Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Twitter Contest

I'm having a Twitter contest to give away two ARCS of THE LIFE OF GLASS!! It's super-easy to enter. All you have to do is retweet my contest tweet by Friday 12/18 to enter, which you can find here. I'll pick two winners at random on Friday. Each retweet gets you one contest entry, and you can enter as often as you'd like!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The First Review

As a writer, I've come to learn that there are few things scarier than waiting for reviews. This is true whether it's a "review" from my agent or my editor who is reading my draft for the first time and offering notes, or even a "review" from an editor who might be considering buying a new book from me, a review that will come in the form of an offer or a pass letter. I always find it nervewracking, waiting to see what other people will say, how they will react to a book that I love, that I have poured my life into for a significant period of time, that I have revised and edited and labored over, a book filled with characters that I love enough to feel like they are real, true, important people in my life.

A very wise author friend told, just around the release of The September Sisters last year, that not everyone was going to love my book. No matter what. People have opinions, and they like different things, and of course, there are plenty of books that other people love that I don't. And that's okay. But still, when it's your own book, it's hard to remember this. Waiting for reviews is scary. Especially that first review.

Which brings me to the point of this post: I got to see the first review for THE LIFE OF GLASS this week. When I saw the e-mail in my inbox from my editor, with the subject heading "Booklist Review," I kind of wanted to throw up. I was dying to know what it said, but terrified to see it. Up until that moment, up until right then, the book still felt like mine and only mine, but once I read the review, once I read what probably thousands of other people would, I'd see the book differently. I'd see it through someone else's eyes.

I sat there for a few minutes just staring at it, before I got the courage to open it and see what it said. And then I read it, and it was lovely. All of it, every single word.

Among other nice things Booklist said: "Themes of memory, beauty, and secrets come together in this thoughtful, uplifting book. . . a gentle portrait of a girl growing through her grief."

I read it. I read it again.
And then I exhaled.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Contest Winner

Thank you to everyone who entered and shared your beautiful moments with me. I loved reading all of them! I used random.org to pick the winner of the $25 Sephora giftcard and the signed ARC of THE LIFE OF GLASS. And the winner is: Jessica Kennedy! Jessica, I've sent you an e-mail so write back with your address, and I'll get the prize out to you.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Three-Months-and-Counting Contest

THE LIFE OF GLASS will be out on February 9, 2010, exactly three months from tomorrow, so to celebrate I'm having a contest!!!

THE LIFE OF GLASS is a book about sisters, high school, loss, and first love. (You can read the jacket description if you click here.) But, above all, I think it's really a book about beauty, about what it means to feel and be beautiful both inside and out.

In the book, the main character Melissa never saw herself as a beautiful person. She was always the smart one, the funny one, the tomboy. And yet, it seems like everyone around her is beautiful: her mother was once a beauty queen, her older sister is obsessed with competing in beauty pageants, and as she starts high school, her best friend Ryan starts ignoring her after he begins dating the beautiful new girl at school.

Melissa is someone I can relate to a lot, because back in high school, I felt the same way. It seemed like so many girls around me were beautiful and perfect: beautiful straight shiny hair, gorgeous tall figures, perfect clothes. And I was always the short girl with the frizzy hair, who felt the most comfortable in jeans and sweatshirts. (Lucky me, though, I didn't have a mom and a sister who competed in beauty pageants.)

And this is why I love fiction: in the book Melissa eventually does get her moment to shine, to feel beautiful. (And her older sister, Ashley, the beauty queen, gets her moment to finally feel what it's like not to be beautiful.)

So now for the contest: I'll be giving away a signed ARC plus a $25 giftcard to Sephora!

Here's what you can do to enter:

+1 Leave a comment sharing a moment when you felt beautiful

+2 Link to this contest on your blog
+2 add my countdown widget (on the left sidebar) to your blog
+2 add The Life of Glass to your Goodreads list

+5 Tweet about this contest
+ 5 become a new follower of this blog
+5 become a new follower on Twitter (click here)

+10 blog about The Life of Glass and why you want to read it!

Please leave your entries and points in a comment on this post.

Contest Ends November 18th at Midnight. Good luck!

Monday, October 26, 2009


The lovely Book Butterfly is hosting a THE SEPTEMBER SISTERS giveaway at her blog. Check out the interview she has with me, and comment for a chance to win one of two copies of THE SEPTEMBER SISTERS. Also, check out the pictures she put up with the interview -- pictures of me and my sister from from when we were in elementary school!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Dear Diary

Recently, Jill Wolfson, the author of the fabulous book Cold Hands, Warm Heart, asked me if I would participate in a "Dear Diary" feature on her blog and share some excerpts from my teenage diary. I said yes, and searched out my old diary and began reading through it. And then I sort of freaked out thinking about how embarassing it would be to share!

