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TRIXTER Tees Now Available!

We’ve appeased the Brute Squad…now we have to tackle ALL THE BOOKS OF ARILLAND. Starting with Trixter, because you know Trix Woodcutter would demand that his t-shirt be done FIRST…

TRIXTER tee varieties

TRIXTER (gold): http://amzn.to/1Q40ZJl
TRIXTER: (blue/gold): http://amzn.to/1RpYcKD
TRIXTER (green): http://amzn.to/1Q40OO0

ALL T-SHIRTS $19.99!
Each style available in FIVE different colors
Click the image to mix and match!

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Official Princess Alethea T-Shirts Now Available!

That’s right: Official Princess Alethea Brute Squad T-Shirts are now available from Amazon — only $19.99 for a limited time!

Each design is available in FIVE different colors — Men’s, Women’s & Children’s sizes (relaxed fit). Click through to mix and match your favorite combination and ORDER TODAY!

Princess Alethea’s Brute Squad (double-sided) Lavender: http://amzn.to/1RiiYMh
Brute Squad Blue/Gold Fancy Shield: http://amzn.to/1mY4OoN
Brute Squad Purple/Green Fancy Shield: http://amzn.to/1SUUhZF
Princess Alethea’s Brute Squad (double-sided) Black: http://amzn.to/1VzpOyd
Princess Alethea’s Brute Squad (double-sided) White: http://amzn.to/1QVlVjf
Large Brute Squad Shield (white): http://amzn.to/1Q07FrM
Large Brute Squad Shield (black): http://amzn.to/1T6WB0a
Med Brute Squad Shield (black): http://amzn.to/1OuNuhi

Princess Alethea's Brute Squad T-Shirts

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Princess Treasures!

Good morning, everyone! I’m home from the Big Apple and have already taken nap one for the day. Huzzah! The rest of the day will consist of: reading, napping, writing reviews, napping, and drinking LOTS of water. What are you up to this fine morning?

Well, when you’re done with that, pop over to Treasured Tales for Young Adults to read a lovely interview with MOI and win some swag! Not a book this time, but cool fun Princess Alethea Stuff. Included in the prize pack are:

1x Alethea Kontis card (signed by Alethea); 1x The Monster and Mrs Blake bookmark; 1x A is for Alice sticker: 1x Alpha Oops business card; 1x Enchanted magnet; 1x Alethea Kontis magnet; 1x Enchanted postcard; 1x Alethea Kontis postcard; 1x The Wonderland Alphabet postcard; 1x Enchanted card with book description.

All you have to do is fill out the rentry form! (And be a follower of the Treasured Tales for Young Adults blog (very worth it)).  You are also welcome to leave a comment telling us what magic ability YOU would have if you could. Want to know what mine is? The answer is in the interview!

Click on over. Be awesome. I’m gonna check in on you to see your answers later!

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Chip In for Gas!

I love this day and age when you can wish for something AND IT ALREADY EXISTS.

Why, just the other day, I was wishing there was a place like Kickstarter where I could set up a page and ask my friends if they’d like to help chip in for gas money on my Book Tour this summer.

Not half an hour later, I had my very own CHIP IN page, and $110 already in my gas fund. (THANK YOU, MY DEAREST FRIENDS!)

I estimate that gas will be about $500 for the trip. If this fund goes over $500, I will use the money to buy EVEN MORE SWAG to give away at my booksignings.

Soteria has also sweetened the pot this morning — anyone who Chips In a bit of cash — even if it’s only a couple of bucks — will be entered to win an original necklace from Dixie Dunbar Studio.

So what are you waiting for? Throw a few bucks in the tip jar. And I’LL SEE YOU THIS SUMMER!!

xox

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The Spirograph Obsession

My fellow Coedxian, author Elaine Isaak, sent me a tweet yesterday asking about my “recent obsession with Spirograph.” I thought perhaps this deserved a better-than-140-character explanation.

It was Memere who had the Spirograph at her house — we might have owned one, but I don’t ever remember playing with it at home. Only ever at Memere’s house.

There were a few activites particular to Memere’s: Strawberry picking and making fresh daiquiris from the fruits of our labor (virgin daiquiris, of course–it wasn’t en vogue to call them “smoothies” back then). Eating Bugles with ranch dip and watching the Miss America Pageant. Sneaking into the blue room and thieving candies out of the pretty dishes there and not getting caught. Sledding down the mountainside backyard. And walking to the Morse Farm Sugar Shack, of course.

Memere (or “Gram,” as we often call her) eventually had a pool installed in the back yard, but by then we were too old to summer in Vermont anymore. No, what Soteria and I loved as girls was the large bureau in the guest bedroom whose drawers were full of games and toys and pens and paper. One of those “games” was Spirograph.

