Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Between the Stars and Sky


A note from the author: I'm so excited for
BETWEEN THE STARS AND SKY to finally be released. This book is... different for
me. First, it's a contemporary story. It's real. It could happen. Writing
something like that was so different for me I wasn't sure if I could do it. But
then I found these characters, and in Jackson and Sarah I found a place where I
loved to write. Second, this story. THIS STORY. I didn't think I would get
through it. It's one of those stories that is so big and so small and so
delicate and so IN YOUR FACE lovely and scary and sad and happy that I wasn't
sure I could make it through this book alive. But again, THESE CHARACTERS. I
love them. And I love this story. It's a minimalistic story, so there is very
little filler. Just words that mean something. To Jackson, the main character,
this is important. I took what was important to the characters and reflected
that in the way I told the story. This isn't a long story, but it is a big one.
Complete with a crazy, scary dare, a secret game. A
test of bravery. A love story. Kisses. Betrayals. First loves. Second loves. Diverse loves. All kinds of loves. Life
and death.
 Fear and not. And
in the end, I'm not sure if this story wrote me, or I wrote it. I guess you'll
find out. :)

If you have questions about the content of this story, READ

"Between the Stars and Sky
 is a vivid
contemporary novel from Young Adult author David James. Lyrical and deeply
romantic, Between the Stars and Sky is
a poetic and heart-stopping read for fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and
E. Lockhart.

 In the small, lakeside town of Huntington, the Firelight
Festival marks the end of summer. A time to laugh, to live, to love. And for
Jackson Grant, it is a chance to begin again. But there is a darker side to the
Firelight Festival, a deadly tradition known as the Firelight Fall. A secret game. A legendary lie. A test of
 Those who fall
risk everything, and Jackson is on the edge. Until he meets a girl who pushes
him over. For Jackson, falling for Sarah Blake might be as dangerous as jumping
in the Firelight Fall. As summer burns away, Jackson and Sarah ignite an unstoppable
love game. For her, his heart is on fire. And soon, Sarah shows him life, saves
him from loss, and opens his heart to an infinite and wild love found between the stars and sky."

 David James writes books
about stars and kisses and curses. He is the author of the YA novel, LIGHT OF
THE MOON, the first book in the Legend of the Dreamer duet, as well as the
companion novellas, THE WITCH'S CURSE and THE WARRIOR’S CODE. A Legend of the
Dreamer anthology, SHADES OF THE STARS, was released July 2013, and includes
the exclusive novella, THE ENCHANTER'S FIRE. The final book in the duet, SHADOW
OF THE SUN, will be released in 2015. BETWEEN THE STARS AND SKY is his first
contemporary novel for young adults. Living in Michigan, he is addicted to
coffee, gummy things, and sarcastic comments. David enjoys bad movies, goofy
moments, and shivery nights. Also,
hipster glasses!



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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Youth Center Donation and Winner!

As you guys know, I have been accepting clothes donations for the LGBT Youth Center in Los Angeles. If you want to see my original post, you can check it out, HERE.

I was so amazed by the response. You guys are seriously awesome. I received packages from as far away as London! Thank you so much for sharing clothes and new packages of socks and underwear with homeless youth in Los Angeles. My office is now full of clothes! I don't know how well you can see but those stacks are pretty high! Plus, I haven't even dug all my clothes out to donate yet!

My friend Melissa and I will be taking the donations to Los Angeles at the end of this month, or the beginning of October. As soon as I have a date, I'll let you know and we will be sharing pictures of us making the donations as well!

This is something near and dear to my heart. There are no words for how much I appreciate everyone who sent something in.

I put all the names in a bowl and randomly drew one person from all the people who sent in donations. The winner is.... Wendy Stone! Wendy will receive a signed copy of all of my books! Congrats, Wendy!

Thank you all again. I feel so honored to be associated with such wonderful, helpful people :)

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Teaser Tuesday: OUT OF PLAY

For the next few weeks I'm going to share some favorite quotes or teasers from my previously released books for Teaser Tuesday. I miss visiting with some of my favorite characters! I'm starting this week with OUT OF PLAY, the book I cowrote with Jolene Perry. It's available now from Entangled Publishing.

