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!