Saturday, December 13, 2014

On the 12th Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me...

We're almost halfway done with December (gasp! I have so many packages to wrap and decorations to put up and cookies to eat!) and I just wanted to give a bit of a status update to my biggest giveaway ever and to the charity I'm hoping to help fund through sales this month.

For a very limited time only and only on Amazon, you can get The Body Electric for 25% off using the coupon code BOOKDEAL25 at checkout.


So if you've been waiting to nab your copy, now's the perfect time! Grab it today before the coupon expires on the 14th!

And speaking of getting your copy of the book, here's how the charity drive is doing:

Every sale of The Body Electric throughout the month of December will contribute $1 to World Vision through the beekeeper program. You can see from the cover that bees play an important symbolic role in the book, and the beekeeper program from World Vision seems serendipitous for this project.

Source

The program provides beehives to families in struggling nations that helps them support themselves. It's ideal for single-parent households where it's difficult for the parent to leave the family to work--they can work from home, cultivating honey and selling it. World Vision doesn't just hand out charity; it provides a means for people to help themselves.

Right now, we've earned enough money for half a beehive for a family. Thank you for your contributions!

The contest to win 29+ YA sci fi books and more is still going on--it ends on December 31. You still have time to enter--and win my biggest prizes ever! 

Monday, December 1, 2014

My Biggest Giveaway Ever: Win 29 signed books, 15 ARCs, or other awesome prizes!

Before I do anything else, I want to point out the post I did yesterday: for every sale of The Body Electric from now until the end of the year, I'm donating $1 to the creation of beehives in developing nations, a program through World Vision that both helps the ecosystem by helping bees and helps the community by helping families set up an entrepreneurship selling honey. If you plan on buying The Body Electric, now's a great time--or you can donate direction to World Vision.

________________________________________________


Welcome to my biggest giveaway EVER!!!

First up: the prizes! There's going to be three main giveaways. Due to extensive shipping costs (literally hundreds of dollars) the first two prizes can only be shipped to American addresses. Because of this, the third prize is open only to international readers--anyone with an address outside of America. Additionally, I have certain goals for this project--to donate more beehives, to get more exposure for my newest book, to share the contest--and the more goals that are met, the more prizes I'm adding for everyone! 
__________________________________________________

PRIZE PACK ONE: 29 signed YA sci fi books!
One lucky winner will receive all the books listed below!
This prize is limited to American addresses only.


  • A signed, limited edition of The Body Electric. There are only six copies left of this version of the book available--and you'll get one of them!
  • Signed first edition copies of Across the Universe, A Million Suns, and Shades of Earth. Each one of these books is a hard cover--and is a rare first edition! 
  • Shatter Me, signed by Tahereh Mafi
  • The 5th Wave, signed by Rick Yancey
  • The Martian, signed by Andy Weir
  • These Broken Stars, signed by both Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
  • Under the Never Sky, signed by Veronica Rossi
  • A Thousand Pieces of You, signed by Claudia Gray
  • BZRK, signed by Michael Grant
  • Landry Park, signed by Bethany Hagen
  • Adaptation, signed by Malinda Lo
  • Unremembered, signed by Jessica Brody
  • Salvage, signed by Alexandra Duncan
  • Origin and the companion novel Vitro, both signed by author Jessica Khoury
  • Reboot and the sequel Rebel, both signed by author Amy Tintera
  • Time Between Us and the sequel Time After Time, both signed by author Tamara Ireland Stone
  • Tin Star, signed by author Cecil Castellucci
  • Control, signed by author Lydia Kang
  • Replica, signed by author Jenna Black
All 24 of these signed books will go to one lucky winner! PLUS you'll be getting a TON of exclusive swag! Including:

--Limited edition water Across the Universe water bottle
--An Across the Universe poster
--A signed poster for A Thousand Pieces of You
--A poster of These Broken Stars, signed by both Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman
--A poster for the Girls Gone Sci Fi Tour, signed by five authors
--A packet of tons of swag by tons of YA authors, some signed

Additionally, I have a few "stretch goal" prizes that will be added to this prize pack if certain goals are met throughout the month. 

Stretch Goal One:
This Shattered World, signed by author Meagan Spooner
The highly-anticipated sequel to These Broken Stars!

Stretch Goal Two:
My True Love Gave to Me, an anthology of the top YA authors today, 
signed by editor Stephanie Perkins
Not exactly a sci fi book :) But appropriate for a December giveaway! 

Stretch Goal Three:
The entire Darkest Minds trilogy, all signed by author Alexandra Bracken!
This is one of the best YA trilogies I've ever read--I loved these books! 
Of course I had to share them with you.

________________________________________________

PRIZE PACK TWO: 15 Advanced Reader Copies
One lucky winner will receive all the books listed below!
This prize is limited to librarians, teachers, and book reviewers with American addresses only. 
Every year, I'm lucky enough to snag some amazing ARCs--but I always have a dilemma of what to do after I read them. These ARCs have been gently read by me only, and most of them are books I now own hard copies of. So I want these ARCs to continue doing the job they were meant to do: get into the hands of librarians, teachers, and book reviewers.


  • A signed, limited edition of The Body Electric. There are only six copies left of this version of the book available--and you'll get one of them! Since I used the limited editions of the book as my ARCs, this is what you'll get, too. 
  • Signed ARC copies of Across the Universe, A Million Suns, and Shades of Earth. Each one of these books is an ARC--and they are super rare! 

  • Icons, signed by author Margaret Stohl! (Please note: this is a rare ARC with the original ARC cover)
  • Crewel by Gennifer Albin
  • The Archived by Victoria Schwab
  • The Inventor's Secret by Andrea Cremer
  • Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
  • 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
  • Vortex by Julie Cross
  • Scan by Walter Jury and SE Fine
  • Stiching Snow by R.C. Lewis
  • Impostor by Susanne Winnacker
  • Archetype by M.D. Waters

All 15 of these signed books will go to one lucky winner at a school, library, or book blog! PLUS you'll be getting a TON of exclusive swag! Including:

--Limited edition water Across the Universe water bottle
--An Across the Universe poster
--A poster of These Broken Stars, signed by both Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman
--A poster for the Girls Gone Sci Fi Tour, signed by five authors
--A packet of tons of swag by tons of YA authors, some signed

Additionally, I have a few "stretch goal" prizes that will be added to this prize pack if certain goals are met throughout the month. 

Stretch Goal One:
Unremembered, signed by Jessica Brody (paperback)

Stretch Goal Two:
Reboot, signed by Amy Tintera (hardback)

Stretch Goal Three:
These Broken Stars, signed by both Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman (hardback)

________________________________________________

PRIZE PACK THREE: International Readers ONLY
One lucky winner will receive both the books listed below!
This prize is limited to readers with addresses anywhere except America. 
I hate that I cannot offer all the prizes internationally--the shipping cost was literally hundreds of dollars and way out of my budget. However, I wanted to do something special for the international readers who have supported me so much...and I was lucky enough to find a way to get you 10 signatures in one book! One international reader will win the following prizes:

A signed, limited edition copy of The Body Electric
This is one of six remaining copies left--and you'll get one (plus all the swag!)

My True Love Gave to Me Anthology, signed by TEN authors:
Holly Black, Ally Carter, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Stephanie Perkins, Rainbow Rowell, and Kiersten White!
(This prize is dependent upon an upcoming event; some changes may be made)

Stretch Goal:
If the stretch goal is met, I'll be adding a limited edition AtU water bottle and more swag!

________________________________________________

If all stretch goals are met, I have a few more extra prizes in reserve 
that will be open to ALL entrants! 

If the stretch goal is met, I'll be adding a limited edition AtU water bottle and more swag!

________________________________________________

HOW TO ENTER:
This contest is designed to help gain exposure for The Body Electric, which will hopefully give me the chance to donate more money to the World Vision charity. Below are samples of ways to enter by spreading the word about the contest, blogging about The Body Electric, or doing something creative. There are special additional ways for librarians, teachers, and book bloggers to enter.
To enter, you MUST complete the form embedded below or available at this link.
While there are multiple ways to get more entries, you may only submit the form once.

Spread the Word:
People can't enter the contest if they don't know about it! There are several ways you can enter by spreading the word--here are a few easy ways:

--Retweet this tweet
--Reblog this tumblr post
--Tag a friend in this Facebook post
...or otherwise share the contest on social media!

Post about The Body Electric:
If you write a paragraph or more about The Body Electric online, it counts! If you haven't read the book, posting a "Waiting on Wednesday" style post, a cover-love post, or similar qualifies. If you have read the book, a review (of any star-rating, positive or negative) qualifies. And please consider cross-posting reviews--it really helps an author our to have this sort of exposure.

Get Creative:
I've done a similar contest to this before--and it was so much fun, I had to do it again! You can do anything at all to showcase your creativity linked with The Body Electric--it can be fan art, fan fic, a poetry, a sculpture, a fake tattoo, a dramatic reading, a quilt, anything! Just be creative and showcase your work based on The Body Electric!

