Thursday, September 27, 2012

Brain Cramp-In a Good Way

Ahhhh! Brain cramp! I just returned from the amazing Book Academy at UVU, where I learned my manuscript needs some major sentence editing, and I played with Mr. Potato Head. Could life get any better? Probably not. To make it perfect, I added at least a dozen more books to my must read list. The actual physical pile is teetering as I type. ;) Once the goo inside my head makes sense of the information overload, I will use some of the awesome skills I can now wield with confidence. Maybe, sort of, hopefully. Okay, okay, so maybe I will barely lift the huge, double-headed axe of writing and editing a couple inches higher today. But, hey, it's progress.

Here are some great nuggets of wisdom from actual authors:

Jessica Day George
"Write what you love!"
"Find your chocolate cheesecake!"

Howard Tayler (He gave an awesome lecture on working hard versus relying on some supposed innate talent. Telling ourselves or others we are talented or smart is setting ourselves and them up for failure.)
Your efforts to improve will make a difference in performance.
Failure doesn't mean the absence of ability.
Find an expert to help you focus your practice.
Pay it forward: be the expert to someone else.
Save the future; tell a child "you worked hard on this."

Editing 101 by Annette Lyon
Don't overuse that in your WIP
Search for words like was and got that indicate passive voice and change to active voice.
Use strong nouns and verbs to make sentence stronger and avoiding telling instead of showing.
And many other helpful hints!

Lisa Mangum
Get to know your character and write true to their voice and interests
#1Give your character $500. How would they spend the money? Clothes, concert or save? Tells a lot about character.
#2 The Power of Three
Three Wishes
Three Fears
Three Flaws
Three Heroic Qualities
Need to know about character even if they all don't show up in story.
For her full presentation go to her blog.

Remember to keep reading and writing, and have a terrific Thursday!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

DUST Blog Tour - SEPT 2012

Cool, right? (at least I think so) :p   Come back September 18th and I'll have the links available where you can pick Dust up on sale!
Paperbacks available on Amazon US, UK, DE, FR, IT and ES.
eBooks available on Kindle US, UK, DE, FR, IT and ES, and Nook.
ONLINE READING: Personally, I think the best web reader is Nook.
Monday, September 10th
Avid Readers (Interview with Jack)
Waiting on Sunday to Drown  (Book Best Friends I Want!)

Tuesday, September 11th
Raiding Bookshelves (Childhood Book Pics)
J.A. Redmerski (This or That with Jack!)
Cesya Cuono (EXCERPT)
Wednesday, September 12th
Books 4 Juliet (Review)
Disincentive Reviews (Mystical Creatures I'd Write About)
Mind Reading? (Review)
Persephone's Winged Reviews (Dust Playlist)
Thursday, September 13th
Ella Bella Reviews (This or That with Rosalie!)
Friday, September 14th
One A Day YA (Review)
Charming Chelsey's (Author Interview)
Books Complete Me (Review)
Confessions of a YA Writer (Author Interview)
Monday, September 17th
Books 4 Juliet (Character Interview with Jack!)
Princess of Pages (Top Ten Places to Visit)

Tuesday, September 18th
JA Redmerski (Review)
Ella Bella's Reviews  (Review)
Mind Reading? (Cover Interview)
Avid Readers (Review)
Cesya Cuono (Review)
Wednesday, September 19th
What's Beyond Forks? (Author Interview)
Sarah Elizabeth's Reviews (Most Anticipated Reads)
Waiting on Sunday to Drown (Review)

Thursday, September 20th
Friday, September 21st

click to enlarge
One Signed Paperback of Dust, Five Signed bookmarks, One Red Velvet Pixie Dust Bath Fizzies, One Lush Sweetie Pie Bath Jellies (courtesy of Rosalie), One Lush Honey Trap Lip Balm (courtesy of Jack), One Cosmetic-Grade Pixie Dust Body Glitter (courtesy of ME!)
One Signed Paperback of Dust, Five Signed Bookmarks, One Red Velvet Pixie Dust Bath Fizzies
Five ebooks of Dust
Ten Signed Bookmarks

Birthday Bash 2012

For nearly a month, Enna Isilee has been celebrating her birthday by interviewing a TON of authors, and having a TON of giveaways. You can click here for all there is to know about the birthday bash. But here's the sad news: it's almost over!! You only have until 10:01pm MST on 9/21/12 to enter to win all of these amazing books. What are you waiting for?! Click on the the book you want to win to be taken to an interview with the author where you can enter to win that book! While you're there, stop by and say hi to the author and wish Enna Isilee a happy birthday. It's the party of the year! And it's almost over. Don't miss out!

Monday, September 10, 2012

An Icy Encounter

Another fun scene from The Mark. Enjoy!

Keera’s eyes shot open. Jerking her head up, she winced at the stiffness in her neck. She froze in her massaging when she realized she hadn’t imagined the thump that woke her. It came again, a repetitive banging originating in the kitchen. Cautiously she stood up and grabbed her backpack--it was loaded with heavy textbooks and hopefully she could use it as a weapon against the intruder.

