Sunday, May 18, 2014

The June Book Club Book is ...

*drum roll*

I made good on last month's failed promise to limit choices to the fantasy genre.  And what a fantasy it is!  DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE is the first in a trilogy and has over 4 stars on goodreads.  Like last month, this book made it onto a lot of must read, and summer reading, lists.  It certainly doesn't sound like anything I've read before.

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hairactually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Okay book nerds, get to it.  Talk to everyone in a month!

May Book Club Results: Good, But Not FanFic Good

The book for this months was Fangirl.  Most people liked it and enjoyed the fandom angle: some because they fangirl themselves, other because they had not clue what it was and found it interesting.  

The fanfic excerpts didn't resonate with many readers.  Simon and Baz might have inspired the author and Cath, but they didn't inspire us.  The obvious hint at Harry Potter, and the fact that the story didn't support the main plot, made it fall flat.  Many people seemed to have skimmed, not reading the fanfic, but appreciating that that author wrote it.  That's probably the biggest reason this one was a little lower than I had anticipated at, 

3.5 Stars

Personally, I had this one higher but I think that's because I tend to fangirl all over the place on the daily, and was happy Rowell didn't make Cath change her shipping in order to find happiness in the real world.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day and Blood

Me - what is that?
Hubs - bloody nose rag. 
Me - uhhhhh ...
Hubs - wrestling match. Isla won. 
Isla - it's not my fault! Nash punched me in the chest. So I punched Nash. But I punched him in the face. Because he hurt me and that's self defense! It's not my fault I won punching!
Hubs - <thumbs up>
Me - <blank stare>

Happy Mother's Day?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Blog Hoppin' - My Writing Process

Why do I write? How do I write? What do I write?

Until my fellow critique group writer Grace tagged me in this blog hop, I didn’t know the answers. But I had to write this post so now I know, and if you keep reading … so will you!

In addition to learning the answers to the questions below, I learned something else about myself: I don’t follow directions well. If you notice differences between my post and others on the tour … well, yeah. Sorry.

Check out Grace’s blog tour post, along with lots of other cool writing posts, on her blog:

What am I working on? 

I am half way through my *cough cough sixth cough cough* full edit on my YA fantasy novel. The main character is both my best friend, and worst enemy and I am hoping she lives through the novel. This book is the first in what was originally a trilogy, but might end up being two books. It was the first idea that inspired me to write again after a very long hiatus, and has turned into my guinea pig for writing ideas and improvements … thus, the large number of edits. But, it’s making me a better writer and I will always love it, my precious. 

I blog sporadically and mirco-journal near constantly. I have two other novels I can’t seem to fully put aside: a MG fantasy and a NA fairy tale retelling (my NaNo book for 2013).

How does my work differ from others of its genre?   

1) The honest answer is: I don’t know. 
B) The short answer is: I don’t know. 
Also) The long answer is: longer. 

I am still figuring out who I am as a writer. I get a tremendous amount of enjoyment out of the process of letting my mind wander to fantastical places. I haven’t put myself into a specific genre (although it’s becoming clear) and I haven’t tried to strictly adhere to, and thus judge myself by, any categories. And at the moment, that’s enough.  When I’ve gotten through a few books maybe I’ll have an answer. If I ever quit my day job and dive into the publishing world head first, I sure as heck better have an answer.  But for now, I’m just enjoying the process of telling a story.

Why do I write what I do? 
Because I love it. There are stories I want to hear, but no one has written.  These are the characters pop into my head and just.won’ When I write, their voices are heard, and they let me sleep. 

That makes me sound a little crazy. And … maybe I am.

I write what I do because I don’t know what else to do. I love it. I can do it.  So why wouldn’t I?

How does my writing process work? 

Please hold while I laugh hysterically <maniacal laugh>. 

Okay, that’s better. I don’t have a process, per say. I have a full time job, a hobby farm, and three young children. I do what I can, when I can, as much as I can. 

I write down things all day, every day. I make myself a promise to write something meaningful (an hour or more?) at least once a week. And when the mood strikes, my life allows, and the words flow—I write for 2-3 hours every day for a few weeks straight. NaNo is my friend. I found that it’s a great way for me to write.

When I do write—100% pantser. I even struggle to plot out novels after I’ve written them. I rarely know the ending … but I’ve learned that I need to get over this if I’m going to write with higher quality.

That’s all you could ever want to know about me, and more. I’ve tagged two fellow writers I met on the Twitter. They will be in the hot seat next week!
(If I’d followed the directions, this is where you would see carefully written bios for each of them.  Instead …)

Kristina L. Martin – fellow mom, fellow YA writer, and someone who seems to always keep my attention on twitter.  She’s also one of the first writers to send an encouraging, well-timed, tweet. Check out her “Missives” at

Leona Wisoker – hailing from the VA, Leona wrote the Children of the Desert series. She has got some very interesting posts on conventions and a unique and fresh view on writerly things. Check it out:

Friday, April 18, 2014

The May Book Club book is ...


There were multiple requests for fantasy/sci-fi/dystopian this month so I selected only books in that genre for the random drawing--except this one … wouldn't you know it!

On Goodreads FANGIRL is has 4.22 stars and has made it onto several "must read" lists.  Written by New York Times be selling author, Rainbow Rowell, the description of the book certainly makes me want to pick it up:

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Interesting, right?  Go forth and conquer book nerds.  See you in a month!