Friday, May 31, 2013

Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

I've been wanting to read this book for a while now. I kept hoping my library would order it because let's face it, if I bought every book I wanted to read I would need 2 jobs to pay for them! Finally I just requested it to be ordered. My library is so amazing and every time I ask for a book, they always get it for me. It took some time but it came in the other day. And I read it that same day! Obviously, I loved it! Here's my summary:

America Singer is a #5. In this country (Illea-a future version of the U.S.) that means she's one of the lower castes. (There are 8 castes) Her and her family are all different types of artists and they struggle to make ends meet. America is in love with Aspen, a #6, and this is not a good thing. It would mean an even greater hardship for her if they were to ever get married. When America's family receives news of the Selection in the mail they are overjoyed. But America isn't. The Selection is a contest where 35 girls are chosen to compete for Prince Maxon's hand in marriage. America doesn't want to be a princess or live in the castle and she certainly doesn't want to be married to Prince Maxon. She doesn't care about anything except for being with Aspen. But Aspen wants a good life for America and insists she at least sign up. America finally agrees. At least this way she can say to him and her family that she tried. But then suddenly Aspen ends things with America and the worst happens--America is chosen as one of the 35! Overnight her world changes. She has to leave everything behind for a life of fancy gowns and yummy food and being waited on hand and foot in the castle. But at least her family gets paid handsomely for it. America expects to hate Prince Maxon--after all, it's his fault she's trapped there. But instead she finds he's not so bad. They become friends and when Maxon learns America's heart is elsewhere, he agrees to keep her on to help her family and prolong her return home where Aspen has already moved on. But life at the castle isn't all it's cracked up to be. Rebels threaten everyone's lives and some of the girls will stop at nothing to be the next princess. America must learn who to trust, how to stay alive, and more importantly, who it is she wants to be with.

**Once I started this book, I couldn't put it down. I love Cinderella-esque stories and The Selection did not disappoint. The description of the United States America lives in and the life she has as well as the life she gets thrown into is well done and interesting. America's family is relatable--her mom the typical lives-vicariously-through-her-daughter type and her dad the pushover. I felt like the love between America and Aspen was real and very much that of an overwhelming first-love. And Prince Maxon was more than I at first thought. He turned out to be a real charmer and viable love interest for America. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book, The Elite. (I am about to fill out the card for my library to order it right now!)

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to comment below. I love hearing from you!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My List

So for a while now I've been talking about my "list" of books. The one I keep in my head that has all my favorite books that I could talk about forever and would highly recommend to anyone looking for something new to read. Well, today I decided to put that list down on paper (or in a post anyway). So here it goes. They're separated into categories but are in no particular order. Enjoy!

Favorite Dystopian Books:
The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
The Matched trilogy by Ally Condie
The Fever trilogy by Lauren DeStefano
The Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth

Favorite Fantasy Books:
Graceling, Fire, Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
The Fever series by Karen Marie Moning (adult)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor
The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray

Favorite Paranormal Books:
The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer
The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

Favorite Steampunk:
The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare

Favorite Historical Fiction Books:
Cleopatra's Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Septeys
Hush: An Irish Princess' Tale by Donna Jo Napoli
The Bad Queen by Carolyn Meyer
Lady Macbeth's Daughter by Lisa M. Klein
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Ophelia by Lisa M. Klein

Favorite Science Fiction:
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
Origin by Jessica Khoury

Books that make me laugh:
ANYTHING by Jaclyn Moriarty

**ALL things Maggie Stiefvater 
**ALL things Nicholas Sparks (adult)

Favorite Children's Books:
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Favorite Classics:
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Pride and Predjudice by Jane Austen
**ALL things Shakespeare

Honorable Mentions:
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Liar by Justine Larbalestier
The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate
**these first three because they surprised me in some way
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (adult)
The Birthright books by Gabrielle Zevin (because it's unique and the MC's voice is great)
Something Borrowed and Something Blue by Emily Giffin (adult)
A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan
Stolen by Lucy Christopher
Trapped by Michael Northrop
Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Books that were hard to read but still good:
The Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr
Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
Still Missing by Chevy Stevens (adult)
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (adult)
The Last Survivors trilogy by Susan Beth Pfeffer

And for fun...

