Sunday, December 4, 2011

Birthday Contest Results!

Happy December everyone!
Now that 30th birthday extravagana is over, I'm able to post the results.
And the winner is Twin2.  Please email me at the address on my blog with your address so I can get the books in the mail and you'll have them by Christmas!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Contest: Gift for you for my 30th birthday!

                I still can’t believe that I’m turning 30!  So in honor of that, I am giving away three books to one person.  That’s right, I said three!  Can you guess what amazingly awesome series I’m giving away?  THE HUNGER GAMES, by Suzanne Collins.

CONTEST:  Answer the following two questions.
1.    What is your favorite book turned movie/t.v. series?
2.    What book do you want to see made into one?
*Feel free to add in “why,” (I'd love to know) but you don’t have to.*
1.       Must follow this blog or follow me on twitter.

2.       Contest starts now.  You must have your answer posted by midnight, pacific time, on November 30th (my birthday!)
Ready...set...ENTER CONTEST!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Interview with Suzanne Young

First, I want to thank everyone who participated in the giveaway for the signed copy of Suzanne's book, A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL.

Suzanne was also kind enough to do an interview with me!

Suzanne Young is a brilliant scientist. Not really. But she is a former middle school teacher turned zookeeper (mother). When Suzanne’s not fending off zombie squirrels she can be found writing obsessively. Suzanne is the author of A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL and several other YA titles.

Q. How long have you been writing for and how many did you write before selling THE NAUGHTY LIST?

A. I’ve been writing since I was in middle school, starting with murder mysteries starring my friends. Thankfully my plotting has developed since then. I wrote my first full-length novel in 2007, and then three more after that before writing THE NAUGHTY LIST.

Q. What was your favorite scene to write for A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL?

A. It would be the last Need with Warren. It was very emotionally charged for me, and the basic idea of what the Needs were all about—unwavering love.

Q. Can you tell is when a summary for A WANT TO WICKED will be available?

A. I just saw it myself! Hopefully soon! It’s really exciting!

Q. How do you come up with the names of your characters?

A. I usually start by looking up old fashioned baby names. And then from there, my characters go through a couple of choices before finally settling on one. For example, I have a new book idea where the main character was Sydelle for the first 3 chapters, and now I just went back and changed her to Natalie. It fit better.

Q. Did anything inspire your upcoming book, THE PROGRAM?

A. My own experiences with depression. THE PROGRAM ended up being the combination of three of my other unpublished novels in terms of ideas.

Q. What is your favorite writing snack?

A. Candy corn.

Q. Do you have a ritual you must do before you can start writing?

A. I like to write in a clean space. I can’t stand clutter, so I often clean a little bit. But don’t even get me started on the laundry!

Q. What is worst advice you've been given since you've started writing?

A. I was once told by a professor that I could ONLY write what I know. He tore up my first short story because I wrote it from a male perspective.

Friday, August 19, 2011


Oh my goodness, your responses were awesome! I had a hard time I ended up asking got help from my best friend and my boyfriend.


I would turn my backyard into a fantasy land! There would be a labyrinth with games and adventure at every turn. And treehouses and pirate ships to explore... :)

I'll be emailing you soon for your address to mail the book and pin!.

Ok, back to the road trip. Thank you all for being patient while I drove through mountains with no cell phone service to post this blog.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

CONTEST: A Need So Beautiful

Answer the question: If you were given $200,000 what frivolous thing would you do/buy, just because you could?
I’m not looking for answers like paying bills and whatnot.  Have fun with it! 
Example: My answer would be…
As a kid, I loved My Little Pony.  So I’d buy a horse, have it dyed pink (non-toxic of course), and have a cupcake stenciled on it! 
PRIZE: Signed copy of A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL by Suzanne Young and pin.

We all want to be remembered. Charlotte's destiny is to be Forgotten...

Charlotte’s best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she’s cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what’s really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth, who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.

But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend's arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become--her mark on this earth, her very existence--is in jeopardy of disappearing completely.

Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny--no matter how dark the consequences.

I can't wait to ready the answers!
1.      Must follow me on twitter or this blog.
2.      You can only enter once.
3.      With your answer, be sure to add your email address so I can contact you!
4.      Contest ends Thursday at 9 p.m. Western/Midnight Eastern.
CHECK BACK SOON FOR: Interview with Suzanne Young!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

6 Awesome Writers...

Being that I’m in Seattle for the summer, I was lucky enough to be able to attend a book event on July 31, at Third Place Books, and met 6 amazing authors.


