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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday: A Million Suns

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My selection for this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is: A Million Suns by Beth Revis.

I have two reasons for this: 1) I really enjoyed the first book and I can't wait to see what Amy and Elder are up to in this one and one of her crit. partners is also one of mine and she says this book is awesome.  How can you get a better rec than that?!  Amiright?  and 2)  Because I keep getting told I look a lot like her.  Since I think she's very pretty, I'll take that as a compliment.  I hope I'll be able to meet her in person one day and verify it for myself.  :D

Godspeed was once fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos.

It’s been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. And everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He’s finally free to enact his vision – no more Phydus, no more lies.

But when Elder discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a puzzle that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier, unable to fight the romance that’s growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart.

In book two of the Across the Universe trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis mesmerizes us again with a brilliantly crafted mystery filled with action, suspense, romance, and deep philosophical questions. And this time it all builds to one mind-bending conclusion: They have to get off this ship.
And, as a continuation to my crit partner post last Monday, I've posted on the Oasis about where to find crit partners. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy Book Birthday, Amaranthine!

Another one of my friends, Leah Crichton, had her book birthday recently.  Yesterday in fact and I'm pleased to be able to spread the word.

There's been a lot of ups and downs with this book, but I was lucky enough to read an earlier version of it and it was great.  I can't wait for my copy to come so that I can see how great it is now.

Sixteen year-old Ireland Brady is sure she's losing her mind.

After a horrific car accident leaves her barely clinging to life, she wakes from a coma with a renewed sense of gratitude to a world more surreal than she could have imagined, a world which includes Orion Alexander.

Darkly handsome, Orion is cool and confident and has his sights set on her, something she's never experienced and she finds herself falling hopelessly in love. But when Orion's betrayal sends her straight into the arms of his rival, Damien, things go from bad to worse.

Despite Orion's warnings, Ireland is attracted to Damien. He's strong and protective, and harbors an intense dislike for Orion, which makes him...perfect.

But Damien is not one to be crossed.

When all the secrets are revealed, will Ireland trust the boy who broke her heart?  Or is she doomed to suffer a fate worse than death?

About the author:

Leah Crichton began writing at the tender age of five. She was fortunate enough to grow up with two teachers for parents, so she's used to being constructively criticized which has some serious perks when you live in the real world. Her father is also an author and the rest as they say, is history.

She lives in organized chaos in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with her husband and children, who surprisingly not only put up with her but maybe even love her. She has a few obsessions including but not limited to: coffee, writing, reading, photography, lip gloss, vacations and music. She works full time in a very technical job, so she welcomes the voices inside her head which are fighting to get out and puts them on paper. Sometimes they turn into decent stories. Other times, people just assume she's crazy.

Amaranthine is the first novel she ever finished. The feeling of reaching the end sparked a desire to do it again, so she's currently working on her second novel (the first in a series). What happens next remains a mystery.

She can be found on her website, wattpadd, twitter, and facebook.

Amaranthine can be found on amazon.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Musings: Crit Partners

I've talked here before about crit partners, but in the last two years that I've been serious about writing, I've never been as thankful for my crit partners as I am today. Or this year, really. 

I've been blessed with having found AMAZING crit partners.  We don't always agree on things.  I have one who HATES (maybe that's too strong of a word, I'm sure she'll correct me. :P) when my heros carry my heroines around.  I like it. Not ALL the time, but when I think there's a need for it.  Another of my crit partners is more on the innocent side and doesn't like my more steamy scenes.  And yet another loves both of those things, but hates other things. 

The thing about them all is they all have their strengths.  The one that hates all the sappy, sappy stuff, is the one that knows me the best. I can talk to her about any little idea that pops into my head.  And not only does me encourage me to try it, she'll run with it and come up with something even zanier!  Also, she's not afraid to tell me when something isn't working.  We're both so honest with each other that sometimes, I'm TERRIFIED of opening my crit notes from her.

Like last night I got my latest notes from her, knowing she would "Tear me up"  (I specifically asked her to and she did!) But I also knew that I would probably agree with all of the things she saw as problematic.  I was right.  In fact, if I thought about it, we've been together so long I could have easily pointed out the areas that she had a problem with. 

