Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Libraries Are Sexy

....but I don't have to tell you that. Chances are, if you are reading htis, you are a reader, which means you (hopefully) love books. And what is more sexy than a building full of books?

Nothing.

Which is why Lissa's work place, a library, seemed like the perfect place for a forbidden, sexy kiss.

So today I bring you another SHUT OUT excerpt. Fair warning, this may be a bit spoilery, so LOOK AWAY if you don't want any spoils! But I tried to reduce the spoiling as much ass possible.

Today's excerpt is one a sexy, sexy library with a sexy, sexy boy. Why am I showing you this scene? Because if you stay tuned on twitter today (and my Facebook fan page, and I'll update this post later) you'll see that Vania at VLC Photo decided we should do two extra scenes from the book. Of course, I OBVIOUSLY chose to do scenes with cute boys. So after reading the excerpt today, I hope you'll watch out for the sneak peaks!

So, a little set up for the teaser. I told you Lissa is dating Randy. Well, there's a problem. She's dating Randy, but she has a pull toward Cash. Always has. And a history with him she'd rather forget. But working in close quarters with him at tte library? A SEXY PLACE? Things get interesting. . .

For one thing, this happens . . .



“Nice job leading the girls the other night.”

I was crouched down in the floor of the reference section, alphabetizing the encyclopedias, when I heard Cash’s voice behind me. Startled, I jumped and smacked the top of my head against the shelf with a loud thwack.

“Augh,” I groaned.

“Oh, shit. Lissa, are you okay?” He knelt down and turned me to face him, his eyebrows pinched over concerned green eyes that made me forget the throbbing pain in my skull—but only for a second. “Do you need me to get an icepack or something?”

“No, it’s fine, but you have got to stop sneaking up on me,” I hissed through clenched teeth. “God, that hurt.”

“I’m so sorry,” Cash said. Before I could stop him, he reached out and cupped a hand over the back of my head, his fingers gently stroking the place where my skull had collided with the wooden shelf. “That was an accident.”


...and then, a few minutes later, this happens.

We stared at each other for a long, long time. Then Cash’s hand slid down from my head to the back of my neck, and he gently pulled me toward him. It was like a slow motion scene in a movie. I had plenty of time to turn my head, to jerk away, to say “stop,” but I didn’t move, didn’t speak, didn’t breathe. Instead, I watched his head lower toward mine and felt his free hand fall on my knee. My eyes shut, and I managed a quick, anxious gasp of air.

And then Cash Sterling kissed me.

My heart raced as Cash’s lips moved over mine. I opened my mouth to his as my arms wrapped around his neck. His hand slid up my thigh and came to rest on my hip. I felt his finger curl into the belt loop of my jeans, tugging me a little closer to him. I moved forward willingly, eagerly, needing to be next to him, to touch him.

My body was riddled with electric shocks as his kisses grew more intense. My fingers twisted in his short, brown hair, pulling him into me. I’d never felt like this, like I wanted to climb into another person’s skin. Like I wanted every inch of him to touch every inch of me, to twine myself around him and never let go. I’d never kissed anyone this way.

Not even Randy.

My skin was on fire as we pressed in closer to each other. I found myself climbing into Cash’s lap, straddling his hips as his hands slid to the small of my back, pulling me toward him.

“Oh my God, are you kidding me?”

Cash’s mouth jerked away from mine as Jenna’s voice ripped through the heated silence. It took me a minute to catch my breath, and I blushed, realizing the delicate position I’d gotten myself into. I scurried out of Cash’s lap, straightening my slightly twisted t-shirt and running my fingers through my hair.

“Nice, Lissa,” she snapped when I tentatively looked up at her. “Didn’t I warn you about getting into this?”



Jenna, by the way, is Lissa's co-worker and sort-of-but-not-really boss. Uh-oh. Busted guys!

So what did you think? Are you looking forward to seeing the Sexy Library Scene? I am. Might need to get my sun block out, though. Things might be getting a tad hot!

The scene will premier at 6pm tonight! (That's EST!) So keep an eye on twitter, kids. And I"ll link it other places, too. Lots of smooches ahead!


UPDATE

As promised, here's the sexy library clip! Warning: this may leave scorch marks.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Shut Out Trailer - Teaser Day 5 - Cash!

Hello all!

So today I introduced to you the last of the major players in SHUT OUT. Today, I bring you, Cash.

