Contest Winners!

Last week, Shana Silver and I held a contest to win an ARC of MATCHED plus several other ARCs.

Here are some of my favorite responses when the entrants were asked to match up a boy from my list with a boy from Shana’s list.

Nathalie says:

Cameron Morgan with Humbert Humbert because…I think he’d really like her.

Authorwithin says:

Bella from Twilight and Scrooge. He’s a controlling miser and apparently Bella likes to be submissive. She took care of her father and would have no problem serving good old Ebenezer. Plus, she’s used to cold men so Eb’s cold shoulder wouldn’t bother her. A perfect match.

Besides, Scrooge’s fiance, Belle, left him so replacing her with Bella whose name is only one letter away seems appropriate. =D

Jen Hayley says:

I’d like to team up Katniss and Voldemort, just to see what would happen!

Beth says:

I’m going to say Zoey Redbird and James from Twilight because Zoey needs another bad boy vampire boyfriend. Plus, he’ll chase her down if she tries to stray too much.

Writertessa says:

Cameron Morgan from Gallagher Girls and Voldemort!!! Not because I hate Cameron but because she and her spy-girl network can keep Voldemort in line :)

Dara says:

Hermione and George Wickham from Pride and Prejudice. I think her logical nature and no-nonsense attitude would straighten out the cad. She’d keep him in line. And I think he’d introduce her to her wild side a little more :P Plus their both Brits–that’s gotta be a plus, right? LOL.

Spav says:

I would match Rose from Vampire Academy and James from Twilight because Rose would be able to kick his ass when he steps out of line and she could also try to make him a better “vampire”.

Kelley says:

I was going to go with Hermione and The Grinch because, just like Cindy Loo Hoo, Hermione would melt that grumpsters heart in no time, but then I realized Bella really needs someone to whip her annoyingness into shape. So, I’m settling with Bella and Voldemort. There’s no way her all-powerful shield will be able to protect anyone from Voldemort’s evil.

Emily says:

Katniss and Scrooge, because the story of Katniss’ depressing childhood will soften his heart without having to go through all that pesky ghosts of Christmas past stuff. Plus, with their combined (significant) financial resources, Katniss can help so many more people in need.

Secret_Ivy says:

I match Voldemort and Bella from Twilight because Bella can love any kind of monster if he has the right heart. Who knows? Does Voldemort have heart??? LOL


Looks like Bella and Katniss are going to have to battle it out to see which one gets Scrooge and which one lives (happily?) ever after with Voldy. Bella can shield Katniss’s attacks but we all know Katniss has a way with breaking down invisible shields. I’d love to see how this plays out.

And now for the winners. Drumroll please…

1st place goes to:


(who posted on my blog)

Second place goes to:


(who posted on Shana’s blog)

Third place goes to:


(who posted on Shana’s blog)

Prizes available:

Matched, The Duff, Nightshade, and The Map Thief are all ADVANCED READER COPIES

Losing Faith is signed by the other

Chosen is a regular book


1st place winner will choose first, then the 2nd place winner will choose from the remaining books, and 3rd place will get whichever is left. If the winners could email me at shanasilver at gmail dot com with their address and then rank the books from 1-6 with 1 being the one you want most, I’ll figure out who gets what and send it off! Since the books are possibly coming from different locations (since some are Chandler’s, some are mine), they might not all arrive in the same package.


MATCHED Contest!

When? January 17-January 24 

What? Matched Contest
Where? The combined blogs of Shana Silver and Chandler Craig
How? All you have to do is pick a “Girl” from Chandler’s list (below) and a “Boy” from the Shana’s list and tell us why the two characters should be matched for life. Leave your message in the comments and we’ll pick on January 25th.


1st Place: Choice of 3 books
2nd Place: Choice of 2 books
3rd Place: Choice of 1 book
1st place winner will choose first, then the 2nd place winner will choose from the remaining books, and 3rd place will get whichever is left.
Prizes available:
-ARC of MATCHED by Ally Condie
-ARC of THE DUFF by Kody Keplinger
-ARC of NIGHTSHADE by Andrea Cremer
-Signed finished copy of LOSING FAITH by Denise Jaden
-Copy of CHOSEN by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one… until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow — between perfection and passion.



Bella from Twilight
Hermione from Harry Potter
Aislinn from Wicked Lovely
Katsa from Graceling
Clary Fray from Mortal Instruments
Cameron Morgan from Gallagher Girls
Mary from Forest of Hands and Teeth
Zoey Redbird from House of Night
Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy
Viola Cohen from As You Wish
Gemma Doyle from A Great and Terrible Beauty
Charlotte Doyle from The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
Chloe Saunders from the Darkest Powers trilogy
Tally Youngblood from Uglies
Ever Bloom from Evermore
Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games
Ruby Oliver from The Boyfriend List
Stargirl from Stargirl
Kiki Strike from Kiki Strike

And remember, if you love us, tweet it. If you really love us, blog it!

An Open Letter To the Significant Others of Writers On Sub

April 8, 2009

Dear Significant Others of Writers on Submission,

We know you are always trying to say the right thing, to be supportive, and to deal with our writerly nuttiness. Thank you. We appreciate your awesomeness. We really do. But sometimes we can’t help but think you need a little help in the what-not-to-say department. So since writers on sub can be a bit, well, testy–hey, you try checking your email 3,542 x per day–I’d love to help you not get your eyes clawed out or, at the very least, avoid sticking your foot in your mouth. S0und good? Great. 

First rule is that we need to be able to talk about the publishing world almost 24/7. Most girls follow celebrities on Twitter. We follow editors. And we scrutinize the publishing rumor mill more than Perez Hilton does the dysfunctional relationship that is Speidi. We know you want to change the subject because, despite what our internet communities tell us, we guess that the whole world is not fascinated by how books are made. We know this. But we can’t stop our mouths from talking about it. So, please, just let us run ourselves out of new information. Pretty please?

Second, there is this thing called Publishers Marketplace. And on it, we see all the new deals that are made each day. If you’re a Significant Other, I guess you already know this. But anyway, there is probably going to be a day when we see a new deal posted whose premise sounds suspiciously close to ours. This revelation will be followed closely by a meltdown. So, when we come to you and tell you that all is lost because so-and-so book just sold and it sounds exactly like ours don’t–I repeat–Do. Not. Say, “That does sound a lot like yours!” Or any variation thereof. Books aren’t patents, ok? Remind us that there is Twilight and Vampire Academy and House of Night and all of them, at the exact same time, do just fine. Repeat after me: “It’s all in the execution.” 

As a short interlude, I’d like to arm you with a few key phrases that will serve you well throughout this difficult time: “Your agent loved it, someone else will, too;” “It only takes one;” “I’ve read it and it’s fabulous;” “Even Harry Potter was rejected a couple times!”  Pair those with, “Here, honey, have a glass of wine” or the almost equally powerful, “Here, honey, have some chocolate” and you will be well prepared.

Now, that we have created an essential toolbox of sorts, let’s move onto something you absolutely must not say. Please do not “helpfully” remind us that it takes some authors years and years to get published. In our little heads, though we won’t say it aloud, we secretly hope that our book will sell overnight. We certainly are not thinking that after coming this far it will take years. We categorize that as a “cross that bridge when we come to it” type conversation. ‘Nuff said.

Writers are trained to ask “what if…” by trade. What if this happened to this character? What if that happened next? So, yeah, there is a fair bit of, What if I ended up at this publishing house? What if The Call comes today? Don’t remind us that we are getting ahead of ourselves. Let us plan how we will celebrate and look at where our book would fit on the shelf. That’s what has kept us writing up to this point!

Finally, please, oh, please do not make us part with our cellphones! We’re going to sit with it out everywhere we go and turning it to silent and keeping it under the table on dates is really, really hard, so try to appreciate that. You ask what would happen if we didn’t find out the good–or bad–news at the exact moment it was available–Ok, you have a point there. I’m not sure what exactly would happen. But it would be bad, we just know it. So, while we have not exactly thought out what would happen if our agent or editor called while we were on the potty, we’d figure it out. Trust us. 

Thank you for listening, friends, and may your writer have a quick sale! 

Yours Truly, 


Review in Questions: I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You

The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is a fairly typical all-girls schools–that is, it would be if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses, but it’s really a school for spies.



Cammie Morgan is a second-generation Gallagher Girl, and by her sophomore year she’s already fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways (one of which involves a piece of uncooked spaghetti). But the one thing the Gallagher Academy hasn’t prepared her for is what to do when she falls for a boy who think’s she’s an ordinary girl.


Favorite thing about the book?

The voice is great. Not annoying, but still very teenager. Cammie is clever and likable. However, my favorite part was definitely the format of the book. We talked last week about first person POV and, one of my favorite things to see in a first person narrative is a creative format, a creative reason why the narrator is telling his or her story. 

In this book, the narrative is couched in a Covert Operations Report, which Cammie has been encouraged to write in order to detail her involvement in the events of the semester before. 

Obligatory least favorite thing about the book?

Not sure what happened with one of the main characters. She didn’t really play a part in the end, which was really too bad. Although, I assume she’ll play a major role in the later books. 

What was most surprising about the book?

The last page–sorry, no spoilers here. There’s a quick little sentence, though, that surprised me. 

Favorite Character?

Macey McHenry

Underlying themes?

Girl Power. I think the reader gets hammered on the head with this one. 

After this book you felt…?

Amused and happy. 

Who would you recommend this book to?

Folks that like the teenagery YA voice, but with less angst. 

Fans of Harry Potter or House of Night that are craving the boarding school-set series. 

Readers who enjoy the girl power messages of E. Lockhart. 

Finally, how long did it take you to read?

This is sort of embarrassing, but I started reading this in July of ’08! Honestly, this has nothing to do with the quality of the book. Nate read it in a day. But, I would describe it not so much as a can’t-put-it-down type book, but a happy read. I kept picking up this book when I wanted a laugh or feel amused. It’s a nice book for the nightstand and always put me in a good mood. It’s just so darn cute. 

Actually, though, my timing is good because Gallagher Girls #3 comes out soon, so y’all are just in time to read the first two if you so desire and then pick up Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover


Friday Five


Holy cow a Friday Five on *gasp* Friday! Whoddathunkit?


1. On the writing front, still waiting on agent revision notes for the proposal. Hoping to get those soon, so I can work on revisions this week because…

2. I’m on Spring Break! Wooohooooo Spring Break ’09, Girls Gone Wild, Woooohooo. Oh wait. This is law school spring break–which yes, does not deserve capitalization. Law school spring break entails lots of sitting in my apartment trying to catch up on my outlines before said revision notes come. And, oh yeah, a couple interviews. Still, a nice and needed break! 

3. Check out Shelli’s Comment Your Butt Off contest on her blog Market My Words. Shelli is giving away the fab prize of a professionally designed website worth $1,000! How nice is that? All you have to do is, well, comment your butt off. And there is also extra credit. 

4. Try as I might, I am still the worst Twitter-er on Planet Earth. I want to figure it out. I do! But I don’t get what to do? Do I just start talking to people? I was very pleased when I learned the whole “@” feature. But then I realized I didn’t know what to say. Oh dear. 

5. Cool blogs I’ve discovered this week: Rachel Vincent,  Diana Peterfreund,  and Adrienne Kress.


**An aside: Younger readers of this blog. I heart you. I do. Please keep reading books. Keep reading this blog and keep commenting on the reviews of books you love. But let me make one thing clear. And I must admit this has been a bit startling to me because I thought I’d made this abundantly clear due to the URL of Fumbling with Fiction (, etc. But, anyway, here it is: I did not write the House of Night books. Like y’all I love them. But I can’t take credit for them. P.C. and Kristin Cast, a  wonderful mother-daughter team, wrote those books. This is not their blog, however a quick google seach for P.C. Cast will lead you to more information about the upcoming books in the series. I do appreciate the emails, though, and the comments. So, if you’d like to discuss the books, feel free to email me directly and I will happily respond. [chandler1986 at gmail dot com]

Recommend Responsibly Part 2: A Book for Everyone


As promised, we’re discussing what books to recommend and to whom. Reading isn’t one size fits all and, as writers (or readers) who want to support the book industry, we know we need to recommend responsibly. We do that by encouraging so-called  “non-readers” to read and thus, hopefully, converting them into at least occasional book-buyers. But, we can’t do this by impressing non-readers with our love for dense, flowerly prose or by insisting that they’ll love whatever genre we write in. Or by peddling every book we love. We recommend books like we give presents–we think of the recipient.

