Thursday, October 29, 2009

One More Thing...

You -- YES YOU -- need to head over to All The World's Our Page and sign up for MY book giveaway. That's right..MY book giveaway. If you're peeking in and not commenting, be forewarned...I SEE you. I KNOW you're there. Comment. How long does it take? And if you do, you'll be put in the drawing to win one of these fabulous books:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Looking For Alaska by John Green
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
It by Stephen King
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
One For the Money by Janet Evanovich

OR...if none of those tickle your fancy, I'm willing to send you a book I've commented on/reviewed/mentioned in passing anywhere on THIS blog. Dudes and dudettes, that's A LOT of books to choose from.

Hurry! Deadline to comment is THIS Friday at Noon EST. Go HERE...NOW and sign up!


I don't really have much to blog about right now. Working a lot...sleeping when I can...doing VERY LITTLE writing. It's a huge bummer, but I seriously don't have any energy right now. That said, I'm trying to get into the right frame of mind per Cindy's post tonight. HERE.

Everything she says in this post is right on the money. We're all busy people. We all have a dozen balls we're trying to juggle all at once and whenever we even think we might--or heaven forbid actually DO--drop one of them, we start playing the blame game with ourselves. The "should have" game:

I should've tried harder. I should've slept less. I should've been done with this blasted book By Now. I SUCK!!

Well, folks. We don't suck. We're just letting negativity have a little too much say in our lives. The truth of the matter is...yeah, we could've done a few things differently, but what the heck good is it going to do to keep dwelling on the past? The only thing you can worry about is what you're doing Right Now. That said, I'm with Cindy. BABY steps. Forward motion. That's all I'm going to worry about. The end is there -- someday. I just have to reach out to meet it and stop expecting to jump to the front of the line without working for it.

Okay...who's with us? :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I still have tears in my eyes, and I don't think it's because I felt the spirit!

Edited to add: You MUST watch up until the 2...2 min, 15 sec mark. It gets SO good. The big finish, iow.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

All's Quiet..

I know I've been quiet this week -- I apologize! It's been...well....CRAZY. I'm working a ton of hours and have had very little time for anything else. Can't believe I'm even awake at this point. (g)

That said, hope everyone is doing well!

Remember that big news I was gushing about a while ago? Well, it's finally out in the open! Kristen Callihan signed with Kristin Nelson!!!!! WHOOT!!!!! How awesome is that? I expect BIG things to be coming Kristen's way...very very soon! (Wow, too many Kristen's in this paragraph!) I'll admit I'm a wee bit jealous, but honestly, I couldn't be happier for both of them! What a match! :) Now I'm all a' flutter waiting for the day I can hold Kristen's book in my hands!

In other news -- snips, snips, and MORE snips over at All The World's Our Page! Be sure to check 'em out. I'm, as always, humbled by the company I'm keeping over there.

I do promise I will be blogging more over here. I have a few books I want to talk about. Namely, I'm in the middle of the Gunslinger series by Stephen King. I've heard mixed reviews of it -- some love it, some hate it. I have to say that overall, I'm enjoying it. I'm currently on WIZARDS & GLASS. I really dig the narrator and so far I'm really loving the book. Anyone else have any comments on this series? I know it's a little weird in spots, but you have to admit he knows his world building. (g)

Oh...and I just finished Tamora Pierce's TRICKSTER'S QUEEN. I have to admit I walk away from these books a trifle confused by what happened, but knowing that I LOVED what happened. LOL. I think it's the names. I have the first book in paperback -- may have to read it next time 'round. Perhaps all the names, etc. will stick with me a little better. I don't know how you even spell his name, but I ADORE Nawat (I looked it up). He has to be one of the most original love interests I've ever discovered. I'll give you some hints -- he's a crow turned man...and he likes to preen and try to feed bugs/worms to Aly (the MC). Makes me giggle all the time. He's very sweet and oh so different.

I've also started book 4 in the Vampire Academy series. Can't recall the name at the moment, but I'm so excited to get started!

What books are y'all reading? Anything new out that's causing a stir? I haven't been to church in a while, so if you know of anything, let me know! :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


In case you didn't know -- Claire is giving away a free book this week. You can take your pick of three -- Be sure to check it out!

We're talking about what we write and posting excerpts this week. Intimidating group of ladies to be amongst, let me tell you. :)

My iPod Hates Me

There's something wrong with it, I'm tellin' ya. And it's reducing me to monkey mentality. All I want to do is pound it on the nearest table and beat it into submission. Beat it until it works properly.

