November 30, 2011

Dark YA Blogfest Week 5 - Books I'm Most Looking Forward To

Today's prompt is to blog about the dark YA book I'm most looking forward to. HOW TO PICK?!

I can't pick D: Okay, ONE of the books I'm most looking forward to is:

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake


Also, another book I'm looking forward to is my critique partner's YA debut, The Nightmare Affair, by Mindee Arnett. Obvsly, I've already read it, but I AM SO EXCITED TO SEE THIS BOOK IN PRINT! ♥

November 23, 2011

Dark YA Blogfest Week 4 - #yasaves

This week's prompt is to blog about how a dark YA book made an impact in your life.

I'm going to reach faaaar back for this one :D

The Fear Street Saga by R.L. Stine :D

I read these books when I was in elementary school (though I maybe shouldn't have? lol), and loved them to pieces. At the time, horror was definitely my genre (possibly why I love Anna Dressed in Blood so much), and although I'd written plenty of picture books by this time, it was R.L. Stine's Fear Street series and this trilogy in particular that inspired me to write longer stories--real, plotty stories that elicited emotions.

All the best books I've ever read have inspired me to write more, to try harder, to be better, to strive for what these amazingly talented writers had already achieved, and R.L. Stine's Fear Street Saga was one of the very first that did that for me. Thank you, Mr. Stine :)

And can't leave out the books that birthed my love for fantasy:

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 21, 2011

The Mighty Archetype: The Child Prodigy

The Child Prodigy - This is the kid too young to drive or even sit in the front passenger side seat, and yet makes the adults feel inadequate. What others would normally struggle with comes naturally to them. But with great power comes great--er. I mean. Sometimes being a prodigy is awesome. Sometimes, it sucks.

Exhibit A: Toushiro Hitsugaya from Bleach

*Official art by creator Kubo Tite*
        Hitsugaya's actual age is unknown, but he is the youngest of the thirteen captains of Soul Society. Despite entering the Academy far behind a couple of his older friends, as a prodigy, he quickly rose through the ranks and is now their superior. (I adore his serious little face lol)

Exhibit B: Hatake Kakashi from Naruto

*Official art by creator Masashi Kishimoto*
        Kakashi graduated from the Ninja Academy at the age of five (yes, FIVE). He became a jounin (top ranked ninja) at thirteen, and joined ANBU (Special Assassination and Tactical Squad) shortly after.

Yes, Doogie Howser was a child prodigy =P

The most interesting part of creating a child prodigy, imo, is throwing these kids into positions adults have spent years vying for and watching the resulting human interaction. Do the adults around them respect them? Resent them? Sabotage them? Either way, conflict is inevitable.

Did the kid take on the adult role willingly? And as a child, regardless of intellect and skill, are they capable of understanding an adult's world? In Naruto, the third ninja world war was happening when Kakashi was promoted to jounin, and he lost one of his teammates (and his eye) in a battle. Things like this, in addition to all the responsibilities typically given to adults, force the child to grow up far more quickly than other "normal" kids.

I've found that a lot of these child prodigies are rather angsty kids. But I like my literary angst :D While there's always that good old 'just want to be a normal kid' trope, I'm more a fan of the 'yeah, I'm younger and smarter/stronger than you--deal with it' mind camp :D Which one are you?

Old artwork of Edward Elric from Full Metal Alchemist, another child prodigy who could understand complex alchemy texts before his age hit double digits. And then he tried to unsuccessfully resurrect his dead mother. Sorry, kiddo.

Previous posts in the archetype series:
1: Broody Jerks with Hearts of Gold
2: The Hero Who Hides Behind a Smile
3: The Goofy Guy Who Secretly Kicks Ass
4: The Designated Psychopath
5: The Mad Scientist

November 16, 2011

Dark YA Blogfest Week 3 - Movie Casting

This week's prompt involves either creating a soundtrack or a movie cast for a dark YA book. These are my choices for the characters from Anna Dressed in Blood :D

Cas Lowood

Logan Wade Lerman, best known for playing the leading role in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. He would angst very prettily.

