This week's writerly news, smores, and smore < --- pun... ha ha

So... I have a lot to say this week. Considering I don't have much time and I know you guys don't want to read for ten years, I'm going to break it down as quickly as possible. (Because I care.) But first, a quick FYI... I have some kinda cool news at the end of this post. (*wink wink*) Okay, here goes:

1) Last week I totally forgot to share our neat-o, homemade fire pit that we made while on vacation. We didn't want to go down to the beach for smores (although we ended up doing just that the last two nights we were there, anyway), so we bought a clay pot and well, I'll let the pictures tell the story. :D*

 YUM!!!! And also...

Our first itty bitty bonfire AT Oceano.

*Note: wanting to go to bed but wary of leaving the charcoal burning away in the alley behind the home we rented, we poured a bottle of water over the charcoal. BAD IDEA! The amount of smoke was enough for someone suspect the worst and call the fire department! So make sure you let it go out on its own.

2) The other day I asked for help on Twitter and my Facebook page and BOY did ya'll come through! If you missed the six character names chosen from your suggestions, check it out HERE.

3) I'm excited to announce that I'm participating in I HEART YA 2014! Yay!

I'll be doing two separate features, one being a character interview (which is cool because I'll be doing a *different* character interview a few weeks later for the Open Thy Heart release blog tour)! The feature will be right around when By Sun and Candlelight comes out (August), so I'm excited. It's so awesome of Annabell and Bridget to do this for us authors!

4) I've officially joined the Goodreads Ask the Author feature. You can ask questions HERE

5) I'm looking for a few teen readers to interview. I have one more lined up (and one so busy, they can't participate right now, hence the lack of one this month), and then I'm going to need a few more peeps. If you're interested or know someone who is, email me at coffeelvnmom (at) gmail (dot) net!

6) Don't forget both the She's the Man #JLBgivesawayaDVD giveaway AND the Open Thy Heart cover reveal giveaway end SOON! 

7) Last, as you may or may not know, I try to give those subscribed to my Let Me Tell You A Story e-newsletter a heads-up on things before I announce them officially online. (It's only fair, you know?) In keeping with that idea, I've decided to share a rather long excerpt of By Sun and Candlelight with my pals via the Let Me Tell You A Story e-newsletter a few days before it's available to the public on August 15th. So... if you're itching to read a bit of Rowan's perspective, but aren't a subscriber yet, well, PLEASE let me tell you a story!!! (I only send out one to two emails a month, so no worries about spam or anything.) You can subscribe right over there ----- >

WHEW! I believe that was about 9 1/2 years! Coffee, anybody?

HAVE A BLESSED WEEKEND, and read SMORE books, my friends! ;D

Waiting on Wednesday -- I'm Glad I Did

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.  
  This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is I'm Glad I Did
I’m Glad I Did

I'm Glad I Did

by Cynthia Weil
Publication date: January 27, 2015

From Goodreads:

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and songwriting legend Cynthia Weil's extraordinary YA debut opens the secretive doors of the Brill Building-the hit factory that changed history. Part Mad Men, part Grace of my Heart, part murder mystery, I'm Glad I Did is a coming-of-age story at an unforgettable cultural tipping point: the summer of 1963.

JJ Greene, a gifted 16-year-old songwriter, defies her lawyer parents by secretly applying for a job in the famed Brill Building-the epicenter of songwriting for a new genre called rock-n-roll. But their warnings about the evils of the music industry prove far darker than she imagined when she finds herself at the heart of a cover-up that involves hidden identity, theft, and possibly murder.

Story Locale: New York, NY.

This week's writerly news: Writing Inspiration while on vacation

Hey, guys! Last week our family went on our annual summer vacation. I try not to post things about being away from my home while I'm gone, so even though I took a ton of pictures that I wanted so badly to share, I did not. And yes, this might have meant a bit of angst on my part, but guess what? It means more pics right now for you! Yay! (Didn't that work out swell?) 

We went to the beach, more specifically, where pretty much everyone from the valley goes... Pismo. (But if you go to Pismo Beach you basically always also go to Avila Beach, Oceano, Grover Beach, and the nearby San Luis Obispo, because they're so close.) 

As usual, we writers are always a few steps ahead of the game, so while the second Flora book is coming out soon, I'm already over here working on book three and the second Cozenage book (after Pity Isn't An Option). And sure, blogs and Pinterest boards are great to capture ideas and whatnot (oh hey, here are mine, by the way...) I love coming across visual inspiration the natural way. So here you go... a few photos I took recently that will most definitely end up in my books in the not-so-distant future. 

Do I even need to explain this one?

On the beach. Loved the sunset coloring and
how very dark that one low cloud was.

Looking up from inside a
eucalyptus grove.

Another beautiful sunset.

A house even worse than the Pulman residence!

Took this whilst driving down a lonely road.
It has the Cozenage series written all over it.

Through the passenger window. Soooo
someplace Jonas would come across! 

I actually filmed this. It was evening, and these
birds flew by in a continual line for almost FIVE
minutes. They were all heading south, further out
to sea. (To feed, maybe?) It was CRAZY.

Trying to look through the eucalyptus. 

The grove again -- wanted to show the
dense foliage on the grove floor and
also how dark it was inside even in
the early afternoon.

Have a blessed weekend! 

Waiting on Wednesday -- The Young Elites

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.  
  This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is The Young Elites
The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)

The Young Elites

by Marie Lu
Publication date: October 7, 2014

From Goodreads:

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

Open Thy Heart -- It's Cover Time!!!

