Friday, May 20, 2011


AMITY was NOT a CALAMITY!  My AMITY week was successful in many ways. 

1.  I didn't anger/alienate/enrage/or otherwise terrorize any of my coworkers. 

Happy co-worker Dan can attest to that.

2.  My husband, who I refer to using many different names--Hot Air Blair, Dr. InvinciBlair, and several other NSFW names at times--has been hobbling around all week with a swollen knee.  I've been the ULTRA wife to him.  Getting him ice packs (okay, bags of frozen peas), serving him his dinner, all kinds of '50's wife things that I never did before.  Plus!  I haven't called him any names this week! (out loud)

WHOA there June! This week has made me want to bust a cap in someone too. 

3.  Instead of repeating myself over and over and over and over in the morning and at night for my son to get dressed, brush his teeth, comb his hair, in ever increasing decibels until every kid in the neighborhood can hear me (and has dressed, brushed and combed before my kid), I've turned it into a game.  I've played Simon says in the morning to make getting ready for school fun, and turned brushing teeth into a race against the clock.  My kid is now down to 10 second tooth brushing.  Yeah, I know, that's probably not a good thing, but hey - he's brushing!

See! Look how good he does! (This is NOT my son's mouth.)

I haven't worn red or yellow this week...unless you count the pizza sauce I got on my shirt Wednesday. 

Overall - Amity success!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tenacious Tuesday


1. Not readily letting go of, giving up, or separated from an object that one holds, a position, or a principle: "a tenacious grip".

2. Not easily dispelled or discouraged; persisting in existence or in a course of action: "a tenacious legend".

Ride that query train! RIDE!

How do you get your novel published?  You hold on for dear life and send it out.  You get rejections.  You send it out again.  And again.  And again. 

Kathryn Stockett's The Help was turned down by 60 agents before finding its champion.  Ms. Stockett knows how it feels to start keeping the news of more rejections from family and friends.  She even started lying to her husband!  But she didn't give up, and now she has a best seller!

Here's what another best selling author, Janet Evanovich has to say about having tenacity:

Q. What if I send my book to a lot of agents and none of them wants to represent me?

JANET: If being a writer is important to you, keep at it, keep improving, and don't give up. I wrote three books that were never published. I sent the first one out to everybody. I went through every agent and publisher in New York, twice. The only positive letter that I got back was from an agent, but it was written in purple crayon on a bar napkin, so I didn't follow up on it. Then, presto, ten years later I was a published author.

If Ms. Evanovich can go ten years, have three unpublished books, and query every agent in NYC twice - I think we can all hang on and keep going without tossing aside our dreams of one day being a best selling author.
Those are only two examples of authors with enough tenacity to keep pushing beyond the rejection and coming out the other side with a best selling book in hand.  Take inspiration from these ladies and don't give up!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Spring Carnival Winner!

Congrats to our Spring Blog Carnival Winner:

Tiffany Drew

Tiffany's book has already been ordered. Hope you love it Tiffany!

Thanks to all who entered and welcome new followers!

Friday, May 13, 2011

How'd I do? Divergent Challenge Week One: Abnegation

As part of our own GotYA gal, Debra Driza's DIVERGENT CHALLENGE, authored by one-time GotYA gal, Veronica Roth (wow that's a mouthful), I'll be taking on the weekly faction challenges and posting right here on GotYA!

Got it?!?


 According to the Divergent fansite, Abnegation means:

1.  To refuse or deny oneself (some rights, conveniences, etc.); reject, renounce.
2.  To relinquish, give up

Relinquish your home to De CAT!

As a mom of two who works full time and does this thing called writing books, there's a lot of sacrifice in my life.  Sleep being number one on the list.  But giving things up to do something you love, like writing, doesn't seem like abnegation to me.  So, that won't count.
I've gone to work without makeup this week!  But not as a thought-out contribution to this challenge, more like a my-eyes-are-itchy-stupid-oak-trees-are-killing-me kind of thing.  So, that won't count either.

I read 50 pages of Ramona and Her Mother last night that my 3rd grade daughter put off and put off and put off until she had to have it read by today for a book report.  But, I'm a mom--it's my job.  So, that doesn't count. 
It's what we do.
Guess that means I can't count cooking, doing dishes and washing clothes either.
I'm striking out here people.
Maybe I should fast next week to make up for my big FAIL this week.  Of course, I would lose weight that way, so that probably wouldn't count either.
I suck at this.  I give up. 

I'm not sure what's going on here--but it's funny as heck!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cover Love!

It's time for cover love!

First up:
XVI by Julia Karr

(US, German)

The author revealed her German cover yesterday and I'm totally in love with it. It's nothing like the US cover, though both are rather striking.

Next up:

The Iron King by Julia Kagawa

(US, German)

Again an awesome German cover (by my German pub Heyne!). I love the colors and those eyes and eyelashes. Just wow! But the US cover is pretty awesome, too!

Next up:

The Hollow by Jessica Verday.

(US hardcover, US paperback, UK, German)

I'm not so sure about the US hardcover. It's a bit unsettling. I definitely prefer the paperback version. The German cover is my favorite though.

What do you think?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ohioana Book Festival 2011 Recap

This past Saturday I was fortunate enough to attend the Ohioana Book Festival in Columbus, Ohio. Ohioana is a completely free gathering for lovers of books and showcases central Ohio's local authors. There was so much to do and to be honest with you it was just as good if not better than some of the conferences I've attended and actually paid for.

I can't even begin to rattle off all the individual seminars, because there was just so many. One of the main things I wanted to share with you guys is I met the Regional Advisor for the local chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators.

                                                   Click HERE to visit their national site!

There is a ton of advantages available to members of SCBWI. If you are serious about getting published in the children's market this is the professional society for you. They have annual conferences, local monthly meetings and networking opportunities. A great place to meet other people with the same interest as you.

The second thing I wanted to share with you all is the great books I discovered by authors right in my back yard. A couple of them I had reviewed their novels on READING, WRITING & WAITING, so it's always nice to put faces with books.

Erin McCahan, I Now Pronounce You Someone Else

Erin McCahan was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but moved to Columbus, Ohio when she was nearly five. She spent her best collegiate years at Hope College in Holland, Michigan and Capital University in Columbus, where she still lives.

Here Comes the Bride — If She Can Pass Chemistry.

Eighteen-year-old Bronwen Oliver has a secret: She's really Phoebe, the lost daughter of the loving Lilywhite family. That's the only way to explain her image-obsessed mother; a kind but distant stepfather; and a brother with a small personality complex. Bronwen knows she must have been switched at birth, and she can't wait to get away from her "family" for good.

Then she meets Jared Sondervan. He's sweet, funny, everything she wants — and he has the family Bronwen has always wanted too. She falls head over heels in love, and when he proposes marriage, she joyfully accepts. But is Jared truly what she needs? And if he's not, she has to ask: What would Phoebe Lilywhite do?

Author Website

I met Erin McCahan yesterday. She was super nice and remembered my book review!

Linda Gerber, Trance

Linda Gerber learned out of necessity to write on the go while living the expat life in Japan, where she served as the Regional Advisor for the Tokyo chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She is the best-selling author of novels for teens and tweens. Her books have landed on such notable lists as the ALA Popular Paperbacks, Women’s Sports Foundation recommended reads, and Literacy Lab recommended reads. Her latest book, Trance, is a Junior Library Guild selection. Gerber currently lives and writes in Dublin, Ohio, blissfully ignoring her husband, four kids, and one very naughty puppy.

Ashlyn Greenfield has always known when bad things are going to happen. Each time that familiar tingling at the back of her neck begins, she knows what's to come a trance. She's pulled in, blindsided, an unwilling witness to a horrible upcoming event. But she's never been able to stop it not even when the vision was of her mother's fatal car accident. When soulful Jake enters Ashlyn's life, she begins having trances about another car accident. And as her trances escalate, one thing becomes clear; it's up to her to save Jake from near-certain death.

Author Website

It was really cool to meet Linda because her blog actually quotes my review! That's proof that authors do read reviews guys! My review of Linda's book TRANCE.

Lisa Klein, Cate of the Lost Colony

A writer of historical fiction for young adults, Lisa Klein is a native of Peoria, Illinois. She received her BA from Marquette and her PhD in literature from Indiana University. Klein was an assistant professor of English at The Ohio State University for eight years, where her special discipline was Shakespeare and Renaissance culture. Klein lives in Columbus.

Lady Catherine is one of Queen Elizabeth's favorite court maidens-until her forbidden romance with Sir Walter Ralegh is discovered. In a bitter twist of irony, the jealous queen banishes Cate to Ralegh's colony of Roanoke, in the New World. Ralegh pledges to come for Cate, but as the months stretch out, Cate begins to doubt his promise and his love. Instead it is Manteo, a Croatoan Indian, whom the colonists-and Cate-increasingly turn to. Yet just as Cate's longings for England and Ralegh fade and she discovers a new love in Manteo, Ralegh will finally set sail for the New World. Seamlessly weaving together fact with fiction, Lisa Klein's newest historical drama is an engrossing tale of adventure and forbidden love-kindled by one of the most famous mysteries in American history: the fate of the settlers at Roanoke, who disappeared without a trace forty years before the Pilgrims would set foot in Plymouth.

I had seen this book on several blogs and even discussed it with a girl in my critique group, but I had no idea the author was local! Can't wait to read this one. YA needs more historicals!

Kristina McBride, The Tension of Opposites

Kristina McBride, a former high-school English teacher and yearbook advisor, wrote The Tension of Opposites in response to the safe return of a child who was kidnapped while riding his bike to a friend’s house. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two young children. This is her first novel.

It’s been two years since Noelle disappeared. Two years since her bike was discovered, sprawled on a sidewalk. Two years of silence, of worry, of fear.

For those two long years, her best friend Tessa has waited, living her own life in a state of suspended animation. Because how can she allow herself to enjoy a normal high school life if Noelle can’t? Ho...moreIt’s been two years since Noelle disappeared. Two years since her bike was discovered, sprawled on a sidewalk. Two years of silence, of worry, of fear.

For those two long years, her best friend Tessa has waited, living her own life in a state of suspended animation. Because how can she allow herself to enjoy a normal high school life if Noelle can’t? How dare she have other friends, go to dances, date boys, without knowing what happened to the girl she thought she would share everything with?

And then one day, someone calls Noelle’s house. She’s alive.

A haunting psychological thriller taken straight from the headlines, The Tension of Opposites is a striking debut that explores the emotional aftermath of a kidnapping on the victim, and on the people she left behind.

“Tense! The constant push and pull of friendship, pain, love, and jealousy is beautifully drawn. A definite must read.” – Jay Asher, author of the New York Times bestseller Thirteen Reasons Why

Author Website

I'm really excited to read this one! Reminds me of the Elizabeth Smart story.
Happy Reading!!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Flashback Fridays: The Devastating Southern Storms


For this week's Flashback Friday, I wanted to reflect on the local and world events
of the last ten days, predominantly the devastating storms in the South. And holy moly, what an insane ten days it has been. I mean, the Royal Wedding and Osama Bin Laden's death all in one weekend coming on the tail end of the second worst tornado system in American History.

It all began a week ago on Tuesday evening. While perusing Facebook posts, I saw where a local Atlanta station, WSBTV, had posted a very ominous weather report for Wednesday night. On a rating scale, conditions are likely for tornado activity at 2 and 3--they were predicting levels of 8 and 11. I'd already heard of devastating storms hitting Arkansas, so the threat seemed very plausible.

Wednesday at my school was supposed to be a fun day for the Seniors--slide show, talent show, picnic, and then a Powder Puff game where the girls of the schools don football jerseys and the guys play the cheerleaders.

All that came to a screeching halt at about 8:15 when we were ordered to get into the hallways(especially my class since we're in a mobile unit). In my ten years of teaching, I've practiced tornado drills each and every year. However, I've never actually been involved in an actual tornado until Wednesday. And I knew it was bad when administration told us teachers we were to take cover with our students instead of patrolling the hallways. The worst was hearing the reports crackling over the walkie talkies of tornadoes touching down close to us. After almost an hour packed into the hallways, we were ushered to the talent show. But in the middle of it, we got word that they were sending us home early at 11:30. On the drive back home, the damage was already very visible with uprooted trees and broken limbs. But the worst was yet to come.

Around eight that evening, I packed up my two dogs and headed to my grandmother's who lives five minutes from me. We huddled in her living room, glued to the news reports--ready at any moment to head to the interior hallway since she didn't have a basement. Over and over, the piercing tornado siren rang through the night, but fortunately, the storm went directly to the north of us.