So Cash Sterling . . . He's attractive, he's sweet, and he's a soccer player - which means he's Randy's mortal enemy. The trouble is, Lissa has a little history with Cash that makes things . . . well, complicated. But we'll get to that later. First, I'd like you to meet Mr. Sterling.

One minute I was clearing off my tray and returning it to the rack, thinking of how quiet the library would be, and the next I’d spun around—without checking behind me, of course—and slammed into something hard. For a second I was totally dazed, the top of my head pounding from the impact with something very solid. When my senses came back, I realized that the thing my head had hit was Cash’s chin, and the only reason I was still standing was because one of his arms had wrapped quickly around my waist, keeping me from falling backward into the trash cans.

I knew it was him without even looking up. I blushed, embarrassed by the way I knew his scent. Hating that I remembered.

“You okay?” he asked in his bass voice.

I pulled away from him, hurriedly putting a few feet of space between us. “I’m fine.”

Cash was still rubbing his chin where we’d collided. “Sorry. I didn’t even see you.”

“It’s no big deal,” I told him, pretending I didn’t care if he noticed me or not. “But you shouldn’t stand so close behind people. Maybe remember personal bubbles next time or . . . or something.”

He shook his head, half laughing, and ran a hand over his buzzed brown hair. “Personal bubbles, huh?”

I almost laughed, too. Wow, that really had sounded lame. But I forced myself to keep a straight face, to stay cool and aloof. Cash Sterling would not make me smile. I wouldn’t let him.

“Yes,” I said stiffly. “It’s, like, a three-foot radius for most people.”

He smiled, his green eyes crinkling at the corners. “Would it surprise you if I mentioned that I barely passed geometry?”

“Oh,” I said. “Well, a radius is the distance from any part of a circle’s perimeter to the direct center of the circle. It’s half the diameter. So if a circle is six feet across the middle, the radius is three feet and . . .” And I was rambling. I shifted my feet and took a breath. “And I got an A in geometry.”

“I’m not surprised,” he said. “Seems like I should have hired you as a tutor, huh?”

“I doubt even I could have saved you if radii are beyond your comprehension.” The joke slipped out before I realized it.

“True,” he said, stepping a little closer to me. “But if I’d been smart enough to hire you, maybe I would have been smart enough to learn the material.”

I was fighting off a smile when I saw Randy coming up behind Cash. That killed the smile. And in a weird way, I was grateful. It made me uncomfortable to be so comfortable around Cash.


Cash, Cash, Cash . . . Oh, man, I kind of adore him. And here's a teaser of his role in the Shut Out book trailer!



Vania from VLC Photo and I will be tweeting more Cash teasers throughout the day, and we'll also be giving away a signed print, like we have the last few days. All you have to do is tweet @VLC_Photo and me (@Kody_Keplinger) using the #ShutOutTrailer hashtag and tell us your favorite literary love interest! (Mine is Mr. Darcy!)

And, just a heads up, tomorrow we won't be doing just a photo teaser - tomorrow we're doing the reveal of a secret scene.

That's all I'll say for now, but let's just say it (and the excerpt that go with it) are pretty hot. So stay tuned!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Shut Out Trailer - Teaser Day 4 - Randy!


Good morning all!

Well, the storm has passed here, and all in NYC is (mostly) well. There was some flooding and definitely some damage, but I have to say, I am so, so amazed by the way people come together during a crisis. There's this stigma that New Yorkers are cold, mean people, and that is so, so not true. In a time when chaos could have ensued, crime went down, people were helpful, and everyone stuck together. Just going to the grocery store for food was amazing because our neighbors were talking with us, joking around, and swapping "how we'll spend the next few days" plans. I love this city, and I'm so glad Irene do too much damage to it.

As for the rest of New England, I hope you are all safe and well!

And with Irene over, it's time for me to get to some serious planning. SHUT OUT releases one week from today (eep!) and the book trailer, which I've been telling you guys about, premiers Friday! So, once again, I bring you a sneak peek of both the book and the trailer. Today, you guys get to meet Lissa's boyfriend, Randy.

Here goes:

I opened the door for him as he made his way up the front steps. “Hey, babe,” he said, leaning in to kiss me.

I let his lips brush mine for just a moment before pulling back.

“Still mad?” he asked.

“Not mad. Frustrated, remember?”

