Monday, April 27, 2009

Broken Spell

A few posts ago, I blogged about a witch spell.. Well, it got worse. Way worse and I ate a lot of Cadbury Creme Eggs. But, the spell has lifted. I can actually feel it. The horrific news ship has sailed. Life is good. 

And these are a few reasons why.. 

1. Reese Witherspoon is set to star in a major motion picture and she plays a pro-fastpitch player. A sporty softball movie. Yay!!! Thank you, Reese!! :) 
2. The fabulous and fellow Jeter fanatic, Dru, sent me these amazing pics from Yankee Stadium. Yummy.. Thanks, Dru!   
3. Temps reached ninety degrees three days in a row here at the Jersey shore. Our first 2009 official heat wave. I spent three days playing with Kaci and my hubby on the deserted beach. Total bliss.

Okay, back to writing. I'm in the midst of an upper YA/flashback novel. This one is pushing me to my limits, but at the same time I can't put the manuscript down or stop thinking about it.

Did anyone ever attempt a novel filled with flashbacks? Any reading recommendations with rotating past and present chapters? What do you think of books that flash from the present to the past? And why is my blog font playing strange tricks on me? :) 

Pretty Tough Tuesday: Stay posted on the week in softball here.

Have an amazing day, everyone!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Five for Tricia Mills

The fabulously awesome, Tricia Mills, was kind enough to take a break from her super busy writing schedule to answer questions about writing, her new book, and famous people. Tricia's book, HEARTBREAK RIVER, dropped last week and it's garnering some amazing reviews. My brand new copy is staring at me right now and I can't wait to dive in. 
1. I love your story regarding perseverance (Tricia wrote seventeen full manuscripts before she sold her first two YA novels to Razorbill). What was the road to publication like for you? What advice do you give new writers who want to give up? 

I began writing my first novel manuscript when I was in college, but it went in fits and starts because of school. I got serious about writing and submitting for publication in 1996, when I started submitting to editors and agents. It took me many manuscripts before I finally sold my first book in July 2007. I'm a huge believer in perseverance. I can't tell you how many successful authors I've heard relate their "darkest before the dawn" stories -- about how they were on the verge of quitting right before they sold. I would hate to think of anyone who wants to be published quitting one step before reaching their goal.

2. HEARTBREAK RIVER’s main character’s family owns a Colorado rafting business. Do you like to raft? Where did you come up with the ideas for HEARTBREAK RIVER?  

I've actually never been rafting. Like the heroine in the novel, I struggle with fear of the water. I came up with the idea while traveling through Colorado on the train. For about 200 miles, the train (Amtrak's California Zephyr) meanders along the Colorado River, where lots of people raft in the warmer months. I wondered what it would be like to own one of those rafting businesses, always meeting new people there to have a good vacation on the river. I combined that with my own fear, and the rest of the plot sprang from that.

3. What is your daily writing schedule like? Do you write everyday?

Depends on my deadlines. Some days are heavier on the writing side; some days are light on the writing but heavier on promotion or brainstorming. But I do something related to my writing career every day.

4. Besides writing, what is your dream profession? 

Part of me would like to be an interpretive park ranger with the National Park Service. Another part would like to have a part on a regular, fun TV show, maybe something sci fi/paranormal since I'm a fan of shows like Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica, Legend of the Seeker, Smallville and Stargate Atlantis.

5. Who is your fave celebrity? And/or if you could have dinner with any three people (dead or alive) who would they be? 

Fave celebrity, hmm...Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. :) Three people to eat dinner with -- Jon Stewart, Joss Whedon and J.K. Rowling. Huh, look at that - everyone's name starts with a "J".

Here's the HEARTBREAK RIVER synopsis: 

Alexandra Landon once loved running the Grayton River through the Colorado canyons near her home and couldn’t imagine doing anything else with her life but continuing the family’s river rafting business. But that was before her father died in a rafting accident and she developed a full-fledged fear of drowning. It’s been nearly a year since her father’s death, and the arrival of another summer means Alex has to face the river, the question of whether she can ever recapture her love of rafting, and the return of co-worker and former boyfriend Sean Kenley. One way or the other, this summer is going to change Alex’s life forever.

Thanks, Tricia! Love your alliteration dinner. :) 

Pretty Tough Tuesday: Get caught up on this week's softball news here

Have a fabulous day, everyone! 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Readers Rule! And so does Easter candy.. :)

CHANGE UP is ready to go. I read over the last proof this weekend. Yay!  
Although my professional life is a dream come true, I've found myself in a personal life slump recently. Without boring anyone with the mundane yucky details, lets just say over the past year, I swear a witch cast a spell on my family. In fact, I even asked someone recently who knows a real witch if she could check with her to see if I'm on some witch list or something. Seriously, it's been that bad. 

Besides an enormous amount of chocolate, hearing from SCREWBALL series readers completely brightens my day and makes me realize how lucky I am to do what I do. Last week, a reader sent me an amazing message. She won a writing contest and she wrote about me. :) And another reader sent me an email a couple of days ago. She read SCREWBALL nine times while she was recovering from surgery and can't wait to read CHANGE UP because she has another surgery scheduled in two weeks. Then, she even detailed every scene she loved. Words cannot express how much these notes mean to me and I'm sooo grateful to do what I do everyday. :) Thanks bunches!! 
When I find myself in a slump, I go back to my playing days and switch things up. I switched the furniture in my house. That didn't work. I cut my hair. Still more bad news. I even switched my handbags. Another funeral. But, it's been a quiet week and so far, so good. Without jinxing myself, I think this time my switch worked. And I'm still eating a ton of chocolate. Thank you, Cadbury Creme Egg inventor. Yummy. 

What do you do when you're in the midst of a personal or professional slump? Or what's your fave Easter candy? 

Pretty Tough Tuesday: Basketball is winding down and softball is gearing up. Don't miss the Fastpitch Weekly Round Up. Check it out here

Have a fabulous day, everyone! 

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Dreaded Five Letter Word

The fabulous and amazing author supporter, Lauren from Shooting Stars Mag, was kind enough to ask me to join her Get to Know Willow Party. Check out my post about a certain five letter word here. :) 

In the meantime.... 


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Book Review Club - EVERMORE

Happy April Fool's Day! :) 

The first Wednesday of the month means another edition of The Book Review Club. Thanks to Barrie Summy, fab author of I SO DON'T DO MYSTERIES, for organizing this event.

By: Alyson Noel 

After a horrible accident claims the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever Bloom can see people's auras, hear their thoughts, and know someone's entire life story by touching them. Going out of her way to avoid human contact and suppress her abilities, she has been branded a freak at her new high school - but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste. 

Damen is gorgeous, exotic, and wealthy. He's the only one who can silence the noise and random energy in her head - wielding a magic so intense, it's as though he can peer straight into her soul. As Ever is drawn deeper into his enticing world of secrets and mystery, she's left with more questions than answers. And she has no idea just who he really is - or what he is. The only thing she knows to be true is that she's falling deeply and helplessly in love with him. (from the back cover)

It's no secret I'm a total fan girl when it comes to Alyson Noel. I absolutely adored SAVING ZOE and CRUEL SUMMER. Not only is she super talented, super nice, super humble, and a NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING author, she's also one of the first writers to extend a helping hand. Plus, she met Derek Jeter and told me all about it. :) 

EVERMORE is another magnificent Noel novel. And I'm not easily sold on science fiction, but what happens after death fascinates me. Alyson did a fabulous job of creating a novel that is completely believable and compelling. Told with her signature mix of emotional and humorous writing, Alyson keeps EVERMORE stuck in one's noggin all day long. Is Damen a player? Will Ever's hidden talents be discovered? Why is Ever so guilt ridden regarding the death of her family? What's going on with Riley? 

EVERMORE is a fantastic, highly recommended YA novel filled with unique characters, plenty of romance, and edge of your seat dramatic suspense. Congrats, Alyson on EVERMORE's well deserved success. 

One thing I miss from my middle school teaching days is recommending novels to students. Therefore, every month, I'm going to send a special recommendation to one of my blogging friends out there in cyberspace. Last month, I recommended A LOVER'S KNOT to Dru. This month, I'm recommending EVERMORE to Beth Revis from Writing it Out. I know you'll love this book, Beth.  

Have a great day, everyone! Check out more book review clubbers here