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Award time! (and a Bit of Randomness)

Wow! I have been so fortunate to receive the Versatile Blogger award from three....that's right THREE blogs recently.

So, I guess it is my turn to share the blog with some others AND share a few things about myself *gulp*

First, a big THANK YOU to Karlene Petitt,Angela Brown, and Lissa Clouser  

Next, the rules:
1.  Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post.Share 7 things about yourself.Pass this Award along to 15 recently discovered blogs and let them know about it!On to the randomness - 7 things about me:
As some of you know, I just finished my YA thriller, TRANSCEND. what you may not know...I discovered I LOVE writing YA psychological thrillers. HARD. So, my next two projects entitled BEAUTIFUL MALICE and COLLIDE are both YA psychological thrillers. And man, I am excited.Um, yea...I am "supposed" to get these projects finished by Dec 31. HmmmmmmmmMy writerly BFF Elana Johnson is coming to town in a few weeks. I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!! Elana…

A Big Shout Out for WHITE ASSASSIN - with a GIVEAWAY!

Time for another fabulous Bookanista Thursday! Today I get to talk about an amazing MG book - WHITE ASSASSIN. But first, A special CONGRATS goes out to Bookanistas Bethany Wiggins for her debut SHIFTING, and Bookanista Michelle Hodkin for THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER - both books launched today and I am thrilled for them.


And here are the other great Bookanista reviews:

Elana Johnsoninterviews Elle Strauss, author of Clockwise
Lisa and Laura Roeckerdiscusses S R Johannes' e-book experiment
Shelli Johannes-Wellsfalls for Fracture
Shannon Messengerloves Lola & the Boy Next Door – with giveaway
Carolina Valdez Milleradores Ashfall – with giveaway
Beth Revisdelights in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer – with giveaway
Jessi Kirbymarvels at The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Shana Silversteps up to Audition
Kimberley Griffiths Little
Corrine Jacksonis crazy about Cracked
Stasia Ward Kehoeswoons for Swan and To Dance

On to my Bookanista Shout out for Hilary Wagner's WHITE ASSASSIN (plus a giveaway)

Release…

Why Write

So, my friend and I were talking the other night. She is not a writer and wondered about the things I liked and didn't like about the business. Specifically, she asked:
What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of being a writer?  What is your greatest reward from writing? Great question, right? Perfect, actually, for my current place on this journey.

For me, the hardest part of being a writer is maintaining the confidence necessary to continue writing, in spite of everything else.

Writing, for me, is a tough task master. She requires 100% of me if I'm going to pour onto the paper the story that was meant to be told. She requires the stamina to continually rewrite and polish, all to get at the heart of the story. Writing requires bravery if I'm going to tackle the hard emotions with authenticity, humility to keep learning the craft, and perseverance to see a project through to the end.

And all of those qualities - stamina, bravery, humility, perseverance - require…

Chat...write...edit....repeat

Yes, I have a four-step process to my writing life. As the title indicates, it's:

Chat - Yea, I have to brainstorm with my writerly buds often. IDK, something about talking with them ALWAYS helps me clarify my goals.Write - Yep, you can't claim to be a writer if you don't write. I managed to finish one book this year - a far cry from the three I promised myself. So, after chatting with my closet bud, I committed myself to writing 2 - yes TWO - more novels this year. They won't get revised until 2012, but I am really excited to get these drafted.Revise - I finished revising TRANSCEND last week. Oh sure, nothing is ever really finished. But for now, this one is out in the world. Let's hope someone likes it. I have another novel I will be rereading before looking at small presses for it. Repeat - This is the part I struggled with over the last year. Yes, I managed to chat. But write - not as much as I would have liked.  That all ends this week! I am outlining a couple…

Friday Five....Is it the Weekend Already???

I can't believe it is Friday already! I mean really....where on earth did the week go??? I distinctly remember prepping for this week, making certain I had everything ready to go....
and now...
poof! The week is over.

But enough about my time-space continuum problems, let's get to my Friday musings:

Have you seen the new campaign challenge? Holy Smokes! It is a tough one. And yes, I will likely participate if I can figure out what I'm writing (not to mention what the words we need to use mean). Go check out the people who've participated already - their entries are pretty impressive.I received 3 awards in the last week. Yep, three. Sometime next week I will try to get these awards out to some new bloggers. I have found some really fabulous new blogs out in the interwebz, so I am actually looking forward to sharing.I am really lousy and "resting" a bit in between projects. No really, I am. The whole time I'm trying to let my creative juices chill a bit, I&…

Royalty, Talk Shows, And Scandal - Yes, I'm Talking About FALLING FOR HAMLET!

HAPPY THURSDAY everyone! I can not believe the month is almost over. How is it possible that Halloween and the holidays are coming up so quickly????

Now, before I get to my Bookanista shout out, check out what the other Bookanista's have on tap:


Elana Johnsonshivers over Shifting
Shelli Johannes-Wellscontemplates The Future of Us
Shana Silverfinds Fateful Fabulous
Sarah Frances Hardyleads you into the Circle of Secrets
Corrine Jacksondelights in a Hex Hall & Demonglass double feature
Stasia Ward Kehoeshares her passion for Possess

On to my Bookanista Shout out for FALLING FOR HAMLET by Michelle Ray

Release Date: July 5, 2011

Basic Blurb: (from Amazon)
Meet Ophelia: a blonde, beautiful high-school senior and long-time girlfriend of Prince Hamlet of Denmark. Her life is dominated not only by her boyfriend's fame and his overbearing family, but also by the paparazzi who hound them wherever they go. As the devastatingly handsome Hamlet spirals into madness after the mysterious death of…

Blog Chain - Oh, those SLOW starts!

It's Blog Chain time again, and this time the topic comes from Shaun who asked the following:

What are three books you would tell people that they need to keep reading even if they aren't immediately sucked in by the first page?
I LOVE this question!!! Though, I'm not certain Shaun is going to like any of my answers.

Let me start by saying this - I am a very patient reader. No really, I am. I will usually give a book at least 50 pages before I abandon it.

At least that was true BEFORE I started writing. I will admit, the more I write, the less patient I have become. I'm not certain why, but...yea...it is what it is.

Although I have lost some of my patience, these three books are ones I waded through - and they were MORE than worth it in the end:


Going Bovine by Libba Bray: I loved this book. Hard. I know, I know, there were a lot of mixed feelings reviews about this one. Many people found the beginning a little crazy and the main character unlikeable. But, here's the…

Celebrating Michelle Davidson Argyle's Newest Release - MONARCH (and a giveaway)

I'm so excited to share in the buzz for Michelle Davidson Argyle's most recent release, MONARCH. I've had fun watching Michelle's career develop over the past year or so - first with the release of her self-published novella, Cinders, and now as she joins forces with a great small press to release her adult thriller, Monarch.

Michelle has always helped the writing community with her frank discussions of the good , the bad, and the ugly in this business. She candidly shared her reasons for every publishing decision she has made, and I for one have really benefited from watching her journey. So, when she asked if I'd like to read and review Monarch, of course I said yes. She knows I do only positive reviews here, so for me to post at all means I liked it...A LOT

But before we get to that, here are some of the basics:

Release Date: September 15, 2011

Basic Blurb: (from Amazon):
Nick's life as a CIA spy should be fulfilling, but it has only given him unhappiness, a w…

Friday Five!

Happy Friday! First, a quick apology - I have been crazy, insane busy of late. As a result, I've neglected visiting and commenting on blogs, neglected responding to comments and emails, neglected...well...everything! I am attempting to get caught up this weekend, but you know how that goes. In the meantime, THANK YOU to my new followers who comment and visit and make me happy every day! THANK YOU to those who recently gave me a few blog awards - I promise I will pass them along soon. THANK YOU to my fellow campaigners who have taken the time to try to get to know me. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

Okay - on to my musings for this Friday.


