Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Eclipse...have you witnessed it yet?

Last night I had the best movie experience of my life!!!!! Oh yes, even though I had to get up early, I had myself at the midnight release of Eclipse! Was it worth it! Heck yes! I was so excited I felt like a kid on Christmas morning. The best part? Little did I know when I pre-ordered my tickets online and opted for the VIP showing what it would entail...

No lines...No waiting...No rushing to find a seat. We strolled up to the lounge, found our reserved seats and waited for our food and drinks to be served. Of course I texted a picture of us to my sister who was back in Manhattan waiting in a line wrapped around the theater. (She loved that!)

And the movie was fantastic! I love reading a book and then getting to experience it on the big screen. So if you haven't gone to see it yet. What on earth are you waiting for?
Feel free to leave your thoughts...I love comments!

Well, I'm off for a much deserved nap. I promise to visit your blogs as soon as I'm done with my conference! I'm suffering from blogging withdrawals, but I am managing to get a lot of writing done!

Have a great day everyone!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. Anyone can participate in IMM and you are not limited to only sharing books that arrive via your mailbox. You can also share books that you've bought or books that you've gotten at the library. You can find more information on how to participate in the In My Mailbox meme by visiting The Story Siren.


This week in my mailbox:




A great start to my 2010 debut authors reading list! Now I just have to find the time to read them! Everyone enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

I will be away until Friday. I am being sent to a reading conference! Should be interesting, but working in the summer? Yuck! I will try to pop in and out to post, but may not have access to a computer. Boo!

Please don't abandon me while I'm away and I promise to visit your blogs when I return!

Have a great week!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

And The Winners Are...

Because she is so beautifully fabulous, Sarah has made her decision. Already! And it wasn't an easy one! There were so many fantastic pitches, I don't know how she was able to narrow it down.

So, without further deliberation...here are the winners:

First Place (Submit Full Manuscript)
Janet Johnson

The Other Prince
Before Prince Charming rescued Snow White; before he fought her evil step-mother in a knock-down, drag-out battle, he faced his biggest challenge to date: training his inept little brother, Prince Bob, to be like him. This is Bob's story.


Second Place(Submit Partial 3-Chapters)
Jaimie Lynn Teekell

We Who Are Gods
When Ares, God of War, regrets his life of senseless slaughter, he leaves Olympus to live as a single father in America. He’s happy passing as a human to his teenaged daughter and refuses to tell her the truth -- until the Olympians are after them.

Third Place (query critique)
Neil Ostroff

An alien invasion isn’t always preceded by world-wide military reaction and breaking news reports, sometimes a thirteen-year-old boy is the only one who knows. Tim Madison always thought he was ordinary, if not a little boring. When he wakes one morning to find the world frozen in time and all the colors mixed-up, he learns how special he is.

Congratulations to the winners! And a huge thank you to everyone that participated! You guys are the best. Winners e-mail me and I will give you instructions on how to submit to Sarah.
And a huge thank you to Sarah for making all of this possible!
Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Characters...The Good, The Bad and The Oh So Beautiful!

Some characters are so evil they compel us to hate them. Others are so enchanting that they haunt us long after the story is complete. Whatever scenario your characters paint, they are an essential component to the tales we so intricately weave.

The characters in my stories are the first necessary ingredient that I add. I've read countless phenomenal posts about character development and voice within dialogue and in order to keep those concepts straight in my head I jot down a rough paragraph about my character. Including a few key pieces:

1. Name-As you all know this part is not as easy as it sounds, but I can't write about a character until I find the perfect name.
2. Description-Hair color, eye color, I have to have that all straight in my head.
3. Special Powers (If any apply)
4. Personality description.

Time consuming? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely. Welcome to the madness of my methods. Call it a quirk...insanity...whatever. I can't explain it either. But for me it's like trying to sleep with dirty dishes in the sink. I can't function until it's done.

In my MS for Fatal Beauties Demonica is one out of three sisters, a central character but an essential one for the story. This is what I threw together for her before I started writing...

Demonica Ballentine


The eldest and most volatile of the sisters, Demonica has the power to manipulate the human heart and have them eating out of the palm of her hands effortlessly. Using her gifts as she sees fit, Demonica will stop at nothing in order to please herself. With her flaming red hair and fiery personality, Demonica is the ultimate devil in the flesh. Ever the alluring seductress, in the beginning Demonica is the sister you love to hate, but becomes more amiable toward the end without losing any of her passion.