            Moving quietly, she tiptoed towards the door separating the living room and kitchen—the sounds stopped. She reached out a hand to push back the swinging door, when a hand clamped down on her shoulder. With a strangled squeak she whirled, swinging her backpack as hard as she could.  Josh ducked, with a curse, just in time to avoid being bludgeoned.       
“Josh,” she said irritably. Another thud from the kitchen made them both look towards the door.
            Josh grabbed Keera’s arm as she went to enter. “Wait,” he murmured, eying the door warily.       
            Keera closed her mouth on her protest, worried about the tone in Josh’s voice. She had never heard that hard edge there before. His eyes were fixed on the door and she felt sure he was trying to sense what lurked behind it. She felt her nervousness rise when he narrowed his gaze sharply and slowly moved back from the door, pulling Keera firmly with him.
            She didn’t resist. “What is it?”
            He shook his head and opened his mouth to respond, but at that moment the kitchen door shattered, wooden missiles flying at them.
            Josh threw himself out of the way, dragging Keera with him. She dropped her backpack and landed on top of him, her elbow grinding into his abdomen. He winced, but ignored the discomfort as he quickly shoved Keera aside and rolled to his feet. They both stared at the three creatures standing in the kitchen doorway.
            They were small, barely three feet tall. Their entire bodies looked liked they had been shaved from ice. Their legs were thin and long, their arms made of long, deadly looking icicles. Smaller icicles hung from the tips of their large ears and noses. They saw Keera and grinned malevolently, revealing tiny, sharp teeth.
            Keera gaped dumfounded at them, even as her brain whirled into fast gear. She had seen these creatures before, what were they called? She scanned her archive of information of things she had read. She had it!
            “Ice Elementals,” Josh whispered above her. Annoyed he had said it first, Keera thought about whacking him with her backpack after all, but then the first elemental charged.
            Josh muttered a soft word and the ice elemental flew backwards, repelled by an invisible hand. Keera shivered at the sound of ice grinding together. She suddenly felt like she was the one made of ice when the realization screaming at her reasoning finally broke through. She could feel Josh’s magic. The velvety language had slid over her and she could still sense a heavy, dark pressure in the air. She looked at Josh sharply, but his gaze was on the creatures that were moving towards them again. They had spread out, coming at them in a triangle pattern.
            Josh watched the creatures carefully. He could feel Keera’s concern and not surprisingly her curiosity as she watched the creatures and attempted to analyze this new awareness of Josh’s powers. Intrigued himself, he shoved it aside for later reflection.
            He swore vehemently as one of the elementals launched itself at him, only to jerk away before his magic could blast it back. At the same instant he felt a sharp pain in his side and Keera gave a soft cry. He looked down at the large cut on his side. His cool eyes met those of the creature before him--now missing one of its arms. His remained unconcerned as he watched it grow back.
            Keera leaped to her feet before he could stop her. Her movement threw the creatures into high gear. With no more hesitation they fired the deadly icicles straight at them. Gripping his bleeding side with one hand and grabbing Keera with the other he dashed for the couch. He and Keera ducked behind it, the thud of sharp objects hitting it, following them. Josh saw Keera flinch slightly as one of the tips of the icicles penetrated the couch by her ear.
            Josh held his hand to his side and glanced around trying to figure out what to do. Ice Elementals, Ice Elementals, what destroyed them? The answer came to him and he mentally smacked himself. Of course, fire, his specialty. He set his jaw, the muscles in his legs tightening in preparation as he mentally visualized his plan. Stand, one blast of fire and then it would be all over. Hopefully. The thudding barrage suddenly stopped. Keera looked at him curiously but he just shrugged as a soft wintry sigh filtered through the room. With a small cry Keera grabbed him, dragging him away from the couch. He saw why as a sheet of ice spread over the couch and everything touching it.
             A loud thump and the couch shattered as a torrent of icicles flew at them. He jumped to the side and Keera flung herself the other way. Instantly another volley of the sharp projectiles flew at them. Josh didn’t move, ready this time. He created a small wall of fire that melted the ice shards flying at his head. He smiled fiercely, until another attack instantly followed the first. Easily, he called forth another wave of flames.
            The shards flew faster. He cursed silently, once again holding off the attack. They were keeping him busy so he couldn’t use his fire on them. He glanced quickly at where Keera scrunched down a few feet away from him. She looked at him and then at the next wave of icicles thoughtfully, reaching the same conclusion he did. He felt a slight twinge of concern at that telltale glint of silver in her eyes but a never-ending cascade of icicles distracted him.
            Keera watched as Josh melted each wave of ice that flew their way. She had to do something; they couldn’t keep this up forever. She looked at her backpack that lay a few feet away from the now shattered couch. A thought came to her. It would give Josh the opening he needed, though he would probably be furious at her later. She eyed the icicles and tried to figure out their trajectory, she would get only one chance. Taking a deep breath she sprang forward before Josh could stop her.
 In one fluid motion, she rolled, grabbed the pack, stood and flung it with all her might in the direction of the ice elementals. She heard a satisfying crunch as she crouched down again. The wall of ice shards ceased for a moment. Instantly, Josh stood protectively over her while a wave of his fire washed over the broken couch and the elementals. Keera heard their watery cry of dismay and then silence.