Thursday, November 28, 2013

I Am Thankful


I have a lot to be thankful for. If you aren't interested in a really optimistic, sappy list of stuff I'm grateful for, you probably should stop reading.

My life is amazing. I am at a top 40 university, double majoring in subjects I love. I got a book deal at 19, and I've got a great job at Entranced Publishing where I recently got promoted. I have amazing friends and family who support my frantic reading habits and don't mind me blathering on about books. I've gotten scholarships that take a tiny bit of the sting out of tuition costs. I'm going to San Francisco soon, and then I'm spending my spring in London. I'm so young and I've gotten to fulfill so many of my life's dreams. I couldn't be happier.

I have a lot to be thankful for. You know, I have a cork board in my room by my bed where I pin up the tickets from shows, movies, concerts etc. I have only had it for a year, and it sports things from the past three years. It is completely full. I look up there and I see a lot of memories. A plane ticket to Philadelphia when I got to visit my best friend. A bookmark from Marissa Meyer. The expert reviews from the first time I entered ABNA. So many amazing memories, and I can't wait to put more up there.


Retrieved from http://tinyurl.com/mtt9ogj
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Have a piece of pie on me.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

NaNo on a Busy Schedule

I am not the busiest person out there. I can think of several right off the bat who would have much more trouble fitting writing into their schedules than I do. But, I do have a busy life. I am a full time student at a university doing a double major in history and creative writing. I am a senior editor at Entranced Publishing, where I assess submissions, edit manuscripts, and interact with a seriously awesome community of people. My own book is also coming out soon, and I'm starting to coordinate with my publicist as to the cover reveal and blurbs and author photo and all that fun stuff. I also try to have a social life.

Suffice it to say, I don't get to write as much as I'd like. It seems that whenever I check something off my To Do list, there's something even more pressing that needs to get done. So I knew this year doing NaNo would be tough. But I needed a way to keep myself accountable for my writing. And NaNo is the perfect way to do that.

How do I fit NaNo into my busy schedule? Well, as it should be, writing is very fun. But I treat it like an item on a check list. It is something I need to get done every day, otherwise that little box will stay unchecked. And I'm a perfectionist enough to not like that.

So while writing is fun for me, I make sure it is something that needs to get done every day or the appearance of my lists will suffer. I am a list person. I even think I've done a blog post about how much I love them. Anyways, it's been working for me. Poison Ivy is at over 31k as of today, and going strong. Now it's back to work. I have a paper due Friday.

How do you fit NaNo into your schedule?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Champion

This year has been rife with amazing book releases that I've been very excited about. They include Crown of Midnight, The Bitter Kingdom, Days of Blood and Starlight, The Dream Thieves, and Shades of Earth. Suffice it to say, it's been a very fun year for me in books. And adding to this fun comes Champion by Marie Lu, the final novel in the Legend Trilogy which I began reading in the summer of 2012. I have mentioned my love of the details in Lu's books and the fact that the romance is not the center of the plot. Well, I have these feelings and many more about the end of this amazing trilogy. If you don't want spoilers, don't read on.


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Retrieved from Goodreads
Day Wing is a legend in the Republic of America, and their most wanted criminal before he threw his support behind the new Elector, Anden. June Iparis is a prodigal military student of the Republic whose family and faith in the institution has been ripped apart by the Republic's schemes. With a new Elector in power, the Republic is on the brink of peace with the Colonies. That is, until a new plague sweeps through the Colonies and the ceasefire ends. Day's brother is in danger of being used in experiments to find a cure for the plague, and June must convince him to submit to it. June and Day are brought back together after eight months apart to save their country one last time.

Oh how I love Lu's novels. This book has been on my radar ever since I finished Prodigy last year and was amazed at how well it did as a middle novel. The details in this book are just as good as those in previous, and it's one of the reasons I love June as a protagonist. Add this to the fact that she uses logic instead of emotions to make decisions, and doesn't let her feelings for Day interfere with her every thought, and I thought she kicked butt. As for Day, I liked how emotional he was, and how loyal he was to his brother. By the end of the book I was so sad and at peace at the same time. Lu doesn't wrap up the ending in a nice little bow. There are wounds that can't heal and time means a lot of changes that wouldn't be expected. The end of the Legend trilogy was satisfying and heartwarming. Long live the Republic!

Goodreads Rating: 5 stars
Up Next: Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Late Thaw Blog Tour

Today I have with me Ana Blaze, author of A Late Thaw, a YA contemporary romance novella. It was released October 28th through the Kissed imprint of Entranced Publishing (my employer). Before you meet the author, here's the summary of the book.

