Thursday, December 22, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Tip of the Day: Need last minute gift ideas? Buy books. Seriously. For everyone you know. Support the industry!
Every year I buy books for my friends and family for Christmas -- whether or not they want them. :) I considered buying ebooks for some family members, but I don't know how I would do that exactly. Buy B&N/Amazon gift cards? I'm sure there's another way but I'm not sure what it is right now. So I went with good old paper books.
What I bought:
THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins for my two girlfriends who must read this book before the movie releases in March
UNBROKEN by Laura Hillenbrand for my dad and uncle; both are interested in flying, lived through WWII, and hopefully can discuss it with each other once they've read it.
JUST YOUR AVERAGE PRINCESS by Kristina Springer for my sis and sis-in-law. My sister sometimes reads this blog, but it should come as no surprise to her since I buy all of Tina's hilarious novels for them to compete with the sometimes tough realities and less humorous situations of our lives.
AU REVOIR, CRAZY EUROPEAN CHICK by Joe Schrieber for my brother, who usually reads and enjoys the YA titles I buy for him. This one I think he will especially appreciate since it is hilarious and each chapter starts with a real essay question from college applications and he is getting ready to interview and universities for a professorship. It is seriously too funny.
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami for my husband. I haven't read this one yet myself, but it's getting lots of buzz and he needs something else big to read while waiting for the next George R. R. Martin novel to come out.
I love having an excuse to buy lots of books! What titles did you buy for friends and relatives this holiday season?
Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Em's on break and we hope she has a very Merry Christmas! Here's a flashback to summer 2010.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
In an attempt to be more organized this summer, I actually had a blog post and idea ready to go today. But then my husband sent me a text message this morning, and quite frankly it was too funny not to share.
We are in the process of moving to another state. With that comes all the packing, planning, and the fun of finding a new place to live. We originally had an apartment lined up, but as I’ve gotten further into the job search, we discovered we might have to move a bit farther out from the city to be halfway between both of our jobs. So this morning, my husband was researching one of those small towns on Wikipedia, and came across this gem of a paragraph in the town’s local history section:
“Recently, scientists have discovered a time portal under a local farmers porch that leads to the Middle Ages on Planet 3GHJ8 in another dimension. This dimension is still being searched upon, it may either be the 8th or 9th dimension.”
Now I like to consider myself open-minded. As an avid reader, I love to suspend reality and believe anything is possible when reading a good book. But my hunch is telling me, someone is playing a joke on the good readers of Wikipedia.
And it is funny. It certainly gave me a good laugh this morning.
But it was also a great reminder that sometimes not everything you read on Wikipedia is fact. And for those of us that use Wikipedia as a resource (which face it all of us have done at one time or another when looking up a small bit of info. It’s just so darn easy and convenient not too), it’s nice to remember to go to other sources as well!
--Emily, Miss Querylicious
Picture borrowed from: http://imagine8.wordpress.com/2009/03/27/weak-pedia/
Monday, December 19, 2011
Today I have the privilege of unveiling the new cover of a re-release of a great book: Megg Jensen's SLEEPERS!
To celebrate the re-launch of SLEEPERS in January of 2012, Megg is giving it a new cover with artwork from the incredible PhatPuppy.
So why do you want to read SLEEPERS? Here's the story. An adoptee raised in a foreign land, sixteen-year-old Lianne was content with her life as handmaiden to the queen, until a spell cast on her at birth activated. Now she's filled with uncontrollable rage and access to magic she thought had been bled from her people years ago. Even her years of secret training in elite hand-to-hand combat and meditation can’t calm the fires raging inside her.
Her heart is torn between two boys, the one she’s always loved and the one who always ignored her. But when the kingdom threatens to tear itself apart due to rumors surrounding the queen’s alleged affair, who will Lianne protect and who will she destroy?
And it's on sale now for only 99 cents! Sales outlets for SLEEPERS:
For reviews, check out Goodreads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11815829-sleepers. Or follow Megg around the Internet--
Megg on the web:
Thanks for sharing the new cover with us, Megg.
-- Kate, Miss Perfecting the Pages
P.S. Blogger is currently experiencing technical difficulties. I'll be back to fix the links later today.
Friday, December 16, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Assuming you followed the tip and just read Ally's post, I thought we could share what our predictions for the future of YA are too. Ally first mentioned that ebooks are booming, and we've all noticed this too. Still, they keep saying it's only 10% of the industry. I'm wondering if this number is even valid anymore though. Considering Amazon says Kindle is the #1 selling product on their site, I'm thinking it's becoming more than 10% of books. And considering bookstores are closing around me and now we have to drive farther and farther to get to a store, well, yeah. I think ebooks are going to jump and take over more of the industry very fast.