Soteria and I, both artisically-minded young girls (as most young girls are, though ours never wore off) would spend HOURS bent over circles and cams with pens of all colors, desperately attempting to recreate the gorgeous designs in the booklet. As with most art projects, Spirograph took a steady and careful hand, and huge amounts of patience. Eventually that patience would wear thin, or it would be time for dinner, and the projects would be packed up in the box and filed away in th drawer to be met again on another vacation.

I wonder what happened to all those games and things when Memere sold her house and moved to the condo. I hope whatever child got it treasured the magic in those ovoid bits of plastic (if not out myriad attempts at achieving perfection).

Every so often, a conversation  about the Spirograph pops up between Soteria and me–especially now that Memere is in hospice with Alzheimers and we try to remember older, better, more lucid times. Inevitably, Soteria’s in the shop and I’m at work, and the idea never gets scribbled down on paper as a quirky Christmas gift item. And so it goes, for months and years.

So yesterday, when I saw someone post a picture of the Spirograph on Fecebook, it was a simple enough thing to repost. And then, as happens with social networking, it exploded. Everyone shared links and memories. My friend Mandi even shared some Spirographing she’d done with her niece!

I thought it would be a fun game to give swag away to anyone who comes to me at a signing or  convention appearance and gives me a spirograph cam or circle. I’d love to have a huge collection I can bring back to the Afterschool program next year!

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Bookmarkery

There’s a Washington Romance Writers retreat coming up here at the end of the month (which is only 10 days away…where has this year gone??). Right about this now is when I usually start thinking, “What sort of swag do I have to give out?” If growing up in publishing with Sherrilyn Kenyon has taught me one thing, it’s Always Make Sure You Have Cool Swag.

I’ve been slowly crunching numbers and debating things in preparation for Princess Alethea’s Traveling Sideshow later this year at Dragon*Con (bubbles and t-shirts and free bags of swaggage, oh my!), but at some point the pots need to come to a boil and that needs to start somewhere. The somewhere I chose yesterday was bookmarks.

A couple of years ago, Sherri designed some gorgeous bookmarks for me to promote Beauty & Dynamite. She recommended that I do them through www.egprint.net — I got something like 1000 bookmarks for a decent price. 1000 lasts a long time — I still have a bunch I’m giving out to people (I should hope most of you have one by now). I dug the bookmark she made out of my email files and used it as a template to make some new bookmarks.

Since I don’t have any art for SUNDAY yet, I created nine bookmark styles based on the short stories I just put up on Amazon and B&N. One side of the bookmark is images from five of the covers. The other side of the bookmark is an excerpt — typically the first few sentences from the story — and the cover (I’m rather proud of all those covers I designed last week). The it just has my name and website. Doesn’t need more than that, really. On some there is enough room for me to sign the bookmark…on others there’s not, but I’m happy to let the fiction speak for itself.

I went back to egprint and realized that while the cost of the bookmarks  is relatively cheap, they do charge you a buttload on shipping ($14-15). I remembered that one of my online groups had discussed various bookmark and promo item websites recently, so I dug out those emails and made a list. Here are some things that I found that may be useful to you:

1.) “Standard bookmark size” is not always the same. some are 2×6, some are 2×7. At times you will be offered a 2.5 width, but be wary, as some sites count this as “oversized” and charge more. (I had already created my bookmarks on a 2×7 template, so this factored into my choice.)

2.) This may seem like common sense, but it’s cheaper if you have the ability to design the bookmarks yourself. Sites like www.earthlycharms.com and www.iconix.biz came highly recommended, but their price ranges were far too high for my needs.

3.) You have to pay attention to shipping. Some sites won’t even tell you what the shipping is until you’re almost through the checkout process (which is a bit of a scam, I think). From yesterday’s investigation, you will pay anywhere from $10-$15 on shipping 500 bookmarks. Remember, these prices are charged PER BOOKMARK. Had I done all 9 of the bookmark designs at egprint, the shipping would have been $133 — more than half of what 9000 bookmarks cost. Also remember, the sites will probably tack on a sales tax, so you have to consider that in your budget as well.

4.) [thanks to Lex Valentine, for reminding me about this!] When creating your print items, dpi (dots per inch) is very important. The web supports 72 dpi, but for printing you’re going to want something much higher in resolution. Nothing above 360, though, so that’s a good number to set your template to.

Here are the sites I looked at:

egprint.net — 2×7 — 500 = $25.00 — shipping = $14.85
Next Day Flyers — 2.5×7 or 2×6 — 500 = 41.95 — shipping = $12.07
Got Print — 2×8 — 500 = $27.96 — shipping = $9.23
sharpdots.com — 2×7 — 500 = $26.27 — shipping = $12.21

Ultimately, you’re going to pay around $40-45 for 500 bookmarks. Since I had already used egprint once before and were satisfied with their product, I chose one version of the bookmark and ordered 1000 for a total of $45.57. If I like how they look when they come in, perhaps I’ll consider periodically ordering more designs so that I can have a full set before Dragon*Con.

I’ll let you know how that works out.

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