This week's writerly news (in photos)...

It's almost October! I cannot believe how fast this year has flown by. And speaking of October, my #JLBBirthdayBash will officially begin in a few days... can we say YAY for prizes??? :D

As for news, this week has been pretty busy. I figured out the title to Flora Book 2 (come back Monday to find out), heard from my editor (work to be done, but I still very much hope to have If I Speak True out beginning of December), wrote quite a bit (if you've never done twitter word-sprint write clubs like #FridayNightWrites or #writeclub, you should!) and started on my amazing cover/site designer, Hafsah's gorgeous-o book, UNBREATHABLE. (Can't wait to finish it this weekend. And, she has a fan site already for it. Talk about awesome, right?You can check it out here.)

So since I'm a little late in writing today's post, I thought I'd just share a few photos to sum everything up. Ready? O-kay!

1) IF I SPEAK TRUE (Flora #1) fun:

 photo cabcef4f-cfbd-4bb1-a4a1-617624d486df_zps6a107854.jpgSaw this yesterday and immediately thought of Eva, Dahlia's best friend (she loves to read about werewolves). If she had a journal and didn't prefer to talk so much instead, this would definitely be something she'd use.

2) Recent #amwriting note I'd completely forgotten I'd written until I found it: 

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Uh huh. 

3) Here's a teaser Hafsah recently shared for her book, UNBREATHABLE, the book I'm reading now (and she's donating an ebook & some bookmarks for the #JLBBirthdayBash!--Yay!):

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I know you want to read it yesterday now. ;) (It comes out in less than a month!)

 photo 7d6aeaf6-c6a1-409d-80e0-1d5d232f9735_zps9fa4b317.jpg4) Honestly, I can't even remember why I took this photo, but I came across it this week, and it made me think of Jonas in PITY ISN'T AN OPTION. See, he has thing against beans. If he'd seen this in the Norton kitchen, in fact, he wouldn't have been very happy. (Sometimes, Hattie's sister calls him Beanie, on account of his hatred for beans.) ;)

5) Not the best picture, I know, but here are a few things that will be going into drawings for my #JLBBirthdayBash (more to come, including UNBREATHABLE and PITY ISN'T AN OPTION swag, and other stuffs):

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So, there ya have it. Oh, and in case you missed it, my enewsletter will be starting up soon, so if you'd like to receive news and content before everyone else, here's the link!

Until Monday, be blessed!


Waiting on Wednesday -- Ignite Me

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine. This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3).

Ignite Me

by Tahereh Mafi
Publication date: February 4th, 2014

From Barnes and Noble:

The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, called “a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love.”

With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.

The Shatter Me series is perfect for fans who crave action-packed young adult novels with tantalizing romance like Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Legend by Marie Lu. Tahereh Mafi has created a captivating and original story that combines the best of dystopian and paranormal, and was praised by Publishers Weekly as “a gripping read from an author who’s not afraid to take risks.” Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and satisfying end.

An hour before the sun would let me read (#booklove)

In the search for some material for the second book in the Flora series, a friend of mine (Stephanie Wardrop) suggested the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning and I am absolutely loving her work. In my research, I came across a very long poem called Aurora Leigh and had to share an excerpt from it:

“Books, books, books!

I had found the secret of a garret room

Piled high with cases in my father’s name;

Piled high, packed large,--where, creeping in and out

Among the giant fossils of my past,

Like some small nimble mouse between the ribs

Of a mastodon, I nibbled here and there

At this or that box, pulling through the gap,

In heats of terror, haste, victorious joy,

The first book first. And how I felt it beat

Under my pillow, in the morning’s dark,

An hour before the sun would let me read!

My books!”
 ~ from Aurora Leigh by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Writerly News (and newsletter info!)

This week has been a whole lot of behind the scenes stuff. I'm late to post, so pardon me if it's a little messy (haven't had a whole cup of coffee yet):

Book Nerd Sticker (Bumper)
One of many things up for grabs during #JLBBirthdayBash
News: The only *real* news this week that's um, new, I guess, is that I'm in the process of setting up my e-newsletter. This is a fun experience, but takes getting used to, as I'm learning how to work the system, and that always necessitates a bit of tinkering around. On the plus side, knowing I'm going to have a group of people whom I can send super top secret cool stuffs to is definitely fun. I will share more about that come next month when we do my big #JLBBirthdayBash, but for now, I'll just throw out there that if you *do* want to be on the e-newsletter list, click HERE to fill out the form!