But I changed the names and did it anyway, because I thought it was a cool feature and because Melissa, the main character in THE LIFE OF GLASS keeps a journal that's an important part of the book. (Thankfully, Melissa's journal is much more interesting and less ditzy than mine was!)

You can read my post w/the diary excerpts on Jill's blog here.

And stop by and check out my website which now has a whole new look to match THE LIFE OF GLASS!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Cover Art Imitates Life

Over at The Novel Girls this week, it's my turn to give something away for our month-long blogoversary celebration, and I'll be giving away an ARC of THE LIFE OF GLASS! It's really easy to enter -- all you have to do is comment on a post over there this week and/or do any of the other things listed on our sidebar. Plus, if you enter, you'll also be put into a drawing to win $100 to Amazon at the end of the month. Click here to head on over to The Novel Girls and enter.

And since I'm talking about THE LIFE OF GLASS (which I seem to be doing a lot lately. . .), I wanted to share something with you about the cover. First let me say that I absolutely LOVE the cover -- I think the design team at HarperCollins did a fabulous job. But the first time I saw it, I was struck by this strange sense of it being familiar. It took me a few days, but then I figured out what it was. The girl's profile on the cover, looks almost exactly like my mom did when she was younger. I remembered seeing some similar looking pictures of her in an old photo album, and I finally got her to scan some in and send them to me. So here, you can see for yourself.

Here's THE LIFE OF GLASS cover (Look closely at the girl's profile shot):

This is my mom in the late 1970s (And that baby in the picture is me!):

And here are two pictures of her a bit earlier, circa 1973:

What do you think? Can you see the resemblence? To me it kind of seems like this cover was meant to be!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Reality TV: My Summer Fun

Head on over to The Novel Girls to check out my thoughts on Ellen DeGeneres replacing Paula on Idol. We're having a month-long blogoversary extravaganza, so while you're there you can comment on my post or become a follower to enter to win this week's prize (a signed copy of A BUMP IN THE ROAD by Maureen Lipinski) AND the grand prize, a $100 giftcard to Amazon.

And I'm also going to post my take on reality TV here. This is what I was about to post at The Novel Girls until I heard the AI news. So here you have it, my fascination with celebrity reality TV:

In the fall, winter, and spring, when “real” TV shows are in season, I limit my reality show consumption. In the summer, though, I am admittedly, a reality TV junkie. And since there’s nothing else on, I actually let myself believe that these shows are good! This summer I relished Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, Denise Richards: So Complicated, and Guiliana & Bill.

I guess there’s something about watching celebrity lives that fascinates me, because, yes, I got joy out of watching Tori Spelling deal with her toddler’s tantrums and thinking about how similar our lives are. (Of course, I don’t have my own live-in baby nurse, but you get the point.) There’s also something about living vicariously through a celebrity’s life. Kathy Griffin may think she’s D-List, but she got to do some pretty fabulous things and hang out with some fabulous people this past season. And she’s funny, so what’s not to like about a reality show that makes me laugh? I set my DVR to watch as many reality/celebrity shows as I could find this summer, and I may have actually even procrastinated writing to watch them.

But I have to admit, I’m excited it’s September now and actual scripted shows are coming back with new episodes. There’s no contest for me between Merideth Grey and McDreamy and Tori and Dean. MerDer wins hands down! And by the end of this month, I’ll happily worm myself back into my favorite fictional characters’ lives, and will all but leave reality TV behind until next May. Of course, if a really good new celebrity show comes on, I’m sure I’ll still record it. It’ll just have to get in line in the DVR queue behind all my real favorite shows.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Contest Winner and THE LIFE OF GLASS news!

First, thank you so much to everyone who entered my The Life of Glass ARC giveaway! It's so great to see so many people excited about the book, and I wish I had an ARC to send to each and every one of you. . . but I had to pick a winner, so I used random.org and it picked. . . Kristen. Kristen, I'm sending you an e-mail -- but please send me your address to jill(at)jilliancantor.com and I'll get the ARC out to you!

If you didn't win, I'll be having more giveaways this fall. Check back here in October for another ARC giveaway. And this month, over at my group blog, The Novel Girls, we're celebrating our one year blogoversary with a giveaway extravaganza. Each week one of us will give away a prize (five total) for the whole month of September -- and then everyone who enters for the entire month will be entered into a drawing to win a $100 giftcard to Amazon!! I'll be up the week of September 14th, and I'll be giving away an ARC of The Life of Glass & a copy of The September Sisters to the winner!

I'm also really excited to share a blurb for The Life of Glass from the fabulous Cecilia Galante. Her book, The Patron Saint of Butterflies, is one of my all-time favorites! Here's what she had to say about The Life of Glass: "The Life of Glass is a beautifully rendered novel. Cantor is pitch-perfect, capturing the thoughts and mind-set of her characters with a precise familiarity that will have teenagers nodding their head in recognition and adults wistfully looking back. A must read."

