Thursday, September 2, 2010

Post Card Campaign/Contest for Among The Ghost

Hey Folks!

So I had a funny little idea, one that I thought I would share with you. Sometimes you have epiphanies while driving in the car – usually they have more to do with what you want to make for dinner or how much time you really spend washing clothes (a lot more time than you think!), but this epiphany concerns children's books: chiefly my new one, Among The Ghosts.

I want to do an Among The Ghosts Postcard Campaign via twitter. What? A postcard campaign, you say? Whatever might that be?

Well, folks, today is your lucky day because I am going to explain exactly what I mean.

For every person who retweets a particular tweet (one that I am going to tweet today at 3pm pacific time and has the hashtag #AmongTheGhosts), I will mail you a postcard. It will have something funny, silly or weird written on it and it will be addressed to you personally, no matter where you live.

I will be checking for your retweets and then I will tweet you to email me your info (name and address) at a special email address.

Now I have explained the twitter Among The Ghosts Postcard Campaign and it's your job to get you and your friends to join in the fun. The Among The Ghosts Postcard Campaign will last from 9/2/10 through 9/6 - he cut off is midnight pacific standard time on 9/6.

So be prepared for some nutty Amber Benson goodness. I've always wanted to do something crazy with postcards and today is that opportunity. Help me get the word out about Among The Ghosts - let's make it a best seller!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Among The Ghosts - Tour Time and Preview Chapter

So, I am going to be going on tour again. (I wish I was a rock star 'cause then saying the previous sentence would be super cool.)

I will be schilling my new middle grade book, AMONG THE GHOSTS, at a local bookstore near you (well, some of you - as I am hitting SOME local bookstores, not ALL local bookstores, which means some of you might get left out of the loop and for this I humbly apologize).

Well, here goes.

MY TOUR SCHEDULE aka The Dishwater Blonde Unambition Tour:

Sunday, September 12th, 2010
Barnes and Noble (Encino Chapter)
16461 Ventura Blvd
Encino, CA 91436
ph: 818-380-1636

w/illustrator Sina Grace

Sunday, September 19th, 2010
Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore
7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. Suite #302
San Diego, California 92111
w/illustrator Sina Grace

FYI: Mysterious Galaxy is accepting online orders for this
signing - just specify in the "order comments" box
that you would like your book signed and/or
personalized by me and Sina!

Sept ??
Austin, TX
Venue and Time TBA

Sunday, September 26th, 2010
West Hollywood Book Fair
West Hollywood Park
647 North San Vicente Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Thursday, September 30th, 2010
Dark Delicacies
3512 W. Magnolia
Burbank, CA 91505
w/Christopher Golden and Tom Sniegoski

FYI: Dark Delicacies is accepting online orders for this
signing - just specify in the "order comments" box
that you would like your book signed and/or

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010
Orange County Children's Book Fair
Orange Coast College
Costa Mesa, CA
w/illustrator Sina Grace

Sunday, October 10th, 2010
New York, NY
Venue and Time TBA

Thursday, October 14th, 2010
Time TBA
Cornerstone Books
45 Layfayette Street
Salem, MA 01970
ph: 978-744-1831
w/ Christopher Golden and Paul G. Tremblay

October 15-17, 2010
The New England Comic Con
Hynes Convention Center
Boston, MA
with Christopher Golden

Now add this into the mix:

DRONES will be screening at:

Fantastic Fest
Austin, TX
Sept 23rd - 30th
Adam Busch and I will be in attendance
and I will have a book signing
during this trip


DRONES will also be
screening at a film festival
in Germany in Sept.
with venues and times
TBA soon! Adam and I
may be there, too.
Fingers crossed.

Below is a preview chapter (Chapter One) from AMONG THE GHOSTS. Hope you enjoy!


Ants and Sweaters

Thomas spied the ants as he waited by the back door to the kitchen. At first he ignored their merry procession, his mind overwhelmed with thoughts of the rich, buttery apple pie that he knew was baking in the oven only a few feet from where he was standing. Once or twice he let his eyes flick away from the window in the kitchen door in order to mark the ants' progression, but it was only after he saw Mrs. Marble pull the golden-crusted beauty from the oven that he gave the ants a real looking at.

From what Thomas could tell, it seemed like the ants were on their way home from a military reconnaissance mission in the kitchen. They marched single file down the concrete steps that led to the kitchen door, across the sidewalk, and into the grass. They each carried a small piece of white fluff on their backs, which to Thomas made them all look like they were wearing little angora sweaters. A grin splitting his face at the thought of ants in knitted sweaters, he decided that the white stuff was definitely not angora, but something edible that the ants had stolen from Mrs. Marble's kitchen.

Thomas didn't like anyone stealing from Mrs. Marble—even the ants. Mrs. Marble was the nicest lady in the whole world as far as Thomas was concerned, besides which she baked some of the best pies this side of the Mason-Dixon Line… or at least, that's what everyone said after they'd sampled one of her delicious desserts.

Feeling like a police detective in search of a crime—a policeman was something Thomas had always wanted to be when he grew up, after being a chef, of course—he decided to follow the ants and see where they were going. He pushed his brown newsboy cap out of his eyes and followed the thieving insects across the school grounds, past the archery field, and back over to the burned-out shell of the West Wing.

There had been a fire in the West Wing a number of years before, and now most people kept away from the building. Thomas thought those people were silly for being scared of an old, burned-out building, but he guessed that anyone was allowed to feel any way they wanted to about stuff that scared them. Though personally he believed that just because something didn't look perfect anymore, didn't mean you had to be scared of it. Sometimes a pie didn't come out looking perfect, but that didn't mean you threw it away—misshapen pie tasted just as good as any other kind of pie, thank you very much!

On the steps that led into the main entrance of the West Wing, Thomas paused to tip his cap to a girl who was sitting on the topmost step. She had her nose pressed firmly into a book, but she looked up and gave him a quick grin as he passed her by. Thomas spent most of his time in the kitchen, which was where he'd worked… before, but because of this, he didn't really know the other kids at the school very well. He wasn't sure what this particular girl's name was, but he thought it began with the letter N—although he couldn't really be sure. He was much better at remembering recipes than names.

Before the grin had even left her face, the girl was back into her book. Thomas saw that she didn't even notice the ants that were marching up the steps beside her. If he'd been the one sitting by an army of ants, he'd sure have noticed them.

Thomas went through the door that led into the interior of the building, his eyes trained on the ants' progress. Instantly he saw that the line of ants was making its way across the room before disappearing down into a small hole that sat right underneath the hearth of a large brick fireplace. Thomas got as close to the hole as he could, putting his eyeball right up to it, but it was so dark that he really couldn't see where the ants were going at all.

Suddenly Thomas felt his whole body go stiff as a strange, prickly sensation swept across him. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up at attention. Thomas hadn't felt anything like this in so long that at first he almost didn't recognize what it was.

It was only when his teeth started to chatter that he realized what was happening to him. For the first time in more than eighty years, Thomas was cold. He looked up from where he was crouching by the base of the fireplace, and his eyes went wide when he saw what was waiting for him.

He opened his mouth to shout, but only a deep gurgle of fear popped out. It filled the empty room like the hollow sound of the last piece of candy rattling around inside a trick-or-treater's Halloween grab bag.

When the girl with the book came back inside from her perch on the stairs, the room was empty. She scratched a bug bite on her arm and looked around curiously. She was pretty sure that she'd seen the boy from the kitchen come in here only a few minutes before.

She wondered where he'd gone.

© 2010 Amber Benson