I keep restoring it to factory settings because I can't upload anything on to it by simply...yanno...PLUGGING IT INTO MY FLIPPIN' COMPUTER. NOOOOOOOOO. That would be too easy. Why make it easy on poor Jen?!?

I'm sitting here watching it upload 3300 songs I DID NOT CHOOSE. If it does not let me choose after this little caper, I am going to hurdle it out the nearest window.

I'm LATE FOR WORK, you little machine! I need MUSIC!! I need audio books in their entirety--not random tracks of each!!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Have You Read These YA's?

I stole this from a blog I ran across tonight...Teen Book Review.

The following list of books teens love, books teens should read, and books adults who serve teens should know about was compiled IN ABSOLUTELY NO SCIENTIFIC MANNER and should be taken with a very large grain of salt.

Put an “X” next to the books you’ve read
Put a “+” next to the books you LOVE
Put a “#” next to the books you plan on reading
Tally your “X”s at the bottom
Share with your friends!

1. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy / Douglas Adams #
2. Kit’s Wilderness / David Almond
3. Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian / Sherman Alexie #
4. Speak / Laurie Halse Anderson #(Started it but
5. Feed / M.T. Anderson
6. Flowers in the Attic / V.C. Andrews X
7. 13 Reasons Why / Jay Asher X
8. Am I Blue? / Marion Dane Bauer (editor)
9. Audrey Wait! / Robin Benway
10. Weetzie Bat / Francesca Lia Block
11. Tangerine / Edward Bloor
12. Forever / Judy Blume
13. What I Saw and How I Lied / Judy Blundell
14. Tyrell / Coe Booth
15. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants / Ann Brashares #
16. A Great and Terrible Beauty / Libba Bray +
17. The Princess Diaries / Meg Cabot #
18. The Stranger / Albert Camus X
19. Ender’s Game / Orson Scott Card #
20. Postcards from No Man’s Land / Aidan Chambers
21. Perks of Being a Wallflower / Stephen Chbosky
22. And Then There Were None / Agatha Christie +
23. Gingerbread / Rachel Cohn
24. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist / Rachel Cohn and David Levithan #
25. Artemis Fowl (series) / Eoin Colfer
26. The Hunger Games / Suzanne Collins +
27. The Midwife’s Apprentice / Karen Cushman
28. The Truth About Forever / Sarah Dessen
29. Little Brother / Cory Doctorow
30. A Northern Light / Jennifer Donnelly
31. Tears of a Tiger / Sharon Draper
32. The House of the Scorpion / Nancy Farmer
33. Breathing Underwater / Alex Flinn
34. Stardust / Neil Gaiman
35. Annie on My Mind / Nancy Garden
36. What Happened to Cass McBride / Gail Giles
37. Fat Kid Rules the World / K.L. Going
38. Lord of the Flies / William Golding X
39. Looking for Alaska / John Green +
40. Bronx Masquerade / Nikki Grimes
41. Out of the Dust / Karen Hesse
42. Hoot / Carl Hiaasen
43. The Outsiders / S.E. Hinton
44. Crank / Ellen Hopkins
45 The First Part Last / Angela Johnson
46. Blood and Chocolate / Annette Curtis Klause X
47. Arrow’s Flight / Mercedes Lackey
48. Hattie Big Sky / Kirby Larson
49. To Kill a Mockingbird / Harper Lee # (Again, started it...)
50. Boy Meets Boy / David Levithan
51. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks / E. Lockhart
52. The Giver / Lois Lowry
53. Number the Stars / Lois Lowry
54. Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie / David Lubar
55. Inexcusable / Chris Lynch
56. The Earth, My Butt and Other Big, Round Things / Carolyn Mackler
57. Dragonsong / Anne McCaffrey
58. White Darkness / Geraldine McCaughrean
59. Sold / Patricia McCormick
60. Jellicoe Road / Melina Marchetta
61. Wicked Lovely / Melissa Marr X
62. Twilight / Stephenie Meyer X
63. Dairy Queen / Catherine Murdock
64. Fallen Angels / Walter Dean Myers
65. Monster / Walter Dean Myers
66. Step From Heaven / An Na
67. Mama Day / Gloria Naylor
68. The Keys to the Kingdom (series) / Garth Nix
69. Sabriel / Garth Nix
70. Airborn / Kenneth Oppel
71. Eragon / Christopher Paolini X
72. Hatchet / Gary Paulsen
73. Life As We Knew It / Susan Beth Pfeffer
74. The Golden Compass / Phillip Pullman #
75. Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging / Louise Rennison
76. The Lightning Thief / Rick Riordan
77. Always Running: La Vida Loca / Luis Rodriguez
78. how i live now / Meg Rosoff
79. Harry Potter (series) / J.K. Rowling +
80. Holes / Louis Sachar #
81. Catcher in the Rye / J. D. Salinger X
82. Push / Sapphire
83. Persepolis / Marjane Satrapi
84. Unwind / Neil Shusterman
85. Coldest Winter Ever / Sister Souljah
86. Stargirl / Jerry Spinelli
87. Chanda’s Secrets / Allan Stratton
88. Tale of One Bad Rat / Brian Talbot
89. Rats Saw God / Rob Thomas
90. Lord of the Rings / J.R.R. Tolkien X
91. Stuck in Neutral / Terry Trueman
92. Gossip Girl / Cecily Von Ziegesar
93. Uglies / Scott Westerfeld +
94. Every Time a Rainbow Dies / Rita Williams-Garcia
95. Pedro and Me / Judd Winick
96. Hard Love / Ellen Wittlinger
97. American Born Chinese / Gene Luen Yang
98. Elsewhere / Gabrielle Zevin
99. I am the Messenger / Markus Zusak #
100. The Book Thief / Markus Zusak +

