Monthly Archives: March 2011

Write Hope

I have mentioned this auction by and for writers before, and I will mention it again. Today, a pair of custom mitts crocheted by me goes on the auction block. My auction post will go live at noon EDT. Please check it out, as well as the other items still open for bidding.

In other news, I will return next week with another installment of Read-Through Thursday; I plan to change the name of this blog to reflect my personality and my writing interests; and if you have not yet voted for one of the four polished excerpts on Adventures in Children’s Publishing, please do (the link takes you to my excerpt. Look in the sidebar on ACP for the poll and the links to the other entries).

Update (4/2/11): Voting on ACP has ended and the Sophie excerpt won. Thanks for all the support!

I am so proud to be part of this community!

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Please Vote!

So remember that online workshop I put Sophie through this month? Well, all of our newly spit-shined and polished versions are up again on Adventures in Children’s Publishing with a poll. Vote for your favorite of our excerpts and the winner gets a book. Yay!

Brenda, Nicole, Janet and I have worked hard. Go check out my first five pages and my competition, and then vote for your favorite in the right-hand sidebar (on ACP).

Thanks for your support!

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Read-Through Thursday: Princess for Hire

Before I get to this week’s post I want to let you know about an important series of events. Write Hope’s auction to raise money for Save the Children’s relief efforts in Japan is going on right now. Several items are available for bidding each day. You can bid on signed books, signed ARCs, critiques, and Skype chats with publishing industry professionals. A pair of custom made fingerless mitts to be crocheted by yours truly will be on the block at some point, too.

Now on to our regularly scheduled programming:

3/24/11: Princess for Hire by Lindsey Leavitt

Up until now I’ve only written about YA books in this series. I found this on the YA shelf at my library, but the character is about to start 8th grade. So maybe it’s in the tween category? Anyway…

Desi has a sucky summer job and struggles with feeling like vapor. Her crush doesn’t notice her, her former beauty queen mom and lawyer dad are busy with her baby sister and she has a fight with her best friend. She dreams of having an impact. Then Meredith steps out of a bubble and offers her a job as a substitute for royalty. This is the chance Desi has been waiting for.

However, in her training she is told she is just a fill-in. She shouldn’t cause any waves for her princess or try to have an impact on her life. But Desi can’t leave well enough alone. Will it cost her the best job she has ever dreamed of or will she finally have an impact in her own life?

I was afraid this book would be cutesy. I was so wrong. Well-written with a great message, I look forward to book #2!

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Flash Fiction Crusade Challenge

This month’s Crusade Challenge is to write a 100-word or less flash fiction story that begins with the words, “The goldfish bowl teetered…”

I have never written any flash fiction before.  Rachael added the extra, yet voluntary, challenge of writing it in our usual genre.  I took it a step further and used characters from my current YA wip and put them in a situation that doesn’t exist in my manuscript.

LA DANSE

The goldfish bowl teetered when Vincent’s hip banged into the antique table in the salon.

Vincent steadied it.  “Wouldn’t want to kill Maman’s precious poisson.  Sophie, I warned you I can’t dance.”

I bit my lip to hide the smile.  “You can dance, with the right teacher.”

I gazed into his chocolate brown eyes.  I had no chance with such a hottie.  My summer in Paris would end with me alone, as usual.  But he made me feel like anything was possible when he looked at me like that.

He grinned down at me and held out his hand.

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Read-Through Thursday: Darkness Becomes Her

This is a series wherein I will discuss whatever book I’m reading or have just finished.  Feel free to post in the comments what you’re reading or your own thoughts about the books I discuss.

3/17/11:  Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

At 17 Ari Selkirk doesn’t know her father and can’t remember much about the mother who gave her up to the foster system when Ari was 4.  Her most recent foster family takes good care of her and taught her to take care of herself – they’re bail bondspersons.  Following a tip Ari heads into New Orleans, now called New 2 and ruled by the Novem, a council made up of the nine most powerful and oldest families who bought it from the government after two devastating hurricanes destroyed most of the city.  Now it’s a haven for freaks and all sorts of paranormal creatures.  Still with me?

Ari hooks up with a “family” of kids who look as freaky as she does (a little girl with black bobbed hair and mini fangs, a teen with golden yellow eyes…) and help her discover who is trying to kill her, what the curse on her and her female ancestors is all about, and what happened to her father.  Along the way she falls for a hottie, while still maintaining her tough exterior.

I’m going to stop there so I don’t spoil it for anyone.  And I mean that because you really should read this!

This story is filled with atmosphere and creepiness and is told by a kick-ass heroine.  The end makes it clear another book is coming, which sometimes annoys me, but I was so hooked by this one, and the main story problem is resolved, that I don’t mind.  But I can’t wait to read what comes next for Ari!

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March Pages Workshop and Hand Warmers

Martina from Adventures in Children’s Publishing and author Lisa Gail Green are hosting a March online workshop on the first five pages. I was lucky enough to be one of only five entrants. Last Saturday our first five pages were posted for critique. We then spent last week revising. The revisions for four of us are posted now. Feel free to check out my entry and leave a comment. While there, you can visit the other entries by looking in the right-hand navigation panel for links to the other three (mine is #1).

Thanks so much to Martina and Lisa, and everyone who commented, for their help!

On a different note, below are two of the three different pairs of mitts I crocheted myself this winter to keep my hands warm while I write. I also made a pair in brown and I started a pair in navy blue that I didn’t finish. In addition to these I made a black pair for my best librarian friend, a pink pair for my best New Jersey friend, and four pairs in various colors for some of the boys in my life. For a time they were calling them ninja gloves.

Long White Shell Pattern Mitts

I live in the northeast and we keep our house cooler during the day to cut down on energy costs, so I absolutely need the mitts to make typing bearable in the winter. My other “trick” is to drink lots of hot tea.

Cuffed Black Mitts with Bead Detailing

What do you do to get through the winter?

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Read-Through Thursday: Anna and the French Kiss

This is a series wherein I will discuss whatever book I’m reading or have just finished.  Feel free to post in the comments what you’re reading or your own thoughts about the books I discuss.

3/10/11:  Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Oh, Paris, how I love thee, let me count the ways.  This was a no-brainer choice for me.  I love being reminded of my adventures and fun times in Paris and this book certainly did that.

Anna’s father makes her attend a boarding school in Paris for her senior year of high school.  She’s not happy about leaving her friends and family in Atlanta to go to school in a place she’s never been and in a language she doesn’t know.  She makes friends quickly, however, and meets the beautiful Etienne St. Clair.

This book brought up so many memories for me.  Getting my picutre taken in the Galerie des Chimeres atop Notre Dame.  Walking around the Latin Quarter and nearly getting hit by a bus (oh, fun times, fun times), which made a cute gendarme shake his head at me while he tried to hide a smile.  Getting crepes from a street-side creperie.  Wandering around Pere Lachaise cemetery to find the tombs of Jim Morrison (of course) and Oscar Wilde and Chopin.  Macarons.  Oh la la, les macarons.

Anna is a well-rounded character.  She is confused about boys, she loves movies (okay, that’s an understatement), she seems both proud and embarrassed by her father’s accomplishments, she is a good friend, except when she isn’t, she does things she shouldn’t because it makes sense at the time, and does things she should because she’s a good person.  Sounds like me, except for the movies.  Sounds like lots of teens, in fact.

Therein lies the beauty of this novel.  While not everyone has been as lucky as Anna or me and gets to spend time in the beautiful Paree, anyone can relate to the relationship struggles, the desire to fit in, the desire for a boy – for good or bad – and learning about oneself.

Where do you wish you could have had a young romance?

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