Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Wishing everyone a fun and happy Easter! See you back here tomorrow!

Friday, March 29, 2013


As promised I am posting an excerpt from my manuscript. Look to the right side of the page for the link titled "Excerpt" and let me know what you think in the comments below. Enjoy!

**On android phones, pull down the drop menu with the "Home" button and choose "Excerpt."

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Book Review: A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

I love fairy tales. I can read Hans Christian Anderson and the Grimm brothers' stories all day long and not tire of them. Fairy tales have a prominent place in the folklore of every country. They're what we tell to our kids as bedtime stories, what we tell to our sons and daughters as examples of how love should be, and what we often use to scare our kids with into behaving. So whenever I find an author who can take a fairy tale, in this example Sleeping Beauty, and re-tell it in a whole new way, I'm sold! Here's the summary:

Rosalinda Fitzroy has been asleep for 62 years. Left in a stasis tube in a forgotten subbasement, she is awoken with a kiss by a boy. Rose has missed out on so much. Her parents and boyfriend are all long gone and the world is completely changed. And she is the heir to an interplanetary empire. Some view her as a threat and try to have her killed while most just view her as a freak. All Rose wants is to fit in and try to make a new life for herself. But first she needs answers. With the help of her new friend Otto and Bren, the boy who woke her, Rose tries to learn why she was forgotten and who wants her dead. In the process, the once pushover Rose blossoms into a strong young lady and discovers alive a person (or people) she thought she'd lost forever.

**When I first picked up this book, I thought it'd be similar to Beth Revis' Across the Universe because both main characters are in stasis tubes or sorts and are accidentally woken up. Well that's the only thing these two books have in common. Rose is easy to sympathize with in the beginning even though she is such a pushover. I mean lots of young girls just want to please their parents. But Rose's parents are awful! They put her in her stasis tube every time they want to take a vacation or just don't feel like being parents. Why hire a babysitter when you can just put your kid to sleep? I kept wanting to yell at Rose to fight back! Then 62 years pass and you are even more mad because these people forgot about their own kid! And Rose is left to fend for herself in a world drastically different and without any loved ones to help her. The boyfriend who always stood by her side and fought for her, all her friends, all long gone. Everyone is horrible to her and calls her a freak. Rose grows stronger and stronger and endures all the pain and attempts on her life like such a heroine. Her arc is wonderful and the new friends she makes are just what she needs. Though she doesn't get all the answers, she does find out who is trying to kill her and why. But the best surprise comes at the end when she discovers the someone(s) who are still alive. I cried! A Long, Long Sleep is an amazing retelling of Sleeping Beauty that poses the idea that just because you've been asleep for 62 years doesn't mean the world stopped for you. What do you do when everyone you love and the world you know has moved on without you?

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think in the comments below. And don't forget to check back tomorrow for an exclusive excerpt from my manuscript!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Book Review: The Infernal Devices trilogy: Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, and Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Usually when I do a post over a trilogy of books I include a summary of each. This is hard to do without giving away spoiler-y details but I try my best. I'm not going to do that here. 

Let me start by saying that Cassandra Clare is my absolute, all-time favorite author. I first heard of her Mortal Instruments books not long after I finished the Twilight books. EW did a review on the last book in the trilogy and said they were must reads. Well EW is never wrong for me so since the final book was out and I knew I wouldn't have to wait to read all of them, I checked them out at my library. I was blown away. Couldn't put these books down, devoured them in a weekend, in love. I told my sister she had to read them ASAP. She did and thus started our complete marvel and adoration of all things Cassie Clare (we seriously can discuss her books for hours). When the Mortal Instruments trilogy ended I was satisfied. Sad to leave the world Clare had created, but satisfied. Then wait! She announced she was writing a new trilogy set in the same world but about 150 years earlier. YAY!! Since then, I've been painfully and patiently awaiting each release of The Infernal Devices, buying them as soon as they came out and tearing through them in like 2 days. I was lucky to receive an advanced copy of Clockwork Princess thanks to a Literary Rambles contest. I had to put off reading it for about a week but I just finished it this morning. Clare did not disappoint. She wrote a beautiful conclusion to an amazing story. I cannot wait for the last book in the Mortal Instruments series (which didn't stop after the first three after all but went on to include three more) because I know Clare will do it justice like she did Clockwork Princess.  

So you're probably asking: What are the books about?

Well I will briefly sum The Infernal Devices up here:
Tessa Gray leaves New York in 1877 for London in search of her brother. What she finds when she gets there completely changes her life. Tessa is not entirely human. And there is a whole world of secret people and creatures she never knew about. From faeries, to demons, witches, warlocks, angels, vampires, werewolves and even Shadowhunters: the half-angel, half-human (Nephilim) secret society that protects mundanes (humans) from the things that go bump in the night. Tessa ends up at the Shadowhunter Institute and meets Will and Jem, amongst others, and slowly gets caught up in not only a fight for her life, but a fight for her new family her old family and even the world. Eventually Tessa learns just who and what she is. She finds love and feels loss. But her story doesn't end there--she'll go on in the lives of other Shadowhunter characters for generations to come.

If you read any YA books in your life, you have to read Cassie Clare's books. You don't have to like paranormal romance to like her stories. She brilliantly intersects her two series in a way that is so much fun for the reader to experience. You don't have to read one series to read the other but it's all the better if you do. Clare is a master writer who can foreshadow like no other. She geniusly drops puzzle pieces all over the place that once put together will have you envious of her amazing storytelling skills. These are books that you can read again and again and each time you do, you will discover something you missed. Her characters feels so real that when you talk about them with other fans, you feel as though you are talking about actual people. You will breathlessly, with your heart pounding, tear through these books and want to share them with everyone you know.

Thanks for stopping by! I could probably write about my love of all things TMI and TID all day long but I'll stop here (: Feel free to comment below!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Excerpt Teaser

Today's post is going to be brief because I'm deep into reading Clockwork Princess and if you've ever read anything of Cassandra Clare's you know that once you start one of her books, you don't stop until you are done. I can't wait to share with you my review on her Infernal Devices trilogy. 

Back to today's topic...I have decided to post on Friday an excerpt from my manuscript! This is a big step for me and I am super excited. I'm still narrowing down which scene I want it to be but I think I have a pretty good idea. So be sure to check back in on Friday and read the excerpt and let me know what you think!

