Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Burp Now!

I will never forget the day I got "the call."

I knew she would be calling--about 4, I think. Or was it six? Alright. FINE. I forget some things. But I remember getting my list of questions all ready to go, the ones my friend J had sent me. I got myself a bottle of Coke Zero, some paper, and two pens in case I wrote so much that one ran out. Or maybe one would end up not working or snap in my massive monkey paw. And I sat down on my daughter's bed--I'm not sure why except perhaps that was the only bed made that day. Grabbed the house phone and my cell phone and planted myself on top of the comforter a full twenty minutes before our scheduled time. In case she called early, see.

I was jittery. Could hardly sit still. So I sat there playing with my feet, just cuz. Banged my head on the headboard a few times. Sang a 30 Seconds to Mars song. Searrrrrrrch annnnnd Destrooooooooy. Chewed on my pen. Broke the little dangly thing on the pen cap. Drew little hearts all around my list of questions.

Then my husband came home from work, peeked in the room: "Did she call yet?"

And I freaked: GET OUT! SHE HASN'T CALLED YET! YOU'RE GONNA FOUL UP MY MOJO!

Okay, it was a little less disturbing than that. Possibly. But that's how I remember it.

Hubs quietly slipped out, muttering something about neuroses and hug therapy.

Then I proceeded to drink an entire bottle of Coke Zero. Gulp. Gulp. Gulp.

Then I texted my mom and a friend something like: "Oh crap. I just tanked down an entire bottle of Coke Zero. What if I burp on the phone!!!!"

Then they pretty much texted back: BURP NOW!

So I forced out a good burp or two. Felt better, but still worried. I knew there was at least one more good one in there. I chewed off a nail (not on my toes), and then the phone rang.

Cleared the throat. "Hell--hello?"

"Hi. Carolina? This is Vickie Motter."

Okay, so the hellos were possibly not exactly like that. I might have said, like Hi. Or maybe Hey there. Probably not. But something like that. And then Vickie asked me how I was doing, and I said, "Nervous," and she kind of laughed a little, and reassured me that it was normal.

And then holy mother&#@%!@$ $#!@. I did the unthinkable.

I proceeded to tell Vickie about needing to burp. How I had just texted my mom and friend that I tanked down Coke Zero and they texted back BURP NOW, and that I was terrified I would burp in her ear.

Cue awkward laughter (Vickie). Gasp (me). Soooooo.

Yeah.

And then we talked. For like, I don't know. An hour? About my work, work we both love (which, dude, we have very similar taste), plans for my career and stuff. And then at the end, like out of the blue, she says, "I'd like to offer you representation."

Crickets.

Choke on my saliva.

Then I say, "Um. Give me a sec."

Awkward laughter (Vickie). "Take your time." Or something like that.

In case of an emergency: Bend over. Tuck head between your knees. Try not to puke up Coke Zero.

So, I sputtered about something. I forget what now. Possibly something resembling a curse word, and then she asked me if I had any questions, and I said, "Well, I have a sheet of paper with a bunch of questions on it that my friend sent me," and then I slapped myself for being such a lame-ass to admit such a thing. And then I proceeded to ask her questions and every now and then I would mumble, "No sorry, that was a stupid question. Bad question!" and move on to the next good one.

Yeah.

That was my introduction to Vickie.

And she offered anyway. Didn't even rescind. And when I sent her the signed contract, she sent me one with her signature and everything. All legal and stuff.

Lesson is?

Be your lame-ass self. The right people will value you anyway.

 

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Ohhhhh, I switched to using my domain. Isn't it grown-up looking? Only problem is it didn't save all the old TWEET counts for each post. So, yeah. Not much I can do about it. Except tweet all my old posts again (Can we say douche?). I've considered just getting rid of the tweet button, but it is oh so convenient. Blerg.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Interview with Author Hannah Moskowitz

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Hannah Moskowitz, author of the YA novels BREAK and INVINCIBLE SUMMER. I recap our interview below, in which Hannah dishes about YA, middle grade, music, and her venture into new territory.


