Saturday, December 31, 2011

Mermaid Books to Read in 2012!

I don't know about you, but I am LOVING blog-hoping today! All those lists of great books read in 2011, resolutions for 2012, and soon-to-be-read-books of 2012 can get a girl giddy.

My resolution is too simple to have a whole blog post dedicated to it: work harder than ever before on Dark Waters until it's beautifully polished and unable to be put down by my beta readers. This means combing through books on editing and ultimately dedicating myself to honing my skill of the craft. *You can read the premise for Dark Waters by clicking on My Writing page*

I told you it was simple and short. So this post is dedicated to more than resolutions. But books too! Woohoo!

These are the amazing-looking mermaid books I can't wait to start reading in 2012. Most are by debut authors which is more than a little exciting!

Here's my version of the most anticipated mermaid books of 2012:

Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of merpeople obsessed with killing Jason Hancock, the man they blame for their mother’s death. To lure the aquaphobic Hancock onto the lake, the mermaids charge Calder with the task of seducing the man’s daughter, seventeen-year-old Lily Hancock. “Get close to the daughter,” they tell him, “and you’ll get close to the family. Get close to the family, and you’ll get close to the man. Get him out on the water. We’ll take care of the rest.”
But Calder screws everything up by falling in love. Now he’s in the unenviable position of trying to love the girl while simultaneously plotting her father’s murder. Suffice it to say, his sisters aren’t pleased with his effort, and Calder’s running out of time (and excuses).

Set against the backdrop of a Coney Island summer comes The Vicious Deep, the story of sixteen year old Tristan Hart whose life is turned upside down when the mermaids make an unscheduled return to land in search of their new king. 

When a sudden storm pulls Tristan from lifeguard duty into a deadly riptide, he discovers what he really is—a prince of the Sea Court. Turns out, his girlfriend hopping and talents as a swimmer aren’t caused by his teenage prime hormones after all. 

In this modern Arthurian tale with a twist, when all a guy wants to do is get The Girl and enjoy the freak show that is a Coney Island summer, Tristan has to fight for his life, the lives of his friends, and his humanity, if he still wants it, as he’s caught in a race for a throne that is as ancient as the gods.

When a hurricane hits her island home and she wakes up with fins, Yara finds herself tangled up in an underwater world of mysterious merfolk and secretive selkies. Both sides believe Yara can save them by fulfilling a broken promise and opening the sealed gateway to their realm, but they are battling over how it should be done. The selkies want to take her life. The merfolk want something far more precious. 

Treygan, the stormy-eyed merman who turned Yara mer, will stop at nothing and sacrifice everything to protect his people—until he falls for Yara. The tides turn as Yara fights to save herself, hundreds of sea creatures, and the merman who has her heart. She could lose her soul in the process—or she might open the gateway to a love that’s deeper than the oceans. 

Young Adult fans of Mermaids, Selkies, Sirens and Gorgons will love this tale of the sacrifice one makes for genuine love. Love that could be lost at any moment to the ever-changing tides.

Emma and her friend Chloe are spending vacation in Florida. When Emma (literally) runs into a hot guy named Galen on the beach, little does she know he’s a prince of the Syrena. Galen and Emma both feel something strange – is it attraction? – and Galen suspects that Emma might well be the girl he’s heard of – a human who can communicate with fish. 

What follows is a deadly scene with a shark in which Galen witnesses Emma’s gifts. He must know more about her, and follows her back to New Jersey, and high school, to find out for sure if she’s the key to saving his kingdom. Soon, Emma can’t deny her feelings for him, but can’t explain them, either – and both she and Galen must learn more about where she comes from and what her powers are before they can trust one another and their feelings.

She wanted her life to change... he wanted his to stay the same. 

Best friends share everything with each other. Or do they? Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn Frances Lanski is tired of her boring, single life. Spending time with her best friend Tatiana, dreaming about kissing Tatiana's twin brother Fin, and swimming competitively are her only sanctuary. The girls plan to leave their drab lakeside town far behind for college. But when Tatchi fails to return home after a family emergency, and no one knows where the family has gone, Ash chooses to do something drastic to find them. 

Ashlyn is about to discover what she'd thought to be true her whole life, wasn't, and the truth, too fantastical to imagine. Secrets lurk beneath the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, secrets that will change Ashlyn's life forever.

