Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Letter to my Future Self

Dear Beth,

I seriously hope you got that tooth taken care of and that you've shed some pounds by the time you're reading this. Otherwsie, I'm not sure what we've been doing.

Congrats on the magazine. I can only assume you're published now. Either way, we still write the words that rock the world. (You know, provided the world ever sees them).

Just keep writing...And I hope you got a decent score on the GRE.



Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Blah. That about covers it.

I slept 3 hours last night. I've been a chronic insomniac most of my life but the past few years have been a lot better. I slept four or more hours on a regular basis, so getting back to this days of "up" at a time is a drag.

I got up to write. I accomplished 104 words before my body wanted sleep. I attempted to sleep. Not happening. I went to the gym and worked so hard I was sick, literally. When I came home, my body screamed for sleep. Not happening, and that's probably for the best because I want to sleep tonight!

I decided I didn't have time for naps. I really want to finish writing CE by June 1. To do that, I have to write. I drug myself out of bed and decided to write. I don't want to. I kinda know what I want to say, but not really. And I feel antsy. I get to this point with every ms, where the end is in sight if I can just push through. I will. And hopefully I'll do so by June 1, but it's driving me crazy.

I think I feel better now. I find when I'm down to the wire, near end of a novel I blog more. It takes the nerve racking edge off.

Monday, May 23, 2011


So this is a short post, or maybe it's a lack of a post. I don't know, but what I want to know is are any of you going to SCBWI nationals in LA this year? I know it's still a couple of months out, but I'd just like to know who's going to be there, because it's my first big conference. And in truth, I'm a little bit nervous and want o know who's going to be there with me. But also, because it would be a great opportunity to meet you in the real world. So, are you going?

...oh, and I promise to post the winners of the Delirium contest sometime this week, though I can't promise what day.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rules of Attraction Book 3

Even though I loved Perfect Chemistry, I did not go into this book with high expectations. I read it to find out what happened next, but I wasn't sure I'd like it. I actually really loathe sequels that are not about the MCs in the previous book. However, I loved Rules of Attraction.

Even after I started reading it, I really didn't think I would. Kiara is a white girl from an upper middle class family, and Alex's little brother is in gang/drug trouble. Reminiscent of the first one, anyone? But even from the beginning I liked Kiara better than I liked Brittany, and it becomes obvious pretty quickly that they aren't the same girl.  The other thing is I became as interested in Kiara and Carlos as I was in Brittany and Alex. Also, Brittany and Alex pop in and out, so that was interesting.

The story really takes on a life of it's own, and it's not a repeat of the first book. It's a great book with similar alternating povs and cultural issues to the first. I give this book 5 stars.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Raised By Wolves Book 2

Barnes' debut novel, Raised by Wolves, has an intriguing storyline and puts some interesting twists in were mythology. Fresh story lines in the world of YA paranormal romance are becoming rare especially when vamps or wolves are concerned, so I'm happy to point this one out.

It's about a girl Bryn, whose parents were killed by a rabid werewolf when she was very young, so a pack of Weres kill the rabid and take her in. She's assigned a guardian who acts as her mother and is the only other human in the pack. But Bryn is kind of the alpha's pet. Of course, she doesn't like that her parents died or that she's the only human teenage girl in a pack of mostly male Weres, but things go well until a new threat arrives.--Except Bryn doesn't know what the knew threat is. Neither do we for a couple of hundred pages, and this is what I didn't like. Honestly, the book was too slow for me. We're privy to this info that there seems to be a threat, but nothing threatening is happening and we don't know what the threat is for 200 pages.

As the idea of the threat develops Bryn meets Chase, a recently turned Wolf who's being stashed in a cage in the Alpha's basement. He's our lead guy. Yep. Just like that. --Threat we don't know what is, look for a threat, find a hot guy instead. And the romance is pretty much thrown together. Due to Bryn's wolf like instincts, and Chase's status as a were the author relies primarily on animalistic instincts to set up the romance. And for me at least, it didn't work. It felt rushed or thrown together. I had no idea what they saw in each other, other than physical attraction and some primate bond they thought they had.

It eventually all comes together and we're led to a satisfying ending. The writing style is interesting and the plot was good. I think the primary problems with the book were that it was often repetitive, there were some awkward phrasings and mechanical errors (though there were only a handful in 400 page book), but I think the threat could have come in sooner and the romance developed better. I'm not sure that I'll read the sequel. It will most likely depend on what's on my bookshelf at the time ;).

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Delirium Contest Update

Okay, so you can still win Delirium until May 20th, and there are other prizes as well. I originally said the contest would be open only to people who live in the US/Canada due to the cost of postage. However, I didn't realize how many international followers I had. I'm now opening the autographed copy of Delirium up internationally. The 2-4 prizes are still only in the US/Canada. Sorry, guys. There is just no way I can ship four books abroad.

I'm also giving bonus entries for following me on twitter at bethfred08 or facebook, there I'm Beth Fred ;).

Also, if I reach 200 followers before the 20th, I will give away a fifth book. I will announce the fifth book the day I reach 200 followers.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011



Waiting on Wed. (WOW) is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

My pick this

week is Chain Reaction, the third book in the Perfect Chemistry series.

Goodreads Synop: "Luis Fuentes is a good boy who doesn't live with the angst that his big brothers, Alex and Carlos, have always lived with. Luis is smart, funny, and has big dreams of becoming an astronaut. But when he falls for the wrong girl, Luis enters a dark world he's never known, and just when he thinks he's got life all figured out, learns some disturbing news about his family that destroys his positive outlook on life. Will that Fuentes bad boy streak come out with a vengeance and lure Luis to live on the edge like his new girlfriend and his own father?"

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Perfect Chemistry Book 1

I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!! I can say with no degree of uncertainty and in all caps, because I'm not a fan of contemp. I especially am not a fan of contemp written in the present. Call me "Old School," but it stands to reason by the time something has been recorded the event is over. I only have this book, because my CP sent it to me as motivational inspiration to finish my contemp WIP. Yet I tore through it in one day, putting a wolf book down to read it.

The book is written with alternating narrators, Brittany, the white girl, and Alex, her gangster. Brittany is a spoiled brat. In spite of Alex's being a gangster and his affinity for sharp objects, I spent most of the book liking him way more than Brittany. However, she does evolve nicely. But the thing that really made this book stand out for me was the way she painted both povs so well. In the beginning, the two narrators know of each other, but only to the extent of rumors. He thinks she's a spoiled little brat who thinks the world is her personal playground, and while there might be some degree of truth to that there is more to her than that. And she thinks he's just a bad boy gangster ready to shoot the next person that looks at  him, way more to his story as well. She's afraid of the gangster, and he feels he has something to prove because her crew is so much  "better" than him. I love the voice too! I'd give this book a five star rating.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Project 30

Most of you know my first blog was Project 52. I adored it. Not only did I adore it, I learned so much from it. I have a B.A. in English, and I think I learned more from reviewing 52 books last year and interviewing authors than I did in four years of college. And it was so much fun!

I didn't worry about what attracted traffic. I posted my book reviews, author interviews, and whatever else I wanted. I loved it! I finished my 52nd book review hours before midnight on new year's eve. It was so exciting. I'm a law school drop out, so it was the first time I finished something since college. More than that it was something I could be successful at not contingent on any outside factors. I quit posting book reviews, because an agent said if you didn't like of their clients books, they wouldn't represent you. I work too hard o my work to lose opportunity because my book reviews are honest (and people seemed to appreciate it).

I don't care anymore. We're in a field that thrives on diversity and subjectivity. Not every book is going to be for everyone. And I love doing book reviews, and I like having a goal. I want an agent, bad. Other than writing the story in my head and revising it fourteen million times, there isn't a lot I can do about this. I would love to be published, and again once the book is written that's out of my control. So I'm starting Project 30 today. How did I pick 30? I have no idea. I just knew it was too late in the year to try to review 52 books. But Project 30 starts here. Grab the button and join me. You won't regret it by the end of the year. Promise.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Beth Goes to India

...A picture is worth 1000 words, so today I'll save the words and post the pics. The hubs and I are getting ready to go back in December, so I had these out looking at them and wanted to share them.

My big fat Indian wedding or the precursor at least.

Big & Fat


I'm a white Indian girl.

[caption id="attachment_342" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="The kids are celebrating Krishna's birthday. I was celebrating mine, so they took a pic w/ me."][/caption]

Kovalam--on the list of top 10 beaches in the world

Kerala/Tamil Border

Friday, May 6, 2011

Follow Friday & Book Hop

Reminder: You can win an autographed copy of Delirium here.

Circle time! Time to share. What character in a book would you most like to be, what character in a book would you most like to date?

Umm...well, I can't really think of a character in a book I'd want to be. But if we were both single I'd totally date Edward Cullen.

"Which book blogger would you most like to meet in real life?"

Another hard question. I've met some pretty cool book bloggers. Michelle  atWindowpane, Jen at What's on the Shelf, a Mundie Mom, and some of the girls in the stack. That being said, I know there are lots of great bloggers still out there. The truth is I'd love to meet you all!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wed & Writing: Autographed Copy of Delirium for Grabs Plus Tips from Lauren

Yep! You heard it right I'm giving away an autographed copy of Delirium. A second place winner will receive Dance With A Vampire and a bookmark signed by Lauren Oliver. And I will be giving away two other books.

But not until the end of this post! Ha! First you have to read all about my encounter with the lovely Lauren Oliver. But don't worry she's delightful. And I felt she had some good things to say.


What Lauren says for writers: First she emphasized what we all know, that writing is a discipline. It needs to be developed, nurtured, and worked at. It doesn't just happen. But the most important element to writing a good novel, is writing! If you want to write for a career, you need to write every day. Lauren writes 1200 words a day. She doesn't like to go over that much and she doesn't go under that. She writes 1200 words every day. There were gasps in the audience when she said this, but I enjoyed it not because it sounded so huge. But because it didn't sound so huge. I aspire to write 2000 words every day, and some days I can't. On those days I really kick myself. When I first started writing, I didn't have a CP, my blog was a joke, and I didn't edit for anyone and wasn't editing anything of my own. 2000 words a day happened. Every day. With all the changes, lots of days it doesn't and I feel bad. But if Lauren can write Delirium at 1200 words a day, maybe I should look into a better goal for myself.

Lauren used to work in the editorial department of Penguin, so she had some interesting insight from that angle as well. She said that lots of people spend two years writing a book, and then query with a letter not comparative of their work. What's the point in that? You've worked so hard on your book, you need to put the work into the query. She said, "Make it easy for them to say yes." She also pointed out that agents still get 60% of clients from submissions. That was encouraging. And it doesn't always seem like it! But she told the refreshing story of getting her own agent by cornering him at a cocktail party. I love this! It was just so honest.

So in a nutshell her suggestions were to write everyday, put work into your writing, and put work into your querying. She also recommended conferences.

Lauren on her books: She read both from her upcoming book Liesl and Po and the long awaited Pandemonium. I loved them both, and I should point out I haven't read Delirium yet. I loved the way that Liesl and Po seemed to address some pretty ambitious concepts for a MG novel. But I was sold with Pandemonium. I found both the imagery and voice captivating, more than that I loved the way the two books were so different.

I've been to a lot of author signings, and I think this was my favorite. I don't say that after each signing, and I'm not saying it now to say that any of the former signings and/or authors weren't as great. But we had a small group which allowed for Lauren to talk really openly to us and for us to ask questions openly of her. She responded to this enthusiastically. She was eager to answer questions and seemed truly interested in the thoughts of her readers. I've never been to a signing where an author asked about what I was writing and it was so nice. Haha. It made me feel like a real writer! If you get the chance to see her, you should. She's really a great speaker and I think probably a great person.










WOW is hosted by Jill at breaking the spine.

This week I'm waiting for The Vampire Stalker.
Goodreads Synop:
What if the characters in a vampire novel left their world--and came into yours?

Amy is in love with someone who doesn't exist: Alexander Banks, the dashing hero in a popular series of vampire novels. Then one night, Amy meets a boy who bears an eerie resemblance to Alexander. In fact, he IS Alexander, who has escaped from the pages of the book and is in hot pursuit of a wicked vampire named Vigo. Together, Amy and Alexander set out to track Vigo and learn how and why Alexander crossed over. But when she and Alexander begin to fall for each other, Amy wonders if she even wants him to ever return to the realm of fiction.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Book Cellar & Indie Stores

Borders is gone for most of us, though I understand a few remain around the country. I don't know if anyone remembers, but back in August, there was talk of Barnes and Noble going under. With the big boys out of the picture, that only leaves indies. For me, indies are more accessible right now anyhow. I'd have to drive a town over to go to B&N.

Indie stores tend to do a lot for writers/readers anyhow. They're more than just a bookstore. They host all sorts of events. I want to talk about the book cellar in Chicago, which isn't exactly local for me. I'm in Milwaukee, but they do have nice events and Wisconsin just really doesn't seem to attract much in the way of YA. So Chicago is less than two hours and this Texas girl's best friend.

I'd planned to run this post earlier, but life got in the way. A few weeks ago, I attended a YA workshop at the book cellar. I didn't really know what to expect from a workshop hosted by a bookstore. Don't get me wrong, I do workshops. But most of the events I've been to at bookstores have focused on an author or authors and are usually in some way expected to sell books. They're usually signings. I enjoy signings, but still wasn't sure what this workshop would entail.
Well, it was exactly what it said it was. Three YA authors came each with something to say. Participants engaged in writing exercises and listened to advice from published authors. And it was free. Now this was a workshop open to anyone, so a lot of the information provided was probably more useful for beginners. But it was a full blown two hour workshop and I got some good use of it. Writers don't make a lot of money, and honestly you can spend some money getting where you want to go in the form of conferences and such. A bookstore that offers free stuff for writers is a book store for me!
But lots of indie stores have cool things to offer, you won't find other places. There is a cute little store in Cedarburg that has a large selection of autographed stock. I know for many people that isn't a big deal, but in this area even YA autographed stock can be hard to find. And Next Chapter in Mequon has a great rewards program, so go check out your local bookstore. If you're not ready to buy any books today, leave them a shout out on your blog. There are lots of ways to support.