Dec 29, 2009

Happy New Year!

Just wanted to say happy new year while i've got the chance. As you know, I'm a out-of-state college student so this is the first time I've seen my family in months. Hope everyone else is enjoying the holidays!

Just make sure your new year doesn't start off with as much a bang as this guy's!

Dec 17, 2009

Teaser Thursday: Yes, yes he's British!


On of my MC's is British and I think I'm in love with him even more after reading about Hunter in the Sweep Series. Made me appreciate my character, Aiden. In light of this appreciation post, I've decided to post an excerpt about him. Enjoy (which, if sexy foreigners are your thing, then I know you will)! Hehe.

I feigned a smile to Chad and headed to the table across the cafeteria where Val had saved me a spot. Val and I chatted about Aiden Cooper--Chad’s incredibly handsome best-friend and our football team’s star receiver. Cooper was every girl’s dream of sexy British foreigner. His family had moved here from London a few years back. The red hair had been the reason for Val’s obsession, I think.

Unlike Aiden and me, most weren’t blessed with striking red hued hair. Though mine fell into the auburn category and his resembled my least favorite veggie--light, undercooked carrots. Don’t even get me started on his freckles. Seriously, you could play connect the dots with those suckers. Yet, despite my comments, there was no denying his uber-sexiness. He had the kind of mysterious grin that made most girls fan themselves.

Right now, he was sending his charm Val’s way.

“Maybe they’ll revoke his green-card sometime in the near future and he’ll need to marry someone so he can stay in the country,” Val mused.

“That someone would be you, right?”

Val flipped her sleek white-blond hair over her shoulder. “Of course. I’m up on the British slang. I googled it. Knickers. Airlocked. Face like a slapped arse. Yep, I know ‘em all.”

“Good for you. I’m sure Aiden won’t find the fact that you’re American and using British slang odd at all.”

Book Review: Dark Magick

Title: Dark Magick (Sweep Series Book 4)
Author: Cate Tiernan
Cover Artist: R. Gordon; Barry Marcus
Reading Level: 12 to 18
Paperback: 192 Pages
Publisher: Puffin
ISBN #: 0142409898

Morgan inherited a talent for witchcraft from her parents, and now she is the holder of her mother's Wiccan tools. The tools are awesome in their power, and Morgan's boyfriend Cal wants to see them, perhaps to seize the power for himself. "We are muirn beatha dans, and we will always be together," he reminds Morgan, and she wonders if this is really true. Is Cal the one she is destined to be with? Does she have a choice? Hunter, a member of the Wiccan High Council, says she doesn't have to be with him. But what is Hunter after? Who should Morgan believe?

My Opinion:
Morgan and Cal committed a terrible crime in the previous Sweep Book. She's insane with guilt over Hunter's death, yet Cal seems...fine. Happy, even. her trust in Cal and his mother begins to wane, and this leaves her wondering what they're truly after. Throw in Hunter's appearance at Practical Magick--alive and well, I might add--and we have one witch with a serious problem on her hands.

Is Cal her soulmate, her muirn beatha dans? Or is Hunter telling the truth about his sinister side?

The ending to this book broke my heart more than the previous! That's all I'm going to say about the ending though cause its a definite twist you have to read for yourself.

Cate's writing is great! I love Morgan, the girl who sees herself as a girl with a "strong" nose and flat chest. The girl who's lucky enough to have a boyfriend, nevermind a breathtaking one like Cal. Her character development in this novel made me smile. No longer does she see herself as the content girl who's simply happy to be with a gorgeous, god-like guy. She really stands on her own in this installment, losing some friends and gaining others. The pacing was great. I couldn't stop turning the pages, desperate to know what the heck Hunter was up to again.

My Rating: 5 Stars

Here's an excerpt from the first page(Spoiler Alert):

Snowflakes mixed with sleet whipped at my cheeks. I stumbled through the snow, supporting my boyfriend Cal's weight against me, my feet grew leaden and icy in my clogs. Cal stumbled, and I braced myself. In the moonlight, I peered up at his face, alarmed by how white he looked, how beaten, how ill. I trudged through the dark woods, feeling like every step away from the cliff took an hour.

The cliff. In my mind, I saw Hunter Niall falling backward, his arms windmilling as he went over the edge. Bile rose in my throat, and I swallowed convulsively. Yes, Cal was a mess, but Hunter was probably dead. Dead! And Cal and I had killed him.

Dec 16, 2009

Query Rough Draft...Whatchya think?

Please let me know what you guys think of my query rough draft. I seriously appreciate everybody's input. Thanks!

Dear ________,

Seventeen-year-old Evie Dawson has confronted enough shoplifters, talked down enough suicide attempters, studied with enough cheaters, and outsmarted enough backstabbers. Yet, amazingly, Fate manages to toss another problem her way--a teacher’s death.

Everyone says it’s a heart attack.

She’s convinced it’s murder.

