Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Virtual Launch Party for Jessica Therrien's Oppression!

Crack open the champage, people, it's time to partaaaaay!
Jessica said we'd have to imagine her doing her happy dance, but I dared her to post a video today so we can actually see her happy dance. You'll have to check out her blog to see if she was brave enough to do that ;-)

(Children of the Gods #1)

There are others like her. Many of them. 
And they have been waiting for her 
...for a long time.

Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She's been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than the average person, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she's closer to eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal. For Elyse, these things don't make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she's been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability. Or so she thinks. Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time. Among so many of her kind, she should not be very remarkable--except for the prophecy. Some believe she will put an end to traditions, safeguarded by violence, which have oppressed her people for centuries. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning--and she's not entirely willing to play by their rules.

$0.99 E-Book
Amazon Kindle Edition (UKFrance, Germany)

$12.99 Paperback
Amazon (US)
Barnes & Noble (US) - on sale for $7.79
Amazon (UK, FranceGermany, Japan)

This party has PRIZES!

Here's What You Can Win!

Signed Paperback Edition                      Lined Paper Notebook                  Oppression Poster
of Oppression

How Can You Win?

To be entered to win these prizes you can do any of the following:

1. Tweet about the release of Oppression using the hashtag #Book1OPPRESSION.

Example: Celebrate the release of Oppression (Children of the Gods #1) by @jessicatherrien #Book1OPPRESSION #YA Available NOW! 
Example: Read #Book1OPPRESSION (Children of the Gods #1) by @jessicatherrien today for only .99 cents! http://amzn.to/wBDtn1    

2. Facebook - tag @Jessica Therrien (Author) about the release of Oppression.

Example: Celebrate the launch of Oppression (Children of the Gods #1) by @jessicatherrien! The e-book is on sale now for NOOK & Kindle for only .99 cents! 
Example: Spread the word for prizes! Today is the official release of Oppression (Children of the Gods #1) by @jessicatherrien
3. Visit any of the following Virtual Launch Party Host blogs and comment on their Virtual Launch Party posts:


Jaime Morrow
Avery Marsh
Marisa Corvisiero

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Favorite Book Quotes

I've been lurking around Goodreads a lot lately. I love seeing what other people are reading, discovering new books, checking how many people have added Guardian to their to-read list, finding new people to connect with, and "liking" my favorite quotes.

Then one day I was like, Hey. I have a book on Goodreads. I should add quotes from Guardian too! So I did. And if you're at all interested in checking them out, you can find them here ---> Quotes from Guardian.

Most of my fave quotes from other books are sharp-witted, snarky comebacks from one character to another. Cassandra Clare, especially, is good at those (well, I think so!).

“Is this the part where you start tearing off strips of your shirt to bind my wounds?”
“If you wanted me to rip my clothes off, you should have just asked.”
~ Cassandra Clare, City of Bones

“Have you fallen in love with the wrong person yet?”
“Unfortunately, Lady of the Haven, my one true love remains myself.”
“At least,” she said, “you don't have to worry about rejection, Jace Wayland.”
“Not necessarily. I turn myself down occasionally, just to keep it interesting.”
~ Cassandra Clare, City of Bones

“Don't.” Clary raised a warning hand. “I'm not really in the mood right now.”
“That's got to be the first time a girl's ever said that to me,” Jace mused.
~ Cassandra Clare, City of Bones

“We came to see Jace. Is he alright?"
“I don't know,” Magnus said. “Does he normally just lie on the floor like that without moving?”
~ Cassandra Clare, City of Ashes

“Not everything is about you,” Clary said furiously.
“Possibly,” Jace said, “but you do have to admit that the majority of things are.”
~ Cassandra Clare, City of Glass

“Ah,” said a voice from the doorway, “having your annual ‘everyone thinks Will is a lunatic’ meeting, are you?”
“It’s biannual,” said Jem. “And no, this is not that meeting.” 
~ Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince

“It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them. Reading your words, what you wrote, how you were lonely sometimes and afraid, but always brave; the way you saw the world, its colors and textures and sounds, I felt--I felt the way you thought, hoped, felt, dreamt. I felt I was dreaming and thinking and feeling with you. I dreamed what you dreamed, wanted what you wanted--and then I realized that truly I just wanted you.”
~ Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince

“Ladies and Felines,” he stated grandly, grasping the doorknob, “Welcome to Tir Na Nog. Land of endless winter and shitloads of snow.”
~ Julie Kagawa, The Iron King

“Oh, we're playing nice now? Shall we have tea first? Brew up a nice pot of kiss-my-ass?”
~ Julie Kagawa, The Iron King

What are some of your favorite book quotes?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Daymares and a Little Girl Pouting

Ooh, tagged again! Thanks, this time, to Traci Kenworth.

1. Daymare or Nightmare?
Daymare = a frightening hallucinatory condition experienced while awake (Oxford Dictionaries Online). That sounds super creepy, so I think I'll stick with nightmares!

2. How many books/short stories/poems/songs etc. have you written?
books: 1
unfinished books: several
short stories/novelettes: several
poems: a few
songs/compositions: less than 5

3. What genre is your current wip? 
Paranormal fantasy.

4. Do you have someone in your life who keeps you on track with your stories? Give them a shout out!
Kittie Howard :-)

5. Do you write what you know, or stretch your imagination, or both? 
Streeeeeeetch my imagination.

6. Who would you like to see on a coin/money? 
Doesn't really bother me, since I only look closely enough at money to tell how much it's worth! But apparently the new South African Rand banknotes are going to have Nelson Mandela on them, which I think is pretty cool :-) (though I do like the animals we currently have on our banknotes!)

7. What’s your favorite place to write and why? 
On my bed in the evening with stormy weather outside. It just works :-)

8. How would you describe your “voice”? eg. Southern gothic…
Hmm... the only way I can think to sum up my writing voice is YA :-) Think Kiersten White mixed with Stephanie Perkins (not that I would dare to compare myself to two such awesome authors! But that's the kind of "voice" I'm going for at the moment.)

9. Do you mix genres? Which ones? 
Fantasy and romance.

10. If you could move anywhere in the world where would it be? 
Um... possibly New Zealand. I kinda like it here in Durban, though :-)

11. What book (craft or otherwise) have you learned the most from?
Learned in terms of being a writer? Anything by Cassandra Clare.
Learned in terms of life in general? The Bible.

Since I've already been tagged before, and tagged 11 other people, and this game of tag has been going for a whiiiiiiiiile now, I'm gonna stop this branch of it here :-) You can all stop running now!

~  ~  ~

I've recently started taking note of the keyword searches that lead people to my blog. I like to occasionally share the most random ones :-)

rachel mcadams ass: yup. Seriously
lazy boy on couch: uh... don't remember doing a post on that specific topic!
y: just y. Nothing else.
little girl pouting: also don't remember ever mentioning a little girl pouting!
candle in darkness on far right side: that's, uh, very specific...
ichtys tetoválás: I understand the "ichtys" part (the fish shape used as a Christian symbol. I have it tattooed on my ankle), but I have no idea what "tetoválás" means. Anyone know?

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

An Interview With Author Laura Josephsen

Yesterday was the launch of Laura Josephsen's book, RESISTANCE, and today I've got her over here to answer a few questions :-)

1. What is your favourite time of day to write?
At night; I'm such a night owl.

2. Do you have any weird little writing rituals? (eg. the curtains must be open in just the right place, and a container of green M&M’s must be within reaching distance of your computer)
Nope! I write while doing all sorts of things—in between homeschooling, sitting at my daughter's dance class, stuff like that, so it's kind of wherever, whenever I can. I do like to have coffee while writing, if I can manage it.

3. What's a completely random fact about you that most people don't know?
I have weird fingers. They bend slightly backwards. It grosses some people out.

Rachel: Okay, that IS random!

4. Do you remember when you first decided you were going to one day be a published author? 
I really didn't have a "one day I'm going to be a published author" moment. I had someone tell me I should look into publishing Awakenings, the first in a series Faith King and I are writing. (And a publisher did sign it and publish it.) Publishing had always seemed like a distant, far-off dream until it wasn't so distant and far-off, and then I was (and still am) trying to figure out how to navigate the publishing side of things.

5. Are there any songs you’d like to mention that inspired/influenced/are connected in any way to RESISTANCE or its characters? 
Oh, where do I start? I usually end up with playlists for each book…sometimes songs that I just happened to be listening to at the time, or sometimes songs I hear and go, "That is perfect for X character!" I think my biggest song for Rising Book 1: Resistance was "Roadside" by Rise Against. The words fit my character Mairwyn perfectly.

6. What was your favourite book as a child? 
Can I count the Chronicles of Narnia as one book. ;) If I'd had to pick one as a child, The Silver Chair or The Magician's Nephew was probably my favorite. As I got older, The Horse and His Boy was my fave…but my mom read those to me at bedtime, and then I read them myself so many times as a child.

Rachel: Yes, you have permission to count them as one! I understand, because I loved them all too!

7. If you were stuck in an elevator and had the choice of any writer, living or dead, to be stuck with, who would it be and why? 
This will go with my last answer. C.S. Lewis, because I think it would have been really insightful and amazing to have a conversation with him.

Rachel: He certainly has written some incredible stuff that I'm sure has changed MANY people's lives.

8. Out of all the characters you’ve ever created, tell us about the one you’d most like to meet in real life.
Ever created? Ack, this is hard. Hmmm. I'd probably say Sephie (real name Persephone) from Confessions from the Realm of the Underworld (Also Known as High School). That was my oddball book—I typically write speculative fiction, but it was contemporary. I just love her voice and her snark and the way she views the world.

Rachel: Ah, I know Sephie :-) Your 'oddball' book was entertaining!

9. Have you ever based an entire character on a real person you know, and would you tell that person? 
I haven't ever based an entire character on a real person. I don't know if I'd be able to even if I wanted to—my characters take on lives of their own and often become unexpected things anyway.

10. Lastly (and most importantly): cake or ice cream?
Cake! But not chocolate cake; I actually don't care for it much (unless it's chocolate cheesecake).

Rachel: Yay, cake! Me too! My fave is carrot cake though. (And you're insane for not liking chocolate cake!)

Thanks, Laura, for some awesome answers!

An excerpt from Resistance (Rising, Book 1)

By the time an infant's cries pierced the air, the sun was rising and Alphonse was ready to fall over—whether from exhaustion or relief that it had ended, he wasn't sure.
"Alphonse!" his mother called. "Alphonse, I need that knife!"
Alphonse dragged himself to his feet and ran into the house. He located the sterilized knife and took it to the bedroom door. When he knocked tentatively, his mother said, "You can come in. Meet our new neighbor."
Yes, because he wanted to see Nella for the first time in two years after he'd spent half the night listening to her labor pains. "I'd really prefer to stay out here."
The door opened and Alphonse's mother held out her hand for the knife. She looked exhausted, but there was both amusement and happiness on her face. "Very well. Thank you for staying close. You can—"
"Mrs. Redding?" Nella sounded equally exhausted and there was a sudden fear in her tone that made Alphonse's mother turn quickly, the knife in her hand pointed down.
This was the worst thing that she could have done, for it gave Alphonse a wide view of the bedroom and the bloodied cloths and sheets. He got a glimpse of Nella on the bed, holding a baby whose umbilical cord had not yet been cut. Coupled with the sweat and blood smell wafting from the room, Alphonse's nausea and dizziness overwhelmed him and his vision went black. The next thing he knew, he was opening his eyes from the floor, his glasses pressed uncomfortably against his face.
"Alphonse, are you all right?" his mother asked.
"I'm…unnnghh…" Alphonse scooted backwards out of the bedroom. He must have only been out for a second or two, because the conversation within the bedroom continued as though he had not just fainted like a coward at the sight of blood.
Alphonse pressed his face to his knees and decided maybe he should wait a moment before trying to stand up again. Though his mother might not know it yet, her chances of ever having a grandchild had just dropped to zero percent.
"What are these?" Nella asked. "These bumps on her back…is something wrong with her? Is my baby all right?"
There was a heavy silence, in which Alphonse imagined his mother to be examining the newborn. "Oh," his mother breathed. "Oh, Nella…these aren't bumps."
"Then what are they?" Bryce spoke this time, and he had more dread in his voice than fear, as though he already knew the answer and was afraid to say it.
His mother's reply was so quiet Alphonse almost didn't hear it. "They're wing buds."