Mandy Hubbard-RIPPLE

Lisa Schroeder-THE DAY BEFORE



Kimberly Derting-THE BODY FINDER series

Suzanne and I had lunch, chatted about books, and whatnot for a few hours.  Not only is she sweet, so is her whole family who came along.  (I’m the god-mother to her niece and nephew-though, they were not there).
Soon, things were well on their way to being set up for the event and people began filling up the chairs.  After telling us about their books (apparently, they all seem to contain a LOT of kissing), including their inspiration for their stories.   Then, they were gracious enough to do a Q&A session.
Each and everyone one of them at one point made me laugh.  They also gave wonderful advice for aspiring writers.  I was impressed by how gracious each author was.  It’s not every day you get so many authors at an event and I’m definitely lucky to have been it town for it.
Autograph time:
When I bought A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL over a month ago, I read it in a little over four hours.  I cannot wait for the sequel! (A WANT SO WICKED-Summer 2012)
While at the event, I bought FORGOTTEN, which I read as soon as I go home and didn’t stop until I was finished.  That was 3 hours later and managed close it at midnight, which doesn’t bode well when the 1 year old twins wake up at the crack of dawn.  More than anything, I’m so sad that there is no planned sequel for it!  I didn’t want it to end at all.
Also at the author event, they had a raffle.  I won THE DAY BEFORE.  Although I have yet to start reading it, I’m excited to do so.  I took a sneak peek inside and read a page or two, in the middle and towards the end.  I read so fast, I need to save something for my long drive home from Seattle and the two week vacation going along with it.  I’m also saving THE NEAR WITCH by Victoria Schwab.  I read the first chapter and had to force myself to stop.  Without a doubt, I would have stayed up all night reading obsessively. 
I will be getting books by the other authors soon.  My problem is, there are so many wonderful YA books out there right now, it’s hard to stop myself from buying piles of them and spending lots of money!
Knowing how much we love books and they aren’t cheap, on my next post (Wednesday, August 17, 2011) I’ll be having a contest and the prize is a signed copy of Suzanne Young’s A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL and a pin!

Monday, June 27, 2011

I may be crushed to death by BOOKS!

As you've likely noticed, I've been MIA for a while now.

Besides working on my YA sci-fi romance, I've also been reading.  I fell in love with "Across The Universe" by Beth Revis and "Divergent" by Veronica Roth.  All I can says is WOW!

As Barnes and Noble didn't have it stock, I had to order "A Need So Beautiful" by Suzanne Young.  For a while now I've been looking forward to this book.  (And not only because she's my friend's sister!)  The premise behind it is unique and interesting.

Recently I started re-reading the "Wheel of Time" series by Robert Jordan and watching "Game of Thrones" on HBO.  Of course, it did nothing but distract me from writing the sci-fi and I ended up working on a fantasy novel I'd started and tucked away earlier this year.   In fact, I have a few fantasy novels lying around, lol.  Ironic thing is, about two years ago I started a dystopian novel before I knew that was what it was called!  Oh the things I've learned.

My sister finished her book which is based on the journey of the fool in the tarot cards.  I've read it and it's wonderful.  I wish I'd written it!  It should be ready for query after a few more revisions.  She actually asked me today how to write a query letter since she has no clue what the "book world" is like or what to do with a finished novel.  I feel like such a big sister helping her out.

The people I work for are in Europe, so I have about 3 week off work, yay! (boo, no pay check)  This means, lots and lots of writing.  And apparently, a blog entry!
Then it's off to Seattle for about a month and a half.  I hope to get writing done there also when the kids are napping. ~fingers crossed~  Either way, I'll only be working 40 hrs a week and have the weekends off, so I KNOW I'll be writing regardless.

Now, why I may be crushed to death by books.  Those of you who know my boyfriend, Leo, you know that he LOVES books.  I have to put blinders on him at the bookstore in fear we'll come home with no less that 5 books each time.  It's an addiction really.  However, it may be a genetic thing.  Here are the photo's to prove it.

First, here is the bookshelf beside the bed.  I SLEEP on this side of the bed too!!!!  So should there be an earthquake (which is likely in San Diego), I may end up dying from the books falling on my head.  There are worse ways to go.
Next are the books in the rest of the room!  We are surrounded!!!!!

Here is a photo of the stairs heading to the living room and kitchen.

Now is the living room area.

Please keep in mind, in the other bedrooms, there are TONS of other books!  Today, Leo's mom asked him to help with the garage and the storage space.  Here is one photo from the garage (there are books on the other side as well).  I swear, Leo almost had a heart attack when he was told they were going to be donating most of the books from the garage. (Actually, he took it better than I thought he would, hahahaha!)  Part of the reason they are cleaning out his spot is because Leo is got his parents infrared sauna (well, did the down payment anyways.)
(Yes, I am blogging while they are cleaning. ~trying to look innocent~)
 Carol carrying out more stuff.  She found a box of children's books from about 30 years ago when Leo was little.  I hope that they keep those!
Oh look!  Leo is cleaning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Truth be told, he's good at keeping things clean and whatnot.  He's such a sweetheart. 

*PLEASE NOTE These pictures do not include all of the books at MY house either!  I have at least 100 books at my place.  Though it doesn't compare to the likely over a thousand books here at Leo's parents.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What was I thinking?!

All I can say is, "Wow."

A few weeks ago I pulled out my print-out of the very first book I ever wrote, Angel's Grace, and went through it with a red pen.

What was I thinking?!  I slashed thought that thing like there was no tomorrow.  I couldn't believe how many things needed to be fixed.  I'd actually sent a query letter to agents for it?!?!  It is no longer a surprise to me why I never had a single request for it.  It was AWFUL!

Well, not awful per say.  But it reeked of a seriously inexperience writer.  I still love the story, the plot was great, and the characters were well thought out.  It was the wording, sentence structure, descriptions, and the voice for each character needed more personality.

I wrote Angel's Grace over two years ago and since then I have learned so much about writing.  Through reading blogs, reading what agents are looking for, twitter, reading more current Y.A. novels, and from simply writing and finding my own style, I can't believe how much I've improved as a writer.

I cannot tell you how important it is to take a step back from your book before you send it out to agents.  Not necessarily two years like I did, but enough that when you read it it feels like you are reading another writer's work.  It is hard to find your own mistakes when you have read something a million times.  The lines simply start to blend together.

And don't even get me stared on my query letter.  Towards the end of it I'd actually put, "This is my first YA novel."  Bwahahahaha!!!!

In short: Write.  Try different styles until you find your own.  Read.  Read blogs, read about writing, and read what you want to write.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Pay It Forward-

There is someone I would like to thank who has helped me so much on my writing journey.  In fact, there are five, but one in particular.
It all started in high school.  I had a wonderful creative writing teacher named Mrs. Cahill.  Not only did she encourage my writing (and always give me an A), but she was also a kind of surrogate mom.  I became her student teacher my senior year and when my birthday and graduation rolled around, my family did nothing.  She, on each occasion, got me a gift.  We talked about her writing when she was a journalist before becoming a teacher, which encouraged me to dream about my own writing career.
Second is my good friend and “adopted cousin” Joey who is now attending Georgetown University, so far-far away from San Diego.  Over two years ago when I first started writing seriously for young adult and middle grade, he would read everything I wrote and go over it with a fine tooth comb as we’d sit together at our local Starbucks for hours.  As a senior in high school and busy with applying to colleges, teaching at his own school, and teaching Spanish on the side, he made the time.  Brilliantly smart that he is, Joey often found mistakes I often overlooked since I was so eager to write, blowing through pages like I did coffee.  With being so young, Joey gave me an inside view of life in current day high school, slang kids were using, and silly events that happened.
Third I need to thank my boyfriend, Leo.  This man has encouraged me so much when I wanted to give up after having countless requests on one of my books, only to end up with rejection letters.  Leo, who is a literary omnivore (I seriously need to put blinders on this man when we go to the bookstore, for he will spend hundreds of dollars each time-I am so not joking).  His room is lined with bookshelves, overflowing so much, that they are stacked and pilled to the point you can’t read the bindings.  From Tolstoy to Faulkner, Bronte to Robert Jordan and Paramahansa Yogananda, needless to say, he has a very critical eye and knows more ‘fancy’ words than I do.  Not to mention his bachelor’s degree in literature from Tulane has helped so much!  This man can seriously write, reading what he writes about a sunset makes me want to cry.  One day, he’ll get that surf novel done!
Fourth is a name you all should recognize, Suzanne Young- author of: The Naughty List and the upcoming novel: A Need So Beautiful.  I have emailed this girl on several occasions and she has been very generous with pointing me in the right direction from web-sites, a few writing tips, to her opinion on a few chapters I’d sent.  Without her, I have no idea how long it would have taken me to find!
But how did I find my way to Suzanne?  Because of my best friend in the whole wide world, Amy (who is her sister-in-law)!
Amy is the fifth and most important person of whom I need to thank.  Let me tell you a little about this amazing woman.  Not only can she write herself, but no matter how much I bug her with story ideas or ask for her opinion on what I’ve already written, she makes the time.  With her two kids, working, and a husband, she has always been there for me despite her crazy busy life, and not just when it comes to writing.  We have been there for one another during break-ups, family issues, and babies.  We have been one another’s shoulder to cry on, listening and understanding, but giving the truth-even when it’s hard to hear.  Most importantly, we support one another.
To my best friend-I love you!