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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tis the Season for Giving!



Rock Creek in the winter, Eastern Oregon.
CONTEST CLOSED!


Happy December!

Can you believe it's the LAST month of the year?! Have you gotten all of your Christmas shopping done or gifts ready for your loved ones?! Sadly, this year, I'm way behind. I have a few canned goods I've made this fall and several ideas for crocheted items, but this year retailers will be my savior, I'm afraid. Hey at least I'll be contributing to the economy, right?

But you didn't come here to hear me rambling about my shopping/gift-giving woes now did you? You came because you heard over the social media grapevine there might be a small itsy-bitsy possibility of a giveaway contest to be announced today.

Well guess what? You were RIGHT!!!!

So here's the deal:

I have a small stack of paranormal YA books, some signed others not, to giveaway. What you need to do is:

1. Answer the following question by leaving a comment:

If you could give any book this Christmas to a loved one what would it be and why?

2. Share by tweeting or facebooking or blogging or shouting off the top of your roof (okay maybe your neighbors might not appreciate the last one too much).

And that is it. I will randomly draw 3 lucky winners at 7 pm PST on December 14th, 2011 and will announce them shortly thereafter. That gives you two weeks to spread the word. Here are the books:

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (signed), 2 copies of Wings by Aprilynne Pike (both unsigned, but I'm trying to get some book plates), Enthralled Anthology edited by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong (signed by many of the contributing authors see Smart Chicks Tour Post), and Awakening by Kelley Armstrong.

 Each winner will receive one or two of these books, Enthralled being the "grand" prize. I'll also be throwing in all sorts of swag I've collected from the book-signing events I've attended this summer.

Now don't forget about the other giveaway going on for a $5 Amazon.com gift card. I'm drawing the winner for that on Sunday. Till then, happy blogging, tweeting, facebooking, and *coughs* yelling *coughs* on the rooftop.

Cheers,

Melania


PS. BTW, forgot to mention this contest is for Canada and US residents only. Sorry my worldly readers. I promise when I publish my very own novel, I'll do a contest just for you!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

4th Sunday Surpise: Music and Books

CONTEST ENDED

So many surprises to share! First:

Did you see it? It's on the right hand side of the blog under Twitter and Facebook.

I am so stinking proud of myself right now! My very first NaNoWriMo complete. Of course the manuscript is far from done. My plan is to let it sit for a couple of weeks while I return to the normal human world and do normal human stuff like clean my house, do dishes, or maybe do a little holiday decorating. Yanno, what normal non-writerly folks do. Then after Christmas I will disappear back into my little fictional world and add all the scenes I didn't have time the first round.

I have to thank my dearest husband and all my wonderful friends for enduring my non-sociable behavior the last three weeks and cheered me on. I also want to thank 2 Cellos and Apocalyptica for creating such fantastic music to write with.  Anytime I couldn't get into the mood of my novel I would play the following two songs and instantly the words would start to flow. Cellos seem to do the trick.

Surprise #2:

 U2 is my all time favorite rock band and I love this cover 2 Cellos did. These two hotties are absolutely amazing with their instruments. 

And I absolutely love this song by Apocalyptica featuring Gavin Rossdale.
These two songs pretty much sums up the relationship between my hero and heroine.

Surprise #3:

I am doing another blog contest/giveaway. It's Christmas time and I've got several signed paranormal YA books from some of my favorite authors to share with you. Stop by Dec 1 for details!

Oh, but wait! There's more: Tell me what kind of music inspires your creativity by commenting below and enter to win a $5 gift card to Amazon.com. I will draw a winner next Sunday morning.

Tis the season for giving!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thanks for stopping by.

Cheers,
Melania

Saturday, November 19, 2011

3rd Sunday Sweets





Last weekend on 11-11-11 two of our dear friends tied the knot. The light was perfect that day and my hubby caught some great shots of the fall colors here in Portland. I just love this time of year. When the weather gets cold and it starts to rain, it's the perfect time to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea.

This week I happened to read an awesome book that just blew me away. Many of you have probably read this series, but I was holding out-not sure if I would really like it. Then the trailer for the movie came out:



It was all I could do not to run out and buy the books. That was Monday. Tuesday I went to Powell's after work with a friend and bought The Hunger Games. Many of my friends told me to buy all three because I would want to read them all. They were so right.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
Tuesday I was up till after 11 reading. If I hadn't taken a Benadryl for my allergies I would have read all night. All day Wednesday I carried the book with me at work. I would sneak in every moment I could to read. Every time someone would interrupt me on my breaks I got so annoyed. I did manage to take a short pause in the afternoon to meet a friend for happyhour, but as soon as I got home, I sat down and finished the book. All day Thursday I walked in a daze. I missed three days of NaNo and I didn't care.

