I’m here but I’m not back


Hey peeps!!!  I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed checking in with all of you! These past two weeks have been crazy,  I’m in Ft. Myers/Cape Coral, FL area to help a friend move and it’s been hectic.  Painting rooms, packing boxes, running errands…just nuts.  I did have several great things happen though since I’ve been here.  The first, I met my blogger buddy, Jamie Ayres, author of 18 Things.  What a wonderful time that was.  We hit up the Barnes and Noble, had a cup of joe and talked for a long time.  That was a week ago Saturday.  This past Sunday, Jan. 27, I met up with Jamie again at the Barnes and Noble to meet up with the following YA authors as part of the Sunshine Book Tour

J.A. Souders Renegade

Heather Burch – Guardian

Karen Amanda Hooper Tangled Tides and Grasping at Eternity

Jenny Torres SanchezThe Downside of Being Charlie

Lucienne DiverVamp series

Danielle JosephShrinking Violet, Indigo Blues, Pure Red

Christina Diaz GonzalezA Thunderous Whisper

Trish DollerSomething Like Normal

Here’s a picture I took of the lovely ladies

sunshine book tour Jan 27 2013

 

I loved meeting all these fabulous authors, I bought a couple of books and plan on reading all of the new releases by these authors.  They will be coming to the B & N in my neck of the woods (Clearwater, FL) on March 3 so if you’re in the area, make sure you put it on your calendar and stop by and say hi.

Okay, blogger buddies.  I have to go.  We’re about to go to dinner and then I’m going to crawl into bed. This moving stuff is very tiring.  I will be back to my normal blogging schedule Monday, Feb. 4.  To all of you watching the Superbowl on Sunday, may your favorite team win.  I don’t have a fave.  I think I”m watching this one for the commercials.

Love all you guys.  Keep sweet.  For those in the path of this nasty weather, stay safe and warm.  I’ll keep you all in my prayers.

Talk to you soon.  Love from warm, sunny Florida.

Jenny

 

P.S.:

Just finished Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi.  FANTASTIC!!  Review coming soon.


Because I love CRUX, I love the author, and I want the world to know about both.

Julie Antonovich Reece

Wow!

Wait … breathe …

You all have been so wonderfully supportive, I have to share this with you!!!

Okay, so I get home from work, open my laptop and read an email sent from my editor at J Taylor Publishing.

‘We want to let you know that Crux was selected as our book to submit to the Independent Book Publisher (IPPY) Award for 2013. It’s heading out into the mail now, to represent our company and you and the book itself as a whole for the national award.’

I’m pretty sure my chin dropped in one of those unattractive, slack jawed moves where you’re thankful no one was watching. Yeah.

Then the smiling started.

Now you may be asking yourself, what the heck is an IPPY? It’s okay, I asked that, too. I have no pride about being a newbe. We’ll learn together.

The “IPPY” Awards were conceived as a broad-based…

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The Next Big Thing – Part Deux


Ruth Ellen Parlour tagged me for the Next Big Thing.  I participated in this back in October when two authors – Julie and Kathils – tagged me, but I thought I’d do it again except talk about a new piece I’m working on.

What is the working title of your book? Actually, I’m going to talk about a new short story I’m working on:  Megastorm.

Where did the idea come from for the book?  J. Taylor Publishing put out a call for short story submissions in December 2012.  The stories they want  for their December 2013 anthology have to be in the Young Adult genre and based on the following prompt:

What if tomorrow didn’t happen?

What if today never ended?
What if you were 18, about to start your life and everything you’d ever hoped to be, to do, to experience …
could never be yours?
If you sat in a chair, that’s where you’d be …
If you were driving down the road, that’s where you’d be …
If you were in surgery
or jumping off a cliff
or flying …
that’s where you’d be … forever.
Unless …

In this YA anthology, give us the twist, surprise us with the most amazing answer to restart time.

Tell us what happens as you feel the stop, as you feel the shift, as you realize, you know how to make everything go back to normal.

What would that normal be?

What would you do …

if you had the power to restart the world?

What genre does your book fall under?  YA Urban Fantasy

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? An acrophobic teen must overcome her fear of heights after the roller coaster she’s on stops at the top of a three hundred foot drop, and everyone around her is frozen in time.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?  I don’t have a clue.  I haven’t really thought about it.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?  If J. Taylor accepts it, it will be represented by the publisher.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? I’ve been working on this for a couple of weeks.  I should have a finished draft soon.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Hmm, I don’t know.  I haven’t read anything quite like this.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Amber Wade is shy and quiet. She also has a huge crush on Dean McCall, captain of the swim team, but then again, so do all the other girls at Newbury High.  Never in a million years did she think Dean noticed her, much less ask her to ride the thrill coaster, Megastorm, on grad night at Granberry Park.  Despite her extreme fear of heights, Amber climbs aboard the front row of the 310 foot coaster with her crush.  What happens next is more terrifying than anything her mind imagined.

And now, for my nominations, in no particular order:

Wanton Creation

Teegan Purrington

Rebecca Bradley

Jackie Amsden

M.L. Swift


Third Sunday Blog Carnival

Welcome to the Third Sunday Blog Carnival! The new year is still pristine, so  let’s get on with it and sully it up!

Before we start the blog carnival proper, here’s an update about the proposed Reader’s Choice special issue scheduled for February 28. Well, let’s just say that the response has been quite underwhelming. Very few people have contacted me with nominations. Aren’t there any posts from 2012 that stand out in your mind?

If you need to refresh your memory, browse through the 2012 archives, then let me know which ones are your favorites. Here’s how:

1) Email me at thirdsundaybc@gmail.com
2) Leave a comment below
3) Send me a message on Twitter (either an @ mention or a direct message)
4) Post a comment at the Third Sunday Blog Carnival Facebook page

Be sure to mention the name of the poster, the name of the…

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Taking some time


Hi everyone!

I’m taking off today to Ft. Myers to help out a friend for two weeks.  I’m also hoping to meet my lovely blog buddy, Jamie Ayres, author of 18 Things, who also lives in the area.  By the way, don’t forget to put 18 Things on your TBR list.  Do it  now, okay.  It comes out January 24 and you’re going to want to own a copy.

I will have limited access to my computer because I’m helping my friend move and we’re going to be super duper busy, but I’ll check in when I can.  I’m going to miss talking to you guys every day but I won’t be gone forever.  Keep the light on for me.  Keep sweet and do everything I wouldn’t do!!!  🙂

Until we meet again…

Most Anticipated 2013 YA Novels


Okay, folks.  Here are my top YA novel picks releasing in January and February of 2013.  Each month after I will post a list  of my top picks coming out the following month (if there are any).  My goal is to read all of these books on my list, but we’ll see as I’m still chipping away at my 2012 list.

January

Splintered  1/1  The Cadet of Tildor  1/10 Shadowlands 1/8

Shades of Earth (Across the Universe, #3) 1/15 Boundless (Unearthly, #3) 1/22 Asunder (Newsoul, #2) 1/29

Prodigy (Legend, #2)1/29  18 Things 1/24

   

February

 

 

Breaking Point (Article 5, #2) 2/2   Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2)  2/5   Perfect Scoundrels (Heist Society, #3) 2/5

The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3) 2/12 Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3) 2/12Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2) 2/15

 

What are your 18 Things?


In celebration of the January 24 release of 18 THINGS by my dear blogger buddy, Jamie Ayres, I’m participating in her What are your 18 Things blog tour where we have to write down 1 – 18 things on our bucket list. There are all kinds of goodies and giveaways involved, so I hope you pop over to participate.

What are some fun, heart-pumping, poignant, or inspirational things I want to do?

  • Get a publishing contract for my Chronicles of Fallhollow trilogy
  • See New England in the Fall
  • Visit the Grand Canyon
  • Travel to Italy, Scotland and Ireland.  Then travel the rest of the world.
  • Buy a beautiful beach house and a beautiful mountain cabin.
  • Surround myself with friends and family in my beach house and mountain cabin.
  • Meet all my blog buddies
  • Find the utmost peace and contentment within myself.
  • Be genuinely happy.
  • Make tons of money so I can donate substantial amounts of it to charities and organizations that mean a lot to me.
  • Visit Seattle to see my daughter and grand-daughter.
  • <See all the plays/movies my other daughter designed costumes for.
  • <To be the best mom, grandma, and friend  I can be.
  • Do whatever I can to help my kids succeed and be happy in life.
  • Hire a maid.
  • Go on a cruise.

There are tons more, but I’m going to stop here.  What are your 18 THINGS?  Hop on over to Jamie’s blog and check out what other blog hoppers have on their bucket lists.

hibiscus 2 Aug 2012

Want to know more about 18 Things?  Keep reading.

Can eighteen things save a life?

Olga Gay Worontzoff thinks her biggest problems are an awful name (after her grandmothers of course) and not attending prom with Conner, her best friend and secret crush since kindergarten.

Then Conner is killed in a freak boating accident and Olga feels responsible. When she downs an entire bottle of pills to deal with the emotional pain, her parents force her into counseling. There, her therapist writes a prescription in the form of a life list titled 18 Things. Eighteen quests to complete the year of her eighteenth birthday.

All she has to do is fire-walk, try out for the cheerleading squad, break a world record, and err . . . go on her first date. Good thing Nate, a new hottie in town, enters her life with perfect timing. He brings the fun factor to her list and helps her discover the beauty and strength inside herself, then complicates things by falling in love with her.

Just as she’s finally embracing the joys of living life for the moment, her therapist reveals a terrifying secret and Olga’s world is shaken. In the past year it took eighteen remarkable things to change a life, but nothing she believed about her mission is true.

Now she doesn’t just risk losing her true soul-mate forever, she risks losing her very soul.

jamie ayres

About Jamie:  Jamie Ayres writes young adult paranormal love stories by night and teaches very young adults as a public school teacher by day. When not at home on her laptop or at school, she can often be found at a local book store grabbing random children and reading to them. So far, she has not been arrested for this. She lives in southwest Florida with her prince charming, two children (sometimes three based on how Mr. Ayres is acting), and a basset hound. She spent her youthful summers in Grand Haven, Michigan and this setting provided the inspiration for her debut novel, 18 Things. She really does have grandmothers named Olga and Gay but unlike her heroine, she’s thankfully not named after either one of them. She loves lazy pajama days, the first page of a good book, stupid funny movies, and sharing stories with fantastic people like you.

Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger – A Review


Keeper of the Lost Cities (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #1)

Title: Keeper of the Lost Cities

Author: Shannon Messenger

Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade/Young Adult

Publisher: Aladdin

Publication date: October 2012

Hardcover: 496 pages

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Twelve-year-old Sophie Foster has a secret. She’s a Telepath—someone who hears the thoughts of everyone around her. It’s a talent she’s never known how to explain.  

Everything changes the day she meets Fitz, a mysterious boy who appears out of nowhere and also reads minds. She discovers there’s a place she does belong, and that staying with her family will place her in grave danger. In the blink of an eye, Sophie is forced to leave behind everything and start a new life in a place that is vastly different from anything she has ever known.

Sophie has new rules to learn and new skills to master, and not everyone is thrilled that she has come “home.” There are secrets buried deep in Sophie’s memory—secrets about who she really is and why she was hidden among humans—that other people desperately want. Would even kill for.

In this page-turning debut, Shannon Messenger creates a riveting story where one girl must figure out why she is the key to her brand-new world, before the wrong person finds the answer first.

Stand alone or series: Book 1 in a planned series

How did I get this book: local library

Why did I read this book: I’ve been following Shannon’s blog for a long time and was really excited to travel on her journey from finding an agent to the publication of Keeper.  I was thrilled when I saw it in my local library so I took it home and read it.

REVIEW

Overall, I liked the novel.  I thought the premise was good and younger middle graders I think will appreciate it for what it is.

Pros:

Sophie is a unique character in that she was raised for the first 12 years of her life as a human only to find out she’s really an elf.  As the story unravels, the reader discovers more behind the cover-up and about the mysterious Black Swan organization that may be to blame for all her problems.  She is likable and it’s easy to understand her problems and why she reacts the way she does.   I think the 9- 11-year-old group will find the story easy enough to follow along and will find Sophie someone they can relate to.

There were some very interesting creatures and concepts from feathered dinosaur pets to catching elements like lightning and tornadoes in bottles, and using elderberries to transmute iron.  I thought the settings were quite magical, from the capital city of Eternalia (the human’s Shangri-la) to Everglen, to Atlantis.

The characters are all memorable and well-developed.  There were times Messenger had me guessing about a couple of the characters, wondering if they were on the good side or the bad.  I giggled and smiled a lot, even laughed out loud a couple of times.   I adore her friend, Dex.  I think Fitz is hot and if I was 12 years old, I’d have a crush on him, too.  Elwin is amazing and I will be interested to see if Fitz’s friend, Keefe, will have a bigger role.  I like him a lot too, and there is an intriguing backstory with him as well that I would like to see discovered.   I am quite suspicious of several characters and I will be interested to see who the real ones are that Sophie can trust.

There was a fair amount of action and Sophie gets herself into a decent amount of trouble without asking for it.  There is a heartbreaking moment between Sophie and her elf guardians that may bring a tear or two a young reader’s eye.  Of course, Sophie finds a way to overcome her issues, but not without some difficulties.  Again, I think the problems and solutions are suitable for the younger age group in the middle grade age span.

Cons:

There ware many similar elements of Harry Potter.  Sophie attends a school for ‘special elves’ of ability.  She excels in most of her classes except alchemy (Harry’s, of course, was potions).  There is a Councillor who doesn’t like Sophie (Harry had Umbridge, among others).  And, like Harry, Sophie is The One to save the world.  There were other glaring similarities but I don’t think younger middle grade readers will be upset by them.

Personally, I didn’t like Sophie’s new family, and I thought more needed to be explained and revealed as far as they were concerned.  They seemed not quite polished enough, like something was missing.  I wanted more interaction between Sophie and Edaline, more angst.  The issues there seemed to resolve themselves too easily. The ending happened too fast, too conveniently, and yet, I was happy to see the issue resolve the way it did.

One of my biggest peeves in the story is Sophie’s age.  She’s 12-years old for most of the novel, yet I kept thinking she was much older.  She has pretty much full reign to go where she pleases in her new world without her guardian’s permission.  She’s super pretty, super talented and has three hot guys pursuing her.  There are passages that don’t sound like something a 12-year old would think.  There were times I had to stop and think, ‘How old is this girl supposed to be?’  I even had to go back and make sure years didn’t go by at any point.  She seems much older than 12…more like sixteen with Dex and Fitz around 17 or 18.

I was a little disappointed in the plot line as I’m not sure what it is.  There are a lot of questions that never got resolved except for the heartbreaking issue surrounding her guardians.  I’m sure most questions will be answered in the follow up novel, but I’m still confused as to what the actual plot was in this one.  If it was to find out who set the fires in her hometown of San Diego and what happened to her parents…well, that wasn’t revealed.    If it was about Sophie attending her first months in elf school…we might have a winner there.  If it was about Sophie finding out who she is and what she needs to do to save the world…nah, not there, either, though it was eluded to in the novel.  By the end of the  novel, Sophie is still in the dark as to who she is and what her purpose is…and so are we.  Don’t get me wrong.  The story was enjoyable.  It’s enchanting and a delightful read.  There are twists and turns; I’m just not sure what the overall plot was.

The book is a bit long, 488 pages in hardback, but I don’t think its length will deter young readers, especially those who still have their parents read aloud to them at bedtime.

With all that said, I still enjoyed the book and would recommend it to others. I did giggle and smile a lot, and I really enjoyed going on the journey with Sophie as she discovers more about herself, her life and the multiple realities of the worlds.  I’m  definitely looking for the sequel, Exile, which is due to release later this year.  I give Keeper a solid 4 stars.

Interview with 17-Year Old Author Kaitlyn Deann


I love stumbling upon teens who are out there writing and getting their novels published.   One such lovely lady is Kaitlyn Deann.  Kaitlyn is the author of THE WITCHES SLEEP, the story of a young girl trying to find herself in the afterlife after she was shot and killed.

Thanks for being here, Kaitlyn.  Let’s get started.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your novel.

My name is Kaitlyn Deann. I’m 17, a senior in high school and I’m homeschooled! My debut novel, The Witches’ Sleep, was released July 25, 2012. The Witches’ Sleep is about a girl who is shot and wakes up in a new world as a different person, where she has to learn to adapt to a culture that encourages slavery.

Wow.  What  a premise!  Where do you get your ideas?

Everywhere. Almost anything can inspire me! For The Witches’ Sleep, I had watched the movie Inception, and from there I built a whole book, taking small ideas from other little things and squishing them all together, molding them until it was what I wanted.

Do you ever experience writer’s block?

Not often. Other writers seem to have this problem a lot worse than I do. Then again, I have a few tricks up my sleeves! I like to use the method (I can’t think of the name of it right now) where you go to bed with a sentence halfway done, cutting it off. The next day when you see the sentence hanging like that, your brain will be all like, “I HAVE TO FINISH THIS!” And your brain will brainstorm how to finish it without you even realizing what just happened. Boom. Writer’s block cured, and your mind is blown.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I’m definitely a plotter. This also helps me steer away from getting writer’s block because I know exactly where I want the story to go and how I want it to get there.

How did you come up with the title for your novel?

It was one of those obvious titles. Like, it’s catchy and the basis for the whole trilogy. I guess you could call it a no-brainer. Easy.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

Haha, well, I’ll start from my childhood years. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom was a huge influence in my life as a child. When I started reading young adult novels, the Twilight Saga really solidified my love for reading. As for authors that have influenced me, I would have to say Chad Eastham was and is the biggest influence. He’s not a fiction writer; he writes non-fiction books for Christian girls about relationships. He’s really helped me with my outlook on relationships that’ll last me the rest of my life.

What project are you working on now?

I’m working on the sequel to The Witches’ Sleep. The title is World of the Beasts. A release date has not yet been determined.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

The toughest criticism given to me would have to be opinions that are so opposite, I don’t really know what to do about it. Some don’t like the main character while others loved her. Some didn’t like her boyfriend, and yet others ask me if I based him on a real person because they really want to meet a guy like him. Some say there were too many pretty dresses and others say the clothing dazzled them. Some say there was too much “lovey-dovey” stuff and yet many have told me there wasn’t enough. I guess these are tough for me because I don’t know how to handle it most of the time.

The best compliment I’ve received would have to be the tear-jerker line, “Best book I’ve ever read.” It still amazes me to this day that more than a couple of people have said this about my book. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and I thank God for moments like these.

What do you do when you are not writing?

Hang out with friends, play the piano, daydream, be all girly by doing my hair and makeup, tidy the house, think about twenty different impossible things a day and mess around on Facebook and Twitter. Oh, and schoolwork. Ick.

Now for the Fun questions

Have you ever gone out in public with your shirt on backwards, or your slippers on, and when realizing it, just said screw it?

Um, I wore a dress once and I’d forgotten to shave my legs. It was awful.

Do you prefer fuzzy or tub socks?

“Or” is my answer!

Do you make your bed in the morning?

Every morning, yes. My family jokes that I’m a little OCD when it comes to tidiness and things being “squared away”.

Be honest, how often do you wash your hair?

Every day, or every other day.

Do you go out of your way to kill bugs? Are there any that make you screech and hide?

Yes, I go out of my way to kill almost any bug, especially spiders and anything that looks like it might hate me and want to suck the life out of me. I don’t hide from bugs but I will screech if it’s on me and I can’t find it or get it off or know where it is for sure, you know?! (This made me squirm just thinking about it!)

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Never give up! It’s hard, but in the end you’ll be proud of your accomplishment and you’ll be able to say, “Hey, I wrote a good book!” But to write a good book, you need to become a good writer, and that doesn’t happen overnight. I suggest studying the art of writing. Buy books and software programs to help you develop your story, your characters and your scenes. Don’t be afraid to learn. Life is all about learning. Always be learning, always be growing in your knowledge, but not just of writing. Learn new things too. Learn all you can.

Great advice!  Thank you Kaitlyn for being here today.  I really enjoyed having you on my blog.

For all of you out there, here’s a bit about the book:

the witches sleeppppBack cover blurb:  At only seventeen, Ella Barnes is shot and killed for an unknown reason. She is shocked when she wakes up in a different world, a world of witches. Ella has to learn to adapt to a new body, new life and new world, surrounded by new people. As Ella gets to know Raena, the world of the witches and its people, she realizes they aren’t the perfect creatures they believe themselves to be, and she’s not the type of person to stand around and twiddle her thumbs. Will Ella succeed in changing the mindset of the people? Or will she be doomed to die another cold and tragic death because of her rebellion?

Picture0075Bio:  KAITLYN DEANN is a seventeen-year-old homeschooled student. She’s an avid reader and writer. As a writer she wants to be able to keep a reader turning the pages late into the night and give them something to think about long after they finish the last page. She loves her friends, family and God. Laughing is her favorite calorie burner. She lives in Texas with her family. To know more, visit www.authorkaitlyndeann.wordpress.com.

The Witches Sleep is available at the following locations:

Seven-Sentence Monday


Jocelyn Adams, author of the Lila Gray series (among other fantastic tales), tagged me on Facebook for a seven-sentence reveal.  As a lot of you don’t have Facebook accounts, I thought it would be fun to post the same thing here and then I’ll tag all of you do the same.

What do you have to do to play along?  Go to either page 7 or 77 of your manuscript. Count down 7 lines, then copy the next 7 lines to your status.

Here’s an excerpt from my short story, Summerfirth.

“I love you, too.” I dabbed my eyes as Perdita slipped from the room. My best friend, my sister in every way but name, was gone. I would never see her again, not as long as she remained in Master Gowdry’s employ. I swallowed back the sickness rising in my throat. In less than an hour I would marry a man I did not love, a man whose lot in life was to kill the man I did. Never had I felt more alone, more afraid, more like thrusting a dagger in my heart.

So, what are your seven?  Tell us here or on your own blog.  Make sure you link back here so we can all read your snippet.

Happy Monday!