And I'm seeing more and more traditional authors make the change to indie publishing as well. With fewer books being bought (publishers seem to be putting more money into acquiring fewer books in the hopes they will be big sellers) lots of authors are saying heck with it and making the switch to indie publishing. And doing pretty well with it. I've talked with a number of indie authors who are pulling in several thousand a month from the sales of their ebooks. On the flip side, Amazon is playing nice now and making it sweet for authors to put out their own books but they may not always play nice. Who knows, they may just be waiting until they have big enough control of the industry and then will flip the rules on the authors and cut their royalties. I do think they are the reason ebooks have suddenly taken off though. People think ebooks are a recent thing but there have been ebook publishers for a long time now. The first one I remember seeing was back in 1996-- Hard Shell Word Factory. But not many people responded to ebooks before Amazon and the Kindle.
And what about genre? Ally mentions that pink books are all but extinct (No! Say it ain't so!) and that even darker books seem to be winding down. Huh. But then what's next on the horizon? I refuse to believe that romance will ever die. People love to be in love. Love to read about love. It can't go away. And funny is, well funny! I can see darker books winding down a bit because the market is flooded but they won't disappear. The next big thing though? I can't figure it out. Any guesses?
Kristina, Miss Author in Action
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
I have a sneaking suspicion that I am getting an ereader for Christmas. *New toy excitement!*
While I have bought ebooks and have read some on my husband's iPad when we were on vacation, I have yet to read one since we've been home. With an ereader, that might change; I can see the ereader being an easy way to read books while on the exercise bike (now I favor reading paperbacks while on the bike).
However, since I will never be able to resist the allure of the paper book, I will always have piles of those all over the house. And since they are visual reminders of the books I intend to read, I wonder if I will still favor those over an ebook purchases/library check outs that I may make.
Or if I'll become a total convert.
Time will tell!
Are you receiving or giving an ereader for the holidays this year?
Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing
Monday, December 12, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Thursday, December 8, 2011
I don't know about you all but my credit card is seriously crying right now from all the Christmas shopping! Which makes it a perfect time to get some free stuff. Specifically download some free books for my kindle (ok, I don't have a kindle. But I have the free kindle app on my iPad and iPhone). So check out what I found this week:
From Saundra Mitchell,
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
I was thinking about all the books that I loved loved loved when I was a kid reading novels in the children's section of the library.
My aunt bought me this Judy Blume novel and I became hooked on everything she'd written.
Bruce Coville provided me with ghost mysteries! So did Betty Wren Wright. I remember being seriously creeped out when the dolls acted out the murder!
This series by Candace Ransom was handed down to me by a friend in fifth grade and I remember wishing the books went for longer than ages 12-15.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Endings are hard.
No matter what type of ending it is. Maybe it's the end of a relationship. The end of living in someplace you've enjoyed. Whatever it might be, even when you are excited to move on, ending something else can be a challenge.
So it's no wonder that for me writing the ending of a novel often feels excruciating. How on earth are you supposed to be able to nicely tie up all the loose ends of the novel, show your character's growth (but not too much), and do it all by staying as realistic as possible without falling into that going too far "overboard" category?
Basically wrapping up your novel and putting a shiny red bow on it! But not too perfect of a bow that it looks like you "tried too hard."
Sometimes it feels so challenging that I'm tempted to start writing my endings first and then work backwards.
Usually after plowing through it and then discovering nothing is really tied up yet, you sit down and six re-writes later the thing starts to resemble much more of a decent ending to a story.
Maybe endings are hard, because in real life nothing ever feels like it's ending. At least for me.
So a better strategy might be to think of the ending of your novel as setting it up for the sequel, even if no sequel is planned.
That's what I'm currently trying to do with another re-write of the ending of the book I'm working on. Wrap up most of the book, but still leave hints that the story will continue once the pages are closed. It's making it feel a bit more authentic, and still gives the reader enough closure.
Monday, December 5, 2011
Friday, December 2, 2011
A Princess for Christmas (Hallmark Channel, premiers Sat. Dec. 3)
When Jules Daly's sister and brother-in-law are tragically killed in an accident, Jules Daly (Katie McGrath) becomes guardian to her young niece Maddie and nephew Milo. On top of balancing the daily hysteria of becoming an overnight parent, Jules was recently laid off at work, her car is on the fritz, and the kids’ shenanigans have caused a dozen nannies to flee. When an ominous knock on the door comes late one evening, Jules wonders, what now? At the door is Paisley Winterbottom (Miles Richardson), a proper English butler, with a curious invitation: a Christmas holiday with grandfather, Edward (Roger Moore), the Duke of Castlebury Hall, who was absent from the kids' lives, but wants to reconnect out of love for his late son. Jules initially wants to decline the trip, but her eventual acceptance makes for a magical Christmas season for everyone.
