Jacqueline West, Writer

Bestselling author of The Books of Elsewhere and Dreamers Often Lie

A Very Merry Unbirthday

July 31, 2013    Tags: , , , , ,   


Yesterday was THE STRANGERS’s 2-week birthday.  I’ve been getting lots of wonderful notes from readers who’ve already finished it (and are tapping their feet impatiently for the next volume), which makes me feel happy and lucky and relieved.  I know I’ve said it before, but if you are one of those who has finished and enjoyed the book, I hope you’ll consider leaving a review or rating at Goodreads, Amazon, B&, or another book site.  That sort of response really helps.

And, for the second week in a row, VOLUME ONE: THE SHADOWS had made the SIBA bestseller list, where it has moved all the way up to #4!  (This may be the one and only time in my life when I’ll outrank Suzanne Collins.  I’ll take it.)

In celebration of these two crazy weeks, I’m offering two signed hardcover copies of THE BOOKS OF ELSEWHERE, VOLUME FOUR: THE STRANGERS, to be sent directly to the homes of two lucky winners and enjoyed (I hope) at their leisure.

Here’s how to enter:

As those of you who’ve read it know, THE STRANGERS begins at Halloween — Olive dresses up as a jabberwocky, Leopold is the Duke of Wellington, Harvey is the Hunchcat of Notre Dame, and so forth — so, in the comments for this entry, describe your own favorite Halloween costume.  On Wednesday, August 7 (one week from today), I’ll select two winning entries at random.

My own favorite Halloween costume was one I never got to wear.  In fourth grade, I was going to be Alice (from Alice in Wonderland, in case you know any other Alices).  I had a puffy blue pinafore and a white blouse and patent leather Mary Janes and a black velvet headband, and I even had a white rabbit puppet to carry in one arm.  And then, on Halloween morning, I got the stomach flu.  It was a school day, but I soldiered on, throwing up twice in the girls’ bathroom without letting anyone know — and I was the kind of kid who would totter dramatically down the hall to the nurse’s office at the onset of an imaginary headache at least once a week, so this was a genuine struggle — because if I endured to the end of the school day, I could finally put on my costume for the class party.  In the end, I didn’t quite make it.  A teacher noticed my face, which I’m sure had the color and texture of a mushroom by then, and my mother came to pick me up half an hour before the party began.  I spent the rest of that Halloween in my bedroom, so sound asleep that I didn’t even hear the friends and neighbors ringing our doorbell and shouting “Trick-or-Treat.”  Sigh…

Your turn.


The Book Release Blur

July 27, 2013    Tags: , , , , , , ,   

So much news…

First of all, THE BOOKS OF ELSEWHERE, VOLUME FOUR: THE STRANGERS was released on July 16th (to a fanfare that played only inside of my own head), and I’m starting to get pictures of the new book in the wild.  Here it is at Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis, and on the new releases shelf at Barnes & Noble, and in the legendary Powell’s Books in Portland…

BoE at Wild RumpusNew releases B&NThe Strangers at PowellsSign at Powells

Also, B&N stores are currently carrying a special display of the paperbacks of THE SHADOWS, SPELLBOUND, and THE SECOND SPY, so if you spot one, please feel free to play a little fanfare inside your head for me.  (Here’s one in Clackamas, OR.  That’s some pretty sweet placement right there.)
Clackamas B&N Display

Meanwhile, THE SHADOWS has made its way back onto the SIBA (Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance) bestsellers list, at #7 in the Children’s Fiction Series category.  Yippee!

This afternoon, I visited one of my favorite bookshops – Valley Bookseller in Stillwater, MN – for a chat and signing.  Thanks again to the fabulous staff and to everyone who came…especially those who had traveled all the way from central Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Texas!  Signed copies are in stock now…

Valley Bookseller SignedValleyBookseller Reading

And way back on July 20th, Karma Gifts of River Falls hosted a book party crammed with the amazing and creative touches of owner Val Lundgren.  There was a glowing fireplace (those who’ve already read Vol. 4 understand the significance), a display of books featuring tattered pages from Twilight drifting from the ceiling, and Mrs. Dewey’s very own Gingerbread Bars and Dutch-Cocoa Sour Cream Swirls. As far as I know, no one lost their memory as a result of eating too many.

Karma decorKarma displayDutch cocoa sour cream swirlsSigning at Karma 2

Everybody knows this is not an easy time for independent businesses.  After four years of bringing unique and beautiful stuff to the main street of my hometown, Karma is closing.  I’m sorry that this was my last event in the shop, but I’m sure that Val will embark on her next adventure with the same strength and style she brought to this one (and if anyone is looking, she would make one incredible events coordinator).

If you missed both of these events but want a signed book, I’ll be at Hazel Mackin Community Library  in Roberts, Wisconsin, for their Summer Reading Finale on Monday, August 5, from 6:30 – 8:00.  I’m giving a short talk/Q&A/reading at around 7:15, but I’ll be signing and selling books both before and after.

In celebration of THE STRANGERS, here’s a new interview–with lots of dog pictures–at Coffee with a Canine, which is truly a blog after my own heart: read the interview at Coffee with a Canine.

You can also read a little sample of THE STRANGERS (page 69, specifically) and hear my thoughts on if and why and how this page is reflective of the book as a whole at The Page 69 Test.

More news to come…


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