Monday, September 26, 2011

Banned Books Week Giveaways

Hey peeps!

Ever noticed how some of the BEST books you've ever read have ended up on the "banned" list at one point or another?

Yeah. Lame.

One of these days we'll figure out that the value of literature cannot be measured by what challenges societal norms, morals, thinking and beliefs.

Or... maybe we CAN...

After all, if your book ends on the banned list, perhaps its destined for greatness? Think about it.

Anyway, in honor of Banned Books Week, my rock awesome blogging buddy, Heather McCorkle, is doing a banned books giveaway. Check out her blog and show support for her own newly released YA masterpiece!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Can You Hook a Teen?

Woot, woot! An exciting bloghop contest for ALL YA writers... peeps, its time for us to test our skillzzzz agains those who really count:

The teens.


Here's the rules: enter the first 250 words of your YA ms here (finish the sentence if 250 falls in the middle somewhere!) by Midnight (MST) on September 23. Then hop around and critique everyone else's entries! 

Sorry this is kinda late notice, as it is already 8:32 MST.... but as I'm sitting here pulling my hair out over COLLEGE FOOTBALL STRESS this Friday night (seriously, Jake-freakin'-Heaps?? Enough with the turnovers!!), I thought I'd do a little blog surfing (coughSTALKINGcough) and found this. If you have time before midnight tonight, go ahead and add your entry! If not, enjoy reading the other enteries here!

My Entry:

Title: Keepers of the Flame
Genre: YA Pre-Dystopian Political Thriller

Essie stopped.

Through the clamor of escalating chaos, something screamed at her, demanding her attention.

But there was no time. The seconds continued their reckless march towards the cataclysmic event she knew was coming and was powerless to stop.

She shouldn’t stop. She needed to keep running.

It pulled harder.

One glance couldn’t hurt . . . right?

With a shiver, she turned.

That moment, the earth halted in orbit and time froze. Essie felt the catch slip, closing her old life forever. A new door opened, a wide expanse stretching out in front of her, full of pain.

“No,” she whispered.

Too late.

Essie screamed and recoiled at the flash of brilliant orange light. The earth quivered under her feet and the deafening explosion cracked through the night like a gunshot. In an instant, the monumental stone dome caved, sending a column of black smoke into the atmosphere.

It wasn’t a minute. It wasn’t even a second. But it felt like eternity.

Essie watched the figure on the stairs throw his hands protectively over his head. For a brief moment, their eyes met. Essie sobbed. She reached out as if to touch him one final time. His kind eyes held hers, lips parting to whisper a last, silent message.

I love you.

The inferno consumed him.

The explosion hit Essie like a wrecking ball. She gasped, her body blown backwards by the sheer strength of the blast. Essie wasn’t sure how far she flew. She didn’t care.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Page Turner Panic

[sighs dreamily]

Soooo... I just finished another fantastic page turner, peeps! And I am going to tell you what it is. Why? Because I am a good friend, and want you to partake in the goodness also... did I mention that I'm such a good friend? I am.

[pats self on back]

Hehe. Just kidding. About the self glorified friend part. Not about telling you the book. Which I

Ally Condie's Matched.

Eeeeeeek!! SUCH a good book!

Today, as I was preparing to post about this awesome book (aka: while I was retrieving an suitable image off of Google), I read on a (coughTOTALLYLAMEcough) website, someone comparing this to book Twilight. Not that I don't like Twilight [TEAM EDWARD!!], but I actually had to stop and think about what this person was saying when they were comparing it to our beloved sparkly vampire/werewolf fantasy.

Then it clicked. [Light bulb!]

Ohhhhh.... riiiiight. The love triangle.

I get it. Any boy/girl/boy love triangle from now until the end of time will probably be compared to Twilight. But honestly? I didn't think Matched was that similar. A) Because this girl is much more assertive than Bella. And B) because there was no wishy-washy Bella-can't-make-up-her-mind-which-man-she-wants nonsense...

...wait... those are kind of both the same thing... ANY-whooo!

Although there were (admittedly) two guys forming a love triangle with said girl in this book, I didn't feel like this book was at all like Twilight. The girl [Casia] never wavered on which boy she wanted (despite there being another one in the picture). Needless to say, I didn't make the "this-is-like-Twilight" connection until that website-er pointed it out.

But then again, maybe I'm just dense.

At any rate, it is my oh-so-humble opinion that Matched falls more along the dystopian Hunger Games line that are filling the shelves these days. Some would say "saturating" the shelves... but you know what? I kinda like 'em.

And I LOVED this book! As a happy bit of news, the saga continues on November 1st with Condie's release of Crossed, the sequel to Matched [hooray!] Is there anything better than a much anticipated sequel? I think not.

However, I now have a problem: I've run out of page turners to read.

THIS is the one thing I hate about reading good books! Every time I finish one, I get that break-out-in-cold-sweat panicked feeling of knowing that the next book I pick up cannot possibly be as good as the one I just finished! I'm feelin' it right now. I'm feelin' it BAD!  

So help me out here, dear reader friends. Page turner recommendations? I'm in desperate need of a rebound book!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bumper Sticker Bogus

I swear, hubbs is going for mucho hubby brownie points or something tonight. After dinner, he nuzzles up to me and says:

"Hey babe, you haven't written a blog post in like two weeks. Why don't you go do that while I do dishes."

Como say wha?! (That's Spanglish for "Huh?!)

Not one to turn down a skip-to-GO-and-collect-two-hundred-dollars-for-free card, I gladly accepted! Consider your mucho hubby brownie points awarded, babe!

So... now what to talk about on my golden monopoly card night? (Which is, of course, the skip-to-GO card and Wonka-golden-ticket combo package)...

Email tag lines. Why? Because I had a bad experience with one the other day. And yeah... I gotta admit, I'm just not a fan.

Look, I get that adding "Smile, life is beautiful!" to every email you send is supposed to add the warm, happy fuzzy feeling of inspiration to a person's day. And you know what? Who am I to judge, maybe some people ARE inspired by such email tags.

But not me. Why?

They're kind of like the posters plastering the walls of every dentist office in the continental US. YOU know the ones. Since I'm quite certain they aren't up for their asthetically pleasing nature, there can be only one reason for their decorative presence. And I'm sorry, Doc, but the cute kitten-hanging-from-a-tree-branch poster with the "Hang in there!" tag line does NOT make me feel better about the whole needle-and-drill routine.  

[Shrugs]. Sorry. 

Bumper stickers. Dentist office posters. Email tag lines. They're all kind of fake. Know what I mean? A superficial method of inspiration. Call me a cynic, I know.

ANY-who, so I'm sittin' there at work the other day, minding my own business, and I get this email with one of the most ridiculous email tags in the history of email tags. Okay, so maybe not THE most ridiculous, but it was pretty darn close:

"We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails."

Now, I kind of sorta maybe DON'T get what is so inspiring about this "inspirational" quote. This was my translation:

"If the situation isn't taking you where you want to go, reevaluate your destination!"

Meh?? That kind of stupidity ranks up there with Lady Gaga wearing her meat dress to a dog fight.

[Hardy, har. Lame joke alert!]

Now granted, I'm not a sailor. It is, perhaps, possible that if you wanna go north but the winds are blowin' south, that you can adjust the sails to take you north AGAINST the winds. But somehow, I just don't think it works that way. At least--as a non sailor personnel--I don't see how that could physically work. Hence, my translation of said tag. Which I maintain: is ridiculous.

Most of you, dear readers, are writers. Most of you are not published. But most of you are also working your little rear ends off to GET published. And just in case you haven't realized it yet, the wind ain't NEVER gunna be blowin' you to publication my friends! We have to sweat blood and tears to MAKE it happen. Does that mean we reevaluate our goals?

I think not.

Here's what I propose that email sender change her tag line to:

"If you can't change the wind... cannon ball, belly flop or dive outta that freakin' boat and start swimming the direction YOU want to go!"

But that's just my opinion.

What lame tag, bumper sticker or dentist office poster lines have YOU come across?!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bad Breath and Blog Awards

Julie: [ZZZzzzzz]
Rob: Good morning sunshine! [nuzzles and kisses with freshly shaved face]
Julie: Mmmmph-gooommzzzbpwolekrjlksjbbzzzz$$#!!!
Rob: Man, can you imagine how nasty it would have been to kiss Sleeping Beauty?
Julie: [peeks one eye open]
Rob: I mean... asleep for 100 years? She had to have some serious cotton mouth!

Bahahahahahaha! Ignoring the jibe at my own cotton-mouthed morning breath, I love you, hubs! You make me laugh!

In other news, Miss Mel Fowler just awareded me the Versatile Blogger award! Okay, so... I admit... this happened AT LEAST a weeke ago... but I've been a busy girl! Give a break, please!

Yay! I love blog awards!


1- Link it back to the person who gave it to you
2- Tell 7 random facts about yourself
3- Give this award to 5 other people.

So, without further gilding the lily and with no more ado, I give you... the seekers of serenity, the protectors of Italian virginity, the enforcers of our Lord God.... my five awardees!! [Bahaha, I heart A Knight's Tale!]

Thank you for your wonderful, VERSATILE, blogs you five! I love reading your posts... keep 'em coming!
And, of course, 7 random facts about me:

1-I am a self proclaimed Diet Coke addict
2-I hate it when people read over my shoulder
3-My fav. color is red
4-In second grade I pulled the fire alarm on a dare and evacuated the whole school
5-My thumbs are double jointed
6-For no apparent reason, I've had a fascination with living in a cabin in Alaska, or a lighthouse in Maine, both places I've never been!
7-I like to bake, not cook

Happy Blogging!