Friday, May 29, 2015

Friday Loves: Veronica Mars and MY BOOK COVER!!!

This will be the last time I do VERONICA MARS for a Friday Loves post, I swear. I just finished the third season, plus the movie, and LOVE!!! Love love love. I really get it- the hype, the fandom, the absolute mystification on why this show was ever cancelled because it is genius.

Except... I truly think Veronica belongs with Piz, not Logan. As much as I love Logan, I think they have something a little toxic going on. Piz is perfect for her. Just my opinion.
TEAM PIZ!

My second love this week is... MY BOOK COVER!!! Yes, I officially have a cover for SWAY! EEEEK!

Yes, I will be revealing it soon. DOUBLE EEEEK!

And super yes, I LOVE IT!
What are you loving this week?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wednesday Writes: Comfort Zone Edition

Sooo, it's been another week without writing or revising. But I haven't been sitting on my rear. I finished beta-ing a great contemp YA. And... okay that's about it. I went away for a long weekend so that's my excuse.

PLUS, I did something else I'm super proud of. I TALKED ABOUT MY BOOK TO TOTAL STRANGERS. To most people that wouldn't be a big deal, but for me, it was totally stepping out of my comfort zone- something I'm going to have to get used to. We went away because the hubs had this work conference. It's after dinner and I'm surrounded by men my husband knows talking about sports. A few seats down is a group of women talking books. I have this conversation with myself:

Me:I should tell them about my book.
Me: No, I won't.
Me: I really should.
Me: But then I'll be interrupting them and that's totally rude.
Me: But how will I ever get readers if I won't put myself out there?

I did this for a bit while my palms got all sweaty and my heart pounded like crazy and finally, I got out of my chair and joined them. I'm sure I babbled a lot, and I totally botched my pitch (is it still called a pitch when you're just telling someone about the book?), but they were super nice ladies and I'm glad I did it. GO ME!
We even took a picture together.

For writing this week, I want to get back to a WIP I finished early in the year. It needs a lot of work, so I might as well get started!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Monday Reads: MORTAL HEART

It's still been slow reading for me, I'm not sure why. This past week I only read one book and that was MORTAL HEART by Robin LeFevers.


Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own.

She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind doesn't mean she has...


It took me a bit to get into this book. I've loved her other His Fair Assassin books, but this one started out a bit slow to me, probably because most of the beginning took place in the convent. But once it got going, I was in it. LaFevers always does an excellent mix of love and intrigue. Annith was a much different character than both Ismae and Sybella, a lot less tortured, but no less interesting. Definitely a great book, although not my favorite of the three.

What did you read this week?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday Loves: BAD BLOOD

I find that when I buy a new CD, it takes a few listens before I really love it. Like with Taylor Swift's 1989 album. On the first listen, I felt like her last albums were better. Listen two and three and I was developing some favorite songs, and by listen ten it's pretty much a given that I love the thing!


Funny enough, BAD BLOOD hasn't been a fave of mine. That is, until I saw the video. I love how T-Swift put her friends in it, how it's a bunch of butt-kicking chicks, and how she's taking a jab at the supposed feud with Katy Perry in a cheeky way. Even though I still prefer BLANK SPACE, STYLE, and SHAKE IT OFF over BAD BLOOD (and quite a few other tracks from the album), the video has definitely notched the song up a few points for me.

Do you ever do this? Like a song better, or maybe worse because of the music video?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Writer's Voice Entry: EPONINE

TITLE: EPONINE
GENRE: YA Urban Fantasy, 82k

QUERY:

Seventeen-year-old Eponine “Poni” Thorpe is a magic User with abusive parents, a bad reputation, and an even worse attitude. But she has Mark—her best friend and the only one who sees past all that to the good buried deep within, the good she doesn’t believe is there.
Poni has always had to look out for herself, so she has no problem Using her magic to steal a new pair of jeans or some makeup, anything to make herself look better than Mark’s new girlfriend. So when the leader of the Users is murdered, and a new, corrupt leader takes over, Poni’s first instinct is to save herself. But wannabe-hero Mark won’t listen to her—he’ll fight for what’s right like he always does, even if the fight is impossible.
If Poni runs, she’ll save her skin and finally be rid of her parents, but she’ll lose more than Mark’s friendship—he could get himself killed without her there to protect him. If she stays for the boy she secretly loves, she might lose her own life.
EPONINE, inspired by Victor Hugo’s LES MISERABLES, will appeal to fans of Holly Black’s WHITE CAT.
FIRST 250 WORDS:

I’m on my own in the dark, like I’ve always been. I reach out with my energy and the darkness begins to swirl until it coalesces into a ball of light. It’s dim, barely brighter than a candle, because that’s all the energy I have left. Or maybe that’s all the light I can ever produce.
I don’t accept that. I concentrate on the sphere. Search every spare corner of my body for whatever energy I can find. I pour myself into it. My fingers tingle like they’ve been asleep. The ball brightens, gets so big I have to hold it with two hands while my eyes burn. The power rushing through my body is a high no drug can ever give.
            “Whoa. That’s quite the orb you’ve got going on there, Thorpe.”
            The magic ball disappears, leaving me in the dark where I belong. My body goes cold. There’s a snap and the lights in the gym come on. I blink. Mark Parsons stands in the doorway, his arms braced on either side. My heart quickens automatically and I hate myself for it.
            “Thought you went home,” I say, standing. With a groan, I stretch my aching muscles.
            “I did, but then I realized I left my history textbook. I’ve gotta finish that paper on the Byzantine Empire.”
            Making a face, I grab my backpack from the corner of the gym and head towards Mark. My runners make no sound on the rubber floor. “Wanna write mine while you’re at it?”

