Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Thursday's funnies

Today, I'm bringing you a little humor that may be thought inducing. Some of these have been blogged about lately.

A little something to show your age:

A little something to think about. Should our YA writing be "safe"?

Will these be a thing of the past?

And finally, who doesn't want this? Gotta have the kitteh love!!

Cover Love!

It's Wednesday, so that means...Cover Love!

Let's start with Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

(US, Italian, German)

A book about a fight between hell and heaven. I really like the font and the intricate patterns of the German cover, but there's nothing "hellish" about it. No hint that hell fights heaven - except for the tagline that means "between heaven and hell" in English. I like the flames on the Italian cover but the girl doesn't resemble Frannie. I don't really have a favorite though.

Next: Tithe by Holly Black

(US, UK?, UK?, Polish)

I really like the second cover because it shows how the main character looks. Her black eyes are creepy! I'm not sure about the Polish cover but I like that they tried to show other creatures that appear in the book.

Next: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

(US hardcover, US paperback, UK, German)

Okay, what can I say? Maybe: WOW. They are all beautiful. My favorite: The US paperback with the sleeping girl and the ivy surrounding her. Gorgeous!

What are your favorites?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bad Blurb Tuesday: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stones

Welcome back to Bad Blurb Tuesday—where we make good books sound bad and love every minute of it!

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is one of the most well-known and loved children’s books EVER WRITTEN. Surely there’s no way to make this story sound silly, right? HA! Read my bad blurb below before you decide:

Harry Potter goes from almost-normal-boy-who-lives-in-a-cupboard-under-his-mean-aunt-and-uncle’s-stairs to prospective wizard in a few beats of an owl’s wing. And he’s no ordinary wizard—Harry’s the only wizard ever to have survived a fight with the terrifying You Know Who.

You and Harry have got to get back to Hogwarts, Hogwarts—where you’ll be enchanted by booger-flavored jelly beans, frizzy-haired brainiacs, and big, big dogs, watch Harry try to get his hands on some sorcerer’s stones, and find the true definition of “two-faced” lurking under a turban.

Um, no. Just no. Besides the fact that I totally included spoilers in the last line, I’m still cackling over “sorcerer’s stones.” When writing a blurb/query, make sure to pick up on any unintentional double meanings, because trust me—there are plenty of people with warped brains like mine out there, and they WILL notice. And snicker.

Also, the turban line could come across as slightly racist. Huge fail.

Finally—know what to concentrate on in your query/blurb, and what not to mention. Example--while you might love a good booger-flavored jelly bean, they are probably not the way to an agent’s or editor’s heart.

Now, let’s see what the talented folks at Arthur A. Levine books used as front jacket copy on the hard cover version:

Harry Potter has never been star of a Quidditch game, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility. All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son Dudley—a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry’s room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn’t had a birthday party in eleven years. But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives announcing that Harry has been chosen to attend Hogwarts, an elite school for the training of wizards and witches…

Ahhh, now THAT’S more like it. The very first line manages to capture what’s especially intriguing/mysterious about Hogwarts—and doesn’t focus on the random like my blurb did.

(On the other hand—do I get bonus points for A Very Potter Musical shout-out? No? Boo!)

Hope you enjoyed this installment of Bad Blurb Tuesday, and I’ll leave you with this:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Flashback Friday: Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery & CONTEST


For this week's Flashback Friday, I'm looking back to some of my earliest writing--those Middle School and High School days when I suffered from "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery syndrome." Basically, it meant I read something and then mimicked it...sometimes with embarrassing consequences.

(1). Exhibit A: Sweet Valley Family Saga

I gotta say I was a huge Sweet Valley Twins and High fan growing up. And when the epic Sweet Valley Saga came out, the stories of the twins family heritage from the late 1800's on up to when their parents, Alice and Ted Wakefield, married, I was hooked.

It was after rereading the books in Middle School that the imitation bug hit me, and I did my own epic family saga story with five generations. As you guessed it, there were blinding similarities--probably enough to get Francine Pascal's attorney after me! :)

(2). Exhibit B: RL Stine's The Cheerleaders 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Evil

I was addicted to RL Stine's Fear Street books in 7th and 8th grade. Because of that reason, I wrote a cheerleader mystery myself. I will say that I actually branched out this time and didn't totally copy, er, imitate the Cheerleader Evil with the fact it wasn't all about an other worldly force possessing cheerleaders. It was actually a pretty decent serial killer type book with cheerleaders from different high schools being targeted and murdered while one girl tries to find the killer.

I wrote it on one of those old MS Dos computers. Remember those days before Microsoft Windows? Good times. I ended up losing the story with a computer crash, or I might totally reread and resurrect that bad boy, lol.

*************************CONTEST TIME!!!!*********************************

I want to give away some books with themes and plots I've managed NOT to imitate yet!

(1). Identical by Ellen Hopkins: I totally admire and covet Ellen's ability to write in verse. The images she weaves with her words is fabulous.

(2). Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan: I've managed not to integrate zombies, so I'll defer to Carrie Ryan's awesome ability to use the scary undead.

(3). Across the Universe by Beth Revis: I haven't been there, done that on Sci-Fi, and since Beth does it so well, along with creating a great in-space murder mystery, I'll leave it to her.

So, how do you win? All you gotta do is (1). Be a Follower & (2). Leave a Comment with one of your Imitation stories, ideas, novels....or a comment will suffice! lOL

Easey Peasy, right?

The Contest will run until next Thursday, and Contest Winners will be announced on Friday!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cover Love!

It's time for Cover Love!

We start with Wings by Aprilynne Pike.

(US, UK, German)

(French, Portuguese, Polish)

I love the German cover. The colors are great and the spidery wings look kind of creepy!

The French cover reminds me of Adult Urban Fantasy book covers. And Wings is tame, so the cover promises something that isn't there. ;)

I really like how most of the covers show wings in some form on their cover.

Next: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

(US, UK, Greek, Serbian)

(Chinese, Russian, Danish, German)

I really like how on the Danish cover it looks like the girl's hair is on fire. She looks so fierce!

I think it's great that so many publishers decided to have a Mockingjay on the cover. After all it's an important motif of the book. The Russian cover doesn't really reflect the content of the book. It reminds me of a romance cover and despite the whole Katniss/Gale/Peeta debate, The Hunger Games series isn't really a romance.

I don't have a favorite.

What are your favorites?

Friday, April 15, 2011


The 5 winners for a copy of Stephanie Jenkins' LURE are:


Please email me at with your email address and I will send it to you!! 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Flashback Friday: The Five Things I Wished I'd Know About the Writing Business

'Create For this week's Flashback Friday(yes, it's really back!), I'm joining forces with my buds over at the group blog Paper Hangover(you should totally follow them btw. They're some AMAZING ladies of YA literature!) They're doing their Friday Five today on the five things they wish they'd known before they began in the writing game.

And since I'm movie analogy nerd--er, fan, I wanted to take my flashback approach like Mary Catherine Gallagher would....well, not quite since I won't be interpreting popular made for TV movies, but you get the gist.

(1). Fasten Your Seat Belts, It's Going to be a Bumpy Ride--All About Eve

I got 3 words for you....Ignorance is bliss! I knew nada, zilch, zippo about the writing business when I first started. Agents? Query Letters? Say what? I had no idea what I was going to be getting into when I took the writing plunge. It will be three years ago this summer that I began my first serious novel(I've written my whole life--short stories, bad Danielle Steelesque ripoffs, etc). It was/is an adult Literary Fiction with Christian symbolism. When I look back on writing it, I remember it as one of the happiest times of my life. It was a freeing, exhilarating, and manically creative time. But I had no idea the full quality and quantity of the bumpy road of publication that lay before me. The very road that would make writing the next novels not quite so carefree and much more angst ridden.

(2). They May Take Our Lives, But They'll Never Take Our Freedom!!---Braveheart No one could have prepared me for how soul sucking, life-altering and ball-busting the writing business is. Until you've queried and put yourself out there for rejection, you have no idea how hard it can be. There were/are days I wanted to walk away. To forget I'd ever written anything and to vow to never write again. But then that fiery passion, the one that sometimes was only a few flickering embers, would burn within me. And I would vow that no matter what, I would see a book to being agented and/or published. Nothing would take away my dream!!!!

(3 ) You're Going to Need a Bigger Boat--Jaws Another thing I wish I had understood or comprehended was that the industry was much bigger and much more complicated than I could have ever imagined. You had to get an agent. Then they had to put you on submission. One editor didn't control your publishing destiny--it could be a whole team of people. And just like in Jaws, it was going to take a LOT to succeed and keep my little boat safe in the shark infested waters

(4). Just Keep Swimming
Total words to live by then and now. I like the to think of this as a just keep on writing mantra. Write, write, write. Rinse, wash, repeat. If you don't succeed with the first book, keep on writing. Write because you love it, not because you want to be published.

(5). May the Force Be With You--Star Wars I think this is a pretty simple mantra to stick by. Keep your faith--whether it's faith in a spiritual being to see you through the bumpy road or faith in yourself as a creative being with a story to tell. Surround yourself with positive forces--critique buddies, family, friends, pets. You will need to draw on their strength. They will ride the emotional rollercoaster of highs and lows with you.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cover Love!

A new edition of cover love! Today we start with a book that isn't even out yet. Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini will be published May 31st.

(US, UK, Spanish, German)
This is a paranormal romance with a Greek twist. The US and the Spanish cover make me think of Greece, of its many islands and the Mediterranean Sea, though the book isn't even set in Greece as far as I know. What I love about the US cover is the cloudy sky because it adds a foreboding touch. The UK cover puts the focus on the starcrossed lovers and the lightning shows that their love won't be easy. I like the color scheme of the German cover and the small figures from Greek mythology at the bottom.

My favorite: US cover

Next: Before I die by Jenny Downham

(US, UK hardcover, UK paperback)

(German, French, Turkish)

(Croatian, Bulgarian, Finnish, Swedish)

I haven't read the book yet but from what I've heard it's really sad which you could probably guess from the title and the summary if you read it. A sixteen year old girl wants to experience life before she dies and there are only a few months left for her to do that. I love the UK paperback. I can't even say why. Maybe because it shows hope and a touch of sadness at the same time. The mood of the covers in the middle is much lighter than in the others. They aren't as bittersweet as the UK hardcover or paperback for example. From the last four covers the Finnish version is my favorite. I like how the red shoes stick out. Nice image.

So what are your favorite covers? Do you think the Before I die covers do justice to the book?