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Friday, December 28, 2007


First order of business: let’s give out a SUITE SCARLETT!

In case you are wondering how the winner was chosen, I wrote every name down and put them in a FESTIVE TIN. Then I had my mother, who is a registered nurse and therefore deeply impartial, reach her hand in and draw out a slip of paper. The entire event was witnessed by my lawyer, C. Catso Fangola, who proclaimed it fair and legally sound.

And the winner was . . .

flinn said...
You know, I think a copy of the book would instill just the right amount of Christmas Cheer in me.

Flinn! It’s CHEER time! Please send me your address posthaste!

Okay. There are two copies left now. Today’s opportunity to win contains a CHALLENGE!

This is Amazon’s Young Adult Lit forum. It has 8 discussions, and is kind of making me sad. Here’s a great place people could be talking about YA, and seasoned YA readers like you could be giving recommendations! Instead, it’s a weak little thread or two. The only conversation that’s really booming over there is the “IS PHILIP PULLMAN TRYING TO KILL GOD???” one, and frankly, it’s making me tired. So very tired, friends.

So, here’s the plot . . .

Start a discussion on this forum about YA books. If you want it to be about one of mine, that’s great! If you want to talk about what Keith wears under his kilt in 13 Little Blue Envelopes, or how Clio deals with the jellyfish in Girl At Sea, or Jane’s problem with red foods in Devilish, or if you would like to live in a New York hotel like Scarlett . . . do so! I’d love it!

BUT . . . I’m not saying TALK ABOUT ME FOR DAYS ON END! I’m saying . . . talk YA! Talk about great books! Talk about censorship and your thoughts on removing books from school libraries!

The winner of this contest will be the person who can start and continue the most active conversation by noon, New Year’s Eve! (Suite Scarlett also has her own little sad forum, in which one kind person tried to start a conversation. I will also count conversations here.)

Let me answer any anticipated questions about this.

Q: What do you mean by “most active”?
A: Literally, the one with the most posts. But that doesn’t mean you should post a topic and then answer yourself 134 times, because Amazon will get mad and maybe even erase the thread. You CAN, however, come back and moderate, answering things that people have written. It is YOUR discussion! Keep your discussion lively! Poke it with a stick!

Q: So, if I talk on someone else’s discussion, won’t I improve their chances of winning?
A: Yes, you will. But that might mean they’ll come over and talk on YOURS. And the important thing is . . . you are expressing your views! The YA community is strong, like bull! Talk amongst yourselves! Share your knowledge and views!

Q: Hey, wait. Isn’t it true that you can only post on an Amazon discussion if you or someone who uses your family computer has purchased items from Amazon?
A: Um . . . yes. This is the only drawback of this plan, and one I thought long and hard about. I decided to go ahead with it because . . . A.) I think that forum really does need a swift kick. B.) a lot of people have purchased things from Amazon, so lots of people will be able to do this. C.) I have a special plan to help make things right for anyone who is excluded. I am having another contest on New Year’s Eve, and anyone who was left out will get special treatment!

Q: Will you participate in the discussion?
A: If I have something to say, then YES! I will check on them regularly to see what, if anything, is going on! Because . . . maybe nothing will happen!

Q: How will you know which discussions have anything to do with this contest?
A: I’m counting any that start from this point. There are only eight so far on YA, and one on Suite Scarlett. So it should be pretty easy to see who’s who!

Now, since it is still ASK MJ TWO MONTHS AND A FEW DAYS, let’s get to the questions . . . .

jez said...

I've got a plan for you. Okay, buy JK some snacks, say they're for Christmas. Hide them somewhere far away from your house and send her on a Nerdfightery scavenger hunt. Draw it out with as many clues as you can and you won't see her for awhile!

I haven’t seen her since the night of the jam jar. It makes me nervous. And you know what . . . I think it’s more than just the snacks themselves. I think she likes MY snacks in particular. She seems to derive real pleasure from jumping out and scaring me, and then raiding the cabinet. I’m going back to England in a little over a week to go back to work on the Secret Project, and I’m a little nervous about that too . . . since she always seems to know when I fly.

