children's writer

2012 Novel

Dec 30, 2011
2011 was a decent year for me. I learned a lot writing wise, completed not one but two WIP's, and started a third which I'm completely in love with. Marylyn Was Her Name was definitely inspired by old Hollywood glamour. It's a novel about love, murder, and finding yourself. It's funny because this idea actually came to me in a dream, and I never dream up novels. So I know this one is special. I hope to start working on it as soon as I'm finished with revisions for my NaNo novel. Marylyn Was Her Name is going to be my 2012 novel.

This is the query I came up with for it. It isn't perfect, but I'm working on it:

Come her eighteenth birthday, seventeen-year-old Marylyn Greyer will be on the first Greyhound bus out of Dunmore, Virginia. She’s going to be a famous actress on Broadway.

Her life is anything but glamorous. She lives at home with her momma and her new boyfriend, Rick, a filthy drunk who can’t seem to keep his hands to himself. Every day she reminds herself that things are going get better once she leaves Dunmore.

But that day never comes when her momma uses her savings to pay last month’s bills. To get away from the situation at home, Marylyn takes a job at a local restaurant waiting tables. There she meets a smooth talking handsome young man by the name of Connor Mason. Everything changes from then on as Marylyn transforms into a social butterfly, walking, talking, and dressing differently. Her relationship with Connor is explosive and exciting. They spend as much time fighting as they do sleeping together.

Connor isn't like any young man she’s ever met. He believes in her, tells her she can have the world if she wants. Marylyn see’s something in Connor that no one else can. There’s a spark that burns in his eyes, so bright. So when he tells her his plan, a plan that could bring her the stardom she’s always dreamed of, Marylyn has to make a choice. Either stand by her man or go back to her old life.  

I even have a theme song for it:

One of my resolutions for 2012 and coming years is to write at least one novel for that year. My other resolution: Read more, a lot more since this year was a very disappointing year for me. I have a ton of books on my wishlist and a ton of books that I've started and haven't finished yet. I should be pretty busy. I'm looking forward to the new year. Here's hoping that we all get some good news.

Happy New Year!

Books on My Holiday Wish list

Dec 17, 2011
The holidays are right around the corner. I can feel the magic in the air. And although I do have a nice stack of books that are waiting to be read on my nightstand, I just can’t resist blogging about the books that I would love Santa to bring me this Christmas. I think I've been fairly good enough this year. What about you?

I read a sample of this on my Kindle and loved it. I'm holding off on seeing the movie until I read this book. Truthfully, very few adult novels manage to catch my eye. This one did. This is one of those books that are very rich in voice. I can't wait to pick up a hard copy. 

I do own Anna and the French Kiss, but I haven't gotten to it yet. I've heard a ton of great things about Anna and Lola. Stephanie Perkins almost make me want to write my own contemporary romance novel. I think the cover is very cute. I love the purple, blue, and pink tones. Lola, here I come. 

This is another one of those cute contemporary novels I've heard a lot of good things about. I think I'll be downloading a sample of this one pretty soon. Novels like Past Perfect are so inspiring and bittersweet. I get a toothache just looking at that cover.

Okay, I'm not sure when this one will be coming out in the states. But I did sample it like I have the others. As you can probably tell I've been trying to read more contemporary novels. I'm usually more of a fantasy girl, though I can't write it to save my life. Good Oil has been getting some good reviews, and I am very intrigued.

I read the first novel in Maggie's Shiver series and really enjoyed it. I read a bit of The Scorpio Races and enjoyed it even more. I can't remember ever being a fan of novels about horses, but there is something special about this one.

These three novels are amazing, or so I've heard. I think they are all one of those books that you should read at least once. I know Santa is going to be a very busy man this year, lugging around all of my presents. 

That's it for my list. What books are on your holiday wish list?

Road Trip Wednesday: Ideal Holiday Present

Dec 14, 2011
Today I'm participating in YA Highway's 109th Road Trip Wednesday. Road Trip Wednesday is a blog carnival where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing or reading related question that begs to be answered.