When fourteen-year-old Luce is assaulted on the cliffs near an Alaskan village, she expects to die when she tumbles into the icy water below. Instead, she transforms into a mermaid. Luce is thrilled with her new life—until she discovers the catch.

 Gemma Fisher lives an ordinary life in the quiet seaside town of Capri, where she shares a close bond with her sister Harper and a budding attraction with her gorgeous neighbor Alex. But everything changes when three stunningly beautiful girls arrive in Capri and seem to cast a spell the whole town. After a chance encounter with them, Gemma wakes up alone on the beach with no memory of what happened…and a sneaking suspicion that they somehow bespelled her. Now Gemma has a host of new powers she can’t control or understand. She’s growing more beautiful every day, and she has a strange effect on men that makes them unable to resist her—especially when she sings. But she’s also overwhelmed by strange cravings that feel all wrong, and she begins to suspect the girls have a dark side that goes beyond anything she ever knew existed. The girls, she discovers, are sirens—and now she’s about to enter a strange new world brimming with dark beauty…and unimaginable secrets.

When Adrianne comes face-to-face with the mermaid of Windwaithe Island, of whom she has heard terrible stories all her life, she is convinced the mermaid means to take her younger sister. Adrianne, fierce-willed and courageous, is determined to protect her sister from the mermaid, and her family from starvation. However, the mermaid continues to haunt Adrianne in her dreams and with her song.
Yet, when the islanders find out about Adrianne's encounters with the mermaid she is scorned, for this small and superstitious community believes the mermaid will bring devastation to the island if Adrianne does not give herself to the sea.
A powerful and lyrical story of one girl who must choose between having everything and having those she loves.

Nothing has been the same for Will ever since what happened last summer. One day, on an ordinary sailing trip with his brother, there is a strange accident. When Will wakes up, he learns his brother has disappeared, presumed drowned. Worst of all, Will can't remember what happened—his family finds him unconscious, with no memory of the accident.
Now Will and his best friend and neighbor, Gretchen, are starting a new summer. Gretchen seems troubled—her sleepwalking habit is getting worse, and she keeps waking up closer and closer to the water. Will is drawn to Asia, the exotic new girl in town. Nobody knows where she's from—all Will knows is that her beauty and her mesmerizing voice have a powerful effect on people.
Then there is another mysterious drowning, and Will and Gretchen begin to wonder: Is Asia just another beautiful, wealthy summer resident? Or is she something entirely more sinister . . . and inhuman?

What do you think? Are any of these going on your TBR list? Which books are you excited about reading in 2012?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Personality Flaw

When I was younger, I had this character flaw, only at the time I hadn't realized it was a flaw. See, I often found myself judging people. Now, I know what you'r thinking, that judging is a normal human thing. And I would completely agree with you except that I took it a step (or more) farther than most.

I pigeon-holed folks.

Basically, I would compile a list of their character traits in my mind and then find the best "personality hole" to stuff them in, forevermore equating everything they did and said as a person from that "personality hole". In time my thoughts sounded a bit like this: "oh he's making _______ mistake because he's _______ type of person." See? Gross huh?

A while ago I noticed this about myself and worked hard to ignore that nagging voice in my mind that yearned to pigeon-hole others. I got pretty good at silencing that voice too. Until about a two years ago. Yah, that's when it all changed. That's when someone openly pigeon-holed me. More than a someone, but a whole group of someones who I mistakenly thought were close family friends.

Of-course they were all wrong in their assumptions, but it taught me a huge lesson and completely silenced that judgmental voice within me to the point of non-existent. I didn't even have to fight it.

Last night I had a dream, and it's something I've been doing a lot. See, lately I've been kind of stuck with Dark Waters, my WIP. I've edited it a few times, had critique partners scour it and beta readers enjoy it, but I just don't feel like it's ready. I had prayed recently for help, for direction, so I'm not shocked that about once or twice a week I get a dream with a puzzle piece answer to my questions. In my dream was a particularly irritating man who despite my best efforts, I couldn't get along with. Finally, in my dream, I ended up getting so fed up with him that I placed him in a pigeon-hole as a way to explain his behavior.

When I woke up, I immediately understood the point of that dream. You know how "they" say to write what you know? Well, we know this transcends into personalities too, but I had been too afraid to touch the particularly irritating people in my life. To use pieces of their personalities. I think one of the points of the dream was to use those people, to not shy away from the abrasive, frustrating characters in my life as far as using them in my fiction because it's normal and natural to have those types of people so my protagonist should also experience those types.

