Thursday, April 28, 2011

Winner Announced & the Unmotivated Reader Syndrome

I want to thank all those who entered to win Minder by Kate Kaynak. Now it’s time to announce the winner.

*Drum Roll*

Ella Schwartz

Congratulations, Ella. I will be contacting you via email with information to receive the book.

I would also like to thank Kate Kaynak for offering to give away a copy of her book for this contest. Minder is a fantastic read. Check it out!

FYI: The winner was picked according to the order in which people entered the contest. I asked my beautiful angel of a mom to pick a number between the numbers of entrees. She picked “1.” Ella was the first person to enter the contest, so she wins.

Now that I’m done with giveaway business, I’ve got to be honest with you. Every once in a while I go through a phase where I can’t get myself to pick up a book and read it. After about a week I’ll be devouring books again—one after the next. Crazy, huh? All of you obsessed book worms are probably shaking your head at me. Yep, I have found myself in another Unmotivated Reader Sydrome.

Last night, I grabbed Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare off my to-read bookshelf. Sadly enough, I didn’t have the desire to open it to its first page. Let me tell you, I’ve been excited to read that book for a while. Unfortunately, enjoying the book won’t be happening for a few days. In time I’ll get over this reading lull and be back to my I-always-have-a-book-in-my-bag-self.

Does this ever happen to you? How long does it take you to get back into the groove of reading? And please tell me I’m not the only person who becomes less than motivated to read every once in a while. It makes me feel like an alien in the vast world of readers.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Books That Made You Cry

I finished a book last night that made me bawl like a baby. Literally, through the last chapters, I could barely read the words for the tears clouding my eyes. However, I loved the book. I loved it so much that I couldn’t help but cry. I had fallen desperately for the story, the characters, and the strength found in the relationships therein. The book I am referring to is called These is my Words by Nancy E. Turner. Despite the water works that overcame me, I would, with all my being, recommend everyone in this world to partake of the beauty found within its pages. Yes, you may shed many tears, but they well are worth it in the end.

After gaining control of my tear ducts, I began thinking about all the books that have made me unable to control my emotions—the books that made me cry. Here is a list (it may not be exhaustive):

  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K Rowling
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Traitor by Sandra Grey
  • The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale
  • New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
  • The Great and Terrible series by Chris Stewart
Story time: As I read the seventh Harry Potter book, there came a part where one of the characters was killed. Of course, I’m not going to say which character, so I won’t spoil it. But I will say shame on you if you haven’t read the HP books. :)

My old roommate finished the book a couple days before I did, so she was be able to chitchat about it with me as I read. One night, I could not put the book down and read into the wee hours of the morning. Around 12:30 A.M. the said death occurred. My roommate had gone home for the weekend, so she wasn’t readily available to talk to me as I sobbed. I thought she might still be up, so I called her. To my relief, she answered the phone.

She thought someone real had died and was about to hop in her car to drive home.

Then I said, “***** died!”

She started laughing at my emphatic declaration of sorrow for the lost character. He was given a sock at one point in the series. Spoiler!

I came to find out later that she was not quite sure how to console someone who was crying over the death of a fictional character. Anyway, at least I made her laugh.

So, I pose the question, which books have made you cry?

PS: Don't forget to enter to win a free book called Minder by Kate Kaynak. Go here to enter on my blog! Contest closes tomorrow.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I'm Sort of in Love...

I have sort of fallen in love with the band The Killers and Brandon Flowers for that matter. Alright, I'll admit it, I've hopelessly, desperately fallen in love with them. They make for some inspiring writing music. Oddly enough, my coworker went to high school with Mr. Flowers. She said he was a punk. I say he is a gorgeously, hot punk. 

Anyway, I just barely heard Read My Mind on Pandora, so I looked up the music video. It’s hilarious in a very random way. Please check it out and tell me why you think the green, blobby character is in the video?

Also, just a friendly reminder: Don’t forget to enter my latest book giveaway contest. I’m giving away Minder by Kate Kaynak. Go here to enter the contest. You’ll find my review of the said book and a trailer.

Thank you and have a totally "Killer" Thursday!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Contest Time Again!

New plan: Please follow the instructions below to enter the contest. Google Documents is so not working for me, so I won't give it my business. Hehe 

I’m excited to say its contest time again! Almost two months ago, I had the opportunity to contact the fantastic author, Kate Kaynak. On top of being an author she is an editor for Spencer Hill Press (SHP is publishing Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout). Kate graciously gave me my own personalized signed copy of her book, Minder. Not only did I get the book, but she has offered to send the winner of this contest a personalized signed copy of Minder, too. And you know what; it is a trilogy, so there is more to come after the first book. Super yah!

Here is a blurb about it:

“Sixteen-year-old Maddie Dunn doesn't know how Del and his two friends died. She just knows that she killed them. Ganzfield is a training facility full of people like her, but it's not exactly a nurturing place. Every social interaction carries the threat of mind-control. A stray thought can burn a building to the ground. And people's nightmares don't always stay in their own heads. But it's still better than New Jersey. Especially once she meets the man of her dreams...”

Alright, if you liked The X-men comic or movies, then you’ll absolutely adore Minder. It’s paranormal, romantic, comical, and adds in some crazy, intense drama. The two main characters are strong and dynamic in personality. They make an unforgettably spicy couple. By the end, you won’t be able to put the book down. I know it’s cliché but you’ll for sure be on the edge of your seat as your heart beats out of your chest.

To enter the contest comment on this post with the following point system.

  • You must follow my blog +1
  • You must follow me on Twitter +1
  • You must tweet, facebook, or blog about it +1
  • Please add the links to your tweet, facebook message, or blog post +1
  • Please give me your email address so I can contact the winner +1
  • Add up your points
The contest will close on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 3:21 p.m. MST. I will announce the winner on Thursday, April 28, 2011 on my blog. The winner will be randomly picked by the order in which you entered. OPEN TO U.S. ONLY.

