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Showing posts from February, 2012

A Little Buzz-A-Thon for Christina Katz' WRITER'S WORKOUT

I'm so excited to be able to jump on board the unofficial Buzz-A-Thon for one of my favorite books - Christina Katz's latest, A WRITER'S WORKOUT.

Here's a little blurb about the book from Amazon:
The inspiration, stamina, and power to take charge of your writing life every day.Get the daily jolt of energy your writing life needs from The Writer?s Workout. Inside you'll find manageable, no-nonsense techniques for every aspect of your writing career from getting organized to connecting with your audience to building relationships.Veteran writing coach Christina Katz draws on her knowledge from more than a decade in the business to give you tips, exercises, and insider strategies to build your skills.Make your writing as strong and powerful as possible.Pitch and sell your work at every opportunity.Overcome rejection to come back better than ever.Promote your work and build an audience.Learn how to balance your creative life with your daily life.With The Writer's Wor…

Tip Tuesday: Talking Conflict with Karen Sandler

Today I am pleased to host a guest post by author Karen Sandler for this edition of Tip Tuesday. Karen Sandler is the author of TANKBORN, a young adult science fiction novel from Lee & Low's new imprint, Tu Books. She rides horses, enjoys chocolate & dances without tripping on her feet. Mostly.

Today, Karen is talking about conflict. Take it away, Karen: 

What do you mean, I need conflict?
I was trolling through my storehouse of articles I wrote in the past, looking for likely material for a blog post. This is partly out of sheer laziness (easier to rewrite something already written than write new), but also because there are some pretty decent musings on various writerly topics.
The most recent one I pulled out has to do with conflict. Creating genuine, difficult to resolve conflict between my characters used to be the bane of my existence. Okay, sometimes it still is. But it’s also something I enjoy doing because it’s part of characterization, which is my favorite part of wr…

What I've Learned So Far

As I reflect on my launch of DIES IRAE, and prepare for my launch of LACRIMOSA, several things have really come to light for me...
little lessons, if you will:

1. This really is THAT hard. Yep, writing is absolutely the hardest thing I have ever done – by far. And trust me, I have tackled some pretty difficult things in my lifetime. For me, it's hard because it's so very personal. I pour a piece of myself into everything I write. And then I give it to the world for scrutiny. Yep - it's hard. But guess what? I can do hard things. And this one is worth it. Most days.

2. It’s all just words. As an author, I often get too attached to my words, hung up on potential changes, married to certain ideas. This is just silly. These are words - just words. They can be changed, rearranged and even *gasp* deleted. I just need to remember that the changes do NOT mean that I have failed. Only that the work is not finished.

3. Be brave and forge your own path. Yea, this has been a big one for m…

Giveaway time - Young Adult Paranormal Activity Hop...


I am so excited for today's giveaway announcement! From today through 2/28, I am participating in the Young Adult Paranormal Activity giveaway hop sponsored by I Am A Reader Not A Writer. With over 100 blogs participating, there are literally TONS of books and bookish things being given away.

For this giveaway, I thought I'd give one lucky winner Two of my favorite paranormal reads released in the past few months -
CINDER (Not strictly Paranormal, but it fits...)


EVERNEATH (just finished it and LOVE it!)

Entering is easy. Just follow my blog in some way and leave a comment! Get up to two extra entries for spreading the word in some way - just let me know what you did. Easy Peasy!!! Contest ends 2/28 and is open to the US only.

Be sure to check out the rest of the hop:

A Bookanista Interview with TATTERED Author LK Gardner-Griffie

HAPPY THURSDAY everyone! Welcome to another edition of Bookanista Thursday. I am EXCITED to have  LK Gardner-Griffie with me today. But before I bring her interview, here's what the rest of the Bookanista's are up to:

Corrine Jackson announces Change Write Now: Round 2 signups are openCarolina Valdez Miller adores UNDER THE NEVER SKY - with giveawayJen Hayley has a passion for PARTIALSJessica Love shares some TIME BETWEEN US cover talkTracy Banghart jumps for CATCHING JORDANStasia Ward Kehoe contemplates middle grade seriesLiLa Roeckeris enthralled with THE NIGHT CIRCUSShelli Johannes-Wells visits with author Elle Strauss

And now, my special Bookanista interview with LK Gardner-Griffie. 

