Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Wonderful World of Boys - Traveling with Boys

Traveling can be fun, and traveling with boys can be . . . well . . . wonderful, interesting, and fun!!

A few years back, the boys and I took a trip out West to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons.  The trip was challenging at times, but overall fun.  Our memories of that trip are some of the best because while we may not have appreciated some of things that happened at the time, we can go back and laugh at it all.

Here's some of my favorites:

1. I like watching you sleep.
            (middle child said to youngest - creepy, but funny)
2. I'm not liking this.
           (youngest one to Grandpa while on an uphill bike ride)
3. EEEEE, you ate all my food.
             (me said to Grandpa while jumping up and down)
4. Quit hogging all the covers.
           (sleeping youngest {who had all the covers} to middle              while hitting him)

5. I'm up, I'm up, I'm up.
                       (middle child when hotel alarm clock randomly went off in the middle of the night)
6. Chief Gassy Butt.
                       (middle child's nickname by other two)
7.  Mom, what are you feeding him?
                         (oldest about middle child's excessive gas during first 2 days of trip )
8.  I like listening to you pee.
                          (not sure who started this one, but variation on I like watching you sleep)

The list could go on and on, but what's the point?  Well, for someone writing with boy characters, traveling with boys can be gold!  So next time you take a trip, remember to bring a journal - especially if you are traveling with boys!

Happy Travels.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Write What You Know

I've recently read articles that have actually advised against the ever famous phrase:  write what you know.

Wait, what?

Why would anyone tell you not to write about what you know?  Because that advice actually limits a writer's imagination.  Hmm?!

The most recent article I read by Jason Guts can be found at

The point of that article was not to draw upon what you know and write about events, but to draw upon what you know and write about feelings.  Good stuff, eh?!  Use your own emotions (or those you have witnessed) and give them to your characters.

 Readers like that stuff, right?!  I know I like a book that can express feelings in a way that come across as real.

So once again, write what you know,  just put a little emotion into it.  I know, I know.  Easier said than done, but it will be worth it!!  Happy Writing and keep it real!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

YA Book Pick: The Siren

Once a month, we choose an outstanding YA book to review.  We want to spotlight books of interest to aspiring writers, as well as highlight some of our favorite books and authors.

This month's book pick is The Siren by Kiera Cass.

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

You must never do anything that might expose our secret.  This means that, in general, you cannot form close bonds with humans.  You can speak to us, and you can always commune with the Ocean, but you are deadly to humans.  You are, essentially, a weapon.  A very beautiful weapon.  I won't line to you, it can be a lonely existence, bt once you are done, you get to live.  All have to give, for now, is obediance and time..."

The same speech has been given hundreds of time to hundred of beautiful girls who enter the sisterhood of the Sirens.  Kahlen has lived by these rules for years now, patiently waiting for the life she can call her own.  But when Akinli, a human, enters her world, she can't bring herself to live the rules anymore. Suddenly the life she's been waiting for doesn't seem nearly as important as the one she's living now.

First line:     It's funny what you hold on to, the things your remember when everything ends.

Highlights:    Interesting premise and characters.  The relationship between the Ocean and Kahlen is intriguing. The story has great beginning and good ending. 

Good read for:  Those interested in mermaid tales, those wanting light romance, and those self publishing. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Parties with Book Themes

Halloween is right around the corner and so I thought it would be fun to have a Book themed party.  I decorated my yard to look like a gingerbread house and I have a witch and Hansel in a cage.  In addition, I made the book theme even more extreme by decorating my house and backyard with other book characters and made a scavenger hunt with which to challenge the guests.  This is just another way to support not only a love for books, but also local authors by incorporating their tales into the decorating. Plus, it is just a fun way to take a break from writing and enjoy life right?!  Happy Writing and remember to keep it real!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Author Success Story: Tristina Wright shares her path to publication for 27 HOURS + a giveaway!

I'm excited to welcome Tristina Wright to share her inspiring path to pub success story for her debut novel 27 Hours, out now from Entangled Teen.  Make sure to scroll to the bottom of the post for a chance to win a 27 Hours prize back!

