Saturday, July 30, 2011

REMINDER: Give-Away for a SIGNED copy!

Did you miss the Give-Away post?
You know you want to enter.

I am giving away one SIGNED copy of Kimmel Tippets' debut novel, Transformation.  Transformation is Kimmel's first completed novel, and is now available via Createspace, Amazon/Kindle, and B&N.  In the independently published world, every comment and thought counts.  
Support this new Indie Author!

Give-Away closes August 8, so go enter!
To read the interview I had with Kimmel, CLICK HERE.

And to make things even easier, you can enter the Give-Away here now as well.  (Though I still say to go read her interview and give her some love.  Do it!)

Nothing is magical about leaving. Every time Emily thinks she might finally be able to settle down, her mother announces they are moving again. She is sick of it, and ready to do anything to finally find stability. Desperation can do strange things to a person. Little does Emily know that moving in with her estranged grandmother will not only be magical, but potentially deadly as well. Cursed by her grandmother’s own hand, Emily finds something about her very being has been changed for good. She has fallen prey to the full moon. There is nothing Emily can do about the cursed physical transformation. But can she learn to be true to who she is inside before the change transforms her soul as well?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Book Review - The Goddess Test

The Goddess Test
by Aimee Carter

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
It's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.
Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

Why I Picked this Book:  For one, the cover.  I love that cover.  Then I heard so much buzz about it in the blogosphere, I decided I had to read it.  Lastly, I am a sucker for a Greek mythology.  A huge sucker.

My Thoughts:
The Goddess Test was a personal let-down for me.  Seeing that it was a new twist on the tale of Persephone sure got me excited.  I could only imagine what was about to unfold in these pages.  What did unfold was far from what I expected.  And not in the good way.

I love the overall idea of this story.  Kate's mother is dying.  A girl at school pulls a prank to ditch Kate, only to accidently kill herself.  And Henry is there to bring the girl, Ava, back to life.  As long as Kate makes a deal.  The deal?  Become the next Persephone.  And he will not only bring Ava back, but keep her mother alive as well.  All she has to do is pass the tests thrown by the other Gods, then she is in.  Sounds cool huh?

I felt rushed this entire book.  Relationships changed so fast I wasn't sure if the next scene Kate and Ava were friends still or would become enemies.  Everything felt very one dimensional to me, and about halfway through the book I was reading just to see if I would end up liking it at all.

Without giving away too much, the ending was good.  ...Ish.  Alot of the twists I actually had already guessed, but a few caught me off guard.  Then... it rushed again.  I don't know.  I just wanted more, and the more was never there.

Aimee Carter is a talented writer.  I can feel it in her words.  There was just something about The Goddess Test that did not sit well with me.  I couldn't believe in the characters.  You know it is bad when you are telling a friend about a book, and can't remember the name of the MC.

I wanted to love this book.  I really really did.  But I am honest with these reviews, so I have to be honest here:  It failed my test.  Only the plot and Carter's writing saved it the smidge it did.  Am I being harsh? 

Still, I do plan to look out for more of Carter's works in the future.  I just am not sure if I will read book two following The Goddess Test.  I might.  Hm...  I guess we will find out together.

My Rating:
(2 out of 5 stars)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

WIP Day - When the Muse Hits

This is going to be one of those awesomely mega-short posts.  FYI.
But that's alright, I know you have other things to be doing.  As do I.

Such as listen to my son run, literally, in a circle as he screams (happily).  For no reason.  He is just... running.  It is a loud day in this home of mine.  Really, really loud.

It is WIP Day. *Checks calendar*  Already?  Man... Where is time going?


About two nights ago, I was sitting and zoning out on the computer.  You know, the usual.  I picked up the new Greek mythology book I had bought from trusty Walmart that day, and started to flip through it as my computer powered down for the night.