The town's too small for Kiley St. Claire's reappearance to be a surprise, still seeing her hits Cole Thomas like a punch tot he guy. She ripped his heart apart when she turned to ice and ran away all those years ago. Now that she's back, Cole's going to say his piece and move on.

Even if she does look damn good in that uniform.

Kiley St. Claire is back in the small town of Barrett, Vermont, for one reason and one reason only: to earn some cash so she can survive her final semester of grad school. She's not there for the sexy Christmas tree farmers.

Even one who once held her heart.

About the Author:

Ana lives just outside Washington DC with her very supportive husband and three rather demanding cats. She loves the ocean, Indian food, Ikea, and cooking. Ana admits to watching too much television and she swears that someday she's going to learn how to play the guitar resting on the bookshelf in her office.


  1. If you could tell anyone in the world five things about yourself that really define "you," what would they be?
    I read. I write. I love my mom. I'm married to my best friend. I'm a sentience-based egalitarian. (Basically, I value other animals as much as humans.)
  2. What was your inspiration for A Late Thaw?
    I went to college in Vermont and I fell in love with the place. In a way, this novella is a love letter to the state and some of the good solid hotties there. So I started with a good Vermont man and then found his perfect match.
  3. How long did it take you to write the first draft of this book?
    This one came pretty quickly. It's not a long story, the whole thing takes place over two days, but I believe I had a draft in just a few weeks. That is fast for me. I often find the beginning of new stories come quickly and then I slow down in the middle. Ends often take longer. I think I have a hard time saying good-bye.
  4. What is your writing/editing process? Pantser? Outliner?
    I outline a little in my head, but I try to let the characters lead so that I maintain my enthusiasm for the story as it progresses.
  5. How did you decide to go the indie/small press route?
    You know, I don't know that it was a very conscious decision. I was writing but not submitting yet and I came across a submission call that fit a novella I had completed and I decided it was time to give it a go. I polished it up and sent it in. It eventually got rejected by that publisher but made it through a couple rounds and I received a very nice personal email from an editor. That gave me the confidence to send it somewhere else, so I looked for an acquiring editor who seemed to like the kind of story I'd written and she was at a small press. I do think it was a good choice for me. There is a lot to learn and I think smaller presses are in a better position to teach. Also, I think they tend to have a lot of beginning authors and that leads to a wonderful, warm, and enthusiastic community.
  6. What are your favorite books overall? Recently?
    I read A LOT, so here goes: I love all of Anne Rice's vampire novels (and many others too) and urban fantasy from Kelley Armstrong and Rachel Caine. Patricia Briggs has a couple of series that are always excellent. On the romance front, I adore Nora Roberts, Jeaniene Frost and Charlaine Harris. I love the Selkie Series by Sophie Moss. Like many readers, I've been really enjoying the offerings of the YA genre lately: The Matched Trilogy, The Hunger Games Trilogy, The Divergent Trilogy. I highly recommend If I Stay by Gayle Forman and its sequel, Where She Went. I'm enjoying some of the recent surge of New Adult romance as well, such as Falling into You by Jasinda Wilder. And I have to mention Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion for making me believe in zombie romance.
  7. Favorite type of ice cream?
    Peanut Butter Cup. But only because Ben & Jerry's broke my heart many years ago and retired Cool Britannia, a strawberry ice cream with fudge covered shortbread cookies in it. That was the best ice cream ever.

Add to Goodreadshttp://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17830852-a-late-thaw


Author Social Media Links:
Blog: http://anablaze.blogspot.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ana_blaze
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnaBlazeLove
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/anablaze/


Buy links: Amazon | B&N

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 11, 2013

100th Review: Shiver

Oh my gosh, guys, this is a very important review! It's my 100th book review on this blog! And it feels so appropriate that I would be reviewing a book by one of my favorite authors (Maggie Stiefvater). I first read one of Miss Stiefvater's books last summer right before starting my sophomore year of college. It was The Scorpio Races, and I was instantly drawn in by her unique way of characterizing and fleshing out her world. I then went on to read The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves, and met the author herself this year. This review, however, is about an earlier book of Stiefvater: Shiver.

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Retrieved from Goodreads
Grace and Sam have known each other for six years, ever since Grace was attacked by wolves in the woods behind her house. Sam saved her. But he was also part of the pack that attacked her. Sam is a werewolf, and in the summer he is a human while in the cold of winter he's a wolf. He's always been afraid to talk to Grace, until now. There's a new, unstable werewolf on the loose, and the townspeople want to get rid of the wolves once and for all. Winter is coming, but Grace and Sam's love is just beginning.