Christmas Angel (Lifetime Movie Network, Dec. 4)
Out of work and permanently single in New York, Ashley (Kari Hawker) has an unsurprisingly cynical attitude to Christmas. But things perk up when her path crosses with charming journalist Will (K.C. Clyde) and her neighbour Nick (Bruce Davison) gives her a job that makes people happy. Yet while Nick would rather keep their good work a secret, ambitious Will sees it as a wonderful scoop. Cockle-warming seasonal fare.
For a list of other great holiday movies check out this blog!
--Emily, Miss Will Be Enjoying a Christmas Movie or Two this Weekend
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
I love meeting with the Mock Printz Club girls to discuss books (it's open to guys, but none have joined us), and always learn so much from them, too! Right now the frontrunners fr our Mock Printz award seem to be:
Some other tidbits I've garnered from our Printz meetings:
--They love J. K. Rowling. She essentially can do no wrong. And they don't mind what I called the "info dump chapters" in book #7 because they'd rather have that than stringing the reader along with tiny clues until the "big reveal." :)
--They don't like how in practically every current YA book they read with a girl MC, the girl *always* either a) ends up crushing on/hooking up with the first boy she meets in the book, or b) ends up crushing on/hooking up with her guy friend. They say it is so unrealistic and completely unnecessary.
--They don't like MCs who are seemingly invincible. While most like THE HUNGER GAMES, many don't like how Katniss, for example, is a little too unstoppable.
--They are getting tired of "the same" dystopian stories being told over and over, and find a lot of them similar to THE GIVER.
Our last Printz meeting was supposed to last 45-60 mins, and some of the girls hung around talking to the HS Librarian and I in the HS library for 90 minutes chatting about books! I love it!
What are your Printz picks so far?
Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing
Monday, November 28, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
I'm here, checking in on my November goal!
Goal recap: To revise my YA WIP and have it ready to sub by Dec. 1.
And as of today, I'm on page 165/206 and feeling totally on track!
It hasn't all been easy. During my lunch breaks at work I tried really hard to get in a solid 45 minutes of revision, but sitting at my desk in a cubicle -- even with my headphones on and personal laptop powered up -- doesn't always keep the coworkers away. I love them and all, but but but...NaNoREMo people! :)
I also got feedback from my wonderful Helper Monkeys critique group...and I learned that, uh, there were some "issues" with the chapters leading up the climax. And the climax itself. And oh yeah, the resolution chaps need some clarity. Oh boy. BUT! I was so inspired by them as well -- they helped me brainstorm "fixes" and I could feel what a better book these changes would make -- so when I sat down to write, the words came easily.
This book is different from anything else I've ever written: It has two 1st-person povs, a speculative story with a thriller feel, and a faster pace with bigger stakes. I'm really excited about this novel and hope my revisions are making it into the story I imagine.
How is everyone doing with their NaNo projects?
Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
My November Goal: complete edits on the current book I'm working on.
The Progress: not so great
After completely switching what the book I'm currently working on for the month, I had a bit of a slow start. The switch turned out to be wise, though, and edits with this book are going much better. I've gotten quite a bit done, though there are several chapters I need to update and about two chapters to add.
Since I haven't worked on this book in about three years, there's been much time spent getting into the heads of the characters again. But it's been fun, challenging, and progressing forward has been rewarding.
To celebrate, I'm definitely eating some pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving!
And then...it's right back to work. I still have eight days left in November to complete my goal!
Well at least right after I wipe my tears for the hundredth time today after watching X-factor tonight. Was I the only one that cried at like every story. I told my husband, I'd hate to be the singer without an inspirational story.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
I find the page and oh man, it’s true! It’s totally Shaz A.M.! Nasty, nasty, nasty! Man, she had to be scraping his denture cream off the back of her tonsils after this make out session. I flip the page for more pics. “Ok, seriously,” I say to the cute guy in the desk next to me in class, “you’ve gotta see this.” I hold up the magazine for him to see. “She’s going to make ol’ dude break a hip in that position, right?”
The cute guy laughs and his hair shakes out of his eyes. “That’s just wrong.”
I take a longer look at him. Wow. Why haven’t I noticed him before? Serious hotness. He’s got these crazy dark eyes and even darker hair. If he wasn’t dressed so preppy he’d almost look kind of goth. Not that I’m into goth. I myself don’t have any super interesting style. I’m your average whatever looks cute yet is still comfy kind of girl. Hence the worn-out jeans, tee, and converse I’m sporting today. I really want to talk to this big cup of cuteness some more though. “What are you reading?” I ask.
He holds up a National Enquirer. “Botched plastic surgery,” he says. “See, this one’s bottom lip looks like it ate her top lip.” He points to a picture of a woman who looks more feline than female.