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I know I've been terrible about posting here lately, and my excuse is that I've been writing. I finished a draft of what will (hopefully) be my third YA book, and then I finished some edits for my adult book, THE TRANSFORMATION OF THINGS. Then I took a little bit of a break, and for the last three weeks, I've spent hardly any time at the computer. I read a few books, watched a lot of movies, and oh, actually cleaned my house. Yes, that was the last straw, and now I'm back -- to the blogging world and getting ready to start on a new book for adults. Right now I'm in the process of researching names -- which I love!

And today I really wanted to blog because when I woke up this morning, I realized that it was the 9th -- which means exactly six months from today my second YA book, THE LIFE OF GLASS will be out and in the world on February 9th, 2010 (If you want to read the jacket description and see the cover, click here). I finished writing this book nearly a year ago, and at the time, winter 2010 felt so very far away. But now, it's just around the corner.

So. . . I decided I'm going to have the first official THE LIFE OF GLASS contest, where I'll be giving away one ARC of THE LIFE OF GLASS. To enter you can do any or all of the following (You get one entry for each):

1.) Add THE LIFE OF GLASS to your list on Goodreads
2.) Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/jilliancantor
3) Become a follower of this blog.

For extra entries you can:
1.) Tweet about the contest and link to this post
2:) Mention the contest on your blog

Leave a comment on this post letting me know your e-mail and how you entered. (If you already do any or all of the above, leave a comment to let me know, and you can enter that way, too!) I'll leave the contest open until September 1st. Good luck!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hello. Goodbye.

It's Tracy Madison's release week over at The Novel Girls this week, so if you stop by and comment on my post or any of the others, you'll be entered for a chance to win a copy of Tracy's first book, A TASTE OF MAGIC! We're blogging about our magical powers this week, so it's lots of fun.

And I have to say that I see I haven't posted here in a nearly month. And I really have no good excuse, except to say I've been writing. A lot. All the time. See, a few weeks ago, I officially quit my adjunct professor job, which has lit a major fire under me to finish my current work in progress, if only so I can make my status as full-time writer/mom something permenant. This means I've been setting lots of unattainable goals for myself, like write 10 pages every day, and then beating myself up when I don't always meet them.

Anyway, I am crawling back into the writing cave. Will be back out in a few weeks with a (hopefully) finished project to talk about.

Happy July!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Good News and Setting

First a bit of good news: The September Sisters has been nominated as a YALSA "Best Book for Young Adults!" I'm so honored to be included on a list with so many other great books!!

And yesterday, The September Sisters was featured in The Phildelphia Daily News. Click here to read the article. It was very exciting to be in a paper from my hometown, and talking with the reporter about my childhood near Philadelphia made me remember how much I enjoyed writing the book and letting Abby grow up in a similar place to where I did.

The reporter actually was very curious to know why I chose to set the book near Philadelphia even though I'd already moved to Arizona when I wrote it. I had a hard time answering that question, but if you want to see what I came up with, there's a bit about that in the article!

Then it occurred to me that I've been switching back and forth for setting -- every other book I write is alternately set in Philadelphia or Arizona. For example, my next book, THE LIFE OF GLASS, is set in Arizona. Then my third book, THE TRANSFORMATION OF THINGS, is set in a fake suburb of Philadelphia. And the book I'm working on now, is very, very crucially set in the desert of Arizona.

Weird, huh?

But I love the way setting can mean so many things to a book -- in my Philadelphia set books snow and cold weather help shape the story, and conversely, in my Arizona set books heat and dry air, monsoon storms, scorpions, and mountains become integral to the story. I can't imagine The September Sisters without Abby and Tommy sledding down a snowy hill or holding hands in the snow, and in The Life of Glass, Melissa and her best friend Ryan have a habit of riding their bikes in a desert wash, which becomes integral to the book.

And yet, I don't feel like I chose these settings. I feel like they flowed sort of naturally from the characters and the situations I dreamed up. I'm curious, for you other writers out there: how do you choose your settings? Or like me, do you feel they choose you?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Publisher's Weekly :-)

The sale of my adult novel, THE TRANSFORMATION OF THINGS, made it into Publisher's Weekly today! Click here to read the blurb.

Back when I was an un-agented, unpublished writer, I used to read the deals page in PW all the time and wonder what it would feel like to someday see my name in there. And then, this morning, there it was! It was surreal and exciting, and also, there was something about seeing the news of my sale, in print, in Publisher's Weekly no less, that made it start to actually feel real for the first time.

Monday, May 18, 2009


I've been talking about my next YA book, THE LIFE OF GLASS, for a while here on my blog. But finally I have a gorgeous cover to share!!!

