Jun22, 2016 |
Filed in:Book Release
The JINN Series in GIFs
I love Game of Thrones. LOVE. IT. I will be heartbroken when this season comes to an end, but will eagerly await the next book from George R.R. Martin (and it’s okay, I will wait . . . great books take time!).
As an homage to my favorite fandom, what better way to tell the story of Becoming Jinn and Circle of Jinn as a series than through #GoT gifs?
(And, yeah, maybe it’s simply an excuse to Google photos of Kit Harrington. And…you’re welcome, BTW.)
The JINN series is a modern spin on the traditional tale of wish-granting genies. It follows Azra from the day she wakes up on her sixteenth birthday and is forced to start granting wishes for humans.
She has to keep her identity hidden from the humans she lives among.
She has to answer to someone else.
She has never met her father.
She hates that.
So she rebels.
There are strong friendships.
A love story.
A mystery surrounding her powers.
A responsibility greater than Azra realized.
A fearlessness and strength we all knew she possessed…
That Azra will come to learn . . . so that, in the end, justice will be hers.
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| TAGS:azra, battle of the bastards, Becoming Jinn, Game of thrones
I’m a big fan of “Fixer Upper” on HGTV. So when I shout out “It’s Release Day!” I’m channeling Chip Gaines’s enthusiasm for “It’s Demo Day!”
As I said in my acknowledgments for the book, becoming an author is a (relatively) new dream of mine. Accomplishing it with Azra, Henry, Nate, and everyone else in the Becoming Jinn series has made that dream not just a reality, but one I’ve enjoyed more than I ever thought I would.
When readers tell me or write to me that they love these characters and these books, it’s sometimes hard for me to believe. That characters who live in my mind, who I’ve spent more than three years with, could mean that much to other people . . . well, it astounds me. And it makes all of this worth it. I am proud of these books and grateful for all the doors they’ve opened for me, especially the new friends I’ve made, readers and authors alike.
This release day post is a thank you to everyone who has supported me on this journey. I hope you enjoy reading the conclusion to Becoming Jinn as much as I enjoyed writing it.
There’s still time to get in on the preorder/release week giveaway. Swag, critiques, and more. Check it all out here.
I’ll be doing some events in support of Circle of Jinn. If you are near (or like to drive), I’d love to see you! Full list on my events page, including launches at Trident Booksellers in Boston on May 19 and Porter Square Books in Cambridge on June 3 with Jen Malone.
To be the first to know about any and all events, giveaways, contests, and new book news, signup for my sporadic (I promise!) newsletter. Signed up on the bottom of my contacts page or send me an email.
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| TAGS:Becoming Jinn, Circle of Jinn, Porter Square Books, Trident
Mar20, 2016 |
Filed in:Contests and Giveaways
CIRCLE OF JINN releases in just two short months (eep!)!
I’m celebrating by offering special JINN prize packs, with a little help from my friends.
Every day this week, an author or blogger friend will be offering a JINN prize pack on Twitter. All you need to do to enter to win is RT the graphic.
Yup, that’s it!
One little RT and you’re entered to win a box of cool stuff. And as if that’s not enough, my friends at YA Books Central are running a JINN prize pack giveaway on their Web site starting today through April 1.
What’s in the prize pack? Glad you asked:
* Either 1 ARC of CIRCLE OF JINN (these have gone fast so this is a rare chance to get your hands on one!) or 1 copy of the hosting author’s book (noted below)
* 1 infinity necklace (just like the Jinn sisters in the book have)
* 1 Jinn swag pack featuring signed bookmarks, temporary tattoos, and a Becoming Jinn wristband
* Sneak peek at either the first chapter of CIRCLE OF JINN or exclusive bonus content
Watch the following authors and bloggers on the following days for your chance to win:
* Monday, March 21: Fiktshun @fiktshun (win an ARC of CIRCLE OF JINN)
* Tuesday, March 22: Anna Banks @ByAnnaBanks (win a preorder of the epic new series NEMESIS)
* Wednesday, March 23: Gretchen McNeil @GretchenMcNeil (win an ebook of RELIC and a preorder of I’M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL)
* Friday, March 25: Victoria Aveyard @VictoriaAveyard (win a copy of GLASS SWORD)
And right now, you have a chance to catch up on the series, or visit it again on your e-reader, at a super sale rate. The ebook of BECOMING JINN is just $2.99 across all e-retailers (only through April 4 so hurry).
