Stacey Jay’s Character Debut Party

You Are So Undead to Me by Stacey JayAfter partying with Sarah MacLean and the Regency crowd last week, we’re back in the present for a little zombie action with author Stacey Jay.

I haven’t read YOU ARE SO UNDEAD TO ME yet, but it’s already flying — er, shambling — off the shelves across the country. Can’t wait to get my copy and get my undead on!


Megan Berry’s social life is so dead. Literally. Fifteen-year-old Megan Berry is a Zombie Settler by birth, which means she’s part-time shrink to a bunch of dead people. All Megan wants is to be normal–and go to homecoming. But someone in school is using black magic to turn average, angsty Undead into flesh-eating Zombies, and it’s looking like homecoming will turn out to be a very different kind of party–the bloody kind.

Megan’s 2009 Debut Party

Given the recent news of the zombie apocalypse hitting Austin, I think partying with Megan is a pretty good way to hedge your bets!

The Guest List

Megan had to invite Buffy, just because so many parallels had been drawn between the two of them. But they both agreed that Megan is nowhere near as bad ass as the Buffster. Buffy tried to make a case that supernatural therapy skills are almost as cool as supernatural fighting skill, but Megan wasn’t buying.

The Party

Join us at Megan’s house for an undead pastry party in a small, intimate gathering of fellow Settlers, family, and friends. Everyone has to make a dessert with a zombie theme. We’ve got cupcakes with zombie hands bursting from the chocolaty ground, zombie sugar cookies with missing limbs and walnut brains, a jello mold made in the shape of a brain…all kinds of gross and yummy stuff. All guests receive glow in the dark zombie finger puppets!

Glow in the dark zombie finger puppets?! *Secretly wants glow in the dark zombie finger puppets!*

The Guest of Honor: Megan Berry

Megan dons a cute summer dress with shorts underneath, just in case zombies attack unexpectedly and she has to kick a little ass. Flashing your party guests is never cool.

And her theme song? Disturbia by Rhianna.

Stacey Jay’s Advice for Megan on Her Big Debut

Enjoy it and eat lots of cake. There are things you might regret in life, but one night of unlimited cake is not one of them.

Unlimited cake?

*Runs — er, shambles — to zombie party!*

Thanks for the invite, Stacey, and best of luck to you and Megan!

YOU ARE SO UNDEAD TO ME is available in book stores now, and also online at Amazon.

About the author: Stacey Jay is a workaholic with three pen names, four kids, and a decidedly macabre sense of humor. She loves zombies, creepies, crawlies, blood, guts, gore, and of course, romance. “You are So Undead to Me”, Stacey’s debut paranormal Young Adult Romance featuring Zombie Settler, Megan Berry was released January 22nd from Razorbill books. Visit her online.

Sarah MacLean’s Character Debut Party

The Season by Sarah MacLeanHere to kick off our first 2009 Character Debut Party is Sarah MacLean, author of THE SEASON, which I was lucky enough to read back in November. It kept my poor husband up all night, as every other page I was either oh-ing or oooh-ing or flat our laughing at strong-willed, sassy Lady Alexandra and her equally-engaging BFFs. One of the things I loved most about THE SEASON was the characters. Each was so well-developed and distinct, unique and multi-dimensional without ever overshadowing Lady Alex’s lead. Even the minor characters were full of life, each making his own impact on the story. After I read this book, I emailed Sarah for a crash course in Jane Austin for beginners — I’d never read Lady Jane and was so inspired by THE SEASON that I wanted to dive right in to Regency romance!


Seventeen-year-old Lady Alexandra Stafford doesn’t fit into the world of Regency London — she’s strong-willed, sharp-tongued, and she absolutely loathes dress fittings. Unfortunately, her mother has been waiting for years for Alex to be old enough to take part in the social whirlwind of a London Season so she can be married off to someone safe, respectable, wealthy, and almost certainly boring. But Alex is much more interested in adventure than romance.

Between sumptuous balls, lavish dinner parties and country weekends, Alex, along with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manages to get entangled in her biggest scrape yet. When the Earl of Blackmoor is killed in a puzzling accident, Alex decides to help his son, the brooding and devilishly handsome Gavin, uncover the truth. It’s a mystery brimming with espionage, murder, and suspicion. As she and Gavin grow closer, will Alex’s heart be stolen in the process?

Romance and danger fill the air, as this year’s Season begins!

Lady Alexandra’s 2009 Debut Party

Sarah MacLean is letting us crash! Let’s see what she has in store for Lady Alex and her friends on the big debut day.

The Guest List

  • Emma Woodhouse from EMMA, sure to put her foot in it, but makes for a fun party nonetheless
  • Lizzie Bennett from PRIDE & PREJUDICE, who is very clever and intelligent and would certainly add to the conversation
  • Diana Holland from the LUXE series, real and fun and precisely the kind of friend Alex gravitates to
  • Cedric Diggory from HARRY POTTER, a great sport and more than a little bit handsome
  • Annabel and Owen from JUST LISTEN, an adorable couple and whom Alex would definitely like
  • Rosalind from AS YOU LIKE IT — she’s smart and not afraid to masquerade as a boy. She’s bound to be fun!