This Week's Topic:

What would be the ideal holiday present for your 
main character (or favorite character)? 

I really enjoy answering these types of questions because I don't usually think about these things while I'm writing. It's quite fun to dive a little deeper once in a while. Fifteen-year-old Cassidy Harwell lives on a small farm in Tinder, Louisiana with her mama and papa, Marsha and Peter Harwell. She mentions in the story the she and her mother scraped up some change and purchased a gold watch for the father last Christmas, his only gold watch. They're in the midst of a drought that has been going on for almost two years now, and things aren't getting any better. 

I know this might sound cheesy, but all Cassidy really wants is for things to go back to how they used to be in Tinder. Most of all, she doesn't want to leave. As for materialistic things, I'm sure Cassidy would love a new bicycle, so she wouldn't have to rely on her father driving her places. She would also probably really like a cell phone since her father won't get her own until she's at least sixteen.

Cassidy is a simple girl, but she does look forward to getting that brand new dress every single year on her birthday. Still, I don't think she'll ask for much this coming Christmas. Not with how things are now. 

Thursday Love: Walking In The Air

Dec 1, 2011
I'm back again with another Thursday Love post, which is a collection of things I've been lusting over this week. Here we go.

I instantly fell in love with the cover for The Selection by Kiera Cass. It has to be one of the most stunning covers I've seen to date. I love the blue tones, and will you just look at that dress. It's sure to turn heads.

I've had Jackie Evancho's rendition of Walking In The Air on repeat these last few days. You can listen to it here. I think it's the perfect Christmas song.

This quote by Neil Gaiman is the most inspiring quote I've ever read. I love it so much that I'm using it as a desktop background.


An Education has become one of my favorite movies of all time. I recommend that everyone see it at least once. Carey Mulligan is stunning in it. It's a fantastic film with fantastic actors, and I think a lot of people would be able to relate to Mulligan's character, Jenny. The soundtrack is awesome as well. 

Here's another one of my favorite scenes:

That's it guys. What are you lusting over this week?

Waiting on Wednesday: This Is Not a Test and First Comes Love

Nov 30, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. I haven't done one of these in awhile, but I thought I should take a short break from all the NaNo talk to do one.

I fell in love with the prose in Cracked Up to Be. I loved how it was so raw and real. As one of the most anticipated books of 2012, This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers I'm sure will live up to the hype. Zombies and Courtney Summers = win, win, win in my book.

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. 

As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, everyone’s motivations to survive begin to change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life–and death–inside. 

When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

There are some books that sound so sweet they make your heartache. That's how I felt after reading the blurb for First Comes Love. I love the cover as well.
Like his name, Gray is dark and stormy. Dylan, a girl always searching for what's next, seemingly unable to settle down, is the exact opposite: full of light and life. On the outside, they seem like an unlikely couple. But looks can be deceiving and besides, opposites attract.
What starts as friendship, turns into admiration, respect and caring, until finally these two lone souls find they are truly in love with each other.
But staying in love is not as easy as falling in love. If Dylan and Gray want their love to last, they're going to have to work at it. And learn that sometimes love means having to say you're sorry.

What books are you waiting to get your hands on?

Another NaNo Update

Nov 17, 2011
About 10k into my MG ghost story I decided to switch projects. Something extraordinary happened, and I fell back in love with a historical WIP I started in August. Now, I'm still behind, but thankfully since I already had quite a few words already written the entire manuscript comes in at almost 21k.

Participating in NaNo has been great. It really has encouraged me to write consistently. This is the first time I've written this many words in such a short amount of time. And it's the first time since completing my last historical novel that I've felt this strongly about a project. Guys, I think writing historical/contemporary fiction might be my thing. While I have dabbled here and there in other genres it seemed like there was always something wrong with either the voice, plot, or pacing. 

My current project, Songbird, takes place during the summer f 1962 in a fictional town called Riverdale. My main character Christine Taylor's father has just gone missing, due to constant smoking her mother's health is failing, and on top of all of this she's struggling with her feelings for two boys.

I'm having a blast engrossing myself in anything 60s related. I've found a cool site with 60s slang, watched The Apartment featuring Jack Lemmon and Shirley Maclaine, which is a great movie by the way, listened to some great music, and watched An Education for the second time. 

Here's one of my favorite scenes from An Education : 

I hope you guys are enjoying NaNo as much as I am. I really enjoy reading everyone's updates. And I would like to thank all of you who read, comment, and follow this blog. I really appreciate it.

NaNoWriMo and Teaser

Nov 8, 2011
I'm struggling along with NaNo Just like last year. I'm at about 5k, but that's only because I started late and changed projects. So instead of working on something brand new I'm being a major rebel. Although, I'm only counting the words written in November.

The project that I'm speaking of is a middle grade ghost story written in third person. I was greatly inspired by a certain author to give this POV one last shot. Last year's NaNo novel was another middle grade fantasy written in third person as well. Even though I'm behind, I will continue to write until the very end.

Happy NaNoing.



Top 10 Favorite Horror Movies

Oct 29, 2011
So, because I love horror movies and it’s almost Halloween I've decided to follow in the footsteps of many other bloggers and do my own top 10 favorite horror movies post. For real guys I am a complete horror movie junkie, and there's nothing like a good horror movie post to really welcome All Hallows' Eve. *evil laugh*

1. The Others
This is my number one favorite horror movie of all time. Everything about this movie is perfect. The atmosphere and the big twist at the end really makes it one of the best ghost movies I've ever seen. I love this movie. 
2. The Sixth Sense
This one also has a really big twist at the end. The actors were great and the whispering really gets to you. "I see dead people" has to be one of the most famous horror movie lines ever. 
3. The Orphanage 
Not to be confused with Orphan is a Spanish horror movie I saw not too long ago. It quickly became a favorite of mine. The subtitles don't pull you out of the movie at all. And like the first two the twist at the end is one I totally didn't see coming. 

4. Poltergeist 
This was a favorite of mine when I was a little girl. I think this was the movie that really began my lifelong love affair with horror movies. It's an all time classic.
5. 1408
I'm a big fan of Stephen King movies and 1408 takes the cake for me. If you've seen Rose Red you'll automatically love this one. There is nothing creepier than being trapped in an evil hotel room as silly as it may sound. 
6. Texas Chainsaw Massacre 
If I had to watch any horror remake over and over again it would be the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes. I feel like a complete sicko saying this but I love these movies. I love that they aren't any real raunchy scenes and I love that they use the same actors for the Hewitt family in every movie.
7. Resident Evil 
When it comes to zombie flicks Resident Evil is my number one pick. Alice is my number one favorite butt-kicking protagonist next to Buffy of course.

8. The Mist
Another Stephen King movie that I really enjoyed. The special effects could have been better, but I really felt for not just the main characters but all of the characters. It really makes me wonder what I would do if I were in that situation. 
9. Insidious
As someone who's suffered from sleep paralysis this movie really scared me. The costumes could have better, but it really is one of those movies that keeps you up at night. I get scared just thinking about the creepy old woman at the end. 
10. The Descent 
This one should really be higher up on the list because it is truly an awesome movie. The acting, the setting, those creatures everything about this movie makes it one that everyone should see. It will really make you think twice about going cave exploring. 

That's it guys. What are some of your favorite horror movies?

NaNoWriMo 2011 Update

Oct 17, 2011
There are only fourteen days left before NaNoWriMo, and I've already cheated and started my MS. I couldn’t help it. The story was practically begging to be written.

So a change of plans is in order.

I guess I’ll be using NaNo as an opportunity to finish another manuscript. Or I might start fresh with a brand new idea that I’m calling To NetherNether and Back Again. Which will be another middle grade novel inspired by Alice in Wonderland.

I’m having a blast reading all of the posts in the NaNo forums, and I’m really getting into it. The frantic nature of it all is very exciting for me. I’ve also been doing a lot of lurking on Amazon. I really love their Read First Chapter Free option. For a girl on a budget, it’s really helpful.

My favorites so far are:
  • The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
  • The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book I: The Mysterious Howling
  • Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes 
  • Liesl & Po
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Wildwood: The Wildwood Chronicles, Book I

All of which I hope to buy someday. 

As for my current work in progress, I’ve given it a new name it’s now being called The Inexplicable True Story of How Eleanor Blanchard Died, Came Back Again, and Haunted Penelope Dalcour. It’s long, I know, but it’s the best I came up with. I've written up a brief outline, which really helps during NaNo, and I've picked out a theme song.

So, tell me, how is your NaNo project coming along? Have you written up an outline yet? Or are you flying by the seat of your pants? 

NaNoWriMo 2011

Oct 11, 2011
I've been thinking about giving NaNoWriMo another shot. Last year I totally failed, somewhat. I had trouble getting the voice just right, which is my fault because the whole point of NaNo is writing straight through, and not editing as you go. That's where I went wrong.

I'm a pantser so editing as I go gives me some sort of reassurance that my drafts won't be a complete mess once they're finished. I guess I'm just going to have to suck it up, outline, and do the best that I can.

I have a few ideas including a fairy tale, a ghost 
story, and a contemporary romance. I'm not sure whether my NaNo project will be MG or YA. But since I have the tendency to write short, and MG tends to be shorter than YA, I might be writing another MG book. Although, I do really love a hot romance. And hot romances are the best part about writing YA fiction. 

Here's a blurb I came up with so far for my ghost 

There’s a little girl living in the manor Penelope and her parents moved into. They call her the Blanchard girl. The only problem is Penelope is the only one who can see her. Ever since she was a little girl she’s been seeing ghosts, a gift past down from great-great-grandma, Voodoo Priestess Mama Lucile. Penelope knows that humans and spirits don’t need to be mingling, but when the Blanchard girl starts getting restless bad things begin to happen, like Penelope’s mother being shoved down a flight of stairs. The only way Penelope can stop her from hurting the people she loves is by giving her what she wants, a friend.

Are any of you participating in NaNoWriMo this year?

Saturday Sweet Reads: Jason and Kyra

Oct 8, 2011
I borrowed this one from a friend. I must have read it maybe twice, probably even more than that. It's really a sweet read.

I read it while I was in middle school. My thirteen-year-old self really loved this book. It gave me hope for the girls like me, awkward and totally unpopular.

Kyra Evans isn't popular, or a girl who you stare at when you are walking down the hall. So why can't Jason-basketball star and the hottest guy in school-get her out of his head?Under normal circumstances, Jason and Kyra would live in their separate worlds up until graduation. But fate intervenes and the unlikely duo is paired up for a class project. Preconceived notions abound on both sides. But Kyra soon realizes that Jason is not the dumb jock that she had assumed him to be. And Jason finds himself telling Kyra things he can't even tell his best friend. As the two become friends and eventually start to fall in love, no one in school can believe it-especially not Jason's ex, who is determined to break them up. Being together means navigating the obstacles that are coming their way-but staying apart may be impossible.

Image and description from Goodreads

Thursday Love: A Few of My Favorite Things

Oct 6, 2011
I wanted to share a few things that I've been crushing on for a while now in this weeks version of Thursday Love. 

1. I can’t remember exactly when I came across this blog, but I instantly fell in love with the prose. The prose is stunning and lyrical and the pictures are amazing. Girl Meets NYC is my number one favorite thing this week.

2. 500  Days of Summer has become one of my all time favorite new romantic comedies. I've seen it several times already, and it never gets old. The actors have amazing chemistry and the premise is believable. It's really one of those bittersweet movies.

3. I originally went into the bookstore looking for Some Girls Are but came across Cracked Up to Be instead. I'm absolutely in love with it so far. Courtney Summers definitely has a knack for capturing the perfect teen voice.

4. Lately, I've been really into jazz and blues music. Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald are just a few of my favorites. Listen for yourself here and here

5. My recent novel idea includes fairies, lots of them. Think Wicked Lovely meets Paranormal Activity. The only thing now is figuring out where to begin. 

So, what have you been crushing on this week? 

Life Is But a Dream by Brian James

Oct 3, 2011
I usually save these types of posts for Waiting on Wednesday, but I really wanted to gush over this novel now. I came across this novel while doing a search for covers to recreate, and I instantly fell in love with the plot.

Now, I haven't read many books on mental illnesses, but this one sounds really good. I mean amazingly good. The cover, the title, is gorgeous to boot. I can't wait to get my hands on it.

Alec and Sabrina are crazy in love. Problem is: Sabrina’s really crazy. 

Sabrina, an artist, is diagnosed with schizophrenia, and her parents check her into the Wellness Center. There she meets Alec, who is convinced it's the world that's crazy, not the two of them. They are meant to be together; they are special. But when Alec starts to convince Sabrina that her treatment will wipe out everything that makes her creative, she worries that she'll lose hold of her dreams and herself. Should she listen to her doctor? Her decision may have fatal consequences.

Image and description from Goodreads.

Recreate a Cover Contest

Sep 29, 2011
Princess Bookie is having a recreate a cover contest. I chose to recreate Faery Tales and Nightmares by Melissa Marr.

Here's the original:

And my entry:

It isn't perfect, but I tried.

New to My Bookshelf

Sep 28, 2011
I took a trip to my local Barnes and Noble yesterday, and was pleasantly surprised by how much upgrading they had done to the YA section. Now instead of two shelves we have several. There were tons of books to choose from, tons.

I ended up picking up three new contemporary reads. Seriously guys, I am on a mission to read more contemporary novels. Which is weird because contemporary fiction is what I write, but when it comes to reading I usually head to the fantasy, paranormal novels first.

This time around I spent an ample amount of time combing through a slew of contemporary novels. But the books that caught my eye were Cracked Up to Be by Courtney summers, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, and Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. I also picked up Anna and the French kiss from Target the other day.

I really hope I can go back soon because there were a lot of other books I wanted to snatch up. Including Anna Dressed in Blood and Personal Demons, both of which I’ve heard amazing things about. I also would love to get my hands on Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar and Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley. 

I can't wait until I have a bookshelf that's overflowing with books. I'm still doing the reading challenge. Right now, I'm reading City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. 

Happy reading and writing.

Novel Set During The 90s

Sep 20, 2011
It seems like I've written myself into somewhat of a hole. When I began writing Summer Spell I decided to set it during the early 90s because I wanted the town which my characters live in to be sort of old fashioned. And I felt like if the story took place today it just wouldn't be as believable.

Now, although I still love the story, I'm hearing that the 90s is a horrible time period to set your novel because it might just end up feeling dated.

Before anybody asks, no I was not a teen during the 90s. But it was my childhood. From what I hear, setting your story doing the 90s or the 80s to avoid technology is a bad Idea, and like the lack of cell phones and computers might be a major issue. 

The 90s is also considered a historical time period, but since my novel isn't tied to an event that actually happened, would it still be considered historical?

To you writing experts out there, what would you do? Should I scrap it or keep on chugging

I know there are a number of books out today that are set during the 80s and 90s, The Perks of Being a Wallflower being one of them, and Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal being another.

Top 5 2012 YA Releases

Sep 17, 2011
2012 will be a great year for books. Here are 5 novels that I can't wait to get my hands on.

Graffiti Moon is the book I'm looking forward to most. I can't wait to get my hands on it. I hear that it's a truly beautiful, well crafted novel. Australian authors rock hard.

In Honor was one of the books I came across on Goodreads while reading reviews, and I really like the premise. It's about a girl who goes on an epic road trip to fulfill her brothers last wishes. It sounds really charming.

Another one of my Goodreads finds. A novel about family, summer, love, and friendships. Second Chance Summer is my kind of book.

I already reviewed Wanderlove. It's one of those books I believe that everyone should read at least once. I really would like my own hard copy.

Isla and the Happily Ever After

Okay, so I haven't read Anna and the French Kiss yet. Bad I know. But the title of this one alone sounds so dreamy.

What 2012 YA novel are you dying to read?

Thursday Love: My Favorite Childhood Book

Sep 8, 2011
Hey guys, so I’ve been racking my brain trying to come up with some blog post ideas. And I finally have, thanks to Inkcrush, Assortments, and My Girl Friday, which are all marvelous blogs by the way. You should pay them a visit if you haven’t already.

Welcome to the very first Thursday Love post. Thursday Love is a blog meme hosted by me, Books & Nooks, which highlights some of my favorite things this week from movies to blogs to books, websites…

Today, I wanted to talk about my favorite childhood book because we all have one. 

That one book that I read over and over again because it was just that special was The Little Sea Pony by Helen Cresswell. Reading about a magical, miniature pony was just exciting to me back then. I loved the world that Ms. Cresswell created. The scene where Molly had to let the sea pony go was the saddest thing I'd ever read. I must have read that book more than twice. I’ll always remember skimming its pages when I wanted to escape. Although, what I really wanted, and I still do, were friends like Molly and Peter.

Two of my other favorites were Alice in Wonderland and A Wrinkle in Time. Both are awesome books, which I’m sure most of you have probably read and enjoyed. I don't know, I guess I really love books that paint colorful worlds, books that have great characters that I'll even remember years from now, and most importantly, makes me want to read them over and over again.   

What about you? What's your favorite childhood book?

First Campaigner Challenge

Sep 5, 2011
Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open” These four words will be included in the word count.

If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), use the same beginning words and end with the words: "the door swung shut." (also included in the word count)

For those who want an even greater challenge, make your story 200 words EXACTLY!


I managed to write exactly 200 hundred words. This is a flash fiction piece titled, THE STORM. 

The door swung open, letting in that cold winter’s draft. I wrapped my shawl tighter around my shoulders as the storm blew in a dust of snow, making the floor slippery wet as Tommy got up to close it for the hundredth time.

His boots slipped on the tile, but he caught himself, cursing under his breath like a drunken sailor. “Dammit, Val, can you help me with this thing?” He shook and rattled it like it was going to help one bit.

We might as well have been as good as dead because that door wasn’t closing for anyone. I watched him struggle with it as I sipped from my mug some steaming hot cocoa. “Leave it alone,” I said. “There’s no use messing with it.”

Tommy gave it one last push with his shoulder and it slammed against the opening, creaking as it sprung back towards him, again. And even though I was freezing cold, I couldn’t help but giggle at Tommy.

Then bam he gave that door once last good shove that almost made the whole place tremble, snow sprinkled from the door onto his boots. And my breath caught in my throat from his ill temper.

Seven Random Facts About Me

Sep 3, 2011
I received the The Versatile Blogger Award and The Irresistibly Sweet Blogger Award from Lyla Lee. Thanks Lyla. So, I guess I have to share seven random facts about myself, and pass these two awesome awards on to five other bloggers. Easy enough.

1. I am completely horrible at math. I suspect the right side of my brain is more active than my left.
2. I've been afraid of the dark ever since I was two, and I slept with a teddy bear until middle school because of it.
3. I love horror movies, which may or may not contribute to my fear of the dark. 
4. Seeing other people cry makes me tear up. This is something I have no control over, it just happens.
5. I am a junk food fanatic. In fact, right now I'm craving some funnel cake.
6. I've only been out of the country once, and that was only to visit some relatives in Canada. 
7. I know the entire Pok√©mon theme song by heart. catch them is my real train them is my cause...
Bonus fact
I am the biggest Supernatural fan you'll ever meet. I love those guys. 

Okay, so now that you know a little about me. Tell me something about you. Anyone who follows is welcome to join in since I can't seem to decide on five bloggers. Have fun.

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Sep 1, 2011

It all begins with a stupid question:

Are you a Global Vagabond?

No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path.

Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they've got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward.

But Bria comes to realize she can't run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back. 


You know that ache in your heart you get after reading a really good book? Well, that’s exactly how I felt after reading Wanderlove. At 4:05 in the morning, when I’d finally finished it, I knew for a fact that it was one of the best books I’d read in a long time.

I really don't know how to put into words how much I loved this book.  I really did, the beautiful Central American backdrop, Rowan, Starling, and Bria, really made this book special. I was rooting for them, all of them, the entire time. I wanted Rowan to finally come to terms with his past, and Bria with hers. I wanted them to experience a Wanderlove that was so good, they couldn't stand it.

The entire time I kept asking myself how Kirsten Hubbard managed to do it, capture so much light, sadness, and awe-striking beauty in just one book. It felt surreal. I felt like I knew these characters even the minor ones. And the prose was just as beautiful. There were sentences that I wished I'd bookmarked, written down somewhere.

Wanderlove is one of those books that you just can't put down. And for someone like me, who's hardly ever been out of her bedroom, it was a refreshing read. If I ever decide to backpack across Central America I'll bring Wanderlove with me. It would be my own little travel companion.

I loved the art, too. 

Expected publication: March 13th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers.

Review copy from Netgalley.
Image and summary from Goodreads

I'm a Campaigner

Aug 27, 2011
I've decided to join Rachael Harrie's Platform-Building Campaign. I've been meaning to join in for awhile now, and I've finally taken the plunge. I'm really excited about it. It sounds like a great way to meet other writers, and possibly make new acquaintances. You can find out more by visiting Rachael's blog.

Revising In Solitude

Aug 20, 2011
After reading countless posts on revising manuscripts, I've come up with one simple conclusion: I work best in complete silence.

It’s amazing how much work you can get done when you aren’t being interrupted by car sirens and honking horns. A few days ago some family members and I took a trip up to Virginia where we stayed in a resort that was made to look like a camp. And let me tell you, I practically breezed through revisions.

Surprisingly, too, because no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t concentrate. I kind of wish I was back there now, soaking up all the quietness. It was truly a lovely trip; I got to spend time with family members I hardly see during the year.

I’ve always thought of myself as a city girl, I can’t really imagine living anywhere else. But lately, I’ve been completely uninspired by my surroundings. Most people would consider it one of the most inspiring cities in the world, but for me, it’s just…I don’t know. 

Sometimes, it’s nice to get away for a little while. I’m just upset I didn’t take any pictures.

Where do you write best?

Follow Friday

Aug 12, 2011

How has your reading habits changed since you were a teen? Or if you are still a teen what new genres are you in love with currently?


Is it bad that I still consider myself a teen? I'm kind of straddling the line between older teen and adult. So to answer the question, my reading habits have changed greatly from thirteen-year-old me to now me. 

Back in middle school and early high school before the Twilight Era, I enjoyed reading books like The Clique, Faking 19, and Gossip Girl. In fact, Lisi Harrison was the author who inspired my love for writing fiction.

Now I enjoy anything supernatural, fantasy, dystopian, horror, anything that can scare the crap out of me. I think I like now me a little better than thirteen-year-old me. Who knows, maybe in the near future I might even venture into the adult fiction realm. 

Road Trip Wednesday: Time For Writing

Aug 10, 2011

This is my first Road Trip Wednesday post, and I'm excited to join in on the fun. Road Trip Wednesday is a Blog Carnival hosted by the lovely ladies over at YA Highway.

This week’s topic is: What time do you prefer to do your writing? Early worm? Night owl? Any five seconds you can grab?

My answer: All of the above. I write sporadically at various times of the day. Usually, after a major writing session I'll wake up early the next morning to go over what I'd written the day before. Then I'll spend a few minutes on the internet, write, YouTube, write, Blogger, write.  Rinse and repeat. 

It's one of the perks of being a full-time, jobless college student. Although, during the school year I write when I'm on break or at night when I get home.

When do you find time to write?

Reading Challenge

Aug 8, 2011
In all honesty, I haven't been reading as much as I should lately. It’s gotten so bad that I don't even finish books anymore. Not because they're bad, but because I can get really distracted sometimes. Blogger is only one of my distractions.

So, I've decided to challenge myself. For the rest of this month through September I will be doing my own personal reading challenge. The goal is to read at least one chapter a night, two if the book is really good. And I won't be purchasing any new books until the end of the challenge when I no longer have a stack of them in my closet. 

Currently, I'm reading Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard, and I love it. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love it. The characters, everything! It makes me wish that I were on my own backpacking trip through Central America. It makes me wish I had my own Rowan. *blushes*

This is why:

"But now that I've made swimming into this great big thing, I feel nervous. Especially alongside someone like Rowan, who's probably got salt water flowing through his veins."

That part about salt water flowing through his veins is just magical. I can't wait to tell you what I think once I'm finished reading it.

I will be updating weekly, or something like that, on my progress.

Summer Writing Contest

Aug 6, 2011
There's this amazing writing contest going on over at Blackbird in My Window that's being judged by Lauren Ruth from BookEnds Literary Agency. The prizes: a three chapter or 50 page critique and for the second place winner, a novel of your choice from Amazon.

You can check out the details here.

You can check out my entry here.

Picturing Your Prose

Aug 2, 2011
Looking through some photographs on my computer, I caught myself thinking how I wish I had a story to go along with them. Often times a simple photograph plucked right off the internet can be a source of inspiration to the discovery of whole new fictional world. It’s up to that writer to take that one moment in time and expand it into a multitude of words.

Although they say that true photographs cannot be expressed in written words, and what we see isn't what's truly there at all, for this post I'll have to disagree. There's just something about a pretty photo that makes me want to open up a blank document and type until my fingers go numb.

Below is what’s been lurking in my inspiration folder, for those of you, who like me, are brainstorming that shiny new idea and are doubtful that you have the talent to continue on this daunting journey.

Currently, I'm working on a new project that I started during NaNo last year, and I'm having second thoughts about it. And that's mostly because it is an entirely different genre than my previously completed novel. I find that some of these photos fit the theme perfectly. And although it is middle grade fiction, the photos above remind me of the importance of dreams, fairy tales, and everything else that exists only in our imaginations. 

As an aspiring author it is my duty to not only dream, but dream like I never have before. 

This post was inspired by Lyla Lee.

Southern Fried Fiction

Jul 30, 2011
Southern Gothics are becoming quite a huge trend in YA. I think they might be the next big thing. There's just something about old, creepy plantations and characters that are a lot more superstitious than they need to be, that makes this a trend to die for, literally. I may be biased, but I think this is one of those trends that I won't be able to get enough of. I've been really into the Gothics lately.

Here are three Southern novels I can't wait to get my hands on. Gothic or not, they're definitely gems.

Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker
Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore
Hourglass by Myra McEntire

What do you think is going to be the next big thing in YA fiction?

Waiting on Wednesday: Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Jul 27, 2011
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?


I spent a little bit of yesterday searching the web for excerpts from the novel. I found a few. But it doesn't come out until September, GAH. I love the authors amazingly pink hair. And I also can't wait to get my hands on Lips Touch: Three Times. Both of these books sound absolutely amazing. That cover is!

Image and description from Goodreads.