Friday, December 30, 2011

Yet Another Author Interview... of Me!

That's right.  I am popping by real quick to let all of you wonderful followers know:

Ruthie over at Live, Love, Laugh, Write! has posted her author interview of yours truly.  Yay! Go check it out!  And make sure to follow Ruthie as well.  Her blog is just starting out and deserves lots and lots of your love.

Click HERE to check out the interview.
And... click here to read the review of Prison Nation that Ruthie posted.

*big dorky grin*

Book Review - Dearly, Departed

Dearly, Departed
by Lia Habel

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

Why I Picked This Book: Its beautiful cover had been floating around the blogosphere for some time.  When I found it available on NetGalley, I just couldn't resist.  (I received this e-book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for a fair and honest review.  I was not compensated in any way.)

My Thoughts:
Steampunk. In the future.  With zombies.
I honestly had no idea what to expect from Dearly, Departed.  I had never read a steampunk story before.  This mix pulled me in though and convinced me to pick up this book and give it a go.

Overall, I enjoyed the story.  It takes place in the future, where most of the world has been ruined by natural disaster.  The remaining civilization has retreated south... and retreated to a time of civility and manners.  You know, Victorian age.  It was very interesting to see the mix of manners school, poofy dresses, proper speaking... with cell phones, steam powered computers, and blimps.

And of course the zombies.  Because it wasn't bad enough that the New Victorians were at war with the Punks (people who live in the wilderness and aren't ever fully explained).  No, let's throw in a zombie apocolypse, Nora who is miraculously immune, her genius dad... and the best part? An army formed of zombies, fighting on the good side.

That's right.  As with most zombie books coming out lately, Habel takes her liberties with the rules of zombie living.  In this one, zombies have the potential of "waking up" with most of themselves still in tact.  One of the main characters, Bram, is one of those lucky few.  And he will stop at nothing to protect Nora.

Yes, there is a love story in the mix.  But thank goodness it didn't full take over this story.

Needless to say, the story did pull me along.  I was intrigued at the very beginning, and rooting for the good zombies throughout the book.

My issues?
For one, too many POVs.  This book is written in first person... and bounces between FIVE different POVs. Yes, five.  At times it did become hard for me to differ between the characters, and found it difficult after a while to connect and see the growth of each POV.  The story progressed great, but when it came to seeing character growth, I felt it lacked.  It was all too sudden.

There was so much to tell in this story, and so few pages.  I feel it would have been better to write it solely from Nora and Bram's POVs, leave out Victor's (the genius dad) and Wolfe's (the crazy military nutjob of an antagonist)... and tell Pamela's version in a whole different book.

My only other issue was the end.  It was very, very, very rushed.  I found myself going "No! Wait, slow down!  I want to enjoy this!" but instead it just... rushed.  For lack of better words.

Regardless, I thoroughtly enjoyed Dearly, Departed.  I give this book a 4 star.  It isn't the strongest 4 star, but it deserves it non-the-less.  I am keeping my eye for the next book, whenever that may be coming.   Habel is such a talented author, and I happily will dive back into her mind anytime to tackle more zombies.

My Rating:
(4 out of 5 stars)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

WIP Day - Broken Monitor

Hello Wednesday.  We need to stop meeting like this.

This will be a short update for the week.  Honestly, I don't have a ton to say.  PN is still out in sales land.  ITB is awaiting editing, which starts next week.

Ah!  Next week?  Next week is 2012?  Oh my...

But yes, ITB will finally get its chance at editing come next week.  It has been sitting since the end of August, and I have to say: I am finally getting antsy to get a good look at it.  I have a few ideas that have been tugging at my mind as well, and I am wondering if I would be able to manage editing one book while writing another.  Hmm... we shall see!

My main monitor finally bit the dust as well.  I have a great duel monitor set up, mainly because a very awesome friend gave me the secondary monitor.  How sweet.  Now I am wondering how I ever survived without duel.  It is soooo nice.

Well, my main one has been slowly dying for a few months now.  The kind of dying where I have to hit the power button off and on literally 50 times before it maybe, just maybe stays on.  The other day... it never stayed on.  Why is this a big deal you ask?  Well, if you know me, you know I also do photography.  And edit it.  And my secondary monitor for sure does not have the right coloring and brightness to make pretty photos.  So... with my main monitor dead... all of my photo editing is on hold.

*Wahhh*

Needless to say I was pretty dang bummed.  Then my hubby, in all of his aweosmeness, told me to go ahead and order a new one. We found an awesome deal, and it should be here today or tomorrow.  I am way excited.  I am hoping to bust out a few more photo sessions before 2012 hits and book editing consumes my life.

RIP old monitor.  You did me well.

That's about it for today.  I am thinking tonight or tomorrow night I may go spend some of my gift card hubby gave me for Christmas... to Powells.  Because you know you can never have enough books. *wink*


How is your week going??

HAPPY WRITING!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Best of 2011 Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Best of 2011 blog hop, 
(Yay!  We all love blog hops!)



This hop is all about sharing our favorite reads from 2011.  They can be books that were released in 2011, or books we read during the year.  And let me tell you, I have read many many good books this year!

For this hop, I decided to list a few of my favorites.  The winner will be drawn and announced January 1st, and will be given the choice of ONE book from my list here.  And... if I just so happen to get up to 500 blog followers during this hop... I will draw a second winner as well!

(added 12/28) I hit 500 followers!  YAY! This means I will be drawing a second place winner, who will also get a choice of one of the books listed below!  If I get to 600 followers... there will be a third place as well! Oh my.

