Wednesday, November 30, 2011

You've got to go read this

So, since I don't know if the author would care if I copied and pasted her awesome "plea" on my blog, I'm going to just post the link. Seriously, go read this. I LOVE it. So funny, and SO true!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tell the Truth Tuesday

Here are some of my truths today:

1- I'm scared of the dark. I hate having to get up at night and do anything because I always think there's someone hiding in the shadows, waiting to get me.

2- Nightmares stink. Unless they spur an idea for a book. Unfortunately, the nightmare I had last night didn't spur an idea for a book, it was just plain awful. Basically there were two gigantic snakes, and one of them ended up attacking my mom and trying to kill her. Yeah, not a good idea for a book.

3- I totally failed at NaNo this year. I kind of knew I shouldn't sign up, because there was just too much going on to dedicate myself to it, but I did anyway. And now I'm a failure. Bummer.

3- On the bright side, I did manage to run my Thanksgiving Day Human Race and get my Thanksgiving dinner on the table last week (I hosted my whole family). My 6-yr-old ended up running it with us (and my husband had to push the other two kids in the stroller because our babysitter bugged out on us at the last minute). But he did great! He actually would have placed 11th in his age division if we'd had a bib for him. I was a proud Mama.

4- Baby weight stinks to get rid of, not to mention what it does to the skin on your belly. In a totally unrelated thought, does anyone else think that Mariah Carey had a tummy tuck? Because I saw the picture of her saying, "look at how skinny I am now after twins" or something like that on the cover of People, and her belly button didn't look too natural anymore. I'm just sayin'...

5- When SHH is out of town for work, I have a hard time wanting to make "real" meals for dinner. Or breakfast. Or any meal for that matter. It's just so much work when I only seem to have a 50/50 chance that my kids will actually eat more than 3 bites. (Their appetites come and go faster than a Black Friday deal at Wal Mart.) But I'm actually making a full on meal today--the best chicken pot pie recipe ever, jello salad, dessert, the whole works. My truth is that it's not really for my family, it's for a neighbor. I'm just doubling the recipe for our dinner, because it would be really lame to make it for someone else and not get to eat it myself.

What are your truths today? Lay 'em on me -- success, failure, whatever it may be.

Monday, November 21, 2011

I love good books, like...

Remember the book I teased you about last week? The one that I loved? Well... here it is!

Dragons exist. They’re ferocious. And they’re smart: Before they were killed off by slayer-knights, they rendered a select group of eggs dormant, so their offspring would survive. Only a handful of people know about this, let alone believe it – these “Slayers” are descended from the original knights, and are now a diverse group of teens that includes Tori, a smart but spoiled senator’s daughter who didn’t sign up to save the world.

The dragon eggs have fallen into the wrong hands. The Slayers must work together to stop the eggs from hatching. They will fight; they will fall in love. But will they survive?

And the author graciously agreed to do an interview with me! C.J. Hill happens to be a friend of mine (and in a not so well guarded secret, is actually a pen name of a well known YA author). Do you know how she really is?

1. How did you come up with the idea for SLAYERS (for those who don't know yet)?

The idea for Slayers came from the various things. One of those things is my own clumsiness. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and find I have new scratches or bruises. I have no idea of where I got them. My husband is understandably perplexed by this phenomenon. He has often asked me, "Were you with your body all yesterday?" I got tired of trying to make excuses for my own clumsiness, so I told him that while he sleeps I live a double life and secretly fights dragons. And then, because I'm a writer, I began to wonder what it would be like to fight dragons. Who would fight dragons and why?

Another thing that contributed to the plot of Slayers, is cicadas. Some cicadas have a 17 year life cycle. They live dormant underneath the ground for most of those years, and only come out once every 17 years. This way, predators can't depend on them as a food source. I lived in Maryland during one of those years and thoughts the rise of the cicadas from the underworld was especially creepy. I wondered what other creatures might be lurking unknown in the ground, just waiting for the right time to emerge. I grew up on Godzilla movies so dinosaurs were high on that worry list.

Slayers doesn't have any dinosaurs, but dragons are even worse. Dragons not only breathe fire, they fly. My dragons also emit electromagnetic pulses which fry electronic components. Let's just say these aren't Eargon's dragons.

She's not kidding! No friendly dragons to be found here, but I loved the world she created. Isn't it crazy where our ideas for books can come from?

2. Who was your favorite character to write in the book, and why?

There were lots of fun characters to write about in Slayers. I loved Bess's sense of humor, and I loved Dirk's internal conflicts, but Tori was the funnest character to write. She is so out of place with the rest of the slayers that it makes for some funny scenes.

I was curious what your answer would be because there are so many great characters in this book.

3. When does the sequel come out?

Not soon enough for the fans that keep e-mailing me asking me when the next book is due. Let's just say I'm still working on the manuscript. I will say though, that we'll see a lot more of Ryker and Willow in the next story.

I can't wait! What do I need to do to bribe an advanced copy from you?? (I'm actually not kidding about that part...)

4. What's your favorite dessert?

I'm not picky when it comes to dessert. I love them all. Of course, I love desserts with chocolate the most. Suddenly I'm thinking of Almond Joys. Mmmm. My happy place.

Those are SHH's favorite, too!

5. How did you get to be so funny?

I think my inner child never grew up. I don't take a lot of things seriously. Sometimes in life you've got to either laugh or cry. I think it's better to laugh.

That's so true, and great advice, too.

Thanks so much for the interview! It was fun to find out some new things about SLAYERS and you!

If you haven't picked this book up yet, hurry and get a copy. You won't be disappointed!

P.S. Sarah Allen never claimed her prize (bummer)... but that means a new person is my lucky winner. This time the Random Number Generator picked:

Linda: Book Ninja!!

Congratulations! Please comment or email me your email address so I can get your ecopy of BECOME gifted to you! (sarablarson21 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Four or Five: the late edition

1. First of all, Sarah Allen has yet to claim her prize (an ecopy of BECOME). If she doesn't email or comment with her email by Sunday night, I will pick a new winner and announce him/her on Monday.

2. Here's the deal. I love movies. I love movie soundtracks. I listen to original scores all the time while writing. I picture my books playing out like movies in my head at night (and when I'm writing, too). When I read, I visualize scenes like a movie in my mind. So, when people make books into movies, I'm all "yay!" Unless I see the movie and they destroy it. Ahem, HP6, ahem. (And many others...) But then, there are books that were just so, um,... yeah... to begin with, that the movie is all messed up before it ever had a chance.

3. I may have seen Breaking Dawn last night. I might have laughed. A lot. Sometimes it was supposed to be funny (why can't her dad and Alice be in every scene??); sometimes... not so much. (There was this one scene with the wolf pack, and loud booming voices and laughter--except that part was coming from me and my sisters and my mom and my friends.) (Or that other part where a certain baby and wolf make eye contact and heavenly choirs begin to sing of imprinting and the whole theater was laughing.) But, don't take my word for it. Lots of people seemed to like the movie a lot. Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood.

4. Wanna know what movie based on a book looks like they nailed it? The Hunger Games. I've watched that preview multiple times, and it makes me get teary-eyed every time. "I volunteer!" Oh baby, I can't wait for that one! I was really hoping they'd show that preview last night, but alas...

5. I just read an awesome book this week, that you'll get to hear more about soon (maybe even on Monday). I love reading awesome books. Now, if only I could write one... Have I mentioned that NaNo isn't going so well? Sigh.

So, what's on your mind this week?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

And the winner is...

The random number generator has spoken and the winner is...

Sarah Allen!!

*tosses confetti*

Congratulations!! Either comment or email me your email address (sarablarson21 [at] gmail [dot] com) so I can gift your ebook to you!

Thank you all for entering and supporting Ali and BECOME!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What will you BECOME...?

I am lucky enough to participate in a huge giveaway celebrating the release of the ever awesome, amazing, dojo master Ali Cross's book BECOME!!

(Find out all the details here on Elana's blog!)

Wanna know what it's about?

The Twitter version: (tell us about your book in 140 characters or less:) “The devil's daughter is sent to Earth where she must face the evil she despises and the good she's always feared.”

The Long Version:
Sixteen-year old Desolation Black wants nothing more than to stay in Hell where it’s cold and lonely and totally predictable. Instead, she’s sent back to Earth where she must face the evil she despises and the good she always feared. When Desi is forced to embrace her inner demon, she assumes her choice has been made—that she has no hope of being anything other than what her father, Lucifer, has created her to be. What she doesn’t count on, is finding a reason to change—something she’s never had before—a friend.

Sounds great, right?? I've read the first chapter of this book, and I can't wait for my copy to come so I can read the rest! And wow, isn't that cover incredible? I love it!

All you have to do to be entered for a chance to win your own e-copy of BECOME is leave a comment on today's post. That's it. :)

And stay tuned for your other 14 chances to win a copy!! Here is the schedule:

5 chances on blogs according to the following schedule:
Monday: Missed your chance...
Tuesday: Sara Larson (RIGHT NOW!)
Wednesday: Stacy Henrie
Thursday: LT Elliot
Friday: Nichole Giles

5 chances on twitter according to the following schedule:
Monday, November 14 - 11 am MST, 1 pm Eastern
Tuesday, November 15 - 7 pm MST, 9 pm Eastern
Wednesday, November 16 - 1 pm MST, 3 pm Eastern
Thursday, November 17 - 4 pm PST, 7 pm Eastern
Friday, November 18 - 3 pm MST, 5 pm Eastern

We'll be chatting with the hashtag #BECOME so join us for your chance to mix and mingle and win!

FIVE more chances by filling out this google form from the awesome Elana J's blog!

If you'd like to purchase a copy, you can do so HERE.

Good luck! I will announce the winner tomorrow morning!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Motivation

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

Wise words to start off this week, don't you think? What habits are you currently cultivating that will lead to excellence? Or what ones do you need to be cultivating?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday Motivation

NaNoWriMo. (National Novel Writing Month.)

I haven't ever done it before. I'm a pretty fast writer, so I've honestly never felt the need to try and force myself to get a book done in a month. When inspiration hits, I can whip out a book in 4-5 weeks. Not always, but sometimes.

But this time, I decided to bite the bullet and do it. Why? Because I'm in a bit of a slump. I have a new idea, but I'm having a hard time making myself find the time to write. Maybe it's because SHH is traveling so much, so I don't have help with the kids at night so I can write like I used to. And by the time I get them all to bed and could write, I am so worn out emotionally and physically from not getting a break, I can barely find the energy and motivation to get myself ready for bed and try to read a book, let alone write one.

But, my goal is for this to be a career. So I'm treating it like one, and making myself put in the time. Signing up for NaNo was my way of trying to get myself to do it this month. I got off to a good start, but had a crazy weekend and now I'm behind. I'll keep going though, and hopefully I'll at least hit the 50k, if not finish the entire novel.

How about you? Are you doing NaNo? How do you make yourself stay motivated and moving forward when you're overwhelmed and exhausted?