Carol: Hi Hannah! So happy to have you visit. I spruced up the place just for you. What do you think of my new sculpture?


Hannah: It’s interesting. When you told me you were putting a third nipple on her, I was concerned, but I think it worked really well.


I'm telling you, a third nipple never fails to wow.


Okay then, in three words or less, please tell us ALL about yourself.


I’m awesome.


Precisely! Now, in ten words or more, please tell us about your next release Invincible Summer.


Invincible Summer is about this kid named Chase and his four siblings over the course of four summers. It’s about the way he finds to connect with them, when there are so many things that get in the way: age differences, his older brother’s tendency to run away, the language barrier between him and his Deaf little brother, and that girl across the street. It’s either pretty or very ugly in all its places.


A beautiful description for an amazing book. I'm curious about what inspired it. The last couple of weeks, you’ve been posting songs from your playlist for Invincible Summer on your blog. Is this something you do for all your books? If so, how much influence does the music have on your stories? Or do the stories influence the song choices?


It’s something I do for all the YAs. And it’s definitely more the story influencing the song choices, at least most of the time--less so with Invincible Summer. But the songs have their say as well. They’re good for giving my ideas for plot points when I’m stuck.


If you were to choose one song to represent Invincible Summer, what would it be?


“Not Just Sometimes But Always” by Idlewild, no question.


Dang, I'm amazed by how well that song captures the spirit of your book--the tone, the lyrics, the rhythm. It's gorgeous. What inspired you to write Invincible Summer?


“Not Just Sometimes But Always.”  And the album Narrow Stairs by Death Cab for Cutie. And I had wanted to write a book with ASL for a very long time.


The use of ASL in this felt so genuine and vivid. I was blown away.


Switching gears--from what I’ve read, you wrote a number of books before Invincible Summer. Out of all the books you’ve written, which would you say has been the toughest to write? Why?


Like ten of ‘em, yeah. There was one that was trunked that was hard just because I went through so many drafts with it. I must have done 15 drafts of that book. I really wanted it to work. I tried everything.


Definitely a relief to know I'm not the only one this happens to. I read you have a new novel coming out at the end of the year, a middle grade called Zombie Tag. What inspired you to write a middle grade? How would you compare the experience of writing it to your experience of writing YA?


Middle grades are often some of my favorite books, so it’s a genre that I absolutely love. And I wanted to branch out from YA. I tried adult, but that didn’t work out so well--I think I need to grow up a little more first--but trying MG was ridiculously fun, and it stuck. Right now it’s still much harder for me than writing YA, because it’s new, but it’s really awesome. I love being able to switch from one to the other. It makes it much harder to get bored.


I think I may never be grown up enough to write adult. Would you tell us a little bit about what you’re working on at the moment? Any new projects?


I just finished a draft of an MG about a boy who is desperate to get to prom and tell the boy he loves that he loves him, told from the point of view of his long-suffering best friend. And I’m slowly working on a YA I love that it is intimidating the hell out of me. It’s a fantasy book, actually, and it’s about how we deal with history and what happens after war. But really it’s a love story. It is such a total love story.


Fantasy. Romance. This feels like new territory for you. LOVE it. Can't wait.
Is there anything in particular you’re hoping readers will take away from Invincible Summer?


I hope that they like it! And that’s really it.


 
Alright, it’s time for some invasive questions. London or Fiji? Beans or filet mignon? Croissant and cappuccino or biscuits and gravy? Chocolate or Jared Leto?



London, though that’s a tough one. Filet Mignon, and that was not. Biscuits and gravy. Chocolate on Jared Leto.

Mmmm, chocolatey Jared. Lethal combination.


Dude, it’s been so AWEsome to have you here, I want to capture this moment forever with a
picture. Smile.








ABOUT HANNAH:

Hannah Moskowitz is a YA and MG writer. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with too many cats. She's afraid of escalators. Her books feature brothers, sexual ambiguity, and babies. She hates camping and was a very poor Girl Scout. She is an English major at the University of Maryland.

