Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What's In A Name?

If you're anything like me, naming your characters is like naming one of your own children. So any old name simply will not do...

Before I can even start a new manuscript, I have to have my main characters named along with the bulk of my central characters. Of course there are always those characters that pop up throughout the story, but for the most part my names are set in stone.

How do I know the name I select will fit? It's hard to explain, it's just a gut feeling I get. I write up extensive character pages during the pre-stages of a ms and refer to these when selecting my names.

Where do I find these names? To begin with, I have a list of names that I've compiled from my day to day interactions with television, books and other people. when I see one I like, I add it to the list for future use. If I can't find a name from the list, then I refer to one of the many websites dedicated to names. It's actually pretty fun because unlike when I named my kiddos, I don't have to have anyone else's input!

Here are a couple of site's that have been helpful to me:
Name Berry

Now these are just a couple I have used. I don't have to tell you that there are tons of lists out there for you to access. But whatever resource I use, the names simply have to be perfect before I can begin getting acquainted with my new characters.

So what about you? What methods so you use to match up new characters with the perfect name?

Monday, November 29, 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 visiting The Story Siren.

This week in my mailbox...

The Luxe Box Set (Luxe #1-3) by Anna Godbersen

Goodreads Description:
Beautiful sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan's social scene. But when the girls discover their status among New York City's elite is far from secure, suddenly everyone—from the backstabbing socialite Penelope Hayes, to the debonair bachelor Henry Schoonmaker, to the spiteful maid Lina Broud—threatens Elizabeth's and Diana's golden future.

The first three delicious novels in the Luxe series introduce a world of luxury and deception, where nothing is more dangerous than a scandal or more precious than a secret. . . .

Splendor (Luxe #4) by Anna Godbersen

Goodreads Description:
New beginnings.

Shocking revelations.

Unexpected endings.

A spring turns into summer, Elizabeth relishes her new role as a young wife, while her sister, Diana, searches for adventure abroad. But when a surprising clue about their father's death comes to light, the Holland girls wonder at what cost a life of splendor comes.

Carolina Broad, society's newest darling, fans a flame from her past, oblivious to how it might burn her future. Penelope Schoonmaker is finally Manhattan royalty—but when a real prince visits the city, she covets a title that comes with a crown. Her husband, Henry, bravely went to war, only to discover that his father's rule extends well beyond New York's shores and that fighting for love may prove a losing battle.

In the dramatic conclusion to the bestselling Luxe series, New York's most dazzling socialites chase dreams, cling to promises, and tempt fate. As society watches what will become of the city's oldest families and newest fortunes, one question remains: Will its stars fade away or will they shine ever brighter?

Of course this adds even more books to my already enormous TBR pile, but I just couldn't resist. Did anyone else add any new books to their pile over the vacation?I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm Thankful For...

*Two-day work weeks! Yes, today is the last day before Thanksgiving Break! At 3:35 today cheers will be heard throughout the halls of my school. (The students might be a little excited as well.)

*Friends and family. I'm so excited to get to spend some time with my family this week!

*My adorable kiddos...My son is thirteen and my daughter is 4. There is never a dull moment at my house. Not ever! They keep me on my toes and I couldn't love anything more!

*An awesome blogging community. I can't believe how terrified I was to start a blog. Now I don't know what I would do without the incredible support I receive from all of you!

*Harry Potter! Oh yeah! I said it! My son and I are going to see it today after school. (My second time, his first.) I went with a rowdy bunch on Friday so he had to wait.

*Black Friday...need I say more?

*Amazing food. It's even more fabulous when I don't have to cook it!

So do any of you have any special plans? Other than stuffing yourself to misery?

If you want a clue what I'll be doing on Friday morning...or maybe just need a reason to smile, check out my favorite little shopper below!

I won't be posting the rest of the week due to my full house...but I will be stalking your blogs when I can sneak away with my laptop.
Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 22, 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 visiting The Story Siren.

This week in my mailbox...

Night Star (The Immortals #5) by Alyson Noel

After fighting for centuries to be together, Ever and Damen’s future hinges on one final showdown that will leave readers gasping for breath. Don’t miss this explosive new installment of the #1 bestselling series that’s enchanted millions across the world!

Haven still blames Ever for the death of her boyfriend Roman, no matter how hard Ever’s tried to convince her it was an accident. Now she’s determined to take Ever down…and destroy Damen and Jude along the way. Her first step is to tear Ever and Damen apart—and she has just the ammunition to do it.

