About Me

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Hi, I'm Jamie. I'm a writer, reader, and huge TV junkie. I just might post about all three here on this blog. Have a look around. And if you want, drop me an email and tell me what you think. Thanks for visiting!

Friday, September 30, 2011

TGIF over at GReads!


The awesomeness that is Ginger (or G, as I like to call her) over at GReads! has created a great meme that is tons of fun. Each Friday, she poses a question for anyone to answer. Go check her out and join in!

This Friday's Question:

Banned Books:

How do you feel about the
censorship of the freedom to read?
Do you think the education system
needs to be more strict on what
children are exposed to
in books?


I admit that this one is tough for me.

Let me start off by saying that I am against banning books/censoring our freedom to read. Ignoring the blatant civil rights issue here, I don't think it is healthy for people to not be allowed to read anything they choose. Reading--and the knowledge that inevitably comes with it--is not only a healthy way for us to cleanse our minds and fill them with imagination and creativity and wonder, but it's also a great way for seemingly incompatible people to connect.


That leather-clad, long-bearded biker you see speeding down the street on his Harley could be rushing to a book signing for his favorite author. Or your neighbor--whom you've never given more than a passing "hello"--could be as fanatical about a book as you are. The point is, reading bridges gaps between people, races, cultures, families...in a word, it's magical.

With that being said, I do feel strongly about not necessarily censoring what children read, but at least being involved in what they read.

I can remember as a child my mother reading to me, like I'm sure most mothers did. Of course the books were age-appropriate, but I seriously cannot recall her ever telling me that I couldn't read something. I don't remember ever saying "Hey mom, I wanna read Madame Butterfly!", and her saying "Not a chance." Why? Because I wasn't given the option of reading a book that wasn't right for my age.

I know this is confusing, that it sounds like I'm saying "Yes! Ban books!", but I'm really not. But we as Parents--not our teachers--should be censoring what our children are reading. We should be making the decision if a book is appropriate or inappropriate based on our child's age...or possibly even their emotional state (I know I would not have wanted to read Old Yeller until I was old enough to understand death. It would have traumatized me!). I don't think these types of decisions should be made by committees--whether it be in a school setting or anywhere else. Banning a book for an entire group of people just doesn't make sense to me. I agree and completely understand that some children aren't prepared to read some things (Twilight, The Mortal Instruments, even To Kill A Mockingbird are all books that are not for everyone), but punishing every child by not allowing them to read said books? That's not fair, either.


So, how do we fix this problem? How do we allow children to read books they want to read, while still giving children who don't want to read that book the freedom not to? Aye, there's the rub. In no way do I claim to know the answer, but I can't help feeling that if we get more involved in what children are doing/listening to/watching on TV/reading, then we would be much more informed as to what books they can/cannot handle--instead of just removing the choice altogether.

That's my time on the soapbox folks...and if I offended anyone, I truly didn't mean to! :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Indelible Blog Tour Stop...Character This or That w/Yara!


I am more than happy to have not 1 but 2 stops on the Indelible Blog Tour for my friend Lani Woodland's sophomore YA novel, Indelible! If you missed my review on Monday, you can check it out here. And be sure to visit Once Upon a Twilight, the hosting blog, for a list of all the great posts from the tour!

Today's post was really fun. I got to ask the main character from Lani's trilogy, Yara, some quirky This or That questions...I hope you all enjoy!


1. Chips or Cookies (of course I would start with food!)
Chocolate chip cookies. Food is where I start too.

2. Beach or Snowbound
I would usually say beach but after last year . . . how about beach adjacent. I liked it when Brent made it snow last year but I'm all for the sun.


3. Book or Movie
Movie

4. (hang with) Family or Friends
Friends

5. The Vampire Diaries or The Jersey Shore (answer carefully Yara)
The Vampire Diaries. That was an easy one.

6. Sunny & Warm or Cloudy & Cool
Sunny and Warm

7. Pendrell Academy or Public School
Pendrell Academy (Cherie and Brent go there.That made it a no brainer)


8. Burgers or Pizza (it's okay if you choose both!)
Pizza

9. Edward Cullen or Jacob Black (haha!)
In the movie? Jacob without a doubt. I like being warm and have you seen Brent? I like muscles.


