For the Love of Swoon Hop




Thr33 Winners will receive a copy of Playing Hooky!

Excerpt:

A knock on our apartment door, and my sister trills a happy, “Good Morning, Emma,” and begins to sing me Happy Birthday, along with several embarrassing verses we wrote when she was five and I was seven. It includes something about monkeys slipping on banana peels.

“Someone shoot her.” Magpie grumbles from her doorway and slams her door shut.

Still in my skimpy sleep-clothes, I open the door to find my sister—long, blonde hair curled to perfection, not a strand out of place, red hair band matching her flouncy short skirt and the red hearts on her too-cute-for-words tights. Glimmering strands of silver lace peek through her pink sweater. As always, Angelina’s the image of vomit-inducing school-girl perfection.

And standing behind her—

Jason.

My best friend from childhood. The boy—er, man—who should be ten hours away in Kodiak, Alaska, rather than here in Anchorage.

The man staring at my naked legs.

And I’m standing here in my panties and baby-doll T, which clearly shows I’m not wearing a bra, especially as Alaska is cold in February and the door gapes wide open.
I cross my arms over my chest to hide my breasts and duck my bottom half behind the door. “Jason, what are you doing here?”

“To take you out for the day. It’s your twenty-first birthday. Did you think I’d let you celebrate without me?” He grins and slips into the room before I can stop him. His eyes travel up my bare legs (thank goodness I shaved last night) with the ugly wool knee-high socks, the black T with the pink Batman symbol, and ending with my short, blonde hair, sticking up in all directions on one side, matted on the other.


He's gorgeous. He's sexy. What's not to like?

Except I like a man with personality. And Jason has that too:

Inside the closest tent, stalls filled with white horses line the center aisle. Tack hangs along one wall in the entry way, and stacks of hay and barrels of oats fill the other side.

White horses with long horns protruding from their foreheads.

“How did they glue the horns on?” I lean in close to inspect.

“They’re real.”

I raise an eyebrow, and he grins.

“Seriously?”

“Would I lie to you?”

“There was that time you told me the mud pies would give me flying powers if I ate them.”

“Not my fault. I really thought they would.”

Growing up, he concocted the craziest schemes: trapping leprechauns and hunting for the pot of gold at the rainbow’s end, building our own invisible clubhouse far from where hikers and tourists would trek, or inventing flying bicycles. When the flying bicycle, version umpteen-thousand, failed to fly, he mixed up his own batch of mud pies.

We ate them (ick!) and jumped out of our favorite climbing tree. I broke my leg, and he didn’t even get a scratch. The next day, he picked me magical wild flowers that if I sniffed them would make the pain go away.

I threw them at him and said I never wanted to see him again . . . not that it lasted long.

Now I stand in a circus tent with my insane best friend with seven white unicorns.



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Allusive Aftershock review



Allusive Aftershock

by Susan Griscom




THE STORY

There’s no slow ramp up in Allusive Aftershock. From opening scene to the very end, the story has you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next and if they will survive the latest problem.



What makes this story so amazing is how realistic the dire situation was—three teenagers trying to survive after a natural disaster ripped their home and town and much of the surrounding countryside apart.



THE CHARACTERS

Adela – I loved how REAL she was. In some ways, she was supernaturally perfect in how spunky and caring and sweet and gutsy she was. Thrown into a horrible situation, she proved her strength every step of the journey.



Yet at the beginning, she struggled with envy and jealousy when Court could calm her horse. She purposefully and foolishly disobeyed Court’s orders to not ride Big Blue because she wanted to prove she knew better with her own horse.



And that was a very realistic depiction of a teenage girl: smart, sweet, funny, cute, and a little bit of foolishness thrown in. And I loved watching her grow throughout the story.



Courtland – He was absolutely sooooo thoughtful. He was strong and smart and an anchor throughout the whole story. A perfect gentleman and a great match for Adela. Did I mention swoon-worthy? And sweet? And muscles and emerald green eyes? But my favorite part about him is his connections to animals. I wish I had that ability.



