Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: VIP release edition!

 
What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what's up. Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk are the hosts, and we'd love for you to join in the fun! Just hit up their blogs and sign up on the linky. J

WHAT I’M READING:  

I just finished BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE which, if Goodreads would let me, I’d shower with a globular cluster of stars. I heart everything about this book—the magic, the mystery, the freaking fantastical prose. The distinct and awesome cast of characters just keeps growing more awesome and distinct. And the Raven Boys? I love them—I want to be Gansey’s best friend, wrap Noah in an infinite hug, and I just want to hang out with/hug/punch Ronan. But this book just further solidified me as, now and forever always, Team Adam. 

Also, I don’t cry much at books, but that courtroom scene almost . . . almost had me.
 
Up next . . .

 

Anyone want to choose for me?
 

WHAT I’M WRITING:  

 . . . 

Revising is slow. That is all.

WHAT WORKS FOR ME:
 

I make to-do lists each week and this is one from a few weeks ago. In the far bottom right corner I make a list of a few things I’d like to accomplish during the week and then each night, I plan out the things I’d like to accomplish the next day. Some things carry over, but it “seems” to work for me.

 
WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON:

My awesomely fabulous friend Riley Edgewood released part one of her super sexy NA romance on Monday!!!


 Here are some more deets on that…

Book & Author Details:

VIP by Riley Edgewood
(Rock & Release, Act #1)
Publication date: November 17th 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:

VIP is the first act of Rock & Release, Riley Edgewood's three-part new adult romance serial! 

When Cassidy Evans scores VIP tickets to a concert, she decides to use them for one carefree night before beginning a summer internship at her father’s Fortune 500 company. But one carefree night turns into a few too many martinis—with two unexpected twists: A steamy encounter with Gage Logan, sexy singer and guitarist, and a tempting job offer from Gage's boss to work at the concert venue she now knows quite intimately.  

She definitely can't take the job. Her internship is an opportunity any business major would kill for. But the thought of working with her father, a man furious with grief over a family tragedy that struck six months ago, fills her with dread. 

Then there's Gage. Working with him all summer could be hot. Cassidy can't stop flashing back to their night together. Molten kisses. His hands smoothing across the skin of her belly. The weight of his body above her own…   

And suddenly the decision about how to spend her summer is much, much harder to make. 

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

VIP (Rock & Release, Act I) is out now!! The final two acts of the Rock & Release serial, Starstruck and Show Stopper, launch on December 1 and December 15, respectively. 


Purchase:

 



AUTHOR BIO:

Riley lives in the DC area and spends most of her time with her characters, playing with her toddler and husband, and pretending she knows how to be an adult. Former dancer. Current writer. Lifelong lover of accessories, books, and the beach. And cats. Can't forget the kitties. Of which she has two. 

Sign up for Riley's newsletter and never miss out on new book releases and other fun things: http://eepurl.com/5iSKn 

You can also find her online:
 
 
 
 

Guys, I’ve read this whole series and it is undeniably sexy and AMAZING! And you can get the first act for 99 cents?! Why are you still reading my blog? Go! Buy it now! 

*ahem* And then come back and tell me what’s up on YOUR Wednesday. J

Monday, November 10, 2014

777 Challenge!

The 777 challenge is one writer challenging another writer to share seven lines of text, seven lines down, on the seventh page of a work-in-progress. I was tagged by my lovely friend Katy Upperman (whose seven lines are fantastic and full of word swoon) and well...I can’t resist a challenge. J

So today I'm posting seven-ish lines from the 7th page of my WiP NO JOKE (which you all may know fondly as MEAN BOYS)

Here's a super rough and not-so-brief pitch for the story: Seventeen-year-old best friends Ashton, Jesse, and Z  have been connected by soccer, rigorous classes, and an insatiable love of pranking each other since grade school. But when a prank goes horribly wrong, harmless pantsing and phone-hacking become a thing of the past, and a vindictive one-upmanship ensues. The friends gang up on each other, and the jokes get more elaborate, more clever. And definitely more mean-spirited. But the “friends” will have to figure out how to forgive and forget before a prank screws up their friendships and their lives. Permanently.
And the excerpt. Just fair warning—this is second draft. And still ROUGH. And—

Okay, I’ll just shut up and share. J
From my boy Ashton...
Autumn gives my hand an extra squeeze as we walk out into the parking lot. “Do you think you could give me a ride home?” she asks.  “A friend brought me to work and well . . .”

“I’d be happy to take you home.”

