September, 2010

Blog contest

>Hi guys!

I’ve decided to do some more giveaways.  I feel a little lonely here on my blog.  So, here’s the deal.  When I reach 250 followers, I’ll be giving away some books and a query critique.  I have an adult prize pack and a teen prize pack, which I’ll announce once I reach 250 followers. (Hint:  Authors include Rachel Vincent, Nora Roberts, Rachel Hawkins, Sophie Jordan, Cassandra Clare, Kiersten White, etc).

When I reach 500 followers, I’ll give away a $15 amazon gift card, a query critique, and a 25 page manuscript critique  

When I reach 750 followers it will be a $25 amazon gift card, a query critique, and a 50 page manuscript critique.

And at 1,000 followers I’ll give away a $50 gift card, a query critique, and full manuscript critique.

There’s a chance for at least 3 winners per contest and they will be open worldwide, so please pass along the word.  Thanks!  I also do another agent or editor contest.  It’s going to be a bit different then the ones I’ve done before, and I’m working out the details. So stay tuned for details!

Speak up:


Freestyle Friday: Interview with author Jordan Deen

>Please join me at Oasis for YA, where I’m interviewing author Jordan Deen.

Speak up:

Comments Off on Freestyle Friday: Interview with author Jordan Deen

Half Moon Tour


Hi guys! 

In honor of my friend Jordan Deen’s book HALF MOONs release  in 140 days, she’s hosting a HALF MOON cover reveal scavenger hunt!

Here are the details:

Today, 14 bloggers will reveal the ‘Half Moon’ cover art! As an added bonus, they will post an exclusive part of Chapter 2 of ‘Half Moon’.

Now, the contest:

It’s just like a scavenger hunt! So, you *start* here!  That website is both the beginning and the end of the tour.  Go to her blog to find the rules.  I’m the last stop, so after you finish, please return to her site.

Want to know the prizes? One person will win all of the following:

Half Moon Swag
$25 B&N Gift Card
Jewelry Box
USB Camera/Video recorder

That’s right! It’s a *huge* prize pack! So spread the word. 

If you missed the last section, click here.  After you’re finished, click here.  

And without further adieu, the last piece of your scavenger hunt!

            “No,” Brandon screamed and his body lurched under Matt and Trevor’s hands. “She won’t!  Our bond will return. I won’t let her die!”
            “I’m not sure how you intend to do that. She’s in love with someone else. Her nightly dreams tell us that she’s still madly in love with Alex and she longs for him to find her.” Damn. Lily continued to poke around in my dreams. So much for not telling Brandon about them.  This was certainly not how I wanted him to find out either.
            “You said you weren’t…” Brandon slumped into Matt and Trevor’s arms, but his defeat didn’t last long. “You said he wasn’t…  Damn it, Lacey,” he screamed and pulled his arms away from his friends and advanced towards me. Before I could move out of his way, he phased over my head into Grant and took off into the woods, whimpering and howling as he cleared the tree line out of sight. Emile signaled Matt and Trevor to follow him and they quickly phased and chased him into the woods.
            “Lacey…” Nicole offered me her hand and an unspoken conversation passed between her, Emile, and Ava. “Let’s go,” she said, pulling me from the ground and wrapped her arm around me, sending tingling vibrations through my shoulders, but nothing like the first time I met Matt and Trevor.
            I didn’t dare say anything with Michael, Lucas, and Emile within earshot. They heard our argument from the cabin, I’m sure they would hear the nasty things I wanted to call them. They didn’t care what happened to me; it had never been about me. I’d been a fool for coming here with them, and now… no one would come to save me. The world that hid in the shadows of humanity was full of enemies.           


Speak up:


Tip Thursday (A day early)– Children’s Writing

>I’m doing tip Thursday a day early because of a contest that I’m being a part of that starts tomorrow.  Check out the details here.  GREAT prizes.  Makes me wish I was eligible.

I found this great article the other day and I wanted to share it.  You can find the article here.


Basic Writing Tips for Children’s Writers

 By Jill Esbaum

Here are some of the most important points to keep in mind if you want to write for kids:
* Every story must have a central character with a problem that he solves himself. Having a wise parent (or other elder) step in to help is a no-no. Period.
* Begin your story on the day that is different – when life, as your character knows it, is about to change.
* Stick with one viewpoint. For beginning writers, viewpoint can be a tricky beast. Just remember that your story is unfolding through one person’s eyes, feelings, thoughts. The third person omniscient voice doesn’t work well for kids unless you are a really really talented writer (and if you were, you wouldn’t be reading this). 🙂 If your novel is begging to be told from more than one viewpoint, switch at chapter breaks.
* Don’t get lost. If you get off track and your storyline is wandering, boil your theme down to a one-sentence summary. Keep it taped to your computer and refer back to it often. Theme is what you’re trying to say. Plot is how you choose to say it.
* Show, don’t tell. Think of your story as a series of scenes, each of which should reveal character or move the story forward. A scene should come alive for your reader, make her feel as if she’s there.
* Develop an ear for “real” dialogue. Don’t have your characters talk in stiff, perfect sentences. Real people often speak in fragments and interrupt each other. And keep in mind that what characters do often reveals more than (or even contradicts) what they say. Become a student of body language, then use it in your dialogue tags.
* Use strong, active verbs. Find exactly the right verb to convey your meaning, and you won’t need many adverbs. Try writing poetry to hone this skill.
* Be unique. Avoid cliches. Strive for original similes/metaphors, not the first one that pops into your head.
* Be descriptive – but don’t get carried away. A few words or lines of description can certainly help set the scene for your reader, but a little goes a long way. Keep things moving. When in doubt, simplify.
* Don’t talk down to kids. Resist the urge to preach (even in religious stories). You needn’t hit kids over the head with a message. They’ll get the point – and appreciate your respect for them – if you’re more subtle. However…
* Your main character has to learn or grow or come to some new understanding by the end of the story. Otherwise, what’s the point?
* Revision is our friend. When you read a story, it’s easy to believe that the author just sat down and wrote it the way you see it. Not true. Stories and books are revised again and again (and again). When I get discouraged (in the midst of my 53rd revision), I look at the Phyllis Whitney quote on my bulletin board: “Good stories are not written. They are rewritten.” Learn to look at your own writing with an objective eye. When you think a piece is finished, put it away for a while. When you come back to it weeks later, I guarantee you’ll find ways to improve it.
* Target submissions carefully. Research publishers’ catalogs to see what kind of books they publish. Make friends with a librarian; both school and public libraries get oodles of catalogs they’ll let you study. Invest in a market book like Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market (ed. by Alice Pope). Follow word count guidelines. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by using colored paper, decorated envelopes, fancy letterheads, funky fonts, etc. And no matter how cute they are, never send photos of your children or dressed-up pets.
* Be prepared to spend years learning your craft, finding your voice. Hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day (egad, a cliche!). It may take a while to develop your own style, but nobody else sees the world quite the way you do. A distinctive voice has a much better chance of being published than the same old same old, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
* Read. Immerse yourself in reading and language. Make it a part of who you are. Read children’s poetry, novels, nonfiction, picture books, or whatever it is you are interested in writing yourself. Read for pleasure, to learn, and to absorb a feel for language. Then put it to work and practice, practice, practice.
* Develop a thick skin. You’ll need it if your end goal is publication. Remember: a rejection of what you’ve written is not a rejection of you. There are more factors influencing an editor’s tastes from day to day than we can imagine.
* Never give up.

Speak up: