Monday, February 28, 2011

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...

Darkest Mercy (Wicked Lovely #5) by Melissa Marr



The Summer King is missing; the Dark Court is bleeding; and a stranger walks the streets of Huntsdale, his presence signifying the deaths of powerful fey.

Aislinn tends to the Summer Court, searching for her absent king and yearning for Seth. Torn between his new queen and his old love, Keenan works from afar to strengthen his court against the coming war. Donia longs for fiery passion even as she coolly readies the Winter Court for battle. And Seth, sworn brother of the Dark King and heir to the High Queen, is about to make a mistake that could cost his life.

Love, despair, and betrayal ignite the Faery Courts, and in the final conflict, some will win . . . and some will lose everything.

The thrilling conclusion to Melissa Marr's New York Times bestselling Wicked Lovely series will leave readers breathless.


A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford


Eden didn't expect Az.

Not his saunter down the beach toward her. Not his unbelievable pick-up line. Not the instant, undeniable connection. And not his wings.

Yeah.

So long, happily-ever-after.

Now trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. All because she gave her heart to one of the Fallen, an angel cast out of heaven.

She may lose everything she ever had. She may be betrayed by those she loves most. But Eden will not be a pawn in anyone else's game. Her heart is her own.

And that's only the beginning of the end.


Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder #2) by Kimberly Derting



The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found.

Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.


That's it for this week and it's not even Tuesday yet...there are at least three more books scheduled to be released tomorrow that will be coming my way. How I accomplish anything at all is beyond me.


I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, February 25, 2011

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:

Afterlife (Evernight #4) by Claudia Gray

The fourth book in this electrifying vampire series has all the romance, suspense, and page-turning drama that have made Claudia Gray’s Evernight books runaway successes.

Having become what they feared most, Bianca and Lucas face a terrifying new reality. They must return to Evernight Academy, Lucas as a vampire and Bianca as a wraith. But Lucas is haunted by demons, both personal and supernatural. Bianca must help him fight the evil inside him, combat the forces determined to drive them apart—and find the power to claim her destiny at last.

Readers have fallen in love with Bianca and Lucas, and they will be thrilled to read this exciting conclusion to their romantic adventure.


The Liar Society (Liar Society #1) by Lisa Roecker, Laura Roecker

Kate Lowry didn't think dead best friends could send e-mails. But when she gets an e-mail from Grace, she’s not so sure.

To: KateLowry@pemberlybrown.edu
Sent: Sun 9/14 11:59 PM
From: GraceLee@pemberlybrown.edu
Subject: (no subject)

Kate,
I'm here…
sort of.
Find Cameron.
He knows.
I shouldn't be writing.
Don't tell.
They'll hurt you.

Now Kate has no choice but to prove once and for all that Grace’s death was more than just a tragic accident. But secrets haunt the halls of her elite private school. Secrets people will do anything to protect. Even if it means getting rid of the girl trying to solve a murder...



Falling Under by Gwen Hayes

Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, Theia knows she's seen Haden before- not around town, but in her dreams.

As the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her closer one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear.

And when she discovers what Haden truly is, Theia's not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.


That's it for this week. Anyone have any additions that are coming out soon that I missed? I'd love to hear about them! Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Draft Two...Fix Up Time

Recently I finished the first draft on my current WIP. Thanks and appreciation go out to all of those fabulous snow days we had in January and February. I took advantage and was amazed at just how much I was able to accomplish.

Now with the first draft completed I just need to go back and fix it all. That's not so hard right? I wish! This to me is the hardest part. The first draft? Not so much. For the first draft I write and ignore my inner editor. Or at least I try. The second draft on the other hand...this is the part where I start to hyperventilate and get overwhelmed with the little things.

So first I will let it sit and have one of these...

Or maybe some of this...

Oh, and last but certainly not least I must have this...

Now I am ready. Maybe. Possibly.

So what does jumping off into the ever stressful second draft look like for me? Everyone is different, but for my second draft I grab my to do list which consists of everything I need to fix. This list comes together during the first draft so that I don't stop and nit-pick right then and there.

My lists consists of the following:

Repetitive or Down Right Bad Writing-It's there, I won't lie. This is the place where I clean up that mess.

Pacing-I can usually tell when a scene is moving fast or dragging out forever. Instead of rewriting, adding/cutting during the drafting phase, I do it here.

Plot or Character Inconsistencies- The more I delve further into the ms, the more I notice inconsistencies with my characters. Things they would not do or say. I also look out for the little things that don't quite mesh in the plot during this run through.

Clarifying or Adding Description-I love to describe things. Everything. I want the reader to have as vivid an image in their mind as I do. What's the problem then? Too much of a good thing can get really old. So I go through and fine tune the necessary descriptions. Those that move the story forward. Anything extra that does not add to the plot or characters gets cut. Even if I love it.

Well there you have it, the partial method to my madness. Of course this is only step one. I won't even attempt to go any further today. Do any of you wonderful people out there have any other suggestions for this stage of you ms? I would so love to hear them!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tying Up Loose Ends

Have you ever read a book or watched a movie that left you completely unsettled? Left you with more questions than answers? Well I don't know about you, but I hate that feeling.

Detest it actually.

Over the weekend I watched a movie that did just that. For starters it was a scary movie that had me jumping out of my skin and hiding behind my throw pillow. Not my idea of a good time. When the credits finally rolled I found myself sitting there thinking...what the heck just happened?

I still am.

Aside from the eye-covering and screaming I was paying close attention and wanted to know the end result. This got me thinking about my writing. Of course. I am on the brink of finishing my first draft on my current WIP and I know without a doubt that there are loose ends flapping about. Among other things. I think every writer wants their readers thinking about their work long after they have put the book down. But not because they couldn't figure out the resolution or were confused by the plot-lines.

This epiphany could not have come at a better time. I'm now more aware of the work that needs to be done in order to complete this ms. Like I didn't know that already. But now I'm going into my second draft with an obstinate determination to make my plot lines crystal clear and all loose ends tied up firmly in a neat little bow.

How will I achieve this goal you ask? Lucky for me I get a little OCD when I write. This time around however I was determined to silence my inner editor. So when I came across any sort of issue that needed to be ironed out, I made a note in a separate document that I'll refer to as I work through the second draft. The process will no doubt be daunting, but the end result will hopefully be well worth the effort.

So spill...how do you feel about loose ends? Do you like to finish a movie or book and be left questioning it? Or do you prefer to have all the answers? I hope everyone had a great weekend. Last week was brutal, but its over now and I'm so excited to be back into my normal routine. I have missed visiting all of your blogs!

Friday, February 11, 2011

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:

Delirium (Delirium #1) by Lauren Oliver


Goodreads Description:
Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.


Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder #2) by Kimberly Derting
Goodreads Description:
The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found.

Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.


Angelfire (Angelfire #1) by Courtney Allison Moulton
Goodreads Description:
This debut, the first novel in a trilogy, is achingly romantic, terrifying, and filled with blistering action.

When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers - monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell - she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul.

A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capable of wielding swords of angelfire to fight the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie's powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her - an assassin who has already killed her once.

While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to ignite the End of Days and to destroy Ellie's soul, ending her rebirth cycle forever. Now, she must face an army of Bastian's most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives - including truths that may be too frightening to remember.


Delirium was released on the first of this month and Angelfire and Desires of the Dead are scheduled for release on the fifteenth...this coming Tuesday! I've got a lot of reading to catch up on this weekend to be ready. How about all of you? Are there any upcoming releases you can't live without?

*I won't be posting again until next Friday. I have Parent/Teacher conferences at work and as you can imagine I'll be just a little busy. My goal is also to finish the first draft of my current WIP. I'll still be visiting all of you though. Have a great weekend everyone and I'll see you next Friday.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Book Review...Rosebush by Michele Jaffe

To me there is no sweeter treat than picking up a book and finding myself unable to put it down. And once I picked up Rosebush, I did not let it go until I was finished. Thank goodness it was the weekend.

Michele Jaffe has spun a mystery that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat throughout the entire story. Jane wakes up in the hospital with no memory of the accident that left her for dead in the middle of a rosebush. She's surrounded by her friends and admirers, yet any one of them could be the responsible party for her current state.

With so many twists and turn you'll find yourself constantly changing your mind about who's guilty and who is in fact innocent. Every time I thought I had it figured out, I was proven wrong.

A heartbreaking thriller, perfect for anyone who loves a good romance riddled with secrets and lies.

Rosebush by Michele Jaffe


Goodreads Description:
Instead of celebrating Memorial Day weekend on the Jersey Shore, Jane is in the hospital surrounded by teddy bears, trying to piece together what happened last night. One minute she was at a party, wearing fairy wings and cuddling with her boyfriend. The next, she was lying near-dead in a rosebush after a hit-and-run.
Everyone believes it was an accident, despite the phone threats Jane swears were real. But the truth is a thorny thing. As Jane's boyfriend, friends, and admirers come to visit, more memories surface not just from the party, but from deeper in her past . . . including the night her best friend Bonnie died.

With nearly everyone in her life a suspect now, Jane must unravel the mystery before her killer attacks again. Along the way, she's forced to examine the consequences of her life choices in this compulsively readable thriller.


If you haven't read this addictive little number yet, I highly recommend doing so.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Guest Post

Today I'm guest posting over at the blog of Chris Phillips Slushpile Savant. He has a weekly post featuring music we love to write to so be sure and stop by!

Since you made the trip, I won't leave you empty handed. Here are a few amazing picks I just happened to stumble upon...


There is this one...
Love this one...
And for those of you who haven't heard about the big bad wolf...
And last but certainly not least...
Hope that's enough to tide you all over! Have a great day everyone!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Skipping To The End

Over the weekend someone near and dear to me did something I can't believe I'm still talking about, much less blogging about.

But this is just to good to let drop. This person who will remain nameless has been bugging me to know what happens in Breaking Dawn. She has watched all of the Twilight movies and now wants to know how it ends. My response? Read the book. I will not tell people how stories end. I just can't do it. She has asked me several times how it ends and I tell her the same thing every time. So this weekend she was at Walmart and while her husband was perusing the isles for whatever it is he gets there, the little stinker picked up Breaking Dawn and read the last chapter. Then she has the nerve to tell me about it.

You can imagine how that conversation went.

One of my all time no-no's is skipping to the end of a book. Especially a good book. I mean, who does that? For me part of the fun is getting there. I love picking up a book that I just can't put down. A book that I find myself walking around the house with. Reading while I cook...clean...whenever and wherever I can. Unable to think of anything else until I read that last page. So skipping to the end is, well I just can't imagine doing this.

This got me thinking of my own writing. I am a self proclaimed pantser through and through. When I sit down to start a new project I have the big idea and my characters. I jot down a few details and possible solutions, but that's it. The ending of my own book isn't set in stone until I get there. Again, part of the fun is letting it develop and take on a life of it's own.

Okay...here endeth my rant. So my question for all of you is obvious. Would you skip to the end if you were dying to know what happens? Or are you in for the long haul?

Friday, February 4, 2011

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:

The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal

Goodreads Description:
Princess and heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, Nalia's led a privileged life at court. But everything changes when it's revealed, just after her sixteenth birthday, that she is a false princess, a stand-in for the real Nalia, who has been hidden away for her protection. Cast out with little more than the clothes on her back, the girl now called Sinda must leave behind the city of Vivaskari, her best friend, Keirnan, and the only life she's ever known.

Sinda is sent to live with her only surviving relative, an aunt who is a dyer in a distant village. She is a cold, scornful woman with little patience for her newfound niece, and Sinda proves inept at even the simplest tasks. But when Sinda discovers that magic runs through her veins - long-suppressed, dangerous magic that she must learn to control - she realizes that she can never learn to be a simple village girl.

Returning to Vivaskari for answers, Sinda finds her purpose as a wizard scribe, rediscovers the boy who saw her all along, and uncovers a secret that could change the course of Thorvaldor's history, forever.

A dazzling first novel, The False Princess is an engrossing fantasy full of mystery, action, and romance.


The Iron Witch (The Iron Witch #1) by Karen Mahoney

Goodreads Description:
Freak. That's what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her mother mad. Donna's own nearly fatal injuries from the assault were fixed by magic—the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. The child of alchemists, Donna feels cursed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. The only thing that keeps her sane and grounded is her relationship with her best friend, Navin Sharma.
When the darkest outcasts of Faerie—the vicious wood elves—abduct Navin, Donna finally has to accept her role in the centuries old war between the humans and the fey. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous half-fey dropout with secrets of his own, Donna races to save her friend—even if it means betraying everything her parents and the alchemist community fought to the death to protect.


Vesper (Deviants #1) by Jeff Sampson

Goodreads Description:
Emily Webb is a geek. And she’s happy that way. Content hiding under hoodies and curling up to watch old horror flicks, she’s never been the kind of girl who sneaks out for midnight parties. And she’s definitely not the kind of girl who starts fights or flirts with other girls’ boyfriends. Until one night Emily finds herself doing exactly that . . . the same night one of her classmates—also named Emily—is found mysteriously murdered.

The thing is, Emily doesn’t know why she’s doing any of this. By day, she’s the same old boring Emily, but by night, she turns into a thrill seeker. With every nightfall, Emily gets wilder until it’s no longer just her personality that changes. Her body can do things it never could before: Emily is now strong, fast, and utterly fearless. And soon Emily realizes that she’s not just coming out of her shell . . . there’s something much bigger going on. Is she bewitched by the soul of the other, murdered Emily? Or is Emily Webb becoming something else entirely— something not human?

As Emily hunts for answers, she finds out that she’s not the only one this is happening to—some of her classmates are changing as well. Who is turning these teens into monsters—and how many people will they kill to get what they want?


I'm a little behind on my January releases, but I plan to get caught up just in time for all of the fabulous releases coming out this month.

Have a great weekend everyone and be sure to let me know what little jewel you are dying ot get your hands on.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Back To Reality

That title has dual meaning for me this morning. First, I am going back to work after having three snow days in a row. (I have not left my house since Saturday.) Second, this post is my writing reality. At least for now.

So yesterday I gave you a sneak peek into the workings of my little dream world. Now today for those of you who need a good laugh, here's what my days actually look like:

My alarm blasts at five o'clock in the morning. I want to cry. I get up, thankful that I picked out my clothes the night before because now I don't have to think yet and everything will match. Yea me! I rush through getting ready. I have to at least slap on make-up or I'll scare the children.

Once presentable. I sit down at my laptop in the family room, kitchen, dining room...wherever I land. And wherever my power cord will reach. I have no writing space. I post a blog and visit as many as I can before my son hollers that we have to leave now! Yep, he is that responsible.

I go to work, try not to do anything socially awkward like phase out in the middle of a conversation or have my eyes glaze over during the lunchtime conversation because I have dialogue running through my head.

When I get off work, I go to the gym,daughters dance class, or my son's games. Then do all the other mommy stuff and get everything ready for the next day. When all of this is done, I sit down to my laptop, again wherever I can find a semi-quiet corner.

And I write.

I write about the few ideas I've scratched down throughout the day. I finish that chapter I've been working on. I start a new chapter. Whatever it is, I write. This is where the fate of my sleep will be decided. If the ideas come. I'll be up awhile. If not, I might get a little sleep. Just a little. But before I do that I also squeeze in some reading!

Then I get to get up and do it all over again. Yea!

So there you have it, my day. I'm tired just looking at it. This was not meant to be a venting session or a pity party. It is what it is, I love what I do and this is how I accomplish it.

So what about you? What does your day look like? I sincerely hope it looks more like the day I posted yesterday.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My Perfect Writing World...

Some of the best advice I have ever heard for writers is this:

1. Get your very own writing space. Eliminate every distraction.
2. Write. A lot. Set a goal for each day.
3. Read as much as you can in your own genre.

At first I laughed. Then I felt like crying because most new writers still have another job, kids and no writing space. Finally I got realistic. I can do this. I do this. Everyday.

So before I examined my actual situation I thought I'd have a little fun. If I could hand mold my day to day writing world, this is a glimpse at what it would look like:

My job would be my writing. Nothing more, nothing less. I would write. A lot. At least ten pages per day. Around 2,000 words would be my goal. Some days I would write more, but never less.

I would have my very own writing sanctuary. Something like this...


On days I was stuck, I would write with my pretty purple pens.

On days I was not, I would use my pretty, pretty laptop. (Sadly mine looks nothing like this.)


I would go into this room, with my beautiful writing tools, close the door and shut the rest of the world out until my daily goal was met.

I would be able to blast my play-list without others commanding I turn it down or that they hate my music choices.

I would have time to put a dent in my out of control TBR pile. I could read and read and read because my writing would be done early in the morning, leaving plenty of time to read before the kids come home from school.

But alas...this is a dream. Maybe a goal. But it's a pretty good one I must say. So what does your sanctuary look like? Stay tuned tomorrow for a glance at what my days really look like. I will warn you, its not pretty...but we love what we do right?