Get your $2.99 e-book of BECOMING JINN by visiting any of the following links:
And while you’re downloading, add the FREE e-short story, GENIUS OF JINN, a prequel to BECOMING JINN, available now.
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| TAGS:anna banks, Becoming Jinn, Circle of Jinn, ebook deal, Fiktshun, gretchen mcneil, martina boone, victoria aveyard, victoria scott, YA books central
As some of you may have heard, I had a book release this year. I achieved a dream I didn’t even know I had until a few years ago. Yet that dream had clearly been lifting some heavy weights in the back of my mind for a long time, because when it made itself known, it dug in, fingernails in the side of a cliff style, and refused to let go.
I started writing Becoming Jinn in the fall of 2012, found my agent in the winter of 2013, and sold the two-book Jinn series to Macmillan in the spring of 2013. In the publishing world, that’s relatively fast. But that’s not the whole story.
I’d veered away from my journalism background to spend my days with fictional people about three years before that. During those three years, I wrote (and rewrote and rewrote and rewrote) a manuscript that I now refer to as my own personal MFA in creative writing.
For those counting at home, that’s five years. I’d been dreaming of, hoping for, eagerly awaiting the release of my debut novel for more than five years (still a relatively short span in the world of publishing).
But for me, for most of us, five years is a long time. Expectations build. Hopes form. Desires develop into bigger, stronger, and meatier dreams.
Can anything live up? The honest answer as I look back on this year that will forever be known as “Azra’s year” is yes. And no. Some days more of the former and some days more of the latter.
Writing a book is hard. Getting a book published is even harder. And getting that book into readers’ hands is even harder still. I’ve worked harder this year than I ever have: in physical punching the time clock hours and in mental thinking/worrying/planning for physical punching the time clock hours.
This year has been exciting and exhausting in equal parts. The reason this all started–the desire to tell a story–was replaced by trains, planes, book festivals, conferences, events, school visits, blog posts, marketing initiatives, giveaways, and promotions.
I met amazing people.
I made lifelong friends.
I visited new towns and cities.
I did things I never thought I’d do.
I loved every minute.
I learned every minute.
And maybe, just maybe, in there were a few minutes I wouldn’t choose to repeat. Because, again, this is hard. Expectations build. Hopes form. Desires develop into bigger, stronger, and meatier dreams.
And that’s okay. Ambitions are good. Working hard for what you want is good. Doing what you love is great. Challenging yourself is even better. And I’ve done all of those things. As a kid whose voice trembled when she was asked to answer a question in class and who fought the urge to pee her pants when she was forced to stand in front and give an oral report, I’m pretty damn proud of the woman I’ve become this year. I’ve spoken in front of groups of 200 high school students and festival crowds of forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, and more. I’ve taught writing workshops to groups big and small. No one was more shocked than I was to discover not just that I could do it, but that I wanted to do it. That I enjoyed doing it. That I want to do more.
And yet, at my final event of the year at a library panel in Massachusetts with five other YA authors, when an audience member asked us about our New Year’s Resolutions, almost all of us (all 2014 or 2015 debuts) stated some version of regaining balance in our lives. Because we love what we do–perhaps too much. From eating better while on deadline, to limiting work travel to two weekends a month, to rediscovering hobbies, to my own “enjoy everything more.”
As this year comes to a close, I’ve realized I was a bit clairvoyant in writing Becoming Jinn. More and more, I’ve come back to advice Azra gets from her best friend, Laila: “Focusing on what we can’t have takes away from what we can have. What we do have.”
