Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ah-May-Zing Books

Today's Road Trip Wednesday wants to know:

What's the best book you read in March?

Wouldn't it be nice if I read one great book and then a handful of crappy ones? Then it would make it easier to pick the best book of the month- something I can NEVER EVER do.

What am I saying??? OF COURSE I don't want to read a crappy book! Sheesh.

Of course, that still means I won't be able to pick a "best," especially out of this bunch:


I think I made up for my dismal display of reading in February

I mean, geez! These books were all ah-may-zing! They really were. But I can actually name two that kind of take the tops for me.

Stolen, by Lucy Christopher. This was like no book I had ever read before. Even though it wasn't exactly action-packed, I found myself reading on and reading on and reading on because I had to know what would happen. I couldn't let the characters go. And even though it's a book that you just KNOW cannot end happily, I oh so wanted it to. Which of course, it didn't. And I probably would have been disappointed if it did. (Which makes no sense, I know.) The book is basically a letter from a victim to the man who kidnaps her. It is Wow. That's all I'm going to say. And you should read it. Like now.

The Selection, by Kiera Cass. I picked this one up at my library because the cover is pretty (true story) and I've seen it mentioned here and there around the blogosphere. Honestly though, I wasn't expecting much. But I LOVED this book! I think because it's like this Hunger Games/The Bachelor mash-up which is just awesome. Having just finished watching Sean pick Catherine and all the Tierra-induced drama from the latest season of The Bachelor, I couldn't help but love reading about a competition that was very similar but set in a dystopian world. My only complaint is that the book ended without getting to the actual end of the competition (what the crap?!?!), but at least there's no doubt that I'll be picking up The Elite which I think comes out in April (yay!).

So what was the best book you read in March?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Host

I'm rereading The Host this week in anticipation of the movie coming out on the weekend which I probably won't see until who knows when because April is gonna be a busy month. Hopefully I'll get the chance sometime, because it looks good in the previews. Then again, I've been disappointed before (*cough* Beautiful Creatures *cough*).

So for Teaser Tuesday today, you can have a snippet of The Host by Stephenie Meyer, in case you haven't read it:

Before Melanie could make my fingers touch him, his arm shot out and the back of his hand smashed into the side of my face. The blow was so hard that my feet left the ground before my head slammed into the rock floor...

...Stupid, stupid, I whimpered at her. I told you not to do that! (page 132)

And in case you've been living under a rock and haven't seen the preview... I love it for the Imagine Dragons song alone!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Worth It

I had a conversation with my hubs a few nights ago about writer contracts and royalties. I was doing some research and he was wondering about what a writer gets paid. When I told him I thought royalties were around 10% on list price (and if I'm wrong, please let me know), what he said to me was,

It's not worth it.

So I said, but it's not about the money to me.

He went on to argue about how he wasn't talking about the number of copies sold because he knows that isn't usually a whole lot. He was saying that if 10% is all an author gets in the first place, then it's NOT WORTH IT.

My reply: Good thing you're not doing it then.

I've thought about it this entire week. This is the first time I've really felt like an "artist." The money has never mattered to me. I don't write because I expect to make a lot of money. I write because I love it. I don't want to get published for the money. I want to get published so that I can BE a writer. So that other people will read and hopefully love my work like I do. And of course there's that dream of walking by a bookstore and seeing MY BOOK on the shelves.

I'm lucky because I'm not the breadwinner in my house. I don't need to earn a lot of money for us to survive, therefore, writing is a perfectly acceptable career-choice for me. My husband looks at it like a math problem: Calculate the number of hours spent researching/writing/revising/etc and then calculate what you might make per book and... yeah, I'm sure the numbers wouldn't come out all that great. If you put it that way, maybe it's not worth it. But I love to write. I would do it no matter what. I keep doing it, despite the rejections, despite the busy-ness of life, despite the occasional (sometimes more frequent) feelings of suckitude. I will always write because it makes me happy. And for that reason alone, it's WORTH IT.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Um... Novellas?

This week's Road Trip Wednesday question asks:

This month's Bookmobile selection, The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd, is inspired by The Island of Doctor Moreau, and its sequel takes inspiration from the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. What other novellas would you like to see inspire YA books?
Okay, this is an easy one. My answer is none. Because I've never read a novella.
Nope, not one. Can't think of any. Maybe there's been one sometime...? Or maybe for school... ?
I seriously can't think of one. The only novellas I have on my bookshelf are Daimon and Elixir, both by Jennifer Armentrout, both part of her Covenant series. I'm pretty sure neither of those are based on anything.
Wait, wait. Is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens a novella? Because I've read that. That could make an interested YA book, although there's been so many movie versions done it might be a little exhausted.
Can anyone recommend some novellas that I absolutely must read? Or maybe when I go through everyone else's answers I'll realize that I've actually read a novella or two sometime in my life.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


It's Tuesday, so you know what that means...

Bathroom Cleaning Day!!! YAY! In case you didn't catch it, that was sarcasm at its strongest.

What I meant to say was, it's Teaser Tuesday! hosted by Miz B. at Should Be Reading. Right now I'm reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver, which has such an interesting premise: Love is a disease and everyone gets cured as soon as they turn eighteen. Here's my teaser:

As he turns his head I see the unmistakable sign of someone who is cured: the mark of the procedure, a three-pointed scar just behind the left ear, where the scientists insert a special three-pronged needle used exclusively for immobilizing the patient so that the cure can be administered. People show off their scars like badges of honor... (page 60)

Hopefully I can get my bathrooms done quickly so I can read some more!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bits and Bobs

I've got nothing concrete to post about today, but there are a few things buzzing around in my brain that I think deserve a mention. This is like my own way-less-cool (and way shorter) version of YA Highway's Field Trip Friday. (And seriously, you should check that out every Friday because they provide the best links and news.)

If you've ever wondered about small presses and the advantages/disadvantages of signing with one, Tangled Up In Words dubbed the month of February Small Press 411. There's so much information there, it's a must-read for every author.

Brenda Drake has started another Pitch Madness competition. Check out her blog for details ASAP- the submission window is today only! (Dang, I wish Sway was ready!)

March is a month full of awesome movies coming out on DVD. My poor poor bank account.

Have you heard? Michael Buble is coming out with a new CD! I heart him so much and I love his new song. Here's a sneak peak...

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bad Habits

Here's today's Road Trip Wednesday question hosted by YA Highway:

Spring cleaning! What do you hope to "clean out" from your writing? What habits/tropes/words, etc do you want to eliminate?

Is it Spring already? I wish Alberta would get that memo.

Anyway, if I could clean out my writing, hoo-eee there would be quite a few words I'd eliminate. I know that's what revisions are for, but it would save me lots of time if I'd just stopping using them in the first place. Words like, just, so, well, yeah, really, etc. I also find I've got to revise a lot of things like I saw, I looked, I smelled, I heard, I wondered... When I'm writing a first draft, I'm in a hurry to get the story out, and those words get straight to the point. It's in revisions that I have to stretch and find better, more descriptive ways of saying stuff.

This doesn't have much to do with spring cleaning, but I've decided when I go back to the WIP I started ages ago, I'm going to plot a lot more before I start writing again. Usually I get a basic idea and then just wing it, but this leaves me with rounds and rounds of revisions. I'm hoping I can cut that back at least a teensy bit by digging deeper into the plot and characters before I even get started.

What habits would you like to eliminate? Maybe I can add them to my list.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


I've gotta dash out of the house in five minutes, so without any adieu whatsoever (bonus points if you know what movie that's from), here's my Teaser Tuesday from the very first paragraph of Stolen by Lucy Christopher:

You saw me before I saw you. In the airport, that day in August, you had that look in your eyes, as though you wanted something from me, as though you'd wanted it for a long time. (page 1)

Let me just say, this book has had me from that very first line. I wish I didn't have other stuff to do and could just sit at home and read read read so I know what happens in the end. Ah! Gotta love great books!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Vloggin' Awesome

Have you seen this? Have you have you? Because it's awesome!

The wonderful Kelsey Macke, who was part of one of Cupid's contests with me, has started a Vlog series. If you haven't seen any of the episodes, you've gotta check them out now, starting with this one because it's so full of TRUTH, hilarious truth.

Trust me, it will make your Friday.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Quarterly Check-In

Today's Road Trip Wednesday question asks:

Quarterly check-ins! We're already 1/4 of the way through the year--where are you on your reading and writing goals?

Are we talking Resolutions here? Cuz I really didn't make any. Like most people, I tend to break them and then just end up feeling like a whopping failure.

Anyway, when the New Year hit, I was thick in my revise and resubmit for Daze. My plan was to have it finished and sent in by sometime in February. I did that. Now my plan is to finish my revisions on Sway and get it query ready for April. These aren't set-in-stone goals, but I like to give myself a deadline so I have something to aim for. After that, hopefully I'll be able to get back to a WIP I started a year ago.

As for reading, I decided not to set a reading goal this year. It kinda takes the fun out of it. Reading is about the love of the story, not the number of stories.

What about you? Accomplished a bazillion goals already or just getting back on track?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Two Teasers

I'm in-between books right now, so I thought I'd pull teasers (for Teaser Tuesday) from the two books I read this past week. Both awesome books. Completely different from each other but great reads.

From The Fault In Our Stars, by John Green:

I didn't tell him that the diagnosis came three months after I got my first period. Like: Congratulations! You're a woman. Now die. (page 24)

From Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier:

Three days ago, I didn't even have an inkling about the existence of the Guardians. Three days ago, my life had still been perfectly normal. (page 58)

What are you reading this week? I can't wait to get started on The Diviners, by Libba Bray.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Soundtrack of My Novel

I finally finished my R&R of Daze and Knights. It's such a relief but also scary and nerve-wracking and stressful and now days of wondering whether I did enough or did it right or or or.

To get my mind off needless worry, and to remember what I love about the story whether it becomes a success or just a fond memory, I decided to post the soundtrack of my novel. Just a few songs since I don't get Spotify or anything like that here in Canada (not that I know of, anyway), so I'll have to use YouTube.

This song is The Song for my MS. I hear it and see a montage of scenes in my head like a movie preview.

I heard this song on the radio one day ages ago and one lyric just fit right in. "According to you/I'm stupid, I'm useless..."

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this piece by Beethoven (I'm learning it on the piano right now). In one scene, Jessica dances ballet with this song playing in her head.

Again, this song just FIT, especially for a certain scene. "What if I stay forever/What if there's no goodbye/Frozen for a moment here in time..."

I love me some sword fighting and battle sequences (that's my inner Dragonlance-obsessed-teen talking) and this song is perfect for my battle scene near the end. From my MS: "Together, we crossed the gates and into hell."

What are some songs from your MS or WIP?