To enter, all you will need to do is fill in the Rafflecopter below and of course... follow me.  Since GFC is going away for non-Blogger folk in the new year, there are a few options this time.  Though please... do follow GFC as well if you can!  (1 extra point for you if you do!)
Entries good to anywhere the Book Depository ships.

Don't forget to check all of the other great give aways in this hop, by clicking right... here!

Ready for the book options?

Divergent 
by Veronica Roth

(My Review HERE)
The Maze Runner
by James Dashner

(My Review HERE)
Warm Bodies
by Isaac Marion

(My Review HERE)
   
And for those of you state-side looking for an awesome Indie read...
Eden
by Keary Taylor

(Read my interview with Keary HERE)





a Rafflecopter giveaway

2011... What a Year!


Today is the last Monday of 2011.  Can you believe that?  This year seems to have just sped by, and I barely know where it went.  Before we know it, 2012 will spring into being and we will all be on our way to making a new year and new goals.

Today I thought it would be fun for me to walk down memory lane a little.  Reminisce on what 2011 had in store for me.  Care for a stroll?

________________


January - I cracked my knuckles, opened my word document, and began the first editing round of Prison Nation.  This was something I had never done before, and I have to say: I felt pretty lost about it.  Luckily I had Keary and Kimmel by my side to keep me going.  I cast my main characters... and then I won a raffle and a spot in a Revision course!  The new mantra Lani taught?: I am a GREAT writer!

February - Editing rolled on.  In February two fellow bloggers posted interviews of yours truly.  Wow, that was crazy.  Seeing an interview, even one just about me aspiring, was a real kicker.  It made me realize how much I wanted to keep writing, to someday see an Author interview... to keep my promises to myself.  Thank you Brad and Abby for that.  I also created my Facebook page.

March - I finally decided it was time to set up a blogging schedule.  I was addicted.  This blog... it was fast becoming something that was the main fuel to my fire.  I wrote a post about how books help us live forever... something I still firmly believe.  Then I printed up Prison Nation for the first time ever, and prepped for that paper edit.  Holding the book in my hands, granted it was just printer paper and a binder... I will never forget that feeling.  Wow.

April - I posted an April's fool post that must have been written much too clever... my mom called, along with a few other friends and many emails, telling me that I should never give up on writing.  I posted a disclaimer to that fool post... and realized how many people believed in me.  Then felt good that I wrote a post good enough to get that reaction.  (Yes, a little evil here) My oldest kiddo turned 3 (ah!), I kept on with my editing, and I read one of my top favorite books of the year: The Maze Runner.

May - I shared my top 10 Procrastination Devices.  Most of those devices still take over my writing time... but I can at least say I was able to bump StumbleUpon off the list... then I discovered Twitter and Tumblr.  Oh my.. it was good while it lasted.  I wrote one of my favorite posts, about writing chub.  And then I finished editing round #5.  I was getting there!  My baby turned 1... what a way to end the month!

June - I entered a 1000 word writing contest... and won!  That was pretty awesome.  There was no prize, other than knowing that someone liked my work.  And let me tell you: that worked for me!  Later than months I interviewed Keary Taylor about her writing and her up-coming novel, Eden. (Yes, the Eden that is now on its way to Hollywood! Crazy, huh?) I even gave away a copy of that awesome novel.  The month ended with my igniting my Race to 100... 100 followers.  And what a race it was.  I finished the month with more editing, and sharing a few of the awesome author photos good friend Vince took of me.

July - The month started with my finishing my polishing round of Prison Nation!  I fell down a flight of cement stairs while taking photos of some friends (ow) and spent the down time prepping Prison Nation for querying. Querying began, along with Kimmel self-publishing her novel, Transformation.  Go Kimmel!  I even interviewed her all about it.  That month I also wrote my post that to date has had the most hits on my blog, all about loving your antagonist.

August - I decided to dive into Camp NaNoWriMo for the month of August.  My WIP In the Blood needed to attention, and the challenge was just too enticing.  Man, it felt great to be writing instead of editing.  Yeah... I am not an editing fan.  At this point I had already recieved some rejections for Prison Nation, some partial requests as well, and wanted nothing more than to dive into another imaginary world as querying went on.  August also meant celebrating my 6 year anniversary with my amazing hubby... as well as my 25th birthday! And yes, I won Camp NaNoWriMo as well. Barely... but at least I did.

September - I began the month with sharing some of my photography.  Yes, I do that too.  What can I say, I love art of all kind.  In August I had 2nd shot my first wedding, and come September I was crazy with editing the many shoots I did while visiting family and friends in Washington.  That was pretty much how I spent the month of September.  I shared my thoughts on inspiration, took part in some awesome blog hops, and wondered what would happen to Prison Nation.

October - Phew!  This year was just speeding by!  What with book editing, book writing, book querying.  Blogging, photography, mommy duties... What was I saying?  I got the chance to attend the Smart Chicks Kick It tour, and got to hear some great authors chat about what we all love most: Books.  I even got photos, and signings!  Very, very cool.  By this point I had also decided that self-publishing was the route for Prison Nation.  I had had great response to it, but no line and sinkers.  So, off I went, prepping away.  I posted a thought from Scott Westerfeld that he shared at this year's Wordstock event: Finish Everything. And I discovered my enemy word in writing: "was"

November - NaNoWriMo began!  I had been hoping to be prepped much more for it this year, but working on Prison Nation took control of my life.  Still, Redone Shadows began to form into something we call a book, as I formatted Prison Nation on the side lines.  I wrote a post inspired by a fellow Portland WriMo, about teaching your character to ride a bike.  I even revealed the final cover for Prison Nation!  Sylvia interviewed me over at her blog (happy dance) and I finished the month with a bang, winning NaNoWriMo 2011 and ordering my proof copy of Prison Nation.  WHEW!