Randy ran his fingers down my arm, lowering his voice so Dad and Logan wouldn’t hear. “I can un-frustrate you if you want.”

I swatted him away, my whole body stiffening at his touch. “You sure you won’t be too busy cleaning your windshield?”

“I’m never too busy for you, baby.”

“You were last night.”

He tilted his head to the side, batting his long, perfect eyelashes at me. “You’ll forgive me. I know you will.”
“We’ll see.” I meant it to be teasing, but it came out sounding cold.
“You always do!” he called over his shoulder as he strolled into the kitchen.

I shook my head, knowing he was right. I always forgave him, and I was sure I always would. I knew as soon as he walked into the kitchen. As soon as Dad smiled at him. As soon as Logan clapped him on the shoulder. I would always forgive Randy because he was part of my family. He had been since the moment I first brought him home.

Watching them now, as I stood in the kitchen doorway, I knew I’d fallen in love with Randy that first night, when he’d walked right up to my father as if he didn’t even notice the wheelchair and shook his hand. He made my family happy, and after all we’d been through over the past few years, seeing them smile like that . . . well, it made me happy, too.

I forced myself to relax, to loosen up a little, as I walked into the kitchen and sat down at the table next to Randy. There was no need to be on edge right now. Not with my family. Not with Randy.




Oh, Randy . . .

And, once again, Vania at VLC Photo and I are giving away prints from the Shut Out Book Trailer! Here's a screen shot - Lissa and Randy. Kind of cute, right?




Want to enter to win this or one of the other screenshots we'll be tweeting throughout the day? All you have to do is tweet @VLC_Photo and me (@kody_keplinger) with the name of your favorite athlete! Be sure and use the #ShutOutTrailer hashtag.

And keep your eyes peeled for the announcement of the big giveaway Vania and I are doing around the trailer's premier!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Shut Out Trailer - Teaser Day 3 - Chloe

I'm writing to you from the past! Well, from Saturday night. I'm not sure if I'll have power in the morning, so I"m doing this now. Thanks, Irene, you are ruining my procrastination techniques!

It seems appropriate that today is hurricane day, though. Because today's teaser is going to introduce you to the character of Chloe Nelson from SHUT OUT. Chloe is Lissa's best friend, and like a hurricane, she's a little unpredictable! Or maybe that makes her more like a tornado, since we get tons of notice about these hurricanes. Huh - sorry, off topic.

Anyway, here's another little sneak peak of SHUT OUT. Let's meet Chloe!





“God damn it, Lissa. You know, you are the only person who can make me sound like a fucking Hallmark card. Just talk to him, all right?”

“Fine.”

“Good. He’ll probably be nicer to you than I am anyway.”

“I like it when you’re mean.”

“Meow,” Chloe said. “Oh, baby.”

I laughed. She was really the only person who could get me this loosened up. If anyone else made the jokes she did, I would get so uncomfortable. Not with Chloe, though.

“I hate this, Chloe. Instead of it being just me and Randy, lately it’s been me and Randy and the entire soccer team.”

“Bow-chika-wow-wow. That sounds like a good thing to me.”

“God, Chloe.”

“Sorry. I couldn’t resist.” She giggled.



And that, my friends, is the infamous Chloe Nelson!

And again, VLC Photo and I will be giving away a print (which I will sign) of Chloe from the book trailer!



Here's what you have to do to win!

Tweet #ShutOutTrailer and tag me (@kody_keplinger) and @VLC_Photo the name of your favorite best friend character in books, TV, or movies! Willow from Buffy? Ron from the Harry Potter books? Tell us and you could win!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Shut Out Trailer - Teaser Day 2 - The Pact!


So yesterday I introduced you to Lissa, the main character from SHUT OUT. And in the photo from the book trailer you saw, she was holding an issue of Cosmo. Why you ask? Well, today i'm giving you another sneak peak excerpt from the book, and it might answer your question!

So here we go. An excerpt from SHUT OUT:

“We need to make a pact or something,” Chloe said. “Like, an oath. We need to swear to abstain from all sexual activities.”

“What do we swear on?” Susan asked. “The Bible?”

That’s kind of inappropriate,” I managed to joke. “Considering what we’re swearing about and all.”

“Here.” Ellen placed her backpack on the table and unzipped it. After a few seconds of digging, she pulled out a new issue of Cosmo and tossed it onto the table. “It’s the sex-tips issue. Includes a nice list of all the things we can’t do. We can swear on it.”