The Party

Well, Alex has already had the debut her mother wanted her to have, complete with tepid lemonade, too many people and a hot, sticky ballroom.

The debut she would have liked to have had would have been outside at Hyde Park on a glorious, sunny, Spring afternoon… and very chill. No dancing, no inane conversation and absolutely no dress fittings. It would have included an elaborate picnic spread, Ella, Vivi, Nicola Salisbury, her brothers, Gavin (who is *like* a brother) and Freddie Stanhope, who is always good for a laugh. In a perfect world, Gavin would have let her drive his curricle to the party, which would have made the afternoon that much more fun.

The theme for Alex’s party would be good friends, good conversation. Guests would receive copies of PRIDE & PREJUDICE by A Lady.

The Guest of Honor: Alex Stafford

Alex would wear a dark green riding habit. That way, if she dirtied her gown while playing Pall Mall, her mother won’t flip out.

And her theme song? Like a Luminous Girl, by Mike Doughty.

Sarah MacLean’s Advice for Alex on Her Big Debut

Don’t get caught in the gardens doing something you shouldn’t be doing with someone you shouldn’t be doing it with.

Hmm… how very scandalous!

Thanks, Sarah, for letting us peak in on Alex’s debut party — sounds like the perfect way to spend an afternoon. And if you guys ever met Gavin, well… put it this way. As long as he’s around, a freak thunderstorm complete with hail couldn’t cool off that garden party!

THE SEASON is available in book stores now, and also online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound. If you pick your copy up at the local book store, take a picture and head on over to Sarah’s blog to let her know. On top of having a great book on your nightstand, you could win a cool Regency prize!

About the Author: Sarah MacLean grew up in Rhode Island, where she spent much of her free time bemoaning the fact that she was more than a century too late for own Season. Her unabashed addiction to historical fiction helped to earn her a degree in European History from Smith College before she moved to New York City to pursue a career in publishing. After receiving a Masters in Education from Harvard University, Sarah returned to New York, where she lives with her husband, their dog, and a ridiculously large collection of romance novels. She is currently working on a series of regency-set romances to be released in 2010 from Avon/HarperCollins. Visit her online at MacLeanSpace.

E.T. Book: Read-Along With Sarah Ockler

Inner Page, E.T.

Thank you all for your supportive comments on yesterday’s Sarah Ockler’s 1st Book post. As promised, here is the full, unedited text of my 1982 novel adaptation of E.T.

E.T The Extra Terestrial

One day Eliot was having a party. His brother Mike, said, go get some pizza and don’t forget the pepperoni. So, he got the pizza. On the way back, he heard something. He threw a ball and it came back! Eliot dropped the pizza and ran. When he got home, his brother said, where is the pizza? Eliot said, I dropped it. Why? Because there’s something out there that scared me half to death. All right this better not be one of your jokes! It’s not peanut1 breath!

Mike, this is the best promise you could make. Now take of your shoulders because you may scare him. Here he is! haaa! Who is he? I don’t know. I’m keeping him. Get Girty and I’ll get food. Girty asked, is he a girl or a boy? He’s a boy. Is he a pig? He sure eat’s like one. I don’t like his feet. Shut up you spoiled brat!

Drunk E.T.So Eliot went to school. E.t drank ten bottles of beer when Eliot was at school. When E.t took a step, he banged into the table and the refrigorater then fell on the floor. He went behind the television when Girty was watching Seseme Street. B is for boot, boy, bat, ball and book she said. Then E.t said, B b B b! You can talk?

Girty dressed him up like miss piggy.

When Eliot came home he said, whats going on? He can talk! What? First E.t said, E.t home phone. Then he said E.t phone home! I think he is trying to call some somebody. But they just left the phone alone.

Soon it was halloween. E.t was a ghost, Eliot was a scarrcrow, and Mike was robin hood. They all went except Girty, because Their mom didin’t like squshy little things. So they made her think that it was Girty.

It was time to go home. Mike left, but E.t and Eliot did not. Instead they went on Eliot’s bike. E.t kicked the peddle and they flew in the air. They landed in the forest. They made a radar out of some junk they brought. It was working. They had to sleep there. But in the morning, Eliot found that the radar did not work and E.t was missing! So he had to go home to his worried mother.

His mom left the room. Eliot said, Mike you gota find him! Where is he? He’s in the forest. in a bald spot. So Mike took Eliot’s bike and went to find E.t. He looked everywere! But then he looked by the river and found him. He took him back to Eliot. He said that E.t was sick. They had to show there mom. When there mom saw it, she screamed! She took them away from E.t.. He was sad. But then Eliot got sick too. So they bolf went to the hospital. They where in a sepret room. But the docters could not help E.t so he died.

