Friday, July 30, 2010

Review - Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Firelight by Sophie Jordan -
4 out of 5 stars
(release date September 7, 2010)

Summary via goodreads.

With her rare ability to breathe fire, Jacinda is special even among the draki—the descendants of dragons who can shift between human and dragon forms. But when Jacinda’s rebelliousness leads her family to flee into the human world, she struggles to adapt, even as her draki spirit fades. The one thing that revives it is Will, whose family hunts her kind. Jacinda can’t resist getting closer to him, even though she knows she’s risking not only her life but the draki’s most closely guarded secret.

I'll be the first to admit that when I first heard about this book I was like, Dragons? Really? But then I read the blurb and I thought it sounded interesting although I still couldn't quite work out the whole "she turns into a dragon" thing. And then, the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to read it. Especially once I started to see so many positive reviews, so I was THRILLED when I got a surprise copy in the mail from HarperTeen.

FIRELIGHT starts with exciting action that lets us know just what Jacinda and her people have at stake. They're hunted for their body parts and blood which is said to have magical properties. And Jacinda with her fire-breathing ability is the most wanted of all - and not just by hunters, her own people prize her above all others, too.

I was immediately sucked in to the story and from the moment Jacinda and Will met, I was rooting for them. Sophie Jordan does chemistry really well. You can feel Jacinda and Will's attraction and longing for each other. It practically drips off the page. Also, the kissing scenes? SO steamy!

What I love about the romance here, is that this story could've easily veered into Twilight territory and become a copycat, but despite the similar plot elements (the prey falls for the hunter and vice versa) FIRELIGHT is its own story. It has real depth by bringing in Jacinda's conflicted relationships with her non-manifesting twin sister and mother who want her to deny her true nature and live a normal life. And her changing feelings about her childhood friend (and intended) Cassian. As well as her confusion and frustration over wanting to go back to the one place she feels free and knowing that if she does, she could lose that freedom forever.

The characters, both major and minor are well-drawn here. No one is 100% bad or good. As the story unfolds, right up to the surprising, and thrilling climax at the end, we're forced to re-examine our opinions of almost everyone. I love that I can relate to and understand all the major players in this story. (Also, Will is dreamy.)

FIRELIGHT is the first in a trilogy that promises to be exciting, dramatic, and heartbreaking. I look forward to watching Jacinda's relationships play out both with Will and Cassian, and with her family and the draki people. I can't wait for the next book!

For those of you who are on the fence about this one, don't let the thought of yet another mythical creature keep you from reading FIRELIGHT. It's totally worth your time, and so much more than just a generic paranormal romance with a new creature inserted in it.

Cover: Love this cover! The hint of scales near her eye is really intriguing and after reading the book, I can also say that it's SO perfect.

Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Plot: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Book Signings Rock!

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to attend an awesome gathering of YA authors and book bloggers!

YA Authors Kristina McBride (The Tension of Opposites) and J.T. Dutton (Stranded - 2010, Freaked - 2009) were doing a joint signing at the Borders in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Before the signing Kristina and Jen (J.T.) met up with a group of us Michiganders - including YA Author Carrie Harris whose debut YA novel Bad Taste In Boys comes out in July of 2011 and who came out even though she had NO electricity thanks to a huge storm the day before.

We didn't take any pictures while we were eating, but check us out at the awesome set up Borders had for the signing!

Back Row: Tirzah (The Compulsive Reader)     Kristina McBride     J.T. Dutton     Shanyn (Chick Loves Lit)
Bottom Row: Carrie Harris     Me     Sara (The Hiding Spot)     Katie (Sophistikatied Reviews)

I seriously had the best time getting to know everyone and talking about our favorite subjects, YA books and writers!

I want to encourage everyone whether you're an avid YA reader, OR YA writer, that you reach out to authors coming to your area for signings. They're not as scary as you might think! And I'm sure that for any writer at a signing, a friendly face makes all the difference. Not to mention, it's always a good time when you get to talk in person with people who understand your love for YA. Get a group of YA lovers together for a book signing and have some fun!

Be sure to check out Kristina and Jen's books (and Carrie's AWESOME cover)!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

In My Mailbox 34

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

(all links go to goodreads)
Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride
Stranded by J.T. Dutton
The Deathday Letter by Shaun David Hutchison
The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
Manifest by Artist Arthur
The Monstromologist by Rick Yancey

Friday, July 23, 2010

Pretty Little Liars - Shay Mitchell Answers!

