www.marilynbrant.com

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Week of Happy Surprises

It's starting to get very exciting around here...and not *only* because we celebrated my latest trip around the sun with lots and lots of chocolate cake and orange chocolate-chip ice cream! (And, no, I'm not saying exactly when that was or exactly how old I am. Some of you already know the answer to both... :)

However, I have a few other fun tidbits to share and will happily spill every detail: I've been interviewed for two wonderful sites by two lovely people, and both interviews just went up today!

Leah at Chicklit Club posted the first one earlier in the day. Please check it out!

And Brande at Book Junkie posted the second one there. PLUS, Brande and I are having a giveaway! One commenter on her site (name to be drawn on September 25th) will receive an advanced reading copy of According to Jane and a 3-pack of Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew. Why, you ask, is more coffee being given away? Were there extra packets left over from the taste test or something??

Ahhhh...this is the next fun thing! Remember Jason and the surprise Starbucks coffee samples he sent me? (If not, that story and the taste-test adventure that followed is here.) Turns out, Jason, a fellow Chicagoan, has a colleague named Evan, who's based in Seattle... And Evan emailed me recently to ask if I'd consider being part of the Starbucks VIA™ "Beta Tester" program. Since I was already completely sold on the product, this was a blissfully easy decision. "OF COURSE!!" I typed with great enthusiasm.

So, my "Taster's Toolbox" arrived last night, packed with coffee and cool things--it was like a birthday present! I am totally psyched to get to be a part of this project and thrilled to report that the coffee is going to be distributed everywhere in the U.S. and Canada as of September 29th. Again, those who were visiting my blog over the summer know I was already a bit of a VIA™ evangelist, but the North American release of BOTH my debut book AND my favorite coffee-to-go ON THE SAME DAY is just pure awesomeness!

Therefore, everyone who wins a book of mine here in the next month will also get a coffee accompaniment, as will the winners on some of the guest interview sites. I'm planning to give away individual packets at book signings and speaking engagements, too, for as long as my supplies last. For me, it's a pleasure to get to share the coffee with readers and, hey, in a pinch, the little packets work well as bookmarks!

Incidentally, the characters in my first two novels are cheering wildly over this news. A number of them are fanatical coffee drinkers who firmly believe there's no such thing as either too much coffee or too much chocolate. Particularly the three women inhabiting my second book...

Which leads me to the last morsel of good news: Although we are STILL puzzling over the title, I'm happy to say that my editor just approved the final version of the second novel, and it's heading into production!! YAY! (Look for it on 10-01-10. :) It's the first time I wrote a book on a deadline, and it posed a whole new set of writing challenges. But, while the premise and narrative style is rather different from my debut, Book Two's personality is--I believe--a strong and vibrant one. And I'm so, so excited I'll get to share that story with you all next year...

ETA: The fantabulous Lydia Hirt--contributing writer at Beneath the Cover, marketing coordinator for the Penguin Group , and an all-around wonderful person (who also writes funny tweets and has great publishing-industry insight)--surprised me by putting up a review of my book today AND hosting another giveaway... This one with 2 ARCs! So, stop by her blog NovelWhore for a chance to win one!

14 comments:

Pamela Cayne said...

Happy belated birthday first of all--may your year bring you chocolate cake and chocolate-chip ice cream every day!!! Sounds like you're still getting good news to celebrate.

Now, I'm off to mark October 1st, 2010 on my calendar--it'll be even better than 09-09-09!

Pamala Knight said...

Hey! What sneaky girl snuck out of a meeting and THEN didn't let anyone know that there was a birthday lurking?? Hmm....sound like anyone familiar to you Ms. Marilyn??

Okay, I won't fuss anymore, but Happy Belated. We'll definitely have to do a coffee/chocolate/meet in the middle date.

Congratulations on Book Two!! That's such awesome news and it couldn't have happened to a nicer, smarter woman. And I'll definitely head over to read your interviews. Thanks for the heads up.

Marilyn Brant said...

Pamela & Pamala~first of all, thank you both!!!

Pamela~you should know I'm all about the cake and ice cream and would need *no excuse* whatsoever to eat it daily...only, people keep telling me that "sugar is bad" and other such craziness. I assure you, though, there will be multiple forms of chocolate on 9/29 and again next year on 10/01!!

Pamala~I didn't mean to be sneaky or withholding or tiptoe out of the meeting before its end!! The person who was driving me needed to leave a bit early and, considering how little sleep I've been getting, a slightly earlier night was welcome :). And you know I'd love that coffee date with you (!!), just--please--NO singing waiters or waitresses, okay? Eeek.

novelwhore said...

I read your interview with Chicklit Club and immediately realized what I had forgotten in my own ACCORDING TO JANE review - my hope and excitement for a sequel!!!!!!! While I don't know if the undoubtedly happy marriage between Ellie and her Mr. Darcy (I really need to read P&P!) may not be enough fodor, it could be the story of their daughter, and Jane in her mind hmmm? I just want another sequel and more awkward high school-ness!

Not happy with you letting your birthday eek by. I'm eating two huge cookies in your honor.

Robin said...

Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Marilyn! Happy Birthday to you! And many more...

Best wishes! What an exciting year you've got ahead! And I hope it's filled with many more happy surprises! Yay on Book Two!! What awesome news. I think I shall skip for the rest of the day in your honor. ;)

Nadine said...

Happy belated Birthday Marylin!! And congrats on getting approval for your second novel - that's BIG! Ane before your first even hit the bookshelves! In my dreams, I am as organized as you are...

Marilyn Brant said...

NovelWhore/Lydia~one of these days I'm flying to NYC for the sole purpose of locking you in a room with me until you've seen all 6 hours of the BBC production of P&P! (We can order carryout sushi. :) Thanks for the birthday wishes and for eating cookies in my honor. I'm happy to share the sugar!

Robin~oh, a song!! You're so thoughtful. And skipping, too! I want to bottle up your wonderful energy and enthusiasm for when I need it this week. Thanks, hon!

Nadine~Thank you for the b-day wishes! I'd like to say "organization" was at the heart of my meeting my deadline, but "fear of angering the publishing gods" was probably the more accurate motivation :).

Hope everyone reading this has a wonderful weekend!!

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Marilyn! Happy belated birthday!!

And Huge, huge congrats on the acceptance of book two- whew! See, we knew you could do it and you did!!

Hugs, cheers and much luv!

Marilyn Brant said...

Thanks so much, Nancy!! Hope you're having a great weekend :).
xo

Erin said...

Marilyn, I just realized how close you are to your release date. Woohoo! Congratulations :)

Sandra Ferguson said...

Happy Birthday. We don't care how old you are. Okay, maybe we're nosy enough to want to know, but nice enough to not ask. How's that? Many happy returns. And congrats on the Starbucks' appointment award. Keep going, girl and you'll be on TV in an ad. Tell 'em sure, but you only work for advances! (GRIN)

Marilyn Brant said...

Erin~thank you! It's sneaking up on me REALLY fast!! Hope you've been having a good start to the fall (and that you've got a great class this year :-).

Sandra~LOL about the TV ads!! I somehow suspect that won't be happening...although I'll quite happily keep drinking coffee and blogging about it ;). Thanks for the b-day wishes, too!

L.A. Mitchell said...

Happy Birthday!!

I'm so happy things are going great for you, Marilyn. If anyone deserves it, my dear, it is you. I can't wait to read them both :)

Marilyn Brant said...

Thanks so much, L.A. I appreciate all your good wishes ;).