E.T. SendoffEliot was sad. He went to see E.t once more. He walked away. But just as he left, E.t came back alive! The docter took Eliot away from E.t. They put E.t in a truck. Mike and Eliot played a trick. The trick was, Mike and Eliot took off with the truck. They took it to Eliot’s friend’s. They flew up in the air. They crashed on a dirtty hill. They peddled so so fast, cops where folowing them. They went faster and faster! They finaly got home.

Girty went in the car with mama. Mike and Eliot took E.t with them because there taking him to his space ship. First, mom said by. Then Mike then Girty. Last Eliot said good bye. It was sad. E.t was sad. It left them all with a very broken heart. 😦

The End!

Okay, I’ll give you a moment to reflect and discuss amongst yourselves.


So, what do you think? Be honest, now! Even though strict copyright laws prevent me from publishing my first novel adaptation, I’m still seeking literary criticism from my friends and readers. If you have any constructive feedback or general comments on the plot, character development, pacing, story arc, tense, etc., please share! It can only help me become a better writer!

Okay, confession? I totally teared up when I read the ending just now, thinking about that part in the movie. The part when they’re in the sick tent makes me a little weepy, too. I was a bit obsessed with E.T. after my parents took me to see the film. I cried the whole way home and the only way Mom could get me to sleep was to prop up this E.T. playing card set on my shelf because it had his picture on the front so I could watch him as I fell asleep. Then, I used to fantasize about seeing him in places like the roller rink or McDonald’s, hoping I would be the only one to see him so I could be the one to take him home and help him find his family…

I’ve said too much. Please, I need a moment. Stop looking at me. Just focus on your literary critique, okay?

1. Peanut breath? I was wondering how my six-year-old self handled that one. Ah, so innocent back then!

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Sarah Ockler’s 1st Book: E.T.

Many of you have heard that my first book, TWENTY BOY SUMMER, will hit the shelves in 2009. June 1st, as a matter of fact. That’s in 188 days for you numbers people (not that I’m counting). But what you probably don’t know is that TWENTY BOY SUMMER is… er… not… actually my first book.

Honestly. I wrote and illustrated my first book in 1982, at the end of first grade. It was about a little purple-brown alien who was left behind on Earth and found love and friendship with an American family in the suburbs, particularly with a little boy named Elliot. There were a lot of Reese’s Pieces and bicycle hijinks involved. The book, which I also bound in cardboard with red electrical tape, was a loose adaptation — well, maybe more condensed than loose — of a movie I’d seen earlier that year.

Steven Spielberg’s E.T., THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL.

My teacher, Mrs. Tracy, was a little, um, moody back in the day. She would scream at us in front of the entire class if we had dirty fingernails after playing outside and she had very little tolerance for fidgeting. But somehow, she gave me an A+ EXCELLENT!!!. She was so pleased with my storytelling, in fact, that she immediately organized my first book tour, and I got to read to all of the other 1st grade classes in the Library Media Center on the first floor of the elementary school. Back then, “media” meant hi-tech stuff like microfiche and 5-inch floppy disks that really were, well, floppy. Very chic.

Anyway, after the resounding success of my book tour, I rushed home with all the blind enthusiasm of a first-time novelist and shared the news with my mother. She was equally excited and proud, and somewhere during our shared moment of celebration, I asked her to help me find a publisher for my A+ EXCELLENT!!! work of literary art.

And that’s when she sat me down for the copyright infringement talk. Only she didn’t call it infringement. She just looked at me with her big, serious, dream-crusher eyes and said, “Honey, it’s a wonderful story, but E.T. was someone else’s idea first, so you can’t publish it. You have to write your own stories.”

I didn’t understand. Hadn’t I been the one to toil over the detailed illustrations? Hadn’t I been the one to condense a 2-hour movie into just a few pages of intense prose? And it certainly wasn’t Mr. Spielberg who’d bound my masterpiece with cardboard and red electrical tape! Oh, cruel world, with your strict laws about other people’s supposed ideas!

So E.T., my first book, was relegated to a box in the attic, where he would sit for almost 30 years, undisturbed by mold or mice or the passage of time. After his quiet retirement, my elementary school career in literature went on to encompass hundreds of poems and short stories. I wrote journals and essays, articles and anecdotes. I told stories for my friends, made up things about people I’d met and observed and overheard. And then, finally, a novel grew. One that was all my own idea. One that launched my official, non-infringed writing career, all while E.T. sat patiently, silently, still in that box in the attic, waiting for the day when he would be unearthed and rediscovered and given the credit he so deserved for planting the early seeds of authorship in my little, plagiarizing, 6-year-old head.

Without further ado…

E.T. Front Cover

Inner Cover Art, E.T.

Opening Pages, E.T.

The End, E.T.

Thank you, E.T.

Thank you Mr. Spielberg and Mrs. Tracy.

And thank you, friends and readers, for indulging me as I share my earliest writing memory with you. Now, when you see a reference to the E.T. incident in the acknowledgments for TWENTY BOY SUMMER, you’ll understand.

Tune in tomorrow to read the actual adapted-slash-condensed story of E.T., THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL, by Sarah Ockler!

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