Until Friday! 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Book Review: Just One Day by Gayle Forman

So I had this book sitting on my nightstand for about three weeks. It was with a few others that I had checked out from my library. I've been so busy posting and working on my manuscript and none of them were getting read. Luckily, I was able to renew this book and since I hate checking out a book without reading it, I dove right in...and I pretty much did not put it down. Yup, I read it in about 8 hours yesterday on my VERY lazy Sunday. Here's the summary:

Allyson is on her senior trip with her best friend Melanie in Europe. They've been a lot of great places but so far Allyson hasn't been impressed. That is until a cute guy invites her and Melanie to watch his group's outdoor Shakespeare performance. Allyson and Melanie agree and sneak off and Allyson catches the eye of the cute guy. She's thrilled because this doesn't normally happen. Melanie is the beautiful, daring one, not Allyson. When they're leaving the next day there he is. His name is Willem and he's heading home to Holland. When he sees how upset Allyson is over not getting to go to Paris, he offers to take her. Just one day in Paris. Allyson decides for just one day to be brave, to be someone else. She agrees. They spend an amazing day in Paris and by the end of it are pretty much confessing their feelings for one another. Then Allyson wakes up the next morning and Willem is gone. She leaves Paris and goes home and starts college and spends the next year tying to please her parents, be a friend to Melanie, and make new friends. But she's depressed and it's affecting all those areas of her life. Eventually Allyson decides to try to find Willem. She wants answers. And in the process she starts to grow up, make her own decisions, and figure out who she wants to be.

**Obviously, I loved this book. I mean I didn't do much yesterday but read it. I'd seen all the praise for it and I've read Gayle Forman's other books and loved them so I knew I'd love this one too. Allyson is such a relatable character. There are so many of us out there like her. Smart, not traditionally pretty, not bold and daring, who feel like we live in the shadow of our fun, beautiful best friends. Like Allyson, I did everything I could to please those around me and never considered trying to please myself. Just One Day kept me turning the pages wanting to be there for every moment of Willem and Allyson falling in love. I wanted to be traveling across Europe with Allyson and experiencing everything she experienced. I was right there with her, heartbroken, when she woke up and found Willem gone. We've all gone through that at some point--being in love and getting hurt. 

So basically, I say: read this book! I can't wait for the sequel, Just One Year, where we get to learn what happens when Allyson tracks Willem down. We'll get Willem's story and find out what he was up to in the year they were apart.

Thanks for stopping by! Let me know what you think in the comments below. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Book Review: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

This was a book I'd seen some advance praise for not too long before it was published. I'd read a couple of books about dragons already so I had a pretty good idea that I would like this one. I had plans on picking it up at the bookstore but one of my local libraries got it in before I had the chance to so I checked it out. This book was so much more than I had imagined--different from any of the other dragon books I'd read and written beautifully. Here's the summary:

Seraphina is an unusually talented musician living in the kingdom of Goredd. Four decades of peace have passed between the dragons and humans and for the most part, they all live in harmony. The dragons just want to be accepted but the humans can't help but fear that the dragons will one day up and decide to eradicate them. Dragons are the mathematicians--the rational scholars and teachers and ambassadors in Goredd. They fold themselves into human shape and rarely revert to their natural dragon forms. When one of the members of the royal family is murdered, everyone believes a dragon is to blame. Seraphina is drawn into the action and paired with the Prince in an effort to solve the crime. And even though he's engaged, Seraphina and Prince Lucian find themselves falling for one another. In the process they uncover secrets that could destroy the kingdom. And all the while Seraphina does everything she can to protect her own secret--one so important that it could mean an end to everything she cares about.

**This is Rachel Hartman's debut YA novel and I couldn't have loved it more. She creates an epic fantasy unlike any other. Seraphina's world is completely different than our own but the medieval elements and easily lovable characters make it feel familiar. In some high fantasy novels it can be confusing to learn about the world the author has created but that's not the case in Seraphina. The questions you have don't frustrate you. You get the answers you need in subtle ways that make sense with the tone and pace of the story. At first I felt that Seraphina's secret was revealed too soon and not all that surprising but then I realized that her secret was only one small part of the story. Seraphina's need to be loved and accepted, the mystery of what was going on in Goredd, and the relationships and characters, were all so much more important.  All in all, I can't recommend this book enough. The sequel, Dracomachia, is due out early next year.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Writing Tips: Query Letters

If you read my post on Wednesday you'll know I've been hard at work fixing some minor plot holes in my manuscript. Well I'm happy to report that they are now fixed! Where this all started though, was with my query letter. I called my brother-n-law (the writer/director) and asked him his opinion on two different queries I was considering submitting. We settled on one which we thought fit the tone of my story better. I gave him a run down of the plot, characters, etc. so he could get the right idea of what I was trying to say. That's when we discovered the plot holes. He started asking me questions that, if he were an agent, I wouldn't have been able to answer. So I made note to fix the holes then we focused on what should be in the query. He gave great advice, telling me to really hook with the first paragraph and helping me decide what was important enough to be in the query and what I should leave out. Something he said that really caught my attention was that I needed to use active verbs. Most of my verbs were passive. All in all, he helped me shape a much better query letter which is why I decided to do this post today. It's fresh on my mind--I spent a lot of time yesterday researching successful query letters and reading websites with helpful advice. So I'm going to post some great links that will hopefully help you as much as they helped me. Most of what I cover below will be expanded on in those links.

First let me start by saying that whenever you are ready to submit, make sure you research each agent and tailor your letter to his/her likes and guidelines. Address the query to that specific agent, using a "Dear Mr./Ms." format. Make sure you get their gender and the spelling of their name right! Your research will tell you how long they like the queries to be and how many pages, if any, they want you to include. Every agent I have researched has said DO NOT attach the pages of your manuscript to the email. Always paste into the body. If they say this, please follow. They will not open the attachment. Some agents will want you to include a synopsis with the query, some will want a marketing plan, some only prefer snail mail or email queries (check how they want those snail mail and email queries addressed/subjected/sent to). No matter what, DO YOUR RESEARCH! 

