Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Loose Ends

First off, I want to thank everyone who commented during the past few bloghops I've participated in (and any other post of course)! We all know how invaluable another writer's feedback and support are, so...

Thank You Word In Post It Note

Which leads to my apology :(   *hangs head in shame*   I'm so sorry for being such a slacker in my commenting. 

I'm taking the rest of June off to recharge so I can come back and be a better bloggy supporter :)

But before I go, Falling For Fiction is hosting a HOOKERS & HANGERS blogfest!

We all know how important those first and last lines are in every chapter. This blogfest will hopefully get your HOOKERS and HANGERS polished making it impossible for readers to put down your book and leaving them begging for more!

On July 16th, post the first sentence from each chapter.

On July 18th, post the last sentence from each chapter.

Post as many as you like! 

We will be judging everyone’s first three HOOKERS and first three HANGERS. We'll each pick two winners (MOST ENTICING HOOKER and MOST IMPOSSIBLE HANGER) making a total of ten winners! Winners will receive a 10 page (double spaced) critique and a Friday Spotlight on FFF!

See you in July!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Inspiration, Creativity, and Support

We all need this right? Thank you Cassie for this cool new award and for being an amazing critique partner and friend. You are the inspiration I need on a daily basis :)

Rules to the BE INSPIRED award:

*Answer the following ten questions. 
*Tag five people to answer the questions.

1. What is the name of your book? 

My Protector: The Calling

2. Where did the idea for your book come from? 

I had a dream after sushi with friends and seeing the movie  Fast and Furious.

3. In what genre would you classify your book? 

YA Post-Apocalyptic

4. If you had to pick actors to play your characters in a movie rendition, who would you choose? 

 Click Here :)

5. Give us a one-sentence synopsis of your book. 

When Eri develops an internal link to the man-eating beasts plaguing the planet, she must learn how to control the Calling and gain the necessary skills to fight them or she’ll end up dead.

6. Is your book already published/represented? 

I wish :)

7. How long did it take you to write your book?  

A LONG TIME! Over a year. But when I started, I broke my story into three parts, not knowing much about word count or genre, ending up with three books total. Part one is the WiP I've been editing for a while (way too long!).

8. What other books within your genre would you compare it to? Or, readers of which books would enjoy yours? 

In my query letter, I compare it to Kimberley Derting's The Body Finder and Maggie Steifvater's The Scorpio Races, but this was more for the character motivation behind Eri. I'm not sure my writing is similar to either of their styles.

9. Which authors inspired you to write this book? 

I read a lot of Dean Koontz, Michael Palmer, Michael Chricton, and Tami Hoag before I realized I was writing YA (now I read a lot of), but I wouldn't say their writing inspired me to write this book, just to write in general maybe.

10. Tell us anything that might pique our interest in your book

If you like YA with a darker edge, you will like My Protector: The Calling. Wow, that was weak. How about cause I'd appreciate it if you did :)

Handing this award out to
Emily R. King

Thank you Jade and Melissa Maygrove for this award! 
Jade's blog Dream, Write, Publish is uplifting and informative. Hop over to Jade's blog to learn more the writing life in the land of hobbits :)  Mellissa has an amazing blog, especially her Grammar Police Mondays where she gives easy-to-follow advice on little things that can trip up a manuscript. Check her out here! I was fortunate enough to receive a five page edit from Melissa and OH MY GOODNESS she is good!

Rules for the KREATIVE BLOGGER award:
*Thank and link back to the awarding blog.

*Answer the following 7 questions. 

*Provide 10 random factoids about yourself. 

*Pass this on to 7 deserving others.

1. What's your favorite song?
Right now it's We Are Young, by Fun--can't hear it enough!

2. What's your favorite desert?
I LOVE desert! Sweets! Cakes! Ice Cream! Oreos (mint ones especially)! Chocolate!

3. What do you do when you're upset?
If I'm mad, I'm really good at dirty looks. If I'm sad, I like to eat desert. I hate crying and try my best to never get to that point.

4. What's your favorite pet?
We just had to put our dog to sleep (I cried). He was my first dog and before him I would never have considered myself a dog person, but I am thanks to him :) I do love cats though, too. But if I could have any animal as a pet, it would be an elephant. 

5. Which do you prefer? Black or white?
Black for sure, hard to go a day without wearing it.

6. What is your biggest fear?
Puke, snakes, snakes puking.

7. What is your attitude mostly?
Sarcastic, easy to laugh, easy to smile, but I'm not easy going :)

10 random factoids:
*I love garlic!
*I am a classic middle child, syndrome and all.
*I have a garden (only plants that are impossible to kill allowed) and I look at it every day :)
*I love sleep.
*I majored in sociology, emphasis in education (couldn't major in education at WSC).
*I have a memory like an elephant.
*I love to be warm, hot preferably :)
*I'm terrible with names, but never forget a face.
*I'm usually two minutes late.
*I've spent way longer on this post than I expected :)

Passing this along to

Trisha at W O R D S + S T U F F has (re) bestowed me with this award. 
Thank you for your blog and all of your uplifting comments, Trisha! Hop over to Trisha's blog to be entertained and inspired with writing, travel, and music. I'm picking five people who comment often :)

Giving this award to

If I haven't tagged you above, I'm handing these awards out to all who read this really long post! I thank each and every one of you for stopping by, commenting, throwing a bit of support around while scribbling our way down this road :) You all deserve an award so pick one or three and pass them along!


Stay tuned... Falling For Fiction Blogfest coming soon!

Falling For Fiction

Thursday, June 14, 2012

First Fight, First Kiss Blogfest Part II

Danielle at Entertaining Interests and Jackie at Bouquet of Books are having this action packed blogfest where they invite us to share our first fight and first kiss scenes in our WiPs.

Tuesday's was sharing 1st FIGHT, you can read mine here if you like.

Today, June 14 - We share our 1st KISS scene. It can be a peck on the cheek or a full fledge kissing session.

This is from MY PROTECTOR: THE CALLING (surprise, surprise). Eri had to re stitch Grayson's wound after fighting a beast.

            Finnley strolled back in with Grayson’s cleaned-up shirt as I finished the second set of sutures. “If you keep ripping those open, Nurse Eri here won’t be able to keep you so pretty,” Finnley teased him. “And, what was it Doctor Simone said to you? Oh yeah, ‘Your future wife will be able to see those scars if you’re not careful.’ ”
“As far as I’m concerned, she already has,” Grayson joked back.
“Oh,” I mumbled, my cheeks flaming. “Well that should do it then,” and I walked out the door as fast as I could and kept walking.
How could I have been so stupid! Of course I wasn’t the only one who had seen Grayson’s injuries. After all, the other Protectors weren’t the least bit surprised he had a woman in his room the previous night. Obviously it happened before. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
I was so far inside my head, determined to put as much distance between me and the source of my infinite anguish, I hadn’t heard Grayson running up behind me.
Oh crap, keep walking, act like I don’t care.
“Eri, wait.” He jogged in front of me, forcing me to a stop. “What’s gotten into you? Why’d you leave like that?”
“Um, I need to get this stuff back to the hospital,” I lied not looking directly at him, afraid my heart would break.
“Did I offend you by saying that?” His eyebrows scrunched in misunderstanding.
“By saying what?” I tried acting as if I hadn’t noticed his words back in my cabin.
“By saying my future wife has already seen my scars. That didn’t affect you at all?”
Feigning nonchalance could only last so long. I raised my head to look into his eyes, tears glossing mine. “Did you run after me to rub it in? I think you know how I feel about you. So you’re trying to hurt me, is that it?”
“God, Eri, you can be so blind sometimes!” He grabbed his hair as if pulling it out. “It’s you. You’re the one I want to see my scars. No one else.” He placed his hands on my arms and bent down to get directly in front of my face. “Only you, Eri.”
I stammered, unable to speak. My mouth tried to move, attempting to spit something out in response, but my brain wouldn’t cooperate.
His lips saved me, pressing against mine before I realized his intention. Tender, light. A million times softer than I imagined a billion times before.
Breaking our connection, he held me at arm’s length, locking his magnetic eyes on mine. If I had to bet on it, I could’ve sworn tears painted them a shade darker. Grayson’s mouth crooked up at the corners before falling back into a straight line.
My eyebrows hitched into my hair, my mouth hung open, words hated me. A strange sound crawled its way out of my throat, but refused to turn coherent.
“I love you, Eri. How can you not know that?” He leaned down again, his lips grazing mine.
A murmur escaped from somewhere in the tangle of my emotions. My mind shut off and my body responded letting my lips take over, moving with his, opening in surrender. I squeezed into him, his arms locking my body against his, months of restraint released, flooded with the heat blooming between us.  
A whistle pierced our kiss.
“It’s about time you two idiots figured it out!” Finnley yelled, laughing from the porch swing beside Jen.

