Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - 6/26/12

Last week I was reading Bitten, this week I'm reading Stolen, book 2 in Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series.

When a young witch tells Elena that a group of humans are kidnapping supernaturals, Elena ignores the warning. After all, everyone knows there’s no such thing as witches. As for the thought of other ‘supernaturals’, well, she’d just rather not dwell on the possibility. Soon, however, she’s confronted with the truth about her world, when she’s kidnapped and thrown into a cell-block with witches, sorcerers, half-demons and other werewolves. As Elena soon discovers, dealing with her fellow captives is the least of her worries. In this prison, the real monsters carry the keys.

The rules for Teaser Tuesday are:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
  • Then hit up Should Be Reading to add your link.

And the teaser:

I managed to pull my belly off the ground and hauled myself into the narrow crevice between the foot of the bed and the wall, the one place where Winsloe couldn't see me. I wedged into the tiny space, tucked my tail under me, and surrendered to the pain.

Monday, June 25, 2012


Aw, man, you guys are awesome. And because of that, I have a bunch of awards to give out today. And because they all have stuff associated with them, this post is going to be kind of long. So in order of... whichever link I clicked on first, here goes.

I got the "One Lovely Blog Award" from Mina Lobo (thanks, Mina!). Here are the rules:

  • Name, thank, and link back to the blogger
  • List seven facts about yourself
  • Pass the award to 15 other bloggers and leave them comments on their blogs to alert them

Here are 7 facts:

  1. I love making lists, preferably alphabetical ones.
  2. I could eat cherries and string cheese every day.
  3. I can't remember a time before I wanted to be a writer.
  4. When I was little, I tried reading while riding my bicycle. It didn't go well.
  5. I'm a huge college football fan.
  6. When I was around three or four, I used to watch Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers every single day. Then I watched it again every day in high school when I found out it was on at 5:30 in the morning while I was eating breakfast.
  7. I name all my laptops and refer to them by name often enough that my mom has taken to calling them by their names too.

Next, Alyssa over at Life is Good gave me the Liebster Blog Award (thanks, Alyssa!). Here are the rules for this one:

  • Post 10 facts about yourself.
  • Answer 10 questions the tagger has given you and give 10 questions to the people you've tagged.
  • Choose 10 people with fewer than 200 followers and link them in your post.
  • Tell them you've tagged them.
  • Remember, no tag backs!

I'm going to use the 7 facts from above, and add three more:

  1. I watch around 30 television shows per season (not including the summer, which is usually far lower).
  2. After spending a month in France, I can say exactly two things: "Sorry, I don't speak French; do you speak English?" and "I would like a medium cup of dark chocolate ice cream, please."
  3. I had a goldfish that lived for six years. When I got it, it was small and black. By the time it died, it was orange, over an inch long, and its eyes bugged out of its head. It mutated to adapt to its surroundings.

And these are the questions from Alyssa:

  1. What's your favorite sport? (To watch or to do.) To watch is probably college football, though everything in the Olympics (especially beach volleyball), hockey, and the Little League World series all come close. To do is probably swimming.
  2. What genre do you write in? And if your not writing a book, what genre do you like to read in? Most urban fantasy, though I've been working on a contemporary YA book as well.
  3. What's the scariest movie you've ever seen? The Ring. And I know it's not really that scary, but I don't watch scary movies. This was a mistake I made when I was 15 and thought it was wimpy to be afraid of scary movies. Turns out, I should have been a wimp. I didn't sleep for a week.
  4. What was the happiest moment of your life? I honestly can't pick out one moment that stands out above all the happy moments I've had. I spend a lot of time being happy.
  5. What is your favorite holiday? Thanksgiving. Food, family and fun... what's not to like?
  6. What book are you reading right now? Stolen by Kelley Armstrong. Again.
  7. What superpower do you wish you had? I think my answer to this questions changes a lot. Maybe the ability to fly. Or to control fire.
  8. What is your favorite drink? Vanilla Coke.
  9. If you could make a wish come true what would you wish for? Be honest. World peace. No, um, I'd wish for health and happiness for the people I love. And maybe for the ability to do more to give that to everyone else. (I sound so noble there. It's actually a massive guilt complex that makes me think like that.)
  10. If you could be a character in one one of the books you've read, who would it be? Jo March from Little Women. I've always related to her, and I love how she was tough and successful, but also dedicated and loyal to her family. With all her faults, she always strove to be a good person, even if she didn't always understand what that meant. But she held her own when she wasn't willing to compromise (which wasn't an easy thing for a woman in the 1860s).

Next up, Jaycee DeLorenzo gave me the Fabulous Blog Ribbon (thanks, Jaycee!). For this one:
  • Name five of your most fabulous moments, either in real life or in the blogosphere.
  • Name five things you love.
  • Name five things you hate.
  • Pass the Ribbon on to five other bloggers. (Leave them a comment to notify them of this.)

Five Fabulous Moments

  1. The day I finished my first novella at 12 years old.
  2. The day I got my black belt in karate.
  3. The day I was hired as a salaried employee with benefits at my first job.
  4. The first time I stood up for someone else on the playground, even though it got me teased more.
  5. Being made the senior production manager at the news station I worked for in college.

Five Things I Love

  1. My family and friends
  2. Laughing
  3. Writing and reading
  4. Movie trailers
  5. Ice cream

Five Things I Hate

  1. Hypocrites
  2. Passive aggression
  3. Love triangles
  4. People who complain about the government but don't vote (or try in any way to fix the problems)
  5. Homophobia

And finally, Kathy McKendry gave me the Booker Award (thanks, Kathy!). For this one, I have to share the top 5 books I've ever read. I can't tell you how difficult this was.

  1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling - Read my A-Z Post to find out more about why.

  2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott - It took me three tries before I was finally able to finish this, but I've read it about once a year since then. I just love the relationships in it, and the way the characters develop into adults.

  3. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie - Seriously, what's not to like about Peter Pan? I read the book long after I saw the movies and fell in love with it, and the book is really beautifully written. Simple enough for a child, but artistic enough for adults.

  4. Bookends by Jane Green - I don't read as much contemporary as I did when I was in high school, but this is another book I try to read once every couple years. There's nothing overly special about it, but the characters are so well done, and I get a warm, fuzzy feeling every time I finish it.

  5. Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong - Technically, this is the third book in her Otherworld series, but it was the first one I read. It was also the first urban fantasy book I ever read. Now I've written an urban fantasy book and read more of them than I can count. And if this book hadn't been so darned good, none of that would have happened.

And I'm tagging EVERYBODY! Because you're all awesome and deserve shiny awards. So anyone who wants to claim it can. And for the Liebster Award, here are my questions:

  1. Who's your favorite Harry Potter character?
  2. What's your perfect age?
  3. What's your favorite dessert?
  4. Would you rather be a contestant in a beauty pageant or on Fear Factor?
  5. Would you rather be dumb as a brick but beautiful, or a certified genius and ugly enough to crack mirrors?
  6. If you see a crime happening and you can safely stop it but choose not to, are you accountable for what happens?
  7. How many roads must a man walk down before they call him a man?
  8. What's your favorite smell?
  9. Who was your favorite teacher when you were in school and why?
  10. What would you do if you woke up one morning with an extra eye that could see through walls?

And that's that. Happy Monday!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Blog Hop

So last month for the Oh My Hero! Blog Hop I posted about Adrian and Grey, the two heroes from one of my WIPs. Today, Jaycee DeLorenzo and Victoria Smith are hosting the Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Blog Hop, and I have an opportunity to introduce you to the book's main character, Bex Addison. She's being interviewed by Cady Brownell, a 27-year-old MagLET agent undercover with Bex, Adrian, Grey and the others.

Bex Addison

Cady Brownell: Hi, Bex, it's good to see you.
Bex Addison: Good to see you too.

CB: Let's jump right into it. How would you describe Adrian and Grey?
BA: Adrian's... either an idiot or the best partner I could ever ask for, depending on what he's doing at the moment. *laughs* Normally an idiot.
CB: But you love him anyway.
BA: I do. In that way you love really annoying little brothers. Grey's... definitely more complex. More cautious. He actually thinks before he acts. And he's passionate, maybe even obsessive, about fighting magic cartels.
CB: And hot.
BA: You--you think? I haven't really noticed. I mean, we're both professionals, and there's not a lot of time to think about things like that when you're undercover--
CB: And hot.
BA: Um... sure. If you say so.