And here's the jacket description of the book:

Before he died, Melissa’s father told her about stars. He told her that the brightest stars weren’t always the most beautiful—that if people took the time to look at the smaller stars, if they looked with a telescope at the true essence of the star, they would find real beauty. But even though Melissa knows that beauty isn’t only skin deep, the people around her don’t seem to feel that way. There’s her gorgeous sister Ashley who will barely acknowledge Melissa at school, there's her best friend Ryan, who may be falling in love with the sophisticated Courtney, and there’s Melissa’s mother who’s dating someone new, someone who Melissa knows will never be able to replace her father.

To make sure she doesn’t lose her father completely, Melissa spends her time trying to piece together the last of his secrets and completing a journal her father began—one about love and relationships and the remarkable ways people find one another. But when tragedy strikes, Melissa has to start living and loving in the present, as she realizes that being beautiful on the outside doesn't mean you can't be beautiful on the inside.

This is a lyrical tale of love, loss and self-discovery from the author of THE SEPTEMBER SISTERS.

Now it's feeling like a real book, and I can't wait for it to come out. Is it winter 2010 yet?!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Fabulous News!!!

I'm so excited to announce that I've sold my first adult women's fiction book, THE TRANSFORMATION OF THINGS!!! I was beyond thrilled to accept an offer from Avon (HarperCollins) this afternoon!

I really didn't think anything could top the excitement I felt after selling THE SEPTEMBER SISTERS, but today I realized that selling a book is absolutely just as exciting the second time around (and conversely, having a book out there on submission to editors is just as nervewracking)!

I've felt such a particular attachment to this novel, that I'm so happy I'm going to get to watch it bloom and transform now into an actual published book. And also, I'm so, so grateful that I get to keep on doing what I love.

More details about the book to come -- stay tuned!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Book of the Month (and Denmark)

I was so honored to find out that Michelle's Bookshelf has named The September Sisters "Book of the Month" for May! And check out this cool graphic from her blog:

I also learned that the Danish version of The September Sisters (or as it's called over there, September Sostre) is out. Check out the Danish cover:

Now if only I could read Danish . . . !

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Project Book Babe

If you've been wanting to get a copy of The September Sisters, here's a great way to do it!

A signed copy is being auctioned on E-bay this week as part of Project Book Babe's auction. If you haven't heard of Project Book Babe you should click here to check out their website, but the "Book Babe" is a children's book buyer who was diagnosed with breast cancer. Proceeds from the auction will help support her as she undergoes treatment.

I'm excited that I get to be involved in a very small way with this cool auction, so click here to head on over to E-bay and bid! It's for a great cause.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April ALAN pick!

I was really honored to see that The September Sisters was named an ALAN (Assembly on Literature for Adolescents) pick for April. In their review of the book they said, "With echoes of The Lovely Bones and even To Kill A Mockingbird, Cantor unflinchingly explores loss through its many incarnations."

I'm also excited to be a part of the awesome "blogoversary" going on over at Bookluver-Carol's blog this week. You can check out my interview here, and stay tuned over there for a giveaway from me as well!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Award Nominations!!

I feel so honored to have been nominated for an award over at YA Reads! They're currently hosting Reader's Choice awards, and I was nominated for Best Debut Author and Best Author, and The September Sisters was nominated for Best Book. I'm so flattered to be in such great company, and if you head on over and vote, you can be entered for a chance to win The September Sisters and other fabulous books: Fade, The Fetch, Wherever Nina Lies, Shadowed Summer, and Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side.

Click here to see all the nominees and to vote.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Rejection Letter and a Great Review!

The other day I opened my mailbox, and saw staring back at me a self-addressed stamped envelope, written in my own handwriting. Strange. I hadn't gotten one of those since the days when I was querying agents, back in the summer of 2006. So I was shocked to open it up and find this: (my comments are in red)

Dear Ms. Cantor:
My apologies for the unforgivable delay (more than two and a half years) in responding to EVEN TO THE EDGE (The original title of The September Sisters). A number of submissions got squirreled away, and your partial was among them. I'm sorry.

I read over the manuscript and am sadly passing on it. Even though I admired much about it, I'm afraid I wasn't as completely as engaged by EVEN TO THE EDGE as I'd hoped to be.

Thanks for sending me the partial to consider, however, and I hope that in the meantime you've found thoroughly enthusiastic representation.

As I read this I couldn't help but laugh! I can't tell you how many nearly identical letters I received when I was trying to find an agent, and how soul crushing each one felt. But this just goes to show you, how little these rejections can mean. While this one agent "squirreled" my first three chapters away, another agent took me on and sold the book, at auction. So to all you aspiring writers, don't let the rejection letters get you down!