Evie has no choice but to play detective. Unfortunately, Far’s Fall has one too many guilty suspects, forcing her to confront the school’s secretive cheerleaders, sketchy principal, sexy new teacher, and even her own friends. All for the sake

For Evie Dawson, its a far fall into the unknown. And with each secret uncovered, comes something not so black and white...

Never Kill a Boy on the Fifth Date, at approximately 65,000 words, is a Young Adult Mystery.

Dec 14, 2009

Rear Gear

Good grief, they've thought of everything! 

If, like me, you find the idea of a poodle with a daisy hanging from his rear end hilarious, then please check out this website. Thank god they aren't scratch & sniffs!

Dec 9, 2009

Sorry Guys!

I know I haven't been posting this week, but i've had so much studying to do for college exams and whatnot. I'll be back to normal posting come next week. Sorry guys!

Dec 3, 2009

Teaser Thursday

I decided to do something different today. Spice it up or what have you. So, instead of posting a teaser from my most recent novel, I'm posting a few pages from my very first novel. Feel free to laugh because, honestly, my writing was pretty bad back then. The novel was mainly about a fraternity that dabbled with the dark arts and whatnot. Enjoy : )

Dec 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Lori!

If you don't know who she is, she's the amazing blogger who's giving away three ARCS in honor of christmas/b-day. Awesome, right? Click here to enter.

Waiting on Wednesday: Jekel Loves Hyde

Hey, y'all! I'm finally giving into this lovely feature. So, here's the book I cannot wait to be released. Just look at the cover and summary! 

Title: Jekel Loves Hyde
Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books (May 3, 2010)
ISBN: 0152063900

Jill Jekel has always obeyed her parents’ rules – especially the one about never opening the mysterious, old box in her father’s office. But when her dad is murdered, and her college savings disappear, she's tempted to peek inside, as the contents might be key to a lucrative chemistry scholarship.

To better her odds, Jill enlists the help of gorgeous, brooding Tristen Hyde, who has his own dark secrets locked away. As the team of Jekel and Hyde, they recreate experiments based on the classic novel, hoping not only to win a prize, but to save Tristen’s sanity. Maybe his life. But Jill’s accidental taste of a formula unleashes her darkest nature and compels her to risk everything – even Tristen’s love – just for the thrill of being… bad.

Dec 1, 2009

Motivation: Why oh why did they do that?

Motivation is the reason characters think, feel, or act.

It's a known fact that a character with motivation is immediately more realistic and effective than one without. While it has its limits, the more motivation, the better. 

Here's two basic examples. One good. One bad.

Joanne was tired, swaying in her grandma's mahogany chair. Summoning up the strength to move proved impossible. Yet, stifling a yawn, she managed and poured herself a nice glass of tea from the pitcher.

Kayla had spent a long day kissing her boss's ass. I mean, he had been the one who got her that new promotion--even if it came with very, very long strings. An ice cold glass of tea temporarily soothed her seething thoughts. Thank god. She was beginning to wonder if she'd ever make a decision. 

As you can see, there's a lot of information about what Joanne's doing, but not much else. Reading the two examples, its easy to feel for one girl more than the other. Kayla has reasons for the way she's feeling, making her more relatable. Not to mention the ass-kissing. Seriously, who hasn't done that in one job or another?

Every movement, every chapter should have a meaning to it. Whether it's scouring the library for information on a murderer or finishing a scarf to beat The Old Ladies Weaving Society and stop their evil plot for world domination. After all, why should we care about the scarf is it's just to say, 'Look! I won!" Adding world domination into the mix and some inward struggles, we feel compelled to read what happens. We have to see to it that those old ladies are stopped.

Motives create sequential action. Thinks of hamsters running on their little wheels to get food pellets in science experiments. The hamster aren't running for the thrill (well, some do but they're stupid), they are running to scarf down those oh so yummy pellets.

However, this DOES NOT mean you need loads of stuff happening to make the reader involved in your story.

Motives can be physical or psychological. 

Zoran Bekric has great information on motivation and how it relates to a story, which can be found here. But, I thought I'd quote him on here anyway. 

He says,

In the classic formulation, 'drama is conflict.' This is often misinterpreted to mean that, in order to be dramatic, a story has to have combat in it. This is untrue--as sheer number of highly effective stories that exist without a single punch being thrown should demonstrate. This is not to say that combat is unexciting--a good fight can be very eye-catching and stimulating--but without any sort of context, it's ultimately meaningless.

And, that's what motivation is. Context. Meanings behind your MC's actions. Why does he/she do the things they do?  You have to make the reader care about what's at stake. Who wins and who loses. Remember that the most intriguing clashes of motivation in a story are not only between the dueling motivations of two characters, but of the conflicting internal motivations as well.

I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.

Writers: What motivates your main characters? Is he/she someone you can relate to? Feel sorry for? How did you come to defining your character through their struggles?

Readers: What books have you read recently where you were engrossed in the main character's life? What books made you stop reading halfway through because you couldn't stand/relate to the MC? Why did you feel one way or another?