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Showing posts from May, 2012

New Releases -- Keep Holding On, Monument 14, A Girl Named Digit

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Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti  Noelle's life is all about survival. Even her best friend doesn't know how much she gets bullied, or the ways her mom neglects her. Noelle's kept so much about her life a secret for so long that when her longtime crush Julian Porter starts paying attention to her, she's terrified. Surely it's safer to stay hidden than to risk the pain of a broken heart. But when the antagonism of her classmates takes a dramatic turn, Noelle realizes it's time to stand up for herself--and for the love that keeps her holding on.
 Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne Monument 14 #1 Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.

Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish y…

RTW -- Conferences I'd Love to Attend

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This Week's Topic:

What book and/or writing conference would you love to go to?
I'd love to go to just about any of them! BEA is probably the one I want to go to the most. So many amazing people from the industry are there and the ARCs! SCBWI is another big one because it's all about children's books, including YA. Basically I'd love to go anywhere that large numbers of book lovers gather.
The one I would give anything to go to, though, would be ComicCon. Castle has been there, Doctor Who has been there, Torchwood has been there. It sounds like a nerd's paradise.

Naming Characters

Sometimes the hardest part of starting a new WIP is just figuring out what to name the characters. Should the name have meaning? Should the name be common or more exotic? What spelling should it use? All are questions that have to be answered in the course of choosing names for characters. Here are a few ways to find names for your characters.

Think
Sometimes all I have to do to name a character is think for a minute and the right name will pop into my head. I have to be careful with this method, though, because generally the first names I think of belong to people I know. I don't like naming characters after certain people because, in my experience, those characters then tend to change to reflect the real-life person in looks and/or personality.

Ask around
I use this one most commonly when I don't have internet access and I need a name fast. One good way to get names is to just ask friends. This will give you a wider pool to work with than your own memory without as much tain…

Week in Short

It was a decent week. I started my summer goal of watching every episode of NCIS. I also made the mistake of watching the pilot of White Collar. I made it halfway through the first season in one day while I watched my productivity drop to zero.

Song of the Week: Guide You Home by Sugarland


Blood-Red Pencil:
Why novelists should write flash 

Nathan Bransford: 
"There is no 'us' vs. 'them'": Traditional and self-publishing  


Querytracker:
Free internet tools for writers

Rachelle Gardner: 
What does the editing process look like? 
All about advances 

Have a great Memorial weekend and I'll see you on Tuesday! 

Character Bucket Lists

The other day StumbleUpon brought me to a list of "225 Things to Do Before You Die." As I was going through them -- and adding a few to my own bucket list -- I started to wonder what my characters would write on their own bucket lists. This is what they said.

Kaye
Adopt a mustang Lobby for harsher punishments for animal abusersRide in an endurance raceLearn to drive a horse-drawn carriageSee the World Equestrian Games Skylar
Drive across the United States See Ireland Parachute See an active volcano Get a college degree  Helena
Sleep through the night Explore a castle in England Graduate from high school Collect every state quarterVisit the Australian outback  Troy
Paint murals on every wall of my house Ride a motorcycle across the countryVisit every continent Climb a mountain Learn how to swordfight  I found it very interesting to make these lists and I really learned a lot about my characters. What are on your characters' bucket lists? 

RTW: My Faction

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.


This Week's Topic: What faction are you?
The quiz gave me Dauntless. However, I have trouble picturing myself regularly jumping on and off moving trains so I'm not sure if I would be a good candidate.   Erudite has always been the faction that I've found most interesting. The people there thirst for knowledge. They read everything and study everything. It's the only faction that I could really see myself living in, though I feel a little weird saying that. 

Favorite Classics

I was one of those kids in school that absolutely loved to read...except for books assigned for class. I got through high school on a combination of skimming through parts of assigned reading and Sparknotes. But there were a few classics that I found myself reading avidly despite the fact that I would be tested on them. 


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This is definitely one of my favorites. The writing is beautiful, the story is not at all slow, and it really gave me a lot to think about. Someday I'm going to buy it and add it to my collection so that I can read it again when I'm not under the pressure of a daily sheet of questions.


1984 by George Orwell
Another one of my favorites. It's scary how much of this book rings true in life today.

Animal Farm by George Owell
The only book from my freshman year of high school that I look back on with fondness. Four years later and I'm still pondering it. There's a lot of truth in this one as well.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Insurgent Review

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Insurgent by Veronica Roth  Divergent #2 One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

There are some books that are so engulfing, so absor…

Week in Short

It's been a good week. The season finale of Once Upon a Time was amazing. The perfect blend of drama, answered questions, and loose threads. I can't wait for next season! The last minute of the How I Met Your mother finale is responsible for keeping me watching the show. The NCIS finale literally made me hyperventilate. HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TO US? HOW? NCIS LA's finale was almost as bad. This is going to be the longest summer ever.

Glee's finale isn't until next week but their double-header this week were two of the best episodes in the history of the show. Amazing music and amazing moments.


Tomorrow is the Preakness! It's a toss-up between I'll Have Another and Bodemeister for me. I really think Bodemeister can pull this one off. 

Song of the Week: Flashdance by the Glee cast (Basically every song in those two episodes was amazing but this is the one I'm most addicted to.)


Must Reads:
Querytracker: Revise and resubmit requests 

Blood-Red Pen…

RTW: Fond Memories

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.


  This week’s topic:  What book brings back memories?
The entire Harry Potter series brings back a lot of memories for me. Sorcerer's Stone is one of the earliest books I truly remember reading. My cousin -- a year older than me and a somewhat avid reader at the time -- recommended it to me and let me borrow it. My mom declared that she would read it first and then let me read it if she deemed it "appropriate." 
She read it and while I she really enjoyed it, she wasn't a huge fan but she was okay with me reading it. We were living in the apartment at the time. In the living room, there was a couch and next to the couch we had a side table, one of those with the moveable glass tops so that you cou…

New Releases: Vicious Deep, Changeling, Of Poseidon

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The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova The Vicious Deep #1 For Tristan Hart, everything changes with one crashing wave.

He was gone for three days. Sucked out to sea in a tidal wave and spit back ashore at Coney Island with no memory of what happened. Now his dreams are haunted by a terrifying silver mermaid with razor-sharp teeth.

His best friend Layla is convinced something is wrong. But how can he explain he can sense emotion like never before? How can he explain he’s heir to a kingdom he never knew existed? That he’s suddenly a pawn in a battle as ancient as the gods.

Something happened to him in those three days. He was claimed by the sea…and now it wants him back. 

Changeling by Philippa Gregory The Order of Darkness #1 Italy, 1453. Seventeen-year-old Luca Vero is brilliant, gorgeous—and accused of heresy. Cast out of his religious order for using the new science to question old superstitious beliefs, Luca is recruited into a secret sect: The Order of the Dragon, commissioned by …

Favorite First Kisses

***WARNING: this post contains spoilers for Castle including the season four finale. If you haven't seen it and intend to, GO WATCH IT RIGHT NOW. SERIOUSLY. NOW.***

In honor of the one week anniversary of Castle and Beckett's first real kiss (FINALLY!!!!!) after four long seasons of waiting, here are some of my favorite first kisses from TV and movies.

Note: I'm having trouble embedding Youtube videos so I'm just going to link to them. 

#1: Castle and Beckett 
Castle  I think I've watched it at least twelve times since the finale. If I can ever write a kiss half this amazing, I will be happy. It's four seasons of teasing and sexual tension colliding in one FANTASTIC kiss.

#2: Veronica and Logan Veronica Mars LoVe will always be one of my favorite pairings and this kiss was amazing. Their expressions throughout the scene say it all. #3: Ephram and Amy 
Everwood This first kiss exemplifies their relationship perfectly even though they were so obviously made for each…

Week in Short

That's right! Now that classes are officially over, Week in Shorts are making a comeback. I may also start posting five days a week instead of three, but I'm going to give it a couple weeks to see how this goes before I make the switch.

It's been an interesting week back. I honestly feel like I've been dreaming the last nine months. The high point of my week was the season finale of Castle. I won't spoil it for anyone, but I will say BEST SEASON FINALE EVER. 

Song of the Week: For You by Keith Urban (This is one of those songs that deserves to be blasted full-volume and sung as loud as you can.)

OH MY GOSH THEY'RE REAL. Old yearbook photo shows Harry, Hermione, and Ron. (Also, is it just me or does the guy above Ron to the left look kind of like Neville?)

Must Reads:
YAHighway: How to make a series bible 

News:
Rachelle Gardner is looking for guest bloggers

Blood Red Pencil: 
Grammar ABCs: Lie or Lay  
10 lies you might tell yourself while editing and 10 mo…

RTW: Alternative Uses for Books

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.


This Week's Topic: What's your favorite use for a book besides reading it?
This was a tough one for me because I really don't use books for anything besides reading. I don't use them to hide money or press flowers or anything like that. I almost accepted an old law book that a friend of mine was giving away. The pages were all cut up so that the book formed a box to hide things in. I kind of regret saying no.


When I'm not reading my books, they're all lined up on my shelves (or in some cases stacked around my room because I don't have enough shelf space). The sight of books with their spines sticking out comforts me. Which is why someday I want my office to look like a library. (If you've e…

New Releases: While He Was Away, City of Lost Souls, and Hemlock

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While He Was Away by Karen Schreck All she wants is for him to stay. She's been doing pretty well, pretending he doesn't have to go. But one day, after one last night to remember, she wakes up and there's no denying it anymore. He's gone.

When Penna Weaver's boyfriend goes off to Iraq, she's left facing life without him. As summer sets in, Penna tries to distract herself with work and her art, but the not knowing is slowly driving her crazy. Especially when David stops writing.

She knows in her heart he will come home. But will he be the same boy she fell in love with?

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare #5 in the Mortal Instruments series  The New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments continues—and so do the thrills and danger for Jace, Clary, and Simon. Can the lost be reclaimed? What price is too high to pay for love? Who can be trusted when sin and salvation collide? Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunte…

New Releases -- Purity, When You Were Mine, and Bitterblue

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Purity by Jackson Pearce Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby's father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives -- in other words, no "bad behavior," no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex.

Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision -- to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity.

When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle Rosaline knows that she and Rob are destined to be together. Rose has been waiting for years for Rob to kiss her—and when he finally does, it’s perfect. But then Juliet mov…

RTW: IRL YA Fan Friends

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.



This Week's Topic:What IRL people can you talk to about YA?
I have sadly few people to talk to in real life about YA. Most of my friends only like select series of YA. My roommate loves Cassandra Clare and is completely psyched about Insurgent's release, but she has a affinity for more adult fantasy. I have a friend whose love of Tamora Pierce matches my own and another friend that I can talk to about Rick Riordan's books.  Other than that, the majority of people I hang out with aren't abreast on the happenings of the young adult book world. Part of that is because we're all college students who barely have time to read at all. We lend books to each other and talk up our favorite new releases when we can…

INSURGENT DAY!

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The day I've been waiting for has finally arrived! Insurgent by Veronica Roth is HERE! Sadly my copy won't arrive for another week, but it's so close I can feel it!

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fu…