About the Book: Give me the blurb for the book in 140 characters or less:  Day in court—backstabbing friends—relationship triangles=life for Katie McCabe. Books go up in flames & Katie's world rains down in tatters.Do you have a fav character and why? I always have a hard time with picking…

WWO Wednesday and Finishing Edits

Happy Wednesday. I hope you guys have been accomplishing your goals of late. I have been on fire. I had a nice long weekend and used it to catch up on everything from the laundry, shopping (bought three pairs - THREE PAIRS - of epic new shoes), blogging, and cleaning through my email to my manuscript edits.

That's right, I said edits. I actually did it! I FINISHED EDITS on Lacrimosa.

JUST KIDDING!!! When I first planned this post, I really did expect to be finished with edits. But...NOT EVEN CLOSE! Seriously. I have been working, working, working...and yes, they are not quite finished. Close, but not yet.

But, they MUST be in by Friday in order to meet my publication deadlines.

And no, this is going so slowly because of anything big. No, it's just my own neuroses that keep getting in the way as I poured over each and every word, each and every scenes, each and every plot thread. And yes, the neuroses is definitely born from my need to turn out the best product possible. A nob…

And the TEN clues continue...

Welcome to the next stop in Gretchen McNeil's ingenious hop to celebrate the release of the cover for her latest creeptastic novel, TEN. By now, you've (hopefully) gathered the clues you need to be able to enter the giveaway for a signed and annotated copy of the unbound galley of TEN. Seriously! That is an EPIC prize. And knowing Gretchen as well as I  do, I bet the notes she's written on it are...well...FANTASTIC.

Before I give you my little clue, I want to give you my little tease of TEN. First, the synopsis:

And their doom comes swiftly.It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives – three days on HenryIsland at an exclusive house party. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their own reasons for wanting to be there, both of which involve Kamiak High’s most eligible bachelor, T.J. Fletcher. But what starts out as a fun-filled weekend turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.
Suddenly, people are dying and the teen…

A Special Monday Edition of Tip Tuesday with Krissi Dallas

Okay, yes, I know it is Monday, not Tuesday. But I have a special post all set for tomorrow so I thought I'd doing Tip Tuesday on Monday. LOL! 
Today I am joined by talented author and teacher, Krissi Dallas. She is the author of WINDCHASER and WINDFALL - the first two books in the young adult fantasy Phantom Island series that just released nationally in December. The third installment, WATERCROSSING, will be released in the Spring. Like her fictional heroine, Krissi is also a gray-eyed Aerodorian from Texas with a ridiculous fish phobia. (Not sure what a Aerodorian is? Read her books to find out!) Krissi teaches junior high Advanced English and Language Arts and enjoys hanging out with her husband, Sam, the teens at Fusion Student Ministries, and her two wicked Yorkies. Her life is currently overrun with teenagers and she likes it that way. For more info, check out her website at In the meantime, check out her fabulous post and POV and writing. Take it away K…

Random Acts of Kindness Giveaway Hop


I am so excited for today's giveaway announcement! From today through 2/21, I am participating in the Random Acts of Kindness giveaway hop sponsored by I Am A Reader Not A Writer. With over 150 blogs participating, there are literally TONS of books and bookish things being given away.

For this giveaway, I thought I'd give one lucky winner ONE copy of a YA title of their choice. Yep, YOUR CHOICE. And, in sticking with the theme, I will donate the SAME title to the library of the winner's choice too. WOO HOO!!! Oh, and of course, I will also be adding a copy of my newest release, DIES IRAE to the winner's prize too. Such fun! LOVE doing giveaway!

Entering is easy. Just follow my blog in some way and leave a comment! Easy Peasy!!! Contest ends 2/21 and is open to the US only.

For more giveaway fun, check out the other blogs participating in the hop: 
Way to have some fun...Yes???

Bookanista Booyah for The Secret of Spruce Knoll

HAPPY THURSDAY everyone! Welcome to another edition of Bookanista Thursday. I am EXCITED for today's review of THE SECRET OF SPRUCE KNOLL. But before I bring my review, check out what the other Bookanistas are up to:

Christine Fonseca surrenders to THE SECRET OF SPRUCE KNOLL Corrine Jackson delights in CHOPSTICKS Stasia Ward Kehoe presents a Stunning Seconds interview with A MILLION SUNS author Beth Revis Jen Hayley gives a shout-out to the classics Debra Driza celebrates CINDER – with giveaway! Katy Upperman raves over JELLICOE ROAD Hilary Wagner is all about LEXAPROS AND CONS – with giveaway Carolina Valdez Miller talks about the tremendous cover of TEN Jessica Love has high ratings for THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT

On to my Bookanista shout out for THE SECRET OF SPRUCE KNOLL by Heather McCorkle

Release Date: 8/3/2011

Basic Blurb: (from Amazon)

It's hard enough being a teenager under normal circumstances; imagine being orphaned, sent to live with an unfamiliar aunt-a…

WWO Wednesday: Jumping into Edits

Happy Wednesday. I hope you guys have been accomplishing your goals of late. Me, not so much. I seemed to have hit a wall last week, and have been slow to recover. Fortunately, I got my final edits back on LACRIMOSA and they are not that bad (whew!). So, my focus this week is edits. Nothing but edits. My publisher is including the first chapter as a special preview in a digital book being published next week, so I have to get the polished up chapter to them ASAP.
Good thing edits are probably my favorite part of the process. I've been through this particular manuscript so often, I could likely quote every line/ every page. But that is how it is by this point. My goal is to have this turned in my the weekend in order to make the tight turn around we have on the novel.

Then it is time to draft. My hardest thing. I always go through a sort of mini panic attack when I need to begin a new project. It's silly, really. But something about the blank page -- the uncharted waters-- alw…

A Valentine's Kiss

Happy Valentine's Day everyone. I thought that I'd share a little snippet of my writing today, something I haven't done in a while. Since it is Valentine's day, a kissing scene seemed in order. So here you go, a little smooching from DIES IRAE:

Our lips touch for a brief moment. She pulls back and the distance is unbearable. I lean in, wrapping my arms around her waist. I brush my lips against her cheek, her jaw. Releasing a small moan, she gives into me. Our lips meet and we are at once lost to a moment that should never be.
Time ceases to have meaning. Our kiss explodes into a million pieces, our lives irrevocably changed. A heart beat passes, and another, before the kiss ends.
Demi pulls away, slowly opening her eyes. There is no joy, no passion, no peace in her expression.
Only pain.
Regret. ~ Pg   39, DIES IRAE
There you go, a little romance for today. What are some of your FAVORITE smooching/romance scenes?
And don't forget to check out my tour stops today. Click…

Exciting News on the Nonfiction Front...

Yesterday I promised some exciting news this week. And today, I will be sharing some...

But first, I want to let you know about this week - the last week - on the tour:

Michelle from Book Briefs gave her review of DIES IRAE late yesterdayNisa Swineford is featuring an interview with me all weekDanyelle Leafty is interviewing me and Kathleen Doyle is hosting a guest post from me about love in YA books on 2/14Elana Johnson and I share a crazy convo over on her blog on 2/15Kristen Yard conducts on last interview on 2/16And Ali Cross and I end the tour with a crazy character video between Mikayel and BECOME's Desi. Yea, crazy! I hope you've enjoyed the tour overall. Be sure to check the left sidebar for any remaining giveaways this week.

I am just starting to prepare for LACRIMOSA's tour - and trust me, I have some MASSIVE fun planned. If you want to be part of the mayheim, click here and complete the form.

Okay - time for the news:

Prufrock Press is publishing my third nonfict…

Serenity Sunday

Happy Sunday. I hope your weekend is going well. I decided to step away for a day yesterday, and was fabulous. I stayed in my PJs pretty much all day. ALL DAY! Just what I needed.

The tour is still going strong. Friday, Laura Diamond shared her review of DIES IRAE. Saturday, I stopped by her blog and shared my opinion about writing novellas vs writing novels. And today, Book Blogger Michelle from Book Briefs hosts a stop, with a review and a guest post.

The tour finishes up this week with crazy stops at Elana Johnson's blog, Ali Cross's blog and many others.

In addition to the tour stops, I have some exciting blog posts including not one...BUT TWO special announcements (Monday and Friday), some "love" for Valentine's day and other things! I hope to see you all week!

Oh! And today is my day to post on the Downtown YA blog. My topic - getting into your characters. Stop by and say hi!

Fabulous Friday!

Happy FRIDAY!!! I don't know about you, but this has been a CRAZY week. Here are my tour stops for today (and there are many!):
C. Michelle Jefferies is hosting a guest post about book promotion.Katrina Lantz is hosting a guest post wherein I talk about the elements of Gothic and Thriller genres.Matthew MacNish hosts a guest post about my transition from nonfiction to fiction. I hope to see you guys on the tour. There are still various giveaways, as well as reviews popping up. It is a fun/interesting/exciting ride!

Since we are talking about tours, I've decided to do something WILD AND CRAZY....and EXCITING for the tour for LACRIMOSA. If you think you may want to:
a) participate in the tour, or
b) review the book
click on this link and complete the form.

As soon as the tour for DIES IRAE finishes next week, I will be sending info regarding e-arcs, the tour, the crazy fun, etc...


In the meantime, what plans do you have this weekend? Me, I am hopefully writing.


Bookanista Love for A MILLION SUNS

HAPPY THURSDAY everyone! Welcome to another edition of Bookanista Thursday. I am EXCITED to talk about Beth Revis' A MILLION SUNS today. But before I bring her interview, it's also Day 9 of my blog tour, and I will be hanging out with Bonnie Harris today. 
Check it out. And also, check out what the other Bookanistas are up to:

Christine Fonseca  takes a shine to A MILLION SUNS Carolina Valdez Miller falls for FRACTURE Jen Hayley surrenders to THE NIGHT SHE DISAPPEARED Stasia Ward Kehoe is dazzled by DARK COMPANION Nikki Katz wonders at THE FAULT IN OUR STARS Debra Driza is overwhelmed by UNDER THE NEVER SKY Jessica Love gives a trophy to BEAUTY QUEENS Shelli Johannes-Wells takes you on a tour of The Reading Room Tracy Banghart has double-love for THE SILVER PHOENIX and FURY OF THE PHOENIX Hilary Wagner is in the grips of THE GATHERING STORM

On to my Bookanista Shout out for A MILLION SUNS by Beth Revis

Release Date: 1/10/2012

Basic Blurb: (from Amazon)
Godspeed was fueled by lies. Now it is …

Wild Wednesday

Happy Weds. I can not believe Dies Irae has been out for a week. HOLY COW!!! Surreal.

Today I am hanging out with the FABULOUS Stina Lindenblatt talking about using setting in your stories. WOOT!

Tonight I am presenting a webinar related to giftedness for UCI - very exciting. And yes, I have some VERY EXCITING news to share...soon. Hopefully really soon!

In the meantime, I really need to get writing. Like...this weekend....

What have you guys been up to?

Truthfully Tuesday

Happy Tuesday. It's been a while since I did a Truthful Tuesday post, and after a few things yesterday, I thought it fitting. But before I get to that, here is the scoop on my spots for the blog tour -
Melanie McCullough hosts my top five random things about meAngela Brown hosts a guest post about writing what you know. And, congrats to NATALIE AGUIRRE - she one a copy of my ebook. WOOT!

Okay, now, my truth... Yesterday I got a horrible review. And yes, it sort of hurt. I know, I know - we aren't supposed to talk about these things. We aren't supposed to read our reviews - aren't supposed to "care".

But yea, I am always wondering WHY NOT? I don't mean we should bash ANYONE for being HONEST in their feelings about our books - we should welcome it. But, to not admit that it hurts to get a lukewarm review, or that a little part of us dies for a moment when we read a crushing review....
well, that's just silly. Of course it hurts. A lot.
But, it's the…

Monday Musings - To Unplug or Not to Unplug (and a little giveaway)

Welcome to the end of the first full week of the blog tour for DIES IRAE. Before I get into today's post about unplugging, I wanted to tell you where I'm stopping today -

Supagurl Books hosts my top five movies (and gives a review of DIES IRAE)Rebecca Enzor hosts a guest post about the inspiration behind DIES IRAE.
Now, back to my Monday musings -
Way back on January 1, I made a decision to take the first full week of every month OFF of blogging. I had been dealing with a lot of angst brought on by just too much to do - transitioning to a new job, writing the series, more sekrit projects I can not yet announce, family obligations, etc, etc. So, one week a month I would take off, get caught up on writing and just veg. Of course, this grand plan was BEFORE my release date moved up for DIES IRAE. Now, I am not sure what to do - how to take off the week and still promote the tour.

After staying offline for most of the weekend, I came to a decision to just post links about the tour…

Super Bowl Sunday, and the Tour...

Happy Superbowl Sunday. I hope today finds you all having fun with family and friends - and maybe even watching the game. I know I am! But, I am also on tour at the following stops:
Eric Stallsworth is hosting a guest post about my feelings about writing a series - Especially one I never planned.BE Sanderson is hosting a guest post about my thoughts on STRESS and writing. Okay, really it is about coming face-to-face with quitting and making the choice to keep at it.  I hope to see you around the blogosphere today. Later this week promises some fun posts and updates. I had originally planned on taking the week off in order to stick with my New Year's resolution of taking off one week a month. But with the tour and all, I am still doing a couple of posts!

Anyway, have a great one today. And, BTW - who are YOU rooting for?
Happy Sat. I hope to see you along the tour today! Here are my stops for today:

Artist Nata Romeo is hosting an interview and hopefully sharing her thoughts about DIES IRAESimon C Larter is sharing another interview with some more fabu questions.

In the meantime, what plans do you have this weekend? Me, I am working. Remember how I mentioned the new job. Yea, well I am still quasi working two jobs as I transition. So the workload is endless. I will, however, be spending some quality time with the family and cooking for a Superbowl party!

Teen Talk Friday - Author Events

Since I am in the middle of my Blog Tour for DIES IRAE, I thought we would talk with the teens about author events. But before I get to that, here are my stops for today:

Gretchen McNeil with one of my fav interviews (she asked some fun questions)Jen Merrill with my thoughts about writing for GT (gifted) teens.
Now, back to Teen Talk Friday - I go to a lot of events - book signings, author chats, launch parties. And most of the time they are attended by a ton of writerly peeps and a few teens. Given that most of these events are for my YA author friends, I am also wondering how to get more teens to come to the events.

So, I decided to ask my teen group what kinds of things THEY like to attend, and what will make them more likely to attend.

Here are some of the things they had to say:

"I love going to book signings, but most of the time they are during the week and I am swamped with school and work.""I like signings with multiple authors at book stores or places where I c…

A Bookanista Interview with Denise Grover Swank

HAPPY THURSDAY everyone! Welcome to another edition of Bookanista Thursday. I am EXCITED to have Denise Grover Swank with me today. But before I bring her interview, it's also Day 2 of my blog tour, and I will be in three fabulously places today - 

Nicole Zoltack hosts a guest post about the courage to create (and my personal creative philosophy)LK Gardner-Griffie hosts a guest post about embracing the shadow in your writingand Bookanista Stasia Ward Kehoe is hosting a fabulous interview.Check it out. And also, check out what the other Bookanistas are up to:

Christine Fonseca  interviews author Denise Grover Swank Jessi Kirby and Jen Hayley are wowed by WANDERLOVE Corrine Jackson is mesmerized by MAY B. Stasia Ward Kehoe interviews DIES IRAE author Christine Fonseca Debra Driza is entranced by HEMLOCK Katy Upperman delves into THE DISENCHANTMENTS Nikki Katz  celebrates CINDER Tracy Banghart  marvels at JULIET IMMORTAL Jessica Love spotlights SHINE

Gennifer Albin spreads some love for the tra…