The aftershocks....


Oh man, raise your hand if your house still looks like this three days after Christmas....*sigh*

PS--I do not own this picture.

Mailbox Monday!

 
Hey everyone! Just so you know, Traffic Jam, is being featured on Jonathan Wilhoit's blog as a part of Mailbox Monday! Check it out here http://www.ireadabookonce.com/2012/12/mailboxmonday-is-weekly-meme-started-by.html
Cheers!

My run-in with the law....


Hey gang! Today, I'm at the awesome blog of fellow author Christine Hughes! I'm chit-chatting about my run-in with the law that is the New York Bridge Authority. Follow the link to her blog, read with caution and take notes because the next victim could be YOU!
http://christine-hughes.com/2012/12/15/481/

PS--I do not own this photograph!

In The Flesh....

Today, I came across this article about human trafficking in Argentina. It's about one woman, Susana Trimarco, whose search for her daughter has led her to shine a harsh spotlight upon the horrors of human trafficking. While Susana has helped free hundreds of women from the shackles of forced prostitution, she still has yet to find her daughter, who was kidnapped and who, Susana believes, has been sold into the sex trade. It's a fantastic article, shedding light once more on a subject that's been allowed to flourish for so long right under our noses, both within our country and out. The book I've written about this issue doesn't even compare to the real deal. I can only hope that Susana is at last successful in her quest for her missing child. Here's the link to the article:

http://news.msn.com/world/argentine-mom-rescues-100s-of-sex-slaves-but-cant-find-daughter


Interview for Traffic Jam


Hey troops! So I wanted to share an interview that I participated in a few days ago. The awesome Jennifer Lafferty was kind enough to post the interview in two parts: one on Goodreads and the other on her Examiner column! Talk about spreading the love! Below are the links! Read on, folks!


Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/3349366-interview-with-author-melissa-groeling

Examiner.com: http://www.examiner.com/article/interview-with-melissa-groeling-author-of-traffic-jam?cid=db_articles

 Cheers!

December? Already???


Oh man, it's that time of year again....
Yup.
You know it.
You've only been hearing about it since the week before Thanksgiving. Perhaps even before that.
*sigh*
Christmas.
Now, don't get me wrong. I love Christmas. I love the lights, the atmosphere, the cookies and even on some morbid level, the shopping. My only concern is HOW did it get here so quickly????
Wasn't I just at the beach yesterday? Wasn't I just wearing shorts and flip-flops and feeling the back of my shirt stick to me whenever I climbed out of my car?
When in the freaking world did Christmas even ARRIVE????
Time, my friends, is slipping away, faster and faster, like sand, like water, like anything slippery, between our fingers to puddle at our feet. It's sad, isn't it, when you look up, look in the mirror and realize that the person staring back at you looks kind of different? Not because you dyed your hair. Not because you're wearing make-up or you had your lip pierced but because of time going by. It's sad and tad bit scary.
So enjoy what you have now, folks. You only get one shot at this life. One shot.
Make it good.

Cheers!

Name-calling....

 
 
Oh, what's in a name? *flails dramatically*
Well, if you're a story-teller, you know just how important names are for your characters. I'm guest-blogging over at Piper Shelly's blog today, trying to tackle that very issue. Check out my attempt at explaining name-calling from a writer's crazy point-of-view: http://pipershelly.com/2012/11/18/whats-your-name-again/#comment-240
 
Cheers!
 
PS--I take no credit for this adorable image of this baby! But the look on his face says it all, doesn't it?
 


Special Guest Author---Liv Rancourt!

