OMG – A Book-Mas Tree!!!

I posted this on twitter a couple of days ago, but HAD to share it with you! I heart this book tree SO MUCH. Enjoy the photo, my fellow bibliophiles <333333

**I’m not sure where the pic originated from, since it’s been floating around the interwebs – but all credit belongs to the individual who  created it.

Wishing you a very inspiring day! <33333

 

5 things you can be proud of RIGHT NOW

As writers we spend a lot of time inside of our heads. A LOT. I’d say we also spend a GREAT deal of time focused on the future. OMGGG when will I sign with an agent? When if ever please please please will I find an editor who wants to buy my book? What if no one thinks my manuscript is pretty? What if I get a kajillionmillionbillion sad faced reviews on Amazon/Goodreads/Barnes and Noble/and GAHHHHHHHH.

BREATHE.

No really, take a nice deep breath. Don’t focus on that stuff, focus on the here and now. Need a little help? Okay, here are some things you can be proud of RIGHT NOW:

1.) I’ve said this before a KAJILLION times, but it’s SO worth repeating. YOU WROTE A BOOK. OMGGGG. Do you have any idea how many people say they’re going to write a book one day, and NEVER ever ever ever ever do? You came up with a plot, a story arc, YOU KNOW WHAT A MACGUFFIN IS, you have amazingggg characters, and HOLY FREAKING MOLE you rewrote until your eyes bled 26 letters all over the page thousands of times. Be proud. No matter where you are in the publishing process, don’t ever forget that you wrote a book. You sat down late at night when everyone else was asleep. Maybe you wrote at the crack of dawn, when even the birds were too tired to get up. You sacrifice any and EVERY extra second in your day for this one dream. You’re my hero, so BE PROUD of yourself.

2.) You got a form rejection. How is THAT something to be proud of?!! Simple. You didn’t just talk about making your dreams happen, you went out there and you DID something about it. YOU WERE SO BRAVE FACED I WANT TO INTERWEBS HUG YOU SO BAD. You learned how to write a query letter. You researched agents, you boiled your plot down into 250-350 words INCLUDING your bio – holy crap you are a rock star. A form rejection, while it isn’t pleasant, means YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING. HUZZAH!!! You are wearing something that walks, talks, and looks a WHOLE lot like perseverance right now. So be proud.

3.) You got a partial or a full request. First of all YAYAYAYAYAYAYYYY high five! That feels AWESOME, doesn’t it? I mean, a real live literary agent saw something in YOUR query letter and was all, “OMGGG SEND ME THIS RIGHT THIS SECOND AS AN ATTACHED WORD DOCUMENT PREFERABLY. I HOPE TO GET BACK TO YOU IN 60-90 DAYS THANK YOU FOR THINKING OF ME…” SQUEE! Now do me a favor. Remember this feeling. Take it and squeeze the juice out of it and put it in a bottle to savor when you’re feeling down. Stop focusing on what happens next. The best thing I can tell you is this; you now have a 50-50 shot. It’s either going to be yes, or no. So breathe. SO MANY THINGS go on behind the scenes for why an agent may or may not take your project on. Be proud of how far you’ve come, and don’t forget that squishy feeling in the pit of your stomach and the triple beat of your heart slapping against your ribcage when you open that email and see a request. Allow yourself to feel proud, you accomplished something. You are so awesome.

4.) You have read every last book in your genre, your mother’s genre, your mother’s mother’s great Aunt Sissy’s genre and — holy crap that’s A LOT of reading. Why is this on the list? Reading is essential for writing. YOU are doing research, whether you think you are or not. How else will you know where your book fits into the market? Eat books for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sprinkle stories on your ice-cream at night. Read read read read read as MUCH AS YOU CAN. Then write. Reading work that has been published helps get your brain into butt-kicking sharpness. PLUS, isn’t part of the reason you’re in this whole publishing game BECAUSE you heart books so much? So be proud of how much you read, no matter where it sits in the bookstore. If you like YA…YAY!!! Mysteries, thrillers, science fiction WHATTTT. (Sorry, I loves me some science fiction.) Ahem. Be proud of yourself for taking the time to read. YOU are working on your craft and that is DEFINITELY something to be proud of.

5.) You never give up. A rejection dings its nasty little head in your inbox, but you don’t even bat an eye. You take out your handy-dandy list of well researched agents and you carefully send out a personalized query in the rejections place. You don’t view rejection as a toxic dart being shot into your heart. You view it as it was intended; It’s nothing personal – you just weren’t a good fit with that agent for whatever reason. You are a professional, you are always kind and courteous – you bravely soldier on. YOU ARE SO ADORABLE AND AWESOME AND OMG KEEP GOING GOING GOING GOING. Because you are SO CLOSE, I can feel it. NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER GIVE UP. One day I’ll be reading your book, falling in love with your characters, and DYING for your next work to come out. Thank you in advance for all that you do. I am so very proud of you. <3

HAPPY MONDAY!!!

