Friday, March 29, 2013

A Hint of What's to Come...

Hi everyone! I will admit that I am a little giddy today. See, my Spring break has begun...10 glorious days with NO WORK! At least, none of the day job. I slept in a bit, enjoyed a nice morning coffee and now am sitting down with my laptop to complete two projects - Quiet Kids and Dominus.

Both are in various states of completion. And both are due. Now.

I have been working regularly on Quiet Kids, so I am nearly finished with that one. But Dominus - that was abandoned for far too long. Pulling it out and reading what I have has been nothing short of inspirational. I have been catapulted back into the world of Aydan and Nesy, into their longing and pain. And once again I have been reminded of why I love them so much.

I am excited to be working with them again, excited to be writing in general.

So, to celebrate my break and hopefully get all of you excited about Dominus too, I decided to give you a little, tiny, snippet. I struggled to find something that wasn't too spoilerific. The opening scene didn't work, as it reveals too much of the end of Libera Me. The later chapters were even worse. In the end, I decided on a little scene at the end of the first chapter.

Before I get into it though, I want to tell you a little bit about this book. Dominus takes place six months after the end of Libera Me. It is told from two points of view - Nesy and Lilith. It brings in the passion from Lacrimosa with the emotional angst of Libera Me and the action reminiscent of the final battle scene in Lacrimosa. Whew!

There is love, rage, loyalty, betrayal and death....many many deaths. But, not in these scene.

Here is a little excerpt from the opening chapter, told from Nesy's point of view:

          The house smells musty and cold. A shiver makes its way down my spine as I turn on the shower, quickly flooding the room with steam. Water jets from the faucet, stronger than I would expect given the age and general condition of the compound. But then, nothing is as it appears anymore.
            I step in and allow the water to warm my skin and chase away the remaining gooseflesh.
            A heavy sigh escapes my lips. And another.
            Let go of everything, Nesy. While you can.
            Tristan’s words weave between the trails of water on my skin, soaking into my pores.
            You have a choice. Be the person you wish to be.
            He’s right, as much as I don’t want to admit it. I do have a choice. And I need to move forward, let go of the past.
            Of Celestium.
                        Of Aydan.
            More than anything, though, I need sleep.
            The thought forces a yawn from my mouth as the water continues to wash away my fears and anguish. I lather up my hair and skin, my fingers fumbling with Lorelei’s charm. The familiar vanilla scent of the soap fills my senses and for a moment I feel whole and unbroken.           
            No memories of a boy in Germany.
            No guilt of a botched assignment.
            No death.
            I know none of this is real. It’s myth. Fantasy. But tonight I don’t care.
            The water begins to cool when my mind finally goes blank. No war or demons. No betrayal or pain. Just a welcome emptiness. I turn the knob and stand in the cold, my skin and hair dripping. A shiver returns, as does the gooseflesh. I grab the towel and wrap myself in another cocoon of warmth, finishing my bedtime routine in a haze.
            Sleep bears down on me before I make it to the bed. Before my eyes even close.
            An empty sleep.
                        For now.

Starting next week, I will be blogging regularly and getting back to some sort of routine. Until then, I hope you've enjoyed the little snippet!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Bookanistas are back and celebrating Mind Games

I am so excited to be rejoining my Bookanista buds with regular reviews again. I will be alternating between Bookanista reviews on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month or so, and Author Spotlights the rest of the Thursdays. Too cool, yes?!?

Today, I am talking about MIND GAMES by Kiersten White. But first, check out what the other Bookanistas are up to: 

Christine Fonseca  marvels at MIND GAMES by Kiersten White
Shelli Johannes-Wells  explores ESSENCE by Kimberly Derting
Elana Johson  is gaga for GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFever
Stasia Ward Kehoe discusses THE DIFFERENT GIRL by Gordon Dahlquist
Jessica Love delves into BITTERSWEET by Sarah Ockler
Katy Upperman  wonders at IF I LIE by Corrine Jackson
Nikki Katz  celebrates THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY by Katja Millay

On to my Bookanista Shout out for MIND GAMES by Kiersten White:

Release Date: 2/19/2013

Basic Blurb: (from Amazon)

Two sisters, bound by impossible choices, are determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.
James's frozen face melts into a smile. "Do you want to know the trick to getting in trouble under the watchful eye of a psychic?"
I think of the nailed-shut windows. I think of Clarice. I think of the two, the two, the two who are now zero. Tap tap. "Yes, I absolutely do."
"Don't plan it. Don't even think about it. The second you get an inkling of what you could do, do it then. Never plan anything ahead of time. Always go on pure instinct."
I smile. "I think I can do that."
Why I liked it: 
This is a wonderful, and different, read from Kiersten White's other books. Darker and more sinister, Mind Games is a great thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. I loved the plot, the emotional build and the overall writing style White delivers in this new book. I am looking forward to more from this darker side of Kiersten!

And tell me, what are you reading these days?

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013

    Tell the Truth Tuesday - On Being Fried....

    So, it's been a week since I last posted. OOPS! That was not my intent. I was actually thinking I would post every day this week. Not only that, but I would get myself back on track to regular posts.

    Not so much.

    In truth, since this is a "tell the truth" Tuesday post, I am FRIED. Not a little fried, either - majorly fried. And in every aspect of my life.

    Part of this has to do with my release schedule at the end of nearly killed me.

    But, really, that isn't the reason. The writing is a good thing for me - a healthy thing. It rejuvenates even when I am swamped.

    No, the reason is my real life. The day job took more from me than I had planned when I accepted it. And my home life has just been busy (trust me, raising teenage daughters is NOT for the faint of heart). No matter how you slice it, I am fried.

    And a funny little thing happens when I am fried - the feeling bleeds into all aspects of my life. I start doubting my abilities in writing and at work. I start eating junk, piling on weight, not engaging in the healthy things that keep me sane.

    And yes, that has been my life for the past 6 - 9 mos.

    But, not any more. Nope. There is a happy ending to this tale of being fried.

    Spring Break is around the corner. I have again been writing, finishing up a couple of projects under deadline. I am back to my daily meditations, and back to reading books that serve to heal. I am making my surroundings a haven once more, enjoying the beautiful Spring weather and working on my attitude.

    I am coming back to life.

    Hopefully this will mean blogging more, writing more, and enjoying things once again.

    I am not surprised at the momentary burn-out. Everyone goes through this sooner or later, especially artists - people with a level of intensity and passion that they continuously give more of themselves then they should, allowing their personal reserves to get too low. I am just glad I eventually recognized it all...

    Have you gone through burnout?

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013

    Happy Spring - With a Giveaway Hop!

    It's giveaway time! I am participating in the Spring Cleaning Giveaway Hop sponsored by I Am A Reader Not A Writer. From 3/20 through 3/25, more than 150 participating blogs will be cleaning out their libraries and giving away some books.

    I will be giving away Hardback copies of:

    BEAUTIFUL CREATURES by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
    MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins
    THE CHOSEN ONE by Carol Lynch Williams

    WOO HOO!!!!

    Entering is easy. Just complete the rafflecopter form below! The contest ends 3/25 and is open to the US only.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    For more giveaway fun, check out the other blogs participating in the hop: 

    Happy Cleaning!

    Thursday, March 14, 2013

    Author Spotlight: Leigh Hershkovich and SHATTERED ILLUSIONS

    Hi everyone! I am still buried in too many things. But, I wanted to come out to share another Author Spotlight with you. Today, I am featuring Leigh Hershkovich:

    SHATTERED ILLUSIONS by Leigh Hershkovich
    When Sam, the unassuming, salt-of-the-earth proprietor of a local cafe is shot dead on the street, four strangers become the unwitting witnesses to a seemingly inscrutable crime. As the investigation progresses, this quartet of accidental onlookers find themselves not only haunted by the homicide, but pursued by their own pasts.

    The deeper into the death they delve, the further into their own personal histories they plummet, as each is forced to face the fact that the loss of Sam is far from their most devastating. As the case continues, inner anguish reaches crescendo points for Danny, Ella, Marco, and Sarah as the answers they want continue to elude them, and the evidence they want to escape refuses to retreat...
    The book releases May 23, 2013 by Full Court Press. 

    EEP! This looks like a GREAT read!

    A little more about Leigh Hershkovich:

    Leigh Hershkovich's writing career began almost at infancy. Born and raised in The City By The Bay, Leigh was never seen without a pen and paper by her side, and was never without a story to share. With her vivid imagination and sharp writing tactics, Leigh has taken the world by storm twice over. Now, with her debut novel Shattered Illusions, readers will get a first time glimpse into her first full fiction attempt.

    An avid reader, accomplished pianist, passionate scholar of language and the arts, Leigh currently resides in New York with her imagination.
    Come back tomorrow for a fab giveaway. And who knows, maybe I will get back to more frequent blogging. LOL!

    Wednesday, March 13, 2013

    Unintended Hiatus

    Hey all -

    Sorry I have disappeared. In truth, I an under a tight deadline, dealing with some intensities at work and home, and having my own personal issues flair. In moments like these, my need to hide intensifies as I try to sort through the workload and regroup. So....
    That is what I've been doing. Regrouping and trying to find a little balance.

    I will be back on Monday with lots of good things (that is, with luck...). Until then....have a great rest of the week!

    Friday, March 8, 2013

    The Girl Guide is Coming!

    Wow! This week has zoomed past me. I really haven't been around much, and I hate that. The good news, my life will start easing up soonish....more or less.
    But that is a blog for another day.
    Today, I want to talk about the Girl Guide and share a little news...

    The Girl Guide, for those who don't know, is my upcoming self-help book for teen girls coming May 1 from Prufrock Press (distributed by Sourcebooks). Yes, that is not a typo...the book was moved from April 1 to May 1. Some of this is due to an increase in orders, so it is a good thing!
    There is another good thing too....unlike my other nonfiction books that have a narrower market, The Girl Guide, Finding Your Place in a Mixed Up World is not limited to issues facing gifted girls. Nope! It covers all girls! And, this is also my first book to have e-arcs on net galley, to be featured in the PW Spring Children's Book issue and be picked up by Barnes and Noble. 

    I am THRILLED!!!

    Here is some of the early feedback on the book:

    • "The Girl Guide is a game-changer and should be in every girl's backpack." ~ Ali Cross, author of the Desolation series
    • "The perfect remedy for a world obsessed with airbrushed perfection. A must read for every girl who has ever wondered what it means to be strong. Girls who can find beauty and strength within should be--and can be--the new normal, and The Girls' Guide is there to show the way." ~ Danyelle Leafty, author of The Fairy Godmother Dilemma series
    •  "I grew up on "Chicken Soup For the ____ Soul" books... This is kinda that "type" of book but more modern, and to me, more useful." ~ Kayla Shirley, Blogger
    This book is so important to me and I LOVE the reactions!

    I am even more thrilled to  share an excerpt from the book today. Click here to read a sample.  You'll not only see the content, but the stunning interiors Prufrock did for me!!!

    To celebrate the upcoming release, I will be hosting a giveaway every week leading up to the release, giving away swag (including t-shirts just like the one on the cover), journals, and an annotated copy of the galley! Come back Monday for complete info. Or, sign up for my newsletter to make sure to don't miss out on the fun.

    Wednesday, March 6, 2013

    Keeping it Fresh

    Happy Wednesday All! Time for another Blog Chain round. Kate started today's round with this topic:

    As a reader and/or a writer what are some of your favorite fiction tropes? Are you sucker for secretly in love with best friend type
    stories, stories set in mysterious boarding school stories, stories that contain time travel, or something else entirely? As a writer how
    do you try to give the tropes you tackle in your own books a fresh spin?

    Hmm....this is a hard one for me. I am not certain that I have a "favorite" really. I like all types of stories, YA and adult.
    That said, I do rush to my local bookstore for Dan Brown's novels. And I will almost always pick up a James Patterson, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, or John Green novel. What do those books have in common? Writing I enjoy, stories I can loose myself in, and impeccable research to make their storylines believable.

    The second part of the question deals with me as a writer. For the most part, I actually don't think about originality with my stories, as much as I focus in on authenticity. I don't know, maybe I am naive enough to fervently believe that if I am being authentic in the story and with my characters, I will also find a original voice or spin on the tropes being deal with in the book.

    I attended a great workshop with Amy Koss once. She had was do an exercise in which we told our partner the opening premise of our books and asked the partner to complete the premise. If they could, we were probably being cliche. It was a great exercise and I know it opened a lot of eyes in the room.

    Anyway, that is my spin on today's topic. Come on back tomorrow for a little news.

    For more on this topic, check out Sandra's from yesterday, and Katrina's post tomorrow.

    Tuesday, March 5, 2013

    Author Spotlight: Rashelle Workman's Blood and Snow Series

    Hi everyone! One day I will get out from under the workload and get back to regular blogging...but until then, here is another Author Spotlight featuring Rashelle Workman and Blood and Snow, Volumes 1-4. Here is a little more about the book:

    BLOOD AND SNOW, VOL 1-4 by Rashelle Workman 
    A modern day Snow White retelling with a vampire twist.

    Every thousand years the Vampire Queen selects a new body, always the fairest in the land, and this time she’s chosen Snow White.

    Snow isn’t an ordinary girl. She doesn’t know that yet.

    When Snow gets bitten by a Hunter, her life is thrown into a whirlwind of change where instead of worrying about what to eat, she has to fight not to drink the blood of fellow high school students. She becomes a revenant - not quite human, not quite vampire.

    With the help of an eccentric old Professor, his seven adoptive sons, and her best friend, Snow learns to control her blood craving. Sort of. She drinks a bloodlust tea, but she’d rather drink from her Hunter.

    Or, a human.

    She also discovers a whole other realm, one filled with fairies, dragons, and magic. And not only does the Vampire Queen want her, but there’s a pendant called the Seal of Gabriel created for Snow by the Vampire Queen's twin sister. And Snow's supposed to use it to restore balance to all magical creatures. Including vampires. 

    Where you can get the book:

    EEP! This looks GREAT!

    A little more about Rashelle Workman:

    RaShelle Workman lives on a mountain with her husband, three children, and three dogs. From her back porch she can see the city lights and imagine... She's the bestselling author of the Dead Roses series (Sleeping Roses is being translated into Turkish, and will be available in print wherever Turkish books are sold in 2014), the Immortal Essence series, and the Blood and Snow series.
    What are all of you up to this week???