This week's writerly news -- Hallelujah from The Voice + reading goals

Hi all! Hope everyone here in the US had a great Thanksgiving yesterday! After stuffing our faces, we hit up Walgreens and I grabbed some gumdrops for my gumdrop tree (I finally get to use it again now that the dogs are outside all of the time--the German Shepherd attacked it and broke it two years ago so I stopped putting it out *sad face*). There's not a whole lot going on here, aside from the giveaway I'm doing for funsies (it ends on Monday), though I did want to share this video from The Voice because I love Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley (it's like Jonas Norton from Pity Isn't An Option's theme song) and Matthew Schuler did a great job, I think, doing his own version of it!

Also, I'm not sure I ever really posted my goals for the #ReadingCram2013 (my post is coming up on the 11th). So, here's my particular goal (I have specific books I want to finish by the end of the year in order to finally start a bunch of ebooks waiting for me):


I Capture the Castle

Where are you, Bernadette


If anyone wants to join #ReadingCram, click the link above--I'm pretty sure they're still looking for participants! Oh, one other thing... I have a new e-newsletter going out in a couple of days. If you haven't signed up, you might wanna! I'll be sharing something new and a cut scene from If I Speak True! (Did I ever share the cover here on my blog after the reveal at Hafsah's? I don't think I did!)

If I Speak True (Flora, #1)

add to Goodreads

See ya Monday, when I'm going to be sharing some fun DIY bookish Christmas gift ideas! :)

Have a blessed weekend!

Jonas and Hattie hate Thanksgiving, but Pity Isn't An Option! (#giveaway)

It's one day before our last meal.


I will never, ever think of that word the same way again.

All the dismal events that have happened over the past few years remain tucked away in the shadowy party of my mind--the part that holds on to all things dark with a death-tight grip. I try not to visit them often, try not to remember what they are.

But--they are there--this I know. And they aren't going to go away. At some point, the shadowy part is going to run out of room, and everything sad and hopeless and catastrophic that has happened so far will overflow. That's what I have to look forward to soon: To the moment when my brain can no longer absorb it and all the darkness and sadness and oppression will burst out of their gates and fill my head with ominous sludge.

I don't know why, but I have this twisted idea that celebrating Thanksgiving a few days early is actually good. If we celebrate it now, before the actual day, the holiday won't be eternally scarred. It won't be yet another memory that looms over  your head, a memory that, year after year, brings a sock to your stomach of that last Thanksgiving day we ever spent as a family as a whole.   

So because Thanksgiving plays a decent role in Pity Isn't An Option (Jonas and Hattie both hate it, but especially Hattie -- those are her words up there), I thought it would be fun to do a giveaway! There will be FIVE winners total, with each winner receiving a Pity Isn't An Option audiobook and an eARC of If I Speak True. There are a few ways to enter, but I made sure that the free option gave you the most entries in case it's the only one you use! (I've posted the giveaway here, AND on my Facebook page.) Have a blessed Thanksgiving, US folks! I can't wait to see who wins! (Giveaway ends this Monday, December 2nd.)

Pity Isn't An Option audiobook 
and If I Speak True eARC giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Waiting on Wednesday -- Second Star

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

Second Star

by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Publication date: May 13, 2014

From Goodreads:

A twisty story about love, loss, and lies, this contemporary oceanside adventure is tinged with a touch of dark magic as it follows seventeen-year-old Wendy Darling on a search for her missing surfer brothers. Wendy’s journey leads her to a mysterious hidden cove inhabited by a tribe of young renegade surfers, most of them runaways like her brothers. Wendy is instantly drawn to the cove’s charismatic leader, Pete, but her search also points her toward Pete's nemesis, the drug-dealing Jas. Enigmatic, dangerous, and handsome, Jas pulls Wendy in even as she's falling hard for Pete. A radical reinvention of a classic, Second Star is an irresistible summer romance about two young men who have yet to grow up--and the troubled beauty trapped between them.

Teaser Tuesday #4 -- The Lord of Opium

This is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

To participate you:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
(Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! 
You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) 
* Share the title & author, too, so that other Teaser Tuesday 
participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


This week's teasers are from:

The Lord of Opium
 (sequel to The House of the Scorpion) 

by Nancy Farmer 

The Lord of Opium (Matteo Alacran #2)

Teaser #1:
"Eejits can feel pain, mi patron, otherwise I couldn't train them."

Teaser #2: 
They scream, but it's an automatic function, like your heart beating or your stomach digesting food.

Waiting on Wednesday -- To All the Boys I've Loved Before

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.  
  This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is
 To All the Boys I've Loved Before
To All the Boys I've Loved Before

To All the Boys I've Loved Before

by Jenny Han
Publication date: April 22nd, 2014

From Goodreads:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

Top Ten Books I'd Recommend To My Best Friend

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish

This week's Top Ten Tuesday is:

Top Ten Books I'd Recommend to My Best Friend*

based on the fact that if the book was the first of a series, they would willingly read the entire series and not just the first book because you have to read them allllll!

This is an eclectic list (all YA) -- ranging from contemporary to dystopian to sci-fi to time travel to historical fiction. I basically chose books that entertained me and/or stuck with me long after I'd read them. (Books with ** are recommended for mature YA audiences only -- if you'd like to know why I have rated them that way, feel free to ask!)

 1) Hourglass

Hourglass (Hourglass, #1)

Read more about Hourglass, HERE.

2) The Knife of Never Letting Go

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1)

Read more about The Knife of Never Letting Go, HERE.

3) Unwind

Unwind (Unwind, #1)

Read more about Unwind, HERE.

4) Revolution


Read about Revolution, HERE.

5) The House of the Scorpion

The House of the Scorpion

Read about The House of The Scorpion, HERE.

6) The False Prince

The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy, #1)

Read about The False Prince, HERE.

7) The Sea of Tranquility **

The Sea of Tranquility

Read about The Sea of Tranquility, HERE.

8) False Memory

False Memory (False Memory, #1)

Read more about False Memory, HERE.

9) Stupid Fast **

Stupid Fast

Read more about Stupid Fast, HERE.

10) Jellicoe Road **

Jellicoe Road

Read more about Jellicoe Road, HERE.

Bonus pick: 

11) Tamar: A Novel of Espionage, Passion, and Betrayal ** 

Tamar: A Novel of Espionage, Passion, and Betrayal

This book really, REALLY stuck with me. If you liked Code Name Verity (or enjoy reading historical fiction from the WWII era, in general), you will probably like Tamar. It's by another Australian author (like Melina Merchetta of Jellicoe Road, above) and I was kept guessing as to the true story of Tamar pretty much the entire time. It still comes to me from time to time (I read it last March) and I'm just like, Whoa. So yeah. Here's one more I plan to eventually own and I just *had* to put it on my list as well. :)

Read more about Tamar: A Novel of Espionage, Passion, and Betrayal, HERE.

It's here -- IF I SPEAK TRUE's cover reveal!!!

It's official! The amazingly talented Hafsah revealed the cover of IF I SPEAK TRUE (Flora #1) today on her blog! Yayyyyy! I am so, so SO excited and happy with what she's done -- the cover scene plays such a big part with Dahlia and Rowan. :) 

Click HERE to head over to IceyBooks (Hafsah's blog) and let us know what you think -- plus, we're throwing a giveaway to celebrate! Woohoo!

Have a happy Monday, everybody! 

The Flora series and The Mossy Foot Project

So... I wasn't going to share this, but I'm feeling led to, so there must be a reason for it! (And honestly, I'd rather share about it now, anyway, if He's going to have me do it, so as not to appear as though I'm doing it for promo as the book release gets closer -- because that's not why I'm doing it at all.) Which means instead of my usual Friday writerly news and whatnot, this is going to be my post today.

Over the past month or so, I've really been feeling the Lord putting on my heart to donate a portion of the Flora series books to go to a foundation called The Mossy Foot Project. I could tell you a whole lot about The Mossy Foot Project, but really, it would be easier to give you the link and let you read about it if you want. So here's the link.
Mossy Foot Project

To summarize, the purpose of The Mossy Foot Project is basically to share His love with the people of Ethiopia while giving them the tools (socks and shoes) to keep from developing mossy foot, or the treatment and tools to stop the progression of mossy foot if one already has it. Mossy foot is a horrible, debilitating, and, sadly, culturally-shunning disease that is preventable by simply wearing socks and shoes. That's it. Shoes! If everyone had and was able to wear socks and shoes as they went about their business, there would be no mossy foot!!! For that reason, and because it's such a simple solution, and because for the past few years this foundation and the amazingly beautiful people of Ethiopia who need, deserve, and have the right to not have to deal with this (or receive treatment if they do) have been on my heart, a portion of each e-book sold in the Flora series (starting with If I Speak True) will go toward The Mossy Foot Project.

Now, I know that this might seem trivial to some. I mean, if the e-books are say, $3.99 tops, and I only make a portion of that, and then only a smaller portion from what I actually make comes from that, what's the point? Well, the point is, this is what has been placed on my heart. The point is, everyone deserves to be taken care of and shown His love, no matter who they are, or where they're from. The point is, every cent counts. It's not about how many e-books might sell and therefore, how much money will go toward this project; it's about the fact that more people will be helped by me doing this than if I didn't do anything at all.

And there you have it. I probably won't mention this again (though it will be in the back of the e-books so readers will be informed as to where a portion of their money has gone), and feel free to share this, but do not feel obligated at all. As I said, I was just feeling led to share what's been on my heart for a few weeks now. :)

Have a blessed weekend, everyone!

Waiting on Wednesday -- What I Thought Was True

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.  
  This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is What I Thought Was True
What I Thought Was True

What I Thought Was True

by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publication date: April 15th, 2014

From Goodreads:

From the author of My Life Next Door comes a swoony summertime romance full of expectation and regret, humor and hard questions. Gwen Castle's Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, is slumming it as a yard boy on her Nantucket-esque island this summer. He's a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island's summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she'll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen's dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.

A magnetic, push-me-pull-me romance with depth, this is for fans of Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Deb Caletti.

Teaser Tuesday #3 -- UnSouled

This is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

To participate you:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
(Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! 
You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) 
* Share the title & author, too, so that other Teaser Tuesday 
participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


This week's teasers are from:
UnSouled (The Unwind Dystology #3) by Neal Shusterman

UnSouled (Unwind, #3)

Teaser #1:

Then she starts the chain saw, and it roars to life, puffing forth acrid, hellish smoke and releasing an earsplitting report that makes Cam's seams ache in alarm.

Teaser #2: 

He means to grab her by the neck and hurl her to the ground, but instead he finds his hand reaching behind her to the ribbon in her hair and pulling it free.

Breaking News: Wanless Wanderer repost

This radio announcement was first featured back in May on Bound By Books a few months ago when Lisa went on vacation. I thought I'd share it, as this time of year is the exact setting for Pity Isn't An Option, and though not a whole lot is explained in the book about the state of the government (more to come in future book installments), this radio announcement does give you a view into how things operate a bit. Think of this as something you'd hear right before the book starts up -- I will most likely incorporate it into the beginning of PIAO when the novella tying book one to book two comes out early next year.


This is a breaking news announcement by your very own X at Wanless Wanderer Radio covering Wanless, California and the surrounding areas.

According to multiple sources, over forty Union meetings have been cited across the west coast over the past few days and a warning from President Seamus Kendrick himself was issued only moments ago. In that warning, President Kendrick reminded America’s citizens of their obligation to serve, saying conspiracies were by no means proof of anything solid. He also bridged the topic of recent fires igniting in towns across the state, including Perrierre and Hudsonville to the east, and acknowledged that hiding will ultimately do no one any good and the last thing he wants to do is ...harm anyone.

This will be the second time Unions have been reported as going into hiding in the past so many months, which leaves locals wondering if there is more going on than meets the eye. One anonymous source informs us here at the Wanless Wanderer that Unions are receiving leaked information from somewhere at the Capitol quarters, though no one, from the Capitol on down, is willing to say who from. If this is indeed true, it would explain the lack of willingness of volunteers for the previous years’ drafts, as Union members still hold quite a bit of clout even while they are in hiding.

Sacramento officials have been questioned regarding this matter by WW reporters but the bigs in Sacramento deny anything is going on and suggested listening more to Kendrick Radio and less to the whacko conspiracy ones.

Beyond whisperings that something else unofficial might be coming into the play over the next few weeks (an assumption many here in Wanless and other local towns have been wondering about), nothing appears to be in concrete. President Kendrick’s right hand man in our area, Mr. Tuscon Olive, affirmed during a recent interview that the only reason things appear to be worse is because people have stopped being together. That is what President Kendrick designed Markets for: a place for families to spend time with their loved ones and boost the economy by supporting local vendors.

When asked how the support appeared to be racking compared to last year’s pre-holiday season, Mr. Olive assured us that though Wanless’ finances were slightly down, it was, quote, nothing to worry about.