She likes milk more than water. Summer more than winter. Love more than hate.
 
Visit Hannah's blog about the publishing industry or follow heron Twitter.

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Thank you so much for stopping by for a chat, Hannah! It was a pleasure and an honor to work with you.

Thank you to all of you for popping in. Please do say hello to Hannah. Isn't she awesome? Hello, chocolate Jared. I'm SOLD.

INVINCIBLE SUMMER is now available. I've read it. It's unbelievably good. Like, ridiculous good. LOVE. You want to read it.

Also, be sure to check out what the other Bookanistas are highlighting this week:


Elana Johnson visits Dark and Hollow Places
LiLa Roecker gets silly over Spoiled
Christine Fonseca has a passion for Possession – with giveaway
Shannon Messenger marvels at Moonglass – with giveaway
Jamie Harrington adores Invincible Summer
Shelli Johannes-Wells is in the grip of Possession
Scott Tracey bathes in Blood Magic
Jessi Kirby praises Playing Hurt
Bethany Wiggins delves into Divergent
Shana Silver presents a Guestanista gushing over Between Here and Forever
Carrie Harris sings out about Shift
Rosemary Clement-Moore applauds Abandon
Sarah Frances Hardy enjoys Me Jane
Matt Blackstone loves Like Mandarin
Corrine Jackson delights in The Duff
Stasia Ward Kehoe discusses Displacement
Beth Revis goes into Black Hole Sun 


ALSO, if you haven't yet seen it, please be sure to check out Ricki Schultz' interview with my agent, the fabulous Vickie Motter on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog. You will see why she's amazing.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

In the Bath with Jared Leto

Last Thursday, I got bloody with the AMAZING Kelly Polark and Jared Leto sort of at the 30 Seconds to Mars concert. Hands down the most fun I've ever had getting bloody.

Bloody freaking bath of the century.

But before you freak because seriously there were plenty of people even at the concert who thought we were nuts, 30 Seconds to Mars likes to have themed concerts, and this particular one had a BloodBall theme. Which meant BLOOD. And for all those who didn't come bloody enough, they had blood booths set up.


DSC05463
Me in the blood booth. This was just before I slammed my eyes closed.

Ever seen anyone smile like this when getting splattered with blood? This is the influence of Jared Leto.


I don't normally enjoy blood. I swear.



DSC05465

Here we are after the bloody splattering, trying to clean up a little.

Note to self: next time just let it dry. Smeared blood dries in a smear and then doesn't.come.off.

Also, doesn't Kelly look hot? I freaking LOVE that skirt.




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Right before this picture, a random, unbloody lady asked to take a picture of us. With HER camera. Err? Okey doke.







DSC05473
We saw these guys up ahead of us in the tightly-packed crowd, but we were so determined to take a picture with them because seriously LOOK at them that we pushed our way through the horde and then nabbed a bystander to take the picture and ever so kindly forced people out of the way so we could get a great shot.

It's amazing what you can do after two red bulls with vodka.*

Oh, little story. I was at the bar and some guy tries to buy me a drink. He's loaded out of his mind and WTF. So, no. I ignored Mr. Overfriendly and paid the poor bartender who was freaking because the guy was yelling at him to take his money. And then as I was walking away, Mr. Overfriendly offered to give me his extra VIP golden ticket. So, I hesitated. Shrug. And then kindly told him no. That I preferred to surf the crowd on the main floor, thankyouverymuch. And then I possibly sorta kinda regretted not accepting the drink, because okay, he was so loaded, he was on the verge of either passing out on the counter or getting kicked out. He never would've found me again. Also, drinks were $8. 

DSC05500

Here is The Man JARED himself.

Dang. Did you hear that? Yeah, I totally sighed just now. The guy looks like a bloody dreamboat.

You should've seen him when he was spitting blood into the crowd. I about fainted.