Hidden in one of Ever’s past lives is a terrible secret about Damen—a secret that illuminates new facts about her relationship with Jude, but that’s so dark and brutal it might be enough to drive her and Damen apart once and for all. As Ever faces her greatest fears about the guy she wants to spend eternity with, she’s thrust into a deadly clash with Haven that could destroy them all.

Now it’ll take everything she’s got—and bring out powers she never knew she had—to face down her most formidable enemy. But in order to win, she must first ask herself: is her own survival worth dooming Haven to an eternity of darkness in the Shadowland? And will learning the truth about Damen’s past hold the key to their future?

Not a very busy week for my mailbox, but I have been dying to read this last installment. So what did you add to your reading pile? I'd love to hear about it. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Today Is The Day!

It's finally Friday! I can't believe I actually made it through this mind numbingly slow week...but I did. I feel like a little kid on Christmas morning.

So the plan is dinner followed by our stint in the line for the big show. But. I still have to make it through an entire day of work. I can do it. Maybe.

So what about all of you? Any big plans?

If you're like me and are being forced against your will to wait just a little longer, here are some awesome photos to ease your suffering.

Okay, now I'm even more excited...Be sure to visit my partners in crime for one final dose...
Jen, Melissa, Lisa, Colene and Laurel

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Time For The Good Guys...

It's know the drill by now! Visit my comrades:
Jen, Melissa, Lisa, Colene and Laurel

We've all come to the realization that we need both light and dark in the world...I even posted my top five villains in this series. Now it's time for the good guys to take their turn.

Once again I narrowed the list down to my top five. This was even harder than the villains! Harry was an obvious choice, but he received an entire post yesterday.

So here they are:

Nymphadora Lupin (Tonks):
Auror extraordinaire, studied under Mad-Eye-Moody and a Metamorphmagus...what's not to love?

Sirius Black:
An unexpected bright spot in Harry's life. Like Harry's parents, Sirius was taken from him far too soon.

Albus Dumbledore:
The ever brilliant headmaster will always be one of my favorite characters of all time. Losing him was one of the biggest shocks of the series.

Ronald Weasley:
How can you not love Ron? He's awkward while being absolutely hilarious. Need I say more?

Hermione Granger:
Yes she may be muggle born, but fans could care less. This little witch is the best in her year.

One more day everyone...see you tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Harry Through The Years...

"I had an idea for a boy who had magical powers but didn't really know what he was."
J.K. Rowling

My the creations that can stem from one simple idea…

When we first met Harry, he was known only as the boy from the cupboard who lost his parents. One couldn't help but feel sorry for the plain little human that had been forced to endure years of torment at the hands of his relatives the Dursleys.

Then Harry turned eleven and everything changed. He was then known as “The Boy Who Lived” and was thrust into a world of magic and intrigue. Harry couldn't help but fall in love with the world that his own parents fought so hard to save.

Over the years Harry has met his fair share of obstacles. Now he faces his biggest challenge yet. Armed with the knowledge that he is “The Chosen One,” Harry must destroy Voldemort in order to save this life he’s grown so fond of. But what sets Harry apart from other hero’s for me is the fact that he would do what needs to be done to protect those he loves. No matter what.

My how far he’s come since that first ride on The Hogwart’s Express…

For more Harry Potter Madness be sure to stop by and see...
Jen, Melissa, Lisa, Colene and Laurel

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Potter Mania Continues...The Villians

There cannot be light without the cannot have good without the balance of evil. And oh, how I love the evil that oozes out of my favorite Harry Potter villains. So many love to hate characters made it almost impossible to choose my favorites. Almost. But, I managed to narrow it down to my top five. Though in the end some turned out to be good in their own right, they earned their status with past deeds.

So without further deliberation I give you my top five villains:

#5 Draco Malfoy
From the moment they arrive at Hogwarts and Harry turns down his friendship, Draco becomes a bane in Harry's existence. Eager to please his father, Draco is vile and cruel to all muggles and anyone associated with them. The apple didn't fall far from this tree my friends.

#4 Lucias Malfoy
Rich, powerful and utterly full of himself, Lucias Malfoy is any dark lord's dream come true. Why? Because he will do anything to stay close to those in power and step on anyone who gets in his way.

#3 Bellatrix Lestrange
Proud member of the noble house of Black, Bellatrix has a heart to match her family name. Devoted to Voldemort through and through, Bellatrix kills her own family member Sirius Black when he comes to Harry's aide.

#2 Severus Snape
From the moment of his arrival at Hogwarts, Snape has been a thorn in Harry Potter's side. Whether it be ten point from Gryffindor or Occlumency lessons, Snape never passes up the chance to torment The Boy Who Lived.

#1 Voldemort
Can you possibly be surprised? Since Harry was just a baby, this dark lord has been vying to kill him. Voldemort has single handedly raised an army wiping out those Harry loves with the flick of a wand. Yes, Voldemort is my number one villain.

That's it for today...I'll see you tomorrow!
Don't forget my partners in crime for your daily dose of Potter:
Jen@ Unedited
Melissa@ Through The Looking Glass
Lisa@ Read. Write. Repeat
Colene@ The Journey
Laurel@ Laurel's Leaves

Friday, November 12, 2010

On My Wishlist

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City. It's where you can list all the books you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click here.

This week on my wishlist...

Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6) by Richelle Mead

Goodreads Description:
Murder. Love. Jealousy. And the ultimate sacrifice. Now, with Rose on trial for her life and Lissa first in line for the Royal Throne, nothing will ever be the same between them.

Intrinsical by Lani Woodland

Goodreads Description:
Sixteen-year-old Yara Silva has always known that ghosts walk alongside the living. Her grandma, like the other females in her family, is a Waker, someone who can see and communicate with ghosts. Yara grew up watching her grandmother taunted and scorned for this unusual ability and doesn't want that to be her future. She has been dreading the day when she too would see ghosts, and is relieved that the usually dominant Waker gene seems to have skipped her, letting her live a normal teenage life. However, all that changes for Yara on her first day at her elite boarding school when she discovers the gene was only lying dormant. She witnesses a dark mist attack Brent, a handsome fellow student, and rushes to his rescue. Her act of heroism draws the mist's attention, and the dark spirit begins stalking her. Yara finds herself entrenched in a sixty-year-old curse that haunts the school, threatening not only her life, but the lives of her closest friends as well. Yara soon realizes that the past she was trying to put behind her isn't going to go quietly.

That's it for today, I can't tell you how happy I am that it's Friday. Things are already calming down...I was up super late and finished the bulk of my revisions. Now I can concentrate on my new WIP and this enormous TBR pile.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Misery Loves Company

I'm suffering from I don't know what in the world to write today...not in the sense that I've developed writer's block. Thank goodness that hasn't happened! I just for the life of me could not focus on one single blog topic. I think the problem is I have so much going on in my head right now that I can't keep it all straight.

Here's what I'm dealing with...

I'm editing and revising back and forth between two separate manuscripts. But I just received some awesome feedback from my fabulous beta Lindsay with some great ideas that I just have to incorporate in one of them.

I'm outlining a second installment for Radiant Fury. (gasp!) I know I'm changing my ways. Outlines are new for me, but I had so many ideas for this book that I had to get them organized. Please don't hold it against me!

I also have a growing pile of books to read glaring at me every time I walk past my dresser. Those are not going anywhere anytime soon.

In addition to all of this, a brand spanking shiny new idea has just sparked and has begun running rampant through my head. Dialogue has begun and continues even when I arrive at work. This causes sidelong glances from my colleagues when they ask me a question and I just stare at them. But I'm not complaining . I figure it's better than the alternative. I'd rather be overrun with ideas and work than have my drive and creativity completely dry up.

How is this a problem? It's not really, but in one day alone here are a couple of the blunders I executed that caused those around me to question my sanity:

I ran off copies at the office and left them in the workroom. Just waltzed right back to my room without them. (Another teacher had to bring them to me.)

Had someone else ask me for something that was right in front of my face and I told her I had no idea what she was talking about.

Oh yes and my personal favorite, I couldn't find my favorite pen for the longest time, swore my kids were messing with me only to discover that it was stuck in my ponytail when I got home. This of course was after I had run errands all over town.

Yep it's a good thing my head is firmly attached or I would lose that too. So my plans for the weekend are very simple...I'm finishing revisions and concentrating on one thing at a time. I'll let you know how that works out for me!

How do all of you lovely people keep it together? Am I the only maniac running around like a crazy person? Feel free to lay it all on the line in your comment. I so love company in my crazy corner of the blogoshpere!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Instant Inspiration

One of my favorite things to do is listen to music. I would be absolutely lost without my MP3 player. I keep it with me all the time and whenever I have a free minute at work, in go the headphones and I enjoy a few stolen moments of peace.

That being said...anytime I feel like I've hit a wall with my writing I turn to my trusty little playlists that I build specifically for whatever manuscript I happen to be working on at the time.

Now it's no secret that I absolutely drool over The Vampire Diaries. I live for Thursday night in order to get my fix for the week. So of course when the new soundtrack for the hit series was released I of course had to have it. Even if you're not a fan of the show you should really check it out. Here's the list of songs included on the album:

1. Stefan’s Theme - Michael Suby
2. Running Up That Hill - Placebo
3. Currency of Love - Silversun Pickups
4. Hammock - Howls
5. Sleep Alone (909s in the DarkTimes Mix) - Bat for Lashes
6. Bloodstream (Vampire Diaries Remix) - Stateless
7. We Radiate - Goldfrapp
8. Obsession - Sky Ferreira
9. Head Over Heels - Digital Daggers
10. Down - Jason Walker
11. Beauty of the Dark - Mads Langer
12. Cut - Plumb
13. All You Wanted - Sounds Under Radio featuring Alison Sudol of A Fine Frenzy
14. The Fellowship - Smashing Pumpkins
15. On Melancholy Hill (Feed Me Remix) - Gorillaz

I can't tell you how fantastic this soundtrack is. Just look at the cover for goodness sake! But don't take my word for sample the tracks for yourself visit here.

Enjoy and Happy Writing!

Monday, November 8, 2010

How Is It Monday Already?

So it's yet another Monday and I had to drag myself out of bed this morning. Literally. That being said...I had the best weekend. I spent the entire day Saturday and Sunday working on revisions and having a Harry Potter marathon with my kids.

Sounds a little indulgent I know. And so worth it. We are usually running ourselves ragged or we have company. So when the weekend rolled around and we had nothing planned, I jumped at the chance. Now we are all caught up and I can't wait to see part 1 of The Deathly Hallows!

If you haven't read the final installment of this epic series...well all I can say is what are you waiting for? There's still time to get caught up. I've already cracked open my copy of The Deathly Hallows and am halfway through. Yes I like to re-read the books before seeing the movie.

Now, for those of you like me that simply can't wait, here's a little treat to tide you over...

Friday, November 5, 2010

On My Wishlist

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City. It's where you can list all the books you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click here.

This week on my wishlist...
Strange Fate (Night World #10) by L.J. Smith

Vampires, werewolves, witches, shapeshifters -- they live among us without our knowledge. Night World is their secret society, a secret society with very strict rules. And falling in love breaks all the laws of the Night World.

Sarah Strange's life was what you might call ordinary. Then her mother died.

Now Sarah has visions -- visions of a place where dragons darken the sky and a young girl is fighting to survive.

When Sarah confides in her best friends, Mal and Kierlan, about the devastation in her dreams, she discovers that her friends are not what they seem. They are part of the Night World -- and they believe Sarah has a special role in their world. And if Sarah's visions are any indication of the impending danger and destruction, there is no time to lose....

Night Star (The Immortals #5) by Alyson Noel
Goodreads Description:

In this installment, Ever and Damen face down bitter rivals, jealous friends and their own worst fears—all in the hope of being together forever. Night Star is guaranteed to mesmerize fans and leave them breathlessly awaiting the sixth and final book!

Though I'll be a little sad to see the end, I can't wait to see how everything works out!

So what's on your wishlist? Are there any other books out there that I just have to add to my ever growing shelves? Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Morganville Vampires: Ghost Town

I just finished the latest installment of The Morganville Vampires, GHOST TOWN. Even though this is the ninth book in the series, I still found myself unable to put it down until I had read it cover to cover. The characters are amazing and keep the reader wanting more, which is good because Rachel Caine has more installments coming our way. In GHOST TOWN Claire, finds herself separated from those she trusts the most. Forced to save the town and its inhabitants Claire once again shows just how tough she can be. It was amazing!

Goodreads Description:
The fragile peace between humans and vampires in Morganville is in trouble, and when Claire takes drastic action, she's put under serious pressure to re-establish the barriers that keep the town residents inside, and wipe the memories of those who leave. But working with her half-crazy vampire boss Myrnin means that things don't always turn out as planned ... and as the people of Morganville begin acting strangely, Claire and her friends must solve the mystery and try to put things right. But one by one, her allies are turning on her ... even the ones she trusts most.

Still a little daunted by such a long series? Well check out these new volumes that combine two books in one.

Volume One:

Volume Two:

Volume Three:

Volume Four:

Aren't they gorgeous? Even though I have the series, I think I may have to get these as well. Well that's one book down and a lot more to go in my TBR pile. Now I have to decide what to read next. Decisions. Decisions.