Friday, July 30, 2010

random English fact

My books are being re-edited. I just uploaded a newly edited version of My Blood Approves, and its really good. The typos are gone!

But here's something that's been happening every time somebody edits my books: They point out missing quotes, when they're not.

Here's a quote from the third chapter of Wisdom:

“I don’t mean in a perverse way," she said. "Everything I did, I was just looking to feel like someone cared about me, I think. And you were the first person that ever did. I could feel it

“So, thank you.” She laughed nervously.

The purple highlighted part is not in quotes. Most people think it should be, but it's not supposed to be.

Here's the rule (with a quote from Jane Austen to back me up):

In most cases, quotations that span multiple paragraphs should be set as block quotations, and thus do not require quotation marks. Quotation marks are used for multiple-paragraph quotations in some cases, especially in narratives. The convention in English is to give opening quotation marks to the first and each subsequent paragraph, using closing quotation marks only for the final paragraph of the quotation, as in the following example from Pride and Prejudice:

The letter was to this effect:

“My dear Lizzy,

“I wish you joy. If you love Mr. Darcy half as well as I do my dear Wickham, you must be very happy. It is a great comfort to have you so rich, and when you have nothing else to do, I hope you will think of us. I am sure Wickham would like a place at court very much, and I do not think we shall have quite money enough to live upon without some help. Any place would do, of about three or four hundred a year; but however, do not speak to Mr. Darcy about it, if you had rather not.

“Yours, etc.”

If the same person is talking in one paragraph, and they're still talking in the next, the closing quote isn't needed, because the quotation hasn't ended yet.

I make a lot of typos and mistakes, which people have been kind enough to fix, but this one thing is not a mistake. The only reason I know about this is because of Ann Rice. Interview with the Vampire is just one long quotation.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

crisis averted

So, I wrote Wisdom. And what you may or may not know is that I was not pleased with the ending. Not pleased at all. It didn't feel... right. I still can't say what exactly was wrong with it except it seemed too... sterile. I don't know if that's the right word, but that's the one I'm using. 

The good news is: Inspiration hit, and I rewrote the ending tonight! The last 6,500 words were cut, trimmed, or rerranged, and the word count went up to almost 10k. But you know what? That's okay. Because the ending is perfect.

Really. Well, I think it's perfect. 

I feel so relieved. I really hated the old ending and couldn't figure out how to fix it. 

Anyway, I fixed it. I'm excited. I can't wait for you all to read it. 

(Which will be on August 22nd, when the highly anticipated fourth novel in the My Blood Approves series is released. Meanwhile, feel free to catch up on the rest of the My Blood Approves on now, as well as the first book in the new Trylle Trilogy.)

But right now, I'm off to watch Top Chef and do laundry. Yes, that is how glamorous my life is. ;)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

a day that will live in infamy

Guys, Blade Runner is a really good movie.

But that's not what I'm here to talk about. Stephen King sold Carrie when he was 26-years-old. Because of this random fact, 26 has been the bar that I measured success by. I had to be a real writer by the time I was 26 or it meant I would never be a real writer. That's what I said inside my head.

I'm 26 now. As of today, July 28, 2010, I've sold over 10,000 books.

No, my writing career has not been how I pictured it when I was a kid. But in some ways, it's a lot better.

I'm not saying I'm better than Stephen King. He's clearly a better writer and has more success than I can ever hope to achieve. I'm never actually going to compete with him, not in any real way. But this was never about being better than him.

But I did reach my goal. I am still reaching it. And that's pretty amazing.

Monday, July 26, 2010

re-review of Inception

I recant all the negative things I hinted at my previous review of Inception. (Except Christopher Nolan still doesn't know how to utilize ladies.)

Okay, sure it took me 11 days, and I've been thinking about it a lot. But I just now figured out what actually happened in the movie, and it was brilliant. I kept thinking, "Wow, these are holes in the story telling," but that's because I didn't see the actual story it was telling.

And it's the best. It's really good. It's beyond good. It's way better that I thought it was, now that I figured out what it thought it was.

