Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Happy Birthday to me & Return of Cat Tuesday (33)

Lots of news!  First of all - it's my birthday! I am celebrating today in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Also, for those of you who don't yet know, I finished my first draft of LEVEL TWO before I left for BEA.  Emmy was quite impressed.

BEA week in NYC was a whirlwind of activities and networking.  I nearly lost my voice I was talking so much!  I will do a recap post soon - promise.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Return of Cat Tuesday (32)

I'm at BEA and it's CRAZY!  But Daniel sent this super close up of Lu.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Return of Cat Tuesday (31)

Due to some technical issues with both my PC laptop and my camera, I was unable to get Cat Tuesday up yesterday.  Internet Explorer & Firefox both refuse to work with any site that requires SSL/login.  I've tried everything I can think of to fix them, but to no avail.

In any case, I tried to wrangle up the cats and snap them with Photo Booth on my MacBook Air.  I won't show you the pictures of Lu or Emmy since all you see are blurs of white fur, but here's Kaia - grumpy but semi-willing to show her face.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Why I'm MIA #amwriting

For the past couple of weeks, I've been so far into my writing cave, I haven't had time for more than the occasional twitter visit, reading a page or two of a book here and there, and buying tickets for Tori Amos concerts.

It's been stressful, but OMG you guys, the book is coming along wonderfully - with so many fun plot twists, I often ask myself - now where the heck did that come from?!

This coming week, you likely won't see me online at all.  I'm leaving next Saturday, and by then, LEVEL TWO should be finished, printed out, and ready for me to go over with a red pen on the plane ride to NYC.

I'll try to post my BEA schedule on Sunday May 22nd and I hope to catch up with many of you fellow attendees during the week.

Until then, wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Return of Cat Tuesday (30)

The sun came out today!

But Emmy knows now to keep her ears in the shade :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Book Club Report: Three Cups of Deceit by Jon Krakauer

Our hostess for May's book club chose THREE CUPS OF TEA by Greg Mortenson for us to read - before the scandal erupted over alleged falsehoods in both of Mortenson's books and mismanagement of his charity CAI.  I was the sent the young readers version for review when it first came out, and read a few chapters back then.  I recall finding it a bit off-putting that Mortenson's co-writer engaged in some serious hero worship when it came to Mortenson, but I was looking forward to picking it up again and discussing it with the group.

But before I could even pick back up where I left off, I heard about Krakauer's 70 page expose THREE CUPS OF DECEIT (more info at Byliner.com) and I decided to read that instead.  Krakauer paints Mortenson as a good intentioned man who bought too heavily into his own myth.  It's a fascinating read with heartbreaking allegations. 

Naturally, the group didn't end up discussing Three Cups of Tea itself as much as we did the scandal.  I found it an especially enlightening discussion because the hostess and her husband (both of which were present) both come from Pakistan and were able to share insight into the cultural background there.  They also made excellent food and milk chai tea.  Yum!

I should probably also mention that I didn't finish the club's last two picks. In April we discussed THE SLAP by Christos Tsiolkas.  I got through two chapters before I threw the towel in because of the excess vulgarity. I did love our discussion though.  One member described it as middle class Melbourne residents who behave like gangsta rappers and have unhealthy fixations on bodily fluids.  Pure gold!

The March pick was THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN, of which I read about half.  It wasn't bad, I just ran out of time.  And now that the end is spoiled, I'm in no big hurry to finish.

And that's all for this month's report! Next meeting in June ...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Charity auctions!

I'm involved in two charity auctions this month.

For the first, I'm donating a buzzed about ARC from BEA (to be determined). And that one is for Help Write Now - a group of writers who have put together an auction to benefit relief efforts in areas of the U.S. affected by this year's storms.

The Apocalypsies (debut YA/MG authors in 2012) have donated two packages to the auction; the first package, posted today, includes 50-page critiques, query critiques, and synopsis critiques from Apocalypsies members, two ARCS, and a 10-page critique from Stacy Cantor Abrams of Walker Books for Young Readers. A second package will post at a later date.  If you are an aspiring writer, you do not want to miss out on these!

For the second, I plan to donate something super special.  But you'll have to wait to see what it is. Until then, check out what others have donated to support The Story Siren's 6 year old relative Kaylea who has cancer and Shooting Stars Mag friend Daniel who was the victim of a gun accident at TLC Auctions.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Return of Cat Tuesday (29)

I love how Lu and Kaia look while "hunting". So cute!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Book Review: Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready

SHIFT is the sequel to SHADE (read my review), so if you haven’t read the first book, there will be some (mini) spoilers in this review.
Aura is still caught between two loves - her dead boyfriend Logan (who only she and those younger than her can see) and the very alive Zachary who is linked to her under mysterious circumstances.  She’s also still looking for answers.  What happened to her mother? What caused the shift?  What is Aura’s part in the shift?
This fast paced installment in the trilogy provides many satisfying new twists and turns and it kept me up late reading. Some of the revelations totally caught me off guard, which I love. I was also especially impressed by the way the love scenes were written.  They get pretty hot and heavy (especially the one near the beginning) but the characters don’t come off as pervy at all. It’s so difficult to do!
SHIFT comes out tomorrow.  Find out more about it at the author’s website.