Monday, September 30, 2013

The time it was bookish mail -- 7

I should be on my way to Arizona for the Fierce Reads tour, but I woke up feeling icky and decided not to go.  So, instead, here we are with another episode of Check Out What I Got in the Mail.  Let's look, yes?

I happened to see Sarah Crossan tweeting about a giveaway for an arc of Resist. I believe it was a giveaway of the "follow and retweet" variety and with Breathe being on my TBR list since it came out, I gave it a shot.  A day or so later, I got a tweet from Sarah saying that the winner she picked was from the UK and she really wanted a winner from the US, so did I still want a copy.  The answer was easy and the arc actually arrived on my birthday!

I had seen some authors talking about Delia's Shadow on Twitter and with so many people loving all over it, I instantly went to look it up.  I ended up getting approved for it on NetGalley and absolutely loved it as well.  After I was done, I contacted Jaime to see if she would be touring when the book released.  Unfortunately, she wasn't [at the time] and since I have little to no patience, I decided to order a copy at her launch party.  The cover is much prettier in person and I can't wait to reread the physical copy.

I got approved for The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine from Edelweiss, devoured it and loved it.  I was immediately on the lookout for a physical arc because it's one of those books that I need all of the copies of.  Thankfully, on the latest trip to the super secret back room at MGRB, I was able to secure one.  I may or may not have pushed Michelle out of the way to get to it.  *cough*

Anyhoo.  I contacted Robin and asked if she would be willing to sign my arc if I sent it to her and included a SASE.  She so delightfully said yes and mentioned that she was going to include some goodies.  When I got the book back, there was a thank you note as well as an awesome t-shirt with the book title on the front.


At this point in the blog, do I even need to express my undying love and devotion for Sarah J Maas? I thought not.  Of course, I had planned on going to her launch party for Crown of Midnight, however, there was a family emergency and I was unable to go.  When I called Mrs. Nelson's, I thought I was calling too late [it was right before the event started], but the ever so awesome staff assured me it was no problem.  And when I called back 20 minutes later to add another book? Yep, they didn't mind then either. 

I later found out from a few people who attended the event that Sarah had mentioned me [all of the flails] and when I got my book in the mail, I almost started crying.  She's so damn thoughtful and amazing and if you haven't read her books, put down whatever you're reading now and get them.

These have been some of my favorites to be added to my collection. What books have you gotten lately?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The time I went to Vegas alone

When the fall Pitch Dark Days tour was announced, I knew I was going to try and go. The downside? No SoCal dates. The upside? Vegas was listed as a stop. Vegas is close enough and I'm just crazy enough to drive over...

Hubs recently started a new job, so he wasn't able to take the time off to go. I had never taken the trip alone, but I was ready to do it. 

On the day of the event, I gassed up and washed Lucy, bought some snacks, plugged in my iPod and hit the 15N around 10am. You think driving to Vegas is boring? Try driving alone. Granted, I was able to listen to my music as loud as I wanted.  Around noon, I had made it to Barstow. AKA: the halfway point. AKA: where I can buy the delicious cherry licorice. 

I bought 3 bags of licorice [much to the chagrin of the old trucker who was standing next to me] and a drink and got right back on to the freeway. I hit Vegas just after 2pm. 

After checking into my hotel and getting in the room, I immediately ordered some room service, set up my laptop to scan and just hung out before needing to leave for the event. 

I got to the bookstore around 6 and was disappointed to find they didn't have Crown of Embers available in hardcover. The event area was partially set up [chairs weren't out], but the backdrop of books looked amazing. 

The event started just after 7pm with the announcement of the authors with special guest, Tera Lynn Childs. Each author did an introduction and a synopsis of their books. 

S: My book is about cross dressing. I'll say that so you remember it. I wanted to do something like Harry Potter, but it's already been done and can't be done any better. So, instead of going to a magic school, my girl dresses like a girl and goes to a Muggle school.

R: I write epic quest fantasy, so if you like lots of traveling, this could be for you. It's like Game of Thrones for teens. Instead of Jon Snow, the MC is like Ugly Betty. 

MM: My book is like Hunger Games meets Little House on the Prairie, in pants. The main character is basically sniping people right off the bat at 9 years old. There's romance, but not really. More shooting. It doesn't have unicorns. Or rainbows.