The Scorch Trials (Maze Run...Reading: I finished reading The Count of Monte Cristo, and Rose Under Fire (the companion novel to Code Name Verity--you can read my blathering review here. Be warned: I wrote it late at night when I was all emotional). And ohhhhh how Rose Under Fire broke my heart. (I searched for a few quotes to share but all of the ones I love give too much away. Sorry.) Whew. Now, on to... The Scorch Trials. Because, after looking all over Target and finding they *only* carry The Maze Runner (book 1) and then the third book (what the what?) The Death Cure, I finally found book two at the grocery store (you go, Mr. Dashner!).* 

WoW: In case you missed it, this week's Waiting On Wednesday post was Her Dark Curiosity. For those of you familiar with The Island of Dr. Moreau, it's kind of like a YA version of that. And the first one in the series left you hanging so BAD. It's one of those books I know I will inhale the moment it's available. (But wait. I do that with all of them. Sigh.)

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Writing: Still working on Flora 2 (can't wait to figure out a title... getting close) and getting all of my notes together. Not sure if you saw it on my Instagram (not following? Want to connect? Click the Instagram icon over there at the top right!), but I tend to make notes all over the place on whatever I can find, and then transfer it all over later. Yep. That's how I write. Random sentences and ideas that make up the overall plot. Then I have to fill in the blanks. So here's a fun photo (which I'm sharing because I just loved how the sun was falling on my *ahem* messy desk)

So, that's about it! It's a little cooler here now (not sure how long it'll last) and boy is it nice! Here's hoping you all have a blessed weekend with great weather as well!

*You don't even want to know all the books I bought this week. It's insane. Also: I won one from Me, My Shelf & I (and/or the publisher): Infinityglass by Myra McEntire!!!!! Yayyyy I AM SO EXCITED and cannot wait for it to arrive!!!

Waiting on Wednesday -- Her Dark Curiosity

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine. This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is Her Dark Curiosity (The Madman's Daughter #2).
Her Dark Curiosity (The Madman's Daughter, #2)

Her Dark Curiosity

by Megan Shepherd
Publication date: January 28th, 2014

From Barnes and Noble:

Inspired by The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this tantalizing sequel to Megan Shepherd's gothic suspense novel, The Madman's Daughter, explores the hidden natures of those we love and how far we'll go to save them from themselves.

Back in London after her trip to Dr. Moreau's horrific island, Juliet is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget her father's legacy. But soon it's clear that someone—or something—hasn't forgotten her, as people close to Juliet start falling victim to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes. Has one of her father's creations also escaped the island? As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, past bubbling to the surface, life threatened by an obsessive killer—Juliet will be lucky to escape alive.

Get ready for a par-tay! :D And writerly news

Hey all! So, the first bit of news for this week is, Pity Isn't An Option is finally available to purchase on audiobook! YAY! *throws coffee beans* *dances like Davey Jones* You can check it out and listen to the first two minutes on HERE. (It's also available on and iTunes.) Also, if you've thought about getting an Audible account but haven't been sure about it, they have a pretty cool deal where the first book you pick is free. (We did this a week ago when my sophomore decided to get A Tale of Two Cities--required reading--boy did reading along with the narration make a difference!) I'm pretty sure I'm going to take advantage of Audible, as I already have a list of audiobooks I'm wanting to get! ;) 
Pity Isn't an Option: Cozenage, Book 1 | [Jessica L. Brooks]
audiobook cover

Anyway. That's the first bit of news...

2) Next month I'm going to turn the big THREE-FIVE and in order to celebrate, I'm going to do a pretty big giveaway. This means indie AND traditionally pubbed YA books (one might, just MIGHT, be ROSE UNDER FIRE) will be up for grabs, along with Pity Isn't An Option's ebook and audiobook, and of course, book swag. It's going to be so fun, and best of all, this is the kind of party you can participate in whilst still in your PJs (the best kind! of parties... not of PJs... as for those, however, feel free to wear ratty, threadbare ones or whatever... no one'll notice) Isn't that great? ;)

3) Reading-wise, I'm still reading The Count of Monte Cristo and have officially decided that I'm going to purchase the DVD when I'm done and compare the two (with an open mind whilst watching Henry Cav--I mean, the movie) and perhaps have a fun twitter session of quotes. (I give myself weird rewards. I know this.)

