Monday, December 31, 2012

Saying goodbye to 2012: My *writing* year in review ... with links and pictures! Weeeeee!

So many amazing things happened for me in 2012, but the best things definitely have to do with my writing journey. 

I had no idea what I was doing when I started 2012. I had a final draft of my debut young adult novel, and all I knew was that it was an amazing task, and I could say I'd completed it. I figured I'd send it to a publishing company, like Harper Teen or Scholastic, and voila, they'd publish it and I'd have a million fans and tons of money. 

Heehee. That's not the way it works, if you're wondering. 

*FEBRUARY 2012* 

So long about February, I learned about literary agents. And I learned about bookish blogs. And I learned about the query letter. No joke, I'd never even heard of a query letter, and I thought agents were just for models and actors. Of which, obviously, I was neither. So I started my intense online research into literary agents, literary agencies, agent blogs, and of course, the world of Twitter. 

My first query letter was sent to Sara Crowe. I was convinced she was my dream agent. I was also convinced she'd respond with a big fat yes, a phone call to gush about EVER, and an offer of representation. HAHA! Omg. That didn't happen.

Here's what that first query letter looked like, back on 2/8/12: 

Dear Ms. Crowe,

As if the drama of being a teenager isn’t complicated enough, Ever is in love with two very different boys, with one very different thing between them: only one of them is actually alive

Ever doesn’t believe in ghosts.  What normal, level-headed teenager does?  But when your kitchen is suddenly filled with ethereal spooks, you can’t not believe. 

As a sixteen year-old homeschooler, Ever’s love life is non-existent at best.  She’s dated only a handful of times, and each time was a disaster.  Worse than that, Ever has fallen for Frankie – one of her ghostly housemates. Troubled by her impossible feelings for Frankie, Ever is sure she is destined to be alone. 

Until Toby moves in with his dad in the house next door to Ever’s, and the chemistry between them is instantaneous.  Ever pushes her impractical love for Frankie aside, focusing instead on the living, breathing,tempting boy next door. 

But with her new relationship comes nightmares – vivid, bloody nightmares that have Ever waking up in a panic every night after she’s seen Toby.  But still, she doesn’t put the two together. 

Then she sees Toby kill Frankie in a dream. 

“You can’t save him, Ever.”

Ever is my first completed manuscript, and the first in a series.  It is a YA paranormal romance, aimed at the older young adult market, and just over 67,000 words.  I have begun working on the second installment of the series, titled Embrace.      

Unsure of your submission guidelines, I have chosen not to include any of the manuscript.  It is available to you, in its entirety, upon request.  The first few chapters of the second book are also available.   

I would like you to know that I am sending my query to other literary agencies as well.  

Thank you so much for your time and consideration.  I look forward to hearing from you. 

Thank You,
Jessa Russo

PS. I'm so sorry, Ms. Crowe. I was such a n00b. 

*MARCH 2012*

Since God probably felt I needed help, I'm pretty sure He guided me to The Queen herself, Ms. Janet Reid. I found Janet's blog, Query Shark, and she became my holy grail. I'm still a big Janet Reid fangirl, and I highly suggest you follow her blogs and Twitter. MAYBE, had I found her before I started querying excitedly, my query letter wouldn't have been such an absolute train wreck. 

Anyway, through Janet Reid's blog, I learned of the Liz Norris Pay It Forward Contest. And since I just knew my book was freaking amazing, I entered it. Oh, the shame! Seriously. Here's what the first page of EVER looked like when I sent it to Janet Reid:


There was a time when I didn’t believe in ghosts. 

It’s funny though, how a belief you’ve held true your entire life can suddenly change – forever altering your life, your outlook, your way of thinking.  And, try as you might to fight it, you’ve been rendered completely helpless to those new truths.  

Forever changed.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.   

My story starts out like anyone else's, I imagine.  I'm your average girl – or at least, I was your average girl.

Born and raised in Southern California, I've lived in the same house all my life.  It’s a cozy little one-story, with a huge magnolia tree out front. If you’re from around here, chances are you’ve heard people referring to it as “Old Blue.” 

