorder link, or share the links to my other Twelve Days of TWELVE STEPS countdown posts. Send me a link to your post (is it on your blog? Facebook? Twitter? Tumblr? Pinterest? other??) so I can verify the entry. (One bonus entry for each unique post.)
* Pre-order TWELVE STEPS! Email me a screenshot of your receipt (funstuff (at) vbartles (dot) com ---> Please make sure to obscure any credit card information - you don't want to send that kind of thing over the internet, just in case!), and you'll get an extra 10 entries into the drawing!

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20 March 2014

Twelve Days of TWELVE STEPS #5: An Exclusive Excerpt!

http://vbartles.com/12Teasers.htm

My daughter decided that, since my book is called TWELVE STEPS, we absolutely have to do something to celebrate the release for each of the twelve days leading up to the big day. So of course, we have lots of fun family celebrations planned, all linking to our favorite scenes and the lines that make us grin. However, as we were planning our activities, we realized that most of our celebrations only make sense if you've read the book. And we didn't want to spoil the surprise of our favorite scenes by explaining all of the inside jokes. But of course, we wanted to include all of you too!

So each day for the twelve days leading up to March 25, we'll be sharing non-spoilery favorite quotes with a new teaser graphic every day. And each day, I'll share something special and book-related with you as well: recipes, sneak peeks, giveaways and more!

http://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Steps-Veronica-Bartles-ebook/dp/B00ILMKZFO/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394648228&sr=1-2&keywords=twelve+steps
You can pre-order TWELVE STEPS on Amazon and iTunes now, and they'll be delivered automatically to your reading device on March 25th. (For those of you with a Nook, TWELVE STEPS isn't yet up on Barnes and Noble, but I'll be sure to post a link as soon as it's available. Only five more days!!) But you don't have to wait another five days to meet Andi, because today, I'm sharing the first chapter of TWELVE STEPS with you!

Chapter One
There should be a support group for kids with perfect siblings. Something like AlaTeen, but without the drug talk. We could sit around and chat about how our flawless family members are systematically destroying our lives.

“Hello, my name is Andrea Andersen, and I am a second-class sibling.” And if my sister weren’t so freakishly perfect, I wouldn’t still be grounded.

I grab the last handful of hangers out of my closet and hurl the clothes onto the growing pile on my bed. It’s not like one little D in biology would have ruined my life. My A-plus in history should have balanced it out.

After more than a week of serious butt kissing, I almost convinced Mom to ease up on my sentence, but then Laina piped up with “maybe if you stopped skipping class, you wouldn’t be failing.”

Well, maybe if Mr. Keeler didn’t always compare me with Laina, I wouldn’t need to ditch.

I throw my shoes, one by one, into the middle of my bedroom floor. I’m so not in the mood to sort through my clothes for Laina’s annual clothing drive.

I ignore a sharp knock, but Mom opens my door anyway. “Jarod’s here,” she says. “You can talk for ten minutes.”

I scramble to my feet, smoothing my clothes and yanking my hair into a loose bun.

Jarod never comes over for just me. Even when I used to help him run lines for the school play, he always made sure Laina would be around. I’ve always been an excuse for him to drool over the Princess of Perfection. Even though I was friends with Jarod first, my sister was the one he noticed.

But I’ve been grounded for nearly two weeks. Maybe he’s missed me.

“Are you sure he wanted me?” I ask. “Not Laina?”

Mom sighs and looks at me like I’m stupid. “He said it was important. And your ten minutes start now.” She pushes a button to start the stopwatch feature on her phone and stalks off toward her bedroom.

I scurry in the opposite direction, grateful for once that Mom plays favorites. She wouldn’t give me even ten minutes for anyone other than Jarod.

Ironically, I might have had a real chance with him if it weren't for mom's lopsided angel food cake and Mrs. Johnson's extra crispy brownies at the Much Ado About Nothing cast reception.

Jarod and I were extras together in the community theater production, back in the summer before Jarod and Laina started junior high. We bonded over a mutual love of Shakespeare, and I was almost sure he liked me, too.

But then my sister decided to watch my rehearsals.

The minute Laina walked into the auditorium with her tight tops, short skirts and newly-sprouted boobs, Jarod totally forgot I was alive. He got so distracted watching her that the director had to give Jarod’s one line to another actor.

When our mothers bonded over their failed desserts, Mrs. Johnson mentioned Jarod’s “little crush,” and Mom flew into full-on matchmaker mode. She pushed Laina into Jarod’s life every chance she could get, even convincing the Johnsons to start attending worship services with us on Sundays, “so the kids could get to know each other better.”

Laina and Jarod have been practically joined at the hip ever since.

For the past six years, I’ve been nothing but Laina’s freckled and awkward, metal-mouthed, frizzy-haired, little sister. And even though I ditched the braces last fall and I finally figured out how to use a straightening iron on my hair without frying the ends, I didn’t think Jarod would ever see me as anything more than Laina’s little sister.

But this time, he’s here for me.

At the end of the hall, I stop to gather my composure and plan my approach. I pull a few strands of hair out of my bun to frame my face and check my reflection in the mirror hanging in the middle of some old family photos. Quickly flipping through a catalog of emotions, I decide my safest bet is to appear slightly bored, yet curious. Jarod would totally shut down if I came on too strong.

Mom only gave me ten minutes to work my magic. I can’t blow this by getting all squealy and excited.

Thomas Jefferson once said, “Nothing gives a person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.” And I need every advantage I can get.

I walk into the living room and manage not to trip over my own feet when Jarod smiles at me. “Hey,” I say in my best casual voice. “What’s up?”

Jarod takes a step toward me and looks over my shoulder. “Your mom isn’t going to come in here, is she? This is kind of private.” He’s close enough that I can feel his warm breath on my cheek.

I shiver and shove my hands into my pockets, so he won’t see them shaking. It would be so easy to turn my head just a fraction of an inch and kiss him, but Jarod’s kind of a traditionalist. I have to let him make the first move, or I risk scaring him off.

“No, I have at least eight more minutes before the warden sends me back to solitary confinement.” I move to the couch and collapse onto the soft cushions. Hugging one of mom’s giant throw pillows to my chest, I take a deep breath to slow my pulse and calm my quivering nerves.

His mouth curls up into a slow, sexy grin and I have to look away. I concentrate on separating the strands of fringe along the edge of the throw pillow as he crosses the room. Anything to distract myself.

Jarod stands over me and pulls on one of my loose curls. “Did I catch you in the middle of a nap?” he asks. “You look a little out of it.” I’m suddenly ultra-conscious of my rumpled sweats. I wish I’d taken time to change into something sexier.

I ditch the pillow and resist the urge to fix my hair. I have to be cool and unruffled. “Nope. Just rockin’ the can’t-leave-the-house casual look today. And you’re stalling.” I pat the cushion beside me. “What do you need?”

Jarod perches on the opposite edge of the couch and clasps his hands in his lap. A second later, he stands up again. A slow blush creeps across his cheeks, and he wipes his palms on his jeans. He runs his fingers through his dark hair, and then he sits down, a few inches closer to me.

I wait while he picks at an imaginary speck of lint on the couch cushion between us. I’ve never seen him so nervous. Not even around Laina.

I lick my lips. I’m not going to kiss him first, but it doesn’t hurt to be ready.

“I need you,” he finally says, reaching out to take my hand and gazing into my eyes.

This is the point where I usually wake up. I pinch my arm hard enough to leave an angry, red welt, but Jarod is still here, still smiling at me, still waiting for me to say something.

Oh, crap, he’s waiting for me to say something.

I take a deep breath to calm the miniature acrobats practicing backflips in my stomach. But Jarod is tracing lazy circles on the back of my hand with his thumb, and there’s no calming my bubbling insides. He leans closer, and the smell of his watermelon-mint gum mixed with the musky scent of his cologne is nearly enough to drive me over the edge.

