Friday, May 30, 2014

Prizes! To celebrate 2 years we're giving away swag: Enter to win June 1 - June 30

It's been two years since we started Thinking to Inking, and what a two years it's been! We've landed agents, signed pub deals, started families and written lots and lots of writing-inspired posts. 

To celebrate Thinking To Inking's birthday, the month of June will be dedicated to sharing our favorite posts from the past two years and giving away swag to say thank you for sticking with us. 

The rafflecopter goes live June 1, and winners will be announced in early July.  Make sure to come back and enter to win! Note that books can only be shipped to U.S. addresses.

And thanks to all of you for reading, commenting, and sticking with us along this crazy path to publication.  Here's to another two fantastic years of writing!
Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card


Prizes, prizes and more prizes!

Win one of two $10 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift cards

Win a $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card

Win a copy of PANIC (U.S. only)


Win a copy of LOVE LETTERS TO THE DEAD (U.S. Only)


Win an ARC package including THE LOOP, ROOTLESS, ANGELFALL, and WORLD AFTER (U.S. only)

Panic by Lauren OliverThe Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse AndersonLove Letters to the DeadMason Davis and the Rise of the Storm MakersThe LoopRootless (Rootless, #1)Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1)World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


You guys, I'm soooo excited to get to share the cover for the amazing LITTLE MISS EVIL!! I got to read an early draft (Kristy is one of my critique partners, and she's crazy talented) and I can't wait for the rest of the world to get to experience LITTLE MISS EVIL and all it's awesome. Here's a little bit about the story:

When you live in a volcano, ride to school in a helicopter, and regularly see your dad on the news with the caption “EVIL GENIUS” underneath his picture, it takes a lot to rattle you.

Until you get a message that says: We have your father. Deliver the NOVA in 24 hours or we will kill him.

What’s a NOVA, you ask? It’s a nuclear bomb capable of turning the city into a radioactive mushroom cloud, and ever since Fiona’s dad built it, it’s caused nothing but grief. But telling him to stop building weapons is like telling Michelangelo to stop painting.

And that’s why thirteen-year-old Fiona has a flamethrower strapped to her arm. After all, who’d mess with a girl who can throw fireballs?

You can't blame me for gushing, can you? So without further ado, here is the cover for LITTLE MISS EVIL:

Displaying LittleMissEvil-webcover (2).jpg

Title: Little Miss Evil
Author: Bryce Leung and Kristy Shen
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press Midgrade (
ISBN 978-1-939392-09-1 Paperback
ISBN 978-1-939392-10-7 Ebook
Release Date March 2015
The only bad part is that we have to sit on our hands until the book comes out in March.  But trust me when I say it's well worth the wait. :)
If you’d like to request an ARC, please use the reviewer form on the Spencer Hill website:
Congrats to Kristy and Bryce!
About the authors:

Bryce and Kristy are a tag-team writing duo with way too many voices in their heads. As engineers living in Toronto, they can’t be safely contained by mere cubicle walls, and therefore must spend every other waking moment writing to keep the crazy from leaking out at the office. When not writing or working, they spend their time parachuting into volcanoes and riding polar bears while tossing dynamite at rabid kangaroos. Yup, that’s right. Sometimes they can’t even believe how awesome their lives are.

Monday, May 26, 2014

For the Love of Books

Front Window of Bookstore

It's Memorial Day - the unofficial start of summer and for those of us who spent our winter in the North East - it hasn't come soon enough!

If you ask me, there's no better way to spend a glorious long weekend than to make a dent in that "must read" list.  

You could log online and download another e-book or you could take some time and travel down to your favourite indie bookstore for a treasure hunt.  If I may, I'd like to suggest the latter because you never know when those opportunities might disappear.  I remember when one of my favourite bookstores "Pages" in the heart of downtown Toronto closed it's doors a few years ago.  The community has never been quite the same. 

Many cities are experiencing the same loss.  The New York Times noted that numerous indie bookstores are being driven out of Manhattan due the skyrocketing cost of rent while writer Avi cites the aforementioned article in his most recent post, reminiscing about a bygone time when he perused old bookstores with his father

But all is not lost.  Check out BBC's ten most beautiful bookshops.  Ok, so it might be a bit difficult to visit these unique treasures on the last day of a long weekend.  Fear not, use Indie Bound and find your nearest indie bookstore.  You never know what hidden gem you may discover just a stone throw's away. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Curious Lives of Teenagers: Judging a Book by its Cover

Last year I surveyed my subjects (sophomore students) about what they like to see in a cover, and after shopping for new books for the library with them this year, they had a lot to say about things they liked and didn't like. This year they gave input again. The list of their thoughts includes gender (B/G) as well as how many books they've read for fun in the past 12 months. Enjoy!