Apparently, sometime in the mid to late 90’s, khaki became the new ‘it’ color.  All the neighbors began painting over the bright colors of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, choosing instead to go with variations of brown. 

Except for my family, of course. 

My dad finally convinced my mom to repaint recently, and I was overjoyed.  For a minute.

She didn’t go with uniform brown.  Oh no.  Not my mom.  

So now, no longer pastel blue in a sea of tan, our home's claim to fame is that it’s the only gray and black house on a street full of various shades of beige, in a neighborhood full of various shades of beige.  And of course, as if that isn’t enough, the bright red front door is like a homing beacon.  

Oh well.  The bottom line is, as long as it’s not taupe, caramel, desert sand, or something along those lines, it’s an eyesore in contrast to the neighbors' homes. Picture an ink stain on khaki pants … you can’t help but look at it.  The red door is just a bonus, really. 

But regardless of our home’s aesthetic quirks, what's really special about our house isn't what it looks like on the outside.  It's what is inside the house that matters.  And I'm not talking about the hardwood floors, antique lamps, or the giant flat screen my dad bought for us (read: himself) last Christmas.  

We have ghosts.  



Yes. That happened. 
PS. Sorry for that, Janet. lol ;-) 

Anywayyyyy, moving on ... while waiting for the results of that contest, and planning my trip to NYC (as part of the grand prize pack I was for sure going to win), I started following Feaky Snucker. She always had the most witty comments on Janet's blog posts, and her own blog had plenty of cussing, so of course I thought she was pretty awesome. THIS is the blog post that made me realize I had to make her my friend. Luckily she didn't put up a fight. That would have been weird. 

So we exchanged emails and started chatting, eventually coming to the question of critique partners. Neither of us had one. What!? I know, right? Here we are, two totally awesome people navigating the rough waters of trying to get published, without a critique partner! OMG! 

See? Destiny. ;-) 

So we decide to start reading each other's stuff. And that was when I learned that EVER was nothing even close to a final draft. EVER was a very choppy, poorly done, borderline scary at times, first draft. And it needed a LOT of work. 

And I'd already been querying for months. But alas, I guess that would explain all the rejections. 

And no, I didn't win that contest, by the way. I probably never even made it past the inbox of slush and crappy entries. 

But through that contest I met my critique partner, who helped make me the writer I am today, and continues to pick me up when I feel down, push when I'm being a baby, and make me laugh with things like #ToasterVag and plenty of fuel for #TWSS. And if you don't know about either of those things, you probably need to follow Feaks on Twitter. Just sayin.

*APRIL 2012*

This has nothing to do with my writing journey, but I'm sharing it for the simple reason that's its awesome. One of the first pictures Feaky ever sent to me - obviously for cheering me up when I was down - is this adorable sloth picture. And yes, he's scratching his butt. Why not, right? I mean, he's a sloth. He can do what he wants. 

*MAY 2012*

I entered The Writer's Voice Contest. Again, I thought I had it in the bag. And you know what? Again I was wrong. I didn't even get picked by one of the four judges. Forty people were picked, and I didn't make the cut. I thought that contest would be the end of me. It was probably one of the lowest points of my writing journey this year. 

Here's my entry for that. You can see how the plot summary and first page changed from just February to May. 

YA Paranormal Romance
Word Count: 87,100


Ever Van Ruysdael has a choice: continue pining for the ghost of her dead best friend, Frankie, whom she’s secretly loved as long as she can remember, or move on to her sexy new neighbor, Toby – who unbeknownst to Ever, is a soul collector.  Make the wrong choice, and she’ll learn that more than just her heart is on the line.

Seventeen-year-old Ever’s love life has been in purgatory for the past two years.  Since the car accident that took Frankie’s life, but spared hers, she’s had to wake up every day to his ghost, making it impossible to mourn him or move forward.  That all changes when Toby moves in next door.  Easy to fall for, Toby’s relaxed confidence and honest interest in her makes Ever feel like the only person in the world.  Torn between an exciting new relationship with Toby, or the deep, comfortable love she feels for Frankie, Ever must make a decision. 

As Ever falls harder for Toby, Toby gets closer to Frankie.  Soon, she will learn that the price of her new romance isn't just her heart, but Frankie’s soul. 