I pull back a bit. Not enough so I’ll seem uninterested, but enough that he’ll have to put in some effort when he decides to go for it. “You do?” My casual voice is gone, replaced by a nervous squeak.

“I do.” He smiles and releases my hand. “I’ve tried everything, but Laina still won’t go out with me.”

“Yeah,” I say, leaning in to seal his confession with a kiss. I can’t believe Jarod Johnson wants me. He needs me. He—Wait, what?

“Thanks, Andi. You’re a great friend. I knew I could count on you to talk to her for me.” He hugs me and then slumps against the back of the couch with a grin.

I want to slap that smile right off his face. To scream and cry and beg him to love me. But of course, I won’t. This isn’t some cheesy soap opera. Real life takes finesse. Now, more than ever, I have to remain unruffled and in control. Because Laina’s had Jarod on a string for six years.

She’s had her chance with him.

I yawn and peel myself off the couch, stretching slowly. “Yeah, well, if that’s all you need, I guess I’d better get back to my room. I’m pretty sure my ten minutes are up.” I saunter out of the room, careful not to let any kind of emotion show.

I totally need a twelve-step program.

http://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Steps-Veronica-Bartles-ebook/dp/B00ILMKZFO/ref=la_B00IRMHE0C_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393892175&sr=1-1
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19 March 2014

Twelve Days of TWELVE STEPS #6

http://vbartles.com/12Teasers.htm

My daughter decided that, since my book is called TWELVE STEPS, we absolutely have to do something to celebrate the release for each of the twelve days leading up to the big day. So of course, we have lots of fun family celebrations planned, all linking to our favorite scenes and the lines that make us grin. However, as we were planning our activities, we realized that most of our celebrations only make sense if you've read the book. And we didn't want to spoil the surprise of our favorite scenes by explaining all of the inside jokes. But of course, we wanted to include all of you too!

So each day for the twelve days leading up to March 25, we'll be sharing non-spoilery favorite quotes with a new teaser graphic every day. And each day, I'll share something special and book-related with you as well: recipes, sneak peeks, giveaways and more!
http://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Steps-Veronica-Bartles-ebook/dp/B00ILMKZFO/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394648228&sr=1-2&keywords=twelve+steps

Today, I'll be chatting about TWELVE STEPS and running a series of giveaways on Twitter. Up for grabs: swag packages, a signed print of the picture my husband drew of Andi, and maybe a surprise or two! Follow me (@vbartles) and the hashtag #12D12S for little bits of trivia and chances to win throughout the day!

Previous | Next

18 March 2014

Twelve Days of TWELVE STEPS #7: Exclusive Sneak Peek at My Teen Diary!

http://vbartles.com/12Teasers.htm

My daughter decided that, since my book is called TWELVE STEPS, we absolutely have to do something to celebrate the release for each of the twelve days leading up to the big day. So of course, we have lots of fun family celebrations planned, all linking to our favorite scenes and the lines that make us grin. However, as we were planning our activities, we realized that most of our celebrations only make sense if you've read the book. And we didn't want to spoil the surprise of our favorite scenes by explaining all of the inside jokes. But of course, we wanted to include all of you too!

So each day for the twelve days leading up to March 25, we'll be sharing non-spoilery favorite quotes with a new teaser graphic every day. And each day, I'll share something special and book-related with you as well: recipes, sneak peeks, giveaways and more!

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fog1NaNhOmQ/UyRSduOwnjI/AAAAAAAADrs/3ZATuX3znS0/s1600/3-Laina2a.jpg

They always say you should write what you know. I don't know who "they" are, but I must admit, I had a ton of fun fitting in snippets of real life as I was writing TWELVE STEPS. I thought about sharing with you a page from my actual teenage diary that directly inspired a scene in TWELVE STEPS, but there were so many identifying phrases that I thought it might embarrass the real people involved in the making of that scene, so I'll leave you to guess and to wonder which TWELVE STEPS scene was inspired by real-life events. (There may or may not be more than one.)