I just watched this fun Toy Story 3 mashup with Inception, and that's how I figured it out. It sounds stupid, but when I was watching, I was like "Oh my god, the answer was right there all along! It's so obvious!" Maybe I was just slow. Maybe Christopher Nolan is too smart.

I don't know. What I do know, is that I have  to see it again. In IMAX this time. The IMAX isn't really necessary (although that scene with Joseph Gordon-Levitt really should be seen in IMAX or at least a big screen.)

I'm really excited right now. I don't know why. Maybe because I'm a crazy person and a fangirl. But the fact is: It's a good movie. I gave it 4 stars before. Now I gave 5.5.

It's like at the end of The Usual Suspects, when the cop figures out who Keyser Soze is, and they go back and they show you all the little signs. And you're like, "Oh my god!" It's like that. But better.

And if you haven't seen The Usual Suspects, go see it. And The Lookout. Those are my film recommendations for today. That, and of course, Inception.

Superman is dead

Here's what I'm listening to on a continuous loop: "Bulletproof" by La Roux, "Your Song" by Ewan McGregor from Moulin Rouge, and "Motorcycle Drive By" by Third Eye Blind.

On a note mostly unrrelated to anything, here are my favorite albums when I was 12:
Third Eye Blind - Third Eye Blind
Our Lady Peace - Clumsy
Beck - Odelay
Black Lab - Your Body Above Me
Pearl Jam - Ten

I stand by all these albums as being some of the best albums produced in the 1990's. In the case of Pearl Jam, I'd say perhaps one of the best, and both Black Lab and Our Lady Peace being the most overlooked talents of the '90s.

Third Eye Blind isn't a great band. I'll say that. But the last three tracks on their debut album remain some of my favorite songs to this day.

"Motorcycle Drive By" could be the anthem for Alice in Wisdom. Maybe that's why its been so stuck in my head lately.

Anyway... I'm sleep deprived. My brain feels like mud. So I'll sleep now.

P. S. Our Lady Peace's Clumsy is in the top 10 best alternative albums ever. At least according to me. If you haven't listened to it or heard of them, you should. "Superman's Dead" is brilliant. I used to listen to that song obsessively on repeat. I'm not sure what they're last album sounds like, but for a long time, they were the only band I had all their albums of. They're just that good.

P. P. S. Now the only band that I have their albums is Fall Out Boy. Life is strange.

P. P. P. S. "Your Song" by Ewan is pretty damn sweet.

Friday, July 23, 2010

kisses are a better fate than wisdom

It's a month until the release of Wisdom. I've been working on it, getting it ready for the big day, and I thought I would give you a little insight into what's going on.

Here's the thing: I don't like "happily ever after." It's not that I don't like happy endings. I do. Everything should have a happy ending. But I don't like these blanket ones. (Side note: Just because I like happy ending doesn't mean I wrote one - but I might have.)

Take the end of Cinderella. She gets married after meeting the guy once, and even though he's supposedly so infatuated with her, he can't even remember what she looks like well enough to find her without relying on a shoe size? They have a shotgun wedding, ride off in the carriage, the music soars, Disney says "Happily Ever After," but I'm sitting there going, "And then what?"

How did the marriage work? Did they have anything in common? What kind of things do they do? Does Cinderella make a good queen? What does she do with her family? Did she take the mice with her when she moved out?

At some point, a story has to end, yes. But I don't want it to end with a "everything will be great every day on now that they have this one thing." I want a glimpse of what happily ever after will look like. Or maybe it's not a happily ever after even.

Maybe the Prince beats Cinderella. Who knows? We know literally nothing about him, except he is unable to recognize faces. Maybe he's autistic. I think I heard once they have a problem with facial recognition. And they can still have a happy life if he's autistic, but it's a different one than the one Disney always painted. A more interesting one, too.

So, anyway, I wrote the first three books in the My Blood Approves, and I left a few questions open. There's some stuff I knew I wanted to answer in Wisdom.

But I got thinking about it - happily ever after is a really  long time when you live forever. What would that even mean for vampires?

What would you really do with forever? I might go insane if I had forever and ever and ever stretched out before me.