MR: My book has a young man who is pretty troubled, but smart and goes to a gifted summer course. He's with his people and they find out they're in a renovated asylum. Creepy things happen and there are really creepy photos inside.  

MG: My MC is a 16 year old computer hacker who has set up her own life, but wakes up one day on an operating table. She ends up teaming up with a boy who is her opposite. Sort of like Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets Bourne Identity.

T: The Sweet Venom trilogy is about 3 sisters who were separated at birth and adopted into three different families. The find their destiny to start fighting monsters. 

What amount of research did you need to do?

MG: My biggest challenge was the hacking because I still can't figure out how to send email from my iPad. Fortunately, I have a friend of a friend who sent me to a white collar hacker who went through everything line by line. The only thing I added was the disease PEMA, I wanted it to be as real as possible and talked with a friend who is an endocrinologist. 

MM: The survival aspect which is funny, because I pretty much live the way my MC does. Well, except for the shooting. I am a good shot, but I don't shoot people. I do grow my own food and can my own food and I do know how to skin and dress a deer. I had to research cholera. A lot about water born diseases and water purification. 

R: It really helps to write about something that you already know about or something that you're so curious about. One of the most important things about writing is intellectual curiosity. 

S: The school where my girl is cross dressing is a real school. It's Eton, the most famous boys school. 

MR: One hospital had patients complaining about patient care. Found that people had been strapped down and left that way so long their skin was growing around the straps. A lot of the information I found couldn't be put in the book. I had to be mindful that it was happening to real people. 

T: Set in San Fran, did 2 different trips to get a feel for the city. Everything that was explained was something that I actually went to. All of the mythology of monsters was found on a great website [that I didn't get]. For Medusa, there was a minimal reference point that I had to adhere to, but I gave the other side of the story. 

The next question was who is your favorite author and why, but I was busy taking pictures and saving my notes, sooooo...

Something you like to snack on while writing?

MM: I write in bed so I don't snack.

R: I forget to eat when I'm writing and then I'll eat everything on the eastern seaboard. Now I set an alarm and force myself to walk away from the laptop to eat. Even if it's just a handful of nuts or something small. 

S: Deadline cake. I will have an entire 4 layer cake in the fridge and will go through it all over a week or so.  Sometimes, my husband will just bring one home so I don't even have to go to the store.

MR: Salt and vinegar chips. I will go through an entire bag without even knowing it. I have a towel to wipe my fingers off and I'll wipe down the keyboard too.

T: I write in Starbucks, so it's usually a soy latte.

Who is one author that you have fangirled over?

T: Jaclyn Moriarty. She's an Australian author. I changed my flight so I could see her and got in line at 10 when her signing wasn't until 1 because I wanted to be first in line. [I can sooo relate to this]

MG: When my first book was coming out, Stephen King was the grand master of [some writing thing]. I bought a book and waited and started to get nervous. I wasn't sure what I should say to him. The only thing I could think of was to lean over and say "I bet you get a lot of creepy fans" and he actually reared back, signed my book and quickly waved me away to talk to Gillian Flynn who was behind me. 

MR: There's a British documentarian I've been friends with on FB and did a book swap. One night after a bad personal night and being a bit inebriated, I sent him a message all about how handsome he was. I even started the message with I'm drunk and a hot mess. He was very British about it and said that he was flattered...

MM: I was in Chicago in June with some other Katherine Tegan authors. Had dinner with Veronica Roth and Michael Grant. Michael had friended me on FB and even blurbed my book.  When I introduced myself to him, he didn't hear my name and asked what I was doing there. For a second, I thought that he didn't remember me. 

R: Speaking of Gillian Flynn, she sat at a table across the way from me at an event and I was able to creep all over her. I finally  went over there and got to get her to sign my book. I'd like to say that I walked away with my pride intact, but I don't remember what words came out of my mouth. 

S: I am very secretive, so I will stalk people from a distance, but won't approach them. It's safer for them. I think I've read all of Maggie Stiefvater's blog, for the past 5 years.  But she doesn't know it.

Question for Rae: Why did you choose to make your MC bigger?

I was dating a guy who was a douche nozzle. He would say things like are you sure you want to eat that? Or how many miles did you run today?

MG: Did you get backlash?

R: I've had some, but for the most part, some librarians have made it a discussion point. It's nearly impossible to get on a horse and travel for over a month and not have your body change. 

