Fun Fact Friday (#1)

Hello and welcome to the first edition of “Fun* Fact Friday!” I want to give visitors to my blog a chance to get to know me outside of the “writing” me. So each Friday, I will share a snippet about myself.

*NOTE: The author makes no guarantee that all facts will be “fun.” She thought the title rolled off the tongue and decided to go with it.

And now I bring you today’s fact:

An incident occurred when I was little that prompted my dad to tell me I was book smart but had no common sense.
Okay, before we start with all the shock and gasps at my dad (how could he say that?!), let me share the incident.
When I was roughly the age in the picture, maybe a year younger, my dad watched my closely as I flipped the front cover of a rather hefty, hard cover book (maybe a dictionary or something like that), back and forth. I can’t say why I was amused by this action, but there I was, flipping back and forth completely entranced. I’m not sure how brilliant the next move was, but I placed my hand in the book and shut the front cover on my hand. That, in itself, was not painful. In a genius follow up move, I placed my free hand on top of the cover and proceeded to press down with the tiny amount of body weight I had. It was over then. 
I screamed and panicked, trying to pull my hand from the book while simultaneously pushing down and trapping my hand. I struggled frantically while my dad laughed, of course (parental right and all). If only I had realized that I had to stop pushing on the book. *le sigh*
So that’s today’s (embarrassing) edition of Fun Fact Friday. Tune in next week for another fun fact!
Ciao kittens!

How Writing Saved My Life

I have beautiful, wonderful, amazing friends who enrich my life in so many ways. I love these people for different reasons, each reason as unique as the person themselves. I feel so blessed to have met Tori. Check out her post and give her a shout out!

Coffee. Write. Repeat.

I have debated whether or not to write a post on this for some time, but am finally relenting. When I decided to start this blog, I knew I didn’t just want it to be a fluffy, happy, light blog about writing and trying to become an author. I wanted to be honest, and not just write about the happy, pretty things. I wanted to use this as a platform to talk about the difficult things too, the things people don’t always like to talk about. It may be early on to dive into it this heavy, but regardless, here it is.

More or less this has been the most difficult week of my life. Not only did another episode of illness knock me out for a week, but as I was starting to feel better I lost someone close to me, in a completely unexpected tragedy. Now I am not telling…

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What’s Up Wednesday (#2)

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up. Should you wish to join us, you will find the link widget at the bottom of Jaime or Erin’s blog.

What I’m Reading

Still working on Origin. I had to take a break from it to read The King by J.R. Ward. 

*sighs and swoons* 

It’s been a while since I’ve visited the world of the BDB, and The King did not disappoint. Confession: I skipped Tohr/Autumn and Blay/Quinn books but I couldn’t resist returning to Wrath and Beth. Love them.

What I’m Writing

I’m still editing HACKED. So here’s a giggle for you…

I thought I would love editing. Here was my opportunity to clean things up and make everything pretty. I could add the details and the nuances. It was going to be AH-MAY-ZING!

Yeah…not so much. 

This is me.


And this.


And this.


Okay, maybe not so much with the blood and flying eyeballs, but you get the point.

Still, we must soldier on.

What Inspires Me Right Now

I’m not sure if it’s inspiration or motivation, but I’m attending DFWCon in 25 days. I’m pitching my novel to an agent. I need to get it into some semblance of “ready.” 

I’ve also been really inspired by the music of this great new band I found, of Verona. I’m absolutely in LURVE with this artist. Their music has a haunting quality that sticks with you. 


What Else I’ve Been Up To

I’ve been up to a LOT in the past week! Friday brought a much needed gathering with wonderful friends. I’m truly blessed to have such amazing people in my life. 

Backing up a bit, Thursday brought Spring: Texas Style. We had one heck of a storm, complete with tornado warnings. While the tornado decided to stay north of us, we did get a hail storm. Yay, spring!


Here’s some pics of the final product. Go Mother Nature! (<— more sarcasm)

hail stones
hail on back patio



So what are you up to? Hope everyone has a great Wednesday!

Ciao kittens!

What’s Up Wednesday (#1)

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up. Should you wish to join us, you will find the link widget at the bottom of Jaime or Erin’s blog.

What I’m Reading

Right now, I’m reading Origin by Jessica Khoury. This book has been on my TBR pile for a while, and I’m glad I’m finally getting around to it. Jessica has such an amazing writing voice, and this idea is so fun, it’s easy to see why this book was published and optioned for a movie! I’ll be excited to see this one on the big screen. 