All the titles of the books are taken from the e e cummings poem "Since Feeling Is First," but Wisdom is an especially apt title. Alice has made a lot of choices in the books, some good, some bad. But it's time for her to reap what she's sown, to grow up and understand who she is and what she has yet to become.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

you may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one

I added a widget for the Wisdom countdown. Apparently, it's only 32 days away. Egads!

I'm working on some fun things for the release of that, and I will be asking for beta readers/editors soon. I'm not asking yet, so don't offer yet, cause Wisdom isn't quite ready for betas yet.

Last night, I had a super bizarre, sometime frightening dream. I had to hide under a bed to avoid getting shot at one point. What I remember clearly: The song "Purple Rain" played in the background the entire time, but like over the loudspeaker at a mall - very background noise. And Joseph Gorden-Levitt was there, helping me, I think.

So I blame the entire dream on Inception.

As a writer and a frequent-owner of very, very bizarre dreams, I often wonder if given the option to live entirely in a fantasy (i.e. a made up world in my mind or dreams or what have you), would I choose it?

That's not say that I don't love my friends or family or many parts of my real life. Most of them in fact. But if I could live in a place where I always control everything, where I can do anything, look fancy, frolic with unicorns and Heath Ledger, would I take it? Even if I knew it wasn't real?

That's a pretty fundamental question, though. Is real pain better than false happiness? Not that my life is pain pain, but it's not perfect. Maybe that's a better way of phrasing it - are real flaws better than false perfection?

Obviously, the correct answer is to choose reality vs. delusion. That's the right thing. The moral thing. But the right thing is for me to exercise 30 minutes day and save at least 10% of my check, but I don't do those either.

I can't honestly say that I would pick the right thing in that situation. I'd like to spoiler alert at least three movies with Leonard DiCaprio - no, wait, I'll make that four - to help support my hypothesis, but I can't. I mean, I can. But I don't want to "Rosebud is the sled" them all for you.

The point is - I'm an honest person. And I like anybody that tells the truth. I have more respect for people who come out and say they're an asshole than people who pretend to be nice.

But I think if given the chance, I might choose to dream over real life. Even a bad dream. I hope that doesn't make me a bad person. I'd like to think it makes me a dreamer, but it probably just means I'm lazy.

Probably, I'll never be given the chance to find out.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Inception was a pretty good movie but Robin Williams as Riddler is the worst thing in the world

I'm in love with Joseph Gordon-Levitt this week, and you'll all just have to deal with it.

To be fair, my Joseph Gordon-Levitt crush has been brewing since Angels in the Outfield, but it intensified after I saw The Lookout  a few years back (side note: I've put the The Lookout in the top fifty movies I've seen in the past 10 years, and I've seen a lot of movies in the past ten years - it's very, very good. You should go watch it. Right now.) 

I got annoyed with him after 500 Days of Summer. I'm not going to go into my issues with that film or Zooey Deschanel or Michael Cera, because it's too much work and vaguely confusing, even to me.

Anyway, I saw Inception last night. I won't give away any spoilers (mostly because it would be too long to explain it) but here's my general thoughts: 

Leonardo DiCaprio's role in the film should've been lessened. Also, he's being typecast lately, but I can't tell you how, because that would ruin the end of the three movies he's being typecast in - but here's a hint: Revolutionary Road, Shutter Island, and Inception are the three movies doing it.

Also, Ellen Page was oddly intrusive. She was. I enjoy her and all (although, her indie quirkiness felt out of place in a crime thriller - which is essentially what this) but her character was awfully pushy for someone that just met Leonardo DiCaprio. 

And now I'm going to say something I don't want to say - there's a problem with all of Christopher Nolan's movies. Not a big one, and it's small enough where I can overlook it and love his films. He's still pretty brilliant. But his plots are so intricate and detailed they don't allow for much character development. I watched a nearly 3-hour movie. I only know five characters names, and I only really know details about Leonardo DiCaprio. And some about Cillian Murphy, but for the most part, those were brushed under the rug. 