~  ~  ~

Laura Josephsen lives with her family in Tennessee. She is a co-author of the Restoration series and the author of Confessions from the Realm of the Underworld (Also Known as High School). She likes music, reading, socks, rainy days, chocolate, coffee, and sci-fi and fantasy tales.

Author Links

Resistance (Rising, Book 1) Links

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Resistance (Rising, #1) by Laura Josephsen is Now Available!

Today is the launch day for fellow writer/blogger Laura Josephsen's new book, RESISTANCE, from the two-part series, RISING. Woohoo!

All Alphonse wants is a quiet summer at home before his final months at university. What he gets is a half-dead stranger on his doorstep and the task of delivering a package to the leader of his home country. Not long after he boards a train toward the capital, he's attacked by knights, elite soldiers of the neighboring king.

Alphonse is temporarily rescued by Mairwyn, a mechanic with a haunted past and a deep hatred of knights. Together, they attempt to carry out Alphonse's urgent errand, only to learn that if they fail, countless people will die.

And even if they succeed, they may not be able to prevent the war that lurks on the horizon.

Buy it on

Come back tomorrow for an interview with Laura and to read an excerpt from the book :-)

Monday, February 20, 2012

First Campaigner Challenge: Shadows Crept Across...

You know who's in the picture, right? ;-)

Beginning: "Shadows crept across the wall" ✔
Ending: "everything faded" ✔
Include the word "orange" ✔
Same genre I normally write: paranormal romance ✔
Exactly 200 words ✔

Shadows crept across the wall. Beastly little things, always thinking they could scare me. “Shoo!” I said. I received nothing but a minuscule snicker in response. Fine. I’d show them. Keeping my injured foot raised, I leaned over and pulled a torch from my handbag. With a snap, I flicked the switch and brandished the torch like a lightsaber. The shadow-beings squealed in terror and scurried back to their antique jar on the mantelpiece.

“Sorry about the Shades,” said Michael, striding back into the lounge. “They’re just curious. You’re the only girl who consistently refuses to be afraid of them.” He knelt beside my chair and wrapped an orange cloth full of ice cubes around my throbbing ankle. “You know, I think that’s the first time a girl has jumped off my veranda when I’ve tried to kiss her.”

“I slipped, okay,” I said, punching his arm. “You took me by surprise.”

He laughed and leaned against the arm of the chair. “What if I warn you this time?” he asked, his voice low and husky.

“I think that would work,” I whispered.

His lips touched mine. I closed my eyes, and the shadows, the pain, the room—everything—faded.

~  ~  ~

I'm number 18 on the list :-)

I figured most people would go for the creepy/suspenseful-type story, so I tried to be different (and perhaps that's what others will try too, and then none of us will have creepiness/suspensefulness! <--- not a word, I know. Don't hate me.)
And I haven't written past tense in so long I feel like I've forgotten how to do it! Had to fix up several tense mix-ups. Hope I got them all!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday (7)

Click here to see the other Sunday Sixes!

Like last week, my six are from the second installment in the Creepy Hollow series (which will be published in early April).

