Earlier this week, you heard me singing the praises of John Green. It all started when I downloaded a book that I thought my husband and I could listen to on a long vacation drive. I chose Looking for Alaska.
Early in the drive:
Husband: So this is YA?
*Husband makes a face since he doesn't like much YA*
Husband: Really? Hmm...What made you pick this book?
Me: It has great reviews. BTW, I think it's been banned in some schools.
Middle of drive:
Husband: What do you think put this book on a banned list?
Me: The profanity.
Husband: No, not it.
Me: The sex.
Me: The drinking? **he shakes head** What then?
Husband: The smoking. They smoke too much.
End of drive and book:
Husband: That's the best YA I've ever read (heard).
Note: Husband went on to read Will Grayson, Will Grayson. He agrees that it is terrific.
My husband is wrong. It's not the smoking. John Green and his brother Hank have lots of videos posted on YouTube where they call themselves the VlogBrothers and also nerdfighters. The video below featuring John Green was uploaded to YouTube in January of 2008 and has almost 500,000 views. Thanks to Tami Clayton
and Sandi Jones
for pointing out the awesomeness of John Green's vlogging.Looking for Alaska Awards:
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year (2005), Booklist Editors' Choice (2005), NYPL Best Book for the Teen Age, An ALA/YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers (2006), Los Angeles Times Book Prize (2005), Printz Award (2006), ALA Teens' Top Ten (2005), Michigan Library Association Thumbs Up! Award Nominee (2006), ALA's Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults (2006), The Inky Awards for Silver Inky (2007), Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2009)
1. Reading The Fault in Our Stars and crying
Yeah...go on. Call me a crybaby. I really didn't want to read this book. It sounded too sad. Also, there's something about having so many good reviews that you feel you might be disappointed. That happens to me a lot with movies.
I bought this book while in Philly on a business trip. Mine is autographed. I thought, "Oh, this will make an excellent prize for a blog hop." Then, I never gave it away and packed it for our trip to the beach. I read it and then thought about reading it again. Umm-hmm.Blurb from Amazon
: Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.
2. Reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson and laughing
So, I decided I had a new author crush. I listened to Looking for Alaska
by John Green on the trip to Destin, FL. Then I read The Fault in Our Stars
while on the beach. I hurried over to the bookstore and grabbed another John Green paperback since all my books are on my iPad these days. The characters in Will Grayson, Will Grayson
are so real, and the humorous dialogue had me rolling. I'm sure I was very annoying to those seated in beach chairs on each side of me. I listened to Green's book, Paper Towns
during the trip home. I have it bad for the man.
There are many themes in this book: friendship, bullying, depression, and homosexuality. I think this book is brilliant.Blurb from Amazon
: One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, Will Grayson crosses paths with . . . Will Grayson. Two teens with the same name, running in two very different circles, suddenly find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, and culminating in epic turns-of-heart and the most fabulous musical ever to grace the high school stage. Told in alternating voices from two YA superstars, this collaborative novel features a double helping of the heart and humor that have won them both legions of fans.
3. Eating ceviche at Cantina Laredo
Click here for a recipe.
My husband and I devoured the appetizer. Everyone else at our table kept saying, "But it's raw seafood?" And we kept explaining that the marinade of lime cooks it, so it's not rubbery or slimy (like oysters). No one else would try it.
4. Watching waves between napping
We left our beach vacation at the right time. It seems that after we left, Hurricane Debby moved in.
It was beautiful while we were there. I meant to do some writing while on the beach. I really did.
5. Hearing the ice cream truck everyday
I never bought any ice cream, but the musical sound of the ice cream truck made me smile. He came through our neighborhood twice daily. I hope he made enough to pay for his gas. Who am I kidding? Those ice cream bars probably costs $5 apiece.
| || |Jaycee DeLorenzo
and Victoria Smith
are hostesses for the Girls Just Wanna Have Fun! Blog hop!
Interview a heroine of your manuscript, novel, or WIP by a fellow female counterpart also from one of your written works. Your featured heroine can be interviewed by her best friend, a heroine from another one of your written works, a sister, the opportunities are endless!
- Have your heroine answer at least 3 of the questions recommended below or make up your own!
- Post a picture of your heroine, the interviewer, or both!
- Post a song for the theme of the interview or a song that reflects your featured heroine's personality.
- Follow Victoria and me on our blogs.
- Post our hop button! (Though not required, feel free to repost on your blog about the hop!)
- Post your entries on June 22, 2012 and hop around the other blogs through the linky!
Hi. I'm Emily, but you can call me Em. Welcome to an interview with my bestie, Mia Taylor. She's the heroine in the Whispering Woods series and a reluctant interviewee.