Do you like writing kissing scenes?

Now you can go check out some more hot kissing scenes here...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

First Fight, First Kiss Blogfest

Danielle at Entertaining Interests and Jackie at Bouquet of Books are having this action packed blogfest where they invite us to share our first fight and first kiss scenes in our WiPs.

Today, June 12 - Share your 1st FIGHT scene. It can be a lovers spat ...or a battle scene ...or a classic fist fight. It can be physical or verbal, fists or magic.

Thursday, June 14 - Share your 1st KISS scene. It can be a peck on the cheek or a full fledge kissing session.

This is from MY PROTECTOR: THE CALLING (what else do I ever post about?). Eri is at a training session with Grayson, Finnley is off doing 'Protector' things. Sorry for the length. I had a hard time finding a starting point without cutting too much set up.

            The hillside where we practiced wasn’t far from this peak. I thought Grayson chose that spot so no one would catch him training me. I guess it wasn’t the only reason.
“They’re far out this evening,” he said. “Doesn’t feel like one is approaching.”
“I agree.” I spoke as if he asked my amateur opinion. I took a couple steps forward, more to put space between us than to get closer to the creatures dwelling in the foothills.
“What does it feel like to you?” he asked.
I continued facing away from him to keep my emotions from flipping back to how he made me feel rather than what he asked.
“Um, it’s like I’m mad at something. Then it sort of grows to feeling furious. An all over furious, like if I move in a certain direction the rage will be satisfied.” I tipped my head, letting my hair fall around the flush coloring my cheeks. “That sounds crazy, doesn’t it?”
He huffed a rueful laugh. “You’re not crazy.”
I raised my eyes from the ground. “How does it make you feel?” I asked not sure what answer I wanted.
“It’s something like what you said. A powerful anger coming out of nothing. It scared me when I was younger.”
“Really? It scared you?”
The corner of his mouth crooked up. “Yeah, go figure, huh? I’m not as tough as everyone thinks.”
I doubted that. He fought the beasts for years, probably since before our people even settled here. I turned around again to center on the creatures, trying to ignore his display of vulnerability. The beasts seemed safer than he did, or how he made me feel anyhow.
“So does it still enrage you? Consume you?” I asked, hoping for some revelation to make the irrational bond make sense.
“Yeah, I suppose it does. But I know how to… exploit it, I guess would be the closest way to put it. I learned to get a handle on the aggression by enduring a lot of encounters with the creatures. A lot of bloodshed.” Darkness settled over his expression, making his features more severe before he looked away. “Too much blood.”
I wanted to reach out to him. I wanted to run from him. This was way more than I could handle, more than I ever asked for. Not that I had asked for any of it. But I was stuck with it and that was a problem I couldn’t hide from.
“What the hell am I supposed to do with this, then? I’m a girl, for Christ’s sake! I can’t be one of you! I don’t get to have those encounters. And if I can’t learn to control this feeling without fighting the beasts, you’re telling me I’ll be a slave to this rage forever? Or until one of these spells leads me to their claws?”
He spun and closed the distance between us with one stride, gripping my arms again. “That’s not what I’m saying at all. I believe you can learn to control how you feel. I think you can learn to use your rage.” He dropped his hands away, squinting down at them as if I was poison to his skin.
“How can I do that if I’m not allowed to be a Protector? That’s the only way to learn, to get the experience I need. You said so yourself.”
“No, it isn’t. If you’ll let me, I think I can teach you how to harness the anger. I can show you how to use the ugliness from this horrific curse.”
“You think it’s a curse?”
He said nothing.
Taking a deep breath, reigning in my emotions, I continued evenly. “I think it’s a gift, Grayson. Even though it’s a total pain in the ass, there is purpose behind this link. How many people can do this? How many of us have been given something that can save the lives of others? How can you believe this didn’t happen to you, to me, for a reason?”
“You think literally being drawn to the feet of a monster is a gift? You think having your free will stripped from you when confronted with a human-eating beast is a good thing? You’re wrong, Eri. It is a curse,” he seethed, teeth bared, lips pulled tight.
I refused to back down. Taking a step forward, I stared into his piercing eyes with as much conviction as I could possibly convey. “I was given this connection for some purpose. I’m certain of it.”
With that, I turned and headed in the other direction. Away from him and away from the creatures. 

What'd you think? 
Are fight scenes fun for you to write?

Now you can go check out some more intense fight scenes here...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Never Surrender Blogfest

Elana Johnson's book Surrender released June 5th! She has the coolest promotional blog tour underway and is hosting the Never Surrender blogfest this week!

In Elana's words: All you have to do is blog about a time you didn't surrender. Trained for a marathon? Queried agents? Had to study for an entrance exam? I'm looking for inspirational stories that you have experienced. Hard things you've accomplished because you didn't give up. I want to be inspired by you!

You can check out the rest of the details here.

Surrender? Me? No thanks!

*Not when I learned to ride my bike with no hands. I can remember the day my big sister convinced me I was ready to learn. It was summer, I was six. She watched me take off, going straight on her gigantic blue Schwinn with the curve of the culdesac looming and then WHAM! I crashed into the pavement and came to with a puddle of blood in front of my face. Thanks Jennie! I didn't learn the skills on that attempt, but I can ride without hands (and blood) now :)

*Not when I broke my nose. I was in a car accident when I was 16 and broke my nose in three places (forehead got a ripped up too, but that's beside the point). Because of this accident I had to sit out from soccer for 4 weeks, totally sucked! When the time came, I opted to play JV the first game back because of my fear of re-breaking my nose (or ripping open the scar on my forehead, but really I was just more worried about my nose) and ended up scoring a goal from mid field. This may not sound too exciting, but I'm a defender and I don't score very often, so this was really cool! That game gave me the confidence to get back out there and play tough. Of course, I re broke my nose on a girl's shoulder later that season and have done at least two more times since :) Oh well, I'm still playing!

*Not throughout college. I'm not one of those people who knew what I wanted to be at birth. So college wasn't the joyride I expected it to be. I constantly felt like a flounder, changing what I wanted to be every quarter. I even took time off to work in order to make money to pay for such floundering. Anyhow, I made it through and don't regret my decision to become a teacher (even though my degree is a BA in Sociology--makes sense, right?).

*Not during child birth. This goes without saying. It's not like once you get there you can just decide, "Nah, I don't think I want to do this anymore." Even if you've been pushing that 8+ pound baby for two hours and the bag of drugs hanging on the IV hook has been empty for the past ninety minutes, surrendering is not an option. Cort is beautiful by the way, even if his head was a little funky for a day or two :)

*Never when writing! We're all here, we're all working toward the same goal. I THANK YOU for your encouragement and support, your guidance and tutelage (that one's for you Cassie, are you laughing?), your struggle and conviction. You are my NEVER SURRENDER!

There you have it. Life's ultimate challenges--learning to ride a bike with no hands, broken noses, college, child birth, and writing (not necessarily in that order) .

Go get your copy of Surrender now! And you may as well pick up a copy of all of them while you're at it :)

Thanks for the blogfest Elana!

Here are others who have looked surrender in the face and said, "No thank you!"

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


First Monday of June already! Can you believe it? Half way through Insecure posts for the year, wow! Hop over to Alex J Cavanaugh's blog to join in or just make yourself feel more connected by reading other writers' insecurities. Believe me, you're not alone! We're all riddled with doubt and frustration and confusion at some point or another :)

Editing--the never ending war between me and my writing. Ever feel like as soon as you fix one problem in your manuscript, another one springs up? It's as if battling dandelions. I swear, if I highlighted all the things I've worked on in my ms with a yellow highlighter, laid out the papers around my yard, it would look just like this ==>

As I go through my WiP, I come across something sounding a little too cliche, so I swap it out for a new description using the word my. Uh oh, I know I already have too many my's. Now I need to take some of those out. Switching a few around, I decide to start the my sentence with I and notice I started with an I two paragraphs down. Oh no! Okay, what can I start this sentence with that isn't my or I? I know, let's start it with and action, like walking. Crap! The next sentence starts with standing! I can't use another ing here!

Maybe if I had a ginormous bottle of this stuff, all those darned dandelions would stop popping up! Do they make something like this for writers?

I know this is one of those building moments, where working through the error of my ways is actually making my writing stronger because I know the next time I sit down to write a new story, I won't have these same errors to fix. I know I will have learned from my tedious mistakes and grown as a writer. Hopefully without the dandelions.

There is one good thing about these lovely weeds that turn your hands yellow, attract slugs, and put big divots in your lawn when trying to defeat them. They turn into wishes. So go ahead, blow...

and make a wish :)