A couple of weeks ago, in a discussion among members of Rachel Harris' Flirt Squad (of which I'm a proud member!), I mentioned that I always had a list of current crushes, so I wouldn't have to focus my full attention on any one boy. (It was safer that way. If my crush turned out to be a jerk, I could simply remove him from my list, and I had nine others ready to take his place in my heart.) So today,  I'll share this peek at another page of my teenage diary (names changed to protect the innocent). Boy #3 and Boy #4 both make appearances in TWELVE STEPS. Think you'll be able to figure out who they are?

In case you can't read my messy handwriting, it says:

"Well, it's April Fool's Day (& sister's birthday). How thrilling. I feel like crying for some reason. Last night at work, Boy #1 looked very, quite gorgeous! I never got to talk to him, but I'm just about positive he was watching me. Every time I glanced in his direction, he was looking straight at me, & he'd smile & raise his eyebrows or wave or something. 

"And Boy #2 was being a sweetie too. (He got purple contacts, & his eyes look cool! Thought I'd mention it, even though it's way off the subject.) In fact, everyone was being really nice to me last night. Cool, huh?

"I'm obsessed with Boy #3 since Saturday. I keep seeing the scene when he 1st asked me to dance, over & over again in my mind. I can hardly think of anyone or anything but Boy #3. I still do love Boy #4, & I think about him often, & I miss being able to see him so much. But I'm not (& never was) "obsessed" with him this way! I admit, I do get a little "obsessed" whenever he's mad at me, but not this bad! And I'm never "obsessed" this way. Sure, I love Boy #4, but like a brother or a close friend. I don't love Boy #3, or even claim to. He just drives me crazy, & for some reason, I can't stop thinking about him!"

Pure poetry, right? Is it any wonder I became an author, when even my private diaries were so well-written? ;)
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zF80EkAtLX4/UyRSdrTtQ8I/AAAAAAAADrw/MGmOD7xZThA/s1600/3-Laina2.png
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17 March 2014

Twelve Days of TWELVE STEPS #8: Hand-Knit Daisy Purse Giveaway!

http://vbartles.com/12teasers.htm
My daughter decided that, since my book is called TWELVE STEPS, we absolutely have to do something to celebrate the release for each of the twelve days leading up to the big day. So of course, we have lots of fun family celebrations planned, all linking to our favorite scenes and the lines that make us grin. However, as we were planning our activities, we realized that most of our celebrations only make sense if you've read the book. And we didn't want to spoil the surprise of our favorite scenes by explaining all of the inside jokes. But of course, we wanted to include all of you too!

So each day for the next twelve days, we'll be sharing non-spoilery favorite quotes with a new teaser graphic every day. And each day, I'll share something special and book-related with you as well: recipes, sneak peeks, giveaways and more!

http://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Steps-Veronica-Bartles-ebook/dp/B00ILMKZFO/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394648228&sr=1-2&keywords=twelve+steps

Andi's favorite flower is a daisy. So today, I'm celebrating the countdown to TWELVE STEPS by offering this hand-knit daisy purse to one lucky winner. (I made the purse from recycled plastic bags, so it's completely hand-made!) Due to shipping costs, this giveaway is only open to U.S. residents.
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

  http://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Steps-Veronica-Bartles-ebook/dp/B00ILMKZFO/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394648228&sr=1-2&keywords=twelve+steps  Previous | Next

16 March 2014

Twelve Days of TWELVE STEPS #9: Crock Pot Giant Brownie Sundae Recipe

http://vbartles.com/12teasers.htm
My daughter decided that, since my book is called TWELVE STEPS, we absolutely have to do something to celebrate the release for each of the twelve days leading up to the big day. So of course, we have lots of fun family celebrations planned, all linking to our favorite scenes and the lines that make us grin. However, as we were planning our activities, we realized that most of our celebrations only make sense if you've read the book. And we didn't want to spoil the surprise of our favorite scenes by explaining all of the inside jokes. But of course, we wanted to include all of you too!