Rock star drummer Bishop Riley doesn't have a drug problem. Celebrities—especially ones suffering from anxiety—just need a little help taking the edge off sometimes. After downing a few too many pills, Bishop wakes up in the hospital facing an intervention. If he wants to stay in the band, he’ll have to detox while under house arrest in Seldon, Alaska.
Hockey player Penny Jones can't imagine a life outside of Seldon. Though she has tons of scholarship offers to all the best schools, the last thing she wants is to leave. Who'll take care of her absentminded gramps? Not her mother, who can’t even be bothered to come home from work, let alone deal with their new tenants next door. Penny’s not interested in dealing with Bishop’s crappy attitude, and Bishop’s too busy sneaking pills to care. Until he starts hanging out with Gramps and begins to see what he’s been missing. If Bishop wants a chance with the fiery girl next door, he’ll have to admit he has a problem and kick it. Too bad addiction is hard to kick…and Bishop’s about to run out of time.

I loved writing this book. It's a blend of funny and serious. Jolene and I laughed so hard while writing it. Bishop is this rich, rockstar totally out of his element in Alaska. And Penny is this tough hockey player that loves giving him crap.

On the other hand, Bishop has some really serious demons he's fighting--an addiction to pills. It was an emotional journey, that's for sure.

Okay, here are some favorite quotes and a few Bishop visuals.

I decided to share a funny teaser instead of a serious one (though if you check out the first chapter sample, it kills me every time). This is the first time Bishop and Penny meet. Remember he is TOTALLY out of his element in Alaska. And he's a rock star who almost OD'd so he's supposed to be in hiding. Oh, and he forgot to buy boots :)

Shoving my hands in my pocket, I move to turn away when I hear, “Hey!”

“Damn,” I mumble under my breath before I start to walk her way. Maybe she can let me know who delivers all the way out here. Chinese sounds bomb.

“What’s up?” I nod my head before looking toward the ground. I’m awesome at disguises.

I hear her chuckle and glance up at her to see her eyes are on my feet. Yeah, I know I’m not wearing the right shoes. She doesn’t have to be cocky about it. “Something funny?”

“No, no.” She tries to play it off, but I can still see the smirk lingering. “Can you help me with something real quick?” she asks, while I’m busy watching her face. Trying to look for any signs that she recognizes who I am.

“Sure.” I shrug, finding the ground again with my eyes. She leads me to a huge toolbox—one of those tall, heavy ones.

“I’m Penny Jones, by the way,” she says over her shoulder. The garage door is open and she’s only wearing a hoodie.

“Bishop Ri—” Oh, shit. I forgot I’m not supposed to use my full name. I look at her as she licks her bright red lips. “Ripe.”

Her forehead wrinkles. “Bishop Ripe?”

Yeah. So I’m an idiot. Who gives a shit? “Problem with that?”

Penny shakes her head, but I can tell she’s fighting another laugh. Not that I wouldn’t be laughing in her situation.

“I need to roll this over to the car, but the wheels are messed up. Sometimes they fall off, so can you stay on the other side just in case?” Her voice is kind of a mix of snark and sweet—the sweet feels like a contrast to her strong, tall build. And somehow, I have a feeling the quiet sweetness is her camouflage. Like she’s a black widow or something and could bite my head off at any second. Or maybe I’m being paranoid because I’m in the land of Ice Road Truckers.

“I’ll push it over for you.” The car’s at the end of the garage, but it’s a slight decline.

“If only one person could do it, I wouldn’t need your help. If you wanna push, let me hold this end steady.” She doesn’t sound pissed, but maybe a little annoyed. She stands in the front like I’m actually going to need her help with this thing. I can be a little annoyed, too.

“It’ll be fine,” I tell her before getting behind it and pushing. Seriously, how many people does it take to push a toolbox?

“Whatever you say.” She stands back and smirks, like she knows a private joke I’m not a part of.

Holding my end I start to walk. The thing slides as easily as it should and I start to wonder if she really just wanted an excuse to talk to me or something.

I keep pushing and walking, when suddenly the front wheels fall off and the thing to comes to a dead stop.

Unfortunately for me, I don’t have super breaks and can’t stop that quickly. My head rams right into the stupid metal box in front of me. “Shit!” I grab my nose, which pulses with pain.

“Oh my God!” The Snow Queen steps toward me, but I hold my other hand up to tell her to stay put. I definitely don’t need the “I told you so” from some Alaskan chick I just met. Especially someone as smug as she seems to be.

“I told you to let me help. Are you okay?” She’s cocking her head to each side like she’s trying to look around my hand. There isn’t nearly enough concern in her voice considering I probably just broke my nose. Our publicist is going to freak if Don’s stunt ruins his promo photos for our next tour.

“I’m fine.” Then I feel something running down my wrist. Nice. I’m bleeding. I ran into a toolbox, broke my nose, and now it’s not only bleeding but I look like I’m crying in front of the Snow Queen. I should have packed a few more pills. I had no idea there would be so much stress up here.

“Tilt your head back and come inside. I’ll get you cleaned up.” Still no worry. Like this is no big deal and people break their noses in her garage all the time. But then she glances back and I think there might be a little concern in her eyes.

Part of me wants to tell her I’m not going anywhere with her, but it’s cold and my nose hurts so I follow her out of the garage, around the front of the house and through an unpainted metal door. When we walk inside, the only light comes from a small window lighting up racks of helmets and black duffel bags of who knows what. Snow gear hangs from a bar on the wall and almost every other surface. The floors and wall are wooden, and there are about five refrigerators down here. That’s strange as hell.

Maybe it’s where they keep the bodies.

Fucking Don and his need to get me up here—he’ll be sorry when I end up in pieces in someone’s freezer in a crazy house in Alaska.

I pause when my eye catches the back corner of this big open space. It looks like there’s an old trailer stuck inside the house. A trailer. Inside the house. Definitely crazy people.

She jogs up the open wooden stairs, and once again, I follow. The stairs stop in the kitchen, which is really just half the upstairs with a huge-ass picnic table in the middle of it and windows all along the front. I can see Gary is still outside, that same grin on his face. God, they talk more than teenage girls.

My eyes are still watering, but this is the craziest house I’ve ever been in. I blink a few times. The other half of this floor is full of old couches, an ancient TV, and has a few dead animals on the wall. It’s creepy. I need to get my ass back to California.

“Sit,” she tells me, and I find myself plopping onto the bench, resting my weight against the table. I drop my head back and she gives me a towel. “Pinch it.”

“I know what I’m doing.” The last bloody nose I got was when I got in a fight my freshman year. I pinch my nose like she says anyway, though, and look at the wood ceiling. Maybe I should tell these people it’s possible to make houses in something other than wood.

“I’ll be right back,” she says.

I wish I had stayed in the cabin and let the walls close in on me. She stops close when she comes back, and something like vanilla mixed with oil and gasoline drifts around me.

“This might suck a bit at first.” She chuckles before cramming something up one of my nostrils.

“What the fuck?” I yell, pushing forward.

She doesn’t even flinch or apologize or anything. “I know it sounds crazy, but all the hockey players use tampons for bloody noses. They’re the most in-demand item in the first aid kit.”

“So you help with the team or something?” I’m trying to be nice here, but it’s a struggle.

She frowns and shoves something up my other nostril, harder than the first.

Wait. “Tampons?”

“Feel better?” She gives me a fake smile that tells me she knows damn well I don’t feel better and that I did something to piss her off.

“Yeah, incredible. You’ve got an awesome bedside manner. Thinking about being a doctor?”

She looks like she wants to punch me, which is kind of funny and strangely hot.

“Absolutely. Everyone likes doing stuff they’re good at, right?” She gives me a small smile like she’s having fun with me, not mocking me. Yeah right.

I don’t know how to react to this and, honestly, I’m done playing games with her. My feet are soaking wet and cold, I’m covered in blood, my nose aches. Oh, and I have feminine products shoved up my nostrils. “Listen, thanks for...”

Breaking my nose? Actually, I’m not sure I have anything to thank her for. I stand up. It feels like the bleeding is completely stopped, I might admit it could be the tampons, which are coming out the second I leave this place. Now all I want is something good to eat and the lumpy cabin mattress.

Not that I’ve been sleeping or anything. Long days and longer nights when my eyes won’t stay closed and my brain feels like it does on stage.

“I’m going to head back. Do you have the number for any delivery places?”

The smirk is back. “Delivery? Didn’t anyone tell you, you’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto?” Then she does it. She laughs and even though it might be kind of funny, it pisses me off. She must be able to tell because she says, “I’m sorry. I’m not laughing at you. I swear.”