Secondly, when writing, it's okay to pigeon-hole. In fact, that makes for a more rounded character. I've been so against judging others that I have completely failed at judging my own characters! God made me, He has every right to judge me. I created my characters and I have every right to judge them too! I need to know that they do this and that because their this type of person.

I realize this eye-opening stuff is probably obvious to most, but it's a pretty big deal to me so I wanted to pass it along just in case it can be helpful to someone else. What do you think? Do you make it a habit to judge your characters?        

Friday, December 16, 2011

Character Creation with Author Sarah Sundin

Happy Friday!

Wow, do I have a ton going on this weekend! My Mother-In-law flies in tomorrow morning which will begin a flurry-filled week of delicious restaurants, Christmas shopping and lots of chat time. But, before I get to insane house cleaning, I'd like to close this week with our last interview installment with Sarah Sundin.

Today she's sharing a little bit about her books, and how she came up with her diverse characters. So lets get to it. :)

Have you always written WW2 fiction?
I actually started off writing contemporary romance. Icompleted two and had an idea for turning them into a seven-book series. Theidea for my first World War II book, ADistant Melody, sprang out of that second book. After a year of researchand writing, I realized I had to write a trilogy. Right now, World War II seemsto be where my “voice” is at, and I have plenty of ideas for more books, soI’ll stick with it. And I love the era. 

The Wings of Glory Series is a compilation of three booksthat follow the three Novak brothers in their separate tours of duty duringWorld War II. Did any of the brothers’ (Walter, Jack, or Raymond) charactertraits come from the men in your life? If so, which traits?
Living with a husband and two sons gives me lots oftestosterone material to work with. The brotherly teasing and rivalry I showedwith the Novak boys happens in my house all the time. My daughter—stuck in themiddle—gets in plenty of shots of her own. But all three Novak boys are theirown selves, completely fictional and products of my imagination. Though mydragon-loving youngest son is convinced I used a recurring dragon motif in Blue Skies Tomorrow just because of him.I didn’t, but he does not believe me.

In writing the ladies who ended up being the love interestsof the Novak brothers, which female character do you think you’d get along bestwith in real life? Why?
I’ve often wondered that myself. While temperamentally I’mmost like Allie Miller in A DistantMelody—we’re both people-pleasing introverts—in real life, the women I tendto be closest to are blunt-talking extroverts, more like Ruth Doherty in A Memory Between Us. And to tell you thetruth, I’d admire Helen Carlisle from BlueSkies Tomorrow, but I’d probably keep my distance out of fear that she’dtalk me into serving on some committee.

Each of your main characters has a personal struggle and afault they are trying to deal with. What would you say is the hardest part inbalancing a character’s good with their bad while keeping them likable to thereader?
You used the key word in your question—balance. Think aboutthe people you like in real life—lots of good traits you adore, a few quirksthat annoy you, and some deep things inside that they’re struggling with—sins,pain, shame, fears. The best characters have this too. In moderation, flawsmake characters more likable because we relate better to imperfect people thanto supposedly perfect people. However, in your characters, make sure the goodqualities really shine and that she shows growth in her flawed areas. Thatgives the reader hope that she can change too.

For those of you who enjoy historical fiction, I highly suggest the Wings of Glory Series. Everyone who I've loaned my copies to (or bought for friends/family as gifts) have just loved these stories. And not only does Sarah write well, she's about as sweet as they come as far as fellow authors go. When I first met her online, she was doing a blog tour for her first book, A Distant Melody. Seeing as she wrote WWII fiction, and I was in the process of also writing a story from that era, I sought her out. Then she did something I didn't expect; she reached back. And not in the be-my-blog-follower-sort of way. She has helped and encouraged me in so many faucets of writing and I can't wait to one day meet her face-to-face and buy her a cup of coffee. Until then though, I'll continue to read her books and pick her brain.    

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Editing Tips From Published Author Sarah Sundin

Happy Wednesday!

It's day two of my interview with Sarah Sundin, and today we're talking about editing.

Just a recap, Sarah is the author of a series of three books following the Novak brothers through romance and war during WWII. 