Her dimple materializes. She drops my hand and slides her arm around my waist instead, then leans her body into mine, so close I’m overwhelmed by the smell of her hair—apples and a hint of popcorn. My legs gelatinize. Will she kiss me at the car? At her house? On her front step? Does she have a front step? I’m so glad I cleaned out the car before I came back to the mall.

When I open the passenger door for her, a landslide of foil packages spills out. Condoms. All sizes and shapes and colors, all over the bucket seats of my Mazda.
 
Oh. My. God. I am going to kill Jesse and Z.
 

Since I’m super late jumping on the 777 band-wagon, I’m certain everyone else has already done it, but if you haven’t and want to play along, consider yourself tagged! And let me know if you decide to share. I’d love to check out your excerpts!

Thanks for reading! Have a great Monday!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

 
What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what's up. Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk are the hosts, and we'd love for you to join in the fun! Just hit up their blogs and sign up on the linky. J

WHAT I’M READING:

I finished the amazing 100 SIDEWAYS MILES (Andrew Smith) and have been beta-reading some pretty spectacular stories since. #luckyreader

WHAT I’M WRITING: Last week, I worked on two chapters of my Mean Boys story. Not as much as I wanted, but I did crank out a six page brain spew doc on character and problem issues—one an awesome CP gave me wonderful, insightful, and incredibly helpful feedback on. I also spewed to another amazing CP about my TMC story and dove into revisions for that Monday. Oh, and I may or may not have changed the title of THOSE MAGIC CHANGES.  


Thoughts? Anyway, I “hope” to be query ready by the end of the month. *fingers crossed*

WHAT WORKS FOR ME:

Brain spews—on characters, on setting, on plot lines. On random neurotic details probably I only consider important. It helps me to sort things out. Even better when I can bounce the spew off one of my awesome CPs. Sometimes those brain spews are a few pages. Other times they are um…longer. J My CPs are saints. And they are the BEST.

WHAT ELSE I’VE BEEN UP TO: 

Soccer and tutoring keep me very busy in the afternoons and on the weekends, but I did take the ten year old to see Box Trolls this past Saturday. It was cute and well crafted. The 10 year old LOVED it though. Keeps asking if it’s out on DVD yet. And even with the busy schedule, the husband and I hung out with friends for our once-in-a-blue-moon Adult Game Night.

 
Good times. J 
 
Oh, and because I rock the parenting decisions, I allowed the fifteen year old to venture out on a school night to a concert venue three hours away to see New Politics. Without me. I’m still catching up on sleep from that one, but she had an AWESOME time and GOT TO MEET THE BAND.  
 

 
So jealous.
 
What’s up on YOUR Wednesday?! 
 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What's Up Wednesday!

 
HI! *dusts off blog* Sorry I haven’t been around much. I’ve been in a writing/tutoring/mom/wife/family cave lately. But today I’m here. And participating in What's Up Wednesday—a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what's up. Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk are the hosts, and we'd love for you to join in the fun! Just hit up their blogs and sign up on the linky. J 

WHAT I’M READING:  

I finished a reread of AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES (John Green), partly for research, mostly for pleasure. You guys, I heart this book SO MUCH. It may just be and my nerdy math self, but I laughed on practically every page. So GOOD!

Now, I’m reading 100 SIDEWAYS MILES. Andrew Smith is one of my new favorite authors and well, this book is AWESOME so far.   

WHAT I’M WRITING: I’m revising two stories, kind of. One I worked on in August and September, sent out to readers, and just got back a lot of incredibly insightful and encouraging feedback. I have two big things left to revise on that along with a few little things and I am going to do that next week and then maybepossibly send it out. Like, query it. I plan to have tons of wine on hand.  

In the meantime, I just finished a read through on the story I drafted last summer and am ridiculously in love. Guys, I am all about character and this story features three MCs who I just completely and utterly adore. I’m crazy excited about revising, which btw, I’m starting TODAY. J 

WHAT INSPIRES ME:  Soccer. Between my husband’s games, my daughter’s games, the EPL games on the weekends, International Friendlies, and my must watch Real Madrid games, I watch a teensy bit of it. And I love EVERYTHING ABOUT IT. That, and I can count watching soccer as research for the current WiP? #winwinwinwinwin  

WHAT ELSE I’VE BEEN UP TO: See above. ;)

Actually, life is not all soccer. I’ve been tutoring a lot. And very much enjoying being a SAHM. And last Saturday, the husband and I took the 15 year old and a friend to see Modern Rock Fest—an all day concert featuring New Politics, Capital Cities, Bear Hands, Somekindawonderful, and more. The music was beyond amazing. And my daughter and her friend got to do a meet and greet with one of the bands, met the lead singers for two others, and well…we had an AWESOME time.  