AND DON'T FORGET TO ENTER THE ENTRY FORM:
Only those in the entry form will qualify for the prize. You MUST complete the form embedded below or available at this link. To clarify: a direct link is the actual link to the tweet/post/page you made (there's been some confusion on that, but it's too late for me to change the form. Just a link that starts with http:// and ends with .com is fine.) If you need technical help, contact me at authorbethrevis@gmail.com.

Never miss another epic giveaway--
sign up for Beth's newsletter here.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Helping Bees & Helping People

If you look closely at the book cover to The Body Electric, you'll see that there are bees coming out of the main character Ella's head. If you've read the book (thank you!), you know that bees are highly symbolic to the story. It was a perfect fit for the book--after all, it takes place in Malta, which is named for the Greek word for "honey," and Ella and her friends are fighting to save their home, just like bees would fight to save theirs. And close readers of the text will notice that bees are a recurring image in the book--it's the symbol of the resistance, buzzing sounds herald doom, and Ella sees them in her mind when she goes into her mother's technology.

So, obviously, bees are hugely important to The Body Electric! And another thing that's been hugely important to me with this book is giving back. I wrote this book for you, the readers who made my dreams of publication and being a full-time writer come true. But being grateful goes past just myself, and giving back needs more than just a book.

That's why, for the entire month of December, $1 from every sale of The Body Electric will go to a very special World Vision charity. 

World Vision is a charity focused on helping developing nations and people in need, with a focus on aiding children.

The beekeeper program is particularly important and close to my heart with this program, and as soon as I saw it, I knew that I wanted to do something to help the project.

Bees are hugely important to our ecosystem, and honeybees in particular are facing some serious problems and may not survive into the future. Bees touch almost every part of our daily lives, even though we may not realize it. They pollinate the fruits and vegetables we eat, they provided Earth's first humans with some of their first forms of sugar, they continuously create a world we want to live in. We can't let them die out.


Source
World Vision works with developing nations, identifying families who need help. They don't just give money--they help families find ways to support themselves. The beekeeper program is one such way. World Vision works to find families that are struggling and have limited access to jobs outside the home--families where the main breadwinner is handicapped, or where single mothers cannot leave the home to earn money. Bees become a wonderful source of income for these people--they can stay close to their families at home while still producing honey they can sell and generate income from, as well as benefitting the entire community's crop with bees that help the ecosystem to thrive.

While purchasing bees for struggling families may seem like a bit odd of a charity, I hope you can understand just how life-changing it could be for a family who needs them. This article describes a family whose lives were changed by the added income and security from maintaining beehives--and it will touch your heart.

Source


And remember, every sale of The Body Electric from now until December 31, 2014, will generate $1 donation toward the production of more beehives across the world, specifically to aid people in need.

To get this project started, I pledge to donate one beehive today--regardless of sales.

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Holiday Buying Guide for Writers

It's almost that time of year again! Time to buy gifts for your favorite writers in your life. :) Here's my collection of awesome ideas of things to put under the typewriter tree.

STOCKING STUFFERS



Sharpies
Source
Seriously, writers? Can never have enough motherflipping Sharpies.

Be on Santa's Good List: Buy her Sharpies that color-match her bookcover. 
Alternatively: silver. So fancy. So shiny. 

Book-Scented Candles
Buy it here
Writers love the smell of books. Fact.

Be on Santa's Good List: Get him ALL THE BOOKISH CANDLES.
May require an extra-large stocking.

Fingerless Mitts
Buy them here
Look, most writers at some point in December will consider themselves to be Bob Cratchit, huddled near a candle-flame as they work tirelessly on their Ebenezer-Scrooge-like-book. Make her comfortable with a pair of hand-warming but typing-friendly fingerless mitts. Bonus points: this pair looks like they're made from dragonscales, which makes them cooler because dragons are cool.

Be on Santa's Good List: Create an elaborate plan to befriend author Jodi Meadows, who started the writers-wearing-mitts-craze and hand makes them for special people.

UNDER THE TREE

The Qwerky Writer
Buy it here
Typewriters are cool, but so is modern technology. This gadget combines both. A typewriter-style keyboard (complete with clacky sounds!) that hooks up to an iPad. Alternatives to this gift: the Hemingwrite.

Be on Santa's Good List: Go back in time and fund this typewriter keyboard on Kickstarter, so you'll be one of the first to nab one.