Max – Half annoying jerk, half caring friend. I think the addition of his character was downright genius—deepening the plot and the character development and strengthening the story. Okay, I admit. I normally hate love triangles because (1) someone is always going to get hurt and (2) the girl rarely picks the guy I like.



But Max was different. He had deep issues that needed to be worked out with Courtland, and his story arc was one of my favorites.



OVERALL

5 STARS!!! I highly recommend this.

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Joint Book Review: Seraphina






by Rachel Hartman



RITA:


I got this as an audiobook from the library just before we left on our Thanksgiving trip to Memaw and Papa’s house. Since we didn’t have a family read for the long ride, I offered my book.

I didn’t know what to expect when I picked this up. I’d heard good things, and knew it was about a half-dragon. Beyond that, well, I just hoped it would be age appropriate for my three little spiders (ages 6, 8, & 10).



TJ:

I would place the age range slightly above the little spiders’ age range. Fortunately anything that might have been inappropriate was worded subtle enough that it passed over their heads.



RITA:

Both the writing and the world building are more complex than the spiders are used to, but they’re loving it almost as much as we did. Even our youngest laughs about some of the scenes and talks about the half-dragon girl, and here, I figured she’d fall asleep out of boredom.







TJ:

The vocabulary was a bit advanced, which I loved; there were even a few words I had not previously known. These words were easy enough to understand in context, and don’t worry there is no vocabulary quiz at the end. ;-)



RITA:

I liked the vocabulary too, but at the same time, it sometimes lulled my mind into a sleepy state. Maybe it was the reader’s soft voice and the way it rolled melodically through my head, but whatever it was, my mind would wander out of the story and then I’d be lost for a moment.



Best part of this story is the dragons. Every word the dragons say shows just how non-human they are: their emotionless nature, their analytical minds, their inability to understand the basic human concepts of love, honor, or empathy.



TJ:

The best parts for me were when she meets the other half-dragons. I especially liked Lars exclaiming “I LIKE IT LOUD!” in the middle of his concert. I liked seeing how they were all marked with different strengths and afflictions and how they had adapted to them. It is interesting that so many of them excel at the arts when it is something that dragonkind cannot seem to grasp.



RITA:

Haha, Lars was awesome. And Mrs. Fuss Pots hitting Seraphina with a book! That had us all laughing too.

Two things that made me grit my teeth:

(1) Seraphina’s constant lying to keep her secrets from people who I liked and felt like she could trust, and she kept cowering and wallowing in self pity. Oh, I’m so ugly with my scales. If they knew, they would revile me. So THANKFUL when she finally got over that.

(2) The racist bigotry from both dragons and humans in their great dislike and distrust of each other. Why can’t we all just get along? Why can’t we love each other for our differences?

Yet both of these things added tension and world building and character development to the story. They frustrated me, but at the same time left me in awe of the author for the added detail.



TJ:

Describing music in words has always been a difficult task. Yet the author seemed to make it look easy. As an old band geek and choir singer I have a passion for music. I also spent a few years in architecture classes (until the lack of sleep took its toll). At one point she begins describing the music using architectural structure elements, I was in awe hearing her describe the music this way spoke straight to my soul.

Cover Reveal: Playing Hooky



by Rita Webb


eBook available for purchase on Amazon and B&N

Valentine’s Day.

And my 21st birthday.

Whoop-de-doo.

Just another college day full of classes and more homework than is humanly possible.

…until Jason, my best-friend-since-kindergarten, shows up to take me out for the day.

Like old times: the two of us on a wacky adventure, playing hooky from real life. With his lopsided grin and tickets to a circus full of misfits and monsters, he introduces me to a whole new world—one full of magic and mystery—and turns my reality upside down.

Except nothing goes as planned, and we end up running through the city to find a missing siren before someone brews a love potion with her blood.

Sirens and love potions, witches and elves, and Valentine kisses. Nothing will be the same for me again.