In 2005, a character started nagging at me. He was stubborn and wouldn’t take no for an answer no matter how much I tried to ignore him. After a few years of pushing him to one side in favor of day jobs and making ends meet, I started jotting down scenes and forming the first of what would be many, many drafts with this character named Rumor.

Between 2009 and 2011, I wrote probably four or five different books with Rumor and various characters, trying to find the right story for him. I thought I had it a few times, circling closer and closer each time until I hit on a dystopian concept that relied heavily on the gargoyle mythology toward the early of 2011. I polished it and began querying middle of 2011, I think?

Querying took forever. It feels like forever. The best advice I would give for querying writers is to find the writing community and dive in. Find other writers who are at the same stage as you are so you have commiserating buddies. No one else truly gets it like someone else who’s there. You can swap querying tips. Y’all can talk agents together. Y’all can swap queries and pages for feedback. I met some of my earliest critique partners when I was querying—people I still talk to and write with today.

Also, while you’re querying, work on something else. I wrote a steampunk star-crossed romance based on Eros and Psyche. Took me about a year. When it was polished and ready to query, I let the final queries on Rumor’s book run out (meaning I didn’t send out any new ones when I got rejections).

In 2012, I received an offer of rep from an agent on my steampunk romance. While that romance went on submission with editors, I pulled Rumor back out and worked on him with my agent and my critique partners. I still felt a pull toward this story and a need to tell it.

Needless to say, the romance didn’t make it very far, and we went back out with Rumor & Co. for the first round of submission in early 2014. It got close. Really close. After a very long talk, I decided to revise it, which is when I decided to put it in space. It took me not quite a year to revise it to that effect and we went back out on submission with it in late 2015.

While I was working on it, however, I would keep myself sane by tweeting lines and such on Twitter. And to make it easier to search later, I kept track of them by using the same hashtag. That’s where #queerteensinspace came from. My now-editor Kate Brauning saw the hashtag and contacted my agent and basically said, “When she’s done with that, I want to read it.”

So, she did. And then she offered. And the rest is, as they say, history.

The biggest piece of advice I’d give to writers is: Don’t call yourself aspiring. If you write, you’re a writer. There are those who will try to tell you that you don’t qualify unless… They’ll try to apply qualifications or checklists. You have to meet all these requirements. And that’s silly. Do you write? Yes? Then you’re a writer. End of discussion. You’re not aspiring. You’re a writer.

About 24 Hours:
27 Hours by Tristina Wright
Publication Date:  October 3, 2017
Publisher:  Entangled Teen

Rumor Mora fears two things: hellhounds too strong for him to kill, and failure. Jude Welton has two dreams: for humans to stop killing monsters, and for his strange abilities to vanish.

But in no reality should a boy raised to love monsters fall for a boy raised to kill them.

Nyx Llorca keeps two secrets: the moon speaks to her, and she’s in love with Dahlia, her best friend. Braeden Tennant wants two things: to get out from his mother's shadow, and to unlearn Epsilon's darkest secret.

They’ll both have to commit treason to find the truth.

During one twenty-seven-hour night, if they can’t stop the war between the colonies and the monsters from becoming a war of extinction, the things they wish for will never come true, and the things they fear will be all that’s left.

27 Hours is a sweeping, thrilling story featuring a stellar cast of queer teenagers battling to save their homes and possibly every human on Sahara as the clock ticks down to zero.

About Tristina Wright

Tristina Wright is a blue-haired bisexual with anxiety and opinions. She’s also possibly a mermaid,
but no one can get confirmation. She fell in love with science fiction and fantasy at a young age and frequently got caught writing in class instead of paying attention. She enjoys worlds with monsters and kissing and monsters kissing. She married a nerd who can build computers and make the sun shine with his smile. Most days, she can be found drinking coffee from her favorite chipped mug and making up more stories for her wombfruit, who keep life exciting and unpredictable.

Giveaway Details:
A 27 Hours Prize Pack, including:
* A 27 Hours Candle
* A set of 27 Hours Character Cards
* AND a copy of an October release *
*Open internationally wherever The Book Depository ships

a Rafflecopter giveaway