Weird Time-Keeping Devices
Buy it here
Buy it here
Buy it here
Look, when I get stuck writing, I set a timer and force myself to write while the timer's going. But timers don't have to be boring! You can get a candle that burns in exact hour increments, a cool hourglass, or a timer that looks like it's about to take off in an airplane.

Be on Santa's Good List: Accompany this gift with a Hermione-style time-turner. 


The InstantPot
Buy it here
I actually own this product, and so I can say with authority that it's my favorite kitchen device. Here's the thing: writers are forgetful. We forget that cooking requires, you know, food. And time. The InstantPot makes life so much easier. It's a (safe!) electronic pressure cooker with a ton of preset settings, so it's basically idiot-proof. You can throw in a whole frozen chicken, push some buttons, and like magic, it's done in about an hour. This product is way better than a CrockPot (which, btw, it can also function as one). The food's not mushy, and you don't have to remember eight hours ago to put crap in the pot. By the time you start feeling a little hungry, you can throw the stuff in the InstantPot and have it ready when you finish writing that last chapter.

Be on Santa's Good List: Offer to cook supper with in the InstantPot once a week. It'll make you look like a hero, and you don't have to tell the writer in your life how easy it is to use.

Don't like my lists?

Here are a few more lists of buying guides for writers:

Is your favorite author currently stuck in an editing stage 
just in time to screw up the holidays and make life miserable?

FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT'S HOLY

JUST GIVE HER BOOZE AND COFFEE & BACK AWAY.

SLOWLY.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

THE WALLED CITY: Making a Real Place Come Alive in Fiction

I was so lucky to snag an early copy of THE WALLED CITY by Ryan Graudin, and I have to say: WOW. This book is amazing. 

I think I first fell in love when Jin was running through the city. Or maybe it was when Dai entered the den of the kingpin of the walled city. But really it was when Mei Yee wasn't saved in the first chapter.

And then there's the city. Rich and vivid and so, so real. It fascinated me how Ryan was able to make the setting of the walled city come alive, and so I asked her here today to talk about it and how she came to research, develop, and write such an amazing location.

