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.


Podcast Review: Writing Excuses–Creating Suspense

Don’t forget, you can win advanced copies of Matched, The Duff, and Nightshade at the contest page. It’s super easy to enter, so head on over and get yourself a copy…or you know, three.

Podcast Reviews: I’ve always listened to the occasional podcast, but after attending a recent talk, I made a resolution to make this a more usual part of my entertainment. Since podcasts still sort of operate on the periphery of most people’s consciousness, I’ve decided to help you out by scouring the internet for the podcast shows that I think you, as readers, writers, and generally thoughtful human beings, should be listening to. I’ll take notes on the show, give you the cliff notes version, and then let you decide if you want to venture over and become a regular listener.

Today, I’m listening to the guys over at Writing Excuses. Yes, Yes, I’ve already reviewed them but that’s because I’m obsessed. You would be crazy not to listen to these guys and I would be crazy not to share with you some of the best writing advice on the web. So, here you go, Round 2 of Writing Excuses.

Episode 5.4: Creating Suspense

To paraphrase a famous quote from Hitchcock, Put a bomb under the table. If it goes off that’s action, it it doesn’t, that’s suspense.

Example of good suspense: Inglorious Bastards – There is a scene full of dialog when all things are in place for something horrible to happen but it doesn’t.

And what about Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? The moviemakers show someone choose the wrong cup and so we, the audience, know what happens if Indiana doesn’t choose the right cup. The scene is suspenseful because we know the potential consequences.

Therefore, mystery and suspense are actually polar opposites. It’s not suspenseful unless enough information is given. Mystery is when we can’t see what’s under the table.

Another example: DuneDune is interesting because it is written with an omniscient narrator, meeting that the narrator knows what’s going on in everyone’s head everywhere. Traitors are revealed, which gives up mystery in favor of suspense. In Dune, we are hoping the characters will lift up the tablecloth.

Suspense comes down to character. The audience wants to know how they’ll react and if they will react in time.

But we shouldn’t downplay mystery because mystery is the part that gives the audience the pop of “Oh hey, that’s cool!” In fact, it’s a valuable tool to be able to switch between mystery and suspense to keep the tension.

Another way to create suspense is by convincing the audience you mean business. Some authors do this by killing off a beloved character. The audience no knows anyone can die. However, there are different opinions on that tactic because character deaths should be meaningful. This might be considered a cheap trick, a crutch, but it’s there. What readers really want is to be convinced that anyone can die and yet not have the characters die. You’ll notice it’s hard to create suspense while writing in first person because we want the reader to be in fear. So, what the author needs is an alternate fail condition. (i.e. will the narrator remain a good guy?)

Consider a slasher flick compared to HP Lovecraft. In Lovecraft, for instance, the fear is that the main character will go insane. And you know what? That can be just as suspenseful because in our normal lives, we don’t often wake up in fear that we’re going to die today.

Suspense can be created when the audience is thinking: I hope so-and-so doesn’t do such-and-such and then we cut to where so-and-so is about to do such-and-such.

The story needs a sense of progress. Put a ticking time bomb in the book.


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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!