She has also just signed a contract for another three book series with Revell about flight nurses during the war. I can't wait to get my hands on those too!

Okay, lets jump in!

Again, thanks for joining us and sharing your insight, Sarah.

What's your method for revision?
The process is getting more streamlined for me over time. With my first books, I did about five levels of revision—plot & character, scene, line, and copy edits, and then a final proofread. Now I do a content edit (combining plot, character, and scene issues), a copy edit, and a final proofread. But the principle is the same—I start with the big picture and work my way down to the micro level.

 How many times did you revise your manuscript before an agent/editor picked it up?
My first novel went through the five main edits I listed above. Since I had five years of rejection letters, I tended to do a full rewrite about once a year. I’m guessing that book went through at least ten full edits.

How perfect (grammar wise) does your story have to be before submitting?
As perfect as possible. Editors and agents are flooded with good stories and are often looking for a reason to say no and clear off their desks. Don’t give them an easy excuse with typos and grammatical mistakes. But as in all things, don’t obsess. Some mistakes could be the kiss of death (“there/they’re/their,” “your/you’re,” etc.), but a few misplaced commas shouldn’t kill you. That said, get a good style manual, such as the Chicago Manual of Style, and learn how to use it. Someday, your editor will love you for your clean manuscript.

Are Beta readers necessary in your opinion?
I think so. I’m often surprised how many ways a sentence can be read, or how a character trait I find endearing may grate on people’s nerves. I have five trusted friends who are serious writers or published authors who read my chapters for critique—and I read their work too. I’m also a firm believer in writers groups.

Thanks so much for stopping by and don't forget to return on Friday when I'll be asking Sarah questions about her books and her character development in particular.

What about you? Do you have a method for revision? Do you use Beta readers?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays

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!

My Teasers: 

"Esmerine raked her fingers through her hair, checking that her beads were still in place before she returned to the main room for hugs and congratulations."

"She knew the routine from when Dosia had become a siren, and although she blushed and said humble things, she was secretly pleased to have a little piece of the attention Dosia had gotten for so long."

~ Page 13 of Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks so much for stopping by!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ask a Published Author: Sarah Sundin

It's Monday, and as promised, I am interviewing Sarah Sundin! I've combined your questions with mine to pick an authors brain and hopefully learn a thing or two about writing a great novel, getting an agent, singing a publishing contract, and everything in between. Well, probably not everything. :)

I'll be posting every other day this week and I'll try to keep each day of answers on a similar type of topic.

Sarah Sundin is the author of the Wings of Glory Series, a three book series following the three Novak brothers in their service to their country during WWII. Recently, she signed another three book deal with Revell for a series about flight nurses during WWII.

 Welcome Sarah! Now, lets get started.

When did you first know you wanted to be an author?
January 6, 2000. How’s that for exact? Although I always read voraciously, I didn’t consider a writing career. Instead I chose a practical career in pharmacy which allowed me to work on-call and stay home with our three children. Then in 2000, I had a dream with such intriguing characters that I felt compelled to write their story. That first novel will never be published, nor should it, but it got me started.

I know your journey to becoming an author was a relatively winding one. Can you give us a brief description of what that road looked like for you?
Brief description? Try. Fail. Repeat. A slightly less brief description? My first two bad novels got me started. I began attending a critique group and writers’ conferences and reading books on writing craft. In 2003 I first submitted A Distant Melody at Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference. I received good feedback from authors, editors, and agents—and began accumulating a stack of “good” rejection letters. They liked my writing, my story, and my characters—however, historicals weren’t selling. I often felt discouraged, but the Lord made it obvious that He wanted me to finish the trilogy, so I kept plugging away. Then at Mount Hermon in 2008, everyone wanted historicals. And there I was with my trilogy close to complete. I submitted to Vicki Crumpton at Revell and was offered a three-book contract later that year.

 Wow, your story can remind us that perseverance is key. Speaking of perseverance, how many query letters did you send out before the first call or offer?
About twenty. Most were submissions at writers’ conferences rather than mail or email query letters. In addition, I probably made three times as many pitches at writers’ conferences to editors or agents who weren’t interested.

Thank you so  much for stopping by and giving us a peak into your road to publication! I look forward to our Wednesday discussion: editing! 

What do you think blog-world friends? Did any of her answers inspire you? Surprise you?   

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ask A Published Author

Hello and happy Friday!

Last month I shared my plans for interviewing a published author here on my blog and asking her questions about writing, finding an agent, becoming published and all that fun stuff we can't seem to get enough of. I also opened the floor for somewhat of an open mic night -blog style. And many of you asked away.

Beginning Monday she will be answering these very interesting questions of ours and will continue to do so throughout the week. If you asked a question, check back next week to read her answer. And if you didn't ask any questions, stop by anyway and see what this three-already-published-books-and-just-signed-a-contract-for-three-more-published-author has to say. For starters she'd probably tell me that last sentence was super fragmented. :)

So, I look forward to seeing you, my blog world friends, next week!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Animal-Type Companions

I feel like checking in and saying hello because it's been SOOOOO long.

Today, I just really want to talk about dogs...

I love dogs. In the past I assumed most writers had some sort of love for animals. And it doesn't even have to be animals, but rather pets. A pet? Anything? But every...single...time..I post something about pets it's like blogger crickets crawl onto my page and play me a sad serenade. And I don't get it. Every writer I know has a beloved pet who lays near them as they write, or chews their desk leg or sprawls across their laptop.

Lets start talking about those creatures of ours! Because they're just so darn cute and obnoxious sometimes with personalities all their own. Don't you think?

Now I completely get that some people are simply not pet people. Two out of my three sisters prefer a pet-free home. I respect that, and if you want to comment on why the fluffy fur balls get your skin crawling, feel free.

But if you do have an animal-type companion, tell me about him/her.

As I've posted, I have a little white fluffy dog who probably detests the laptop because she's a lap dog who must sit beside me rather than on me half the time. And at this very moment *squee* I am watching two other dogs and am in heaven, posting videos and pictures to Facebook continuously. That probably also explains the whole "let talk about pets" thing I've written here.

In fact, as my husband left for work today, he made it a point to look me straight in the face and with his serious eyes, tell me "The big dog is not allowed on the bed. He's an outside dog. He's dirty."

But the big dog is so cute!

It's share time. Tell me about your animal-type companion.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Funny Thanksgiving Pictures!

Hi Blog World! Are you enjoying the scents wafting from the kitchen right about now? Well, today I think I'll get to the point and let the funny pictures flow. :)

But first, what is something that happened, came into your life, something you decided, etc. this past year that you are thankful for?

Me? Oh, *fans face* I'm honored you'd ask. This year I moved home to WA. After living the last seven years away due to military orders, we are finally back in the evergreen state. Finally smelling the fresh rain-scented air. Surrounded by more trees than I can count, with different shades of green, and even tons of moss which is beautiful in it's own right! I spent the summer hiking in the forests, playing in the natural waterfalls, and even sliding down one of the small ones. I've gotten to babysit my nieces and nephews who barely knew me before I moved home and now allow me to actually care for them! I've taken my girls to the rink I used to skate at as a young girl and also taken them down to the water front in Tacoma where my marine biology class in high school used to study. And today? Today after seven years of celebrating Thanksgiving with other people's families, we get to celebrate it with my own, my parents, my sisters, my nieces and nephews.

So, while there are tons of other amazing things that have happened this past year, this, moving to WA, is the biggest life event to transpire in the last year in which I am overly, abundantly grateful for. Now, tell me about yours?


Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Today I'm participating in the Dark YA blogfest and our topic is movie fun. We pick a dark YA novel and add the actors to play the characters. Since Hunger Games already has these things, or most of them, I decided to post the actors I see playing the roles of Dark Waters, my book. :) Woohoo! This is gonna be fun!

Allura's Sisters:




Femina Mari from other Shoal's:

Vanessa. Allura is in charge of providing for Vanessa's Pledging ceremony.

Miyu. She's been a Provider for years. She's Allura's trainer, preparing her for the ceremony.

You wanna see some more? Okay, so David is a Allura's love interest. Well, first he's her food interest. ;) Anyways... I can't find a pic that resembles him. He's a Greek-looking teenage guy. Difficult to find that picture online. To me, he looks like my hubby. :) But, here's a taste:
Hehehehe. Hey, she talks about his neck a lot! ;)

David's bike

How about a little more?

Deadman Island. Near the San Juan Islands
Hummel Lake. An actual lake on the island Allura lives on.

Lagoon on San Juan Island, WA where Allura lives

I wish I could add more, like the rest of the Femina Mari, um, well, lets say from the waist down and hope that doesn't sound bad. But I think I'll save that for a later post. :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Smearing Finger Paint, Creating Art

This past June I was playing around on Goodreads (something I do often) and ran across a book set to be published in August. After reading the synopsis and the one and only review posted from an ARC reader, I knew I had to have this book. 

When I started reading Plain Fear: Forsaken by Leanna Ellis, I was immediately entranced. I loved this book. What's weird is that I can't tell you why exactly. Very few books do I "love" and when I do feel that way, I usually can pinpoint precisely what did "it" for me.

I went back to Goodreads and now there's plenty of reviews, so I read a bunch of them, hoping the words of others could help me realize what pulled me into this story. Most either loved it, or hated it.

Interesting. Does this story somehow cause an unintentional emotional response from the reader making them either grasp it tightly or lash out? That would make sense then that I'd have an emotional response rather than a logical one. 

What Leanna Ellis did in mixing the genres of this book was bold; probably something I'd be afraid to do. She intermingled two major sellers in fiction right now: Amish and vampires. And not just the two types of stories, but two different markets as well. Most Amish novels are sold in the Christian market and most vampire novels are sold in the general market. Then, she added lots of the Amish beliefs, mixed with a secular character who swears lightly, has a somewhat dirty mind, drinks, and investigates bloody murder scenes. After reading this book I can tell why this story isn't published as a Christian novel, but with it's many religious threads, I'm wondering how it's doing in the secular market.

See what I'm saying? It's like someone painted two different colored circles, side-by-side, with wet, gooey finger paint and Ellis dragged her thumb from one to the other, smearing the circles and creating a whole new color.

Yes, I liked the heroine and the hero, heck I think I liked the villain, Jacob, most of all. And yes her plotting worked and pushed the story forward. Her mythology on vampires was well told and made sense. But those aren't the reasons I loved this story.

It's simple.

I loved the color Ellis created.  

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Flash Fiction Time

So, I completely forgot that I'm supposed to blog today. I am apart of the Dark YA Blogfest during the month of November and this Wednesday we are to write a 500 word flash fiction piece inspired by this picture below. Although it's a little less than 500 words, here's my piece. Hope you enjoy. 

Bodies of teenage girls my age scurried around, chaotically chatting with squeals of over-excitement and fake laughter.

Maybe the giggles were real, I couldn’t tell.

But then again, how could I differentiate between fake and genuine sentiments when they refused to allow me into their circle, their cliques? When they made it a point to keep me at arm’s length and allow me no closer?

It’s not like it was my first time coming to youth group. I wasn’t the new girl. Although if I had been, they’d have introduced themselves, asked a few impersonal questions to fulfill their duty of being welcoming and then found the first opportunity to abandon me and join their friends.

No, I was worse. I was the girl who attended youth group regularly and didn’t fit in. The girl who refused to pretend to be perfect and instead was viewed as some sort of sinner, as though living and breathing, being a human, didn’t make me a sinner, but saying I was, did.

I had tried to reach out in the past, tried to make friends here, but for some reason I repelled my peers in this setting. And after a while, when rejection is inevitable, trying becomes foolish.

I scanned the room, noticing the trendy clothes and similarly worn hair styles; none matching my own. As a dark-haired girl made her way to the snack table, my gaze shifted to the large, picture window and stared outside at the barren trees as they swayed in the winter wind.

Suddenly, I realized my reality: I was all alone in a crowd, pushed to exist on the outside. And while on the outside, no matter how fiercely the frigid wind wiped at my hair and tore at my thin, white dress of vulnerability, no one would notice. No one would care.

A single tear streamed down my cheek. I wiped it away, covering my eyes to shield myself from further ridicule. I wanted to run away and never come back.

But while the palms of my hands hid the world from my view, a brilliant light radiated through the spaces between my fingers. I blinked at the intense brightness and rubbed my eyes as they worked to adjust to the illumination. The wind ceased and the light ignited, cutting itself through the clouds and warming my body from the inside out. I couldn’t help but turn my chin upward, accepting the warmth willingly and thankfully.

The light filled me, comforting me with a true reality; the only one that mattered. Though my surroundings appeared to be cold, I was not. Though I appeared to be alone among a crowd, I was not. And though it seemed I should conform to what others wanted of me, I did not. I had an audience of one. The only One that mattered and He loved me just the way I was.  

