Monday, March 31, 2014

March Wrap-Up

Books I Read

Attachements by Rainbow Rowell


Recommended to anyone who likes dual perspectives, interesting layouts (half of this book is told through e-mail), simple stories, and romance.

Divergent by Veronica Roth  (a reread)


Recommended to anyone who likes dystopian, action-filled books, and The Hunger Games.

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare


Recommended to anyone who likes urban fantasy, romance, and a good, long series.

Markram Battles: Genesis of an Uprising (Part 1) by M.C. Muhlenkamp (a reread)


Recommended to anyone who likes short stories, dystopian, and The Hunger Games.

The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keen


Recommended to anyone who likes simple stories, quick and easy reads, and mysteries.

Movies I Watched

"The Goonies"


Recommended to anyone who anyone who likes the eighties, simple and goofy movies, and a light-hearted story.

"The Fellowship of the Ring"


Recommended to anyone who likes high fantasy, lots of action, and a series of movies to get invested in.

"The Two Towers"


Recommended to anyone who likes high fantasy, lots of action, and a series of movies to get invested in.



Recommended to anyone who likes dystopian, action-filled movies, and The Hunger Games.

Quotes I Wrote

(I wrote a lot this past month--at least 100 pages--so there are more quotes than usual.)

“I don’t ask stupid questions,” I say, my voice full of fire and ice all at the same time, burning and freezing, and dead dangerous.
“No, I don’t suppose you do. You may be a lot of things, Raven, but foolish isn’t one of them. Emotional, easily manipulated, but you aren’t stupid.”
--Flightless Birds

He is insane. Out of his mind. He is a deranged, crazed, unhinged, psychopathic lunatic with too much power and a mouth full of lies.
--Flightless Birds

“I’m not injured,” I say.
“Raven, you were shot.”
I wave my hand in the air dismissively. “Like a week ago. I’m fine now.”
--Flightless Birds

"It’d break my heart to find out he died in Chicago because I was stuck here, safe in a tent full of bullet holes, waiting for a miracle."
--Flightless Birds

I lean forward, trying to make myself look as stern and as fierce as possible. “We need to go.”
“I’m not going through this again.”
“Too bad. I’m going, whether you like it or not. You can either come with me or stay here, but that doesn’t change the fact that I will rip this world apart if it means I can save them.”
--Flightless Birds

Obsessions I Acquired

THIS song. (Thank you, Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner for that!)

The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I don't know how I didn't hear about this series sooner!

Picture of the Month

There are two this month!

"Doctor Who" companions as fairytale characters

How was your March?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Peek at My Writing Process

I've been tagged! :) Robyn LaRue invited me to participate in a blog hop and share a little bit about what my writing process is like. Thanks, Robyn!

As I mentioned in this post, each day for me is different. Some days I'll write five-thousand words, three blogs posts, tweet like crazy, comment on every post my blogging friends write, and answer all of my e-mails. And other days, I'm like this.

via We Write Together!
I wish I could say, "On a typical day, I usually do xyz." But there's no such thing as a typical day for me. I would love to be able to do this every day:

-Get up at 8:30-9 (when everybody else in the house is usually still asleep)
-Get dressed
-Write 1,000 words before breakfast
-Have breakfast
-Write another thousand words

But in reality, my morning goes a little something like this:

-Turn off alarm clock
-Yawn and think, Just five more minutes. I won't even close my eyes . . .
-Wake up half an hour later
-Tiptoe downstairs with my pajamas still on, because if I take the time to shower and get dressed now, I won't have any time to write before my mom and brother wake up
-"Quickly" check my e-mail, Feedly, and Twitter
-Glance at the clock: "It's that time already?!"
-Eat something for breakfast before breakfast turns into lunch
-Write two hundred words before my mom and brother wake up and the dog needs to go outside and oh wait I forgot to clean that up and hey can you help me out real quick and did you all have breakfast yet and we should probably get ready for the day and--

Okay, that doesn't happen all the time. Most of the time, it's somewhere in between. For example, this is what happened this morning:

-Wake up at eight
-Go back to bed for another half hour
-Sit down at the computer at nine
-Check e-mail, Feedly, and Twitter (which doesn't last more than ten to fifteen minutes, this time)
-Write 1,000 words
-Write this blog post
-Have breakfast

So there you have it. A little peek at my writing process. I'm going to tag all of you, so anyone who wants to write about their writing process, jump right in! :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Free Books!

Fauxpocalypse is free to download from Story Cartel for the next 21 days!

AND everyone who downloads and reviews it in the next four weeks will be entered into a raffle to win gift cards, books, or even e-readers.

I'm also giving away a paperback copy of Fauxpocalypse to one lucky winner. Check it out HERE. You still have 11 days to enter!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I, uh, well . . .

There is one question that most writers hate to answer.

"What sort of stuff do you write?"

That, and, "What do you like to read?"

The answer to both is, "EVERYTHING."

But we can't say say that, because the person asking us is probably looking for specifics. But then, as most of us do, we start to ramble.

"Well, I write a lot of fantasy, but sometimes I get tired of that, so I try to branch out by writing dystopian, sci-fi, romance, short stories, poems, horror, medieval fantasy, middle-grade, YA, picture books, fan-fiction--especially Harry Potter fan-fiction--non-fiction, historical fiction, contemporary, and any combination thereof. Oh, and I have a blog."

Then sometimes they ask what I blog about.

After I figured out that I was just substituting the answer, "EVERYTHING" for a longer version of the same exact response, I started coming up with shorter answers.

"I write a lot of fantasy. Mostly middle-grade. Kids are fun to write for."


"I've been writing a lot of young adult contemporaries recently. I'm trying to branch out a little."


"I've been experimenting with poetry. Our local library's annual poetry contest is coming up, and I really want to submit something great."

I have to stop myself from saying, "But that's not all I write! I also write [insert extremely long list here]."
Because how can I sum up what I do every day in just a few short sentences?!

Even questions like, "What have you been writing recently?" is hard to answer, because every day I write something different. Every. Day. Some days it's a blog post like this one, other times it's a chapter of my YA dystopian novel, and sometimes I edit my YA medieval fantasy novella. But I can't just say, "Hmm, mostly fantasy, though I write other stuff, too."

But after a long, long time of getting this question and not knowing what to say, I've finally come up with the perfect response.

"Do you want the long answer or the short answer?"

How about you? How do you answer these questions? Leave a comment!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Exciting News . . .

I just got my first job today!!! I am a "Soda Pourer" at the Renaissance Faire. :)

I was pretty nervous when I went in for my interview--especially since it was my first time being interviewed for anything like that--but it went really well! My interviewer was super nice and the whole thing lasted maybe five minutes. I pretty much got hired on the spot, filled out a ton of paperwork, and went home. I can't wait to get started!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Fauxpocalypse Giveaway!

YES, I will be giving away one paperback copy of the Fauxpocalypse collection! :) All you need to do to enter is check out the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Good luck!

Life on Earth is predicted to end on 15 July 2015. But the oncoming megatons of rock and ice break up shortly before impact. Now humanity must live in a world most believed would not exist. Across the planet, people are haunted by the future they did not fear, and even those who did not embrace death must face the consequences of others' decisions.

A collection of twelve stories about rebuilding hope.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 16, 2014

This or That?

I've been tagged! :) Thanks for nominating me, MorningTime4!

Rules: Answer the questions given to you, give the people you nominate the same questions, nominate three people and let them know they've been tagged.

1. Summer or Winter?
Summer, for sure. I'd much rather be hot than cold. Plus, I love sunshine, and I feel like it's always dark in the winter, no matter what time it is.
2. Blue or Pink?
Blue. :)
3. Frozen or Brave?
Ooh, that's a tough one. I'm going to have to go with "Frozen," though I really like "Brave."
4. Art or Reading?
Reading. Definitely reading. I am a terrible artist, but I'm okay with that. Just don't touch my books.
5. Christmas or Birthday?
Another tough one! I'm going to say Christmas, though, because of the feeling that's in the air in those few weeks before.
6. Flip-flops or Boots?
Boots. I absolutely detest flip-flops. I can't stand the look, feel, or sound of them. Especially that weird peg thing in between your toes.