So Mia, you have this gig as superhero working in interdimensional espionage with the hottest guy in Whispering Woods. Hey, no eye rolling or sighing. I am totally serious. First question of reality show epic proportions is...How would you describe your hero?
Mia: I object to this question. I'm no superhero and your use of 'my hero' makes it sound like Regulus is Superman and I'm Lois Lane. On second thought, I could be the Lois Lane from the later comic books because she was a real woman. As in very gutsy and didn't need rescuing. Yeah. I could be Lois Lane.
Mia, Mia, Mia...I knew that you would get all itchy talking about your love life. No avoidance tactics will work. Back to the question. Describe Regulus. Go.
Mia: Stubborn. Overly confident. Too beautiful for his own good. Are you happy with that answer?
Ahh. You think Regulus is beautiful? That is so sweet. Okay, lose the stink eye. I'm moving on. Question #2: What is one thing you believe can tell a lot about a person?
Mia: You should always pay attention to how a guy treats his friends. If he treats his friends like crap, then you can bet he's not going to be any better to you. Regulus would do anything for Arizona, and I respect that. I just wish he wouldn't fight with my guy friends. Maybe it's a testosterone thing. I also think if a guy talks too much, he's not listening to you and it's all about him. And the way he treats my dad is important. He has to be nice to my dad. If he's nice to my dad's face and then disses him in private, that is so not cool. Sorry. That was three things.
No, that's good. You should talk to me more. We rarely have girl heart-to-heart convos. I mean, we practically have manversations. One more question: What attracts you to a guy the most?
Mia: I know that you are expecting me to say dreamy eyes, rockin' bod and a great smile. That doesn't hurt. But I also know there are some real idiots who fit that bill. The thing about Regulus is that he has this sense of honor. Example, when we play video games, he's always covering everybody to get out alive even when there's twenty zombies marching at his heels dropping limbs like a baby drops pacifiers. He doesn't even think about saving himself. He's like that in real life, too. He cares about other people, and he tries to hide that. He's really passionate about things.
Passionate? This is getting good. Another question. Boxers or briefs?
Mia: Really? We are so not going there.
Okie dokie. Thanks for playing along, Mia.
Check out the other blogs participating in this hop!
I'm taking a break this week and appreciating an ocean view. During the day, I've read Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I would give The Fault in Our Stars 6 stars out of 5. Today, I'm reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan. I find an author I love and read everything he/she writes.
At night, I'm reading Slipstream by Michael Offutt. It's stored on my iPad, so I can't mix reading with sand. I'm enjoying this author's natural flow of dialogue and narrative. I only wish I could wrestle my husband's Kindle away from him to read on the beach. That is the only reason I'd like to have a Kindle in addition to my iPad. I may try to read it from my iPhone while in the beach. Good books call for desperate measures.
In other news, Rafflecopter drew Natalie C. as the winner of the Indie Author Hop Giveaway and I've contacted her. Thanks to everyone who entered!
I'm excited to spread the word about Stephen Tremp's novel, Breakthrough. Stephen is offering a special event to readers for a free download. Breakthrough is volume one in The Adventures of Chase Manhattan series. I can't wait to read this tech thriller.
A scientific breakthrough of such magnitude it could radically alter the future of humanity—for better or worse—is in the wrong hands.Breakthrough Book Giveaway:
Stephen Tremp invites you to join him on June 18-19th
for his Book Giveaway. Breakthrough will be free to download from Amazon
on the 18th and 19th HERE.
<- Click it to get your copy. If you don't have a Kindle, you can still read books on your computer. All you have to do is download the Kindle for PC software.
Visit the Synopsis and Reviews Page
Breakthrough is a fast paced thriller with more twists, turns and surprises keeping readers on the edge of their seats until the very end and wanting more. Suspense, intrigue, greed, betrayals and more, Breakthrough is author Stephen Tremp’s groundbreaking novel, which belongs on the New York Times bestseller list. – Fran Lewis
, Radio talk show host, and author of the Bertha Speaks Out series
Stephen Tremp has crafted a terrific page-turner filled with adventure, intrigue, action, and suspense. The characters are superbly crafted, the settings are richly described, and the plot is very well-paced. If you're looking for a highly readable adventure story, get this book. A perfect book for the beach or the ski lodge! – Amazon Reader
A timely book that speaks to our generation with its technological breakthroughs and the struggle to use it for good or for evil. The concepts were well researched. What I liked most were the refreshing characters. Its time to read about new good guys with diverse personalities who somehow find a way to work together. Same with the bad guys. Lots of action with terrific character buildup combined with twists in the plot. Never a dull moment– Barnes and Noble Review
Looking for the Indie Author Hop? June 13th to 19th
Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
& Krazy Book Lady
I'm giving away an ebook of my YA fantasy, The Waiting Booth
. Molly Zenk is co-hosting this giveaway with her new release, 90 Cats and No Litter Box In Sight. CLICK HERE TO ENTER or scroll down to yesterday's post.