DSC05514
Dude, I was transfixed. Every time he came to our end of the stage (because we actually managed to get near the front), I just stopped jumping and screaming and just stood there, staring.

Like a goat.

(Ever seen a goat? Man, they are serious starers.)

If it weren't for the two giant dudes shoulder to shoulder in front of me, I likely would've floated to the stage, taken the mic from his hand and begged him to spit blood on me.

Which brings me to my next point.

Kelly? Yeah, she actually got on the stage.  I wish I'd gotten my phone camera out. It was so freaking awesome. I didn't even know she was up there. I just turned around and the girlie was gone. And then one of the signs she'd brought shot up into the air on the stage, and I started jumping up and down with my sign OMG she made it and it was just magic. You can see Kelly's post on the concert RIGHT HERE.

I'm so tempted to go see them again in June. SO tempted.


Just for your viewing pleasure: 30 Seconds to Mars' HURRICANE video. It's up to you whether you watch the CENSORED or EXPLICIT version. I'm off to watch it for the bazijillionth time.

Oh god. Yeah.

Sigh.

I've got to go see Jared and 30STM again. GOT to.



*This was me with the red bull, not Kelly. Although Kelly is total badass at getting through the horde.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Little Ferrets in Our Writing, Words to Live By from Anita Miller

Today I'm sick. Really sick. So it's a perfect day to let my friend Anita Laydon Miller take over my blog. Which she was going to do anyway, but now it seems like fate.

Please give her a HUGE welcome. She's pretty amazing.


Little Ferrets in Our Writing

by Anita Laydon Miller


A little less than a year ago, I was at an MFA lecture. It was summer in Pennsylvania in a room with no air conditioning. The lecturer was David Morrell of RAMBO fame. Morrell seemed like a nice guy, but I sat there hot, tired and grouchy. I wasn’t getting a lot out of his lecture. Or so I thought.

Morrell talked about “ferrets.” He said we all have ferrets in our lives…little creatures that dig into our psyches. He said sometimes these ferrets show up in our writing, and the ferrets can make the writing feel more authentic, real.

I thought, “What a bunch a poo. I don’t have ferrets.”

Except here I am now, thinking of all the friggin’ ferrets in my writing. They’re everywhere, digging tunnels between my words.

I recently self-published EARTHLING HERO. It’s a kids’ fiction ebook. A sci fi. How could I have ferrets in a work like that, right? Well, I do.

EarthlingHero
In one of the scenes, the alien kid (he’s come to Earth to help his Earthling clone save the world) is in a cave. Part of the cave is filled with water, and Axe (the alien) has to get across the pond in order to complete his mission. It’s funny, because this kid is afraid of almost nothing, but he’s afraid of this small body of water.

Hmm. Guess who else has a fear of water. That’s right. Me. In fact, I just learned how to swim a couple months ago—thanks to a very patient swim instructor and loads of encouragement from my family.

I’m working on a YA right now. Suicide is an underlying theme. Recently, somebody asked me why I was drawn to the subject. It’s weird, because I hadn’t wondered why until I was asked. And when I answered the question, I thought of (duh) one of my favorite cousins who killed herself several years back.

Of course I have other ferrets, but I won’t bore you with them. What I will say, though, is I’m glad I sweated through Morrell’s lecture. It helped me understand my writing and myself better. And now I consciously search for my ferrets and find ways to incorporate them into my writing--my work has a more authentic feel with my ferrets included, and I save cash by avoiding therapy.

And while we’re on the subject of saving cash, EARTHLING HERO is available for only $.99! It’s a great family read-aloud (links below) and can be read on PCs and Macs, as well as ereaders and iPhones/Touches/Pods/Pads, etc.

SMASHWORDS
AMAZON
BARNES & NOBLE

Please feel free to tell me about your ferrets, ask me questions about epublishing, or just say “Hello.” I’ll be stopping by several times throughout the day.

Thank you, Carolina!

P.S. In EARTHLING HERO, there’s a tortilla-making scene. The aliens try out a bunch of different toppings for their homemade tortillas. See this short video to find out my favorite tortilla topping.




Thanks so much, Anita! What a great post. I think we all have ferrets in our writing, those little issues that worm their way into our writers' psyches. Understanding our fears and tackling them head on can work wonders, I think--can do everything from helping to dismantle writer's block to understanding our motivation for writing the things we do.

Also, that has to be the most amazing topping for tortillas. Even in my sick-dog delirium, I am now craving that bit of deliciousness.


****************

On a little side note, guys, let me tell you that you really want to give EARTHLING HERO a shot. I'm telling you, just the first chapter is worth more than the 99 cents. Yeah, 99 CENTS. Your kids will love this book. You'll love it. Fast read. So cute, so fun. SO.WELL.DONE. And you don't need an e-reader (I don't have one). On Smashwords, you can download it straight onto your computer.

EARTHLING HERO

You can also find Anita at her website, her blog, and her middle grade blog. Please be sure to stop by and say hello.

Monday, April 11, 2011

To Love a Writer...Can Really Suck

lovewriting Click image for source.

I can't imagine being in a love relationship with a writer. Historically, we haven't had the best luck on the love front. Have you asked yourself why?

According to Arthur Plotnik in The Elements of Authorship (a really old book I've had for ages), all authors experience these three phases:

1. l'enfant terrible--the phase of the angry young writer ready to take the world by storm. "They feel the juice of genius running through their fingers, and they thrust their rough drafts into the mugs of loved ones as graciously as Cagney served grapefruit to his gal"(121). It's in this phase that loved ones sort of get shoved aside, neglected for the love of a story.

2. Euphoria--perhaps the most obnoxious phase of all, in which the angry young writer manages to gain some success. "For the average writer in euphoria, the eyes spin like wheels of fire while the lips churn out magalomaniacal ravings--'...me-my-agent  me-my-publisher me-my-major book chains me-my-miniseries me-my-subrightsrollingin...'"(121). It is in this phase that the loved ones won't be able to get a word in edgewise. They will have to put up with your overstuffed self-promotion while having to set aside their own successes and/or concerns. The only joy that will be received well is the joy for you-your-writing.

3. Crisis of Confidence--this is a phase that might actually occur before or after euphoria, but no matter what, it will always occur. Because "eventually the light dims even for the most triumphant books" (122). Those that haven't published will fear they will never publish, and those that do publish fear they are one-hit wonders unable to write something worth publishing ever again. This is a phase that torments the loved ones quite possibly as much as the writer. There's just nothing loved ones can do to make it better--no words, no devotion, no reassurance. It's a crisis a writer must work through on their own, and this leaves loved ones feeling helpless and sometimes unloved, especially if the writer turns inward.


Okay, that's how Arthur puts it, pretty much. Here's how others might think it goes--7 phases.

1. OMG, I am so freaking AWEsome, Loved One. This is the next Twilight-Harry Potter. I can write way better than Stephenie Meyer, too, and I just know it's gonna be an 8-book series that will make millions, no problem. I totally wrote it, Loved One, all 235,000 words of YA epicosity. Yeah, I sent it to everyone in my address book. Isn't that awesome?

2. I don't understand these rejections, Loved One. Who would send me back my own query with "Ha Ha Ha Ha" stamped in red across the front? Seriously. They just don't get it. It's totally their loss.

3. OMG, I suck, Loved One. I'm the worst writer in the world. I will never publish. I want to die in a totally tragic way, like of some fatal disease that makes me so beautiful they'll preserve me forever in a glass box.

4. I'm sorry, Loved One. I just can't look at a blank screen any more. I've decided to go make a living stuffing pickles into jars. I hope you don't mind. I need to retreat into the mundane for awhile. Sorry, that means no sex.

5. I'm sorry Loved One, my muse has struck once again. I must retreat into my cave to write. Sorry, that means no sex.

6. OMG, I sold!!! I sold!!!! Let's go have sex and talk about my boooooooook and how awesome I am!!!!! (and on and on and on until the book comes out and then for a long time after). Wait. Why are you leaving, Loved One? Don't leave. I haven't told you about that awesome review I just got. Waiiiiiit! The audio rights just sold to Papa New Guinea!!

7. OMG, everybody hates me. I suck. I am TOO awesome. Plus, I'll never be able to write another book as good as my first. I'm doomed. Please come back, Loved One. I need you. You're the only one that knows how to make my smoothies just right. Also, you're the only one that would sleep with me, and seriously, look at me. I'm a writer. I haven't bathed in six days.

These are possibly exaggerated, but you get the drift. Do you ever worry that so many writers have really sucked at having relationships? Is there a way for writers to avoid losing their loved ones?

Sure. Don't be a self-absorbed a$$. Do not love your stories more than your people. It's that simple. You don't have to be insane about it. Treat writing as a business. Treat your people as your life.



Source: Plotnik, Arthur. The Elements of Authorship. (New York: toExcel Press, 2000), 121-2.

Friday, April 8, 2011

All Good Parties Should End with a Poke

Thank you to all who stopped by and visited with Jewelz yesterday, my teen guest reviewer, particularly if you commented so she knew you were here. It's so important to reach out to others, especially to those starting out--and most especially to the youngest among us. We all need to feel validated, but those starting out, dipping their toes into a new pool, often need a boost to jumpstart their confidence. It's amazing how much a comment, a tweet, an email, or just a wave from across the room, can do to make a person feel welcome.

The only problem is that I'm still trying to catch up with comments from yesterday's post and blog hopping, so once again, I've disabled comments (on this post) until I have more time to interact with you guys (which will hopefully be soon).** For now, I just wanted to post the winners of my Agent Signing Celebration.

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I want to thank all of you who offered your congratulations and support of my agent signing. It's been an incredible journey, full of ups and downs, but I feel remarkably blessed to have signed with Vickie Motter of Andrea Hurst Literary. And I feel just as blessed to be a part of this amazing writer/reader community online and offline. Thank you to all who entered all the celebration giveaways as well.

The winners are:

1. Signed Hardback of Passing Strange by Daniel Waters
Jamie Burch

2. Signed Hardback of Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
Russo

3. Signed copy of Escaping into the Open: the Art of Writing True by Elizabeth Berg
Laura Pauling

4. A Kindle Wireless Reading Device
Roni Loren

5. A 1st page critique from my agent Vickie Motter
Sheri Larsen

Conngratulations to all the winners! Please be sure to contact me so I can get you your prizes. Huge thanks to all who entered and were all around supportive. I appreciate you. As in all of my giveaways, I feel awful I don't have enough prizes to go around, but especially for this particular giveaway, which is so close to my heart. But rest assured I'll be having another giveaway soon. SOON soon.

I'll be back to blogging normally soon, too. I have some great posts lined up. Okay, I'm not that organized. But I have some ideas anyway. Fun interviews and reviews. And for the first time, really, I'll begin posting on my writing process and some tips and tricks I've used, for whatever it's worth. Among other things. I did actually go to school for this, but I swear it will not be crazy educational. Like I won't wear my glasses  or point a stick at you. Although I might poke you with it. Sorry. That's fun. Pokey poke.

Capture


I heart you. Thanks for stopping by. Poke.


**If you choose to comment on a different post, then I will of course reply. Or visit you. Or both.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bringing you Jewelz and Clarity

Not like it's any secret at this point, but I'm busy. So I thought it would be a perfect time for a Guestanista book review. But I didn't want to bring you just ANY book review. How about a YA book review by someone in its target audience?

Meet the Book Reviewer


Jewelz is smart, funny, and wicked talented. And she writes amazing reviews. I suspect we'll be seeing big things in this teenager's future.

Jewelz, in her own words:


Me! D Some teens live to text, I live to read! (Oh wait I like texting too..) I am a freak when it comes to correct spelling and accurate capitalization. I have a few obsessions: PARIS, Zebra print, Wicked the musical, and SPARKLES! Okay, maybe that was more than a few.