CB: So what gets a guy a second date with you, Bex?
BA: Well... just getting a first date usually helps. I don't like to date.
CB: Haha, well, assuming they get that far then.
BA: Oh, I dunno. He has to be able to hold a conversation. And it's not just that he has to be able to hold up his end--though that's important--but he also has to listen to my end. *pause* Among other things.

CB: What's the one thing you believe can tell a lot about a person?
BA: How they treat people who aren't as powerful as they are. Like how a leader treats his followers, or how a rich man treats his staff. The mark of a truly good person is that they treat everyone with respect.

CB: And last question. Boxers or briefs on your guy?
BA: *with a wink* Neither.

CB: Thanks for talking to me, Bex!
BA: Thanks for having me!

When I think of Bex, I think of Pat Benatar songs, and I went back and forth on a couple of them before I finally decided this best represents her.

Thanks for hosting, Jaycee and Victoria! I'm looking forward to checking everyone else's out!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Wow. This is my 100th post since I started this blog back in October. So I thought I'd make a list of the 10 (because 100 is a lot) things I've learned since then (in no particular order).

  1. You have to reach out to others if you want them to reach out to you.
  2. There's a difference between people who write and people who say they want to write.
  3. There's no difference between people who write and people who are paid to write (well, except the money).
  4. Try to make decisions early about pen names and website URLs because changing them is a pain, especially once you have more followers.
  5. April is a very long month when you're trying to blog everyday.
  6. As much as possible, avoid being condescending. Even the best advice will be ignored if people think you're looking down on them.
  7. Everyone's writing process is unique.
  8. Be true to yourself. Unless you're Jeffrey Dahmer, people will like you more for your honesty.
  9. It's as much fun to give away books to other people as it is to win them for yourself.
  10. The online writing community is one of the nicest, safest places in the world.

Also, a few random notes:

  • Go check out Falling for Fiction to get some advice on critiquing and being critiqued.
  • The Girls Just Wanna Have Fun bloghop is tomorrow! Also, check out my sidebar for some other bloghops that are coming up. Right there. On the left. No, the other left.
  • If you've never used the program Evernote, I advise everyone to check it out. I've been using it almost exclusively for my new WIP, Wallflower, and I love it. I have separate notes for all my characters, notes, and random plot snippets, which works out really well since I'm writing the book out of order (no, I can't explain why. It's just happening. I'm as confused as you are). Plus, it syncs to the website, my desktop app, and my phone app, meaning I'm virtually never without the notes for this story. Did I mention I love it?
    *This post is in no way sponsored by or endorsed by Evernote.

That's about it. Have a good Thursday, everyone!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - 6/19/12

Every once in awhile, I just get the urge to re-read. And last week, I read Kelley Armstrong's The Hunter and the Hunted, which had a teaser for the first six chapters of her upcoming book, Thirteen. Thirteen is the final book in the Otherworld series, and I'm very much looking forward to it. So reading the teaser not only made my anticipation worse, but it basically forced me to go re-read some of the other books in the series. Starting with Bitten, the first book.

Elena Michaels is the world’s only female werewolf. And she’s tired of it. Tired of a life spent hiding and protecting, a life where her most important job is hunting down rogue werewolves. Tired of a world that not only accepts the worst in her–her temper, her violence–but requires it. Worst of all, she realizes she’s growing content with that life, with being that person.

So she left the Pack and returned to Toronto where she’s trying to live as a human. When the Pack leader calls asking for her help fighting a sudden uprising, she only agrees because she owes him. Once this is over, she’ll be squared with the Pack and free to live life as a human. Which is what she wants. Really.

The rules for Teaser Tuesday are:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
  • Then hit up Should Be Reading to add your link.

And the teaser:

It took over a half hour to complete the process, triple the normal amount of time. Did it hurt? Well, I don't have a lot of experience with nonshapechanging pain, but I feel safe in saying that being drawn and quartered might have hurt a bit less.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Cover Reveals

Today's been an exciting day! Two awesome people revealed their book covers.

First was Kyra Lennon, revealing her cover for Game On.

And here's a blurb about the book:

After swapping her small town life to work for a top U.S soccer team, Leah Walker thought she could finally leave the ghosts of her past behind. However, when she meets serial womanizer, Radleigh McCoy, the memories of her old life come swarming back, and she is forced to ask herself whether she has really changed at all.
Seriously, how cute is that cover? I just want to mess up Radleigh's hair even more.

And also revealing her cover (on her birthday weekend no less) was Chantele Sedgwick for Not Your Average Fairy Tale.

And here's the blurb:

Ash Summerland has it all–good looks, popularity, and the best grades at The Academy of Magical Beings. Ready to complete his last assignment in order to graduate, Ash is confident he will get the apprenticeship he wants. When he opens the letter from the Council, he is shocked to discover he has been assigned to apprentice Lady Shenelle, Keeper of Happy Endings. A.K.A. the head fairy godmother. Ash is forced to grant three wishes to a troubled human girl named Kendall, and ultimately give her a "happy ever after". But Kendall turns out to be more than he bargained for. Still grieving over her father's death, Kendall doesn't want anything to do with him. And worst of all, she doesn't believe in happy endings.
I love this cover too. It's gorgeous, especially the wings and wand.

On a side note, I finished Nyrae Dawn's What a Boy Needs last night. As much as I really liked What a Boy Wants, I think I may have liked this one more. Jaden's such a complex character, and I felt like I really related to him. And the end was great. I don't want to spoil anything, but you should all go read it.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

First Fight/First Kiss Blogfest - Day 2

Danielle of Entertaining Interests and Jackie of Bouquet of Books are hosting this awesome blogfest. The rules are:

  • Share your 1st FIGHT and 1st KISS scenes in your MS’s or WIP’s. Crack open your current project or dive back into an old one. We want to feel what your characters feel. From the sting of their first fist-to-the-face to the tingling taste of their first kiss.
  • If you’re not a writer, please share with us your real life firsts. We want to read and experience them all!
  • Post 1 will be on Tuesday, June 12 - Share with us your 1st FIGHT scene on your blog. It can be physical or verbal, fists or magic. Whichever you want to share.
  • Post 2 will be on Thursday, June 14 - Share with us your 1st KISS scene on your blog. It can be a peck on the cheek or a full fledge kissing session. Whatever you would like to tell us.

So, it's first kiss time. I have to be hones;, I've only written two and a half chapters of this book so far, so there aren't any kisses in it yet. But this is how I imagine the first kiss to go. I apologize for how rough it is.

A bit of context: Bex and Grey are two members of an undercover team sent to infiltrate the Wilkes cartel. Grey is the cartel leader, and Bex is his arm candy. As they get closer to the cartel, Sebastian Wilkes (the oldest of three sons) invites them to a party for his daughter's confirmation, which is where they are now.

"Come here," Grey murmured a few hours later, pulling Bex away from Sebastian's mistress mid-conversation.

"What?" she snapped. "I was just talking to her about—"

"Yeah, I know. This is more important." He dragged her to an alcove in the hallway between the parlor and the dining area.

Bex kept quiet, waiting for Grey to say something. But he didn't need to. She heard Sebastian's voice, far angrier than she'd thought him capable. "—less than fifteen minutes! How could we not have known about a fucking raid?"

"You'll watch your tone with me, boy."

Bex's breath caught in her throat, and she looked up at Grey, whose blue eyes were shining with the same exhilaration she was feeling.

Morton Wilkes. Cartel Patriarch.

"I thought he never left Montana," Bex whispered, her voice barely a breath so as not to attract their attention.

"I guess sometimes he does."

"Well, damn."

He was still looking at her with those eyes, and she started to realize just how close they were standing. Her stomach flipped, and she frowned. Now was not the time for this. Morton Wilkes was in this house. In the next room. And she was a professional.

Still, even a professional could acknowledge that Grey smelled good. And that he cleaned up really, really nicely.

They both jumped when something crashed in the parlor, and Sebastian pounded out of the dining area. "Shit," Grey muttered. "Shit shit shit."

They had only a second before he passed right by their hiding place, which would become startlingly less discrete when he did. "I saw this on an episode of Castle once," she muttered, sparing a half-second to wink at Grey before she shoved him back against the wall and kissed him.

Oh, wow.