Wednesday Writes... Or Something

So I haven't really been writing these past couple of weeks. First, I was researching marketing like crazy, trying to figure out my marketing plan and what will work best for me. Then it was All About That Website, ie: mine. I've pretty much got the thing built on a free-trial, but I still have to purchase the domain and do a few more things with it. Then, I started beta reading some chapters of a CP's new MG, and a different YA.

I also did my first ever "speaking engagement" at my local writer's group. They wanted to hear about my publishing journey so far. That was a lot of fun and also nerve-wracking- the group is small but I was still super nervous about it. It went well though, and it's made me excited for what's to come!
I really hope this is NOT what the writer's group was thinking while I spoke

I'd like to get back to my latest WIP soon. It's still in first draft form so it needs a lot of work, plus an added POV, but I probably won't start that until I've finished beta-ing.

What was your writing week like?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Monday Reads: ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES

It's past the middle of May and I've only read TWO books this month. WHAT IS THE DEAL? I have no clue. But the book I read this past week was EXCELLENT, so don't think my being slow means it was anything but.

I read ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES by Jennifer Niven. The voice! The characters! The quotes! The tears! The feels! This book had it all. I really can't put my finger on one thing I didn't like about it. It was the kind of book where the characters really come alive, the kind of book I haven't stopped thinking about since I finished reading. Put it on your TBR's if you haven't already.
What have you read lately? Any feels books?

Friday, May 15, 2015

Friday Loves: AVENGERS AGE OF ULTRON and George Ezra

There's been some criticism around MARVEL lately, and of the newest Avengers movie, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON.

I think MARVEL should listen to their audience when it comes to Black Widow. Maybe they're not sure about a movie YET, but at least get us some Black Widow merch. I can tell you, I'd be buying my daughters Black Widow t-shirts if there was some (and not the damsel-in-distress kind). And it's just ridiculous that the toy line has basically erased Black Widow from one of her scenes in the movie, changing the toy to a male character. (Don't know what I'm talking about? You can check out the article at The Daily Dot.)

I understand the risk involved in making a comic-book movie based on a female character, and one without superpowers at that (basically, a Black Widow movie would be similar to Agents of SHIELD, and we all know how not-great that's doing. FYI- I like that show). In the past, comic book fans have been predominately male. But LOOK HOW THAT'S CHANGING! This is coming from a girl who only read Archie and Garfield comics growing up and now I wouldn't miss a comic book based movie or TV show. 

Also, this is MARVEL we're talking about. Aside from how huge they are right now, don't tell me that someone over there in their genius-writers-think-tank can't come up with an awesome story revolving around Black Widow alone. Don't tell me that they can't make a movie that would generate millions of fans. Because I would scoff at you if you did.

Anyway, despite the controversy (oh, and let's not forget Jeremy Renner's and Chris Evans' awful remarks about Black Widow *cue disappointment*), DESPITE all this, I still loved AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON. The movie delivered, just like I thought it would. I'm no movie critic, but I was entertained from start to finish, and that's enough for me.

Annnnnd, on to something completely unrelated. I've found a new music love and his name is George Ezra. If you haven't heard his song Budapest, check it out below and have a great weekend!


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

INTRODUCING FABLED

I'm taking a break from my Wednesday Writes post this week (I haven't been writing anyway, I've been researching) to take part in the FABLED blog tour.

What is FABLED, you ask? Keep your panties on, I'll tell you...

Ever dreamed of a life that reads more like a book? Rowena did until she stumbled into a fairy tale that wasn't so friendly.

Rowena thinks the Grimm’s infamous podcasts are simply another teen fad until she finds herself trapped in a land of nightmarish storybook characters. She tries desperately to flee Mezzanine and return home, but Dresdem, Mezzanine’s wicked monarch, plans to use Rowena’s access to her world to bring dark magic and absolute rule into Georgia and beyond.

But when Rowena’s dear friend Madeline falls into Dresdem’s grasp, her battle with him becomes war, and all hopes of home are temporarily thwarted. With the help of an invisible hero, a beast, and an owl, she sets out to free Madeline from a deadening sleep. But Rowena must become her own hero when she finds herself bound by the kingdom’s darkest family. She must make the ultimate choice – align herself with her enemies or live on the run forever. 

I interviewed Vanessa about her book and here is what she had to say:
1. What is Fabled about in one or two lines?
Trapped in a world of dark magic, Rowena must learn how to become her own hero. Easier said than done.
2. Who is your MC? Why did you want to write her story?
I always say that I write whoever is the loudest, which was true with Rowena, but the idea of a typical southern girl stepping into an enchanted forest truly fascinated me. In the end though, I suppose we all write the stories we want to read.
3. Where does Fabled take place? What is your favorite specific setting in the book?
Mezzanine is the primary setting for Fabled. It’s bound by neither time nor death. My favorite specific setting is the maze in the royal garden. The endless depth, threat of being caught, and time running out only adds to its intrigue.
4. About your antagonist- what should we know? What about him/her/them would we run away from?
There’s more than one antagonist in the story, but the most loathed character, according to my readers is Dekel. He has an insatiable appetite for collecting beautiful things, including women. That’s not so unusual, but when he’s seemingly only fifteen, things start to get a little interesting.
5. Last, can you share a favorite line or moment from the story?
One of my favorite moments takes place early in the story when Rowena is thinking about her love for Dashielle, her boyfriend. “I was his moon, and I planned to orbit his planet forever.”
FABLED sounds awesome! You can find it on Amazon and on Goodreads.
Now, a little about the author:
 
Vanessa K. Eccles graduated Troy University with a degree in English. She currently serves as executive editor of Belle RĂªve Literary Journal and is founder of the book blog YA-NASisterhood. When she’s not writing or devouring books, she enjoys the lake life with her Prince Charming and their four dogs.

You can find her at her website and on Twitter.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Monday Reads: INVADED

Clearly it's been a slow reading week since I started INVADED by Melissa Landers a week ago and I'm still reading. I'm hoping to finish today because I have a pile of books from the library to read. It's not that I'm disliking the book- I get sucked in every time I pick it up. I've just been super busy this past week and reading has kinda fallen by the wayside.
So far, INVADED has been a good sequel, though like most *cough* all *cough* sequels for me, they never live up to the first. It could be because Aelyx and Cara aren't together this entire book (maybe they are by the end... we'll see) which takes some of the fun out of it. Also, I've seen certain things coming and I've been waiting for the characters to get there faster. But the storyline has hooked me, and Melissa Landers knows how to keep the reader interested.

Have you read ALIENATED and INVADED by Melissa Landers? What are your thoughts?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Friday Loves

First, I have to give a big lovey shout-out to my CPs who are awesome! My books wouldn't get anywhere without them, not to mention all the other things like taglines and queries and the little things you never realize you'll need an extra set of smart brains for.
*HUGS*

My second love is for Writer's Digest magazine and my local library that carries it. I have to get a marketing plan together for my publisher and the latest issue has a list of the best websites for writers and an issue from a couple of months ago is all about marketing. Hallelujah for that!
This would be me without WD

Love number three is completely off the writer path. MARVEL. I love you Marvel and all your amazing superheroes (but get on that Black Widow movie and merch, pretty pretty please!). We've been marathoning some Marvel movies lately to get ready for the new Avengers this weekend and it's been awe-some!

What do you love this week?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Wednesday Writes

It's month two of the YA Buccaneers Spring Writing Bootcamp and despite my slow start, I'm making good progress. I finished my on-paper revision last week and my goal is to have the notes transferred onto the computer (plus an extra couple of scenes I have to write) done by the end of this week. Then this manuscript is off to a CP! I'm already halfway through this second step so I think I'll nail my goal!

The SWB challenge this week is to share our best piece of writing advice. Mine is obvious, but still a gooder. Personally, I think it's the best piece of advice out there:

BUTT IN CHAIR.

That's all there is to it. You sit down, you will write. You commit to it, you will do it. If you sit, words will come. (That is if you manage not to get distracted by Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube...) But I fully believe that if you put your butt in that chair, you'll get something done.

What's your best piece of writing advice?

Monday, May 4, 2015

Monday Reads

I only read one book this past week and that was POINTE by Brandy Colbert. This book wasn't what I thought it would be. Probably because I got it based on the title/cover alone. I assumed it would be all about the ballet world, but it really has nothing to do with ballet at all.

Here's the blurb:

Theo is better now.

She's eating again, dating guys who are almost appropriate, and well on her way to becoming an elite ballet dancer. But when her oldest friend, Donovan, returns home after spending four long years with his kidnapper, Theo starts reliving memories about his abduction—and his abductor.

Donovan isn't talking about what happened, and even though Theo knows she didn't do anything wrong, telling the truth would put everything she's been living for at risk. But keeping quiet might be worse.


For the first hundred pages or so, I debated continuing on, not because the book wasn't good, but because I just wasn't in the mood for the subject matter. But I got sucked in eventually and I'm glad I finished. Just don't make my mistake and pick it up because you think it's a ballet story, because it so isn't.

Anyway, after reading a book about kidnapping and abuse, I decided to go for something different. I'm reading INVADED by Melissa Landers, the sequel to ALIENATED. So far so good!