Friday, December 31, 2010

Favorites of 2010

I'm running short on time, so here's a quick (and not very snazzy) list of what I loved in 2010.

Winning Secret Agent
Going to BEA and meeting my CP Lacey (and lots of kidlit peeps) in person
Finding my CP Natalie
Going to Kidlit Con and meeting my CP Natalie and the Merry Sisters of Fate in person
Tangled Fiction
Seeing my CPs rough drafts blossom into some pretty amazing books
Finishing my book
Finishing a major overhaul of my book
Guest posting on Nathan Bransford's blog
Becoming a contributing author at Dear Teen Me

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard
The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick
Beautiful by Amy Reed
Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols
Freefall by Mindi Scott


Andrew Belle
F*** You by Cee-lo
Florence and the Machine

Merlin on streaming netflix
The Doctor Who Christmas Special
Ashes to Ashes

Finishing my final revision
Linger by Maggie Steifvater
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows part 1
Tron Legacy
The Vampire Diaries tv show

What were your favorites of 2010? However you celebrate tonight, have a SAFE and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Courage For The New Year

Wow, three posts this week! Who knew? I just read an AWESOME post on writing from the equally AWESOME Courtney Summers (author of Cracked Up To Be and Some Girls Are two of my favorite reads of 2009 and 2010 respectively, and Fall For Anything, new this month!) and I wanted to share.

So go check out what Courtney has to say about How To Deal With Writing For Publication it's got something for everyone, on every part of the publication journey.

And then, if you haven't yet, go check out her books!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Two-fer Tuesday

Just three days left to enter the giveaway at my crit group's blog Sisters In Scribe! We're giving away THREE signed brand new finished copy books! What can you win?

The Demon King (Seven Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima
The Maze Runner (Maze Runner #1) by James Dashner
Wake (Dream Catcher #1) by Lisa McMann

So head on over and ENTER! Deadline to enter is 12/31.

Also, Tangled Fiction is taking a break this week, which means you can catch up on the stories we've posted so far! All of our stories are up as full posts rather than in parts. You can find them in Tangles Past: The Story Archive

And if you ever wondered what's going on in our brains when we're writing, check out our first WTF were you thinking? Chat! We posted the highlights this week. We start new stories next week!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy Holidays from Me and Pretty Little Liars!

ABC Family and Pretty Little Liars have done it again! This time A sent me a digital picture frame with some ominous photos already loaded. Check it out!

They also included a link, so you can get a glimpse of the photos they sent me. Go here to see what I saw:

Pretty Fricken Awesome Pretty Little Liars!

If you're missing your PLL fix, you don't have long to wait, the new season starts on JANUARY 3rd! In the meantime, be sure to check out the link above and the Pretty Little Liars Blog and catch up on any episodes you missed by watching them online.

I will be back to posting regularly soon. In the meantime, I hope you're all having an awesome holiday season!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Three Things on a Tuesday

I'm alive! Who knew? I'm super busy these days but I'm still planning to have my end of the year blowout giveaway - just as soon as I get a chance to set it all up.

In the meantime, my crit group blog Sisters In Scribe is having a contest! We're giving away three signed brand new finished copy books! What can you win?

So head on over and ENTER! Deadline to enter is 12/31.

Also, it's a new week, which means a NEW story up at Tangled Fiction! This week's story is started by me, and everyone seems to think it's creepy. I have no idea why.

Check out part one of I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU. It's about love notes in lockers and possible stalkers and creepy boys with bright green eyes.

And finally, I'm looking for some Urban Fantasy recs - YA or adult. I'm looking for some books where magic is the central focus, and a known part of the world, or an urban underworld. The world would be just like our present world, but with a twist of magic. Think WHITE CAT and THE DRESDEN FILES. Something like that. Any suggestions would be awesome!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Music Monday - The WTF? Edition

I was totally planning on posting Glee's tribute* to me but then I stumbled across this gem from Norway featuring... well, everybody (and by "everybody" I mean semi-famous stars of the 80s and 90s). I'm not sure how old this promo is, but at least a couple of people in it are no longer with us - most notably Leslie Nielsen and Steven Gately from Boyzone. It is sort of randomly awesome. Particularly the way the merge the actual singing of some stars with way over the top dubbed in voices for others.

I've heard that in some countries they are a few years behind in US tv shows and movies, but judging from the "stars" and the movies and tv shows they note them for being famous for, it appears Norway is a couple decades behind. Like say, 1992.

*"tribute" is in the eye of the beholder, and this beholder chooses to see it as such, thankyouverymuch.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday Five

1. It's individual short stories week at Tangled Fiction! I posted mine today, and it's different from our usual stuff, so I'm a bit nervous. It's called LAST WINTER, and here's a teaser if you're interested:

“Come on, Avis,” he shouts at me over his shoulder. His breath is a thick white cloud against the night sky. “California hasn’t made you soft already, has it?”

“Ha. Ha.” I stick my tongue out at him and think how he’s got it backwards.
He was the one that made me soft. California has made me strong.

Also be sure to check out Lacey and Natalie's shorts - (HERE on livejournal.) They're awesome!

2. In case you missed it, GLEE did a tribute to me this week by singing Valerie, at sectionals no less! Clearly, they've been following my blog. No video post today though, I'm saving it for Music Monday!

3. I rescued a cat today! He's been hanging out in the neighborhood for the last week or so and he's so sweet. Hopefully I can find him a good home!

4. I'm not sure if any of you noticed, but somehow, it's DECEMBER already! I have no idea how this happened!

5. I had a massive computer meltdown this week, but if there's ever a time to desperately need a new computer it's during the Black Friday sales!

That's all I've got this week. Hope your week was better than mine!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sometimes Things Just Suck

It's only Tuesday and it's already been a week full of tragic computer meltdowns, hours of stress and fear, and lots of money I'd rather not spend being spent. (Not to mention a week full of writing goals not being met.) So today I present you with yet another chestnut from The Universe, whose perfect timing helped me make it through yesterday.