In any case, Jez, I’ll try it . . . but when JK has it out for you, like she seems to have it out for me . . . there isn’t a lot you can do about it.

bria said...

how do you get rid of JK? One word Afghanistan. I think you know what i mean

I don’t think this would even do it. You don’t understand . . . this is a woman who chases Alan Rickman in a small plane and lurks on the grounds of his house with infrared specs.

kayli said...
So today my brother and I were discussing ridiculous rich people, and I said, "You know, J.K. Rowling owns a dolphin." And then I couldn't remember if that was true or if it was something from your conversations with J.K. (not to imply that those are in any way anything other than the truest truth.)

I did say that. She told me about her dolphin, Fatso, when she snuck up on me on my flight back to New York a few weeks ago. He lives in a tank on her roof. Naturally, I am telling this truth about this. I am always truthy.

lily said...
Hi Maureen! Merry day after Christmas! I received my Scarlett card in the mail yesterday. It is awesome. It is sitting on my dresser where it will not be damaged. Scarlett taunts me now though. She says, 'You won't get to read me until May. That's more than 5 months from now. You should try to win a advanced copy from Maureen. Then I will stop talking. NA NA NA NA NA!' Does she always do this?

Um . . . yes. And it is slightly worse when her head is much bigger than yours, as I tried to demonstrate in my video from the other week. I am a little afraid of my huge Scarlett poster. Sometimes . . . at night . . . I think she moves. I am kind of afraid that I will wake up and find her right next to my sleeping face, her eyes level with mine, peeking over the pillow. And then I will turn around and find JK standing on the other side of the bed, holding a jellyfish in a jar and singing “Dancing Queen.”

You are not paranoid if they are really after you, you know.

katie h. said...
I forgot to tell you, just for future references, I am a different Katie from the one posting above me whose asking about raising 7 thousand dollars. (Poor you. You could use some cheer!) I am the Katie who told you about all of the fantabulous books I get to buy today. I put an H after my name so I won't seem like a wacko who posts three times in a row.

Katie Holmes! Is that you? How did you get internet access??? Is this your way of asking us for help out of the compound, because I will put together a crack team within the hour!

DO NOT REPLY TO THIS DIRECTLY, Katie! Send us a sign through one of those creepy interviews you do, where you robotically talk about your constant state of joy and how Suri can communicate with dolphins and how Tom bought you your own mountain. Slip in the phrase, “Zac Efron ate my hamster,” and we will know you have received this communication. We will come in the night, when no one is watching. Have Suri ready and in silent mode.

We run the risk, of course, that Zac Efron has actually eaten your hamster and you might bring up this fact in an interview . . . I would if it happened to me . . . and you don’t even know about our offer. Although, I think it is a pretty safe bet that he hasn’t. I mean, why would he? Craft services on “High School Musical 3: The Great Space Coaster” can’t be that bad. Those movies look pretty cheap, but they have to feed the talent, right? Zac can’t be so hungry that he’s busting into seriously guarded houses to eat other people’s hamsters . . .

But, then again, celebrities are not like us. Since they can get everything they want, Zac may do it just for the thrill, like JK does when she breaks into my house and tries to take my jam. I can almost see him now, his little elfin face shining in the moonlight, as he shimmies up the side of your house, breaks through the window of the Rodent Room, grabs the closest hamster he can find and shoves it in his well-formed mouth . . . the tail slipping through that tiny gap in his perfect teeth.

So, we should have a second code that means, “Zac Efron actually did eat my hamster, but I still need rescuing.” If this is the case, please say, “Posh Spice ate my hamster.” Then we will know you are lying. Posh Spice doesn’t eat ANYTHING! If we hear this, we will come and get you AND will we have a new hamster waiting.

If Zac Efron has eaten your hamster, but you do NOT want to be rescued, please say, “Posh Spice ate my hamster, but promptly coughed it back up into a napkin and it is fine.”

Zac Efron: making due with pistachio ice cream until Ben and Jerry’s starts making Chunky Hamster Mash.