Wow...apparently I'm reading all the wrong YA's. (g) I only counted 17 on this list. (29 if you count all the books in the series I've read) I need to get crackin'!

How'd you guys fair?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Very Long Week!

It's been an unbelieveably busy week. Work is hopping--and I've put in a lot of OT. EXHAUSTING.

And, frankly, I've been paying WAY too much attention to everything going on over at All The World's Our Page. It's been so super exciting to launch, tho...and all of us (Kristen, Rachel, Claire, and I) are SO thrilled to have had so many people turn out to wish us good luck, etc. If you haven't dropped by, what are you waiting for? We're giving away free books for the love of Pete! (g)

You still have time to enter for a chance to win Donald Maass's new book FIRE IN FICTION. I've read a good chunk of it, and trust me, You Want It. All you have to do is leave a comment with your name. The entries close tomorrow (Friday) at 12PM EST.

And in the next few weeks, we'll be giving away some of our personal faves. Can't wait for that, lemme tell you! I still haven't decided which book/s to give away. TOUGH CALL!

Oh, and next week we'll be talking about our various works in progress, etc. WITH excerpts. *eeeee* SCARY! I swear, I've been blogging for close to three years now and I've never been THIS nervous. We all are! Weird. (g)

Hope all of you are having a great week! The weekend is almost upon us! YAY.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Grand Opening!

I can now reveal the Super-Exciting-Secret Project!!!

I--along with Claire Gregory, Rachel Walsh, and Kristen Callihan--will now be group blogging at

Please stop by and see us!

We will be giving away several books over the coming weeks, and all you have to do to enter the drawings is leave a comment with your name. Easy Peasy, right? We'd also love it if you spread the word, link our blog on your blog, etc. The more who know, the better!

This week, we're giving away FIRE IN FICTION by Donald Maass. (!!!) How cool is that? It's a kick-arse book.

Other giveaways will be announced, so stay tuned!

We'll be blogging about all aspects of writing. The day-to-day's, craft, querying agents, conferences, working with agents, being on submission--anything and everything we go through on our paths to publication. We're also planning some interactive serial stories that will let YOU control where the stories go. It's going to be a lot of fun. I can't wait to get started!

And in case you're wondering, I will still be blogging here. ATWOP will just be a little more...organized. (g)

Come sign up for FIRE IN FICTION -- The drawing is THIS Friday!! Don't wait, do it now! :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

SHADOW KISS by Richelle Mead

Just finished reading SHADOW KISS by Richelle Mead and boy am I SO glad I waited to read it until the fourth book was out. Let me tell you, it has one of those endings that leaves you screaming for more.

Actually, I think my reaction was something like this:

*Jen reading, knowing the pages are dwindling...two more pages...*aaargh* page...oh shiite, only a paragraph..last sentence...*


Yes, I am a'clamoring for more. In fact, did I not have the fourth novel in my hot little hands, I might've staked out Mead's front yard, refusing to leave until she let me peer over her shoulder while she wrote it. I think all of us should be extremely thankful this is NOT the situation. I do indeed have the book, and I will not go all stalker on anyone. Small miracle.

