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Monday, January 28, 2013

Elly

My dear readers,

It gives me great pleasure to announce the birth of my baby girl, Elly. She was born January 22 after a long 28 hours of labor. We spent 5 days in the hospital and only got home yesterday. I will be taking some time off from blogging so I can focus on transitioning to motherhood.  Thank you for understanding. When things settle down, I'll post my crazy birth story. But for now here is a picture of the new love of my life.

Love,

 Melania


Sunday, January 20, 2013

3rd Sunday Sweet: Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike

Last fall, I experienced one of the greatest honors imaginable- having the privilage of being the first to reveal Aprilynne Pike's Life after Theft cover, share not one but two teasers (click on the links to view teasers), and ARC giveaway. This is a book that I've been dying to read since read about it on her blog years ago. As a thank you for hosting the cover reveal and giveaway, I got my very own ARC copy (which is like the coolest thing ever to read something that's not even out yet). After the madness of the holidays, I finally had the chance to sit down and read the book.

Here's the discription on Amazon:

Moving to a new high school sucks. Especially a rich-kid private school. With uniforms. But nothing is worse than finding out the first girl you meet is dead. And a klepto.

No one can see or hear Kimberlee except Jeff, so--in hopes of bringing an end to the snarkiest haunting in history--he agrees to help her complete her "unfinished business." But when the enmity between Kimberlee and Jeff's new crush, Sera, manages to continue posthumously, Jeff wonders if he's made the right choice.

Clash meets sass in this uproarious modern-day retelling of Baroness Orczy's The Scarlet Pimpernel, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Aprilynne Pike.

 So what did I think of the book?

Like the last sentence from Amazon said: Clash meets sass. The number one thing that really sticks out is the voice. It's in first person and male protagonist- 100% totally different than the voice in the Wings series (which I absolutely ADORE). It's edgy, witty, fresh, entertaining, and very appropriate to the characters. No wonder this is the book that got her on the publishing agent's radar.

The second thing I like about the story is that it's very realistic. She doesn't shy away from common issues that face teens today like drugs, alcohol, sex, or personal identity. Though they are addressed in a positive manner. The biggest challenge is learning about who you are and the story highlights this beautifully both in Jeff (life) and Kimberlee (death). The dialogue is true and not squeaky "clean" but not full of vulgarity as some YA novels are. Though I love a good story, sometimes when authors try to be too PG the dialogue comes out contrived and unbelievable. In this case it was perfectly balanced. With that being said, there is nothing wrong with being "clean."

The pacing and plot flowed naturally. Haunted by a klepto ghost, finding new love, and trying to fit into a new school are enough to create page-turning conflicts, juicy twists, comical situations, and a happy ending. So yeah, I basically LOVED it!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you so much, Aprilynne and Harper Collins for giving me the chance read this brilliant, funny, romantic adventure months before it comes out.

Click on the above Amazon link to pre-order today. You won't be disappointed. :)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

2nd Sunday Savor: 2012 reading list

One of the things seasoned authors tell you when you ask for writing advice is to read and read alot! I've taken this to heart over the years. Normally I read about 16 books a year (paper), but last year I got a Kindle and so I'm going list all the books in order read in 2012 and see if I've beaten my usual amount.

Completed:
1. Obsidian  Armentrout, Jennifer L (YA)
2. Daimon (prequal to Half-blood)  Armentrout, Jennifer L (YA)
3. Siren  Jacobs, Delle (Adult)
4. The Marked  Scott, Inara (YA)
5. Kiss and Makeup  Robertson, Faye (Adult)
6. The Dragon Stirs  Aicher, Lynda (Adult)
7. Paradise 21 (New Dawn)  Dionne, Aubrie (Adult)
8. The Dark Divine   Despain, Bree (YA)
9. Destined (Wings)  Pike, Aprilynne (YA)
10. Walking in Fire (Hawaiian Heroes)  Cade, Cathryn (Adult)
11. My Blood Approves  Hocking, Amanda (YA)
12. Fate  Hocking, Amanda (YA)
13. Flutter  Hocking, Amanda (YA)
14. Hollowland  Hocking, Amanda (YA)
15. The Marriage Bargain  Probst, Jennifer (Adult)
16. Innocent Darkness  Lazear, Suzanne (YA)
17. Wake  Hocking, Amanda (YA)
18. Sweet Venom  Childs, Terra Lynn (YA)
19. Sweet Shadows  Childs, Terra Lynn (YA)

Books started in 2012 and still reading:
1. Wired for Story  Cron, Lisa
2. The Eye of the World: Book One of 'The Wheel of Time'  Jordan, Robert (fantasy)
3. Art of Extreme Self-care  Richardson, Cheryl
4. Birthing from Within  England, Pam 
5. Life After Theft  Pike, Aprilynne  (paper) (YA)

So almost 20 completed books and this list does not include all of the audio books I've listened to as well. The ones I'm still working on I'm more than 50% through. So I would say it's been a successful year of reading. As you can see I read mostly YA and romance with a little bit of fantasy and self-improvement here and there. 

Well, I need to get some words in today and finish up Life After Theft so I can review it next week. Catch ya later.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

1st Sunday Snippet: Flashback

Yellow Warbler visiting my balcony in December.
Hello and Happy New Year to you all! Hope your holidays were fun and exciting or whatever you wanted them to be. Mine were peaceful and quite, exactly what I wanted. We had tons of yummy food and watched lots of movies and TV shows on Netflix. I even got some writing down, but mostly I needed to rest. Sometimes, a writer needs to step back and take a break.
Most of December however I worked on a Valentine novella (only 50% finished). I was hoping to have it done by Jan 1, so I could try to submit for possible publication this Valentine's, but things didn't quite line up as I hoped. There is a really good reason too, but I can't talk about that just yet. Regardless, here is a snippet (the intro) from A Veteran's Valentine:



Sand. Heat. Wind. Shots. Sulfuric smell. Blood. Explosion. Flying metal, rocks, & pieces of human flesh. Screams. Brain-numbing ringing in ears. Wind. Heat. Sand.

Drops of water pooled at Kevin Wood’s feet as he stood on the corner of Yamhill and Seventh Avenues. Rain slashed sideways as the bitter February wind whirled through downtown Portland. He’d been standing in the exact spot for a while now, frozen in place. His grip of the walk sign post loosened as the disturbing images faded into the dark depths of his damaged mind. The sweat covered his forehead and the back of his neck masked by the moisture pouring from the sky. A clenched breath trapped in his chest released as the post-adrenaline rush swept over his body. For a few brief seconds he thought he was in a very different place, one where rain came only several times a year and fine granules of sand filled his groves and crevices of his gun.

As always, thank you for stopping by and reading. Cheers,

Melania