I hope to see you on the YA forum. But, as always, you are welcome here! And you still have a few days to get questions in!

Labels: , , , ,


OpenID nikkiriggs said...


Here is my topic..

1:55 AM  
Anonymous Kayli said...

Well, I figured I'd comment here, since my grandma owns a bookstore and I can't do the Amazon challenge. Thank you for assuring me of your truthiness. I promise I never doubted you, not for a minute. And I'll be watching all Katie Holmes interviews carefully from now on.

2:03 AM  
Anonymous jas said...

Well, my mom has ordered a lot of books on Amazon, but I am now unfortunately in a different state from the computer she did the ordering on, so I can't start up a thread. I wish everyone else all my luck, though! You guys should just flood those boards with cool discussions, and I might be able to visit them when I get back to my Mom's house.
You know, a few years back, I had a pretty large family of hamsters in my house. Slowly, they began disappearing. I wonder if Zac was more desperate back then. Do you think he's the reason Fluffy, Snowshoe, and their children went missing? Or am I just a crappy pet-keeper? I've managed to keep four dogs alive for several years now, so I don't think it's the latter. They get really excited whenever I come home, so I must be doing something right.
Ah well, c'est la vie. Oh, that reminds me, next semester, I'm taking French I. I can't wait--my mom's been going over pronunciation with me. I had the most trouble with that guttural 'r' sound, but I think I'm starting to get the hang of it. I envy her, because she's polylingual and I can barely understand my Colombian friends when they start talking to each other. I only hope that I can learn a lot in French, because I'm planning on majoring in linguistics later on, and any language I learn will only help me more.
Anyways, I had an incredibly cheer-filled Christmas. I was up until five on Christmas Eve, and woke up again three and a half hours later. It was fine, though, because I could help my mom set up Santa's visit for my little sister, a task that was especially difficult this year because she was sleeping right next to the Christmas tree and stockings. I made Christmas-morning muffins that ended up tasting like cupcakes and helped my mom, grandma, and great-grandma make Christmas dinner. We had enough food to feed a small army, and it was all good.

2:14 AM  
Anonymous Layna said...

Maureen, I'd like to ask you something about your nightmare of Scarlett staring at you and having J.K on the other side of the room carrying jellyfish. Do you think that J.K made a horcrux of herself and that horcrux is the Scarlett poster? Or maybe she bugged the poster so she always knows where you are and what your doing. Or, if it is a horcrux, it's a horcrux that actually has a piece of J.K.'s brain working and it tells J.K. everything you are doing. Just a thought.

2:32 AM  
Anonymous Jeanie said...

Maureen, are we allowed to create 2 topics on Amazon and have them both in the running for the contest?

3:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two, twenty . . . whatever you want!


3:11 AM  
Anonymous cei cei said...

lily i truly feel your pain. my Scarlett card is also taunting me, but she keeps changing what she says. her two fav. things are- 'HAHAHA, You cann't read me til the day AFTER your birthday! Just like Libba Brays The Sweet Far Thing (which came out 12/26)! HAHAHA'


'Tho there is a small chance of you winning a copie of me early it will not happen, then in may Iwill be sold out!MAWWHAHAHA!'

clearly Scarlett DOES NOT like her potentual readers.*sniff sniff*

3:35 AM  
Anonymous shaylaluna said...

I am overjoyed to know that I am not the only person being harrassed by Scarlett. When I first got my card (a couple weeks ago) I opened it(Duh)and her this voice. I immediatly looked all around the room and then SCarlett was like," Over here you dolt" I whipped around and screamed. Scarlett giggled,"I love scaring people" " Yes, well I do to" I snickered. I had picked up a pair of scissors and was going in for the kill. "YOu cant do this to me" she cried. "Or what" I asked " Ill turn into a frog" "oh much worse" she said laughing. I figured I couldnt so now I have locked her in my closet. It is hard to get to sleep though....ANy suggestions for getting her to stop saying "I have personal connections with Jk Rowling and if you dont take me out of here Ill make sure she kills Luna and Snape" Luna and Snape are my favorite characters and she, through medievel torture, got this information out of me. Help me please.. ANyone...
SS is forcing me to type this message
SHe says you shouldnt listen to me. Please do..ouch...stop scarlett...must go

4:03 AM  
Blogger Timothy said...

How are things in Bartlesville? We haven't heard in a while? Have there been any developments? Have we left them to wallow in there backward, restricted-shelf ways? Have you danced for them?

4:10 AM  
Blogger Little Willow said...

I don't have a hamster. Or any ice cream. I do have His Dark Materials. And dust. With a lowercase d.

4:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was excited to hear about this new contest, because I actually have an Amazon account, but Amazon decided to be mean to me. I started a thread, but my posts keep deleting themselves, and saying I deleted them.

Maureen, why did Amazon decide to hate me today? Does it secretly know that I'm trying to get a Suite Scarlett?

4:17 AM  
Anonymous shaylaluna said...

I have a seriously important question. My great-aunt just emailed me asking if she could get rid of a bucket of toothpicks. At fist this may seem stupid but I assure you it is not. A while ago my cousin and I took this legendary bucket of toothpicks and tried to sell them for a trillion dollars each. My aunt wrote a check and "forgot" to sign it so we didnt get our money. She wants to get rid of it. Should I let her?????

4:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is your New Years going to be as equally festive and cheery as your christmas?Are you celebrating anything in particular.I was wanting to warn you that there is a very large possibility that JK will break into your house at exactly midnight and wishing you a frightening new year of jam thievery and "dancing queen"/jelly fish nightmares. I'm not psychic, she just seems like the kind of person to do that.
Be afraid...be very afraid.

4:52 AM  
Blogger WannabeWriter said...


Anybody want to respond? I'll feel like I'm talking to myself, seeing as how the other threads are basically dead. I'm going to post something in them now, because I can imagine how their creators feel.

Hilarious entry, once again, by the way.

And I asked this before, but in case you answer it, this is my question: Can you spill anything at all about Let It Snow, even though its release is light years away?

6:24 AM  
Blogger Reese said...

Oh, noes. I don't really use Amazon. I am a Joseph-Beth type of girl... Sigh.

6:28 AM  
Anonymous katie h said...

Ha ha Katie Holmes ha ha. I'm not going to say that I am or that I'm not. I feel like being mysterious today. According to the google I just did of katie h, I also could be:
-A doctor in Missouri
-A person who reviews local businesses in San Francisco
-A sport fishing boat in New Jersey
-A huge scrapbooker in Virginia

Zac Efron has, fortunaly, not eaten any hamsters or any other sort of rodent belonging to me at the current time, though if you ask me, every picture of him just screams "Sigh, this photo shoot going on so long, I'm starved. I think afterword I'll just head on home and curl up with some of that nice warm hamster stew, just like mom used to make."

6:40 AM  
Anonymous Gaby said...

maureen, why couldn't you have put the challenge on the barnes and noble teen books forum? there anyone can sign on, making it that much more fair. but that's ok, i'll wait for the next challenge to win suite scarlet :)

6:54 AM  
Anonymous ally said...

mj, is it bad i don't know who Katie Homles is?

8:10 AM  
Anonymous Shausto-la said...

aww no i cant post on amazon. *headdesk* but i do have a question. Why in the world is Mario so darn funny looking??

I mean, really. with that funky red cap and blue overalls and HUMUNGO white gloves that he so stole from Mickey Mouse...its actually pretty freaky..

8:30 AM  
OpenID nikkiriggs said...

I have lately become obsessed with www.grupthink.com. this is one of the reasons why:

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Darcy said...

Hello MJ, I have a question for you. I know you got to read TSFT early (I know this because I stalk your blog and Libba's LJ... MUAHAHAHA!), and I wanted to know if you cried at the end. Without being spoilery, let's just say that the ending was beautiful and satisfying, but that in no way means I didn't cry through the last 40 pages. And then for 2 hours after I finished. And then I ate copious amounts of chocolate and cried some more. So. Did you cry, oh great MJ?

12:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HA! "Zac Efron ate my hamster."

i swear, MJ, you never fail to amuse me with your ways of laughter and CHEER.

love your blog!

*idea lightbulb blinks spaztically on in mind* hey! great idea here! you and libba bray should do like, a joined post or something! that would be SO. AWESOME!!! ok, fangirl Emilee is done.


2:04 AM  
Blogger Little Willow said...

...and then I felt the need to write this big old thing...

8:09 AM  
Anonymous bissfullydazed said...

You know what? Zac Efron has no business eating hamsters. I almost wish someone would eat HIM, thereby ending High School Musical's plot to collaborate with Wal-Mart and Starbuck's to take over the world. (They're really doing it, you know. And don't be surprised if evil zombies are eventually utilized in this manuever. Watch out.)

Hey, maybe JK Rowling would eat him! I mean, if you put him in your refrigerator.

Anywayz, as a newcomer to your comments but huge fan of your blog and books (though for now I've only read 13LBE, sorry. But I loved it!), I have two questions. 1. WHEN is Girl at Sea coming out in paperback? and 2. Is there ANY way we can come up with a an incredibly complicated hairbrained scheme in which I stow away with you in the plane on your trip to England? PLEASE?! I HAVE to go!


9:30 AM  
Anonymous blissfullydazed said...

NO! Not biss! BLISS! Oh, my wretched typing fingers...

9:35 AM  
Blogger Monica said...

MJ, I absolutely adore your contest idea.

Here's mine: http://www.amazon.com/tag/young%20adult/forum/ref=cm_cd_ef_tft_tp?%5Fencoding=UTF8&cdForum=FxYYBPV8QIG2V4&cdThread=Tx4KCUGCWGJPQF&displayType=tagsDetail

As to your blog, no matter how confusing it is for a first-time reader, it is hilariously funny. Can't wait to read Scarlett!

9:42 AM  
Anonymous poodle said...

Wow, as bad as it sounds, I'm glad I didn't get a card from the cheer factory's elves. If it started talking to me in my sleep I might have had to hurt it. And then I would have had to listen to it moaning in pain, and we all know how much more annoying moans are than words.

Next year how about cards with little fuzzy goats? That's cheerful, right?

I know that goats can talk too, but they never talk to me. Of course, I don't expect everyone to have this same goat experience, but I can't be the only one, can I?

12:30 PM  
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9:56 PM  
Anonymous Asia said...

Man, I'm sad. I haven't gotten anything on Amazon...Oh, but you wrote this post on my birthday, so can I win something anyhow?

12:58 AM  
Anonymous jellybean said...

Emergency cheer question!

Let's say that a few weeks ago you took a short weekend vacation to the seaside. You were frolicking in the ocean, like a FOOL, when a rogue wave smashed you to the sand, held you under, and gave you a lump the size of a baseball on your hip.

You have hidden said lump with only moderate success over the holidays. Now New Year's Eve is coming up, and you are sick of wearing baggy dresses. So you are going to wear an awesome dress that totally shows the still-huge lump.

Question: what is your awesome cover story for this lame, lame injury?

5:28 AM  
Anonymous Beth said...

I think I should win something from MJ on her New Year's Eve special contest-thing. Because 1) It'll be my birthday! Wa-hoo and 2) This year has been *tough* and not just for me, for some family members *I won't go into that I'll just say 2 words - government - hearing.* and it would be an ah-mazing birthday present, and really cheer me up b4 going back to school :-D.

10:09 PM  
Anonymous krazykatie said...

I feel everyone's pain. I cannot post on amazon. I cannot win a copy of suite scarlett. I cannot even get one of the suite scarlett cards--that I've heard are all little followers of the big poster of suite scarlett that haunts maureen.
So just know that ur not alone. :(
but I'm still happy because it's almost 2008!
Speaking of 2008, what are ur New Year's resolutions, MJ?

2:48 AM  
Anonymous phases of the moon said...

post is, as always, hilarious.

just wanted to say i got my signed Develish in the mail the other day. was most happy-making. :D

7:30 AM  
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I hope you haven't had a lifelong desire to visit Brazil.

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