Then, before I knew it, I was on my netbook on the couch, typing away.  My hubby, who was chilling and watching a very strange anime, told me I was "typing like a madwoman."  Honestly.  Something I saw in that myth book sparked a thought, and in five minutes I had busted out about 4 jam-packed pages of two scenes... Very rough.  Very very rough.  But it felt so good.

I am liking this new idea.  The thing is: When will I find time to do it?

August is already dedicated to In the Blood.  NaNoWriMo already has its battle between three OTHER of my ideas.  I need more writing hours.  Seriously.  There is not enough time in the day, at all.  And it really sucks.

But hey, my awesome muse, thanks for inspiring me with yet another idea to add to my shelves.
You rock.

PN Update: Not much as changed.  I keep battling the idea in my head to self-publish.  It just won't leave, and I am wondering if that is a sign that it is what I should do with this book.  We will see.  And of course, you will be among the first to know!

How about you?  WIP-ing along?  Get any muse flashes lately?  Do share!


Don't forget to support new indie author, Kimmel Tippets, by entering my Give-Away for a SIGNED copy of her debut novel, Transformation.  DO IT!  

Monday, July 25, 2011

Interview with Kimmel Tippets (& GIVE-AWAY)

Hello readers!

Today I have the great pleasure of interviewing new Indie Author, and my close friend, Kimmel Tippets.

Kimmel recently finished her debut novel, Transformation.  Now she is self-published, and letting her writing make its way out into the world.  But, before I dive into her book, and the waiting Give-Away (at the bottom of the post! Oh yes!), let's get to know Kimmel a bit more!

Ok, let's go!

* Hello Kimmel! How is your day?

     Hey Jenni! My day is going great, thanks for asking.

Well, I'm sure excited to have you here!
Tell my readers a little about yourself:

     I'm a self published author, getting out of the gate a little late at the age of 29. But hey, better late then never right? I enjoy books better the second time around because I can sit back and just enjoy the story rather than sit and worry about the problems the characters are facing. I'm a mother of two little girls who keep me on my toes and who inspire me every day and I have a very supportive husband who believes I can do anything I set my mind to. (He's enjoyed me proving that he's right.)

How long have you been writing? 

     I started writing poetry in high school and I took a few writing classes in college but I didn't really start actively writing until November of last year.

So, what pulled Transformation into being? What made you decide to “just do it”? 

     Ultimately, it was you and my husband. When you invited me to join you in NaNoWriMo last year I felt that twinge to start writing. When my husband told me to go for it, I couldn't resist!

* I bet you are happy that you went for it!
What sparked the idea for Transformation? 

     Transformation was basically born from a couple of dreams that I had last year that I combined. When I only had two weeks to come up with an idea, I turned to my trusty dream journal. Alone, they were each run of the mill and kind of typical, but together they created something original.

Transformation is a book about werewolves and magic. Of all the paranormal genres out there, which is your favorite? 

     That is such a tough decision because my ever-changing moods will always play a part in what I enjoy reading, however at the moment I'd say my favorite are the shape-shifters, basically things aren't what they seem.

Emily goes through quite a change in your book. Tell me, is there a trait in her that you see in yourself? Is there a trait of hers you wish you could steal? 

     The biggest trait that I see in myself isn't necessarily a great one to have. Emily craves to be accepted by her peers, but she finds herself socially awkward and unable to reach out to them in a way that they can understand. But, on a more positive note, Emily is also focused on staying true to herself and I think that is something that I manage to do, not to toot my own horn.

Would you say there is an overall message that Transformation will pass along to its readers? 

     If nothing else, I hope readers will walk away from Transformation feeling satisfied with what life has given them. Sometimes we get stuck saying, 'we'll be happy when,' but then that change comes and it's not what we thought it would be. 

* So true.  I love that message.
What has been the most rewarding part of writing Transformation? 

     Most definitely finally seeing a project through. I tend to start things without actually finishing them. When I took a creative writing class in college I told my parents I wanted to write a book, but a few weeks into it I put it down and never picked it up again. It was amazing to finally write, edit, and finish something I said I would do years ago.

Are you addicted? 