Books I loved as a kid:
The Sweet Valley High books by Francine Pascal
The Babysitters Club books by Ann M. Martin
Are You There God it's me Margaret? by Judy Blume
The Fear Street books by R.L. Stine
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
I Love You Forever by Robert Munsch (total picture book here but still makes me cry)

Well, what did you think? It's long, huh? I'm sure I"ll be continually adding on to it too! Now get to your library or bookstore and get to reading these because they are GOOD!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

New Book Releases

I'm a day late! I usually do this post on Monday but I had such a busy Memorial Day that I couldn't work in the time to get on my computer. There's not a whole lot in the way of new YA releases this week but what's coming out looks good! Here we go...

Dare You To by Katie McGarry 
I couldn't find the Goodreads link so here's the Amazon one:

Goddess (Starcrossed #3) by Josephine Angelini

Of Triton (Of Poseidon #2) by Anna Banks

Imposter: A Variants Novel by Susanne Winnacker

The Girl with the Iron Touch (The Steampunk Chronicles #2) by Kady Cross
I couldn't find this one on Goodreads either. Here's the Amazon link:

My Sister's Reaper by Dorothy Dreyer
Amazon link:

Spirit (Elemental #3) by Brigid Kemmerer

Uprising by Jessica Therrien
Amazon link:

Thanks for stopping by. See you back here tomorrow!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

If I were to make a list of my favorite books, (which I think I might actually do one day soon) these would definitely be at the top. By far they are my favorite fantasy books of all time--hands down, no questions asked. Laini Taylor has a way with words like no one else. Just read this excerpt from the back of Days of Blood and Starlight: "She had loved the enemy and saved him. She had set him free. And he had done this. Bitter, bitter, this desolation of angels." Um, yeah, Laini Taylor is awesome! Here's my summary of each book:

Karou is an art student in Prague. She spends her days hanging out with her friend Zuzana and sketching monsters in her art book  She's always disappearing on errands and can speak several languages. What people don't know is that not all of those languages are human and the monsters in her art book are real. Karou has no family except for a few chimaera--part animal part human creatures. She works for Brimstone, running his errands and collecting teeth. With those teeth and a little donated pain, Brimstone performs magic. He resurrects dead chimaera brought over from another world, a world where chimaera and seraphim (angels) have been at war for centuries. The chimaera would be long gone if not for Brimstone's magic. When the portals between the worlds slowly start closing by an unknown enemy, Karou doesn't know what to do. She knows Brimstone isn't telling her something about who she is and her past. Then Karou meets Akiva. He's familiar and beautiful and instantly has her heart. But there's more to him than meets the eye. When things start to spiral out of control and Karou's chimaera friends disappear, Akiva tells Karou what she needs to do. Break the wishbone Brimstone gave her, the one she wears as a necklace. Akiva knows exactly what's going to happen when Karou does because he knows the truth about who she really is. And he knows that the second the wishbone snaps, he'll lose her forever.

Karou has been gone for quite some time. Her human friends Zuzana and Mik don't know if she's alive or dead or better, with Akiva. But Akiva thinks Karou is dead. Broken and just trying to survive each day, he helps his angel siblings kill the remaining chimaera and with them, dreams of a better world. A world without war and hate and death. But that may never happen because someone is killing the angels now. Easily and horrifically and leaving behind taunts--that they have "arisen." This could only mean one thing: someone is still resurrecting the chimaera. When Akiva saves a chimaera and follows him through an unknown portal, he gets a surprise and a wish come true--Karou is alive. And she is the resurrectionist. And worse, she absolutely hates him. With the help of the evil leader of the chimaera, Karou is raising her dead and continuing the war she never wanted part of. But like Akiva, Karou wants to put an end to all these horrors. What she does on her end and what Akiva does on his has the power to change their world. But what they don't know is that it's not only their world they have to worry about anymore. The angel army has discovered the human world and the human weapons and the human worship of angels. Now with a common enemy, Akiva and his rebel angels and Karou and her chimaera may have to put aside their differences and do the right thing. But will it work? And can Karou and Akiva ever find their way back to each other?