Okay, how amazing is Jewelz? You can find her at her own book blog YA Book Diva Reviews. Be sure to stop by and say hello. Give her a follow while you're there, okay? She rocks.







CLARITY by Kim Harrington


Clarity
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 242
For ages 13+ for very limited mild language

Summary: When you can see things others can't, where do you look for the truth?


This paranormal murder mystery will have teens reading on the edge of their seats.


Clarity "Clare" Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It's a gift.


And a curse.


When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare's ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case--but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare's brother--who has supernatural gifts of his own--becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most?


JEWELZ' REVIEW


Clarity by Kim Harrington is a thrilling book that makes you keep turning pages for more. There were literally parts in this book where my mouth would drop all the way to the floor. (I read most of this book at school so I had explaining to do, due to my shocked face!)

Clarity, or Clare for short, was such a touching character that even now that I have finished reading the book her personality is still stuck in my head. Luckily, she is an amazing character so I don’t mind! I honestly wish she was real. Who doesn’t want a friend who can touch objects and see visions?!

Now, I am a BIG softy for romance. In this book I definitely got the happy feeling inside of me when the two boys, Justin and Gabriel, fight for Clare’s attention. I love both of the boys, and I am not going to lie, I have a semi crush on both of them. I think I am going to start a list of AMAZING boys in books. Justin and Gabriel would definitely be on that list. If you are looking for boys that are “swoon worthy” you have come to the right book. I was worried there wouldn’t be a whole lot of romance in this book and it would just be a plain mystery. NOT AT ALL! The romance and mystery balanced out perfectly.

I will be the first person to tell you I am a scaredy cat, about multiple things. At first I was worried that since this book was about a murder, it might put me in one of those “moods”. Luckily this book wasn’t too heavy on the murder. It was enough to have you on the edge of your seat but not so much that you were scared to go to sleep the next night due to the risk of nightmares.

This book was not predictable AT ALL. I know there are some books that you can guess the killer in a second, but in this book you couldn’t guess it if you tried. I really had no idea who the murderer was. (Don’t worry I won’t spoil it for all of you who haven’t read the book!)

I absolutely loved this book. I finished this book in less than 24 hours and that was all during school! (I was lucky enough to have some free time in math to read it!)I had to force myself to put it down to listen to my teacher! After all I am a star student... sometimes. ;) I actually have to bring it back to school for my friend because she wants to read it now!

Now hopefully you are grabbing your keys or scrolling up to click that link to go buy this book. I wouldn’t even be offended if you weren’t reading this right now because you are either leaving for the book store, or adding it to your virtual cart. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystery, and some romance. (That would be me.) I loved it! 5 star worthy.

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Thank you so much for your Guestanista review, Jewelz! So insightful. You get to the heart of what makes a book a worthy read. CLARITY is definitely one to pick up.

CLARITY is now available.

Be sure to also check out what the other Bookanistas are highlighting today:

Bookanistas_logo
Christine Fonseca Fangirls Cassie Clare
Shannon Messenger Accessorizes with White Cat/Red Glove
Jamie Harrington Praises Possession
Shelli Johannes-Wells Admires Shimmer
Carolina M Valdez Wants You To Find Clarity
Megan Miranda Discovers Where She Went
Jessi Kirby Loves The Liar Society
Shana Silver Seeks Clarity
Rosemary Clement-Moore is Overwhelmed by Wither
Corrine Jackson J'Adores Anna and the French Kiss
Stasia Ward Kehoe Cries Over One of those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies
Sarah Frances Hardy Marvels Over Matched
LiLa Roecker Brags About Bookanistas Giving Back
Elana Johnson counts down to Possession with a "Tag, You're It" contest!


Don't forget to stop by and visit Jewelz at the YA Book Diva Reviews blog!

Thanks again, Jewelz!


P.S. Winners of my Agent Signing Celebration will be posted tomorrow. Promise.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bookanistas Give Back (HUGE Contest)

Scurrying to get revisions finished, but I wanted to post some news and links and lovely things.


BOOKANISTAS GIVE BACK

RUN CHARLIE ANGEL

From the very gracious and giving Myra McEntire:
Charitable donations are a very personal thing. There are so many ways our hard earned money can help others, and lately our world seems to be breaking into pieces around us. Needs are many and great. The Bookanistas want to give back, so in the coming months, we're going to be looking for ways to pour into communities, both bookish and worldwide.
Myra has taken the initiative to get the ball rolling on the first Bookanistas Give Back event. Through a series of coincidences, she has gotten to know Charlie Bewley, Demetri from the Twilight Saga films, and learned a few weeks ago that he was running an ultramarathon in an attempt to raise funds for a cancer hospital. Read this gorgeous post to learn why. According to Myra, "His heart on the matter came through so truthfully and authentically (two of my favorite things), that I wanted to find a way to help. " And the Bookanistas have agreed to help her and Charlie out.

So for the month of April, we've decided to support Charlie Bewley's Run For Your Life campaign. In exchange for a small donation at the Run For Your Life page, Charlie will enter you in a drawing to win a private, advance screening (for twenty people) of Breaking Dawn. (The Bookanistas have NOTHING to do with that part - that's all Charlie and Summit Entertainment.)

For our part, we're making financial contributions as well as offering up prizes to encourage all of YOU to do what you can. There are tons of prizes including signed books and critiques. Go to MYRA'S BLOG to see the rules and to enter. Here are the prizes:


JUST ADDED by an anonymous donor!:
A signed copy of CITY OF FALLEN ANGELS by Cassie Clare


From Veronica Rossi:
A fifty page manuscript critique


A signed copy of WHITE CAT and a signed copy of RED GLOVE by Holly Black

A 50 page manuscript critique

From Jessi Kirby: 
A signed copy of MOONGLASS

A swag pack of POSSESS goodies and a query critique

A 50 page manuscript critique 

A signed copy of AUDITION

A query and first chapter critique

A signed copy of LIAR SOCIETY and bookmarks


A box of ten mystery advance reader copies

A Dystopian Trifecta of Awesome - a signed copy of DARK AND HOLLOW PLACES by Carrie Ryan, a signed copy of MATCHED by Ally Condie, and a signed ARC of Elena's own POSSESSION

Signed copies of EMOTIONAL INTENSITY IN GIFTED STUDENTS and 101 SUCCESS SECRETS FOR GIFTED KIDS


A signed copy of DEMONGLASS by Rachel Hawkins (AND Rachel is throwing in a signed Demonglass totebag), a signed copy of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by Beth Revis, a signed copy of TORMENT by Lauren Kate, a unicorn, and a signed and annotated advance reader copy of HOURGLASS.



Also, I'm offering a chance to win:

(click on covers for more info)

Signed ARC of BLOOD MAGIC
by Tessa Gratton

BloodMagic


Signed Hardcover of RIVAL
by Sara Bennett Wealer

rival


Signed XVI by Julia Karr

XVI_CVR
MY REVIEW of XVI

For a list of rules and all the prizes, please GO HERE.

Any little bit you can give is welcome and appreciated. If you can't contribute financially, but would like to help spread the word, please feel free to blog, FB, tweet, etc. You can click below to tweet this post:

Thank you for your contribution.


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Second:
balloons & streamers

I will be posting winners for my Agent Signing Blog Party Celebration as soon as possible. I'm tallying up entries now. It's quite a process with so many entrants/entries, and I can't seem to find an easy way to do it, especially right now that I'm so swamped. So please bear with me. I'll get them posted soon.


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Third:

I normally try to make it a point to acknowledge comments in some way, whether it's to reply to your comments or visit your blogs. It really pains me when I can't do that. And right now, I'm severely limited on time, so I hope you'll understand why I've disabled the comments on this post. I really did just want to help promote this really worthwhile cause and to direct you to Myra's blog. Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you know how much it means to me that you were here.