I lean over for a closer look. “Whoa! You’re right!” I say. “I bet she wishes she could hit undo on that.”
He smiles. “My name’s Chas Montgomery.”
“Cool name, Chas,” I say, sitting back in my seat. I bet on the weekends he likes to kick back with a nice cigar after a rousing polo match with his buddies, Thurston and Chadwick.
“And you are?” he asks, holding a hand out like he just pointed to a letter on Wheel of Fortune.
“Livvie Peterson,” I reply. “Livvie’s short for Olivia. But I’m sure you already guessed that. Not much else it could be short for, right? Maybe Olive. But who would name their kid Olive? Outside of Popeye’s girlfriend’s mom. About a million and a half years ago. ‘I yam what I yam’, right? But, I babble. Yeah, anyway, it’s Livvie.” Wow. I am all kinds of smoothness here. I don’t know how he’s keeping his hands off me right now.
Kristina, Miss Author in Action
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
I am still plugging away at my revision to meet my goal this month. As I read through earlier chapters that have been in existence the longest, I find myself tweaking just words, so I know it is close! In the later chapters, I need to make some detail changes to the "science" part of the book, but I see how it is going to all come together.
My teaser is from the very beginning of the novel, BLACKOUT. The book is told in alternating povs, Leo and his younger sister Jenny. Chapter One starts with Leo's pov:
Dad and Jenny hugged goodbye. It was like they thought they’d never see each other again or something. I watched their silhouettes from the living room window. Like an outsider.
I never got that close to them. And they never got that close to me.
I shoved my duffle bag and portable amp into the back seat of the SUV, unzipped my guitar case, and strapped the Strat over my shoulder. I could compose an alt-rock hook in the time it’d take for my sister and Dad to say adios. The two of them could go on about solar cells or neutrons or whatever for days. They had gone on about it for days.
Leaning against the car’s door, I played around with a heavier riff. Dad had no neighbors to complain about the noise. Not for miles. For five days I’d been stuck with two people who didn’t know a bass guitar from a violin and didn’t care if they ever learned.
Mom’s side of the family had music going for it, but it also had an aunt who went nuts when she was 17. Like me. The age, not the crazy part. Not yet.
I didn’t fit in with Dad’s side of the family, and wasn’t sure I wanted to fit in with Mom’s.
Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
After spending time working on a variety of books, this is the current one I've been editing lately. Not only is it getting polished...again, it's also getting a new title. But it was formerly named Con Girl. I'm sure you can imaging why :) The new title is a secret (mainly because it keeps changing :) ) Hope you enjoy!
“Whit,” he said, catching me off-guard before I could initiate the plan. “I think we should talk about this. I never meant to hurt you or lie to you.”
He released his arms from me, but the feeling of his touch remained as my skin tingled. I backed up closer to the tree, trying to shoo the feeling away. Knowing he still powered over my thoughts made it harder to curl my arms up and touch the edge of his jacket, but shear will-power forced me to continue on with my plan.
I couldn’t move the light, down-filled coat much, but I did enough that I could feel something heavier in his right pocket like I had suspected.
“It’s water under the bridge,” I answered, turning on the charm and smile. I even made my hair flip out and fall, so it could seductively brush up against his hands. “I was actually coming to apologize to you. I felt bad about the way I treated you at the airport. I realize now you were just doing the job your dad and my parents wanted.”
He touched my hand as I was going lower on the zippered edge of the jacket. “Nice try, Whitney, but you do realize I know who you are, don’t you?” He pulled a set of keys out of his right pocket, pinning me against the tree again with his left hand, and dangled the keys out of my reach. “Fishing for these?”
At the sound of his voice, I got mad for a variety of reasons. First, I couldn’t believe I almost stole something. Even if it was just keys. I had never stolen anything in my life. Sure I’d been given many things under false pretences, but never took something. Even if I was going to give it back. Second, I couldn’t believe I had gotten caught. Preston always fell for the feminine charm. That’s how Tasha and I got him to stock most of the displays for us.
“Actually, you knew Whitney Campbell. Whitney Brown is much more forgiving.” The tree bark felt like nails clawing into my skin as I pushed further into it, but I didn’t care. “Like I said, I just came to apologize to you. Besides, I think it’s best for both of us if we just forget we ever knew each other prior to Copper Town.”
“You want me to forget everything that’s happened in the past two months? Our entire friendship?”
Monday, November 14, 2011
The glider still must have me motion sick because the floor below us seems adrift. A gilt-edged mirror hangs on the wall across from the bed’s real wood headboard. I unpin my hair, sprinkle it with water, and comb it with my fingers. Carefully, I pull my hair back, pinning up the loose strands over my ears.