**As soon as you are done reading this post you have to go to your bookstore/library and get these books! The world Taylor has created will blow you away while simultaneously drawing you in. The characters are beautiful and magical and the love story is heart-wrenching and breathtaking. The war between the races will make you stop and think and the love each side has for their people will make you smile. Sometimes I would read a sentence and stop and go back and read it again and say "Wow! That was amazing!" The example above is just one of hundreds that fill Taylor's two books. I can't wait for the final installment of the trilogy, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, to hit shelves in April of next year.

Thanks for stopping by! Now go get these books!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Book Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns and The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

I love fantasy novels. When a writer can successfully build an entirely different world that I instantly get swept away in, that is talent! Rae Carson's GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS trilogy has blown me away with its greatness. I saw the first book in my library not long after I had read Kristin Cashore's Graceling and Fire. I was in the mood for more fantasy and decided to give The Girl of Fire and Thorns a try. I am so glad I did! Here's my summary:

Elisa is a princess. Her older sister, also a princess, is thin and beautiful and smart and will take over their father's kingdom one day. Elisa has never done anything remarkable. She's plain and plump and awkward. But she's also a chosen one. Once in a century one person is chosen to bear the godstone--a jewel in their navel. In order to bring peace and gain power, Elisa's father marries her off to a handsome king from another kingdom. But before Elisa can even make a difference, she is kidnapped by those seeking the power of her godstone. Elisa slowly learns that these people who've taken her aren't really her enemy--they're just people who need her help. Then there's one of her captors, Humberto. He looks at her in a way no man ever has before. The two fall in love but their happiness is short lived for there are even more enemies out there that want Elisa as well. And they will kill her to get her godstone so they can harness its power. Will Elisa be able to stay alive and bring together a country ravaged by war and death? Will her godstone give her the power she so desperately needs to make a difference?

Elisa is a hero. She's saved her people, started making a difference, and has taken control of her destiny. She thinks all of the drama with her godstone is long gone. After all, she fulfilled her destiny, didn't she? If so, then why are there still people after her? Who wants Elisa dead and why? Elisa must figure this out if she has a chance of bringing the kingdoms together and making the changes needed. With a ragtag group of friends, Elisa sets off on a journey to discover her real destiny and how exactly her godstone can help her. Along the way she manages to fall in love again. This time though, it's with the head of her guard. Hector is a friend and he is also royalty. He could be a powerful ally but an even better husband. If Elisa makes it back alive she has some tough decisions to make. One of which is keep Hector close or let him go. What she chooses will surprise you.

**Loved, loved, loved these books! The world Carson has created is magical and interesting and not hard to understand. Her characters are well drawn with fascinating personalities and character arcs that rival Elisa's. The political intrigue and constant threats on Elisa's life will keep you turning the pages. And the romance between her and Hector will have you swooning and rooting for them to GET TOGETHER ALREADY! The ending was so wonderfully surprising that I can't wait for the final installment, The Bitter Kingdom, to come out this August! In the meantime, Carson has two e-novellas set in Elisa's world to tide you over.

Thanks for reading! See you back soon (:

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Book Review: Tempest and Vortex by Julie Cross

I bet you can easily guess where I got the desire to read these books. If you said "EW's Shelf Life" you'd be right! It must have been months before Tempest was due to be released when they did an interview with Julie Cross about her first book in the TEMPEST trilogy. When I read the premise I was excited...a time travel love story with government agents and life or death stakes! Sold! Here's my summary of Tempest and Vortex:

19-year-old Jackson Meyer can travel backwards in time. It just sort of happened one day and so now he and his best friend Adam play around with how it works. They discover his "jumps" have no effect on the future and aren't sure why Jackson is the way he is. Jackson and his dad aren't close so he can't ask him and Jackson's mom is is his sister. He has a girlfriend, Holly, who he is completely in love with but she doesn't know what Jackson can do. One day while in her dorm room, two men rush into the room and shoot Holly. Terrified, Jackson accidentally travels back in time. Further than ever before. And he can't seem to get back. Stuck in 2007, Jackson has no choice but to figure out what is going on with his abilities. He meets Holly all over again and the two fall in love all over again. Jackson slowly starts to learn more about who he is and more importantly, who his father is. In the end he has to make a decision: stay in 2007 or go back to the future and fight these enemies--save Holly or rewrite history?

**Let me just start by saying I love time travel stories. The science of it is baffling but when a writer or show gets it right, I get swept away. I love the idea of being able to change our past or relive our lives. Jackson was such a fun character to get to know. I don't usually read YA books from a boy's POV but I loved reading this one. Jackson was a good kid in love and having fun when suddenly his life was turned upside down and inside out. He wants to do the right thing but first has to figure out what that is. I loved the choices he was faced with and how beautifully written his story and character arc was. 

Vortex picks up a few months after Tempest left off. Jackson has made his decisions about his life and future with Holly and joined forces with a team of experts who are helping him with his abilities as well as training him to fight those who came after him and shot Holly. Jackson spends a good portion of the novel doing said training and making new friends. We don't get to know too much about what's going on with Adam and Holly until the last half of the book. And as much as Jackson doesn't want to use his abilities, he ends up having to when his enemies catch up with him. Then there is the little girl who looks like his dead sister that keeps popping up and warning Jackson about a possible apocalyptic future. Jackson has to figure out who to trust, how to prevent the destruction of the planet, and how to save those he loves. What happens in the end will leave you stunned!

**Vortex started out a little frustrating for me. Cross tried to explain through Jackson exactly how his time travel and "jumps" worked. It totally confused me. But once I got passed that, I really enjoyed what Jackson was now doing with is life. I liked the tough choices he'd made and I really felt how hard it was on him. I felt his sadness and loneliness and determination to fix everything and fight the bad guys. The action was great and the suspense kept me turning the pages. When Adam and Holly came back in, I was blown away. They had definitely changed! The ending tore me up and made me cry. What is going to happen now!? I can't wait to find out!

The title of the final installment of the TEMPEST trilogy hasn't been released but probably comes out early next year. 

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to comment below.

Monday, May 20, 2013

New Book Releases

Got a case of the Mondays? Well, don't worry, I have a fix for you! The release of 8 pretty good looking books! Goodreads links follow. Here we go:

The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler

All I Need by Susane Colasanti

September Girls by Bennett Madison

Transparent by Natalie Whipple

Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown

Absent by Katie Williams

Praefatio by Georgia McBride

Night School by C.J. Daugherty

Don't they sound like fun summer reads?! Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Book Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

If you haven't heard the talk and praise surrounding this book yet, let me tell you what you're missing. The 5th Wave debuted at #2 on the NYT best seller list and Tobey Maguire (yes the actor!) has bought the film rights. Pretty dang good start for a new series. Yancey isn't new to writing by any means, but this is his first YA book told from primarily a girl's perspective. And he did it well. Here's my summary:

Earth is under attack. A mothership of aliens has approached the planet and wave after wave, have decimated the human population. In the 1st wave they cut the power, in the 2nd they rose the oceans, the 3rd they sent the plague, the 4th they sent their sentries to kill anyone they found alive. Now what few have survived hunker down and wait for the 5th wave. Cassie lives by her #1 rule--don't trust anyone. Why? Because the "others" look just like us. She let them fool her once. She sent her brother away with what she thought were soldiers so he would be safe. Then watched as those soldiers massacred everyone around her. Now with everyone she loves dead, Cassie is trying to make her way to where she thinks they took her brother and the other children. But first she meets Evan. He saves her when a sentry shoots her. Something is off about him though and Cassie can't figure out what. Should she trust him? Meanwhile, her brother Sammy is back at an army base with other kids and a slew of soldiers. The soldiers are training them to fight the aliens. Sammy makes a friend in someone completely unexpected. Someone who like Cassie knows the truth about what's going on. Who plans to save Sammy just like Cassie does. So do they manage? Will the aliens win? But more importantly, what makes us human? When we give up fighting and trying to save one another haven't they already won?

**Not many books inspire me to open up a new (or old) word doc and start writing. This one did. It was well written with tons of suspense and horror and Cassie's voice was right on with what I thought a teenage girl's voice going through all that would be. I literally couldn't put this book down! Kids complained about needing things like food, clean clothes, my attention, and while they got those things, they got them fast because I needed to get back to reading! If you haven't already picked up this book, I highly recommended it! I already can't wait for the sequel (sadly it doesn't come out til next May).

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

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


I wanted to inform my fellow YA writers out there of some contests that might be of interest. I heard about these from following other writers/authors blogs and from twitter. Here we go:

Query Kombat is a March-madness-style tournament that pits writers' query + first 250 words up against each other in brackets. The "winner" of a bracket is determined by the hosts: SC Write, Michelle4laughs, and Writer's Outworld. Agents will be browsing the semi-finals and mentoring kombatants and requesting material. Even though there will only be one winner, this is a great opportunity to get your manuscript out there, get some feedback, and hopefully score an agent! The submission window opened on Monday and closes on Friday (or when they receive 225 entries). As of right now, I don't think they have received those 225 so there's still time to enter. Good Luck!

#pitmad: This is a Twitter pitch party. On May 28th from 8am to 8pm EDT agents will be browsing this twitter hashtag and telling pitchers what they're interested in. All you have to do is pitch your manuscript using the pitmad hashtag. Make it good because you can't go over 140 characters. If an agent in interested they will either favorite your tweet pitch or @ you. Here's a link to author Brenda Drake's blog for more info:

Adventures in YA & Children's Publishing:  This blog has a "First 5 pages" workshop they hold the first Saturday of every month. Agents will mentor you on your work and site browsers can comment/critique as well. Click on the "Contests and Workshops" tab to find out more.

Miss Snark's First Victim: Miss Snark, AKA Authoress, holds several critiques and contests throughout the year. Click on the "Crits and Contests" link to learn more. Many writer's have found agents through her website.

Well, there you have it. This isn't a comprehensive list so as I find out more, I will let you know. Feel free to suggest any you know about in the comments section below.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Book Review: Legend and Prodigy by Marie Lu

Yay! I finally finished reading the second book in Marie Lu's LEGEND trilogy! I read Legend right when it came out last year and absolutely loved it! In February I attended the "Breathless Reads" book tour. It had a stop at Book People in Austin and the lovely Marie Lu, Andrea Cremer, Jessica Khoury, and Brenna Yovanoff were all there. Lu talked about her sequel to Legend, Prodigy, and how hard it was for her to write and how much pressure she felt to do it justice. Well let me tell you, she delivered! Prodigy had all the high stakes, action, and romance as Legend did and then some. Here's my summary and following thoughts on both books:

The United States is no more. Floods, disease and war have torn the country apart, dividing it into two sides: the west, or the Republic, and the east, the Colonies. June is a fifteen-year-old prodigy born into a wealthy family and being groomed into the highest of military ranks. While plagues run rampant and the low class fight to survive, June has everything she could want. Day, a fifteen-year-old boy from the slums, is just the opposite. His little brother is sick, his family has no food or money, and Day does everything he can, including break the law, to fight for their survival. Because of this, he is the Republic's most wanted criminal. When June gets the chance to prove herself to her country and take down Day, she jumps at the opportunity. Going undercover, she passes herself off as another one of the slum's kids. She meets Day and slowly gains his trust--but in the process learns there is much more to Day than she realized. His reasons for being a criminal are just. Suddenly June doesn't know how she feels anymore. What's right and what's wrong. Does she follow her heart or the law? June's shocking decision and the repercussions will shock readers with it's climatic and stunning ending.

**From the second I opened this book I was swept away. June's methodical way of thinking and reasoning for everything she does was fascinating  Day's fight for what his family needs as well as justice was somehow extremely relatable. When the two meet, you could feel their connection. You understood everything June was going through--her sense of duty and loyalty, as misplaced as it may be, was understandable. But June had something the Republic didn't think of: a heart. She fell hard and fast for Day and he the same. The action kept me turning the pages and the shocking ending left me hungry for the next installment.

Prodigy picks up where Legend left off. Day and June are dealing with the consequences of the decisions they recently made. A rift slowly forms between them as a rebel group, the Patriots, enlists their help to assassinate the new Elector (kind of like the President). They agree to help believing it will bring about a radical change in the Republic. Day is the one who's tapped to pull the trigger. He's the face of the rebellion the people are slowly starting. He has the crowds support and loyalty. June is supposed to get close to the Elector, draw him in to the Patriots line of fire. But then something unexpected happens. June gets to know the Elector and realizes that he's not the enemy--the Congress that hides behind him is. Elector Anden wants a radical change in the Republic just as much as June and Day do. He wants June to convince Day to help him win the support of the people. June and Day successfully manage to foil the assassination attempt and escape into the Colonies, the place they always believed would be the answer to all their troubles. But even the Colonies aren't all they seem. So when an old friend convinces them to return and help Anden, Day and June agree. It works. Day convinces the crowd to support Anden and he and June finally get to start a new life. But then Day receives some shocking news--so shocking that it changes everything, including his desire for a future with June.

**Rarely do sequels live up to their predecessors  That was not the case with Prodigy. I loved this book from page one and finished it in about 2 days. June and Day dealt with so much and never seemed to catch a break. All they wanted was what so many of us want--a chance. To live safely, to not have the people we love ripped away from us, and to not have to worry about the future. Their fight was huge and the stakes were high. I loved the character of Anden and what he stood for. He didn't want to be like his dad, the late Elector. And June didn't want to be like the rest of the elite. She wanted to make changes and use her unique skills to accomplish all that. And despite their differences and all the obstacles they had to face, I loved how Day and June held strong to how they felt. It was real. I can't wait for the final installment in the LEGEND trilogy, Champion. It comes out in November.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my review. Feel free to comment below.

Monday, May 13, 2013

New Book Releases

Happy Monday! To cure your beginning-of-the-workweek blues, here's a list of books coming out this week. Goodreads links follow. Enjoy!

Parallel by Lauren Miller 

Towering by Alex Flinn

The Beautiful and the Cursed (The Dispossessed) by Page Morgan

Five Summers by Una LaMarche

The Forgotten Ones (The Danaan Trilogy Vol. 1) by Laura Howard

Golden by Jessi Kirby

School Spirits (School Spirits #1) by Rachel Hawkins

Under the Light (Light #2) by Laura Whitcomb

Thanks for visiting! Let me know what books you're most looking forward to in the comments below.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

First Kiss Critique

Last week I entered a "First Kiss" critique on Miss Snark's First Victim. For those of you who don't know who Miss Snark, aka "Authoress" is, let me tell you. She is an anonymous blogger/YA & MG science fiction and fantasy writer. Her website is an amazing resource for aspiring authors that constantly hosts contests and critiques. 

The "First Kiss" critique was open to the first 40 people who entered their 300 word or less "first kiss" scene from their manuscript. I was one of the first 40 (#23 to be exact) and I quickly submitted my 25 word lead-in to the scene in my manuscript that is the first real kiss between my two main characters. (They had an almost kiss that I considered using but decided against since I wanted more heat in the submission) 

On Tuesday Authoress posted the entries and asked that each of us give at least 5 critiques letting those who entered know what we thought of their scene. We could say what worked or didn't work and give constructive criticism on how to fix any problems. Or we could just say how wonderful the scene was! 

I read through all the entries and was blown away by the talent out there. I was nervous to have my scene read by so many (because her website has A LOT of followers) but I was also hopeful that it would lead to a good ego boost or at least an improvement on my writing. 

Well, it did both! Yay!

Click on the link below to check out my scene and the critiques I received. If you want to read more entries just click back to Miss Snark's home page and scroll down.

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to comment below.

Monday, May 6, 2013

New Book Releases

Happy Monday! This is a huge week for releases so I'm going to jump right in. As always this isn't a comprehensive list. Goodreads links are provided.

Icons by Margaret Stohl
**I read and loved her BEAUTIFUL CREATURES series with co-author Kami Garcia so I'm sure this one will be good too!

Invisibility by David Levithan and Andrea Cremer
**I've read books by both these authors and I've seen a lot of advanced praise for this collaboration.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
**Alien invasion...sold!

The Originals by Cat Patrick
**Cool sci-fi concept. Can't wait to read!

Reboot by Amy Tintera
**I've seen some good advanced praise for this one too.