Hey gang! I've been given the honor and absolute privilege of having awesome author, Liv Rancourt, on my blog today! Not only is she a fellow author but she's also a fellow music-lover--check out her post below:


Confessions of a SongPop Addict…

Thanks, Melissa, for giving me a chance to make a guest appearance on your blog. I really appreciate the opportunity to connect with your readers.
As I was scrolling through some of your older posts, I noticed that you occasionally write about music, specifically, rock n’ roll. I’m a pretty big music fan, too. In fact, one of my recent blog posts was a compilation of several of my fave Halloween tunes. I will confess, though, that I’d have a difficult time of it if you made me pick my favorite kind of music. I like them all!
Well, most of them, anyway. Which probably explains why I’m such an incredible SongPop addict. Do you know what SongPop is? It’s one of those Facebook games that annoying people send you invites to, sorta like Farmville or WordsWithFriends. The difference is, SongPop is actually fun.
;)
It’s like Name That Tune, except you challenge your opponents one-on-one, trying to score points. The key is to have a fast trigger finger and an encyclopedic knowledge of music.
Yeah, well, I’m not sure I qualify as “encyclopedic”, but I can handle most any category you throw at me, and half the fun is scoring enough points to buy new categories. I have Jazz, Blues, New Wave, Punk Rock, and nine or ten others. Today’s acquisition: Musicals!
So if you’ve got some time to kill and think you know a little about music, look me up on Facebook and send me a SongPop challenge. I’m always up for a game! 
In the meantime, keep reading for a short excerpt from my newest release, The Santa Drag. It’s a chick-lit short story with a twist, and of course, a happy ending.
Peace,
Liv

Things aren’t always what they seem, and this shopping mall Santa has secrets only her true love can reveal.


On a particularly busy Saturday, I was tired and thinking more about a double shot of espresso than I was about the pile of kids who wanted to sit in my lap. The weak winter sun was making its circle over the atrium where the Christmas Village was set up, and my roommate Shauna was buzzing by every so often to giggle at me from the sidelines. She was trying to get all of her Christmas shopping done in one day, which was a good trick for someone with as many fertile brothers and sisters as she had.
“Come sit on Santa’s lap.” Maya, the photographer and kid-wrangler, invited the next kid in line approach my golden throne. Well, it was fake gold, but the kids didn’t know that.
“No,” said a little girl with a stubborn crease between her brows. She was dressed in Seattle’s version of Christmas formal, a stiff, red velvet dress, likely made from organic fabric dyed with beets and rose hips. On her feet were two-toned leather MaryJanes that probably cost sixty-five dollars. At least the green corkscrew ribbons tied around her blond pigtails looked like they belonged on a child. I made myself as approachable as possible, getting down to her level and producing a big smile.
“Come on, Thula,” her mother said, tapping one French manicured nail on her cell phone. “Go sit up there with Santa so we can take your picture.” She sounded as if this was just one more thing to knock off the list.
“It’s okay, sweetie.” Maya put on her encouraging smile. Maya was a tiny thing, barely bigger than most of the kids we saw, with long dark hair, a tiny gold hoop pierced through one nostril, and bugged-out eyes that looked like they’d been molded out of chocolate. She was non-threatening as an adult could possibly be. The kid stared at her and bit down on her bottom lip. At least she wasn’t crying. Yet.
 “You want to come tell Santa what to bring you for Christmas?” I kept my voice pitched down somewhere under my sternum. It helped that I had one of those raspy lady voices that earned me a permanent spot in the tenor section whenever I sang in choir.
“No.”
Sometimes less is more when you’re dealing with preschoolers. We went back and forth for several minutes until  the kid went from biting her bottom lip to letting it pooch out and tremble. Never a good sign. Finally, after a ton of coaxing, she was more-or-less close to me,  squatting down on the other side of one of the big pretend presents that ringed my throne. That was good enough for her mom, and Maya snapped a picture.
When she was done, the little girl glared at me from behind the big, glossy red ribbon that topped the present. “Bring me a baby brother,” she bellowed and took off running..
Mom’s glare was meaner than the kid’s had been. Hey, it’s not like I made any promises.
The kid ran full tilt past the pseudo-Tyrolean houses that made the Village, and out through the crowds of shoppers. She stopped in the middle of an open space and cut loose, her sobs echoing around the smoky glass dome that covered us. We could hear her carrying on until she and her mom got swallowed up by the Ross store at the end of the north hallway. The whole place fell into a bit of a hush when she was gone, as  everyone exhaled in relief. This close to Christmas, none of us needed a crying child to ratchet up the stress level.
A young mother was next in line. She came into the Christmas Village and positioned a slightly damp baby on my lap, moving as if something hurt. The baby was so young that Mom still looked a little pregnant under her loose denim-blue shirt. Or maybe she was already pregnant with number two. I’m not so good with the principles of baby production. Well, I understand the basic concepts, but haven’t had that many opportunities to put them into practice.
The brief quiet was interrupted by a yodeling squeal that I recognized. I stared into the crowd until I caught Maya looking at me funny. I stuck on a smile as close to my normal, jolly-Santa shtick as I could get, and she settled back down behind her camera. The reason for my roommate Shauna’s squeal had me completely rattled. In the two or three beats I’d looked out from behind my wire-rimmed glasses as Mack-the-girl, I’d seen Shauna giving someone a big hug. A really handsome someone. Joe McBride. Joseph Timothy McBride. The actor. The real-life, got a soap opera gig and several commercials and you saw him in Scream 2 actor. The only guy I ever really loved.

Ooh, now she’s got a problem! Will Mack turn all Creepy-Kringle? Will Joe recognize her? What’s a Santa to do?  ;)

The Santa Drag is available from Still Moments Publishing, Smashwords, and Amazon.

Obsession at the moment....


 

So it's been quite a number of years since the Calvin & Hobbes comic strip ceased productions, which, I have to say, was a very sad time. Not a day had gone by when I didn't flip open the newspaper to find out what kind of trouble Calvin was getting into at school or at the dinner table or just how far his sneakers would fly off his feet when Hobbes pounced on him, stealthy stuffed tiger that he is. But I have to say that the above picture, one that I do not own in any way, shape or form, comdensed my absolute love for that comic strip and my most recent obsession with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.
I find it somewhat disheartening that being from New Jersey that I'm only now just discovering how awesome the Boss is and how passionate he is with his music, with his views of the world and how at being in his sixties, he's still sexy as hell and can still put on one hell of a show.
I think my next mission in life, aside from cranking out another book, is to attend a Springsteen concert---just to be able to exist in the midst of all that energy, just to be able to listen, to stand against the massive wall of sound and let that gravelly voice pound at my eardrums and skate down my spine to my toes.
Yep.
A Springsteen concert.
That's a fabulous idea.
And guess what I'm listening to right now on my iPod: "I'm On Fire."

Cheers!

Next Stop on the Traffic Jam Blog Tour.....


So here's an interesting question: if Traffic Jam was made into a movie, who would play these characters? Who could play the strong-willed Sam? Or the awkward, Val who doesn't even know she has balls of steel until she's required to use them? Or how about the quiet but selfless John? And of course, the master of puppets and evil, Ed? Who indeed?
Check out this link and see if what I've imagined matches what YOU have seen in your head when you read Traffic Jam! http://littlepocketbooks.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/book-in-spotlight-giveaway-traffic-jam.html#more

Let me know what you think!
Cheers!

Profile of Val Delton!


Hey troops! Check out this link: http://readinglittlebitofeverything.blogspot.co.uk/
It's a character profile of Val Delton, my main character from my YA novel, Traffic Jam! It's hilarious, trying to think like a teenager again!
The third stop of the blog tour is under way!
Cheers!

Collingswood Book Festival is Here!


So what's everyone doing this Saturday, October 6? Really? No plans? Well then come on down to the Collingswood Book Festival in Collingswood NJ! Fun will be had by all! There will be books, food, games and more books and it's outside! Plus the weather is going to be gorgeous! Books? Outside? Food? Is there anything else that sounds more awesome than that???
I will be at booth 112 signing copies of my YA novel, Traffic Jam so stop on by and say hi! Hope to see you there!
Cheers!

Second Stop on the Traffic Jam Blog Tour!


Here we are at the next stop on the Traffic Jam blog tour! Grab your friends! Grab a drink! Put your feet and leave a comment! Drinks on me! Check out my interview here: http://we-do-write.blogspot.co.uk/

Cheers!


For all you music lovers out there.....


In our current times when it seems like all music sounds exactly the same, there is always....ROCK.

Another Blog Tour, You Say????


Hello, good people! Traffic Jam is off and running on another blog tour, hosted by the always-awesome Megan McDade! This is so exciting and why, you ask? Because it just is! Who wouldn't want to see their stuff get promoted by kick-a** people? So put up your feet and sip some tea as we kick off the excitement that is TRAFFIC JAM!
Check out the first stop here: http://thecoverbybrittany.blogspot.co.uk/

Cheers!

Final Week of the Children's Book Event!


Hey gang! Sad but true--this is the last week of the Children's Book Event! So rounding out the lovely month of September with all things children's book-related, here is an important question:
                   Why do you think children should be encouraged to read? What is the importance of reading for young children?

Reading is important to children for many reasons. As a matter of fact, being encouraged to read has such a variety of reasons that I'm going to list them all and if I've missed any, feel free to add:

1. It improves the brain cells
2. It gives them something else to do besides playing video games
3. It gives insight into worlds and places that they otherwise would never know about
4. It puts them in situations that they might otherwise never know about
5. Do you really want your kids watching "Honey Boo Boo?"
6. Do you really want your kids watching "Keeping Up with the Kardashians?"
7. Children will get a better education
8. It'll stop them from asking a dollar-store employee: "How much is this?"
9. It might even make them want to write books of their own
10. It provides a healthy escape
11. It gives them something to talk about
12. It gives them something to think about
13. It saves them from boredom on a rainy day
14. IT'S FUN!





Third Week of The Children's Book Event!


Good people! The third week of The Children's Book Event is now in session! Okay, I know I'm a little late. The third week is practically over but in my defense, I was at the beach. And you know what happens at the beach? A whole lot of vegging out, eating, drinking, dozing, reading, drinking some more and....yeah. Repeat cycle. Rinse. Repeat again.
So moving on! This week's question centers around memories of growing up and having my parents read to me; followed by: do you think it's important for parents to read to their children?
            So, okay, first things first. Do I recall my parents reading to me? Just barely. And not because they didn't but because I honestly don't remember. But they must've because how else did I become such a bookworm????
             Now the second question. My answer to that is H*** YES! If you'll pardon the language, I feel very strongly about this one. Reading is an integral part of just being. You have to know how to read and not just emails, text messages and status updates on Facebook. Reading is equal to learning. Reading is equal to escape. Reading is equal to experiencing different things by way of the page. Everything has a beginning, middle and an end and reading is first and foremost in that statement. As I sit here typing this and glancing around the room I'm currently sitting in, I am surrounded by books. Actual books, not e-books, not Kindles or Nooks. But rectangular-shaped things with pages inside. Now aside from my personal preference, I think it's very important for parents to read to their children. Not only does it help the children read themselves and use their imagination and brain-power but it offers parent and child a chance to bond. In this day and age, bonding is extremely hard to do with so many distractions. We have to make exceptions. We have to push away from our computers and put down our iPads and establish or re-establish human contact. Whether it's through conversation and a book. It must be done.
                  So quit reading this blog and go pick up a book!

Back from vacation!


Greetings citizens! I'm not sure if anyone here has noticed....possibly not...but that's okay although I would like to imagine that the internet was indeed a lonely place without my presence. However, I was on vacation this past week to Long Beach Island, NJ. As you can see from the above image that my awesome older sister, Cathy, took at the beach as the sun came up, it was pretty spectacular. The water was perfect, the sun was bright and warm every day and the sand flies were barely making a snack out of me. There was also a discovery of a little coffee shop a few blocks down from where I was staying. The name of the coffee shop is called, "How You Brewin'?" and holy good Lord, I don't know what they put in their coffee but it is heavenly! So if you're in that neighborhood, you'd be doing yourself a HUGE favor by stopping in and snagging a cup! I did...every day....and it never got old!
So fellow people, back to reality we go. Heigh-ho, heigh-ho....

Second Week of Children's Book Event!


Here we are, folks! The second week of the Children's Book Event has now commenced! So what is this week's question, you ask? It is as follows:
What was your favorite book as a child and why?
 
For those of you who know me, my answer to this question will probably come as no surprise. In fact, you'll probably say, "Well, that explains a lot." But okay, all joking aside, my favorite book was Phantoms by Dean Koontz. This was the first book I read by him---which made me an avid fan of his---and it was the one, out of all of his books, that I've always remembered the most and not just because I read it so many times. It was gruesome. It was gory. It unfolded in a way that gave you the impression that a piano was hanging over your head by a fraying rope. Koontz always had a way with the words he put down on the page. In just a few simple sentences, he could make a character leap off of a page. He could show you an isolated town. He could show you the bleak misery of what befell the town's inhabitants. And man, was it scary. That's what I liked most about the book. The ripple of fear that would travel through me during a particularly shadowy scene kept me coming back. Even to this day, I still love scary books but I find that most haven't lived up to Phantoms.
Although I am open to suggestions....
 

Work in Progress Blog Hop!



Work In Progress Blog Hop ~ The Next Best Thing
Rules:

***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress) on your blog

***Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

It’s that simple.

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:

What is the working title of your book?
Pleasant Dreams and it’s definitely a working title.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
Back in college, I took an “Aztecs and Mayans” class and it was the most interesting class I ever had and I was in English major! But it was very interesting to learn about other civilizations and the professor didn’t just talk about the temples, etc. He’d actually been to see them in person—mostly the Yucatan Peninsula-- so he provided a very colorful insight towards what we were only seeing pictures of. Now of course, the Aztecs and the Mayans were known for their human sacrifices and such and I’d be lying to say that that wasn’t the reason why I signed up to take this class in the first place. But it certainly was a factor and by the time the semester was over, I had Pleasant Dreams rolling around in my head.
What genre does your book fall under?
Thriller/suspense

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Hmmm. Probably Chris Hemsworth and Zachary Quinto. They’re both studly in their own right but I think they’d be able to pull off the emotional aspect of the story.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
“With no reason to think that he should live, Paul Holten runs for his life.” Which I have to say is kind of contradictory. This will probably go through several rounds of editing before I get it just right.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Hopefully represented by an agency,

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Oh man, the first draft isn’t even done. Recently I realized that I need to restructure the first half of the book and I have no idea where to start. The time frame, even as we speak, is wide open.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Honestly, none that I’ve ever read and I’ve read a lot.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
My inspiration comes from so many things. For this book in particular, there is a very long list and I don’t think I have room here to list it all!
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?  
It has an edge of something in it that’s not completely grounded in reality as we know it which adds to the urgency. Our lack of understanding something always seems to motivate us a lot more, don’t you think? But a bigger part of this story will make you question how the past shapes us into the people we are today. 

Cheers!

Book Review!


Hey gang! Guess what? I have the honor and privilege of reading and reviewing Kaitlin Bevis' novel, Persephone, Daughters of Zeus and I have to say, what a piece of work! Please see below for my "official" (pretty fancy, huh?) review of this great book. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy! It's available at Goodreads and also for your Kindle! Read on, citizens!


4 out of 5 stars

“The drive the living has to always do more, get more and conquer more dies with us.”

That’s just one of the many awesomely-stirring lines from Kaitlin Bevis’ debut novel, Persephone—Daughters of Zeus. Like most books, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading. I knew the name Persephone from mythology but that was as far as it went. And I’ll tell you what, I was not expecting Bevis to take Persephone’s back story and add such a fun, modern twist to it.
The plot centers around Kora (whose first name is Persephone but she goes by her middle name for reasons that you will find out as you read). She’s in high school, a vegan and for all intents and purposes seems to be your average, run-of-the-mill teenager. Until she and you, the reader, realizes that she isn’t.
I don’t want to give away the story line although I’m sure you can probably guess. But what I will tell you is that this story will completely suck you in. The character interaction and their dialogue absolutely sparkle and I found myself laughing out loud multiple times. Although there were several times where I wished Bevis put in a little more detail, the unfolding of the story is paced well and the characters are leaping off the pages so boldly that you’re more interested in what they’re saying rather than the scenery. I can’t stress enough the excellent control Bevis has over the conversations, the beliefs and the inner workings of a world that are literally on a different plane of reality.

 This book is the first of a trilogy and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for these amazing characters.
 
Cheers!
 

 

The Event Has Commenced!!


Hello, citizens! The Children's Book Event--hosted by the wonderful Megan McDade--has now officially begun! All through the month of September, there will be posts, interviews, giveaways and more from authors, bloggers and illustrators--all related and circulating around children's books and the memories they invoke! Now the magnificent Ms. McDade has posted her first questions (ahem): what are your first memories of reading?
Now, me personally? I remember constantly reading "Where the Sidewalk Ends." It was a book of poems that were so strange yet simple and man, was I hooked. I think in my young mind, I connected with the weirdness of it. I mean, there was stuff in there from flying shoes, to a girl waiting for the rain to come because she wants a drink of water and oh, let's not forget about another girl who ate an entire whale and by the time she was finished, she was an old lady! Talk about determination! As weird as the poems were, they made sense. They weren't cute or filled with hidden meaning and they didn't preach at you, either. They were blunt, telling you in the simplest of terms what would happen if you were determined to eat a whale.
The illustrations in that book always struck with me as just this side of creepy too....which when I think about it, is probably what led me to the world of Dean Koontz but that's another story...

Summer's slipping away from us...


It's sad but true, folks. The leaves are already beginning to change, it's staying darker a lot later in the morning (I only know this because I'm up at 5am), and those loud, annoying, rectangular-shaped carriers of school children have begun their hunts in earnest around the neighborhood. Am I happy about this? I'm not entirely sure. I love the fall. That means the holidays are coming. That means we can break out the fluffy blankets and the sweatshirts and the hot chocolate and smell the spice and crisp in the air. But I'll miss the summer. It sinks into your bones, makes you relax, maybe a little careless and what's better than driving with your car windows down?
Soak it up while there's still time, everyone. Seriously, because there's already Halloween stuff in the stores already.

Megan's Book Event for Children!


Hello folks! How're we doing on this fine August day? Wait...did I say August? Oh yeah, I did and you want to know why? Because August is almost OVER! September is right around the corner and you know what that means:
                                                           S-C-H-O-O-L
Most of you are probably dreading it, some of you might actually be excited about it. But there's one thing in common for school-lovers and haters alike: books.
        Whether you're an avid fan or not, books are an integral part of our lives. Which is why Megan McDade, the wonderful hostess of Children's Book Event is going to be hosting this awesomeness all September long! It's going to be a party, a celebration, a shin-dig, a get-together, a RAVE and it will be calling attention to chidren's books that we all know and love and even a few that we've never heard of before! There's going to be author and illustrator interviews, giveaways, guest posts (provided by myself and countless, talented others) and reviews! Oh, sweet reviews and hey look! I haven't even mentioned the fairytales yet because really, what's a children's book event without the fairytales?
        So hold on to your pants, people! The Children's Book Event is set to begin on September 1st! So if you're in the market for books for your kids or your sister's kids or your neighbors's kids or you just want to take a stroll down memory lane, stop on by http://readingawaythedays.blogspot.co.uk/!

Cheers!



 

 

Reading Away the Days...



Hey gang! Just wanted to let you know that I'm featured over at Reading Away the Days blog as this Friday's Young Adult Author! Stop on over and say hi! There might be brownies....follow this link and brownie crumbs.....http://readingawaythedays.blogspot.com/

Cheers!

Booktowne Party!


Hi gang! How is this fine August day treating you? As you can see I've posted pictures from my recent book launch party that was held at Booktowne on August 11th and I have to say, it was a blast! So many people showed up to give me such love and support and Booktowne? Yeah, the place rocks! It's right smack in the center of Manasquan, New Jersey surrounded by awesome shops, boutiques and restaurants with the best food...not to mention this incredibly delicious cupcake bakery right across the street! But I'm getting sidetacked (thoughts of lemon cupcakes are clouding my mind).

So, yes, the book party--it was such a great time and Rita, the book store's owner is a doll and Laurel, an employee who was also present was so sweet! Rita introduced me to everyone, set out water and cookies and welcomed all of us so warmly. She then introduced my book, Traffic Jam and from there, multiple questions and answers were tossed around, pictures were taken, laughter and chatter filled the store, I swear, the only thing missing was a band and cocktails!

A big, hearty thanks to everyone at Booktowne (Rita, Maribeth and Laurel) and especially to all those who came out! I appreciate it so much! Happy reading and see you all again soon!

Traffic Jam Launch Party!

Traffic Jam Book Launch


Another Traffic Jam event is abound! This Saturday, August 11th, I will be in Manasquan, New Jersey at an awesome little bookstore aptly named, Booktowne! I will be there from 1-3pm, mingling with folks, talking about my book, doing a little bit of reading and of course, enjoying some refreshments. So if you're in the area or if you feel the urge to get in your car and take a drive, stop by Booktowne! The beach isn't too far away either and really? Books and a beach? Is there any better combination than that? If you think of one, let me know! Until then, see you in Booktowne!
Cheers!

Results of the Young Adult Book Festival 2012


Good people! I must gloat! I must brag! I must share! The Young Adult Book Festival 2012 in Easton, Pennsylvania on August 4th was a SMASH! I'll even go as far as to say it was a smash AND A HALF! And yes, I'm being rude and writing in caps because I cannot accurately convey the fun and the sheer good times we all had! The authors, the library staff, the kids that were there--it was all so amazing! And what could be more amazing than something that says "Author" like the picture at the top of these words! I wore that tag proudly and I still wore it even after the festival was over, when myself and friends and family went Diner 248 to celebrate with drinks and good grub! Now I'll admit, the first few people who came up to my table and asked what my book was about were subjected to a bit of stammering and stuttering because honestly? I've never done ANYTHING like this before. But as the day wore on and more and more people came by, it got easier and it helped to have so many magnificent authors around me to help ease the nervousness...not to mention the family members and friends who so graciously stopped by! I can't thank everyone enough for allowing me to participate in this event and for supporting me all this way and beyond!
Cheers, folks! You've earned it!

Young Adult Book Festival 2012 is here!

It's finally here! The Young Adult Book Festival 2012 is here in Easton, Pennsylvania on August 4, 2012! Festivities start at 11 and end at 3! There will be authors, baked goods, raffle winnings, fun times and quite possibly, shenanigans of all types! So bring the kids, come by yourself and grab a good book to lose yourself in! Hope to see you there!
Cheers!

Young Adult Book Festival is One Week Away!

Hey gang! Exactly one week from today is the Young Adult Book Festival being held in Easton, Pennsylvania. If you're totally digging young adult books then stop on by! There will be books, baked goods, raffle drawings, prizes, authors, more books...did I mention the books? So come on over and get your read on! There will be over 30 authors present, including myself! It's being held at the Palmer Branch of the Easton Public Library in Easton, PA! Here's the link for more details: http://www.yafest.blogspot.com/
I hope you can make it! It'll be too much fun!
Cheers!


Special guest author...Christine Hughes


Hey gang! I'm honored and thrilled to have fellow author, Christine Hughes, here on my blog today! Christine's young adult/paranormal novel is taking the world by storm and you would be seriously missing out on a fantastic story if you didn't get this book!

1. What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
When I first received word of my impending contract from Black Opal Books, I pretty much called everyone I could think of and danced around the kitchen with my kids. My husband ran out and bought some wine and a bottle of champagne, which neither of us really drink. We popped the cork and drank the whole bottle sitting on the back deck dreaming and talking about the fact that one of my dreams was being realized. I still have that cork with the date written on it safely tucked away in my jewelry box.
2. What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
The middle of the book seems to be the easiest for me. I find more flow issues and errors in the beginning and closure needs towards the end. The middle seems to be my playground. I think it’s because, when I write, I have the story in my head but not necessarily how the story began and I always have trouble closing out and saying goodbye. I’m hoping to get started soon on a sequel to TORN. I think the characters have more to say and I haven’t really given them a proper goodbye yet.
3. What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
The hardest part of writing is crafting the beginning and closing out the end. I want the open to draw readers in and I want them to be able to let go at the end of the story. Funny enough, my husband and I have been noticing many of the TV shows we watch have that “hook” in the beginning, right before the opening credits and commercial. I am trying to incorporate more of that into my writing.
4. Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
I have a soft spot for all of my characters. Honestly, Sebastian is probably my favorite. He reminds me of a cross between chaos and beauty. He’s evil but it’s so natural for him to be so that he almost doesn’t necessarily “get it” that he’s so hated. He can’t quite understand it – he truly feels his calling is true.
5. If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as one of your heroines? Tell us about your heroine.
Samantha is a seventeen-year old girl who gets thrust into this battle between two factions of fallen angels. The Faithful, who work to atone for the sins of their fallen ancestors, and the Exiled, who revel in the sins of the fallen. It comes to light that not only was her father killed by the leader of the Exiled, she was betrayed by her best friend. And the little fact that part of her feeds on the darkness of the Exiled even though she knows she should follow the Faithful begins to change her into what she hates most. Candace Accola, from Vampire Diaries, would totally rock as Samantha. One can dream….
6. If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as one of your heroes? Tell us about your hero.
Oh my. I have done A LOT of thinking about this one…. Jesse Williams from Grey’s Anatomy is Sebastian! As a matter of fact, when I was describing him in the book, Jesse was who I was thinking of.
7. Do you eat comfort food when writing? If so, what food inspires your imagination?
 I drink a lot of coffee and of Earl Gray tea. I don’t eat much while I write. Regular meals kind of get thrown to the wayside when I’m in the zone. Thank goodness I have a husband and two kids or I probably would forget to make dinner.

8. What’s your strongest point as a writer?

I think my strongest point so far is the ability to see someone else’s point of view when it comes to my books. My beta readers have been fantastic with feedback and I’ve used quite a bit of it. My first round editor, Cora, also had some great suggestions and I found when I implemented them my writing was so much stronger. I can only hope that I’m this laid back when it comes to criticism of my books.
9. What genre would you like to try writing in but haven’t yet done so? Why?

I would love to write a psychological thriller or horror. Scary movies and psychological stuff really bugs me out and I’d like to try to get past it by writing about it. One of my favorite movies is The Shining by Stephen King. I bought the book years ago and it still sits in my house waiting for me to read it. I’ve been too scared to pick it up! Also any type of horror/psychological stuff that deals with religion creeps me out. The Exorcist, The First Power, The Omen….I can’t watch any of them. I don’t know what it is – creeptastic! Maybe if I tried to write one, I’d be able to watch one…hmmmm.

The following is an excerpt from Torn:
I knew it was dangerous, but the voice was so tempting...
Samannnnthaaaa...
Unable to speak, I wiped the beads of sweat from my forehead and looked around. I swung my head toward the window and peered outside, searching for the source of the taunting voice. Where was he? The sky had darkened significantly and just beyond the trees I saw a swirling shadow that seemed to pulse. The vegetation surrounding it had withered, becoming gray and lifeless as though the shadow had sucked up all of the energy. A faint hum filled the air, growing louder as the shadow pulsed faster.
       Samannnnnnthaaaa...It’s time. Join us.
“Where are you?” I could barely get the words out. “What do you want from me?” This voice had plagued me for months and I wanted to know for sure it was Sebastian, yet the thought of finally knowing, finally seeing him, scared me more than the uncertainty.
      The voice chuckled. Join us and I will show you everything.
      “Never,” I whispered. “Never. My father died protecting me. I will never come to you.”
Again, a high-pitched and foul laugh rang in my head, making it spin. Dark clouds rolled ominously overhead, the wind picked up and the dull humming became inescapable white noise. Silly girl. You will come to us. You will make the choice. It is your destiny.
Despite my protest, I stepped toward the window then, leaning over the sink, I reached up to unlock it. My reflection was unrecognizable in the glass. My hair was wild and my eyes were huge and black as shadows emanated from within me. Whatever was out there was reaching for me with ghostly fingers, and as I opened the window, a dark mist snaked toward the house. I closed my eyes in giddy anticipation of the unknown.
 That is a great excerpt! You can find Torn at the following links:


Thanks so much for visiting, Christine! Much luck and success with Torn!