August 26, 2012

What's in a Name?

Well, quite a bit actually. Some of the feedback from my beta readers made me ponder the title of The Reaping. One wasn't quite sure how well it matched the story, and so I started thinking about other names and thought about how attached I was to the title I picked (which honestly started as a working title, but stuck). After thinking and brain-storming and discussing, I am pleased to bring you the new title for the sequel to The Burn:


It's an intense, loaded word, and with what goes on in this story, there are so many infractions against so many people on so many levels. So there you go. I hope that's a tantalizing teaser for you, and I just think it's a great snippet of good things to come.

August 23, 2012

Another One Bites the Dust

I've gotten the feedback from my beta readers, so I've been working on my next draft of The Reaping. Can I say I love my beta readers? It's so nice to know I'm not writing in a vacuum. Sometimes it feels that way, and getting outside opinions is an enormous help.

One of the best advice for this book from one of my beta readers is to eliminate most of my adverbs. As I've been reading and rereading my draft, I realized that oh boy do I ever love my adverbs! So I've been cutting and cutting and hacking away. I've left some, but most of them have now seen the bloody end of my vicious red pen.

One of the more choice examples that I've eliminated?

"quietly whispers"

Seriously? Oh, yes, it was in there. Not only is it redundant, but a perfect example of a useless adverb. Does a reader really have to be told that a whisper is quiet? No I trust you, my lovely readers, to know that a whisper isn't a shout. What was I thinking?

But that's why beta readers are essential and wonderful. Getting someone else's eyes looking at my work helps me take a step back and see it more objectively. So here's to more adverb slashing!

August 11, 2012

An Olympic-sized Addiction

So we've watched the Olympics almost all day today. I had a doctor's appointment this morning, I made some peach jam and granola, hubby played with the girls (they love Saturdays when Dad is home all day long), but in it all, the Olympics was playing.

My oldest girlie saw rhythmic gymnastics for the first time and was enthralled. The last event was with the ribbon-wand-thingie (I'm definitely not an expert when it comes to rhythmic gymnastics. Incidentally, neither is hubby, who called the clubs "spoons."), and my girl had to have her own ribbon wand. So my adorable husband got her princess wand and attached some crepe paper to the end. She twirled and danced and thought she was the most beautiful thing in the world, which she pretty much was.

Then I started thinking about the closing ceremonies tomorrow. Sure, I haven't gotten nearly enough sleep the past two weeks, or nearly enough writing done, or nearly enough housework done. But I'm going to miss it. It's probably a good thing the Olympics (summer and winter) only come around every two years, because I'm such a slacker when they're on. But I'm sure going to miss them.

Especially now that my girls are big enough to really enjoy them with us. It just makes my day when my two-year-old comes running and asks for "Lympics?"

August 07, 2012

Young Adult Giveaway Hop: Winners Announced

 Thanks for stopping by this leg of the Young Adult Giveaway Hop, hosted by Reading Teen and I Am a Reader, Not a Writer.

Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below for a chance to win one of three ebooks of Bound by Annie Oldham.

After her mother dies, Elowyn Challis would do anything to bury the pain, but being shipped off to boarding school isn't what she had in mind. Things could be worse. Wyn finds a place for herself in the academy and living in the capital is just sparkling. But under it all, her mother's death still haunts her. Then Wyn discovers a secret that changes everything she believes: the bedtime stories her mother told her as a child are real, the faerie realm exists, and she is the Binderthe one mortal on earth with the power to seal the gate to Fae. It's a power Wyn's not sure she wants or can even wield. But she must confront her nightmares and her grief, or two worlds will be torn apart.

Also be sure to check out the linky below the form for more great prizes and blogs.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

August 03, 2012

3 Main Character Types That Drive Me Nuts

As I've been working on several projects these days, I've been contemplating the female protagonist, because--let's face it--the main character in every one of my books thus far has been a girl. Probably because males are a mystery to me. I'm married to one, I have a father, I have a brother, I interact with guys, but they're just not what I know. And a rule of writing? Write what you know. I definitely know about being a girl :)

So many books I read these days (and I'm applying this general stereotype to YA fiction since I don't read a lot else) have flawed female protagonists. I'm fine with flawed. After all, I've never met a person who's perfect. But there are some female protagonists that just drive me nuts. Absolutely and completely. For example:

The Robot Warrior. See Amanda Hocking's Hollowland (if you're not too squeamish about the zombie violence, because it's pretty gory). Remy is so tough and so driven that I had a hard time relating to her. Especially when she decides to abandon a friend who had been attacked by zombies and barely gave it a second thought, but then two seconds later decides to adopt a lion she finds along the way. Because, you know, lions are basically great big kittens and she couldn't bear to leave it behind. Wait, what? Sure, the lion makes a great sidekick, so I could look past it. But Remy hardly gets a tender moment.

The Damsel in Distress. See Twilight. Sure I got sucked into these books and couldn't put them down for days. They're entertaining and Stephenie Meyer tells a great story. But when it was all said and done, I thought, "Good thing Edward/Jacob are there. Bella would be toast a thousand times over." She was a moper and pretty much helpless.

The Indecisive Girl. See The Hunger Games. Sure, Katniss could fire an arrow and outwit/outlast/outplay an arena full of blood-thirsty kids, but could she pick a boy to save her life? I know it was all in the name of the "love triangle." Peeta and Gale were both such great characters. They should have run as far as they could when they saw her coming. It was like a train wreck and they just couldn't look away.

The funny thing about these books? I really enjoyed them. They were entertaining to read. So it's a tribute to the authors that they could make highly readable books.

What kinds of characters drive you crazy?