Sunday, June 26, 2011

Heat, Editing, and Disney Princes...

Well, everyone, in the land of sand and sun, Ben and I have been adjusting to a few things, like (1) heat and (2) more heat. Really, it isn't so bad. When you go throughout your day expecting your surroundings to resemble a large-scale oven, it's amazing what you can withstand. I'm finding it's all about attitude. And lots of drinking water.

Now that the dust has settled, I've been able to return to my story to finish this last round of edits. After two years, multiple re-writes, beta reads, and lots of tears, I feel that it's finally time to say "Finito!" Still, it's difficult. As writers (&, well, people in general), we are always growing and changing and learning, and because of that, we can always find something to tweak just a little bit more. I recently listened to an interview with James Dashner that encouraged me. Even after agent, editor, and publisher feedback, and seeing his book on the shelves, he still had things he wanted to tweak and fix.

I want to hear from some of you with regards to editing - when do you know it's time to say "Finito!" ?

And lastly, some advice from Disney on how to make your literary heart-throb irresistible:

***If you like YA Fantasy, check out my book, GAIA'S SECRET. The sequel is coming soon!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

JK Rowling will Self Pub Harry Potter

Wow. And a few thoughts by Joe Konrath...

What do you guys think?? I mean, it'll be interesting to see how she builds her fan base :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Okay, I downloaded this on my Kindle while Ben and I were at the pool one afternoon and finished it later that night! (Ben...THANK YOU for understanding!) Could not put it down!

Anna and the French Kiss is about a girl named - you guess it - Anna. Anna Oliphant, in fact, (poor girl) is from Atlanta and is "forced" to attend a boarding school in Paris her senior year of high school. (Yes, forced. She doesn't know a lick of French.) The story follows her as she struggles NOT to stand out as both the new kid and an American (not that she's not proud, she just wants to blend in), while discovering herself as she tries not to fall in love with the beautiful French-American boy with perfect dark hair and a charming British accent, Etienne St. Clair. *swoons* After all, everyone adores him and he's already got himself a girlfriend. He's just giving her his undivided attention because he's a really nice guy...right?

Perkins paints a vivid picture of Paris - the culture, the sights, the smells, the language - in a way that makes you forget you aren't actually there (and makes you somewhat sad when you realize you're not). What I also love about this story is the writing. Perkins' voice is so strong and engaging - it was one of the reasons I couldn't put the book down, as well as wanting to know what happened between Anna and Etienne St. Clair. *swoons again*

I will not give any more away... :)

For any of you in the mood to be transported to Paris (yes please!) and for a charming love story (don't let my use of "charming" fool you. Anna is spunky, smart, funny, feisty...awesome!), read this! Just make sure you don't have any pending engagements first. :)

Happy reading!

***If you like YA Fantasy, check out my book, GAIA'S SECRET. The sequel is coming soon!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Road Trip Photos!!

Here they are!!...well, some of them. There's enough to warrant their own link, rather than make everyone suffer through a really, really long blog post. *sighs relief*

Anyhoo, if you're interested here's a link to our album on Facebook:

Road Trip through the Wild, Wild West

Or, if you're a minimalist and prefer the "synopsis" *cringes*, here's the one page summary. (so boring...yawn.)

Friday, June 10, 2011

What Every Book Lover Needs to Know: Part I

A good friend of mine and very talented writer is doing a blog series on what she learned at BEA last month. Thought I'd share with all of you!

Gina L. Mulligan: What Every Book Lover Needs to Know: Part I: "Last week was the Book Expo America, BEA, in New York City . Publishers, agents, editors, bloggers, and authors flock to this annual trade s..."

Thursday, June 9, 2011



The past few weeks have been a whirlwind and finally, here I am, returning to the blogosphere and world wide web. It was odd not checking blogger almost daily, or email, or reading, or writing [um, that didn't stop me from talking to my characters in the car all by myself. Three days of driving with only the dog for company (Ben drove our other car) can hardly blame me...]. What did we do before the internet?! I felt lost - completely disconnected from mankind - peppered with fear, driving through Death Valley while my cell phone displayed comforting words like, "No Service".

I've got loads of photos to share from our GORGEOUS drive - and plan on doing so - but I must organize them first. The new homestead took precedence, and I gladly report things are in order...well, mostly. Just a few odds and ends remain, you know how it goes...

Personally, I think "odds and ends" play a game of "divide and conquer" when your back's turned...

But I want to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU!! Ben and I feel spoiled rotten having such awesome friends and family. All the cards, all the gifts, all the support...there was so much it was hard to accept (and made it harder to leave...). :'( Your encouragement has made the varying emotions easier to handle and the unknown seem less frightening.

I wasn't sure what to think, walking into our new home for the first time. Part of me was thrilled - WE'RE FINALLY HERE! - and the home was so cute and perfect for us. But the other part, the one that doesn't have a reputation for being very logical, was extremely sad. Sad at the emptiness, the foreignness, the lack of memories...the silence.

I immediately went about, setting your encouraging cards on the counters, leaning your pictures against the walls, putting all the goodies on display (they're all lovely!) was like you were there with us. Having those pieces of you brightened the corners and filled the spaces in our empty home with love when I couldn't have needed it more. Thank you.

While I know this isn't really "goodbye" forever, I'm going to miss so many of you. The last minute dinners, the weekend trips, the conversations, seeing many of you at (and after) work amidst cap wars while getting kicked out of my chair (yes, I know I deserved it). Now you HAVE to visit and see all the decor you helped purchase :D

Until we get all the photos in order, I'll leave you with this. See if you can find Sammy :)

ps I'll have you know I spent a good deal of thought and time making him a comfortable passenger seat.

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