If that wasn’t enough to tempt your eyes to enter this contest, then check out the trailer for it below.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Reading, Apologies, & Some Changes

Hey, y’all. I didn’t post on Monday or Wednesday. Can you believe it? Yep, it’s true. I really had nothing fantastic to say. If you stopped by, I apologize for not offering you something to read. I’m thinking of changing things up a bit by only posting on Tuesday and Thursday. That means there will be no more “What I’ve Learned Wednesday.” What a shame cuz it was fun. So kids, I figure, I work full-time, am writing a book, am tweeting a lot, and have books I’m trying to read. Plus, I need to have a life, too. It’s just too hard to post three times a week, and I fear you’re going to get sick of me. That is not possible, though cuz I’m brilliant. Not really, but let’s fake like I am. Just humor me on that one. Tehehehe!

Well, I’ve read a few books over the last few months. Here’s the list:

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Inkspell by Cornelia Funke
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
Beyonders: A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull
Minders by Kate Kaynak

I love reading guys. It’s probably the most fun thing that I do—other than writing, of course. I want to single out one of the above mentioned books. Beyonders: A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull. It is extraordinary. Mull reached into his creative mind to create a whole new world of fantasy characters. Not just normal fantasyesque beings like elves and centaurs, but new ones. You’ll have to read the book to get to know them. Brandon Mull is one of my favorite authors, and the cool thing is he lives in my hometown. That makes me feel special.

Here is a blurb about it the book:

“Jason Walker has often wished his life could be a bit less predictable--until a routine day at the zoo ends with Jason suddenly transporting from the hippo tank to a place unlike anything he's ever seen. In the past, the people of Lyrian welcomed visitors from the Beyond, but attitudes have changed since the wizard emperor Maldor rose to power. The brave resistors who opposed the emperor have been bought off or broken, leaving a realm where fear and suspicion prevail. In his search for a way home, Jason meets Rachel, who was also mysteriously drawn to Lyrian from our world. With the help of a few scattered rebels, Jason and Rachel become entangled in a quest to piece together the word of power that can destroy the emperor, and learn that their best hope to find a way home will be to save this world without heroes.” (Good Reads)

Brandon Mull also wrote the Fablehaven series (phenomenal books) and The Candy Shop War. He also has a picture book called Pingo. Pick up the books and you’ll become a fan of his literature within no time. The Beyonders will be a trilogy. I seriously can’t wait for the next books to be released in the coming two years.

What have you been reading as of late?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Keep Crossing Fingers

It's Friday, y'all. Isn't that great? I think it is. This week has been busy. Lots of things going on. The big thing is I had a birthday. Thank you all for wishing me a Happy Birthday. That was really kind of you to stop by my blog or Twitter. Also, the place I work at won the Organization of the Year Award. We have a supercool, but very heavy plaque gracing our office now. I get to go to lunch tomorrow with a friend. That will be fun, not only because I'll be with my friend, but we're going to my favorite restaurant, The Cheesecake Factory! Bring on a slice of a beautifully delicious cheesecake! Oh, I went out to eat with another friend the other day, too.

So, onto some business. With deciding to change the ages of my book's characters brings about a great deal of rewriting. It is sort of like starting all over again. Daunting, huh? While I was editing last night, it dawned on my that it is gonna take a while to work through changing the dynamic of the characters. Some scenes I have to completely throw away. Argh! I thought it was going to be easier. Nope, I was wrong. I do know that it is going to make it a thousand times better. This is when I tell everyone to cross their fingers so that I can pull this off. I hope that I never do this to myself again. Hehe. I probably will, though, and that's alright.

So, have you ever had to start over writing a story? Have you thought of a different angle that would improve it? Were you afraid that your original story would be better than the new idea?  How did you go forward and write without getting discouraged?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What I've Learned Wednesday: My Special Day

For todays "What I've Learned Wednesday," I'm going to place all the attention on me. I want to be published author, so I may as well get used to all the attention. Right? So what I've learned is before you even get published, you need to get you name out there. So, social network! Yah, for blogging and Twitter. I've met lots of nice people through it. And my name is out there, even if it's just on a small scale. Why I am saying all of this?

Because today's my birthday!!! I'm the big 29! So exciting!

So as a birthday present to me, I want at least 50 comments on my blog telling me Happy Birthday! It would be nice to get at least 20 new followers, too! hehe Bring on the cheers of happiness on my day! Make 'em creative, kids. (Kids = term of endearment) Please, make my head bigger than it already is. No, really, I have a big head. It's the King curse. hehe.

Thank you! Or written in Chinese 謝謝

Monday, April 4, 2011

Passing the Ball

I saw this the other day and thought it was interesting. Gonna share it with you. Comment with what you think about it. Be honest. Plus, yes, watch out for cyclists. Thanks!
PS: Have a great week!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Are you Crazy Enough?

I saw this video the other day. It totally struck a chord with me. Left me thinking about us as authors. We work really hard at our craft, sometimes without any recognition. Yet, we continue weaving a story in hopes that it will be something people will enjoy! That it will be purchased.

This video is something I want to share with you in order to jump start your engines to Go Forward and Write. But write something that will change the world. Change the world in the sense that it makes someone laugh, cry, or want to be a better person. I'm not saying we have to all write self-help books (not that they're bad). Just write something that will leave a mark. Make people want to pick up another book. 

If you aren't a writer, then go forward and do those things that you enjoy. Change the world in that way, whatever it may be. 

"Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."

Take your crazy ideas and change the world with them. Who is up to the challenge? I'm willing to start anew and work hard. Are you? Let's make this a collective effort to change the world one letter at a time.