There really is no exact formula or right way to do a query. The tone of it should match your novel and it should include the plot, the major character(s), the conflict, and setting. Make sure you put the title in ALL CAPS and include the genre and word count. And give details. You don't have to reveal all major plot points but be sure to include the relevant ones that move the story along. You want to leave the agent wanting more but you don't want to be vague. The query should read like a book jacket. Think about what makes you want to buy a book or check it out at the library. And put yourself in the agent's shoes. What would make you want to keep reading this query and later the novel and what would make you hit "Delete."

Other do's and don'ts:
Do include a paragraph with your writing credentials/why you are qualified to write this story.
Don't make grandiose claims: "This book is the next Twilight!"
Do use the spell checker!
Don't go over one page (unless the agent says this is OK)
Do include your contact information (name, address, telephone, email)
Don't include links to your blog/website
Do paste only the number of pages they say to include but
Don't cut off in the middle of a sentence. Stop at the end of the nearest page/chapter.

Now here are the links to the websites that have helped me:  **Look through his list of post links on the side that relate to queries.   **Scroll through to find ones that match your genre.  **Scroll through and click on the ones that match your genre.  **This one's really comprehensive with lots of links. Plan to spend some time here.

And lastly, Agent Query Connect has a forum where members can go and share their successful queries. Here's the link: Scroll about halfway down and you'll see their "AQ Connect-Examples of Successful Queries" link. This one's great because you can see a lot of recent winners.

Well, that's all for today. Hope this was helpful--I know these links have been great resources for me. As always, thanks for stopping by and feel free to comment below and let me know what you think!

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Fallen Stars Trailer Reveal and Swag Pack Giveaway

Happy Friday! As promised here is the exclusive trailer for Stephanie Keyes new book, The Fallen Stars.

Once again, here's the Goodreads link for the book synopsis:

And here's the Goodreads link for the first book in The Star Child Series, The Star Child:

I thought I'd also include an author bio:

Stephanie Keyes has been addicted to Fantasy since she discovered T.H. White as a child and started drumming up incredible journeys in her head. Today, she's still doing the same thing, except now she gets to share those ideas with readers!

When she's not writing, Stephanie is also a graphic designer, international speaker, teacher, musician, avid reader, and Mom to two little boys who constantly keep her on her toes. In addition, she's best friend to her incredible husband of eleven years.

Mrs. Keyes holds an undergraduate degree in Business and Management Information Systems from Robert Morris University and a M.Ed. from Duquesne University. She is a member of the Society For Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), as well as a featured author in the global group of writers, Love a Happy

Keyes is the author of the YA Fantasy series, The Star Child, which currently includes The Star Child (September 2012) and The Fallen Stars (April 2013), both released by Inkspell Publishing. She is currently hard at work on the third book in the trilogy, The Star Catcher.

Author links:
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

And finally, Stephanie is giving away a cool swag pack to one lucky winner today. Here's the link for the contest:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by! I thought the trailer was gorgeous and I can't wait to read the book. Leave me a comment below and tell me what you think. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Brief Hiatus

Alright so last night I spent some time on the phone with my brother-in-law who is a screenwriter and director and he gave me some great feedback on my query letter. He asked a lot of questions about my novel and in the process we discovered some minor plot holes. I'm going to take a two day break from the blog world and crack down on fixing my manuscript. Then I'll need to re-write my query letters. I'll have to work hard to reach my goal of one agent queried by April but I'm looking forward to the challenge. So I'll see you back here on Friday for the exclusive reveal of the trailer for Stephanie Keyes new book The Fallen Stars. Until then, wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Personal update and Friday teaser

Between being a mom, running a house, and blogging, I haven't been working on my book as much as I'd like. I feel like it's finished but I'm scared about taking that next step. I keep thinking that maybe I should read and edit it one more time or dig deeper on the internet for more ways to improve my story and craft. Some days I feel like what I've put together is great and other days I'm not so sure. Hopefully, this is a common feeling among writers at the same stage as I am. I keep waiting for some magical moment when I feel like: this is it. My book is ready and so am I. Maybe I need to quit waiting and just submit. The worst that can happen is rejection and that's part of the business. Almost all writers go through it. So I am setting a goal. By the end of April I will have submitted to at least one of my top five agents. Baby steps, folks. Maybe once I get the first one out of the way the others won't be so scary. Now for my Friday teaser...

I'm taking part in the exciting trailer reveal for the YA paranormal romance The Fallen Stars by Stephanie Keyes. It's book two in The Star Child series. I haven't read the first one, The Star Child, but since I love all things fairy, I am definitely going to check them out. 

Here's the Goodreads synopsis for The Star Child: (

The world is about to be cloaked in darkness. Only one can stop the night. Kellen St. James has spent his entire life being overlooked as an unwanted, ordinary, slightly geeky kid. That is until a beautiful girl, one who has haunted his dreams for the past eleven years of his life, shows up spinning tales of a prophecy. Not just any old prophecy either, but one in which Kellen plays a key role. Suddenly, Kellen finds himself on the run through a Celtic underworld of faeries and demons, angels and gods, not to mention a really ticked off pack of hellhounds, all in order to save the world from darkness. But will they make it in time?

And here's the Goodreads synopsis for The Fallen Stars: (

Kellen St. James was just your average seventeen-year-old prodigy, until he eighty-sixed the Lord of Faerie and proposed to the Celtic Goddess, Calienta. But then everything in Kellen’s life gets turned upside-down when he and Cali end up on the run from a seriously irritated group of faeries. The worst part? They have zero idea why they’re being hunted.

Suddenly, Kellen is stuck in the middle of another prophecy that foresees him turning away from Calienta and embracing the dark. He’ll be forced to take sides in a struggle to claim his birthright, while discovering secrets about his father’s past. Meanwhile, his passion for Cali grows stronger, even as the prophecy threatens to tear them apart.

In the end, will Kellen and Cali survive the fates? When the ultimate power is within reach, which side will he choose?

Well, what do you think? Are you as excited as I am? I can't wait to get my hands on these books and review them for you. The Fallen Stars is due for publication on April 12th. Check back here on this Friday, March 22nd, to see the trailer. There will also be chance for you to win a swag pack from Stephanie. She's giving one away during the reveal.