Chloe picked up the magazine. “Sweet,” she said, flipping through the pages. She paused and visibly cringed. “Ugh. No, don’t try that. Trust me, not as great as it sounds.”

I grabbed the magazine from Chloe, half wondering and half afraid to see what she was talking about. I held it up for everyone to see. “Okay,” I said. “So we’ll all take a vow. I’ll lay out the rules, and if you agree, you put your hand on the magazine and say, ‘I do.’ Got it?”

Most of the girls nodded.

I placed the magazine on the table, putting my hand over the model’s face on the cover. “I hereby swear to abstain from all forms of sexual activity. This includes but is not limited to anything involving body parts below the belt. That’s either party’s belt. Oh, and second base is outlawed, too. Nothing, um, under the shirt.” I forced myself to continue, despite the way this speech made my face heat up. “I’ll stand my ground, even in the toughest of times, and will resist temptation until the rivalry is put to an end.”




So that's where the Cosmo came from!

And once again, that's not all! VLC Photo and I are doing another print giveaway! Below is one of the screenshots from the "pact scene" in the trailer (and in case you are wondering, those arms belong to the character of Susan!) and we'll be tweeting more Pact related shots throughout the day. So be sure and follow me, @VLC_Photo, and the #ShutOutTrailer hashtag.



Today, to win a print (signed by me!) here's what you do:

Just tweet the name of a celebrity or fictional character you'd have trouble keeping that oath with and tag me (@Kody_Keplinger) and @VLC_Photo in the tweet. Be sure and use the #ShutOutTrailer hashtag!

And don't forget, the trailer will premier this upcoming Friday, and we'll be hosting one BIG giveaway with signed books, ARCs, swag, and other goodies, so stay tuned!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Shut Out Trailer - Teaser Day 1 - Lissa!


So for the next week, Vania over at VLC Photo and I will be bringing to you a series of teasers for the SHUT OUT trailer, complete with photos, giveaways, and special excerpts you'll find right here on my blog!

Today, we're kicking off the week by introducing you to Lissa, the main character in SHUT OUT!

Lissa's a tad bit neurotic, a control freak, and a literature buff. I think this short excerpt might give you the best sense of just what kind of girl Lissa Daniels is. So, without further ado - a sneak peak of SHUT OUT!

. . . .I hurriedly turned my attention back to the book. Don’t think about him, I told myself, keeping my eyes trained on the page as I picked up my red pen. Don’t think about him. . . . Just keep reading. . . .

“Lissa,” Cash said slowly, drawing out the A at the end of my name. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but . . . Did you just mark a typo in your book?”

I bit my lip. “No. Of course not. Why would you say that?”

“Because you just marked something on the page with a red ink pen—like the ones teachers use to check papers.”

“No, I didn’t.”

“Lissa.”

“What?” I asked, ducking my head. “You’re imagining things.”


And that's Lissa! Now, time to see her in the flesh. Here's a great shot of Lissa from the SHUT OUT trailer!





Isn't she adorable? And if you're wondering about the Cosmo, I'll explain that tomorrow when we talk about The Pact.

But, in the mean time, do you want to win some free stuff? I know you do.

For the next few days, VLC Photo and I will be showing off photos of the SHUT OUT Trailer cast on our blogs and on twitter. Each day, we'll be giving away a free, signed print of the featured character to a winner on twitter.

What do you have to do?

Just tweet the following:

"I want to win a free print from #ShutOutTrailer from @VLC_Photo and @Kody_Keplinger."

We'll pick a random winner at the end of the day!

And, one week from today, the official SHUT OUT Book Trailer will premier. We'll be announcing a BIG giveaway then - one with a grand prize that includes signed copies of SHUT OUT, some ARCs, and other killer swag. So stay tuned!

In the meantime GET TO TWEETING! And be sure to follow me and @VLC_Photo on twitter to see more sneak peaks of Lissa and the rest of the cast!

Monday, August 22, 2011

20 in 20 - Week 16 + Winner

And the winner of Delirium is . . . .


Cara! (@ChasingWords)

Cara, please email me your mailing address at kodykeplinger@gmail.com and I'll get that on its way.

And now, a new giveaway!

