Posted in Uncategorized

NOBODY’S LADY Blog Tour

blogtour

The blog tour for NOBODY’S LADY has begun! Watch this page for daily updates throughout the tour or bookmark the Chapter by Chapter site for the latest changes to the schedule. There will be reviews, interviews and guest posts galore. Thanks to everyone who signed up.

Week 1:

April 11, 2016 – Julie Antonovich Reece – Guest Post

April 11, 2016 – Reader Girls – Guest Post

April 11, 2016 – The Recipe Fairy – Review

April 12, 2016 – Books Are My Fandom – Guest Post

April 12, 2016 – The A P Book Club – Review

April 13, 2016 – Chapter by Chapter – Guest Post

April 13, 2016 – Black Cat Blog – Interview

April 14, 2016 – Two Chicks on Books – Guest Post

April 14, 2016 – Simple Wyrdings – Review

April 14, 2016 – Diana’s Book Reviews – Guest Post

April 15, 2016 – Author Nicole Conway – Guest Post

April 15, 2016 – Dani Reviews Things – Guest Post

April 15, 2016 – The Book Adventures of Annelise Lestrange – Review

Week 2:

April 18, 2016 – Larissa’s World – Review

April 18, 2016 – A Book Addict’s Bookshelves – Interview

April 18, 2016 – Just One More Chapter – Guest Post

April 19, 2016 – deal sharing aunt – Interview

April 19, 2016 – A Dream Within A Dream – Guest Post

April 20, 2016 – WS Momma Readers Nook – Review

April 20, 2016 – Twinja Book Reviews – Review

April 21, 2016 – Books and Ladders – Review

April 21, 2016 – Hidden Worlds Books – Review

April 22, 2016 – Off the Page – Guest Post

April 22, 2016 – Realm of the Sapphired Dragon – Review

Advertisements
Posted in News

NOBODY’S GODDESS is only 99¢!


NOBODY’S GODDESS is only 99¢ for a limited time! It’s available on Kindle, Nook and Kobo at that price. If you’ve already enjoyed it (thank you~), please consider buying one as a gift for a friend! (Kobo sells internationally at that price, I’m pretty sure, but unfortunately, it looks like the price is exclusive to the U.S. for Kindle and Nook.)

This is the first time this book has been on sale for so cheap! With the release of the second book in The Never Veil Series in less than a week, there’s never been a better time to see what my YA romantic fantasy series is all about.

Posted in News

NOBODY’S LADY Cover Reveal! Blog Tour Sign-Ups!

The NOBODY’S LADY cover is here at last! Designed by KimGDesign, like the first cover in the series, NOBODY’S LADY reflects a less glamorous time in Noll’s life. After the events of the first novel and a disastrous meeting with the lord, Noll wants nothing more than to live a quiet, uneventful life, but her fellow villagers have other plans. Men are learning what freedom is like for the first time, and they’re not happy about how things used to be.

Nobody's Lady
Plus, you can read the first chapter (at the end of the post), which picks up IMMEDIATELY where NOBODY’S GODDESS ended! There are SPOILERS for the first book right from the very first page, so be sure to check out NOBODY’S GODDESS first (sample here or here) if you haven’t read it already.

Add NOBODY’S LADY to your Goodreads to-read list and preorder the paperback on Amazon or at The Book Depository. More outlets and an ebook preorder should be available soon.

The Book Tour and ARCs

nl book tour
Chapter by Chapter is once again hosting my Never Veil book tour and is seeking bloggers to post interviews, guest posts or reviews of NOBODY’S LADY from April 11th through the 22nd. This is one way to maybe get your hands on a (digital) ARC! If you haven’t read the first book yet, you can still request to review the sequel, and you may be provided with a digital copy of the first book for review as well. (I don’t choose the hosts, but I hope you are all picked!) Click here to sign up!

Month9Books is also offering digital ARCs to those who want to review but don’t want to participate in the tour or who aren’t selected for the tour. Click here to sign up! There are a lot of other Spring Month9Books title up for grabs there, too.

Chapter One

When I thought I understood real friendship, I was a long-lost queen. When I discovered there was so much more to my life than love and hate, that those around me were just pawns in a game whose rules I’d unwittingly put in place, I discovered I was a long-forgotten goddess. But goddess or not, powerless or powerful, my feet were taking me someplace I wasn’t sure I wanted to go. What did I hope to find? Did I truly believe I could hear him call me—that he’d want to call me? Yes, I did. I wanted to see him again. I wanted to hope, even if I wasn’t sure I was allowed. If I deserved to. I headed down the familiar dirt path beneath the lattice of trees overhead, pausing beside the bush with a partially snapped stem that jutted outward like a broken limb. The one that pointed to the secret cavern.

Only, it’s not much of a secret anymore, is it?

My feet picked themselves up. Glowing pools would never again tempt me.

I reached the black, towering fortress that had for so long shaken and screamed at the power of my glance.

For the first time in this lifetime, I stared up at it, and nothing moved. My legs, unused to such steady footing while in the sight of the lord’s castle, twitched in anticipation of a fall that never came.

There was no need. My feet dragged me forward.

At the grand wooden door, I raised a fist to knock.

But I stopped. I felt like if I touched it, the entire castle might crumble. It had done so once before. Not at my touch exactly. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was responsible for whatever destruction I’d find in this place. But that was presumptuous of me. He was strong-willed, and he wouldn’t crumble at the prospect of freedom. If anything, he’d be triumphant over it.

You can’t stop now. I pulled my sleeves over my wrists and propped both elbows against the door, pushing until it gave way.

The darkness inside the foyer tried to deceive me into thinking night had fallen. The stream of light that trickled from the familiar crack in the garden door called the darkness a liar.

I gripped the small iron handles, the material of my sleeves guarding the cold metal from my touch, and pulled.

My touch had come to the garden before me.

The rose bushes that surrounded the enclosed circular area were torn, ripped, trodden, and plucked. The blooms lay withered, scattered and turned to dust, their once-white petals a sickly shade of yellowish brown, smooth blooms turned coarse and wrinkled.

The fountain at the center no longer trickled with water. Its shallow pool was stagnant, piles of brown festering in mildewing green liquid. Dotted amongst the brown was pallid stone rubble. The tears of the weeping elf child statue, which belonged at the top of the fountain, had ceased at last. But the gash across its face told me the child’s tears had not been staunched by joy. I wondered if Ailill had had it carved to represent the pain I’d inflicted on him as a child. And I wondered if now he could no longer bear to remind himself of what I’d done.

I hadn’t done this. But I felt as if I had. If Ailill had gone on a rampage after he came back to the castle, it was because of what I’d done to him. Everything I touched turned sour. I yanked and pulled, trying to draw my hands further into my sleeves, but there wasn’t enough material to cover them entirely.

“Well, what a surprise.” I gazed into the shadow beside the doorway. How could I have not seen? The stone table was occupied. The place where I’d sat alone for hours, days, and months was littered with crumpled and decaying leaves, branches, and petals, obscuring the scars left by a dagger or knife striking time and time again across its surface. The matching bench that once nestled on the opposite side was toppled over, leaving only dark imprints in the dirt.

“A pity you could not make yourself at home here when you were welcome.”

My breath caught in my throat.

The man at the table was clad entirely in black, as I knew he would be. The full-length jacket had been swapped for a jerkin, but I could see the embossing of roses hadn’t been discarded in the exchange. He wore dark leather gloves, the fingers of which were crossed like the wings of a bird in flight. His pale elbows rested on the table amongst the leaves and branches and thorns. He wore the hat I was used to seeing him wear, a dark, pointed top resting on a wide brim. Its black metal band caught a ray of the sunlight almost imperceptibly. But I noticed. I always did.

His face was entirely uncovered. Those large and dark eyes, locked on me, demanded my attention. They were the same eyes of the boy I’d left alone to face my curse—not so long ago from my point of view. He was more frightened then, but there was no mistaking the hurt in those eyes both then and now.

“You are not welcome here, Olivière.”

His words sliced daggers through my stomach.

“I … I thought I heard you call me.”

He cocked his head to the side, his brown eyes moving askance. “You heard me call you?”

“Yes … ” I realized how foolish it sounded. I was a fool to come. Why had I let myself fall for that sound again, for my name whispered on the wind? Why was I so certain it was he who’d said my name?