Oh, and just after I got this, I also got my very, very awesome Publisher's Weekly Review. They call The September Sisters a "memorable debut novel" and the story "startlingly real." You can click here to read the whole thing.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Time to Read

I sort of have a rule against writing a book and reading a book at the same time. Really, the reason is that I find it too confusing. When I'm writing, my head is totally immersed in my characters and my story -- no room in there for anyone else's. And when I'm reading, I really like to get involved in that story, and think about those characters in the space in between when I reading about them. So yeah, too confusing.

But I've spent most of the past year, writing and revising, non-stop. I've taken a break to read a book or two, here or there. Once I even broke my rule and read a book while I was writing -- but then a character in the book I was reading and a character in the book I was writing were coincidentally both named Stella. Totally confusing. And I ended up having to change the name of the character in my book, just to get away from the image of that other Stella, in the book I was reading. See, even my explanation is confusing.

So right now, I'm printing out a revised draft of my adult novel to send back to my agent tomorrow. I'm also stewing over this new YA novel I just started, and I just happened to glance at the to-read pile on my night table. It's getting ready to topple, and I decided I must take a small break from writing just to begin to tackle it.

Here's what's on top: Up first is The Nightingale by Morgana Gallaway. I met Morgana a few months ago -- she lives just down the road from me -- and strangely enough our debut books both came out in February. Plus, this book looks really interesting, and I feel guilty that I haven't read it yet. Then I've got Freaked by J.T. Dutton -- this one was just released from Harperteen, and I read the first chapter on Amazon and really loved the writing. From there, I've got Goldengrove by Francine Prose (My editor sent this one for Christmas and I'm intrigued -- it looks like it has similar sister themes to The September Sisters), Shelter Me by Juliette Fay (My mom told me this is a must read.), and Life Sentences by Laura Lippman (I read a few really good reviews of this one.) And, in case you're keeping track, I'm still only on page 75 of Wally Lamb's The Hour I First Believed. Yes, I know -- I started this months ago!

So what's in your to-read pile?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Music and Writing

As I've been doing interviews in the past few months for The September Sisters, one question I've been getting a lot is about music, more specifically, what kind of music I listen to while I write. And I've been giving the rather boring answer of none, because I like quiet while I write. Music only distracts me.

But I've been revising my adult book like a crazy women for the past few weeks, and it occurred to me recently that although I don't listen to music while I write, I sometimes do have particular songs in my head while I'm writing. Right now, it's "My Life Would Suck Without You" by Kelly Clarkson -- totally the theme song for the book I'm revising. Which is funny, because it doesn't even necessarily encapsulate what the book is about overall, but the part I've been working on is the relationship between the main character and her husband, and I keep picturing her singing this to herself as I'm working on her dialogue. Weird, huh? Oh, and right now I'm taking a little revising break, but I still can't get the song out of my head.

And speaking of music and American Idols, did anyone else want to cry for poor Alexis at the end of the AI elimination tonight? She so did not deserve to go home yet. Right????

Friday, March 13, 2009

Tucson Festival of Books!

I have my first in-person author appearance and book signing tomorrow, at the Tucson Festival of Books! I'll be doing a panel discussion with the fabulous Janette Rallison and Jill Wolfson at 1:00 PM, called "Finding Inspiration: Writing Books Teens Will Read." Then I'll be signing books, immediately after at 2:00 PM.

If you're in the Tucson area, stop by and see me, and check out the rest of the festival, too, which looks like it's going to be awesome, with 400 authors!!

I'm so excited -- not only do I get to spend the whole day with other authors, readers, and book-lovers, but also my husband is on kid duty all day. One whole day out of the house. By myself. With books. I can't wait!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

And the blog tour continues. . .

I've been having so much fun stopping by other people's blogs for chats and guest posts, that I'm going to extend my unofficial blog tour! I'm lining up dates now for April and May, so if you're interested in getting involved, send me an e-mail: jill@jilliancantor.com . I also have a few more books available for contests AND I've got about 900 very awesome bookmarks lying around, too!

Speaking of contests: It's your last chance to enter to win a signed copy of The September Sisters over at Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf and YA Book Realm, and Kelsey at Reading Keeps You Sane is hosting a contest this week as well!

As for my latest blog tour stops, I'm talking about the evolution of my title (it's a pretty twisty evolution!) over at Reading Keeps You Sane, my love for American Idol over at Shalonda's Blog, and my life as a band geek over at The Not So Closet Geeks (All week is Geek Fest over there, and it's really fantastic, so check it out!).

And American Idol -- awesome tonight, no? Who'd you vote for? I must admit, I voted for six of them! How will I ever decide what to do this year?!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Back to Writing

I know I've been slightly absent from the blog world this week, but earlier in the week it occurred to me, after a few crazy busy post-release days last week, that I had some actual revising to do. Oh yeah. Right! I'm a writer! Funny, how I lost that for a little while in all the swirl of release madness.