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Metalic Rose by Spider Girl Webb #2




My daughter SpiderGirl Webb #2 has an eye for color, texture and shape. She made this picture for me and I wanted to share it with all of you.

Cover Reveal: Justice by Rhiannon Paille




Rhiannon Paille
(The Ferryman and the Flame #2)
January 22nd 2013


How far would you go to destroy yourself?

Krishani always knew he would have to go to the Lands of Men, but he never thought it would be like this. Enemies everywhere, an ancestor he can't respect, elders he can't trust, a curse he can't stop and friends he can't help but hate. Desperate to end the pain, he sets out on a quest to find the other Flames and face the enemy that took everything from him.

Art by Marc Wolfe (www.marcwolfeart.com) / Typography by Frankie Rose












Blood & Gold
Rhiannon Paille
(The Ferryman and the Flame #2.5 -- JUSTICE from the villain's POV)
June 2013


The Daed are pawns to one of the most powerful members of the Valtanyana. Crestaos is insane, his hunger for the Flames insatiable. The closer the Daed get to achieving his goal, the more expendable they become.

Art by Paragraphic Designs / Typography by Rhiannon Paille

















Rhiannon Paille - Author Bio

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
Rhi was never a normal girl. Her life was an urban fantasy wrapped in a paranormal romance and served with a side of horror. To escape her everyday weirdness she began writing fantasy. She studied at U of Sedona and MIMT, obtaining a PhD in Metaphysical Science and Parapsychology. She's married to a chef/comic book shop owner and has a fondness for architecture. She frequents twitter and facebook, but if you really want to get to know her you should visit her site: YA Fantasy Author











Feature & Follow 1.21.2013



Q: Who is your favorite villain from a book?


Good question!

I like villains with complex motivations. I want to read a villain who can inspire their people to follow them because of their kindness and goodness. Yeah, I want a good villain.

It drives me nuts when the bad guy will kill off his followers because they failed. That's just a stupid policy. Then you have to replace him with someone with less experience, and failures are an important part of learning.


So one of my favorite villains is Dustfinger in the book Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. Dustfinger has one goal: to return home. And he'll hurt anybody to get what he wants.

But at the same time, he's caring and compassionate. And as a reader, I want him to achieve his goal . . . even though his methods aren't the best.








Another favorite villain is Allie Beckstrom's father in Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk. I mentioned him in another post. Throughout the series, you don't know whether to root for him or against him. His methods are evil, but he's after a noble goal:  to purify the taint in magic. Of course, he also wants eternal life, and it seems as though he's willing to take his daughter's life to achieve that goal. But then every now and then, he does something nice and good. Leaves you in a quandary as to whether to trust him or not.



Thankful Thursday 1.17.13



Thankful Thursday is a meme hosted by Inspired Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.


I am thankful for grapes. No seriously. Grapes are awesome.


Grapes are like nature's candy. I used to keep a bowl on the kitchen counter, and as I went about my day, I'd grab a few everytime I passed through the kitchen. Yummy.




But I have this problem with food where I easily become allergic to any foods that I eat too frequently. I've been forced to give up:  wheat, corn, eggs, milk (and then later, goat's milk too), soy, yeast, coconut, pineapple, GRAPES, and most recently Hemp milk. Or anything made with one of those ingredients. I have been sorely missing ice cream lately. And tacos.


A couple months ago, I was visiting my in-laws and putting grapes on the kids' plates at lunchtime, and I grabbed a handful for myself. Imagine my joy when I had NO scratchy throat or burning in my mouth!!!


Out of all the foods I've given up, I've only gotten ONE back:  grapes.  It took two years of not eating any for me to recover from that one allergy, and now I'm soooo very careful not to overeat them again. We only buy them once every couple months, and I only have them once during the couple days before they are gone.


And it gives me hope that someday, I can have ice cream and tacos and not get dizzy or swell up like a balloon or get a sore throat or have a hard time breathing.


Sometimes it's the little things, like grapes, that make you appreciate life.


Joint Book Review: Crimson Crown




Cinda Williams Chima



Joining me today is my husband TJ to argue discuss with me the book Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima.