He looks at the wall of water, then back at me. “But you’re a girl. Can’t you multitask?”
I lean my head back against the rough, stone wall. “I refuse to let you talk me into a make-out session in a dodgy, underground tunnel. I have standards, you know.”

~  ~  ~

In other awesome news, you can WIN BOOKS!

Tahereh Mafi is giving away six different prize packs of books, all of which include a signed copy of her debut YA novel, SHATTER ME. Click here to enter.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Book Review: Clockwork Prince, by Cassandra Clare

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

Reaction at end of book: Aaaargh!! Why is Cassie Clare so damn good at torturing both her characters and her readers?! But despite the fact that my heart is breaking for two particular characters, I loved this book!

My thoughts after calming down:

My overall impression of CLOCKWORK PRINCE is that I enjoyed it waaay more than its predecessor, CLOCKWORK ANGEL. I mean, please don't get me wrong. I really enjoyed CA. It was a fantastic story. It just didn't... wow me like the MORTAL INSTRUMENTS books did when I first discovered them. But CP? Yeah, it wowed me. It wowed my freaking socks off! (or it would have if it was winter here and I'd been wearing any socks).

CA was all about setting up the story and introducing the characters. And they were awesome, and I loved them (except maybe Will. He crossed the line into complete and total jerkville). But CP went into a lot more depth. There was far more character development. The story was told from just about every character's point of view, and every point of view was interesting! There wasn't a single character's story that I wanted to skip through.

There were a few hot scenes that made me want whip out my fan and cool myself down a little (balcony scene anyone? And Jem's bedroom? Whew!). Loved those! And, in true Casandra-style, there were a lot of squirming, heartaching, how can you do that? moments. But you know you love those ;-)

Bottom line: totally freaking awesome book.

And one more thing: After reading CA I thought I'd never be Team Willl. He was just over the top rude and downright cruel. I was always and forever Team Jace. But after reading CP, after seeing the world through Will's eyes and discovering the motivations behind everything he does... I've done a 180. It's a close call, but I think I can say I'd pick Will over Jace!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Defying Gravity: Book Review & Author Interview

Book Summary:
Homesick upon the SS Perseid, Linia, a young linguist, thinks she signed up for a mission of peace, but her crew members have another plan: attack the planet Medusa. Bored with his dying planet, Alezandros, a space cruiser pilot, joins the Medusan Army in his quest for adventure. When the SS Perseid clashes with the Medusans’ space cruisers, Alezandros and Linia’s lives intertwine. Sucked through a wormhole, they crash upon a post-apocalyptic Earth and are captured by cannibals. In adjacent cells, Alezandros and Linia cast their differences aside for a common bond: escape. But when romantic feelings emerge between them, they might do the unthinkable, because for a Medusan and a Persean to fall in love, it would defy gravity.

Goodreads | Amazon

My Thoughts

Confession: I'm scared of aliens. I'm kinda scared of space too. So I've never been much of a sci-fi fan. BUT I made an exception for Defying Gravity, and I'm glad I did :-)

Things to enjoy:
  • The alternating points of view: It adds another dimension to a story when you can see it from more than one perspective. And I always enjoy it when I'm allowed to know what the characters think of each other! The author switches from one POV to the other at just the right time, building tension and keeping readers' interest.
  • The world-building: It makes sense that on another planet they wouldn't use the same language and words we do. Planet-specific words add to the believability of this story. I like "pairing up" for dating and (my fave) "pegasifly" for some kind of insect :-)
  • The characters: Linia is sweet and Alezandros is kind-hearted and understanding. If the situation were slightly different they could have hated each other, but with a prison wall separating them and only a tiny hole to speak through, they get to know each other for who they really are.
  • The cool powers! I won't say what they are (duh, spoilers), but they're not your average mind reading/super strength/super speed etc. They're pretty darn awesome.

Lines to enjoy:

She couldn't place Mixi's age, since her white-blond hair was pulled back in a bun so tight it gave her a face lift.

"Well, I was thinking--"
"That's dangerous for you, and the answer is no." 

She tumbled and fell into the infinite darkness of unconsciousness.

AND NOW.... we are fortunate enough to have the author herself here to answer a few questions!

About the Story

1. How did you come up with the title, Defying Gravity?
Ah, that’s easy. I was trying to think of a title, and then the song “Defying Gravity” from Wicked popped into my head. It seemed to fit the main characters, what they were doing, and sounded a bit sci-fi to me.

2. Are there any songs you’d like to mention that inspired/influenced/are connected in any way to Defying Gravity
Well, “Defying Gravity” from Wicked, but in name only. I also liked listening to Katy Perry’s “E.T.” as well because it always got me into a forbidden alien mood.

Rachel: LOVE that song!

3. Do you plan to write any more stories set on the same planet/s mentioned in this novelette? 
Originally, Defying Gravity was a stand-alone book. Then, I got the idea of making it a series of novelettes. I debated on whether to continue Linia and Alezandros’s stories or to use the universe and focus on new couples. The latter is what I’ve decided to do. Right now I’m working on Fighting Gravity, which involves Phoebus (an Aresian) and Marissa’s (an Earthling) story set on the post-apocalyptic Earth as in Defying Gravity. The third and most likely final story of the Gravity series will be Pull of Gravity involving the Earthling Nike and the Cupidian Edonys on the planet Cupidis.

Rachel: I like the gravity theme you've got going there.

About the Author

1. What's a completely random fact about you that most people don't know? 
When I’m thinking on what to type next, I often tilt my head to the side. Usually it is to the left if I’m trying to think of a word or phrase. Then, I’ll tilt it to the right, if I’m trying to be more creative. I’ve found I do that when I took exams too in school.

2. What is your favourite time of day to write?
I would have to say morning. By nighttime, I’m usually too tired, or if I do write, it makes me awake and that’s not good for bedtime and work the next morning.

3. Do you have any weird little writing rituals? (eg. coffee in a specific mug that must stand on the left side of your computer)
I do most of my writing at the day job, so I’m limited on my quirks, but at home, I do love a cup of hot tea. I have noticed I sometimes make facial expressions like my characters when I write too.

Rachel: Must be entertaining for someone to watch you write ;-)

4. If you were stuck in an elevator and had the choice of any writer, living or dead, to be stuck with, who would it be and why?
Good question! I would have to say Michael Crichton. I loved his books, particularly Jurassic Park, and he’s one of the authors I’ve regretted not meeting before he died. His passing still makes me sad to this day.

5. Out of all the characters you’ve ever created, tell us about the one you’d most like to meet in real life.
That’s easy. I would want to meet Apenth. He’s the god of prophecy, wisdom, and a few other things in my Phoenix trilogy. He’s also my muse.

6. Who would you say is the fictional book character that resembles you the most? 
Of Defying Gravity, it would be Linia. Of all my works, it would be Rose from my novel Starred. From all the books out there, it would be Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series.

Rachel: Hermione = good choice!

7. Lastly (and most importantly): cake or ice cream? 
Cake or ice cream? Are you really going to make a girl choose? Hm, I guess I would have to go with ice cream.

Rachel: Yay! That leaves all the cake for me!
~  ~  ~

Cherie Reich is a writer, freelance editor and library assistant. She enjoys writing horror, fantasy, and mysteries, but she doesn’t let that stop her from trying other genres. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her e-books include Once Upon a December Nightmare, The Best of Raven and the Writing Desk, and Defying Gravity. She is a member of the Virginia Writers Club and Valley Writers and placed third in Roanoke Valley’s BIG READ writing contest.

Book Links: 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Is It Getting HOT In Here?!

This awesome blogfest is hosted by Hope Roberson of Writing With Hope and Cassie Mae of Reading, Writing and Lovin' it.