December - I started the month with something awesome: Releasing Prison Nation to all of you.  Hitting that approve button... was an experience I cannot even describe.  This was my baby, and I was letting it out into the world.  I was nervous.  Excited.  Scared out of my mind.  And very, very proud of myself.  And seeing how much friends and family, and even people I didn't know, welcomed it into the book world... I did get teary eyed, often.  Ruthie posted a review even.  Thank you!  The month ended with a completely amazing Christmas, lots of love, and too much candy.  No, I take that back.  You can never have too much candy.


________________

And here we are! What a year this was.  Editing one book, writing two others.  All of my adventures.  Discovering this amazing writing community, all of you.  There have been downs, but so many more ups that I have to say 2011 was a great great year in my book.  I cannot thank all of you enough for all the support, laughter and drive you give me.  2012 will be great, I can feel it.  Can you?

Want to know my plans and goals for this next year?  Make sure to check my post next Monday.  And until then, as always...

HAPPY WRITING!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Wishes... to YOU!

Just popping over real quick to wish everyone a very, very, very
MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Our tree this year.  We even made it snow!
I hope your day is going amazing, with lots of family, love, and food.  Yes, lots of food.

To those of you celebrating other holidays, I wish you a great one.  And if you do not celebrate any holiday... may your day be awesome and happy.

Now, back I go to family time.
My hubby got me some great presents this year (a silver locket... green jacket... camera cleaning kit... POWELLS GIFT CARD!!) I got him new Converse shoes and a shave & a haircut (You know it.) We spoiled our kiddos, which they aptly deserve. Now we are spending time with family, enjoying food food, talking, laughing, and prepping to play some good old DDR. (oh yes...)

Jingle bells, jingle bells...

Friday, December 23, 2011

Book Review - Under the Never Sky

Under the Never Sky 
by Veronica Rossi

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.

As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions.

They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers abarbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love - one that will forever change the fate of all who live UNDER THE NEVER SKY 

Why I Picked this Book:  After reading the synopsis, I was curious.  That plus the very pretty cover, and I decided I just had to give it a try.  (I received this e-book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for a fair and honest review.  I was not compensated in any way.)

My Thoughts:
Eh...

Aria lived in a Dome, one pod of many set up to protect the people and give them a safe, happy life free of the dangerous outside world.  Constantly living in the Realms, virtual reality type chat rooms seen through an eye piece worn at all times, Aria has never known sickness, fear... life.  Intriguing yes?  That's what I thought too.

Then at the very beginning of the story, she is thrown out of the Dome, due to some bad juju that happens.  Aria has always been taught that the outside world means death.  But she soon comes to find that it isn't exactly so.  She meets Perry, an Outsider cast from his own tribe, intent on getting his nephew back who has been kidnapped by the Dome people.

Oh, did I mention Perry has super senses?  Yup.  He can see like an owl and smell feelings.  Turns out many people in the outside world have heightened senses, causes by adapting to survive mixed with the Aether storms... pretty swirling lights in the never sky that tend to send down deathly bolts of fire.

See?  The general idea was good... but that was all that kept me roped in.

Most of the story seemed to be Aria and Perry wandering through the outside.  Walking... not liking each other... walking some more.  While Aria's determination was admirable, and Perry's character was intriguing, it wasn't strong enough to hold over the reader.  Each time something awesome felt like it might happen, it was just touched on then moved past because their trek through the woods was more important.

You know, like the Croven - a pack of Cannibals - hunting down Aria and Perry for revenge.  Yeah.  Cannibals.  A few "oo" moments, then they just... ok, no spoilers here.  I am sure the Croven will come back in later books, but it would have been nice to see them more as a creepy antagonist in this one.

I, as the reader, found myself left with many more questions that I felt happy with, even knowing there will be a book two.  What caused the Aether?  What exactly is the Aether? What is the history of this world that they keep referring to but never explain?  What about the Domes?  What is going on in there, what is it like, why couldn't more than the first few chapters of the book take place there? (Because, frankly, I was more interested in the dome life than the outside, sense enhanced world)... Though I know this will be a series, I felt too much was left unsaid, leaving me to close the book with a "What?" feeling.

As for the romance aspect... I didn't feel it.  Aria and Perry spend the first part of the book pretty much hating each other.  Then suddenly... they are in love.  And that's that.  Love conquers all.  I personally didn't feel the chemistry between them.  It felt more forced and after thought than anything.

There was so much of this book I was curious about.  So much I hoped to dive more into.  And, as I said, Rossi may touch on those things in later books.  It was just a bummer they were not touched on in this one.  The over all idea was intriguing, the writing was very well done, and the world was a scary scary place.  I wish I could better say what fell flat for me on this book.

I can say it seems much more post-apocolyptic/paranormal than dystopian.  I admire Rossi's talent, but I cannot fully say if I will be looking for the next book in this series.  Who knows, you may love it.  But when I am left with much more questions and confusion than resolution...

Under the Never Sky will be released January 3, 2012

My Rating
(2 out of 5 stars)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

WIP Day - Sickness Be GONE

This has been one of those weeks that I won't miss.

First off, I got sick.
Sore throat that made me fear swallowing.  Sneezing up a storm.  Runny nose that I couldn't catch.  I think I spent most of Friday out of it, only awake because I had mommy duties.  As soon as hubby came home, I was gone.

That was pretty much my weekend right there.  A friend visited, dropped his cat off for us to cat sit for a few weeks. (Big orange love of a thing.  The cat, not the friend) but honestly, I just wanted to sleep most of the weekend away.

I am starting to feel better now.  Except this stupid headache that refuses to let up.

