Thursday, January 31, 2013

COVER REVEAL: Eternal by Kristi Cook

THERE’S NO HIDING FROM DESTINY…

In the final book of the Winterhaven trilogy, Violet McKenna and her friends find themselves right in the middle of a vampire war. The stakes have been raised, the danger unavoidable now. As the Warriors’ senior year draws to a close, not everyone makes it out alive. Who will be left standing at the end of it all? Will Aidan be a part of Violet’s future, or is he just a specter of the past?






About The Author


YA author Kristi Cook is a transplanted southern gal who lives in New York City with her husband and two kids. Her YA debut, HAVEN, was released in Feb. 2011 by Simon Pulse.

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February 2013 Releases

There are several books I'm excited for this month. Not as many as last month. In fact I don' think I will match January 2013 for the rest of the year. We will see, though.

Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh Mafi (2/5/13)

Why -> I shouldn't really have to explain this one. At least not if you have already read Shatter Me and Destroy Me. If you haven't yet read them. I urge you to run out and buy or check it out from the library. Seriously great books. :-) I'm actually counting the days until this book is released. 

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer (2/5/13)

Why -> I'm in love with the idea of fairy tales in a sci-fi world. So cool! I can't wait to read more about Cinder and now Scarlet (Red Riding Hood). 

Sever (The Chemical Garden #3) by Lauren DeStefano (2/12/13)

Why -> I'm addicted to this trilogy. I can't wait to see what happens to Rhine in this one. I love Gabriel, yet at the same time I feel for Linden. What will happen between her and her two love interests? What about her brother? It looks like this is going to be one killer of a book. I can't wait! 

Pivot Point (Pivot Point #1) by Kasie West (2/12/13)

Why -> I've been following Kasie on Twitter and her blog for some time, so I was stoked to find out that she had a book deal and WOW, it sounds so good. I mean a girl who can see two futures and make her decisions on them? Cool. Or maybe not so cool in Addie's world. So, yes I will be running out to buy this one as soon as it is out.

Revel by Maurissa Guibord (2/12/13)  

Why -> I read Guibord's debut book, Warped, and loved her imagination! This book looks just as interesting. A mysterious island, secret ceremonies, monsters, an island no one ever leaves alive, and Greek influences! I can't wait!

Mind Games (Mind Games #1) by Kiersten White (2/19/13)

Why -> Twins with special abilities forced to choose between their twin or doing what is right by themselves. Intriguing. I can't wait to see how this new series by White unfolds.

Shards & Ashes edited by Melissa Marr (2/19/13)

Why -> I've been very interested in reading these anthologies lately. It's fun getting to read short stories from authors I have never read before. I have also found some really interesting authors who I have never read before, but now I can't wait to read. 

The Goddess Inheritance (The Goddess Test #3) by Aimee Carter 

Why -> I'm super excited to see what happens to Kate in this book. It looks like she is forced to make a HUGE decision that could be life altering for humans or the gods she has come to love as her family.

Your Turn -> What books are you excited for coming out in February?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Finished Manuscript!

I finished it!! That's right, I polished off Midnight Raynne a little over a week ago! To celebrate my 3 year old and I made brownie cookies, of which I ate way too many of. We danced around the house and giggled together. The feeling of having a polished manuscript was almost relieved. I have several rough drafts, and that's they way it's been for a while now. I've become so used to the feeling of being mid-edits that I had no idea what it would feel like to have a finished manuscript. And you know what? It brought about a whole new set of insecurities!

I mean, just because I have a finished manuscript does not necessarily mean the work is done. Nope. I had to polish off that query letter, re-read that synopsis, and then write out some Twitter pitches for last Friday's #PitMad. Wow, talk about a daunting task. I hate writing queries and completely stink at synopsis writing. Then, the less than 140 character pitches were another mass of stress. I tried to follow along on the Twitter feed, but man that thing moved fast! I couldn't keep up and realized that it must be really crazy for an agent trying to weed out what they want to request.

All in all I was pleased to have a finished manuscript to even participate in the madness.

But now it is time to get back to Barely There. Even though my initial thought was to set my goal for this manuscript for a month, which is how long I was giving myself when the headaches began, I added more time. I'm not sure what the doctor is going to decide as the next treatment path. Therefore, I added an extra month on. So, I'm hoping to have Barely There polished and ready for the query process by the end of March. And I am dying to get to my NaNo 2011 project. That manuscript has been calling to me for months now. But I am determined to get Barely There completed before I touch any other projects.

Your Turn -> What do you do to celebrate completing a manuscript?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Getting Back to Normal

I have been a bad writer as of lately. No editing. No writing. Little plotting. It's been bad. And by bad, I mean AWFUL!

Why?

Well, I mentioned in a couple of earlier posts ago, over the past two months, that I was having headaches due to herniated discs in my neck. I started physical therapy, and they got worse. Of course, my highly trusted physical therapists all believed I would begin to feel better after a while. I would have good days, where the headaches were just on the periphery, but if I did too much they would knock me sideways. Then there were the days I was on the couch most of the day, moaning and groaning that I wanted them to disappear.

These headaches were not only a literal pain in my head, but also a huge hurdle to get over on every other front of my life. I ignored the dishes, cleaning house, writing, most social media outlets became too much to deal with, and doing any work on the computer was nearly impossible. I could get away with jumping on the computer to check a few things for no more than 30 minutes at a time. My eyes would cross and my head would start pounding. This whole mess got old, quick.

I made a mental note to ask the doctor if he could start giving me the injections. My theory was that they would fix all the pain associated with my neck and my headaches would disappear and I could go back to writing. However, as the days went on and the round of physical therapy prescribed came closer to an end, I never picked up the phone to make that follow up appointment. I was just in so much pain that I couldn't seem to remember anything straight and calling for an appointment was the least of my issues.

My physical therapy came to an end almost two weeks ago. When it did I felt even worse than I had when I began. I was shocked. I have been to physical therapy before at this same place and gotten better each time. Just not this time. I figured something was wrong with my discs and I was going to be miserable for some time to come. Setting goals to work on writing and editing for 2013 began to look like a failure waiting to happen.

Then almost a week after completing therapy I finally remember to call the doctor's office for an appointment (while they were actually still open - I always remember to call at 5:15pm). As the days went on and my appointment came closer, my headaches began to subside. This had me wondering. I was still doing some of the simple excersises they had given me to do at home. But, the one glaring difference was that I was no longer reciving my favorite treatment, the traction machine!

This is the traction machine I so adored during physical therapy, and the culprit behind my horrendous headaches.


While in physical therapy they had me lie on this medical table of sorts, tightened a clamp to my neck, and stretched my neck. I loved this part of therapy. It always made me feel better afterwards, and it was relaxing. Yet, now that I am without it, I am doing much better. This led me to believe that it was that particular part of the physical therapy sessions making my headaches worse.

Suddenly I was able to go shopping without suffering for the rest of the day. I could make that quick trip to the library to pick up books without dreading it, which is so insanely unlike me at all. I could do dishes, vacuum the highly messy floors again, and I loved it all. Who knew I would be happy to clean house again? Not me! Anywho, this has been a great development. I now know to steer clear of the traction machine, at all costs.

And best of all, I'm foaming at the mouth to get back to editing Barely There. I am convinced that if I had not had these headaches in the first place, I would have met my December 15th goal. Now I need to create a new goal, but not until I am sure that these headaches are completely gone.

Your turn -> Has your writing/editing been derailed by something out of your control?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

777 Tag!

I was tagged for the 777 meme again, but this time on Facebook by amazing writers Archana Bharathan and Christine Attardo. Rather than doing my post on Facebook I decided to do it here on my blog. That way I can tag more writers. I am not friends with many writers on Facebook and I think they were all tagged recently anyways. So, here it goes.

The rules are to go to page 7, go down 7 lines, and post the next 7 lines of your WIP. I added a few, because I hate leaving off in the middle of a paragraph. lol

This is from the WIP I have been doing a final read through on, Midnight Raynne. I hope you enjoy!



I do an about face and push my way through the crowd. If I can get to the edge of the hallway, maybe I can skirt around the crowd to get to French class. I say, “Excuse me,” a few times and other students move before I need to say anything. I move along better than I had hoped for.
I should be to the edge of the crowd by now, but I am not. I look up above the heads in front of me. The ceiling does not hit a wall for a long ways. I have turned directions. I now walk in the wrong direction, towards E.J.. Not good.
I stop in my tracks and try to orient myself before I continue. How did I end up here? 


Now for the tagging! If you have not yet been tagged, or you are working on a new WIP and want to be tagged, consider yourself tagged! Just leave a comment on this post so I can stop by your blog and see your work. :-)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Reblog At Your Own Risk

***First let me start by saying that I am not a lawyer and in no way is this post intended to be legal advice. This is only information that I have dug up on the matter and not intended to be used in such a manner.  If you need legal advice on using Tumblr you need to consult with a lawyer.

I love Tumblr. It is another means by which I can get my blog posts out to others. It may also be a trap just as I mentioned in Tuesday's post about Pinterest. However, I had a very difficult time digging up nearly as much information for Tumblr as I did for Pinterest. It seems Pinterest has simply garnered even more hubbub than Tumblr. Although, from my seat, I do not see many differences.

My take - Tumblr is like any other blog, except that you can reblog posts from other users you follow. No, that does not give you the right to upload and share photos you do not have permission to share. Therefore, you should only upload your own photos. I do this regularly through Instagram and when I upload photos of books I am currently reading, my own personal photos.

So, then how legal is the "reblog" aspect?

Well, this is what I found. The LA Times says to "Reblog this at your own risk." It is not the best article, but it definitely notes how risky re-blogging posts is.

Then I found this article by The Wall Street Journal on how to safely use Tumblr. Basically it goes along with all of the copyright laws I mentioned in a post last year with using photos in blogging.

I'm thinking the safe way to use Tumblr is not to reblog at all. That's my take. Also, you may want to take a look at the terms of service before you upload any photos of your own as well.

What are your thoughts on the reblog tool on Tumblr?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Pinterest Trap


***First let me start by saying that I am not a lawyer and in no way is this post intended to be legal advice. This is only information that I have dug up on the matter and not intended to be used in such a manner.  If you need legal advice on using Pinterest you need to consult with a lawyer.

I love Pinterest and when I started out on that site I immediately added the "pin it" button to my browser and started pinning things. It was the newest, best thing for writers. We could create boards and pin pictures to show others what we had in mind while writing a books. That has since changed, at least for me it has. It seems Pinterest is more of a trap. A legal trap to be exact.

Why?

Unless you are the owner of a picture or have permission from the owner, you may not pin it. Plain and simple and it is stated right in their terms of service. I also found this great article that really explains the risks. Although, the article was published before the latest terms of service went into effect, and clearly state that you still retain your ownership of your own photos that you upload to the site. That's one thing that has changed for the better and will allow more photographers to be inclined to upload their own photos and share them with others.

After reading the terms of service I was under the impression that you could only upload images that were your own, otherwise you are infringing on copyrights. Fine, I get that and understand that concept. And, according to the terms once you pin one of your pictures you acknowledge that others can re-pin it to their boards. However, after reading this particular article I'm not so sure re-pinning is safe in most circumstances. According to the article, re-pinning is not even safe. In fact, they claim the only safe way to use the site is by pinning your own photos.

Are you as weary as I am to use Pinterest again?

Even Forbes and The Wall Street Journal have weighed in on the legal risks involved. You really should read both articles for an eye opening understanding of how Pinterest works.

I'm tempted to start going through my pins, going to the site the picture/craft is on, and bookmarking them through Delicious instead. Seems like a safer bet to me.

And I wonder what the point of having a Pinterest site even is if you can't repin anything? I follow a few authors who use the site on a very regular basis, pinning everything that interests them. I wonder sometimes when I see those pins if they have asked for permission from the photographer to pin it, or even know that they need permission. It's definitely something to pay attention to and watch out with. 

What are your thoughts on using Pinterest?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

2013 Debut Author Challenge

I've decided to participate in the Debut Author Challenge once again. This year the DAC will be hosted by Tara at Hobbitsies. And this time I'm not adding a ton of debut books to my list, only 14. I'm keeping it simple this time. I will post my reviews here on my blog as well as on my Tumblr and Goodreads pages.

Here's my DAC list:

Altered by Jennifer Rush (1/2/2013)




Broken by A.E. Rought (1/8/2013)




Touch of Death by Kelly Hashway (1/15/2013)




Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans (1/15/2013) 




The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd (1/29/2013)




Pivot Point by Kasie West (2/12/2013)




The Collector by Victoria Scott (4/2/2013)




Taken by Erin Bowman (4/16/2013)




Slated by Teri Terry (5/3/2013)




Reboot by Amy Tintera (5/7/2013)




Transparent by Natalie Whipple (5/21/2013)




Triangles by Kimberly Ann Miller (6/18/2013)




Premeditated by Josin L. McQuein (10/1/2013)




Whisper Falls by Elizabeth Langston (11/??/2013)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Top 12 of 2012

This list was nearly impossible to compile. Why? I read so many GOOD books this past year. It was extremely difficult to narrow it down to only 12 books. In fact I had 15 books on the list, but after talking to my hubby we decided 12 sounded better, so I had to ax 3 more books. That was so hard.

Here are my 12 favorite reads of 2012 - in order of how I read them:

Everneath by Brodi Ashton  




Hallowed by Cynthia Hand  




Perception by Kim Harrington 




Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver  




Insurgent by Veronica Roth  




Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi




Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire




Enchanted by Alethea Kontis




Nevermore by Kelly Creagh




How to Survive Ancient Spells and Crazy Kings by Laura Pauling




Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger
Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier




What were your favorite reads of 2012?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Year in Review - 2012

I noticed several other blogs doing end of the year posts and thought it might be fun. I realize I am a little behind, since it is not 2012 anymore, but that is okay. Here is my year in review as far as my writing and reading is concerned. 

Writing:

WIP1: Stone Magic - I had not planned to even touch this project, but I had a sudden epiphany one morning and could not help myself. I began reassessing my current story line and realigning my outline to match the new story line. This was actually really fun and I made amazing use of my Scribener software, which I had not previous utilized much. There are still some kinks to work out, but with a little more simmering they should work out.

WIP2: Midnight Raynne - This one needs major simmering. I polished it off this past year, but found that I still do not really like the entire story. I haven't been able to put my finger on it, exactly, but there is a problem with this story. For now I have shelved this project, with the hope I will eventually figure out what the problem is and fix it.

WIP 3: Barely There - I edited this one through early in the year, sent it to my awesome critique partners and beta readers, and the began polishing it. I had hoped to have it out on submission by now, but my headaches from the herniated discs in my neck caused a bit of a hiccup in my plans. I have not been on the computer much at all over the last month or so. As a result, the polishing of this WIP suffered.

WIP4: Untitled - I didn't really touch this one at all this year. I did have an idea to take it to the next level, but never found the time to really do the research required. I have a list of books and articles to read in order to make sure I make all the necessary changes in the outline. This project is still in the draft stage and I would like to have all of my research completed for this new level of the story before I edit it.

Reading:

  1. The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver
  2. The Pledge by Kimberly Derting 
  3. Everneath by Brodi Ashton 
  4. One for the Money by Janet Evanovich 
  5. Bloom by Julie A. Lindsey 
  6. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (Yes, I've read it multiple times and I don't care what anyone says about it. I liked it.) 
  7. A Million Suns by Beth Revis 
  8. Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton
  9. Hallowed by Cynthia Hand  
  10. Dreaming Awake by Gwen Hayes
  11. Fever by Lauren DeStefano 
  12. Perception by Kim Harrington
  13. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
  14. The Goddess Hunt by Aimee Carter (short)
  15. Seeds of Wither by Lauren DeStefano (short)
  16. Lover Mine by J.R. Ward
  17. Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward
  18. Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward
  19. Goddess Interrupted Aimee Carter
  20. Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris
  21. Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris 
  22. Samsara by Jade Hart (One of my amazing crit partners) 
  23. The Lost Saint by Bree Despain
  24. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
  25. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
  26. Death by Chocolate by Julie A. Lindsey
  27. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
  28. Query by C.J. Redwine (craft)
  29. Under the Banyan Tree by Toni De Palma (Another of my amazing crit partners) 
  30. Shimmer by Alyson Noel
  31. Dreamland by Alyson Noel
  32. Whisper by Alyson Noel 
  33. Ocean Kills by Jade Hart (Amazing crit partner who just self pubbed this amazing book.) 
  34. The Ultimate Fiction Thesaurus by Sam Stone (craft)
  35. The Snows of Olympus by Arthur C. Clarke (research)
  36. Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi (short)
  37. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
  38. Foretold edited by Carrie Ryan (anthology)
  39. Hana by Lauren Oliver (short)
  40. The Goddess Legacy by Aimee Carter (short)
  41. Enchanted Alethea Kontis
  42. Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
  43. The Lost Letters of Brother Gabriel by Bree Despain (short)
  44. How to Survive Ancient Spells and Crazy Kings by Laura Pauling 
  45. Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger 
  46. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  47. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins 
  48. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
  49. Lost Scene from Hallowed by Cynthia Hand (short)
  50. After edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling (anthology)
  51. Free Four by Veronica Roth (short)
  52. Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier 
  53. Night Star by Alyson Noel 
  54. Everlasting by Alyson Noel 
  55. Radiant by Cynthia Hand (short)
  56. Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier
Did you do an end of the year post? If so add a link to it below.