Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Writers on Wednesday~ Ali Cross

Welcome Ali Cross today! Ms. Ninja Writer herself. She's full of wisdom and style and funness!

Enjoy today's post:


Is there one book or author who changed your life/viewpoint/writing?
Desi’s story is the only one that changed me. I actually probably “love” some of my other books more than Desi’s, but they haven’t been “life changing”. Desi’s story taught me that I’m okay just the way I am—even though what I am is different than what I perceive to be expected of me.

Give us your elevator pitch.
The Desolation trilogy is about the devil’s daughter and her desire to be a force for good.

What’s your favorite snack?
Oh, hmm. Are we talking about treats here (mini marshmallows and dark chocolate kisses)? Or savory (crackers and cheese)? I don’t know!

What is your most memorable high school experience?
Ha! I’m gonna go with GOOD high school experience, so I’ll say the time I waited in line to pick up my student ID and realized the boy who’d played the drums in a school rock concert a couple days ago was the one handing out the card. From the moment he played/sang The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” I had a MAJOR crush on him. He was two years older and so cool. I’m happy to say I snagged him and he was my boyfriend for the rest of high school, lol.

What was the first book that turned you into a reader?
Probably Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain.

Are you a night owl or early bird?
Um, neither? I’m an afternoon girl, lol. Love the sunshine! I suppose if I had to pick, I’d say morning.  
What is your favorite meal?

The filet from Texas Roadhouse! With a baked sweet potato and caesar salad—yum!!

What do you never leave home without?
Lip Balm!
 
Do you have any pets?

Yes! We have a cat (Fred), a yorkie (Rocky), and four red-eared slider turtles (Slip, Slap, Slop and Slam).

What is one piece of advice you would give aspiring writers?
To never, ever give up.

What are you goals for 2013?
Write a bunch of books! LIVE more. Worry over what I should be doing regarding social media and just live my life already.



Monday, February 25, 2013

Whitney Finalist Giveaway! DEMONS by Heather Frost

Congrats to Heather for becoming a Whitney Finalist. And good luck in May.
This is the second book in the Seers triology and I'm giving you a chance to win it! All you need to do is leave a comment about your favorite butt-kicking heroine in fiction. Or if your grandma does a mean round house kick, tell us about that too.




Kate's life is far from normal. She can see Auras, her boyfriend is immortal, and her powers make her a target. But now that the Demon Lord is hunting her, things are about to go from dangerous to truly deadly. Packed with action, mind-blowing plot twists, and characters you can't get enough of, this is a fast-paced, heart-pounding read from cover to cover.

Friday, February 22, 2013

2012 Whitney Award Finalists

What are the Whitneys?
The Whitneys are an awards program for novels written by LDS authors. Elder Orson F. Whitney, an early apostle in the LDS church, prophesied “We will yet have Miltons and Shakespeares of our own.” It is our hope to be a part of that journey toward excellence by honoring the LDS writers also working toward that goal.

(P.S. Want to meet some of these authors?? Register for LDStorymakers May 10 & 11 TODAY. You'll love it.The keynote speaker is Anne Perry and you can sign up just to listen to her.) 
(P.S.S Since there is a Show Your Love contest for the Storymakers, I'm going to have my own. I'm going to give away a few books that are Whitney Finalists starting Monday.)

Have you read any of the books below? What did you think?

2012 Finalists

Click HERE to purchase tickets to the 2012 Whitney Awards Gala on May 11, 2013, at the Provo Marriott

General

Dancing on Broken Glass Paige The 13th Day of Christmas A Night on Moon Hill The Rent Collector
Ka Hancock* Annette Lyon Jason F. Wright Tanya Parker Mills Camron Wright

Historical

Espionage My Loving Vigil Keeping Spinster’s Folly The Five Books of Jesus Within the Dark Hills
A. L. Sowards* Carla Kelly Marsha Ward James Goldberg* Sian Ann Bessey

Romance

Lady Outlaw Of Grace and Chocolate Smart Move Twitterpated Edenbrooke
Stacy Henrie* Krista Lynne Jensen* Melanie Jacobson Melanie Jacobson Julianne Donaldson*

Mystery/Suspense

Banana Split Code Word Deadly Undertakings Line of Fire Tres Leches Cupcakes
Josi S. Kilpack Traci Hunter Abramson Gregg Luke Rachel Ann Nunes Josi S. Kilpack

Speculative

City of the Saints Flight From Blithmore Earthbound The Hollow City The Penitent
D. J. Butler Jacob Gowans Theresa Sneed Dan Wells C. David Belt

Youth Adult—Speculative

Demons Destined Endlessly Everneath Feedback
Heather Frost Aprilynne Pike Kiersten White Brodi Ashton* Robison Wells

Young Adult—General

After Hello Finding June The Space Between Us The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back V is for Virgin
Lisa Mangum Shannen Crane Camp Jessica Martinez Sariah Wilson Kelly Oram

Middle Grade

Case File 13: Zombie Kid Epic Tales of a Misfit Hero Freakling Palace of Stone The False Prince
J. Scott Savage Matt Peterson* Lana Krumwiede* Shannon Hale Jennifer A. Nielsen

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Next Big Thing!

 Peggy Eddleman tagged me to be part of The Next Big Thing!

1. What is the working title of your current or next book?
     NOT ME

2. Where did you get the idea for that book?
     I was free writing a page a day and it formed into sort of a journal of an alleged serial killer. (Yikes!)

3. What is the genre of the book?
     YA Thriller

4. If you could pick actors to play the lead characters in your story, who would you pick?
     Summer Glau for the main character

    Ben Barnes as the love interest 

5. How would you describe you book in one sentence?
  Is Angelica's amnesia a convenient cover for killing her best friends?

6. How will your book be published--submitted through the traditional route to a traditional publisher, or will you be handling it yourself through indie publishing methods?
   Traditional route.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of this book?
    About six months.

8. What other books within your genre are similar to yours?
     I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER meets FORGOTTEN.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
     I just started writing then I wondered how a girl would act/react if she couldn't remember killing her best friends.

10. What about your book will pique the reader's interest?
    It's psychological thriller with romance. Angelica can't remember her best friend's deaths, even though she was there for each of them.

Who's next??

Writers on Wednesday ~ Cindy Bennett & Blog Tour

Today, Cindy Bennett is making a stop here on her blog tour for RAPUNZEL UNTANGLED. She has a great sense of humor and uses it in her writing.

Enjoy today's post:

Give us your elevator pitch.
 Rapunzel Untangled is the modern day version of her tale with witches, Facebook, and a charming non-prince.

What’s your favorite snack?
Lately I've been on a Ranch flavored Pringles kick. I know: fake chips, right? And they give me horrendous breath. Still, horrible as they are for me, they're pretty tasty.

What is your most memorable high school experience?
Meeting my husband. He was very outgoing and I was a complete wallflower, so he seemed very intimidating to me at first. He was a well-known football player and I tried to blend into the background, so we were a strange combination. I don't think I spoke more than 3 words to him when we first met, but somehow I managed to convince him to be my boyfriend anyway.

What was the first book that turned you into a reader?
Where the Wild Things Are is the first book I remember reading, but I think it was the Beezus and Ramona books by Beverly Cleary that really showed me that books can take you into worlds you'd want to live in, with characters you'd want for friends.

Are you a night owl or early bird?
Total night owl. Mornings and I don't get along at all. I'm usually up until anywhere between 3 and 5 a.m. and sleep until noon.

What is your favorite meal?
Homemade chicken enchiladas with white sauce. Yummmmmm.

What do you never leave home without?
Since I can't take my laptop (which is quite large and weighs 13 lbs) I take my phone which keeps me connected. Now if only I could somehow figure out how to write on it . . .

Do you have any pets?
 I currently have 3 dogs, which is weird because I'm not a dog person. But my husband and kids are, so there you go. I have another 2 dogs currently staying here with my daughter-in-law while my son is deployed to Qatar. 5 dogs!

