Friday, May 31, 2013

My Songs Know What You Did

I've been working on my supersecret WIP and it's been tough. Sometimes the scenes come out no problem, and sometimes I struggle with what should come next. I'm also struggling with the MC because she's nothing like I'm used to writing.

Music often helps me with my WIPs. When I was working on Sway, I constantly listened to Michael Buble because his music just fit. Some of his songs helped shape different scenes, or helped me to get into Sway's world.

I'm not someone who spends time creating a playlist, though. Instead, I keep my ears open until I hear a song that just WORKS. With my WIP, there's been one from the start that is sort of the theme song for this MS.

On My Own from Les Miserables
I love this video- even though it doesn't show the whole song, the clips from the movie are very moving.

This week, I've found a second song I can add to my WIPs playlist. Yay! Here it is, now on constant repeat during my writing time:

My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light 'Em Up) by Fall Out Boy
Just yesterday, as I was listening to my iTunes playlist, I stopped suddenly during this Imagine Dragons song and pressed repeat. I've loved their album since I bought it, but yesterday the words hit me and they're perfect for my WIP.
Bleeding Out by Imagine Dragons
What are the songs for your WIP? Can I steal them and use them in mine?! :D

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Surprise Me

So life got crazy busy all of a sudden and I've got about two seconds to answer today's Road Trip Wednesday question:

What's been your most surprising read of the year so far---the book you weren't sure about going in that really swept you off your feet?
So, I read a lot. And I have a terrible memory. Which means I don't remember what I read last year let alone last month (hence, my list). And even if I do think, oh yeah, I read that, I rarely remember what happened. Sad. But true. (Hence, rereading.)

There's a lot of books though that surprise me. Most of the time, I pick up books either because their cover is pretty and the premise sounds interesting, or I've heard other people blog/gush/tweet etc about them. Sometimes, I don't even know what a book is about, I've just heard it's good. Usually, I'm not disappointed. That being said, there are a few that really surprised me. (And because I barely remember what they're about let alone why I loved them, this is just gonna be in list format with no explanations, sorry.)

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks 
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Stolen by Lucy Christopher

 The Selection by Kiera Cass

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


First off, can I tell you how excited I am that I made it into QueryKombat, all because of my fantabulous nickname!

Since I didn't get in based on my query, I'd love for any and all to pop on over to Michelle's Blog and give me some crits. You have to wait until all 32 match-ups are up and the judging comment is posted, but then have at 'er! I would love that. You can't vote for me, but you can tear my query to shreds which I'm totally okay with. (I believe that the judges will reply to the 1st comment posted- which is the "judging comment". After that's up, anyone can comment on the posts, before the judges actually do the judging. If that doesn't make sense, Michelle has explained the ruled better than me on her blog.) I'm the second match-up, and my nickname is SWAY ME BUBLE.

Anyway, on to Teaser Tuesday. I'm still on my Jennifer Armentrout kick, reading the latest book in her Covenant series: Apollyon. This time, I stuck to the rules and randomly picked a line (or two, or three). Since this is a fourth book, I really wanted to stay away from spoilers!

I ground my teeth. "You can't have me. I'm not-"
"You're not his, Alex. You don't belong to anyone but yourself!"
He was wrong, so wrong. (page 44)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Dance Like You Love It

What's been weighing most on my mind hasn't actually been writing this week. Instead, I've been stressing about something I probably shouldn't take so seriously:


My oldest takes ballet and jazz, my middle daughter started ballet this year. Lately, I've been considering switching dance studios but I can't make up my mind if I should or not. This has been pressing on my mind all week, bugging me, stressing me out, causing lack of sleep and major annoyance.

Yesterday I realized that it's not the studios themselves that are making this decision so hard-- it's ME.

No matter what, every dance studio will have its pluses and minuses. What I'm having problems with is just how much I want my daughters to be involved. Dance takes time and money. Aside from classes, studios always want the kids to do exams and be in competition. Part of me wants the girls to do this, the other part says- it's too soon, they're too young, they don't need to just yet. Then I argue with myself that I want them to be the best they can be and these things will only make them better.

I love dance and I want my girls to love it to. (And no, I'm not a crazy dance mom- if they decide they'd rather do something else, I'm totally good with that.) My love of dance didn't come from getting high marks in exams or winning medals in competitions. My love of dance came from the teachers, the music, the choreography, performing, costumes, applause, friends in class, and the knowledge that I could do something, that I had a talent.

I'm starting to realize that it probably doesn't matter what studio they go to. I want them to learn technique and discipline, but I want them to have fun too. They don't have to be the best, they don't have to win a ton of medals. What I wish most for them is to be happy. I want them to love what they're doing, no matter what it is.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Girl Can Dream

It's Road Trip Wednesday day again, hosted by YA Highway. This week they want to know...

Conference season is here! We are getting all excited for BEA and ALA (check out the get-together we have planned with Stacked for ALA!), and we want to know: What authors would be on your dream author panel?

Maybe one of these days I'll get myself to a real writers conference. (Not just a day thing, which I've been to and was, in fact, real, but... you know...) Until then, I can only dream up who I would have on a dream author panel. Mainly, this lady:

If you don't know who this is, then you're either an alien who just landed on our planet, or a person who's brain was removed and replaced with robot parts.

Who wouldn't want to meet J.K. Rowling? Then maybe some of her genius would rub off on me. Or maybe we'd become besties and she'd share her billions with me and introduce me to all her publishing friends. (I know, I know, or maybe pigs fly.)

Really, I'd love to see any author whose book I read and loved on an author panel. It would be great to hear about how the author came up with the book, what they loved about writing it, what their creative process is, what their pub story was like, what they're working on next, what they're like as a human being and not just as THE AUTHOR.

A few in particular I would love to meet because I think their books are full of the funny, are Meg Cabot, Rick Riordan, Kiersten White, Sophie Kinsella, Ally Carter, and Jennifer Armentrout.

Oh, and since this is a DREAM author panel, can Jane Austen be there too? Or maybe just her. Because I've got a lot of questions. And that would be awesome.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


It's like I'm on some kind of Jennifer Armentrout kick. Actually, I just happened to have bought a lot of her books at once so I get to read most of the series back-to-back, except Sentinel which comes out in the fall. (Is that the last in the series, does anyone know?)

So for Teaser Tuesday I'm pulling out another great Covenant Series quote:

"But you have nothing to fear." He guided my chin down with gentle fingers. "When will you learn?" His voice was heavy, gruff. "You're the only person who has control over who you become. You're too strong to ever lose yourself. I believe that. Why can't you?" (page 63-64)

What are you reading this week? Once I'm finished this series, I've gotta catch up on some 2nd and 3rd books of a few series.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The One That Got Away

Oh, YA Highway. Must you go there??? Sigh. Here's this week's Road Trip Wednesday:
What book is your 'one that got away?'

Do I even have to answer this? If you've been around my blog a time or two, you already know the answer.

My poor, poor Daze and Knights.

Even though I've shelved it, my brain doesn't want to let it die. I often find myself thinking of the manuscript, the characters, the plot. I wonder what of my two different versions I would keep and what I would cut if I rewrote it again. I think about self-pubbing, but then slap myself in the brain because I would never self-pub a book I'm so unsure over. I always thought Daze was 'the one.' Turns out I was wrong, but I still can't shake it.

So, I guess Daze isn't the 'one that got away' since it still hasn't left me. Or, it got away, but for some strange reason, I can't stop chasing it.

This is what I SHOULD be doing! If only Daze was a killer bunny.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


I took three books on my trip to Florida and only finished... one. I guess I was just too busy to read. Anyway, I've barely cracked Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout, but here's a teaser for Teaser Tuesday anyway:

...well, his eyes told me he wasn't doing so great with the whole pretending-we-hadn't-almost-hooked-up charade. [He] still thought about it; hell, he was thinking about it right now. Maybe he imagined what would've happened if Leon hadn't interrupted-- maybe even as much as I did. Maybe he'd lie awake and remember how our bodies felt together.

I know I did. (page 9)

Oooh, steamy! And a good remedy for the dirt-flavored Bertie Bott's Every Flavored Bean I just ate. Blech.

Monday, May 13, 2013

I Heart Harry

It's so nice to go on vacation and so hard to get back into the swing of normal life. But I had a great time in Florida. The weather was perfect, the restaurants tasty, the pool was warm, and the best part? I got to go here:

I never thought I'd get to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It was so fun to go and feel like I was actually in Hogsmeade. My only complaint is how busy it was (surprise surprise). I'd love to go back again when my kids are older and once the expansion is done.

 Okay, this is ridiculous, but my pics look normal when I go to attach them, but I can't get them to face up! Grr.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Where Did The Time Go?

Yep, still in Florida. But I am so completely on the ball that I've got YA Highway's Road Trip Wednesday question already answered. Here it is:
What are some non-writing blogs/Tumblrs/Twitters/Pinterests/Instagrams, etc., that you follow and get inspired by?
Ummm... non-writing blogs? Pinterest? Tumblr?

Yeah, no. There are none. I'm not on Pinterest, Tumblr, or Instagram. The only blogs I read are writing ones. I just don't have TIME. There's barely enough time in the day for me to do all the stuff I HAVE to do. I find Twitter alone could eat up my day like a piranha if I let it.

Okay, so I'm sort of lying though. There has been the rare occasion that I have visited a certain Tumblr or other. But it's not really for inspiration. I'll go if someone's linked something or I'm searching for something and then sometimes I'll look at the clock and go, where'd the time go??? because I've been reading/looking at their Tumblr for the last hour (which just happened because I was going to link to a couple of tumblrs I've visited recently and then got totally caught up and holycrap I've gotta STOP!).

I'm interested to see other people's answers though because I never say no to inspiration!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Right now, at this very moment, I am somewhere in Florida doing who knows what. Maybe lazing on the beach or shopping at Honeyduke's at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. (Eeek, so excited!)

BUT, that will not stop me from posting a teaser from a book that I am most likely reading while lazing on said beach.

A small smile appeared on his lips. It should've served as a warning, but I found myself staring at those lips in place of paying attention to him. Suddenly, he crouched in front of me at eye level.

"Then I should be relieved to know what I was told just an hour ago is false. It wasn't you who yanked a girl- by her hair- out of a chair in the common lounge area." (page 42)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Introduuuuucing Megan and Bitter Angel!

I've never done an author interview on my blog and I'm psyched that for my very first one I get to have the awesome and talented Megan Hand!!!

At twelve, Megan decided to write a novel. A month later, she quit. A reading junkie by nature, she started writing again in her twenties as a way to get the voices out, because who wouldn't want to create a Real Living Person out of thin air? Megan also plays the piano and sings. She teaches little kids and takes pictures of pretty butterflies. She eats way too much chocolate, is sort of a mad scientist with her blender, and spends an unhealthy amount of time LOLing on Facebook and Twitter. She lives in Ohio with her husband and very smiley son. Bitter Angel is her first published novel.

So, you wanna know more about Bitter Angel, right? You should, because I've already read it and it's a fast-paced nail-biter of a book that I couldn't put down.

Torn between two realities.
A choice that will mean life or death.
But she won’t know anything… until she wakes up.

College sophomore, Lila Spencer lived Friday night twice. She doesn’t know how or why, just that she did. As if she split in half and went in two different directions.

Out clubbing with her friends, Heather and Nilah, the girls rock it out and party hard. What begins as an innocent night will lead to a deadly fight for their lives, and Lila might be their only chance for survival.

In bed with her boyfriend, Jay, Lila is safe and warm as she drifts to sleep in the arms of the man she loves. Until she is sucked into a horrifying nightmare of her friends' deaths.

As the sunlight warms her face on Saturday morning, the two scenarios collide. But there can be only one outcome. Will she wake up in her warm bed with Jay by her side, devastated and grieving for her friends? Or was she there to save them?

So I had like a bazillion questions I wanted to ask her, but I narrowed it down to a few that I REALLY wanted to know.

ME: First, tell us why you wanted to be an author in the first place?

 MH: I read and wrote as a kid, but both got sort of swept under the busyness of adulthood and marriage. This is going to sound so cliche, but in my mid-twenties, I read Stephanie Meyer's The Host and fell in love. Next came the Twilight books which spurred my new reading obsession. I started to tell my sister that I've also had stories locked up in my head for a long time. She said "Whoa, Megan, you should write one of these." I tinkered with the idea, finally sat down and started writing one day. Four months later, I had my first novel. What. A. Blast!
ME: What has your experience been like self-publishing?

MH: So far, it's been great! I've had fun getting to know some of the readers, a TON of authors, and getting my feet wet. The great thing about self-publishing is, there is always time for anything. Meaning, I could publish, not publish. Set my own dates. Write as many or as little books in a year. But I also have to work on my own toward these goals. It's not totally alone. I have a great network of people backing me, and I have to say the people have it made it worth everything.
ME: What made you want to write New Adult?

MH: I started the New Adult adventure because I 1.) Have a severe case of Peter Pan Syndrome and would literally live in college if I could, and 2.) I saw a desperate lack of stories in that age category. There were a bazillion books about kids in high school, not so much in college. At the time (several years ago) it was taboo. Authors have since broken down those taboo walls big time. Now there is so much NA, we are swimming in it, which is just fine by me :)
ME: Where did the inspiration come from for Lila's story?

MH: Lila's story came to me as all of my stories too, in a half-awakened dream. It usually happens when I'm first waking up and a real dream becomes a scene, which usually later becomes a story. Lila's story was originally supposed to be a short story. She lives the two days, she wakes up, and she gets her answer. But I could not stop it there. You'll have to read to find out why!
ME: What was the hardest part about writing Bitter Angel?

MH: The hardest part was letting Lila get herself into certain situations. I was screaming at her, banging on the walls of my conscience, and she couldn't hear me. I admit writing the antagonists was fun but also hard. It's not often I get to write someone as evil as some of the characters in Lila's story, and I struggled with that at times. Because while Lila didn't have to be in their head, I sort of did. It was difficult. 

ME: What part did you love the most?
MH: The part I loved the most was all the action. Bitter Angel is a very plot-driven story, whereas most of my stories are character-driven. Writing the constant action was really fun, and of course seeing where Lila took me. There were a couple twists that even took me by surprise, and that is one of my favorite parts of writing any book.

ME: What project/s are you working on now?

MH: I'm working on an NA contemporary romance, very emotional and I'm super excited about it. This book has been a labor of love for a number of years, and I'm absolutely giddy to get it finished this final time.

ME: Because I always like to know... What are you reading right now?

MH: Sigh... I am reading nothing right now. Well, that's not totally true. I am helping a friend edit/beta her contemporary country romance that is super HOT and great! Other than this one exception, I am taking a break from reading to really concentrate and put my heart and soul into this next book. I'm buckling down and can't seem to fit the books in the seat with me, so I'm setting them aside for a short period of time. I am planning a catch up party for the summer. I have a feeling my summer reading list is going to be as thick as a novel ;)

Thanks so much for having me, Melanie!!

And a SUPER MASSIVE thank you to Megan for stopping by and answering my questions. You can find her at Megan Hand Writes and you can find Bitter Angel on Goodreads or just go ahead and buy it at Amazon or B&N. You should. Like right now. Because it's awesome.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Saying Goodbye

Oh gosh... I don't even want to write this post. It makes me sad just thinking about it and my Friday posts are supposed to be about what I love... Well, I do love this, I've just reached the end.

I've made no secret that I had a Revise and Resubmit request on Daze and Knights and last weekend I heard back.

It was a pass.

This makes me infinitely sad. Daze was something I've put my blood, sweat, and tears into for the last three years. THREE YEARS. It's my first love. I'll never forget my first love. But it has to be shelved.

More than anything, I'm frustrated with myself for not being able to do this story justice, for not being able to tell it properly. It's nobody's fault but my own that my poor story is now just a file on the computer and nothing more.

But it's time to move on. I'll never forget my first love, and maybe one day- one day far off from now- I'll revisit it again. I'll give it another shot. But for now, I've got new loves to pour my blood, sweat, and tears into. Thank goodness for that or I might have just quit. I wrote on Twitter earlier this week that I just can't get off the darn rollercoaster, even though sometimes I may want to. That's writing for me. I may get a break from the ride, but I'll always get back on.

I was totally going to post about how I'd found a new actor that would make an awesome Lord Alric (the love interest from Daze). It seems silly to post about it now, but I'll leave you with the movie preview anyway, because it looks like a good one.

The guy who plays Romeo could totally be Lord Alric, except with a different haircut. :)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Reeeeead Me

April is over and it's been... an iffy month. On the upside, I read A LOT of books and YA Highway wants to know:
What was the best book you read in April?

I've got to pick from this lot???

Actually, for once, it's EASY. Because I pick Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen, HANDS DOWN. (BTW, the rest of these books were awesome, except one or two that I had issues with but I don't want to talk about those.)

Here's the blurb from Goodreads to entice you to reeeeead it:

Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.

It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.

I LOVE me some Robin Hood. Anything from the Kevin Costner version I grew up on, to the ridiculously silly Men-In-Tights, to the BBC version who has yep, I'm showing his picture again this guy as Guy of Gisbourne:

Is this where the term GUYLINER comes from?!

I thought it was awesome how the author intertwined different versions of Robin Hood in her own way so everything was familiar but yet also new. The tension triangle between Scarlet, Little John, and Robin was fabulous. Scarlet was strong, yet vulnerable, great with her knives but not great at being a girl. I easily guessed what her secret was, but it didn't detract from the story, only made me more excited when I discovered I was right. If you're a Robin Hood fan, you should definitely read this.