RITA:

I’ve been waiting all year for this book, the last in this series, so when it finally came into the library, I immediately picked it up to read.

TJ said, “Oh no, you don’t. I’m reading it first.”

“I promise I won’t tell you anything.”

“You’re Sagittarian. You always tell me everything.”

I’m not quite sure if that’s exactly how the argument went, but we’ve had this argument a 137 times in the last 13 years. So this is a pretty good approximation.

In the end, he won. I have an eidetic memory, and when I try to sum up, I end up reading the book, page for page, from my mind’s eye.

I decided to be nice and let him go first.

Thus I had to wait 24 hours. Grrrr.



TJ:

Not that I gave her much of a choice.

Most of the time Rita is the one who reads YA and then begs me to read them, but this series had one big advantage. I like wolves!

I quickly tore through the first three books and was then forced to wait for the final installment. That’s the problem with finding a good series several books in; you get spoiled because you can read several books back to back and then reach for the next one only to discover it isn’t written yet.

When I finally got The Crimson Crown, Rita didn’t have to wait long. I finished it in under 12 hours. Of course that means I was attempting to homeschool the kids on two hours sleep.



RITA:

12 hours is a long time to wait after you’ve already waited a year.



TJ:

It was generally agreed that daddy was a little grumpy, but it was worth it. Rita did not seem too appreciative when I crawled into bed at six in the morning excited about the book and letting her know it was her turn.



RITA:

He kept the light on all night, so I already got little sleep. Being woken up at 6 made me grumpier than he was.



TJ:

That did not keep her from following in my footsteps and staying up until six the following morning.



RITA:

7:30 was when I finished. I got about an hour and 15 minutes to sleep before I had to log into work.



But it was soooooo worth it.



I love books where the male and female lead are both strong. Raisa was not a girl who waited to be rescued. She acted decisively and with strength. She never backed down. She never caved. And she was a queen who would walk into fire to save her people. Or into the lion’s den to rescue her sister.



TJ:

I agree, Raisa and Han both show a lot of courage and strength throughout the series but especially in the Crimson Crown. There are so many different factions involved that it takes both of them to unite the kingdom, …er queendom.



I like how the author showed all that Han had done and gone through was for Raisa. It would have been easy to make him into a power hungry lord who wanted to usurp her power.



RITA:

Yes, everybody vying for Raisa’s hand in marriage—Nightwalker, Micah Bayar, the general’s moronic sons, the king from the neighboring realm—for power, but Han wanted Raisa simply because he loved her. However, it would take a miracle for him to have her since marriages between a queen and a jinx-flinger are forbidden.



I loved how Han and Raisa’s love mirrored the story of Alger Waterlow and Queen Hanalea a thousand years before. The past and the present intertwined to make the book so much richer.

Love is in the Air Giveaway Hop







Two winners will each receive a copy of Daughter of the Goddess & Playing Hooky

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Book Review: Meant To Be



Meant to Be
by Lauren Morrill


I’m usually not one for a contemporary romance, YA or otherwise. I did enjoy a few Sophie Kinsella books, and now and then, I like an easy read with a little mindless fun. But normally, I like magic and the suspenseful thrill rides you can get in many of the Urban Fantasy books out there.




So why I picked this one up, I don’t know. All the same, I’m glad I did, and I predict a few more contemporary books in my future.



Favorite Quote:



Or maybe Jason's right: there are perfect people, many of them, and it's up to you to grab one when you find each other in the random chaos of life and love.



Julia is adorable. A bit OCD, but still adorable. And I liked watch her let go of her good-goody demeanor as she learns how to have fun and break rules.



Jason is loads of fun, and once you get him away from the crowd, he becomes so real. We get to find his tender and thoughtful side, beyond the class-clown demeanor.



They are opposites and yet so much alike! Loads of fun to watch these two unlikely people come together.



Highly, HIGHLY recommend!

