Thursday, March 29, 2012

Girls Rock

Are you ready to read some awesome books?! Well... that's fabulous 'cause I've been reading a lot lately and I'm completely in love with these next three books.
I know I shouldn't be reading as much as I have been, especially since I'm in the middle of a new WIP. But I find that reading really helps. Sometimes I just need to escape into another story, you know? At least it works for me.

And these next three books all have something in common: a strong female protagonist.

by Jill Hathaway
I read this book a while back but since it hit the shelves on Tuesday, I figured I'd remind you.
From the moment I started reading this book I was completely sucked in. Vee is such a great character. You feel for her and relate to her and even though she's struggling with a lot of things in her life, you kinda want to be her. Well, I did. Mostly because I've always wanted to be Nancy Drew or Veronica Mars. And when Vee witnesses a murder, that everyone believes to be a suicide, she is forced into solving the crime.
Vee Bell is selfless and strong and as a character she is completely believable. I can't wait to read the next one!

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

I have always loved Robin Hood. But I think this retelling of the story is my favorite so far. Seriously. I LOVED THIS BOOK. There's adventure and romance. And the relationship between Robin and Scarlet ... WOW. Did I mention that in this version Will Scarlet is a girl? And she is pretty much amazing. She is the perfect mix of vulnerable and yet strong, independent as well as loyal. Please, please, please let there be a sequel! I BEG YOU!

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

I have to admit, I'm not really into dystopian books even though I loved The Hunger Games and I'm a huge fan of Susanne Winnacker's The Other Life. I just don't enjoy the darkness that usually surrounds post-apocalyptic stories.
But I got a teaser of this book and after reading a few chapters I was hooked. I went in expecting one thing and soon realized I'd stumbled into a beautiful love story. And as much as I appreciated Aria's strength and determination, Perry won my heart. This book was breathtaking and different, the kind of book I will read again and again.

All three books get five stars from me! Go check them out!

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Last night I bought my tickets for The Hunger Games movie. I know. I can't believe it either. It's finally here. I feel as if I've been waiting for this movie to come out for years and years and... well. I have. We all have.
As I was waiting in line I started thinking about when I first heard about the book. Long before it hit the shelves I read about the awesome that is The Hunger Games on some editor's blog. I don't even remember who it was. And then it popped up on an agent's blog and then another and I thought, hmm... this book doesn't exactly sound like something I'd like to read but maybe I'll pick it up anyway.
And I did.
The day it came out I was there in the bookstore staring down at that black cover with the golden bird pin thinking... this doesn't really look like a book I would read.
But I bought it anyway.
And I didn't read it right away. It sat on top of my TBR pile and I even cheated and read a few books before it because, really, it's not a book I would read.
But while I was in Utah visiting family I got sick. It began with a cold that later turned into morning sickness (don't worry, most colds don't lead to a baby) and since I was lying around anyway I picked up that book with the black cover and the golden bird and I started reading.
And I swear the first chapter in I was thinking about the movie because that's what good books do, they make you see them, imagine them in your mind. And once those images are floating around in your mind the next obvious step is to see it all play out on a big screen while munching candy from a box.
The funny thing is before I was even a fan of Suzanne Collins I was a fan of Suzanne Collins. While I was reading The Hunger Games and telling everyone who would listen how freaking amazing the books were, my daughter had already fallen in love with the Little Bear and Oswald cartoons. Did you know she writes them? Of course you did.

So, yes. I'm very excited for tomorrow when I finally get to see this book through Gary Ross's imagination. I hear he's been respectful. I hear they all have been.
I finally get to see Katniss and Peeta, Prim and Gale and Rue. These characters I have read about will be moving around in front of me while I grip my husband's hand tightly and try not to cry, because you know I'm going to. Good writing does that to me.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Let's Talk About Books

So lately I've been reading. A lot. You see, January was a big month for new releases and Apocalypsies debuts. And with edits behind me I've been in book heaven.

Here's what I've been reading:

Fracture by Megan Miranda


I read the first two chapters of this book before it came out and I was sooo excited to read more. It did not disappoint. I was on my way to her book signing, finishing the book on the train, and it nearly brought me to tears. I love when paranormal books have depth and emotion. I can't wait to read more from Megan.

Slide by Jill Hathaway


Funny thing is... when I got home from Megan Miranda's book signing this ARC was waiting for me!! I was so excited, I started it that night. I loved this book. I loved Vee. She's strong and kind and I genuinely liked her. I keep reading reviews for paranormal books where the reviewer loved the book but hated the main character. I have to admit, that has also happened to me. But Vee Bell is not in that category. Not only is she strong, she has heart. She was pretty much awesome. I can't wait for Slide 2!!

The Fault in our Stars by John Green

Okay. So. I don't usually read books that I know will make me cry. But the new book I'm writing has a touch of the sad so I've been reading sad books and listening to sad music. I'm basically a ball of fun to be around. And I probably should have warned my husband when I started reading this book because he didn't know whether to comfort me or medicate me when he came upstairs and found me sobbing with my Kindle. Good thing the pharmacies were all closed.
This book is beautiful and lovely and real. And when it was over my heart was a bit broken. But in a good way.

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Here's another Apocalypsie book that I've been waiting FOREVER to read. The cover is eye-catching and I'm such a fan of Brodi's blog. She always makes me laugh. So when I read how dark the premise was I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Let me just say, not once did I laugh out loud while reading this book. Not even a little. But it definitely gripped me. And the ending was beyond intense. Loved it.

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Have you read Unearthly? Have you??! If you haven't, go do it now. And then when you're done you'll see why Hallowed is so amazing. Truly. It's rare that I love the second book in a series more than the first. Or maybe I shouldn't say that because where Unearthly was love and Tucker and wow, Hallowed was sad and beautiful and strong. So I'm not sure I can compare them. They were each my favorite.

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally


So last night I wasn't supposed to be reading but my husband was watching one of those the-world-is-going-to-end-and-the-planets-are-crazy-big-and-strangely-colored shows and all I wanted to do was watch an episode of 30 Rock that we'd missed but he was so into it that I opened my Kindle and decided to start reading.
And... it has been a really long time since I started a book and finished it in one sitting. I'm a big reader but I have two kids and a husband and, oh yeah, a book I'm supposed to be writing and if I'm up late at night while everyone else is sleeping it had better be because the book is flowing. But. Ahem. That wasn't the case last night. I started reading Catching Jordan and I couldn't stop. No really. At some point I thought to myself, why am I not tired yet? And then I realized it's because this book is too dang good. So. For someone who doesn't like football and doesn't read a lot of contemporary YA you totally hooked me, Miranda Kenneally! This book is going up next to my other two favorite contemps: Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door. The three of them can hang out on my bookshelf and talk about how awesome they are.

Happy reading!!

Monday, February 6, 2012


This weekend I spent a lot of time writing. And also a lot of time staring out the window. I find in order to get a story down I need to do a whole lot of both.
I'm not sure how other writers work but for me I need solitude, which can make for a very lonely day. Sure my characters keep me company but in the beginning we're in that awkward getting-to-know-you stage and sometimes it feels like I'm deleting more than I'm saving.
My husband keeps encouraging me to try writing in a cafe or a coffee shop and I have to say I'm always intrigued by writers who can do this. But I'm pretty sure I'm not one of them. I'm too easily distracted. Here's how it would go:
Drive to Starbucks
Find a seat where there's little risk of someone spilling liquid on me or my laptop
Turn on laptop and while it's doing its thing immediately notice the couple to my left who appear to be on some kind of date
Decide that she's not as into him as he appears to be
Text husband with update: This is great. I'm glad I left the house.
Go back to subtle observation of Starbuck's date
She keeps shifting away from him. Bad sign.
Glance back at screen and find I haven't even opened Word yet
Open Word
While Word is doing its thing notice two teenage girls texting while eating
Wonder why people text when they're out with other people
Text husband: Why do people text when they're out with other people?
Husband's reply: Are you getting any writing done?
Me: Tons.
Open new book project
Notice that keyboard is rather dirty under the Starbuck's lights
Get up and look for napkin
Return to laptop and find that Starbuck's couple is now leaving
Watch as he holds the door open for her
Notice how she doesn't seem impressed
Text from husband: Are we out of peanut butter?
Me: Don't bother me, I'm writing. =)Kisses!

<-------- I think I should stick to my own little writing corner. Less distractions.

This weekend when I emerged from writing I found that my children smelled different. They usually smell like maple brown sugar oatmeal, strawberry yogurt or peanut butter. But after spending the weekend with their Mima and consuming an entire bag of ginger snaps they now smell like the inside of a health food store.
I have to admit, it keeps throwing me off.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Book Signing!

Welcome to 2012!!

Yeah. I know. I'm a little late to the party. But I've been busy reading, reading and then reading some more because now that Mystique is pretty much in the can (do you say that with books?) I have a stack of books calling to me and I can't help but pick them up and comfort them a little. They're all so shiny and new. I can't resist them.

OH! And I also headed off to the big city to see these fabulous authors sign some books at Books of Wonder.

Beth Revis, Julie Cross, Megan Miranda,
Maureen Lipinski and Carrie Ryan.

I love listening to authors talk about their process. The crowd asked some great questions and these ladies had some very helpful answers. I especially loved when someone in the audience asked whether they were "pantsers or planners?" It's nice to hear I'm the not the only one who is crazy enough to jump into a story completely blind. Beth Revis mentioned how she would get bored with the story if she knew the ending beforehand and I can relate to that. Although, it sure would be nice if that ending wouldn't avoid me altogether...

And while I was there I ran into these fabulous ladies.

We were all there to see fellow apocalypsie, Megan, talk about her amazing book, Fracture. Have you read it yet? It came out on Tuesday and I finished it on the train ride in. I couldn't put it down! That was the first time I've ever cried in public while reading a book. It was that good. So emotional and thoughtful. And did I mention intense and scary?! Seriously. Go read it.

ME! Zoraida Córdova, Megan Miranda,
Sarvenaz Tash, and Lizzie K. Foley.

So now that it's time to start blogging again...
tell me, what have you been reading?

More book reviews coming soon!