Princesses, Unicorns, and Zombies

September 15th, 2010

I’m leaving today for my big signing in Denver (can’t believe it’s tomorrow . . . click here to find out all the juicy details!) to benefit Craig Hospital . . .

. . . and also to sneak in a visit my brother (yes, the cop) and my nieces and my mom (who is originally from Denver, and is flying in for the occasion) and her brother and sister and her kids and oh, my God, I just realized almost my entire family lives in Denver! It’s about time I went back for a visit.

I hope I’ll see YOU at one or two of my events there (or one of the many family barbecues I’ll be attending, or even one of my school visits)!

But if you can’t make any of those, DON’T WORRY: you can still join in the fun and support the Craig Hospital by clicking here and using this voucher (you can even forward it and/or the code number to your family and friends) at any Barnes and Noble in the country between now and September 24 (you can even use it for online purchases)!

Funds from this in-store book fair and the Kappa Book & Author Dinner provide scholarships to Craig Hospital patients for continuing education!

Denver’s Craig Rehabilitation Hospital is one of the finest rehabilitation and research hospitals for spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury in the world. Every single person reading this knows someone who has (or is related to someone who has) suffered a brain or spinal cord injury . . . because you know me!

A little more than a decade ago, He Who Shall Not Be Named In This Blog’s sister was in her backyard with her two children and their father, Tom, when he miscalculated a dive and hit his head on the bottom of the shallow end of the pool (this is why we do not allow diving in our pool at my house, even on the deep end).

Although she was able to save her husband from drowning, there was nothing HWSHNBNITB’s sister could do keep Tom from becoming a quadriplegic, which he is still today, although thanks to a lot of rehab, Tom did regain some mobility in his arms, and was able to go back to work part-time.

That’s why supporting places like Craig is so important. They help patients who have suffered these kind of traumatic injuries learn to return home, and even to school, work, and regain independence.

That’s why I’m off trying to help the Kappas raise money for Craig graduates . . .

. . . and visit BOTH my nieces’ classes, as well my twin cousins, AND hang out with Mom and her sister and brother, and MAYBE convince my brother to take me to the police target range (for research!).

But in the meantime, I wanted to tell you about a few other things that are going on—things I almost forgot in all the craziness in getting my book done before I leave!

SUC50535
I’m flummoxed how this (my brother) . . .

. . . produced this (allegedly one of my nieces).
SUC50628
Not possible, surely? Why is there no food/dirt on her? Must investigate further.

First of all, did you know I have stories in not one, but TWO fantastic anthologies out THIS MONTH? I know, I didn’t either (you write these things and then forget about them and then a year later, they come out, and it’s like, “What? Oh, I forgot about that!”)

And if you buy them (or any of my books) before September 24, and do it at Barnes and Noble, and
use this voucher, you can help a Craig graduate! (I’m just saying.)

Not only that, but all the proceeds of THIS book (below) are also going to Reading is Fundamental (RIF), which is the nation’s largest and oldest literacy organization!

Fear: 13 Stories of Suspense and Horror is edited by none other than the king of Horror and Suspense himself, R.L. Stine, and my story, The Night Hunter, is about a young woman who works part-time in the mall, a job she—unlike her snobby co-worker—actually needs, because her mother has blown her college fund.

She tries to make the time at work pass more quickly by calling the local radio station and begging them to play “Night Hunter,” a song by a local band that’s about the mysterious—but hot—new vigilante in town. The Night Hunter allegedly dresses all in black leather and rides a motorcycle, stopping criminals—single-handedly—that the police can’t seem to catch themselves.

But is the Night Hunter even real? Who is he? No one knows.

The last thing our heroine expects is that she’s someone who’d ever need the Night Hunter’s services . . . let alone that he would ever bother to save someone like her . . . .

But that’s exactly what happens when she’s taken hostage during an armed robbery later that evening, while the mall is shutting down for the night.

Will the Night Hunter save her? Or will he, too, let her down, just like everyone else in her life?

Here’s a review of Fear: 13 Stories of Suspense and Horror from Kirkus:

Thirteen highly suspenseful short stories, well selected by none other than R. L. Stine, who contributes the first tale, have the power to attract and delight many stouthearted young readers. The man behind the Goosebumps and Fear Street megaseries enlists some of the best in the business, such as Meg Cabot and F. Paul Wilson, Walter Sorrells and James Rollins, who offer plenty of heart-throbbing supernatural horror, crime suspense, shockers and sometimes a mixture of all three. Babysitters may want to skip creepy “Jeepers Peepers” from Ryan Brown and a standout chiller from Jennifer Allison, “The Perfects,” both of which offer little hope for their victims. Alane Ferguson pens the chilling “Dragonfly Eyes,” which follows the feelings of a murdered girl as she strains to offer ghostly help to another endangered girl. Heather Brewer’s “Shadow Children” brings to life those monsters that children know really are there in the dark. The editor pitches the collection to either middle- or high-school audiences with inventive but still easily understood stories. It’s a winning set—there isn’t a dud in the bunch. Fast-paced, shuddery-scary fun. (Horror/short stories. 12 & up)

I have to tell you, I haven’t even gotten a copy of this book yet! So I haven’t read anyone else’s story yet. But I can’t wait!