7. Roses or Daisies?
8. Cat or Dog?
Dogs! You may say I'm biased, but even if I didn't have a dog I'd pick them over cats. Dogs have so much more personality. Plus, I'm severely allergic to cats. Just petting one will make my eyes get puffy and close up.
9. Vanilla or Chocolate?
Chocolate trumps all!
10. Europe or Asia?
Probably Europe, though I love sushi.
11. Raspberries or Blackberries?
12. Vintage or Modern?
Modern. I love my computers. :)

13. Pasta or Soup?
It depends on the kinds, but soup would probably win most of the time.
14. Elephant or Lion?
Elephants. :) They're so cute.

15. Long hair or Short hair?
Long hair.
16. Beach or Water park?
The beach, for sure!
I nominate . . .
Even if I didn't nominate you, feel free to jump in! :)

Friday, March 14, 2014

I Won!

I just found out that I am one of the winners of my local library's poetry contest! :) My winning poem, "Dear Dr. King," is actually one I wrote last year in April as a letter to Martin Luther King Jr. Here it is.

Written on April 4th, 2013

Dear Dr. King,

45 years ago today,
You were shot and killed by James Earl Ray.

Sometimes I wonder if you hadn't died,
If you could've done more when you were alive.

Then sometimes I think that by being the martyr,
You helped to do more with things that are harder.

Did you know I walked on your bedroom floor?
That I touched your house,
The kitchen door?
Today you could have been 84.

And teaching what's right.
All of that ended with a bullet in flight.

People filled with hate.
By the time we changed,
It was far too late.
For this never should have happened
To the human race.

How is it that we creatures
With brilliant minds
Could be so hateful
And so blind?
How is it that deep down we knew what was true,
But we would keep screaming terrible things
Until our faces turned blue?

Dear Dr. King,
I'm writing to say,
That I hoped while you lived
You lived every day.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Fauxpocalypse Review

The Fauxpocalypse collection just got its first editorial review! It got five stars from Lee Ashford at "Readers' Favorites." Check it out HERE!

Friday, March 7, 2014

No One Else Can Have You (a Book Review)

No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale

Released: January 7, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 389

The Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard meets the cult-classic film Fargo in this gripping and darkly humorous murder mystery by debut author Kathleen Hale.
A quiet town like Friendship, Wisconsin, keeps most of its secrets buried . . . but when local teen Ruth Fried is found murdered in a cornfield, her best friend, Kippy Bushman, decides to uncover the truth and catch the killer. Since the police aren't much help, Kippy looks to her idol, journalist Diane Sawyer, for tips on how to conduct her investigation. But Kippy soon discovers, if you want to dig up the truth, your hands have to get a little dirty, don'tcha know.
In this riveting young adult novel, Kathleen Hale creates an intricately plotted murder mystery that will keep readers guessing, laughing, and cringing until the surprising final pages.

Overall, I thought this book was pretty good. Once I got into it, it kept my attention. I was hooked. The mystery was interesting, the plot was gripping, and the creepiness was perfect.  I couldn't put it down and blazed through the rest of the book in two days.

However, the writing wasn't the best and there was a ton of (in my opinion) unnecessary swearing. I don't care about swear words if they're used well (such as in Eleanor & Park), but this was every other word. I also couldn't stand the characters. I have a hard time liking a book if I don't like the main character. Otherwise who am I rooting for? The plot mostly made up for that, but I couldn't get past the fact that Kippy was boring and really embarrassing. Socially awkward is one thing, but I found myself cringing at nearly everything she said. She didn't always make the best decisions, which I'm usually okay with (hey, nobody's perfect), but she didn't learn from her mistakes. I didn't really like her dad, either. He treated her like she was seven, and even though he was doing the best he knew how, she treated him badly back. Ruth was a jerk, too. Kippy read her diary after she died, and Ruth was constantly insulting Kippy behind her back. The only character I really liked was Davey, and he wasn't in it a whole lot.

To sum up, terrible characters, but a good story overall. It's definitely worth the read if you're into creepy mysteries.