I've lived next door to Frankie my entire life. We played together when we were little. He pulled my pigtails. I tattled, he teased.
He's the best friend I've ever had.
I've been in love with him as long as I can remember. That’s my secret.
He's been dead for two years.
Today is the second anniversary of his death. It's been exactly seven hundred and thirty days since the car accident that took his life, and didn't take mine. Seven hundred and thirty days since the only guy I've ever loved died in my arms, followed me home from the hospital, and never left my house again. 
I'm in love with a ghost who has absolutely no idea I feel this way, and worse - probably still sees me like an annoying kid sister. No. Big. Deal.
I mean, sure, it took some getting used to, but eventually I had to accept the fact that he's here for good. There's no mourning him, and there's no moving on with my life. 
Two years. Two years since my life as a normal teenager went right out the window.  Two years since Frankie became nearly invisible.
Looking at him now, leaning up against the antique roll top desk my mom insists is proper living-room d├ęcor, he’s beautiful, even in death.
I watched him die, you know. I held onto him as the last breath left his body. I cried and screamed, but no one came in time. No one heard me. 

*END OF MAY 2012*

I didn't stop writing. I didn't stop wishing and hoping. The Writer's Voice contest devastated me, but for whatever reason - most likely the fact that writers are just masochistic by nature - I entered another contest. Sharon Bayliss was hosting a contest to celebrate Krystal Wade's book release. I entered because I'm a glutton for punishment. 

HERE's the link for that entry, though it looks pretty much the same as the Writer's Voice entry above.  

This contest brought me my first taste of the possibility of someone actually liking my book. I didn't win, technically. I was a runner-up! But this brings me to another amazing 2012 moment. Signing my contract with Curiosity Quills!

My contest results went from runner-up, to full request, to offer of publication! So guess what? I DID win after all! 

*JUNE 2012*

 If you haven't been following along with my journey, you can read all about that moment in my life in this blog post HERE

And here's what I looked like when I was signing, though I don't have Albert Einstein OR a cool pen like my critique partner does.  

So I signed with Curiosity Quills in June of this year, and suddenly, my querying days were over. I was an author about to be published. Everything changed. I didn't have to cry over each rejection that came in - and yes, they STILL come in. Some agencies are not very ... prompt in their responses. I didn't have to enter any more contests, or cry when I lost them. All that was over when I signed with CQ. I was an author. I was going to be published. I was on my way to seeing my dreams become reality. 


And then, the glorious day of my book release. EVER was out in the world, and people were going to LOVE it! Except some of them didn't. So I had my first really bad review. And I thought THAT would undo me. 

Here's a snippet of the awesome that can be found in a bad review: 

"by the end of the book I was rooting for Ariadne to kill someone (read Ever) just to get some excitement. But Alas, no killing takes place. I'm not even sure how I managed to read all of it. I guess cause it was like a car crash, so bad, but you just had to keep looking."

Oh. Well then. lol

And then I had my first really amazing review. Even re-reading this now brings tears to my eyes. 

"Ever is beautifully written and saturated in suspense. The clock counting down to something bad happening to Ever's attempt at a normal life ticks loudly. Russo's ability to write scenes that are literally filled with palpable tension or attraction is uncanny and really enhances the reading experience. Once one falls into the story, it's impossible not to become tangled in the game of tug of war played on the most fragile parts of Ever's heart. Russo unexpectedly gives so many reasons for increasing anticipation as Ever discovers the danger of her new relationship and struggles to fit the pieces together." 

And then there were a lot of ups and downs, and for a minute there, the bad reviews overshadowed the good, and I had to have a few pep talks to keep me going. Because on more than one occasion, my inner negative voice almost convinced me to stop. I almost believed I had no business writing. It almost didn't matter that writing brings me happiness. I almost stopped because of the bad reviews. 

But I didn't. I kept writing for two people who love my work and support me unconditionally and unwaveringly (that's not a word but I'm not sorry) ... Tamara (my CP, Feaky Snucker) and Krystal Wade (my Yoda, my editor). 

And most of all, I kept writing for myself. Because at the end of the day, whether you love my work or hate it, writing brings joy to my life, and I'm proud of myself for every word I put down on the page. 