Then get ready for:


Zombies Vs. Unicorns

Yes! You’ve been waiting for it, and it’s finally here! People have been talking about this one for a long time .

I have to admit, I never really got the controversy. I mean, I LOVED Max Brooks’ novel about the coming zombie apocalypse, World War Z (soon to be a movie with Brad Pitt.)

And I adored the remake of George A. Romero’s classic zombie flick The Crazies (Timothy Olyphant can’t be in enough movies or TV shows, in my opinion).

But I also always loved Tom Cruise and Mia Sara in the unicorn filled romance adventure Legend.

And who doesn’t haven’t a soft spot for Charlie The Unicorn ?

But if someone gave me the choice, a pet zombie or a pet unicorn, it really wouldn’t be much of a contest.

And I feel that in my contribution to this anthology, Princess Prettypants, I prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that zombies (as well as partying frat boys) are no match for my heroine, or the gift she receives for her 17th birthday . . . a gift which at first, I’ll admit, she’s a little disappointed by. She was hoping for a car.

But trust me, she soon changes her mind when trouble starts brewing, and she sees what happens when you make the mistake of judging a unicorn by its name.


Unicorn fan art by Hibbary! So beautiful.

In other news, while I was sitting around writing about guys on motorcycles and unicorns, Michele Jaffe’s friend (and mine too, now) Heather got a new law made in New York. In fact, she got a new law named for her daughter, Elle (Princess Elle, I like to call her, in my head).

I know. Some people write about unicorns. Some people get laws made. I try not to feel inadequate most days, but it’s hard.

To quote from The New York Times, who can put it more succinctly than I can:

A year ago September 23, Elle was on a scooter in a crosswalk on East 82nd Street when a driver in a Ford Bronco struck her as he backed down the street in pursuit of a parking spot. Elle suffered a serious stroke not long after she arrived at the emergency room with a fractured skull. She spent the next four months in the intensive care unit and ultimately endured 11 operations, with doctors warning her parents to prepare for the worst — that Elle would most likely never walk or talk, if she even survived.

The man who “nearly killed her in his quest for a parking spot walked away with nothing more than a ticket.”

This prompted Heather, Elle’s mom—who realized “if he had had a few drinks the authorities could prosecute; sober, this unsafest of drivers was safe from severe punishment—to channel her frustration toward the absurdity of the traffic laws.”

Two weeks ago, New York state Governor David A. Paterson signed a bill declaring that drivers who flout traffic laws and seriously injure pedestrians in the process can lose their license for six months or, if it is a repeat offense, one year.

This is now known as Elle’s Law .

Wow.

Elle started pre-kindergarten last week. Good job, Heather! And good healing, Elle!

So . . . like I said. Brain injuries (as well as spinal cord injuries) can happen to any of us at any time. YOU MIGHT EVEN KNOW SOMEONE THEY HAVE HAPPENED TO (or know someone who knows someone they have happened to).

So I’m EXTRA glad to be attending this benefit to raise money for Craig Hospital this week.

So PLEASE, if you buy Fear or Zombie vs. Unicorns or the newest Allie Finkle, Blast From The Past (I’m loving this review of it!), or any of my books (or anyone else’s) this month, do the princessy thing: Use this voucher, and buy from Barnes and Noble!

And don’t forget:

Join me at this signing!
When: Thursday, September 16, 11 AM-2PM
Where: Barnes and Noble at 14347 W. Colfax Avenue, Lakewood CO 80401

Then join me later for
The 21st Annual Kappa Book & Author Dinner to benefit Craig Hospital’s Harry R. Hahn, MD Alumni Scholarship Fund.
When: Thursday, September 16, 2010

5:45 PM: Patron Party
6:00 PM: Cash bar & Book sales
7:00 PM: Dinner
Where: Hyatt Regency Tech Center

7800 East Tufts Avenue
Denver, CO 80237
Telephone: 303.799.1234 for tickets
www.denverkappa.org

And in case you’re at Wendy’s and find yourself unsure how to prepare cold drinks here is how. I feel bad because I think earlier in the month I posted about how to prepare hot drinks, and I didn’t want to leave you hanging. Sorry!

More later.

Much love,

Meg