Monday, March 29, 2010

Quote of the Week

"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed."

Theodore Roosevelt

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Recent Reads: Musicals, Rules and the Gardiner Girls

Book: When Mike Kissed Emma by Christine Marciniak
Book Count:12
Genre: YA Contemp

Emma has it all: cool friends, a boyfriend that all the girls lust over, and plans to play Liesl in her school's rendition of The Sound of Music. But when Emma lands the role of Maria, beating out her best friend, and is cast opposite Biker Mike, the motorcycle riding, leather jacket wearing, long-haired school's misfit, it all goes downhill fast. Especially when she realizes that Mike may not be the misfit everyone thinks he is. A quick read and a great story about not judging a book - or a person - by their cover, because you may just be surprised about the depths that lay beneath. It was one of those books that made me go, awww, how sweet. :)

Book: The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
Book Count: 13
Genre: YA Contemp

If you know me at all, you know I <3 Elizabeth Scott. She rocks it out like nobody's business. And this is just one more of her fab books. Sarah's liked Ryan since, well, forever it seems. Sarah's best friend Brianna is all things Sarah thinks she's not. Beautiful, perky and popular, oh, and she's also Ryan's girlfriend. But one night changes all of that. When the truth comes out, it shines a light on far more than Sarah expected. Sometimes rules are meant to be broken, even the unwritten ones. A far lighter topic than her recent works, but still true to life.

Book: For Keeps by Natasha Friend
Book Count: 14
Genre: YA Contemp

Okay, so this is the book that to me, was Gilmore Girls, in book form, if, you know, Rory was a jock and Lorelei managed a bookstore instead of an inn. Josie Gardiner and her mom Kate have always just been the Gardiner girls. To Josie, Paul Tucci - her biological father - is nothing more than the guy who happened to knock her mom up when they were in high school, righ before moving across the country and dropping off the face of the planet. And then there's Matt Riggs, the cute guy on the soccer team who she had an *ahem* encounter with last New Year's Eve and seven months later, is Josie's first boyfriend. But when Paul Tucci suddenly reappears, all the events of 16 years ago rain back down on her mother and in turn, shift everything in Josie's life, including her relationship with Matt. This book kept me up all night laughing out loud! Natasha Friend did an amazing job creating real people who say and do quirky things that are so true to life you can't help but find the hilarity in it! I adored this book!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Recent Reads: Radiant Shadows

Book: Radiant Shadows (Wicked Lovely #4) by Melissa Marr (April 2010)
Book Count: 11
Genre: YA Paranormal

If you haven't already read any of Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely books, check out my Recent Read's post on the first 3. I have to say, though, once you've gotten into those first couple of books, it's amazing how sucked into this world you get. The narrators have changed in each story and it makes the world more complete, because you see this same place through so many different perspectives.

Ani's a halfling, daughter of the Dark Court's Gabriel and a mortal, but she's not like her halfling brother and sister, Rabbit and Tish. She knew she was different long before the others figured it out. But what Ani doesn't know is her connection to Devlin, the High Court's assassin and the brother to both Reason and War. When Ani and Devlin cross paths again, Ani finds that Devlin's the only one who can help her, if she'll only let him.

Another amazing story from Ms. Marr! Ani's not a monarch, she's not even a fey. But she's now forced to live among the fey because of how special she really is, she has to find her place among them, or she has to make one. And that's one of those things that everyone faces.

Loved this book, just like the others. And for those with a Seth Morgan crush (like me ;D) he's totally in this book!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Good Morning

After the weekend and now back to the grind of things, I think this sign says it all for me.

Two weeks ago I headed off to NJ for a work trip and was so motion sick the entire time I was out there I really thought I was going to die. When I came home, went to the doc, nope, not preggers, if that's what you're wondering, but I had a viral inner ear infection that was completely throwing my equilibrium for a loop. Top that off with a sinus infection and I am one sick puppy. Hence the Unplug week participation last week was doubly beneficial. I wasn't able to take time off from work until the end of last week, but now I'm feeling rested.

Not necessarily better, but rested, and that's good right?

Anyway, being sick in the can't-stare-at-the-computer-for-long kind of way totally hampers writerly creative juices. It sucks those words right out of you, and NOT in a good way. On the flip side, I've read a few really good books of late and can't wait to get the Recent Reads posts up to share with you guys!