So I love characters, especially when I find a character that is "just so me!" I also love character quizzes. Yes, perhaps that's dorky, but I love when my computer tells me which character I am most like in a book or TV show. It's fun!

So this week, I'm not just giving away a book, I"m giving away a book of the winner's choice. It could be one of my books, it could be a Jane Austen classic, it could be ANYTHING. Its totally up to you!

But here's how to enter - and this week you can get EXTRA ENTRIES so pay attention!

You may have noticed the new bar at the top of this page. It's a SHUT OUT character quiz, a way to find out which of the leading ladies in SHUT OUT you are most like before the book comes out in . . . uh, wow. 2 weeks from today, actually!

I told you, I love character quizzes.

So to enter for the book of your choice, please do the following:

1. First, go up to the top of the screen (or to this link) and take the SHUT OUT character quiz. (If you'd like to like my fanpage, that'd be cool, too, but it isn't required. :-P)
2. Once you take the quiz and find out which character you are, come back here and tell me who you are in the comments.
3. Also in the comments, place a link to a blog or tweet where you linked this giveaway.

And that's it, unless you want ONE EXTRA ENTRY!!

For the extra entry, all you have to do is, along with your SHUT OUT character and link, tell me which character in literature you think you are most like. for example, I think I'm most like Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter books. So who are yOU most like?

And that's it! I can't wait to see what characters you guys are from SHUT OUT! According to that quiz . . . I'm a Chloe. And you guys will get to learn a little about Chloe next week when we start the SHUT OUT trailer campaign. It should be interesting!


Contest ends Friday at midnight PST, and it is open to US/Canada only. Good luck!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Some Fun Stuff Is Coming Up!

So SHUT OUT is only a couple of weeks from release, and I've got some REALLY fun stuff headed your way to celebrate!


First, you may notice the bar at the top of this page. It's a link to a SHUT OUT character quiz. The quiz will only be running from now until September 6 (the day after release) so take it soon and find out which of the SHUT OUT leading ladies you are before you meet them next month!

In case you missed the bar, here's a link to the facebook page. While you're there maybe you could like the fan page? Maybe? Please? I looooooooove you!

But there's more going on than just the quiz! starting August 29th I'll be going on Blog Tour. I'll do my best to link you to all the stops so you can check out the guest posts, vlogs, and character interviews. It'll be fun! The SHUT OUT soundtrack will also be revealed on the tour, so stay tuned!

And starting August 26th, VLC Photo and I will be hosting some SUPER EXCITING teasers and giveaways leading up to the premier of the SHUT OUT book trailer! If you haven't already, check out the #ShutOutTrailer hashtag on twitter for sneak peaks. But starting the 26, we'll be doing big teasers, complete with pictures, a few excerpts, and some cool giveaways! After the trailer premiers we'll be throwing a BIG giveaway that you do NOT want to miss! I'll give you the details as soon as I can, guys!

Then once SHUT OUT is out, I"m off to do some signings in NYC and on the west coast! In case you missed it, I'll be signing on:

Sept. 9 - Books of Wonder in NYC, 6-8pm.
Sept. 12 - Changing Hands in Tempe, AZ, 7:30-9pm (near Phoenix)
Sept. 17 - University Bookstore in Mill Creek, WA. 11:30am - 1pm. (near Seattle)

So come out and see me! I'll be giving away some books and swag at these events, too. I'm so excited! The swag I made just came in the other day and it looks AMAZING. I cannot wait to give some out to you guys!

And in the mean time, while I wait for all the craziness to begin, I'm sitting at home, hacking away on a new project that I'm about 80% through the first draft on. Let's see if I can finish it before SHUT OUT releases, shall we?


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday: Inspiring Settings

This week's RTW topic over at YA Highway is "Inspiring Settings." The question is, what is the most inspiring setting you've ever visited in real life?


Well, it's not hard to figure out my answer. I blog about this place all the time, and it's probably the most inspirational place a lot of people have been. It's the location of a million movies and popular TV shows, it's home to some of our country's most famous landmarks and celebrities, and it's one of the oldest cities in the US.

Yep, I'm talking about New York.

I didn't always live in New York. I'm originally from the south. But I remember the first time I laid eyes on the city. I was on an escalator coming up from Penn Station at night. The sky was dark, and my agent was escorting Mom and I to our hotel. It was the first time we'd ever stayed in the city, and it was only a 1 day pit stop on the way to Ithaca.