Oh, and well, not to talk about soccer AGAIN, but the husband’s boys team won a huge match last night and clinched the conference championship in the process! #soproud!!! 

What’s up on YOUR Wednesday?!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ready. Set. WRITE! CP Match-Up!

 
It’s time for Ready. Set. WRITE’s CP Match-up! Today we’ll be sharing about our stories and we encourage you to do the same, "shop around" and leave comments on the posts with stories you're most interested in reading. From there, you can decide who might be the best fit for you and contact them via their blog/Twitter/their email. Some suggestions about what to share 

·         a love list, elevator pitch, or query description
·         an excerpt
·         genre/age category
·         whether it’s a stand alone or series
·         where you’re at in the timeline (ie. ready for a beta/CP as of the end of summer or perhaps later in the fall)
·         whether you’re looking for betas or CPs (or both)
·         any warnings that might be applicable (ie only offer to beta if you don’t mind swearing, sex, drug use, etc.)

I worked on two stand-alone stories this summer and I’ve shared excerpts throughout RSW (thank you SO MUCH for all your kind words on those!) So, today, I’m going to share a little more about each. Namely, a brief (haha) pitch, the opening of each story, the story’s theme, the story’s theme song, and a few other items from the story’s love list.  

First up...
Title: THOSE MAGIC CHANGES
Genre: YA Magical Realism
Word Count: 84,000 words.
I anticipate finishing revisions by mid-September.
Also, just fair warning: my boy Axl swears. A LOT.
The not-so-brief pitch: Seventeen-year-olds Alexandra and Axl Reed may be twins but their interests (and personalities) are about as related as baseball and the theatre. Perfect Twin Alexandra is the glorified virgin of Titan Heights; Axl's the renowned punk. But when a freak accident puts them in each other's bodies, they'll have to learn how to relate quickly. Or be the other. Indefinitely.
The opening…
If I hear another song from Grease, I’m going to freaking punch someone.
            Ever since the spring musical was announced, my sister’s done nothing but sing songs from the show: in the bathroom, at dinner, in the car on the way to and from school. Like, right now. Alexandra’s bouncing in the passenger seat, singing, occasionally primping her ponytail in the side mirror when there’s an apparent break in the lyrics. And I say apparent because she’s singing along to music from her iPod, earbuds plugged in, so all I get to hear is her.
            The singing’s not horrible. Actually, Alexandra’s got a pretty awesome voice (not that I’d ever tell her that), but “Summer Nights” 24/7? Her and Dylan doing the “Hand Jive” in the living room for the past two months? Singing a stanza over and over again until it’s perfect?
            Someone please kill me.
            I crank up Panama’s stereo and try to drown out her a cappella performance with Aerosmith. Alexandra flashes me a pitiful sneer, huffs dramatically, then sings louder. I yank a bud out of her ear and point at my stereo.
            “Ow!” she exclaims.
            “Do you mind?”                   
            She tsks. “I’m rehearsing for my callback today, thank you very much, and I have to make sure it’s flawless. I’d have the best junior year ever if Mr. Fonda cast me as Sandy.” She pulls down the passenger-side mirror, appraises herself, and sings, “Look at me, I’m Sandra Dee—”
            “Lousy with virginity,” I mutter. “Yep. You’re perfect for the part.”

Theme: Experience, the best teacher it is.
Theme song: Dude (Looks like a Lady) by Aerosmith
Five items from the Love List: cheesy Star Wars one-liners, vengeful makeovers, flamboyant BFFs, unrequited adoration, and sibling love
 
I also drafted my Mean Boys story this summer and I plan to start revising that in October.
Title:  NO JOKE (I know—not MEAN BOYS. Sorry).
Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: currently  84,000 words.
I anticipate finishing revisions by March of 2015.
SUPER ROUGH and not-so-brief pitch: Seventeen-year-old best friends Ashton, Jesse, and Z  have been connected by soccer, rigorous classes, and an insatiable love of pranking each other since grade school. But when a prank goes horribly wrong, harmless pantsing and phone-hacking become a thing of the past, and a vindictive one-upmanship ensues. The friends gang up on each other, and the jokes get more elaborate, more clever. And definitely more mean-spirited. Can the “friends” figure out how to forgive and forget before a prank screws up their friendships and their lives? Permanently.
The opening (also SUPER ROUGH), from my boy Ashton…
I’ve been pantsed. Again.
            I should be used to it. When it comes to Jesse, Z, and me this kind of harmless shit happens all the time. Pantsing, cell phone hacking, and other meaningless pranks have been the norm since middle school. And I wouldn’t be so annoyed if this wasn’t the third time I’ve been pantsed today. Or if I wasn’t standing in the middle of Hollister. With Hot Register Girl. In my Batman boxers.
            I hate my friends.
            A blush creeps up Hot Register Girl’s neck as I fumble my basketball shorts back over my hips. “Sorry about that.” I give a fleeting nod to Jesse and Z, who are animatedly holding up and talking to a loud turquoise Hollister shirt off the clearance rack, one that reads If you’re hot, I’m single.
            “This would go great with Ashton’s boxers, don’t you think?” Z asks.
            Jesse merely snickers.
            Yep. I hate them. 