(Actual rating: 3.5)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Happy Birthday!

Today is my mom's 40th birthday. My dad had the idea to surprise her with Happy Birthday blog posts that would publish all at the same time. So, Mommy, here is my list of 40 things I love about you:

1. Your thoughtfulness.
2. Your willingness to jump into anything.
3. Talking with you.
4. How you sing and dance like nobody's watching.
5. How you always put your family first.
6. Playing games with you.
7. Reading books with you.
8. How you make an effort to make everything nice for us.
9. Watching TV with you.
10. When you give us random hugs.
11. How you make everything fun.
12. How you're an open book.
13. How you make Maxim and me a part of big decisions.
14. That you talk to us openly.
15. That you treat Maxim and me like adults.
16. How you always know what to say.
17. That you ask for our opinions on things and really care about what we say.
18. That you always say, "I love you" before we go to bed.
19. That you worry about us like any mother would, but gives us our space when we need it.
20. You cook great food.
21. You're creative.
22. You're funny.
23. You're smart.
24. You like spending time with us.
25. That you always comment on our blogs.
26. You like the simple things in life.
27. That you always move over in bed when we have bad dreams.
28. That you miss us when we've only been gone for a few hours.
29. You get excited about the little things.
30. You create fun holiday traditions.
31. That you go all out to celebrate our birthdays.
32. That you take pictures of everything.
33. You get my quirky writing habits.
34. You get my quirky habits in general.
35. You're able to laugh at yourself.
36. You enjoy my friends, and my friends enjoy you.
37. How you're forty and still sleep with your teddy bear.
38. You take a genuine interest in our hobbies and try to understand them, no matter how complicated they may be.
39. That you save articles and funny pictures on your computer so you can show us later.
40. How much you love us.

I love you!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

February Wrap-Up

Books I Read

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare


Recommended to anyone who likes urban fantasy, romance, and a good, long series.

Girl, Stolen by April Henry


Recommended to anyone who likes action-filled books, simple stories, and short reads.

The Giver by Lois Lowry (a reread)


You can read my review HERE.

Recommended to anyone who likes dystopian and books that make you think.

Lay That Trumpet In Our Hands by Susan Carol McCarthy


Recommended to anyone who likes a simple story, historical fiction, and To Kill a Mockingbird.

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb


Recommended to anyone who likes non-fiction, autobiographies, and stories set in places besides America.

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare


Recommended to anyone who likes urban fantasy, romance, and a good, long series.
Crossroads Poetry by Miriam Joy


Recommended to anyone who likes poetry, quick and easy reads, and books that make you think.

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green (a reread)


Recommended to anyone who likes books that make you laugh, books that make you cry, character-driven stories, and romance.

No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale


You can read my review HERE.

Recommended to anyone who likes creepy stories, murder mysteries, and "fluffy" reads.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card


I've tried for three months to get into this book, but I couldn't. I can see why people like it, though. I'm just not a huge sci-fi person.

Keesha's House by Helen Frost


Recommended to anyone who likes poetry, character-driven/simple stories, and fast reads.

Movies I Watched

"Silver Linings Playbook"


Recommended to anyone who likes to laugh, likes simple stories, and quirky characters.

"The Lego Movie"


Recommended to anyone who likes parodies (this movie makes fun of a lot of iconic things, like Lord of the Rings and Batman), likes to laugh, and movies that appeal to all ages.

Quotes I Wrote

I bend down over what was once a campfire and run my fingers over the soot. My fingertips come away black and smelling like home.
--Flightless Birds

For a few seconds, I forget all about Liam and whether or not he's safe. Flynn's here, Mara's here, Toby's here, and I'm back with the Flock. Everything feels right, like broken pieces glued back together again.
--Flightless Birds

Obsessions I Acquired

The music from "Doctor Who." (Thank you, nevillegirl!) This one is a particular favorite of mine.

Making pixel art on Minecraft.

Any music by Lorde.

THIS song. I won't be able to hear it now without thinking about The Fault In Our Stars, since they used it for the trailer.

Picture of the Month

How was your February?