That said, I have no idea if I should read the next book because I have a gut feeling my reaction to the end of book 4 will only be...more intense. (g)

Okay -- I haven't reviewed any of the books in this series, so let me give you a quick overview of Mead's world.

Rose Hathaway is what's known as a dhamphir. A half-human, half-vampire. This makeup leaves her stronger and more resilient than full-vampires, the Moroi. Because of this difference, dhamphirs pretty much serve two purposes in life. They either go into intense training and become guardians to the physically inferior Moroi, or they become...hmmm, how shall we put this? Blood whores. *heh* Because the ONLY way for Moroi to reproduce is to do it with a dhamphir. (Is this twisted or what?) Dhamphir's are basically the second class citizens of the vampire world. Their motto: They come first. Meaning the Moroi.

But there are evil forces also at work in this world! The Stirgoi. Stirgoi are the BAD vampires. They're sort of a combination of the vampires we all love to lust after, and brainless zombies intent on eating brains. Only they want blood. They're evil, destructive, and hell-bent on taking out all the Moroi. Hence the need for Guardians (the trained arse-kicking dhampirs).

The Moroi DO have one advantage, tho. Magic. Only problem is that they've sort of lost it over the years. And those in power believe all the fighting should be left up to the Guardians.

This is a problem for Lissa Dragomir, who has the power of spirit. Rose and Lissa grew up together, and when in a tragic car accident that wiped out Lissa's entire family, it was Rose she came to the rescue of, saving her with her magic and creating a link between them known as being Shadow Kissed. You with me?

This shadow kiss allows Rose to feel Lissa's emotions--to even "become" her in order to see through her eyes, etc. This link is very strong, and of course, makes Rose the perfect guardian-in-training to protect Lissa. They attend the St. Vladimir's Academy -- a school for vamps and training dhamphirs.

They get into a lot of trouble. They chase after a lot of boys. Most importantly, they, or rather, Rose, chases Dmitri, the guardian assigned to train her for her future guardian role. Still with me?


I'm not going to go into the specifics about THIS book. Way too much to explain, and I'd spoil everything for you. What I will say is this:


Book 4: BLOOD PROMISE (just released this year)
Book 5: SPIRIT BOUND (Slated to drop May 2010)
Book 6: TBA (sob--I believe it's the final one -- Slated to drop 2010)

If you've read BTPM and enjoyed it -- get these books. They will show what a truly talentless hack I am. But that's okay.

State Of Emergency!




It's too early. I'm not ready for this!!!


Just got home from a midnight viewing of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY. This movie is very scary. I may have to sleep with a night light for a while. (g) That said, the ending was fairly lame. LOLOL. Not gonna lie to you. But the rest was pretty intense and nail-biting kinda scary. I screamed a lot. My friends laughed at me. I screamed some more cuz it was hella scary.

Oh, and wanna know what's even scarier? It's snowing outside right now. We are barely into October, and It's Snowing. This has to be some sort of cosmic joke. WHERE IS FALL?? It's like we skipped it altogether. Bah. The ground Had Better Not be white when I wake up. I want reds and oranges and yellows and crunching leaves beneath my feet.

Stay back, winter!

Off to "sleep." Not sure I'll be able to. Mwhahaha.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Some Early-Morning Random Thoughts

It's Friday. TG. But it's cold, and icky, and I don't want to get out of bed and go to work. But alas, that is life. The unfortunate part is that it's an ALL DAY work day for me. I'll be leaving in about 45 min and won't get home until probably 1am. Tell me that doesn't suck? lol


To compound the looooonnng day, we had to make a late night emergency vet run with Bailey last night. It's still not clear what's wrong with her. Well, we know it's her throat. The big sign--other than the fact she's had her tail down and is walking around all sick-like--is that when we tried to feed her some soft food last night, she cried the entire time she ate it. One exam and two x-rays later (with many, many high-pitched, squeals--even when no one was touching her. Such a drama queen), and they couldn't really find anything in her soft palate, etc. Prognosis? Possible puppy sore throat. *smacks forehead* Well, it could be something bigger, but it's all a wait and see game at this point. Her cries were horrible, though, so you couldn't have kept us away from the vet. My guess is that she scraped up her throat scarfing down something. Possibly something we gave her. Possibly a stick. Possibly a rock. She's not the brightest bulb, but we love her.


I'm still bursting with good news this morning. Yaaaaaay.


Did a bit of work on FI between vet and Husker game. (YAY, way to make a comeback, boys!) The thing I always find funny about writing? It's always sooo much easier figuring things out than it is actually executing them (and it's NEVER easy for me to figure things out in advance). LOL. But I'm working on it, and that's the important thing. The new motivational thread I'm weaving into the story will change some things, but suprisingly not as much as I thought. The thing is, the major scenes that involved "the big reveals", etc. were the ones I've been stuck on for so long. So I'm not really losing that much because I couldn't complete them to begin with. LOL. So yay. That said, the more I think about the changes, the more I love them. They add this great layer to the story that was always sort of there, but now is clearly defined. And boy -- it's a doozy. :)

My goal, of course, is to make it as seamless as possible. Natural to the point that when you guys read it someday, you'll wonder to yourself -- what the heck was Jen blathering on about for so long? This COULDN'T have been that hard to write. lololol. Ah, the dream. :) But if it reads that way someday, realize the journey to get it there was NEVER easy. Fun, yes. Easy? No. Ah, nothing else like writing in the whole world.


Super-exciting-secret project is still in the works. Big reveal on Monday -- Promise!


It's official. I'm in the Halloween mood. I'm busy as all get-out, tired, and more than a little cranky most days. But dang it, those inflatable pumpkins and ghosts I'm seeing everywhere have brought me back around to Happy Jen. I love this season. LOVE IT. I'll even take the cold, dreary weather as part of the package. Can't wait to get to a haunted house or pumpkin patch this year. I'm a screamer, guaranteed to splinter all ear drums within a quarter mile radius. I'm told this makes it quite fun to tour one of these places with me. (g)

That said -- I may have to sneak a few moments to work on BTPM here and there. Or maybe even on WALKING IN SHADOW--the sequel. Werewolvews -- just the thing to put me in a good mood. :)


Okay -- I've procrastinated, but it really is time to head to work now.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

This Is For...Well, You KNOW Who You Are!!!

Is It Really Thursday?


Where did this week go?

Oh yeah, I spent it at work. :P

Which is where I'm heading now.

Can you hear the happiness in my fingers?

It's there -- listen closely.

I miss Evergreen.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Rough Waters

Okay, after regrouping to work on FI again, I had to face the fact that I had one very serious plot point that was throwing the whole works topsy-turvy. One little piece that could sent my sad little house of cards a tumblin' down. I had to fix it. I had to brainstorm. I had to come up with SOMETHING to explain why certain events go down the way they do. Cuz, frankly, if I couldn't, I wasn't sure I could make the book believable in the end. And let's face it, I've had a hard time doing that to begin with! LOL.

I digress.

Anyway, I've known about this particular issue for a LOOOOOOONG time. And I've switched this or that...tried to look at things from different character POV's...squinted really hard at the screen and jumped up and down like a kangaroo on crack.. I've done it all to try and figure some way around this roadblock. And I've continuously hit the same brick wall. Over and over and over and over again.

Eventually I just kinda said to heck with it. It will work itself out eventually. HA. It never did. :)

But....EUREKA!! I've had a breakthrough. And I owe it all to Tricia and her inquisitive nature. :) Seriously, all it took was for her to ask just the right question at the right time and my little synapses were firing like mad. She seriously solved a problem that has plagued me for months on end! How awesome is that?

Now, I'm not guaranteeing it will be smooth sailing from here on out, but things are definitely going in the right direction.

So, thank you, Tricia! You rock! (And you have MORE than redeemed yourself!) Thanks.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


It's Saturday. It's cold outside. I have to work all day. MEH.

There isn't even a Husker game on to break up that day o' fun.

In FUN news, tho....and let's face it, we all need a little fun. We're having a snip thread over at compu...HERE.

Stop by and check it out -- or post something for us all to enjoy! Snip threads are my most favoritest things in the whole wide world. :):):)

Hi ho, I go. Have a good day! May it be warm where you are. (g)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Oh Man!

I don't know about you, but I'm excited to read it!!!

The Attitude I'm Trying To Adopt!

Man, could they make videos back then, or what??

Changing Of The Hat!

In Superman fashion, Jen ducks into the closet, emerging a moment later wearing her FI cap.