If you read my entry into the "Bad Boy Blogfest," you were able to get a taste of what Demonica's antics produce. If you haven't read it you can see it here.


So now that I've shared mine...care to share yours? When plunging into a new manuscript, where do you start? Do you just dive right in? Or are there others out there like me that have little quirks that help them along? I'd love to hear them.

Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Contest Closed

The contest is now officially closed. I sincerely hope that everyone who intended to enter was able to make the deadline.

Thanks to all of you for participating. I am so overwhelmed with the response! And a tremendous thank you to Sarah for volunteering her time to judge and offer some invaluable advice in her interview.


All of your pitches were amazing! Sarah truly has a tough decision to make.

Good luck to all of you. Sarah should have the winners chosen by early next week and I will announce them here!
Have a great day!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Agent Pitch Contest


The pitch contest starts now!

We have the fabulous Sarah LaPolla with Curtis Brown LTD. ready to peruse your pitches and pick her favorites! So if you're ready to enter read on...

Here are the rules:

1. You must be a follower of my blog.

2. You must follow her blog Glass Cases too. (which is really just a bonus reference for you!)

3. You can only enter one pitch - be sure it is something she is looking for.
Your pitch can only be 1-3 sentences long. (not long run on sentences!) Leave your pitches in the comment section of this post. It's that simple!

Prizes:

1st place winner can submit the entire manuscript
2nd place winner can submit a partial (first 3 chapters)
3rd place winner will get a query critique

Any questions, please let me know! The contest will run until tomorrow night at midnight. Good luck to everyone!

And now the moment you've all been waiting for...Ms. Sarah LaPolla herself...




Thank you again Sarah for graciously agreeing to this interview here today and to judge this contest. What a great opportunity for everyone!
Tell us about yourself and how you got into agenting?


Thanks so much for having me. I recently became an associate agent with Curtis Brown, Ltd., but I guess you can say I first got into agenting while I was getting my MFA (creative nonfiction) a few years ago. I knew I wanted to work on the publishing side of writing, so I started interning with different agencies. I only had a vague idea of what an agent actually was at the time, but I ended up really liking that field. Then a friend told me about a job in the foreign rights department at Curtis Brown… and two years later here I am!

What do you feel sets you apart from other agents?

I don’t know if much sets me apart from other agents, to be honest. Like most agents, I got into this business because I love books and finding new writers. We all share the same passion, even if individual tastes in what we’re looking for vary.

When it comes to queries, what kinds of things are instant rejections?

I hate the phrase “instant rejection,” and I hate to admit that I do it. I usually try to give every query the same level of consideration, but sometimes it is clear writers are not doing their research. If I see a query for a screenplay or picture book or something else I definitely will not represent, then I instantly reject those. Or if the actual query letter is sent as an attachment or as a link, I just delete them with no response.

What are your top 3 books of all time? And why?

This is like choosing my three favorite children, by the way! (Well, if I had children.) I would have to go with The Catcher in the Rye (JD Salinger), The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky), and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (Michael Chabon). With Perks, it was just the first book I fell in love with. Like, really, really in love with. The Catcher in the Rye was just written in a way I hadn’t seen before. It was brilliant, as was Holden. And with Kavalier and Clay, I literally let out a breath in amazement once I finished. To me it’s like the perfect novel. There are so many layers and it transcends genre and style; Michael Chabon’s work in general is pretty awe-inspiring.

I just realized it looks like I have a thing for depressed or wayward youth. I guess I do, but I assure you I also like happy, well-adjusted characters too!

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us.

I don’t know how surprising this is, but few people know of my love of Broadway musicals. I have a secret desire to sing and like to pretend I can, but I sadly lack the talent.

What are you looking for and how can authors submit to you?

I’m looking for character-driven novels, mostly. The genres I’m most interested in are literary fiction, urban fantasy, magical realism, paranormal romance, and young adult, particularly older YA or crossover. I prefer email submissions (sl@cbltd.com) with the query pasted in the body of the email. Sending the first five pages of the manuscript is fine too, as long as they are also pasted in the email. No attachments.

From an agent’s perspective, what is the biggest mistake a writer (agented or unagented) can make?

I think it’s always a mistake when writers try to follow trends. If you sit down and say to yourself, “_______ is popular; I’ll write about that,” chances are it’s going to be bad. If you don’t write what you want to write, it’s not going to be your best work, and it’ll show.

Is there any other advice that you would give to aspiring authors at any stage of the process?

The main thing is to stay professional and not get discouraged when querying. Rejection is a part of writing, so it’s bound to happen some time. As long as you love what you do enough to keep going, you’re in good shape.

Thanks again Sarah for the awesome interview and great advice! Again, good luck to everyone and have a great day!

The Movie Dirty Dozen Blogfest

Alex Cavanaugh is hosting The Movie Dirty Dozen Blogfest over on his personal blog. This was just too much fun to pass up! Now I don't know what my taste in movies says about me, but I sure do love them! I had a hard time narrowing it down but I somehow managed. For more information and to check out all the other entries go here.




Here is my dirty dozen:

1. New Moon (Of course!)


2. Twilight



3. Harry Potter (All of them but if I listed them seperate that would pretty much be it!)


4. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy


5. Troy


6. Pirates of the Caribbean (Again I'm cheating I love all three! Are we seeing an Orlando Bloom trend here?)


7. Miss Congeniality


8. Remember Me


9. The Fast and The Furious


10. Titanic



11. Thirteen Going on Thirty


12. The Man in the Iron Mask




I know quite the mix right? Thanks Alex for hosting this blogfest!

Be sure to come back later for the agent pitch contest with Sarah LaPolla! I'm posting them seperate to avoid any confusion. (Mostly on my part!) Happy Monday everyone! I can say that until school starts up again. After that...there are no more happy Mondays!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bad Boy Blogfest

We all love them...and boy can they make for good writing. Tina Lynn at Sweet Niblets is hosting this fabulous Bad Boy Blogfest. Be sure to check out the other entries here.

My excerpt is taken from my completed MS Fatal Beauties.
Setup: Amber Ballentine is a creature not to be taken lightly, that is if you value your sanity. But Amber longs for a normal life hidden among the humans. Just as that picture perfect existence is within her grasp, Gabriel, a dark handsome acquaintance from her past appears threatening to ruin everything.


     Gabriel stood there drinking in every inch of me, severely, obtrusively, his velvety brown eyes piercing my very existence as he sidled closer, and closer, until he stood mere inches away. Centuries older than me, or even Lucias, Gabriel had honed his hunting technique to terrifying perfection.
     “Do you know how long I have been searching for you? Tracking you?” he whispered into my ear, his ice-cold breath chilling me to the bone.
     I took one small step away from him…one step closer to the door, to safety. “How did you find me?”
     He stepped forward, undoing my small fraction of progress. “I do not think I will divulge that information just yet. But I did warn you that there was no escape from me. Nowhere you can run, nowhere you can hide.” His lips curved toward the hint of a smile, which seemed more like a grimace. His eyes held not even a hint of love for me.
      No, love was not his motivation.
     Obsession was a much more accurate word for Gabriel’s sick fascination with me. Thanks to my sister, and her constant meddling, I had become the unwilling object of his affection for the last hundred years. I was a fool to think I had rid myself of him.
     “Gabriel what do you want?”
     He cocked his head to the side. “My dearest Ambrosia, all I want, all I have ever wanted, is what’s rightfully mine.”
     “I’m afraid to even ask what that might be,” I muttered.
     He took a strand of my long dark hair in his hand, inhaling deeply, never taking his eyes away from mine. “You already know the answer.”
     “We’ve been through this, whatever Demonica did to you…it’s not real, none of it. I’m not yours,” I whispered desperately.
     “Enough with this nonsense,” he growled, grasping me by the wrists. The moment his frigid touch reached my skin, pain bored through me. I cried out as he forced his memories into my mind.
     “No,” I choked, grasping at the madness running rampantly through my mind. His skin burned me like fresh ice. I struggled to get away, wanted to scream, but knew the end result would do me no good.
     He smiled diabolically. “You remember.”
     “I don’t love you,” I insisted.
     He rested his head against mine. “You will.”
     “No,” I whispered. “I won’t.”
     He sprung away from me, as if my words had scalded his immortal skin. I rubbed at my wrists, attempting to shed the pain.
     “You will love me,” he hissed, as I continued to shake my head. “Just wait, the fun’s only just begun.”
     “What are you up to?”
     “Not so fast.” Gabriel recovered from his momentary wariness, if he was still perturbed it didn’t show in the slightest as he pulled me close. “You have to know the rules to play the game my sweet, and the game you will soon find out has changed dramatically,” he whispered viciously.
     “What does that mean?” I asked not sure if I wanted the answer.
     He grasped me fiercely, kissing the top of my head. “All in good time…I would so hate to ruin the surprise.”
     I jerked away. “Just get out of here. Leave.”
      He smiled. “I will…for now.”
      Without another glance my way, he stepped into the night, leaving me alone in front of my building, feeling terrified and vulnerable. How the hell did he find me this time?


I'd love to hear your thoughts on this little snippet of my MS! Happy Fathers day everyone and don't forget to come back tomorrow for the agent pitch contest with Sarah LaPolla!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

ARC Contest Winner and Awesome Agent Pitch Contest Announcement!!!!!

Before I tell you all who the lucky winner is I have a very special announcement to make. Be sure to stop by Monday because the wonderfully fantastic Sarah LaPolla with Curtis Brown LTD. will be featured in a can't miss interview! And here's the very best part...she has also agreed to judge a query pitch contest. (How fabulous is that?) The contest starts Monday June 21st and will run through Tuesday June 22nd.

Here are the rules:(I know more rules! But I only have three!)

1. You must be a follower of my blog.

2. You must follow her blog Glass Cases too. (which is really just a bonus reference for you!)

3. You can only enter one pitch - be sure it is something she is looking for.
Your pitch can only be 1-3 sentences long. (not long run on sentences!) The pitches will be left in the comment section of my blog. It's that simple!

Prizes:

1st place winner can submit the entire manuscript
2nd place winner can submit a partial (first 3 chapters)
3rd place winner will get a query critique

So be sure to spread the word and polish those pitches until they are bright and shiny and come back Monday to join in the excitement! Good luck to everyone!

Now the lucky winner is...Jemi Fraser!!

Congrats on your awesome books! (I swear I didn't read the ARC, however tempted I may have been!) Send me an e-mail and give me your address and I'll send you your wonderful prize!

Thanks to everyone who entered! I loved reading your comments of books you are anxiously awaiting!

Have a great weekend everyone! See you all here bright and early Monday!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Finally Friday!

Just a few reminders today...


Don't forget to check out Elizabeth Mueller's awesome blogfest Breaking All The Rules. It is sure to be a great one for all the brave souls who entered. Alas, my first manuscript is tucked away safely never to be viewed by human eyes. Maybe someday...


Also today is the last day to enter the contest for the ARC Immortal Beloved, Bree Tanner and Pretty Little Liars. The winner will be announced tomorrow!


Be sure to stop by even if you didn't enter for a special announcement regarding an awesome agent contest that I will be holding with special guest Sarah LaPollo with Curtis Brown LTD. Trust me you don't want to miss this!


Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Penmanship Meme

So I was tagged by the fabulous Lindsay at Adventures in Writing to participate in this fun penmanship meme. Thanks Lindsay for giving me a much needed topic. I'm nearly finished with my current WIP and my brain is not functioning properly.


Here's what the meme consists of...

1. Name/Blog Name.
2. Right handed, left handed or both?
3. Favorite letters to write?
4. Least favorite letters to write?
5. Write: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
6. Write in caps:
CRAB
HUMOUR
KALEIDOSCOPE
PAJAMAS
GAZILLION
7. Favorite song lyrics?
8. Tag 7 people.
9. Any special note or drawing?

So here is my writing sample: Sorry about the not so good photo, my scanner was not cooperating.

Yes, my handwriting is ridiculous! And I'm a teacher! In case you can't read it the lovely people I tagged were Caitlin, Melissa, Janet, Jessie, Jamie, Clara and Jaydee. As for my special drawing I am not an artist, those are the special marks that my second graders get on their papers to let them know how awesome they are! I know you wish you were in my class right? Now you know why I teach primary.

Have a great day everybody!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My Very First Blogger Award!

What a great day this has been! The fabulous Jessie Harrell gave me a blog award. How great it that? It's my first ever and I am so excited. It makes me so happy that so many of you check out my blog each week. This has truly been an out of my comfort zone learning experience for me! So thanks to all of you for making it so wonderful!



Now, about that award... It's called the Versatile Blogger award and it comes with a few rules.

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason! (In no particular order...)
4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.



7 Things about myself...I'll try not to bore you...

1. When I'm not writing I teach second grade.

2. I have two kids a boy (12) and a girl (3)

3. I am addicted to Starbucks.

4. Starting a blog scared me to death!

5. I hate cheese! Especially sliced...gross!

6. I would love to travel but who has the time? Or money? ( Teachers salary remember.)

7. In addition to books, I have a slight addiction to shoes, purses, jewelry...you get the idea.


Now without further deliberation here are the fantastic bloggers that I have given this award...

1. Lisa and Laura at Lisa and Laura Write
2. Lindsay at Adventures in Writing
3. The Blue Lipstick Samurai
4. Elizabeth at her personal blog Elizabeth Mueller
5. Jaydee at her personal blog Jaydee Morgan
6. Caitlin at her personal blog Caitlin Darrell
7. Slushpile Slut
8. Candace at The Misadventures in Candyland
9. Lydia at The Word is my Oyster
10. Courtney at The Southern Princess
11. Melissa at Through the Looking Glass
12. Janet at her personal blog Janet Sumner Johnson
13. Amparo at No Rest For The Lazy
14. Clara at Pinches of Madness
15. Kris and Kels at Take My Hand


Thanks again Jessie and congrats to all of you for being so Fabulous!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Can't Miss New Contest!

Okay this is my first ever contest and I can't tell you how super excited I am. So I mentioned yesterday that I had an exciting week at the mailbox and the bookstore. Am I the only one that can lose complete track of time in those places? Please tell me I'm not the crazy insane person my family thinks I am.

So without further deliberation...here is the contest.

I have this ARC book that is just dying to be read so I thought who better to give it to than one of my fellow bloggers?


Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan doesn't release until September. But one lucky winner will receive this coveted ARC.


Goodreads Description...New name, new town, new life. Nastasya has done it too often to count. And there’s no end in sight. Nothing ever really ends... when you’re immortal. But this time is different: Nastasya knows that this new town must hold her salvation—or her death. Nastasya was born into darkness, and has embraced it her whole life. Four hundred years ago, a tragedy robbed her of her birthright, and she’s been living a lie ever since. Now, four centuries of exploring the depths and limits of dark power has left Nastasya feeling sickened unto death. If she continues down this road, she will end up as a very dark, twisted, evil thing—with unthinkable power. Or she can begin the long, painful road toward light, and reclaim the destiny that others tried to destroy. They’re rare. You may have never met one, never sat next to one on a plane, never eaten in the same restaurant at the same time. But the Immortals are there. Have always been there. Will always be there. Moving among humans, playing out their own cursed fate. Sometimes subtly, sometimes with huge, sweeping implications for mankind. But no one will ever know. Except you.

But that's not all! Since I loved, loved, loved Bree Tanner and heard that so many of you were dying to read it as well, I threw in a brand spankin new copy of this little gem too!
Oh! I'm not done yet! One last book...like I said good sale and I loved this one! The cover is oh so gorgeous!






You read right...one lucky reader gets it all, the ARC of Immortal Beloved, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner and the first installment of Pretty Little Liars!
So if you would like a chance to win this beautiful prize package here's what to do...

Earn points by:
Being a follower of The Siren's Song (required) +1
Commenting below with your most anticipated about-to-be-released book +1
Tweeting this contest +1
Blogging this contest +1


That it! Leave comments, links and tallies below. The contest will run through Friday June 18th at midnight when I will have some sort of sophisticated drawing. (Slips of paper in a hat perhaps?) Winners will be announced on Saturday June 19th. Good Luck!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. Anyone can participate in IMM and you are not limited to only sharing books that arrive via your mailbox. You can also share books that you've bought or books that you've gotten at the library. You can find more information on how to participate in the In My Mailbox meme by visting The Story Siren.


This week was a big week for the mailbox and trips to the bookstore.
For Starters...
Thank you Lindsay for your Awesome Contest! This cover is so Gorgeous! Can't wait to read it!

And next...darn that Sara Shepard! (Totally Joking!) But seriously, I started this series and she manages to keep you hooked at the end of each book so you have to keep reading. Hence the numerous trips to the bookstore for...

This one, which I finished...

And this one...finished this one as well. Oh yeah and this one...

And...

And last but not least...


There was one last book in my mailbox, a special ARC book for a special contest just for all of you...but you'll have to come back tomorrow to hear more about that! Everyone enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Next Top Title Blogfest

The Next Top Title Blogfest is sponsered by Slushpile Slut.
The rules are simple:
Post 3- 5 possible titles of your WIP
Do not give any background or loglines, this will allow the commenters to form a quick impression as to what that title evokes to them and choose a title they like best!

So here goes....
My entries for my current WIP are as follows:

1. Bitter Sweet
2. Furious
3. Shattered Destiny
4. Radiant Fury

Can't wait to hear what you think! I also can't wait to read the other entries!
Have a great weekend and be sure to visit Monday when I announce a couple of fantastic contests you won't want to miss!

Here are the other participants...join in on the fun by visiting Slushpile Slut here. Other wise have fun reading the other entries!

1. The Alliterative Allomorph

2. Tessas Blurb

3. Slushpile Slut

4. Justified Lunacy

5. Lilah Pierce

6. The Labotomy Of A Writer

7. Miss V Speaks

8. Its In The Book

9. Pinches Of Madness

10. Sangu Mandanna

11. Bridge Tonet

12. Susan Fields Writer

13. Jaded Love Junkie

14. Mary Mcdonald

15. Musings Of A Would-Be Writer

16. Drea Moore

17. Katie M. Stout

18. Elizabeth Mueller

19. SK Mayhew

20. Ashelynn Sanford

21. The Write Junkie

22. That Rebel With a Blog

23. Magic Nutshell

24. Dawns Rise

25. Melanie Sherman

26. Rashelle Workman

27. Kelsey Leigh

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tuesday Tip...Keep Your Chin Up

Lastnight and for a brief stint this morning I was making the rounds on the Query Tracker Forum. There are some awesome people over there! Anyway I read a few of the comments from members about finding an agent and how down and frustrated the whole process can make you. They're right. It downright sucks at times.

Now I don't pretend to have all of the answers, but here is my five cents worth of advice. (Trust me that's about all it's worth!) Keep your chin up. I can't explain how it works or when, but finding your dream agent is possible! I was just about ready to give up querying my book when out of nowhere I found mine. And it happened just like you dream. You send out a query and hear back quickly...with shaking fingers you press the send button whisking your manuscript off to what you hope will be the answer to your prayers. Dream agent replies with good news and before you know it your signed!

So don't give up! Keep writing. I had been told that I don't know how many times and I didn't believe it. But I was proven wrong.

Now let's get to the really good stuff! I apologize ahead of time for the long post, but I just had to share this! I found another contest and a challenge, so read on if you're interested.

The contest...

Laura Fitzgerald has started a new blog Ink:In All Forms. Awesome title! She is hosting a kickoff contest. The prize 12 YA novels! Yep you heard me right! 12! The prize pack contains a mix of both hardcovers and ARC's. There is something for everyone in this prize pack; from paranormal romance to contemporary to dystopian.

To enter here's what you do:

Visit her blog and +1 Answer one of the questions: "Who is your favorite author?" or "What is your post-apocalyptic society survival skill?" (Or both if you like. Points will only be awarded once.)
+1 Link to her contest from your blog (provide link)
+1 Link to her contest from your Twitter or Google Buzz (provide link)

That's all you do!

And last but not least...
The Challenge
Pretty Little Liars starts tonight! I am so excited for this series.
To celebrate, I am posting this fun challenge that I managed to stumble across On Trisha's Book Blog.

The Challenge... to read all of the Pretty Little Liars series. You can not count books that you have read prior to the start of this challenge. Sept. 24, 2009. Challenge closes Dec. 31, 2010. Here are the books:
*Pretty Little Liars
*Flawless
*Perfect
*Unbelievable
*Wicked
*Killer
*Heartless (Which will be out on January 19th,2010)
*Wanted (June, 8th, 2010)

-You must have some form of a blog. You must create a blog post with links back to this post to sign up for the challenge.
-eBooks and Audio Books count.
-You can join anytime. As long as you will have time to finish all of the books.
-After creating your blog post please sign up with the Mr Linky on Trisha's blog here. Please leave the link to the actual post of this challenge. Not a link to your main blog.
-Please refer to her post at anytime and link your reviews so others can read them.
PRIZES!!! For everyone who completes this challenge, they will be entered to win all of The Pretty Little Liars books. The whole series. How awesome is that?? Sign up!
And, the author, Sara Shepard, is sending Trisha the first 4 books in the series, signed. So there will be 2 winners. One will win the whole series, the other will one the first 4 books in the series!

Monday, June 7, 2010

So Many Contest...So Little Time!

First up is another phenomenal contest brought to you by the girls over at YA Highway.

YA Highway has just announced the fabulous books they will be giving away. Books that won't be available in the stores for weeks, months even! Oh yes, you don't want to miss this. They have assembled four unbelievable bundles.

Three with Young Adult books and one with Middle Grade.
Here's what they have up for grabs for FOUR happy readers:

1. MATCHED by Ally Condie and VIRALS by Kathy Reisch (spin-off of the BONES TV show) (YA)

2. BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS (sequel to Beautiful Creatures) by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia and THE SAGA OF LARTEN CREPSLEY by Darren Shan (YA)

3. FORGE - SIGNED! - by Laurie Halse Anderson and THE DUFF - SIGNED! - by Kody Keplinger (heck yeah we're giving another one of these hotties away!) (YA)

4. MURDER AFLOAT by Jane Lesley Conley and THE MAGNIFICENT 12: THE CALL by Michael Grant (MG)


Enter by visiting YA Highway and filling out the form on their blog.
Earn points by:
Being a follower of YA Highway (required) +1
Commenting with your most anticipated about-to-be-released book +1
Tweeting this contest +1Blogging this contest +1

Good Luck!!!



Next on the list of incredible contests is the Agent Pitch Contest that Shelli over at Market My Words is throwing featuring my fabulous agent Bree Ogden. Shelli has also posted an insightful interview with Bree as well.

Pitch Contest!Rules:
1) You can only enter one query so pick your best one.
2) You must be a follower of Shelli's blog to enter

3) Follow Bree's blog. Bonus! (FYI you can also follow Bree on Twitter)

4) Leave your query pitch in the comments. It can be no more than 3 sentences and one sentence pitches are fine! Sometimes they are more effective than 3 sentences.

5) You have until June 8th, Tues 9 PST/12 EST PM to enter. Shelli will go by the time stamps in the blog comments so check your clock!



Some Tips:
Go to her announcement for an example of a query pitch.
Nathan Bransford had a great posting on pitches.
Information on a one-sentence pitch

Prizes:
1st place winner can submit the entire manuscript
2nd place winner can submit a partial (first 3 chapters)
3rd place winner will get a query critique



Wow! You don't want to miss this one boys and girls! Good Luck!!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. Anyone can participate in IMM and you are not limited to only sharing books that arrive via your mailbox. You can also share books that you've bought or books that you've gotten at the library. You can find more information on how to participate in the In My Mailbox meme by visting The Story Siren.

This week in my mailbox is...

Can't wait for this T.V. series to start!!!!
You already knew I had this one, but I couldn't resist.

And last but certainly not least...one more to add to my already growing pile.
Have a great week everyone!


Stephanie Meyer New Release

Did I wake up super early to get this book? Of yes!

Have I finished reading it? You bet? I could not put the thing down!

Was it worth the wait? Absolutely!

In true Twilight form this book grabbed me from the word go. Reading Eclipse from Bella's point of view was an experience all of it's own. Hearing the other side of the Eclipse story from Bree's point of view was amazing. I loved being on the other side and witnessing what went on during the days leading up to the attack. Even though Bree is one of the blood thirsty newborn vampires, I found myself empathizing with her situation. ( I won't spoil the story.) Another perk I loved was an insert from Stephanie at the beginning explaining the process she went through in order to write this exquisite novella.

Now more than ever I can't wait for June 30th to roll around. Will I be one of the crazy individuals waiting in line to see the midnight showing? Oh yes! ( I already have my ticket!)

Don't judge now, I'm not always like this. Well maybe some of the time. Have a great rest of the weekend!
Renae

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Blogfest of Death!


Oh yes! You read correctly.

This is a Blogfest of Death
(mwahahahahahahaha)
Okay I sooo can't pull that off like our illustrious hostess!
In any event, here's what she's proposing to you...

The Task:
Kill someone.(a fictional someone, pretty please)

Sound easy? Good for you (by the way you're a little frightening) but we don't judge here.
Many writers, myself included have difficulty killing off their characters. At least I did until I started my most recent WIP. So this Blogfest was right up my alley.

So you need to ask yourself. Do I have some sort of monster, creature or villain in my story that just has to go at some point? Well here's your chance to show the world. Or at least your wonderful blogging community! Maybe one of your central characters that has worn out his/her welcome in the story. Go for it! I can't wait to see what everyone submits!

Tessa says and I quote..."Whatever you want to write about is ok, only someone has to die. Resurrections are acceptable, as are magic-induced returns to life, but I don't want to see any of what the French call 'le petit mort', because my dears, nobody dies there (and yes, I've given this a lot of thought). Be as funny or as serious as you like, make us laugh, make us cry, only please no scenes that are nothing but blood and gore. I'm looking for at least some story or character development, here!"

Ready to join? Here's what you do:

*You have to follow Tessa's Blog (feel free to follow mine as well! I love visitors!)

*Sign up on the link list by July 18th at the latest

*Advertise this blogfest on your blog with either the banner or the button she provides.

*Write your death scene- please keep it under 1000 words (no word police, just courtesy)


*Post it on the site you've linked to on July 18th


*Link back to Tessa's site so people can read the other entries, too.


*Read other people's posts and leave comments and HAVE FUN!!

The Prize:
She'll be choosing a winner from the entries in a suitably random way; said winner will receive a $ 10 Amazon.com voucher. Definite entry bonus if you advertise her 'fest!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

No Rest for the Wicked

So I basically grounded myself from blogging for nearly a full twenty-four hours and guess what? It worked! Of course the main reason behind my excuse was the fact that other members of my family needed the computer leaving me with no other alternative...however I managed to finish up the chapter I had been struggling with FOREVER!

I even wrote the next chapter putting me in at 50,000 words when it was all said and done. Of course I was up until about 1:00 in the morning but hey what can I say? I started writing and I just couldn't stop.

So, my question for all of you wonderful writers out there, when you get on a roll, do you stop? Keep going? Or do you have adorable little interruptions in your life throughout the day like mine that persuade you to stay up all ours of the night clicking away on the laptop?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Stop Whatever You Are Doing and Enter!!!

Know anyone who was able to go to BEA last week and score some drool worthy upcoming releases?
Books that you just can't wait to read?
Books that perhaps don't come out for what seems like an eternity?

Maybe this one...



or even this one....



or my personal favorite....


Oh yes it's true. Four books, two winners. One winner will receive BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl and MATCHED by Ally Condie, and another winner will receive THE DUFF by Kody Keplinger and MATCHED by Ally Condie. Michelle Hodkins is throwing a contest on her fabulous blog and is actually giving away these prized posssessions. Here's how you enter.

Comment on her post with your favorite first sentence- it doesn't have to be from your favorite book. It doesn't even have to be your favorite first sentence.
Remember to leave your name and your email address.
And for extra entries:
+1 New followers of her blog
+2 If you're already a follower of her blog
+1 New followers on Twitter
+2 If you're already a follower on Twitter
+1 Linking to her contest on your blog, twitter, etc. Include links. (up to 5)
+3 For posting about her contest on your blog. (Must be an actual post)
+2 Add Michelle to your blog roll
+3 for referring someone to the contest
+3 for being the person referred

Ready to enter? Visit Michelle's Blog HERE and Good Luck!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Help! I'm Drowning!

We all do it, spend hours pouring over blogs when there are things to be done. But I just can't help myself. There are so many fantastic blogs out there yet so little time.

So far today here is what I'm avoiding...

1. Cleaning my daughters toy room.
2. Walking
3. Organizing the closets
4. Grocery shopping
5. Bill Paying

I don't know about you, but it does not make for a very fun day. But I am a responsible adult so I will get to it (eventually). So the question I have for you, because I am absolutely horrible at this is...how do you juggle reading all the wonderful blogs out there along with everything else that we have going on?

I look forward to reading all of your pearls of wisdom!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Feeling Unproductive

Ever been here?

I made all of these wonderful plans for my summer break and now that it has arrived...well lets just say my motivation is lacking.

I sit in front of the computer screen and watch the cursor blink in a nonstop rhythm as I continually draw a complete blank. So I'm off for a walk to clear my head and hopefully come up with some sort of inspiration and better yet, a stellar blog for tomorrow!