Sound advice for writers. Sound advice for anyone.
Advice I’ll keep in mind when the sequel, Circle of Jinn, releases this year.
2015 by the numbers:
Bookstore and Library Events/
Writing Workshops: 24
Book Festivals and Conferences: 15
Book Clubs and School Visits: 6
States Visited: 12
With Rainbow Rowell (Carry On) at Books by the Banks in Cincinnati; with Megan Miranda (Soulprint), Courtney Stevens (The Lies About Truth), Paige Crutcher, John Parke Davis and Carrie Ryan (The Map to Everywhere; Daughter of Deep Silence) at the SC Book Festival; with Jen Brooks (In A World Just Right) and Trisha Leaver (The Secrets We Keep) at the Boston Teen Author Festival; with Macmillan authors Anna Banks (Joyride), Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows), Jessica Brody (Unremembered) after the Boston Teen Author Festival; with authors Nicola Yoon (Everything, Everything), Kerry Kletter (The First Time She Drowned), Michelle Levy (Not After Everything), and Charlotte Huang (For the Record) in Los Angeles; with Virginia Boecker (The Witch Hunter), Kim Liggett, and Lee Kelly (City of Savages), at Kim’s launch for Blood and Salt; post Southern Festival of Books, Nashville, dinner with authors (from left to right) Christina Farley, Lynne Matson, Kathryn Holmes, Jennifer E. Smith, Julie Murphy, Cammie McGovern, Courtney C Stevens, Vivi Barnes and Amy Christine Parker.
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| TAGS:Becoming Jinn, Circle of Jinn
Dec14, 2015 |
Filed in:Contests and Giveaways
It’s been a wild and crazy 2015 with the release of BECOMING JINN and the finalizing of the sequel, CIRCLE OF JINN (releasing May 17, 2016). To celebrate and help make your holiday season a bit more Jinn-like, I’m giving special book jewelry to all orders of new copies of BECOMING JINN and preorders of CIRCLE OF JINN purchased in the month of December. Simply email me a copy of your receipt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You’ll get one of these: either an infinity necklace like the Jinn in the book wear or a genie charm bracelet or necklace.
And, if you’d prefer, you can opt for a query or first page critique instead (this offer is ongoing–not just for December!).
Happy Holidays from me and Azra!
As a special bonus, here’s a holiday-themed excerpt from the beginning of BECOMING JINN. In it, the main character, Azra, is comparing herself and her best Jinn friend, Laila.
Excerpt from BECOMING JINN:
Though our birthdays are less than two months apart, Laila has always seemed younger. Her being short—and anything under five feet, four inches is short for a Jinn—doesn’t help that. That’ll likely change when she gets her bangle. But she’s also seemed younger because she’s so eager. She’s been excited for her sixteenth birthday as far back as I can remember.
One December, when we were ten, we were celebrating Christmas. We celebrate all the religious holidays on a rotating basis. Some years it’s Christmas, some years it’s Hanukah, some years it’s Kwanzaa, some years it’s Las Posadas (my favorite because it involves whacking piñatas), and so on. But that year, it was Christmas’s turn. Our moms were huddled together in front of the fire having one of their marathon talks, and Laila and I were rearranging the decorations on the tree.
Laila tore off a piece of the silver tinsel and broke it in half. She tied one strand around my wrist and the other around her own. “There,” she said, “now you grant my wish, and I’ll grant yours.”
She wanted me to pretend first. Not because she wanted to make a wish so badly but because she wanted me to get the chance to grant one first. She was being her usual kind, generous self, letting me be the first to role-play as a genie. To Laila, being able to grant a wish was far more of a thrill than being able to make one.
Six years later, this fact still separates us. The only thing that’s changed is my need to pretend. Now I can actually grant wishes. Somehow, everything I’ve done today makes this prospect more, not less, frightening.