“Nice. Thanks for the hospitality, Snow Queen.”

I still hear her giggling as I walk away and head down the stairs. I’m going back to my stupid cabin, and taking some ibuprofen because of my broken nose. Hopefully along the way, I’ll forget I ever saw this chick. I’m just about to close the door when I hear. “Catch ya later, Bishop Ripe.”

Did I mention I fucking hate Alaska?

OUT OF PLAY is available now!


Barnes and Noble

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Post Where I Update You :)

Book Signing: I will be in New York this week for Chapter by Chapter Book Rave. I'm super excited about this book signing. I've never been to New York and I can't wait to meet local readers! The signing is Saturday September 20th. You can find all the details, HERE.

LGBT Center Donation: I'm "officially" done collecting clothes for the LGBT Youth Center in LA. I currently have a corner of my office full, three boxes in my trunk and two in my garage! Because I'll be gone this week, and since I won't be going to take the clothes in until the end of the month, I can continue to accept donations through Monday the 22nd. They must be in on that date because I'll be making my trip to LA soon after. I'll post a picture soon and show you guys how awesome you are with all the donations you sent in. I'm really honored. I'll post the winner of this giveaway next week. Remember it's for a signed copy of ALL my books! PS... I got a big box all the way from London, you guys! How amazing is that? If you have no idea what I am talking about, you can find my original post, HERE. Oh, I'll also be taking pictures and maybe some video when Melissa and I go in to make the donation. I'll share that as well!

Books: I've gotten a lot of messages and questions about books. I assure you I have been busy, busy! I have more than one book in the works right now, one finished and the other is with beta readers. I should have more info to share with you soon but until then, I'll leave you with an unedited excerpt of the book I just finished. It's called THE WEIGHT OF DESTINY. This is what I call my Virginia Woolf story. Enjoy Ryder and Virginia. I'm pretty in love with them. :)

“You’re strong and beautiful,” I tell her

Virginia chuckles softly and shakes her head.

“It’s just a different kind of strength. You are who you are and you don’t care what people think. You don’t care if you’re sober at a party where everyone is drinking. You don’t give a shit if you’re the girl who leaves to do her homework because that’s important to you.”

“Is it still strength if the reason behind it is fear?” She sounds like she’s drifting away, her voice getting softer and softer. I need to reel her back in, keep her close so I roll to my side. Lean my head into my hand and let my elbow prop me up. With my other one, I brush her cheek with my thumb.

“I don’t know. You’re the smart one. Regardless, I know you’re strong.” Because I know she’s dealing with more than I’ve seen, I just don’t have a clear picture of what it is.

“We’re still different though, so why me?”

Words get trapped in my throat. I can tell her it’s because of what we said—she’s beautiful and strong. I can tell her it’s because sometimes the loneliness in her eyes mirrors mine, only I didn’t know it was there before her. Maybe it’s to prove I won’t screw up with a girl like her the way Luke thinks I will. There are a million possibilities, not all of them good. The only thing that manages to come out is, “Because the weight isn’t as heavy when I’m with you.”

Her breath hitches. I let my fingers gently glide against her neck, her throat. “The weight of what?” she asks.

When she speaks, I feel the words vibrate through my fingertips. It’s a crazy-wild feeling and I want it to keep going, want to touch all her words.

I don’t know… I shrug. “Of everything.”

But it’s not my words that settle into my chest. It’s hers. Virginia shakes her head and answers her own question. “Of destiny.”

It’s in this moment I realize I’m not sure if the life I’ve always seen for myself is the one I want. Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. I’ve always just accepted it, accepted my fate, my destiny. Dad always told me I’m good and I needed that. Craved to be good at something. Dad never asked what I wanted, he just assumed.

Luke tells me what I want, tells me I’m stupid for what I do. He never asks either.

But is it what I want?

It’s another thing I don’t know. There’s something I'm confident in though. “Virginia?”

“Yeah.” She rolls her head to the side slightly so we’re making eye contact.

“Just so we’re clear this time, I want you to be my girlfriend.”

Her smile is so big I think it could make the whole world happy. “Yes.”

One last thing--I will have something really cool to share with you soon. I'm having something made for the books I've been working on and I think you'll really like it.

Have a good week! Hope to see you in New York!

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