He smiled, not kindly. “And where, pray tell, have you been lurking? Under a rose bush? Behind the garden door? Or do those rounded female ears possess a far greater sense of hearing than my jagged male ones?”

I brushed the tips of my ears self-consciously. Elric had been so fascinated by them, by what he saw as a mutilation. This lord—Ailill—wasn’t like that. He’d touched them once, as a child. He’d tried to heal them, thinking they were meant to be pointed.

The boy with a heart was the man sitting there before me. Even after all we’d been through, he’d still done me a kindness by healing my mother. “No, I just thought—”

“No, you did not think, or you would not have come.”

I clenched my jaw. My tongue was threatening to spew the vile anger that had gotten us into this mess to begin with.

He sighed and crossed his arms across his chest. “I gave explicit instructions that I not be disturbed.” He leaned back against the wall behind him, his chin jutting outward slightly.

I wiped my sweaty fingertips on my skirt. I wouldn’t let the rest of my hands out from the insides of my sleeves. The sweat had already soaked through them. “I needed to thank you.”

He scoffed. “Thank me for what? For your prolonged captivity, or for not murdering both your mother and your lover when I had the chance?”

So you admit you took Jurij to punish me? You admit they were both in danger in your “care”? Quickly, I had to clench my jaw to keep down the words that threatened to spill over. He’s not who I thought he was. He wouldn’t have harmed them.

I loosened the muscles in my jaw one hair’s breadth at a time.

“For healing me when you were a child. For accepting me into your castle instead of putting me to death for trespassing in it. For … For forgiving me for cursing you, even though you were innocent.” My voice was quiet, but I was determined to make it grow louder. “For saving my mother’s life.”

He waved one hand lazily in the air. “Unfinished projects irk me.”

“But you didn’t have to.”

A shrug. “The magic was nearly entirely spent on the churl anyway.”

“I beg your pardon?”

He leaned forward and placed both palms across the rotted forest remnants on the table. “My apologies,” he said, his lips curled into a sneer. “I simply meant that I wasted years and years and let the magic wither from my body to save a person of no consequence. You may thank me for that if you like. I would rather not be reminded of it.”

How odd it was to see the face I’d imagined come to life. The mocking, the condescending—it was all there. I just hadn’t known the canvas before.

And what a strange and beautiful canvas it was. That creamy peach skin, the brownish tint of his shoulder-length tresses. He was so much paler than any person I had ever seen. Save for the specters.

Despite the paleness, part of me felt I wasn’t wrong to have mistaken one brother for another. Elric had been dark-skinned, but they seemed almost like reflections of the same person; they shared the same brows, the same lips, and even eyes of a similar shape if not color. Perhaps the face before me was a bit gaunter, the nose a bit longer. It was easier to focus on the differences. Thinking of the similarities made me want to punch the face in front of me all the more—and that would undermine everything I had set out to do when I made my way to him. I wanted to see if you were really restored to life. Say it. I wanted to know if you really forgave me. Say it. I wanted to know why I … Why I feel this way about you, why I keep thinking about you, when I used to be unable to stand the sight of you. Say it, Noll! I dug my nails into my palm and shook the thoughts from my head. He’d called my mother a “churl.” I couldn’t just tell him everything I was thinking. “Have you no sense of empathy?”

“What a coincidence that you should mention that. I am sending Ailill to the village with an edict. He can escort

you there.” “Ailill?” But aren’t you him? Could I have been mistaken? Oh, goddess, help me, why do I do this to myself? Why do I think I know everything?

He waved his hand, and one of the specters appeared beside me from the foyer.

The specters. There were about a hundred of them in the castle. Pale as snow in skin and hair with red, burning eyes. Mute servants who seemed to anticipate the lord’s every command. Only now I knew who they really were.

Oh. “You call him by your own name?” I asked.

He raised an eyebrow. “I call them all by my name. They are me, remember?”

His icy stare sent another invisible dagger through my stomach. “Yes, but—”

“A shame you never cared to ask my name when you were my guest,” he said. “I have a feeling things might have turned out much differently—for all of us.”

“You knew what would happen! Why didn’t you warn me?” I had to squeeze my fists and teeth together to stop myself from screaming. This wasn’t going at all like I had hoped. But what had I hoped? What could I have possibly expected? I thought I’d be forgiven. I thought that Ailill and I might start over, that we could be friends, perhaps even … What a fool I’ve been.

Ailill turned slightly, his attention suddenly absorbed in a single white petal that remained on a half-trodden bush beside him. “I was not entirely in control of my emotions,” he said, “as you may well know.”

“I tried to give you a way out!” My jaw wouldn’t stay shut.

Ailill laughed and reached over to pluck the petal from its thorns. “Remind me exactly when that was? Perhaps between condemning me to an eternal life of solitude and wretchedness and providing yourself with a way to feel less guilty about the whole affair? And then you just popped right back to the present, I suppose, skipping over those endless years in a matter of moments.” He crushed the petal in his hand.

“A way to let myself feel less guilty?” He wasn’t entirely wrong. But it wasn’t as if he had done nothing wrong.

Ailill bolted upright, slamming the fist that gripped the petal against the twigs and grass on the table. “Your last words to me were entirely for your own benefit, as well you know!”

If, after your own Returning, you can find it in your heart to forgive me, the last of the men whose blood runs with his own power will free all men bound by my curse.

“How is wishing to break the curse on the village for my benefit?”

“Perhaps because the curse was your doing? Perhaps because you only wanted the curse broken to free your lover from it in the first place?”

“Stop calling Jurij my ‘lover.’ He’s not—”

“And you did free him with those words. You knew I would forgive you.”

“How could I have known? I didn’t think it possible you’d forgive me, not after all we’ve been through.”

“You knew because you knew I wanted to be free myself. That I would do anything—even forgive you for half a moment—to earn that freedom.” His voice grew quieter. “You never wanted anything from me, not really. I was just a pawn in your game, a way to free the other men in your village, a way to punish the men from mine.”

I fought back what I couldn’t believe was threatening to spring to my eyes. No tears, not in front of him.

“The men of the old village deserved everything they got,” I spat at last, knowing full well that wasn’t the whole story.

Ailill scoffed and put both hands on his hips, his arms akimbo. Oh, how I tired of that pose. The crushed petal remained on the table. Its bright white added a bit of life to the decay.

“There were plenty of young boys not yet corrupted,” he said. “And some that might have never been.” He took a deep breath. “But, of course, you are not entirely to blame. I blame myself every day for ever taking a childish interest in you. That should not have counted as love.”

I swallowed. Of course. Before the curse of the village had broken, a woman had absolute power over the one man who loved or yearned for her. When I visited the past through the pool in the secret cavern, I discovered a horde of lusty men who knew nothing of love but were overcome with desire. Since so many had lusted for any female who walked before them, and I had carried the power from my own version of the village with me, it had been child’s play to control the men. But why had that power extended to Ailill? He had only been a boy then, broken, near silent—and kindhearted. He couldn’t have regarded me with more than a simple crush on an older sisterly figure, but it had been enough.

“But you did forgive me.” Why couldn’t I stop the words from flowing?

Ailill shook his head and let a weary smile spread across his features. “Forgive you? I could never forgive you. No more than I could forgive myself for daring to think, if just for a moment, that I … ” He stopped.

I shook my head. “The curse wouldn’t have been broken. The men in the village wouldn’t now be walking around without masks. Nor you without your veil. If you hadn’t forgiven me.”

Ailill tilted his head slightly. His dark eyes searched mine, perhaps for some answer he thought could be found there. “I would still need the veil even now?” he asked, his voice quiet. “Are you certain?”

Removing the veil before the curse was broken would have required the Returning, a ritual in which I freely and earnestly bestowed my heart and affection to him. It would have never happened, not with the man I knew at the time to be mine. So yes, he would still need the veil to survive the gaze of women. I was sure of it. He’d been arrogant, erratic, and even cruel. Perhaps not so much as Elric, Ailill’s even more volatile older brother, the one who wound up with a mob of angry, murderous women in his castle and a gouge through his heart. But even so.

It was my turn to cross my arms and sneer. “I said you could break the curse after your own Returning, and I specified that you didn’t need my affection to have a Returning. All you needed to do was crawl out of whatever abyss I’d sent you to.” I shifted uncomfortably in place. “And I suppose I should be grateful—for my mother’s sake—that you did.”

Ailill waved a hand at the specter beside me and brushed aside a pile of clippings on the table to reveal a hand-written letter. It was yellowed and a tad soggy. “Yes, well, the endless droning that made up your curse gets a bit foggy in my mind—assuming it even made sense in your mind to begin with. I am afraid I lack the ability to retain exact memories of an event that took place a hundred lifetimes ago when I was but a scarred child terrified of the monster before him.” He looked up to face me as the specter retrieved the letter from his extended hand. “But I suppose it was not all that long ago for the monster, was it?” He turned again to the table, shuffling brush about aimlessly. “Take her with you to the market,” he said.

The specter made to grab my arm as he passed. I slipped out of his reach only to back into another specter who had appeared quick as lightning from the foyer. He grabbed one arm, and the first specter seized the other.

“Let go of me!” I shouted as they began to drag me away.

The specters didn’t pause, as they once would have.

“Stop!” called Ailill from behind me. The specters did as they were told.

Ailill spoke. “I forgot to inform you that my retainers lost all desire to follow your orders when I did.” He waved his fingers in the air. “Carry on.”

I struggled against the grip the specters had on my arms. Again. He has me under his thumb again. “I can walk by myself!” I screamed as my toes slid awkwardly against the dark foyer floor. “I don’t need to go to the market!”

A black carriage awaited us outside the castle doorway. A third specter opened the carriage door, and my captors heaved me up into the seat like a sack of grain. The one with the letter slid in and took the seat across from me. He stared vacantly at the top of the seat behind me.

I leaned forward, whipping my hand out to stop the carriage door as one of the specters moved to close it. I didn’t care what I touched in the castle anymore. Let the whole thing crumble.

A black-gloved hand covered mine. I jumped back. Ailill stuck his head inside the carriage. His face stopped right before mine, the brim of his hat practically shading me under it. The sight of his face so close to mine, unveiled and painted with disdain, caused a thunderous racing of my heart. It was as if I’d just run the length of the entire village.

“You kept your hair short,” he said. He reached his free hand toward it, then pulled back.

I’d once let the bushy mess of black hair grow as long as it wanted, but once I cropped it closely to my scalp, I found it easier to deal with. “There hasn’t been enough time for it to grow, anyway. Not for me.”

He snorted. “Of course. But it makes me remember you as you were, long ago. When you cursed me and every man whether he deserved it or not.” He leaned back a bit, putting more space between our faces. “I think you will be most interested in going with my servants to the market,” he said. “But there will be no need to thank me in person afterward. I would rather not see you again.” His eyes drifted upwards, thoughtfully. “In fact, remind the villagers that I am closed to all audiences. My servants will be out there to see that my edict is obeyed.”

Before I could speak, he leaned back and let my hand fall from his. He reached around the door to close it.

“Wait—”

And slammed it in my face.

Posted in Writing

Announcing My New Short Story in a Charity Anthology

My new forthcoming short story, JOSIE’S COAT, will appear in Month9Books’ charity anthology, IN THE BEGINNING, out October 25, 2016. Some of the anthology proceeds will be donated to WriteGirl, a Los Angeles-based non-profit agency that empowers young women writers through mentorships, workshops and classes. The anthology consists of YA speculative fiction retellings of Bible stories. I was a huge fan of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as a middle schooler, so that was the story that sparked my imagination:

Author Amy McNulty’s story, Josie’s Coat, reimagines the tale of Jacob’s favorite son Joseph, his dreams, and his famous coat (Genesis 37). Josie, a dream-worker, is great at her job and her coworkers’ cruel jealousy leads to her enslavement and the loss of her dream-worker job—but even that can’t stop her terrifying visions of what’s to come.

The “dream-worker” part was also influenced by an idea I’ve had when I’m tired from a day of working: How I wish I could get my work done while I slept and save my working hours for something fun! This is what happens in Josie’s world, but only a select few can benefit from this arrangement.

Add IN THE BEGINNING to your to-read list on Goodreads!

Posted in News, Uncategorized

The Nobody’s Lady Blurb Revealed!

I’m excited to reveal the blurb for book 2 in the Never Veil Series, NOBODY’S LADY! It’s a tad spoilery if you have yet to read book 1, so proceed with caution if you care about spoilers:

For the first time in a thousand years, the men in Noll’s village possess the freedom to love whom they will. In order to give each man the chance to fully explore his feelings, the lord of the village decrees all marriages null and void until both spouses declare their love for one another and their desire to wed again. What many women think will be a simple matter becomes a source of village-wide tension as most men decide to leave their families and responsibilities behind.

Rejected by the lord and ashamed of her part in the village’s history, Noll withdraws from her family and lives life as an independent woodcarver. This changes when her sister accuses her of hiding her former husband Jurij from her—and when Jurij eventually does ask to move in. Determined not to make the same mistakes, Noll decides to support her male friends through their new emotional experiences, but she’s soon caught up in a darker plot than she ever dared imagine possible from the men she thought she knew so well. And the lord for whom she still has feelings may be hiding the most frightening truth of them all.

What do you think? Some readers have asked me HOW Noll’s story could continue, but believe me, there’s plenty more to go! You can’t pre-order NOBODY’S LADY yet, but you can add it to your Goodreads to-read list.

Posted in Writing

WIP Marathon 22

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:

YA SUSPENSE: 30,155 words, 10 chapters

Current report WC + CC/ SC:

YA SUSPENSE:  53,965 words,  16 1/2 chapters

WIP Issues This Month: This is the first year I’ve tried NaNoWriMo that I lost. So even though I got more words done this month than I did the previous couple of months, I’ve been bummed about that. I’m losing the drive to finish this story. AGAIN. (This is my second attempt at it, with some major changes, and last time I petered out at about 50,000 words, too. Only last time I was stuck in the narrative and this time, I’m just bummed about it.)

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. Sometimes even NaNoWriMo fails me. 😦

2. Even when I have an idea of where I’m going, it’s possible to lose interest in writing it.

3. Finding not one, but 2-3 similarities to a popular YA book in your WIP also helps make you less enthused about finishing it.

4. It’s hard to go from 100-500 words a day to 1700. (I managed for like 3 days and then just couldn’t do it anymore.)

What distracted me this month while writing: I went to Chicago (again ^^) one day early this month, but mostly I’ve been really busy with work. The time I do spend writing just isn’t that productive, either. But I have continued to work on it every single day, even if it’s only a few hundred words.

NOBODY’S LADY got an official release date: April 12, 2016, a few months earlier than expected!

I revealed the cover to my YA fantasy that’s going to someday be published with Patchwork Press! …And I started serializing it on Wattpad! It’s going to be a Wattpad-first novel with eventual ebook and paperback release in late 2016 or 2017. Click on the image to start reading today! 😀 Btw, this was my first WIP Marathon manuscript from back in 2013! *-*

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00007]

And I made a trailer for NOBODY’S GODDESS! That was actually a really fun distraction. I always wanted a trailer, even though I know they’re not the most effective marketing tools. I didn’t have the budget for one, so I made it myself. I had so much fun, I want to make one for FFFTT, but I really shouldn’t waste the time when I’m so busy. (See, I always want to do marketing stuff instead of draft when I’m unhappy with a draft’s progress!)

Goal for next month: I’m hoping I’ll finally get the edits for the second round of NOBODY’S LADY revisions this month. So I have to do that if so. Also, just to keep going with this YA suspense and not be tempted to move on to shiny new ideas. I have a feeling if I give up now, I won’t finish it at all. It’s not unsalvageable or anything, I just am not feeling the love….

 

Posted in News

NEVER VEIL Announcements!

I’m pleased to announce that the second and third book in THE NEVER VEIL SERIES now have official titles and tentative release dates. I’d love it if you added it to your to-read list on Goodreads! Watch for the NOBODY’S LADY blurb to appear soon.

Nobody’s Lady (Book 2 in the NEVER VEIL SERIES), Tentative Release Date: July 2016

goodreads-badge-add-plus-fad3b68d35050280ea55d50f17c654b5

Nobody’s Pawn (Book 3 in the NEVER VEIL SERIES), Tentative Release Date: February 2017

goodreads-badge-add-plus-fad3b68d35050280ea55d50f17c654b5

Also, I just got word that NOBODY’S GODDESS was selected to appear in Barnes & Noble stores nationwide! You can now search the “Pick Up in Store” option (next to the “Add to Bag” button) to see if it’s stocked in a store near you. If it’s not there, wait a few weeks, or better yet, ask your local store to stock it for you to make sure you can find it.

Click here to look for NOBODY’S GODDESS at a B&N near you!

Posted in Reading

My GMMG To-Read List (Just a Small Portion of It, Anyway!)

gmmgtoberead

It’s practically summer, which is one of my favorite times of the year to read. Yes, I read all year round, but I have very vivid memories of curling up with books all summer long between school years and even just taking a blanket outside to sit under a tree and read when my parents forced me to go outside to “get fresh air.” (I’m still a cave troll to this day.) So when a number of other YA authors who write for GMMG Books (that’s Month9Books and Swoon Romance as far as YA goes) were talking about what we want to read soon, we decided to highlight a few of each other’s books on our to-read list. Don’t get me wrong, ALL of the GMMG YA books (that I haven’t read already) are on my to-read list, but I have some particular reasons for wanting to read these:

HeartRobot

I HEART Robot by Suzanne van Rooyen

Suzanne and I met online through Ifeoma Dennis’ WIP Marathon in summer 2013 before either of us announced our book deals with the same publisher. But even if I didn’t know Suzanne a little better than some of the other authors on my list, I’d want to read this book! It’s got a dystopian Scandinavian setting (how frequently do you find that in YA?) and romance between a human and a robot–all based on their mutual love of music. And it’s a love against the backdrop of a civil war? I’m ready to swoon! Not to spoil anything (I haven’t read it yet, either, so does it really count as a spoiler?), but I hear there’s positive LGBT representation, too, so yay for diverse YA books!

22891924

Crown of Ice by Vicki L. Weavil

Cover love! I had to get this on my Kindle as soon as possible because this seems to be one of those times when you can judge a book by its amazing cover. I love YA fairy tale retellings, and this one is a YA retelling of The Snow Queen. I, like half the world, enjoyed Frozen the year before this book came out, so I’m even more of a fan of the fairy tale than ever. It follows the POV of the snow queen herself, so I’m especially intrigued to see if she’s still a villainous character or more of an anti-hero. Since she kidnaps a hot young math genius, I’m guessing she’s at least still got a villainous streak, and I love my heroes in shades of grey.

16050312

Of Breakable Things by A. Lynden Rolland

This cover scares the crap out of me. Seriously. But it makes me want to read it! This has been on my Kindle for a while, too. This story takes place in the afterlife. I have a thing for stories like What Dreams May Come and Life, A.D. that turn life after death into another adventure instead of just a resting place. There’s definitely a romantic element, too, as the main character decides to live on in the spirit world because of a young man she loved. It’s not in the synopsis, but I’ve heard it also deals with Ehler-Danlos Syndrome (ah, the title makes even more sense), and I’m eager to see how a YA book tackles this. I also met Ms. Rolland at BookCon this year (Ms. Weavil was there, too, but I didn’t have a chance to say hi) and I know she’s funny and friendly!

18276977

The Funeral Singer by Linda Budzinski

I’m far more of a fantasy/dystopian/paranormal reader than a contemporary reader, but when I gravitate toward contemporary, it’s got to have a special hook that draws me in. The Funeral Singer is about the daughter of a funeral home owner, an amazing singer who lends her talents to eulogies and dreams of escaping the morbid business in which she finds herself. One viral-sensation graveside singing video later, she’s rewarded with fame and a hot rock star boyfriend. There seems to be hints about a love triangle, too, which is a trope I adore. There’s something intriguing about the funeral home setting that starts off this rags-to-riches story that makes me think there’s something special here. How many YA romances involve funerals?

Posted in Geek Out

BookCon 2015 and Another Visit to NYC

I made my first trek to BookCon on Saturday, May 30th, 2015. It was the day of my first signing as an author (mostly–I’d attended a local writer fair a week earlier, but that didn’t really count) and the day I got to meet a lot of awesomely supportive Month9Books authors and staff after talking to them online for so long. It was also the only day this trip that I got to hang with my fellow YA author, bestie and beta reader Melissa Giorgio, as she was busy attending BEA (lucky!) half the time I was there and working the rest.

NY May 2015 Saturday BookCon 004 (Medium)

It wasn’t my first rodeo as far as a book-only convention goes. I’ve twice gone to ALA’s conference when it was in Chicago. (Although I’m not a librarian, the show floor tickets are available to the public.) I think I was expecting it to be more like that, with ARCs flowing like water to all who pass by, but apparently that’s more of a BEA thing. There were ARCs and free books to be had, but they were much scarcer or you had to play a spin-the-wheel game to only get one per booth (although that made the whole thing kind of fun). Then again, I didn’t even arrive until early afternoon. I’d heard the morning was crazy crowded, but there was plenty of room to walk through the convention center by the time I got there.

There were events and signings going on throughout the day, and I should have gone to more, but I mistakenly (?) thought they’d be packed! The one event we did try to go to, a YA/kids fantasy panel with Maggie Stiefvater and Jackson Pearce, did fill up while we dared to leave the area for a few minutes, so we wound up having to listen from nearby and were mostly unable to see them.

NY May 2015 Saturday BookCon 011 (Medium)

There were a lot of pretty booths to look at, and I loved being a part of all of the book lovers’ energy and excitement. My signing was the last one Month9Books was doing on Saturday, and by that time (5:00, an hour before the show floor closed), a lot of people who had been there had left the building. Plus, I was a new author. A number of people came, but perhaps not as many as had come to earlier signings. I was genuinely excited to meet the new readers, who were (I think) mostly drawn in by my book’s fabulous cover design. One of my editors (whom I met for the first time) even said she met an eager reader earlier in the day who was really looking forward to my signing, which made me awestruck! I tried to be friendly to everyone who stopped by, although I know I can be awkward in social situations. (Shout-outs to Melissa and my boyfriend for sitting nearby and being my cheerleaders!)

CGSD7FYUcAAwN-N

While I signed, I met Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicki, authors of the incredibly popular Branded and Hunted, and they were super friendly and each got a copy of my book–and gave me signed copies of theirs! After the con, I met up with a few other Month9 authors and staff and enjoyed a dinner with the likes of A. Lynden Rolland, Donna Galanti, Elizabeth Holloway, Natalie Decker, Lindsay Leggett and Annie Cosby. (There were more at the dinner–including author/publisher Georgia McBride, but we sat in two separate groups and I didn’t get much of a chance to talk to the others.) It was my first time eating in a “diner” in NYC, and they served delicious food–and a lot of it. We talked about BookCon experiences (although some hadn’t attended yet, as they were signing Sunday), writing and general get-to-know-each-other stuff.

NY May 2015 Saturday BookCon 013 (Medium)

I did a number of bookish things this trip–my boyfriend’s and my 8th trip to NYC together. (He has family there we visit, although they weren’t even in town this trip, but we got to housesit for them.) We tried to keep the spending to a minimum, so we did a lot of free and cheap things. Looking at books is always free. (Buying them… Not so much, ha.) We visited The Strand, and I bought Magic Under Glass and an adorable cats-and-books tote bag. We also toured the NY Public Library and saw plenty of nifty things.

library

On Tuesday, June 2nd, we attended Adam Silvera’s launch party for his debut, acclaimed book, More Happy Than Not. (Lauren Oliver was the moderator, and there were a number of other authors, agents and editors milling about! I stood next to Alex London in the line to get Silvera’s autograph, although I was slow to recognize him and almost too chicken to ask him if I was right, ha.) It was the most crowded I’d ever seen a Books of Wonder event, as he has a lot of fans already (and he used to work at the store). Luckily, my boyfriend and I got there early, so we got front-row seats when the vast majority of people there had to stand! Not only did I get Silvera’s autograph (and gave him my business card–even though I felt embarrassed talking to him about my own writing), I managed to run into Oliver on her way out and asked for her to personalize the signed book of hers I’d bought there, and she kindly obliged. (I did talk to her a bit about my own writing, too.)

bow

I also went to Japanese bookstores as I do every time I visit NY: Kinokuniya (both in Manhattan and near Mitsuwa in New Jersey) and Book Off! We also went to Nintendo World almost every day to collect Street Passes, and we saw a live taping of The Nightly Show one night, which was so fun.

kino

See more of my trip pictures at my FB page and on my (new) Instagram!