In the end, the real questions are no different than they were two, three years ago, folks. Where have the drafted men gone and why is Market continually pushed as so important? We asked Mr. Olive this at the end of the interview and, after a moment of silence, he gave us this answer:

Our men may be gone and I may not be able to tell you where they are, but remember this: Beyond the drafts and the lack and utter devastation many feel, it’s important to focus on what you still have. Hold your loved ones. Share your food with your neighbors. I’ve heard we’re supposed to be getting a drizzle here and there which means our water allotment might be going up so take care to conserve if you plan on having a garden. The President has many things going on, some of which I am unable to speak of, but do not doubt that he wants the best for you. His way may seem cold and calloused, but it is always in our best interest.

Upon asking Mr. Olive if he truly believed that himself, he hung up.

Reporting live with the facts of Wanless and the surrounding territories, this has been breaking news by X.

 photo 2b93ff4a-9d46-4fca-be81-9e81d764fc6d_zpsf9cc43b7.jpg

Seventeen year-old Jonas' blood disorder has taken away everything that matters. Sixteen year-old Hattie's father is losing his marbles. When Jonas' perfectly healthy twin brother and Hattie's crazy dad are drafted into the President's army, Hattie's dad disappears. Jonas and Hattie embark on a journey to find him, and find something they'd lost long ago in the process. Available now in e-book, paperback, and audiobook

This week's writerly news + check out my book haul!

Happy Friday! This week has been pretty busy! Here's what's been going on:

 photo eecf0b0f-be07-4453-a5db-c3c835f8d36a_zps5d71a67a.jpg

1) Birthday book haul:  Thanks to my awesome pals, here are some of the books I was able to get! :D I've actually already read Jellicoe Road (all the feels), Hourglass and Timepiece; I just wanted them for my collection! (Plus, I pre-ordered Ignite Me.)

2) I have some big news that I can't wait to share soon... SQUEE! If you're like me and hate to wait, sign up for my e-newsletter and find out stuff like this before it's posted anywhere else! (There's a signup link right over there --------->, above Pity Isn't An Option.)

3) This week's Teaser Tuesday book was Ender's Game (link)

4) My post this week at Operation Awesome was about writing blurbs (that quick bit of info on the back of the book or on its jacket), and one of my examples was the upcoming show, Almost Human! Can't wait to see it! (link)

5) This week's WoW was Dear Killer (link)

6) My pal Dana and a friend of hers are doing a Read - a - Thon (#ReadingCram) and I'm participating! They have lots of different, fun posts to choose from, and are also looking for more participants, so here's the form and info. (link)

Well, that's about it! Have a great weekend (and Veteran's Day), and happy reading!

Waiting on Wednesday -- Dear Killer

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

Dear Killer

by Katherine Ewell
Publication date: April 1st, 2014

From Goodreads:

Rule One—Nothing is right, nothing is wrong. Rule Two—Be careful. Rule Three—Fight using your legs whenever possible, because they’re the strongest part of your body. Your arms are the weakest. Rule Four—Hit to kill. The first blow should be the last, if at all possible. Rule Five—The letters are the law.

Kit takes her role as London’s notorious “Perfect Killer” seriously. The letters and cash that come to her via a secret mailbox are not a game; choosing who to kill is not an impulse decision. Every letter she receives begins with “Dear Killer,” and every time Kit murders, she leaves a letter with the dead body. Her moral nihilism and thus her murders are a way of life—the only way of life she has ever known.

But when a letter appears in the mailbox that will have the power to topple Kit’s convictions as perfectly as she commits her murders, she must make a decision: follow the only rules she has ever known, or challenge Rule One, and go from there.

Katherine Ewell’s Dear Killer is a sinister psychological thriller that explores the thin line between good and evil, and the messiness of that inevitable moment when life contradicts everything you believe.

Teaser Tuesday #2 -- Ender's Game

This is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

To participate, you:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
(Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away!) 
* Share the title & author, too, so that other Teaser Tuesday 
participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


This week's teasers are from:
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Ender's Game (Movie Tie-In)

Teaser #1:

"His brother is dangerous, his brother was rejected for this program because he's one of the most ruthless and unreliable human beings we've laid hands on."

Teaser #2: 

"Now it had been two years since he went, and there were no letters, none at all, and no remembrance on his birthday."