Along with that, I am dealing with some family issues in my life (do not worry, hubby and my kiddos are doing great.  It's other family...) and it is really stressing me out.  Again, to the point that I just want to sleep and turn off my phone because it is easier to pretend everything is honky-dory.

Needless to say, that is why I lacked in a post on Monday.  I had an idea of what to write, but just couldn't get myself to do it.  Here I am now though!

No true WIP updates.  In a little over a week I will start in on my editing of ITB.  Oooo... Along with that, I have two different stories now battling for me to write.  I love them both.  I want to try and write one while editing ITB, but we will see how that goes.

Thanks for sharing the love, Kati!
As for PN, it is going good.  I still need to market it a bit more, but life just keeps getting in the way.  It has been fun to see people adding it to their TBR on Goodreads.  And to see friends who have ordered copies post photos of them holding my book.  Brings a tear to my eye, not only that it is my book they are holding, but they even took the photo.  I feel the love.

I am trying to decide if I want to enroll PN in the KDP Select program for Kindle.  It could give me opportunity for more exposure and pay, but at the same time it means I cannot have a digital copy any where else, so Nook would have to go.  Have you heard of Select?  Thoughts?

I mailed off my first batch of ordered signed copies.  Let me tell you, waiting in line in the post office the weekend before Christmas... Maybe not the best choice on my part.  Luckily I had a friend with me, and the kind older lady behind us in line who successfully talked nonstop to us for about 45 minutes about collecting glass cups.  Fascinating...

If you have ordered a signed copy from me and haven't received it, it is probably because I have not received the payment for it yet.  As for if you want a copy from me and aren't sure how to go about it, email me and we can chat.  Sadly, I can only do in state orders, unless you are willing to pay more for s/h.

Oh! Speaking of that!
To those of you who live in those countries that lack Amazon, but still want a copy of PN... It is now on the Book Depository!  I went and checked the other day.  Typed in my name, and boom, there it was.  Now then, it lacked an image of the cover and the synopsis was an add for dog food... but the ISBN was right.  I emailed the BD and it has all been corrected.  Hurray!

Well, that is about it for me this week.  Don't forget to send Keary some awesome high fives for signing that movie deal with Eden!  Exciting times people!

Happy Writing!

Friday, December 16, 2011

The First Prison Nation Review

Just thought to stop by real quick to share:

Ruthie over at Live, Love, Laugh, Write! just posted a review of Prison Nation.  Ah!  This is the first official review and I am mega happy with her words and thoughts.  Make sure to pop over, read it, then follow Ruthie!  Her blog is just starting out and deserves some good follows!

"Viewing this world through the eyes of Millie 942B could have been boring, but author Jenni Merrit takes us into the prison and fills Millie’s world with rich detail. She manages to make even simple things, like a trip to the laundry room, fascinating."
- Live, Love, Laugh, Write!

Read the full review HERE!

Thank you Ruthie for making my night!
*beams*

Book Review: Everneath

Everneath 
by Brodi Ashton

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.
She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...

Why I Picked This Book: Mostly blog buzz roped me in.  When I saw it on NetGalley, I just had to give it a try.  (I received this e-book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for a fair and honest review.  I was not compensated in any way.)

My Thoughts:
I was pleasantly surprised with Everneath. The cover had been floating around the blogosphere for some time, and I wasn't fully sure what it was about or if I wanted to read it.  When I received my copy, I figured: Why not? and dove right in.

Everneath plays on so many myths and beliefs it was very easy to fall right into the story.  Nikki has given up on the world.  Her mother has passed away.  Her boyfriend Jack, from what she saw, cheated on her.  She was ready to do anything to make the pain and memories go away.

And lucky for her, Cole had the solution.  He pulled her away to the Everneath, a place where immortals feed on the souls of living in order to hold onto their immortality.  The problem?  After she is fed on for a century and wakes up, Nikki still remembers Jack, her family, and the pain.  She has to go back, to make things right.  Only six months has passed in the real world, and now Nikki only has six more months left before she is gone for good, claimed by the Everneath.

Nikki.  I, as the reader, fed off her pain.  Though what she was dealing with was nothing entirely huge, it still left that pang of loss in my mind.  The fact that she still had to go back, to say the proper goodbyes, tugged at me.  She still loved Jack, regardless of what happened.  She still loved her family, even the with loss of her mother heavy on all their shoulders.  Though she fought against the ties that kept her heart attached to those she loved, she never severed them.

Cole was an awesome bad boy, in a good way.  What was great about this book is that even though there was a love triangle aspect, it never dominated the entire story.  Nikki knew who she wanted, even when the Everneath declared she was wrong.  Cole is bound and determined to keep Nikki by his side and rule the Everneath, but Nikki keeps her focus.

The writing was great.  Scenes blip back and forth between the past and present, Nikki's story unfolding as the pull of the Everneath grows stronger and stronger.  I loved the back and forth take on the story.  Watching the explanations unfold instead of being retold was an awesome treat.

I think the only thing I really did not like about this book was the climax/resolution.  I had many many ideas of where the story might go.  And where it went (barring spoilers) wasn't what I wanted.  I know we as the reader can't pick and choose, but I feel there was much more potential to the end of this book than what we got.  It wasn't horrible.  Just kind of... yeah. *grumble*

Overall, I really did enjoy the story.  I plan on buying it once it is in paper form, and will definitely be looking for the next book in the series.  If you are looking for a book that plays on myth, love, and redemption, make sure to check out Everneath.

Everneath Release Date: January 24, 2012

My Rating:
(4 out of 5 stars)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

HUGE News for Keary Taylor's "Eden"

You all remember my good friend Keary, right?

Independant author of the Fall of Angels series and Eden.  Amazing cover designer.  Awesome person.
I mention her all to often.

Well, I have some AMAZING news pertaining to her that can finally be shared with the world.  Ready for this??

KK&P lands pic rights to 'Eden'
Dystopian thriller to be based on Keary Taylor novel
By JEFF SNEIDER

Independent financier and production company Kerry, Kimmel and Pollack has acquired rights to Keary Taylor's novel "Eden," a dystopian thriller described as a cross between "The Hunger Games" and "The Terminator."

Story follows Eve, a teenage girl living in a post-apocalyptic world where humanity is on the brink of extinction and robots that were created to serve humans have turned against them. As Eve struggles to fight the Fallen and help her friends find safety, she must choose between a boy she has always trusted and one who holds the secrets to her past.

"Eden" will be produced by Mark Morgan ("The Twilight Saga"), Kami Garcia (the "Beautiful Creatures" series), Brett Hudson ("Fast Flash to Bang Time") and Michael Pollack ("Black Forest").

KK&P, which recently acquired feature film and TV rights to pop culture guru Caprice Crane's novel "How to Be a Hater," is currently in pre-production on the W. Peter Illif-scripted psychological thriller "Fast Flash to Bang Time."

(source)
That's right people!  Eden is on its way to the big screen!  Though no dates have been set yet (and we all know how Hollywood can be) the ball has begun to roll!  In fact, Keary and her hubby are flying out to CA this weekend to meet with MArk Morgan and Kami Garcia.

I am so excited for Keary!  And proud of her too!  Keary has recieved over 100 rejections since she began marketing her books out to agents.  She finally decided to go the self-publishing route... and look at her now. She is on fire!

Keary, you really do give hope for all of us independant authors out here in the wirting world.

*goes off to be giddy some more*

WIP Day - I Dream of Sentences

The other morning I woke up with a sentence in my head.

Just a random sentence, with no real planning or thought behind it.  I sat there, curled up in my blankets as hubby played with the boys out in the living room, and let the sentence simmer in my mind.

It was interesting.  A different thought.
And before I knew it, an entire rough plot for a book had taken form.  I didn't plan it.  Never thought of writing this story before.  All I had was a sentence that woke me up, and the rest was history.

I ran into the living room, snatched my netbook, and quickly typed out this new idea.  Hubby just sat and stared at me, a mixed look of amusement and confusion on his face.  People out there married or with a writer:
You do know you chose a crazy person, right?

Now then, I have no idea when I will get the chance to write this new story.  My idea stack is huge, and seems to always be growing.  I need more hours in the day, more energy in my body, less required sleep.  But this story intrigues me too much to let it disappear.  I want to write it.  Maybe I will dare to write while editing ITB this next year.  Maybe I will save it for the summer. Maybe it will simmer for another year, then burst into life.  Either way, I will write it.

Because, you know, a story is no good if it is not shared.

I just wanted to share this with all of you.  It is so crazy when muses decide to strike.  And I love it every time.  If you get struck by your muse, write it down.  You never know...

PN Update: 
Thank you SO much to those of you out there who have purchased a copy.  I am learning just how much more popular Kindle is than paperback, let me tell you.  I myself have a Kindle now and love it.  But that doesn't change the fact that paperback is a million times better.  I do love paper...

Right now I am trying to decide if I want to start fishing for reviews from blogs and readers.  Such a daunting thought!  I know I should.  I really should.  I will.  Some time... soon.  If you DO happen to read PN, and liked it, I wouldn't mind ratings and reviews at sites such as Amazon and Goodreads.  Just saying... *clears throat, looks around, smiles...*

My first shipment of copies is supposed to arrive here tomorrow.  So excited!  Most of them have already been spoken for (which is way too awesome).  I am very excited to open a box full of my book... then sign the copies and ship them off to readers!  Last night I signed my first copy, for a friend of my hubby.  It was strange, signing my own book.  And completely priceless.

BTW... being a lefty makes for signing books very difficult.  I sat there and twisted the book forever before I finally found a spot I could sign without totally creasing the spine.  Lefties... sigh.

That's about it for me this week. I hope your week has gone amazing.
Do feel free to share!

Happy Writing!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Book Review - Shatter Me

Shatter Me
by Tahereh Mafi

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days. 

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior. 

Why I Picked This Book: I have been following Tahereh Mafi on her blog for some time now.  So this book has been teasing me for some time as well.  When I won it in the Facebook Give Away... Yes, I literally did cheer.

My Thoughts:
Shatter Me was one of those books I heard of for what felt like forever, sat on pins and needles to get my hands on, then devoured as soon as it arrived.  Tahereh Mafi has a way with words I am not sure I ever experienced before.  I was pulled in, and just couldn't escape until the last page.

First, I do have to mention Mafi's writing style.  It is poetry in book form.  Mafi takes the rules of writing, then tweaks and messes with them until the sentences become their own form of awesomeness.  Her style made it very easy for me to dive into the mind of Juliette.  It was a beautiful, lonely, flowing mind.  One that I did not want to leave.

And the strikeouts.  I had never seen this used much in books before.  Words are struck out throughout the book, showing what Juliette truly wanted to say, then stopped herself.  Example:
His touch is scorching my skin through the layers of fabric and I inhale so fast my lungs collapse. I’m caught in colliding currents of confusion, so desperate so desperate so desperate to be close so desperate to be far away. I don’t know how to move away from him. I don’t want to move away from him.
I don’t want him to be afraid of me. 

While at first this was a style I was wary of, as the story went on I craved it.  This, mixed with the poetry of Mafi's style, made for the perfect Juliette.