4) IF I SPEAK TRUE is officially with the editor, guys. *squee* *freaks out* *panics* *flails* This means it really is going to come out soon, and to this, I say:

(If you're curious, I do have a pretty detailed IF I SPEAK TRUE board on Pinterest!)

and last:

5) If you missed it: I was over at Operation Awesome talking about how therapeutic words are hereand my Waiting on Wednesday post was, incidentally, about Operation Awesome alumni, Wesley Chu's, The Deaths of Tao! (Check it out here.) 

Have a blessed weekend!!! :)

Waiting on Wednesday -- The Deaths of Tao

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

The Deaths of Tao

by Wesley Chu
Publication date: October 29th, 2013

From Barnes and Noble:

The Prophus and the Genjix are at war. For centuries they have sought a way off-planet, guiding humanity's social and technological development to the stage where space travel is possible. The end is now in sight, and both factions have plans to leave the Earth, but the Genjix method will mean the destruction of the human race.

That's a price they're willing to pay.

It's up to Roen and Tao to save the world. Oh, dear...

Writerly News

Not a whole lot of writerly news for this week, mainly because this week is a short one and I'm reading The Count of Monte Cristo (slow reading, but I am really enjoying it--especially since I watched the movie so I have particular faces in my head). Plus, I've been working on edits and whatnot. But I did want to share a little excerpt from one of the things I'm working on, because I think it shows Jonas' heart and the way he is, following Pity Isn't An Option. So here it is, and it will *hopefully* make it to book two of the Cozenage series (as yet, untitled):

I write words like birds on the page. They glide across the paper, getting me from one point to the next, flapping their wings only when the momentum dies down and I need to be propelled further. They are my flittering pace, my fluttering hope. When all is lost and I have nothing and nowhere to go, I still have words, glorious words, and they comfort me and bring me home.

Have a great weekend!

Waiting on Wednesday -- UnSouled

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Hi, guys! :) Welcome to my first ever Waiting on Wednesday post! (Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, where readers post upcoming releases they're looking forward to.) 

Unsouled (Unwind Dystology Series #3)

My first "can't-wait-to-read" book is: 

by Neal Shusterman

Publication date: October 15, 2013

From Barnes & Noble: 

The story that began with Unwind continues.

Connor and Lev are on the run after the destruction of the Graveyard, the last safe haven for AWOL Unwinds. But for the first time, they’re not just running away from something. This time, they’re running toward answers, in the form of a woman Proactive Citizenry has tried to erase from history itself. If they can find her, and learn why the shadowy figures behind unwinding are so afraid of her, they may discover the key to bringing down unwinding forever.
Cam, the rewound boy, is plotting to take down the organization that created him. Because he knows that if he can bring Proactive Citizenry to its knees, it will show Risa how he truly feels about her. And without Risa, Cam is having trouble remembering what it feels like to be human.
With the Juvenile Authority and vindictive parts pirates hunting them, the paths of Connor, Lev, Cam, and Risa will converge explosively—and everyone will be changed.
Neal Shusterman continues the adventure that VOYA called “poignant, compelling, and ultimately terrifying.”

How about you? What books are you looking forward to? 

September's Mystery Agent Contest is in Full Swing!

Hey guys... our Mystery Agent Contest over at Operation Awesome is in full swing and there are still about 25 entry slots available (as of 10:00 a.m. PST)! Here's the deets:

It's PITCHING TIME! Are you ready to enter? Pitch your completed novel to our Mystery Agent. September's Mystery Agent has requested the following genres:

Young Adult
Middle Grade

  • Fantasy (all types, incl folk & fairy tale re-tellings and magical realism)
  • Adventure
  • Historical Fiction
  • Science Fiction
  • Romance (YA only)
  • Horror

(Dark comedy, original voices, and unique worlds a plus!) 

This is a three-sentence pitch contest, with a maximum of 75 words. Winner gets a full manuscript request from the Mystery Agent. 

This contest is open to veterans and newbies alike - so long as you have a complete and query-ready manuscript on your hands within the genres of interest, our guest agent would love to hear from you.

Contest goes live 9 AM central time and remains open until all entry spots are filled. The first 50 entries we receive will go on to our MA. Remember, this is a three-sentence pitch. Cheating with grammar doesn't count.

Head over HERE to read the official contest rules, and please spread the word! 

Be blessed!