2013 Feminist Reads Challenge



I love strong heroines. Katniss. Hermione. Kate Daniels. Mercy Thompson.


I love them best when their male counterpart is just as strong.


I believe men and women are equal in value, but are very different in their souls. We complement each other, build each other up, support each other. Women need men; men need women. Teamwork. Friendship. Adventuring together.


So when I saw the 2013 Feminist Reads Challenge on The Hiding Spot blog, I just had to join. Well, I figure 95% of the books I read will have strong heroines, so why not?


The Hiding Spot says this:

Therefore, any book that features, by your standards, a strong female character or supports feminist ideals is eligible for this challenge!
Examples include: The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Dairy of Anne Frank, Matilda, The Handmaid's Tale.

I'm picking the MEDIUM challenge of 5 to 10 books!


Books I've already read for the challenge:


1. Catching Jordan by Miranda Kineally

2. Stealing Parker by Miranda Kineally

3. ??? Yet to be determined

Now come on and join in the fun! Go to The Hiding Spot and follow the instructions to sign up!

Know Me Better 1.12.13




A meme by Inspired Kathy of I am a Reader, Not a Writer blog.


This week's questions:
Where is your favorite spot to read?
Are you a fast or slow reader?
Fanfiction - Love it or Hate it? Have your ever read/written it?
Summer or Winter?
Truth or Dare?




Where is your favorite spot to read?
The couch. My husband sits on the other end, and I often have my feet in his lap. He usually has a book too, and we interrupt each other a lot to read excerpts from our own books.


Are you a fast or slow reader?
Slow. I have a tendency to jump ahead on the page to read something more interesting and then to come back and read what I missed, then I've got to read what I had read out of order again. But since I read a lot, I make up for it.


Fanfiction - Love it or Hate it? Have you ever read/written it?
Hate might be too strong of a word. When I was a kid, I wrote fanfiction all the time. That's a good way to get started as a young writer, I think. Now, however, I wouldn't read it or write it.


Summer or Winter?
Fall. I love the changing of the leaves, the crisp air, the earthy scent, and this feeling of newness, of change, that only occurs in the fall and spring. After that, Winter is good, I guess. I love snow.


Truth or Dare?
Truth. I don't like giving someone else so much control over me by being allowed to dare me to do something I wouldn't normally do.

Unless, of course, it's my husband and he dares me to kiss him . . . or something. That would be okay.

On Talent Envy and Drawing Dragons

I have a secret confession: I've always had ART TALENT envy.


My mom can draw anything. Growing up, my brother and cousins could too.


And I can make stick figures.


Now I'm married to a man who is an artist, and my talent envy is through the roof. We've spent evenings drawing, and one night when I was trying to draw a picture of a wolf that I got from a calendar and botching it horribly, he gave me the best advice:  "You're trying to make it 3-D, but you're picture will really be 2-D and what you're looking at is 2-D. Just draw what you see."


Suddenly, I got better. Oh, I can't draw anything from my imagination, but I can draw what I see. Not good enough to sell any of my work. But I'm happier with my attempts.


Here's how that wolf picture eventually turned out:




A friend of ours gives drawing lessons to the kids, and the last lesson was how to draw dragons. Sunday night was Spider Girl #3's special night (it's hard to give each kid special attention when you have 3, so we instituted special nights where one child gets fun activities with mom and dad), and so we drew more dragons together. I didn't know how to do it, but between my daughter and my husband, I got it figured out.


Here it is. What do you think?




Okay, one wing is bigger than the other, but he's still so cute!


So what Talent Envy do you have?

Book Review: Days of Blood and Starlight




Days of BLood & Starlight
by Laini Taylor



Favorite quote:

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living—one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers’ arms to take their turn in the killing and dying.


Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon’s secret temple and dreamed of a world that was a like a jewel-box without a jewel—a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness.

This was not that world.


Heart-wrenching, painful, and sweet & wonderful, all at the same time.




Days of Blood and Starlight contained much blood with only a glimmer of hopeful starlight near the end. But every word, both at the darkest and the lightest (which is still rather dark) of moments, is beautiful, and the story is gripping.



