Monday, 28 February 2011

Danger: TBR Pile.

This week I have another selection of pretties to add to my TBR pile. Since two of these books are sequels I'm not adding a description for them. I'd hate to spoil the first books for those who haven't read them.


A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford

A Touch Mortal
                                                         (Image from Goodreads)

Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins

Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2)
                                                          (Image from Goodreads)

Betrayal (Haunting Emma #2).

Betrayal (Haunting Emma, #2)
                                                        (Image from Goodreads)

You may have noticed the pinkification happening across various blogs and on Twitter. Why? To celebrate the release of The Liar Society by Lisa & Laura Roecker on March 1st.

The Liar Society (The Liar Society, #1)
                                                        (Image & description from Goodreads)
Kate Lowry didn't think dead best friends could send e-mails. But when she gets an e-mail from Grace, she’s not so sure. 

Sent: Sun 9/14 11:59 PM 
Subject: (no subject) 

I'm here… 
sort of. 
Find Cameron. 
He knows. 
I shouldn't be writing. 
Don't tell. 
They'll hurt you. 

Now Kate has no choice but to prove once and for all that Grace’s death was more than just a tragic accident. But secrets haunt the halls of her elite private school. Secrets people will do anything to protect. Even if it means getting rid of the girl trying to solve a murder...

I shall, hopefully, be having some blog pinkification to celebrate when my copy arrives. Stay tuned.

What about you? Any books (new or old) on your radar this week?

P.S. Don't forget that it's Mystery Agent time on Operation Awesome on March 1st. This month is the 140 character tweet pitch. More details can be found here, or here.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Tributes & Awesome

It's Friday! 

It's been a mixed week. The sad news is that YA author, L.K. Madigan lost her battle with cancer. My thoughts are with her family and friends. You can also read a post from her agent, Jennifer Laughran, here.

I haven't read her books, but (after hearing so many wonderful things about them) I shall be rectifying that soon. 


In other news... March 1st sees Operation Awesome's Mystery Agent contest. Here are the details. 

1) Entry limit: 75 entrants.

2) Pitch length: 140 characters. Think Tweet. Since we're talking 140 characters, Title and Genre don't have to be part of the pitch -- add them on to the comment somewhere.

3) Genres: YA (especially thriller, cyberpunk, horror, historical romance); MG; women's fiction; romance (especially with a strong, female heroine).

We think it's going to be awesome! Not only has super generous March M.A. asked for a twitter-length pitch, which is just fun, but also raised the entry limit from fifty to seventy-five! That means we get to read 25 more pitches. So feel free to spread the word. 

Happy Friday everyone.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

I Need Minions!

I need minions. Not minions in a 'I've got an evil plot to take over the word, but I need help' -- that would be wrong. No, I need minions to help me with the million things I don't want to do (like laundry, dusting, helping me plot clever ways to get cookies into every post). 

And if the minions were like the cheeky little dudes below -- double win.
View Image
(Image of Minions found here)

Why am I talking about minions? After watching Despicable Me, I got to thinking about the minions. This led me to thinking about minions on TV and, of course, in literature. 

Minions serve a variety of purposes:

1) They carry out the tasks we don't have time for. 

2) They are often expendable. Think of the poor, unidentified crew member who beams down to the unexplored planet with the main cast in Star Trek episodes -- they usually bite it first. 

3) They provide diversions before the hero/heroine gets to the main antagonist -- think James Bond. If it isn't a 7 foot guy with steel jaws... a woman with a knife in her shoe... it's a guy with a bowler hat that can take your head off! 

Here are some minions in books that came to mind: 

Harry Potter, Voldemort has his minions -- his Death Eaters and various other co-baddies. 

The Twilight Saga -- The Volturi have their followers/hench-vampires with powers. Heck, even Victoria has minion newborn vampires to carry out her plans. 

Dracula has Renfield and his vampire brides. Even Lucy is a bit of a victim turned minion. Van Helsing has to get past them before he can get to the Count. 

Some minions can even appear to serve the villain, but don't. Some see the error of their ways and turn to the side of good. Some are just there for comic relief, but they all serve a purpose. And, like them or not, the story wouldn't be the same without them.

What about you? Met any book minions recently? Do you have any in your WIPs? 

I'm also posting over on Operation Awesome today. I have some fantastic March Mystery Agent details that you won't want to miss. Check it out here.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

I'm Spreading The Operation Awesome Follower Love

Book giveaway goodness is in the air today over at Operation Awesome. Which book?


But that isn't the only good news... this copy is signed by the awesome author herself, Leah Clifford.

How can you win this pretty? Pop over to Operation Awesome and enter. All you need to do is become a follower and leave a comment.

And in other news... polish those 140 word pitches. March 1st sees the Mystery Agent contest. More details to follow soon.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Danger: TBR Pile.

Another week, another group of books added to the pile that threatens to crush me in my sleep. I really need to get another bookcase, but I digress... Here are the books that found their way to me over the last week.

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Angelfire (Angelfire, #1)
                                                    (Image & description: Goodreads)

When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers - monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell - she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul. 

Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2) 
(Image & description Goodreads)

The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found.
Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.        

What about you? Any new books on your list?           

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Query Contest Awesome

I got so excited by blog fests this week that I didn't mention the awesome contest going on over at Operation Awesome -- a query critique contest.

Not only are the OA girls offering query critiques, but we have two amazing agents helping us out: Natalie Fischer (from the Bradford Agency), and Josh Geltzer (from Russell & Volkening, Inc). The agents will critique one query each. The prize is worth it. I won a webchat/query crit from Natalie Fischer in a contest last year (run by the lovely Candyland), and I can tell you that her feedback is fantastic!

Anyways, the contest is open all this week. All you have to do is be a follower and leave a comment with your manuscript's genre to enter. Simple.

Also, I'm posting over on Operation Awesome today.

So, what are you up to today?

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Fake Boyfriend/Girlfriend Blog Fest

Another day, another blogfest. This is extra special because it is being hosted by my awesome CP, Amparo. 

The Fake Boyfriend/Girlfriend Blogfest

What: Let's face it--we all get crushes. *nods* Doesn't matter if you're married or not. It happens. My goal with the Fake Boyfriend/Girlfriend Blogfest is simple. All you have to do is choose between: 

a) An author crush 
(someone whose works you admire so much you'd make out with the pages!)


b) A celebrity crush 
(TV. Movies. Sports. Doesn't matter, as long as they're famous and (sadly) out of reach). 

and write him/her a love letter on your blog. It can be from your POV, or from the main character of your manuscript's--totally up to you.

Want to join in the fun? Head on over to Amparo's blog and click on Mr. Linky to take part.

I chose an author crush.

I thought long and hard who I'd write my author crush letter to. I love books. I've sobbed through classics.  I've awwed at romance and laughed at picture books, but no one comes close to this lady:

Go to fullsize image
 (Jane Austen Image from )

No. One.

Sure, other author's battle for my affections. I hold soft spots for all of them, but your books are the one I re-read each year. Even after studying them books most of my life. Even knowing the class notes are still written -- in pencil -- in the margins (*shudders that my teachers made us write in the books!*), I still long for your characters to have a happy ending.

I still feel that thrill of your wit oozing off the page. The skilled ways you weave your plots, holding back until goods the last possible moment.

Sure, you didn't have the best luck in love yourself, but the love you have you gave to the world. You gave it to Elizabeth and Darcy. To Fanny and Edmund. To Emma and Mr. Knightley. Mr. Collins is a little (okay, a lot) annoying, but I put up with him because I know he's supposed to be that way.

Here's to you, Jane Austen. Thank you for your words, your wit, and your love of language.

We still need to talk about Mr. Collins though.



What about you? Any favourite authors?

Monday, 14 February 2011

Feb 14th Just Kiss Already Blog Fest

Happy Valentine's day. To celebrate the day of love I'm taking part in Christina and Stina's blogfest.

Here's the rules: 
1. Sign up on Mr. Linky, on Christina's blog, or on Stina's blog.
2. On February 14th (Valentine's Day), post an excerpt from either your own work, or another's authors work you admire (give them credit, though), beginning at 7 am EST.
*But* make sure the excerpt is no longer than 250 words (it's tiring to read long excerpts). And if there's an intro to the scene, please, keep that short too!
Oh, and *don't forgot*, this is an actual KISSING SCENE! So go crazy :D
3. To make this *really simple*, we won't require you read everyone's entry (that's exhausting)! How about just 3-5 other entries?

I decided to post an awesome kiss from Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.

And now on to the smoochies:

All of me wanted to kiss her hard enough to make me disappear. I braced my arms on either side of her head, the door giving out a creek as I leaned against it, and I pressed my mouth against hers. She kissed me back, lips hot, tongue flicking against my teeth, hands still behind her, body still pressed against the door. Everything in me buzzed, electric, wanting to close the few centimetres of space between us.
She kissed me harder, breath huffing into my mouth, and bit my lower lip. Oh, hell, that was amazing. I growled before I could stop myself, but before I could even think to feel embarrassed, Grace had pulled her hands out from behind her and looped them around my neck, pulling me to her.
                                        (Shiver, page 327)

Now off to read some other kisses.             

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Flying By The Seat Of Your Plot

We all have different ways of starting to work on our WIPs. Some of us plan, working out the details with a a keen eye until they know the blocks are there to write from. Some of us are pantsers (waves). We kinda, sorta know what we want to achieve, but the hows are a bit fuzzy.

My planning technique revolves around the beginning, middle and end. I write them down and build from there. It kind of looks like a dot-to-dot picture in the beginning, but the image builds up from there. This has advantages. I love the way I can see my story grow/adapt/shift as I write.

But the more I write/develop ideas, the more I seem to plan without realising it. Most of the time, I write the rough idea for the next chapter/scene down before I write it. There's still room to change things, but the fear of the 'I have no clue what comes next' is gone when I open the word document.

I've dubbed this hybrid as pantsplot.

Speaking of outlining, Amparo has started a new feature today... Outlining with Robert Pattinson. Trust me, it's genius.

What about you? Plotter? Pantser? Bit of both?

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Fun & Prizes

Excitement abound today. Amparo, one of my awesome CPs, is having her very first blog fest. I'll let her explain it.

The Fake Boyfriend/Girlfriend Blogfest!!

What: Let's face it--we all get crushes. *nods* Doesn't matter if you're married or not. It happens. My goal with the Fake Boyfriend/Girlfriend Blogfest is simple. All you have to do is choose between: 

a) An author crush 
(someone whose works you admire so much you'd make out with the pages!)


b) A celebrity crush 
(TV. Movies. Sports. Doesn't matter, as long as they're famous and (sadly) out of reach). 

and write him/her a love letter on your blog. It can be from your POV, or from the main character of your manuscript's--totally up to you.

When: Since the 14th of February is reserved for your real One and Only, I figured the 15th would be perfect for your Fake Boyfriend/Girlfriend! That way, your real One and Only won't feel abandoned or anything. Plenty of love to spread around, right? ;)

Wanna gush about your Fake Other One? Head on over to Amparo's blog and sign up with Mr. Linky. 

Also, the fabulous K.M.Walton is chasing away the winter blues with a contest. The grand prize? A first chapter critique by her agent, Sarah LaPolla. Runner up gets a cool Apocalypsies tote bag with 7 YA books in.  Contest closes at Midnight on February the 13th. 

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Mystery Agent

I don't normally post on a Tuesday, but I wanted to spread some linky love for the Operation Awesome Mystery Agent contest.

It's today! 

We have an amazing agent waiting to look over your book baby. The prize? The winner, as chosen by the M.A, will get to submit their full MS. Yep, a full MS. 

So what do you do? Be one of the first 50 people to submit your 25 word MG or YA pitch in the comments.

The M.A contest is now open. 

Good luck and happy pitching.