Theme: Bros before hos (Yep. That’s really the theme)

Theme song: Jessie’s Girl by Rick Springfield
Five items from the Love List: polarizing secrets; steamy, stolen moments; FIFA; shady deals; and projects that make you go hmmm.
 WHEW. Sorry. That was long. But fun! Anyway, I might be pretty good beta-wise for TMC—I have five people who read for me regularly and 4 others lined up to beta that one, but I’m always up for a pair of fresh eyes! And I know I’ll need a few fresh eyes next March for NO JOKE. Let me know if any of these stories sounds like something you might like to read. J
Oh, and because I’m awesome, I totally forgot to post helpful CP/beta links the other day. Silly me.
Here they are…







Finally, I’m still sad that RSW is over, but I’m going to continue updating and catching up with others through Jaime’s and Erin’s What’s Up Wednesday. You should too!
Don’t forget to sign up on the linky! I can’t wait to read all about your stories!         

 
 





Monday, August 25, 2014

Ready. Set. WRITE! Week 12: Total Recap



Ready. Set. WRITE! is over. L

BUT I hope it’s been as productive for you as it was for me! The hosts (Katy, Jaime, Erin, and I!) would like to thank you SO MUCH for joining us for our summer writing intensive. Today, we’re recapping our summer progress and we encourage you to do the same! But first… 

How I did on last week’s goal 

1) Finish fixing the beginning of my WiP.  CHECK! Well, at least for now. J 

2) Read through THOSE MAGIC CHANGES (TMC). Start a revision list (again J) for my R&R CHECK! And I am still ridiculously in love with this story! Yay! 

Overall goals this summer 

1) Finish a first draft of my MEAN BOYS story. CHECK! And I can’t wait to get back to revising it!
2) Revise/gut/reconfigure the first forty pages of my most recent story THOSE MAGIC CHANGES. CHECK! And very excited about the new beginning!
A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised 

Since I worked on two stories this summer, I’ll share a snippet from each.  

First, from THOSE MAGIC CHANGES, a line I’ve probably read a gazillion times and, for whatever reason, on my read-through last week made me spew water all over my screen. 

 “Seaman made me come tonight.”

Totally unintentional. Totally keeping it.

And from my Mean Boys story—a small-ish excerpt between my boy Jesse and his girlfriend Meaghan (Mags)—a relationship I can’t wait to get back to.

The waiter brings us our check. Mags immediately breaks open her fortune cookie, stretches her little white paper out like she’s opening a scroll, and reads.
            “Ride your ambition to the skies.” Her ensuing grin takes up half the restaurant, and then she lowers her voice to a very sexy drawl. “Jesse Maurice Hurd, will you be my ambition tonight?”
            I can’t pay the bill fast enough.

The biggest challenge I faced this summer (finding time to write, getting sick, having writer’s block, etc)

My inner editor when drafting; wishy-washiness on cutting scenes when revising.

Something I love about my WIP(s)

My Mean Boys story: Overall, I love that this story is about three guys who are best friends, play soccer together, and have an insatiable love of pranking one another. And that I can totally count watching soccer as research. I mean, I’d watch regardless, but still. J

THOSE MAGIC CHANGES: Guys. I know this is going to sound completely narcissistic, but I was reading through my TMC story last week - I’ve read it at least a hundred times (seriously way more) - and it’s amazing how many things I find—little gestures, unnecessary words—that I can cut. But what’s more amazing? There’s so much about this story I love—I literally LOLed on various passages, teared up on a few others. It may not make it any further than hanging out with the dustbunnies under my bed, but it’s giving me “all the feels.” And inspires me to fix it the best I can so hopefully one day you can read it too.

CP Match-Up!

 The hosts want to say a HUGE thank you for your active involvement in Ready. Set. WRITE! this summer! We hope that it was extremely productive for you and that you made oodles of progress on your WiPs!