Also - Eric had read somewhere that Christopher Nolan uses woman as an afterthought in his films. So I got to thinking about Memento, Insomnia, The Prestige, and the Batmans. And you know what? That is a 100% accurate. It's bothered me that I never really liked Rachel Dawes in the Batman movies. Even in The Dark Knight. I love Maggie Gyllenhaal. Why don't I care about Rachel? At all?

Because she's not a character. She's a prop. So was Scarlett Johansson in The Prestige, Carrie Ann Moss in Memento and that chick I hate in Insomnia. None of them are developed. They're just plot devices.  

To be fair, a lot of Christopher Nolan's characters are underdeveloped (with the incredible exception of Leonardo's character in Inception who might be the most overdeveloped character in the history of the world). But a lot of time, he hits the mark right for the men. Again, with the exception of Inception. But the ladies never, ever are. 

Overall, I did really enjoy Inception.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt's fight scene is pretty phenomenal, and I'm considering seeing the film in IMAX just so I can watch that in all its glory. Hans Zimmer's score is stupendous. No other composer can bring tension like that. Cillian Murphy is pretty, as usual. Michael Caine had more of a cameo than an actual role in the movie, but I liked it. The ending was perfect, too. 

Tom Hardy - who I'd actually never heard of before - was the real charmer of the show. He stole most of the scenes he was in. He was delightful. 

Despite a few plot holes and a boring subplot that overshadowed the more interesting real plot, I'd still give it 4/5 stars. I really liked it, and I will buy the DVD. 

But what happened after the film is the most fun. A rumor on the internet is that Joseph Gordon-Levitt might be the Riddler in the third Batman film. I think this is the best idea ever. 

Well, after watching Inception, I went out to the bars with friends to celebrate my birthday, and I had a few too many drinks. I came home, a little drunk, talking about the movie and Batman, etc. My roommate told me that he'd read somewhere that they might be considering casting Robin Williams as the Riddler in the new Batman movie instead of Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

I spent the next hour drunkenly sobbing about that choice and how it would ruin the movie. My roommate taped me on his phone, so I got to a watch video of it today, and it was pretty sweet. 

He asked me why I was so upset about it, and I said that it was the last time Christian Bale would be Batman and I didn't want Robin Williams to ruin it because he doesn't know what funny is. I then began to wail about how horrible Terminator: Salvation is.

It doesn't sound funny, but it was pretty hilarious. Well, today it is. I'm not sure if it was fun last night when roommate had to listen to it. Although, in all fairness, I think he kept egging me on about it. 

And, Robin Williams really would ruin the movie. Really.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

so it goes

I just learned that Guillermo del Toro is set to direct a remake of Slaughterhouse Five. I don't know if this will ever happen, but I squeed when I found out. Putting one of my all-time favorite books with one of my all time favorite directors is very exciting.

On the subject of which, tomorrow I'll see Inception. I'm already excited for its brilliance. Christopher Nolan is totally completely brilliant. I'm a little in love with him.

Here's something people don't say but I think is true: Leonardo DiCaprio can only play sad. Watch him cry or yell or get really upset about something, and it's believable. But when he's happy (or does an accent), it takes you out of the film. He can always make me cry - he can never make me laugh.

I'm also in love with Michael Caine. Completely. Have you seen Michael Caine? He's the best ever. Him and Eric Idle. Give me a funny British guy, and I am so there. I think that's the main reason I'm afraid to move to England. It'd be far too much for me to handle.

Although I'm hoping to go to England next year. I'm hoping to do a lot of things, of course, but my great-uncle Tony -who's pretty much the only person I know in England - is getting older, and I'd like to visit while he's still vibrant.

I'd also want to make my mom go with me. She hasn't been to England in over forty years, but I'd feel better if she were there.

In semi-fabricated news - my grandma and Michael Caine were born in the same part of London around the same time. They both evacuated when they were very young because of the bombings from WWII - but who's to say they didn't know each other? They might've been friends as small children. My gramma can't remember now. But how cares? I've decided that they were friends.

I imagine that if Michael Caine and my gramma had known each other, they would be friends. Very best friends, probably. Honestly. This isn't just me touting my gramma's horn. They would be the very best friends.

