The Princess in the Opal Mask Blog Tour!

It’s hard to believe, but The Princess in the Opal Mask releases this week, which means…it’s time to kick-off the blog tour! Listed below are some stops where you can read reviews, catch some interviews with me, and learn some interesting tidbits like what music I listened to while I wrote the book. Also along the way there will be chances to win copies of the book!

The-Princess-In-The-Opal-Mask-Book Blog Tour

October 22nd: Swoony Boys Podcast will be hosting a review, as well an interview with me wherein I discuss why I like fairy-tales and my secret Hunger Games wish!

October 23: Check out Jeanz Book Read N Review for an exclusive excerpt of The Princess in the Opal Mask.

October 24: Head over to Read-A-HolicZ for a review.

October 25: the lovely Mundie Moms will post their review.

October 28: Check out A Dream Within a Dream to find out my top ten favorite novels as well as another review of Princess. Meanwhile, Imaginary Reads will also post their review!

October 29: The Eater of Books will post their review.

October 30: Jump over to Refracted Light Reviews for a review and interview with me.

October 31: Happy Halloween! Hop on over to Book-A-Holic for my guest post on the inspiration behind The Princess in the Opal Mask.

November 4: Laurisa White Reyes will post my playlist for The Princess in the Opal Mask.

November 5: Nicole Sobon will post her review.

November 6: Bibliophilia, Please and The Book Monsters will post their review.

November 7: Head over to Paperback Princess for her review!

November 8: And finally, head over to Fire & Ice where I discuss my writing journey, and why I think the word “Someday” is a dream killer.

Don’t forget, there will be chances to win a copy of the book, and be sure to stop back here on Tuesday for a special release day giveaway I’ve planned!

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A Recap of NCIBA in San Francisco

Last week I was so privileged to be invited to the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association trade show. Along with other authors, I was asked to sign books at the very end of this two-day event. Being that it was in San Francisco though, it made perfect sense to turn this business trip into an overnight tax write-off  date with my husband! Enjoy some photos.

jenny lundquist author princess in the opal mask - 6

This was actually the very first time I saw finished copies of The Princess in the Opal Mask. I love how the books turned out!

jenny lundquist author princess in the opal mask - 7

This is what the map of Kyrenica and Galandria looks like (these are the two kingdoms in my book).

jenny lundquist author princess in the opal mask - 5

It was so much fun to mingle with different book sellers and meet other authors too. I even ran into the owner of Face in a Book my favorite indie store. Toward the end of the signing session I was able to walk around the room and get some books autographed by other authors. I was especially excited to pick up Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney.

jenny lundquist author princess in the opal mask - 10

To top it all off, my husband and I tooled around the city the next morning and ended up going by my favorite coffee shop in SF (Caffe Greco) and then Baker Beach. Just know that if you ever go to this beach, you’ll see some incredible views of The Golden Gate Bridge, but the closer you get to bridge, you just might see some people who don’t believe in wearing bathing suits. We didn’t know it was a nude beach, which made the whole experience pretty funny. The naked dude chatting on his cell phone was particularly hilarious!

Thanks for letting me share. In a couple of weeks I’ll have info up for The Princess in the Opal Mask Blog Tour as well as details for a fun release day giveaway. So stay tuned!

Has anything exciting happened in your life over the past week?

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The Princess In The Opal Mask Book Launch!!!

I can’t believe it, but The Princess in the Opal Mask releases in just over a month! I’ll be doing a launch party at Barnes & Noble in Citrus Heights on Saturday, October 26 from 1-3pm. If you’re free, come on by! This will also be a fundraiser for the Folsom Cordova Education Foundation, so any proceeds (up to 25%) goes to kids in the FCUSD. There will also be a MASK CONTEST, and the winner will get a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card. You can RSVP on Facebook if you wish or just show up. Thank you for your support! It means so much to me.

