Sunday, October 28, 2012

Stay Safe in Frankenstorm!

Down here in Alabama I doubt we will feel the effect of Hurricane Sandy, but to everyone on the eastern seaboard please stay safe and warm.

Some news articles have referred to Hurricane Sandy as the Perfect Storm or Frankenstorm--both sound ominous. When I hear Frankenstorm, I imagine giant swirling clouds of green with angry winds and torrential rain. The latter is probably true, but those of you in New England will have to let me know if you see any green in the sky.

Stay dry, safe, and warm! Sending positive thoughts to all affected by the hurricane.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Great experience at SCBWI Wik Conference

Joining SCBWI was the best decision I made last year.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to participate in the SCBWI Wik Conference in Birmingham, AL (my hometown!).

On Friday was the writer's intensive with Donna Jo Napoli. Not only is she a successful children's author, but she is knowledgable about craft and extremely hilarious. The intensive was specifically about dialogue and I left that evening with my brain full of new knowledge about character conversations.

On Saturday were the break out sessions. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend all of them. But I did get the opportunity to hear Editor Leila Sales from Viking talk about tropes in middle grade and young adult fiction. After that I heard Author Irene Latham talk about how to really make your writing sing off the page. Both excellent sessions.

If you haven't joined SCBWI and were considering it, I highly recommend it. This past year I went to conferences in New York, Atlanta, and Birmingham. Not only do I learn a lot at each even, but I've bern given the opportunity to submit directly to editors of major publishing houses. I've also met some great friends along the way. I love the writing community!

Monday, October 15, 2012

THE SECOND SIGN Cover Reveal & ARC Tour

I know we all do it: dream about what the covers of our books will look like. When Elizabeth Arroyo, my critique partner, gave me the honor of reading a draft of THE SECOND SIGN, I knew right away that this story was special. I knew in my gut it would get published.

My gut was right.
Liz is going to be a debut author! Squueeee! Once I learned that Sapphire Star Publishing was going to release the book on February 7, 2013 I've been trying to imagine what the cover of THE SECOND SIGN would look like. I knew it'd be pretty awesome, but I'd never in my wildest dreams expect it to be as amazing as this:




I can't stop looking at it. 

Here's a little bit about THE SECOND SIGN:

Bred to believe in the war between angels and demons, Gabby has come to the conclusion that love is responsible for war, jealousy, and all the other deadly sins she can think of. So when she’s exiled to the middle of nowhere for getting kicked out of her fifth school for fighting, she doesn't expect to meet Jake. Much less fall in love. But Jake is quickly drawn to the eerie beauty of her violet eyes while Gabby is unsettled by their undeniable connection.

When a demon guardian comes to collect her soul, she refuses to give it up. She’s not a demon. She can’t be. Her father and twin brother are angels. The demon gives Gabby twenty-four hours to decide her allegiance, and then starts killing her short list of friends, leaving a message behind: She is the Second Sign.

As Gabby and Jake begin to unravel the mystery behind the Second Sign, she learns Jake may be the key to saving her soul. But it means a sacrifice has to be made that will change their lives forever. 

I'm hosting an ARC Tour for THE SECOND SIGN and I'm looking for participants.
I would like a boat load of people to read this book before its release in February and I want to flood cyber space with blogs promoting THE SECOND SIGN. If you'd like to participate in the ARC TOUR you will have to commit to the following:

1. Reading the book fast. Don't let the ARC sit on your shelf until February. We want to circulate this solo copy of THE SECOND SIGN to as many people as possible before the release.

2. Blog about the book

3. Pay to ship the book via priority mail (which typically costs $4.95) at the post office to the next person on the ARC Tour list. The Post Office provides free priority mail envelopes.

4. You're encouraged to write in the book, not only to sign it and leave Liz an awesome message about how much you enjoyed it, but also feel free to comment on any page where you think something is good/cool/whatever. Smiley faces and hearts are always welcome! 

If you are interested in participating in the ARC TOUR for THE SECOND SIGN please contact me at

Sunday, October 7, 2012


I thoroughly enjoyed the audiobooks of PERFECT CHEMISTRY and RULES OF ATTRACTION by Simone Elkeles. The narrators Roxanne Hernandez and Blas Kisic did an outstanding job.

From Goodreads:

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created 'perfect' life is about to unravel before her eyes. She's forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for: her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.

From Goodreads:

When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado. Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Then he meets Kiara Westford. She doesn’t talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos’ wild ways. As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she’s too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him. But he soon realizes that being himself is exactly what Kiara needs right now.

What I love about these books:

The characters. They are so real! Ms. Elkeles is amazing at her character development. Both novels are written in alternating point of views so you can really get inside Brittany's, Alex's, Carlos', and Kiara's head. 

The love story. I love West Side Story. I'd describe both novels as modern day retellings.

There's a sequel about little brother Luis, CHAIN REACTION!
From Goodreads:

Like his brothers, Luis Fuentes is a risk taker; whether he's scaling the Rocky Mountains or dreaming of a future as an astronaut, Luis is always looking for the next thrill. Nikki Cruz lives her life by certain rules -, don't trust a boy who says "I love you", boys lie to get their own way and never date a boy from the south side of Fairfield. Then she meets Luis at his brother Alex's wedding and suddenly she's tempted to break all her rules. Getting Nikki to give him a chance is Luis's biggest challenge, until he finds himself targeted by the head of the gang that nearly destroyed his brothers' lives. Will Luis's feelings for Nikki be enough to stop him from entering a dark and violent world that could prove to be the ultimate risk?

Warning: There is language and sexual themes in all three novels