Monday, November 7, 2011

Famous Author Rejections: Four Letter Word?

Today I'm thinking: REJECTION

Lets talk about it, shall we? Or do you consider it a four-letter word, not to be uttered?

This led me to Google. I wanted to see what other, more popular published authors had to say about rejection.Check out what I found.

"For two years I received nothing but rejections." ~ Judy Blume

"I sent out around fifteen queries." ~ Stephenie Meyer

"In the end, I received 60 rejections for The Help. But letter number 61 was the one that accepted me. After my five years of writing and three and a half years of rejection, an agent named Susan Ramer took pity on me." ~ Kathryn Stockett  

"The agency sent Rowling’s 200-page script to 12 publishers, all of whom, to their eternal regret, turned down the book." ~  The J.K. Rowling Story by Stephen McGinty

"I started sending novels out and it took years of rejection but I had nothing to lose. It went on for about three years until I got an agent and she managed to sell something...I have a giant U.S. postal bag with rejection letters in my New York apartment, under the bed. I can't even lift it. There's certain editors who are still in town whose names are in it. It's not like I am ever going to refuse to work with them again but I like to remember who they are. Some of them were really, really mean -- unnecessarily." ~ Meg Cabot 

"When my first short story was out, it was six years and 40 rejections before it sold." ~ Mary Higgins Clark

 Do these quotes give you hope or a sense of frustration? If you're a published author, how many rejections did you receive before the phone call?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Book Finds

Hi there. Happy Friday!

Over on Should Be Reading, they're sharing the interesting books they've found during this past week. This week, I HAD to throw my find into the ring/spotlight/whatever.

Ordinarily I'm not the type to run out and buy a book from one person's recommendation. Shoot, I'm the type who reads a book from the library, and THEN once I think it's amazing I buy it and every book after that by the author/ in the series. Not this book.

I am, in a way, over vampire books, but I still love vampire mythology, always have and always will. It's just so many vampire books all seem the same. Not this book.

I was browsing through GoodReads and saw someone's review of an Amish vampire story. AMISH VAMPIRES!!! Now, I've always said I'd never read an Amish novel, but I've found myself happily eating my words. As though I've sworn off cake and someone showed me the chocolate-chocolate layered cake from Cosco and not only did I eat it, but left not a crumb on my plate! The only difference is that I'm willing to share this book. :)

Here's the blurb:

"Not Death, But Love."
Pain choked off anymore words. She grabbed the cold stone marker for support, splayed her hands across its front as a sob wrenched free from her chest.
Although she knows that the Amish way is to move on from grief, on to a new season, Hannah cannot move on from Jacob, who was taken too soon.
Jacob's brother Levi also cannot move on-his love for Hannah burns just as strong as ever. But he knows how much Hannah loved his brother, and the event that took Jacob from them.
And it's a secret he must take to his grave.
So when a mysterious stranger comes to their community, he too carries a secret; one that will force Hannah to choose between light and dark, between the one she wants to love and a new yearning she fears to embrace.

Here's the thing, I don't think this blurb gives it justice and I'll tell you why. You learn soon in the story that this "mysterious stranger" is Jacob. No, that's not a spoiler cause you already know this when you start reading the book. So basically, Hannah's heart is still broken from loosing Jacob, and then he shows up, but with vampire abilities to lure her, persuade her, etc. As the reader you know who he is, but Hannah doesn't because he doesn't allow her to see the truth at first. So she has the luring, handsome vampire love of her life, or his brother who is also handsome, but a human man who wants to protect her and keep her from the darkness of the vampire world. Oh, and in this story, vampires are not good, they're evil. 

Again, AMISH VAMPIRES. Of course I bought the book as soon as I read that one review! Anyways, I read it this week and therefore it fits into my Friday finds and I want to spread the word that it's a good read. :)

I also stumbled across this book this week, but have yet to read it or order it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Yay! I'm able to type again! In slow motion and short increments, but still, it doesn't send shooting pains through my hand and wrist! Of course I'm still afraid to lift anything heavy, scrub and those sorts of actions with my right hand, but in time those too will become possible. And if you're wondering, I sprained my right wrist while moving more household goods this past weekend which resulted in a wrist brace and absolutely no movement allowed from my right hand.