     Most definitely! A few months ago I had planned on taking a week off of writing to distance myself from the project and I didn't even last a full 24 hours. Writing is amazing and I can't wait to get started on my next projects.

* Speaking of next project, do you have plans for another novel on the horizon? Any hints as to what they might be? 

     I have a few plans actually, but my next NaNoWriMo project is titled "KLEOs." It's also a YA novel that follows the life of a teenage superhero as she loses her powers. I'm really excited about it.

For a teaser snippet of Transformation, click here.


Isn't she just great?
I am very proud of Kimmel for accomplishing this goal.  I watched her shine as she went through this entire process, and I can see a bright future in store for this new author.  And yes, I am just as giddy as can be to hold her book in my hands and say: "Kimmel wrote this!"

Want to read the synopsis?  Here you go!

Nothing is magical about leaving. Every time Emily thinks she might finally be able to settle down, her mother announces they are moving again. She is sick of it, and ready to do anything to finally find stability. Desperation can do strange things to a person. Little does Emily know that moving in with her estranged grandmother will not only be magical, but potentially deadly as well. Cursed by her grandmother’s own hand, Emily finds something about her very being has been changed for good. She has fallen prey to the full moon. There is nothing Emily can do about the cursed physical transformation. But can she learn to be true to who she is inside before the change transforms her soul as well?

Here is where even more of the fun begins.
Today I am giving away one 
SIGNED copy of Transformation!

Sadly, this means that the contest can only be US/Canada.  I just don't have the money for all of you amazing international folk... yet.  Don't let that hold you back from checking the book out though!  Go do it!

You know you want to read it.
To enter, just use the Rafflecopter below. 
(This is my first time using it!  Exciting!)

The Winner will be announced Monday, August 8.
So, spread the word, enter away, and get to loving Kimmel!

And thank you again Kimmel, for a great interview and even greater book.  Remember... Happy Writing!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Book Review - The Dark and Hollow Places

The Dark and Hollow Places
By Carrie Ryan

Synopsis: (From Goodreads)
There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters.
Annah's world stopped that day, and she's been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn't feel much different than the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again. But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it's up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction?

Why I Picked this Book:  Well, I read the first two.  And I just couldn't leave this book alone.  It had to be read.  Enough said.

My Thoughts:
The Dark and Hollow Places is the final installment of The Forest of Hands and Feet trilogy.  While I did enjoy it, and did turn each page to find out what happened next, I was disappointed.  Carrie Ryan is a talented, brilliant writer and I am a full out fan.  There just was something about this final book that fell a bit flat for me.

First off, if you haven't read the previous two, don't read this one yet.  Trust me.  You will be confused.  While it does recap a bit, you won't get the full effect of the story without first reading the others.  Going on...

Annah, the main character, had me switching back and forth the entire book.  I just couldn't get my bearings of what I thought about her.  I would feel pulled to her, almost connecting, then she would fall back into the: "It is all my fault that everything is happening, and I am ugly, and I am so jealous of her" state.  I was actually mad at Annah, alot.  I wanted her to shut up... sad to say... just so I could get on with the story.

The love triangle?  Yeah, it's there.  It is a little different than other love triangle instances, with the fact that now it is twin sisters, and two guys.  So... love square?  Well, kinda.  I don't even know how to explain it.  The love felt almost rushed.  As if it wasn't supposed to be there, but the editors wanted it thrown in.  I personally feel that if the "traingle" part hadn't existed, and it had just been about Annah/Catcher, it could have been much more strong and intriguing.

What did I like?  My goodness, the zombies.  Unconsecrated.  Mudo.  Whatever you want to call them.  I just wanted more.  The way Ryan described them: their moans, their bodies falling apart, how they never stopped, ever.  I couldn't get enough.

I devoured this book in two days.  Mostly because of the undead.

Sadly, there were dragging parts.  And I had a hard time connecting to most characters.  But then a scene would pop up (usually one with a zombie in it) and I would remember why I was wanting to read this book.