And she's awesome because she doesn't mind spending 2 hours on skype with me while I whine and hem and haw in her ear about the things she doesn't like.  Especially those heros of mine.  ; )  (LOVE YA!)

Anyway,  moving on.  Another is excellent at pointing out movements and is PERFECT for helping me stage my characters. She'll point out each time she can't get a feeling of where my characters are or how they're moving.

But the thing is, for me crit partners are essential.  They help me brainstorm.  They tell me when things aren't working, and they encourage me when I feel like my book is crap and it's "all wrong. Every thing is WRONG!"  LOL.  And yes, sometimes the only nice thing they have to say about a story is what's up in the little picture, but then that's what they're there for, right?

But my crit partners are more than that.  They've become friends. In some cases,  my best friends and I seriously don't know what I'd do without them.  Even when I want to pull my hair out and go, as I'm saying, "But now I've got to change EVERYTHING!" 

Thanks, guys!  For everything!

So, question for you.  What's your thoughts on crit partners?  Problematic or Godsend?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

DESTINED tour stop and giveaway

Yay! I am SO pleased to be able to do this post!  One of my oasis sisters and close friends, Jessie Harrell, just had her debut book birthday!

In celebration she's giving away an e-copy of the book and a prize pack giveaway!

Isn't that awesome?!   Yay, Jessie. I'm so happy for you.

When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns that even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear.

As she feels herself slipping closer into the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist and the one constant she's come to expect out of life: you cannot escape what is destined.

Destined is a fresh and heartachingly romantic retelling of the Cupid & Psyche myth from debut novelist, Jessie Harrell.

And now onto the contest details.  She's giving away TWO prizes: an e-copy of the book (this giveaway IS international) and a DESTINED prize pack. (This one is US only).  If you're in the US you can enter both.

The prize pack includes: an autographed ARC, an autographed bookmark, Psyche's ring and a Destined notepad.

If you leave your e-mail address in your comment, you’ll be automatically entered to win an e-copy of Destined. The contest will stay open for 48 hours after the post goes live, and then Jessie will use to select a winner. Available formats include .mobu, .epub and .pdf.
And please be sure to visit the other stops on Destined‘s official blog tour for chances to win copies of Destined and other goodies.
Tour Schedule

1-Nov Once Upon A Twilght -  Book Trailer +Interview Ebook giveaway
2-Nov Books With Bite – Interview Ebook giveaway
3-Nov Living in Literary La La Land Guest Post Ebook giveaway
4-Nov I am a Reader, Not a Writer Guest Post Ebook giveaway
5-Nov Paper Hangover Interview Ebook giveaway
6-Nov Nikki Katz Interview Ebook giveaway
6-Nov Fictional Distraction Review Ebook Giveaway
7-Nov Daisy Chain Book Review Interview Ebook giveaway
8-Nov MundieMoms Review + Short Story Ebook giveaway
9-Nov Safari Poet Guest Post Ebook giveaway
10-Nov Good Choice Reading WOW CONTEST + Review Ebook giveaway
11-Nov LM Preston Guest Post VLOG – Read a Scene Ebook giveaway
12-Nov An Avid Readers Musings Interview VLOG Ebook giveaway
13-Nov Skyla11377 Review Ebook giveaway
14-Nov Dark Readers Interview Ebook giveaway
15-Nov Shortie Says… Character GUEST POST Ebook giveaway
16-Nov A Cozy Reader’s Corner Reviews Guest post – Sneak Peek Ebook giveaway
17-Nov Stuck In Books Character Interview Ebook giveaway
18-Nov From A to Z Review  Ebook giveaway
19-Nov Turning Pages Interview Ebook giveaway
20-Nov A Tale of Many Reviews Guest Post Ebook giveaway !
21-Nov Read My Mind – AliseonLife Interview Vlog Ebook giveaway
22-Nov S.A.Larson Review Ebook giveaway
23-Nov Starry Sky Books Prize pack giveaway + Guest Post Ebook giveaway
23-Nov Angels and Demons and Portals. Oh My! Prize pack giveaway Ebook giveaway  ***You are HERE***
You can find Jessie and more about Destined:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Book Review: DESTINED

DESTINED by Jessie Harrell
Publisher: Mae Day Publishing (November 17, 2011)
Paperback: 368 pages
Reading Level: Young Adult
Rating: 5 of 5 feathers
Source: Author

Of course I have to give this book 5 stars because Jessie is awesomesauce, but seriously, you don't have to believe me. I highly suggest you read it for yourself, because I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

DESTINED is a book that has something for everyone packaged into a delightfully sweet historical romance/mythology retelling that will have you turning pages until the end and leave you wanting more.

