#YABkLove Day 1: All Time Favorite

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Okay, this is a hard one. Can you choose your all time favorite YA book? I think I’ve narrowed it down to two, and they share a similar factor. I read them around the same time period and they both have mythical creatures that are basically angels.

angelfall

Angelfall by Susan Ee. This book has everything I enjoy: forbidden romance, sass, action, quick pacing, violence, fantasy and a plot that makes you go WHAT??? Although it has a trope many know and at this point often eschew (girl falls for immortal guy) it is so much more than that. Penryn kicks butt and takes names. It was also the first YA book that I ever read that I could have described as gruesome or gritty. Honestly it could give you nightmares at parts. Besides that, Raffe isn’t some mopey immortal who loves Penryn instantly for her astounding beauty (or god forbid, plainness). They bond over survival and the banter between them is funny and charming. She calls him (an angel) just a bird with an attitude. Love love love it!

 

daughter of smoke and bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Taylor should teach master classes on world building. You get a taste of what is to come from her world of Seraphim and Chimera in the first book of the trilogy, so let me tell you it is one of the most immersive fantasy worlds I have ever read. The way the story in Daughter and with it the mystery of Karou’s past unfolds is one of my favorite reading experiences to date. I think I have recommended this book to everyone I know that might even slightly like it. Warning though, the second book in the series will rip your heart out.

Don’t forget to share your all time favorites on Twitter with the hashtag #YABkLove!

 

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New Publication – Pyg the Tinker

My short story “Pyg the Tinker” was published by the online literary journal Quantum Fairy Tales. This is my steampunk take on the Greek myth of Pygmalion (not the George Bernard Shaw Pygmalion).

Pyg the Tinker passed his days in his workshop, and his nights in the Spartan bedroom behind it. He chose a life of solitude with only scattered gears and gadgets as companions. He only saw other folks if they came to him when their pocket watch lost a spring or if some other fiddly mechanism needed repair, and he liked it that way.

Late one night, Pyg received a surprise visit from a gentleman sporting a leather top hat and an overcoat with tails. The man did not knock on the gnarled wood of Pyg’s door, but swept in with a loud tap of his walking stick upon the hearth. He commissioned Pyg to build an automaton in the form of a woman.

Read the rest here…

To Marry a Scottish Laird

My most recent review is up at All About Romance (although I’m late in posting this blog).

To Marry A Scottish Laird by Lynsay Sands

This book wins the award for the longest I have ever attempted to avoid having to read a review book. For roughly half a year I have been trying to put off forcing myself to finish reading To Marry a Scottish Laird. There was just nothing about it that called out to me to read it.”

Read the rest here…

Small Incentives

I had the fantastic opportunity to spend this weekend at the RT Convention here in Dallas. RT is hosted by the magazine of the same name (formerly Romantic Times) and brings together writers, readers, and reviewers of the romance community. I won’t go into the full details here, as I am putting together a blog for AAR on the subject, but I wanted to mention something I noticed about myself this weekend:

I love small incentives.

While I was in my first session on Friday, I noticed that some people’s badge had a nifty green ribbon that declares them to be a “Published Author.” And I thought…I want that. Yeah, I want to publish a book because it is a dream of mine, but my mind instantly transfixed on the notion that, next time I’m at RT, I want to have one of those ribbons.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been driven by something like this. For example, in high school I was determined to graduate in the top 10% and as part of the National Honor Society because I would get to wear the cords and a stole. I also graduated Distinguished which meant I got to wear a black robe instead of red. I had other reasons for wanting to be top 10% (in Texas it ensures you automatic acceptance to any state university), but there was no reason to join NHS. Supposedly it looks good on college applications, but I wasn’t even worried about that (see the automatic acceptance thing). I wasn’t even a real NHS member. I never even attended a meeting. I joined the January before graduation, paid my dues, and got my stole. I never did anything else with the organization. But I really wanted that little white stole over my robe.

I graduated with latin honors from college as well and got to wear cords again. In graduate school, I didn’t have any special accoutrements because there weren’t any. Although at graduation another lady was wearing cords from Golden Key. I immediately kicked myself for not joining Golden Key the million times I was invited, even though I’m pretty sure it’s a scam to get your outrageous dues fee.

Just yesterday I was lured by another small incentive. I join the site 750 Words to get myself in the habit of daily writing outside NaNoWriMo. Yesterday when I got home from the day at the conference, dinner, and a movie, I really didn’t feel like writing. I just wanted to read a bit and go to sleep. But I realize that Friday was my 3rd day on 750 words and writing would ensure me the Turkey Badge.

badge.turkey

I wrote.

Its odd how such a small incentive is so tempting to me. I’m hoping the badges will help me keep writing my words each day.

And I hope the lure of that green ribbon will be enough reason to light a fire under me on finishing my manuscript.

Reviews in the Wild: Sleigh Bells in the Snow

Since I shared my review of All I Want Is You that ended up on the Seattle Public Library page, I thought I would share my most exciting Review in the Wild so far. I got blurbed in a book! Sadly, it doesn’t have my name, just All About Romance, but I know it was mine. My review of Sleigh Bells in the Snow was blurbed in Sarah Morgan’s next book, Suddenly Last Summer.

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What I’ve Done Instead of Write

Since I finished my NaNoWriMo goal a month ago (whew, that flew by) I have done no writing at all. Zilch. The only exception being two book reviews which accounts to not much at all. Here’s what I’ve done in place of writing for the last month:

  • Relax. As soon as NaNo was done I was ready for a break.
  • Holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas have now come and gone and taken one of the busiest times of the year with them.
  • New job. I started as a Children’s Librarian the day before Thanksgiving and it has been a whirlwind of training and adjusting since. I’m finally getting past the initial new-job fatigue.
  • K-dramas. My ugly addiction to watching Korean dramas reared its ugly head again and I’ve devoted far too many hours to watching Emergency Couple, Sly and Single Again, and Fated to Love You. They were also so good! Darn them!
  • Knitting. I knit a few Christmas gifts plus finally began projects out of my most recently finished handspun yarns.
  • Reading. I can’t claim to have done a lot of this, but I am nearly finished with Hugh Howey’s Wool and it is fantastic.

What’s coming up:

  • School. I start my MFA in Creative Writing program at Lindenwood on January 12. My first class is on writing Sci-fi and Fantasy. I am super nervous and super excited.
  • Birthday. On January 11 I’ll be a quarter of a century old and I am not ready.
  • Maybe Some Damn Writing. I have an idea for a romance type novel that I would really like to work on. It is contemporary so it will be a nice change from writing about the Iron Age. I’d also like to go back and revisit some of my short stories I wrote and see what needs revision and if there’s any I should submit for publication.

New Review: All Broke Down by Cora Carmack

My review of All Broke Down, a New Adult novel by Cora Carmack, is up at All About Romance today.

As much as I enjoyed Cora Carmack’s first three books, I was totally avoiding the Rusk University series. First of all, New Adult is a very hit or miss genre for me. I like Carmack’s books but any others that I have read don’t do it for me. They tend to employ the same storylines and devices over and over. Bad boy meets nice girl, gives her a nickname, there’s random fighting, usually over jealousy, maybe sexual abuse, bad boy is a player but falls in love with the girl. However, Carmack manages to avoid some of these and craft a story entertaining enough that I wasn’t rolling my eyes at the few she used…

Read the rest here.