The Princess In The Opal Mask Book Launch

I’ll post some more details about the mask contest soon. Just know masks are completely optional, but definitely encouraged. For now here is my family doing some mask shopping last week. This is too good.

The Princess in The Opal Mask - Mask Contest - Family Trying on Masks

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My Fall Bucket List

Let me be the first to welcome you to the fall!

I know the calendar says we still have a few weeks before autumn officially starts, but in my book, fall starts the day after Labor Day. Summer vacations are over, school supplies are packed in shiny new backpacks, the kids are heading back to school, and life settles into a less chaotic routine (Or so we parents like to hope.)

fall bucket list - by jenny lundquist

I don’t know about you, but I always get a burst of energy around this time, and start thinking about all the things I want to do before the holiday season sets in. But, being the disorganized individual that I am, I usually end up accomplishing less than half of them. So this year I thought I’d list out all the ways I want to celebrate fall by coming up with a fall “bucket list.” So here it is!

1. Visit a pumpkin patch
2. Visit Dixon’s corn maze
3. Roast pumpkin seeds
4. Make chili
5. Watch E.T. and eat Reese’s Pieces
6. Make pumpkin muffins
7. Begin and finish revising the sequel to The Princess in the Opal Mask
8. Go to the Harvest Festival at my kid’s school
9. Drink pumpkin pie coffee
10. Make pumpkin bisque
11. Make leaf lanterns
12. Carve pumpkins
13. Host a neighborhood dinner on Halloween.
14. Play Pumpkin Ball on Nov 1st (My husband and I invite the neighborhood kids to bring their mushy leftover pumpkins to our house and practice their free throw skills by tossing them into our trash cans. Warning: Do not attempt this at home if you don’t like messy front lawns.)
15. Get fit by donating $1 for every pound I lose to Project680.
16. Bake Thanksgiving cookies for our neighbors.

Those are my goals for this fall. What about you? Have anything you’d really like to do in the next few months?

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Cover and ARCs for The Princess in the Opal Mask

A few weeks ago the cover and synopsis for The Princess in the Opal Mask was officially revealed on the Mundie Moms. But if you didn’t get a chance to see it, here it is!

The Princess in The Opal Mask - 600One Legend Determines the Fate of Two Lives

In the faraway village of Tulan, sixteen-year-old Elara has spent her entire life as a servant, trying to track down her real name. The name she was given before being orphaned. Meanwhile, in the kingdom of Galandria, Princess Wilhamina does not know why her father, the king, makes her wear a mask. Or why she is forbidden to ever show her face.

When a new peace treaty between Galandria and Kyrenica is threatened, Elara and Wilha are brought face to face. Told in alternating perspectives, this intricate fairytale pulls both girls toward secrets that have been locked away behind castle doors, while the fate of two opposing kingdoms rests squarely on their untrained shoulders.

What do you think? Beautiful, right?

(Preorder a copy of the book here.)

ARC’s are now available, so any bloggers interested in reading/reviewing it should check out my ARC Requests tab for instructions on receiving an ARC. Please specify if you prefer print or e-arcs.

For everyone else, I am also currently giving away two ARC’s on Goodreads.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer!

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Featured in Sacramento Parent Magazine!!

Life has been pretty busy lately. With summer well underway I’ve been splitting time between caring for my boys and working on the sequel to The Princess in the Opal Mask, which I have given the working title, Opal 2 (I’m a genius, I know). But I wanted to take a minute to tell you that I have been featured in Sacramento Parent Magazine in an article entitled “Rewriting Middle School” for their July 2013 issue. I am so honored. Thank you friends for your constant support on my creative journey. Thank you also to any magazine readers who found your way here. Let me know if you have any questions, and hope you are enjoying your summer!

Jenny Lundquist Author in Sacramento Parent Magazine

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True Confession Tuesday: Plastic Polly and Mama Guilt

True Confession Tuesday is where I occasionally post about the things I think or do–but rarely admit to.