My critique partner and I decided to host a pitch contest. We spent a lot of time contacting agents and editors and compiling a seriously AWESOME list of people to participate. We called this even PitchMAS, and it was more magical than any pitch event before it. (Though I may be a bit biased.)

We've set up a blog just for PitchMAS, which you can find HERE. Please follow it to stay informed of future pitch events, and of course, next year's event!

One of the biggest moments of PitchMAS was when Feaks got a request for MOONDREAMER. She'd used her own pitch as an example of how to pitch, and one of the agents participating in the contest loved it so much she requested the full. 

She finished it in three hours! 

Three hours, you guys!! 

The latest picture Tamara sent me looks like this: 
And yes, my friends, that's my beautiful critique partner signing her contract of representation! 

Since becoming critique partners, we've had so many ups and downs in our writing careers as well as the occasional bumps in our personal lives, but both of our dreams have come to fruition this year. My CP has an agent - the amazing and awesome Marisa Cleveland of The Seymour Agency - and I have published my first book, am hard at work on the second, and have started three others in the mean time, all of which are waiting patiently to be completed and sent out into the world. 


So as we say goodbye to 2012, I look back with a smile and teary eyes ... I met some amazing people, built some beautiful friendships that I know will last a lifetime, made some huge mistakes, had some really high highs and some devastating lows, and at the end of it, I am content. 

I am more than I was this time last year, and I can't wait to see what happens in 2013. 

Have a beautiful New Year's Eve tonight, friends. Stay safe, have fun, and remember how incredibly blessed you are.

And if you're feeling up to it, write your own 2012 review and share the link here! OR, just comment here with something awesome that you loved about 2012.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The #EVER Fan's Holiday Gift-Giving Guide

I've been inspired by this AMAZING gift-giving guide over at Epic Reads. I love some of these books, and the items to match are freaking awesome!

So, to borrow a fantastic idea, I present to you my EVER-related Holiday gift guide!

Do you have a friend that loved Frankie and Toby from EVER, and couldn't decide? Check out this awesome necklace! It has a wing for Toby and glasses for Frankie! Have you chosen which hero you swoon for? You can get the necklace with only one charm to signify which team you've chosen!

Only $12.99 on Etsy from sophie's beads!

Click HERE to purchase

Ever's favorite flower is the black and white anemone - something Toby brought her early on, solidifying her attraction to him! What about this gorgeous fascinator for the EVER fan in your life?
Click HERE to purchase

And, if you haven't read EVER (what are you waiting for??), but you've been wanting to, go ahead and grab a special little gift for yourself! I won't tell! 

Autographed paperbacks are always a great gift idea for any bookworm! Personalized, signed paperback copies of EVER are available at the top of my blog, or by clicking HERE

Monday, December 10, 2012

New Adult - THE MATING GAME - Blog Hop! #DIVIDE

The Mating Game Blog Hop!

The Mating Game Blog Hop is very much like the T.V show The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game put together except: the couples from our novels, manuscripts, and WIPs are the contestants!

For this hop, I'm going to ask the main characters from my WIP to participate. So, from my latest work in progress, an upper YA/New Adult novel titled DIVIDE, please welcome Holland Briggs and Mick Stevenson. 

Tell us about a memorable experience you shared together.

Holland: "My first really memorable experience with Mick was when he took me to his family's cabin in Big Bear. It didn't start out as a happy time in my life, but it ended that way. I'll never forget how calming and patient he was with me during the worst time in my life."

Mick: "So it wasn't our first kiss then?" 

Holland: "Ha! No, though that was very memorable. Nothing like getting caught making out with someone to really make a memory last."

Mick: "Well, my first memorable moment with you, wasn't our first kiss, though that's a moment I love trying to top, or even the start of our relationship in Big Bear - it was when I first found out about you, and the knowledge of how my life would be once I found you. I've been changed ever since."

Holland: "For the better, obviously."

Mick: "Obviously."

What is one of the roadblocks standing in the way of you getting together?

Mick: "My brother, Donovan."

Holland: "Well, that and my family curse."