I like this whole campaign thing! So much so, that I really wanted to make sure YOU knew of some of the new people I've met. Below are five writers (randomly picked) from my YA group. Go check them and their blogs out. Some are just getting started. Others are well established bloggers and authors. I'll feature some of my group members…

A Big Bookanista Booyah for Shifting

I can't believe it's already time for another Bookanista Thursday! Whew, time is just whipping by!

I'm super excited to get to my review, but first let's see what the others are doing today:

Elana Johnson is in a tizzy over TEXAS GOTHIC
Lisa and Laura Roecker celebrates SOMETHING LIKE HOPE
Shannon Messenger takes a shine to SO SILVER BRIGHT + a giveaway
Carolina Valdez Miller goes gaga for GLOW and SHIFTING + a giveaway
Beth Revis shouts about THE NAME OF THE STAR
Scott Tracey is on board for STARSHIP ACADEMY
Shana Silver loves LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR
Sarah Frances Hardy adores BIRDIE'S BIG GIRL DRESS
Rosemary Clement-Moore is distracted by ALIEN INVASION AND OTHER INCONVENIENCES
Stasia Ward Kehoe takes a fancy to FRACTURE


On to my Bookanista Shout out for Bookanista Bethany Wigginns and her debut - SHIFTING

Release Date: September 27, 2011

Basic Blurb: (from Amazon)
After bouncing from foster home to foster home, Magdalene Mae is transferred to what should be her last foster…

Looking For The Next Idea

Hi everyone!

So, as I told you guys on Monday, I am winding down my current project and getting ready to throw it out into the world. I've played in the query pond before - felt the sting of rejection, wallowed in the funk that often accompanies this aspect of the business. In fact, I think I nearly killed with writerly BFFs with my angst during that time.

But, as Nichole Giles so eloquently put it earlier this week, I am not ready to jump onto the self-publishing bandwagon just yet....
which means I have to be willing to jump into the query pond!

So, as I prepare to take that leap of faith, I decided that the only way to NOT drive my friends nuts, I need to work on something - a shiny new project.

One problem.

I got nothing.

My solution?

It's time to go back to my writing practices and see what "comes up". That is, after all, how TRANSCEND found me.
Using some things from Julia Cameron's THE ARTIST'S WAY, as well things from Natalie Goldberg's WILD MIND,…

AN EPIC MONDAY!!!

Okay - yes, I AM being a little overly dramatic. But really this is a great day, after a monumental weekend.



First, my fabulous family gave me the gift of time to write and write and write.


Sunday I went to a book signing for my bud, Gretchen. On the drive I was struck with the answer to a book related problem. After quickly writing it down on a Starbuck's napkin, I went to the signing.

Gretchen was FAB!. First off, a bunch of other fab authors show'd up in costume:


Then, she read my all time favorite scene from the book:



And then, she signed my copies. Yes, I got an extra one for my next giveaway hop in October.



After the signing I touched base with the family and again slipped into my cave. It took me 5 hours, 30 pages and 4K new words, but...

I AM FINISHED



Yep, a major round of revisions is done. Again. (hopefully this is the last major round). Next up - a final read through and then it's off to my betas.


Yep, I'm pretty excited.


What did you guys do this weekend???

Oh, The Places We Go...

Guess what one of my favorite aspects of writing a story is - creating the journey a character - and a reader - will take. These journeys give more than a great plot and an emotional pull to their readers - they give the gift if perspective.

As an author, I like to explore the many different aspects of humanity - the good and the evil, the light and the dark, reality and illusion. I do this through my characters and the roads they travel, both physical and psychological.

In one of my earlier novels, my character travels into a parallel world, one in which her every thought manifests itself in reality. Through the plot, the character learns about her own inner power and how to control her base emotions. In another story, my characters' journeys force them to examine sacrifice and the true cost of redemption. And in my current novel, the mc must travel through the fantasy of his sanity in order to understand the realities of his madness.

Yea, I'm a sucker for the psychological …

Winners, Contests, And Such...

First I want to back ALL OF YOU who entered my giveaway as part of the Back to Books Giveaway. I had such a great time with this, I have entered the Spooktacular Hop set for late October. I'll be giving away my favorite YA scary reads. Hope you all come back for that.

In the meantime, congrats to the winner for the Back to Books Giveaway:

RUTHHILL74

WOO HOO!!!!


Inspired by Gene Perret

:

Happy Thursday everyone! Today I'm interviewing Write Your Book Now author, Gene Perret. Let me tell you - this is one INSPIRATIONAL interview. It makes me smile every time I read it!


But before I get to all that, I need to wish Bookanisto SCOTT TRACEY a HAPPY LAUNCH DAY! His book, WITCH EYES releases today and I just can't be any happier!

And, one more thing - check out the other reviews today:


Before I get to my interview with Michelle, and the AMAZING GIVEAWAY, let's see what my other Bookanista buddies are up to:

Elana Johnson shares some book love for Random Acts of Publicity Week
Lisa and Laura Roecker is wild about a double giveaway of WITCH EYES and WILDEFIRE
Shannon Messenger loves LEGEND - with signed arc giveaway
Scott Tracey  celebrates his release day for WITCH EYES
Jessi Kirby gets inside SEAN GRISWOLD'S HEAD
Sarah Frances Hardy applauds LOTTIE PARIS LIVES HERE
Stasia Ward Kehoe marvels at THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER


On to my Bookanista Interview with Gene Perre…

Hello, My Name Is Christine...

Hi everyone! I am so honored and humbled by everyone I'm meeting both through the Campaign and the giveaway blog hop (which ends tonight - so enter if you haven't. Click here for more info). Since the campaign started, I have a slew of new followers. (THANK YOU!)

So, with all the new people around here I thought I should do what several of my fellow campaigners have done, and tell you a little about myself.
So, here it is - all you wanted to know about me, and a few things you probably didn't!
The Basics -  I'm a school psychologist by day, working predominately with kids aged 8-18. My areas of specialty are behavior analysis, working with problems like anxiety and school phobia, and giftedness.Addition to the day job, I am a wife (married 23 years in Nov.) and mother of 2 beautiful girls - my teen and my tween.Yea, I'm also kind of a "soccer mom", taking active roles in the various things my kids do.And yes, I am a part-time taxi-driver, taking the kids t…

Campaigner challenge - The Door

Happy Monday everyone (and Labor day for my US friends). Today I am participating in my first ever Campaigner challenge (and the first one for this particular campaign). Here's the scoop from Rachel Harrie's blog:
Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open” These four words will be included in the word count.

If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), use the same beginning words and end with the words: "the door swung shut." (also included in the word count)

For those who want an even greater challenge, make your story 200 words EXACTLY!
Yikes! Flash Fiction? Short Stories? Definitely not my strong suit. I'm more of a novel kind of girl. But, never one to back away from a challenge, I thought I'd give it a try.
Oh! And yes, it is EXACTLY 200 words. And yes, it starts and ends with the required statements. WOOT!

Th…

Blog Chain: Time for a little writing!!!

It's Blog Chain time again, and this time I got to choose the topic - and what a crazy topic I have:


Since we are all writer's, I thought it was about time for us to stretch our creative muscles and do a little writing. So, take the following topic and go crazy! Show us what you've got. Your story can be as long or as short as you choice.


The topic: A dark and stormy night.

Ah yes, I am asking us all to...write. For my post, I decided to follow the Fiction Friday rules - Specifically the following:

Write for a minimum of 5 minutes… AND THEN KEEP GOING!NO editing. ( well.. do the obvious spelling and punctuation.. but nothing major) Okay, I actually just didn't get to write this post until VERY LATE last night. Oops!

Anyways, remember this is NOT edited, so no judgments, okay? Okay.

And without any more procrastination, here you go:

Ben climbed up the steep hill behind his house, waiting. Always waiting. His feet were tired from the four miles, but he didn’t care. Nothing w…