  • G. 6 books. My favorite color is blue and the book in my bag is blue. Coincidence? I think not.
  • B. 1 book. Something that looks sci-fi & intense.
  • G. Semi-reader. Bright colors with some sort of photo.
  • B. 6 books. Cool pics or dark cover.
  • G. 100 books. No movie adaptation covers. NO models on the covers. Any color font. Symbolic covers J.
  • B. 5 books. I look at the title more than the pictures.
  • G. 10 books. Relaxed vibe, light blues.
  • G. 2 books. An interesting title with a font that matches the cover pic that shows emotion and intensity.
  • G. Kinda reader. Bright vibrant colors & a nice print.
  • G. 5 books. I usually pick up books that have a simple cover with smaller font and are not colorful.
  • G. 40 books. I’ll read anything on the table at B&N and not much else.
  • G. 7 books. Black and white if it’s non-fiction, bright colors for fantasy, miscellaneous creatures, catchy title. Cheesy (not good): bullying books (there’s too many), diaries.
  • B. 6 books. Just a picture of nachos.
  • B. Non-reader. Shiny with big font on cover. Very shiny. Very very shiny.
  • G. 15 books. Bright or pastel colors (but not together), paintings or artistic photos. I don’t like books with people’s faces close up as the cover.
  • G. Vintage. Yassss.
  • A very interesting picture that makes me want to learn more about what’s going on
  • The ocean
  • Books trying to look like Twilight or other popular books are just cheesy.
  • When the whole cover is split by the spine and when you open it it’s the whole picture is usually cliché.

Writer's Resource: Tips for Book Expo America

The literary world is gearing up for the annual Book Expo America conference in New York City the weekend after next. Publishers show off new and upcoming books and services, there are tons of panels, lectures, and book signings, and much networking is done.

Being eight months pregnant means a trip to New York isn't in the cards for me, but I thought it would be nice to put together a list of advice for anyone planning to attend.

First, for the nitty-gritty details everyone needs, there's the Survival Guide on the BEA official website. This includes some fairly obvious but important advice like "Wear comfortable shoes" and "Don't forget to eat."

For more targeted advice, there's Library Journal's Librarian's Guide to BEA post. The specific class/panel info is from 2013, but there's still a lot of useful information there.

Here's a recent post from the Hollywood The Write Way blog with loads of helpful advice, including what planning to do ahead of time and where to eat.

Wondering how the BEA experience is from an author perspective? This newly published author wrote about her trip last year and included some excellent advice.

And finally, this post from Ally Machate's blog spells out some reasons why even aspiring and self-published authors can get a lot out of the BEA experience.

Are you planning to attend BEA this year?

Monday, May 12, 2014


On the second Monday of every 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 CHAMPION (#3 in the Legend series) by Marie Lu.

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps-Elect, while Day has been assigned a high-level military position.

But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them: just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything.

With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

First Line: "Out of all the disguises I've worn, this one might be my favorite."

For fans of the series, this line puts you right back into the world of dystopian intrigue. I knew immediately that this was the voice of Day, the male POV character.

Highlights: I reviewed the first book in this trilogy, LEGEND, two years ago (back when this was a brand-new blog!). As you can see from that review, I was absolutely blown away by the tight writing and pacing.

It's hard to sustain reader interest all the way through three books, but Marie Lu accomplishes it by raising the stakes substantially with each book. In this one, the nations are at war, which changes everything the characters have ever known. 

She also expands the world we've come to know in a fantastic scene where some of the characters visit another nation, one that couldn't be more different from the Republic or Colonies. I'm not going to spoil anything, but suffice it to say that the culture of this other nation was fascinating and well-thought-out.

Notes for Writers: It's tough to wrap up a trilogy with characters readers have come to love in a way that's satisfying, but still believable. I thought the ending of this book hit it right on the money. It's bittersweet, but with the same note of hope for a better future that was a common thread throughout the series.

A Good Read For: Writers working on a series. The whole trilogy is an excellent example of the right way to maintain forward momentum and reader interest over the course of a series. And judging by the reviews on Goodreads, I wasn't the only one who thought so!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Which famous author do you write like?

Ever wondered if you write like someone famous?  Looking for a fun break from your latest WIP?  Check out the I Write Like analyzer.  Pop in some text from your latest WIP, and it will spit out the name of the famous person your write like.  Check it out here!

Apparently my latest WIP favors Stephen King, which is super exciting since it's a paranormal thriller. And also, cause it's STEPHEN KING. *faints*

Who do you write like?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Villain of the Month: Poor Grammar (and how to fix it)

While not a traditional villain, grammatical errors are often haunting.'s post is dedicated to eradicating them.

There is a new-ish website I've been using with my classes that has been working well. While designed for teachers, I recommend that anyone who wants to brush up his/her grammar go to and play around. You're given practice questions, immediate feedback, and tutorials for each question you answer. The best part? It's free.

You'll thank me for it later when you no longer fear the scary semi-colon goblins. :)