I keep forgetting to post this! As part of the Secret Keepers game, I got to ask Shay Mitchell who plays Emily on Pretty Little Liars a question! I submitted a few and this is the one she chose to answer.

You can see all of the questions the cast answered on the ABC Family Pretty Little Liars YouTube channel!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Write What You Write

(Or how I learned to stop measuring myself against everyone else and love my book.)

I’m not like everybody else. I know that. They taught us way back in elementary school that everyone is different, and everyone has value. We learned that we should embrace what’s different in ourselves. Even as an adult, Oprah and the self-help gurus encourage us to love the parts of ourselves we’re inclined to hate - the things you can’t change - because they’re yours, and they make you you.

Most of the time I can do that. I’m a dork. I love sci-fi and British humor. (Hello Doctor Who!) I’m a grown woman who prefers books for teens. I went to a New Kids On The Block concert – last summer. I may have once been spotted dancing around my kitchen to a Justin Bieber song. (Although this is yet to be proven.) I hate chocolate. I’m me.

I write stories that are very me. Things that I want to read and that, for the most part, aren’t like what’s already out there.

But sometimes, when scanning the latest book deals, or beta-reading an awesome ms, I begin to doubt that my book has value. When I see the fourth werewolf trilogy to sell in a month or I look at those blurbs of mindblowing concepts about zombies and space ships and dystopian worlds and retellings set in futuristic locations and sweet quirky romances (all books I want to read) I think, why don’t I write stuff like that? Why don’t those ideas come to me? And then I think, no one will ever want my book when there are so many truly awesome ones out there. And then I put my ms aside and try to come up with my very own Zombie Apocalypse in Space Quirky Romance – with Werewolves. (Which I just came up with this second and am totally doing, so you can take that one off your list!)

It never works. Why? Because I’m trying to come up with someone else’s book. I can’t get passionate about the idea. I don’t feel true to myself.

And so it comes down to this: I can love my books because they're mine and work to make them the very best representation of the mashup between my skills and the crazy things floating around in my head. And then I can trust that if I put my passion into my work, other people will connect with it even if it doesn’t have werewolves in a dystopian spaceship falling in love with quirky girls during the zombie apocalypse. (Seriously, I’m going to write this. Back off.) OR I can sit at my computer, paralyzed by the fear that nothing I come up with will ever be good enough.

I choose to write. What do you choose? What do you do when it seems like everyone’s ideas are way cooler than yours?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Merry Sisters of Fate Contest!

The Merry Sisters of Fate (Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, & Brenna Yovanoff) are having a contest!

They're giving away:
1) A signed copy of LINGER by Maggie Stiefvater

2) A signed ARC of THE REPLACEMENT by Brenna Yovanoff

3) A signed copy of the audiobook of LINGER (which includes Sam SINGING!)

4) A Merry Fates tote bag

To enter, all you have to do is write something using the following prompt and post it to your blog. Winners will be chosen at random Monday the 26th.

Prompt: The Princess and the Pea by Edmund Dulac

Here's my entry (I used the image, not the title):

She thought that the higher up she slept, the closer she was to the sky, and so the closer she would be to him. To freedom. But he never came.

Not during the endless hours she stared out the window wishing to be anyone, anywhere other than there. Not while she lay awake in the dark, waiting. Not even in her dreams.

She’d heard her maids say it more than once. There was a boy in the village with wings of paper and silk. At night he flew, like a ghost or faerie, over the high walls of the palace gardens. Inside, he plucked the best fruits, liberated the livestock, and once, drank the King’s wine.

But never, ever, (no matter how much she wished) did he fly up to the tower and steal the King’s daughter. Not even he was brave enough for that.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Get to Know Me

If you've ever wanted to know more about me, I was interviewed by the awesome YA Author Dorothy Dreyer over at We Do Write. You can read the interview here. (Now you'll know just how much of a dork I really am!)

Be sure to check out the rest of the interviews too! She's got some great stuff with a lot of up and coming writers, including my Sisters in Scribe Lacey and Kristi!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Win Awesome Prizes AND Help Build A Better World!

Awesome YA writer Candyland is having a contest to help promote New Medicine bassist Matt Brady's efforts in Ghana and promote Joy 2 The World an amazing organization who helps build wells for clean water (as opposed to river water), create pre-k schools with hot meals, give loans to women for small business start-up and awards scholarships to those attending school.

Here are some of the prizes:
For Writers:
- (5) winners will be invited to a private webinar + query, synopsis and 5 page critique with superagent Natalie Fischer
- 30 minute phone call with superagent Michelle Wolfson
- critique and line edit of first 30 pages by me!

