Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Pretty awesome news, yeah? I'm freaking ecstatic!
In case you're new to my blog, or writing, or just curious in general, I'm gonna go ahead and break this all down for ya. You ready? Sweet! Cuz here I go…
Earlier this Spring, I wrote a book. Pretty cool, yeah? I think so. In fact, most days I'm in awe and slightly amazed that I'm continually able to come up with interesting stories and put them to paper in a way that makes a marginal amount of sense.
Back to the book. So, this story I wrote was different from the type I usually write. In fact, it was in a completely different genre. I've always been a paranormal romance girl, and I usually write in what is now being referred to as the "New Adult" age group (college age). This new story had been marinating in the far corner of my brain for a couple of years. I knew I had a young voice (I'd been told by many people in the industry) and I knew I wanted to write a story that featured All Star cheerleaders. Thing was, each time I sat down to start the book, I couldn't make it work. I was never satisfied with the paranormal aspect of the story. Nothing seemed to fit, and none of it felt right.
On top of all that, I was in the middle of writing another adult paranormal romance. The last thing I needed to do was start up another novel. But, as many an author will tell you, sometimes the characters inside your head refuse to be ignored. Sometimes they push—hard.
Around this time, my oldest daughter (a senior at the time, she's since graduated) was taking part in the Every 15 Minutes program at her school. A student liaison between the school, the participants and the police department, she had a hand in almost every aspect of the reenactment. I had in insiders view of the program and what went down, both from my daughter, and my husband who also works at the high school. The program, which is put on every two years, held special significance this year as my daughter's senior class lost one of their own in a tragic alcohol related accident. The awful story of loss combined with the eye-opening, moving re-enactment I witnessed at the school inspired me to write about this prevalent issue plaguing the young adult community.
The story hadn't worked before, because the story inside me wasn't paranormal. It was contemporary, angsty, and completely different than anything I'd written before. It literally poured out of me. I've never written anything so fast, or with such passion and emotion. Two and a half months later, the first draft of Ex Factor was complete.
The first draft was the easy part. Then came revision after revision, honest and sometimes painful critiques by my crit partners, and a lot of what I refer to as "manuscript surgery".
When, at last, I deemed my baby fit for stranger's eyes, I set out with the goal of querying a set number of agents.
The querying did not go well. I got a few requests, but nothing that panned out. Mostly, I received a lot of "nice voice, but not right for my list" type comments.
I whined to my hubby, ate copious amounts of chocolate, and stewed over the fact no one loved my story as much as me. It was great, darn it! And fresh. I'd yet to see a book featuring the type of cheer in my story. A little sad, but still passionate about my characters, I decided to just keep writing and started another story featuring one of the supporting characters in Ex Factor.
By the way, if you've stayed with me this far, you're made of awesome and all kinds of great stuff :)
Shortly before I left for RWA National, I decided to do some research and query one last time. I read up on a particular agent and decided it wouldn't hurt me to try one more time. The worst she could do was say no, right?
I'm quite pleased to confirm that persistence pays off, my friends. The agent, requested a partial, and shortly after reading that, requested the full. Yeah, baby! A few short weeks and a small revision later, I landed myself an agent who loves my story as much as I do. And now…
Wait for it…
Wait for it…
Ex Factor is on submission!
What does this mean exactly? It's so cool! It means my agent is now pitching my story to New York editors. Booyah! I'm so excited I could just pee.
Pee myself, that is. But you know what I mean.
Keep all your parts crossed that an editor will fall in love with Nev and Bodie, and cherish their story as much as I do. Mwah!!!! XOXO
Friday, September 28, 2012
Hey, friends! It's that time again. Woot!
BlogFest is hosted by A Journey Of Books, and features a huge list of participating authors and bloggers. Start your journey at the above link, or any of the participating blogs and join in the fun. Each stop will feature a giveaway, so make sure you visit as many blogs as you can, and leave a comment while you're there. We bookish type people love to chat!
This go round I will be giving away a hard cover copy of Abandon by Meg Cabot. I picked this baby up at RWA National, and am happy to be able to share it with you.
New from #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, a dark, fantastical story about this world . . . and the underworld.
Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.
But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.
Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.
But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.
To enter: Fill in your information into the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US residents only. Book will be sent to winner via media mail. After you enter, check out the links for the next five participants. Good luck!
The next five participating blogs:
Labels: BlogFest 2012
Monday, August 13, 2012
Hey, everyone! So excited to be a part of the cover reveal for a much anticipated book.
Iridescent (Ember#2) is expected to release in October of 2012. Woohoo! I loved the first book, and am eagerly awaiting the second installment.
Check out the gorgeous cover!
Candra Ember used to dream of saving the world one person at a time. She never expected to become an angelic weapon and the last hope in the battle against ultimate darkness.
Falling for a Nephilim wasn’t part of Sebastian’s plan. Distraction is something he can’t afford when his rival, Draven, wants what Sebastian has.
Lies, manipulation and corruption are twisting the lives of the citizens in Acheron. The Arch is missing from Heaven and a demon is intent on claiming the city. At a time they should be growing closer, grief and paranoia is driving Candra and Sebastian apart.
If the price of restoring the Watchers to Heaven is a human soul, who deserves to be saved?
Twitter: @CarolOates, https://twitter.com/caroloates
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Woohoo! I'm so excited to participate in the Young Adult Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer, and Reading Teen.
I'm giving away one hardcover copy of Embrace, by Jessica Shirvington. Isn't the cover gorgeous? I picked this baby up during my trip to RWA National, and I'm excited to share it with you.
Blurb (taken from Goodreads):
It starts with a whisper: "It's time for you to know who you are..."
On her 17th birthday, everything will change for Violet Eden. The boy she loves will betray her. Her enemy will save her. She will have to decide just how much she's willing to sacrifice.
Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, EMBRACE is a compelling novel of good and evil, seductive desires and impossible choices. A centuries old war between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity chooses a new fighter. It's a battle Violet doesn't want, but she lives her life by two rules: don't run and don't quit. If angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden.
LINCOLN: He's been Violet's one anchor, her running partner and kickboxing trainer. Only he never told her he's Grigori--part human, part angel--and that he was training her for an ancient battle between Angels and Exiles.
PHOENIX: No one knows where his loyalties lie, yet he's the only one there to pick up the pieces and protect her after Lincoln's lies. In a world of dark and light, he is all shades of gray.
Two sides: Angel or Exile.
Two guys: Lincoln or Phoenix.
The wrong choice could cost not only her life, but her eternity...
"In her YA paranormal romance debut, Jessica Shirvington combines "the badass-action of Vampire Academy, the complex love triangles of Twilight, and the angel mythology of Fallen, taken one step further." --Book Couture
"Shirvington's debut is smart, edgy and addictive--and sure to leave readers clamoring for the rest of the series."-- Kirkus Reviews, STARRED
"One of the best YA novels we've seen in a while. Get ready for a confident, kick-butt, well-defined heroine." -- RT Book Reviews
Participation is easy. Follow the instruction in the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway runs through midnight on 8/14/12. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Sunday, July 15, 2012
Blurb taken from Goodreads:
There is need. And then there is Fate...
Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn't exactly awesome--especially when Alexandria's "other half" is everywhere she goes. Seth's in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom--so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do--and sacrifice--for her.
When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies--lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon... and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn't blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude... or killing her.
Holy smokes! I'm so in love with this series! I finished Half-Blood yesterday, and immediately purchased Pure. I'd have finished this book yesterday as well, but I had to do things like feed my family and clean *stomps foot*
The chemistry between Alex and Aiden sizzles off the page. I feel so badly for them I ache. The author does a fabulous job portraying the "forbidden love" situation. I want those two together badly.
I really like Seth, but I still wonder about him. Just when I think I've got the plot (the oracle's predictions) figured out, and am sure he's bad, he does something that makes me wonder if I don't have everything wrong. He's a mystery all rolled up in a big sexy ball of Akasha. YUM!
October can't get here fast enough. I MUST know what happens next!
This baby gets a solid 5 stars from me. Highly recommend!
You can find more information about the author and her books here.
Friday, July 13, 2012
Happy Friday, friends! I'm coming at you with another book recommendation and review today.
I've been doing a lot of reading lately. This usually happens when I finish up a book of my own. I'm starved for other people's stuff, and I go on a massive reading binge. This is how I discovered the Covenant series.
Yes, I realize I'm late in discovering just how awesome Half-Blood (book #1) is. But hey... Better late than never, right?
Blurb taken from GR:
The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.
Oh, my freaking goodness. Jennifer L. Armentrout is fast becoming one of my favorite authors! I recently read and fell in love with Daemon from her Lux series, and knew I needed to read her other works.
I purchased Half-Blood yesterday, but wasn't able to dive in until late this morning. I finished in a few hours, unable to put my iPad down. I wasn't sure if I would love this different series of hers as much as I loved Obsidian.
I had nothing to worry about.
I adored Alex from the get go. She's strong, and stubborn, and doesn't always do the right thing. She's ruled by her emotions, and I liked that about her.
Then, there's Aiden. Holy hotness in a Sentinal package. He's everything Alex can't have, and everything she wants. Their chemistry was awesome, and I fell in love with him early on. I want these two together in a bad way, and I'm afraid of what's in store for them.
Mainly because of Seth. Alex is made for him. She's his other half, but not what she wants. Fate can be a real bitch. Eager to dive into the next book asap!
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Hello, my friends! Long time to post, yeah?
Between editing Ex Factor, and recovering from a nasty bout of flu, I've been otherwise occupied, lol!
Being sick is never fun, however, it did give me a lot of time to read. As such, I've got a series recommendation for you today. Woot!!
Over the last couple of months, I've been primarily reading indie authors. And let me just tell you: I've found some new favorites. No joke, there are some rock star indie authors out there who are deserving of some serious love.
One of the authors I've been enjoying is Liz Reinhardt. She's penned the Brenna Blixen series (Double Clutch, Junk Miles, and Slow Twitch) which I thoroughly enjoyed.
The books follow female protag, Brenna Blixen, a high school teen who's just moved back to the states after a year long trip abroad with her parents. Brenna not only sports a fabulous sense of style, and a stubborn streak, she's goal-oriented, which leads her to attend both high school and trade school at the same time.
Enter Jake and Saxon.
Saxon is the hot, genius "Bad Boy" from her regular high school. There's an instant connection between Saxon and Brenna, but she fights it and resists his attentions at first.
Jake is the mega hot guy from Brenna's trade school. Like Saxon, Brenna has an immediate connection with him. A connection that sticks.
The books follows Brenna as she struggles with her feelings for both boys.
I read each of these books in a day, unable to put them down once I started. While I thoroughly enjoyed all three books, my favorite was Slow Twitch. There's a lot of angst in the series, which, imo skyrockets in book two.
These books are what I would classify Upper YA. The main characters are in high school, but they deal with heavy issues, and include sexual situations. Book three has the most hanky-panky, so if you're a parent considering these books for your younger teen, please be aware. I've got a seventeen year old daughter, and I think this book is totally appropriate for her age range.
You can find more information about Liz Reinhardt, as well as her books at her Amazon author page.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Hello, my friends! I've got an impromptu book recommendation post for you all. I've done a ton of reading lately and have come across quite a few "new to me" authors. Love it when I find new authors to follow. Woot!
I just learned today I can paste my Goodreads reviews right into my blog. How stinkin' cool is that? I'll quit yapping now and let you check out the books below. Enjoy!
Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book was a pleasant surprise. I read it slow––a chapter at a time for a couple of weeks, then picked it up again today and could not put it down. Great twist, witty writing. A great read!
What A Boy Wants by Nyrae Dawn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Fun book! Really enjoyed the author's voice. So much fun!
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Read this in one sitting. Awesome, awesome voice. Can't wait to read the next installment. Completely in love with Daemon. Sigh...
Streamline by Jennifer Lane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Another fabulous story from Ms. Lane! If you're a fan of both YA and suspense, then I think you'll love Streamline. Ms. Lane is extremely talented in her ability to weave stories in such a way that keeps you guessing who the bad guy is until the very end. I'm fairly good at figuring out who the bad guy/killer is in a lot of stories, but this one surprised me. I was sure the villain was someone else, altogether.
The characters were engaging, and the story flew by at a wonderful pace. Didn't want to put it down. This one is a must read!
Existence by Abbi Glines
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Read this today and loved it! Looking forward the the second book!
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Music plays a HUGE factor in my writing process. Oftentimes, a certain song, or chorus will inspire a scene or help me get into the zone. The playlist for Ex Factor is enormous, and has what I think is a good mix of music that ranges from Pop to Country.
Hope you enjoy!
Ex Factor Playlist:
Starships- Nicki Minaj
Beautiful People- Chris Brown
Stronger- Kelly Clarkson
Domino- Jessie J
Without You- Glee Cast
Somewhere Only We Know- Keane
Safe & Sound- Taylor Swift
Glad You Came- The Wanted
Part Of Me- Katy Perry
We Are Young- Glee Cast
Tonight Is The Night- Outasight
Fly- Nicki Minaj & Rihanna
Good Feeling- Flo Rida
Sexy And I Know It- LMFAO
I Can Only Imagine- David Guetta
The Show Goes On- Lupe Fiasco
Mean- Taylor Swift
Superbass- Nicki Minaj
Brighter Than The Sun- Colbie Caillet
Blackout- Breathe Carolina
Turn Me On- David Guetta feat Nicki Minaj
Who's That Chick- David Guetta feat Rihanna
Night Of Your Life- David Guetts feat Jennifer Hudson
Up N' Down- Britney Spears
So Good- B.O.B
Even If It Breaks Your Heart- Eli Young Band
Crazy Girl- Eli Young Band
Barefoot Bluejean Night-Jake Owen
All Your Life- The Band Perry
Good Girl- Carrie Underwood
Don't You Wanna Stay- Jason Aldean feat Kelly Clarkson
Today Was A Fairytale- Taylor Swift
Sparks Fly- Taylor Swift
Mine- Taylor Swift
Friday, April 13, 2012
Hey, everyone! Thanks for stopping by my newly created blog. I'll be working on this site off an on until it's just right, so please forgive the construction work!
Can't wait to start sharing snippets from my current WIP, Ex Factor, along with the many things that inspired the novel. Hope to finish this baby up in the next month or so and send it off to my critique partners for review. I have a good feeling about this one!
Until then, I leave you with a video which perfectly showcases why I believe cheerleaders are some of the most AMAZING athletes out there. And yep, my Baby Boo is in it. Check out the little blonde flyer on the right side of the screen. She's a pistol! Enjoy!