So I've spent some time this week dissecting my latest work-in-progress. It's a novel for adults, and after a little time away from it, I'm seeing it with new eyes. My agent read it a few weeks ago, and pointed out that my main character wasn't likeable enough. And now that I'm going through it again, I see exactly what she meant. Which is funny, because when I wrote the first draft, I saw the main character in my head as this really nice person. But now on the page, I see how she's coming across as too cold. I have a habit of doing this, not being able to see my characters for who they really are until someone else points it out to me. I wonder if I'm the only writer that this happens to?

I did have some more release stuff going on this week, too. An interview with The Frenetic Reader and a guest post over at Look at That Book. Next week I'll be participating in Geek Fest over at The Not So Closet Geeks, On the Outside over at Reading Keeps You Sane, and I'll be doing a guest post with Shalonda.

Last night, I went to Barnes and Noble to sign all their stock copies of The September Sisters! So if you're in Tucson, The Barnes and Noble at the Foothills Mall now has signed copies of the book out.

Fellow Novel Girl, Lisa Patton, also sent me this picture of The September Sisters on the shelves at Davis-Kidd bookstore in Nashville. Yay! I'm in Nashville!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Last Chance to Win. . .

A signed copy of The September Sisters (by me!) and A Taste of Magic (by Tracy Madison) over at The Novel Girls. It's easy to enter -- all you have to do is leave a comment on tomorrow's post or any other post from last week. Each comment gets you one entry into the contest.

So stop by the blog and join in the fun. The Novel Girls did some really great interviews with me and Tracy last week -- we even did a fantasy movie casting on Friday!

Friday, February 27, 2009

The September Sisters Book Trailer!!!

Check out this book trailer for The September Sisters, made by the fabulously talented Compulsive Reader! She was so nice to make this for me, and I think she did an awesome job with it, too!

And yesterday, I was featured over at The Story Siren in her Author Tales. She's running a contest with it, too. So check it out!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It's Here! It's Here!

The September Sisters release day, that is! I'm so excited that the book is finally out!!

So far to celebrate, I took the kids to the bakery to get cookies, and then we sat outside (it's 80 degrees here today) and ate them, having what my son dubbed "a cookie book party!"

On the web, I'm blogging over at the Harperteen MySpace page today about how the book was "born." Click here to check it out! And it's Maureen Lipinski's turn to interview me and Tracy Madison over at The Novel Girls! Remember, if you leave a comment on any post all week, you're entered to win a signed copy of The September Sisters or A Taste of Magic.

Hope of Hope's Bookshelf put up a great review of The September Sisters yesterday, and Kelsey over at Reading Keeps You Sane put up another great review today! Hope posted an interview and contest today as well!

And don't forget my contest, which I've linked on the sidebar! I'm eager to hear where you see the book, especially because I have yet to see it in a bookstore myself!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Win a Signed Copy of The September Sisters!

Here's my official contest to celebrate my release day, which is now less than three hours away!! The contest begins now and ends March 15th.

To enter, e-mail me at jill@jilliancantor.com if you see The September Sisters in a bookstore. Let me know which bookstore and in what city you saw it.

If you want two entries into the contest, e-mail me with the above info. plus an actual picture of the book in the store!

I'll pick one winner at random from all the entries to win a signed copy of The September Sisters and some awesome matching bookmarks for you and your friends.

More Ways to Win!

All week The Novel Girls are celebrating both my release of The September Sisters and the release of Tracy Madison's A Taste of Magic. We're also giving away signed copies of both books. All you need to do to enter is comment on a post this week, so stop on over and visit us. The Novel Girls are interviewing both me and Tracy all week, and they've come up with some pretty interesting questions so I think it's going to be a great release week over there!

I've also posted some new contest links on my sidebar - Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf and Book Chic are both giving away signed copies of The September Sisters! I'll have more info. about more contests at more blogs, later in the week, including my very own contest that I'll be hosting right here.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

First Contest

The awesome YA Book Realm put up the first official contest to win a hardcover copy of The September Sisters!! Visit her blog http://www.yabookrealm.blogspot.com/ to find out how to enter or click here for the post about the contest.

More contests coming later in the week and next week!

And check out the awesome "Browse Inside" widget I took from the HarperCollins site -- it's over on the left sidebar!!

One Week!!!!!!!

I am officially one week away from The September Sisters release. ONE WEEK!!! And all of a sudden I'm feeling very busy -- you can find me lots of places in the blogosphere this week.

The Story Siren posted a great review of The September Sisters yesterday, and Lauren from Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf posted an awesome review today.

Book Chic posted a Vlog of himself reading an excerpt from The September Sisters today -- he does a great job reading it! I'm also one of Book Chic's Fresh New Voice of YA authors for the month of February (along with Saundra Mitchell author of Shadowed Summer), so tomorrow he'll be posting a guest blog from me, Thursday an interview, and Friday a review of the book.

YA Book Realm posted a guest blog I wrote about my sister (and check out my sister's comment at the end -- she's so cute!). Friday I'll be taking part in Inspired Fridays over at Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf.

Oh, and the best part -- the contests will be starting soon!! I'll post up the details when I have them, and if you missed anything, I've also linked all my guest blogs/interviews/reviews on my sidebar.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Great Review!

I wanted to share this really great review of The September Sisters posted by BookKids. They called The September Sisters a "MUST pick up" book, and said the book is, ". . . a touching, beautiful story about one girl’s struggle to find love in the rubble left by a whirlwind of unimaginable events. The September Sisters is both tragic and sweet, captured perfectly with Cantor’s striking voice." You can click here to read the whole review.

I poked around their site, and found out that BookKids is the children's section of the largest independent book store in Texas, BookPeople. It looks and sounds so awesome --I'm totally wishing I lived close enough to Austin to go hang out there!

And. . . have you noticed the countdown widget? That's right. Single digits!!! In 9 short days The September Sisters will be released! It recently occurred to me that I should do something on my release day. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Why I heart my copy-edits

Today I got the first round of copy edits for my second book, which is going to be out next winter (2010) from HarperCollins. I promised awhile back, I'd give more details about this book, but lately I've been thinking/talking/writing so much about The September Sisters, that in a strange way I'd almost forgotten about this second book.

Then today, I started looking through it again as I looked at the copy-edits, and I felt this overwhelming rush of emotion. I LOVE this book, and suddenly, I was so excited about it that I couldn't believe I'm going to have to wait a whole other year to see it in print!!

So here's what I can tell you about it now (and more to come in the next few months, I promise.) It's called The Life of Glass, and it follows a 14-year-old girl through her freshman year of high school as she comes to terms with life, love, loss, and what it really means to be beautiful. My editor has written the amazing jacket copy (and as soon as I get the go ahead I'll share it here).

I also realized that although going through copy-edits can sometimes be a little tedious, I am so, so glad for the distraction. The closer it gets to The September Sisters release, the more I alternate between being so excited that I want to scream and so terrified that I'm about to have a panic attack.

Which leads me to the best pre-book release moment of the week, hands down: when I saw the UPS man walking up my front walk carrying a huge box adorned with the HarperCollins logo and packing tape that read "New Release." I think I frightened the poor guy when I started shouting "My books are here! My books are here!" as he handed over the box.

In other book release news, I also have a bunch of cool interviews and guest blogs lined up for the next week when you'll find me at YA Book Realm, Book Chic, 52 Books and 52 Weeks, and Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf. (I'll link the posts on the sidebar when they're up.) And, oh yeah, did I mention, there's gonna be some giveaways involved?! Stay Tuned!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Actual Copies of The Book!!!!

When I opened up my mailbox this afternoon, I had the most amazing surprise -- two early copies of The September Sisters, that my lovely editor was nice enough to send in advance of my author copies, direct from the printer. They are GORGEOUS!! And I spent most of the afternoon staring at them, gushing about how gorgeous they are to anyone who would listen, taking pictures, posting said pictures on Facebook, and then gushing over them again on Facebook. So yeah, not a real productive afternoon. But -- who cares!! I've got real (did I mention gorgeous?) books sitting in front of me. Here I am holding one!

And here I posed them and took some shots of them alone!

What do you think? I think that HarperCollins rocks and did an awesome job with them! I can't wait to see them on an actual shelf in a actual bookstore in a few weeks!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


I put all the blog tour info. up on the left sidebar, so you can see where I'm headed and where I've been. After each post is up, I'm linking directly to the post, so if you want to read my guest blog or interview, just click. Also, if you've e-mailed me and you're not up there, it's just because we haven't confirmed a date yet, so I'll get your link up after we do. I'm having so much fun with the interviews and the guest blogging, so I hope people are enjoying reading them!

In other news, I now have an official Facebook fan page! If you want to join, click here (and it should take you to the site -- I think you have to sign in to join, though.)

I'm also trying to figure out how to use Goodreads, and wondering if I'm the only one that finds it confusing? For some reason it takes me forever to figure out how to do something on there, and I have a hard time finding the people I want to friend. It could be cuz I always seem to be on there late at night when I'm tired! But, hey, if you're on Goodreads, and you've got it figured out, send me a friend request. I love seeing what other people are reading!!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

More Blog Tour News

I've got a lot of stops on my blog tour coming up soon that I'm really excited about!! Here's are some of the confirmed ones (and I've got some others in the works that I'm excited about, too!).

In February, you'll be able to find me at YA Book Realm, TruNerd, 52 Books & 52 Weeks, Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf, Hope's Bookshelf, Book Chic, and The Story Siren. In March you can find me at The Compulsive Reader, Reading Keeps You Sane, The Not-So-Closet-Geeks, and Nocturnal Reviews.

It's not too late to join the tour! If you're interested in participating, e-mail me at jill@jilliancantor.com.

And it's February tomorrow!!! The September Sisters release month is finally here!!!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Blog Tour Begins!

Today I'm kicking off my blog tour with an interview with Stephanie over at Juiciliciousss Reviews. (Actually, it's not really a blog tour as much as a bunch of interviews and guest posts with some very fun book bloggers that I've got lined up in the next few weeks -- but blog tour sounds cooler so I'm sticking with it!) If you want to read the interview click here.

If you want to join in on my blog tour fun by hosting me on your blog with a guest post, interview, author chat, etc. just drop me an e-mail at jill@jilliancantor.com.

And only 26 days till The September Sisters hits bookstores!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Contest Winners!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered the contest! I wish I had ARCs to send to all of you, but unfortunately I don't, so I had to use www.random.org to pick only two of you.

The winners are. . .Kelsey (from Reading Keeps You Sane) and Shalonda.

E-mail me with your addresses and how you'd like the book signed.

The good news is The September Sisters will be out in bookstores in 32 days! One month!! And I'm planning on a contest to give away a signed hardcover copy of the book around that time. So if you didn't win this time, you'll have more chances to win!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Blogging elsewhere. . .

Today I'm blogging over at the Harperteen MySpace page about when I first knew I wanted to be a writer. You can click here to read it -- and if you haven't already, friend me on MySpace while you're there!

Yesterday, I blogged about my grandfather over at The Novel Girls. He was involved in many of my fondest and most embarassing memories, as you can see from the post if you click here.

Only a few days left in my contest. You have until Tuesday to enter, and Wednesday I'll announce the winner!!

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Guest post at The Novel Girls

Over at The Novel Girls today, Maureen Lipinski posted her interview with literary agent, Holly Root. It's a great interview -- especially if you're looking for an agent of your own, or even if you want an insider's take on what's selling right now.

The rest of us are blogging about our embarassing moments this week, so tune in on Thursday for mine. I'm still contemplating what I'm going to write about -- there are so many to choose from, but most I don't think I'm willing to share with the blogosphere!

And don't forget, you have until Jan. 20th to enter my contest.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Six weeks and counting

I've spent the last year thinking of myself as a debut author, and even though The September Sisters isn't even out yet, I got a little taste this week of what it might feel like not to be a debut author any more! I got to see a draft of the jacket copy for my second book, which reminded me that the book was done, in copy-editing, and wow, coming out in another year! (Hopefully, I'll be able to share this jacket copy very soon!).

But I will say that I was especially excited about the part that referred to me as "The author of The September Sisters" and also the spaces on the back cover where the publisher is planning on putting praise for The September Sisters. It made me realize how fast this whole debut thing is going to whirl by, and how I should enjoy it while it lasts, every little bit of it.

At the same time, I also started to feel a little nervous this week for the first time, thinking about upcoming reviews and The September Sisters hitting shelves in only six weeks. I've been so excited about the book's release for so long, that I never expected to feel nervous, like first-day-of school nervous, at that. I wonder if it will always feel this way, or if it's just something debuters feel?

Anyway, I also finished a draft of my new adult novel, printed it, and mailed it off to my agent this week. So by mid-week, I found myself projectless, which meant I actually cleaned my house a little bit and went to bed before midnight a few nights in a row. (I can't remember the last time I've done this.) But okay. That's enough. I'm ready to dig in and start something new. Because really, I just don't feel like myself unless I'm sleep-deprived.

Don't forget, you have until Jan. 20th to enter my contest to win a signed ARC of The September Sisters.

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Contest

I'm having another contest, and I'll be giving away another signed Advanced Review Copy of The September Sisters. There are a few ways to enter, and the more ways you enter, the more chances you get to win.

1.) Post The September Sisters countdown widget on your blog, site, or myspace page. (To get the widget, scroll down the left hand sidebar, and click on "share.") E-mail me at jill@jilliancantor.com to let me know where you've put the widget. Each place gets you one entry into the contest.

2.) Add The September Sisters to your wishlist or to-read list on Goodreads, Shelfari, Librarything, Visual Bookshelf (or any similiar site that I don't even know about. I'm sorta new to all the reading/networking sites!). E-mail me at jill@jilliancantor.com to let me know about any or all the sites where you've added the book. Each one gets you an entry (If you've already added it and you're interested in entering, e-mail me to let me know and I'll enter you in the contest).

3.) Post a link to this contest post on your site or blog, e-mail me to let me know, and you'll get another entry into the contest.

This contest deadline is January 20th, so you've got two weeks! Good luck!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Contest Winner!

I used random.org to randomly select one follower to win a signed ARC of The September Sisters. And the winner is. . .Carol(ina). E-mail me your address and how you'd like the book signed to jill@jilliancantor.com so I can send your copy.

I'm going to have another contest starting next week, so stay tuned for details!