At first I was concerned about Psyche's modern voice in an ancient Greecian setting (as it was difficult to tell when the story was taking place) and some of the freedoms and liberties she had that a girl (especially a princess) would not have had during that time period. However, I think it might really help teens who wouldn't normally pick up this type of book really get interested in a historical setting. One of my own personal favorite time periods, BTW.

Psyche is an awesome strong, female character who was well-developed and had a great character arc through out the novel. I love how Jessie used the deepness of the 1st person POV to really show us what and how Psyche was feeling, which was a great foil for Eros' limited 3rd POV.

Eros was the typical alpha male romance hero with a twist. He was a god. And not just any god, but Cupid, the god of love, whose Mother happens to be Aphrodite. Which, of course, left many interesting dilemas for poor Psyche.

All in all I really enjoyed reading this book (I read it in less than 24 hours) and I highly recommend it.

Also, stay tuned for tomorrow when Jessie will be here and giving away a DESTINED prize pack and an e-copy of the book.

Monday, November 21, 2011

ARTICLE 5--A Shout Out

Today, I'm pleased as punch, to be able to give a shout-out to my bestie and fellow Tor Teen author, Kristen Simmons. 

She's only a few short months away from publication, (SQUEE!!!) and, in celebration, she's giving away FIVE (5) ARCs of ARTICLE 5. One a week for the next five weeks.

Just go here and she'll explain the rest.  Good luck!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Musings: A rant--don't engage the crazy

I normally try to look at the bright side of things.  I'm not an optimistic person by nature, but I usually try very hard to look at the glass as half-full.  The "there's always a reason for everything" thing.  And I usually succeed. It may take me a minute or ten, but I eventually figure it out and go on my happy way, but this time I can't. I'm pissed.  Yeah, I said it. I usually don't like swearing on my blogs and really that's not all that bad,'s the only word that I think really describes exactly how I feel at this minute.

I know by holding onto the anger I'm only making things worse. I know by being angry still I'm letting her "win," but damn it, it bugs me. Well, obviously, it does more than bug me.

And now you're going "well, what the hell is it all ready?"  It's road rage, people.  Don't give in to it.  Seriously. It's dumb. It's stupid. And it causes you to do idiotic things.  Why am I talking about it? Because of an incident that happened on Saturday to me.

I was driving behind my husband (who finally got his motorcycle back after his accident) and we needed to meet my MIL at her work to pick up my daughter.  So, I'm following behind him, keeping an eye on him and the bike and everything else, and we merge into the exit lane off the highway.

Now this particular exit can be fairly tricky to manuever, but I've done it a thousand times.  I flick on my blinker, glance behind me and check all my mirrors (seriously, if you don't do all that, you'll hit someone, it's ridiculous how horrible this exit is.)  and see I have room to merge over. 

The minute I do, the lady I merged in front of gets pissed (for what reason I have no idea because there was more than a car length between us) she flashes her lights and blares her horn.

Me? I ignore it. Although I'll admit I was a little frustrated.  I mean, really?  Was all that necessary?  But that wasn't even the worst of it. This is where the road rage comes in.  She decides that since I've ignored her, obviously she needs to get my attention. She roars up around me and then pulls up next to me --in my lane! --And proceeds to yell at me through her open window and my closed one.

My heart is seriously pumping some blood now and I'm a bit shaky (because I HATE confrontations. Seriously hate them.), but I ignore her, figuring she'll just go away when the light turns green.  She didn't.  In fact, she follows me THISCLOSE to my back bumper until the next light, in which she speeds up to get in front of me and then SLAMS ON HER BRAKES, so I have to slam on mine in order to avoid hitting her.

Then she flings open her door and continues to YELL AT ME again through my closed windows. I honestly have no friggin clue what she was saying.  Of course, now I'm pissed.  She almost made me HIT HER!  WTH?!  So I flick her off (not my brightest idea) and stick out my tongue at her.