MM: One of my favorite lines is something about how her thighs will always touch. My thighs touch and they always will.

[There was a lot more to this conversation, including an amazing comment by Madeleine, but I couldn't type fast enough.]

What is your writing process?

MM: I lay down in my bed and I start writing. I don't plot, I write linearly and then spend 6 months cleaning it up. I'll know the first line and the last line. There are some things that happened in my book that I didn't plan at all. 

MR: I'll loosely outline, but usually by the middle of the book, it's veered off. Some of my best moments have been something that felt wrong. 

T: I am a process whore. I force myself into reading process and plotting books. Deadline. 

MG: A pantser, I usually have many books going at once. The only book that I completely plotted out was the only one I didn't sell. I think it's because by the time it was outlined, I was bored. 

R: What I've figured out is that I like to think a lot and then write really fast. Ask me again in 10 years, I could have an entirely different answer.

The signing started just before 8. Crystal came over to thank me for driving over and introduced me to Jessie, who is a local author. Crystal said I could wait until the very end, since I had so many books.

When it was manageable, I started with Rae and Mindy first. Mindy recognized Erin's name and we started talking about how she did the video chat with Erin & Jaime.  Rae asked if we had met before and I said that we met at ALA and talked about how hot it was in the convention center.  She signed all of the many, many books I had for her.

One of the coolest things I've seen: Sherry had special "signed by" author stickers made for each of them.  After the book was signed, each author put on their sticker.


Michelle was next.  She hugged me and said that it was great to see me.  We talked about her event at The Grove with Gretchen and how much fun it was.  And whether I'd be going to Vegas Valley [yes] or her event at MGRB [probably].


And then Madeleine. We had been talking about her Halloween costume with Michelle while Michelle was signing my stack of things.  Madeleine had been signing a different page from the title page because she only had a black sharpee.  I had borrowed Tera's silver sharpee and asked Madeleine if she would use it.  And hooray!!


Sherry was the last person I went to.  I had arcs from Erin and Jaime to have signed.  She gave me some awesome hand balm to send back to them.  And then since I drove so far, she gave me a special prize that turned out being a fold up bag with the book title on it. 

After I had everything done, I quickly gathered up my piles and thanked Crystal for everything.  She talked about Vegas Valley and how I could sign up to help an author. Of course I asked if I could have a harem... She said no. 

And off I drove back to my hotel and more room service.  The Pitch Dark tour is always amazing and this set of authors didn't disappoint.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The time I hit 500 again

You guys. 

Today I hit 500 followers on BlogLovin'.  It might not seem like a lot compared to some of the bigger blogs out there, but it's a lot to me.  And since I'm moving over to self-hosting soon, I'm going to lose all of the followers on GFC [so make the switch!].

I just want to thank you all for following along with me on this crazy ride.  Like I said in this post, I never thought I would continue this blog, let alone have anyone actually read my incessant rambling.

Again, I'm stunned.  Elated.  Speechless.  And another hot mess of flails.

So, let's celebrate with a giveaway, yes?  This is my second time around hitting 500 followers, so how about a giveaway for some of my favorite second books in a series?

Up for grabs:


Hardcover copies of Scarlet by Marissa Meyer and Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi.  Both books are signed! This contest is international.  I'm setting up two different Rafflecopters, so there will be two different winners. Additional rules are on the Rafflecopter widget.

I can't thank you guys enough for getting me to this number.  So, again, I say: stand there and let me hug you.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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The time it was about The Fallout

I picked up The Compound and The Fallout on a whim and I enjoyed them both.  I don't normally read survivalist stories, but they came with a strong recommendation and both books kept me captivated the entire time.  So, of course, when Macmillan invited me to be part of the blog tour for The Fallout, I had to say yes!

Before we get to S.A. and her interview answers, let's check out the book, shall we?
In this long-awaited sequel to The Compound, Eli and his family can run but they can't hide. 

After barely escaping from the compound where Eli’s dad kept his family for six years, they’re learning to acclimate to “normal” life—whatever that is for them. It seems like the entire world wants to know what happened to this high profile family.

Slowly they begin to make their way back into the world, but Eli can’t escape the creeping feeling that they’re being watched everywhere they go. But by who?