I love Karou. From her blue hair to her indomitable spirit. But in the first half of this book, she is purposefully trying to destroy herself out of guilt and grief. So certain it’s her fault, she cowers before her people who hate her for a betrayal that isn’t even real.



Love is not a betrayal!



Seems a bit out of character for her, but even the bravest of us can believe lies and let the world defeat us for a short while. However painful it was to watch, Karou found her way out of the lies and the guilt.



Thank the starlight for Zuzana and Mik and Issa! People need friends. Even the mega superheroes who are out to save the world need hugs and an understanding ear to talk to.



But the most beautiful part of this story was Akiva. I loved watching his battle to stop the chimaera onslaught. I loved his passion and his heart and his determination to create peace.



The ending, like the first one, is bittersweet and marvelous and perfect. I’m amazed by the wonderful storytelling.



Can’t wait for the next book!!! (Have you noticed I say that a lot?)

The Meaning behind Daughter of the Goddess

Ephrielle from Hope, Love, and Happy Endings (a cute blog with loads of great book info) says about Daughter of the Goddess:

"I was thinking this would be quick fun little romance. What I ended up with was more motivational story. Sort of look inside yourself and face your inner demons. See them for what they are."




Truth is, she is totally right, and I can certainly understand her hope for a fun romance and her disappointment in my novella. When life is hard, I often want something easy and fun. (P.S. Sophie Kinsella and Janet Evanovich both write some fun stories, but the best I read recently was Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill. LOVED that one!)


Another blogger said they were also disappointed by Daughter of the Goddess because it wasn't as close to the Greek myth of Eros & Psyche (where my inspiration for this story came from) as she had expected. She was right too. I did take a lot of liberties with my rendition.


Eros means love. Psyche means soul. And in my story, I named her Nephecia, which came from the Hebrew word nephesh meaning soul...


...and can also be translated as LIFE.


I really wanted to explore the idea:  What is Soul? It's Life. Abundant and vibrant. The deep part of us that allows us to create and laugh and sing and dance. And that is who Nephecia is, a bright soul that, even in her darkest moments, could never be extinguished.    


And love, the real kind that lasts a lifetime, requires souls that have vanquished their inner demons. With a 50% divorce rate (or is it more?), our nation is full of people who go into marriage still broken by callous words and rejection and neglect and abuse. Their souls are hurting, wounded, empty.    


Daughter of the Goddess is a parable about healing the soul, fighting your inner demons, and finding real love.     But if you want something more fun, I've got another novella coming out late January / early February called Playing Hooky. It's the start of Paranormal Investigations, a new series for college-aged YA. Stay tuned and I'll share an excerpt in the next few days.

Persephone Giveaway

 
 
 
From Goodreads:
There are worse things than death, worse people too
 
The “talk” was bad enough, but how many teens get told that they’re a goddess? When her mom tells her, Persephone is sure her mother has lost her mind. It isn’t until Boreas, the god of winter, tries to abduct her that she realizes her mother was telling the truth. Hades rescues her, and in order to safely bring Persephone to the Underworld he marks her as his bride. But Boreas will stop at nothing to get Persephone. Despite her growing feelings for Hades, Persephone wants to return to the living realm. Persephone must find a way to defeat Boreas and reclaim her life.

 
 
Read my review here!


GIVEAWAY RULES:

 
  • Winner will receive 1 eBook copy of Persephone by Kaitlin Bevis
  • International contestants welcome
  • Begins Monday 1/4/2012
  • Ends Friday 1/11/2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Book Review: Persephone by Kaitlin Bevis




From the first paragraph, I was enthralled with this story. I read it all in one sitting and enjoyed every minute of it. What a great spin on a Greek myth! Move over Rick Riordan!




She did an awesome job threading many of my favorite myths throughout the story without bogging it down and still seamlessly intertwining it with the modern day.



