Thursday, March 14, 2013

Barely There is There and Switching Gears

After more than two years in the making Barely There is finished, almost ready for the query process. All that's left is one last final read through to make sure everything is perfect. This manuscript has been quite the process and suffered several setbacks since I first began writing it. I dropped it several times to work on different projects, I rewrote the beginning several times, but it was always on my mind. I kept chugging along with it and pushing it to be the best that it could be.

Tuesday evening I completed edits on the final chapter! I did a little dance around the house, briefly as I realized I had somewhere to be and that I'd forgotten. Oops. The hazards of editing. When I returned home I collapsed into a brain-fried heap on the couch. I feel like my head has been spinning with all this editing.

So now what?

It's time for a careful read through. And tomorrow I will enter it in the Pitch Madness contest going on over at Brenda Drake's blog. Starting in April the query letters to agents will go out.

What will I do then?

I still have my 2011 NaNoWriMo project that needs to be edited. Well, more like a rewrite. It could take quite some time with that one. I plan on doing a little more research on the changes I want to make to it, re-outline it, and then tackle it. I'm hoping it will be done by the end of the summer, but I'm not holding myself to that deadline just yet as I'm not sure how much work the rewrite will take. 

But, before I dive into that currently untitled project I'm going to go on a major book reading binge. I've neglected reading books as of lately. Mostly because I wanted to get Barely There completed in time for Pitch Madness. I mean seriously I've been slowly reading the same book, an amazing book, for over a week now. That's how little time I've had left over between being mommy and editing. That's not like me, and I NEED to read like most people need to eat. I will be reading a lot to make up for reading time lost. Yes, that is a thing in my world. I have several library books on the shelf, several on request from the library that should be arriving soon, and tons on my shelves and Kindle.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Happy Book Birthday - POISON by Bridget Zinn

I don't normally do special happy birthday posts when books release. But today is an exception. 

Today, Poison by Bridget Zinn hits shelves. If you haven't already heard, Bridget passed away in 2011 at the age of 33 from cancer shortly after selling her debut book. While she was well on her way to achieving her dream, she never had the chance to see her book or hold it. I remember reading several blog posts around the time of her death from other authors who knew her. Those authors who were blogging about her passing almost two years ago are now banding together to get the word out about her book. They are doing the publicity for her. So, I thought I would also add a little something on my blog to help get the word out as well.

Author Lani Taylor posted just yesterday about an event that she and other Portland area authors will be holding this coming Saturday in honor of Poison's release and Bridget. If you live in the area please check it out. Lani also published a post back when Bridget died remembering the funny and upbeat author she knew. You can read that post here and have a tissue ready. 

Peggy Eddleman also published a recent post announcing the release of Poison. You'll need a tissue for this post too. 

You can find other ways to support Poison on Bridget's official website.

And of course, you can add Poison to your to-read list on Goodreads. You can also order Poison from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.

So enticing! I can't wait until my copy arrives and I can devour it.

Friday, March 8, 2013

COVER REVEAL: Coffee and Cockpits by Jade Hart

I'm so excited to finally be able to show y'all the cover of my amazing critique partner Jade Hart's newest book! 
Coffee and Cockpits by Jade Hart
Publication date: March 2013
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

By day, Nina Poppins is a professional flight attendant, who lives to travel, and isn’t afraid to chase her dreams. By night, she’s an award winning salsa dancer who wears sexy corsets and garter belts. She keeps her two lives separate, and none of her colleagues suspect that cool, demure Nina has a hot, spicy side.

Liam Mikin is a co-pilot who can get any air-hostess he wants with one blazing look of his blue eyes, and he wants Nina. He knows her secrets and is determined to win her affections.

Nikolai Rivers is an aircraft engineer who can dance as well as Nina and enjoys getting hot and heavy with her on the dance floor. But frustration chafes him at being held at arm’s length. However, his opportunity to break her exterior comes when an airplane malfunctions on a flight to Samoa, stranding all the crew on the Pacific island indefinitely.

Liam and Nikolai see each other as a challenge and start a race to be the first to earn Nina’s attention, but what they didn’t count on was the consequences of being island-wrecked, or the problems that come with fighting for the same girl...


Jade Hart is a self-confessed book worm who is happiest glued to a lap-top with an eternal battery life and typing up stories running rampant in her head.

Her three favorite things are:
1. Unlimited books on an Ebook Reader
2. Cracking the sugar on a creme brulee
3. Bunny rabbits

Jade currently resides in Middle-Earth, but has lived in Australia, England, and Hong Kong and uses her many travel experiences as muses for her work. 

Author Links:

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Those Pesky Details

I am always trying to add depth to my manuscripts and sometimes I think I forget to use certain effects in the pursuit of making sure that my characters are well rounded, they have character arcs, the plot is engaging, etc. I have lists to remind me of the things I tend to forget about or find important to make sure I have addressed certain issues.

I came across this blog post through a link on Twitter the other week and realized I don't use color nearly enough. I mean I really don't touch on it that often. I'm just glad I came across the post when I did, because otherwise I would be doing another round of edits looking for my five senses. I took the post to heart and ran out to my local hardware store where I snagged tons of paint chips.

At the same time that I realized I don't add enough color into my writing, I also noted I don't touch on a lot of the five senses regularly enough in my manuscript. Part of this realization came from reading Sever by Lauren DeStefano. Her descriptions are so beautiful. She really does a good job of using the senses to describe what her main character, Rhine, is feeling, seeing, hearing, smelling, and tasting. I need more of this.

But what do you do when you find yourself at a loss for words that provide you with exactly what you're thinking about? Aha! You run right over to The Bookshelf Muse blog! Do it. If you haven't heard of Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi you are missing out on a wonderful addition to your writing. I have been following their blog for a while now and purchased their book The Emotion Thesaurus for my Kindle. I have found, though, that I would much rather have it in hard copy form to flip through as I edit, so I purchased it again as a paperback. 

Anyhow, they not only deal with emotions, but they also have entries on their blog about everything else. Just scroll down their blog and look at the right side of the screen to find what you are looking to describe for a link. I'm eagerly awaiting news on if they will publish any other of thesaurus books. Seriously I would purchase any other books they do based on their blog. Such a helpful tool to have at your fingertips.

I did a run through of the chapters I had edited prior to reading the blog post and checked them for everything from colors (using my new paint chips) and weather or shapes (using The Bookshelf Muse blog).

Now to add all of these things to my currently insane list of what to look for when editing. lol

How do you deal with adding these details in your manuscripts? 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Virtual Bookshelves

I have used Goodreads for a couple years now and really enjoy seeing what my "friends" are reading. It's a great way to learn about new books and share recommendations. That said, when it comes to books written by authors I really like I want to get the word out, to share their books with the rest of the reading community. So, naturally when I see that there are other virtual bookshelves I run right out and check them out. Here are the ones I know about and my experience with them.

  • Possibly the most user-friendly of the bunch. 
  • Easy to add multiple shelves, add books, and rate them. 
  • Easy to add a review. 
  • Lots of people use the site.
  • Easy to find the books I am looking for. They are almost always listed. 

Library Thing:
  • Not all books I searched for came up.  (Missing some small publishers books. Self-pubbed are there.)
  • Easy to create collections and add books to them. 
  • Easy to rate books. 
  • Missing cover images for several books, including some high profile YA books. 
  • Easy to add review to books. 

Reading Room:
  • Easy to add bookshelves and books. (Missing self-pubbed authors books.)
  • Again, hard to find some titles. 
  • One big plus is if you can't find a title it is very easy to suggest the book and they are very quick to add it. 
  • Yet, at the same time, I found it very difficult to add the book I suggested to my actual "read" shelf. It would only show up on my "currently reading" shelf. 
  • I have no idea how to mark a book on my "currently reading" shelf as "read." I'm completely lost on this function. 
  • Rating system is much better. Sometimes on Goodreads I would like to rate a book with 4-1/2 stars, but you can't. On Reading Room you can! I like this function.
  • Once more not all books I have read are listed. (Missing self-pubbed authors books.)
  • Only choice of 2 bookshelves: Read or Want to Read. 
  • When adding a book 3 choices: Want to Read, Not for Me, or buy the book. So how do I add it to my read shelf without buying the book through them? 
  • Easy to rate a book. Even if it's still sitting on your "Want to Read" shelf. 

Have you tried out these other Virtual Bookshelves? What are your thoughts? Which do you prefer?