This, of course, only makes her more angry and she slams back into her car and THROWS IT IN REVERSE!  Uh, yeah, I had to do the same, so I decide to just pull into the second turn lane next to me. To get away from Psycho bitch, as I've now dubbed her in my head.

Of course, she gets in front of me again, but this time blocks BOTH turn lanes.  This is the point that I SHOULD have called the police.  I should have just stayed there and waited for them to come and arrest her, but I was worried about my husband and I didn't know where my MIL worked, (also, I was a little scared at this point. I didn't want to be alone with this woman and for some reason this side street was practically empty--probably because it's a business complex and it was Saturday, but anyway, I digress)  So, I speed around her and try to catch up with my husband who is blissfully unaware any of this is happening.

She continues to follow me, all the way into the parking lot where my husband and MIL are.  She speeds around me and blocks all of our vehicles in, then opens her window and starts screaming again.

At this point I've had enough, so I get out of the car and storm to the halfway point between our cars (which happened to be next to my husband) and I say, "WTF is your problem?!" I think I may have called her a bitch, too.

She starts screaming that I cut her off and almost killed her three babies in the back seat.

At this point I'm completely dumbfounded. 1) there was plenty of room and we weren't even going more than 10 MPH 2) SHE did much more harm to those kids by pulling her stupid stunts than I ever did, even if I'd done what she thought I did, and 3) she's spitting and cursing and screaming like a mad woman while her kids are in the car?  How is THAT not damaging to them? 

Then  she really pisses me off by calling me a fat ass.  Okay, I know I'm fat. I get it.  It's a little impossible not to realize this fact when I put on my jeans every morning, but really, you followed me all the way from the highway to my MILs job, cutting me off and driving like a lunatic to call me a fat ass?  Really?

But, at this point I don't much care, so I spout off some not nice things.  Something along the lines of calling her a whore and whatnot.  Then she tells me I couldn't even get laid if I wanted to.  Obviously the hot man next to me, with his arm around me didn't make it clear that that's not a problem, but I scream out that at least I know how to close my legs.  Mature, right?!  *eye roll*

Yeah, not my most shining moment, I know.  After a few more moments of her screaming at me and me now ignoring it because my husband is smarter than me and tells me to "shut up. You're only making it worse", she leaves.

I have to sit down because now I'm sick to my stomach and shaking so hard I can't stand.  Then I start to think, because obviously my brain stopped working a while ago.  That she was really dumb.  And I don't mean just the road rage.

She had NO IDEA who was driving my big ass truck with tinted windows.  It could have been anyone.  I could have had a gun. I could have been a rapist for crying out loud. It's not like we were in an area that had a lot of people.

Here she is, so pissed because she thought I did her wrong (and in her eyes maybe I did get too close. According to me and the law--which I looked up afterward--I didn't, but who knows what she thought), she was willing to risk not only her life, but that of her three kids.

Something tells me she wasn't all that worried about those kids and it was just an excuse, but really?  And yeah, now I'm mad all over again. Not because of what she did to me--which was dumb--but because of what she did to her kids!  And that, in my mind, borders on abuse or neglect or something.  She didn't once think of those kids when she was doing all that.  Otherwise she wouldn't have done it!

But that's not even the end, she waited until we all left the parking lot.  My MIL decided that it would be better to take my DD home in her car, in case crazy lady hadn't given up. SHe felt it would be safer.

I agreed, which is a good thing I did, because she--crazy lady-- of course did wait for me.  But she went after my husband instead.  Remember he's on a motorcycle.  So I'm freaking out she's going to get him killed.  So I try getting her attention so she'll follow me again and try going a different way home.

But she doesn't follow me, she only continues to follow DH.  My MIL (obviously smarter than I, calls 9-1-1 and reports her) and I'm panicked the whole way home something happened to him, but he's home when I get there and gives me this HUGE hug, which makes me burst into tears (because I LITERALLY cry over EVERYTHING).

She apparently decided he wasn't worth it and left him alone after a mile or two.  Maybe she came back to her senses?  Maybe she realized we called 9-1-1. I don't know.  I guess it doesn't matter. 

But, yeah, I'm still pissed, and yeah, it's a bit about what she did to me, but it's mostly because of her kids.  I sincerely hope this was a one shot deal and it'll never happen again, but I'm seriously concerned for those kids, because next time she does that, she may not be so lucky.

Of course, I feel pretty stupid, too. I should never have "engaged the crazy."  I should have continued to ignore her.  I should've called 9-1-1 in the beginning. In fact, there are many things I should have done, but didn't.  And that's just another reason we should learn to curb our anger, because it makes us temporarily stupid.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Character Interview with Evelyn.

Hey y'all I'm over at the BNW blog with my MC, Evelyn. I found a recording of an interview between an unnamed reporter (poor thing) and Evelyn that took place before the events of RENEGADE.  Might be interesting to check out!  Also, it's a great sneak peek into the lives of Elysium Citizens.

Also, don't forget to check out my Book Deal contest.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Book Deal Celebration Extravaganza

Today is THE day.  I can't believe I am actually typing these words.  These last few months have been like a dream. And the best part is I can pinch myself all I want because it's REAL!!  

Most of you already know that I have a three-book deal with Tor Teen and the fabulous Mel Frain is my editor, so I'll spare all the gruesome details, but I've finally signed the contract and gotten my official copy back. And I've gotten my first writer paycheck.  Yes, for those who know me, I did cry.  Buckets!  The bank lady started crying with me. We've known each other awhile.  (smallish towns are awesome, peeps. Just sayin') It was a good day.  :D 

Anyway, because of all this awesomeness that is happening, I finally get to do the contest I've been waiting and waiting for!  My book deal celebration extravaganza!  (Hmm, that sounds a bit like a used car salesman trying to hawk the 1960s POS without an engine that's been sitting on his back lot for awhile, but...well, I like the word extravaganza.  It's got a certain panache, don't ya think.  ;P)

Anyway, details are below:

There will be TWO prize packs available.  One for writers.  One for readers. And yes, you can sign up for both. HOWEVER, if you happen to be picked to win both, I will email you and ask you which one you want more, so I can pick another winner for the other pack.  :)  

Evelyn wanted to help with this contest since she's THRILLED you all are going to be reading her story, so look to the reader's pack for special gifts from her.

Writer's Prize Pack:

·      A critique of your query letter and the first 50 pages of your manuscript.
·      A brand new copy of my favorite writer's book:  SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS.
·      A Starbucks gift card (value to be determined by number of entries)
·      An Amazon OR Barnes and Noble gift card (value to be determined by number of entries)

·      Seaweed soap  (I LURVE this stuff. It's great on your skin. PLUS it's what the Citizens of Elysium use. ;) )

·      Moleskin journal (Great for taking notes, or revising, or going to conferences.)

·      And if enough people enter I will add in a SUPER SEKRIT prize related to RENEGADE.

Reader's Prize Pack:

·      Tor Teen book pack which will include the books PERSONAL DEMONS and ORIGINAL SIN by Lisa Desrochers, ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD by Kendare Blake, THE FAERIE RING by Kiki Hamilton, ARTICLE 5 by Kristen Simmons (when it's released, since she's one of my BFFs this one will probably be autographed), and an ARC of RENEGADE when it's available.)

·      One of Evelyn's special perfume bottles* (This has a special significance in the book, BTW.)

·      Evelyn's silver rose pendant.*  (This also has a special significance in the book.)

·      Seaweed soap.

·      And again, if enough people enter, I will add in a SUPER SEKRIT prize related to RENEGADE. It'll be different than the one in the writer's pack. ;D

*If you're a guy (since this book is definetely geared toward both ladies AND gentleman) Gavin has stepped up to the plate and offered something special in place of Evelyn's gifts. He's extremely secretive and hasn't told me what it is, but he promises it's great.

And depending on the number of entries, I MAY award a 2nd and 3rd place winner.  Those prizes will be a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card for 2nd and a $10 amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card for 3rd place.

The contest starts today and will end midnight December 5th, 2011 so you have plenty of time to enter and get the word out!  I’ll pick two random winners (one for each prize pack) and announce them (and the 2nd and 3rd place winners if we get enough entries) some time that day.

That’s it.  Easey, peasey, rice and cheesy.  :D

Fill out the form below and GOOD LUCK!!