Mick: "Yeah, there's that too, but I'm not afraid of a little fairy tale magic. It’s my brother's sudden appearance that bothers me."

What would your character do if the one they wanted was terrified of their feelings and pushed them away?

Mick: “Is this question a joke?”

Holland: “I wasn’t terrified of your feelings!”

Mick: “Really? Hmm. So that wasn’t you who pushed me away? Where are Cam and Ro when I need them?”

Holland: “Leave my brother and Ro out of it. I don’t need them to take sides with you.”

Mick: “So you admit they’d be on my side?”

Holland: “Ooh, you’re impossible! I was not afraid of your feelings for me!”

Mick: “You’re right. You were scared of your own.”

Holland: *silence*

Mick: “Well, luckily, I was patient enough for both of us.”

So, how would your characters describe the other person, using only one word at a time? 

Mick: “That’s easy. Defiant.”

Holland: “Stubborn.”

Mick: “Gorgeous.”

What was the first thing your main characters noticed about each other?

Mick: “Her fire. It’s this glint she gets in her eyes. I want to piss her off just to see the spark. She’s beautiful, as you can see, but there’s so much more beneath the surface, and it comes out in that defiant stare.”

Holland: “Ugh. That’s so annoying. I don’t get any glint in my eyes and I am not defiant.”

Mick: “You’re being defiant right now.”

Holland: “Well if you weren’t trying to goad me …”

Mick: “And you still haven’t answered Magan’s question. What was the first thing you noticed about me?”

Holland: “Honestly? I felt your gaze before I saw it. It was like this intense pull, begging me to look up at you.”

Mick: “I know what you mean. I remember feeling you the second you arrived. Man, that sounds ridiculous … wait a minute, I could swear I remember catching you checking out my ass.”

Holland: “Well, there was that too, but I’m sure Magan was looking for something a bit more poetic then ‘I noticed his awesome ass.’”

Mick: “Well, it works for me.”

Holland: “It’s not your interview, Mick.”

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Do you still need help with your Twitter pitch? #PitchMAS

The blog pitches have been submitted, posted and #PitchMAS is LIVE! Agents and editors have been dropping in today and making requests, and we've even had TWO THREE ninja agents swoop in and make requests as well! 

We are super excited and so happy for those of you getting requests. But this is only the first half of #PitchMAS! 

Tomorrow begins our all day long Twitter pitch party!

If you don't feel like you absolutely ADORE your Twitter pitch for tomorrow's #PitchMAS Twitter Pitch Party, post it here for more feedback! 

(PS. You may never actually ADORE your Twitter pitch, but we do want you to at least like it. A little.)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pitch-Honing Workshop - SECOND POST for comment run-off

If you haven't received feedback on the FIRST POST, or are having trouble posting your pitches  here's a NEW post for your pitch-honing. 

I'm so sorry for the inconvenience  but I had no idea Blogger would hide comments and make this so troublesome for everyone. :-( 

Comment below with your pitches (both 35 word blog pitches and 140 character Twitter pitches, or just one - whichever you feel you need help with). Your peers will comment and help you hone your pitches into something that will grab the attention of our esteemed editors and agents during the live pitch fest.

Please, please, please read each other's comments and share your thoughts and pointers. That's what today is all about! 

(Does anyone else have the hokey pokey song in their head now?)

An example of a comment during the pitch-honing workshop could look something like this:

Jessa Russo
EVER, YA ParanormalRomance

35 word blog pitch:
Seventeen-year-old Ever Van Ruysdael knew her heart was on the line when she met Toby James. What she didn’t know was that her soul and the souls of those she loved were also in danger.

Twitter pitch:
17yo Ever knew her heart was on the line when she met Toby James. What she didn’t know was that her soul was in danger as well. #PitchMAS

Once your comment has posted, people can respond telling you what would work better for your pitch,  what they like, dislike, etc, and we can all help each other with honing our pitches and making them contest ready.

#PitchMAS - Day One - Pitch-Honing Workshop

On the first day of #PitchMAS my true love gave to me .... 

A workshop to make my pitch sweet! 

Oh wow. That rhyme was pretty bad. But hey ... 



Well, the wait is over, my writerly friends! Today kicks off the awesome Holiday pitch fest we've all been waiting for! 

Welcome to DAY ONE of PitchMAS, and our official pitch-honing workshop!

All day today (Tuesday 12/4), from 4am to 9pm pacific standard time, you will be able to comment on this blog post with your pitches and receive help from your peers!! 

Comment below with your pitches (both 35 word blog pitches and 140 character Twitter pitches, or just one - whichever you feel you need help with). Your peers will comment and help you hone your pitches into something that will grab the attention of our esteemed editors and agents during the live pitch fest.

Please, please, please read each other's comments and share your thoughts and pointers. That's what today is all about! 

(Does anyone else have the hokey pokey song in their head now?)

An example of a comment during the pitch-honing workshop could look something like this:

Jessa Russo
EVER, YA ParanormalRomance

35 word blog pitch:
Seventeen-year-old Ever Van Ruysdael knew her heart was on the line when she met Toby James. What she didn’t know was that her soul and the souls of those she loved were also in danger.

Twitter pitch:
17yo Ever knew her heart was on the line when she met Toby James. What she didn’t know was that her soul was in danger as well. #PitchMAS

Once your comment has posted, people can respond telling you what would work better for your pitch,  what they like, dislike, etc, and we can all help each other with honing our pitches and making them contest ready.

And now, for the PITCH EXPERTS!

In addition to peer critique, we've called in a few experts to help as well! These people have reached expert status because A) They're awesome and agreed to let me dub them experts, and B) They've received requests from previous pitch contests! 

So, here they are, our Pitch EXPERTS

Angi Black: Received a FULL request during a pitch contest back in September.

Kelsey Macke: Received a partial that turned into a full during The Writer's Voice!

Alex Brown: Has received multiple requests from pitch contests as well as helped others receive requests with their pitches! 

*commences round of applause for esteemed experts*

But that's not all!

Today just also happens to be my 33rd 21st birthday! So to celebrate, I am drinking mimosas all day giving away a few e-book copies of some awesome books! Mine included! 
(Yes, yes, I just called my book awesome. Sue me.) 

Aww, look at little baby Jessa. 
Anyway, there's no participation necessary, just click the free entry on the Rafflecopter form below! And then ... ta-da! ... the magic happens.

So, without further ado, Happy Birthday to ME and Merry #PitchMAS to all of you! 

Don't forget that the BLOG-pitch submission window is TONIGHT at 11:00EST over at Tamara's blog


Jessa & Feaky

If you have any questions, please leave them below, or contact me directly at emailjessarusso AT gmail DOT com. 

Also, if you need a little refresher on what #PitchMAS is all about, and what we have scheduled for the week, click HERE

And for a list of the amazing agents and editors participating, click HERE

Monday, December 3, 2012

Frankie's short story is now available, in the 2012 Fandom for Preemies Compilation! #EVER #TeamFrankie

THINGS UNSAID - Frankie's Story

“How did you convince them to let me go?”
“Well, I’m technically an adult now, Ev. They trust me.” I shrugged as if it should be obvious.
“Ha!” she scoffed, but she knew it was true.
I’m harmless Frankie. The boy next door. We’d been best friends all our lives, nothing more.
Not until tonight at least. Tonight, I would tell her. Tonight, I’d finally let her know I wanted to be more than friends. So much more.
I glanced over at her again and caught her looking at me.

Have you read EVER and wondered about the moment when Frankie's life was ripped away from him? Do you have questions about the car accident that changed his life forever, binding him to Ever in ghost form, and inevitably changing her life as well? 

You're in luck! 

I wrote a short story from Frankie's POV for this year's Fandom for Preemies compilation. As some of you know, my daughter was a preemie, born at just 24 weeks gestation. She was 1 pound, 10 ounces, and had a long road ahead of her - 110 days in the NICU! Faith is indeed a miracle, and we are grateful for every day that she grows and thrives and proves to us that anything can happen - even with the most dire of prognoses, she beat the odds.  

But this is not the case for many premature babies born every day well before their due date.