In Plastic Polly there’s a small subplot between Polly’s mom and Mrs. Huff, the mother of one of Polly’s classmates. The tension between the two characters can best be summed up by this passage in the book:

When we were in Winston’s elementary section, Mrs. Huff was president of the PTA. Once, she sent home a note saying it would be nice if the parents who didn’t regularly volunteer gave the other mothers a break, and would Mom mind handling the decorations for the class Christmas party?

Mom, possessed with more determination than I saw when she studied for the bar exam, decided she’d show prissy Mrs. Huff she could make decorations just like any other mother…pg 74

Here’s my True Confession: Those two characters are me having an argument with myself.

Like Polly’s mom, I had a dream and went after it. She wanted to be a lawyer; I wanted to become a published author. Like her, I’m now busy with work and on my phone a lot. (True Story: Recently, I drove my son and his friend on the class field trip to the local museum, then spent the entire time during the tour on my phone, desperately trying to catch up on email. At the end of it, my slightly irritated 9YO said, “So, did you actually HEAR anything the lady said?”)

But like Mrs. Huff, I really want to be involved. Hey, I drove on the field trip in the first place, didn’t I? (But unlike her, I don’t go around making other women feel bad about the choices they’ve made.)

If I’m really honest, this part of Plastic Polly came from me working through my own “Mama Guilt” of feeling like I’m somehow lacking because I’m not the mom who plans crafts or brings home-made cupcakes to class. (But I’m always willing to buy the best that Bel Air has to offer!)

I’ve since come to a healthier place, and recognize that writing gives my life, and my family, so many things, but I admit that there are still some days that I struggle. Ultimately, I hope that one day my kids, like Polly, will be able to say, “[My mom] is passionate and smart, and every day she shows me it’s possible to have a dream, go after it, and make it come true.” (pg 194)

So that’s my True Confession for the day. What’s yours? Do you ever struggle with a work/life balance?

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True Confession: Why ‘Good Enough’ is More Than Enough for me

In my latest book, my main character Polly tries to tailor her personality to fit others’ expectations of how a popular girl should dress and act; behavior that’s earned her the nickname PLASTIC POLLY. Polly starts off each chapter with a “True Confession,” something real about herself that she rarely (if ever) shares with anyone else.

I’ve decided to share a few of my own “True Confessions,” which means occasionally I’ll attempt to bust out of my introvertedness and post things from my world that I normally don’t share. So…*takes a deep breath* here goes…

True Confession: I live in the land of “Good Enough”

Like everyone else, my life is FULL. Some of my friends are quite capable of balancing family life and careers, keeping their homes spotless, and throwing elaborate pinteresty birthday parties for their children. But I’m not, and I probably never will be.

Instead, I live in the land of Good Enough. This means that I somehow manage to get dinner on the table most nights of the week; but oftentimes “dinner” at my house means toast and scrambled eggs. I go grocery shopping, but I can’t remember the last time I ever cleaned out my freezer (Do people actually do that?)

I make not-frequent-enough attempts to clean my bathrooms, but I’m “done” far sooner than most people I know. It doesn’t need to be spic-n-span, it just needs to be “good enough.” My kids birthday parties are cakes  from Costco while they play with their friends in our backyard. And as far as I’m concerned, Pinterest is just a tool for me to use for writing. (I actually have a board for The Princess in the Opal Mask here if you want to check it out). As I write this, I just remembered that I have a pile of laundry that’s been sitting in the dryer for two days. Which means my clothes are probably really wrinkled, and, since Ironing is on my list of Things I Don’t Do, I’ll probably have to rewash them.

Here’s the reality for me: If I opted for “Good” instead of “Good Enough” then Not Enough would get done. I have books to write, deadlines to hit, kids who want to be snuggled, and a husband who would actually like to see me sometimes. My agent, editors, kids, husband, and friends could all care less what my house looked like yesterday or today. They just need me to show up in the places that are most important to them.

Unless I’m ever finally successful in learning how to clone myself, there’s simply never going to be enough ‘me’ to go around to meet all the demands of my current life. The best I can do is focus on what’s truly important (loving my family, loving God, and writing the best books I possibly can) and be okay if my life doesn’t look like a shiny, sparkly Pinterest board. The big things will get done. The smaller things, well…they’ll just have to wait.

And for right now, that’s Good Enough.

What about you? Do you opt for Good, or Good Enough? If it’s Good Enough, what do you let slide?

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Thank you for the Amazing Plastic Polly Launch Party

Today I have a great video to share of the Plastic Polly launch party from last weekend, but first I need to announce the winner for last week’s giveaway. Ahem, drumroll, please. And the winner is: Heidi Grange! Heidi, I’ll be in touch soon and will head to the post office this week to drop the books in the mail.

Okay, Launch party. I had an amazing time over the weekend and I wanted to give a wholehearted thank you to everyone who came on Saturday. Out of all the things you could have done on such a beautiful day, I am humbled that you came to mingle and pick up my book.

This is a very quick 2-minute video recap of the signing. If you were there, did you make it in the video? If you subscribe by email or RSS, click here to watch directly on YouTube.

Loved & Spoiled: My husband surprised me by buying t-shirts for family members and a ton of friends. The shirts said “I <3 #plasticpolly”, and it was so special to see 20+ friends and family sporting them.

Plastic Polly Book Launch Party

Some Launch Highlights: I had so many favorite moments during the launch, but here are just a few of them.

  1. Two very sweet girls made cupcakes, and they even put red hots on the cupcakes in the shape of a “P” in honor of Callie, the main character in my first book Seeing Cinderella, who loves red hots. Thank you girls. That really made my day and means so much to me.
  2. Loved the T-shirts!
  3. I had ten family members drive 400 miles one-way to come to the launch. You know who you are. Thank you.
  4. It was so sweet to talk with some of my younger readers. It’s moments like these that make writing so rewarding. Older readers of course rock too!!
  5. Barnes & Noble was extremely hospitable. Their staff is truly amazing. They even bought me a drink at Starbucks (it’s the small things). I love that they allowed the launch to be a benefit for the Folsom Cordova foundation too. Kudos to B&N. It’s nice to partner with a bookstore who shares similar charitable interests.
  6. It was so good to see each and every person and to visit briefly with friends and strangers alike. I could go on and on to list so many conversations and specific ways I felt encouraged and supported by so many.

Plastic Polly Book Launch Party

Can I mention one more thing? I loved the #plasticpolly hashtag on Saturday that was springing up on Twitter. Too cool.

Plastic Polly on Twitter

Thank you again to everyone who came out for the book launch. It means a lot that you took time out of your busy day to swing by the bookstore to show support. On top of that, I so appreciate those who have shared about the book online too. I don’t take it for granted to be showered with such support, and I count myself as very blessed.

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Plastic Polly Releases Today (with a 2-book Giveaway)

Today Plastic Polly releases out into the world! It’s my sophomore novel, which makes me think of my sophomore year of high school, which inevitably reminds me of all the time I spent driving around in my friend’s car listening to Nirvana, but that’s another story…

It’s a surreal feeling to walk into a bookstore and find not one, but TWO books with my name on the shelves. It’s a blessing, and not one that I take for granted.

Plastic Polly and Seeing Cinderella Book Giveaway by Jenny LundquistI plan to celebrate with friends and family this weekend at the launch party, but for today, I’m offering up a copy of Plastic Polly AND Seeing Cinderella to one lucky winner.

The Giveaway: I like to keep things simple, so to enter just drop a comment below telling me something you remember from your sophomore year in high school (or whatever school memory you’d like to share if you haven’t reached the tenth grade yet). The giveaway closes at midnight on Tuesday, March 26th, and I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday, March 27th.

Thank you everyone for your encouragement and friendship. I definitely worked hard to write this book, but I couldn’t do this without the love and support of so many. Sincere thanks everyone.

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