All I can say is  "WHOA!"

All writers have authors they would like to emulate or hope to write as good as them. Suzanne Collins just shot up to the top of my list of awesomeness. The style with which she tells the story of Katnis is mind-blowing. So poignant, gritty, action-packed, gripping, and full of beautiful memorable moments. She has become my new standard for achievement and The Hunger Games my bible for studying the art of writing.

I cannot wait to get my hands on the other two books, but I have to exude some self-control. Last night and this morning I got my NaNo caught up and I do want to make sure I finish. I also have a manuscript and an ARC to read/review for a couple of my author friends- one of the perks of being writer/blogger. But the next two books will be my treat for completing NaNo and reviews.

Anyways, if you haven't read The Hunger Games, you better crawl out from under the rock you've been living under and get with the program. Seriously this series will ROCK your world. Click here to buy.

Happy reading and I leave you with another beautiful fall photo from Portland.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

2nd Sunday Savors: 1st vs 3rd



 Above you see a starfish in the sand slowly making his way back to the ocean. As the tide rises he will get to his goal sooner than later. His journey may seem boring to the human eye watching from above, but to him it's a matter of life or death. He must have the nutrient mineral rich water or he will die. When you go down to his level and step into his suction pads you realize the urgency of his situation. From above see a beautiful purple sea creature, take a picture, and move on. But from his point of view it's "Poseidon's trident, I hope this two legged monster doesn't step on me!"

Those are two very different perspectives.

A story can be told in third person, second person, or first person. Each style gives perspective into the story. I never thought about the different styles until I joined RWA's local Portland chapter. At a meeting someone asked what I wrote. I told her 1st and she outright told me she would never read anything I wrote because she only reads in third person. I was really blown away by this. I struggled for a while. It literally affected my writing in negative ways because I started to doubt my ability to write.

I've never read a novel written in second person, so I don't have any opinions to add, but 1st and 3rd are the more poplar. For reading I prefer 1st person. I feel like I'm in the character's shoes and experiencing what is happening with all my senses. In 3rd person I feel like I'm watching a movie. If it's written well then I'm most likely to enjoy it.

I read both. I've read terrible novels in both categories and excellent as well. Harry Potter is all written in 3rd and I devoured the series. However I also love Kim Harrison's Hollows series and they are in 1st. Same goes for Jeaniene Frost.

The first novel I wrote was a YA in 3rd person. It came out contrived and terrible (part of that had to do with the fact it was my 1st book). In the rewrite I changed it to 1st and it flowed so much better. Even my husband noticed the difference. Ever since, I've chosen to write in 1st. It's my preferred style of reading.

So the point I'm trying to make is that it really doesn't matter what voice you write in as long as it's written well. Write what flows easier for you and write it well. Don't listen to people telling you this is better than that or visa versa. Everyone is different and you will never please everybody. So don't waste your time worrying about that and write what you love and makes you happy. Chances are if you enjoy writing the story someone else will enjoy reading it too.

Cheers and thanks for reading,

Melania

Sunday, November 6, 2011

1st Sunday Snipets



Happy November! I just got back from our cabin retreat where I wrote, wrote, wrote. As you can see we had our first snow and it was perfect weather to be sitting by the fire with a cup of hot coco and tipper tappering away my next novel.

November means NaNoWriMo! You can click on the link to watch my progress. You can read the synopsis to get a general idea of what I'm writing about. And for my snippet this month, I'm sharing a scene between Eva and her cousin Marcella playing around in the library. Please note, this has been written recently and has not been edited or polished. Besides that enjoy.



Taking a series of deep breaths like I do at the beginning of yoga class, I relaxed my body and emptied my mind of all thoughts save one—move two inches to the right, you damn bowl.
 
I repeated those words several times and realized that maybe I was being pretty rude. So I switched tactics.  Please move two inches to the right, dear beautiful bowl full of delectable sugar.

After a minute of that, I realized flattery wasn’t the key to success. Once again I changed my approach.

I command you to move. NOW. I focused everything. My teeth ground together and my fists squeezed so tight my nails dug into my flesh. If I hadn’t been so focused I would have noticed the pain in my palms. 

Nothing happened and by this time I had had enough. I proved my inability to move objects telepathically. 

“Grrr, whatever. I give up.” I waved a hand and got up. After sitting in one place focused so intently I needed to get up and move around. My body felt drained of energy.
I had just turned toward the window when I heard the crash of breaking ceramic on the floor. 

Thanks for reading!

Cheers,
Melania