Reading is a luxury that I’m only getting to at night, mainly because writing has taken priority. This leads me to…

What I’m Writing

Earlier this month, I finished my first draft of my first novel. 

I was so excited to finally see the the end of what was both a labor of love and the bane of my existence for about a year and a half. So now, HACKED is in the first round of revisions. Initial feedback from my betas showed the story has a lot of promise, but like most first drafts, there are many holes to be patched and filled. It’s a tad overwhelming, but I’m looking forward to revising the story and making it stronger than before.

What Inspires Me Right Now

There’s so much that inspires me, but right now I’ll have to go with my discovery of the “Beat Sheet” from Save the Cat! Throughout my writing process, I knew there were “things” inherently wrong with my draft. The pacing was a really big issue for me and truth be told, I wasn’t sure how to fix it. I’d tried so many methods of plotting but none of them worked for me. Until now. I revisited my story with a beat sheet, trying to navigate the beat to find the pacing. And voila! The gaps became apparent and I revisited to see what needed to be cut. Needless to say, I was quite inspired to start right back into editing and I’m even more in love with my story than I was before. 

What Else I’ve Been Up To

I’ve discovered the joys of navigating first loves with my 6-year old son. Though it’s been a while since we’ve had “girlfriend drama,” my son and I had the following conversation on Monday on the way home from his after-school program. (NOTE: For the friends who have seen this on Facebook, I apologize for the repeat.)


Kiddo: Girlfriend and “other kid” were not being nice to me today. She hurt my feelings.
Me: Okay. What happened?
Kiddo: We broke up.
Me: You broke up? What happened?
Kiddo: Well, I thought she loved “other kid.” And she didn’t love me. And she was talking to “other kid.”
Me: Did you break up with her or did she break up with you?
Kiddo: Well, I broke up with her. Then she broke up with me.
Me: … Okay.
Kiddo: Yeah. I have drama.
Me: You have drama?
Kiddo: Yes. I have some of the drama. And do you know what? When she was with me, she didn’t even want to be with me.
Me: Who told you that?
Kiddo: My friend. He told me.
Me: He said that?
Kiddo: Yeah, he said “You have all the drama. You need to take a day off and just don’t worry about girls for a little bit. You need be by yourself for a while.”
Me: …
Kiddo: And he said, “Yeah, you can’t invite girls to your house all the time. And if you don’t be by yourself for a while, girls can be loud, and yell, and be noisy, and break stuff. And they might even mess up your house. They might even mess up your TV by breaking it.”
Me: … (I really have no words at this point because I’m laughing and almost in tears)
Kiddo: So yeah, that’s what happened.
Me: So you and girlfriend are broken up?
Kiddo: Nah. We fixed it. We’re together now.


*facepalm* I think I’m in trouble when he gets older. 

Hope everyone has a great Wednesday!

Ciao kittens!

COVER REVEAL – The Fires of Calderon (Balance Keepers #1) by Lindsay Cummings

*blows away the dust bunnies yet again and makes a resolution to get better at blogging*

Okay kittens…here we are again, and I see that I seriously need to step it up in the blogging department. But that’s neither here nor there right now since I’ve got a most AWESOME cover reveal for you today.

I’m so excited to share with you the cover of my friend Lindsay’s upcoming middle grade release, The Fires of Calderon. It’s the first book in the Balance Keepers trilogy. So here’s the cover love and the blurb, for your viewing/reading pleasure.

The first book in an epic middle grade fantasy adventure series that takes place in an underground society at the center of the earth. Packed with action, humor, magic, and mystery.

 After following a mysterious map into the woods and then under the woods, eleven-year-old Albert Flynn learns he’s a Balance Keeper—someone with special magical skills for fixing problems in three underground Realms at the Core of the earth. His new job is important; if the realms fall out of balance, the world above could be in great danger.

Albert and his Balance Keeper teammates Birdie and Leroy arrive in the Core not a moment too soon. There’s an Imbalance in the Calderon Realm and it’s threatening to bury Albert’s hometown of New York City in a mountain of ash.

The three must train hard completing mental and physical challenges, but above all, they must harness the power of their Tiles—unique superpowers given to each Balance Keeper. So far, Albert’s mastered the art of not mastering his Tile….

With the situation in Calderon growing worse every day, can Albert, Leroy, and Birdie restore balance before New York is destroyed forever? Will Albert master his Tile before it’s too late?

Perfect for fans of Percy Jackson, The Unwanteds, and the classic Journey to the Center of the Earth.