It definitely was not my favorite of the trilogy.  I mentally conflicted with many of the "facts" and happenings in the book, and skimmed pages near the end.  Still, I did not hate it.  It suited the trilogy.  Though I feel it didn't end the trilogy with as much "bang" or "pizazz" as I was hoping, I set the book down still feeling accomplished.

I cannot wait what Ryan has to offer the reading world next.
Now, I am off to find some more zombie readings!

My Rating:
(3 out of 5 stars)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

WIP Day - *Insert spiffy title here*

Hello all!

I know... I usually manage to post in the morning at the wonderful start of the day.  So, why am I posting in the afternoon today?  Simple: My kids had a play date, and we just got back from that awesomeness. Now one kiddo is conked out, one is having a snack, and I finally get a moment to update!

Here we go!

PN Update: Yeah... still querying.  Well, more like sitting back and hoping it catches the eye of someone out there.  I will be honest.  I have gotten my rejections.  And each one hurts, no matter how nice the agent is about it.  I am working hard on developing that "tough skin" we hear so much about... but it's hard!  I have a post planned to rant about that... coming soon.  For now though, just know that PN still exists, still fights... and it's fate will be known, someday.

New WIP:  As I have mentioned before, I am itching to get back to work on In the Blood.  I started ITB a bit over a year ago, then put it on hold to write PN.  Now I want to revamp what I have, finish it, and see what magic happens.  My hangups?

     1.  I really am having a hard time deciding on the POV.  I originally had it in 3rd person, but now I am realizing how 1st person could add to its dynamics... and I just can't decide!  Dilemma people!

     2.  The Title.  While I do love that title... I recently found other books by the same.  I know that those kind of things happen... but I just don't know if I want that to happen for my book.  (Yes, being possessive here. *blows raspberry*)  So, needless as it is, I have been trying to think of a new title.  Trying.

     3.  Have you heard of Camp NaNoWriMo?  No?  Well, simply put, it is NaNoWriMo's solution to having the challenge available year round.  I have signed up for, and I want to do it.  It is planned for me to start in on August 1st, rewrite what I do have then finish this bad boy I call a book.  The prob?  Can I keep waiting until that date hits?  I must...

Do you want to hear more about In the Blood?  A synopsis?  A rant?  Brainstorming?  Let me know.  I am actually very excited to finish this project.  It is very different that PN, and that new world calls to me.  Now I just need to get my butt in gear!

Well, that is it for my WIP day.  How is yours?

Monday, July 18, 2011

The You Love Me Give-Away WINNER is...

What a great turn out!
Honestly, it was awesome.

After opening the You Love Me Give-Away celebration (for hitting that awesome 100th follower mark!) I watched as you all entered and entered away.  I got a grand total of 54 entries!

AND... 18 new followers!  Hello new followers.  I do love you.

Has this been fun for you?
Are you wanting me to stop talking and just share who I drew as the winner and second place winner of this Give-Away?

Oh... alright.

The Winner of a $20 Amazon Giftcard, or the equivalent in Book Depository goodies is...

Felicia *

Congrats!  I have emailed you, Felicia.  If I do not hear from you within 48 hours, I will redraw a new winner.  So... email me back!

And... because I managed to hit 110... There is a 2nd place prize!
The Winner of a $10 Amazon Giftcard, or the equivalent in Book Depository goodies is...

msodapop *

Again, I have emailed you.  Yay!  If I do not hear from you within 48 hours, I will redraw.

Congratulations winners!
And thank you to everyone who entered!
I was sooo close to hitting that 120 mark!  And it is because of you.

Please, stick around.  I would be so sad to see you leave.  I have more Give-Aways planned for the future, more blog posts and updates, plus it just wouldn't feel right to ramble away to the empty internet.

Can't wait to see you around!
And as always... Happy Writing.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Wait... I have... A life?

If this has posted, that means I wasn't able to get online and stop the default posting.

