October, 2011

Winner announced for query crit contest


Hi all!  Just a quick post today to announce the winner of the query/1st chapter crit. 

The winner, as drawn by random.org, is: ashelynn hetland

Congratulations, Ashelynn!

I’ve emailed you with the details and can’t wait to read and crit your work. 

For everyone else who didn’t win, the fun isn’t over yet.  Please stay tuned for later today or tomorrow where I’ll be putting up another prize pack!

And, of course, that all leads up to the biggest contest starting November 1st, 2011 so don’t change that dial!

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Waiting on Wednesday: Virtuosity


“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

My selection for this week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:  VIRTOUSITY by Jessica Martinez.

I can’t wait to read this because (besides the fact that we share a name.) well, the description made it sound great.  I’m not so keen on the cover, but it IS interesting, so there is that. I’m just not sure what it has to do with the book…Anyway, it sounds like it could be a really great contemporary romance and I’ve been itching to read a good one for awhile.

Here’s the deets from her website and don’t forget to add it on goodreads.

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Reading to our kids


                               Writers don’t forget to enter my query/1st chapter critique contest. Here.

Okay I had no idea what I was going to write about today, then I read this article.  My jaw literally dropped.  I couldn’t believe this woman was complaining about reading to her kids. Especially after saying how much she remembered enjoying reading CHARLOTTE’S WEB with her own mother. My first thought was, WTF?!

Reading to my kids is singularly the most enjoyable part of my day.  I get to share with them the discovery of new characters, far away places, and most importantly my love of reading.

Sure, we’ve run into our fair share of issues. there are days I’m just too tired to read and sometimes I do skip pages. I don’t exactly like some of the books they want me to read, and I DO get tired of reading the same books over and over, but for the most part, it’s enjoyable.  I get to spend quality time with them. I get to see their eyes light up when I pull that worn out copy of Sleeping Beauty (for my daughter) or Bob the Builder (that’s when my son was little–he doesn’t want me to read with him anymore. :()

And that brings up another thing, this age doesn’t last forever. They won’t want you to read with them forever.  Pretty soon, reading time will be spent playing video games, or reading quietly on their own. Talking to friends.  Whatever it is they enjoy instead.

So I’m going to cherish these moments for as long as they last.  And I’m going to read to my kids, doing bad character voices, and puppet shows, and giggling at all the silly stuff until my kids beg me to stop.

And person who wrote that article, honestly, you should be ashamed of yourself. (Sorry, I know that’s harsh, but it’s how I feel.)  I feel sorry for your kids.  If reading to them is such a chore, why not just not do it?  Then maybe you won’t ruin reading for your kids.

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Celebrate the small stuff

>So these last couple of months, I’ve just been bidding my time, waiting for things to finalize and I’m glad to say that everything has indeed been finalized.  As of last Friday!!  Whoot! 

I’m happily working on the 2nd of my 3-book deal and I can finally stop to rejoice in what is the biggest accomplishment of my life so far.  It’s also one of the happiest. Third only to getting married and having my kids.

Why am I only rejoicing now?  And not back when it happened?  Well, because I’m HUGELY superstitious.  I was afraid to celebrate anything until it was final.  So, since the ink has dried and I feel reasonably assured I’m not going to screw things up by doing a happy dance, that’s what I’m doing.

I’m now going to celebrate all the small(-ish) but happy things that have happened in the last two years since I started on my publication journey.

It also made me think of all the bumps and potential roadblocks I’ve hit along the way.  And I just want to say to all you aspiring writers out there, the only thing that separates a published author from an aspiring one is persistence.  Never give up.  Even if you have to take a break now and then to recharge your batteries, keep going for the long haul. It’s WAY worth it.

So, to help some of you on your way, and to give me time to think of an AWESOME contest to celebrate, I’m doing a tiny one. I’m celebrating my two year blogging anniversary this month.  It also happens to be one of my favorite months of the year, so I’m in an especially good mood. Which, in my mind, translates to lots of giveaways. 

I’ll be giving away query crits, partial crits, and books. Lots and lots of books. 🙂  And all this will culminate into the awesomest of awesome contests (to celebrate the awesomest of awesome things–the finalization of my book deal).

So, we’ll start small today and I’ll offer a query and first chapter crit. 

Rules (because nothing is EVER free. ; ) ):

You MUST be a follower of my blog to enter and you’ll need to fill out the Google form.  Also, while I’ll read almost any genre, I’m better at critting MSs in the YA genre.  Otherwise, that’s it.  It is of course, open internationally (as long as the MS is in English).  Contest ends October 17, 2011 at midnight, winners will be announced sometime that day.

  •   Follow me on Twitter (@jasouders)
  •  â€śLike” me on Facebook
  • “Like” RENEGADE on Facebook
  •  Add RENEGADE to you TBR list on goodreads
  •  Tweeted
  •  Blogged
  •  Facebooked
Good luck!

EDIT:  Okay, I’m having trouble with the google form apparently.  But I still want y’all to enter, so just comment below with your email addy and how many extra entries you got. If you tweeted/facebooked/blogged let me know the links, too.  If you can’t see the comment box, click on the title up top and it will bring you to the actual post and you’ll be able to comment.   Okay, YAY!  I got the form working. Woot.  Please fill it out. Anyone that entered before I got the form working, I’ll add you manually to the list, so no worries.  ; )


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The power of words


Remember when your mother used to teach you the old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”? And remember when you realized that wasn’t exactly true and words hurt almost as much as sticks and stones?
I talked over at the BNW blog yesterday about how I always wanted to be a writer and it started with my 6th grade teacher.  And then I remembered a story from a friend, who had a teacher do the exact opposite and she QUIT writing because her teacher was so awful to her.  Which of course, got me thinking.  No surprise there, every thing always gets me thinking.  Pretty annoying for the hubby and kids when I start asking questions out of the blue, but anyway.  That got me thinking about how much influence people in authority have over others.
I’m not just talking about parents and teachers over kids, but bosses and politicians, etc over adults. Even friends and partners, neighbors.  Anyone really. And how easy it is for one person to say something, which could mean absolutely nothing to them, but destroy an entire person’s career, or life, or whatever.
That’s the power of words.  As a writer I know words can be powerful, but I never sat down to think exactly what power they wield.  One simple thank you can completely metamorphisize someone’s entire day, maybe even their life.  And one ill-thought choice of words can cause untold amounts of pain.
Words have started wars and ended them. They’ve caused and cured illnesses.  They are the windows letting people see who and what we are and stand for. And for the most part, we (as humans) spend more time brushing our hair, then we do in thinking about what we say.
But I have to wonder what a world we would live in, if we just took a few minutes to think about what we say before we say them.

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