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. :)