Thursday, November 29, 2012

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is hosted by Alison and Parajunkee.

Q: Activity! Who is your to-die-for book crush? What do you think they look like? Add an image to make us all happy.

And that's an easy answer. 

Ready To Talk

First of all, I want to say thank you for every one who commented or emailed me after reading my last post. Things are already looking better, so I'm ready to talk now. I said that I was upset about things that didn't matter and that wasn't completely true. While the things I was upset about weren't huge, they were small either. I got laid off my part time job the week before Thanksgiving. I totally understand the situation and the decision my employer had to make, but I was still sad. It's true lately I've wished I didn't have a job, because taking care of my little ELF takes A LOT of time. Still, I planned to keep working, because the check was helping with the med bills from delivery and padding our savings.  Now, I'm hoping to teach an online writing/blogging course. Actually, I registered for a class on teaching an online workshop months ago. I just hoped to have my day job, until I was selected for one. I'm sure the competition is steep, but now I'm looking at this as an opportunity, and because I have some ideas for some things that helped me that I would like to share, I may even teach the classes from my own website.

The other thing which may sound trivial is the major dental work I'm in the midst of. I've got seventeen cavities almost to the bone. I may need a root canal and I'm getting four wisdom teeth cut out that should have been done a decade ago. I can't have any sugar or splenda until the whole process is complete, because my teeth are in such bad shape. I know that this is a minor problem compared to things other people face, but geez it has been a loooong holiday season!

Still, I'm feeling better. I appreciate all the support, and my only reason for sharing this is so you know that I wasn't just being a superficial b**** in my last post.

You guys are awesome!!! Thanks again.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Hard Post To Write

A couple of years ago, I posted this heartfelt note of thanks. Ironically, on this eve of a day for Thanks, I desperately long to be back at that place. The place where I'm sincerely grateful for what I've accomplished and what I can still accomplish, and for all of those who have helped me along the way. But lately, I've felt blah. Blase. I feel ungrateful, and then I defend that feeling by telling my self I can wallow in my own self pitty if I want to. In spite of the fact, that nothing really bad has happened. Although, lots of small things have happened that I wish hand't. And on an intellectual level I know I have so much to be thankful for, but I don't feel like it. Yet I'm still truly thankful to everyone I mentioned in that letter and I have so many more people to be thankful for than I did two years ago.

Why am I writing this? Am I not afraid people will think I'm some kind of self-centered punk? Of course, I am, but I hope that by saying it out loud, I can get past it. Because as I'm writing this, I realize the problem is I don't have the kind of hope I had two years ago, and that makes it hard to be grateful.

There is one thing I am truly thankful for. My beautiful baby is healthy, and that is worth a lot. Don't get me wrong I'm thankful for my family, but I truly grateful that my daughter is healthy. I've seen so many posts about parents with sick kids, and about kids with cancer and my daughter is the best thing in my life. I can't imagine if having to watch her suffer or worrying I would lose my baby. Every time I see her smile I thank God my baby is healthy.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Between the Lines: Edits and Everything Else: Holiday Raffle

Between the Lines: Edits and Everything Else: Holiday Raffle: Happy Monday everyone! It’s November, and the holidays are coming. In honor of the giving spirit, American Editing Services will...

Writing Negative Reviews

The past year and a half in YA has been tumultuous with reviewers piecing together often fair negative reviews, and writers attacking them for it. From authors actually attacking negative reviews of their books to that generic post about book bloggers from Maggie Stiefvater, the issue keeps popping up. I recently saw something from power blogger Parajunkee that said reviewers are not critique partners so she didn't think it was appropriate to openly criticize in public forums.

I've always handled negative reviews like critiques. I try to point out the author's strengths as well as what really did not work for the book. What do  you think is an appropriate way to handle a negative review? I'm not open to the idea of sugar coating or giving a positive review for a book I wouldn't recommend to someone who asked me. So what is a good balance? As an author, I always want to be fair, and I'm not out to hurt careers. Still, I feel for the integrity of my blog, the benefit of my readers, and my own devices (i review to learn) an honest review is necessary.

What do you think? How do you handle negative reviews?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is hosted by Alison and Parajunkee.

Q: Books are turned into movies all the time! Turn it around. What movie would make a great book?

I have no idea! All of my favorite movies were books first, except for Titanic which did get turned into a book.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Catching Jordan Book 38

"What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university.

But everything she's ever worked for is threatened when Ty Greeen moves to her school. Not only is he an amazing QB, but he's also amazingly hot. And for the first time, Jordan's feeling vulnerable. Can she keep her head in the game while her heart's on the line?"

This book has a voice that stands out from page 1. The characters are well-rounded, although they were hard for me to relate to, because I'm so not a football playing kind of girl. And I'm not really into jocks either. Still, the characters were likeable and there was more going on than just a romance plot. Jordan had issues with her NFL star dad too, because he didn't really want his daughter playing football. This is a love triangle, and it becomes obvious pretty early on that it will be, but it's well developed. And well played. This book was a page turner. I think I read it overnight and I'm home all day w/ a five month old who is in to everything!

There were a few things I didn't like. Lots of kids casually hooking up. Some people say this is realistic, and I saw one reviewer who said this was more realistic than teens having sex b/c "I'll love you forever." Unless, this is your first stop, you know me well enough to know I disagree. I guess it may be more realistic for some people, but my response would be that probably depends on the teen. Also, Ty threatens to break up w/ Jordan unless she's going to be "mature and serious" about him, so I'm not sure he thought it was more casual than love. The other thing I didn't like: Ty. OMG! This guy was so annoying. He was whiney, insecure and controlling, and while these may not be great qualities in a girl they're worse in a guy! Promise.He tells her to be friends with and what to do. He demands she "pick up the phone, when I call," and his excuse for all of it is he lost his parents. But these things were more preference than craft.

I give this book a four star rating. If you like YA contemp romance, you will love this.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

ISWG: Making It Count

The Insecure Writers Support Group is hosted by Alex Cauvanaugh.

I am insecure today. I'm not doing nano, but I have set some goals for November. I'm afraid I won't get through the list. But my bigger fear is that I do get through the list. I do get through another round of edits on my novel. I do write Dhamir(which I've already attempted and failed once). Then I read what I've written or what I've edited, and it sucks. It's back to square one.

This fear is eating me alive, and then behind that fear is the knowledge that I struggle with anxiety. And getting nervous is only going to depress me which will make me more nervous which will destroy more focus which will mean I can't do anything right, which will lead to more anxiety, further depression, more axiesty, less focus. Truth: the mental state will cause the writing to suffer. All I can do is fight through and hope the writing is good enough. And hopefully I can do that. So here's to making November count.

What are your goals this month?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Nowhere Excerpt

I walked around the truck and climbed into the driver’s seat. I started the engine and headed in the direction of her grandfather’s farm. The radio was on; I played with the dials, searching for a song.
Mikayla was the first to speak. “When you drop me off, do you have a sec’?”
“Yeah, I have a two hour break before I have to be back at practice.” Maybe my day wasn’t going to be so bad after all.
“Perfect.” She didn’t say anything else, but left me wondering what she had in mind. She leaned her head back and relaxed as the wind from the open window blew her hair all around. I wasn’t prepared for how happy it made me feel to see her riding in my truck. I could get used to having her next to me.
I waited until we were parked in her driveway to apologize. I cleared my throat. “I’m sorry about yesterday. Thanks for giving me a second chance. What can I do to make it up to you?”
“You just did by giving me a ride home. We can call it even.” She smiled. “Wait here.  I’ll be right back.” She quickly jumped down from the truck and walked toward the house.
Without even being invited, I followed her.
She stopped on the front porch and turned around to face me, “Wait here. And I mean it.”  She pointed her finger at my chest.
“Where are you going?” I asked, but she didn’t respond.
She disappeared into the house, returning a minute later. “Here’s your shirt. I washed it for you.” She held it out to me.
I was taken aback. This was not what I had expected. “I said you could keep it.” I pushed it back at her.
“You said a lot of things.”  She sounded both angry and hurt.
Finally I understood why she had me drive her home. She wasn’t giving me a second chance; she was paying me back for standing her up. She led me here on false pretenses only to let me down. “So you are mad about yesterday.” She didn’t say anything but the angry look on her face said it all. “I really was helping my dad change a tractor tire. I called. Did Emma tell you?”
“Yeah and she also said that you’d call back.”
“I took a shower and then crashed.” I didn’t tell her that I’d decided she’d be better off without me. “Changing a tractor tire isn’t as easy as it sounds.”  I took a deep breath. Lowering my voice and changing my tone, I added, “I’m sorry I didn’t call. Can you give me another chance?”
“No.” She turned to disappear back into the house.
I couldn’t let her go that easy. I had to get her to change her mind about me. I reached out and in one swift move I pulled her against my chest. I could feel her heart beating against mine. I paused one second too long the other night and I wasn’t about to make the same mistake twice. I dipped my head down. I couldn’t wait to taste the sweetness of her mouth. I was inches away from touching my lips to hers when she stiffened in my arms.
She pushed against my chest with both hands. I let her go. “It’s time for you to leave, James.” She stormed inside, slamming the door behind her.
I bent over and picked up my fallen shirt. I left it neatly folded on the swing. I wanted her, but I could wait. Forcing her to feel something that she wasn’t ready for was not my style. She’d come around. She wouldn’t have bothered to go to such extremes to get back at me if she didn’t care. I’d give her time to cool down and then I’d be back.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


November is here. The Holiday season is officially upon us, and in the holiday spirit I've decided to give everyone who participated in the Hollow Bloghop an ebook of Kismet. If you did not participate, but want an ebook tell me in the comments (and leave your email). If you participated but did not leave an email please do so. If you've already left an email, you can expect your book this weekend.

New meme! Kind of. Each month I'm going to post my goals for the month on the first day of the month, and on the last day I'm going to pop up to let you know how I did.

1. Finish editing A Missing Peace.
2. Write 10 book reviews
3. Complete my grad school applications
4. Write Dhamir
5. Lose 4 lbs.
6. Work out twice a week
7. Start girl with the dead sister novel

What are your goals this month? Check back at the end of the month!