Which means, I must be having too much fun!

I am spending a three day weekend with the family, and am unsure whether I will have internet access at all while enjoying the days.  I will make sure to get a book review posted, as soon as I am near the lovely internet again.

Until then, I am enjoying my weekend, and so should you!

Tell me, what are your plans?  Have you done anything exciting?  Do share!

And, just for fun, here is another of the many amazing photos taken by Vince James Photography.  I do love them... I just can't pick a favorite!

Vince James Photography.  All rights Reserved.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

WIP Day - Queries and New WIPS anyone?

Is it just me, or is time really flying right now?  Honestly, I can't believe it is Wednesday already!  Is it, really?
*Looks at calendar*

It is, and we all know know what that means.  Its WIP day!

Let's get this thing going!

PN Update:
I sent off more queries.  Wow, what a process!  I am now trying to decide if I want to send even more, or live with what I have sent and let those decide my fate.  My plan still is firm: See what the summer brings, then if it just isn't feeling right, self-publish with CreateSpace.  I am already leaning towards that... but I knew I had to dip into this query world before I did anything.  Who knows, amazing things just may happen, right?

I have already received my first rejection email. It's true.  To be honest, I was bummed.  It isn't the best feeling in the world to find that your book just was not enough for someone.  But I keep reminding myself that it was just one agent.  There are many more out there, all with different desires.  I am just hoping I am one of those desires.  We will see!!

New WIP:
With PN done and waiting its someday reveal to the world, I now get to move on to new WIPs!  My next move?  Finish In The Blood.  (Title very subject to change)  ITB is the book I was working on before PN took over my life, and I would love to dive in and finish it.

I am trying to decide if I want to keep it in 3rd person, or change it all into 1st.  Decisions!
Either way, I am very excited to rewrite and finish!  I was planning on doing this project for Camp NaNoWriMo come August, but I am not sure if I will be able to wait that long.  We shall see.

I will post a synopsis for it... soon.  Once I revamp the one I had.  Let's just say though:  I am very excited for ITB.  It is very different than PN.

One more thing:
You know my friend Kimmel?  The one I am always mentioning?
Well, she has put her book up for sale!
Kimmel decided to go the Indie route, and her book Transformation is now for sale via CreateSpace and Amazon, with B&N soon to follow.

I have to say, I am super super proud of her.  This is Kimmel's first novel, and I was with her every step of the way as she discovered this crazy writing world we all live in.  I will be doing an interview with Kimmel in a few weeks, along with a signed Give-Away of Transformation, so keep your eyes open!  Until then... go check out her book and add her on Goodreads!  Kimmel, you are amazing!

(Amazon paperback and B&N to come very soon!)

That's it for this week!  How is you WIP day doing?  Happy Writing!



The You Love me Give-Away 
ends this Sunday, July 17th.  
There has been an amazing turn out so far!  Think I will get to 120 followers so I can up 
the prize again?  Only time will tell!  

If you haven't yet... entere HERE

Monday, July 11, 2011

YAtopia Pitch Contest

Oh, what's that?  YAtopia is hosting great elevator pitch contest!  Oh yes...

The agent judge?
Bree Ogden from Martin Literary Management

The prize?
The winner will get the chance to have Bree read their entire MS, and two lucky runners-up will get to submit their first 50 pages.


Here I am, in my querying phase, and I see this contest.  How on earth can I resist?

If you want to learn more about this contest, click here.

And, just for fun, here is my elevator pitch for PN:

Millie 942B was born behind bars.  Raised inside one of the Nation’s city-sized prisons, Millie always believed in its strict laws and harsh punishments.  Now Millie has turned 18, and has been released, only to find that the life and freedom she had always believed in aren’t what she thought they would be. 

Hello Antagonist. I love you.

Here is something I have been pondering lately:  
What makes a great antagonist?

In books, we come across so many different forms of bad guy.  An angry, half-alive wizard.  A jealous and hungry vampire.  A government set to watch its children kill each other for entertainment.  

Sometimes the antagonist is even the very protagonist we are rooting for: that inner struggle to find the answer, to change, to do what is right.  To self-destruct or to admit to a forgotten crime.

Whatever form the antagonist takes, you just can't have a story without one.  It is what drives the story.  What causes the MC to make decisions.  What forms the conflict and propells the climax.  Without the bad guy, the good guy will lose its flair.  The story will be dead.  It just won't be worth it.

We need our antagonists.

So, how do you create the right bad guy?  How can you ensure that the antagonist gives enough drive to the MC to keep the story moving and strong?  

This is honestly something I am trying to fully figure out.  So, I decided to scour the net for tips and advice.  Isn't that why it's there?  Google, my friend...

Here you go, my quick montage:
  • Make your antagonist tough.   Tough, but not too tough.  Indestructible, but with an end in sight.  Make him strong, make him awesome.
  • Hold a grudge.  Your antagonist needs hate your protagonist.  Anger, loss, jealousy, desire... One way or another, there has to be tension there.
  • Make a weakness.  I'm sorry, but your antagonist can't be super human.  Just like Superman, there has to be some form of Kryponite.  Whatever it is, let the weakness exist.
  • Set a goal.  Why is your antagonist out to end the story?  Make it good.  Make it count.
  • Avoid clich├ęs.  Dimension, dimension, dimension.  Give him a history.  A past.  Feelings.  Motivation.  Bad guys are great, bad guys with a past are even better.

And my personal tip?
Love your Antagonist.

If you hate him from the get-go, you won't write him well.  You will avoid him.  You will only paint him bad, and never add that much needed depth that makes the reader go "Oh, that's why I hate him!"

We love bad boys.  Admit it.  Every person, at some point or another, has felt that pull to the bad boy.  There is something about a person bent on ending the world and stealing away everything that is good that is just oh-so-alluring.  It can be scary.  And because of that scary pull, you create all the bad things that could possibly happen in your head.

You create a story.

Love your antagonist.  Embrace him.  Don't scare him off; invite him over for dinner.  Let yourself fall in love with this bad boy, so when he ruins the story your heart is literally broken and all hope is lost.

I love the antagonists.  Disregarding how much I might adore the MC, I am always drawn to the antagonist.  I crave to know what he will do next.  I ponder the coming twists.  I fear the climax.  I always want more.  Why?  Because I love the antagonist.

Yes.  Love your antagonist.
As you walk away today to madly type out your amazing MS, remember to say:
"Hello [enter antagonist's name here].  I love you."

- Here is a great exercise I came across that I plan to do:
Write from your Antagonist's POV.  Just an exercise.  Dive into his head, and let his thoughts take you over.  I bet the outcome will be not only devastating, but amazing.  Forget about typos or story lines or awesomeness.  Just let the antagonist take over.  Dive in.  Who knows what you will discover.  
I can't wait to let my bad guy lead!

So, do you love your antagonist?  Who are your favorite bad guys?
What are your tips for writing the best evil doer?  Do tell!

Friday, July 8, 2011

My Favorite Books - Part 1

I have to admit.  I have been slow on the reading the last week or two.  Blame it on book editing, children, and injuries.  So, I got a great idea to hopefully make up for that.  Ready for this?

Every so often, I will post a new segment to the My Favorite Books. (And yes, I am currently singing "raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens..." in my head.)

In these posts, I will share one of my all-time-favorite books.  It won't be a book review, per sey.  More like a mini rant of my love and adoration.

Sound good?  Yeah?
Here is segment one, of My Favorite Books!

Wizard's First Rule
(okay, the entire Sword of Truth series...)
by Terry Goodkind

When someone asks me what my favorite book of all time is, I rarely even hesitate.  "Terry-Goodkind's-Sword-of-Truth-series-it-is-so-good!" is my usual ramble of a reply.