What is one piece of advice you would give aspiring writers?
Keep on writing, every single day, even if it's only for ten minutes at a time. While you're doing it, make sure you learn the mechanics of writing (spelling, grammar, punctuation) and utilize them while retaining your unique writers voice.

What are you goals for 2013?
Writing-wise I plan to finish the last two tales for Enchanted Fairytales by the end of February, complete the sci-fi collaboration I'm writing with Sherry Gammon and Jeffery Moore, finish a novella I'm writing for a paranormal/fantasy anthology due out in March or April, complete the sequel to Immortal Mine, and get a start on another novel that's been shoving its way into my brain. Personally I plan to try to spend more time with my family and at least pretend to clean my house once in a while.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Writers on Wednesday~ Peggy Eddleman

Peggy Eddleman's debut MG novel SKY JUMPERS is due out in the fall this year! I'm so excited for her.


Enjoy today's post:

Give us your elevator pitch.
Hope is a girl living in a post-apocalyptic town where inventing means everything, but she can't do it. When bandits invade and her entire town is threatened, inventing won't save them, but the daring and risk-taking that usually gets her into trouble just might.

What’s your favorite snack?
Peanut M&Ms

What is your most memorable high school experience?

Performing with the Drill Team during halftime at a football game while it was snowing. Let's just say that our routine turned into an extreme sport, and the run-leap-land in splits finale slid us ten feet forward, like we were sledding. It was the best run-leap-land in splits-sled finale EVER.

What was the first book that turned you into a reader?

I honestly have no idea. I'll tell you which book turned my kids and I into read-together-every-night readers, though. It was James Dashner's Jimmy Fincher series (A Door in the Woods, A Gift of Ice, The Tower of Air, and War of the Black Curtain). We were hooked! And by the time we got to the end of the series, we had formed a habit that we've continued for years.

Are you a night owl or early bird?
Both. Although I'm leaning more toward early bird now. I love being up and working while everyone's still sleeping!

What is your favorite meal?

Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Ciabatta bread.

What do you never leave home without?
Hands down, my smart phone. Not only can my family call/text me, but if I'm ever stuck waiting somewhere, I can make my time useful (including being able to read a book on my Kindle app!).

Do you have any pets?
Yep! A black cat who is actually too afraid to cross anyone's path.

What is one piece of advice you would give aspiring writers?
To learn how to take criticism/critiques well. Don't see them as an attack on your book (or on you!), but as an opportunity to improve your book and to improve your craft. You can never stop learning in this profession, and the best way to do that is to always use critiques to your best advantage.

What are you goals for 2013?
I have a lot of goals for 2013, but the main ones are to work with my editor on book 2 in the SKY JUMPERS series until it shines, and to write a killer book 3 (and hope it doesn't kill me in the process :)).

Peggy

SKY JUMPERS book 1: THROUGH THE BOMB'S BREATH
(Random House Children's, Fall 2013)
http://peggyeddleman.blogspot.com/
Twitter: @PeggyEddleman







Monday, February 11, 2013

What's your favorite writing blog?

I have a list of blogs on my review blog, The Book Addict. Every Monday I scroll through the blogs I follow and find posts to read. I call Monday my Education Day; the day I hope to learn something new or remember a tidbit I forgot. I sometimes get ideas about posts, like this one (thanks to Jordan McCollum!).
There are a few blogs I read every week. Do you find you read a certain blog every week or day? WHY? What brings you back again and again?


These five blogs catch my eye on Mondays:

Storyfix
Larry Brooks posts are sometimes lengthy but I've found they are worth the read. I have had many, many, AH-HA moments reading his posts.

Moody Writing
Interesting and in-depth posts about writing. Lots of posts on characters and how to develop them.

Adventures in YA & Children's Publishing
I like this site for two reasons: they promote and review newly release YA books and on Saturday they post the best of the week writing/promoting/trending and news.

Rachelle Gardner
Rachelle has hard hitting, awesome posts about writing and publishing.

Jami Gold
Fun, unique and helpful posts all geared to writers.

Now it's your turn. Do you have a favorite blog or website you read consistently?


Friday, February 8, 2013

POISON by Bridget Zinn

Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.


Poor Kyra! The kings soldiers are after her, she has to save the kingdom and now she has an enchanted pig to take care of. Not to mention, a traveling companion named Fred.
All Kyra tried to do was kill the princess.
Kyra is a potions master and this talent and her potions come in handy as she disguises herself, fights off goblins and helps Fred sleep so he won't follow her. But Kyra's life does not go according to her plans. I liked Kyra. She's strong and bright and flawed. She has to learn to accept and use certain things in her life to accomplish what she needs to. I just wish we would have seen more of that earlier in the story.
This story is full of interesting and unique characters, like Rosie the enchanted pig and Arlo, the bad guy (who I kept picturing as the goblin king in The Hobbit movie). Also, lots of wit and humor fill the pages.
A lot of humor came out in the end between the characters. I wanted more of that throughout the book.
There was a twist I didn't see coming but some of the others were foreshadowed.
Good, clean teen read.

Last line:
"Then she kissed him back."

Rating: PG
V: Some fighting
L: No
S: kissing

Liked:
Rosie
Kyra
Ari
Fred

Disliked:
Quick ending

4 STARS


Thanks to Netgalley for the preview!



Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Writers On Wednesday~ Regina Sirios

Today we welcome Regina Sirois! She is the sweetest person you'll ever meet!  She was the 2012 winner of Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award; ON LITTLE WINGS







Enjoy the post today! 




Remember when you watched your parents buy your sibling a chocolate chip ice cream cone and you pondered if that was somehow superior to your scoop of chocolate fudge?
You waffled between being certain fudge trumps chips and the fear that mom and dad were sending a subliminal message that your sibling is a "chip off the old block" and you're just a block of fudge.
There is some deep-seated paranoia that life is a zero sum game.
And then some of us are masochistic enough to jump into the impossible... I mean competitive... world of writing and publishing.
And we find out that same fear has been biding it's time since we were six, rubbing it's knuckles and waiting for us to show up again and take a beating.
Because you rip out your soul and expose your vulnerabilities... I mean you write a story... and you throw it out into the world and inevitably, it sinks like a brick. You see these little bubbles rise to the surface and it feels like some piece of you that is running out of air all alone in the blackness, and all you want is some sign that it is going to be okay. 
Going to live.
Usually about this time of despair you get an email that a fellow writer tripped over an agent on the street and fell flat onto the NYT bestsellers list.
And you get that old feeling that you are holding a vanilla ice cream cone that didn't get any sprinkles.
Just to make it worse, the good news usually multiplies and comes pouring in from every corner, a veritable flood of giddy happiness. Every pursuit of every person around you is roaring to success. Unfortunately, the more hot fudge and chocolate chips they get the smaller you feel and the more you think the universe is laughing at your sad little cone, telling you that somehow you didn't deserve what the people around you got.
And that monster with green eyes slinks up behind you and taps you on the shoulder and you wish it was Godzilla because you'd rather get your head bitten off than be a horrible person, but no such luck. It's plain old, ugly jealousy.
So what do you do now?
I discovered my coping mechanism back in the days of my worst failures.
You smile even if it's a grimace and you uncurl your hooked hands and force them to write something gracious and kind.
You join the celebration.
Then something magical happens.
Only after you overcome that horrible feeling that praising another person will diminish you do you understand that writing is not zero sum. Success is not zero sum.
Life is not an ice cream cone.
Or if it is, it is a giant sundae and we can all tackle it happily together.
Kindness is the the only endeavor that God says will never fail. So you want a surefire success? Be nice. Be generous. Be kind. 
Celebrate even when your bubbles are rising to the surface.
And maybe, just maybe, if your story dies, you'll walk away with something better. You'll succeed at being a better person.
And everyone knows that the world needs good people infinitely more than it needs good authors.
But just as an observation, if we are patient and work hard, many of us will get to be a little bit of both.
And that is just the cherry on top.



Pre-order On Little Wings from your favorite indie bookstore:
 http://www.reginasirois.com/on-little-wings/