In fact, if Hitler hadn't gone about destroying London, Michael Caine and my gramma wouldn't have evacuated. They wouldn't grown up together, maybe even fallen in love, gotten married. Michael Caine could've been grandfather.

And that's just another thing Hitler ruined for me. Honestly, that man never did anything good.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

my brain is broken

Yesterday, when I took a shower, I stepped out, thinking I had completed my washing ritual, only to find my head still completely full of soap. I hadn't even slightly rinsed it out.

Things like this have been with increasing and somewhat startling frequency lately. I feel like I'm forgetting the most basic things.

I couldn't remember Robert Downey Jr's name last night, which is a very big deal since I always remember every celebrity's name and Robert Downey Jr is also my all-time favorite actor. (Tied with River Phoenix and narrowly beating out Christian Bale, because I'd actually enjoy spending time with Roberty Downey Jr instead of being terrified like I would with Christian Bale, who does terrify me, in a very loving way.)

Anyway - the point is, I think my brain is broken. It's clearly on vacation. It feels mushy and sleepy and does not want to conjugate anything ever. 

It's also having a very, very hard time remembering to reply to emails. I feel like I'm forgetting people - like there's something I'm supposed to tell them. But I don't know who or what it is. Because my brain is broken.

So, if you emailed/tweeted/commented/reply to me, and you're going, "Why hasn't she responded? That seems awfully rude. What an odd, rude person." Please, please just email/tweet/comment/reply to me and say, "Hey, I asked you about such-and-such a thing at such-and-such a time, what gives?" And I'll respond as quickly as I can.

I don't mean to ignore you. I'm being abnormally forgetful, and I'm naturally assuming something horrible like Huntingon's or early onset dementia or schizophrenia or brain tumor. Or I might just be a tad overwhelmed by everything I'm doing and having going on lately.

Either way, I'm sorry. And I hope you forgive me. And remind me of what it is I need to do for you.

if you wanna view paradise, simply look around and view it

It is so unfairly hot in my office right now.

But on to brighter and better things - have you read the fantastic review of the My Blood Approves series at Fangs, Wands, and Fairy Dust? It's so awesome, I think I might print it off and frame it. You sorta have to check it out. That's how good it is. s

Here's another awesome thing you have to check out: This video from author Zoe Winters. She writes vampire novellas, and according to Amazon, a lot of people who like my books also like her books. So you should check them out. Plus, she is pretty hilarious. 

This is her new webisode called Zoe Who? If you're not familiar with the writing industry, some of it might not make sense, but I think its funny even you've never read or written a word in your life.

In other news worthy news, Switched - my exciting new novel just released a few days ago - is #1 in Fairy Tales, Folk Tales & Myths. I've never had a book #1 in any category, so this very exciting to me. (It's also #33 in Hot New Releases in Teen.)

You may ask, why that category? It's because Switched is actually based on Scandinavian folklore. In fact, all of the words (like Trylle and Vittra) are Scandinavian, along with the names. I actually looked up a database on the most popular first and last names in Scandinavia for accuracy. Elora's last name is "Dahl," which I chose after seeing it on that list because of Roald Dahl, author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach. 

On the subject of Switched, I've gotten a couple fancy reviews today, both on Goodreads and Amazon, and this one here at Do Not Disturb My Books: review

And I said I would have a giveaway for Switched -- and I will. As soon as my paperbacks arrive so I can investigate them and decide if they're worthy or not. If they are deemed worthy, the giveaway will commence. If they're not... the giveaway will commence at a later date. But it will happen. It really will. 

I've had "Childhood" by Michael Jackson stuck in my head for like three days now, and it's sorta driving me insane. But that's neither here nor there.

Here's something else fun: Today, at work, I gave my notice. I'll still be On-Call (I work at a group home) so I can pick hours as need be, but as of August 13th, I'll be living on my writing income. I will be a Full-Time Author, those most elusive of all mythical creatures, other than the unicorn. 

It's exciting and terrifying all at once. It is really awesome, but I couldn't have done it with out all your support. So thank you!!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

the crime of century

Thank you to everybody for all the birthday wishes!!!! 