The gist of it:
Those kissy scenes are challenging to write, but I love reading one when it's crafted so well it feels like I'm standing beside the characters, watching with inflamed cheeks as sparks fly between the two lovebirds.

Please share one of your favorite kissing scenes from a book you've read, from your own WiP, make one up, or write about one of your own memorable kisses. Then hop around to feel how sweet, romantic, or downright steamy other characters are getting smooched!

I look up and find him staring at me. His gaze makes me feel hot all over. I lift my hand and run my finger over the almost invisible scar on his chest. He shivers at my touch. Gently, he reaches out and cups my face in his hand, brushing his thumb over my cheekbone. I lean forward to meet his kiss. My hands slide down over his jacket and slip beneath the hem of his T-shirt. His skin is warm, smooth. I skim my fingers across his back, feeling the ridges of his spine and—

—that's where I have to stop, I'm afraid! The remainder of that sentence contains a spoiler - bonus points if you can guess what it is ;-)

To see the other entries, click on either of the two blogs at the top of this post.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday (6)

Hop on over to the Six Sentence Sunday website to check out the other participants' "sixes".

My six are from Creepy Hollow #2 (which has a name, but I have not yet shared it ;-) ).

Flint stands in the doorway. 
“Have you been roped in as part of the cheering up committee?” I ask him. 
Tora’s blonde and green head appears over her brother’s shoulder. “I thought I’d need extra help pulling you from the depths of despair.” She looks me up and down. “But, surprisingly, you seem fine.”

Friday, February 10, 2012

Outer Space Scares Me... and Other Random Facts

Thank you, Kathleen, for tagging me to answer 11 random questions about myself! It's good timing, too, what with all the new campaign members coming around and not having a clue who I am. I'm sure once they know about my weird habits (questions 2) and my hoarding tendencies (question 6) they'll definitely come by to visit again...


Wait! Stop! Where are you going?!

Okay, so here's the deal: I answer 11 questions from Kathleen, then I tag 11 people and ask them my own 11 questions. Here we go...

1. On average, how often do you look in a mirror (practicing faces for your writing does count!)?
Wait, so when I'm putting cream/makeup on my face, every time I look away and then back in the mirror, does that count as a separate occasion? How about checking out my hair in the ancient blank computer screen that sits on my desk at school?
Answer: no freakin' idea!

2. What is your weirdest/strangest/most interesting habit? Be honest!
Um... When I'm thinking I often hook the underside of my tongue ring over my bottom teeth. I try not to do that when standing in front of a class full of students, though!

3. If you could go anywhere in the UNIVERSE, where would it be and why? (Fictional places are totally part of the universe.)
There is one thing I want to see before I die and that is the Northern Lights. Sorry, I know that's still on this planet, but outer space kinda scares me!

4. What fictional character do you hate with a passion?
Hmm... President Snow from The Hunger Games books.

5. Upon landing on a deserted tropical island, you realize you have only one thing to help you survive! What is it?
My Kindle! And it would have a magical everlasting battery.

6. What do you hoard collect?
I don't think I technically hoard anything, but the closest thing would be books. There's nothing else I have in such vast quantities!

7. You’ve just landed on a brand new, never-before-discovered planet. What do you name it?
Rachel's Planet of Awesomeness?
Okay... The One With The Purple Rings.

8. Fill in the blank: I am proud of myself for _______________.
... reaching the final word on that 120 000 word novel! (which I have yet to inflict upon the reading world)

9. You have half an hour to cook a meal for your family/friends/people. What do you make?
Half an hour? Seriously?! Probably pasta mixed in with whatever bottled pasta sauce I can find in the cupboard! Plus fresh herbs from the garden.

10. You’ve just been asked to give an impromptu speech on any subject. What do you talk about?
Um... social media? High school mathematics? I feel I know quite a lot about those two subjects at the moment!

11. Is there life beyond our planet?
Like I said before, outer space (and in particular, aliens) kinda scares me. So I'm sort of hoping there's no other life out there!

~  ~  ~

All right, I shall be tagging 11 people I have recently followed through the Writers' Platform-Building Campagin:

Jocelyn Rish

And here are your 11 questions:

1. Describe yourself in one word.
2. What was your favourite book as a child?
3. eBooks or paper books?
4. If you could go back in time and change one thing in your life, what would it be?
5. What song is currently stuck in your head?
6. What fictional character do you most resemble?
7. If you could have any super power, what would you choose?
8. What is your favourite quote?
9. Are you a full-time writer or do you have some other day job?
10. Which book would you pick up first: awesome cover or super cool title?
11. Cream or ice-cream?

Looking forward to seeing your answers!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (21): Oppression

Title: Oppression
Author: Jessica Therrien

"How do you find these kinds of secret places?" I asked.
"People with secrets need places to keep them."

Oooh! Secrets! And that's why they call it a teaser ;-)

It gives me great pleasure to post a teaser written by someone whose blog and publication journey I've been following for a while now. OPPRESSION is released later this month!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! Make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!
  • Share the title and author too so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Fourth Writers' Platform-Building Campaign!

Bring on the FOURTH campaign! It doesn't feel like all that long ago that we were writing our challenge entries for the first campaign... (known as a "crusade" back then...)

Anyway, just a quick post to remind you all that you can sign up from today until Wed 15 Feb for Rach Harrie's newest Writers' Platform-Building Campaign! Woohoooo! If you've taken part before, then you know how super fun it is and how many new writers you get to know. If you haven't taken part before, well what are you waiting for?!

Click the link above to go to Rach's blog where she explains aaaaall the details :-) Thanks, Rach!

A tip for newbie bloggers: It can get a little overwhelming trying to follow so many new blogs. Have you tried using Google Reader? At the top of the page you can click "Feed Settings" and then "New Folder..." For example, I've created one folder called Campaign Group - YA and another called Campaign Group - Paranormal Romance. Then every time I subscribe to a new blog I click on "Feed Settings" and select the folder I want to put that blog in.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday (5)

You can find all the other participants at the Six Sentence Sunday website. And I actually remembered to get my name on the list in time this week!

These six sentences come from GUARDIAN, my novelette that launches at the beginning of March.

Then I think of what I’m about to lose because of him. I could be expelled, or, at the very least, suspended. All my training could be for nothing. All the blood, the bruises, the pain. The nightmares that come after having to kill someone. I may have gone through that for nothing—all because this boy couldn’t just stay in his damn bedroom.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Those Moments That Make It All Worth It

Many of you know that I am a teacher in my non-writing time. You may also know that teaching is a highly time-consuming / life-consuming job! I am fortunate enough to have a part-time teaching position, which means that teaching isn't all-consuming (well, most of the time!). But it does take a lot of energy and dedication to be a teacher, whether for a full day or part of a day, which is what makes moments like these so special...

Earlier this week my matric class came in like they always do: almost late, greeted in a hurry, sat down immediately to do the "do now" (a quick question we have at the beginning of most lessons to help focus them on the subject). After we went over the answer and I was walking back to my desk, the entire class stood up. This doesn't ever happen, so I wondered if someone had given them a "talking-to" about being polite and standing to greet teachers at the beginning of a lesson, or something... But then they all started singing/clapping this vibey little happy birthday song! It was gorgeous!

And then one of them came up to me with this mug. (If you've forgotten all your maths, then you may be confused by the "pies we shared" (as in the number pi) and "all the irrational moments" (as in irrational numbers).

A note on the "Mah" in "Thank you Mah and happy birthday": I teach at a private girls' boarding school in South Africa where most of the girls are Zulu home-language speakers. Because all the girls have to board, and a number of the teachers stay on campus too, there is a "family-like" feel to the place. So traditionally (and this is a tradition that's been around for many years - the school is 143 years old this year!) all the women teachers are called Mah (as in mother) and the students are called members (as in members of a family).