Now, onto Juliette.  A girl who's touch can literally kill.  What?  Yes, it's true.  After an incident where she touches someone and kills them, Juliette is locked away in an Institution.  Alone.  No human contact for 264 days, until suddenly one day she is assigned a room mate.  And it is a boy.  A boy she knows.

Long story short, a rogue organization frees Juliette, solely for the intent of using her touch as a weapon.  Have I mentioned that the entire world has gone to heck?  Well, it has.  And Warner, the bad boy of the book, plans to use Juliette to gain control.  Oh, and he is also utterly and creepily obsessed with her.

I loved the plot.  I loved Juliette.  I loved the shattered world.  Warner was just enough of a creep that I shuddered every time he walked into the room, and Adam was very much so a swoon worthy hunk.

My issues?
This book is very sexually driven.  While I am not complaining about that (come on, we all like the sparks), there were many moments where I wondered if I had somehow picked up the wrong book and was reading one of those books instead.  If you get my drift.  While I do understand Juliette's urges - heck, she hasn't touched pretty much anyone her entire life - there were moments I felt could have been tamed a little.  Especially for this being a young adult book.

I won't spoil, but there was one moment in particular, just one sentence she says to Adam, that I literally rolled my eyes and said, out-loud, "You did not just say that right now!"

Regardless, I loved the book.  I highly highly highly look forward to reading the next installment.  Shatter Me is X-Men means young adult romance, beautifully written and full of dystopian ruin.  Mafi has a true talent, and I plan on stalking  following her for many books to come.

My Rating
(4 out of 5 stars)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

QUICK Note About Prison Nation...

UPDATE: (Dec. 7, 2011, 10:40 pm) - The corrected copy lives!  Feel free to order once again.  All should be pretty and awesome, barring... no.  Barring nothing.  All WILL be pretty and awesome!
Thank you for your patience.  Now... spread the word!

A very kind reader just informed me of two typos she found while reading Prison Nation.  Now, they aren't huge typos.  But just enough that I know I do not want to let them stay.

Ah, the life of the writing world.
We can only catch so many errors.  But hey, even the top notch publishing companies out there put out books with errors.  It is called being human.  Right?

Still...
I have already corrected the Kindle and Nook copies.
As for the paperback, I am working on that right now.  It may be down from its "available" status for a little bit.  But don't worry.  It will not be long.

To those of you who already bought a paperback or Kindle copy:
Aren't you just special?  You now own a limited edition, collector copy of Prison Nation.  No one else will ever own those typos, but you.  Feel special.

Now... off I go!

WIP Day - Ordering Books and TGIO

Brr it is COLD.  Seriously.  I am wrapped up in a blanket (okay... my zebra snuggie.  Yes, that's right.  Snuggie.  And I love it), a couple layers of clothing, heaters on... and I am still cold.  This entire week has been freezing.  But sadly, no snow.

Yes, I am a kid at heart.  And snow makes me happy.

At least the cold gives me a good excuse to cuddle down with a book and read.  Come on snow...

Anyhoo!  It is Wednesday, and WIP day.
*cheers*

Unless you have been internetless, or under a rock, or avoiding me... Prison Nation has almost been out there for one week now.  I still am having a hard time believing it.  Then I go to Amazon or Goodreads, and remind myself it is real.  Oh, so real.

By the way: I now have a Goodreads Author page.  Eep!

I just ordered my first box of books.  I cannot wait for that prettiness to get here!  Friends have already ordered their signed copies, much to my amazement, and once the box gets here I get to send those paperbacks out into the world.

(If you want to order a signed copy, please email me and we can chat)

I am thinking about doing a give away for PN.  What do you think?  Want a free copy?  Hmm...

In Other News:
I have decided to take December off writing.  Catch up on my photo backlog.  (Though being a dork and doing a photoshoot of my book doesn't help) Read.  (Lots and lots of reading) All of that.  It seems to be working pretty well, at this moment in time.

This last Saturday I went to my local NaNoWriMo TGIO Party.
It was an awesome event.  We ate cookies, chit chatted about writerly things, then were given the chance to get up and read a snippet from our NaNovels.

Now, I have vowed to not even look at RS for... some time.  So I brought PN with me (which was my 2010 NaNovel) and read a snippet from that.  It felt so great to stand in front of people, holding my book, and reading from it.  Completely nerve-racking (I grew up performing on stage, but I swear, this reading my voice was shaking the entire time!), but still great.

Then I spent the rest of the time taking tons of photos.  Because, you know, that's what I do.  Hey NaNoPDX... I love you!

Being there made me antsy to write again.  Yes, even after the craziness of NaNo I still feel the urge to write write write.
ITB has been sitting since the end of August, and has begun to nag on my mind.  It is almost editing time for it.  This next year?  It will be yet another editing year, though I do have a writing project in mind I may start underneath it, if I haven't gone completely crazy with editing.  A hint at the topic? Hmm... Let's just say it has to do with a Greek myth.

How long do you like to wait before you begin editing a WIP?
Got another WIP tugging at your mind?
Any news in your world?  Do share!

Happy Writing!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Prison Nation has been RELEASED


It is official.  Last night I hit the approve button.  And today... 
Prison Nation has been officially released into the world!

IT'S TRUE!
I am now a self-published author.  And can hardly believe it. *pinches self*
Yup, it's very very true.

  • Prison Nation is already available on CreateSpace for purchasing pleasures.  So pretty!
  • The paperback is on Amazon now.  The Kindle is also available!  This all went a lot faster than I thought it would!
  • (Added 12-03) The Nook version is now up as well!
  • I have also set up my Goodreads page!  Make sure to mark it to read!  My Goodreads author page should be up in a few days as well.

As for ordering signed copies... I will post more about that once I get all of the numbers crunched. :)

Okay, time to go sit, try to relax, and revel some more in the fact that...
I AM AN AUTHOR!