That's all for today. Feel free to comment below. And as always, thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Book Review: Wings, Spells, Illusions, and Destined by Aprilynne Pike

My sister was actually the one who introduced me to this series. She called me up one day not long after the first book was published and said: "Did you know there's such a thing as fairy mythology?" I told her it made sense considering there's werewolf and vampire mythology but I hadn't come across any books about fairies. She told me about Wings and I thought it sounded interesting so I gave it a try. I'm glad I did. Here's a summary of the four:

Wings: Laurel has been home schooled her whole life. She starts public school in the tenth grade when her family moves, leaving behind the beautiful land she has always called home. Laurel has always felt she was different than other kids her age. She knows she was adopted but she loves her parents. She fits in pretty well at her new school and even becomes interested in a boy, David. One day she starts to grow a bump on her back. It gets bigger and bigger until it blooms into a long-petaled flower. She hides it as best she can from everyone around her. Everyone except David. He tests her blood and determines she is not human. She has the same characteristics as a plant. When Laurel goes back to her old home, she meets a strange and handsome boy named Tamani. He's a faerie and he tells her she is too. Then Laurel learns that some evil trolls are trying to take over her family's land so they can control the door to Avalon that's on it. Laurel and her friends, some faerie and some human, begin the fight to save the land. Laurel struggles with balancing her old life with her desire to learn more about her new one. She has to decide where she wants to stay and what boy she wants to be with. And she has to stay alive in the process.

Spells: Laurel is summoned to the Academy of Avalon to begin her studies and learn more about what it means to be a fall faerie. She needs to find a way to stop the trolls from taking over her land and destroying Avalon. She meets many interesting faeries while at the Academy and gets to know Tamani better. Laruel spends a lot of time questioning where she belongs. She doesn't want to give up her human world or her boyfriend but she can't deny her love for Avalon and her growing attraction to Tamani. Eventually she decides who she wants to be with and returns home where the stakes are higher than ever. The trolls are getting more threatening and Laurel isn't the only one in danger anymore.

Illusions: Laurel's been living her life content with her choice and praying the danger to her and her friends is over. Then Tamani enrolls in school with her to keep watch over a new threat--a student named Yuki. He gets close to the new girl to try to figure out what she knows and how much of a danger she is. David and Tamani don't like not being the only boy in Laurel's life. And Laurel doesn't like all the time Tamani is spending with Yuki. In the end the group of friends discover just what they're up against--a threat to faeries and Avalon that none of them ever could have imagined.

Destined: Laurel and her friends now know just how dangerous Yuki is, who exactly she is working for, and what they plan to do. It's a race against time and the stakes are higher than ever as Laurel and the two boys she loves and her best friend Chelsea fight to save Avalon. There's loss and heartbreak in the war that ensues. Laurel makes her final descision between David and Tamani and the fate of Avalon is ultimately decided.

**Since reading the Wings series I have read many fairy books, each unique in their own way. What Aprilynne Pike does so beautifully is create a story about a very relatable girl learning how to navigate two very different worlds. She expertly captures what it feels like to be an in high school and fall in love for the first time. The introduction of Avalon and Pike's take on fairy mythology feels familiar but also fresh. I like how the suspensce of who the bad guys were and what they were going to do kept you turning the pages. The love triangle had me constantly switching teams. David or Tamani? How could a girl choose between such great guys?! I felt the characters were all well-developed and the ending was satisfying. I can't wait to read what this fantastic author writes next!

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to leave your comments and come back and visit again soon!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Book Review: Origin by Jessica Khoury

This is another book I saw that my library had on their "new items" list. I read the synopsis and thought I'd give it a try when it came in. Then one day I was researching YA word counts and I came across Jessica Khoury's website. I recognized her book as the one I was waiting to read so I browsed around her site to learn more about her. Let me just say, I was impressed. Jessica is smart, accomplished and personable. Now I was even more excited to read her book. Here's the summary:

Pia lives in a glass room in a secret laboratory under the canopy of the Amazon rain forest. The scientists that study and look after her are her family. She knows virtually nothing about the outside world and all she knows about herself is that she was created to be the start of a new immortal race of humans. She'll learn the secret to what created her when she proves her commitment and loyalty to the scientists. One night Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her compound. She sneaks out to see what lies in the jungle around her. That's when she meets Eio. He's from a nearby village. Every chance she gets, Pia slips away to see Eio and learn about his people, the jungle, and the world. Slowly the two fall in love and in the process learn that the scientists' aren't as innocent as they want Pia to think. The secrets they are hiding will change Pia's life forever.

**I LOVED this book and the characters within. Pia's arc is well-written and realistic. At first, she's a little self-centered and conceited from a lifetime of being told how perfect she is and how one day she will lead a new race of humans. But when she meets Eio, all this changes. Pia learns that not only can she question her world but she should. And when she actually starts to do this you see a very natural shift in her loyalties. What Pia learns causes her to form her own opinions and make her own choices. The consequences of this new way of being add an element of suspense to the plot that keep you turning the pages. The relationship between Pia and Eio is natural and sweet as any first love between such sheltered people would be. The ending was satisfying in a way that's often hard to come by with a stand alone book. Khoury brilliantly ends Pia's story in a way that leaves you content. I can't wait to read more from this talented new author! (here's a link for what she's coming out with next:

Friday, March 15, 2013

YA Book Giveaways

So I hadn't planned on doing another giveaway post so soon but after I found out I won an ARC of Clockwork Princess from Literary Rambles 3000 Followers Mega, Mega Giveaway Contest, I decided what the heck. That's right, you read correctly. I WON A CONTEST!! I mean, how cool is that? I love Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices Series so I am super excited to be getting an advanced copy of the last book in the trilogy. Here's some more ways to win other great books:

From Literary Rambles: (

One winner will receive a copy of The Culling by Steven Dos Santos. Go to the website and click on the link and follow the rules for entry. Extra entries if you blog, tweet, or facebook the contest. Deadline is March 23rd.

One winner will receive a copy of The Mist on Bronte Moor by Aviva Orr. Go to the website and click on the link and follow the rules for entry. Extra entries if you blog, tweet, or facebook the contest. Deadline is March 30th.

One lucky winner will receive an e-book of The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen. If you haven't read the first book in this trilogy, The False Prince, you can choose to get an e-book of that one instead. Go to the website and click on the link and follow the rules for entry. Extra entries if you blog, tweet, or facebook the contest. Deadline is March 30th.

YA Books Central ( is a website I just stumbled across that looks pretty neat. Right now they have a handful of books they are ready to give away. All you have to do is click on the picture of the book you want and follow the rules for entry. I decided on Emblaze by Jessica Shirvington!

Goodreads ( is a great site for so many reasons but my favorite is the many books they are constantly giving away in contests. Most of the time they're books you may not have heard of so it's a great way to find a new book, genre, or author you might be interested in. Click on the book you want to win then sign up/in with their site and go from there.

There are of course tons of other ways to win free copies of books. Simply Google "YA book giveaways" and the results are plentiful.

Thanks for stopping by. I'll let you know how Clockwork Princess (and the rest of the trilogy) is after I finish!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Book Review: Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara

When I saw the title of this book on my library’s “new items” list, I was sold. Robert Frost is my favorite poet and his “Stopping By Woods on A Snowy Evening" in which the title of this book is derived, is my favorite poem. The plot looked interesting and the early reviews seemed promising. Here’s the summary: 

Wren is hiding out at her dad’s house in northern Maine. Something bad happened to her earlier in the year—she survived a car crash that killed her boyfriend. Now all Wren does is run—from her problems, her mother, her best friend, her grief. She runs and tries to come to terms with her life and the events that led up to the crash. She even electively mutes herself from time to time—her best form of self-preservation. And while Wren knows she can’t hide and run forever, she can’t seem to stop. She also knows she’s not only affecting but at times hurting those who care for her. But how do you make grief go away when what brought it on is all your fault? Then Wren meets Cal. He’s got some issues of his own and is busy doing his fair share of hiding out and avoiding. Slowly, Cal and Wren get to know each other. Neither can deny the feelings that soon develop. But is Wren ready to let Cal lead her back into a world full of living, talking, people? And is Cal ready to let someone else help and care for him? 

**Lovely, Dark and Deep is Amy McNamara’s debut novel. She’s a poetry major and boy does it show in her writing. Her poetical style is a perfect fit for a book so aptly named after a poem and with a character who closely relates to another famous poet, Philip Larkin. The choppy sentences take some adjusting to at first but once you do, they flow easily. Wren’s pain feels real and being on the journey of grief with her will at times bring you to tears. To some the grief may seem dragged out but I thought it took on a very natural course. The ending was a little abrupt but it had a hopeful feel. You knew things would work for these two not only as individuals but as a couple. I look forward to more work from this talented new author.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Book Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty, It's Not Summer Without You, and We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han

When I came across this trilogy at my library they seemed like a great summer read. The awkward girl caught between two brothers—what’s not to love? These books DID NOT disappoint. Here’s a summary of each: 

The Summer I Turned Pretty: Belly loves her time spent in Cousins Beach. Her family goes there every summer to hang out at the water and catch up with another family—her mom’s best friend and her two sons—Conrad and Jeremiah Fisher. Belly is the youngest of everyone and has always been the kid, the tomboy; not the pretty girl who turns boys’ heads. And she's secretively always been in love with Conrad. From one summer to the next, Belly transforms into a beautiful young woman. And the Fisher boys take notice. Belly is over the moon when it seems like Conrad might actually return her feelings. But he gives her mixed signals. So while she deals with his on-again-off-again feelings she grows closer in friendship with Jeremiah. But as it turns out, Jeremiah has a secret of his own.

It’s Not Summer Without You: Belly got a chance with one brother, at least for little while. But it didn’t last. So naturally, the other brother finds a new place in Belly’s heart. While Belly struggles with growing up and falling in love, Conrad and Jeremiah struggle with a medical situation in their family. Each brother handles their feelings over the situation differently—one even takes off leaving everyone to wonder where he is and if he’s alright. Belly tries to be there for both boys but it’s hard being caught in the middle. Ultimately she can’t shake the fact that she loves one of the brothers more than the other. So whose heart will she have to break?

We’ll Always Have Summer: Everything falls apart for Belly and the Fisher brothers when tragedy strikes. It changes everything this summer—the final summer that will be spent at Cousins Beach. No one even comes to the beach house—in fact, everyone seems to be going their separate ways. In the end Belly decides who she wants to be with. So will it be her longtime love, Conrad, or her longtime best friend, Jeremiah?

**Jenny Han expertly captures a season that always feels full of promise and love. 
Belly’s coming of age story is realistic and relatable and her ability to stand up to four boys her whole life while trying to grow up in front of them is well-written and thoughtful. The setting is described in a way that makes you feel like you are right there in Cousins Beach hanging out at the beach house and being a teenager yourself. Told with flashbacks to previous summers, you really get to know Belly and those she cares about. And you can’t help but fall in love with the Fisher brothers, each great in their own way. Han leaves you guessing who Belly chooses right up to the very end. The Summer trilogy is a nice read for any season about what it’s like to grow up, make tough choices, and keep close those you love.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Book Review: Shiver, Linger, and Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy wasn’t a set of books I thought I would like when I first picked them up. Before then, I hadn’t read any werewolf stories and I didn’t think it was a mythology I was interested in. It didn’t take but a few pages into the first book before I was hooked. These books are so much more than werewolf books. The characters are richly drawn and the words are beautifully conceived. Here’s a summary of each book: 

Shiver: Grace was almost killed by the wolves in the woods behind her house when she was nine. But a yellow-eyed wolf saved her. Every winter she watches those woods for her silent protector to return. There's something about that wolf that she is drawn too and she needs to know more.

Sam has always watched Grace from afar. In the winter from the woods by her home and in the few precious warm months of summer when he gets to be human and see her around town. 
Suddenly one of Grace’s classmates is killed by a wolf. A hunting party forms to take out the animals. When a familiar yellow-eyed boy shows up shivering and naked on Grace’s porch, Grace knows she has found her wolf. The two slowly get to know each other and fall in love. And while the pack tries to hide and protect itself they also make a startling discovery: some of them aren’t changing back into humans anymore. Grace and her friends race to find a cure for Sam, who would give anything to stay human and be with Grace. So will this be the first and last time the two get to be together? Or will their improvised cure work?

Linger: A new wolf is in town. Cole is a boy who embraces his wolf and shuns his troubled, human past. But why is he here? 
Sam spends his days broodily adjusting to his new life and worrying about Grace, who is suffering from symptoms similar to what happens when the wolves first transform. After all this time, is she finally changing into a wolf? Sam can't help but question why she never changed when she was bitten as a child. What makes her different? 
Isobel is a classmate of Grace’s whose brother didn’t survive the improvised cure they gave him after his wolf bite. She spends her time trying to help Sam and Grace and not fall for Cole. When a local teen goes missing, the hunting party decides it wants blood. But the pack won’t give up so easily. They have a plan for sticking around and taking care of each other. So can a real, permanent cure be found? What’s going to happen to Grace? Will hers and Sam’s love survive when one is a wolf and the other is not?

Forever: Now two local teens have gone missing. The hunting party, headed by Isobel’s father, blames the wolves and is preparing for one final shoot-out to rid Mercy Falls of them forever. 
Cole and Isobel have found happiness in one another and Cole has decided that maybe he doesn’t mind being a human so much after all. He throws himself into finding and perfecting a cure. So will he get it done in time? Or will the hunting party get to the wolves first? Will the missing teens (presumably now wolves) be found? How and where will our four main characters end up?

**Maggie Stiefvater is a brilliant writer. Her writing style for each of her series of books is different from anything else out there. Her settings are vivid and descriptive; atmospheric. In the Wolves trilogy, the romance between Sam and Grace is full of ache and happiness. The introduction of Isobel and Cole’s perspectives provides a much needed counterweight of comic relief and sarcasm to balance out Sam and Grace's introspective personalities. While a lot of people feel Stiefvater left the ending of the trilogy too open ended, I disagree. I felt it was fitting with the wonder and romance set forth in the prior two books. I liked not having all the answers and being able to use my imagination to figure some things out. I highly recommend these books to anyone who likes their stories lyrical and their romances paranormal.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

2013 Writers Conferences

Writers conferences are great for many different reasons. Depending on the one you attend you can meet other local authors, you can pitch agents and editors, some even offer freelance editing services. The most important thing is to first decide what it is you want to get from attending a conference. Then you need to factor in how much money you are willing to spend and if you want to travel. After you figure all of that out you can narrow down your choices and start planning. Here's a list of some of the larger upcoming conferences. Keep in mind that this list is not definitive and details are subject to change. If one of the larger ones isn't right for you, there are tons of smaller gatherings and workshops going on all over the country all the time. Do a Google search for "2013 writers conferences" and "city, state" for a more comprehensive list.

April 5-7, 2013 Writer's Digest NYC Conference (New York, NY) (

April 5-6, 2013 Houston Writers Guild Conference (Houston, TX) (

April 19-20, 2013 Kentucky Writers Conference (Bowling Green, KY) (
May 4-5, 2013 DFW Writers' Conference (Hurst, TX) (

May 17-19, 2013 PennWriters Conference (Pittsburgh, PA) (

May 23-25, 2013 Alberta Writers Guild Event: Words in 3D (Edmonton, Canada) (

June 6-7, 2013 Clarksville Writers Conference (Clarksville, TN) (

June 7-8, 2013 Carnegie Literacy Books-in-Progress Workshop (Lexington, KY) (

June 21-23, 2013 Agents & Editors Conference/Writers League of Texas (Austin, TX) (

July 5-6, 2013 Hunt Country Writers' Retreat (Middleburg, VA) (

September 27-29, 2013 Writer's Digest Conference West (Los Angeles, CA) **I couldn't find any information available on this one yet.

October 18-20, 2013 Re:Write Writers Conference (Austin, TX) (

Hope this is a good starting place for you. I've been checking out some of these myself and I'm hoping to be able to attend one. Good luck!

Friday, March 8, 2013

YA Book Giveaways

Giveaways are a great way to spread the word about a new book while entering for a chance to win your own copy. I enter these contests as much as possible because the requirements are usually pretty simple, like posting a comment or following a blog. Sometimes they want you to tweet and "like" on facebook. This is a great way to promote an author's work and I'm always up for helping out. If you win you might get a signed or free copy or an ARC of a great novel! Here's some contests going on right now:

From the Literary Rambles website: link (

To celebrate the sites reaching 3000 followers, the hosts are giving away three prize packages. Prize package #1 goes to two winners a free copy of one of eleven book choices. Prize package #2 goes to twelve winners one free book or ARC from a list of twelve choices. And prize package #3 is a 5 page critique of your work. To enter, go to their site and click on the link for the 3000 FOLLOWERS MEGA, MEGA GIVEAWAY and follow the guidelines for entry. Deadline is March 9th.

Carrie Harris giveaway: One lucky winner will receive a signed copy of BAD TASTE IN BOYS and another lucky winner will receive a signed copy of BAD HAIR DAY. To enter go to the site and click on the link and follow the rules for entry. Deadline is March 9th.

Shannon Messenger giveaway: Two lucky winners will receive a copy of LET THE SKY FALL. There are two ways to enter to win. Go to the site and click on the link and read on to find out how. Deadline is March 16th.

Anna Stanisewski giveaway: This one didn't say how many winners but I'm guessing it's two because Anna's publisher is donating a copy of MY VERY UNFAIRY TALE LIFE and EPIC FAIRY TALE FAIL for the giveaway. Go to the site and click on the link and follow the guidelines for entry. Deadline is March 16th.

From Writer's Digest: link: (

There are frequent book giveaways from authors on the Writer's Digest site. They're usually with the posts that have author interviews where the author discusses their book, gives advice, tells their success story, etc. All you have to do to enter to win is register at Writer's Digest then leave a comment within two weeks of the posted interview. There are several giveaways right now for adult novels but I'm only going to include the YA one here.

Debut Author N. Griffin: one winner will receive a copy of her book THE WHOLE STUPID WAY WE ARE. Deadline is the March 12th.