You guys you guys you GUYS it's HERE! It's finally HERE! 

Hafsah is an amazing designer and you MUST go to her BLOG RIGHT NOW (yes click that link there) and check out OPEN THY HEART and tell her just how much she rocks!

(Oh, and enter the giveaway, too, if you'd like.)



The bookmarks Hafsah made. No, the cover doesn't look like
this. It's on the other side, actually. Aren't they marvelous?

So... what do you think of the dahlia? Are you curious now? (What do you mean you haven't looked yet? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?) 

Excuse me while I go dance and celebrate with heaps of chocolate. As Eva would say, hasta luego! 

This week's writerly news

Happy Friday! This week I've been hunkered down getting OPEN THY HEART ready for betas. (The cover reveal is Monday. Squee.) And... as I write this post, I'm just not done yet. *hangs head* It's frustrating, because, I kid you not, I've been sitting at my computer for pretty much seven days straight. I'm at that point where my legs are mad at me and my eyes don't want to focus on anything and every single thing I read is so dumb that I should just delete it allllll and hide for a couple of weeks. (It's not a fun phase.) 

Author pals, I know you totally get this, and I just want to spread my slightly-tanned, jiggly arms out and hug you, because this part is so time-consuming that it's hard to remember how awesome it's going to be in a few (long) days. We have to stick together, yes? *grabs duct tape*

Reader friends, you probably kind of get this, and to be honest, that's enough for me. I guess basically what I'm doing is trying to be more honest about the process. (Not that I usually lie about it, but there is only so much time in a day. I do choose what to and not to share. And don't even get me going about the novella that's due to come out before OPEN THY HEART in uh, August, I guess? Hold on, I need tissues...)  

Anyway. I didn't mean to type out a ranty blog post. (I don't know what I meant to do.) This is so not my usual Friday post, so sorry about that. 

As for music (haven't shared any in a couple weeks), two songs I've been listening to on repeat whilst editing (deleting, screaming, bashing my head against my desk, and ingesting insane levels of caffeine--thanks Lovemuffin...) are

1) Breath of Life by Florence + the Machine


2) Hello Rain by Poor Man's Poison

Food-wise, I have nothing addictive to share, because for the past week I've been stuck--wait... we've been over this. (I've been eating salads and mini-candy bars and whatever I can get my hands on that takes two minutes or less to prepare.) Oh, and quick shout out to Kaitlin and Eugenia for the amazing virtual sweets to keep me going. 

Book-wise, right before hunkering (there's that word I never use again and then use twice in one post) down on OTH, I read a few books in a row. I'm not going to share the traditional ones because they have pretty great visibility already, but my indie pal Cheyanne's Somewhere Only We Know blew me away. Not because the writing was phenomenal (it's great, of course, Cheyanne if you're reading this, I don't mean it that way *bites fingernails*), but because the storyline was really good. Imagine a YA version of 50 First Dates, make the guy the one with the memory issue, add a supernatural element, and you have yourself Somewhere Only We Know. Oh, and pizza. If you like pizza (or sandwiches) you'll appreciate this. Wait wait wait I forgot to mention romance! (A touch of it.) I know I seem like I plug Cheyanne a lot, but I do it because I enjoy her work. (Note: I'd say this book is upper YA due to underage drinking and language.) If you'd like to check it out, go HERE.

Giveaway-wise, come back Monday or go straight to Hafsah's blog, IceyBooks, to see the OPEN THY HEART cover reveal, and enter to win swag and an e-advanced readers copy. (If you won the BY SUN AND CANDLELIGHT one, it's coming in a couple of weeks, I swear.)

And if you missed the She's the Man giveaway I've got going on, click over HERE ASAP because this is a fun movie and my pals Tabitha and Mandie (we're the #nerdherd crew on Twitter) and I are going to watch it very soon as our #nerdherdmovienight and you have to have seen it at least once before then! (More details coming soon.)

Last but not least, this month's #30daysofbookstagrams on Instagram is going strong (though I haven't gotten to do many posts). It's a fun way to connect with fellow book lovers (YA especially), so go HERE if you want to learn more about it. :)

Okay. I think I've probably procrastinated enough. Time to go pay bills work on OTH some more. 


Have a blessed weekend.

P.S. Sorry no pictures this week. If you actually made it through this entire post I'll send you book swag (and not just mine, either). Not kidding. Let me know in the comments. 

Waiting on Wednesday -- The Hit List

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.  
  This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is The Hit List
The Hit List

The Hit List

by Nikki Urang
Publication date: November 11th, 2014

From Goodreads:

The Los Angeles Conservatory for the Arts is supposed to be a new beginning for Sadie Bryant. Moving across the country is exactly what she needs to escape the gossip surrounding her injury, the devastating betrayal of her ex-partner, and to rebuild her career as a solo dancer.

When the school announces that the annual Fall Showcase, a performance that secures a spot studying in London, will now require each dancer to have a partner, Sadie’s fresh start is a nightmare. Now she has to dance with Luke Morrison, the school womanizer with a big ego. Sadie doesn’t know how to trust Luke enough to dance with him after her last partner left her broken, but Luke is determined to change that.

Then, The Hit List comes out. A game of sexual conquest where guys get points for all the girls they hook up with—and it seems like every guy at the school is playing.

The girl worth the most points? Sadie.