And if you are looking for new readers or are interested in beta reading for someone’s WiP, this Thursday August 28th we’ll be hosting a CP match-up! We'll share about our stories and we encourage you to do the same. Then, RSW participants can "shop around" and leave comments on the posts with stories they're most interested in reading. From there, you can decide who might be the best fit for you and contact them via their blog/Twitter/their email. Some suggestions about what to share

·         a love list, elevator pitch, or query description
·         an excerpt
·         genre/age category
·         whether it’s a stand alone or series
·         where you’re at in the timeline (ie ready for a beta/CP as of the end of summer or perhaps later in the fall)
·         whether you’re looking for betas or CPs (or both)
·         any warnings that might be applicable (ie only offer to beta if you don’t mind swearing, sex, drug use, etc.)


I can’t wait to check out your posts! PS—don’t forget to sign up on the linky!





Monday, August 18, 2014

Ready. Set. WRITE! Week 11: It's Almost Over (sniff)



Guys. It is the second to last week of Ready. Set. WRITE! How is that even POSSIBLE?!  

I hope you all had a productive week! Here’s how last week went for me… 

How I did on last week’s goal

1) Read through THOSE MAGIC CHANGES (TMC). Start a revision list (again J) for my R&R. 

Eh. I read through a hundred pages before I realized I kind of needed to complete goal 2 first. J 

2) Continue with plans for changing the beginning of TMC. Finish fixing the first chapter (based on awesome CP notes). Continue working on the second one. 

Check! Fixed chapter One and Two and am THIS close to being satisfied with the changes I’m making in the rest of the beginning. So, yay!

My goal(s) for this week 

1) Finish fixing the beginning of my WiP.   

2) Read through THOSE MAGIC CHANGES (TMC). Start a revision list (again J) for my R&R

A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised 

Here’s a new scene I added last week to THOSE MAGIC CHANGES. It’s between my main characters, Alexandra and Axl. They’re twins. She’s really into her musical theatre. He’s really into his baseball. And they’re always having issues…relating. This scene features them with Mr. Wibble (aka Yoda). It’s a little long. And it might still be slightly rough and redundant. And it has a few curse words. And…
 
Okay, I’ll just shut up and share. J

On the way out of class, Axl grabs my arm and roughly whirls me to face him.
            “I’ll be late picking you up.”
            “What? Why?”
            “Coach. Gave me OT. Which is a hell of a lot better than being cut so I’ll take it.”
            “And you’re just telling me now? We had three classes together. I could’ve found another ride. I could’ve—”
            “Because I knew I’d never hear the end of it.” He sneers. “Now I don’t have to see you until after practice.” He starts a stride toward the lunch room. I speed-walk to catch up to him.
            “How long will you be?” I whine. I can’t help it. When Mr. Fonda dismisses us, he expects us to go. I can’t stay after too much longer, waiting in front of the auditorium. That’s just so…awkward.
            “I’ll stay until Coach releases me.” There’s a churlish eye roll in his tone, but then he stops in front of the boys’ bathroom and says, “Look. It shouldn’t be long. Just laps around the infield, putting shit away.” I must look like I’m about to cry because he snaps, “Twenty fucking minutes. Deal with it. No way my ass is warming the bench again this year.”
            I bite back tears. “Well, maybe you should have thought of that before you got in a fight.”
            Axl throws a finger in my face. “You have no idea what you’re talking about so just—”
            Someone starts whistling, loudly, from the boys’ bathroom. Mr. Wibble wheels out a trash receptacle, smiles at us, and says, “Good day for meatloaf in the cafeteria it is. Eat lunch you should.”
            And then he scoots back into the bathroom. Axl, shakes his head, mutters a gross obscenity under his breath and says, “I’ll get you when I get you.” He takes off toward the cafeteria before I can utter another word.

The biggest challenge I faced this week (finding time to write, getting sick, having writer’s block, etc)

Back story and how much to sprinkle in where. Always my BIGGEST nemesis.

Something I love about my WIP 

I’m kind of a huge Star Wars nerd so I love rereading my story and seeing all the Star Wars references. I did have to cut this line this week though: “Please, Katrina. You're my only hope.” And I was all kinds of sad about that. L

 
Just a heads up—next week is the last week of RSW (insert HUGE sad face) and so the hosts (the fabulous KatyUpperman, Jaime Morrow, Erin Funk, and me!) are going to do a recap post, updating how we did with our goals this summer. We encourage you to do the same!

I hope you all had an incredibly productive week! I can’t wait to check out your posts! PS—don’t forget to sign up on the linky!