Thanks for checking in!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Book Review: Graceling, Fire, and Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Kristin Cashore is another one of those writers whose work I adore. In her Seven Kingdoms Trilogy she creates a fantasy world unlike any other. Each book centers around a different teenage girl--all of them unique, complex, and strong in their own way. Here's a summary of each book:

Graceling: Katsa lives in the Middluns with her uncle, King Randa. Select people in the kingdom, those with mismatched eyes, are gifted with a "grace." The graces vary from person to person. Katsa's grace is killing. She can kill anyone with ease. Because of this, her uncle uses her as his own personal killing machine--something Katsa hates but accepts. On a mission for her uncle she encounters another Graceling, Prince Po. Together the two discover not only the treachery in their kingdom but also the truth about each other's graces. Then they stumble upon a lost princess--a little girl on the run named Bitterblue. 
**This first books does well in defining the seven kingdoms. The setting has a fantastical, medieval feel that isn't overt or stuffy. And Katsa is an amazingly drawn heroine. She's not at all what you'd expect though. She's against marriage and doesn't always do and say what you think she should. Like many teenage girls, she fumbles her way through relationships and life. She's flawed. But rather than make her unlikable, her flaws just add to her complexity and help you to more clearly see her character development. The minor characters in this book are vividly drawn so that each are easily recognizable and their importance is clearly understood. And Prince Po is the perfect counterpart for Katsa. His charm and ease in life and with others will win you over. He and Katsa are one of my favorite book couples. 

Fire: This book is set in the mysterious lands across the mountains from the seven kingdoms--the Dells. Here, beauty is hated because those who are beautiful, whether they be animal or person, can control the minds of others. They're "monsters." Fire is the last human monster. She hides out in the forest with her friend Archer, trying to stay away from those who would have her dead. Then she learns that everything in King City is in chaos. Rebel lords are trying to overthrow King Nash. Fire is drawn into the action and into the city. She meets the royal family and the alluring Prince Brigan and decides to help them save the kingdom from not only the rebels, but also from a familiar villian met in Graceling. Ultimately, Fire must learn to love herself and she comes to realize that she's not a monster--their's more to her than just dangerous beauty.
**While Fire's quest is largely an internal one, the action in this book isn't lacking. Her world is distinct and well-conceived. Fire's love for two different men, her best friend Archer and Prince Brigan add a romantic richeness to the story that has you rooting for Fire to have a happy ending. The mysterious villain from Graceling is an intriguing element of the plot that smartly connects the two books and sets the stage for the final installment.

Bitterblue: This story takes place eight years after the events in Graceling. Bitterblue is now the Queen of Monsea. She's trying hard to rebuild her kingdom and heal them from the aftereffects of her violent father, King Leck. Leck was a graceling that altered the minds of his people and bent their wills to his liking for over 30 years. While her advisers think the past should be forgotten and everyone who committed a crime under King Leck's spell should be pardoned, Bitterblue disagrees. She starts sneaking out of the castle in disguise in an attempt to learn about her city and how to best to help her people. There she meets Saf, a thief who steals to right the wrongs of Bitterblue's father. Saf opens up Bitterblue's eyes and challenges her views of the world. Slowly, Bitterblue begins to unravel the clues and mysteries that still plague her kingdom. She feels the only way to move forward is to learn about and from the past. In the end, Bitterblue figures out Leck's evil secrets and discovers how to get her kingdom on the path to healing. She also starts finding her way as queen by standing up for herself and for what she believes in.
**Bitterblue is such a refreshing character. While Katsa and Fire were unique for being gifted, Bitterblue stands out by just being normal. The unraveling of her father's many secrets is smart and intriguing. The discovery and feelings of first love and coming into womanhood are a nice journey the readers get to take with Bitterblue. And the bringing together of the characters from the first two novels gives this last book a nice note to end on. 

Again, I can't recommend these books enough. Cashore's imagination is something to be envied. Her female characters are by far the strongest I have ever read and I love the feminist themes throughout. These women are partakers in their own sexuality and their journeys of love are realistic and relatable. Companionship and marriage aren't written as important parts of becoming a woman but rather as another option in life. Once you start these books you won't stop until you're done!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Book Review: Matched, Crossed, and Reached by Ally Condie

I wanted to wait until I finished the final installment before I reviewed these books. Let me just start by saying how much I love this trilogy. It probably ranks up top in my list of favorite books (a list I have yet to compile but when I do, these will be up there). Here's a summary of Matched, Reached, and Crossed:

Cassia lives in the Society. They control everything--what you eat, what you learn in school, and even who you'll marry, your "match." You're only supposed to be shown one match on your computer screen but somehow, Cassia is shown two. Her best friend Xander and another, more mysterious childhood friend, Ky. Cassia is torn. She's always believed in the Society but after the "glitch" of seeing Ky and some mysterious words from her grandfather at his Final Banquet, Cassia isn't so sure of the Society's perfection. And the more time she spends with Ky, the more she learns about herself and what she wants. Then suddenly Ky is taken away by the Officials. Cassia has no choice but to break all the rules and try to find him. But that means leaving everyone behind, including Xander. Cassia is unsure how she feels about Xander. He's the perfect guy and he obviously loves her. He helps Cassia escape hoping she will find what she is looking for and come back and choose him. So Cassia travels across the Society to places she never knew existed, all to find Ky. She learns just how corrupt and secretive the Society really is. She even learns about the Rising--a faction that wants to take the Society down. Cassia's reunion with Ky is heart-aching and brief. The Rising needs their help. They want both Cassia and Ky to infiltrate the Society and help take it down. So who will Cassia choose? What is the Society hiding? Will the Rising succeed? And most importantly: Will they all survive?

Sometimes I wonder if young people read poetry anymore. Then someone like Ally Condie comes along and I realize that poetry isn't limited to rhymes and stanzas and outdated words we don't understand. It can be found in YA literature. The Matched trilogy is poetry done in a whole new way for a whole new generation. The novels are lyrical; a slow dance of words in your head. They flow so naturally and organically that you find yourself having just read 100 pages and not even noticing. There would be times that I would read a line and stop and say: "Wow, that's beautiful." My sister (a junior high teacher) often shows her students passages from Condie's work as illustrations of metaphors done brilliantly. 

Thanks Ally Condie for giving us another reason to enjoy reading!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Writing Tips: YA Word Counts

Alright, so I am by no means a writing expert. This is all very new to me. I am constantly reading other blogs, looking up articles, and clicking on links in tweets by actual experts on how to improve my craft. My hope is that as time goes by, I will be able to give some valuable tips of my own. But for now I am OK sharing with you what I have found elsewhere and adding in my own thoughts and experiences. Today's topic: YA word counts. 

Chuck Sambuchino is an industry leader in the world of writing and publishing. I follow him on twitter and Writer's Digest is always tweeting links to his columns. Here's what he says:

"Perhaps more than any other, YA is the one category where word count is very flexible.

