Friday, July 30, 2010

Umm, hi again.

I have got to stop telling you guys I'll have something up by a certain day. Because, seriously, I hate breaking promises. But here I am, without a review. Again.

Life has been more than a little crazy lately. But I keep having things come up, or I'm not scheduling my time properly and things aren't getting done. I was going to have a review up for you today, but yesterday I didn't get up until noon and then when I did I spent most of the day in bed feeling sick and being barely able to move because I was so drained of energy.

And since I'm off to visit my brother for a few days to celebrate his pending divorce, I hope to be up and running again next week. (I always have free time when we visit my brother, and I told you guys things were crazy.) Anyway, without a doubt I have another awesome interview for you guys, and I'm working on another after that.

In the meantime, I'd like to know what all of you are reading regardless of age group and genre. So let's have it. What have you been reading lately?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Interview: Author/Agent Mandy Hubbard

Today, my dearest bloggers, I have a real treat for you (partially to make up for the lack of attention I've been giving you, but mostly because today's guest is awesome). The wonderfully gracious Mandy Hubbard, author and agent extraordinaire, is here for an interview! 
About Mandy: 
 "Mandy Hubbard is the author of Prada & Prejudice, You Wish, and five other to-be-published novels for teens. She is also a literary agent for D4EO Literary, where she represents authors of middle grade and teen fiction. She is currently living happily ever after with her husband and young daughter in Enumclaw, Washington." -- from her website. 

For more information about Mandy, visit her online at

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Blargh! It's Wednesday.

And that means it's time for a little WIP Wednesday! Sorry for the absence. I had to learn an entire chapter of Spanish in 2 days, and impressively enough I made my highest test grade. Anyway.

So, I'm about 7k into draft 2 of The Sandman's Apprentice. It's coming along very slowly what with all the other things I've been doing. Did I mention I read two fulls over the weekend? Well, I did. Which is why there wasn't a review up on Monday. BUT I will finish reading and Falling, fly for you all soon. Maybe tonight of I don't end up editing or reading a partial.

Either way, you guys are getting a review . . . and an INTERVIEW this week. Uh huh, that's right. Not telling you who with though, so you'll just have to show up. But I can promise you another review next week, too. And another after that. :) I'm awesome. I know. LOL just kidding.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Some Query Stats

On a blog related note, I'm going to have to cut back on posting. I'll try to do at least one review a week, but everything else right now is up in the air. Blogging is pretty much the least important thing going on right now so I'll try to keep up with all of your blog, but expect things to be slower around here.

When I first started with AA, I requested a lot more than I did today. Why? Because I was paying more attention to the concept and a person's credentials than I was the writing. I was willing to over look typos and an awkward sentence or three if the idea was intriguing. I was even willing to request a partial for something with an unusually high word count, though when it comes to queries unusually high isn't really saying much. (I had a 295k query today. No joke.) I have learned my lesson, and will more than likely keep learning as I go. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I've been slacking when it comes to reading things of the published variety as of late. So reviews will, hopefully, resume on Monday.

So, now that it's 3:40 in the afternoon here and I haven't posted, I thought I'd talk about queries. Most of you will probably already know all of this, but maybe I can shed some light on something.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Interning, Links, and a Shout Out

Alright, so I've been super busy and all kinds of scatterbrained, but this interning thing is amazing. I read slush. Lots of slush, and let me tell you that I tend to just nod my head at all the posts on blogs about reading queries and queries in general now. Man, that was a lot of links. :)

There are a lot, A LOT of really bad ones, so when you see that an agent has only requested 1 partial out of over 100 queries remember that most of the stuff they read was horrid. You can officially take my word on that, and I want to request more than Awesome Agent.

I've also noticed that what people say about the intern or the new agent reading slush is true; though, naturally, I can't find any of those posts right now. We're more willing to look at something than an agent might be. I'm sure Awesome Agent has requested way more since taking me on than she usually does, just to prove a point. And it's working. Already I look back at some of the first things I requested and wonder what I saw, and it comes down to them being the best ones of the batch, regardless of whether they were good or not.

But I have seen some good stuff, not a whole lot, but some. And that is awesome. You know what else is awesome? Getting an email that says something I picked out of the slush has agent interest/offers elsewhere. Why is that cool? Because it means that something I saw in the slush got a real agent's attention. Makes me feel like I'm doing something right.

In other news, the lovely Candyland is hosting a contest over on her blog. It's for a good cause, like how the entire writing community pulled together for Do the Write Thing for Nashville. Candyland is using her blog to support the Joy 2 the World non-profit organization. In Candyland's words:

"Matt Brady is New Medicine's bassist, and an avid supporter of the non-profit, Joy 2 the World, which generates micro-credit loans for the women of Ghana to encourage independence and empowerment.They're an amazing organization who helps build wells for clean water (as opposed to river water), create pre-k schools with hot meals, give loans to women for small business start-up and awards scholarships to those attending school.
To read Matt Brady's amazing journey in Ghana, click HERE.
To read more about Joy 2 the World, click HERE."

You can win some awesome stuff, including page/chapter/query letter critiques from industry pros like Natalie Fischer and Michelle Wolfson and autographed books, swag from the likes of Kimberly Derting and Sean Ferrell, and gift cards from T.H. Mafi.

There are plenty of ways to get entries, so head on over to The Misadventures in Candyland and check it out! :)

And something funny for those of you who read this whole thing and hopefully clicked through to a few of those links.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tantalizing Books

Okay, so I won a contest over at Andrea Cremer's blog, which means I got a signed ARC of Nightshade in the mail last week. SQUEE!!! It's beautiful, and sadly I've been doing a bunch of other stuff and haven't started it yet. But I've flipped through it and it is SO cool. I'll have to start it soon, it's bugging me too much to let it continue staring me down.

So, for those of you who don't know about it, here's a little about the book:

(OMG Isn't it gorgeous?!)

Published: October 19, 2010 by Philomel (3 more months!!)
Format: Hardcover, 464 pgs

While other teenage girls daydream about boys, Calla Tor imagines ripping out her enemies’ throats. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. Calla was born a warrior and on her eighteenth-birthday she’ll become the alpha female of the next generation of Guardian wolves. But Calla’s predestined path veers off course the moment she saves the life of a wayward hiker, a boy her own age. This human boy’s secret will turn the young pack's world upside down and forever alter the outcome of the centuries-old Witches' War that surrounds them all.

See what others are saying about Nightshade by Andrea Cremer on Goodreads.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Review: Bones of Faerie

Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner

Age Group: Young Adult
Published: January 27, 2009 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover, 247 pgs.
Source: Purchased


The war between humanity and Faerie devastated both sides. Or so 15-year-old Liza has been told. Nothing has been seen or heard from Faerie since, and Liza’s world bears the scars of its encounter with magic. Trees move with sinister intention, and the town Liza calls home is surrounded by a forest that threatens to harm all those who wander into it. Then Liza discovers she has the Faerie ability to see—into the past, into the future—and she has no choice but to flee her town. Liza’s quest will take her into Faerie and back again, and what she finds along the way may be the key to healing both worlds.

Janni Lee Simner’s first novel for young adults is a dark fairy-tale twist on apocalyptic fiction—as familiar as a nightmare, yet altogether unique.

Friday, July 16, 2010

It's a bird. It's a plane. No, it's a Blog Award!

Can you tell I have a problem naming my posts? :)

I've been sitting on this for about a week now. What can I say? I've been a little busy. Anyway, I got the Trendy Blog Award from Medeia Sharif. She's super awesome. Thanks, Medeia! (She has a contest going on by the way, you guys. Just FYI in case you haven't been keeping tabs on the Contest sidebar over there. <---)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Review: Maximum Ride Book 3

Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports (Maximum Ride #3) by James Patterson

Age Group: Young Adult
Published: July 1, 2008 by Little, Brown Young Readers
Format: Paperback, 432 pgs
Source: Borrowed


There's one last chance to save the world in MAXIMUM RIDE: SAVING THE WORLD AND OTHER EXTREME SPORTS, the closing chapter of James Patterson's thrilling trilogy. The time has arrived for Max and her winged "flock" to face their ultimate enemy and discover their original purpose: to defeat the takeover of "Re-evolution", a sinister experiment to re-engineer a select population into a scientifically superior master race...and to terminate the rest. Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman, and Angel have always worked together to defeat the forces working against them--but can they save the world when they are torn apart, living in hiding and captivity, halfway across the globe from one another?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

WIP Wednesday

Okay, today's post will be a short one. Because I'm in desperate need of studying Spanish and I do better at that when my mom's at work. (Don't look at me like that, I live at home like 3-4 months out of the year. :P )

Edits are very slow. I've been busy reading lots of queries (128 of them yesterday from over the weekend and another day or two from last week) and trying not to fail miserably at Spanish. But I've made a little progress and I'm trying to iron out a few plot details that probably won't matter to most people but I want to have an answer for them nonetheless. So draft 2 is sitting at a whopping almost 3k of all new words. Yea, I told you it was slow going.

In other news, I have an idea that I've been thinking about for a few months now in my head and I can't get it out, but there's no real plot there yet. When I get time I'll see what I can make of it, but it'll be fun and comical and a change of pace if I do it right.

And completely unrelated but not really: please go watch this video of/by Jackson Pearce. I haven't read Sisters Red yet but I really, really want to  and this video just confirms Pearce's awesomeness. Better yet, I'll just show it to you. (No excuses now! Hahaha.) Enjoy! And be sure to tell me how things are going for you, whether you're a writer or not! Read any good books lately? I'd love to hear about them!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It's Tuesday

I was supposed to have something to post today, but I don't have much because I'm trying to do Spanish and my Outlook messed up over the weekend and hid all my emails from Awesome Agent so I'm already behind for the week. Woot. *sigh* Here's the opening of my second draft of The Sandman's Apprentice. Enjoy!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Review: Her Mother's Daughter

Her Mother's Daughter: A Novel of Queen Mary Tudor by Julianne Lee

Age Group: Adult
Published: December 1, 2009 by Berkley Trade
Format: Paperback, 336 pgs
Source: To Review


Her name was Mary Tudor. First of the Tudor queens, she has gone down in history as Bloody Mary. But does she deserve her vicious reputation?

She was the daughter of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon, and half-sister to Edward VI and Elizabeth I. Mary Tudor’s life began as the sweetly innocent, pampered princess of Wales—until the age of eleven when the father she adored cast aside the mother she worshiped and declared Mary a bastard. Only after years of exile did Mary finally rise to the throne alongside the man who, aside from her father, was her greatest love—and her greatest betrayer.

Told by Mary herself and the people around her, this grand-scale novel takes us back to the glittering court of sixteenth-century England, and tells the tragic story of a fascinating, largely misunderstood woman who withstood the treachery and passion around her only to become one of England’s most vilified queens.

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Non-Ranting Post

Don't worry, it's safe. I'm in a much better mood today. Thank you all for the support during my lovely online rant. Your comments made me feel like I'm a part of something here, oh that's right, an absolutely amazing writing community, that's what. So thank you all again and again. You're wonderful. :)

In other news I might have to lose a day or two on the blog, because not only do I start my online Spanish class on Monday but I'm also remote interning for a super awesome literary agent now. WOO! Bring on the slush! I think it's a good sign that I'm loving it already. I read 64 queries yesterday. So cool.

Anyway, I have a bunch more sitting in my inbox so I've gotta run, just wanted to update you guys. What's new with you?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Review: Ella Enchanted

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Age Group: Middle Grade
Published: August 31, 1998 by HarperTrophy
Format: Paperback, 232 pgs
Source: Purchased


At her birth, Ella of Frell was the unfortunate recipient of a foolish fairy's gift --- the "gift" of obedience. Ella must obey any order given to her, whether it's hopping on one foot for a day and a half, or chopping off her own head! But strong-willed Ella does not tamely accept her fate. Against a bold backdrop of princes, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers, Ella goes on a quest to break the curse --- once and for all.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

WIP Wednesday

It's almost noon here, and I just woke up a few minutes ago. I'm not entirely sure how it happened, so sorry for the delayed posting; I should really start doing these in advance again. :)

I don't have much progress to report on The Sandman's Apprentice other than to say that I've started draft #2. I seem to be basically re-writing it so far. I'll copy a paragraph from the first draft and put it a few lines down to remind me of what's happening at this point in the story and then I just write it all over again. A few things change, the prose gets tightened, and I make it more realistic and flow better.

My chapter breaks are changing. A chunk that was 2,200 words is now 1,200 and is so much cleaner and more realistic. I love turning a great story into an actual book. There's nothing like knowing that what you're working on is (going to be) publishable material.

So that's where I'm at, going a little slower than I'd like. How are things with all of you?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Little More Personal

Yea, it's been one of those weeks where things were just fine, until they suddenly weren't. My aunt came up to visit with my cousin's little girl and they stayed with my grandma. They came up, Mom and I went to see them on Sunday but didn't want to go to the church celebrations so we left and promised to come back the next day. Everything was fine.

Monday morning we get a call saying some more family has showed up; they were passing through on their way home after dropping my cousin Sean off at West Point. So we get up and get dressed and head over there earlier than planned. We stay for a bit, talk, and then give hugs and say goodbye. Things are still okay.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Review: Soulless

Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate #1) by Gail Carriger

Age Group: Adult
Published: October 1, 2009 by Orbit
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 357 pgs
Source: Purchased

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart? 

Friday, July 2, 2010

A rant about blogs (and contests)

First off, it's Friday!! Woo! And it's the 4th of July weekend, another Woo!! So everyone have a great holiday; Be safe and have lots of fun! (Okay I'm don't with the exclamation points, I think.)

Now then, I like contests, I really do. I've won a few of them now, and I'm even planning on having some myself; but what I can't stand are people who update their blog more for contests than anything else. I am this >  < close to not following someone any more because all they do is tell me about other contests around the blogosphere.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Review: Stray

Stray by Rachel Vincent

Age Group: Adult
Published: June 1, 2007 by Mira
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 618 pgs
Source: Purchased

There are only eight breeding female werecats left . . .
And I'm one of them. I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds.
Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked.
I'd been warned about Strays -- werecats without a Pride, constantly on the lookout for someone like me: attractive, female, and fertile. I fought him off, but then learned two of my fellow tabbies had disappeared.
This brush with danger was all my Pride needed to summon me back . . . for my own protection. Yeah, right. But I'm no meek kitty. I'll take on whatever -- and whoever -- I have to in order to find my friends. Watch out, Strays -- 'cause I got claws, and I'm not afraid to use them . . .


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