Two For Tuesday

What is it?
Post two of anything: book reviews, pictures, quotes, poems, songs, videos, rants, shout outs, whatever floats your boat. Just connect them somehow. That's it. (via Kate)

Today: I'm five pages into the rewrite of Lost & Found. Yesterday, I decided that I needed to stop doubting myself and actually start writing, so that's exactly what I did. So to celebrate that here's two songs from the soundtrack for my novel.

When I first heard this song I literally squealed because it fits the plot and the title SO perfectly.

I just recently discovered Pixie Lott. OMG. Isn't her voice amazing? I am also a huge fan of Kings of Leon, and when I heard this...wow. But, yeah, I think her version of the song fits the book.

So there you go.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!


This is what my face looks like at the moment:

I honestly don't know what to think about the ending, considering the fact that I really though I knew for sure how it was going to end, but that is what I enjoyed most about this series, it wasn't predictable.

Most authors "lose their characters" when they write a series, and sometimes because of that, the reader knows what's going to happen, but Miss Collins kept Katniss's character true throughout all three books, and not only has she grown up, but she has become a three dimensional character, as well.

Mockingjay, in my opinion, was A LOT darker than the other two novels. Mainly because we got to see a little bit more inside Katniss's head whereas in the other two it was all about the Hunger Games and surviving and what not.

It got a little confusing at times, but it wasn't too confusing that you couldn't follow the plot. I thought, the writing, as usual, was brilliant, and we were introduced to new characters, as well as old ones.

Gale was in this book more than he has ever been in the series, which I had hoped, because Peeta had too much showtime in the first two books. The love triangle angle of this series was explored a little more, and I would like to say that I wasn't surprised to find out who Katniss ended up with...but I can't because as I was reading, I started to have doubts. I started saying to myself "No, she can't end up with him..." or "She has to kill him."

And it was just a rollercoaster ride, because I wanted to know who the hell she was going to end up with! I know that really isn't that important, but I just needed to know... THE SUSPENSE WAS KILLING ME.

There were some cute scenes. People who've read it? Am I the only one who thought the Finnick in his underwear scene was cute! OMG...Finnick. That was a shocker there.

I just can't begin to explain to those who haven't read Mockingjay yet...how complex this book was. Like I said, it was way darker, but you could tell the events that took place weren't for shock value, they made sense and stayed true to plot and.... I am so in love Suzanne Collins, because she wrote a series that had so many awesome qualities, and the characters were real, the writing was brilliant, the plot was original, and okay okay...the only thing I have to complain about is the names. I mean, come on, PEETA. Then all of those Roman/Greek names were KILLING me.

I was all like: "What the f**k?"

But I will forgive Miss Collins. Though some of those names were utterly atrocious...and one thing I couldn't get over was Tigris. If you read the book...somebody just tell me what the HELL WAS WRONG WITH TIGRIS. That woman freaked me out. OMG.

There were moments when I had to put the book down because it was getting to be too much to take in...not in a bad way...but Collins really went out with bang.

The state Katniss was in in the last few chapters...was wow. I don't blame her for the way she acted, and what she did, but... like I said on Facebook, if they make all three of these books into a movie they better get a DAMN good actress to play Katniss, because she doesn't need to be portrayed by some Disney wannabe.

Katniss is complex, she's kickass, and she's strong.

Mockingjay was definitely worth the wait, and I hope everyone else enjoyed it as much as I did.

Friday Five

1. I bought Florence + The Machine's CD Lungs and I can't stop playing it because every song is so unique, and different and I think the longer I listen to it, the more inspired I become.

2. I'm reading Mockingjay right now and I have the choice of rushing through it and finding out how the hell this AMAZING series is going to end, or I could savor it for just a little while longer. The second choice is exactly what I'm doing now because I don't want it to end. I loved reading about Katniss and the Hunger Games, and I'm going to miss the characters and even though I have to constantly fight the urge to read the last page, I'm not going to do it.

3. I decided that I'm actually going to start plotting/outlining the rewrite of Lost & Found because right now I am at a dead end, and I don't want to give up on this project because I love the characters and the plot too much. So, the next time I go to the store, I'm going to get me a new notebook, decorate the cover, and buy some notecards so that I can start planning out the chapters. I don't know if this will work or not, but there's no harm in trying, right?