So each day for the next twelve days, we'll be sharing non-spoilery favorite quotes with a new teaser graphic every day. And each day, I'll share something special and book-related with you as well: recipes, sneak peeks, giveaways and more!
 http://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Steps-Veronica-Bartles-ebook/dp/B00ILMKZFO/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394648228&sr=1-2&keywords=twelve+steps

Andi and Jarod have their first date at a little hole-in-the-wall diner, where they eat the world's best giant brownie sundaes. In honor of that scene, I'm happy to share with you my recipe for 
Crock Pot Hot Fudge Brownie Sundaes

http://vbartles.com/recipes.htm
You will need:
1/3 c. oil
2 eggs
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 c. cocoa powder
3/4 c. flour
1 c. chocolate chips

Cookies n' Cream ice cream
hot fudge
caramel sauce
whipped cream
candied pecans
Other toppings, as desired

Line a 3-quart crock pot with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together oil, eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla, and baking powder until light and foamy.

Add cocoa and flour, and stir just until moistened.

Add chocolate chips.

Pour batter into lined crock pot and cook for approximately 1 1/2 hours on high.

Remove brownie from crock pot. While still warm, top with 6 scoops of ice cream, hot fudge, caramel, nuts and/or other toppings, as desired. This brownie sundae serves 6-8 people. (Of course, you can always cut the brownie into more manageable pieces and make individual servings, but that's not as fun, is it?)

http://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Steps-Veronica-Bartles-ebook/dp/B00ILMKZFO/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394648228&sr=1-2&keywords=twelve+steps

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15 March 2014

Twelve Days of TWELVE STEPS #10

http://vbartles.com/12Teasers.htm
My daughter decided that, since my book is called TWELVE STEPS, we absolutely have to do something to celebrate the release for each of the twelve days leading up to the big day. So of course, we have lots of fun family celebrations planned, all linking to our favorite scenes and the lines that make us grin. However, as we were planning our activities, we realized that most of our celebrations only make sense if you've read the book. And we didn't want to spoil the surprise of our favorite scenes by explaining all of the inside jokes. But of course, we wanted to include all of you too!

So each day for the next twelve days, we'll be sharing non-spoilery favorite quotes with a new teaser graphic every day. And each day, I'll share something special and book-related with you as well: recipes, sneak peeks, giveaways and more!

http://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Steps-Veronica-Bartles-ebook/dp/B00ILMKZFO/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394648228&sr=1-2&keywords=twelve+steps
 
Speaking of mistakes, one of my biggest fears with TWELVE STEPS was that I would forget to mention someone important in my acknowledgements. So I went over them several times, and even had my husband and kids read them to make sure I wasn't missing anyone. ... And I still forgot to mention a very important person! I realized my mistake too late to change the text (I realized it literally minutes after sending my absolute final approval for TWELVE STEPS), so I wanted to thank her publicly here:

Trish Larsen was the amazing photographer who took my author photo. Years ago, when I was writing my first draft of my first manuscript, she read a few pages. And she loved it. She was convinced, long before I knew that I had something worthwhile, that I was going to be a big-time famous author one day. Trish was just building her photographer portfolio, so she offered to take some pictures of me for my Facebook profile picture. And midway through the photo shoot, she turned her camera to show me the picture she'd just taken. "This one will be your author photo," she said. And of course, that's the photo I chose to use when I became a real author. :)

http://vbartles.com

Thank you, Trish!!


https://www.facebook.com/AuthorVeronicaBartles/photos/a.573773666019866.1073741826.573124452751454/693710230692875/?type=1&stream_ref=10
Today, I'm having a Flash Giveaway on my Facebook page. Like my page and tell me your favorite musical, and one lucky commenter will win a signed print of this picture of Andi, drawn by my amazing artist husband, Phil. I'll choose the random winner at 9pm mountain time (11pm eastern) tonight!!

http://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Steps-Veronica-Bartles-ebook/dp/B00ILMKZFO/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394648228&sr=1-2&keywords=twelve+steps

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14 March 2014

Twelve Days of TWELVE STEPS: #11

http://vbartles.com/12Teasers.htm
My daughter decided that, since my book is called TWELVE STEPS, we absolutely have to do something to celebrate the release for each of the twelve days leading up to the big day. So of course, we have lots of fun family celebrations planned, all linking to our favorite scenes and the lines that make us grin. However, as we were planning our activities, we realized that most of our celebrations only make sense if you've read the book. And we didn't want to spoil the surprise of our favorite scenes by explaining all of the inside jokes. But of course, we wanted to include all of you too!