This was so much fun! Thanks so much, Lani (and Yara!), for stopping by my blog, and everyone be sure to pick up a copy of Indelible--you won't be sorry!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: TOUCH

The lovely Jill (a fellow Alabamian!) over at Breaking the Spine created the Waiting on Wednesday meme for us bloggers to showcase books we're waiting on.

My pick this week is one that I just came across thanks to the awesome blog Once Upon a Twilight (you rock, Yara!). And when I saw this cover, I knew I had to read this book! Maybe you'll agree. Please, check out...



TOUCH
By Jus Accardo
pub date 11/1/2011

product description from goodreads.com



When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet, seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue eyes home.

Except there’s something off with Kale. He wears his shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she’ll turn to dust if he touches her. It’s not until Dez’s father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realizes there’s more to this boy—and her father’s “law firm”—than she realized.

Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation—an organization devoted to collecting “special” kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons—his entire life. And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. The two team up with a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they’re caught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dez has spent her life keeping safe.

A secret Kale will kill to protect.



Love love love! This description sounds so cool and mysterious, and the cover matches that mood! Can't wait till November 1st!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Indelible Blog Tour Stop!!




Today I am super excited to be a part of the blog tour for my friend Lani Woodland's sophomore YA novel, Indelible! A huge thanks to Yara at Once Upon a Twilight for hosting this great tour--and for letting me be a part of it!

And now, my review of Indelible (a book you will definitely want to read)!



Indelible
By Lani Woodland

Page Count: 416

Release date: *see below


product description from goodreads.com


Yara is beginning to understand just how much her life will change now that her Waker abilities have emerged. She has come to terms with the fact that seeing ghosts is part of her life, but she isn’t ready to let being a Waker dictate her choices. All she wants is a ghost-free senior year with her boyfriend, Brent, and her best friend, Cherie.

But Yara soon discovers that there are more dark secrets in her school’s history than just the curse she broke. While an angry ghost makes Yara question everything she thought she knew about spirits, she and Brent learn that there are long reaching consequences to last year’s adventures. As new enemies emerge and old ghosts resurface, Yara finds herself in the center of another deadly mystery, and this time she has to contend with the living as well as the dead.



My Review:
(may include spoilers if you haven't read Intrinsical)


Once again, Lani Woodland has not only drawn us in with a stunning book cover (I mean, look at it) , but she has also created a story that is filled with romance and humor and mystery. Indelible is the second book in Ms. Woodland's wonderful Yara Silva Trilogy. It further tells of Yara and Brent and their growing love amidst the chaos of Yara's Waker abilities (she can see ghosts).

Yara is such a great character. In Intrinsical (book 1), we got to see Yara's fiery personality and resistance to change. With Indelible, Yara has grown so much. She is still a spitfire, but now she is much more open to the possibility of what could be. We get to see that in her relationship with Brent (who's great, btw!) and in the way she has embraced her Waker side. Such a great progression in this awesome character, Lani!

And one of the best things about Indelible? Vovo!!

Vovo is Yara's grandmother, and she's an outstanding character. Strong, determined, humorous yet stern, Vovo is the backbone to Yara's past. She epitomizes what it means to be a Waker (which can be difficult sometimes), and she pushes Yara to become her true self.

My Rating:

I am happy to give Indelible 5 stars. This second installment in the trilogy only proves that Lani Woodland is no one-hit wonder. I urge you all to run out and pick this up as soon as it's released!

**Release Update:

Due to unforeseen issues (it happens folks), the release date for Indelible has been pushed back (I know!). The ebook version will still be available tomorrow (yay!), so be sure to order that.
And go here to read the news from Lani herself, and be sure to pick up a hardcover copy when it does come out ( in addition to the ebook version that I know you're all gonna go buy tomorrow, right. Yeah, thought so. ;-P )!

Friday, September 23, 2011

TGIF over at GReads!


The awesomeness that is Ginger (or G, as I like to call her) over at GReads! has created a great meme that is tons of fun. Each Friday, she poses a question for anyone to answer. Go check her out and join in!

This Friday's Question:

Reading Challenges:

Did you sign up for
any this year?
How has your
progression been?


Excellent question, G! And I am proud to say that I have joined a reading challenge, thank you very much! :-)

I entered the 2011 Reading Challenge via Goodreads and as of today, I am currently running 1 book behind (I know, boo me). I wasn't as confident or adventurous as some people (hint hint...it's you, G!), so I only opted to read 50 books this year...so I guess being only 1 behind is pretty good!

I do hope to complete the 50 books before the end of the year, but I have lots of editing/writing to do by then (1st draft of Book 2 is due in January...agh!), so we will see!

How about you guys? Any reading challenges you're a part of? Any you wish you were a part of?
Comment away!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: THE HELP


The lovely Jill (a fellow Alabamian!) over at Breaking the Spine created the Waiting on Wednesday meme for us bloggers to showcase books we're waiting on.

This week I've chosen something very different for me. If you follow this blog (or stop by from time to time), you know that I'm a paranormal/dystopian junkie. Seriously, they're like crack to a user. But today I've done a 180. Thanks to the constant pressuring from some coworkers, I've decided to pick what I would classify as a contemporary piece...and it's not YA! But it is one that I keep hearing nothing but amazing things about (both the book and the newly-released movie).

And before you say anything, yes I know the book has been out a couple of years. But I'm still waiting on it, so it qualifies!

What is it? Why, none other than...



The Help
by Kathryn Stockett
pub date 2/10/2009

product description from goodreads.com


Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tune in Tuesday (6)



Today it is once again time for Tune in Tuesdays, a really cool meme created by my friend Ginger (or "G" as I like to call her!) over at GReads! This is a super fun meme that is filled with all sorts of music sure to give you a boost of energy and make you smile.

My choice today is a song that I listen to literally every day (yeah, I'm like that). I don't really know what it is, but there's something about the music and the lyrics and the voice that sort of inspire me and help keep my head in my fictitious world where it needs to be! I'm sure some of you have heard of this group (if not necessarily this song), but for those of you who haven't, please enjoy...

Muse - Time Is Running Out





Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Must Reads!...Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy!


Monday Must Reads! is a feature I created to showcase books that I think you, well, Must Read! (ha!).

Today's Must Read is actually a trilogy--and one that has been around for a bit. I know you've all heard of it, but I only recently picked up these books and read them. Beautiful writing, great story and heartfelt characters make this series a winner. What am I talking about? Why, none other than...



by Maggie Stiefvater

product description from goodreads.com

Shiver

Sam’s not just a normal boy — he has a secret. During the summer he walks and talks as a human, but when the cold comes, he runs with his pack as a wolf. Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house — but never dreamed that she would fall in love with one of them. Now that they’ve found each other, the clock ticks down on what could be Grace and Sam’s only summer together.

Linger

Can Grace and Sam last? Each will have to fight to stay together — whether it means a reckoning with his werewolf past for Sam, or for Grace, facing a future that is less and less certain. Enter Cole, a new wolf who is wrestling with his own demons, embracing the life of a wolf while denying the ties of being human. For Grace, Sam, and Cole, life is harrowing and euphoric, enticing and alarming. As their world falls apart, love is what lingers. But can it be enough?

Forever

For Grace, Sam, and Cole, the story continues — only now, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. It’s becoming harder and harder to hold on to one another. In the conclusion to Maggie Stiefvater’s bestselling, breathtaking trilogy, love is the question — and the answer.


Just in case you're one of the few people who have yet to read this series (like I was), trust me when I saw that it is a great one. The perfect combination of romance and paranormal (I'm so jealous of her writing, seriously), The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy doesn't disappoint!

Friday, September 16, 2011

TGIF over at GReads!


The awesomeness that is Ginger (or G, as I like to call her) over at GReads! has created a great meme that is tons of fun. Each Friday, she poses a question for anyone to answer. Go check her out and join in!

This Friday's Question:

Book Disappointments:

Have you ever come across a book
you were so stoked to read,
but it failed miserably
in your eyes?

Hmm, this one's a toughie. Sure, there have been plenty of books that I didn't enjoy (several classics I was forced to endure during high school come to mind), but one that I was really excited to read that I didn't enjoy? Well, I guess it would have to be...


Magic Bites
By Ilona Andrews

product description from goodreads.com




One moment magic dominates, and cars stall and guns fail. The next, technology takes over and the defensive spells no longer protect your house from monsters. Here skyscrapers topple under onslaught of magic; werebears and werehyenas prowl through the ruined streets; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst of knowledge and wealth, pilot blood-crazed vampires with their minds. In this world lives Kate Daniels. Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, and she spent most of her life hiding in plain sight. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, she must choose to do nothing and remain safe or to pursue his preternatural killer. Hiding is easy, but the right choice is rarely easy . . .



Sounds really good, right? A couple of my online pals recommended this one to me, saying how great the series is. So naturally I was really excited to read it! So I hopped online, looked up the title, and ordered a copy. As soon as it arrived in the mail, I eagerly began reading.

And that's kind of where the excitement ended for me. Don't get me wrong, the book is very well written. It kind of reminds me of an old school detective novel (think the Kay Scarpetta series by Sue Grafton) in its style, which is perfectly fine and enjoyable. But there was just something about this book that I couldn't get into. I put it down, giving up on finishing, until one of the said friends from earlier said I should keep going. So I picked it up again.

I did manage to finish it, but I still didn't care much for it. I really think that I would like the series if I kept going (those friends and I share similar book interests), but I honestly can't say if I ever will. But, never say never!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I Joined a Sock Hop!! Oh wait, I meant Blog Hop




Yes, though a Sock Hop is probably oodles and oodles of fun, so is this Blog Hop! And I'm sure I don't have to tell all of you what a Blog Hop is, right? I do? Um, okay.

The Author!Author! Blog Bounce is a blog hop to meet authors and discover fun new author blogs!

Pretty simple, right? I thought so. And a big thanks to my pal @TrishWolfe for tweeting this so I could hop on board and discover some great authors and blogs!

So hop on and join in the fun everybody!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: PARTIALS


The lovely Jill (a fellow Alabamian!) over at Breaking the Spine created the Waiting on Wednesday meme for us bloggers to showcase books we're waiting on.

I only discovered this week's selection yesterday, and I'm kind of glad. Because if I had heard about it any sooner I would've had to pine over it even longer! It's YA. It's Dystopian. And it's cover is awesome. Please check out my WoW pick this week...



Partials
By Dan Wells
pub date 2/28/2012

product description from goodreads.com



The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the population. Reduced to tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.



Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic in training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws threaten to launch what’s left of humanity into civil war, and she’s not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will discover that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them—connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there.



Dan Wells, acclaimed author of I Am Not a Serial Killer, takes readers on a pulse-pounding journey into a world where the very concept of what it means to be human is in question—one where our humanity is both our greatest liability and our only hope for survival.




How about that description? Doesn't that just sound awesome? Engineered organic beings? Weaponized virus? Oh I can't wait!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cover Reveal: OBSIDIAN by Jennifer Armentrout!!

I am beyond happy to be a part of the Cover Reveal Extravaganza for Jennifer L. Armentrout's newest novel, OBSIDIAN!

And let me tell you, It. Is. AWESOME!!

Wanna see it?

Do ya?

Really??

Okaaaayyy....






It's coming, don't worry...





Here it is!!





Isn't that gorgeous? If you click on the image, it'll open it to a much bigger size (that way you can really see what Daemon looks like!) I absolutely love this cover. The models are beautiful, love the title, and the green really stands out...nicely done!


Here's the official blurb:

Starting over sucks.



When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior
year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, outhouses, dodgy
internet access, and a whole lot of boring. Until I spotted my hot
neighbor with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking
up.



And then he
opened his mouth.



Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant.
Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me
and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand,
well, something…unexpected happens.



The hot alien living next door marked
me.



You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his
sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and the mark
he left on me has me lit up like Las Vegas strip to the bad guys. The only way
I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien
mojo fades. If I don't kill him first, that is.



And then things got really bad…

Jennifer also has included in this Cover Reveal Extravaganza a countdown widget to the release of OBSIDIAN. So if you'd like, add it to your sidebars, people!



Also, you can add OBSIDIAN to your Goodreads TBR lists here!

And visit the publisher, Entangled Publishing, here!

I can't wait for this book to come out so I can stare at Daemon--err, I mean this cover ;-P constantly!

And a big thanks to Jennifer for allowing me to be a part of the reveal!

My book has a cover!

Saturday, the awesome Alex at Electrifying Reviews hosted a cover reveal for Blood Born, my YA paranormal that comes out next spring (April 24th to be exact!). And so far, the response has been positive (which makes me SO happy!). But today, I thought I would post the cover here for anyone who has yet to see it. And because I love it just as much as everyone else!

Seriously, the designer behind it knew exactly where I was coming from in what I was asking for, like he stepped inside my head and pulled out the image I wanted...it's amazing!

So, for anyone who may not have caught sight of this over the weekend, I give you the cover of Blood Born:




And as an added bonus, here is the cover that will actually be on the book, complete with an awesome blurb from the equally awesome Trisha Wolfe. Her book, Destiny's Fire, comes out in January, so be sure to pick it up!



Not sure if you can enlarge it enough to actually read Trisha's blurb (which was so awesome), but this is what it will look like...and I'm so excited and happy and still in shock that this is going to be an actual book that I will be able to hold in my hands and stare at and cry over (yes, there will probably be tears on that day. Sue me)!

So, I hope you all will leave a comment letting me know what you think of my cover, and please feel free to spread the word...tell all your friends! (And if you want, you can add it to your Goodreads TBR lists here!)



Saturday, September 10, 2011

BLOOD BORN cover has been released!




Hi everyone, just a quick little note to let you all know that my friend Alex has revealed the cover for BLOOD BORN on his blog today...YAY! Wanna see? You do?! Then go here:


And I'll be doing a post with the cover reveal on Monday, so you can come back and see it here then!

YAY! SO EXCITED TODAY!

Friday, September 9, 2011

TGIF over at GReads!


The awesomeness that is Ginger (or G, as I like to call her) over at GReads! has created a great meme that is tons of fun. Each Friday, she poses a question for anyone to answer. Go check her out and join in!

This Friday's Question:

Books to Television:

Which books would you love to see
made into a
TV series or movie?

Wow, my list for this question is SOOO long! Nearly every book I've read I would love to see on TV or at the movies...how do I narrow it down! I know, I'll choose one of each.

So, for Book-to-TV, I think I'll go with...



Blue Bloods
By Melissa de la Cruz

product description from goodreads.com

When the Mayflower set sail in 1620, it carried on board the men and women who would shape America: Miles Standish; John Alden; Constance Hopkins. But some among the Pilgrims were not pure of heart; they were not escaping religious persecution. Indeed, they were not even human. They were vampires.The vampires assimilated quickly into the New World. Rising to levels of enormous power, wealth, and influence, they were the celebrated blue bloods of American society.


The
Blue Bloods vowed that their immortal status would remain a closely guarded secret. And they kept that secret for centuries. But now, in New York City, the secret is seeping out. Schuyler Van Alen is a sophomore at a prestigious private school. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes instead of the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates, and she lives with her reclusive grandmother in a dilapated mansion. Schuyler is a loner...and happy that way. Suddenly, when she turns fifteen, there is a visible mosaic of blue veins on her arm. She starts to crave raw food and she is having flashbacks to ancient times. Then a popular girl from her school is found dead... drained of all her blood. Schuyler doesn't know what to think, but she wants to find out the secrets the Blue Bloods are keeping. But is she herself in danger?


I shamefully admit that I haven't read this series yet, but I really really want to. And anything to do with vampires is golden in my book, so I would absolutely love to see this series made into a TV show!


For Book-to-Movie, this one is a bit more difficult to decide. There are so so many books that I dream of seeing the characters on the big screen that it's not easy to only choose one. But, alas, I must. So, my pick is gonna have to be...



By Carrie Ryan

product description from goodreads.com



In Mary's world there are simple truths.



The Sisterhood always knows best.
The Guardians will protect and serve.
The Unconsecrated will never relent.
And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.



But, slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future-between the one she loves and the one who loves her.



And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?




I simply loved this book. The beautiful writing, the great characters, the zombies. Oh yeah. This would absolutely be a fun, creepy movie to watch. Come on, Hollywood...get it made already!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Just a friendly reminder for all you (wannabe) writers out there!

Anyone who is a writer knows how difficult writing a book can be. It's painful, heartbreaking, exciting, thrilling, soul-crushing...and so much more. As a famous book begins (worded a bit differently), It's the best of times, it's the worst of times. So, so true.

But exactly how does a book get written? Do magical faeries climb into a writer's head, pull out the words and drop them onto blank paper, moving them and shaping them into beautiful prose? Or maybe writers slip into states of catatonia, feverishly writing down stories in the midst of beautiful darkness?

Of course not. Nothing's that easy.

No, a book is written just as any other "job" is done: With hard work. It takes time, and patience, and skill, and creativity, and on and on and on. The list of requirements really could become endless if you let it. But above all these things, the one thing that sits higher than any other is this: Write.

Yes, it really is that easy (once you peel away all the layers of "stuff"). Simply, write. Pull out a pen/pencil and paper, or boot up your PC or Mac, and start writing. That's all it takes. That story that's rolling around in your head, competing for space with bills and kids' commitments and tonight's dinner, simply needs to be let out. So let it out already. Trust me, once you start, you won't want to stop.

And don't be scared that your work won't be as good as someone else's, or that a publisher or agent won't like it, or that you've never written anything before so you shouldn't start now. None of that matters right now. That's not the reason you wrote it all down in the first place. You write because it's thrilling and exciting. You write because it's a release for your emotions. You write because you have a story to tell. You write because you like it.

You write because you have to.



So quit reading this lame blog post and start writing...you'll be glad you did!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: ALL THESE THINGS I'VE DONE

The lovely Jill (a fellow Alabamian!) over at Breaking the Spine created the Waiting on Wednesday meme for us bloggers to showcase books we're waiting on.

I hadn't even heard of this week's selection until the lovely Savannah (@BookswithBite) tweeted about her giveaway (check it out here), but once I read the description I knew I had to feature it. If you've never heard of it either, then you're in for a treat! My WoW pick this week is...



All The Things I've Done
By Gabrielle Zevin
Pub date Yesterday!

product description from goodreads.com



In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city's most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine. It consists of going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother, trying to avoid falling in love with the new assistant D.A.'s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend.

That is until her ex is accidentally poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she's to blame.

Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight--at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family.





Come on...Forbidden chocolate and the mafia? I am so there.

And the best part? It came out yesterday, so hurry and snag a copy now!


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Teaser Tuesday!



Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!(make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!






He didn't answer; his eyebrows were pulled down close to his eyes in an expression of such deep thought that I suspected he hadn't even heard me. I sort of liked seeing him like that, not performing, just...being Cole, as hard as he could. He didn't resist as I took his hand and swabbed off the blood.

~pg. 258, Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day...and a winner!



First let me start by apologizing for taking so long to get this post up. I had actually forgotten that today was Monday!

So to start, I wish all of you who celebrate it a very Happy Labor Day!



And for my giveaway of an ARC of ASHES by Ilsa J. Bick, random.org has spoken, and the winner is...






Congratulations Lisa! Please email me your mailing address and I will get your book out to you ASAP! And thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway, and I do hope that even though you didn't win, you will come back and visit often (and enter other giveaways I have in the future)!

Friday, September 2, 2011

TGIF over at GReads!






The awesomeness that is Ginger (or G, as I like to call her) over at GReads! has created a great meme that is tons of fun. Each Friday, she poses a question for anyone to answer. Go check her out and join in!

This Friday's Question:

Making a Difference:

Which book(s) would you put
in the hands of today's teenagers
in hopes of making a difference
in their lives?

This question is a difficult one for me to answer, because I don't like pushing any sort of thought system or ideology onto anyone else. But, I do feel that there are certain books everyone should read, just for the sake of reading a good book. So, I'm going to round-about answer today's question, by showcasing a couple of books everyone (teens included) should read at least once.

And of course, if you know me, you know what my first choice is going to be. That's right, only my favorite book ever.





By Harper Lee

This book is pure genius. Superbly written with a timeless message, To Kill A Mockingbird transcends race, religion, moral ethics and every other social epitaph we are labeled with. It is, quite simply put, a literary masterpiece that I think every person should read.










A Child Called It
By Dave Pelzer

I have to start by saying that this book is disturbing, and definitely isn't for everyone...though I honestly think every person alive should read it.

A Child Called It
is a recount of one man's journey through a morbidly sadistic life of child abuse. I won't go into details as to what abuse he suffered--just know it was worse than you think. But the book opens your eyes to what truly goes on when a child is abused--both physically and psychologically--and forces you to look at the epidemic of child abuse differently. After reading it, I felt both sick and outraged, and it stuck with me for a long time after.




Of course there are countless other books that I could recommend to anyone to read, but these two stand out in my mind as having such powerful messages. If you've never read either of these, then please run out and get a copy now! lol



Thursday, September 1, 2011

It's Giveaway Time!

So I thought to myself, what better to do on a Thursday than hold a giveaway? Right? Yeah, I thought so, too!

Today I'm giving away a signed ARC of a really great YA dystopian that is scheduled to release on Tuesday, so maybe you'll be lucky enough to win a copy! And what, you ask, is this elusive ARC? Why, it's none other than...



ASHES
By Ilsa J. Bick
pub date Tuesday!!

product description from goodreads.com


It could happen tomorrow...

A cataclysmic event. An army of "The Changed."
Can one teen really survive on her own?

An electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky, destroying every electronic device and killing billions. For those spared, it's a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human...

Desperate to find out what happened and to avoid the Changed, Alex meets up with Tom---a young army veteran---and Ellie, a young girl whose grandfather was killed by the electromagnetic pulse.

This improvised family will have to use every ounce of courage they have just to survive.





I absolutely loved this book! Such amazing writing and a really cool premise that I urge you all to read (my review of Ashes is here, in case you wanna read it). And what better time to read it than when you can read it for FREE!

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the ALA Convention in New Orleans this year (you know, since N'awlins is a mere 3 hours from home. Yeah, I know you're jealous) and got to meet Ilsa and pick up a signed copy of Ashes (I actually got 2 copies...hence the giveaway. Also, I use the term "meet" loosely, since I did nothing more than smile and snag the book and walk away because I was too nervous to speak to her!). So you, dear blogging buds, get to reap the benefits of my labor (and yes, walking around the extremely long convention hall all day was labor!)...in the form of a signed copy of Ashes!

To enter? Super-simple, as always. Simply comment on this post and tell me a great YA dystopian you've read (but please avoid The Hunger Games, Delirium and Divergent. I've read those and they're awesome!) and you're entered! And unfortunately, this is US only (since I'm covering shipping costs and it can get pricey out of the country!)...sorry my international peeps!

Be sure to comment on this post by Sunday at 12:00 noon CST, and I will announce the winner on Monday. I don't do the whole extra points thing, but feel free to Tweet or spread the word! And even though you don't have to be a follower, it's greatly appreciated!

So, comment away and tell me all those awesome YA dystopians that I just have to read!!