The vivid description of Persephone’s Underworld reminded me much of The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell, and it felt much like greeting an old friend. However, the Underworld in Persephone is much more grown up. The stakes are higher. The danger more real. And full of people from Ancient Greece to meet.



Oh geez, that’s really sad. I just called the Underworld an old friend.



Characters!!! Persephone Kora is such an awesome character! She has all my favorite qualities: caring, friendly, stubborn, gutsy, an independent thinker. She winds up in the Underworld to hide from Boreas, the god of winter, and turns a bad situation into a good one—she makes friends and finds a place for herself in this world without a sun.



And Hades was . . . everything a god should be: temperamental, egotistical, handsome, and with just enough caring and thoughtfulness to make him still likable.



The plot is very similar to the traditional story of Hades and Persephone, but author Kaitlin Bevis has so much personality and witty writing that it seems fresh and new. Especially with a few twists she adds.



The ending was perfect, and I can't wait until I get my hands on the next book! Thankfully, it is already out.



Love, love, love this story. Check it out!

2013 Goals

I never do New Year’s Resolutions. Instead, I make goals—writing goals, family goals, personal goals.




Goal #1 – Playing Hooky – January 2013

A Paranormal Investigations novella



I always try to keep a fun project. It feels good to write something short, edit it, and publish it in a short amount of time (3 months) as opposed to the year long process a novel can be.



Currently, I’m waiting on the cover from my favorite artist and from the feedback from my beta-readers. This should be out by the end of January!



Goal #2 – Tsol & the Lizard Man – Spring 2013

Co-Written with my friend Wendy Swore, this one is already finished; it just needs to be edited and released this Spring.



Goal #3 – Dare to Sing – Summer 2013

(a Feather & Talon novel, sequel to my short story)

My husband and I are writing this together and we’re half way done. I hope to have it out this summer.



Goal #4 – Wendy Amazing and the Girl’s School for Mad Science – Fall 2013

Stand-alone novel for ages 10 to 12

Half way done writing. My goal is to finish this and have it out this fall.



Goal #5 – Songs – Winter 2013 / 2014

Sequel to Tears and the end of that series

Okay, I’m dreading this one, but I need to finish the story I started. I want it to be perfect—world building, characters, everything—and my self-doubt whispers to me that I can’t do it.



Goal #6 – Get started on my 2014 projects

I’ve got so many plans, and after I release the five books I’m working on, I’ve got to move onto the next books in my plans:

(1) Heart of Fear, sequel to Dare to Sing,

(2) Symbiote (a stand-alone I’ve been working on for 2 or 3 years now)

(3) the nameless sequel to Tsol & the Lizard Man

(4) the novella sequel to Playing Hooky



Goal #7 – Lose 10 pounds by May 15th.

Okay, I’ve been working on this for years now. But I think I finally found the secret ingredient: SLEEP. I’ve been burning the candle at both ends since I started writing five years ago. I stay up late to write, get up early for work, and drink loads of coffee or Mountain Dew to get through the day.



Can I really do it all?!?!?
So all these writing projects, and I’m cutting out my normal writing time. My evenings are often taken up with dance classes, and I work all day. And the weekend is for the family.



Somehow I have to squeeze time out of nowhere. I need Hermione’s Time Turner.



The good news is that many of my projects for 2013 are mostly done. And I work best when I have several projects to move back and forth between. When I get bored of one (or stuck), I switch, and when I come back to the one I was bored with, I find I have a fresh perspective.



And most of my projects are shared with others. I usually either write with my husband or my dearest friend Wendy Swore. So although I’ve got big goals and plans, I have friends who carry the burden with me.



And I have some things I'm cutting from my schedule: 
READING. I read over 100 books last year, and it really cut into my writing time. *sniff* But I'm sure going to miss all those good books. Of course, I'll still read, but I'm hoping to keep it down to 50 books this year.

COMPUTER GAMES. Well, I'm not really going to miss that at all.

MARKETING. Of course, I still need to market, but my efforts will be vastly different. And I will schedule my time more carefully.


What about you? What are your goals?