But, today I'm here to talk about dark YA fiction. It's actually the theme of a month long blog fest I'm involved in. Today we're sharing what our favorite dark YA novel is.

Here's the embarrassing thing: I don't have one.

Now, I realize dark can mean different things to different people, but in my world dark is more pain, agony, violence and all around hurt than most stories involve. Of course more violence in YA still doesn't come close to average violence in some adult novels. And pain, agony and hurt doesn't necessarily involve foul play, but just honest, real, deeply realistic emotions.

And yes, I love the idea of dark YA novels, but I can honestly say that I haven't read enough to actually have a favorite. I can pretend to be well versed in the sub-genre and pop out a few titles. Hunger Games hands down.

In all reality though, the reason why I wrote a dark YA novel is because I hadn't seen many where the main character, the teen girl, was also the monster. Where she was the one preying on humans rather than the main character being the girlfriend of the angsty predator or fighting the mean, nasty enemy. To me, when the story is from the monster's point of view, it's considered dark.

So, instead of listing the few dark YA novels I've read, I'd like you to tell me the ones you've read so that I can add them to my TBR list. In fact, should I share with you the one at the top of my list? Sure! Lets share! So you tell me yours (even if you haven't read them yet). I can't wait to see what you suggest!

By Anne Davies

I'm not sure how 'dark' this one will be, but the cover and blurb suggest it'll fit nicely in that category. :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I realize that I've been Missing In Action for a little while now. It's not that I've had nothing to blog about pertaining to writing, because boy do I. No, nothing wonderful like a contract with an editor that I'm not allowed to share with others until the ink dries. :(

I am sitting at my table. Yes, MY table. I haven't sat at this table in eight months. That's how long my things have been in storage. It's enough to jump up and down about, don't you agree?! There's been many more changes too, but none of them have to do with writing. Wait. One. Well, if you don't count the lovely form rejection letters flowing in for Dark Waters.

My dream agent for New Hope got back to me about the manuscript she's been reading of mine. It was a very sweet, and personal letter and I don't really want to share it or my reaction to it until I have time to slow down and explain things. And maybe add a couple smart, funny one-liners. ;) After moving boxes and furniture for the last few days, nothing smart, or funny's coming out of this exhausted girly.

So, I miss you and reading your thoughts, but I promise to be back soon. After the dust from the tops of my long-time stored boxes clears, I'll breathe a breath of fresh leather couch air and get to reading and typing again.

What have you been up to in the last few weeks?

I was also in a wedding while I was MIA. Here's me celebrating at the reception.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Asipring Authors Want To Know!

I am preparing an interview with a friend of mine who was a debut author last year and already has three published books on bookstore shelves. She recently signed a book deal for another three books, and is obviously on a roll!

So, I say... let's pick her brain!

I know I have plenty of questions for her on the process of editing the manuscript, queries, getting an agent and becoming published, but I'd love to hear your questions as well. Leave them in the comments and I'll work them into the interview I'm preparing for her. She's very personable and open and loves to encourage aspiring authors so ask away!

Thursday, September 29, 2011


I'm super excited. A bit ago, I compiled a list of my favorite literary agents. Near their names on the document I pasted the website address where their submission guidelines are explained. So, Tuesday night, as I started to send out my queries for Dark Waters, I went to those submission guidelines and in doing so I ran across an even that is not only happening in my neck of the woods, but it's happening this Saturday!

The Northwest Bookfest! I've been to one Book Festival in Abilene, TX when I lived there and I had a great time. They had a little workshop taught by two local authors. Then in their convention room sat tables and tables of Texas authors selling and signing their books.

Now, the population for Abilene is around 120,000. The population for Seattle (not including the many cities around it) is around 563,000 people. There are plenty of authors in my area. Seattle is about art. When you visit Seattle, it's everywhere you look. From the buildings to the most beautiful and original form of art: nature. 

So I am definitely going and can't wait to see the turn out of this event. Plus, I forgot to mention, there will be writing workshops ALL DAY LONG. There's a schedule. And they're tailored to different genres and needs. Yah, pretty stoked.

Oh, and it's free. If you live in the area, check it out. This Saturday.

This is just a few of some of the YA authors on the list to be there:

Margaret Stohl
Richelle Mead
Melissa Marr
Melissa de la Cruz
Heather Davis