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tracy bilen author
tracy bilen author

Cover reveal: The One Thing by Marci Curtis

TOT final cover (2)

I’m so excited to participate in this cover reveal for Agency-mate Marci Curtis, whose book comes out this September!!

A soaring tale of life and love, of sacrifice and renewal, and learning to see people as they really are.

Maggie Sanders might be blind, but she won’t invite anyone to her pity party. Ever since losing her sight six months ago, Maggie’s rebellious streak has taken on a life of its own, culminating with an elaborate school prank. Maggie called it genius. The judge called it illegal. read more…


Lots of us Spencer Hill authors have teamed up to bring you 3 awesome sets of prizes!!! A copy of my book, WHAT SHE LEFT BEHIND, is included in the Grand Prize stocking, and WATCH YOUR BACK bookmarks are included in all prize stockings! Here’s what you need to do:

1. Drool over all the prizes you can win

2. Enter the Rafflecopter drawing below!



Spencer Hill Family-$30 Amazon Gift Card, Candy, and Neat Things read more…

Get Inked Teen Writing Conference/ What She Left Behind on TV news!

I just returned from Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana where I did the keynote address and breakout sessions with a group of incredibly talented and hard working teen writers. The Get Inked Teen Writing Conference is sponsored by the Michiana Writers’Center. The Writers’ Center director, Kathy-Higgs Coulthard, did a fantastic job organizing everything and making sure the day ran smoothly. Kathy is also the author of a touching essay in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot Your Life: 101 Stories about Finding a New Path to Happiness
In addition, Kathy runs a summer camp for young writers. It was a delight to work with all of the students and to hang out with fellow presenters Kathy Higgs-Coulthard, Mary Nicolini, Terri Suico, Tess Guerrero, Erica Vitale, Kelli Stair, and Carrie Morton. Special thanks to Saint Mary’s College, their Education Department, and the Education Department Chair, MaryAnn Traxler, for being so supportive of this day! Also to Nikole DeBois, for her behind-the-scenes work and manning of the check-in table. The publicity department at Saint Mary’s College and Kathy Higgs-Coulthard did an outstanding job promoting the conference, which was at capacity.

WNDU (NBC) South Bend Morning News

WNIT Public Television: Experience Michiana

The Observer

South Bend Tribune

Here’s Kathy:

Kathy Higgs Coulthard


Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot Your Life:

Great teachers and helpers:

Nov 9 2014 014Students hard at work:Nov 9 2014 016Nov 9 2014 018




Nov 9 2014 019Nov 9 2014 020Nov 9 2014 017

Nov 9 2014 015The Saint Mary’s Campus:Nov 9 2014 022

Nov 9 2014 023The moose at the South Bend Chocolate Company:

Nov 9 2014 024



Welcome to the forth stop of The Cemetery Trail!

Halloween Book Trail
This is the first ever Halloween Book Trail, featuring your favorite YA & MG authors! This trail is based on the YAmazing Race with MGnificent Prizes presented by the Apocalypsies. In THIS trail, you’ll find all kinds of posts, and discover new authors and their work.


How do you play? Every post contains information that will lead to killer prizes! Books, swag, skype sessions, locks of hair (jk jk)! At the end of each blog you’ll find a link that will take you to the next stop in the trail. By the end, you’ll find a quiz. Now you’ll be happy you read all the posts! Submit your entry to the quiz for a chance to win a grand prize! Accuracy matters here, so take your time, or go back and refresh your memory! One quiz entry per trail.

If you missed the first few stops, click here for info about all the trails or here for the first stop on the Cemetery Trail! (After 10 am on Oct. 27, 2014). The contest ends on Nov. 1, 2014.


About me:

Tracy 200

I write young adult romantic thrillers. My first book was What She Left Behind
and my second book, Watch Your Backwill be out on April 28, 2015.

You can pre-order it now at Amazon and Barnes and Noble!! And to add to Goodreads, click here.


Here’s the back cover copy of Watch Your Back:


When sixteen-year-old Kate hears the boom that ends her parents’ life, she doesn’t even realize it has anything to do with her. Until the police arrive at her front door.

Sent to live with her aunt at a ski school in Vermont, Kate tries to adapt to her new life. But then Kate’s aunt is hit by a speeding car and a rogue FBI agent tries to force Kate into his car at gunpoint. She’s saved by Ryan, the risk-taking skier she’s only just met.

On the run, the two must unravel the truth about her parents’ murder in order to stop a terrorist plot and save their own lives.

And now, here are my answers to some fun Halloween questions!

What scares the pants out of you? PRISON


What is your dream subject to write about? Anything FBI or Witness Protection


What is your most embarrassing Halloween costume malfunction? I was wearing a pair of blue tights that wouldn’t stay up. At all. As in they kept slipping down to my knees. (Don’t ask why I didn’t just take them off). Since I was fourteen, I was mortified.


What is your favorite Halloween memory? A teacher who filled a bucket up with spaghetti noodles that were dyed red. She was dressed as a witch and told us that she ran over a cat on the way to school.


What is the worst prank you’ve ever pulled? (And if you won’t fess up, what is the best prank your “friend of a friend” has pulled? We “popcorned” our RA’s door in college.

Would you rather be covered in slime or covered in blood? Slime! As a kid I loved green slime.


If the zombie apocalypse happened (and it will), what would be your weapon of choice? Star Trek phaser.


What magical/supernatural creature do you secretly want to be? A unicorn


What is your favorite sentence/paragraph from your novel? From my first book, What She Left Behind: “Sara, we have to go,” she whispers, even though my dad isn’t there to hear her. She’s not crying. She’s calm. Matter-of-fact. As if she’s asking me whether I want mayo or mustard on my sandwich. Except in secret.


Thank you for participating! But before you go, I’m giving you a DOUBLE BONUS CONTEST, open to U.S. & CAN only: a signed copy of What She Left Behind by yours truly PLUS a copy of Killer Instinct by SE Green! (Both will go to the same person) To enter, please use the Rafflecopter box below!

Killer Instinct

a Rafflecopter giveaway

IN ADDITION, from now until the blog hop ends on November 1 (while supplies last!), if you’d like a signed Watch Your Back bookmark, just send me your name and snail mail address through my contact form.


Rin Chupeco



Cover Reveal for Colette Ballard’s Temporary High


The side of his mouth quirked up as he studied me. “I think I might be fallin’ in love.”

I picked up his keys off the bedside table and tossed them to him. “That makes one of us.”

He clutched at his heart in mock pain. Then his perfect red lips formed the word, “Liar.”

Seventeen year-old Kat Chandler has been called worse, but she’s worked hard to make amends for past mistakes and gain control of her life. So she isn’t about to be thrown off her game by some Harley-driving bad boy who’s just moved to town. Luca is mysterious. Aloof. Frustrating. Kat can’t stand him; she can’t seem to stay away from him either.

But she’s forced to reassess the company she keeps when she finds herself being blackmailed by her mom’s con artist ex-boyfriend. Fresh out of prison, Cross has reappeared to collect a debt–Kat’s debt. His demand? Three grand in three weeks or else his stay won’t be temporary. He even offers a suggestion on how to get the cash–and it involves Luca.

Desperate to keep Cross out of her life and the people she cares about safe, Kat devises a plan that will cost her more than just money. She will have to give up control, her hard-won integrity, and possibly the only guy she’s ever fallen for.

Coming May 2015 from Tulip/Spencer Hill Press

Awesome cover! Congrats, Colette!

New book from Colette Ballard!

Exciting news for fans of Running on Empty: the  PW announcement for Colette’s second book! Congrats, Colette!

Colette Ballard’s TEMPORARY HIGH, in which a seventeen-year-old girl feels in control of everything in her life until the man who almost destroyed it years earlier reappears to collect a debt, and paying up means she must not only break the law, but also the heart of the only guy she’s ever fallen for, to Marie Romero at Spencer Hill Press, by Kevan Lyon at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

You can add TEMPORARY HIGH to your Goodreads TBR pile here.

Also, if you haven’t read Meg Cabot’s touching 9-11 post, you can find it here.


TV writer of Bones, YA author: Hilary Weisman Graham

Here’s a teaser from my interview with Hilary Weisman Graham, writer for the TV series Bones and YA author of Reunited:

Hilary Weisman Graham

What is your work day like?

At any given point a couple of writers will be off on script or outline and one writer will be on set shooting the episode they wrote. The rest of the writers will be split into groups in two smaller writers’ rooms , the tone of which varies, depending on the story we’re breaking and how well it’s going at the moment. As a new member of the staff, I’ve discovered group procrastination involves a lot more raucous laughter and spontaneous dance parties than my former procrastination technique (surfing the internet) back when I was writing alone at home. But I eat about the same amount of snacks.
To read the rest of my interview with Hilary, head on over to YA Fusion

Waiting on Wednesay: Vision by Lisa Amowitz

Looking forward to reading this thrilling novel by Lisa Amowitz!
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

The light is darker than you think… 

High school student Bobby Pendell already has his hands full—he works almost every night to support his disabled-vet father and gifted little brother. Then he meets the beautiful new girl in town, who just happens to be his boss’s daughter. Bobby has rules about that kind of thing. Nothing matters more than keeping his job.