Grey's hands slid down to her waist, creating a little trail of shocks along her sides. She gasped through her nose, opening her mouth to him, deepening the kiss, curling one hand in his hair and fisting his suit jacket with the other. He pressed closer, shifting so his leg was between hers and her body was flush against him. She moaned.


Hearing Benson Wilkes' voice made Grey jerk away and knock his head against the wall. Bex jumped back too.

"Benson," Grey said, rubbing his chin and definitely not meeting her eyes. "Lovely party."

Benson grinned lecherously, and Bex had to work to slip her "silly bimbo" persona back into place lest she slug him. "It is indeed," Benson said.

100 Twitter Followers Giveaway Winners!

Congratulations to Leigh Covington and Cassie Mae, the winners of my 100 Twitter Followers Giveaway!

Leigh won an ebook copy of The Eternal Queen by K.S. Lewis.

Cassie won an ebook copy of Soul Mates: a different kind of Love Story by Jeanne Donnelly.

Congratulations to both of you! I'll be sending you emails so I can get the books to you.

Thanks to everyone who entered, and thanks to everyone who's been following me on Twitter.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

First Fight/First Kiss Blogfest

Danielle of Entertaining Interests and Jackie of Bouquet of Books are hosting this awesome blogfest. The rules are:

  • Share your 1st FIGHT and 1st KISS scenes in your MS’s or WIP’s. Crack open your current project or dive back into an old one. We want to feel what your characters feel. From the sting of their first fist-to-the-face to the tingling taste of their first kiss.
  • If you’re not a writer, please share with us your real life firsts. We want to read and experience them all!
  • Post 1 will be on Tuesday, June 12 - Share with us your 1st FIGHT scene on your blog. It can be physical or verbal, fists or magic. Whichever you want to share.
  • Post 2 will be on Thursday, June 14 - Share with us your 1st KISS scene on your blog. It can be a peck on the cheek or a full fledge kissing session. Whatever you would like to tell us.

I wasn't sure if this had to be the first fight between the couple, but, well, I haven't written a scene like that yet, so I'm just going with the first fight scene in the book. Which also happens to be the first any scene. It's kind of long, so, um, sorry about that.

The magical gun vibrated in her left hand as it recharged, and Bex Addison idly wondered why it couldn’t reload as quickly as the Beretta in her right. Still, she held them pointed in opposite directions, hoping to stall her attackers until the gun had time to recharge.

A Magical Explosive Triggered Attack—or META—was so much more satisfying than an ordinary bullet.

A bang against the warehouse door focused her attention, and she shifted both guns to point at it. Another bang, this time accompanied by a dent, then another and another, until the door blew open, bits of metal and magic and debris crashing into the boxes that were acting as Bex’s cover. She shot the Beretta three times without looking, hoping Adrian wasn’t stupid enough to be running through that door. Dueling screams told her she’d hit a mark at least twice.

Not that it was stopping them. She counted quickly. The two she’d taken down now, plus the four she’d hit before they’d cornered her in the warehouse. Adrian had taken out three when she’d last seen him. He probably had a few more kills under his belt, but even without, there shouldn’t be more than a half dozen left.

Fucking Burn-Outs.

In the decade or so since scientists had figured out how to bottle and sell magic, it had become the hottest drug on the market. Every cartel in the country had figured out a new way to package it—smoke it, swallow it, sniff it, shoot it. The only problems were its highly addictive properties and its equally high volatile nature. There was no telling what magic could do to you.

Magic addicts were called Burn-Outs. Empty husks of men whose only concern was getting their next fix. They traveled in gangs, but they’d kill each other for even just a small dose.

And it was Bex’s job to catch them.


Bex jumped, her head jerking up to see Adrian waving through a hole in the ceiling. “How’re the pickings, sweetheart?” he called, his lazy drawl making him sound like he should have been at a country club in Georgia rather than a boarded-up warehouse in Caldor County.

“Slim,” she called back. “Can’t be more than five or six left, I’d say.”

“Just three or four, prolly,” he argued, then she heard the thundering BOOM of his .357. “Make that two or three.”

She laughed. “Well, come on down here. I think they’re trying to figure out how to get through the doorway without getting their heads blown off.”

A moment later, he touched down next to her, not a hair on his pretty blonde head out of place. Bex was jealous. She’d never been able to master levitation. “You got ol’ Eloise fired up?” he asked.

Bex glared at him. “I thought we agreed we weren’t going to call it that.” She put her hand on the magical gun. Nearly there.

“You agreed. I think Eloise is perfect name for such a lovely lady.”

“It’s my gun. I decide what to call it.”

“Her. Guns are always women.”

“Yeah? Why’s that?”

She raised an eyebrow in challenge, but Adrian answered promptly, “They’re beautiful to look at, deadly when necessary, and can have great power in a compact body.” He added a visual once-over to Bex’s 5’4” frame to emphasize his point.

“Aw, you old sweet-talker,” she deadpanned, and his careless grin widened.

“The ladies love a charmer.”

“How would you know?” she asked. “You’ve been married for 147 years.”

Adrian gave an obscenely loud sigh. “Six months, B. You were at the wedding.”

Bex hefted Eloise—the gun—into her hands and nodded at him. “In this job,” she said, “six months is the same thing as 147 years.”

Then she fired at the door to the warehouse.

The META would have deafened them both if not for the magically enhanced earplugs they wore, the ones that only blocked sounds over a certain decibel level. It would have blinded them if not for their goggles. And it would have eliminated them if not for the fact that they were behind it, not in front of it.

There were no Burn-Outs left on the other side.

“Hoo-ey!” Adrian crowed, pushing his goggles to the top of his head. “That baby is something else!”

In Bex’s hand, the gun purred softly, and Bex powered it down before it started to recharge. There was no way to shut the gun if there was magic stored in it. And there were very few ways to safely discharge the magic.

Also, there's a little over a day left to enter my 100 Twitter Followers Giveaway. You can win a free book! Check out the post to enter.

Teaser Tuesday - 6/12/12

A couple great books came out in the last few days (particularly Nyrae Dawn's What a Boy Needs and Kelley Armstrong's The Hunter and the Hunted), but before I can read them, I need to finish the one I started: No Humans Involved by Kelley Armstrong. Which I'm re-reading. For about the sixth time. (It's my favorite of her Otherworld series.)

Jaime, who knows a thing or two about showbiz, is on a television shoot in Los Angeles when weird things start to happen. As a woman whose special talent is raising the dead, her threshold for weirdness is pretty high: she’s used to not only seeing dead people but hearing them speak to her in very emphatic terms. But for the first time in her life–as invisible hands brush her skin, unintelligible fragments of words are whispered into her ears, and beings move just at the corner of her eye–she knows what humans mean when they talk about being haunted.

She is determined to get to the bottom of these manifestations, but as she sets out to solve the mystery she has no idea how scary her investigation will get. As she digs into the dark underside of Los Angeles, she’ll need as much Otherworld help as she can get in order to survive, calling on her personal angel, Eve, and Hope, the well-meaning chaos demon. Jeremy, the alpha werewolf, is also by her side offering protection. And, Jaime hopes, maybe a little more than that.

The rules for Teaser Tuesday are:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
  • Then hit up Should Be Reading to add your link.

And the teaser:

"Scream and I'll snap your neck. Understood?" Jeremy's tone was soft and even, like a patient teacher warning a difficult child.

Also, keep an eye out for my First Fight/First Kiss entry later today.

Also, also, just a little over a day left for you to enter my 100 Twitter Followers Giveaway. Win a free book!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Art of Movie Trailers

After I graduated college but before I got my first job, I thought I wanted to make a career out of making movie trailers. Sometimes, the previews are the best part of a movie to me. I love words and live and die by the pen, but even the best books (and movies and TV shows) don't arouse the same feelings as a truly spectacular 2:30 minute movie trailer. Obviously, even the best trailers don't satisfy me the way a good book does, but there's something about a great trailer that can make my heart pound. It can make me laugh or cry. It can fill me with nostalgia or grief, all with minimal backstory and character development. It's truly an art form. How do you decide what to include? How do you tell enough of the story to make people interested, but not enough that you're giving too much away? And don't even get me started on the music. Nothing else is as powerful in as short a time.