For a $5 donation to the March of Dimes through January 1st, you can receive the compilation, which includes Frankie's short story (a prequel/side story to EVER), the prologue to FALL (Book Two in The Ragnrorok Prophesise by A.K. Morgen) and short stories, fan-fiction, and poetry from authors all around the world. This year, other participating authors include A.K. Morgen, Chelle Lynn, Lisa Collicutt, and Kay Froebel. 

Here's how it works. 

1. Go to: and donate a minimum of $5.
2. Forward your confirmation receipt (minus any personal details such as your name, address, payment method, etc) to
3. The Fandom for Preemies team will email you a copy of the compilation. 
4. In January, the FFP team will compile a list of all donors, and one donor will also win a copy of FADE, and a copy of EVER by Jessa Russo.

The Compilation is not for sale anywhere. To receive it, you must donate to the March of Dimes by January 1, 2013. This way, 100% of your donation goes directly to the March of Dimes to aid in the fight to end prematurity and eliminate birth defects in nations around the world. 

Easy enough, right? 

And remember, through March of 2013, 10% of proceeds from sales of A.K. Morgen's FADE will be donated to the March of Dimes, and an additional 10% will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas, a nonprofit that provides a home away from home for families facing medical crisis. RMHCA serves families who have a child undergoing cancer treatment, who have had a transplant, or are in a pediatric intensive care or burn unit in Arkansas (home to one of the best Children's Hospitals in the nation). 

To learn more about Fandom for Preemies, please visit:

And *you* are ...? Blog-Hop!

Once eggnog hit the shelves, Mrs. Claus thought it'd be funny to "juice up" Santa's drink. Now the jolly elf is passed-out after one cup and Mrs. Claus can't keep up with the pre-Christmas demands. She's asked Tammy and Emily to help her out.

We told her, yeah, of course we'd help! But we're Hollywood, baby, so she'd have to speak with our assistant, David Spade.

After David picked up our dry cleaning, sorted out the green and red M&M's, and bought our kids' presents, he had a minute to sit down and tell us what Mrs. Claus wanted.

We need to give away three Christmas presents, so we're going to interview a group of people, some naughty and some nice, to find those most deserving of Santa's toys.

We threw some hot cocoa on David and told him to get on it by cutting his girly hair and going back to his '90s SNL character to start the interview process.

These are the "And You Are...?" questions:

1. How many speeding tickets have you gotten?

I have NO idea. Probably three or four in my lifetime, but the awesome thing is that I haven't had ANY kind of ticket in at least ten years. Oh, except for a windshield ticket. That's got to be the most annoying thing on earth. 

2. Can you pitch a tent?

No. Absolutely not even if my life depended on it. But I'm also not very outdoorsy, so I think I'm okay without that talent. 

3. What was your worst vacation ever?

Well, my most memorable vacation had really horrible moments. I went to China with my best friend when I was 20, and I was sick for eight days out of the three weeks we were there. And I don't mean I had a little sniffley cold. 

4. What was the last thing you bought over $100?

I have no idea. I am super stingy because I've been a stay at home mom for so long, so there's always just been one income. I can honestly say that the last time I spent over $100 on ONE item was probably wedding related before my wedding last October. 

5. We're handing you the keys to what?

A new car!! We need one so so badly, but instead of being able to get something tiny to save money on payments and gas, we have to get something to accommodate a Great Dane. So, needless to say, we haven't done that yet. One of these days my movie deal will come, right? 

6. What was the last meal you cooked that made even you sick?

Haha! Nothing I can think of, but that doesn't mean my food is good. It just doesn't kill anyone. Well, maybe I've been known to murder a few taste buds, but never too much physical harm. 

7. Fill in the blank: Oh my gosh! Becky, look at her butt! It is so big. She looks like  ____?

Ice T's wife, Coco! o.O

8. What was your first car?

A yellow VW bug named Benny. I hated that car, but oh wow do I miss it now! 

9. Your best friend falls and gets hurt. Do you ask if he/she's okay or laugh first?

Oh geez, this is terrible, but I ALWAYS laugh. Its been a problem since I was a kid. People would get so upset, but that just made me laugh harder because I was so uncomfortable and nervous. Its awesome. 

10. What's the worst song ever?

Anything by Ke$ha, or that terrible Thanksgiving Song that's on YouTube right now. Ugh.