Love, love, love it! This is one book that I can’t wait to get my hands on. This book releases on September 23, 2014 from Katherine Tegen/Harper Collins. Check out the links below to add to your Goodreads or pre-order your copy today!

Add this book to your Goodreads
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
The Book Depository (International Buyers)

Don’t forget to visit Lindsay to keep up with all the latest happenings with her books and appearances!

Lindsay Cummings Blog

Congrats Lindsay! I’m so proud of you and this upcoming release. And much cover love!

Ciao kittens!

FIRE & FLOOD – Exclusive Bonus Scene from Victoria Scott + A GIVEAWAY!

*dusts off the blog and sniffles, then sneezes because of the dust bunnies*

Well kittens, I know I haven’t been posting here very often, and that’s because school and writing have sort of taken over my life. School mostly, since I only have four classes left. Writing because I’m hard at work with NaNoWriMo, and I have some exciting stuff to share about my current WIP. But more on that later because I have a *GEM* to share with you today.

One of my most anticipated reads of 2014 is FIRE & FLOOD by the completely awesome Victoria Scott. If you haven’t added this book to your TBR pile, then do so now. I’ll wait. Oh, and here’s the link for ya:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16069167-fire-flood

Okay, so now that you’re back, here’s the blurb for the book:

Title: Fire & Flood
Author: Victoria Scott
Publisher:  Scholastic
Release Date:  February 25, 2014

Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can’t determine what’s wrong, her parents decide to move to Montana for the fresh air. She’s lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying—and she’s helpless to change anything.

Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It’s an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother’s illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there’s no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.

The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can’t trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place?

Sounds completely amazing, right?! Well, if that wasn’t enough to whet your appetite, here’s a bonus scene you won’t find in the book. And if you think this scene is amazing, just imagine how awesome the rest of the book is!

FIRE & FLOOD Bonus Scene

Harper Shaw, Minor Character

 

The Brimstone Bleed started four hours ago, give or take. I’ve traveled as far as necessary for now, put adequate distance between myself and the other Contenders. There will be plenty who travel without stopping, without making a plan. 

Idiots. 

Like the others, I don’t know anything about this race, only that I need the prize—the Cure—more than I need my own beating heart. I can still remember my mother’s words as I left our home.

“I don’t know where you think you’re going, Harper,” she said. “But you can’t just leave us like this. Not now.” 

But I did leave. It’s not like I could tell her about the invitation. Or explain what would happen next. Because the truth was, I didn’t know. Two days ago, I was lounging on my bed, listening to Linkin Park and watching MTV on mute. Today, I’m here, in a jungle, fighting to save the most important person in my life. 

A caw rips through the late afternoon, and the dense canopy overhead rustles. I breathe in the smell of rich, damp soil that is almost invigorating. The air is thick and damp and clings to my skin, and everywhere I look is a plant I’ve never seen before. The world is a canvas of purple vines and orange flowers and greenery that swallows the ground beneath my feet. It’s both horrific and captivating at once. 

Every few seconds, I stop to swipe insects off my skin. It doesn’t bother me. I’m not the squeamish type. The only thing I’m worried about is the egg in my Brimstone Bleed issued bag. A Pandora, the device said. An animal that will help me win this competition. My heart roars in my chest when the bag against my hip stirs once again. 

Now that we’re alone, I drop to my knees and remove the egg. When I see a prominent crack down the side, my entire body buzzes with anticipation. I’ve never had a pet before. Not a dog, not a cat…not even a goldfish. And now I’m supposed to travel with an animal that could potentially save my life and Lillian’s? It’s hard to absorb. 

The egg cracks again, and I freeze. My hands hover over the iridescent shell, unsure of what to do. But this Pandora doesn’t need my help. It’s eager to escape its prison, eager to fulfill its destiny. I admire its tenacity already, but my stomach churns wondering what my Pandora will be like. Will it be ruthless? Endearing? Will it make it so that I don’t feel utterly alone?

The egg burst open and I fall back, a gasp escaping my throat. I glance around to ensure we are alone. And when I look back, my hands shaking, my eyes widening, I see it—

A feather. 
Ack, gasp, and all of those other exclamations! It gets even better my friends. You can enter the Rafflecopter below to win an ARC of this amazing book! If you win, I’ll be totes jealous – just sayin’! Good luck and don’t forget to check out Victoria’s other amazing series, The Dante Walker trilogy. 

Ciao for now!
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway