Crossed Out

Crossed Out

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Friday Five

1. Ugh, thought I deflected getting the nasty bug.  Sigh.  Started feeling weird yesterday.  Achy, sneezing all the time, and kind of woozy.  My birthday is TOMORROW and I hope I won't be sick.

Did I mention having a birthday in January sucks?  Seems either everyone is sick or someone dies.

Photo courtesy of Telegraph.co.uk




















2.Been catching up on STAR CROSSED on my new Kindle Fire:


Photo courtesy of fanpop.com/clubs/star-crossed
















3. Excited to get these Scholastic books:


Right now reading ALL FALL DOWN by Ally Carter and totally LOVING the voice of Grace.
















4. Found these Latina dolls at Santa Ana, Ca Target.  At first was excited, now not so sure:




















5. Finishing reading the ebook novella:

Love this series so much!  Think The Bachelor meets dystopian world.


















**Guilty pleasure:

Crossing fingers I'll feel better tomorrow so I can go get my birthday peel.  Love this one!


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Week 3 #Wipmadness

For this week I thought I'd touch on something from my online class this month.

What is one thing that has been stalling, holding you back from writing?

For me, it boiled down to one thing:

FEAR

Fear that I will realize that maybe I'm not as talented as I thought

Fear that I'll never sign with an agent or get that traditional book deal

Some days I feel I suffer from a bad case of do-i-suck-a-phobia with my writing:

 Photo Courtesy of: MySweetDelirium.com




I usually don't watch award shows but something Gina Rodriguez of JANE THE VIRGIN TV show really struck a cord with me. She told viewers if she could do it, than anyone could.  She remembered what her father told her:




Also she started changing her thinking from instead of 'why not?'-- to 'why not me?"


LOVE.


What really spoke to me  is how she said it might not happen right now, or a month, or even ten years from now. But it will come and when it does? It'll be so worth it!

Step by step.  That's been my path in this publishing biz.  Here I am receiving another rose last month from my local RWA for signing another contract:


Remember I'm cheering all of you on!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Friday Five

1. First off, was actress Gina Rodriquez fab or what with her Golden Globe acceptance speech last Sunday?


2. Got a new Kindle HD Fire and the first thing I did was download the latest Beth Revis's novel:

Loved Beth's ACROSS THE UNIVERSE series and her latest novel doesn't disappoint!

Blurb: The future world is at peace.

Ella Shepherd has dedicated her life to using her unique gift--the ability to enter people's dreams and memories using technology developed by her mother--to help others relive their happy memories.

But not all is at it seems.

Ella starts seeing impossible things--images of her dead father, warnings of who she cannot trust. Her government recruits her to spy on a rebel group, using her ability to experience--and influence--the memories of traitors. But the leader of the rebels claims they used to be in love--even though Ella's never met him before in her life. Which can only mean one thing...

Someone's altered her memory.

Ella's gift is enough to overthrow a corrupt government or crush a growing rebel group. She is the key to stopping a war she didn't even know was happening. But if someone else has been inside Ella's head, she cannot trust her own memories, thoughts, or feelings.

So who can she trust?

**Best thing?  It's only $4.99!  So worth the cost for yet another amazing Sci fi tale!

3. So excited to pick up this book at local B&N today:

Isn't the cover flippin' gorgeous?

There's a secret society and European locales.  I'm hooked!



















4. Also just ordered based on Cupcakegirly's review:

It's in the recent Tab and Teen Scholastic book orders for $10!

***Can you see a pattern here with my recent book loves?  Espionage, Europe, adventure.

















5. This one is in the February Tab Scholastic book orders for $7 and you get this really cool Parisian necklace too!  What a steal!

Let's add another thing to my now love list: Paris!!!!  And Italy.





















**Plus, finishing up this amazing YA contemporary novel from Cinco Puntos:

There's so much to love about Gabi.  This novel is written in journal form, which helps us see Gabi and her world.  Love this chica mucha!

**YA Books Central review coming this weekend!


And yes, another thing I LOVE about books: diversity.  Books that not only take me to foreign countries but ones that show my Mexican heritage in a positive light, with characters I can relate with. 

WANT MORE!!!!

And yes, I will return to my own YA thriller with Espie, my Mexican-American protagonist who loses not only her home but her heart.








**Guilty pleasure:

So I ended up rejoining Weight Watchers as I need the added push to losing weight.  My big doctor visit is in May--ultrasound on my thyroid and a whole blood panel which includes my cholesterol and blood sugar.  Heart disease runs in my family.  So need to watch it.

Well, that's NOT my guilty pleasure but rather I'm saving points to have a grande Starbucks mocha iced drink with soy and without whip cream.

So worth it!

Photo courtesy of: http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/starbucks-libertyville

AN EMBER IN THE ASHES - excerpt reveal and giveaway!



I'm really excited to be a part of this! MTV has a sneak peak of the upcoming YA novel AN EMBER IN THE ASHES:



Of her story, Tahir says, “EMBER takes place in a brutal Empire inspired by ancient Rome. The book follows two people: Laia, a lower-class girl scraping out a living on the Empire’s backstreets, and Elias, an Empire soldier who wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. EMBER asks a lot of questions, chief among them, how far would you go—for family or freedom, for love or power?”

And because no great fantasy novel would be complete without a big, big baddie, Tahir has created a very special character in the story’s villain, the Commandant.

“This is a woman who is perfectly fine with whipping a 10-year-old to death, or punishing a slave with a branding. In fact, she takes satisfaction in such cruelty,” the author explained. “For the Commandant, everything is about control, so she runs Blackcliff with an iron fist. But despite her malevolence, there’s a lot going on under the surface with her.”

And though Tahir has been sworn to secrecy about just what’s happening for “An Ember in the Ashes” in Hollywood, she does have two specific hopes for the film. First, that the diversity of her story will be preserved in the transition from page to screen, and second, that perhaps a certain Cool Girl would be up for the role of Bad Guy.

MTV link:


http://www.mtv.com/news/2051414/exclusive-ember-in-the-ashes/

Reveal:

I. LAIA
My big brother reaches home in the dark hours before dawn, when even ghosts take their rest. He smells of steel and coal and forge. He smells of the enemy.

He folds his scarecrow body through the window, bare feet silent on the rushes. A hot desert wind blows in after him, rustling the limp curtains. His sketchbook falls to the floor, and he nudges it under his bunk with a quick foot, as if it’s a snake.

Where have you been, Darin? In my head, I have the courage to ask the question, and Darin trusts me enough to answer. Why do you keep disappearing? Why, when Pop and Nan need you? When I need you?

Every night for almost two years, I’ve wanted to ask. Every night, I’ve lacked the courage. I have one sibling left. I don’t want him to shut me out like he has everyone else.

But tonight’s different. I know what’s in his sketchbook. I know what it means.

“You shouldn’t be awake.” Darin’s whisper jolts me from my thoughts. He has a cat’s sense for traps—he got it from our mother. I sit up on the bunk as he lights the lamp. No use pretending to be asleep.

“It’s past curfew, and three patrols have gone by. I was worried.”

“I can avoid the soldiers, Laia. Lots of practice.” He rests his chin on my bunk and smiles Mother’s sweet, crooked smile. A familiar look—the one he gives me if I wake from a nightmare or we run out of grain. Everything will be fine, the look says.

He picks up the book on my bed. “Gather in the Night,” he reads the title. “Spooky. What’s it about?”

“I just started it. It’s about a jinn—” I stop. Clever. Very clever. He likes hearing stories as much as I like telling them. “Forget that. Where were you? Pop had a dozen patients this morning.”

And I filled in for you because he can’t do so much alone. Which left Nan to bottle the trader’s jams by herself. Except she didn’t finish. Now the trader won’t pay us, and we’ll starve this winter, and why in the skies don’t you care?

I say these things in my head. The smile’s already dropped off Darin’s face.

“I’m not cut out for healing,” he says. “Pop knows that.”

I want to back down, but I think of Pop’s slumped shoulders this morning. I think of the sketchbook.

“Pop and Nan depend on you. At least talk to them. It’s been months.”

I wait for him to tell me that I don’t understand. That I should leave him be. But he just shakes his head, drops down into his bunk, and closes his eyes like he can’t be bothered to reply.

“I saw your drawings.” The words tumble out in a rush, and Darin’s up in an instant, his face stony. “I wasn’t spying,” I say. “One of the pages was loose. I found it when I changed the rushes this morning.”

“Did you tell Nan and Pop? Did they see?”

“No, but—”

“Laia, listen.” Ten hells, I don’t want to hear this. I don’t want to hear his excuses. “What you saw is dangerous,” he says. “You can’t tell anyone about it. Not ever. It’s not just my life at risk. There are others—”

“Are you working for the Empire, Darin? Are you working for the Martials?”

He is silent. I think I see the answer in his eyes, and I feel ill. My brother is a traitor to his own people? My brother is siding with the Empire?

If he hoarded grain, or sold books, or taught children to read, I’d understand. I’d be proud of him for doing the things I’m not brave enough to do. The Empire raids, jails, and kills for such “crimes,” but teaching a six-year-old her letters isn’t evil—not in the minds of my people, the Scholar people.

But what Darin has done is sick. It’s a betrayal.

“The Empire killed our parents,” I whisper. “Our sister.”

I want to shout at him, but I choke on the words. The Martials conquered Scholar lands five hundred years ago, and since then, they’ve done nothing but oppress and enslave us. Once, the Scholar Empire was home to the finest universities and libraries in the world. Now, most of our people can’t tell a school from an armory.

“How could you side with the Martials? How, Darin?”

“It’s not what you think, Laia. I’ll explain everything, but—”

He pauses suddenly, his hand jerking up to silence me when I ask for the promised explanation. He cocks his head toward the window.

Through the thin walls, I hear Pop’s snores, Nan shifting in her sleep, a mourning dove’s croon. Familiar sounds. Home sounds.

Darin hears something else. The blood drains from his face, and dread flashes in his eyes. “Laia,” he says. “Raid.”
“But if you work for the Empire—” Then why are the soldiers raiding us?< ?em>

“I’m not working for them.” He sounds calm. Calmer than I feel. “Hide the sketchbook. That’s what they want. That’s what they’re here for.”

Then he’s out the door, and I’m alone. My bare legs move like cold molasses, my hands like wooden blocks. Hurry, Laia!

Usually, the Empire raids in the heat of the day. The soldiers want Scholar mothers and children to watch. They want fathers and brothers to see another man’s family enslaved. As bad as those raids are, the night raids are worse. The night raids are for when the Empire doesn’t want witnesses.

I wonder if this is real. If it’s a nightmare. It’s real, Laia. Move.

I drop the sketchbook out the window into a hedge. It’s a poor hiding place, but I have no time. Nan hobbles into my room. Her hands, so steady when she stirs vats of jam or braids my hair, flutter like frantic birds, desperate for me to move faster.

She pulls me into the hallway. Darin stands with Pop at the back door. My grandfather’s white hair is scattered as a haystack and his clothes are wrinkled, but there’s no sleep in the deep grooves of his face. He murmurs something to my brother, then hands him Nan’s largest kitchen knife. I don’t know why he bothers. Against the Serric steel of a Martial blade, the knife will only shatter.

“You and Darin leave through the backyard,” Nan says, her eyes darting from window to window. “They haven’t surrounded the house yet.”

No. No. No. “Nan,” I breathe her name, stumbling when she pushes me toward Pop.

“Hide in the east end of the Quarter—” Her sentence ends in a choke, her eyes on the front window. Through the ragged curtains, I catch a flash of a liquid silver face. My stomach clenches.

“A Mask,” Nan says. “They’ve brought a Mask. Go, Laia. Before he gets inside.”

“What about you? What about Pop?”

“We’ll hold them off.” Pop shoves me gently out the door. “Keep your secrets close, love. Listen to Darin. He’ll take care of you. Go.”

Darin’s lean shadow falls over me, and he grabs my hand as the door closes behind us. He slouches to blend into the warm night, moving silently across the loose sand of the backyard with a confidence I wish I felt. Although I am seventeen and old enough to control my fear, I grip his hand like it’s the only solid thing in this world.

I’m not working for them, Darin said. Then whom is he working for? Somehow, he got close enough to the forges of Serra to draw, in detail, the creation process of the Empire’s most precious asset: the unbreakable, curved scims that can cut through three men at once.

Half a millennium ago, the Scholars crumbled beneath the Martial invasion because our blades broke against their superior steel. Since then, we have learned nothing of steelcraft. The Martials hoard their secrets the way a miser hoards gold. Anyone caught near our city’s forges without good reason—Scholar or Martial—risks execution. If Darin isn’t with the Empire, how did he get near Serra’s forges? How did the Martials find out about his sketchbook?

On the other side of the house, a fist pounds on the front door. Boots shuffle, steel clinks. I look around wildly, expecting to see the silver armor and red capes of Empire legionnaires, but the backyard is still. The fresh night air does nothing to stop the sweat rolling down my neck. Distantly, I hear the thud of drums from Blackcliff, the Mask training school. The sound sharpens my fear into a hard point stabbing at my center. The Empire doesn’t send those silver-faced monsters on just any raid.

The pounding on the door sounds again.

“In the name of the Empire,” an irritated voice says, “I demand you open this door.”

As one, Darin and I freeze.

“Doesn’t sound like a Mask,” Darin whispers. Masks speak softly with words that cut through you like a scim. In the time it would take a legionnaire to knock and issue an order, a Mask would already be in the house, weapons slicing through anyone in his way.

Darin meets my eyes, and I know we’re both thinking the same thing. If the Mask isn’t with the rest of the soldiers at the front door, then where is he?

“Don’t be afraid, Laia,” Darin says. “I won’t let anything happen to you.”

I want to believe him, but my fear is a tide tugging at my ankles, pulling me under. I think of the couple that lived next door: raided, imprisoned, and sold into slavery three weeks ago. Book smugglers, the Martials said. Five days after that, one of Pop’s oldest patients, a ninety-three-year-old man who could barely walk, was executed in his own home, his throat slit from ear to ear. Resistance collaborator.

What will the soldiers do to Nan and Pop? Jail them? Enslave them?

Kill them?

We reach the back gate. Darin stands on his toes to unhook the latch when a scrape in the alley beyond stops him short. A breeze sighs past, sending a cloud of dust into the air.

Darin pushes me behind him. His knuckles are white around the knife handle as the gate swings open with a moan. A finger of terror draws a trail up my spine. I peer over my brother’s shoulder into the alley.

There is nothing out there but the quiet shifting of sand. Nothing but the occasional gust of wind and the shuttered windows of our sleeping neighbors.

I sigh in relief and step around Darin.

That’s when the Mask emerges from the darkness and walks through the gate.

II. ELIAS

The deserter will be dead before dawn.

His tracks zigzag like a struck deer’s in the dust of Serra’s catacombs. The tunnels have done him in. The hot air is too heavy down here, the smells of death and rot too close.

The tracks are more than an hour old by the time I see them. The guards have his scent now, poor bastard. If he’s lucky, he’ll die in the chase. If not . . .

Don’t think about it. Hide the backpack. Get out of here.

Skulls crunch as I shove a pack loaded with food and water into a wall crypt. Helene would give me hell if she could see how I’m treating the dead. But then, if Helene finds out why I’m down here in the first place, desecration will be the least of her complaints.

She won’t find out. Not until it’s too late. Guilt pricks at me, but I shove it away. Helene’s the strongest person I know. She’ll be fine without me.

For what feels like the hundredth time, I look over my shoulder. The tunnel is quiet. The deserter led the soldiers in the opposite direction. But safety’s an illusion I know never to trust. I work quickly, piling bones back in front of the crypt to cover my trail, my senses primed for anything out of the ordinary.

One more day of this. One more day of paranoia and hiding and lying. One day until graduation. Then I’ll be free.
As I rearrange the crypt’s skulls, the hot air shifts like a bear waking from hibernation. The smells of grass and snow cut through the fetid breath of the tunnel. Two seconds is all I have to step away from the crypt and kneel, examining the ground as if there might be tracks here. Then she is at my back.

“Elias? What are you doing down here?”

“Didn’t you hear? There’s a deserter loose.” I keep my attention fixed on the dusty floor. Beneath the silver mask that covers me from forehead to jaw, my face should be unreadable. But Helene Aquilla and I have been together nearly every day of the fourteen years we’ve been training at Blackcliff Military Academy; she can probably hear me thinking.

She comes around me silently, and I look up into her eyes, as blue and pale as the warm waters of the southern islands. My mask sits atop my face, separate and foreign, hiding my features as well as my emotions. But Hel’s mask clings to her like a silvery second skin, and I can see the slight furrow in her brow as she looks down at me. Relax, Elias, I tell myself. You’re just looking for a deserter.

“He didn’t come this way,” Hel says. She runs a hand over her hair, braided, as always, into a tight, silver-blonde crown. “Dex took an auxiliary company off the north watchtower and into the East Branch tunnel. You think they’ll catch him?”

Aux soldiers, though not as highly trained as legionnaires and nothing compared to Masks, are still merciless hunters. “Of course they’ll catch him.” I fail to keep the bitterness out of my voice, and Helene gives me a hard look. “The cowardly scum,” I add. “Anyway, why are you awake? You weren’t on watch this morning.” I made sure of it.

“Those bleeding drums.” Helene looks around the tunnel. “Woke everyone up.”

The drums. Of course. Deserter, they’d thundered in the middle of the graveyard watch. All active units to the walls. Helene must have decided to join the hunt. Dex, my lieutenant, would have told her which direction I’d gone. He’d have thought nothing of it.

“I thought the deserter might have come this way.” I turn from my hidden pack to look down another tunnel. “Guess I was wrong. I should catch up to Dex.”

“Much as I hate to admit it, you’re not usually wrong.” Helene cocks her head and smiles at me. I feel that guilt again, wrenching as a fist to the gut. She’ll be furious when she learns what I’ve done. She’ll never forgive me. Doesn’t matter. You’ve decided. Can’t turn back now.

Hel traces the dust on the ground with a fair, practiced hand. “I’ve never even seen this tunnel before.”
A drop of sweat crawls down my neck. I ignore it.

“It’s hot, and it reeks,” I say. “Like everything else down here.” Come on, I want to add. But doing so would be like tattooing “I am up to no good” on my forehead. I keep quiet and lean against the catacomb wall, arms crossed.
The field of battle is my temple. I mentally chant a saying my grandfather taught me the day he met me, when I was six. He insists it sharpens the mind the way a whetstone sharpens a blade. The swordpoint is my priest. The dance of death is my prayer. The killing blow is my release.

Helene peers at my blurred tracks, following them, somehow, to the crypt where I stowed my pack, to the skulls piled there. She’s suspicious, and the air between us is suddenly tense.

Damn it.

I need to distract her. As she looks between me and the crypt, I run my gaze lazily down her body. She stands two inches shy of six feet—a half-foot shorter than me. She’s the only female student at Blackcliff; in the black, close-fitting fatigues all students wear, her strong, slender form has always drawn admiring glances. Just not mine. We’ve been friends too long for that.

Come on, notice. Notice me leering and get mad about it.

When I meet her eyes, brazen as a sailor fresh into port, she opens her mouth, as if to rip into me. Then she looks back at the crypt.

If she sees the pack and guesses what I’m up to, I’m done for. She might hate doing it, but Empire law would demand she report me, and Helene’s never broken a law in her life.

“Elias—”

I prepare my lie. Just wanted to get away for a couple of days, Hel. Needed some time to think. Didn’t want to worry you.

BOOM-BOOM-boom-BOOM.

The drums.

Without thought, I translate the disparate beats into the message they are meant to convey. Deserter caught. All students report to central courtyard immediately.

My stomach sinks. Some na├»ve part of me hoped the deserter would at least make it out of the city. “That didn’t take long,” I say. “We should go.”

I make for the main tunnel. Helene follows, as I knew she would. She would stab herself in the eye before she disobeyed a direct order. Helene is a true Martial, more loyal to the Empire than to her own mother. Like any good Mask-in-training, she takes Blackcliff’s motto to heart: Duty first, unto death.

I wonder what she would say if she knew what I’d really been doing in the tunnels.

I wonder how she’d feel about my hatred for the Empire.

I wonder what she would do if she found out her best friend is planning to desert.





And there's a giveaway!









a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 11, 2015

#Wipmadness Week 2

This Saturday I was lucky enough to attend my local OCCRWA meeting where Entangled editor Candace Havens spoke.

Her 'First Draft' talk was just the thing I need to hear considering how I'd been feeling lately about my own writing.

Here's some key words she use:

JUST MAKE IT HAPPEN

GET RID OF NEGATIVITY

SEND THAT INNER EDITOR AWAY

GOT TO MAKE IT WORK

ROAD TO SUCCESS=DISCIPLINE

**See a pattern here?

***And the one I loved:

HAVE TO BELIEVE.



Photo courtesy of http://www.beliefnet.com/














I was so pepped up after listening to Havens, that when I got home I wrote for a couple hours!  I also searched in my stuff for that mini notebook to put in my purse for moments that I'm away from the computer.

My question this week is what has motivated you to stop stalling with your writing?  Any other bits of advice?

Another big thing I took away from the conference was:

Be kind to other writers out there.  Celebrate the successes and lift each other up.

**Isn't that what #wipmadness is all about?


The winner of a galley is:

Nicole Luiken


Please choose which one you'd like and email me at ixtumea@gmail.com




Next week I'll post some other galleys!

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Friday Five

1. So, my week started off on a very sad note.

At 11:11 pm Sunday night, our sweet Jenny died.  I had her for six years and she was filled with personality and love.  At our last vet visit, they found a toxicity and wasn't sure what and how she got that inside.  This was the cause of her little seizures.  Sunday started out okay but she was very clingy and just wanted me to hold her.  Which I did.  Then around 8pm it all went down hill...fast.  At the end we put her in a blanket as she couldn't perch anymore and had her favorite toy close.  I put her on my bed and son and I stroked her, staying close.  Then she jumped up and went in a massive seizure, which ended in her death.  Son said he was 'shocked' and I was very sad but also relived she wouldn't have to go through any more shots, meds, or trauma.



































RIP Jenny.  We'll miss you.


2.  Okay, wiping my eyes, other more upbeat stuff.


Just finished reading Jennifer Lynn Barnes's latest about a girl that is able to see into criminal minds: a profiler.  This is a fast-paced, action packed novel with interesting insights into the mind of a teen Profiler.















3. Finished SEDUCTION:

I'm a huge sucker for great witchy tales and this one didn't disappoint.  Plus, extra points for being set in Paris, France.  This is the third book in a series.  **So of course, I ordered the other books!















4. One word on how I feel about this book:

LOVE



The banter between Ren and Ivy is hilarious and filled with tons of tension.  Both are fae hunters in New Orleans.  Not only is the setting hot but so are the characters.

Sigh.

Totally in love with Armentrout's writing which I swear gets more awesome with each new book she writes.










5.

Ooh, got an email that told me that I got another 5 star Amazon review on CROSSED OUT.

LOVE!!!!!

**And yes, I'm almost done with the revision for the sequel.


****Guilty pleasure:

This Saturday I'll be going to OCCRWA meeting which will have the editor of Entangled speaking on revising.  Can't wait.

Plus, I earned another rose!  OCCRWA has a ceremony that they give out roses to those who sign contracts and also recognize self-pubbed authors too.



I just signed a contract for book three in the goddesses series.  This one will take place in Rome, Italy.  I'm kind of following Audrey Hepburn's later 50s movies with book 2 set in Paris, France and finally ending in Rome.  Plus, thinking of doing a spin-off with Selena and her own adventures.

















Saturday, January 03, 2015

#Wipmadness Week 1 of 2015!

Are you all ready to start 2015 off with a bang?

Photo courtesy of http://blog.localed.co/










I don't know about the rest of you but this last month with illness of my pet cockatiel, stress of the holidays, deadlines, and just life in general, I ended up suffering a mega bout of blahs or:



Photo courtesy of http://revisionwarriors.blogspot.com/




















To start the new year off, let's share what our goals are for this month.  Nothing too big but enough to get our creative juices running again!

**Love this blog post from YA author Shannon Delany on setting achievable writing goals:

http://linkis.com/uncommonya.com/1/pos/tutk0

Favorite advice: ...“But what if I don’t achieve a goal?” you ask.  “Worse yet—what if I can’t achieve the goal that is really the first of my building blocks of my success?”Then adjust. Forgive yourself and adjust your goals and maybe your timelineBe realistic and—perhaps most important—be kind to yourself....Shannon Delany

I'll start:

My goal is to finish this revision and send off to publisher!  I'm almost there!  So this should be doable.

Also will say 'no' more.  I just did this the other day as I 'dropped' out of a group as I wasn't doing my share and frankly I couldn't 'connect' with the other writers in the group.  I think they felt the same way too.


Remember, I'm in your corner, cheering you all on!   And here's a little Audrey Hepburn to perk you all up!





**Also thinking of giving away a book if you comment here and RT on Twitter/FB!

Here's a photo of some books I'm giving away.



A couple contemporary YAs and one epic fantasy.  I'll announce winner next Monday.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Friday Five

1. The weather down here in Southern Ca has dropped down below the 30s!  Freezing!  Sure, those back East and other parts of the US this is probably not that cold but to us?  We're not used to it.  And to add to all the craziness?


It snowed!

Those are the Saddleback mountains right by my home.


This is right outside my upstairs bathroom window.  See that snow?

The night before was brutal with high winds, rain, and snow.  Luckily we didn't have any damage though my cockatiel Jenny, isn't doing too well in this weather.

Sigh.


2.  Just finished my part of the Cybils!  Love this group so much!

3.  Finished reading the latest Jo Knowles book!

Loved this book something fierce!

YABC review: http://www.yabookscentral.com/yafiction/17631-read-between-the-lines

Teaser: A must read for Knowles fans and those who love engaging, heart-felt stories with realistic characters that give us a glimpse not only into their worlds but our own.

4.  Right now reading:

I know, you'd think after reading some 205 nominated Sci-fi/fantasy books I'd just want to read something else but this blurb got my attention.  Girl likes a boy.  Break up.  Go to Paris( key word there: Paris). Witchy things in a haunted house happen.  Yup.  I'm hooked.

5. Loving the voice of this one:

Listening on tape and the protagonist's voice is hilarious, edgy, and someone I would love to hang with!

**Guilty Pleasure:

Hoping that I don't have to visit vet...again.

Sigh.  Mega sigh.

Will try to grab a Starbucks Peppermint Mocha drink while they're still here!  Son gave me a $20 gift card!  He knows what I like!

Photo courtesy of Starbucks.com