For Everyone:
- Autographed copy of "The Body Finder" + swag bag donated by author Kimberly Derting
- ARC of Yvonne Woon's "Dead Beautiful" donated by Candyland
- "We Hear the Dead" tee donated by author Dianne Salerni
- One of (3) Amazon gift cards donated by author T.H. Mafi

And there are more prizes being added every day!

You know you want to help! This contest ends July 31st. Check out the Contest Post at Candyland's blog for a list of all the prizes and details on how to enter!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Review - Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver -
5 out of 5 stars

Summary via goodreads.
What if you had only one day to live?
What would you do?
Who would you kiss?
And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.

Instead, it turns out to be her last.

Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

I LOVE THIS BOOK! Seriously. Love it! When I got to the last page I wanted to flip the book over and start all over again. It's that good!

Beautifully written, with a great, unique concept, this book haunted me for days after I finished it. I would think about what happened and I would just tear up. I was that attached to the characters and the world. BEFORE I FALL is an emotional read that never goes over the top to the sappy, or melodramatic place. Sam and her friends are beautifully rendered and I love that they are all flawed (as in realistic, three-dimensional people), and that Sam grows to see those flaws but doesn't love them any less. There's no moralizing here. No judgement, just real people trying their best to figure out how to live their lives.

BEFORE I FALL is by far one of my most favorite books that I've read this year. I could go on and on about this book, but that would just take time away from you that you should be using to read this book. Go, now! Get this book!

Cover: LOVE this cover! I was drooling over this book from the moment I saw it sometime last fall. I'm not sure what it is about the image really, that's so sort of captivating but it is. Even when after reading the book, you realize it doesn't really have much to do with the story at all. The book takes place in the winter and Sam isn't blonde - which I realize you can't really tell what color hair the girl has on the cover, it gives the impression that she's blonde. Anyway, it doesn't matter, the cover does it's job by totally evoking the emotion and feel of the book.

Writing: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Plot: 5/5

Overall Rating: 5/5

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How I Create Shiny New Ideas

It seems like one of the most common question for any writer is: Where do you get your ideas? (I know I'm in awe of writers like J.K. Rowling and Melissa Marr who create entire worlds!) So I thought I'd share some of the ways I come up with my ideas. Here's the one that works best for me:


Really. One of my all time favorite quotes on writing (which I've probably shared here before) is by Toni Morrison and it says:

If there's a book you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet. Then you must write it.

It's this quote, more than anything that has pushed me into writing the books I'm writing rather than leaving them as scribbles in a notebook.

Sure, I get ideas from dreams, from watching the news, from music, from reading a book and wishing it had turned out differently. Sometimes I get really excited by them and start a notebook (and now that I have the super awesome-tastic Scrivener, a Scrivener file) for fleshing it out. But by and large, the ideas that have stuck with me to become stories are the ones I wanted to write even before I knew what they were.

For instance, my WIP SLEEPER came from an intense desire to read a book where a girl kicked serious butt. I couldn't find one, and I knew that I wanted to write one, but I had no idea what that story was going to be. Would it be Urban Fantasy? Contemporary? Futuristic? Magical? I had no clue. Only the desire to create something that involved butt-kicking action and excitement.

And this is where the sheer force of will comes in. I focused on what I wanted. I ignored other shiny ideas that were perhaps more complete, but not exciting to me. I asked myself questions. Who is this butt-kicking girl? Why is she kicking butt? How does she feel about being so butt-kickingly awesome? Whose butt is she kicking? And finally, as I let those questions marinate in my subconscious, she began to speak to me. And her voice was more clear than any other character I'd created. She told me the story of how she came to kick butt, and how it made her feel and before I knew it I was sitting down at my laptop and spitting out 7500 words all in one sitting! I was scribbling copious notes in my notebook about who she was, who her friends were, where she lived, what she wanted, and a surprisingly complex plot. It was all there.

From the desire to write the story, to knowing my MC and writing those first 7500, it took maybe two weeks. Does it always happen that fast? No. But are the ideas I come up with this way better than the ones that just pop into my head? So far, yes. They're the ones I'm most excited to write. It's weird, since any idea I come up with obviously comes from me. But somehow the ones that I create out of a desire to do something specific feel more powerful. Like I earned them somehow.

So I guess what I'm trying to say here is if you don't have totally brilliant shiny new ideas falling on your head like rain, don't be discouraged. Think about the kind of story you want to tell and focus your energy on that. Ask yourself questions about why you want to tell that kind of story, what you hope to achieve, how you want it to make readers feel. It will come, and it'll probably be your best one yet!

What about you? What tricks do you use to get your ideas to the point you have to write them?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Review - The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells

The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells -
4 out of 5 stars

Summary via goodreads.
"Sometimes I still wake up shivering in the early hours of the morning, drowning in dreams of being out there in the ocean that summer, of looking up at the moon and feeling as invisible and free as a fish. But I'm jumping ahead, and to tell the story right I have to go back to the very beginning. To a place called Indigo Beach. To a boy with pale skin that glowed against the dark waves. To the start of something neither of us could have predicted, and which would mark us forever, making everything that came after and before seem like it belonged to another life. My name is Mia Gordon: I was sixteen years old, and I remember everything..."

After getting dumped by her boyfriend, Mia is looking forward to spending a relaxing summer in the Hamptons with her glamorous cousins. But when she arrives she find her cousins distant, moody, and caught up with a fast crowd. Mia finds herself lonelier than ever, until she meets her next-door-neighbor, Simon Ross. And from the very first time he encourages her to go skinny dipping, she's caught in a current impossible to resist.

I really enjoyed this book. Mia is easy to relate to and Simon is easy to fall for. I loved that this book was about more than just a romance. It was about Mia figuring out who she is and learning to love herself. I think almost everyone can relate to feeling inadequate or comparing themselves to those who seem "perfect" and feeling like they don't measure up. Mia's journey was believable, funny, and heartbreaking. And even though I saw the end coming from the very beginning, that did not in any way lessen the impact.

THE SUMMER OF SKINNY DIPPING is a sweet, emotional book with depth. It will definitely stay with you after you finish.

Cover: I like the cover. It has a nice summery feel.

Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Plot: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

Monday, July 12, 2010

WriteOnCon - Free Writer's Conference for YA and MG Writers!

Have you heard about WriteOnCon yet? This AWESOME, FREE conference founded by some truly great YA and MG writers who decided it was time for everyone to be able to attend writer's conferences!

WriteOnCon is an Online Children’s Writers Conference (rated MC-18, for Main Characters under 18 only) created by writers, for writers.

When: Tuesday – Thursday, August 10 – 12, 2010


Cost: Free!

Who: That’s the best part—it’s for EVERYONE!

Attendees won’t need to take time off work, travel, or spend a truckload of money. You can enjoy the conference from the convenience of your own home, for free—and the schedule has been designed around working hours. (Transcripts will also be available of the entire conference, should anyone have to miss part of it.) Everything will take place within the website, which means everyone with basic Internet access will be able to participate in all aspects of the conference—no additional software or technology required.

Keynote addresses, agent panels, and lectures will be presented as blogs, vlogs, moderated chats, webinars, podcasts, and livestreaming—check our amazing list of presenters to see who’s signed on (authors/illustrators, literary agents/editors). There will also be a critique forum, where participants can post query letters and first pages, to receive helpful feedback and comments from their peers and industry professionals. And, as if that weren’t exciting enough, there will also be daily contests, giving random winners everything from books to personalized critiques from agents.

WriteOnCon is everything great about a writer’s conference, without any of the cost or inconvenience. Click here to register now.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

In My Mailbox 32-33

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

Here's what I got in the last two weeks!

You Wish by Mandy Hubbard

Remember Me (Remember Me, Books #1-3, Remember Me, The Return, The Last Story) by Christopher Pike
Sellout by Ebony Joy Wilkins
The Forbidden Game: The Hunter; The Chase; The Kill (Forbidden Game, #1-3) by L.J. Smith

Friday, July 9, 2010

Review - The Light (Morpheus Road #1) by D.J. MacHale

The Light (Morpheus Road #1) by D.J. MacHale -
3.5 out of 5 stars

Summary via goodreads.
Marshall Seaver is being haunted. In the first installment of this chillingly compelling trilogy, sixteen-year-old Marshall discovers that something beyond our world is after him. The eerie clues pile up quickly, and when people start dying, it’s clear whatever this isit’s huge.

Marshall has no idea what’s happening to him, but he’s soon convinced that it has something to do with his best friend Cooper, who’s been missing for over a week. Together with Coop’s sister, Marsh searches for the truth about what happened to his friend, ultimately uncovering something bigger than he could ever have imagined

First of all, I didn't know when I got this book that it's intended for younger readers (according to amazon it's for middle-schoolers). I think if I was in middle school I would've loved this book. It's creepy, it's gross, it's got a mystery and some genuine scares. I liked the concept of a character Marshall created coming to life. Overall, it starts out kind of slow, but picks up towards the last third or so. It sets up a lot of interesting stuff for the sequel (this is the first in a trilogy) which will probably be even better because all the set up has already happened.

Cover: The cover is okay. It works well for what the story's about.

Writing: 4/5
Characters: 3.5/5
Plot: 3.5/5

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Review - Siren by Tricia Rayburn

Siren by Tricia Rayburn -
3 out of 5 stars

Summary via goodreads.
Seventeen-year-old Vanessa Sands is afraid of everything—the dark, heights, the ocean—but her fearless older sister, Justine, has always been there to coach her through every challenge. That is, until Justine goes cliff-diving one night near the family’s vacation house in Maine, and her lifeless body washes up on shore the next day.

Though her parents hope that they’ll be able to find closure back in Boston, Vanessa can’t help feeling that her sister’s death wasn’t an accident. After discovering that Justine was keeping a lot of secrets, Vanessa returns to Winter Harbor, hoping that Justine’s boyfriend might know more. But Caleb has been missing since Justine’s death.

Soon, it’s not just Vanessa who’s afraid. All of Winter Harbor is abuzz with anxiety when another body washes ashore, and panic sets in when the small town becomes host to a string of fatal, water-related accidents in which all the victims are found, horrifically, grinning from ear to ear.

Vanessa turns to Caleb’s brother, Simon, for help, and begins to find herself drawn to him. As the pair try to understand the sudden rash of creepy drownings, Vanessa uncovers a secret that threatens her new romance—and will change her life forever.

This story had a very cool concept, with an intriguing mystery. I liked Vanessa and the way she grew throughout the story. I also really liked Simon and his growing relationship with Vanessa, I thought it was believable and emotional. I also felt like I got a good understanding of both Justine and Caleb despite their not being actively in the story as much.

Where the book fell a bit flat for me was in the plotting. I think there were too many things left out or sometimes I had trouble figuring out when and where things were happening. As the story reached the climax I felt like there was a lot of information missing about major plot points, particularly about Vanessa's heritage. Or things were revealed without explanation as to how they could've occurred. I'm guessing some of this information was intentionally left out because the ending leaves things open for a sequel, but I think I would've felt more satisfied had some of the mystery been explained in more detail.

The writing is nice though. I got a very strong sense of what Winter Harbor, Maine was like. I felt like I could envision everywhere they went which was great.

That said, this is a very interesting read that will keep pulling you along to ending, and the concept behind the story is unlike anything else out right now.

Cover: Very cool looking cover, though a bit spookier than the actual book. Also, Vanessa and her sister both have dark hair (as do all the major females in the story) so I'm not sure who it's supposed to be.

Writing: 3/5
Characters: 3.5/5
Plot: 3/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Review - You Wish by Mandy Hubbard

You Wish by Mandy Hubbard -
4 out of 5 stars
(release date August 5, 2010)

Summary via goodreads.
What if all your wishes really came true?

Kayla McHenry’s sweet sixteen sucks! Her dad left, her grades dropped, and her BFF is dating the boy Kayla’s secretly loved for years. Blowing out her candles, Kayla thinks: I wish my birthday wishes actually came true. Because they never freakin’ do.

Kayla wakes the next day to a life-sized, bright pink My Little Pony outside her window. Then a year’s supply of gumballs arrives. A boy named Ken with a disturbing resemblance to the doll of the same name stalks her. As the ghosts of Kayla’s wishes-past appear, they take her on a wild ride . . . but they MUST STOP. Because when she was fifteen? She wished Ben Mackenzie would kiss her. And Ben is her best friend’s boyfriend.

Don't let the hot pink cover and cupcake fool you, this book has depth!

While the tone of the cover design and the blurb might make you think this is a fun, fluffy book, it's so much more than that. Don't get me wrong, YOU WISH is a lot of fun. I actually laughed out loud a few times - which almost never happens. But, YOU WISH is also about a very real girl going through a difficult time.

I really enjoyed this book. Kayla is a very well-developed, three-dimensional girl with conflicting desires, fears and hopes. Her fears of losing her best friend, her stubborn determination to be different, and her painful crush on Ben add up to create a unique, believable character that I liked a lot. Her best friend Nicole, and her mother are also well-created. These are people you know, and understand. They all make mistakes, or make bad choices but they're human, and it's easy to see why they do these things. I think it can be so easy to take the "villain" route with a character but when you can make that character's motivations as easy to understand and as sympathetic as the "good guy" then you've done a great job.

What's great about this book is that even though I felt pretty confident that I knew how it was going to turn out, I still didn't know how it was going to get there and so I had to read the whole book in one night just to find out. YOU WISH will keep you guessing even when you think you know where it's going. Factor in an awesome, unique concept, an interesting setting (rural "cow town" Enumclaw, WA - Mandy Hubbard's home town), and even more interesting hobbies (dirt bikes anyone?) and you've got a great read!

Cover: I think the cover is cute and it does represent the story well, but it also comes off maybe a bit too cute, which might turn away some people who think this book is all fluff, which it isn't. I think if I saw this in the store, I might think it's too young for me, which is a shame.

Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Plot: 4.5/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

Saturday, July 3, 2010

In Which I Fail At Blogging - And Awards!

Wow, a whole week and not a single post! I suck! Between nerve-wracking revisions and critiques for several AWESOME writers I haven't had enough brain power left to blog.

I'm coming up on my very first Blogaversary and I'm thinking it's time I come up with some structure for this blog. A weekly schedule of posts I think. So I'm asking you, is there any features you'd like to see on my blog?

Here are some of my ideas:

* A weekly post devoted to an up and coming writer.
* A weekly book review.
* A weekly writing post (of the tips/advice/structure variety).

Not sure what else. Friday Five? Link roundup? Something more personal about my own writing progress?

Let me know what you'd like to see!

And now, I have a few new awards that I've been lax at posting.

First, from author Kristie Cook - The Life Is Good Award. Thank you Kristi!:

And here are the questions I get to answer:

1. What is your favorite genre to read? Why?
YA, obviously! It's weird, but I find myself reading more Contemporary than Paranormal even though I'm definitely a Paranormal/Sci-Fi writer. I also really like Kathy Reich's books (and other adult mystery/crime fic like that) although I haven't read any adult books in over a year.

2. If you couldn't write in the genre you do, what genre would you write in?
If I couldn't write in my genre, I'd probably just write screenplays instead.

3. Pepsi or Cola?
Coke, but really, I'm a Dr. Pepper girl.

4. How do you like to spend your Sundays?
Lounging around with a good book.

5. Penguin or Giraffe?
Where I live, we have a zoo where you can feed giraffes (they eat right out of your hand), which is really cool, so I'll go with them since I've never met a penguin.

6. What type of vehicle do you drive?
I drive a little blue box. The original Scion xB - the one that's really square. I love it.

7. Would you lick a battery if your life depended on it?
My friends and I used to do this in elementary school. It started as a dare and then we realized that little shock on your tongue was oddly addicting so we quit. But if my life depended on it? Sure.

8. When do you like to write - in the morning, in the afternoon, evening?
I used to be a late at night kind of writer, but when I did NaNoWriMo, I found that I really enjoyed getting up early brewing some coffee and getting my wordcount in before anything else. It makes the whole day feel better if I know I've already written.

9. Which do you like more - Facebook or Twitter?
This is tough. I don't tweet very much - I find that if I do I end up reading tweets all day and not doing anything else - but I think Twitter is awesome. I use facebook more just because it's less intensive. I can browse what people are doing whenever I feel like it without missing out. I'm going to say it's a tie right now. When I finish these revisions and get to spend more time on Twitter I'll see.

10. If you get hurt (like a scrape on the knee or break your arm), do you ask for a band aid?
What an odd question. Ask who? If I'm out in public and I'm bleeding I suppose I might, otherwise I just get it myself.

And now, from Shalena at Writer Quirk - The Versatile Blogger Award. Thanks Shalena!:

For this award, I must share 7 things about myself:

1. I have a dog named Baxter that is a Husky/Beagle mix. And a calico cat named Lola.

2. For years my favorite color was orange, but now it's green.

3. When I was ten I started my first YA book. It was a teen romance. I wish I could find that notebook.

4. I was allergic to cats when I got Lola. I thought if I started small I would build a tolerance to her and I did!

5. I love British tv! (Especially Doctor Who and Life On Mars.)

6. I have 4 tattoos but two were add-ons so it looks like I just have two.

7. I was a cheerleader in junior high and high school before switching to the flag corps.

I'll have to do another post to pass these awards along. In the meantime, have a happy 4th of July weekend!
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