Book Review: ASHES by Ilsa J. Bick

Rating: 5 stars

Over the weekend I read Ilsa J. Bick’s post apocalyptic/thriller/horror mash-up, ASHES. I’m normally not the HUGEST fan of third person narratives, finding it hard to really get into the main character’s head, but Bick did it right. Her writing is the perfect balance of giving the reader a clear picture of setting/emotion/ without slamming them over the head with weighty details. It’s easy to get sucked into the story. REALLY EASY. I enjoyed the action/suspense and overall creep factor A LOT, A LOT.

I loves me some creepy things. LOVES LOVES LOVES. Ahem. Sorry.

The middle of the book did take a turn. I’m NOT saying for the worse, I’m just saying shiz gets weird. But still, as a reader, you can’t stop reading – if only for the simple fact of NEEDING to know where Bick is taking you. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, BAM! You’re wrong. The ending is not at all what I expected, which isn’t a bad thing, but it definitely left me unsatisfied…at first.

When I closed the book I sort of sat there all huh, WTF. While I’m never a huge fan of ending a book on a cliffhanger, in this instance (after throwing things and drinking things and smashing things..okay, not REALLY but I thought about doing those things) it worked. ASHES is book one in a trilogy and the second installment (currently called SHADOWS) is due out in the fall of 2012.

Overall I have to say the more I think about it, the more I REALLY enjoyed this crazy ride of a read. Will I be in line for the second book? YOU BET. I can’t wait to see what Bick has in store for the kick-butt heroine or any of the other characters you’ll come to know and love. If you enjoy stories that keep you guessing, make you swear like a sailor, cower under your sheets, sleep with the lights on, and keep turning the page, then this book is SO for you.

Here’s the blurb to whet your appetite:

“IT COULD HAPPEN TOMORROW….

An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.

Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushed her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom–a young soldier–and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP.

For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.”

Go out and buy a copy IMMEDIATELY so we can gush together. Then we can break things and smash things and scream together about how far away fall of 2012 feels. BRING ON SHADOWS!!! Ahem. *puts patience cap on*

Read any good books lately? I’m open to some good suggestions. <3333

Enter to win a copy of SHATTER ME, GLOW, CROSSED, & THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER!

**THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED**

Thanks to all who entered! The winners will be announced in the next few days on the blog. (I’ll also send out email notifications to the two people who win.) I’ll be hosting another contest REALLY soon, so if you don’t win this time FEAR NOT!

Happy Holidays!!!! <333

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The holiday season makes my wee little heart grow three MASSIVE sizes. It’s true. I get all misty-eyed and hug random people. Like the mail lady. That was a little weird…so maybe I’ll just stick to virtual hugs. They’re a lot less awkward for everyone.

Anywho I want to share a GINORMOUS holiday hug with all of you. And what better way to do that, than with gifts?! FREE GIFTS!! Yayayayayayayayayayayayayayay!

So what can you win? Some of the hottest new books that have recently* hit shelves!

BEHOLD THE SPARKLY PRIZES:

SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi

CROSSED by Ally Condie

THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER by Michelle Hodkin

 GLOW by Amy Kathleen Ryan

There are going to be not one, but TWO lucky winners. One winner for prize pack A, and one for prize pack B.

Prize pack A includes: SHATTER ME and GLOW

Prize pack B includes: CROSSED and THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER

The two lucky winners will be chosen using random.org. (The first person picked will receive prize pack A and the second will receive prize pack B.)

HOW TO ENTER:

Leave a comment in this post with a way for me to contact you. THAT’S IT!

Oh, oh, oh but it’s always fun to get EXTRA points, right?! So, here are some things you can do to add extra chances to win.

Tweet about the contest (and perhaps, follow me? I LOVE my tweet hearts.) ((I’m @ScribeQuotes))

Blog about it!

Follow my blog and I’ll SUPER love you. (It’s under “Wanna be friends?” on the right side of the tool bar.)

Post about the contest on Facebook, Tumblr, Google+ or anywhere else and leave the link with your comment.

Let’s just say if you follow my blog/twitter account, and let me know you did both we’re talking 10 BONUS POINTS!

That’s 10 extra chances to win. I sort of love those odds, don’t you? But seriously, you totes don’t have to do anything besides leave a comment if you prefer. I’ll still love you anyway.

The contest starts TODAY (11/14/11) and will end on 12:00am EST 11/25/11 The lucky winners will be announced on the blog within a week from the end of the contest. All entries received after the close of the contest will not be included in the drawing. It is open to the US & Canada ONLY. BUT I promise to hold an international contest VERY, VERY soon. <3
  • SHATTER ME will hit shelves DURING this contest – how excited are you?! I know I can’t wait to read it!

Happy Thanksgiving and good luck to all who enter!!! <3333333333