Eli’s anxiety is heightened as unnerving information continually surfaces about Eli’s dad’s company. Not to mention the sketchy new friend his twin brother Eddy has. Nothing seems to be “normal” anymore. New people are entering their lives—but who can Eli and his family trust?
Sounds good, right?

1. Where did the idea for The Compound and The Fallout come from?

Growing up, my school had nuclear attack drills which involved everyone filing into the stinky wrestling room in the basement. Once a teacher remarked that we'd have to stay down there for twenty years if there really was an attack. That kind of stuck with me, and I became obsessed with post-apocalyptic books and movies. I wondered how people would survive after it happened, and when I read about the uber-wealthy who had their own shelters, I came up with the idea. I was never going to write a sequel, but so many readers asked me what happened next that I began to wonder myself.

2. Some female authors say it's difficult to write in a male POV.  Was Eli easy to work with?

I'd been having trouble separating my characters from myself, and choosing to go with a male POV was a way to fix that. And then when I got to writing, it was too late to turn back.

3. Excluding the twins, who was your favorite family member to write and would you ever consider writing something from another family member's POV?

I like Terese a lot. She is totally her own person, even though she is the little sister, and it was fun to saddle her with issues and see how she dealt with them. A story from Lexie's POV might be interesting...

4. What is the weirdest thing you googled while doing research?

The preppers! I got hooked on the shows about them. My fave was the dude who timed how fast he could load his doomsday see stash into a duffel bag. (He needs to practice more.)

Speed [ish] round:

1. What three things would you take with you to a desert island?

A campfire lighter. Carmex. A solar-powered e-reader with a gajillion books on it.

2. What are you reading right now?

Just finished This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales.

3. Who are your favorite swoony boys?

Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead. It's hard to beat someone who can make you a meal out of freshly-caught squirrel. And Jon Snow on Game of Thrones. Do I need a reason?

4. Are there any authors you fangirl over?

Stephen King. I'd totally be an idiot if I ever met him.


Huge thanks to Stephanie for taking the time and Macmillan for the invite!

You can find Stephanie on her website, blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts.  Make sure you add her books on GoodReads and go see her on the Fierce Reads tour.


Haven't been able to pick up a copy of The Compound or The Fallout? I've got them for you. Well, I don't have them, but I have people who do. :D Winner will receive the books directly from Macmillan. 

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And be sure to check out all of the other tour stops for other goodies:

The Fallout Blog Tour Schedule
Monday 9/16
Tuesday 9/17
Wednesday 9/18
Thursday 9/19
Friday 9/20
Monday 9/23
Tuesday 9/24
Wednesday 9/25
Thursday 9/26
Friday 9/27

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The time it was about family

Once upon a time, Bloomsbury set me up on auto-approval on NetGalley.  When I was done freaking out, I immediately grabbed Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller.  And after I devoured it, I begged asked Trish if she had time to do an interview. Thankfully, she said yes!

But, before we get to her answers, let's check out the book.

Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She's never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love--even with someone who seems an improbable choice--is more than just a possibility.

Trish Doller writes incredibly real teens, and this searing story of love, betrayal, and how not to lose your mind will resonate with readers who want their stories gritty and utterly true.
Sounds amazing, right?

1. Where did the idea for Stars come from?

The first time I walked down Dodecanese Blvd--the main street of the sponge docks area of Tarpon Springs--and I was totally amazed by how very Greek it was. The people around me were speaking the language. Little old men with white beards and fishing caps were smoking and drinking coffee. There were more Greek restaurants and bakeries in that small area than I've ever seen in my entire life. It's like they transplanted a little bit of Greece in Florida. And I had kind of a "what if..." moment. What if my character was an outsider dropped into Tarpon Springs and expected to fit in? What if she was always meant to be part of that community but something kept her from growing up there? What kept that from happening? When the answers came, Callie's story started taking shape.

2. You have a way of writing realistic, fleshed out characters, and even the secondary characters are important to the story.  How did Callie and Alex evolve?

Alex was actually the first character. I'd been kicking around a completely different story from the perspective of a boy who sometimes went to school smelling of fish because he had to go out early in the morning to catch fishing bait. But after I visited Tarpon Springs, I knew Alex was a sponge diver on a working boat during the week and on the tourist boat on the weekends. Until I started writing Callie, though, I didn't know what Alex's relationship was to the other people in the story.

Callie was a lot like Travis (from Something Like Normal) in that once I gave her the setting and the situation, she lodged herself in my head and I couldn't stop thinking about her. Unlike Travis, though, she was a quieter character and I had to coax out her personality and her feelings about everything that had happened in her life. One thing that was unusual about Callie is that I had a hard time settling on a name for her. Travis and Cadie (the main character in my next book) came to me with names, but for Callie I need a full name that was Greek with a not-so-Greek nickname. She tried on a few different names until I found the one that fit best.

3. Both Something Like Normal and Stars deal with emotional subjects and you do them such justice.  Do you enjoy the angsty goodness and the flails you're subjecting your readers to?

I don't consciously set out to make readers flail or cry, but I do try to get inside the character's mind and heart so I can tell the most authentic story. If that leads to tears or flailing, I'm definitely okay with it. 

4. Describe Stars in 5 words.

Food. Family. Friendship. Forgiveness. Love.

5. What is your favorite Doctor Who episode and companion?

This question is SO HARD because I have a few favorites, but if I'm forced to choose I think "Vincent and the Doctor" is my absolute favorite episode. And my favorite companion is Rose, but I will admit Clara is closing the gap fast. 

Speed [ish] round:

1. What's your go to guilty pleasure thing to eat?

Honey mustard & onion pretzel pieces

2. What are you reading right now?

The Program by Suzanne Young (although by September I'll probably be reading something else)

3. Who are your favorite swoony boys?

Top Five: Ryan (Raw Blue), Jonah (Jellicoe Road), Poe/Jamie (Secret Society Girl series), Eli (Along for the Ride), and Brigan (Fire)

4. Are there any authors that you fangirl over?

Melina Marchetta makes me lose my mind. If I ever met her in real life, I'd probably make an idiot of myself.


Huge thanks to Trish for taking the time to deal with my incessant rambling answer my questions!

Make sure you check out her website, blog, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter pages.  And don't forget to add all of her books to your TBR shelf on GoodReads.

Now. Dying for a copy of Where the Stars Still Shine? Well, I've got one for you.  Rules for the giveaway are under "terms and conditions" on the Rafflecopter widget.

**Good Luck!!**
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The time it was the stuck in a good book hop

Hooray for giveaway hops!

This one is hosted by Stuck in Books and I Am a Reader, Not a Writer.

One entire series that has kept me captivated is Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. Haven't read it?


Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she's never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.

Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He's searching for someone too. He's also wild - a savage - but might be her best hope at staying alive.

If they can survive, they are each other's best hope for finding answers.

I have a signed paperback copy of Under the Never Sky up for grabs!

Rules for the giveaway are listed under the "terms and conditions" on the Rafflecopter widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now that you've entered here, check out all of the other blogs on the hop [listed below] for a bazillion chances to win other phenomenal books! You can also check out the host blogs at: Stuck in Books and I Am a Reader, Not a Writer

**Good Luck!!**

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The time it was all sass

Going to Gretchen McNeil's signing was always a given, especially when she was appearing with Kendare Blake. The event being held at MGRB was just a bonus. 

Michelle, Hubs, and I got to the store insanely early because traffic wasn't that bad. LeAnna let me go back to the super secret back room and I walked out with some titles I have really been coveting. We ended up leaving and wandering around some of the nearby stores [where I spent a small fortune on DVDs and nail polish] before going back. 

And then we waited.

As we waited, I realized that the amount of money that I spent on books, DVDs and nail polish could have gotten me a new Kate Spade purse. Gah. We were chatting it up and we heard as Gretchen walked by saying that she recognized all of the usual suspects.

Elana K. Arnold ended up coming over and I chatted with her for a minute. She told me about the secret special thing she's planning for her launch party of Splendor. 

The ladies were introduced around 7:40. Gretchen started out with an intro to 3:59. She had the idea sitting in traffic, to run the red light or not run the red light? It has two parallel casts that can interact with each other. It is really really really complicated and if she ever decides she wants to write something like it again, someone needs to hit her. 

Kendare gave an intro to Antigoddess.  She just recently got lines from the Iliad on her back because she's a psycho. With her MC, you can guarantee that her life is going to be ruined for the next 3 books. Actually wrote the book 3 different times and scrapped every one of them. 

Wrote the idea of the dying goddesses as as short stories. Wanted to work with Cassandra, but Cassandra didn't want to work with her. Brought Athena in, to shoulder some of it and when that happened, the story came together. 

Gretchen to Kendare: Did you start writing it before Anna? 

Before the Cassandra story, yes. Easy to work on because I wouldn't have separation anxiety from Cas and Anna. 

They talked about how neither of them read the finished book. Gretchen didn't actually have a page one rewrite for 3:59, but the notes on it were extensive. 

They voted on whether or not there would be a Q&A and a reading or just a Q&A. Since a lot of people decided not to vote, it was author's choice and they nixed the reading. 

Do you have a specific writing process? Have the idea and immediately get a pen and paper?

K: I give my ideas a brush off. Never fails when I'm working on something, there will be an amazing new idea. Can't be too mean to it because I'll be working on it eventually. Get to know the characters, think about it a lot. Once I find the start, I know it's time to write. 

G: Normally I open a word document and title it something and write a few sentences, save it and then close it. Then I'll go to amazon and make a wish list of books to do research on it. If it still seems like something to do [unicorns in the Sahara! It's like my little pony but with shoes!] then I'll work on it. 

I also like to research the market. I don't want to be the 5th person to write a Houdini book. I don't know what I'm going to do next, but I've got 5 ideas. 

Now that you're multi-published, can you sell a book on a concept?

K: I just had this conversation with my publisher. I was told that I can turn in a sample chapter and synopsis, but I don't. 

G: Possess was the only finished book I sold. Ten was sold on a synopsis and 6 chapters that all got scrapped. The two books that come out in 2014 and 2015 were sold from one page [for the first one] and one paragraph [for the second].  It's nice to have not done all of the work already. I work better with the figurative gun to my head. 

What was the line that you got tattooed?

It's from Hector's speech... [I didn't the entire quote and I didn't want to mangle it]

If you could be a character in each other's books, who would you be? 

K: Bridget from Possess 

G: Having a half Asian character in 2001 was interesting. The original girl was white with really big Keira Knightly round eyes and I was like, "Dear Harper Collins..."  I told them that if the book was published with that girl, I would not defend it. 

I would definitely want to be Athena. I have always had an Athena fetish, not in the sexual way...

Are there any other funny things that have happened to you when you've gone to publish?

G: Funny ha ha? Or funny ugh?

K: That's something I'm really going to have to think of. 

G: I've told the story about Christopher Pike a few times, but I'm going to tell it anyways.... [If you want to read the story about Christoper Pike, read it here]

K: I don't have anything like that. When we saw the first mock up for the cover for Anna, it looked like there were some female problems for Anna. It got fixed and it's fine. When the first mock up for Antigoddess came up, the blood was in the middle of the feather. What does that look like? My books have nothing to do with menstruation! My next book better have something to do with super ninja periods. 

What are you reading now?

G: The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton ... It's really awesome. 

K: NOS4A2 by Joe hill. It has demon children with shark teeth, I love him and I'll say it: he's better than his dad. 

What's next for you?

G: You've already written all of them in the series, right?

K: Yes. They told me that they were going to come out every 7 months, so I freaked out and wrote everything and then they came back and said never mind. So now I can take my time with whatever I work on next. 

G: The Don't Get Mad series is about 4 girls from four different groups who have formed a secret society to get revenge against bullies, mean girls and teachers. 

After that, I'm not sure. I have some historical pieces, but who knows. 

After that question, they started signing. I was first in line, as always. Gretchen was up first and she started laughing when she saw me with 4 arcs of 3:59. ["I'm pretty sure I only gave you one."] Kendare started laughing and said that I had a lot of books and Gretchen said that I always had a lot of books and I was always first in line. 

And this is seriously the best inscription ever. 

When I got to Kendare, she asked about my blog. I gave her a card and she said that it looked familiar and she thinks she's been there before [squeeeeeee]. 

After chatting it up with LeAnna for a bit, we left. I absolutely adore Gretchen and her words and will go to any event of hers I can get to. Kendare is also a lot of fun and the combination of the two of them together are delightful and so so so sassy. 

I can't recommend them or their books enough. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

The time it was week 1 in the tourney

Sooooo.  Here we are for week one of the Sassy Girl Swoony God Tourney.

Our first challenge was to decide what tropical location on Earth Kai kidnapped Persephone from.  I chose this:

Isn't it amazing? Those are luxury huts in Bora Bora and I'm pretty sure once I grow up and become a lottery winner, it'll be a place I visit quite frequently.

What tropical place do you want to go to?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The time it was about science

Gretchen McNeil is definitely one of my favorite authors out there.  She's sassy and awesome and always wears the most gorgeous heels. I threatened to stalk her asked for the arc of 3:59 while we were at Disneyland for the YAppiest Day on Earth, and read it the very next day. And of course, after finishing it, I desperately wanted an interview with her.

As always, she was delightful and said yes.  But, before we get to her answers, let's check out the book!

Josie Byrne's life is spiraling out of control. Her parents are divorcing, her boyfriend Nick has grown distant, and her physics teacher has it in for her. When she's betrayed by the two people she trusts most, Josie thinks things can't get worse.

Until she starts having dreams about a girl named Jo. Every night at the same time—3:59 a.m.

Jo's life is everything Josie wants: she's popular, her parents are happily married, and Nick adores her. It all seems real, but they're just dreams, right? Josie thinks so, until she wakes one night to a shadowy image of herself in the bedroom mirror – Jo.

Josie and Jo realize that they are doppelgängers living in parallel universes that overlap every twelve hours at exactly 3:59. Fascinated by Jo's perfect world, Josie jumps at the chance to jump through the portal and switch places for a day.

But Jo’s world is far from perfect. Not only is Nick not Jo's boyfriend, he hates her. Jo's mom is missing, possibly insane. And at night, shadowy creatures feed on human flesh.

By the end of the day, Josie is desperate to return to her own life. But there’s a problem: Jo has sealed the portal, trapping Josie in this dangerous world. Can she figure out a way home before it’s too late?

From master of suspense Gretchen McNeil comes a riveting and deliciously eerie story about the lives we wish we had – and how they just might kill you.
Sounds good, right?

1. Where did you get the idea for 3:59?

This is so cliché, but I was driving home from work one day, and there was a traffic light turning red. I had a split second to decide: gun it or slam on the brakes. I braked, then spent the rest of the time at the stop light wondering what would have happened if I hadn't stopped. The idea grew from there!

2. Tell me about the research you did for the book.

Well, 3:59 is very science based – theoretical quantum physics to be exact. I am NOT a theoretical quantum physicist, so I did a lot of reading on string theory, various multiple world theories, multiple dimensions and some other concepts that I'm pretty sure I couldn't explain if I tried!

3. Josie is an awesome character. I love that she's smart, feisty, and doesn't need to rely on a boy. How did she develop?

When I realized that this was a book about science, I wanted to make sure that my main character was a science geek. But not in a stereotypical Revenge of the Nerds kind of way. I wanted her abilities to be natural, for her to be normal, and for her intelligence to be the one thing she can always rely on. Smart girl characters are really, really important to me, both in what I read and what I write.

4. Was it difficult to keep the duplicate characters/world straight while writing?

Oh yes. Jo and Josie were a challenge, but even worse was Nick I and Nick II (as my editor dubbed them). They had to be similar in some ways, and yet very, very different. Characterization developed slowly and it took several drafts before I really felt like I knew the difference between my characters and their doppelgangers.

5. Describe 3:59 in 5 words.

Parent Trap meets Event Horizon (I realize it's supposed to be "The" Parent Trap but I only had 5 words…)

Speed [ish] round:

1. What is your go to guilty pleasure thing to eat?

Champagne. (That's sort of like a food, right?)

2. What are you reading right now?

Gated by Amy Parker which comes out this fall from Random House.

3. Who are your favorite swoony boys?

Han Solo and Gilbert Blythe

4. Are there any authors that you fangirl over?

Christopher Pike, and if I ever meet Agatha Christie in the afterlife I'll probably soil myself.



Huge thanks to Gretchen for dealing with my fangirling taking the time to do the interview.

Make sure you check out her websiteblogTwitter and Facebook pages.  And don't forget to add all of her books to your TBR shelf on GoodReads.


Wanna win a copy of 3:59? Well, I've got one for you.  And, I'm seeing Gretchen on 9/18, so if the winner gets back to me before the event time, I can have it personalized.

Rules for the giveaway are under the "terms and conditions" on the Rafflecopter widget.

**Good Luck!!**

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