Thank you, Ryan, for stopping by my blog and sharing your story and the setting of THE WALLED CITY!

~~~

THE WALLED CITY, my YA thriller that is coming to a store near you on November 4th, is (like most of my novels) not set in America. The story’s setting is actually very, very closely based on a place called the Kowloon Walled City. This Hong Kong neighborhood reached its peak in the 1980s, when over 33,000 people lived in its mere 6.5 acres. Yes. You read that right. 33,000. It was the most densely populated place on earth at the time. There was no formal architecture—and its shanties piled up to 14 stories high, crowded so thick that sunlight couldn’t reach the streets. The reason so many people moved to this place was because it was a legal no-man’s land. There were disputes between the British and Chinese governments which meant that law enforcement had no jurisdiction within the Walled City. Its borders were filled with illegal dentists, noodle-makers who wanted to avoid taxation, and (of course) the Triad.

I first learned about the Kowloon Walled City in 2011 from a woman named Jackie Pullinger who had worked in this neighborhood for over twenty years. I couldn’t believe that this place existed, much less that I’d never even heard about it before. But I went home, started Googling and fell into a rabbit hole of research. The more I read about it, the more I knew I had to write a story set inside the city’s sunless, lawless streets.



The real Kowloon Walled City was torn down in the early 1990s (though not before its hive-like structure was immortalized in Jean-Claude Van Damme’s movie Bloodsport and several
documentaries) and replaced with a park. I was fortunate enough to take a research trip to Hong Kong and visit the site of the former Triad stronghold.

The park still holds traces of the old city. The Old South Gate, cannons, the wells where city inhabitants drew water can all be spotted throughout the park. The largest portion of what the land used to be is the Yamen, which was the building at the center of the city which was used as sort of a community center. The Yamen is now used as a museum, where park visitors can go and learn about the city that once stood there. At the park’s entrance there’s a stone etched with an elaborate cross-section of the city, showing intricate details of the Jenga-stacked buildings. There’s also a very small metal model of the city, which I enjoyed being dramatic over.

What struck me as soon as I walked through the park gates was how small the place felt. In terms of a public park it was relatively roomy, with a plethora of lakes and gardens. Yet when I thought of the space in terms of the thousands of people who teemed within its .010 square mile borders, I got more than a mite claustrophobic.

Of course, my trip to China involved more than just visiting the Kowloon Walled City Park. There was phenomenal food! I got to eat cha siu bao, the Cantonese barbeque-pork-flavored buns which Jin Ling and Dai are so fond of in the novel. I was also fortunate enough to be in Hong Kong to celebrate the Chinese New Year. They displayed one of the most AMAZING fireworks shows I’ve seen in my entire life.

Though my version of the Walled City is set in the fictional city of Seng Ngoi instead of Hong Kong, I wrote the novel so it could read as a historical fiction (ie. All of the cultural details could fit into our real world.). There were so many parts of the real Hong Kong that I was able to envision my characters in—standing at the top of Victoria Peak, taking in the lights of Hong Kong’s phenomenal neon-lit skyline, eating delicious cha siu bao as a part of dim sum, watching the New Year’s fireworks. I can only hope THE WALLED CITY will do the reverse by helping readers experience this amazing place inside its pages.


Monday, October 27, 2014

The Halloween Book Trail--The Galaxy Hunt!


Hello everyone, and welcome to the Halloween Book Trail! I'm Beth Revis, author of the Across the Universe books. My most recently book The Body Electric came out earlier this October, and it tells the story of what was happening on Earth while Amy and Elder from my first series were in space. It's about a girl who can peek inside other people's memories using tech from a futuristic world, but someone's messed with her memory first. You can win a signed copy of The Body Electric--as well as books from the other authors participating--by completing the Halloween Book Trail!



The Body Electric takes place in Malta, an island nation in the Mediterranean. In my version of Malta, several hundred years in the future, the two main islands have been connected by a bridge city with towering glass sky scrapers, android servants, and innovative resources. Malta of today is very different--it is a beautiful mix of ancient and modern, with lovely resorts next to archaeological sites, medieval labyrinthine catacombs beneath a bustling city.

So today, for the Halloween Book Trail, I thought I'd tell you all about some of the interesting spooky ghost stories of Malta and comparing them to the legends we know!



One of the things I love about ghost stories is how similar they are across all cultures. The details change, but there are many stories that are similar. In my area, there's a common story of the hitchhiking lady. A person--usually a young man--picks up a beautiful lady hitchhiking on the road. When he takes her to the house, she gets out, leaving behind her coat in the car. The young man returns the next day to give the lady back her coat, but the only person who answers the door at the house is an old woman who says her daughter was killed on the road decades ago.



In Malta, there's a similar tale--but with a few different twists. In this story, a young woman dressed in a traditional g─žonnella, covering her hair. She is still very beautiful though, so when she asks some soldiers to walk her home, they agree. At her house, she takes off her g─žonnella, revealing her beautiful hair--and in the light of her house, also revealing a wealthy, gorgeous house. She invites the soldiers to stay, but they decide to leave...although once they're back out in the street, the soldiers realize they left behind a possession in the house. When they return the next day, though, the house is dilapidated and run down, totally abandoned. [Source]


I just love that this story is so similar to the legend I know from my area--but twisted a bit. In America, where highways reign, of course it's far more likely for the connection to be made while driving than while walking on the considerably smaller island of Malta. In the American legend, the lady leaves behind a possession--in the Maltese, it's the young men. But even though the stories are so similar, they're also unique to each area. 



Another legend that stretches across cultures is the White Lady. Areas throughout the world, particularly in Europe, have their own variation of the White Lady, a ghost that is often surrounded by a local legend of tragedy and is a harbinger of death. In medieval UK, the story was that the White Lady appeared in the house of a family in which a person was about to die. In the United States, the White Lady walks the road or through the walls of the house where she was killed. In the Philippines, many of the towns have their own local version of the White Lady, sometimes popping up in the rearview mirrors of cars, but disappearing when the driver turns around. 



In Malta, the White Lady is specific to Verdala Palace. According to the legend, a young woman was forced into a loveless arranged marriage. On the day of her wedding, her father tells her she is to obey her new husband in everything. Instead--she jumps out of one of the palace windows, killing herself. 


The Maltese legend, interestingly, gives the reason why the woman is white is dressed in white--it was her wedding day when she died. [Source]


Even within Malta, there are two versions of the White Lady--another one in the city of Mdina (which is featured in The Body Electric!) tells of a woman who appears always at eight in the evening. She is sweet to children, telling them to go home and kissing them goodbye. She tells teenaged boys who are unlucky in love that they will find another...or they can go with her. For the elderly men, she merely tries to lure them into her "shadow" to become a part of her ghostly entourage. [Source]


Malta is a fascinating country--and you can see why I chose it as the setting for The Body Electric! I hope you've enjoyed learning about these legends--and if you pick up The Body Electric, I hope you enjoy finding the details of Malta within the pages! 


I'm the last person in the Galaxy branch of the Book Trail--to continue the hunt, find out more, and start a new trail, CLICK HERE.