Confessions of a Writing Class Junkie
I admit it. I’m addicted to taking writing classes. Although I’m not taking a class at the moment, I find myself constantly searching for the next one. There is such a wide range of topics and expertise online that I’d like to share the ones I’ve discovered. The classes I’ve taken were all inexpensive and loaded with information.
Click HERE t
o read more at the DSRA blog.
Hang On To Your Wallet
We talked a little about marketing and book swag last time
. I chose one of the least expensive items in marketing when I went with my romance trading cards
for a giveaway item. As a reminder, I paid $59.10 total for 2000 cards from www.gotprint.com. I've used them for giveaways and sent them to two author/reader conferences for bags.
I've given away larger items for marketing purposes. During my blog tour in April, I offered a grand prize of a Kindle Touch eReader or Nook Simple Touch (approx. $100) . I also offered romance trading cards from my books to 20 winners. Using the Rafflecopter widget, I was able to track my return on investment (ROI)
of this giveaway. Click HERE
to read more at Gloria Richard's blog.
Indie Author Hop June 13th to 19th
Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
& Krazy Book Lady
Participants in this hop give away a self published or small press book. To access all the participating blogs, click HERE.
Both prizes in this hop are from a small press.
I'm giving away an ebook of my YA fantasy, The Waiting Booth
. Molly Zenk is co-hosting this giveaway with her new release, 90 Cats and No Litter Box In Sight.
| || |
A missing boy, government agents, an interdimensional portal...
Mia has one goal for her senior year at Whispering Woods High—find her missing older brother. But when her science project reveals a portal into another dimension, she learns that travelers are moving in and out of her woods in the most alarming way and government agents Regulus and Arizona are policing their immigration. Mia’s drawn to the mysterious, aloof Regulus, but it’s no time for a crush. She needs to find out what they know about her brother, while the agents fight to save the world from viral contamination. But when Regulus reveals that he knows Mia’s secrets, she begins to wonder if there’s more going on than she thought...and if she was wrong to trust him...
| || |
Glynis Kirby's love life stinks. Her boyfriend dumped her for another guy. Her next-door-neighbor held her hostage on prom night. And now she's been trapped in a Porta-Potty by a monkey with a switchblade. And she's not even going to talk about her date with the poly sci major with the Pocket Ouiji Board. Maybe she really is desperate enough to take everyone's advice—including her mother's (ugh!)—and date the dashing Daniel Bond.
Corin Lancashire runs the popular blog site mydreamgirl.com where he chronicles his less than stellar attempts to get noticed by his dream girl, Glynis Kirby. After taking the "all girls think stripteases are hot" advice from a reader, and discovering that "all girls but Glynis think stripteases are hot," Corin disables the comments feature on his blog and takes matters into his own hands to build a friendship-crawling-toward-relationship with his dream girl. But competing with the charming, suave, and well-dressed Daniel is a hazard Corin didn't anticipate, and neither is the information he digs up on Daniel that could threaten Glynis's life...
A book pitch is a summary of your novel that should hook the reader. Main character and plot are essential. The pitch can be as short as one sentence in length. You can find pitch events online where you are required to post yours in the comments section and hope for the best.
On May 31st, I pitched my latest MS to Heather Howland of Entangled Publishing. The Romance University website held the event HERE
. If you click on that link, you will not only see all the pitches but her responses. She responded to all of them, and there were a lot. I didn't receive a request. She replied to my pitch with the reasons. This competition required a 3-5 sentence pitch.
Dorothy Dreyer hosted a pitch event on her blog over the weekend, and I participated in it HERE.
The agent Natalie Lakosil of the Bradford Literary Agency is requesting a full manuscript from the winner. This competition required a 3 sentence pitch.
Here is the 3 sentence pitch for my manuscript that I posted on Dorothy Dreyer's blog. I tried to take Heather Howland's advice in tweaking it.Title: Lucky When Abby survives 9/11 as a child, she doesn't realize that she's been given a gift that allows her to sacrifice her own life to prevent death for those around her. Newly hired bodyguard Ace joins Abby in uncovering a prophecy and finds himself with the almost impossible task of keeping Abby alive. Mysterious nested boxes imprinted with a code lead to events that prove Abby's safety will only get people killed.
Have you ever participated in a pitch contest? Here are some more opportunities:
Etopia Press editor Rachel Firasek -
The lovely Rachel Firasek
is an editor now with Etopia Press and is taking pitches through midnight 6/12/12 at this link.
I'm lucky to have another guest this week! Please welcome Ute Carbonne who has a romantic comedy, The P-Town Queen. Check out the blurb and the read a little more about the book!
Nikki Silva thinks she’s blown up her life. Divorced, funding for her shark research cut off, she’s moved back to Provincetown to live with her father. Nikki’s written a grant proposal funded by a commission run by her ex-husband Ned, who would rather not give money to his ex-wife.
Marco Tornetti wants to turn Newark spaghetti joint into a trendy bistro. His silent partner, Fat Phil Lagosa, wants to use the place to solicit questionable business deals. When Fat Phil turns on Marco and has him marked for a hit, Marco knows he’s in too deep.
Marco escapes the hit man and takes the first bus out of the city. Marco figures that Phil would never look for him in Provincetown‘s gay community. But when he meets Nikki, he finds that pretending to be gay isn’t as easy as it would seem.Buy it on Amazon Champagne Books
Oh the places you’ll go to… by Ute Carbonne
Writing a novel is a little like making soup. Okay, that may not be the most apt metaphor, but just bear with me. There are quite a few ingredients that go into the soup when the story is created. The three main in ingredients are plot, character, and setting. Voice is the seasoning and theme is the pot itself.
There’s a lot written about the importance of character and plot. There are debates about which of these is more important and questions over which you, the writer, should begin with. But the third element, setting, is often overlooked. And yet setting-- where and in what time period the story takes place-- is at least as important as plot and character. In the case of the P-Town Queen, setting is so important that it made its way into the book title.
The P-Town Queen is set in Provincetown, a touristy town on the very end of Cape Cod. If you imagine Cape Cod as a flexed arm, Provincetown is the fist. Surrounded on three sides by water, tiny Provincetown has about five thousand permanent residents. In the summer, the number of people swells the population and like most seaside tourist towns, P-Town caters to summer visitors. It’s chock full of ice cream shops and t-shirt huts and restaurants. But P-Town isn’t your average tourist town. P-Town also has a very vibrant gay community. Couple the vibrant gay community and summer tourists with a small enclave of very traditional Portuguese American fisher families—all co-existing (very peacefully, I might add) on this little spit of sand and you get the picture.
The P-Town Queen began with a hero running away from a mob hit and hiding out under an alias. Add Provincetown to the mix, and part of the alias became “gay man”. Add a heroine with a traditional family that is part of the fishing community and you end up with—comedy soup.
The P-Town Queen set anywhere else just wouldn’t be the P-Town Queen.
Visit Ute on her BLOG and WEBSITE.
I have a special guest today. It's my pleasure to introduce Hildie McQueen
. Her Protector series is a hit, and she's giving you a chance to win the prequel, Desperate Choices,
at the end of the post. You can also enter for the Starbucks gift card.If you expected my Insecure Writer's Support Group post, it went up yesterday HERE
. Take it away, Hildie!
Desperate Surrender by Hildie McQueen
I have the sequel blues...
If you have more than one child you will understand me. When my eyes landed on the cover of my first book, I was beyond words. I took tons of pictures with my expensive camera from every angle, with and without flash. Then I held it up and my husband took tons more.
Yesterday the sequel arrived. I didn’t do a happy dance instead I smiled. I didn’t take tons of pictures—I took two…with my phone.
So why am I blue? Because this book is better. Not a prettier child than the first, no not that, it’s that when you do something for the second time, you learn from the first and this book, Desperate Surrender
, deserves as much excitement as the first.
Maybe my mellow smile and the fact that I carried it to bed with me when it arrived, is a more mature celebration of what I consider one of my biggest accomplishments.
I never thought I’d be published and I definitely never figured on a sequel!
So a soft ‘hurray’ for Desperate Surrender, I am sure its future is a bright one!
I am proud to announce Desperate Surrender
, Kieran Fraser and Wendy O'Sullivan's story... Blurb: Wendy O'Sullivan’s life drastically changes upon discovering she is not human, and is charged with guarding the Key of Peace. To make matters more complicated, she reunites with the Protector she's dreamed of since the day he rescued her from a demon attack. Kieran Frasier, hasn’t kissed, much less loved a woman in over three hundred years, his heart firmly encased behind thick walls. The fierce immortal defends innocents from powerful demons, but can he defend himself from diminutive Wendy, who manages to get past all his barricades? Faced with arranged marriages to others and battling demons that will stop at nothing to capture Wendy, will they be forced to surrender their chance at true love for the greater good? Sometimes your biggest obstacle is not who you are, but who you love.
Buy Desperate Surrender on Amazon
(Paperback & Kindle)
Buy Desperate Surrender at Barnes and Noble
(Paperback & Nook)
GIVEAWAY! Enter to win one Amazon Gift Card and a free copy of Desperate Choices, the prequel to the Protector Novels.