So each day for the next twelve days, we'll be sharing non-spoilery favorite quotes with a new teaser graphic every day. And each day, I'll share something special and book-related with you as well: recipes, sneak peeks, giveaways and more!

http://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Steps-Veronica-Bartles-ebook/dp/B00ILMKZFO/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394648228&sr=1-2&keywords=twelve+steps

Today, Dee Romito is unveiling my official TWELVE STEPS book trailers on her blog! Pop on over to see not one but TWO great trailers put together by a couple of the best teen readers I know. (I may be a bit biased.) And then go vote for your favorite trailer in the ABC Public Library Teen Tech Week Book Trailer Contest (voting open until 5pm Mountain Time today)!


Previous | Next

13 March 2014

Twelve Days of TWELVE STEPS: #12

http://vbartles.com/12Teasers.htm

My daughter decided that, since my book is called TWELVE STEPS, we absolutely have to do something to celebrate the release for each of the twelve days leading up to the big day. So of course, we have lots of fun family celebrations planned, all linking to our favorite scenes and the lines that make us grin. However, as we were planning our activities, we realized that most of our celebrations only make sense if you've read the book. And we didn't want to spoil the surprise of our favorite scenes by explaining all of the inside jokes. But of course, we wanted to include all of you too!

So each day for the twelve days leading up to March 25, we'll be sharing non-spoilery favorite quotes with a new teaser graphic every day. And each day, I'll share something special and book-related with you as well: recipes, sneak peeks, giveaways and more!
http://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Steps-Veronica-Bartles-ebook/dp/B00ILMKZFO/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394648228&sr=1-2&keywords=twelve+steps

Today, I'm sharing my playlist with you! Here is the first song on the list:



Join me on the YA Misfits blog, where I'm sharing the rest of my TWELVE STEPS "official" playlist (with explanations for why I chose each song) for Band Geek Thursday!


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12 March 2014

Twelve Days of TWELVE STEPS



http://vbartles.com/12Teasers.htm
We are now, officially, almost twelve days away from the release of my debut novel, TWELVE STEPS (counting by midnight eastern time)!

To celebrate, I’m having a twelve-day countdown celebration, with twelve exclusive teaser graphics (a new one each day), recipes inspired by the book, giveaways, sneak peeks, and more on each of the twelve days leading up to the release.

But I’m too excited to wait until tomorrow, so here’s a bonus teaser for you, right now!

http://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Steps-Veronica-Bartles-ebook/dp/B00ILMKZFO/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394648228&sr=1-2&keywords=twelve+steps
 Be sure to check back tomorrow, and every day until March 25, for more!

Day #12: I share my playlist with you on YA Misfits' Band Geek Thursday

Day #11: Watch my book trailers & vote for your favorite on I Write for Apples blog

Day #10: Flash giveaway for exclusive TWELVE STEPS artwork

Day #9: Recipe for Crock Pot Giant Brownie Sundae

Day #8: Giveaway!!! Recycle-Knit Daisy Purse, Handmade by Veronica Bartles

Day #7: Exclusive reveal: A page from Veronica's teen diary!

Day #6: Twitter giveaways

Day #5: Exclusive first look at TWELVE STEPS' Chapter One

Day #4Giveaway!!! Ninja Unicorn "Movie Poster"

Day #3: A Thank You to those who may not know how much they helped with TWELVE STEPS - including my secret high school crush, who inspired my favorite supporting character.

Day #2: The inspiration for TWELVE STEPS

Day #1: Recipe for Crock Pot Chili Cheese Fries

My Bucket List


Next week (Tuesday, March 18), Julie Murphy's debut novel, SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY releases.


THE FAULT IN OUR STARS meets Sarah Dessen in this lyrical novel about a girl with cancer who creates a take-no-prisoners bucket list that sets off a war at school—only to discover she's gone into remission.
When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs. So she convinces her best friend to help her with a crazy bucket list that's as much about revenge as it is about hope. But just when Alice's scores are settled, she goes into remission, and now she must face the consequences of all she's said and done.


As you know, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS was a particularly traumatic book for me, and I swore after reading it that I would never read another "cancer book." I handle life's uncertainties much better when I can ignore the fears and worries that living with a brain tumor can cause. But I totally have a bucket list, like Alice, and I have to say that the idea of Alice checking off everything on the bucket list, only to find out she's not dying after all makes me giggle. (Enough that I've totally added SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY to my "to read" list!)

So when Julie asked several of us if we wanted to share our bucket lists, of course I said yes.

Before I die, I want to:
1. Be a mom (Technically, with 4 amazing children, I can cross this item off my list. But I don't want to be just any mom. I want to be the kind of mom that inspires my kids to be and do great things. I want to be fun and fabulous, without trading in the "parent" role for the less-substantial "friend" role in my kids' lives. I want to be "supermom," and that part, I'm still working on.)
2. Be a successful published author (Published: check. Successful: we're getting there. - And just in case you're wondering, "successful" to me doesn't mean "top of all the bestseller charts," although that would be nice. I'll consider myself overwhelmingly successful if I can have an impact on just one reader.)
3. Meet Nick Jonas (Hey, don't judge. I know the Jonas Brothers haven't been the hottest band on the planet for years, but I think Nick's an amazingly-talented songwriter, and his song "A Little Bit Longer" has extra-special meaning for me. In fact, it released the very day I found out that my brain tumor was the reason I wouldn't get the medical clearance to go overseas with my husband, when he was stationed in Korea. As I was tempted to wallow in self-pity, feeling sorry for myself because I'd have to keep playing the single-parent role when I felt so overwhelmingly unable to do it on my own sometimes, I heard this song. "Got the news today. Doctor said I have to stay a little bit longer, and I'll be fine." Yeah. That was exactly what I needed. I'd love to have the opportunity to say thank you.)
4. Go on another cruise ... maybe even two (The cruise we took to celebrate my 30th birthday a few years ago was one of the best vacations ever. I am such a water baby. I could totally live on a ship for the rest of my life and be perfectly content. But since I can't afford that kind of luxury, I'll just settle for one vacation at a time.)
5. Visit all 50 states (Just because I want to say I did it. I'm over halfway there, with 30 states on my list, if I counted correctly.)
6. Take an extended trip to Europe, to visit all of the places I'm finding in my family history research (I would love to see where my family came from, and to explore my roots. I would totally volunteer to be one of the stars on Who Do You Think You Are? - Everyone buy my book so I can become rich and famous and they'll ask me to be on the show, okay?)
7. Ride in a hot air balloon or Go skydiving (I've always wanted to know what it feels like to be floating through the air hundreds of feet off the ground. Those "which super power would you choose?" questions... I always choose flying!)
8. Go scuba diving (Again, I'm a total water baby. I used to joke that I'm part mermaid. I would love to explore the ocean this way. The only thing that's holding me back is my claustrophobia. The idea of putting on a wetsuit freaks me out. But I'm determined to conquer this fear, and I'm working on it.)

And, finally, it's not really something that I can check off, but I want to live in such a way that, when I die, my friends and family will keep forgetting to cry because they're laughing so hard over crazy Veronica stories. "Remember the time she accidentally announced that she was pregnant?" "Remember the way she used to mess up song lyrics?" "Remember when she used to fall flat on her face in water aerobics classes?"


Julie lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her, her dog who adores her, and her cat who tolerates her. When she's not writing or trying to catch stray cats, she works at an academic library. Side Effects May Vary is Julie's debut novel. Julie can best be found on her website, tumblr, or twitter.

Buy your copy of SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY