Friday, February 27, 2009

North of Beautiful: Geocache-o-rama #5

Welcome to Day 5 (the final day...sob! sob!) of the North of Beautiful Geocache-o-rama. One of my favorite, if not most neurotic, things to do change up my house. Rearrange furniture! Create new displays! Move my artwork!

So in today's cache--Beauty: One Etsy Step at a Time--I take you to one of my favorite sources of inspiration. And to one of my favorite jewelers of all who created readergirlz pendents for my divas divine as well as Girl Overboard necklaces for my editors.

How to play:
1. Visit the coordinates listed below.
2. Find the answer to the question, also below.
3. Drop a comment on this blog with the answer, your name, and your email.
4. Winner receives...a mystery cache of galleys! Woo hoo!


Inspiration comes on wings for her.

What is the working name of this artist AND can you tell which YA novel she luuuuurves?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

North of Beautiful: Geocache-o-rama #4

Welcome to Day 4 of the North of Beautiful Geocache-o-rama! Can I just say how fun it is to share my true geekiness with all of you?

Come play with me!
1. Visit the coordinates below.
2. Answer the question by commenting on this blog. Include your name and email address.
3. I'll choose a winner randomly who shall of the last limited edition North of Beautiful geocaching tins! Woo hoo!'s virtual cache, SHAPING BEAUTY and I'm not talking about Spanx, takes you to one of the most beautiful, powerful, and empowering women on the web. I absolutely love how this woman advocates for us to use the power of media to make positive change.


What is the name of the organization and who is its incredible executive director?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

North of Beautiful: Geocache-o-rama #3

Welcome to Day 3 of the North of Beautiful Geocache-o-rama--your virtual treasure hunt for True Beauty on the web. Today's cache: Divas Divine. (Oh, the photo is there just to throw you off.)

Play with me!
1. Visit the coordinates.
2. Figure out the Answer!
3. Drop me a comment here with the Answers, your name, and your email.
4. Winner today wins a SIGNED copy of North of Beautiful. Woo hoo!


a. Which Diva is no shrinking violet when it comes to fashion?
b. Which Diva also created readertotz?
c. Which Diva has Brimstone running in her writerly veins?
d. Which Diva won the Mythopoeic Award for Fantasy--alongside Tamora Pierce? (

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

North of Beautiful: Geocache-o-rama #2

Welcome to Day 2 of the North of Beautiful Geocache-o-Rama! Today's virtual cache? BEZAZZLED BEAUTY!

How do you play?

  • Visit the link that I provide below.
  • Read the clue(s).
  • Drop me a comment here with the Answer plus your name and email.
  • A lucky winner will be chosen at random.
What will you win?
  • Limited edition readergirlz buttons today!



What does beauty mean to you?

What is the name of the videographer who created the FIRST (and awesome) entry to the
FIND BEAUTY CHALLENGE?? (Bonus points to those who drop on a comment on her video!)

Geocache-o-rama Day 1: WINNER!

Congrats to Finding Neverland for having the correct answer to the first North of Beautiful Geocache-o-rama! She'll be receiving a limited edition North of Beautiful geocache tin, a la Terra and Jacob.

Thanks to everyone for participating. Check back for the second geocache in this week of fun, tooling around the web looking at things I find Truly Beautiful.

The Question:
What is the name of the winning movie for Best Short Documentary?

Drum roll, please.

The Correct Answer:
Smile Pinki!

Monday, February 23, 2009

North of Beautiful: Geocache-o-rama #1

My editor emailed with great news last week: North of Beautiful is going into its second printing! It humbles me that in this economy, readers like you are buying books. My books.

So to celebrate, I'm hosting a week of virtual geocaching with fun prizes of mucho fabulosity! Think of geocaching as high tech treasure hunting. Armed with a GPS device and coordinates, you hunt for thousands of stashed treasure boxes around the world. Hmmmm...aren't you curious what my North of Beautiful geocache tins contain?

So. This week we'll try high tech treasure hunting with clues I'll give to you--sending you to places that I think are Truly Beautiful. Post your comment with your answer and your email address, and I will randomly select a winner of the above geocache tin.

The North of Beautiful Geocache-o-rama #1: Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder
In my book, Jacob had a cleft lip--a condition that can be fixed with a relatively simple surgery.
I find it truly beautiful that the winner of this year's Oscar for Best Short Documentary is about this very condition.


What is the name of the winning movie for Best Short Documentary?

Today, I'm thankful for readers--whether book buyers or library patrons or both!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The North of Beautiful Geocache-o-rama!

I realize that for most people, hauling out to the incredible North of Beautiful geocache that Dia Calhoun created and placed in the Methow Valley (central Washington state) is almost as impossible as hauling up to Mt. Everest. As well, I recognize that most people do not have a GPS device of their own. (Although I must say that my Garmin GPS is my accessory of choice.)


This week, I will present the North of Beautiful virtual geocache-o-rama. I will be giving away fun prizes of much fabulosity. Check back here for more details!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Poetry Friday: Captive

A lovely poem by my daughter's amazing teacher.

by Joyce Standing

A thought
captured by a pen
a moment.

North of Beautiful: The Official Geocache!

One of the most truly beautiful gifts anyone has ever given to me was made by the multi-talented Dia Calhoun. (She creates art! Writes fantasy! And verse! And fights off cougars!) A few weeks before I left for China last summer, she and Lorie Ann Grover met me in Winthrop--the setting for North of Beautiful.

They spirited me to Dia's favorite fishing hole...where Dia presented me with the official North of Beautiful geocache! Not only did she create a cache--stuffing it with keepsakes and symbols from my book, but she had scoped out a site for the cache, too.

We were giggling as we took the coordinates... N 48° 08.290 W 120° 01.022.

Your mission: Go to the Methow Valley. You won't be sorry. And now can you find the cache?

Today I am grateful for friends who know my heart.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Operation Teen Book Drop

Get ready for the second annual Operation Teen Book Drop, brought to you by readergirlz, GuysLitWire, and YALSA.

Last year, my online book community, readergirlz, worked with 21 publishers to drop 10,000 FREE books into Children's Hospitals around the country. (Thank you, publishers!) We're psyched for a repeat performance. Check out the video below and get ready to Rock the Drop with us!

North of Beautiful: Tour de Auburn

There are no cooler people on the planet than YA librarians. I mean, look at Rachel, the YA librarian for the Auburn Public Library. Roller derby queen. Articulate as anyone I've ever met. An intrepid traveler. And rolled up in a covet-worthy outfit.

Meeting people--whether librarians or readers or booksellers--has got to be one of the best perks of being an author for teens. My tour schedule this year is more limited than my previous years, which made my first foray out so special.
The teens in the library were especially prepared with excellent questions about North of Beautiful and my writing process.

The support I receive when I visit schools, like Auburn High School, is equally amazing. Can you even comprehend the hours the school librarian must have spent to create this display for readergirlz and Guysread? I'm so glad that she took the time to include guys. (I talked up Guys Lit Wire, too, while I was there--and if you haven't checked that resource out, you really ought to!)

Today, I'm thankful for librarians who think teens can benefit from authors visiting their schools and libraries.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Valentine's Everyday!

My girlfriends and family were buzzing around me on Valentine's Day, making sure that I felt beloved. Like my writer-buddy, Holly Cupala who read an early version of North of Beautiful. And Girl Overboard. AND my WIP. Anyway, Holly took me out for tea where she and her daughter gave me the most divine pair of coral-red gloves. And then she walked me over to Sephora and personally picked out a lipstick color for me (horrified, no doubt, by my blog post when I admitted I was down to two lipstick tubes. TWO.).

Today I am grateful for friends and family who have made me see that everyday is Valentine's Day.

By the way, NARS Flamenco? The lip shade rocks! Highly recommended.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Inside North of Beautiful: Confluence Gallery

I thought I'd share some of the inspirations behind my latest novel, NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL. For the past few years, I've spent a ton of restorative time in the pristine Methow Valley, which serves as the locale of the novel. One of my favorite art galleries is located in Twisp: the Confluence Gallery. (The sketch below is taken from their website.)

While the description of the Nest & Egg gallery in my book is fabricated from my own imagination--and the kind of studio space where I personally would love to collage, the spirit of the gallery is pure Confluence.

Confluence Gallery
104 Glover Street
Twisp, WA

Friday, February 13, 2009

North of Beautiful Blog Stop: Stephanie's Confessions of a Bookaholic

Rounding out these last two weeks o' fun with bloggers, I'm headed over to Stephanie's Book Blog. So join me over there today!

A special thanks to Sara Easterly for spearheading this week's blog tour and to Mitali Perkins for managing last week's tour.

Poetry Friday: Winter Scene

In honor of midwinter break...I give you...

Winter Scene
by Bliss Carman, 1861-1929

Now is the time, with
Winter o'er the World,

For books and friends
and yellow candle light,

And timeless lingering
byt the settling fire.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Official Rite of Passage Book List for Guys

So my son just turned 13 and to mark his transition from boyhood to manhood, he has a new bookshelf of YA novels he now gets to read. I asked people on Facebook, Twitter, and my blog to help me create a reading list for this, his first year of teendom.

The Go-To authors of choice for new teen guys? M.T. Anderson and Chris Crutcher. I can't wait to introduce my new teen to them.

Here it is, The Official Rite of Passage Book List for Guys:

Be More Chill
Lord of the Flies
A Separate Peace
Catcher in the Rye
Staying Fat for Sarah Bynes
Standard Hero Behavior
Going Nowhere Faster
The Chocolate War
Speak / Inexcusable
Looking for Alaska
Call it Courage
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Knights of the Hill Country
Whale Talk
The Knife of Letting Go
Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life
I am the Cheese
David Copperfield
Succeeding against the odds
Fullmetal Alchemist
Samurai Shortstop
Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie
Viking Warrior
Something Happened

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

North of Beautiful Blog Stop: Mother Daughter Book Club

When I was invited to be interviewed for Mother Daughter Book Club, I couldn't believe it. I've been a fan of Cindy Hudson's for a looong time. Her mission to encourage moms and daughters to read together inspires me. And it's something I'd love readergirlz to figure out: how to get teen girls and their moms to read YA together. Talk about opening communication!

One of my personal goals is to restart the mother-son-daughter book club that I began with another friend 2 years ago. Coordinating schedules has been the biggest challenge. If you have any suggestions on that front, let me know!

Today I'm grateful for visionary mothers like Cindy.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Rite of Passage: Books

The second rite of passage that I gave to my now teenaged son was something near and dear to me: a pile 'o YA books that he was now allowed to read.

FAT KID RULES THE WORLD by K.L. Going! (I've been dying to have my son read one of my favorite books of all time. At last! I feel that he's old enough! This is present to myself, really.)

DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN by Sherman Alexie! (Ditto!)

What other books should be part of his rite of passage to mark his move from boyhood to manhood?

North of Beautiful Blog Stop: Mythbuster Beauty

I have a thing for lipstick. I really do. Possibly it has something to do with the gorgeous colors. But I suspect it has more to do with the wonderful, whimsical color names: Apocalypse, Hotpants, Buzzkill, Gash. (Those are all Urban Decay, which is itself a fantastic product name.)

Put on lipstick, put on attitude. So it is severely bumming me out that I am down to two (count them, TWO) tubes of lipstick. (That's what happens when you move to two counties in three months: excessive, regretful purging.) As Paula Yoo so aptly proposed when the two of us were having a convergence of BAD DAY blahs: "I'm going out to buy lipstick."

So join me today as the guest blogger at Mythbuster Beauty, the source of all things hip and beautiful. Plus--for the bargain shoppers out there--they always have the scoopola on great deals. Which I love since it means more money to buy books. Ha!

Today I am grateful for small indulgences that boost a woman's spirit. Hmmmm...perhaps I need to record an addendum to my video essay for my Find Beauty Challenge: Ode to LipStick.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Climbing Walls: Rite of Passage

Anyone who has read Dia Calhoun's FIREGOLD knows a thing or two about rites of passages. Harrowing rites. In the real world, there are the bar mitvahs and bat mitvahs. Quinceneras. And I suppose, Sweet Sixteens. But...what about a rite of passage that's uniquely American to celebrate the crossing from tweendom to teendom?

So as my son's 13th birthday approached, I'd been brainstorming about creating our own rite of passage to demarcate the end of his official childhood and the beginning of his manhood. As the Big Day neared, I had a few other personal things I needed to attend to and I was coming up empty on ideas. My friend, Lorie Ann, however, gave me a serious tushy kicking about my son's rite of passage. I'm so glad she did!

So...I challenged my guy to face his fear of heights and booked us for a lesson at our local climbing gym, Vertical World (which is where I researched part of Nothing but the Truth and a few white lies). There, he mustered his courage and scaled FIVE walls (count 'em, FIVE) as if he had been born in the Himalayas! Bhutan Boy, that's my little man!

Which, of course, inspired me to get in my harness. As it did my daughter. But what got me to the tippy top of the most challenging wall of the night? My kids down below who promised, "Mom, we'll do the laundry next week if you reach the top!"

Heh heh. Now, that's what I call inspiration. Fear conquered! The laundry fairies are visiting Chez Headley this week. Woo hoo!

Today, I give thanks to my kids--my young man and little girl--who think I'm weird but are up for my ideas anyway.

North of Beautiful: Bluestocking Society

Join me today on Jessica's blog, The Bluestocking Society, where I'm the guest blogger on Beauty. Any woman who counts Powell's Books as one of her happiest places on earth is a friend of mine. (Stay tuned: Powell's interviewed me for their website.)

Here's my favorite quote from Jessica's review of North of Beautiful:

"I could write a term paper on the layers of this theme in this book. North of Beautiful reminded me, in many ways, of a John Green novel - smart teenagers stumbling through situations and eventually getting their legs beneath them - from a girl’s perspective."

Now that is high praise.

Today I am thankful for book lovers who take the time to share their love of books with others. (Go, Jessica!)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

North of Beautiful: Beauty + Book Blog Tour!

North of Beautiful celebrates true beauty, and in honor of that, my good friend Sara Easterly has organized a Beauty + Book Blog Tour. So please drop in on the blogs and celebrate what makes YOU uniquely beautiful. While you're at it, upload your video essay on True Beauty at!

Monday, February 9: The Bluestocking Society

Tuesday, February 10: Mythbuster Beauty

Wednesday, February 11:

Friday, February 13: Stephanie's Books

See you this week!

(Today I am grateful for all the beauty that surrounds me.)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Giving Thanks: A Week In Review

Thanks to countless wonderful people, all throughout this week I've been reminded of two of my favorite poems / quotes:

As earth stirs in her winter sleep
And puts out grass and flowers
Despite the snow,
Despite the falling snow.
--Robert Graves

Look. There's hope.
--Lorie Ann Grover

Despite the snow, the falling snow that's been upheaving my life, there's so much hope and so much to be thankful for. Here, then, are the grass and flowers that earth has given me so plentifully:

1. Holly Cupala who so generously created the much-talked about, much-forwarded beautiful Book Launch announcement. She is a dear and loyal friend.

2. Martha Brockenbrough who is single-handedly overseeing the North of Beautiful: Find Beauty Challenge. She is truly one of the most generous (and funny) people I know. Michael Sterns, you got yourself a treasure. So did you, Adam.

3. My son and his best friend, Gaby, who gave up their entire day AND the Super Bowl to be videographers, shooting video essays on beauty at my party. You both are becoming incredible young men.

4. Mitali Perkins who spearheaded the incredibly fun Book Blog Tour with luminaries like Shelf Elf, Sarah Rettger, Bibliophile, and Teen Book Review. We dished on everything from characters to bubble tea. Now, tell me, are these soul sisters or what?

5. Brenda Gurung, the world's best Community Relations Manager at my local Barnes & Noble, who said: Justina, let me host your Book Launch Party; you just show up. So the woman created a map collage as a backdrop.

Then she kicked off a virtual geocaching scavenger hunt around the store, arranged a collage station, gave away prizes, publicized the event all over town... Brenda, you are a gift.

6. My daughter who is the best meeter-and-greeter. Ever. And best daughter ever.

7. Miss Erin whose mom drove her 5.5 hours to surprise me at the party! I cried when I saw her!

8. All my friends who turned out for the party despite the Super Bowl--from Anita at the post office whose lips have kissed every manuscript that I've mailed (good luck lips, I'm telling you!) to my StrataGem pals to my sister who tore herself away from studying for finals. And especially my Diviners critique group, readergirlz, and Kim Swift (the famous gamer girl!) who baked and baked and baked to feed everyone at the party. A special thanks to Jackie Parker whose amazing cinnamon rolls save me after a dire energy lull.

9. Barnes & Noble for putting North of Beautiful in its coveted real estate: the home page scroll on its website. It was thrilling to see my book alongside President Obama, Bruce Springsteen, and James Patterson. And then merchandised my book prominently on the Teen Page. Thank you. I am so humbled by the company Terra got to keep this week. And I am absolutely humbled that in this economy, readers are spending their precious dollars on my words. Thank you so much.

10. And all the unexpected gifts that this week held for me: a starred review from Booklist, freshly baked bread from Barbara Stolzenburg (one of the first librarians to get behind my first novel), a collage and serenade from Miss Erin... These are just a few of the ways you have made one author feel nurtured and beloved. I thank you all.

Despite the snow, despite the falling snow, hope is waiting to bloom.


Friday, February 6, 2009

North of Beautiful Blog Stop: Teen Book Review

Welcome to the last day of the NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL BOOK BLOG TOUR! A huge shout out to Mitali Perkins (author of Secret Keeper and readergirlz soul sister) for arranging this week for me.

If you want to dish about Beauty and the Neurotic Woman (oh, does that sound like me and you?), then check in next week when I visit Beauty Bloggers and a few Booksters.

For today, I drop in on the ever-popular, ever-insightful Jocelyn over at Teen Book Review. Answer the question Jocelyn poses on today's blog, and you can win yourself an autographed copy of North of Beautiful.

Here's a sneak peek at our chat:

Jocelyn: Travel (one of my favorite things!) is also important in this novel. What do you think makes travel an important experience, in general?

Justina: Traveling is a crash course on life: logistics (how do I get from here to there?), survival (are you going to starve or try the fish eyes?), resilience (can I can trek for another kilometer?), resourcefulness (okaaaay…so the train was canceled. Now what?), tolerance (got when they tell me I’m fat, it’s actually a compliment!).

For the full interview, check out

Poetry Friday: Phenomenal Woman

North of Beautiful is officially out this week, and I want to pay homage to my favorite poem that inspired the book. This was given to me by my friend, Si Oyama, one March for National Women's History Month. And now I give it to you, the phenomenal women who read my words.

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Maya Angelou

Thursday, February 5, 2009

North of Beautiful Blog Stop: Bibliophile

Welcome to the fourth day of my North of Beautiful Book Blog Tour. Today's blog host of fabulosity is Jennifer Rothschild who is participating in more reading challenges than my feeble mind can keep up with! (And she wrote a hilarious Twilight poem: check her Jan 23 post.) Be the first to answer Jennifer's posted question on Bibliophile, and you'll win an autographed copy of North of Beautiful.

Here's a tidbit from our chat:

Sarah: Did you start geocaching before it became one of Jacob's hobbies, or did it move from the book into the rest of your life?

Justina: Years ago, I had read about geocaching—high tech treasure hunting using a GPS—in an article. It later occurred to me that geocaching could be symbolic of Terra’s controlling mapmaker of a father who tries to box her into a grid and the boy who uses maps to break open her world. So in the name of research, I bought a GPS, created an account at, and hauled my kids on an expedition. We were hooked!

To read the whole interview, please visit Jennifer's blog at


Feb 6, Friday
Teen Book Review with Jocelyn Pearce

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

North of Beautiful Blog Stop: Archimedes Forgets

Welcome to the third day of my North of Beautiful Book Blog tour, this time with the fabulous Sarah Rettger who so beautifully champions indie bookstores. (Speaking of which, I'd like to give a shout out to Mitali Perkins for creating the Kids Heart Authors program, uniting 40 indie booksellers and 160 authors / illustrators to make Valentine's Day memorable in New England. She inspired Kirby Larson to spearhead the same program here in Seattle.)

Be the first to answer Sarah's posted question on Archimedes Forgets, and you'll win an autographed copy of
North of Beautiful.

Here's a tidbit from our chat:

Sarah: Did you start geocaching before it became one of Jacob's hobbies, or did it move from the book into the rest of your life?

Justina: Years ago, I had read about geocaching—high tech treasure hunting using a GPS—in an article. It later occurred to me that geocaching could be symbolic of Terra’s controlling mapmaker of a father who tries to box her into a grid and the boy who uses maps to break open her world. So in the name of research, I bought a GPS, created an account at, and hauled my kids on an expedition. We were hooked!

To read the whole interview, please visit Sarah's blog at


Feb 5, Thursday
Bibliophile with Jennifer Rothschild

Feb 6, Friday
Teen Book Review with Jocelyn Pearce

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Another Book Giveaway: Debbi Florence

One of the first bloggers to get behind my writing is none other than Debbi Michiko Florence. We struck up a friendship when I visited her in Shanghai and both were bummed that our stints there didn't overlap.

Anyway, this just in from Debbi:
"And as a bonus, I'm holding a drawing on my blog - Comment on the post announcing my interview with Justina and you might win a signed copy of NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL! Drawing takes place on February 12 and I'll announce the winner on my blog on February 13th. Good luck!"

Today I am so grateful for life coincidences that bring us together in the most unexpected of places. Kindred spirits are everywhere!

Book Chic: An Author's Best Friend

Thanks to all my readers and friends--my book paparrazzi--who've been messaging me with sightings of my books in their local bookstores.

For instance, Book Chic went around his town to take pix of his favorite authors' books (and to remerchandise some to face out positions). Love that! He found NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL and GIRL OVERBOARD at Barnes & Noble.

And then there's Melissa Walker, readergirlz diva and co-founder of who's been on the book look out for me.

North of Beautiful Blog Stop: Shelf Elf

New postergirl for readergirlz, Shelf Elf, is hosting me on the second stop of my North of Beautiful Book Blog tour. Be the first to answer Shelf Elf's posted question, and you'll win an autographed copy of North of Beautiful.

Here's a tidbit from our chat:

Shelf Elf: Your novel is a bit like Terra's artwork, since it is almost a "story-collage" of rich and surprising subjects: port-wine stains, geocaching, the art of coffee tasting, cartography and international adoption. I'm interested to understand how you began to make a story out of all of those topics.

Justina: North of Beautiful is a patchwork quilt of several epic journeys. (Read: several manuscripts that never came to fruition.) So much research I’ve done over the years for other potential stories finally made it into a book! For instance, I had been working on a non-fiction book eight years ago and interviewed the coffee buyer for Starbucks, Mary Williams.

To read the whole interview, please visit Shelf Elf's blog at

Feb 4, Wednesday
Archimedes Forgets with Sarah Rettger

Feb 5, Thursday
Bibliophile with Jennifer Rothschild

Feb 6, Friday
Teen Book Review with Jocelyn Pearce

Monday, February 2, 2009

North of Beautiful & President Obama!

Self-absorption is never a pretty sight. However.

1. President Obama wrote my son a personal letter. (Yes, he did.)
2. My politico friends--you know who you are--all have photos of themselves with our president. Gallivanting off to DC for the Inauguration. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Ahem. Just look who is NEXT to the President here on the B&N Home Page. Hmmmm... Could that be Terra?

~justina who is now weaning herself slowly away from the computer where she has been posted since her favorite B&Nie (beanie?), Brenda Gurung (CRM of mucho amazingness and event planner extraordinaire of memorable book parties), phoned her in the wee early hours and ordered her to said PC. She realizes this book-absorption is really not becoming. Or healthy. BUT says that this is infinitely healthier and more pleasant than watching the stock ticker.

North of Beautiful: Booklist Starred Review!

Really. I feel like I'm in a shock akin to inhaling 900 pounds of chocolate. At once. Without stopping. And now I'm reeling and shaking.

This just in from Booklist:
(**visualize a cute little star right here**) Headley has written an exquisite book that explores the difference between physical and true beauty...She uses Terra's artistic medium, collage, as a literary device to create layer upon layer of experiences and insights into a finely crafted, artfully written journey of self-discovery, self actualization, and love. With every carefully chosen word, well-crafted sentence, and fully developed character, Headley maps out a wholly satsifying reading experience that takes readers from terra nullis to terra firma.

Thanks to my editor, Alvina Ling, for calling me personally with the news. Love that woman.

North of Beautiful: On the B&N Home Page!

I can't believe it! NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL is on Barnes & Noble's home page scroll. Next to John Grisham and The Boss! Whoa.

My thanks to the B&N and Little, Brown team who made this happen.

North of Beautiful Blog Tour: Mitali's Fire Escape

The first stop of my North of Beautiful Book Blog tour is at none other than with Mitali Perkins, author of Monsoon Summer and Secret Keeper. We're having a fun contest all week long. Be the first to answer the question about yours truly on Mitali's blog, and you'll win an autographed copy of North of Beautiful.

Here's a tidbit from our chat:

: As the mother of teen boys who don’t often see an Asian-American as the “it” guy in pop culture, I’m grateful that you created such a hunk in Jacob.

Justina: One of my missions as a writer was to create a hunk who happened to be Asian! That was a gift for my two brothers and my son…and all the Asian-American dudes out there who need to see guys like themselves as cool. Heartdroppingly cool. Devastatingly cool. It makes me feel great that readers of all ages are emailing me: “I. Am. So. In. Love. With. Jacob.” Mission accomplished!

To read the whole interview, please visit Mitali's blog at

Feb 3, Tuesday
Shelf Elf with Kerry Miller

Feb 4, Wednesday
Archimedes Forgets with Sarah Rettger

Feb 5, Thursday
Bibliophile with Jennifer Rothschild

Feb 6, Friday
Teen Book Review with Jocelyn Pearce

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Please Sign the NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL Guest Book HERE

An open letter to all my peeps

Thanks so much for celebrating the release of my third novel, NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL. I am so excited to share Terra with you and can't wait to hear what you think about her, the book, and Jacob.

Whether you're here at today's official launch party at Barnes & Noble in Bellevue, WA, or at home in your pajamas, THANK YOU for your support. (And thanks for giving up the Super Bowl, to be here instead. THAT is a sign of TRUE friendship and EXCELLENT taste. Ha!)

Please sign into this Guest Book a la Blog.

Much appreciation,

Find Beauty Challenge

I made a pledge to tie all my books to community service somehow. honor of North of Beautiful's imminent release...I give you a sneak peek at the NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL: FIND BEAUTY CHALLENGE!

Tell the world what you find to be Truly Beautiful! Just upload a 90-second video describing what real beauty means to you...and you could win yourself an iTouch! PLUS, for every uploaded video, I'll donate $10 (up to $1,000) to
Global Surgical Outreach, an amazing group that helps kids with cleft lips and palates in the third world.

Here's what to do:
1. Record a 90-second video essay about what's truly beautiful to you!
2. Upload the video onto YouTube.
3. Then...send a link to (Martha Brockenbrough--tech guru and my friend of much wonderosity--will link your video to the North of Beautiful YouTube channel.)
4. Tell all your friends to RATE your video.

1) The Top 5 videos will be chosen by YOU based on the most views and highest ratings. So be sure to tell all your friends to vote for you! Any ties will be broken by the North of Beautiful team.

2) The North of Beautiful team will score the five finalists on A) 40 percent emotional appeal (humor, pull-on-the-heartstrings, incites activism, etc.); B) 40 percent content (clean, widespread appeal across audiences, plot – if applicable, scriptwriting – if applicable); and C) 20 percent professionalism (smooth transitions, stable video, non-jarring editing cuts, constant audio levels).

3) All videos must contain original content. Your entry indicates you understand this and have the legal rights to distribute your video.

4) Any videos deemed inappropriate by the North of Beautiful team will be removed. Please don't upload anything that wouldn't, say, be shown on television during prime-time hours, or anything you wouldn't want to watch with your first-grade teacher. So no nudity, profanity, or racial slurs.

5) The contest will run from 12:01 a.m. Feb. 1, 2009 until 11:59 p.m. Mar. 30, 2009. Anything submitted before or after the deadline can't be considered.

6) Justina will donate $10 for every uploaded video (for a maximum of $1,000) to Global Surgical Outreach to help fund facial surgeries for kids in the third world.

7) The Find Beauty Challenge is open to people over 14.

8) The Grand Prize winner will receive one iPod Touch. 3 runners up will receive fabulous gifts, such as an autographed collection of Justina's novels, other free books, etc.