Anna Korlov

Jodell Ferland, best known for her role as Sharon/Alessa in Silent Hill. She just has those gorgeous haunting eyes, and I can imagine her hair writhing around her.

Thomas Sabin

Cameron Monghan. Darken his hair, give him some glasses, and I can totally see him as Cas's awesome black witch buddy.

Carmel Jones

Taylor Momsen, from the CW's Gossip Girl. She looks like she'd fit the role of Queen Bee at high school.

So what do you guys think? Agree/disagree? ♥

November 14, 2011

Hunger Games Official Trailer AAAAH!

SO WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK? I got chills *eee*

Interview with S.R. Johannes - On Successful Book Signings

Click here for the full list of stops

Happy Monday! Today launches the official Untraceable blog tour.

Book Title: Untraceable, The Nature of Grace, #1
Author: S.R. Johannes
Release Date: Tuesday, Nov 29th
Publisher: Coleman & Stott

16 year old Grace was reared in the wilderness. Her first pet was a bear named Simon. Her first potty, an oak tree. And, her first swing, a forest vine. Grace has lived in the Smokies all her life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her everything he knew about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival.

When Grace's dad goes missing on a routine patrol, unlike everyone in her sleepy mountain town, she refuses to believe he’s dead. After finding a Cheetos bag and stolen government file, Grace is convinced she’s one step closer to proving all the non-believers wrong.

One day, while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from imminent danger by Mo, a hot guy who has an intoxicating accent and a secret. Grace has never felt a connection like this before, certainly not with her ex-boyfriend, the adoring, but decidedly unrugged, Wyn.

After a few run-ins with the town's police chief, her father's partner, and some new evidence, Grace travels deeper into the wilderness that has always been her refuge only to learn that her father's disappearance is not a mere coincidence.

Soon she's enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it's going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kick-butting heroine to emerge from an epidemic that's spreading like wild fire, threatening everything and everyone she's ever loved.

I'm honored to be Shelli's first stop, and I'd like to share with you Shelli's fantastic advice on what makes a successful book signing. Hope you enjoy it!

Boost Your Book Signings

How do you prepare for a book signing?

• Contact store in at least 3 months in advance
• Be sure to send out press releases to local media.
• Be sure the store has your book stocked or plans to get it. If not, ask how many copies you should bring.
• Prepare and order any giveaways – swag, chocolate etc.
• Prepare something to talk about.
• Tell the store manager that you’d like to sign remaining books & ask if they have "Autographed by Author" stickers. If not, order some .You can get these and a variety of other book stickers for $5 a roll.

What are the essential things you need with you at a signing?

This may be personal but I would say:
• Make sure your table is dressed up nicely – maybe in theme with your book.
• Pens (make sure you have more than one)
• Know how you are going to sign the books. Come up with something clever
• Giveaways – chocolate, swag, maybe a drawing
• Guest book to capture emails for your Newsletter sign up
• Signed copy stickers (in case they don’t have them there) so you can sign stock)

What is the best way to conduct a signing?

• Don't sit down unless you have to.
• Smile, talk and most of all have fun! This is no time to be shy.
• If no one shows up, remember, that's okay. It has happened to all of us at one time or another.
• Get people to enter your contest or sign your guest book.
• Don't feel confined to stay just a few hours. Stay as long as there is an interest in the book.

What are the best ways to promote the signing? I'm guessing craigslist isn't the most ideal spot :)

I don't think craigslist is too awful. You never know and it is free.
Other ideas:
• Reach out to local papers, craiglist, online events for your city.
• Send out press releases to local media and then follow up to be sure they got it.
• Contact local radio and tv stations to see if you can add to their program.
• See if the bookstore has a mailing list or newsletter you can be included in. Utilize all the contacts you have (without spamming people too much).

A few general questions :D

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
A new young adult wilderness thriller with a missing father, a kickbutt heroine, and of course - two hot boys.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
There is a special edition coming in Jan/Feb with a different ending and the first 5 chapters of the next book.I do have a second book planned – Uncontrollable set in the winter.

What inspired you to want to become a writer?
I love to tell stories. But I never thought about writing until my daughter was born.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Knowing I created something on my own – something that touches people and makes them think in some way.

Thank you so much for the fantastic advice, Shelli! If you'd like to learn more about Shelli and her book, please check out the rest of the blog tour.

Author Contact information:
Author newsletter
Author Facebook:
Personal Facebook:
Author Goodreads:

November 11, 2011

Snow White and the Huntsman trailer!

I am very excited for this film :) It looks beautiful.


I didn't know what to expect, but I am not at all disappointed! I'm not a Kristen Stewart fan, but maybe this movie will make me one... maybe. lol >_>;;



November 7, 2011

The Mighty Archetype: The Mad Scientist

The Mighty Archetype 1: Broody Jerks with Hearts of Gold
The Mighty Archetype 2: The Hero Who Hides Behind a Smile
The Mighty Archetype 3: The Goofy Guy Who Secretly Kicks Ass
The Mighty Archetype 4: The Designated Psychopath

The Mad Scientist - You guys know the one. He's typically a supporting character (although not always), the scientific and/or medical genius the main antagonist goes to to do his dirty work, whether that's to brew up biological weapons, design highly advanced laser weaponry, or perform a good old-fashioned torture and dissection of helpless paranormal beings. If he's a protagonist, then... well, nothing changes except the people he's working for lol.

Exhibit A: Dr. Franken Stein from Soul Eater

*Official art by creator Atsushi Okubo*

        Dr. Stein works as a teacher at DWMA (Death Weapon Meister Academy), and he views everything in the world as a specimen to be experimented on, including himself, leading him to drive a large screw through the side of his head and interweave his own skin, clothes, and even his laboratory with stitches. Other than being a scientist, Stein is considered to be the most powerful meister to ever graduate from DWMA and is a master martial artist, making him a deadly opponent in any situation. (Source: wiki)

Exhibit B: Mayuri Kurotsuchi from Bleach

*Official art by creator Kubo Tite*

        Mayuri is the current Captain of the 12th Division in Soul Society. He views everyone as objects to be dissected in the lab. He has even made extensive modifications to his own body. Mayuri has little regard for life or allegiances, even going as far as turning his own subordinates into human bombs on one occasion. In the past, the potential danger he posed to the Soul Society led to his imprisonment when he joined the Soul Reapers. Kisuke Urahara (see: Goofy Guys who Kick Ass) recognized his potential as a scientist and released Mayuri to help him with his research. (Source: wiki)

The interesting thing is that both these characters are supposed to be protagonists. Mayuri, I would argue, is neither--he serves himself and his pursuit of knowledge only. He just happens to be on the side of the protag. Stein, on the other hand, might have a number of questionable morals (and an underlying "madness" that he oftentimes fails to suppress), but he is very clearly a "good" guy who protects his students.

Good or bad, these characters aren't necessarily motivated by ideas like "right" or "wrong," which is why they can be either. Their motivations stem from the desire to learn, to dissect a problem (both literally and figuratively), to uncover and extend their abilities for the sake of science and knowledge. And, oftentimes, out of hubris. High intelligence often breeds big egos lol.

*Official art

What do you guys think of this archetype? Who else fits?

Have a great week! ♥

November 4, 2011

A Meme and a Winner

Thanks so much to everyone who entered my giveaway for CARRIER OF THE MARK by Leigh Fallon. The winner is:   LINDSEY B. Winner has been notified.

Don't forget the giveaway for an ARC of EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton is still open :)

And now, a meme!

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4 sentences

"...Stop jerking him around."


"You're mistaken." I straighten my spine, bone by bone.

Can anyone guess the book? :D (hint: They're talking about a boy whose name is an insect.)

Have a great weekend, all!


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