Friday, December 21, 2012

The Hobbit

I was super excited to see The Hobbit last weekend. My hubs, on the other hand, was not. I think he was trying to convince himself it wouldn't be any good so that if it wasn't, he wouldn't be disappointed.

Well, I LOVED it. I don't know if he was quite as impressed but we both agreed that it didn't feel like a three hour movie.

I do have a couple of nitpicks of course. The rock monster scene wasn't necessary, and they went WAY over-the-top with the whole Radagast trying to heal his hedgehog (or whatever that was). Of course Gandalf looked older when he's supposed to be younger, and even Elijah Wood didn't seem like the same Frodo.

But so what? The movie was awesome!

Last night I read a few scathing reviews and articles about it and I almost fully disagreed with what was being said, but it did get me thinking. A couple of weeks ago, we decided to watch all three LOTR movies. I remember saying out loud before we watched it how LOTR are the best fantasy movies ever made and how they're not cheesy.

Then we watched it. And there are so many CHEESY parts I almost wanted to laugh (at myself, not the movie). But LOTR is still awesome and I stand by what I said- that it's one of the best, if not THE BEST, fantasy movie(s) ever made. I think what happens though is that we build things up in our head to epic-sized proportions. That's what LOTR has become. Epic. And so we expect The Hobbit to be EPIC as well. Inevitably, it ends up disappointing- some people anyway. I WAS NOT disappointed. I'm so happy that we can go back to Middle Earth, that we can have more, that it's hard for me to be disappointed. (And I personally thought both Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage were FANTASTIC.)

Have you seen The Hobbit? What did you think?

And now this is me signing off for the next couple of weeks. YA Highway has a whole week of Road Trip Wednesday questions going on next week that I'd love to participate in, but with Christmas, and now an unexpected trip to Salt Lake, I'm just not going to have time. If I do manage to squeeze in computer time over the holidays, I'll be using it to work on my R&R.

So Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Happy New Year! See you in 2013. (That is, if the world doesn't come to an end sometime today.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What's In A Name?

Today's Road Trip Wednesday hosted by YA Highway asks:

How do you decide on names? Would you ever name a character after a friend/family member/ex?

Naming characters is MAJOR for me. The right name does it all while the wrong name is like an annoying fly buzzing around my head.

So  how do I come up with such an IMPORTANT factor of my book? I look in a baby name book. Ha! As simple as that.

I have a thing with names and name meanings. In Daze, almost every name means something that fits with the character. (Of course, it's possible to find different meanings depending on where you look.) Jessica means "he sees." Alric means "ruler of all." I recently searched a babyname website because I wanted a name that meant "eternal" or "immortal." This name had to be female, and it had to be the right ethnicity. It's almost silly to go to so much trouble when in most cases a reader will have no clue as to the meaning of the characters name and won't even care. But I care. So I do it.

I did things a little differently with my Persuasion redux. In this case, I wanted similar names to the original characters, but modernized. So instead of Louisa, I have Lacey. Instead of Frederick, I used the last few letter of the original and went with Eric. Instead of Anne, Elizabeth, and Mary, I went with Ava, Beth, and Mari. Not only are these names similar to the original characters, but since the girls are daughters of an actor, my characters are named after great actresses- Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor, and Marilyn Monroe. In some cases I even stuck with the original (Walter Elliot), and other cases I had to come up with my own since Jane Austen didn't see fit to provide a first name (Lady Russell became Aunt Rose).

I don't always take naming a character quite so seriously. Sometimes I just go with what sounds right. If it doesn't sound right, then I switch up the names until I find one that does. And no, I rarely name my characters after someone I know. The only two cases: I have a niece named Brynley and I used the name Bryn for a very minor two-year-old character in Sway. In my sequel to Daze I use the name Margaret which happens to be both mine and my oldest daughter's middle name.

What's in a name for you? Are you as picky as I am about naming your characters? I swear, I'm pickier naming my characters than I was naming my kids!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


With a post title like that, I kinda wish I was blogging about something else.

Alas, (did I just say alas???) it's Teaser Tuesday today so instead of writing about passion, I'm taking a teaser from the book Passion by Lauren Kate, the third in the Fallen series.

Enjoy the teaser. I know I will before I go to the very un-passionate task of cleaning my bathrooms. *shudders*

It killed Daniel to ignore her, to go away from Lucinda when everything in his soul was telling him to turn around and fly right back to the sound of her voice, to the embrace of her arms and the warmth of her lips, to the spellbinding power of her love.

He yanked the shop door open and fled down the street, running at the sunset, running for all he was worth. He did not care at all what it looked like to anyone else in town. He was running out the fire in his wings. (page 116)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Crazy World

FINALLY! That's all I want to say is... FINALLY this album has come out! I've been waiting sooooo long. And guess what? You can't buy the thing in stores! At least not around here in stupid Alberta (just kidding, I love Alberta). I ordered it online this week and so I've got to wait SOME MORE to get the CD in my hands. Hurry up, postal service, ignore all those silly christmas packages and send my my CD!!!

Breathe, Mel.

I'm talking about the new Boys Like Girls album- Crazy World. They've gone a little away from their harder rock sound, but I love this new Boys Like Girls just as much. I've already enthused over Be Your Everything, an absolutely amazing song, but here's a sample of a couple more. Listen and love them because they are awesome!



Wednesday, December 12, 2012

100 Is Just A Number

Today's Road Trip Wednesday question is short and to the point (which is great because I swear, where are the days before Christmas going??? I'm running out of tiiiimmmme!!!):

About how many books do you read in a year? Do you want to read more? Or, less?

Last year I read 89 books. This year, I really wanted to read 100. Don't know why, I just did. Unfortunately, I'm only at 86 right now and it's highly doubtful I'll read fourteen books in the next two and a half weeks. I don't even know if I'll end up with 89 like last year. Ah well. There's really no reason to read exactly a hundred except to be able to say that I did. I think next year I won't bother trying to meet that goal and just stick with reading when I can.

So how many books do you read in a year? And I'm just wondering, who on earth wants to read LESS than they did???

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I'm rereading again. I can't help myself. Actually, I can, but I just don't want to. See, there are a few series I like that are coming to an end. When I read Reached by Ally Condie recently, I could barely remember what happened in the first two books. I wished that I'd reread them before reading the final book. So this time, I am. The series I'm rereading now? The Fallen books by Lauren Kate.

So for Teaser Tuesday I'm pulling my teasers from Torment, the second book in the Fallen series.

With her back pressed to his chest, and his head over her shoulder, he traced a line of kisses down her neck. She held her breath, waiting. Then he bent his legs and gracefully pushed off the edge of the cliff.
They were flying. (page 35)

Shelby scowled. "Seriously? Would you want to be called a nephil? It sounds like a bag you carry your shame in. No, thanks." (page 51)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Smiley Music

I liked New Kids on the Block as a kid. I was in love with 'N Sync. Is it any wonder I like One Direction, despite my thirty-cough-cough years?

It's true. And while I've passed the age of swooning over the boys in boy bands (seriously, what's with that dude's hair???), I still love the music. I bop around to it in my car. My kids and I sing the lyrics at the top of our lungs. I got my nine-year-old daughter the new One Direction CD for her birthday- a present that's just as much for me as it is for her (haha)- and we both love it. My favorite kind of music is the kind that makes me dance, makes me happy and smiley, and this is definitely it.

Okay, maybe one of them is kinda cute. ;)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Chop And Change

(Wait, isn't that a song by the Black Keys?)

Today, Road Trip Wednesday asks a very relevant question for me right now:

How do you approach editing/revising? Any tips or tricks or resources you can share?

I finished a revision of Sway last month and now I'm thick in the middle of a revision on Daze. Both of these have been MAJOR revisions. For Sway, I moved a lot of stuff around, introducing some characters earlier, cutting out other characters. For Daze, which I have an R&R for, a lot of the revisions I've been given are simple. One, however, which isn't a major thing... well actually it is. It's changing one tiny thing which is affecting the book entirely. In fact, this is almost going to be a totally different book by the time I'm done. (Which is both scary and exciting!)

So how do I approach such major changes?

I wish I could say I had this set plan. (Maybe if I did, I wouldn't have to revise so much.) Basically, I do this:

Brainstorm. Make notes of the things that need to be changed and different possible ways of changing them. Talk with my brainstorming buddy who helps me to see holes or problems in my new direction. View every character from their own POV. Make notes on what each character is like and what they want.

Then I write. With both Sway and Daze, I copied the MS file, that way I still have the old one, but I can tear apart the new one. I add in what needs to be added and cut (or in the case of Daze- CHOP CHOP CHOP) what doesn't work anymore. Sometimes I'll move something to the end in case I want to use it later. I try and work on at least a chapter a day. I constantly refer back to the page of revision notes that I was given as well as my own notes, to make sure I'm staying on the right track. When I'm done a revision on the computer, I ALWAYS print it out and revise again ON PAPER. This is so important because there's always something I've missed. Then out to betas it goes and when I get it back, I start all over again!

Gosh, revisions are hard sometimes! But NOT ONCE have I regretted a revision I've made on a manuscript. No matter what, a revision always makes the MS better. Revising makes me as a writer better. And I would never want to send out something that wasn't my absolute best.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Reaching for Reached

Last night I finished Reached by Ally Condie, the last book in the Matched Trilogy. The finale did not disappoint. I loved it. Ally Condie has a way of writing that completely draws you in, and her prose is just gorgeous.

So obviously I'm going to pull my teaser for Teaser Tuesday from this book. And there's not just one, but two teasers. These aren't just random quotes I'm pulling from the book (even though that's what you're supposed to do). These are two bits that are just magnificent. They are quotes that I want to remember always.

In the Society, we don't call out beyond our own bodies, the walls of our rooms. When we scream it is only in the world of our dreams, and I have never been sure who hears. (page 58)

I draw in a ragged breath, the kind you take when the pain is too deep to cry, when you can't cry because all you are is pain, and if you let some of it out, you might cease to exist. (page 458)

Do you have any great teasers for me?

Friday, November 30, 2012

Michael Makes This The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

All I want for Christmas is YOU, Michael

Christmas is my favorite holiday. As soon as November 1st hits, I take down my Halloween decorations and start putting up the Christmas stuff. I usually do my tree sometime in the middle of the month. I love the build-up to Christmas, the excitement, the music, the movies, the lights, the cheesy commercials, ALL OF IT.

One of my fave Christmas albums is Michael Buble's Christmas album that came out last year (he has another, shorter CD called Let It Snow which is also good). If you haven't gotten your hands on this one, you are seriously missing out.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


You know what I hate? Mustaches. Yes I do. They are gross. And unfortunately, anytime I hear the word November, I automatically think MOVEMBER. Thanks a lot you mustachioed weirdos.

What does this have to do with today's Road Trip Wednesday question:

What's the best book you read in Movember November?

Well, absolutely nothing. Except this:

Yes, I reread the Twilight books this past month. This is what else I read:


It feels wrong to pick any of the Twilight books as best book of the month, even though I love them all. Also, the mustache. While Charlie Swan is one of my favorite things in the movies, oh the mustache. *shudders*

Okay, I'm kidding. And I can't pick a best book either because aside from the Twilight, I loved the two fiction books I read. My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris was exactly my kind of book. Time travel, art, a roguish and handsome hero, beautiful gowns, and a great voice! And I already said yesterday how much I love Onyx. I had a couple of little irks about both, but in general I loved them both and I'm looking forward to the next books by both authors.

The other two are of course, nonfiction, and while I'm actually enjoying The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer (not done it yet), it's still nonfic and come on, nonfic just doesn't do it for me.

What's your favorite book of Mo... November?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Whoa, what's going on over here? I haven't blogged since last Wednesday?! I've been so focused on my Daze revision that I swear I can't think of anything else. I almost forgot about Teaser Tuesday today, I don't even know what clued me in.

Anyway, I'm pulling my Teaser from Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout. It's a sequel to Obsidian, her first book in the Lux series. FYI: I love these books. They're funny and sexy and dangerous- a great combo!
I thought this was VERY appropriate

"I came over to apologize."

"What?" I was shocked, awed, and shocked some more. "You're going to apologize again? I don't even know what to say. Wow."

Daemon frowned. "I know it seems like a huge surprise to you that I do have feelings and therefore do feel bad at times for things that I may have... caused."

"Hold up. I have to record this. Let me grab my phone." (page 89)

So what are you reading this week?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What Time Is It?

Dear Santa,

I'd really like some time for Christmas. Just a couple more hours a day would be great.



Okay, since that's not going to happen, I guess I've gotta make do with what I've got. Today YA Highway's Road Trip Wednesday question is:

With Thanksgiving on the horizon we want to know how you balance hectic times like the holidays with your writing schedule.

First of all, Thanksgiving is long over for me. I'm Canadian and we had it near the beginning of October. And I've gotta say how much I love that it's not too close to Christmas and it's usually autumn-looking (well, sometimes) instead of all snowy and freezing like it is right now.

Anyway, time? Ha! The past couple of holidays, I'd just finished a first draft manuscript, so I spent much of November and December just reading. I usually slow down about now and focus on getting all the other things done like Christmas shopping, birthday shopping (one daughter has a Dec. 16th b-day, another has a Jan. 2nd b-day), baking, wrapping, putting up decorations, etc.

This year I've got a lot going on and I couldn't even imagine slowing down. I've just got too much to do. I'm working on my Daze and Knights R&R which is taking a lot of research too. I really want to get this right, so I don't want to rush, but I also CANNOT put it off because... I just can't. Add to this reading, beta-ing, mothering, cleaning, cooking, after school activities, teaching piano, etc etc etc. and it's no wonder I want some extra hours. (In fact, after just finishing the Twilight Saga again, I have this insane desire to be a vampire so I don't have to sleep and can spend my nights getting stuff done!)

Don't you just wish it was summer and you had nothing to do?! I know I do. And now I've got this song stuck in my head, so thanks for that.

The key, I've discovered, is balance. You HAVE to balance. Sometimes I wish I could spend all day every day working on my R&R, but I just can't. I've got kids. I've got to take care of myself and my house. Heck, I've gotta get food sometimes! Balance for me is doing a bit of everything each day. A bit of cleaning, a bit of reading, a couple hours on my R&R, a game with the kids, etc. If I can get a bit done each day then I feel like my day has been a success. I'm also big on multi-tasking and having an organized schedule. (Yep, I'm one of those people.)

I've discovered that you've gotta do what works for you. I envy people who can drop everything and write like crazy. I just can't, even if I wanted to. I'm too much of a control freak to let other things slide. That doesn't work for me so I do what does. I find time for a bit of everything each day and hope that somehow, I'm doing things right.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century

It's Tuesday, which means it's Teaser time!!! If you want to join in, head over to Should Be Reading and Miz B. will give you all the rules.

I'm pulling my teaser from My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris. As soon as I heard about this book, I ordered it. It's exactly my kind of thing- what I love to read, and a wee bit (okay very) similar to what I love to write: time travel. I'm only on Chapter Four, so I can't give any critique yet except that it's starting out great. Here's the blurb from Goodreads:
On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother-to-be and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into Renaissance Firenze.

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore.

Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?
And here's my teaser:
Tilting the mirror farther and sliding off my shades, I see my hair is twisted on top of my head in a braided crown, a vibrant red ribbon threaded through it. Definitely not the way I fixed it- I stopped doing ribbons in kindergarten.
Maybe I'm dreaming.
I pinch myself. Hard. "Freakin' A!"
Nope, not a dream. (page 29)

Friday, November 16, 2012

For The Love

I've been rereading Twilight for the past couple of weeks and watching the movies, all in prep for seeing Breaking Dawn Part 2 this Saturday.

I love Twilight but I still think stuff like this is funny

I love these books. I freely admit it. In fact, I even have a couple of Twilight t-shirts, proving that I'm not afraid to admit my love of this series. It makes me sad that it's become almost a "cool" thing to hate Twilight. I'm not saying that everyone has to love it- because of course not. The world would be a boring place if we all loved and hated the same things. But why is it A THING now to hate on these books and the author?

Now, I don't think the books are perfect (what book is?). There have been little things I've noticed in this past reread that have bugged me a bit. But in all, I think it's a great love story. The characters are the kind that stick with you- whether you always like them or not. I think it's amazing what the Twilight books have done for YA. How many authors out there have been inspired by these books and Stephenie Meyer and went on to write their own.

This too- hilarious!

I feel like I should be good at articulating my feelings on this (I claim to be a writer after all) but in truth, there have been a couple of other posts that say it so much better than I do. There's a good tumblr post done about it here and Shannon Hale's (an author I love) response to it here. Shannon Hale has also continued her talks about Twilight and whether it's damaging to young readers. You can read about that here. She raises some interesting questions and insights.

I guess my main thing, without getting into deep discussions on the merits or downfalls of it, is that it's okay if you hate it. And it's okay if you love it. But I'm not going to be a person who hates it just because that's the "smart" or "cool" thing to do. And I'm not going to be ashamed that I love it. So there. ;)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Inspiration a la Google

Today's Road Trip Wednesday hosted by YA Highway asks:

Share your most inspiring and/or motivational video, book, or quote on writing!

I hate to admit that I had no inspirational quotes or books or movies or anything that came to the top of my head. I know I've heard a few but I never remember them. I actually had to Google it.
*hangs head in shame*

And here's one I couldn't find in a nice colorful box but I had to add it anyway:

You must write for children the same way you write for adults, only better.  Maxim Gorky

Do you have any inspirational writing stuff?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

New Moon

I just finished rereading New Moon (by Stephenie Meyer, duh) last night but haven't started Eclipse yet. I'm seeing Breaking Dawn Part 2 this Saturday and somehow I doubt I'll finish the last two books in five days. Oh well. I don't want to rush since this will be the last time I read these books for a loooong time.


Here's my teaser for Teaser Tuesday hosted by Miz B. at Should Be Reading:

... "As long as you like me best. And you think I'm good-looking- sort of. I'm prepared to be annoyingly persistent."

"I'm not going to change," I said, and though I tried to keep my voice normal, I could hear the sadness in it.

His face was thoughtful, no longer teasing. "It's still the other one, isn't it?" (page 212-213)

I've always been a Team Edward girl, but I've gotta say, Jacob has gradually grown on me. :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Lest We Forget

Here in Canada on Sunday we will be celebrating Remembrance Day. Since I don't blog on the weekends, I thought I'd dedicate this post to those who've given their lives in service to their country. I know I did a similar post to this last November 11th, but I think it's important that at least one day a year we remember the sacrifices that others have given for us.

This song brings tears to my eyes every time I listen to it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Best Book of October

Today's Road Trip Wednesday question asks:
What was the best book you read in October?

October was a long month and I read a lot of books. A lot!

As usual, I can't pick just one fave, but I can pick a top three. Or maybe four. I have a major love for historical and so I LOVED Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard and Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. They were both awesome historical/paranormal reads. I'm also a fan of The Raven Boys. My only complaint with that book was that it ended!

My top pick though, would have to be Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I LOVED this book like crazy. I've also read Pure by the same author, and after reading Obsidian, I went on an online shopping spree and bought everything Jennifer Armentrout has published, plus some pre-orders too. Onyx is waiting on my shelf to be read- it'll be the first thing I pick up once I'm done rereading The Twilight Saga.

What was the best book you read in October? Head over to YA Highway to answer.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I'm pulling my Teaser Tuesday from Twilight today. No, this isn't the first time I've read it. Yes, I've lost track of how many times I've read it. What I've found interesting this time around, is that I've really noticed things that I hadn't before- writerly things that bug me a little, that I try to avoid in my own writing. It's interesting because the last couple of times I reread the series, I purposefully made myself try to focus on what I liked and didn't like about the story, writing, etc, but never could do it- I became too wrapped up in the story. I don't know why this time I've managed it- I'm hoping it's a sign of my reader/writer maturity. Ha!

Anyway, I still love the book. Here's a teaser from one of my favorite parts:

And then his cold, marble lips pressed very softly against mine.

What neither of us was prepared for was my response.

Blood boiled under my skin, burned in my lips. My breath came in a wild gasp. My fingers knotted in his hair, clutching him to me. My lips parted as I breathed in his heady scent.

Immediately I felt him turn to unresponsive stone beneath my lips. His hands gently, but with irresistible force, pushed my face back. I opened my eyes and saw his guarded expression.

"Oops," I breathed. (page 282)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Query Help?

I could really use some query help. I've written around half a dozen different drafts of a query for Sway. Not because I like writing queries *shudder* but because that's how bad I suck at them. I've decided on this version so far, but I would love some opinions and thoughts on it.

Ava Elliot thought coming home to LA after eight years away would be easy. She never would have imagined that her family would overspend so much that they'd lose their Hollywood Hills mansion. She never would have guessed that despite a Master's degree from Juilliard, she'd again be dependent on others for help with her fresh start. Worst of all, she never thought she'd see her ex-fiance again.

Ava feels like she's living a twisted version of her old life.

Eric Wentworth, home from his band's sold-out tour, wants nothing to do with Ava. She'd be happy to oblige if he wasn't living in her old home and dating her sister's best friend. Eric and his spiteful songs are a lot easier to ignore when Ava meets Gage, an actor whose chocolate kisses help her to forget the past.

But Gage isn't exactly what he seems and long-buried feelings for Eric are starting to resurface. Moving on is proving harder that Ava thought it would be. But maybe the past is worth fighting for after all.

So whaddya think?

I'm also looking for one or two beta's for this MS if anyone is interested. Someone who reads chick lit/women's fiction. I don't need line edits, I need thoughts on characters and pacing mostly and I'll read your MS in return. :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Rah! Goals! Rah!

What do I love today?


What do I love about them?

Accomplishing them!

Okay, that sounded like the worst cheer ever.


So, I set a goal for myself to get my revisions done by the end of October. I was one day late. I finished them yesterday- November 1st. Even though I was a day late, it felt so great to set a goal and get it done.

For all of you attempting NaNo right now, I wish you luck. But mostly I wish you the ability to meet your goals. That's what's so great about NaNo- it forces people to get their butt moving and get 'er done.

For me, I need to have goals with my writing. Writing isn't something I NEED to do, but it's something I LOVE to do and WANT to do. If I didn't set goals for myself, I would never get anything done. That's why I cheer for goals today. Nothing gets me moving like a deadline. And it feels so awesome when I meet it.

So, yay for goals. Now I have a goal to finish my on-paper revisions in two weeks so that I can move on to my R&R for Daze.

Rah! Goals!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Of course Road Trip Wednesday is going to go all Halloween. So they're asking:
Halloween! What's your favorite scary book or movie?

This is a tough one because I don't like scary movies. Or books. Or anything scary at all. Yep, I'm a fraidy-cat. My overactive imagination takes even the least amounts of freaky and turns it into, what was that noise? Is someone pounding on my door? I can hear footsteps. I'm going to get slashed and murdered in my bed with a gigantic knife and there will be blood everywhere.

My imagination actually gets worse from there but I can't even write it down. When I was a teen, both Scream and Sleeping With the Enemy freaked the crap out of me. I don't think I've ever actually seen a horror movie (Scream would be the only one). And books? The scariest it gets is... nope, I can't think of one. I don't mind a little bit of freak-out, like Maureen Johnson's In The Name of the Star about a serial killer. And of course I love tension in my books. But as for horror? No way, no how, not happening.

So how's that for a non-answer?

What's your fave scary book or movie?

Actually, no, don't answer that. Because I'm not going to read/watch it anyway and I frankly don't even want to hear about it. Wait. Is something scratching at my window?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Raven Boys

It's Teaser Tuesday time again, hosted by Miz B. of Should Be Reading. You can see the complete rules of the meme on her blog, but you basically open randomly to a page in your current read and choose a line or two- no spoilers!

Confession: I rarely pick a teaser at random. Usually, I use a line or small paragraph that I especially love or that conveys the tone of the book or the voice.

Right now I'm reading The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I am loving this book so far which isn't much of a surprise since I've loved everything she's written that I've read so far. She has so many great lines in this book that it should be easy to pick one. Of course, when I need to find a line I love, I can't. Go figure. So you'll have to settle for this:

"Death." Gansey read the bottom of the card. He didn't sound surprised or alarmed. He just read the word like he would read eggs or Cincinnati.

"Great job, Maura," Calla said. Her arms were crossed firmly over her chest. "You going to interpret that for the kid?" (page 151)

What are you reading this week?

Friday, October 26, 2012


I am loving Taylor Swift's new album RED like crazy. I admire her so much. She's not the best singer in the world, but her song-writing skills are amazing. Some people have blasted her for singing about her exes, but I think it makes the songs that much more interesting. Her songs are very honest, and I like that.

I also love that my three daughters (aged 3,5, and 8) beg to listen to her. Yes, my 3-year-old does too. We all belt out We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together in the car. I've only listened through the CD a couple of times, but Stay Stay Stay, Red, and 22 are already favorites. This CD is definitely worth a listen if you haven't had a chance yet.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lost in Film Translation

Here's this week's Road Trip Wednesday prompt:

It isn't surprising that this month's Bookmobile selection, Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone, has sold film rights; the darkly magical world of the Shadow Fold begs for an on-screen translation! But that got us wondering. We'd like to know, in your opinion, what is it that makes some books seem ideal for a film translation?

(An aside: I haven't read Shadow and Bone yet, I'm still waiting for it from the library.)

So, honestly? Any book. And I could really stop there.

The thing is, when I love a book, I automatically think, this would make a great movie, I wonder who'd play the leads?

In most cases of course, the book is way better than the movie. I've heard they optioned Markus Zusak's The Book Thief. I'd see that movie in a heartbeat, and yet anyone who's read it knows that a movie just won't hold a candle to this book. It's just not possible. A movie will lose all that's really great and special about the book.

When I was thinking about this question yesterday, my first thought was that contemporary books probably make the best movies. Earlier this month I read The Bachelorette Party which really SHOULD be a movie. In fact, I'm surprised it isn't yet. Same with Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married (which I did hear was made into a TV mini-series with Gerard Butler as Gus! I'd like to see that sometime).

But then I realized, contemporary doesn't always make a great movie. Take Speak for example. The movie was good but it doesn't compare to the book because we couldn't really get inside the main character's head. She doesn't speak, so with the movie it's impossible to really get it. I've heard Thirteen Reasons Why could also be a movie, and again, I doubt a movie version will have the same impact as the book.

I think the books most ideal for film translation are plot-driven and fast-paced. Books where we see the character development more through their actions than what's going on in their head. Of course, when I tried to think of an example, I couldn't really. (Because movies rarely are as good.)

The few cases where I enjoy a movie better than the book, are usually adaptations of classics. They cut out a lot of the long-winded description in the movie version and get straight to the point. *cough LOTR cough*

In conclusion... ha, just kidding. I've been long-winded and a bit rambly today (I probably should have stopped above). Browsing my shelves, what books would I love to see made into a movie? Juliet by Anne Fortier. The Gallagher Girls series or Heist Society books by Ally Carter. And Anna and the French Kiss, just because I love that book so much.

Speaking of books to movies, I'm super excited for this movie, coming out in February:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Casual Vacancy

Yep, I'm reading it. The Casual Vacancy. J.K. Rowling's new book. I imagine I'll have a whole post about it when I'm done, but right now all I'm gonna say is...

Dobby, I don't think we're in Hogwarts anymore.

Naturally I'm pulling my Teaser Tuesday (hosted by Miz B from Should Be Reading) from this book. So without further adieu...

She could still see Howard and Maureen behind the counter, the one immense, the other scrawny, and in her mind's eye they were looking down at her from a height as they told her that her friend was dead. With an almost welcome gush of fury and hatred she thought, They're glad. They think they'll win now. (page 40)

Have you read The Casual Vacancy? I'm interested to hear others' thoughts on it.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Once Upon A Time

How much do I love this show? Let me count the ways...

Okay, maybe I won't, but seriously, this is one of my favorite shows ever! Every week I'm anxious to see who they're going to spotlight, what new character they're going to introduce. I love the different takes they put on our favorite fairy tale characters. I love the how they intertwine the Storybrooke story and the Enchanted Forest story. I love the new direction they've taken it this season. I love love love the costumes.

So maybe I was starting to count the ways. This really is an awesome show and if you're not watching it, YOU MUST.

And if I was going to dress up for Halloween, I'd so want to be Mulan- I love her outfit and her crazy-long ponytail. Or maybe Snow White. Or even the Evil Queen. The costumes are awesome!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Today's Road Trip Wednesday hosted by YA Highway asks:

Are you doing NaNoWriMo, or have you ever? Does having a deadline inspire you?

No, I've never done NaNoWriMo. I first heard about it when I just barely started writing the first draft of Daze. My then 16-year-old niece was doing it. When I found out she wrote an entire book in a month... well, it lit a fire under my rear that's for sure. By the next February, I had finished my first manuscript.

I've sort of had the itch to do it this year, but the timing's off. I want to finish my Sway revisions and I've got an R&R for Daze. I'd really like to go back to my WIP and just get it finished. The idea is still floating around in the back of my head, begging to be written some more. But I've made a plan and I'm going to stick to it.

Oh, and do deadlines inspire me? Sure. I set them for myself. Of course, they're never as crazy as writing a novel in a month. Right now, I'd like to have my Sway revisions done by November 1st.  I don't know if I'm going to make that deadline but I'm sure as heck gonna try.

What about you? Doing NaNo this year? Do you set yourself crazy deadlines?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married

It's Teaser Tuesday time again, hosted by Miz B. at Should Be Reading. Today I'm actually not pulling my teaser from a YA book. Shocking, I know! I've been trying to read some Women's Fiction/Chick Lit since that's the genre I'm working on right now (Sway).

My teaser today is from Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married by Marian Keyes. I have a few minor issues with this book but overall it's been hilarious and page-turning. Thanks to Prerna for the recommendation!

Then he moved away from me and said more of those polite guest things like 'Can I do anything to help?' knowing that the answer would be an avalanche of 'Nos' and 'Not at alls' and slightly hysterical 'Everything's under controls!'. (page 317)

One of the things I like about this book is the fast dialogue so I'm going to share a teaser of that as well. (Note: I didn't cut out the dialogue tags, this is exactly how it's written. And it goes on, but I decided not to share it ALL.)

"Tell me about you getting married."
"Don't you want to talk about it?"
"That's what you always say about everything."
"That you don't want to talk about it."
"Well, I don't want to talk about it."
"Did Connie go berserk?"
"Totally. She accused me of being pregnant."
"Poor Connie."
"Poor Connie, my eye!" (page 127)

What are you reading this week? And I could use some more Women's Fiction or Chick Lit recommendations. Anyone?

Monday, October 15, 2012


A few weeks ago, YA Highway did a post about bookshelves. A few of their members posted pics of where they let their books go to rest. It was interesting to see how different everyone's spaces looked. It's like getting a glimpse into your personality. I loved this idea and thought I'd post a pic of my own bookshelf.


What my shelves say about me, I have no idea. Except that I'm a nerd who collects dragon figurines. These aren't my only shelves, I have some very messy ones in the basement with my old old books on them that I never read anymore. Sadly for them, they don't get a place of honor on these shelves. (That definitely says something about me.)

What do your bookshelves look like?

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Avengers

When it comes to comic-book movies, I'm like those people who see the movie but never read the book. I didn't read comic books growing up except for Archie. But I usually like comic-book movies. It has nothing to do with DC vs Marvel, or how well they stay true to the original story (because I have no clue). Either I like the movie or I don't. Usually, I want to see them when they come out. Sometimes they disappoint (cough, Green Lantern, cough) and sometimes they're so awesome that I'm surprised.

Like, The Avengers. I wanted to see it but I was afraid it wouldn't live up to all the hype.

But it did. Oh it did. I mean, is there someone in this universe who didn't love The Avengers? Really, I'd like to meet this person so I could slap the silly out of them. Avengers had everything. Great action, a few tender moments, the best one-liners- mostly delivered by Iron Man ("Better clench up, Legolas"), and the best Hulk-Smash scene ever. And let's not forget about all the eye-candy (how could we forget that???).

I don't think I need to say anymore. Except to profess my love for The Avengers. And to wonder why I've only seen it twice?! Excuse me while I go watch it again.

P.S. I read in an article that everyone has signed on to do the sequel except Jeremy Renner. What's the deal, Jer? We're counting on you. Please give us some more Hawkeye.

Warning: Spoilers. But um, really? If you haven't seen this movie yet, what have you been doing?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Looking Ahead (Please Don't Make Me)

Today's Road Trip Wednesday question kind of makes me want to groan. Here it is anyway...

What do you hope to be writing in one year? Three? Five?

Can I groan now?

This is me. Except female and without all the muscles. And clothed.

Here's the thing. I like to look ahead. In fact, sometimes I look ahead so much that I miss what's happening NOW. I often wonder where I will be at 'this time next year.' Will I have an agent? A book deal? Or will I be in exactly the same spot I am now (sigh). That's a depressing thought. I know agents and book deals don't usually happen quickly. (Trust me, I know this first hand.) I've started to tell myself NOT to look ahead. NOT to focus on when I'll have an agent or a book published. I tell myself to focus on the NOW: the writing, the revising, the craft- whatever it is I'm working on NOW. I tell myself not to worry about that end-goal dream.

Which is why I groan. Because I don't want to look ahead anymore.

All groaning aside, I can easily answer this question. In one year, three years, even five years, I'd like to be writing Jessica's story still. I have five possible book ideas (including the two I've already written) which would take me that long. Ideas, a story, and especially a character that I don't want to give up. That's the dream.

But I'm going to focus on the NOW. On the craft, not the dream. And then maybe, when the timing is right, the dream will happen.