I didn't do much on my birthday, but that's okay. :) 

Unfortunately, a horrible crime was committed, and I'm actually pretty upset about it. 

My pink flamingos were stolen from in front of my house. They lit up and I've had them for about 9 months, and today, somebody stole them from me. I'm pretty bummed about the whole thing. Plus, I can't find anymore like them that light up on the internet.

I'm going to get more flamingos and I'll padlock them to my deck if I have to. But I will win this fight. I'm going to fill my yard with lots and lots of tacky flamingos. I'll show them. (I'm not sure what exactly, but I will show them. You'll see.)

Monday, July 12, 2010

a very merry UN-unbirthday to me

I'm 26 now. 

I know in the scheme of things, that isn't very old. And when I'm talking to people who are twenty-six or twenty-seven, I always think they're very young. I think I'm much older than I really am, and I act much younger than I am. I have a very immature old soul. 

But birthdays always make me reflect on life. On where I am and who I wanted to be and all that. Most years, I'm pretty disappointed in my progress (or the lack thereof). 

I have bad credit. I'm no good at getting up in the morning. I could really lose a few pounds. And I really, really need to clean out my car.

But I think for the first time in my life, I really feel on-track. I'm pretty much exactly who I said I would be when I was five-years-old, and that's sorta awesome.

I read a study somewhere once where they said that what kids want to be when they're five is a good indicator of what would give them the most happiness in life and where they should go as adults. It not necessarily a literal translation - kids who wanted to be cowboys might grow up to be farmers or something. I don't remember exactly.

But the point is that who you are when you're little is still the essence of who you are now. The types of things that gave you the most pleasure than are still the types of the things that would give you the most pleasure now. Even at that young, kids know they love animals or love to paint or want to help people. 

I loved writing (and animals).

I'm not exactly where I want to be with my writing career. I'm not talking about J. K. Rowling success, but I would like it if my books were more accessible - namely in the actual brick and mortar stores like Barnes and Noble. It would make it bit easier explaining to people how to buy my books.

 But for the first time in my life, I'm going to be able to write full-time. That's been a fantasy my entire life. And it's the best birthday gift I've ever gotten. So thank you, to everyone who has bought my book or read it or reviewed it or recommended it. :) :)

Also, I added a little something on the My Blood Approves series link. As in a book cover for Wisdom, the description, an excerpt, the soundtrack, and dun dun dun... the official release date! Yay for that! So check that out! 

Meanwhile, if you're biding time until the fourth book comes out, you can always check out Switched. It's a fun book. Honest.

And here's a fun interview I did over at From the Shadows, which is author E. J. Stevens blog. If  you're unfamiliar with her, she writes dark paranormal poetry. I'd highly recommend you check it out, and click: here for the interview.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Switched Is Out Today!!!!!

Amazon, in its infinite wisdom and tricky trickiness, has Switched  for sale today. It's currently only available for the Kindle, but the paperbacks should be up soon. The site that sells my book says the page is up, but when I click on it, I get an error message. 

But as soon as the paperback is ready, I'll have the link for it. And the good news is I was able to keep paperback prices much lower than I was for the My Blood Approves series by switching publishing companies. Paperback copies of Switched will only be $7.99, and the Kindle version is only $2.99!!!!! 

The winner of the cover challenge was the brighter purple one (thanks to everyone who voted):

For those of you that buy paperback, the cover will still be the paler image - at least for a little while. I will get it updated with the new, brighter image ASAP. 

If you have read Switched and would like to review it, it's open for reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, and I'd love to hear your feedback - even if its negative. 

Thanks everyone who offered to review it, and I can't wait to hear what you all think :)

And be sure to check out Switched at Amazon!!!!!  And review it at Goodreads
 Also, Adrienne at An Addicted Book Reader  gave My Blood Approves a wonderful 4-star review that you should check out! She's got lots of other great book reviews that should check out while your there. Thanks, Adrienne!

people like books

It's 7:20 am and I am just finishing up working for the night - and I actually took the day off today. Admittedly, I did some spend the evening chillaxing and playing video games, but it's the weekend before my birthday. I reserve the right to have fun.

To everyone who commented on my previous blog about review copies - I think I've gotten back to all you as of 7:20 central time. If you haven't heard from me, feel free to nudge me and say, "What gives?" It's not on purpose - I just spend 5 hours working on the cover tonight and my brain feels fuzzy.

Can I be honest here? I think I can since we're all friends here. I didn't expect that many people to want to review Switched. That's not a bad thing, though. It's very good, and I thank you all for offering up your time to read a book by a relatively (or... you know, entirely) unknown author. So thank you!

Back to the aforementioned cover - my good pal and bandmate Pete (her real name is Jenna Peterson) and her fiance Matt did the cover. Pete is insanely gorgeous and she's the model on the cover, and Matt took the pictures using his camera, which is much more high class than my camera.

So major shout out to both of them for being the neatest!

And without further adu, here's the cover for Switched:

Isn't Petey a hottie? She sure is.

But now that I'm looking at it - I'm wondering if it's too dark. Her sweater and the font are both purple-y, but maybe I should do them in a brighter color so it pops more? I wanted it subtle, but I'm thinking it's too subtle now.


 Okay, I just did a few quick changes, because I'm hoping to sleep today. But here's what I did:

 Brighter Purple

Green, which was my original choice for the cover, but I decided that I wanted something more feminine so I want with purple.

Thoughts? One you hate? One you love? Are they all just meh?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Why Should I Worry?

free books!

If you have a review blog or are a top reviewer on Amazon, and you would like a copy of any of my books to read and review, let me know. I have no problems with giving away ARCs and PDFs for honest reviews of my work.

I am especially interested in anyone looking to read/review Switched, since it's a brand new novel in a brand new trilogy. Even if you don't have a review site, and you'd like a free copy, it definitely wouldn't hurt you to ask.

This offer applies any time, but I'm particularly desperate right now. :) 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

the problem with earwigs

I don't know about you, but this summer, earwigs have been hitting my small town pretty hard. At work, at home, everywhere I go, I seem to find an earwig.

If you're unfamiliar with an earwig, here's what the dastardly little fellas look like:

I'd actually never seen one before this year (to the best of my memory) so I had to look stuff up on them. I assumed that like the evil monsterous centipedes that make me scream in terror, these were mean and vicious and poisonous and most certainly wanted me dead.

Instead, I found out they're one of the friendliest insects. They're completely harmless to humans, and they eat other annoying insects and vegetation. Those nasty pinchers on their butts are used for carrying food, and they don't bite or pinch you with them.

But the thing that got me - they're one of the only insects with maternal insticts. They actually care for their young, which is more than you can see for many species in the animal kingdom, including my beloved sea turtle.

This fact has drilled itself in my brain. It's like when Juno when to the hospital to procure her hasty abortion, and then all she could think about was the baby's fingernails, so she couldn't go through with it.

I have a no-kill policy, in that I don't kill insects. (Mosquitoes, fleas, and lice are discluded. I don't want to kill them but I have no other way to get rid of them. And I really, really, really hate mosquitoes.) I'll rescue spiders and tolerate ants and run from centipedes.

So I wasn't going to kill earwigs anyway. But now I've actually become rather fond of them, despite the fact that they're infesting my life. I think they're about as adorable as a creepy little bug can be. And yes, I would scream and freak out if one touched me. But I like them.

The problem is my roommate keeps killing them. He also tries to kill moths, which really, really makes me angry, because that's essentially butterfly murder. Butterfly murder is NEVER okay. NEVER.

But it's making me very sad. I like the earwigs. I would enjoy it if they moved out of my house, and I encourage them to do so every chance I can, because my dog also eats them. And sometimes they fall from the ceiling and land on my cat when we're watching TV, and I don't like that, although she doesn't seem to care. But my cat is really tough. The toughest ever.

Anyway... I don't know what to do about the earwigs. Or how to make my roommate stop murdering them.

They take care of their babies. That just gets to me. I don't know why. But there it is.

So the problem with earwigs is that I have no idea what to do with them.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Good news everybody! Switched now has it's own blog! Since it's the first book in a series, I thought Switched ought to be represented on it's own. This site will still be devoted my ramblings and news, but all of the Switched new will be posted over there - and I'll either mention it or link it from here.

Switched will be out in less than a week, and so far, the responses I've gotten for it have been positive. So that's a yay. I'm still working on cover art, but hopefully, I'll have things figured out soon.

I've post an excerpt on  for Switched. It's longer than the one I posted for the the My Blood Approves books, but I'm a rebel that way. Read: here.  I also posted the sexy soundtrack for Switched. Listen: here.

 The one thing I've always hated about being a novelist is that books don't come with soundtracks. Apparently, they're working on enhanced ebooks, so in the future, that might not be true anymore. Yay!

I am getting nervous about the release of Switched. I personally think it's a better than My Blood Approves, but everyone still might hate it. Who knows? Well, I guess I will know soon.

I plan on having a giving away for paperback copy of Switched once I get the cover sorted out, and I think I'll give away a few PDF's as well. But that contest will start on the 12th, so I'll have more details then.

Also - the 12th happens to be my birthday. A 22-year-old coworker asked me how old I would be. I told her twenty-six. She said, "Wow. You don't look like you're almost thirty." I've never felt so old in my life.

No, wait. That's not true. I was a party for a friend of mine. He lives in another country, and he was just visiting for a few days, so his family was there, including his little sister. I was chatting with her friend about life, the universe, and everything. Then her friend told me she was born November 1994. And I was floored. I was having a reasonable conversation with a real, live person, and her entire life, Kurt Cobain had been dead.

I don't know. It's just a weird thing to fathom. That people who were born after Kurt Cobain died are now old enough drive and stuff. It's... strange.

But anyway... please buy my book on Monday. Thank you, and the end :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

you can never give up hope

For people that didn't grow up in Minnesota, I'm not sure how familiar you might be with the disappearance of Jacob Wetterling. If you're not, here's a crash course -
In October 1989, eleven-year-old Jacob Wetterling was riding a bike down a country road to his home with his brother and a friend. A man stopped them and told the two other boys to lay down in the ditch while he took Jacob. 

Jacob hasn't been seen since. (For more information or if you have any information, please go: here )

In October 1989, I was five years old and we'd recently moved out to a farm in rural Minnesota. I'd just gotten a bike (with training wheels), and I frequently rode my bike up and down the quarter mile long drive away. 

I remember watching the news story on TV and how the road that Jacob disappeared on looked just like my road. When it first happened, I didn't understand how far away St. Joseph was from where we lived, and I did think he was kidnapped from just right down the road.

After that, I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking I would be kidnapped as a child. I used to practice jumping out of the car window (when it wasn't moving) in case I needed to escape quickly if someone wanted to abduct me. 

Now that I'm older, I don't worry so much about being kidnapped, but I still think about Jacob Wetterling all the time. It bothers the hell out of me. Thinking about him and worrying about him has kept me awake many, many nights in my lifetime. I have no idea how his mother holds it together so well.

I've also recently written about Jacob Wetterling's abduction. I mean, it's in one of my vampire books, and they discuss the abduction for various reasons in relation to the plot. If they find him, I'd have to rewrite the scene. And honestly, I would love rewrite it. I'd rewrite every book I've ever written if they could just find him. 

Last year was the 20th anniversary of his disappearance, and the post office in my town finally took his MISSING poster down, and it upsets me. A lot.

Yesterday, my brother turned 11. And to me, he seems like such a little kid. I mean, not a little kid but... he's so young. It wasn't until that I realized exactly how young Jacob was when he went missing. He's always been older than me, so it was hard for me to see that he was just a kid.

And yesterday, police started searching a property near where Jacob was abducted. They haven't said anything about what's going on yet, but it feels... exciting, I guess, to know the case is being revitalized. (For more details about the new investigation, click: here.) 

My heart and thoughts go out to his family, as they do every day, and I hope that this brings some closure to the case. 

And again, if you know anything, PLEASE PLEASE contact the authorities about this. His family has been missing a little boy for over twenty years, and they deserve to know what happened to him.