When Bobby starts to get blinding migraines that come with scary, violent hallucinations, his livelihood is on the line. Soon, he must face the stunning possibility that the visions of murder are actually real. With his world going dark, Bobby is set on the trail of the serial killer terrorizing his small town. With everyone else convinced he’s the prime suspect, Bobby realizes that he, or the girl he loves, might be killer’s next victim.

Add VISION to Goodreads
Buy early on Amazon (starting now)!

Lisa Amowitz was born in Queens and raised in the wilds of Long Island, New York where she climbed trees, thought small creatures lived under rocks and studied ant hills. And drew. A lot.

Lisa has been a professor of graphic design at  Bronx Community College where she has been tormenting and cajoling students for nearly eighteen years. She started writing eight years ago because she wanted something to illustrate, but somehow, instead ended up writing YA. Probably because her mind is too dark and twisted for small children.

BREAKING GLASS which was released July 9, 2013 from Spencer Hill Press, is her first published work. VISION, the first of the Finder series will be released in 2014 along with an unnamed sequel in the following year. LIFE AND BETH will also be released in the near future. So stay tuned because Lisa is very hyper and has to create stuff to stay alive.

Enter to win: : Signed first edition Vision, Breaking Glass ebook, Vision themed necklace. International ebook of Breaking Glass and Vision a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tag – You’re it! (My writing process)

Thanks to my writing mentor, Shutta Crum, for tagging me in the writing process blog hop! Shutta is the author of many picture books, including Fox and Fluff (my favorite) and Thunder Boomer (my daughter’s favorite) as well as the middle grade novels Spitting Image and Thomas and the Dragon Queen. You can read all about her and her writing process (and learn what happened when she was invited to read at the White House Easter Egg Roll) at her website. And stay tuned at the end of this post for the two cool authors I’m tagging for next week! But first, let me tell you about my writing process!

What are you currently working on?

In the next few weeks I should be getting edits for my upcoming YA novel, WATCH YOUR BACK, which is coming soon from Tulip Romance/Spencer Hill. It’s just been added to Goodreads (like today!), so you can add it to your To Read pile HERE! Also later this month will be the cover release for WATCH YOUR BACK. I can’t wait to share my awesome cover for this book about…


When sixteen-year-old Kate hears the boom that ends her parents’ life, she doesn’t even realize it has anything to do with her. Until the police arrive at her front door.

Sent to live with her aunt at a ski school in Vermont, Kate tries to adapt to her new life. But then Kate’s aunt is hit by a speeding car and a rogue FBI agent tries to force Kate into his car at gunpoint. She’s saved by Ryan, the risk-taking skier she’s only just met.

On the run, the two must unravel the truth about her parents’ murder in order to stop a terrorist plot and save their own lives.

Besides working on WATCH YOUR BACK, this summer I’ll also be working on a new manuscript, which I’m calling (for moment at least!) WHISPER, also a thriller.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My new book, WATCH YOUR BACK, takes place at a boarding school for high school students who want to become professional skiers and snowboarders. It’s a mix of my two favorite genres – thriller and romance!

Why do I write what I write?

When I started to write my first novel, I was just barely out of high school myself, so YA was what felt most comfortable to me. As a high school teacher, I’ve still got a foot in that world, so I still love reading and writing YA.

How does my individual writing process work?

This is how I start a new book:

1. Float through life certain I will never come up with an idea. This process can last days, weeks, months…

2. Sit down at computer in front of a blank screen.

3. Stare at screen. Put fingers on keyboard. Type random story ideas.

4. Hone in on one sentence that I love. Run with it. Write all day. If I have to go anywhere, live out the story in my head. Give monosyllabic answers to anyone I meet. Get back to computer. Stay up late and write. Live in this euphoric world for the first 50 pages, then…

5. Bam! Get stuck. Outline. Write the end.

6. Float through life certain I will never finish this book. This process can last days, weeks, months…

7. Return to computer. Begin a log of how many words I write each day. Trick myself into thinking I will finish in a month.

8. Continue to obsess about word counts until I only have 10,000 words to go.

9. Consume lots of Super Pretzels and hot chocolate (doesn’t matter what season)

10. Reach the end! Go to Barnes and Noble for a red velvet cupcake (if still in season)

So there you have it, my writing process in ten (easy??) steps! And now, tag – you’re it! Go write that novel!! But first, check out novelists Marissa Doyle and Patti Richards. Marissa is the author of several YA and historical books and writes a cool blog on what it was like to be a teen in the nineteenth century! Patti is living the writing dream, earning her living as a freelance writer by day, and writing picture books and novels by night! Head on over to their websites right now, and be sure to check in on them again next week (June 16) when they’ll be sharing their own writing process secrets! Also next week, I’ll be blogging over at YA Fusion. See you there!



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