If I Should Die by Amy Plum
**Book #3 in the REVENANTS series

Awaken by Meg Cabot
**Book #3 in the ABANDON series

Fall of Night by Rachel Caine
**Book #14 in the MORGANVILLE VAMPIRES series

Our Song by Jordana Fraiberg

Thorn Abbey by Nancy Ohlin
**Read it and loved it! Click on Ohlin's name in the labels section below for my review.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Writer's Voice Entry


Dear Coaches,

Fifteen-year-old Caraway (Cara) knows her place in life. She’s the daughter of one of England’s most prominent Earls. Like any other lady of her time, she’ll marry a noble and uphold the respected Godwin name. But Cara isn’t like other ladies. She can see the faeries. And this isn’t just any time in England. This is the tenuous year before the Norman Conquest. Character driven with a strong female voice, I AM CARAWAY is a young adult historical fantasy complete at 112,000 words. It gives a new perspective on faerie folklore—just how evil these creatures really were and what made them all disappear.

Seven years after narrowly escaping death, rumors of her father’s declining reputation are the only thing Cara has to worry about—that is until the evil faerie that almost killed her comes back. Then Thorn shows up. He’s the faerie that abandoned Cara on that day when she was eight. Thorn tells her she’s a part of a prophecy and if she doesn’t fulfill her fate, the faeries will end mankind.

In order to learn the details of her destiny, Cara and Thorn set off on a journey across England—a journey strife with secrets, lies, witches, and faeries. And while Cara’s father incites the Norman Invasion, Cara and Thorn fall into a love that is forbidden. But then Thorn betrays Cara, forcing her into the hands of her worst nightmare. If she can stay alive and fulfill the shocking details of the prophecy, Cara will forever change the course of human history.

I'm a stay-at-home mom with a BA in Journalism and an Amazon "Books I Love" list of over 400 YA novels! Fans of Philippa Gregory, Melissa Marr, and Julie Kagawa will enjoy my novel as it has the timeless feel of a historical blended with the darkness of evil faeries and layered with a breathtaking romance between two people who couldn't be more wrong yet more right for each other.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Christie Murillo

First 250:

Chapter 1 
Early June, 1065 

My body is careful and my breathing is quiet as I inch closer to the sitting room door. I can hear Pa saying something but his voice sounds far away. He must be on the other side of the room, facing the window. I press my ear against the cold wood and steady myself with a hand. Silence hangs heavy in the air.
“Just say it Gertrud. What did you find out? What did the pythonissa see?”  
I jerk back, alarmed at the roughness in Pa’s voice. It seems like his agitation has gotten worse these last few years. He never used to talk to us that way. But lately all he does is pace and frown and bark orders. And ever since we left the ceremony this morning he’s been especially distracted and edgy. Gertrud disappeared on some errand after that. When she returned and went straight to the sitting room with my parents, I decided I had to find out what was going on. Eavesdropping seemed like the best way. 
“It’s alright, Gertrud. Just tell us.” Mum’s voice, nice and calm.  
“It was her.” I can almost see Gertrud wringing her hands in nervousness. “This is her destiny. She is the one who will save us. The pythonissa said they will kill us all.”  
Pa says something I can’t hear. I think he asks a question because his voice rises in pitch. Gertrud’s voice is quiet. “Yes, she was certain. And it makes sense too—with all the nightmares and after what happened…it will occur after the cold season.”  

Contest Entry

Ok so my next post might seem strange so I thought I'd explain first. I entered The Writers Voice contest yesterday and was one of the random entries chosen today. Basically, here's what the contest is: a multi-blog, multi-agent contest hosted by Cupid's Literary Connection, Brenda Drake of Brenda Drake Writes, Monica B.W. of LoveYA, and Krista Van Dolzer of Mother.Write (Repeat.). (They're basing it on NBC's singing reality show, The Voice.) The aforementioned four will serve as coaches and select projects for their teams based on our queries (this is a sales pitch of our book/writing resume) and the first pages of our manuscripts. My next post will be my query and first 250 words of I AM CARAWAY. I have to link that post to their contest blog. Over the next week, the coaches will select their team members and then for another week or so they will coach us and help us get our first 250 words as good as possible. Then on May 20 they will post our entries on their blogs and on May 23-24 the agents will vote for their favorites. Some writers have scored agents through this very contest so wish me luck!