Honestly, I love it.
I discovered the first few books in a used book store back when I was in 9th grade.  (Wow... has it been that long already?)  I had just gotten through my first ever break-up, and needless to say... I was heart broken.  I needed a bookish escape, and decided to give Wizard's First Rule a chance.

Honestly, I think that is the only reason I came through in one piece.  I was carried away in the world Goodkind had created.  I breathed when the characters breathed.  I cried when they cried.  I wished, so much, I had that additive magic that could make life grow and heal wounds... and yes, the subtractive too, just to exact some revenge...

Since then I have read the entire series.  Multiple times.  There are 12 books total in the series.  For my birthday a few years back, my hubby made my day by surprising me with new, hardcover copies of entire series.  My paperbacks were literally falling apart, and I pretty much almost cried when I saw the hardcover copies trickle in.  Best.  Birthday.  Ever.

I know this isn't exactly the genre I have been reviewing lately.  But this is the genre I grew up reading.  I actually didn't even discover YA novels until about two years ago... after I was already an adult.  Crazy huh?

The world Goodkind has sculpted is unlike any other.  You follow Richard Cypher and Kahlan Amnell as they go through their journey, of course, to save the world.  You watch their love grow.  You hate the enemy.  You go "oh no he didn't!" when that new plot twist is thrown in.  You discover magic, and life, alongside them and feel like you truly are a part of this quest to save the world.  I honestly cannot say enough about this series.

It is my gold.  I keep the books on their own special shelf, and oggle at them every time I pass.  What I would give to meet Goodkind...

In short, I love this book (series).  I know I would be a different person today, if I hadn't read it.  Each book teaches a new "Wizard's Rule," and each rule truly has made an impact on my life.  I was so sad to finish the series, but content to know that in about a year I would reread it all over again.

(And guess what!  I just found out a new book, The Omen Machine, is coming out!  Can you say I did the major happy dance or what!)

If you are looking for a great piece of epic fantasy to devour, I highly highly recommend Terry Goodkind's Wizard First Rule (and the entire series after, of course.)

Here is a synopsis of book one, Wizard's First Rule:

Truly epic in scope and filled with burning intensity, it is the story of Richard Cypher, a modest woodsman in a world achingly beautiful, alive with the joys of nature: a world the reader comes to love as fiercely as do Richard and those around him. Though a mere woodsman, he is the one destined to battle the ultimate adversary - Darken Rahl, an evil mage who bids to destroy all that Richard holds good and beautiful, dooming him and the rest of the people of Westland to a living Hell of subjugation and degradation.(Goodreads)

Oh, and side thought: They made a TV series based off of this series, called Legend of the Seeker.  I won't rant right now... but read the books instead.  The show is... meh.  There.  Enough said.  Read the books.

What think you?  Have you read this book?  Do you think you will?  

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The You Love Me Give-Away has been UPPED!

And I adore each one of you!
Really, I really do.  If I could hug you through the monitor, I would. Can you feel it?

So, what does this mean?
I am adding a second place prize!
That's right, now you have another shot at winning a goodie!

The Prize:
$10 Amazon Gift Card
$10 in books at the Book Depository

If you haven't entered yet, make sure to go enter HERE
And if you already have... keep spreading the love!
(Yes, I am happy dancing)

Next up:
If I hit 120 before the end of the Give-Away, both prize amounts till go up. Oh yes...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

WIP Day - Already?

Is it Wednesday already?
Where did time go?

Oh.  Right.

In case you didn't see my random post last weekend: I finished PN!  That's right.  I have proclaimed that my editing is done.  It is as good as I can personally get it at this time.  I need to end it.  So, last friday night, I finished.  Done.  Fin.

What a feeling.  It is a strange mix between joy at finally being done.  Anxiety that I missed something.  Longing to edit more.  An urge to tuck it into a drawer and pretend it never existed.  And of course... nerves at what will come next!

My plans got shunted a bit by an injury I managed to get Sunday afternoon at a photo shoot.  Note: Falling backwards down a flight of cement stairs is not such a great idea... I am finally almost able to sit at the computer again now.  For short periods of time.  So, hopefully that means that in the next day or so I will choose the few agents I want to query, and email that bad boy off.


Can you feel my nerves?
At least I know I have my fall back if all else ends up failing.  Oh CreateSpace, what would we do without you?

Alright, my knee is throbbing again.  Time for icing and elevation.  And pondering about my writing life.
How is your WIP doing?  Give it some love, from me.

Happy writing!


And remember!  My Give-Away closes on the 17th!  I am almost to 110, which means a second place prize! Will I get there?  I love you guys!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July, you Americans you

Happy 4th of July!

Due to the fact that I am spending today with my hubby and kiddos... going to a parade, playing in the water, eating too much junk food and watching fireworks... my post will be short and sweet.

To all of you Americans who are celebrating, enjoy your day.  Be safe, have fun, and put on that sunscreen!

As for the rest of you awesome people... enjoy this fourth day of the month of July as best as you can.

I am just hoping I get to enjoy the day.  While taking photos for some friends yesterday (yes, I dabble in photography as well) I fell backwards down a flight of cement stairs.  Long story short: My right knee is beat up, I hit my head on the ground kinda hard, and I am very embarrassed.  

As they ran towards to me see if I was alright, the first thing I asked was: "Is my camera okay?"  

See, I have my priorities... And yes, in case you were wondering, my camera is just fine.

I am too.  Thanks for asking.  ;)
Just stiff and sore and hoping it eases up so that I can enjoy the day.

Anyhoo!  Ramblage over.
Time to enjoy the day best I can, and you better too!  Happy 4th!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Psst. Psssssssst. Guess What.

I just finished PN.
That's right.

The final polishing round is OVER.  I have forced myself to stop.  This is as good as I can get it.  Is it enough?  I don't know.  Am I proud?  Yes.  I am very proud.  I am very tired.  I am very, very ready for the next leg of this awesome adventure.

Prison Nation.

Just had to share!  I couldn't wait until WIP day.
*Does a strange mix of a happy/tired/anxious/woot-woot dance*

Ok, moment shared.  You can go back to your weekend now.  :)

The 100 Followers Give-Away is now OPEN!

I am doing a major happy dance right now.

Oh, you know why.

I hit 100 followers!

Can I say it again?  Yes?
I hit 100 followers!

Before I dive into my promised Give-Away, I first do want to thank you all.  This blog really has become something important to me.  And you are something important as well.  I look forward to your comments, your thoughts.  I stalk you back.  Believe me, this has become a part of me.  This blogging community has become my community, and its all because of  you.  Really, it is.

So, thank you.

Ok, mushiness over.

On to the Give-Away!

1st place Prize:  
$20 giftcard to Amazon 
$20 worth of books from the Book Depository 
(For all you international folk!)

2nd place Prize:  
$10 giftcard to Amazon 
$10 worth of books from the Book Depository 
(Just added July 7th for hitting 110!)

How long will it be open:
The You Love Me Give-Away will close July 17th.  Winner will be announced July 18th

How to Enter:
1.  Be a GFC Follower (Well, Duh.  And yes, I will check.)
2.  Comment on THIS post.  Please leave your email address with the comment so I can contact you if you win!
Note: Following via NetworkedBlogs does work, though I much more prefer a GFC follow. that!  It is fast and easy to set up, if you do not have one.

That's it!  I like it simple.  What can I say?

Bonus Entries (Worth 1 each):
Twitter, Facebook, ReBlog, Side Bar, etc.  Leave links with your entry!
(If you tweet, my handle is @JMWriting)

But wait!  There's MORE!

For every 10 followers I get from now on, I will up the Give-Away.  Oh yes.

110 Followers: A second place prize
120 Followers: Raise the Stakes, maybe a third place prize as well?
Etc etc etc

Now... enter!  And spread the word.
And again, thank you thank you thank you.  I look forward to our future of mutual stalking.

Off I go, back to my happy dancing.


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