"There are only miracles, and to one degree or another they all soothe, pamper, and enrich. However, to avoid blowing too many minds at once, some are disguised as unpleasant surprises, botched circumstances, and twisted acquaintances that can rarely be seen for who or what they truly are until the pendulum has fully swung."

I hope any of you out there having a bad week find this one helpful too! (Also, WTF how is it December already?)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Music Monday - Reason #5685 Why I Love Glee

*sigh* Careful, watching this might cause your heart to explode with LOVE!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks!

As Thanksgiving approaches, I'm thinking of all the things I'm grateful for. Since this is a writing blog, I'll share some of the writing related things that fill me with joy and gratitude.

Like Kristi, I'm grateful that I have the time to write and the support of my family who help and encourage me to find and make the time to meet my writing goals.

I'm grateful for the awesome crit partners I've met in the last year and who I'm also fortunate to call my friends. (Lacey, Kristi, Natalie, LOVE you guys!)

And most of all, I'm grateful for the amazing, generous, supportive, open-minded, open-hearted, talented, giving members of the YA writing community. I am constantly overwhelmed and awed by the effort this community puts into helping others whether it's in becoming a better writer, or living a better life. I am so proud to be a part of this group of people and to do my tiny part in helping others and sharing the love of great books to anyone I can.

Since this is a time of being grateful, and the season of giving is just around the corner I wanted to share a link to the Season of Love and Hope Auction benefitting children's writer Bridget Zinn who is battling colon cancer.

TONS of amazing authors and publishing people have donated some seriously awesome things like critiques and ARCs and vacations so check it out if you have the time.

I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving! Thanks for reading this blog. I'm so grateful for all of you!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Why I Heart Pretty Little Liars and ABC Family!

So you might remember last month, when the folks from Pretty Little Liars and ABC Family sent me a pretty much lifetime supply of orange M&Ms (seriously, we're still eating them). Well, they've surprised me again this month and it's AWESOME!

Today the UPS man brought me...


How cool is that? I felt like Oprah or something when I saw the Little Pie Company Of The Big Apple label and opened the box to find a fresh apple pie, packed in ice! Just in time for Thanksgiving dinner. Seriously, (it bears repeating) how cool is that?

As if ABC Family hadn't already impressed me by choosing to make PRETTY LITTLE LIARS into an AWESOME TV show, and making me a Secret Keeper, surprise food gifts is totally putting them over the top.

And what would a gift from Pretty Little Liars be without a clue? Want to see another sneak peek of the upcoming Winter Season? Go here:

Also check out the Pretty Little Liars Blog where you can enter to win cool prizes, get character low down, read cast interviews and more!

The new season starts JANUARY 3RD but you can catch up on what A's been up to (besides sending me treats) and any episodes you missed right now ONLINE or during the PRETTY LITTLE LIARS MARATAHON on ABC FAMILY also on JANUARY 3RD! If you haven't seen the show yet, you should definitely check it out! It's good clean dirty fun!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

In My Mailbox -46

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

Just one this week. I loved STOLEN by Lucy Christopher so I thought I'd check out her new one even though it's for a bit younger age group.

Flyaway by Lucy Christopher

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Save Some For Later

Now that we've been doing Tangled Fiction for a couple months now and I've had the chance to write two story starts for Natalie and Lacey to finish, I've made some discoveries about plotting and revealing information.

When you're writing something that someone else has to continue without knowing what's supposed to come next your first instinct is to put in enough details to explain what it is you're doing. But you soon realize that if you do that, the next writer either has nowhere to go because you already gave up all the cool info and twists, or is locked into your idea, which is the opposite of collaboration (unless you use James Frey's definition of the word) and what you've written is mostly telling and infodump with perhaps a side of interesting character.

You learn that in order to give the next writer a chance to shine, and to give the story a shot at being all it can be, you have to leave threads dangling and hint at things without explaining them. You have to trust your partners, and your readers to pick up on the subtle cues, and to want to keep reading to find out what they mean.

In a word, you're doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing when you write a book all by yourself!

You know that feeling you get when you're starting a book, (or short story, or introducing a new character) where you feel like you have to get ALL the necessary info out so readers will get what you're doing and LOVE it? Well, that feeling is wrong. Those writing books - the ones that say don't reveal anything until it's absolutely necessary are right.

It took until I had to take an idea, set it up, and then let it go for me to really understand how that works. When I write an opening to one of our shorts, like my most recent one, KISS OF DEATH, I start with an idea:

What if there was a girl so beautiful that every boy who saw her was compelled to kiss her? What if her lips were poisonous?

Then I have to do some world-building, some plotting, and I have to make sure I leave something for the next writer. In the case of KISS OF DEATH I had A LOT of ideas. There was so much I wanted to (and did in the first draft) explain. I knew how Rosemina came to be cursed. I knew what she did all day while she was home alone. I knew what the Queen really thought about her. I knew what happened after my section ended. But I cut all of those things because they would work better if they were revealed later on or in an active way. I trusted that I had an interesting predicament (Everyone wants to kiss her. Everyone that kisses her dies. And because of that, people want her dead.) and that people would want to keep reading to find out what happens next.

This is the key when plotting your story and maintaining your pace. Drop hints. Dangle potential plot twists, make your reader excited and curious to see what happens next. Let them form opinions about why a character says or does something, and then reveal the info when it will be the most active, the most important, the most mindblowing thing that could happen at that moment. Save something for later. (And, as I always say trust your reader It's scary, but you'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

It's Teaser Tuesday! I thought I'd post something for a change. Here's the first two lines from my opening of this week's Tangled Fiction short KISS OF DEATH! (Did I mention we're doing them weekly now?)

"Rosemina first encountered her curse at age five when the neighbor boy chased her behind the rosebushes, pressed his sticky, candy-covered lips against hers and promptly fell down dead. To this day the taste of chocolate and the scent of roses are synonymous with death in Rosemina’s mind."

Read all of Part One on blogger or on livejournal!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Music Monday - In Which I Suck At Blogging

So I haven't done a real post in over a week! I suck!

It's a hectic time of year for me. I just started an extra seasonal job. (At a bookstore! Yay!) I'm dedicated to finish my revisions by the end of this week. I still have a weekly writing post at Sisters in Scribe. And with Tangled Fiction now doing weekly stories, I'm writing, or thinking about writing, or stressing about writing ALL THE TIME. Which I love, but whew! It doesn't leave me much time to blog!

If you've been wanting to read our shorts at Tangled Fiction but hate waiting all week or reading it in pieces, we now have a Story Archive where you can read each full story in one complete post!

Also for those of you who've been reading and demanding kissing, I deliver with my opening this week. Check it out: KISS OF DEATH Part 1 (or here at the Tangled Fiction Livejournal Community)

Just remember, be careful what you wish for!

In other news, I'm planning on doing another HUGE contest like last year's (but with even more 2010 books!) next month to celebrate the end of the year and the end of my revisions!

And finally, since it IS Music Monday after all, here's a song I've been listening to lately! It's about stripping away things you don't need, and it puts me in a happy revising mood.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

In My Mailbox - 45

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

Just two this week, but both 2011 releases that I'm excited to read! Especially Angelfire since Courtney is from Michigan and Michigan writers rule!

Angelfire by Courtney Alison Moulton
Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Five

The first of our new weekly short stories at Tangled Fiction is complete! I posted Part 3 of IN THE CARDS this morning. (And at the Tangled Fiction Livejournal Community) Check it out and let us know what you think!

I decided to put NaNoWriMo on pause. I'm thisclose to finishing my revisions on IMAGINARY HEART and I don't want to lose the momentum. Once my revisions are done and sent off I'll think about my NaNo project. Good luck to everyone who's pushing through!

I know I need three more things but my brain is on my revisions and I got nothing. Hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Kill Your Darlings - The Movie Musical Edition

I'm in the midst of serious revisions and feeling a little loopy, which is why this post is about revisions and one of my all time favorite things, random musical movie moments! And um, how those two things relate to each other.

We've all heard that saying "Kill your darlings." (Or murder them, whichever.) Essentially it's saying any time you have something you find especially clever or that's close to your heart DELETE IT because it probably doesn't fit with the rest of what you've written or even belong in your book. This is killing your darlings to the extreme, but you get the idea. I think it's easy when your book is about A, and all your scenes are focused on A, to slip off into tangent B and then think it's brilliant just because it's so different from the rest of the book.

It's at that point that you must stop and really look at the scene about B. Does it have anything to do with the plot of your book? Is it there just to be awesome? Will it stop readers in their tracks as they wonder when this dark thriller turned into a slapstick comedy?

How does this relate to my love for random spontaneous musical scenes in movies? I'll show you!

Take the 80s classic TEEN WITCH. (Shut up. It IS TOO a classic!)

This is the blurb for TEEN WITCH:
Louise is a shy misfit with a huge crush on and no chance of dating Brad, the hunky star of the high school football team. When Louise discovers on her 16th birthday that she's descended from Salem witches, she uses her newfound powers to become the most popular girl on campus! But when sparks fly between her and Brad, how can she be sure it's true love and that he's not simply spellbound?

You'll note that nowhere in the description is the movie called a musical. Yet, fairly early on, we're given this:

(Take a moment to recover from the 80s explosion. I'll wait.) I remember even as a kid, the first time I saw this I thought, WTF is this a musical? BUT IT WASN'T. It was just a movie with a scene where everyone broke out into a choreographed dance routine for NO REASON OTHER THAN THAT IT WOULD BE SHEER AWESOME. And as you can see, it was, but that's not the point.

The point is, as a first time viewer, I was confused. I kept waiting for more dance routines, but there really weren't any. And in the end I was sort of disappointed about that. And I wondered why that scene was in there anyway. Just to tease me with a glimpse at how awesome Teen Witch would've been as a real musical?

So as you can see, if Teen Witch was a book, as much as I love the random dance scene, because I love random dance scenes, that particular darling would have to go. It sticks out and it's distracting because it doesn't really belong.

Do you have a scene like this? So full of awesome it could be it's own book? So unrelated to what's actually happening in your plot? You might have to save it for a different project. Put it in a drawer and when you're sad, take it out and read it and know that it's proof of your magnificent talent.

And now, just in case I have thoroughly depressed you by telling you to take out your favorite scene, here's my all time favorite spontaneous musical scene. I SO wish this would happen while out at a restaurant in real life!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Music Monday - NaNo edition!

Happy first day of NaNoWriMo! I've already done my writing for the day and got my first 1388 words of GRAVITY down on the page. I'm going into NaNo this year fairly blind so it will be interesting to see how long I manage to keep up my wordcount goals.

Today's song is one featured on my NaNo playlist. It is one of my all time favorite songs from one of my all time favorite movies. It's potentially NSFW (there's a couple f-bombs in there) so listen at your own risk.

Talk Show Host - Radiohead

Also, today is the first day of our new weekly short story format over at Tangled Fiction! Part one of our new story IN THE CARDS by Lacey is up now. Natalie will be posting part two on Wednesday and I'll be finishing the story on Friday. So if you need a break from NaNo, be sure to check it out! (It's also up on the Tangled Fiction Livejournal Community.)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

In My Mailbox - 44

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Across The Universe by Beth Revis
Ruined (How to Ruin, #1-3) by Simone Elkeles
I'll Get There. It Better Be W... I'll Get There. It Better Be Worth The Trip by John Donovan

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Five - Big Changes

Exciting stuff this week!

One week ago today I was having one of those magic moments in a writer's life. I was meeting my critique partner Natalie C Parker in person for the very first time!

We met up at KidLit Con and she was every bit as AWESOME as I knew she would be. I've now been fortunate enough to meet 2 of my 3 CPs - watch out Kristi you're next!

I have TWO Tangled Fiction announcements.

