Thursday, June 30, 2011

If you are here to win an autographed copy of Leaving Paradise go here.

If you are here for Follow Friday go here.

Freebie Friday

Yep, it's that time of the week when Beth is out of intelligent things to say, and as always, out of room on her bookshelf.

It seems the only plausible solution for such a predicament is that I give something away.

I picked up a brand new, nice shiny copy of Leaving Paradise at a conference a few weeks ago, and Simone was nice enough to sign it for me. This is a one day only contest. Leave me comment love and give me lots of social shout outs between now and midnight. Since this is a one day contest and the winner will be announced on Monday, let's make it easy for me. Two entries for following, two entries for dedicating a blog post to this, and one entry for fb, twitter, google buzz, and any other place you might want to leave a should out provided u post a link in the comments. This contest is open internationally.

Thanks for the love!!!! And see you on Monday, now turn off your pc and run for the door. ENJOY THE WEEKEND!!!  HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!

Follow Friday

Q. ACK! Your favorite book/movie character (example Hermione Granger played by the Emma chick) just walked into the room! Who is it and what would be your first reaction?

Answer: Edward Cullen and I would faint!!!!

P.S.  Please leave a link back so if you comment/follow me I can return the favor.



Ohh--P.P.S. You can win an autographed copy of Leaving Paradise here.

Thursday 13

Thursday 13 is a weekly meme. The goal is to post a list of 13--13 whatever you want. 13 top or bottom picks, 13 random things, just 13.

13 Random Things

1. I'm no closer to my $100 than I was when I posted my Dear Beth Letter.

2. I seriously have to wash walls today, oh what fun.

3. I can't decide what to write next. I'm torn between a complete and total rewrite of my first ms and a whole new book about a dead dude resurrected.

4. Thank God for tea.

5. I wish sweets where calorie free.

6. Sometimes, I wish I were a better blogger, like more dedicated and stuff.
7. Posting 13 random things is harder than it seems.
8. My favorite color is purple.
9. I love Lindt truffles.
10. I'm only 26, but I've been going to the senior weight lifting class, because I can't keep up with the youngsters!!!! HAHA.
11. This list sucks, I'm thinking of rewriting it.
12. My favorite book is still Eclipse.
13. I refuse to read the sequel to Shade, because I don't want Aura with that stupid Scotty. No offense to any Scotts who might reading this.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wed. & Writing: Scheibl Says

Way back in April, author Mary Jo Scheibl came to our local RWA meeting to share things that helped her on her journey to publication and still help her even now. I loved the way she just kind of talked about things like they were second nature to her, but more than that she was very honest and still encouraging with real world advice. She's given me permission to share with you the information she gave us. Mary gave an hour and a half conversation so I'm obviously not going to be able to put everything here, but I'm going to highlight the points that helped me.  But you can learn more about her and her work here or here.

The first thing that really resonated with me isn't even on her list, but it's a quote I love. "You're good no one unless you're good to yourself." Since I heard that I've made an effort to be easier on myself when I miss a blogpost or get behind on something trying to live life.

Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

She suggested taking an inventory of what you're good at and what you're not, and maybe soliciting your CP's help with this. I loved this, because I solicited my cp's help and it turns out I'm good at more things than I knew. However, the things I'm bad at I'm REALLY bad at. Mary Jo suggested that you pick one thing to improve on as you right your next WIP. Write it on a note card and tape it to your computer or keep it on your desk, so you can focus on that one thing, improve that one thing.

Introductions/Getting Stuck

Mary Jo actually made these two separate points, but I feel comfortable combining them here, because I think you deal with them essentially the same way. She said if you don't know where to start your book, start with the very next thing that happens. That's usually the right place to start anyhow. For getting stuck she recommends leaving it but not forgetting it.

A year ago, I was so stuck that I was essentially writing two different books at once just to see where the plot was going to go. Another published writer told me each day they wrote only what they were interested in. I tried this. It worked. At this point, it's pretty much how I roll. But I think this is essentially what she's saying. You don't know where the book starts? So what. Move on and write the parts you can. You got stuck? So what. Move on and write what you can.

Writing is hard work.

Enough said. And editing is even harder work. I think we all need to remember this sometimes.

Trust your talent and skill, but look at others to see what they do and how they do it.

You might find a tool to make something easier for yourself, or help you improve on an area of craft you're weak at.


I haven't mastered this one yet. Rejection hurts, especially when you've worked so hard on something. I guess the main point here is you have to know it's something we all suffer through and isn't any reflection on you or your ability.

Writing is a process:

  • come up w/ idea

  • think about story, characters, etc.

  • research

  • write rough draft

  • revise and it again, and again, and again

Writer's Block:

There is no such thing. You haven't thought about it enough. You don't know the characters well enough, or you haven't slept on it enough.


This is one I really need to remember.

Volunteer--It's the best way to network.


"I started getting really serious about my writing in 1986 and got published for the first time in 2009." Wow. I think that was the most impressive thing I heard all day. It gave me inspiration, and I thought anyone who can play this game that long deserves to be published.

Pulling It All Together

  • Don't let your self be idle for too long. Keep writing.

  • Trust your talent and instincts.

  • Change up these tips to best fit you and your writing style.

Tipsy Tuesday...

Okay, so I'm not really tipsy but by the end of this post and its comments my goal is for people to think so! LOL!

I want to play a game today. I'm going to put a word in bold at the end of this post. The first person who comments will type the first word that popped into their head when they saw my bolded word. Just the first word that popped into their head (and of course you can leave a blog link so I can hop over). The next person who comments will type the first word that popped into their head when they read the comment.

And so on and so forth. And they I will come back and comment too, and by the time this is over we will all look tipsy on this Tuesday. ;).


Monday, June 27, 2011

Don't Stop Now Signing & Give Away

First of all an apology to the winners of my Delirium Contest, I haven't got your books out yet. I plan to in the next day or so. Sorry, be patient with me.

And now a few weeks ago, I posted about a signing at The Bookstall and now I finally have the pictures posted! Plus Julie, the author of Don't Stop Now autographed and doodled in a copy of her first book, Get Well Soon which I will be mailing a copy of to the first person who comments here today.

[caption id="attachment_499" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Don't Stop Now is a book about a summer road trip, so the Bookstall set up a table of road trip snacks."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_500" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Julie packed a crowd. This was before the reading started, but even more people showed up."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_501" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Julie jokes before she reads. She's funny too ;)."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_502" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Julie made bingo cards using the pit stops in the book. She gave us candy to cover spots with and the winners received souveniers."][/caption]

And as I said earlier, I'm giving away a copy of Get Well Soon. So what's the last signing you went to?

Friday, June 24, 2011

MC Blogfest

The MC Blogfest is being hosted by Elizabeth Mueller .

RULES: Pretend you are one of your MCs and answer all 3 questions.
Question 1: What is your greatest fear?
Question 2: What is your biggest accomplishment?
Question 3: What is your biggest regret?

My name is Rachel Vespette, and I'm answering some questions for Beth. But I swear if these answers get anywhere, I'll disappear before anyone can find me. And my boyfriend will come after you. He had his best friend killed in a jealous rage, so if you think you're safe guess again.

My biggest fear? That my past is going to catch up with me even though I've burned my finger prints off, dyed my hair, and people know me now as Katie. Every time there is a knock at the door or an unknown number on my phone, my throat clenches. Have they found me?

My biggest accomplishment--I'm not sure how to answer that. I have some accomplishments, but most of them aren't really things to be proud of. I support myself and I'm only 17, though everyone thinks I'm 18. Of course, I have to dance to do it--and those damn drunk tourists like to get grabby because they're leaving in a few days. They can be as horrible as they want here and no one will ever know. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Here is one for you though. So far, I've gotten away with murder, and I'm from the state with an express lane for execution. That wasn't an easy feat. Believe me. And in spite of all of this, I'm about to graduate high school and one way or another I'll be pre-med in the fall.

I bet you expect me to say that the man I killed and left in a barn the night I took a midnight greyhound out of the state is my biggest regret. Well, I won't. I'm not even sure I regret it. My biggest regret is the abortion I got two days later. I know. I'm just your average 17 year old crack whore, but the thought of something with his genes growing inside of me was enough to kill me. And then before I could even react, really process it, Mom said she's marrying him. We'd go live with him and if that happened there was no chance it would ever stop. No chance my life would ever be normal.

You've seen the skeletons in my closet but...judge not lest ye be judged...And either way my boyfriend really does have my back. Don't toy with me.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Jennifer!!!

It is the girl with the best CP in the world's birthday today. Yep, my CP Jennifer Duffy has a birthday today, so stop by and tell her happy birthday. She's giving stuff away from her birthday too.

She's old this year. It makes me glad I still have my youth...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Beth & A Big Sonic Coke

Ha! I have my big Sonic Coke. For those of you who caught me last week this is because I finished my YA contemp Chance Encoutners, which may in later days become known as Defying Physics. It is complete at 101,287 words, but this will change. It may actually go up a little before it goes down. I don't know. All I know is it will change, and that I'm celebrating today.  I was supposed to watch Eclipse which didn't happen, because redbox didn't have a copy of it. Instead, me and my big Sonic Coke watched Just Go With It which was fun all the same.

But I also want to talk about the process today, almost like a bragging right. LOL! I wrote this entire book, all 51 chapters at random. I wrote 12,000 words that didn't even make it into the first draft. When you write at random, you can write whatever you want and still not have to worry about cutting it later. That's the high of it. That and the fact that you can write whatever you care about today, because tomorrow you might not be interested in it anymore. And sometimes because you're not really that interested in the scene you think you should be writing today. The low of it is it makes for a lot of inconsistencies. For example, I have a character I know got dropped somewhere between chapter six and ten, and any chapter with him in it must be cut. I also know that my MC gets hospitalized on page 200 but has never mentioned being sick before. Obviously this must be remedied. But my last manuscript, I wrote the first half in order and the second half at random and the first half actually housed more inconsistencies than the last half. So maybe inconsistencies are just a plague of the first draft.  I don't know, but either way I'M GLAD IT'S DONE!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dear Teen Me

Okay, so I've seen this a lot of places recently, and I don't know if it's a meme I wasn't invited to (talk about remembering the teen years) or what, but I thought it sounded like a good idea. So here goes.

Dear Teen Beth,

You're fourteen and life sucks. It gets better. It takes about ten years, but it does get better.

I know you think you're in love with a jerk who's goal in life is tormenting you right now, but the good news is you're not. The thing is after some of the messed up things he does (i.e. publicly humiliating you whenever possible and calling you at home when no one is around), you'd realize this if you weren't pre-conditioned to believe that it's okay for guys to do effed up things, especially guys that care about you. It's not okay. Guys that care about you don't do effed up things, and really most guys that don't care about you don't do effed up things. It wouldn't be worth the time. Effed up guys do effed up things. The problem is at fourteen you've known enough effed up adult males to accept effed up behavior from boys as normal.  It's not and it takes you a while, but you figure it out.

You get tired of being tormented at school, and sitting through a meaningless eight hours every day, (most of which you spend ignoring lectures because you're doing homework for other classes), and you home school yourself. You've always been an honor student, and though you're not top of the class you're ranked fairly well, especially considering your studying habits. So when you go to home school, you're required to take a placement test. You score so high you test out of the eleventh grade for everything but math. But you hate Paris. (You know this). So you start your classwork in July not late August. You're through with school completely by Dec. 2001, and in Jan. 02 while the people you started school with(the class of 03) are all chilling in bad chairs courtesy of PISD, you're chilling in Arlington.

It's not all smooth sailing. Right before you leave, you meet a guy with eyes the color of yours. He's funny and completely different from that effed up guy you spent years shamelessly following, and most importantly for a girl with no self-esteem, interested in you or so it would appear. As you're writing this twelve years later, he's a jerk. Part of me wants to tell you to blow him off when you meet him. Tell him he's pond scum, but part of me knows that if you do that, there is a guy waiting for you in Arlington. He's beautiful and reminds us of someone we used to know. He's truly and legitimately interested in you, in ways no one ever has been. You date him for a while after you break up with this loser, but you're such a mess that you manage to eff it up REALLY soon. You regret this for a long time, because you know it could have worked. The things is, it's for the best that it doesn't work. Because the guy you marry is the man you've always needed.

You shuffle through school for a few years. You have a group of friends, and you're the cool kid. You manage to get four cable stations to a school in Texas with no football team. And you're next real boyfriend isn't until after that. He's hot and Peruvian ;). And still a jerk! You know how to pick them. It's an on again off again thing, and you think this is okay because men who are supposed to care about you, leave you. You waste too much time on him, but I don't know that I can blame you. Hot might be an understatement, and he's a damn good kisser. Yeah, good kisser or not, he's a jerk. Leave the fool alone.

Considering your 42 hour work week and full class schedule, you do exceptionally well on the LSAT, and you get into law school. You swear off all the guys you know when you leave except James. Because James is probably still the best friend you've ever had with the exception of Stephanie. Stephanie has your back. You don't know these people yet. I know that, but they're real friends. The kind you don't really have in Paris. They'd both protect you/take care of you and worry about the consequences later. You'd do the same for them. You love them.

So you get to Arkansas, and it doesn't take you long to figure out that there is a lot of injustice in the justice system. As ironic as that might be, it's the kind of place that sucks the life out of an idealist. You're still working A LOT against ABA regulations, so not only do you hate it, you have the the lowest grades you've ever had. EVER.

You're at your lowest and you make a new friend, your best friend. He picks you up one night and you're not really sure if it's a date. You think he's probably the law school version of James. But when you get to his car, you find the dozen roses he tucked under the seat for you. You smile and ask, "For me?" His eyes dance in a way you didn't know they could, and he says, "Do you think I would take someone else out?" He's legitimately interested in you, and he's what we need.

He's so calm, it makes it hard for you to freak out, a good thing because you eventually learn that not all of your asthma attacks are asthma, lots of them are anxiety. And the only thing that prevents an anxiety attack is not getting anxious. His goal in life is making you happy, and since you've never known anyone like this before, you don't know what to think of it. The first time he says, "I love you," you say, "okay." But it doesn't take you long to figure out he's your true other half. You compliment each other well, and together you're one whole functioning unit. Four years later, you're still happy.

You move back to Texas and start a life with this guy. You work for the government for  a few years, in a gig that's exceptionally good for an English major, but you don't love it. Our guy tells you to start a blog. You don't know why, but you do. In fact, you start two. One that is a project and the other is supposed to be about your life. Your moderately happy boring life is completely uneventful. The one about your life sucks. The project takes off. The project becomes your life. Your life becomes the project. Our guy enjoys all of this. When you interview your first best seller, he's more exicted than you. You finish the project six hours before deadline, and now you're a decent blogger. We keep at it, and we figure out not only that we want to write, but that we're pretty good at it. We even figure out what exactly we want to write. And twelve years from sitting in that stiff chair with people who don't get you and don't appreciate you, I think you've met as many best sellers as a NYT reviewer. Middle listers occasionally send you copies of books as do bookstores. You're enjoying your life even if you're not published, and the people you talk to now appreciate you. You got a clue and quit talking to people who don't.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Book Stall

The Bookstall in Winnetka is hosting a staged reading of Julie Halpern's Don't Stop Now tomorrow. I've never been to a staged reading before, but it sounds interesting. And I love the bookstall. Winnetka is a cute little suburb of Chicago and the bookstall is on what I believe is their main street downtown.

It's where I met Lauren Oliver and was able to get an autographed copy of Delirium and a bookmark to give away. They've sent me an amazing box of arcs which you shall be seeing some of on this blog throughout the summer, so stick around.

I'm only two chapters in to Don't Stop Now, but so far I'm enjoying. It's light and funny, and I love the voice. If you can't make it not to fear. I'll post pics sometime next week probably, and Julie has agreed to do an interview on the blog at the end of which I'll be giving away something, but I haven't decided what yet.



Thursday, June 9, 2011

Dear Beth

Dear Beth,

When we finish Chance Encounters, we will get a big Sonic coke and watch Eclipse on the couch in our socks. After we do pilates of course.

Also, when you lose ten pounds your husband will let you spend $100 on clothes. The fact that he doesn't know this yet is insignificant. You still can, because we make the budget.



P.S. if you won my Delirium contest and haven't sent your address yet, please do.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wed. & Writing: Critique Partners & Why You Need One

Critique Partners & Why You Need One

The most obvious reason is so that you have someone who truly feels your to talk you out of eating the whole gallon of Haagen Daz after receiving yet another rejection. But there are more reasons, complicated reasons, BETTER reasons. Like who else is going to read your manuscript 13 times in the course of one year? OMG that's more than once a month. I love each and every person reading this today, if for no other reason than you are reading my blog. But I don't love anyone enough to read their ms 13 times this year! Except of course my critique partner. But she has to read my ms that many times!

But the truth is a good critique partner knows your story as well as you do. They know as much about your characters as you do. They're a go to person when there is a plot or character issue there is just no getting around. They're tons of help when it comes to writing queries because they know the plot just that well.  They're a warm body to go through rejections with and a support system when you have a story that is just giving you hell.

But finding a good CP is like finding a spouse. You don't usually marry your first boyfriend, and you don't always connect on your first swap. I think sometimes you will find CPs in unlikely places. My cp writes contemp that's a mix of romance and action. I write paranormal romance strong on the romance. When I looked for a cp, I thought I was looking for someone who wanted to run away with Edward Cullen as much as I did, and who couldn't read without magic. Not true. We both write romance, but our ideas of a hero are completely different. I can't honestly pinpoint what she's looking for in a hero because her dream guy is that undreamy to me. But I can tell you that I like guys like Edward Cullen protective and well aware that I'm priority number one. She finds this insane. Still our combination works and our writing is improving at about the same time. We learn about the industry together too. So like in marriage, opposites attract.

A year into this, we've went from just editing to querying together to  now we brainstorm our individual next books together. People say that agents are like a business partner, and I don't know. I can't say, because I don't have one, but I would say my CP is like a business partner. I consult all major writing decisions (even the blog) and sometimes life decisions(not to say u have to be bffs w/ ur cp but it does help) with her.

When you start working with someone who understands and appreciates your work, you'll grow leaps and bounds in your writing. If you don't have a CP go forth and date around. Start with 50 page swaps. Trust me, it works.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Rules of Writing

Rule 1. If you write something really brilliant that you adore--something so good that when go back and read it you can't even imagine that you actually wrote that, everyone else will hate it. Seriously, what do they know? So what? Maybe they are an agent. Did you really want one anyhow? Come on, especially one that overlooks your obvious brilliance. The real problem is your writing is just too brilliant for them to fully grasp. Maybe one day, others can be as enlightened as your brilliance and then that brilliance will hit bookshelves.

Rule 2: If you write something you hate, something so bad you think you should be shot for having written it, others will delight in it. Yep. You write it and it's just not coming out right. You keep working on it and it's just getting worse. You know this scene is not what you had in mind--it doesn't even match the picture in your head. This is not the way it was supposed to work. In a mad frenzy, you send it out to your CP hoping she can work some kind of voodoo and save at least part of it. But what you'll find is an email that says "This is really good. But just so you know you spelled a word wrong in the third line and your MC's name changed. But this is the best scene you've ever written. This is my favorite scene in the whole book. Why would you change it?"

Rule 3: Where rule 2 applies, seriously consider giving into others and ignoring your harsh inner editor unless that editor's objections are grounded in all sorts of extremely logical reasoning. Then throw that reasoning off of someone else and see if that alters their enthusiasm about your scene.

Rule 4: Where rule 1 applies, think long and hard before giving into others. If they really completely miss your brilliance, the changes they'd like to see are probably big not small. That could be a whole different story. Do you really want to see this story published? Bad enough to make grand scale changes? If you make grand scale changes and get published would that be seeing this story published?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Back To Life & Delirium Contest Winners

Sorry guys. I know I was supposed to announce winners last week. There at the end of this post, but give me a week to mail prizes, because I'll be in a conference all weekend.

Okay, so back to life.

The husband and I spent an awesome three day weekend in the Wisconsin Dells. It was a well needed break, but I spent Friday packing and we was exhausted when returned Monday night, which is why my posts have been scarce. I will post pics tomorrow if you're interested ;)

In the meantime, this week I've learned I accomplish a far greater word count in less time if I go to Barnes and Noble to write. So I've been doing that. I get myself a nice steamy cup of tea, and a 130 calorie biscotti (that's pretty good for chocolate) and write my little heart away. I need to start blogging as soon as I sit down to do it though. Either way I wrote close to 3500 words in a few hours on Tuesday and about 2100 in less than two yesterday. Yes!! B&N is a secondary muse!!!

I think at home it's just too easy to get distracted doing other things. Who would have thought the bookstore is less distracting?

As soon as I get back to a scheduled exercise routine, I think I'll be back to my normal self. This move took more adjustment than I thought, but now that it's warm I'm starting to feel at home.

Okay, so enough of the boringness about Beth. It's time for winners:

Autographed Copy of Delirium--Nicole

Dance W/ A vampire and Autographed bookmark--Regina

Book-- Lucy


Congrats everyone. Please send a good mailing address to bethfred08 (at)!!!!