The entire night reminded me of the book, Night of the Twisters, that my 4th grade teacher read aloud to us. It was made into a 1996 movie with Devon Sawa from Final Destination and John Schnieder from The Dukes of Hazard.

I teach an hour away from home this year in Walker County(which was featured in Water for Elephants...the farmhouse is owned by a teacher at my school). And while my home county had very minimal storm damage, the county where I teach was hit hard. We ended up missing school on Thursday, Friday, and Monday, and then we've been on a 2-hr delay all week to allow extra time for those still without power. However, compared to Walker's next door county, they were lucky. Ringgold, Georgia, which is in Catoosa County, was basically leveled. Businesses, the schools, houses--all wiped away. Seven deaths were reported in that county, which brought the death total in Georgia to fifteen.

However, nothing in Georgia could compare the utter devastation and destruction in Alabama. Over two hundred dead. The college town of Tuscaloosa wiped out. The images I've seen on television and in person are horrifying and almost unbelievable.

Ways you can help

You can head over to Help Write Now, an online auction from writers, agents, and editors to bid on items where all proceeds go to help storm victims.

The Salvation Army & The Red Cross are already on the ground and helping delivering food, shelter, and helping with clean up.

The Passionate Penny Pincher has a link for care packages for children impacted by the storm.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Querying love

I really enjoy querying.

I know to some that sounds crazy, but I do. I get that itch to send out queries fairly regularly when I'm working on a book. I just finished my third, which is on its way to betas, and I'm itching to hit send five times on that query. And right query sucks.

I enjoy getting e-mails from agents, even though the pattern has been mostly rejections. I squee when I have a request. And I sigh when I get a rejection.

But there is something edgy about the process. I can't explain it, but it may be that deep-down part of me that knows the right agent for me is out there and when the stars align, I'll have an offer.

Now, I don't want to be misunderstood here. I've been depressed and upset and felt like quitting too many times to count. There have been times when I wanted nothing to do with writing. Times when I wanted to chuck it all and never type another word. Those times are very real, but have passed for me. I figure they will come back again. Even after an agent, and a book deal or five book deals. I may be eighty years old wanting to burn it all one day. But one thing has remained constant for me. My writing buddies who tell me to keep going. I hope you have that in your life.

Good luck on your path!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Contest Winner!!!

Hey guys!!

So, so sorry that I'm a few days late on the contest posting. Not only have things been crazy with the storm damage(nothing in my county, but the county I teach in missed 3 days of school), but my laptop died on Wednesday night.

Anyway, without further adieu, the winner of Across the Universe, Identical, and Dead Tossed Waves is


Gina, if you will email me(kra79 at comcast dot net) your address, I will get the books out to you ASAP. Thanks to everyone for participating!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

20 Awesome YA Book Trailers

A good book trailer to me is like watching a trailer for a movie. It gets me hooked into the story and makes me excited about it. I love book trailers. Maybe that's because I'm a very visual person *shrug*, who knows, but I think there are others out there like me because more books are coming out with trailers as a part of promotional campaign. Here's a few awesome book trailers I want to share with you all. Some are so well done. I can tell the author/publisher spent some major time to make them so kick ass. While you're here watch a few. Who knows, one may catch your eye.

1. Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

2. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

3. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

4. Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

5. Matched by Ally Condie

6. ANGELFIRE by Courtney Allison Moulton

7. The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

8. The Lost Saint by Bree Despain

9. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

10. INTERTWINED by Gena Showalter

11. Torment by Lauren Kate

12. The Chemical Garden Trilogy - Wither Trailer

13. Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter

14. Lure by Stephaine Jenkins

15. Across the Universe

16. The Replacement

17. The Eternal Ones

18. Beautiful Creatures

19. Paranormalcy

20. Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

Any you guys want to share??

Spring Carnival Blog Hop!

Welcome to GOT YA's stop on the Hop! Please be sure to check out our most awesome hosts!!
Candace’s Book Blog http://www.candacesbookblog//, Reading Angel, Pure Imagination, and The Book Swarm

What's up for Grabs!

One book of choice from book depository ($14.00 limit). If book depository ships to you, you're eligible!

How To Enter:
1. Follow us via GFC
2. Comment with your email address!

Contest Ends May 8th at 11:59pm. We will contact you if you win!

Good Luck!!