Rule Number Two: We ditch the snobbery. A lot of writers aren’t fond of celebrity authors. Who can blame them? Here we are working our bums off, fighting through rejection, and in walks Lauren Conrad with a three book deal. But BIG books, like these celebrity books sell. People like them. We *want* publishers to make money so they can take risks on other manuscripts. So, if you think your Aunt Matilda would like to read Maureen McCormick’s new book, then get it for her, or recommend it! No worries.

Ok, so I’ll need y’alls help making this list, but I’m going to try to start thinking of types of people and what types of books they like. When it’s done I’ll add it to the books I recommend page.


Middle School girl: Beacon Street Girls, Savvy by Ingrid Law, The Floating Circus by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter

Middle School boy: Zen and the Art of Faking It by Jordan Sonnenblick, The Wishlist by Eoin Colfer, The Giggler Treatment by Roddy Doyle, Antsy Does Time by Neal Shusterman, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein

High School girl: Girl, Hero by Carrie Jones, The City in The Lake by Rachel Neumeier, Shift by Jen Bradbury, Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

(If looking for non-edgy-Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson)

High School boy: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr, Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein

College girl: The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella, Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr, Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr, Bergdorf Blondes by Plum Sykes, Magic Lost, Trouble Found by Lisa Shearin, Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn, Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler

College boy: Foundation by Isaac Asimov, Lolita by Nabokov, John Adams by David McCullough, Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, Freakonomics by Stephen Dubner

30s-40s-50s women: The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, A Lotus Grows in the Mud by Goldie Hawn, Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, The Sinner by Tess Gerritsen

30s-40s-50s men: American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson by Joseph J. Ellis, Marley and Me by John Grogan, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin


For the Southern fic reader: Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

For the no-nonsense, none of that fantasy junk reader: Sophie’s Choice by William Styron

For the historical fiction lover: The News from Paraguay by Lily Tuck

For the hopeless romantic: The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

For the woman growing up: Eat Love Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert

For the why-would-I-read-fiction-unless-I’m-learning-something reader: Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

For the vampire lovers (adult): Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice

For the vampire lovers (young adult): House of Night by P.C. and Kristin Cast

For the celebrity gossip lover: Confessions of An Heiress

For the lawyer: One L by Scott Turow

For the guy searching for the meaning of life: The Zahir by Paulo Coelho

For the I-Miss-Harry-Potter reader: His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman


Ok, wow, that was exhausting! I’m sure I’ll think of more later. But help me out!

Virtual Book Drive



So this has been a super fun week in publishing. No denying that. Posts from Nathan Bransford and Moonrat, while informative, have left me wanting to tear my hair out a bit. Their silver lining? Publishing isn’t going to wither away completely. Great. Their advice? Buy new books.

Sure, you might feel that, as an individual, you don’t have much to offer. To which my response is not “See a therapist” but “Buy a book!”

I promise you can skip the chinese takeout this weekend and go out and purchase one book. Because as much fun as nibbling at your nailbeds whilst mulling over the future of your publishing career might be, proactivity is almost always more satisfying. (I’m very grassrootsy today)

Give book stores your vote of confidence today (or any time in the next two weeks). Go buy a book and slow down returns to the publisher.


First, click the poll and tell me how many books you plan to buy. Second, feel free to add the poll above to your blog and to ask people to buy books. If you have a book out that you’d wouldn’t mind people checking out provide a link to amazon in the comments section. If you have decided to ask others to buy books, link to your blog in the comments section.


I will add any links I get to my sidebar.


Today, I bought the first House of Night book, Marked, for  a friend, and Nate bought Chosen, the third book in the series for himself.


Get out there and buy those books!