First - The final part of our second story UNCHARTED written by Lacey is up!

When we last saw Alex he was faced with a choice. Go home, and leave one of his friends behind, or stay with the mysterious woman in the water and let his friends go free. What will he choose?

Second - BIG CHANGES at Tangled Fiction! We have gone from 4 writers to 3 (Anne Marie will no longer be posting with us.) And we're going to one short story a week! That's right. Tangled Fiction is starting November leaner and meaner, with shorter, faster short stories. Why wait a month when you can get a story a week? We'll be posting Monday, Wednesday, Friday from now on. With some other cool stuff. Read all the details on the Tangled Fiction blog!

I think I've settled (again) on a NaNoWriMo story idea, but I'm a bit fearful because I know so little about my characters and plot this time around. Not to mention I need to seriously research the world of my story. Last year I wrote IMAGINARY HEART, which had been marinating in my brain for several months. I was able to burst out of the gate with several thousand words. This month I think I will be doing a lot of exploration. If you want to be my NaNo buddy, I'm here: valeriekwrites.

Also, have you checked out Scrivener yet? I LOVE this program, and there's now a windows option that is free to use for NaNo! Plus the new Scrivener 2.0 for Mac. Check it out: Scrivener for NaNoWriMo

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pretty Little Liars Goodies!

You may remember that earlier this year I was a Secret Keeper in this awesome game from ABC Family and the TV show Pretty Little Liars. Well, yesterday they sent me a surprise Halloween present!

There was an adorable pumpkin candy dish filled with orange M&Ms that read Trick or Trick? and A. Plus a flashlight and a clue hidden in a photo that read Trick or Treat Witches! The clue leads where you can see a sneak peek at the new season!

It looks like we're in for some more fun times with Pretty Little Liars! The show returns on January 3rd. I know where I'll be then!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Critique Your Critiques

This past weekend I was fortunate to attend KidLit Con 2010. Where the Merry Sisters of Fate (Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff) gave a presentation on critique groups.

First let me say that KidLit Con was AWESOME! Really well put together, lovely venues, and great panels. Every time I attend a conference I'm reminded how awesome it is to be in a room full of writers. When the time came for Q&A with the Merry Sisters, every single question asked was about writing!

They talked about many fascinating and insightful things, but the one I want to focus on today is a comment they made about getting a critique.

Maggie was talking about editor's notes, but it really fits for critiques from crit partners and beta readers as well. She said (I'm paraphrasing), sometimes you might get a note back saying "I don't like that thing with the pickup truck at the convenience store, can you do something else?" And she said what you need to know is, the editor (crit partner, beta reader) isn't really talking the pickup truck. They're responding to something in the scene that isn't working. So if you like the pickup truck you don't necessarily need to take it out. You need to figure out what about the scene isn't accomplishing what you intended. You need to, in effect, (and this is me talking now) critique your critique.

Before you get all panicked and start slashing things, (or angry and defensive, whichever is your MO) really read over the entire critique and try to get a sense of what the critiquer is and isn't getting from your story. The things that tend to stand out to people are the things that are easily identified. So a reader might say "the pick up truck thing" but what they really mean is "I just didn't get why she suddenly went from sad to happy in that scene where he offers her a ride in his new pick up truck. It just didn't feel real to me, and it threw off what happened in the next scene."

These are the kind of comments the Merry Sisters work on together, and it's the kind of thing you can do on your own or with your cps. A lot of times a few in depth questions can help you figure out what's missing and what needs to be changed.

Before you start asking questions, be clear on what you want the scene to accomplish. Then work to figure out what it is and isn't accomplishing. The fix might be as simple as adding one line of dialogue or as huge as deleting the entire scene and starting from scratch. You might even find that what you were trying to get across isn't the best choice after all.

The thing I took away from the Merry Sisters' talk more than anything is when you get a critique that says something other than "that's brilliant!" Stop. Breathe. Read it, and then read it again. Take another deep breath, and then begin a dialogue either with your cp, or with yourself. Every crit is helpful no matter how basic it is. Try to find the useful bits and use them to make your ms shine.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"So" Unnecessary

I've come to form the opinion that there is almost no need for the word so. In narration anyway.

Why? Well I'll tell you!

SO makes for wordy complicated sentences. Also, it's explain-y.

He knew he was in trouble so he hid in the bathroom so the teacher wouldn't see him.

Um... yeah. See? Wordy. Long. Complicated. Telling. You could say all this much more actively and with less explanation.

Footsteps in the hall. This was it, if the teacher saw him he was busted. He jumped into the nearest doorway, the girl's bathroom, just as she rounded the corner.

SO frequently states the obvious. It strings together two sentences that are often better left apart.

It was raining out so I grabbed my umbrella on my way out the door.

Since we were just told that it's raining, we KNOW WHY she grabs the umbrella. So makes the sentence almost feel condescending. And it would be better said in two short sentences.

Rain pounded on the roof. I grabbed my umbrella on my way out the door.

When you juxtapose two things together, (it's raining, grabbed umbrella) readers make the connection on their own. It doesn't need to be spelled out.

SO is lazy. It's like "and then".

Chances are good that if you're using so somewhere other than dialogue (where it can make for lovely, awkward conversation), you're telling. Which is lazy. Also, whatever you're telling about is probably boring and unnecessary.

He was tired so he went upstairs and took a shower so he wouldn't smell like french fries when he woke up.

This is just a list of things he did with explanations about why. It's not particularly interesting and the purpose of it is really just to say that he went to bed so that we can move on to the next scene where something actually happens. Boring and unnecessary.

I was hungry, so I went downstairs to get a snack. Then I was attacked by a ninja!

Is it really necessary for us to know why he went downstairs? Isn't being attacked by a ninja the important part here? In this case the so sentence is being used as set up and that's exactly what it feels like. Like we're being lead to something rather than experiencing it as it happens.

I was staring into the fridge trying to find something that wasn't expired when out of nowhere, ninja attack!

So... the next time you find yourself using SO stop and ask yourself, is it really necessary here? Am I telling? Can I say this more succinctly? Can I say this more actively? I bet you'll find a better way to get your point across!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Part Three of UNCHARTED by Natalie C Parker is up at Tangled Fiction! When we last saw Alex, he was on the run from the extremely creepy woman in the pond. What happens next? Check out this teaser:

"With every step, I focused on two words: Get out. Get out. Get out. Branches and saplings, too small to see in the dark, slapped against me. They snatched at my skin, stinging my arms, my face, my legs. I stumbled and felt pain snap through my hand like fire, but I didn’t stop. I ran to the refrain on endless repeat in my mind: Get out. Get out. Come back."

You can also join the Tangled Fiction Community on livejournal!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Music Monday

I really like Haven on the SyFy channel. They use a lot of great moody music - (not to mention Nova Scotia is gorgeous to look at!). Here's a recent favorite I discovered thanks to the show. It's already made its way onto my WIP playlist!

Dotted Lines - Sweet Talk Radio

Favorite line:
My paper heart has been burning
Since you threw a match...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Five

If you've noticed I've been posting less this week it's because I'm neck deep in revisions. I have a self-imposed deadline and I intend to meet it! Hopefully with something that makes sense. Cutting 25,000 words or so and adding 30,000 new ones hurts my brain. Anyway, onto the Friday Five!

- Over at my crit group's blog Sisters in Scribe we have an awesome guest post by Andrew Jacobson of the new Middle Grade Fantasy series THE FAMILIARS! Stop by and check out the post for a chance to WIN a copy of THE FAMILIARS! Ends October 30th.

- Next weekend I will be heading to Minneapolis to the Kidlit Con 2010! I'm especially excited because I'll be meeting 2/4 of the girls from Tangled Fiction there, Anne Marie and my CP Natalie C Parker! Are you going to be there? Let me know! I'd love to meet you!

- I LOVE this post by TH Mafi, which is so my life right now. 6 Things You Lose When Writing A Novel. Plus she's having a contest right now where you can WIN $100 for books! (No that's not a typo. That's one hundred dollars. For books!)So go check it out. And if you haven't been reading her blog regularly, you should be. It's hilarious.

- How awesome was it seeing all those miners pulled out of the mine? That's the kind of reality tv I like. I think I cried almost every time one of them came out. And I don't really cry much. I swear!

- The SCBWI conference I went to last weekend was AMAZING! I learned so much. This year's focus was on Fantasy and Sci-Fi and Cinda Williams Chima gave two awesome workshops on world-building, and hooking your readers. Once I finish my revisions I'll go through my notes and share what I learned, but in the meantime, you should totally check out her books. Her most recent is the second in her Seven Realms series The Exiled Queen. I got a copy of the first book in the series, The Demon King, signed and will be giving it away over at Sisters In Scribe.

Hope you have a great weekend! I'll be strapped to my macbook until I finish these stupid awesome revisions!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Books I'll Always Remember

There's a meme going around about what books will you always remember and why. I love seeing what books matter to people and I thought I'd share some of mine. Here are ten books I'll never forget:

Ramona Quimby Age 8
This is the first book I checked out of the library by myself! I was in kindergarten. It was the first chapter book I ever read. I thought every chapter was a story because they had titles! At first I read them out of order, based on which one sounded most interesting, but then I figured it out. (Also cool, the grandmother's last name was Kemp!)

Bridge to Terabithia
And thus began my love for sad books where people die.

Inexplicably, this audio book was one that they played over the loudspeakers when we went to bed at school camp. Nothing like being 10, far from home in the middle of the woods, and listening to the story of a little girl who dies alone in the woods!

Tuck Everlasting
And thus began my love for sad books about immortal people who wish they could die.

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret
I think I read this book around 20 times between 4th and 6th grade.

A Wrinkle In Time
Thus began my love for all things time travel, sci-fi, and fantasy.

Pet Semetary
The first truly scary book I read. I was 12 and I made the mistake of reading it one night when I was home alone.

The Stand
It was over 1000 pages! And awesome.

Interview With A Vampire
The first truly dark and emotionally complex book I ever read. And of course the beginning of my love for vampires!

All The Pretty Horses
I loved John Grady Cole so much that I didn't want to read the next book because I couldn't bear to see him go through the changes I knew would come and turn him into a grizzled cowboy. Plus, it was the book that taught me there are no rules when it comes to writing a book. Want to write would of instead of would've? Hate commas? Go for it!

The Time Traveler's Wife
Did I mention that time travel is one of my favorite things in the world? Plus, sad books where true love faces inevitable doom? This book will break my heart forever.

What about you? What are some books that you'll remember forever?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Guest Post!

My guest post The All-Important First Chapter is up on Nathan Bransford's blog!

I'm like Jesse Spano on the very special episode of Saved by the Bell when she took caffeine pills! I'm so excited! I'm so scared!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday Five

This week turned out to be a surprisingly good week for me!

I entered Nathan Bransford's Guest Post Contest and my post was selected! I will be guest posting on Nathan's blog this Sunday, October 10th at 10am PT in case, you know, you want to stop by and check it out. Just sayin'!

I finally got into a groove with my current revision. I'm back at that place where I feel like I'm creating again instead of just moving words around. I love that feeling! (Although, I'm thinking of renaming my ms EVERYBODY SHRUGS because that's what everybody does in it. All the time.)

I got a Shiny New Idea for NaNoWriMo! Be my buddy! (I can't believe it's less than a month away!)

I posted the opening for our new story on Tangeld Fiction.

Today is the first day of my local SCBWI's weekend long Fall Conference! A whole weekend with people who don't think it's weird to write and read books for teens. Love it!

What about you? Anything awesome happen for you this week?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Review - Her And Me And You by Lauren Strasnick

Her And Me And You by Lauren Strasnick -
3.5 out of 5 stars
(release date )

Summary via goodreads.
First love, broken friendships, and heartache all play a part in this evocative, voice-driven novel about Alex, a girl whose world is ripped apart when her father’s affair splits her family in two.

Alex moves with her mess of a mother to a new town, where she is befriended by hot, enigmatic Fred—and alternately flirted with and cold-shouldered by Fred’s twin sister, Adina. Others warn Alex to steer clear of the twins, whose sibling relationship is considered abnormal at best, but there’s just something about Fred—and something about Adina—that draws Alex to them and makes her want to be part of their crazy world…no matter the consequences.

First of all let me say that I recently finished Lauren Strasnick's debut novel NOTHING LIKE YOU and I LOVED it. It is easily one of my favorite reads so far this year. If you haven't read NOTHING LIKE YOU, you should definitely check it out!

Because of my love for Strasnick's first book, I had high hopes for HER AND ME AND YOU. I think she delivered when it comes to a complex, realistic character, stuck in a situation that has no easy answers. Alex is dealing with so many difficult issues: a father who completely let her down, a mother who can't cope, a best friend who's moving on without her, conflicting emotions about her sexuality, and being the new girl in town.

I loved that Alex was struggling to figure out who she was in so many ways. Is she the good girl? Does she like boys or girls? Does she need to fit in with the "right" group or the right group for her? All of this is handled realistically, and is well done.

When Fred and Adina enter the picture, things get interesting, twisty, and dark. I loved the dynamic between Fred and Adina, and the fact that Strasnick didn't shy away from Adina's serious mental health issues. I would've liked to have seen more development of Fred and Adina, and Alex's relationship with them. Fred and Adina, as well as Alex's parents and best friend Evie, all felt a bit underdeveloped. Mainly because they all had the potential to be so interesting and complex had we gotten to know them better.

What I love about Strasnick's books is that people don't get redeemed just because it's the end of the book. Just like in real life, not everything ends happily or gets resolved easily.

HER AND ME AND YOU is a very short book, written in spare prose. I would've loved to have seen the entire story fleshed out more, with a little more insight into everyone. That's where the book fell a bit flat to me. It was maybe a bit rushed. I think it says a lot about Strasnick's writing though, that I was left wanting more rather than the other way around. I'm already looking forward to her next book! If you love contemporary YA, I highly recommend you check out NOTHING LIKE YOU and HER AND ME AND YOU.

Cover: OMG I love this cover SO MUCH! Even better, it does actually fit the story, sort of.

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

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New Month, New Story!

It's October, and that means there's a new story up at Tangled Fiction! This month's spooky story is started by me.

"In the fragments of moonlight that broke through the thick canopy of leaves, it was hard to tell where the tree began and Mason ended."

What happens when four boys end up at the bottom of a ravine in the middle of nowhere with no cell service, no way out, and something very strange in the woods? You'll have to read it to find out!

Read UNCHARTED at the Tangled Fiction Livejournal Community or at Tangled Fiction on Blogger!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mega International Giveaway Winners!

So this took waaaaaay longer than I thought it would. Buzz My Blog and the Contest Winner Picker have disappeared from the internets, which means I had to hand enter every entry into my spreadsheet (and some people had 40 entries!). This also means that I was extremely disappointed when I went to check the randomly selected winners (I ALWAYS check every winner to make sure they earned all the points they said they did. It's only fair.) only to find that they had lied. And then I had to remove their entries, because, yeah, not going to sit there and figure out how many entries you actually earned, and start all over again. So in the future, PLEASE don't say you linked to me/added me to your blog roll/etc when you didn't, or lie about how many entries you have. It just wastes everyone's time.

And now, the winners!

Winner of the Paranormal Prize Pack!

Winner of the Contemporary Romance Prize Pack!

Winner of the Boy Books Prize Pack!

Winner of Any Two Books from my shelf!

International Winner of Any Two Books from my shelf!

Winners, look for an email from me today. Thanks for entering everyone! I've got another big giveaway planned for the holidays so check back!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday Faves - Jordan Catalano Forever!

There were many things I loved about this week's Britney episode of Glee, but this was my absolute favorite:

1. Aw... *sigh*
2. I love that song.
3. Finn got teary-eyed.
4. I am always in awe of the way Rachel can do the single tear down her cheek while she's singing.
5. It pays homage to one of my all time favorite moments on one of my all time favorite tv shows, My So-Called Life. See below. (The homage starts at 1:14 on the Glee video.)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Review - The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson -
5 out of 5 stars

Summary via goodreads.
Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two.

Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole wide world exploding.

First let me start by saying I'm reviewing the UK version of this book. The UK version has a soft, leather-like cover and is bound like a journal. It features color photos of all the poems in their locations (written on trees, candy wrappers) and I understand the US version doesn't have that, which is a shame because I think it really elevates the book into a piece of art.

I loved this book. Although honestly, it took me a while to get into it. I love poetry, and poetic writing, but for whatever reason I found I had to sort of adjust to the way Lennie spoke. Once I did though, I was hooked. So if you start it and like me aren't fully sucked in immediately, stick with this book. It's worth it!

I loved how complicated, and messy, and beautiful and painful this story was. It has to be one of the best, most honest, and realistic portrayals of grief that I have ever read. I loved that Jandy Nelson didn't shy away from the raw emotions Lennie and Toby felt. Lennie and Toby's need to be close to the thing Bailey loved the most (each other), combined with her need to be comforted physically and emotionally is real and heartbreaking to watch. You want to shout at them and you want to give them a hug.

At first, Joe is almost too perfect, and a lot of times I find that unappealing, but just when you think Joe is so good he can't be real, his shell cracks (or really, Lennie finally takes a moment away from her own drama to really see him and what's going on around her) and Joe becomes as three-dimensional as everyone else.

I loved the strong family dynamic and that at the same time, Lennie, her grandma, and uncle didn't know how to be a family without Bailey. The subplot about Lennie's mother, the world-adventurer, also added depth.

Lennie's poems, found scattered around town add an emotional touch. They're placed perfectly, often revealing things that she won't admit to us or herself. I can't say enough how beautiful, and okay, cool it is to see them in the book they way they were written in the book. If you're worried this is a verse book, it's not. But the poems are definitely essential and often, very moving.

I think a lot of people would call this a "quiet" book and in many ways it is, but it's also a powerful, emotional, sensual even, story filled with tiny earthquakes, that shake Lennie to her core and force her to rebuild from scratch. THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE is a beautiful book about loss and love and choosing the life you want to lead.

Cover: As you can see, I have the UK cover posted above. I really really did not like the US version. So much so (and this is just me being weird) that I didn't want to read the book despite all the good reviews. When I found the UK version at The Book Depository I was stoked. (Plus I got it for only $6!)

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

Overall Rating: 5/5

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tangled Fiction - The Full Story!

Yesterday over at Tangled Fiction (the collaborative short story blog I belong to) we posted the final part to our creepy first story, The Importance of a Strawberry Tart. So if you've been waiting to read the whole thing, now's your chance! Here's a sneak peak at part 4.

“Shh,” Georgia hissed. She followed it with a whispered, “the diners are here. In the kitchen. We have to get to the children.”

Read the whole story at our blogger blog or at our livejournal community.

Next Tuesday we'll post the beginning of an all new story started by me! (Ack!)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Classically Clueless

Recent reads like The Sky Is Everywhere and new releases like Jane have brought to my attention the fact that I am woefully under-read when it comes to the classics. I want to fix that. The problem is, I have no idea where to start! I have just four books on my Classics To Read list:

Great Expectations (currently reading)
Jane Eyre
Wuthering Heights
Pride and Prejudice

Shut up. I know. It's embarrassing!

So what else is a must read?

Here's some classics I have read.

Catcher In The Rye
Mansfield Park
Crime and Punishment
Billy Budd
All Quiet on the Western Front
A Doll's House
Romeo & Juliet
As You Like It
The Scarlet Letter
The Good Earth
Fahrenheit 451
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
To Kill A Mockingbird
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Chronicles of Narnia
The Witch of Blackbird Pond
The Crucible
Death of a Salesman

Monday, September 27, 2010

It Gets Better

Last week, Stephanie Perkins posted something that really got my attention. It was about Dan Savage and his It Gets Better Project which was started in response to the suicide of fifteen-year-old Billy Lucas who was bullied at school because he was gay.

You can read an article about the project here:
Showing Gay Teenagers a Happy Future

As part of the project, Dan and his partner of 16 years, Terry, created a video where they share their own experiences with being bullied and how they made it through. And the one message they want to get out to gay teens is IT GETS BETTER.

I am not gay, but as you know if you read my post last week for #SpeakLoudly, I did NOT have a positive high school experience. I was miserable, depressed, not cool, and there were many days I wanted to just curl up in a ball and stay that way forever. But this is what I want to tell you, IT GETS BETTER. I swear to you it does. Junior high/middle school/high school is one of the hardest things you'll ever go through and when you come out on the other side, you'll be a true survivor.

Stephanie said this, and I want to say it was true for me too. The day I graduated high school, literally, THE DAY, my entire worldview changed. It was like a thousand pounds were lifted from my shoulders when I realized, I never have to go back there again. I promise you, if you stick it out, you will feel this too. IT GETS BETTER!

If you know someone who is struggling right now, please share these links, and if you've survived high school, share your story with someone that needs to hear it!

Dan and Terry's video:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

In My Mailbox - 42

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Thirst Volume 3 (The Eternal Dawn) by Christopher Pike
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Review - The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger -
4.5 out of 5 stars
(release date )

Summary via goodreads.
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

Here's how I can explain how I feel about this book. I started it on a Saturday afternoon. I had plans to see a movie that evening and I was about 2/3 in when reluctantly put the book down to go. The entire time I was watching the movie, I kept thinking about Bianca and Wesley. I needed to know what happened! I fidgeted through the rest of my evening and then as soon as I got home, even though it was after 11pm, I grabbed the book and read until I'd finished.

So yeah, THE DUFF is a surprising page-turner! It's also surprising in its depth. It could've been easy to take this idea and focus only on the fun and sexy parts (and there are some very sexy parts), but there is so much more to the story. Both Bianca and Wesley are complex characters with a lot going on in their lives. They're real people who do and say things we might not like all the time. I love that in many ways, Bianca and Wesley should both be unlikable, but they're not.

Bianca's world is fully realized, and all the characters feel like real people. I love the way this book shows that everyone has problems that they're hiding or trying to deal with on their own. No one's life is perfect. This extends beyond Bianca and Wesley to minor characters like Bianca's friends and family.

As the story unfolds we come to see why Bianca is the way she is. And even better than that we see Bianca come to understand why she is the way she is. This to me is one of the best aspects of the book. Bianca begins to examine her own life and the way she sees herself and how that has impacted her decisions. She begins to open up, and take risks. She realizes that she can't handle everything on her own.

I know some people will get hung up on the sex angle, but there is so much more to this book.

For the most part, I totally loved this book. I had maybe one small issue with Wesley at the end of the book, but it's spoilery so I won't go into detail, and I can live with it.

Fair Warning: This book has swearing and sexual content. In my opinion it's not overly explicit but it definitely goes beyond kissing on the page. If that's not something you want to read, you've been warned.

Cover: LOVE the cover. Bianca looks a lot like the way I pictured her here. And the bubble blow just adds personality. I have an ARC of this book that I picked up at BEA and the cover isn't as cool as the final. I also love the colors on this one. The whole thing just really works as a whole. I would pick this up in the store in a heartbeat.

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

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Universe Always Knows

A recent Note From The Universe:

You know, almost anything you feel you "have to" do, like cleaning and washing, can become a chore, even a drudgery; while those things that remain optional, like Disney World and Twister, can seem far more inviting, even fun.

So, as you go down the path of life, particularly when it seems you must force yourself through the motions, it just may help if you pause and give thought to the countless souls who'd give most anything for the option of even your "chores."