But as that escalator went up, the lights appeared. We could see the Empire State Building, the twinkle of Time Square a few blocks away, and all the people. It was absolutely breath taking.

Now, I hate Time Square. At least, I do now, but back then it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

The next morning as I sat in a cab staring out the window and watching all the people walk by, I knew without a doubt I wanted to live in New York. And two years later, I do. And I absolutely love it. Why? Because there is constantly inspiration. Manhattan is a small island, but there are dozens of little neighborhoods, each with their own unique feel, offering a new point of view on this city. Whether I'm walking around the East Village or listening to people speak Spanish in Washington Heights, I'm constantly finding new inspiration here.

I don't just visit the inspirational setting. I live it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Vlog - Sex and the City, Feminism, and Female Friendships

So I decided to do some vlogging. So here you go! A vlog for you guys on why Sex and the City was AWESOME and more feminist than you'd think!




I plan to do more of these in the future, so if you have any topics you'd like to see a vlog about, please comment below! Thanks guys! Love you!

Monday, August 15, 2011

20 in 20 - Week 15 + Winner!

Wow. 54 entries to win THE DUFF and SHUT OUT???? Man oh man, I love you guys! Happy birthday to me!


and random number generator says the winner is . . . .

ERICA!!!!! Bookcellarx, my dear, please email me.


and thank you ALL for participating!


Now, onto this week's giveaway.

This week's book is . . . .

DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver (which I just read and super duper loved.)

Delirium is a fantastic dystopian love story that I think you should all read! So, if you want to win a copy, do as follows:

1. Tweet or blog about this contest.
2. Save the link!
3. In the comments below, paste the link.


And that's it! You MUST be a follower to enter. Contest is open to US/Canada only.

Love y'all!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Signing Update! Please Read!

Hey guys! So there's been a quick change to one of my signing dates - the one in Seattle. See below!


SEPTEMBER 9th
Shut Out Launch Party @ Books Of Wonder
(18 W 18th Street, New York, NY)
From 6-8pm.
I'll be reading, talking, answering questions, signing, and maybe even giving a few things away! There will also be some food, so come out!

SEPTEMBER 12th
Shut Out Signing @ Changing Hands Bookstore
(6428 S. McClintock Dr., Tempe, AZ)
From 7:00-8:30pm
Once I get out to Phoenix, I'll be heading to Tempe to sign books at Changing Hands! I'll talk, read, sign,a and do a Q&A!

SEPTEMBER 17th
Shut Out Book Brunch Event @ University Bookstore
(15311 Main Street, Mill Creek WA 98012)
From 11:00am - 12:30pm
I'll be at University Bookstore (near Seattle) for a Teen Book Brunch! I"ll be signing and answering questions and chatting with those who attend, so please come out and say hello!

I hope to see you guys there!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Signings! Come See Me!

Hey guys! So I have some MEGA exciting news. I've decided to go visit some friends out west, and my AMAZING publicist got me set up with some fabulous signings! And I wanted to tell you guys about them so that you could come out and see me!


First, before I leave, I'll be having a book launch in NYC:

SEPTEMBER 9th
Shut Out Launch Party @ Books Of Wonder
(18 W 18th Street, New York, NY)
From 6-8pm.
I'll be reading, talking, answering questions, signing, and maybe even giving a few things away! There will also be some food, so come out!

Then it's out west I go for 2 awesome events!

SEPTEMBER 12th
Shut Out Signing @ Changing Hands Bookstore
(6428 S. McClintock Dr., Tempe, AZ)
From 7:00-8:30pm
Once I get out to Phoenix, I'll be heading to Tempe to sign books at Changing Hands! I'll talk, read, sign,a and do a Q&A!

SEPTEMBER 17th
Shut Out Book Brunch Event/ University Bookstore @ Mill Creek Library
(15429 Bothell Everett Highway, Mill Creek, WA)
From 11:00am - 12:30pm
University Bookstore (Seattle) is hosting a Book Brunch at the Mill Creek Library! I'll be there to sign SHUT OUT and to chat. So come on out!


And that's it for now!!! OMG, so excited to see you all. Will you be coming? Tell me in the comments!!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

20 in 20 - Week 14 (and winner, AND ITS MY BIRTHDAY!)

First of all, this week's winner of Divergent is . . .

SIMPLY_MEGAN!!!

Megan, email me your address at Kodykeplinger@gmail.com

NOTE TO PREVIOUS WINNERS: If you were a winner here and you've yet to recieve a prize, please email me and let me know. I've had a lot of things to mail and I'm sure a few people got passed up. So please shoot me a reminder!

Now, on to other things.

Today is my birthday. Like, for reals. I'm turning 20 today, thus the 20 in 20 giveaway! Anyway, it FREAKS ME OUT. Like, I don't know if I want to be 20. I posted last year about wanting to stay 17 forever. I think I still feel that way. Luckily I have tons of awesome people (some of whom blogged me birthday wishes - LOVE YOU GUYS!) supporting me into my next decade.

So, in honor of my 20th, I'm going to giveaway the first finished copy of my next book SHUT OUT plus one of my last hardcovers of THE DUFF right here.

Now, I don't have SHUT OUT finished copies yet, but I will soon. I actually got my very first DUFF hardcovers on my birthday last year (thanks to the amazing Kate Sullivan, my fabulous editor!). So SHUT OUT will be here in a few weeks, and I want the winner of today's giveaway to win both books in hardcover, first edition form.

Here is how to enter:

1. You must be a follower of this blog.
2. Tweet or blog about this contest.
3. Save that link!
4. In the comments below, tell me about your best birthday memory. It can be anything! Funny, romantic, sweet. I want to know!
5. Beneath that, post the link.

I will announce the winner next Monday. Contest ends Friday night at midnight PST.

Contest IS OPEN INTERNATIONALLY!!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Illegal in Alabama: Sexual Politics, Women's Rights, and Becoming an Adult

I want to say up front that this post is kind of mature. I debated for a while on whether or not to write it because some of the content might be controversial. Then again, when have I ever run from controversy? Once I thought about the topic, I knew I wanted to post. And anyone who has read my books or is a follower of this blog knows the kind of issues I tend to discuss. Still, I felt the need to warn you.


So you've been warned.

As I've mentioned before, I'm about to turn 20. It's terrifying. I mean, I have loved being a teenager so much, and while I know logically being twenty won't be so different, it still freaks me out. I'm growing up. And sometimes that's not so fun. Sometimes it kind of sucks. One way in which it sucks is that, as you get older, you become disillusioned to the world around you. This can be good, of course, but it can also be really upsetting. Sometimes you realize things that are just outright infuriating.

When I was younger, I thought we lived in a nearly perfect society. I know, I know. I was naive. As I got older, I realized that we didn't. There is a lot of hatred in the world. Senseless hatred that ruins lives. There's a lot of poverty. A lot of illness. A lot of abuse. And yet, even up until last year, I truly thought that at least people were equal in my world. Then I took sociology and I learned that, when it comes to gender, we are not.

Sure, we're more equal than we were in the fifties. Women can have jobs - great ones. Women can make choices. Women can make money. Women can go to great colleges and do things besides teach!

And yet . . .

I recently read an argument about feminism. Basically, the argument was that feminism was unnecessary because men and women were, for most purposes, equal. I strongly disagree with this, and I made some points about sex positivity and how women are victims of the virgin/whore dichotomy and how gender roles are still an epic issue. I also mentioned the recent Planned Parenthood drama in congress that threatened to take away some of women's rights.

Still, I was told that men and women were equal enough that feminism wasn't necessary. I put the debate out of my mind for a few days, and then, this afternoon, I learned something that made the issue come rushing back into my head.

And this is where the content is going to get a little more mature.

I learned (rather randomly) today that vibrators are illegal in Alabama. Like, you actually can't sell them or buy them. They were deemed too obscene. Several other states (including Texas, Kansas, and Colorado) used to have bans on vibrators, but the laws were overturned. But Alabama's law continues.

So you can't buy vibrators, but firearms are just fine.

(To be clear, I am actually not opposed to the selling of firearms, but I find it absolutely ridiculous that firearms are considered more ethical than sex toys. I've never, for instance, heard of someone murdering another human with a vibrator as a weapon.)

Now, I know that vibrators can be used by both genders, but statistically and culturally they are more associated with females. Quick History Lesson: The first vibrator was actually steam powered and it was used by doctor's on women with "hysteria." It was not seen as sexual at all, but they believed that "pelvic massages" helped treat hysteria. (Basically, they'd help a woman reach orgasm and they believed it would help her. A vibrating device made that easier.) Over time the devices became used less for medical purposes and more in homes. And today, with shows like Sex and the City bringing them to the forefront of pop culture, vibrators are seen primarily as female sex toys.

And they are ILLEGAL in Alabama.

Okay, why am I harping on this? Because after I learned this, I did some googling. I was just so shocked by the idea that something so simple and harmless could be banned anywhere in 2011. That's when I ran across some info on the ethical debate about vibrators. This quote (which I found on wikipedia) particularly started and infuriated me.

From Wikipedia:

An American Baptist preacher, Dan Ireland, has been an outspoken critic of such devices and has fought to ban them on religious and ethical grounds. According to Ireland, "Sometimes you have to protect the public against themselves....These devices should be outlawed because they are conducive to promiscuity, because they promote loose morals and because they entice improper and potentially deadly behaviors."[17] Ireland believes that "there is no moral way to use one of these devices."[



For full disclosure here, not that it's super relevant, I want to say that I consider myself a Christian, so I in now way mean to condemn anyone for their faith. Not at all. In fact, it's as a Christian that Ireland's statement offends me. Because this statement is just so ridiculous and offensive, and it insinuates that women who choose to use sexual devices are unholy in some way.

After reading all of this, I was left asking myself why people are so afraid of vibrators? Is it fear that women will no longer "need" men in a sexual way? Or is it fear of women seeking sexual pleasure for themselves? We do have a strange idea in our society that men want sex and women don't, and those who do are "promiscuous." What I have to ask is, how is using a vibrator (particularly if someone decides to use it by themselves) promoting promiscuity? Isn't it actually doing the opposite?

But if there's one thing I've learned over the past several months it's that female sexuality is something many people fear. I don't understand why. I'm not really sure I want to understand why. It's something that bothers me so much, and its a huge part of the reason I wrote Shut Out. This idea that women should keep topics of sexuality secret because they are "dirty" is ridiculous, and yet it still affects even me. I hesitate to write this post for its content, but why should this discussion be considered inappropriate? It isn't graphic. It isn't overly personal. It's all just fact. And the fact is, by banning the buying and selling of vibrators, Alabama is taking away women's rights.

Which brings me back to the beginning of this post. Growing up. It sucks. It sucks to realize that the world you thought was perfect is actually kind of unfair. It sucks to realize that a society that masquerades as being equal actually has a long way to go. It really sucks to know there's not much you can do about it.

Except, actually, there is. I'm doing something about it right now. It's a small thing. I'm sure no Alabaman politicians are reading this post. But this is about more than Alabama. Its about our culture, how we view the world. If we came telling ourselves the genders are equal, we'll never fix the problems we still have. And the only way to change culture is to change minds, to help the next generation move past the stereotypes and fears and prejudices of the world we live in. And to make that happen, we have to speak up.

I speak up through my books and this blog. But you don't have to have a platform to speak up. You can do something as simple as standing up for yourself or others when issues of sexual politics or women's rights come up. You could help a friend get over her embarrassment about issues of sexuality. You could have a sex talk with your kids that didn't leave them feeling awkward or embarrassed or afraid to be honest. You can speak up and make a difference in so many ways.

This is my way.

So you know, growing up sucks, but as a kid, I never thought I could make a difference even if I wanted to. Now I know that I can. So in that sense, that knowledge that my voice matters, growing up has its perks, too. I might not be happy to know some of these things, but I'm happy to know that I can change them if I try hard enough.

And so can you.



Monday, August 1, 2011

20 in 20 - Week 13 (and Winner!)

The winner of A Need So Beautiful is . . .


Mrs. Heise!!!!!!

Please email me at kodykeplinger @ gmail . com and I'll get the book to you as soon as I can.

(Note to all past winners - I'm still getting things sent off. I promise, you have not been forgotten.)

And this week's book is . . .

DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth!

Divergent is THE BEST dystopian I've read in YA, and I know so many others who feel the same way. Its the story of a girl living in futuristic Chicago in a society where people are divided into factions based on their values. And it ROCKS!

So here's how to enter:

1. Be a follower of this blog
2. blog or tweet this contest
3. Save that link!
4. Comment below with a link to your blog or tweet.

That's it!

Contest open to US and Canada only. Contest ends this Friday at midnight PST.
I keep forgetting to say that . . . oh well. I said it htis time.