Sorry to come back whining, but I promise the pity party is over and I'll be better (at least psychologically, if not physically) the rest of the week. :)

Hoping the rest of you had a great week last week and fabulous weekend - especially those around here, because the weather's finally been decent enough to start going outside again!

Have a great (hopefully stress-free) Monday everyone!

Monday, March 15, 2010


Have you seen that movie? The one where Adam Sandler's character gets a magic remote control that lets him fast forward, rewind and pause life? I'll admit it, I cried at the end of it. Not the all out sobbing, but, you know, quickly wiping away the tears I felt sliding down my face. It was a cry-worthy movie, I think, but at the time I was watching it, I was in the cardio-cinema at the gym and I just didn't think that was very becoming.

Well, lately I've noticed myself wishing for a pause button. I don't want the other buttons on the magic remote, just pause. Sort of like the line from the Aerosmith song from Armageddon - "I don't wanna miss a thing."

But after much consideration, I've figured out what the best - realistic - pause button is: BJ Anderson's Unplug Week. It's basically a week to not blog, not FB, not Tweet, not Myspace or anything else that keeps you from writing. While you're welcome to check your email etc, as to not let things fall behind that may need your immediate attention, it's to help you focus a bit. Yay to BJ for this concept!

March's Unplug Week begins today, so with that in mind, peace out, all! Catch you next Monday.

And please try not to do anything too much fun without me, while I'm gone? (See, again, the dork in me not wanting to miss anything!)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Quote of the Week

"A man can succeed almost anything
for which he has unlimited enthusiasm."

Charles Schwab

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Coolacious Contests

So in case you've missed it, there are some awesome writers doing a bit of a combined coolio contest.

If you haven't already (as I realize I'm uber late to the game here!) head on over to check out Elana's blog to check out her Fantabulous Followers Contest where you could win awesome signed books!

And in relation to this contest is another being run over at Shooting Stars - Suzette & Bethany's blog where in their Fantabulous Followers Contest you can win a Submission/Critique with agent Suzie Townsend of FinePrint Lit! amongst other prizes!!

So, yeah. Like I said, if you haven't already, you better hurry. Contests end tomorrow!

Friday, March 12, 2010

'Fessing Up

... Home again, home again, jiggity-jig. I can't remember what nursery rhyme that's from, but yay! I'm home again after 4 days back east.

I know I've posted a whole bunch of Recent Reads in the last few weeks, but I have a confession: I have a book on my to-read pile that I'm scared to read. In fact, I'm sitting in my office, writing this blog post and the book is right there, looking back at me. Mocking me. No, not the cute Sarah Dessen cover ... I probably should've rearranged the books before I took this pic ...

Anyway - look at that skull on there. He's totally laughing at me.

You see, I'm a scaredy cat. I don't watch horror movies - well, not ones with ghosts in them. Or zombies, though surprisingly I was mostly okay with the Resident Evil series, but otherwise, yeah, ghosts freak the crap out of me. I mean, I have to sleep with the lights on, TV turned up to drown out creepy noises, kids in bed with me kind of freaked out.

I know.

I'm a wuss.

I've renewed the book twice already and still can't bring myself to read it. But I really want to. Good Lord, I'm lame.

So, uh, yeah. What scares the pants off of you?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Recent Reads: Secrets and Fate

Book: The Secret Year
Count: 9
Genre: YA Contemp
Colt and Julia have been seeing each other for a year and no one knows. Not their families, not their friends. And especially not Julia's boyfriend. But when Julia dies suddenly, her journal ends up in Colt's hands and he begins to learn who Julia really was. Unable to really mourn for her since their relationship was a secret, Colt relives their year together in the months following her death and before long he realizes he can't live his life through a notebook. Engaging. Compelling. Amazing. I started this book and completely lost myself in it. Go read it.

Book: Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti (May 2010)
Count: 10
Genre: YA Contemp
Lani and Erin are best friends. Jason is Erin's boyfriend, but from the day they meet, Lani knows she feels something for Jason. Something she shouldn't be feeling. It doesn't take long for Lani to know that Jason feels it too. When Erin leaves for summer camp - for 2 months! - Lani does all she can to keep her feelings inside, but when she suddenly has a chance to be with Jason, she's not sure what to do. Sometimes Fate's already decided what's going to happen, no matter the fall out. I really liked this book for one big reason: the entire story was more true to real life than I expected. There's not a simple answer to everything and resolutions don't always come easily.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Chocolate Stinks and Character Traits

A while back our big kidlet Phephe (she's 4), did a bunch of stuff and earned a prize. She picked chapstick. She'd always been really good with the chapstick ends I'd given her in the past and husband and I agreed she could go pick out some chapstick.

So we went to the store and this is what she picked out:

Yep, that's M & M flavored chapstick. No big deal. Weeks pass. She uses it sporadically, as most days she forgets she has it.

Then, before we leave for IKEA to pick up my new office stuff (pics to come - so excited to share), Husband walks through the house, sniffing. The entire house smells like chocolate. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but this is not that good, rich, chocolatey smell. This is the el-cheapo cocoa-buttery chocolate smell.

Then Husband walks into our bedroom and nearly gags. Phephe looks at me. And she looks guilty.After some hemming and hawing she fesses up to rubbing her chapstick on the heating vent. So every time the heat came on, the smell grew stronger.

Why am I rambling on forever about this, you ask? Well, Husband and I have been together for nearly 10 years - married for almost 7, and I just learned three days ago that he absolutely hates the smell of chocolate. I mean, seriously? How could I not know this? He likes chocolate chip cookies, and candy bars, but finds the permeating scent of the stuff to be repulsive.

That got me to thinking, do you really know your characters? And I don't mean what they look like and turn-ons and turn-offs? I mean in 10 years from now are you going to look back at one of your characters and realize - OMG, that is why he was gagging every time she baked chocolate cupcakes?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Recent Reads: Bikes, Beaches / Ghosts and Guilt

In case you haven't been able to tell, I've been reading. Like a maniac! It's awesome. I'm in that lull right now after just finishing what I think are some major revisions and then starting a new project. Plus, I've had the opportunity to read some ARCs and omg. There are some amazing books coming out this year!! That doesn't mean there were not fantastic books that have already come out though.

Book: Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
Count: 7
Genre: YA Contemp
Auden doesn't sleep at night. At least not since her parents split up, but she's adapted, focusing on not making waves and achieving academically. Now, the summer before she starts college is here and she's spending it in a tiny beach town with her father, his new wife and their new baby. Very quickly Auden ends up with a job at her stepmom's trendy boutique that introduces her to a world of girlyness she's never known. And then there's Eli, a former star on the bike circuit who can't seem to sleep at night either. A lot can happen between sunset and sunrise. Anything can happen. So, Sarah Dessen's totally one of my heroes. If you didn't already know, I'm a serious fan. This is another one of hers to add to my fave list.

Book: The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate
Count: 8
Genre: YA Contemp
Natalie Hargrove will be Palmetto Princess. She'll do anything to get the title and truly leave her wrong side of the tracks past behind her for good. But when a prank to secure the title goes horrifically wrong, the guilt starts to gnaw away at her. Ghosts from her pasts suddenly appear and now she has to decide if being royal is really worth all the regret. This is a far different story from Lauren Kate's Fallen. The way the summary was written made me think it was a paranormal. It's not. It was still a good book though.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Who to Run to

So sorry to all for my absence this past week. To roll up all the excuses together, there was lots of sickness, fussy kidlet-ness and catching up abound and I just had to say no to something. Unfortunately, blog-o-sphere was it. But yay! I'm back now.

I'm still working on catching up on all the blog posts I've missed during the week, so you may see some better-late-than-never comments from me :)

That's not what I wanted to talk about today, though. I've been listening to a bit of Lady Antebellum recently and as I started writing this post their song I Run To You came on and there's a line in there that goes "I run from prejudice, I run from pessimists" and I started thinking about how we, as writers, all face this.

There will be people who don't like the genre you write.
There will be people who don't believe you will get published.
There will be people who tell you you stink.
And there will be people who tell you you have no chance in hell of getting where you're trying to go.

So this is a shout out to all my awesome crit buddies, family and friends who've been there when I needed to run from prejudice and pessimists.

Thanks. You guys rock.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

It's Perfect

I don't normally pay much attention to the pre-Awards anything, but I happen to catch this off the Oscars Red Carpet thingy when I opened up the Yahoo window for just a second and I was like ... oh my ... it's perfect.

If only I had something fancy-schmancy to go to. I am in love with this dress. So much so, I thought it warranted it's own blog post.

Okay, back to revisions. Writing. Reading. Bathing kidlets... you know, real life.

Quote of the Week

"Hope and patience are two sovereign rememdies
for all, the surest reposals, the softest cushions
to lean on in adversity."

Robert Burton