Life... it can sometimes be like one of those really, really "good problems," huh?

I got this in my email while slogging through what feels like the most painful and tedious and frustrating revision of my writing life. It made me realize that a year ago, I would've killed to have a finished draft of a novel complete with expert revision notes and people eagerly waiting to read it.

So... I guess it's all about perspective, huh?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Review - Freefall by Mindi Scott

Freefall by Mindi Scott -
4 out of 5 stars
(release date October 5, 2010)

Summary via goodreads.
How do you come back from the point of no return?

Seth McCoy was the last person to see his best friend Isaac alive, and the first to find him dead. It was just another night, just another party, just another time where Isaac drank too much and passed out on the lawn. Only this time, Isaac didn’t wake up.

Convinced that his own actions led to his friend’s death, Seth is torn between turning his life around . . . or losing himself completely.

Then he meets Rosetta: so beautiful and so different from everything and everyone he's ever known. But Rosetta has secrets of her own, and Seth will soon realize he isn’t the only one who needs saving . . .

I really liked this book! I don't have a whole lot to say beyond that, which sucks, I know. But I really liked this book a lot!

I love boy narrators, and I think Seth is one of the most realistic male voices I've read in a while. Seth is believable and relatable as he deals with the death of his best friend and the realization that due to his hard partying lifestyle, he might not have seen his friend and the things around him as clearly as he thought he did.

I love that Seth tries. He tries to find what's broken in his life and fix it, even when it's scary. I love his relationship with his family and Rosetta as well. It's appropriately complicated and his emotions and confusion about everyone in his life is right on. I especially enjoyed watching him grow as his budding relationship with Rosetta also grew.

What's great about this book is that all of the characters are fully realized and feel like real people. They're complex, particularly Rosetta and Kendall (who I think was my favorite character), and no one can be labeled as all bad or all good. The world of FREEFALL is also beautifully realized. I could really see the small Pacific Northwest town and get a sense of the types of people that lived there. (Plus, I always give bonus points to a character living in a trailer park and not being a cliche stereotype.)

There isn't a lot of "action" in FREEFALL but it still kept me flipping the pages, wanting to know what was going to happen next and how it all ends. If you like contemporary fiction, I highly recommend this book! Even if you think you don't like boy narrators, or "quiet" books. FREEFALL is a great debut and I look forward to seeing what Mindi Scott has coming next!

Cover: I think this is a really cool, eye-catching cover. I love the colors, the simplicity, and the sense of movement, and best of all, I think it's a cover a boy would not be embarrassed to be seen carrying.

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

Overall Rating: 4/5

Monday, September 20, 2010

Finding My Courage to #SPEAKLoudly

If you haven't seen it around this weekend, there are a lot of great posts (as well as the twitter hashtag #SPEAKloudly started by Paul Hankins) going around about this article where a man is claiming that the book SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson, a book about a girl coming to terms with rape, is akin to soft-core porn. He is making similar statements about TWENTY BOY SUMMER by Sarah Ockler, a book about grief and growing up, (and one of my favorites of last year.)

There have been some great posts on this by Laurie and Sarah, as well as Myra McEntire, CJ Redwine, and Veronica Roth. People are finding the courage to speak loudly and openly about why SPEAK is important and I realize now that by not doing the same, I'm taking away the chance to help someone else feel, at the very least, less alone.

So, here goes. I want to say first off that many people take issue with the fact that Mr. Scroggins considers himself a good Christian, and feels that those who allow these books in schools are not. And there have been some very eloquent posts on that topic. This is not the issue I have with Mr. Scroggins. I consider myself a spiritual person. I don't attend church regularly, and I'm more interested in Buddhism than I am in western religions. I don't feel I can judge. Only God knows Mr. Scroggins' heart.

What's important to me is that no girl ever feels that society thinks her rape was okay because it's just sex. And that the sin in it was her "allowing" it to happen. What's important to me is that girls who have been raped have access to stories that mirror their own, proof that they're not alone, and examples of how to keep going when it feels like she'll never get out of the hole her rapist dug for her.

I am a rape survivor. I was seventeen. While the details are mine to keep, I can tell you that there was nothing soft-core porn about my experience. And to anyone who can read about a brutal attack on a young girl and claim it's sexual, all I can say is shame on you. Shame. On. You.

There is more at stake here than sex education. Books like SPEAK and the upcoming THE MOCKINGBIRDS by Daisy Whitney, save lives. It's that simple.

I wish these books had been out when I was in high school. I wish someone had explained to me that I didn't deserve what happened. That it was wrong, and it wasn't my fault. And that I wasn't the only one it had ever happened to. I wish they'd told me not to believe the people who claimed that I was a slut and somehow worth less than other people. I wish someone had told me that I had the right to stand up and tell what happened to me. And that the perpetrators should and could be punished. I wish someone had told me that I would eventually come out on the other side of the long dark tunnel of my rape and survive. That's what these books, and so many books like them do.

I wish these books were required reading for every teen, so that boys might better understand the aftermath of their actions and choose differently.

I find it hard to understand anyone who feels these stories should be kept away from the people directly involved. Rape is awful. Of course we don't want it happening in our society, but it DOES happen. Ignoring it, or refusing to address it won't make it go away.

I bought my copy of Speak today to show support. If you agree with what I've had to say, do something to show your support today too.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

In My Mailbox 41

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren

Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin - Signed ARC. (Thanks Adventures in Children's Publishing!)

Virals by Kathy Reichs

Past Midnight by Mara Purnhagen
Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Five (minus four)

So yeah I could only come up with one thing for today, but it's a winner!

I think this might be the most awesome book ever. I'm totally going to use it to spice up my ms! Some of my favorites:

- "His gaze was as soft as a caress." (Who cares if it makes sense? It sounds pretty!)

- "The smoldering flame she saw in his eye startled her." (It would startle me too!)

(Thanks to Awful Library Books for making me aware that this book exists!)
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