For starters, 55,000 – 69,999 is a great range. 
The word round the agent blogosphere is that these books tend to trending longer, saying that you can top in the 80Ks. However, this progression is still in motion and, personally, I’m not sure about this. I would say you’re playing with fire the higher you go.  When it gets into the 70s, you may be all right—but you have to have a reason for going that high. Again, higher word counts usually mean that the writer does not know how to edit themselves.
A good reason to have a longer YA novel that tops out at the high end of the scale is if it’s science fiction or fantasy. Once again, these categories are expected to be a little longer because of the world-building.
Concerning the low end, below 55K could be all right but I wouldn’t drop much below about 47K."
**To read this full article on Writer's Digest click here:

I have to agree with Mr. Sambuchino. Most books in the YA genre tend to be in those ranges. I also agree that books are trending longer. Writers are finding that teens like smart, well written stories and bigger books don't necessarily scare them away. Personally, I don't ever remember a time in my life when I didn't want to read something because it was "too long." Maybe that's just me but if the story looks interesting, I will read it.

Here's a great site where you can compare your YA WIP to others in your genre:

This one was really helpful to me. I looked up some YA historical fantasy novels (since that's what my manuscript is) and compared my word count to theirs. What I found (besides some comfort in where my word count is) was that most of the recently released, popular YA books are closer to 90k. Many are over 100k. There are some that are even higher. 
My YA novel started out WAY too long and as a first time writer I really had no clue about word counts until I started researching them. (Thank you Writers Digest for a tweet on word counts because otherwise I wouldn't have known!) I thought my novel was great the way it was. So when I read that long word counts tended to happen to first time authors who didn't know how to edit, I was like: "Um I have edited and it's still that high so that's just how long it needs to be." I didn't think I could cut anything out without losing character development, world building, or other important story elements. So I did some more research thinking that surely there were lots of exceptions of first time writers being published when their novels were higher than the acceptable word count for their genre. I thought if they got published then maybe I can too. As it turns out, there aren't many exceptions. And you shouldn't assume your novel is so good that you'll be one. Publishers spend a lot of money printing and marketing books so if you don't have the credentials to back up the risk they would be taking on you then they will tell the agent representing your book "no thanks." It's all about the money and publishers want to spend as little as possible and get as much in profit as they can. Agents get a cut of that money too and they don't want to take on a book that's too long if no publisher will want to buy it. Most agents won't even look at your manuscript if your word count isn't what they deem acceptable. They have tons of queries and manuscripts they are going through everyday so high word counts are an easy way for them to cut through the slush pile. So with all this in mind, I decided to get down to business. I want my book to get published so I am willing to do whatever it takes. I read through my manuscript about 5 more times with my only focus being getting rid of what was unnecessary. Guess what? I was able to cut out 39k words (yeah, it was that long). And doing so didn't cause me to lose anything important to my story. In fact, it only made it better. And I became a better writer in the process. *sidenote of thanks to my sister for reading my manuscript before those cuts!*

A final website I found useful and I go to a lot is Jessica Khoury's website. She's the author of the YA book Origin. The book, and the woman, are awesome. I saw Jessica on tour in Austin and I was blown away by her intelligence. Her blog has an article on YA word counts and a list of popular YA titles with their counts. I like how she compares two of the Harry Potters to show that word counts can go up once you've established yourself as an author. Here's the link to her post:
Well, that's all. Thanks for reading! Hope this helps (:

Monday, March 4, 2013

Book Review: Hush: An Irish Princess' Tale by Donna Jo Napoli

I actually read this book a while ago and I often tell people it's one of my favorite YA historical novels. Here's a brief summary:

Melkorka is the oldest daughter of an Irish King. When her brother Nuada is attacked and left disfigured, no longer able to be the future king, Melkorka's father comes up with a plan for revenge. But first he sends Melkorka and her younger sister Brigid away to safety in the dark of night. But something happens before they get there. Melkorka and Brigid are kidnapped and taken aboard a Russian slave ship. As much as Melkorka wants to announce who she is and demand the rights and security she has always known, she soon realizes none of this will save her or her sister. So instead Melkorka takes a vow of silence, refusing to give anyone the power of her words. This fascinates the other slaves, the crew of the ship, and most especially: the ship's captain. His interest and wariness of her provides her with a measure of protection against the evils on board. Eventually, eight year old Brigid manages to escape and Melkorka is left with nothing but her own strength and determination to see her through. She uses what influences she has to help the other captives and ultimately ends up in the middle east where she watches all those she's bonded with get sold away.

What I loved about this book was Napoli's amazing ability to make you feel like you were right there in the year 900 A.D. with Melkorka. Her descriptions of Ireland, the daily life of the royal Irish family, and the time period are detailed and powerful. The conditions aboard the slave ship will leave you in tears. Melkorka's strength of character will have you rooting for her until the end. And the vow of silence is done so brilliantly that you hardly even notice your main character doesn't speak. While the ending isn't the happily ever after you would want for Melkorka, it is realistic to the story. Melkorka's journey will leave you breathlessly turning the pages until you finish.


So I decided to start a blog. Why? you ask. Well, first off, I read...A LOT and since people know this about me they always ask what I am reading, do I like it, and what can I recommend for them to read. So blogging world, here I am! But wait, WHO am I? Well, let me introduce myself...

My name is Christie and I live just outside of Austin, Texas. I am a writer, a reader, a chocoholic,  a sweet tea drinker, and a compulsive tv show watcher. And since I am also a wife and mother I guess I have to include some sub professions: teacher, doctor, nurse, maid, accountant, judge, mediator, mentor, counselor...the list is endless.

So why should you read my blog? Well, again, since I read A LOT I will constantly be reviewing books in my posts. My first love is YA because it's timeless. It transcends age. Reading itself can take you to a whole new world, recreate the one you know, introduce you to unforgettable characters and give your imagination some exercise but but reading YA does all of that with the added excitement and limitlessness of being a teen--like you're on the cusp of life right there with them. 

Since I'm also a writer about to start the exciting and nerve-wracking process of querying agents, I will keep you updated on my progress and experiences. And whenever I come across helpful websites, writing advice, blogs, conferences, giveaways, etc. I will post those here too.

So that brings me to now. Thanks for stopping by and giving me a chance while I get my feet wet. I hope you'll come back again soon!