Yesterday, I watched the trailer for The Perks of Being a Wallflower. And then I watched it again. And again. Then I showed it to my mom. Then I watched it again. Then I mulled over it for awhile (and came up with a new story idea, but that's not important). Then I watched it again this morning. I don't know what it is about this trailer, but I think it's incredible. It captured all the things I felt in high school--loneliness, confusion, awkwardness--and all the wonderful feelings that come with finding a great group of friends. By the end, I'm grinning with tears in my eyes and thinking about how much I want to call my high school friends.

To me, the ideal trailer tells a story. It's not just things blowing up or a few funny scenes slapped together. So I scoured the internet (er, YouTube) for some trailers I consider to be really good. What do you think? Are there any others that stand out in your minds? Do you even pay attention to them?

An example of where blowing stuff up (in conjunction with a story) works. It is an action movie, after all.

An example of where the trailer was better than the movie. Also, where the trailer is built around an emotion, not a story.

What I like about this trailer is that it leaves out a huge part of the movie. You won't know what it is until you watch it, but it completely floored me.

Out of all the HP trailers, I think this one had the most complete story to go with the action and emotion in it. They're all pretty awesome though.

Also, if you like winning books, go check out my 100 Twitter Followers post from yesterday, where you can enter to win a free ebook of either The Eternal Queen by K.S. Lewis or Soul Mates: A different kind of Love Story by Jeanne Donnelly.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

100 Twitter Followers Giveaway!

You guys have no idea how excited I am to have reached 100 followers on Twitter. Well, that's probably not true, since I imagine everyone else feels pretty much the same way when they hit 100 followers. But still... I'm excited.

And I'm really grateful to all the people who've accepted me so quickly and easily into the blogging community. I wanted to give a shout out to a few really awesome people who made me feel welcome and way less awkward when I first started blogging (all those four months ago): K.S. Lewis, Emily R. King, Kyra Lennon, Cassie Mae, Rebecca Belliston, Leigh Covington, and McKenzie McCann. It's nowhere near a complete list of the wonderful friends I've made, and I appreciate every one of you.

SO in the spirit of that appreciation, I'm giving away two ebooks! The first is K.S. Lewis's The Eternal Queen.

Here's a quick summary from the Facebook page:

Eternal Queen Anastasia has been kidnapped from her own Rebirth Ceremony – not that the seven Royal Lords will let anyone know. Though they, themselves, soon start dropping like flies, as rumors spread on the suspicious whispers of the people. Mrs. Deedly and Mrs. Dummley – who are absolutely not sisters – just want to find what their long, unwieldy scarf has snagged during their walk through Lower Rung. It's a boot, attached to a foot, attached to a dying man in the cemetery. At the same time, Bogart Bugly of Rainbow Tower has found himself a young, injured, gem of a girl, and he's going to make gold on this one. In the Palace, the newly promoted Lord Septimus has his own ideas about the future of the city and its Queen.

Mystery, murder, and mayhem all abound in The Eternal Queen, which follows a young girl named Red, a mischievous rogue named Wolf, and the determined new Lord who calls himself Hunter. As Red opens her eyes to a world she can't quite understand, she must come to terms with the Queen, the city, and the precarious relationship the two have shared for centuries.

The second book I'm giving away is Jeanne Donnelly's Soul Mates: A different kind of Love Story (edited by Shannon Donnelly).

And here's the blurb from her website:
After a tragic death on mean city streets, a woman meets God and begs him to let her reincarnate to bring the heavenly message of unconditional love to the world. Follow the adventure when she is tossed back to earth as one of the smallest dogs on the planet.

There will be two winners, one for each book. In the Rafflecopter entry thing, you can specify whether you want a specific book or either (in case you've already read one of them), and I'll randomly choose. June 13th is the last day to enter the drawing.

And while you're waiting, check out the authors' blogs: Adjective, Not a Noun (K.S. Lewis) and One Aimless Writer (Jeanne Donnelly). They are both amazing women who wrote fantastic, engaging books. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - 6/5/12

Since last Teaser Tuesday, I think I've read four books (not counting this one). I had a nice, lazy weekend, and I got a chance to really sit down and read, instead of having to steal moments early in the morning or before bed. It was lovely. I read Matched and its sequel Crossed by Ally Condie, Shadow Bound by Rachel Vincent, and The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong. And I highly recommend all of them (though technically Shadow Bound is a sequel, so I don't recommend that until you read Blood Bound).

This week I'm reading The Calling by Kelley Armstrong. It's the second book in the Darkness Rising series. I love Kelley Armstrong's books. Can't get enough of them. Her Women of the Otherworld series got me started in urban fantasy. She's also kind of my author idol. The things she does for her fans--from publishing free online short stories to spending her own money shipping bookmarks to people who pre-order her books--are above and beyond the call of duty. I hope when I'm a successful, published author (going for optimism), I can be like her.

The Darkness Rising trilogy is a sequel of sorts to her Darkest Powers trilogy (set in the same world with different characters, and the two worlds will collide eventually). I put off reading it, even though I loved the first trilogy, because... well, because I'm not wild about the name Maya, and that's the MC's name. Yeah, I know it's a stupid reason. But then a bunch of other authors updated their series, and I got distracted. But I'm super excited to be reading it now, and I know I'm going to hate having to wait for the third book.

WARNING: Because this is the second book in the trilogy, the blurb contains some spoilers for the first book. The teaser contains no spoilers.

Maya Delaney’s paw-print birthmark is the sign of what she truly is—a skin-walker. She can run faster, climb higher, and see better than nearly anyone else. Experiencing intense connections with the animals that roam the woods outside her home, Maya knows it’s only a matter of time before she’s able to Shift and become one of them. And she believes there may be others in her small town with surprising talents.

Now, Maya and her friends have been forced to flee from their homes during a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set. Then they’re kidnapped, and after a chilling helicopter crash, they find themselves in the Vancouver Island wilderness with nothing but their extraordinary abilities to help them get back home. Plentiful action and romance in this second installment in the Darkness Rising series will keep readers enthralled to the last page.

The rules for Teaser Tuesday are:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
  • Then hit up Should Be Reading to add your link.

And the teaser:

I broke the surface again, and this time managed to get a breath. Then I heard Nicole screaming for help--that something had her, was pulling her down.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Flash Fiction Friday - 6/1/12

"I know immature is your middle name, but what's mine?"

Lucky's smile was roguish, and that made it dangerous. I took a step back and pretended to mull it over, all the while checking for escape routes.

Three. One out the backdoor, one out the front, and one out the window.

"Trouble," I told him, trying to match his grin with one of my own. By the way his lips stretched farther, I decided I'd failed.

Or he just liked his nickname.

"Besides," I continued, not giving him time to respond, "how am I immature?"

"Please." Lucky snorted. "You've been playing games with me since we met. A mature woman would just give me a straight yes or no answer, so I can move on with my life either way."

My jaw dropped. "I already told you no! You don't want a straight yes or no answer! You want to keep playing the game!" "I'm hurt by that."

"You're epitomized by that."

"Ooh, a four-syllable word. Think you're better than me now?"

I couldn't even sputter out an answer to that, and he laughed. "Moira Bentley, at a loss for words? I'm shocked."

"You're an ass!"

He laughed again. "And you're easy to wind up. Maybe you'd be better at this if you could keep your cool. Or is it just me that riles you up?"

I wondered if he'd go away if I ignored him. Sometimes guys did, but Lucky seemed just persistent enough to take it as a further challenge. So instead I gave him an order he couldn't refuse, "Leave me alone, Lucky."

Defiance crept into his eyes, but the compulsion was already in place, too strong for him to resist. "That was low," he said, face clenching as he struggled against his body's desires.

I shrugged, trying not to reflect how much it cost me to put him in this position. "Maybe now you'll remember that I always have the upper hand."

Hurt flickered across his face. "Yeah," he said, disappointment evident in his voice and posture and everything. "I won't make the mistake of forgetting again, your Majesty."

I hated the way he called me that.

I kept my face neutral as I cocked an eyebrow at him, and his shoulders slumped in resignation. "For how long?" he asked, looking at his shoes.

"Three days." Enough for a slap on the wrist and a reminder that we weren't equals, no matter what he thought.

"Yes, ma'am."

I let him stay just long enough to make sure my backup guard was in place, and when he was gone, I slumped into a chair and put my head in my hands. "Can I get you anything, your Majesty?" the guard asked, respectful and polite, exactly the way he was supposed to be.

"No. Thank you."

"Of course."

And he resumed his post. No banter or side comments, no flirting, no jokes.

A professional.

Just what I wanted.