Amazon | Kindle | Nook 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Proof is HERE!

Guess what came in the mail.  That's right! 
My proof copy of Prison Nation. AH!

I thought it would be fun to share the opening of the package with all of you, since you all have been such a big part of this creation and process with me.  Forgive the pajamas... it was nighttime and hey, that is my usual get-up while writing anyway.  True Jenni, right there.


And the best part of all this (other than holding my own book for the first time...wow! Okay, that does take the cake):
-Last November 30th I was sitting back, amazed that I had finally written my first book.  Prison Nation had been born.
-November 30th of this year... I received the proof copy of that very book!  Honestly... How awesome is that?

Okay okay... I need to stop just staring at my BOOK... MY book... and actually start proofing it.

Who knows... if all goes awesome, it just may be out there for sale before we expect it. I will of course let you know. :)

*stares at book some more*
AH!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

WIP Day - NaNo WINS and Proof Copies

It be WIP Day.
Again.
As every week.

And what updates we do have!

First, and pretty awesome (in case you missed my random post about it on Monday)...


I am a NaNoWriMo 2011 WINNER!

That's right.  At around 1:15 AM Monday morning, I crossed the 50k line and secured myself a NaNo win. I had planned to write enough to finish Monday evening, but as the word count got closer, I just couldn't stop.  Luckily, hubby had Monday off, so I was able to stay up late and type like mad.  He was even sitting next to me on his computer as I crossed the line.

I literally raised my arms in the air and cheered.  It was awesome.
And he got to see it.

I was starting to worry about if I would win this year.  It was tough.  The story was being mean to me.  My kiddos became anti-let-mommy-write soldiers.  I still had a photo backlog to catch up on, and honestly... sleep started to sound better to me than most anything.

Three wins in a year.  So pretty!
Gosh, do I love my #writeshove friends on Twitter.  And my awesome Portland NaNo region.  And my friends who nag me nonstop (Yes Kimmel and Keary... majorly you.)

I feel great.  I accomplished my goal.
Though I might not be in love with RS right now.  While I know it requires MUCH editing and many gaps to be filled in before I potentially fall in love with it someday...  I am proud.  This was my third book I have written in one year.  My third rough draft brought into creation.  Three novels in a year. This is just nuts.  And regardless of my exhaustion and always messy home...
I feel great!

If you are out there and doing NaNoWriMo: HIGH FIVE.  Perhaps you have already won.  If so, I now throw confetti in your direction.  Perhaps you are still racing to the end.  If that is the case, KEEP GOING.  You can do this.  And perhaps you gave it a try but this year just didn't go right.  I still high five you.  Many people out there didn't even try.
You are amazing.

Whats next?:
A break.  That's right.  For at least the month of December, I am setting these WIPs aside and letting them simmer.  Maybe I will catch up on my photo editing.  Maybe I will read much to many books.  Maybe I will give in and not stick to this at all.  Either way, that is what is next.  Come January I plan to pull ITB back out of the drawer... and see what happens.

PN Update:
Have I mentioned?  I ordered my proof copy.
That's right!  It was shipped last Thursday, with an ETA of the 5th... such a long wait.  And I am going nuts.  But it should be worth it.  I am really hoping that it arrives and looks great and I can approve it.  As nervous as I am right now about releasing it to the world... I just need to get it done.

My Kindle version is all ready to go as well.  All it is waiting for is the paperback... and Prison Nation will enter the world.

In Other News:

  • Did you see the interview Writing in Wonderland posted... of me?  So surreal to see the word "author" next to my name...
  • Don't forget to follow me other ways other than GFC, especially if you do not have Blogger.  Big GFC change coming in the future, and I love you all too much to lose you.
  • I officially own a Kindle now.  It's true.  Don't get me wrong: I still opt for good old paper pages LONG before I turn to the ebook.  Still... It is nice to get my NetGalley books to read.  And to now offer book reviews for people who can only send ecopies.  


That's about it for this Wednesday!  How is your day going??

Happy Writing!

Monday, November 28, 2011

GFC is Changing (and I don't want to lose you!)


Many of you no doubt have heard by now:
Come March of 2012, GFC (Google Friend Connect) will no longer be available to NON-Blogger folk.  They claim it is not popular enough to upkeep for the other sites, so are nixing it.  In my oppinion, a stupid choice.  It seems pretty darn popular to me!  Still, it is happening.

Now, this presents the issue:
I may be losing some of you!

*very very sad face*

Though many of you are Blogger folk, and should be fine, I know some of you are not.  I do not want to lose you!  You, my followers, are what make me stick to my schedule and keep on blogging.  You are my friends I may never meet.

So, I am posting this now in hopes that all of you will have time to protect yourselves from disappearing from my blogging world come March 2012.

There are many ways to follow me, other than GFC.  Please, take a moment to follow me in one (or all!) of them.

Email subscription 
(Just punch your name into the little box in the left side bar!)

(These 5 are my top recommended following choices)


(Though I still am rarely on there... but it still exists!)

All of these options are also listed in the LEFT sidebar of my blog.  Yes.  That one.  Over there.


I do not fully understand this change, or agree with it.  But, being as this is the internet, we just have to bite down and go with the flow.  Again, I do not want to lose any of you!  So please, make sure you are following me in other ways other than just GFC.  I hope I get to see ALL of you for many many months to come!

And as always...
HAPPY WRITING!

I am a WINNER!

Psst... PSSSSSSST...

It is now about 1:40 AM, but I just didn't want to wait on my sharing this.  Ready for awesomeness?  Yes?

I WON NANOWRIMO 2011!

That's me.  I'm a winner.

Yup, that is right!  I sat down, wrote 6,505 words, and rolled in my Winners certificate about twenty minutes ago.  My husband was gaming on his computer next to me, and got to watch as I literally lifted my arms in the air and cheered.
I am wired!
And feeling good!

I will most likely (okay, definitely) rant about this more come WIP day.  But I just had to share this while still beaming with happiness.  (And honestly, I have lost track of how many times I have now watched the congratulations video.  They are cheering... for me!)

You can go back to your normal schedule now.
I am too busy being giddy.

Friday, November 25, 2011

I've Been Interviewed

Just wanted to share real quick:
Sylvia over at Writing in Wonderland has posted an author interview of yours truly.  Wow... so surreal to see the word "author" next to my name...

Is it true?  Oh, it will be very very true, very very soon.  (If you do not follow me via Facebook or Twitter... I have ordered my proof copy of PN, and it is already shipped and on its way to me!)

Go on over and check out the interview!
Click HERE.

And as always... Happy Writing!

Book Review: Warm Bodies

Warm Bodies
by Isaac Marion

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
A zombie who yearns for a better life ends up falling in love—with a human—in this astonishingly original debut novel.

R is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He doesn’t enjoy killing people; he enjoys riding escalators and listening to Frank Sinatra. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.

Why I Picked this Book:  I had seen this book floating around, but hadn't thought to give it a try once.  Then I met Isaac Marion at Wordstock... and I knew I wanted to read it.

My Thoughts:
What a book.  Yes, that is how I am going to begin this review.  I didn't know what to expect from this book.  To be honest, I am still very new to the whole Zombie genre.  Only a few seconds into Warm Bodies... and I was more than hooked.

R is a zombie.  Yes, a zombie.  He shuffles, he groans, he can't remember who he is.  He goes into the city with his buddy M and other fellow zombies and eats humans.  Yes, eats.  As in brains and all.

And that is where the story really gets going.  R always seemed a bit different than the other zombies.  Then one day on a hunting trip, while snacking on a man's brains, he experiences the man's memories.  Now he is intent on protecting the dead man's girlfriend, Julie.  R is changing.  For good or bad, he will stop at nothing to keep Julie safe.

First... I love this idea.  The thought that something of the human survives.
Second... I LOVED the writing.  Marion has a poetic justice with his words, and I wanted more.
Third... Zombie in love?  Heck yes.  Zombie changing?  Even more heck yes.

I didn't know what to expect with this book.  I had no idea where each chapter was going to take me.  And I honestly enjoyed every step of the way.  Though it did have its weaker moments, its patchy spots, I barely noticed.  The characters were full of personality, even the ones who barely spoke because they were too busy being... well... zombies.

Note: Julie has a very strong love for the F-word.  It appears much more than once in this book.

This zombie book is a fresh new take on a very old tale.  Do not expect the typical "mindless zombie take over and doomsday is here" book.  Marion twisted and reformed zombies and I have to say: I want more.  I highly look forward to what he has up his sleeve next.  Looking for a new zombie novel full of action, humor, love and guts?  Give Warm Bodies a read!

Now I just wish I had my copy of this book when I met Marion....

My Rating:
(5 out of 5 stars)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I Am Thankful

source
I am stepping away from the food prep, snacking, family chatting, and crazy writing catch up to wish you all a very very Happy Thanksgiving.  And to all of you who aren't Americans chowing down nonstop on turkey, homemade cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, rolls, pumpkin pie... I am wishing you a great day as well.

Whether you are celebrating today or not, it is still a day to be thankful.  Every day is.

And I am thankful for you.
All of you.

You encourage me, lift me up, root me on.  You are all too awesome, I really am thankful every day that I have gotten the chance to "know" you.  And I look forward to many, many days to come.

I hope you all have a great day!  Don't eat too much.
(Oh, we all know we will...)

Happy Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

WIP Day - Hello CreateSpace...

I almost forgot it is Wednesday.

Honestly.  I was checking all of my many time wasters online, and kept getting that nagging feeling that I was forgetting something.  Then I started to think about Thanksgiving, and all the yummy food waiting just around the corner... and WHAM, I remembered today is Wednesday.  And therefore: is WIP Day!

I finally have an update on PN.  I do I do.
Last night I officially submitted it to CreateSpace for printing.
AH!

It's true.  Now I am just waiting to hear back from the review, where they will tell me if they caught any issues with my interior and cover files.  Once I get the thumbs up from them, I get to order my proof copy!  So close!  If all goes right, I am hoping to officially release Prison Nation to all of you come early December.

Have I mentioned how jittery I feel?  It is as if some one has injected nervous caffeine straight into my system, and it won't stop!  I am excited.  And scared.  And very very tired.  But man, this is a trip!

Let me add, the new online reviewer is pretty nifty!  In fact, I took a very short vid of me flipping through the pages, and I just might have to share it... now:

video

Oooo... Just imagine how pretty the real book will be!

NaNoWriMo:
Well, the month is almost over.  I am pretty happy that I got the huge word cushion at the beginning of the month, because man has my writing slowed.  I am pretty much riding along the gray line now, which means I am right on track to finishing by the end of the month.  Slower than I had planned, but at least it is happening!

I am looking forward to getting some good writing time tomorrow amidst the turkey chaos.  Along with that, Kimmel and I have planned a writing night this Friday.  It has been harder to write with her this year, being as she has moved literally across the US from me (Oh, three hour time difference... I don't like you) but this Friday we WILL make it work.  Will you be writing?  Find me on Twitter and yell at me to write!

That's it for now.  Time to go check my email over and over like a crazy nut.

How is your writing?  Have any plans for the holiday?  Do tell!


Happy Writing!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...