It's always so hard for me to describe the plots of Stiefvater's novels. There is always so much more going on than a simple description can describe. I just want to shake all my readers through the computer screen and go "It's such an awesome book, you don't even know, just read it." Shiver is of a slightly different style than either The Raven Cycle or The Scorpio Races. There are glimmers of that unique, artistic voice that's most prominent in The Raven Cycle, and so Shiver reminds me more of a typical YA paranormal novel than any of her others. It is beautifully written, and a cool twist on the idea of werewolves. There is an interesting cast of secondary characters, and my heart was twisting by the end of the book. I would definitely recommend it.

Goodreads Rating: 4 stars
Up Next: Champion by Marie Lu

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Adorned Blog Tour

Today I have with me Georgeann Swiger, author of Adorned, a YA paranormal romance. Adorned is the first book in the Trinity of Souls Series, and was released November 4th through the Rush imprint of Entranced Publishing (my employer). Before you meet the author, here's the summary of the book.

When seventeen-year-old Anya finds out she's actually an angel being trained to protect humanity, she discovers that becoming an angel has nothing to do with winds and halos. For Anya, becoming an angel has to do with death - her death.

Micah, the angelic soldier ordered to protect her until she transitions from human to angel, promises her death will be a glorious experience as long as she follows his rules. But getting Anya through this life and to the next isn't as simple as Micah expects. His job becomes even more difficult after he unwittingly performs a miracle that exposes Anya's hidden angelic light.

With her secret out, Hell's legions begin targeting her. Unfortunately, Hell's minions are the least of Micah's worries. He's more concerned about the forbidden human emotions he's developed toward Anya. Even more troubling, is she seems to love him too. And giving in to those feelings could mean dire consequences for them both.

About the Author:

Georgeann Swiger earned her degree in journalism from West Virginia University, and then spent five years as an anchor/reporter at WBOY-TV in Clarksburg, WV. After having children, she left television news to be a stay at home mom. During that time, she discovered creative writing was more fun than writing about real life tragedy. Imagining interesting characters and having them come to life on the page is now her passion. When she's not writing, she works as a substitute teacher. She lives in Reedsville, West Virginia with her husband, two kids, a beagle dog and a temperamental cat you tries to rule the house.


  1. If you could tell anyone in the world five things about yourself that really define "you," what would they be?
    1. I'm a real life coal miner's daughter. I come from a family full of West Virginia coal miners. My family has been instrumental in keeping the lights on for a lot of people in the U.S.
    2. I'm married to a WV State Trooper. As a trooper's wife, I've heard many gory details about the despicable things people do. I've also found a greater empathy for the victims of crimes.
    3. I'm the mother of two teenagers. Raising a son and a daughter is the most challenging thing I've ever done.
    4. I'm a former television anchor/reporter. Stepping into TV news helped me become more outgoing and willing to take risks.
    5. I'm the owner of a cat and a dog. Surprisingly, being around both has made me realize I'm more of a cat person, maybe because I'm fickle and always already for a nap just like this moody fur ball. :)
  2. What was your inspiration for Adorned?
    I have always loved the concept of forbidden romance and wanted to use it as a catalyst for a story. When I began working on Adorned, angels ended up being my go to paranormal creatures, possibly because I have a collection of angels my husband started for me when we got married. I put my own twist on these angelic beings, by taking away the wings and haloes and making them complicated and complex beings with a special set of rules to follow.
  3. How long did it take you to write the first draft of this book?
    I spent about a year working on the first draft. Then I spent another six months revising it. It was a story that flowed out of me in between substitute teaching and taking care of my family. Finding time to write was an issue when I started. Today, I make time to write.
  4. What is your writing/editing process? Pantser? Outliner?
    I'm a pantser trying to be an outliner. I have a basic outline for the third book in The Trinity of Souls Series. But for some reason, the story isn't matching up exactly with the outline. Characters and situation are popping into the manuscript I can't ignore. I have a habit of turning down dark roads, wondering where I'll end up. For the most part, I find a lot of interesting things by letting a story tell itself.
  5. How did you decide to go the indie/small press route?
    In March 2013, I entered a pitch contest on Twitter. Since Entranced Publishing was interested in YA paranormal romance, I came up with a Twitter pitch and sent it out in between getting dinner ready and washing clothes. I didn't expect to hear anything, but I had nothing to lose. Minutes after pitching, Ashley Christman posted she was interested in the first three chapters. By the next day, I had sent her the whole manuscript and she offered me a contract. This success story occurred a year after I started querying agents. After talking to Ashley and learning about Entranced, I knew signing with a small/indie press was right for me.
  6. What are your favorite YA books overall? Recently?
    I'm a fan of YA paranormal romance. I recently discovered author Jennifer Armentrout. Her book Obsidian is now one of my favorite YA romance novels. What I like about her is not only is she a fantastic writer, she's from West Virginia, the same as me. For some reason, our state gets a bad rap. So it's nice to root for a WV girl and wish her lots of success.
  7. Favorite type of ice cream?
    I live in walking distance of a Dairy Queen. I'd happily eat anything from their menu. Dilly Bars, Blizzards, Mudslides, banana splits, hot fudge sundaes...It's all good.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Meeting Marissa Meyer

This happened a while ago now, but I still want to write about it. Marissa Meyer is the author of Cinder and Scarlet and the not-soon-enough to be released book Cress. These were some of my favorite books of the last couple years. She is a PNW writer just like me, and so I feel sorta connected to her. Not in a creepy way, I swear. So when I found out she was giving a talk at a book store near me I was very excited. Even though I'd spent the previous night in the ER, I wasn't going to miss the opportunity to meet her. And boy am I glad I did.

I have gotten much better at raising my hand at these things and asking questions. My usual question is "How was the query process for you?" because it's always fun to hear other stories about submissions. Well, Marissa had the dream story. She landed her dream agent quickly and after putting together a submission packet had an offer from one of the Big Publishers like a week. What author doesn't dream of that?

I also asked about her favorite YA books currently and how she chose the fairy tales to base her stories around. She was so nice and fun and she really tried not to give any spoilers about Cress.

Then she had a drawing for a copy of Cress. Another girl named Heather got it. I felt like I was having a heart attack there when they said the first name. And then I just felt sad. Now I have to wait even longer for this awesome book.

Anyway, it was an awesome experience.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Adorned Release Day

Today is the release of the lovely Georgeann Swiger's novel, Adorned! It's a YA paranormal romance So today I have the cover, as well as places you can buy it. And a giveaway! You guys should check it out! She's an awesome lady.


When seventeen-year-old Anya finds out she's actually an angel being trained to protect humanity, she discovers that becoming an angel has nothing to do with winds and halos. For Anya, becoming an angel has to do with death - her death.

Micah, the angelic soldier ordered to protect her until she transitions from human to angel, promises her death will be a glorious experience as long as she follows his rules. But getting Anya through this life and to the next isn't as simple as Micah expects. His job becomes even more difficult after he unwittingly performs a miracle that exposes Anya's hidden angelic light.

With her secret out, Hell's legions begin targeting her. Unfortunately, Hell's minions are the least of Micah's worries. He's more concerned about the forbidden human emotions he's developed toward Anya. Even more troubling, is she seems to love him too. And giving in to those feelings could mean dire consequences for them both.

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Adorned-Trinity-Souls-Georgeann-Swiger-ebook/dp/B00G1OFBX0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382353568&sr=8-1&keywords=adorned+georgeann+swiger


: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 3, 2013

NaNo and Misc.

Well I barely posted last month, and a few posts I planned to write were stalled by all means of connecting to the internet disappearing from my apartment. So I'm super behind in NaNo, my email, tweeting, and blogging.

Last month was good, but bad at the same time. I was busy, I was sick off and on for almost a month, but I experienced some pretty fun times with my friends, and the weather was pretty decent here in the PNW. I also met Marissa Meyer! I'll write a post about that later.

Well NaNoWriMo is in it's third day and I have less than 1k written. But I plan to make up for lost time today. What book am I writing, you ask? Well, remember that fantasy novel that was a very loose retelling of Romeo and Juliet? That's the one! I woke up one morning from a really weird dream about being chased by some weirdly put together sheep balrog. And thus a story was born. Don't worry, there are no sheep balrogs in it. Just to refresh everyone's memory, here's the prologue!

"There were many things I never expected to happen on my wedding day. For instance, I never expected blood to cake my mouth, and my lip to be split, so even smiling would send a fresh dribble down my chin. I never expected my bouquet to be daisies. They're such smelly flowers. I never expected my dress to be lavender and covered in scorch marks.

But most of all, I never expected to love my husband-to-be."

Hope your NaNo endeavors are going well!