Monday, March 10, 2014

Blogging hiatus & other news

So the reason I haven't been blogging is...


I've been puking! Yay!

In other words, I'm PREGNANT. Due September 10. I've had terrible morning sickness, but I'm coming out of it and I'm energized and ready to pick up my favorite manuscript and start some deep revisions. Which will probably take me a year, but that's ok. This industry is slow, right? I already fit in.

Where am I getting all this new inspiration? I attended the Big Sur Writing Workshop this past weekend. I highly recommend it. I went in trying to figure out which manuscript I should focus on and came out confident in which one has the most potential.

If you've never heard of the conference, I highly suggest you consider it. It is run by the Andrea Brown Literary Agency and is typically held twice a year. Writers get to bounce their first pages off agents, published authors and editors. It is a great place to find critique partners and learn about the publishing industry. Very helpful! Most of the info is on their site, but email me if you want the scoop from a writer's perspective.

So, without further ado, I give you my birth announcement (my 7-year old son's vlog).

2013 Book List: Summer Update

Summer is here and that means...reading on the front porch! I've gotten off to a slow start on my reading list this year, but I thought I'd post a mid-year-ish update. I've read many of the books on my 2013 list. Updates are in orange below.

1. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
I've endured acute torture ever since I finished the last page of Clockwork Prince, so this selection tops the list. I will be devouring this book, starting midnight March 19, the second it's available.
This was a somewhat satisfying final installment, but the last 100 pages were a little contrived and disappointing.

2. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Girl watches loud messy boys next door and wants to be a part of their lives. I need to read more contemporary YA because I write it and this one is quietly calling me. The gorgeous cover doesn't hurt.
This was a great summer read! I'm so glad I judged this book by its cover. 

3. Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting
I love this series and I can't wait to read this latest installment when it comes out in April. She senses dead people, people!
The fourth book in the Body Finder series was a not my favorite. Too much drug use, too many gruesome murder scenes and too many unanswered questions!

4. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Two cancer patients fall in love. I must be the only person on the planet who hasn't read this, so I'm giving it a shot. Apparently, I better get my tissues.
Well, I didn't cry. I love John Green. Maybe it was all the hype, but I wasn't in love. More of a Paper Towns person?

5. Linked by Imogen Howson
The twin she never knew existed! This book looks incredible. I'm reading it when it comes out in June.
This one comes out in a few days!

5. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
This must be the most talked about book on Twitter. It doesn't seem like something I'd normally pick, but I haven't read one bad review so it makes the list.

6. Crewel by Gennifer Albin
I wanted to read this before it came out because I heard it was dystopian with a vintage feel. But I was BURNED OUT ON DYSTOPIA in 2012. Here's hoping I'll be in the mood soon.
Turns out, this one is more of a science fiction novel than dystopian. It's unique and I'm starting to get into it.

7. Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger
Is there a nicer author on Twitter? No. Shannon is totally down to earth and awesome and I can't wait to read this book in March.

8. And, Also, My Palms are Sweaty: A memoir in sixty-four men by Gigi Griffis
I'm going to make a point to start reading more self-published works. This one about a woman's adventures in dating looks hilarious. Plus, I know the author!

9. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
A girl named Ruby survives a mysterious disease and ends up with crazy powers. I've been following this author on Twitter forever and this book looks fabulous.
I really enjoyed this book and I can't wait for the next installment, coming out October 15.

10. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
I love Stephanie's books and I can't wait to read the finale in this companion series. The only question is, will this book ever get a cover? Come on already!
What??? This is now coming out in May of 2014? Oh, well. At least it has a cover now.

11. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
So many reasons to read this book. There's a movie coming out. It takes place in the south (love). And it's written jointly by two authors. How awesome is that?
I started this book, but didn't get very far. Not sure if I'll go back to it.

12. It Takes a Village to Kill Your Husband by Jethro Collins
Another self-published book by an author I know and I can't wait to read it! "A moving story about long-lost love, finding yourself, onions rings and the importance of pink." Does it get better than that? Plus, there's a trailer.

13. Finale (Hush, Hush #4) by Becca Fitzpatrick
I read the first three, so I feel sort of invested. But I have to be in the mood to read something fluffy.

14. Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols
I'm OBSESSED with Jennifer Echols as of last week, during which I read two of her books. I haven't even read the synopsis of this one. Just reading it because it's her.

15. The Boys Next Door by Jennifer Echols
I don't take my obsessions lightly. I may read everything she wrote before the end of 2013, who knows.

16. Harken by Kaleb Nation
I'm swooning over this cover. Conspiracy theories! Supernatural organizations! Yes, please!

17. Unusual Uses for Olive Oil by Alexander McCall Smith (Portuguese Irregular Verbs #4)
Ok, this series isn't for everyone. But it's definitely for me! The first in the series was probably the funniest book I've ever read.
The third book in this series was a little weak, but this was a great comeback! I want more from this hilarious series!

Other things I've read this year...

Levitating Las Vegas by Jennifer Echols
This was my first NA book. It started out unique and entertaining, but ended up annoying me to no end!

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Genius! Genus! Genius!

Divergent by Veronica Roth
I'm in the middle of reading this and I love it! Can't wait for the movie!

How is your 2013 reading list going so far? Have you read any of the same books? Have you come across any surprises?