Monday, July 27, 2015

Ready. Set. Write! (Week 8)

Ready.Set.Write! is a summer writing intensive hosted by Jaime Morrow, Alison Miller, Katy UppermanErin Funk, and Elodie Nowodazkij. Every Monday participants share how they're doing in reaching their goals for the summer. To see a full list of participants, go here .

1. How I did on last week's goals: My goal was 4K. And I got in 4, 200 words! I think this is the first time I've actually made my word count goal. *throws confetti* And I did get my dystopian novel off to my critique partners, so one RSW! goal completed. *eats a cupcake*

2. My goals for this week: Write 5K. I am nearing the beginning of the end on my New Orleans paranormal novel. And I want to finish it quick, because I have a new idea clawing at my brain that I HAVE GOT TO START WRITING OR IMGONNADIE!!! (I also might have updated my Writing tab w/a wee bit of info on it...)

3. A fav line from my story: 

Once Shane's in, I'm next. I catch a glimpse of a small bedroom before turning around and helping pull Nan through, with Corey offering assistance outside. 

She suddenly giggles, and Corey's whisper comes a moment after. "Sorry, Nan. I did not mean to put my hand there."

And for context here, Corey's like late twenties and Nan's pushing sixty, so... awkward.

4. The biggest challenge I faced this week: Not getting distracted by the shiny internet.

5. Something I love about my WiP: That I know that it's not some earth-shattering, life-changing novel. Rather that it's more of a fun/entertaining/quick read when you don't want something super heavy. The world needs books like that too!

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This week, Pat Esden revealed the cover for her NA paranormal novel, A Hold On Me, and I would love to share it with you all!

A HOLD ON ME (Dark Heart Book #1) by Pat Esden
Kensington Books
Release date: March 2016

She never wanted to return.

He wants nothing more than for her to leave.

But the fire between them is as strong as the past that haunts them.

Annie Freemont grew up on the road, immersed in the romance of rare things, cultivating an eye for artifacts and a spirit for bargaining. It’s a freewheeling life she loves and plans to continue—until her dad is diagnosed with dementia. His illness forces them to return to Moonhill, their ancestral home on the coast of Maine—and to the family they left behind fifteen years ago, after Annie’s mother died in a suspicious accident.

Once at Moonhill, Annie is shocked when her aunt separates her from her father. The next time Annie sees him, he’s a bizarre, violent shadow of his former self. Confused, she turns to an unlikely ally for support—Chase, the dangerously seductive young groundskeeper. With his dark good looks and powerful presence, Chase has an air of mystery that Annie is irresistibly drawn to. But she also senses that behind his penetrating eyes are secrets she can’t even begin to imagine. Secrets that hold the key to the past, to Annie’s own longings—and to all of their futures. Now, to unlock them, she’ll have to face her greatest fears and embrace her legacy…

Goodreads | IndieBound | Amazon | B&N | BAM

PAT ESDEN would love to say she spent her childhood in intellectual pursuits. The truth is she was fonder of exploring abandoned houses and old cemeteries. When not out on her own adventures, she can be found in her northern Vermont home writing stories about brave, smart women and the men who capture their hearts. An antique-dealing florist by trade, she’s also a member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and the League of Vermont Writers. Her short stories have appeared in a number of publications, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, the Mythopoeic Society’s Mythic Circle literary magazine, and George H. Scither’s anthology Cat Tales.

Website | Twitter | Tumblr | Blog

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Three Questions with Author Lisa Schroeder (+ Swag!)

Your cover is gorgeous! I love the pink fading into orange, the font of the word now, and the silhouette of a bridge. What was your reaction when you first saw it?

Thanks - I love it too! This cover is actually the second one they came up with. The first one I wasn't thrilled with, to be honest, but as most people know, authors often don't get a lot of say in the cover. So when they came back with a new one a few weeks later, something I hadn't been expecting, and I opened the file, I was SO happy! Honestly, it's my favorite cover of my YA novels so far. My first cover without any people!! The trend seems to be going away from people on the cover, which is something I think is great. A teacher I know on twitter actually did a survey with her HS students recently, and the majority said they prefer covers without people. So yeah, I'm really happy it turned out this way.

Emerson is such a neat name. If our next child is a boy, I wanted to name him that (tho the husband is not a fan). How soon did you know Emerson's name? Was it immediate, or did it take a bit of searching?

It was immediate. Sometimes it just happens that way, which is so much nicer than stressing over it and changing it a hundred times. Like in I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME, Ava was always Ava. Sometimes you just know. The interesting thing, however, is that I didn't realize Emerson is primarily a boy name. I read the description of another upcoming YA novel, and one of the male characters is named Emerson. I kind of freaked out, to be honest. I'm like - did I name a girl character a boy's name? Is that weird I didn't know it was more of a boy's name than a girl's name? I don't know. BUT, we were standing in line to get ice cream this past weekend and the little girl in front of us was named Emerson. She was adorable. And I was happy because now I knew for sure it can be a boy's or girl's name. Whew! (The things authors stress over, I swear.)

The premise of All We Have is Now is what would you do with your life if you had 24 hours left to live. But there's a bit of wish granting in there too. If you could grant one wish for someone you knew in your life right now, what would it be?

Ahhh...wishes. I'm kind of obsessed with them. I love it when a story includes the idea of wishes and granting wishes and all of that. As far as one wish I could grant for someone, it would be a woman named Lacey who only know online. Her baby Tad was born with a rare condition called Pulmonary Vein Stenosis. He's been through multiple surgeries and has been in the hospital more than out of it for his short, little life. I wish he could suddenly be cured. I wish they had all the money in the world to pay off the bills. I wish for that baby boy to grow up big and strong and happy and with no medical problems. Every day she posts updates about him and my heart breaks a little each time. They've been through so much. I just really, really want a happy ending for little Tad and his family.

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Lisa Schroeder is the author of more than a dozen books for kids and teens. Her latest young adult novel is ALL WE HAVE IS NOW, and the latest novel for 8-12 year olds is MY SECRET GUIDE TO PARIS. She lives in Oregon where she spends her time reading, writing, baking yummy treats, and hiking with her family.

What do you do with your last day on earth?

There are 27 hours and fifteen minutes left until an asteroid strikes North America, and, for Emerson and everyone else who didn't leave, the world will end. But Emerson's world already ended when she ran away from home last year. Since then she has lived on the streets, relying on her wits and her friend Vince to help her find places to sleep and food to eat.

The city's quieter now that most people are gone, and no one seems to know what to do as the end approaches. But then Emerson and Vince meet Carl, who tells them that he has been granting people's wishes. He gave his car away so a woman could take her son to see the ocean for the first time, and he gives Emerson and Vince all the money he has in his wallet.

Suddenly this last day seems full of possibility. Emerson and Vince can grant a lot of wishes in 27 hours --- maybe even their own.

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Three random commenters will receive a signed bookmark and sticker! 

So what about you all? If you could grant one wish for someone else, what would it be? 
(I would wish for a bun in the oven for a close friend of mine.)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Ready. Set. Write! (Week 7)

Ready.Set.Write! is a summer writing intensive hosted by Jaime Morrow, Alison Miller, Katy Upperman,Erin Funk, and Elodie Nowodazkij. Every Monday participants share how they're doing in reaching their goals for the summer. To see a full list of participants, go here.

1. How I did on last week's goals: I only got in 2, 481 words out of my goal of 4K. But I'm okay with that because... I finished my hard copy edits for my dystopian!!! Wa-hoo!!! That big book I've been flipping through for months, trying to decipher what I'd scrawled on the page, can now retire. 


2. My goals for this week: Write 4K. =) And get my dystopian formatted correctly and sent to cps. (yessssss)

3. A fav line from my story: 

"Darcy?" I whisper, the truth taking hold in me like a spiked weed. "Is he...?"

4. The biggest challenge I faced this week: Overcoming that big book of hard copy edits. It has been my personal nemesis, mocking me from the couch for months now. And my computer, when it didn't save 15 pages of changes. Ugh. 

5. Something I love about my WiP: This is going to be for my dystopian: That it will soon be in other people's hands, and I can take a break from it-- without feeling guilty. 

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Now before you all go, I have two fun things to share! 

#1) There are several people that I've met online that I consider good friends, even though I've never met them face to face. And Beth Ellyn Summer is one of those people. She is so sweet and genuine and just a good egg all around. She recently got a book deal with Bloomsbury Spark, and her book, At First Blush, is up on Goodreads! If you're so inclined, please mark it to read here. I'll think you'll be forever awesome!!! (and you are.)

#2) And lastly, here's a graphic Mary Fan created for her forthcoming novella. Totally made me smile!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Book Spotlight: SYNTHETICA & Rachel Pattinson

Synthetica (Synthetica #1)
Release Date: 04/01/15

This city is falling.

Seventeen-year-old Anais Finch lives in a world where everyone is born beautiful, where every dream is a possibility - and where their every move and every piece of personal information is recorded by an ID picochip inserted behind their right ear. When technology giant, Civitas, finally announces the launch of their highly anticipated Scholarly Learning Programs, which allow people to download and learn any subject instantly, Anais can hardly wait.

But not everyone is pleased with society's progress, and not everyone wants to fit in. When Anais witnesses a brutal murder on an innocent citizen and is implicated in the crime, she becomes determined to uncover the truth, especially when others like it begin to occur all over the city. But it may already be too late for Anais to stop the man who calls himself 'the Hacker' before he commits his most appalling crime yet...

Amazon | Goodreads

About the Author
So what qualifies me to be a writer? Well, ever since an early age I've been more interested in the worlds in my head, than the real one - so I thought it was finally time to do something about it. I went to uni, got a degree in publishing, worked in an office for a while, decided I hated it, went to China, came back...and now I'm a teaching assistant by day and a YA writer by night. Phew! It's been quite a journey, but I wouldn't change it for the world.

Author Links:

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

An Indiana Pal's Newest Book

Diane Bradley's newest book recently released, Wilder's Ghost. I know Diane through the IN SCBWI. She's the critique coordinator for our chapter, and I've met her at three different SCBWI functions: two conferences, and a luncheon. She's a lovely person, who always has a smile for you. In her own words, here's a few neat things she's had going on lately:

I was lucky enough to recently get honorable mention at 2014 NEMBA on May 21 this year. It's a wonderful book award that has included such greats as Gary Paulsen and William Kent Kruger. It was a honor to be nominated not alone win the silver medal The best part: the gold medal winner went to Mary Beth Griffin for her book Rhoda's Rock Hunt, illustrated by Jennifer A Bell and published by Minnesota Historical Society Press. Molly and I are SCBWI members. What a win-win!

Amazon | B&N

Mysterious lights are appearing on Rainy Lake. When Henry, Dylan, Arla, and Rika hear that ghosts are visiting the lake, they laugh it off. But as they kayak back over the route where Arla's parents disappeared ten years before, they find themselves stranded on an island, haunted by a real ghost, who doesn't want them to leave . . . ever.

Diane Bradley grew up on a farm by Two Harbors, Minnesota. A lot of her childhood was spent daydreaming as she fished, went horseback riding, and tromped through the woods. Her favorite childhood place to fish was the Big Stewart River and the best bait was earthworms, until her mother told her to stop putting those dirty worms in her pockets. After that she always washed them first. She received degrees from the University of Minnesota and Indiana University South Bend and retired from teaching to write children’s books. Her mystery adventure books Wilder's Edge, Wilder’s Foe, and Wilder’s Ghost, North Star Press, takes place on the Minnesota-Canadian border. She and her characters, Henry and Dylan Wilder, and friends Arla, and Rika think a perfect day is being out on Rainy Lake. Diane now lives in the woods not so far north on the Indiana-Michigan border along with her husband and two rescue dogs, Freya and Odin. She still loves to fish and has added kayaking on Rainy Lake to her list of favorite things. Visit her

Monday, July 13, 2015

Ready. Set. Write! (Week 6)

Ready.Set.Write! is a summer writing intensive hosted by Jaime Morrow, Alison Miller, Katy Upperman,Erin Funk, and Elodie Nowodazkij. Every Monday participants share how they're doing in reaching their goals for the summer. To see a full list of participants, go here.

1. How I did on last week's goals: Good! I went back and rearranged what I'd written so far, so the plot works much better now. I've got some mountainous revisions to tackle because of it, but I still feel good about it.

2. My goals for this week: Back to word count! And that is 4K. I keep striving for 5K and falling short, so I guess I need to lower the bar. =) Plus, keep entering hard copy edits into the computer (I'm under one-hundred, finally!).

3. A fav line from my story: I did manage some new words this week, so here's something:

It’s like stepping into a museum of natural history. Skeletons hang from the ceiling, suspended by thin wires: bats, birds, raccoons, rabbits, snakes, a large catfish. In between them are antique birdcages; some small enough to house a canary, others a family of healthy-boned parrots. Glass bottles filled with liquid line a wall of shelves, indistinct shapes floating in the murky water. 

4. The biggest challenge I faced this week: As always, time. There's never enough of it!

5. Something I love about my WiP: That there are mules in it. I adore their faces.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Cover Reveal for Meradeth Houston's TRAVELERS!

I'm so excited to be able to help share my good friend, Meradeth Houston's cover for her newest book, Travelers! I love the energy and the colors this cover has, plus the tip of the hat to the time travel element. Congrats, Mer!!! It's super awesome! 

Releases August 4th, 2015

Sienna Crenshaw knows the rules: 1) no time traveling beyond your natural lifetime, 2) no screwing with death, and 3) no changing the past. Ever. Sienna doesn’t love being stuck in the present, but she’s not the type to break the rules. That is, she wasn’t the type until her best friend broke every one of those rules to keep Henry, her twin brother and Sienna’s ex-boyfriend, alive.

Suddenly, Sienna is caught in an unfamiliar reality. The upside? Henry is still alive. The downside? Sienna’s old life, including the people in it, has been erased. Now, Sienna and Henry must untangle the giant knot in time, or her parents and all the rest of the Travelers, will be lost forever. One problem: the only way to be successful is for Henry to die.

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I’ve never been a big fan of talking about myself, but if you really want to know, here are some random tidbits about me:

>I'm a California girl. This generally means I talk too fast and use "like" a lot. Since I now live in Montana, sometimes this is a problem.

>I have my doctorate in molecular anthropology. Translation: I sequence dead people's DNA and spend a whole lot of time in a lab, which I love.

>I've been writing since I was 11 years old. It's my hobby, my passion, and I'm so happy to get to share my work!

>My other passion is teaching. There's nothing more fun than getting a classroom of college kids fired up about anthropology! This is probably a good thing, since my day job requires me to teach at the local university.

>If I could have a super-power, it would totally be flying. Which is a little strange, because I'm terrified of heights.

Find Meradeth Houston online at:

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Amazon, Goodreads, and of course her blog!

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