4. I would like to start doing VLOGS. I have a digital camera, and though I don't really know how to use it (because the instructions are confusing) I'm sure I'll figure it out sooner or later. I did actually figure out how to use the video feature on the camera, but I don't know how to set it so that it's longer than a minute *scratches head*


Hehe, and you can hardly hear me but I'm saying "Hi, my name is Raven...." And then smiling like an idiot.

5. Lastly, I started working on an idea that I found in my pile of SNIs. You can read more about it under my BOOKS page but it's called Blood Red Lipstick On Your Collar and that is seriously like the longest title I have ever thought of and though I declared that I write YA Contemporary, I couldn't help myself! I needed a story with ghost and demons and other dark creatures of the night. Sometimes, it's good to take a break from reality. *nods* Tis true.

So, what's going on with you guys?

Teaser Tuesday (Right, like anyone will actually read this.)

I know everyone is either on their way out to buy Mockingjay, getting ready to go get Mockingjay, or are reading Mockingjay. So, you might not have time to read my tease, but it is Tuesday, so here you go.

I haven't been working on any of WIPs. I just figured I need a break from them for a couple of days, and I started writing a short story. It was inspired by the song Heavy In Your Arms by Florence + The Machine and I really like it.

It's only a first draft so....

In the last rays of sunlight, she could see a boy standing underneath a tree, something was watching him, it's bright bright eyes shone in the coming darkness, and Marie wanted to scream, she wanted to tell the boy to run, but before she could open her lips, the creature that had been lurking in the shadows, stepped into the light, revealing every sharp fang that glittered in his mouth.
Marie clutched the cross that hung from her neck, and cried silently out to a god, she wasn't sure existed in a land where creatures came in the night, stealing children from their mothers, leaving bloody pawprints in their wake.
The boy, with his dark hair, his ashen skin, his slits for eyes, opened his mouth, to speak, but nothing came out. This creature, this wolf sat back, and howled at the approaching moon, and then it's golden eyes rest on the boy, who was slowly inching towards the animal.
"Stop!" Marie screamed, her voice sounding new to her ears, like she had stolen it from someone braver, someone stronger than her. "Stop!"
But the boy didn't stop. He just turned his head every-so-slightly and gave her a look that she will never forget, a look that was as gold as the one of the wolve's. His lips formed around words that she couldn't hear, and before she could ask him what he was saying, the boy was snatched away, into the darkness, and that's when she heard it.
The growling, the snarling, the closing of death all around her. They were hungry, so hungry. Their jaws snapped, their fangs reached out towards her, thirsting for a taste of her blood, wanting to feel her beating heart, stop beating, as her flesh passed through their lips.
Still clutching her cross, she prayed to God, hoping that he existed in this strange land, and then her life ended.
Or so she had thought.
The Sandman was standing before her when she pulled out of her memory. She looked up at him with pleading eyes, knowing that a man like him didn't have feelings, or even a heart to feel.
"I would like to ask one thing of you before I die," Marie breathed.
"What?" he asked, and this time his voice wasn't rough or sickly sweet, it was just one syllable, one lonely sound that trembled in her ears.
"Let me die having a good dream." Tears started to fall down her cheeks once more. Heavy. So heavy. "Don't let the wolves take me."

DO YOU WANNA WIN A COPY OF THE DUFF? (Well, of course you do.)


eventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.


G0 over to Kody's blog and enter the contest RIGHT NOW. If you don't win, don't worry because she is having TWO more contest where you get a chance to win a copy of THE DUFF (which I have been anticipating since forever.)


Okay, the reason why I want to read THE DUFF is because not only have I been waiting to read it for a long time, but I love the history behind the story, and I love that Bianca isn't perfect or a size two and she knows this, and she's not ashamed of it.

I also adore Kody's writing and I remember MDW/FNWing with her on AW and though I never read a snip from THE DUFF I have gotten a chance to read snips from her other project, which had a love interest that I really really liked. She had told me that Wes was way HOTTER than that particular LI, so I really want to find that out for myself...and I can't wait til September.


Peeta vs. Gale

Everyone is picking sides.

In case you don't already know, I'm Team Gale. (See the badge in my sidebar)

Peeta, is sweet, don't get me wrong, but he's too sweet, he's too perfect, and though he makes bread, and says things that make you say "Aw..."

I don't buy it.

I'm not saying that I don't believe that Peeta loves Katniss, but I believe that their relationship was forced, whereas, Katniss and Gale have history.

And history is important.

I mean, he calls her Catnip, he hunts with her, he cares about her family, and because of the world they live in I think Gale is more capable than Peeta. He's stronger, he has this masculine, passionate feel to him that makes me swoon.

Though he didn't have too much show in the Hunger Games, Catching Fire really sealed the deal for me.

Sure he may be whiny at times, sure he make be harsh, and stoic at times but Gale actually cares about what Katniss wants, he actually knows what Katniss wants, and if they ended up together the plot-line would be more believable because Peeta and Katniss just met each other. Before the Hunger Games, Peeta didn't pay any mind to Katniss, and I just think because they were under life and death circumstances, Peeta and Katniss fell "in love".

And to point something else out: Katniss actually does like Gale. She may even love him.

So, yeah, I'm Team Gale all the way.

Why I Love Markus Zusak or... (The Book Thief review)

I don't love Markus Zusak just because he has an amazing smile (I mean, seriously, look at HIM) or because he has a dreamy accent. No, I love him because he is an AMAZING writer, and because I just finished reading one of the best books EVER.

The Book Thief is not just a story about Nazi Germany or even book thievery, as the title might suggest, but it is also about learning to find the beauty in a world that is far from being beautiful.

In the beginning of the book, Liesel Meminger, the heroine of the story, starts off as a little girl who doesn't understand much. She can't read, she can't write, and on the way to a house on Himmel Street she loses not only her mother, but her brother [SPOILERS...] who dies on the train.

One of the things that I loved about this book is that the author gives the reader a chance to see the character grow. Liesel started off as young and naive, but as she began to understand the world she lived in, Hitler's Germany, and the crime her parents committed, she grows not only mentally but emotionally. She transforms into this strong, young girl who knows that she has many obstacles in her way, but she is determined not to let them stop her.

I enjoyed reading The Book Thief because of Zusak's breathtaking prose. Every simile, every metaphor that I came across made me swoon because he used words that I would never have thought to use to describe the sky when someone dies or even the sky itself.

Did I mention that this book was not told by Liesel Meminger? You would think that because she is the heroine of the story, she would be the one dragging you through the emotional rollercoaster that was The Book Thief, but she is not.

I was actually quite surprised when I found out that Death, himself, was narrating the story, and it made it even more interesting because through his point-of-view the reader was able to
understand more about Germany in the time of
Hitler's reign.

There were so many great characters in this book that I can't really say that I didn't like any of them because they were so well-developed and they all had their owns stories to tell and they all played their own part in Liesel's story and... I think two of my favorite characters, besides Liesel and Death, would be Rudy and Max.

Rudy is Liesel's friend, and though their relationship is far from romantic, the love between them is genuine and refreshing. Their antics, their adventures are what kept me turning the pages, and Rudy. He will forever have a special place in my heart, because.... I don't want to give it away, but he's just sweet and strong and he's really passionate.

Then there is Max.... [SPOILERS] he is a Jewish man who lives in Liesel's basement. He was a wonderful touch to the story, because when he entered the reader was reminded that this is Nazi Germany and though Liesel and her foster parents are nice people, nice people pay the consequences for simple acts of kindness everyday, especially during this time.

You were punished for aiding a Jew, and so Max being in their house was a risk, but I'm glad he came along because him and Liesel have so much in common and....

I'm not going to spoil anything else just GO READ THIS BOOK NOW. I swear to you, that it will make you laugh, make you cry, make you think, make you smile.

It will haunt you.

"I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn't already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant."

- Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)

(You see why I'm in love with him, right?)

Character Interview: Lowell Fitzgerald

I wasn't going to blog today. I just wrote a query (my first one EVER) for an idea that I haven't even started yet, which might change soon because it's a really sexy, scandalous story with a little bit of mystery thrown into the mix.

But then my characters started screaming at me.

It really is hard when a lot of people are screaming at you. Inside of your head. So, last night, I started yelling back at them. Telling them that if they were a bit more cooperative maybe just MAYBE I could tell their story, and then everyone would be happy.

Then I threw in a few tears, just so they would feel bad for making me cry.

Next thing I know, Low, comes up to me, gives me a hug, and starts rambling on about how he thinks character interviews would help me get into the story, so to speak.

I'm always up for trying new things, so I agreed, and here we are:

Low: You're not going to cry on me again today, are you?

Me: No. *blushes* I'm sorry about your shirt.

Low: *shrugs* You could just write me another one.

Me: Okay so... Low, for my readers who might not know who you are, could you tell them a little about yourself?

Low: No problem. Well, I grew up in New York City with a big crazy Irish family. My grandfather was a musician, and when I was younger, he would pull me onto his lap, and sing songs to me. I didn't think playing an instrument and singing was very boyish, so I really never took an interest to it, until after my grandfather died. *looks down*

Me: I'm sorry to hear about your grandfather. But is that the reason why you sing and write songs now? To keep his memory alive.

Low: Partly, yeah. I really took up playing the guitar to get on Kip's nerve. He used to say I wasn't good at playing, and would leave the room whenever I took Gwendolyn out.

Me: *giggle snorts* Gwendolyn?

Low: Yep, that's my baby. In fact, I have her with me today.

Me: Maybe you can play a song later. So, are you and Kip close?

Low: Not really, but our relationship has always been strange. Brothers are supposed to have each other's back, but growing up, Kip and I always fought. All fists, no words. He was bigger than me, so I always got beat up...but yeah, it's always been awkward between me and my brother.

Me: Did you know that Kip was bipolar?

Low: My parents never talked to me about Kip's condition. It was a hush, hush thing in my household. But I always knew that something was wrong with him. Just didn't think he was bipolar.

Me: Were you afraid of him?

Low: Not in the sense that everyone thinks. My father, when he was still around, taught me not to fear anyone who used their fist to settle problems. *smirks* So, basically he was telling me not to fear him. That bastard....but no. I didn't. I just pitied him, and my pity for my brother, was what scared me the most.

Me: Your father beat physically abused your mother?

Low: Oh yeah. When I was five, I had to call 911 because my dad was going through one of his episodes, and.... I don't really want to talk about. Sorry.

Me: No, it's okay. I don't want to talk about anything that makes you uncomfortable.

Low: *smiles softly* I have a question for you.

Me: Fire away.

Low: How did you even come up with me?

Me: Well, you just appeared in my head one day, almost a year ago, and I knew that I needed to give you a story. You are probably one of the most interesting characters I have ever met.

Low: You're just saying that.

Me: I'm not. I'm really not...those songs that you write. Wow. I find myself singing them from time to time.

Low: You act like I write them all by myself. You're the genius behind all of the lyrics. You ever think about doing it professionally?

Me: I think about doing a lot of things professionally, but dreams aren't about thoughts, they are about actions.

Low: I could understand that. Back in New York, before my mom moved us all the way out to Thomas, I used to play at this cafe for a couple bucks. Could have kept doing it, but then I...stopped.

Me: Why?

Low: Because I didn't want music to become all about money and fame. That's where people lose their minds. I sing and play the guitar for my grandfather. Not because I want get a record deal, and make millions.

Me: *shakes head* I really can't understand why Kendall doesn't like you.

Low: *frowns* You wrote her.

Me: Well, it's not like I control everything you guys do. Kendall is a free spirit. She knows what she wants and...

Low: You saw the bruises right?

Me: *looks down* I did.

Low: She wants Kip and he's not going to do anything but bring her pain. He's just like my father.

Me: Kip isn't a bad person. Believe me, I know.

Low: Yeah, right. Whatever.

Me: So... What would you change about yourself if you could?

Low: I love too deeply. When I care for someone, I don't stop caring about them, and if you ask me, that's like committing suicide.

Me: Um...What makes you happy now?

Low: *pushes up sleeves* You see all of these? *points to the words* This, right here. This is what makes me happy. I love writing songs and letting them seep into my skin.

Me: I just have to ask you this, but do you like being called Low?

Low: Well, I certainly don't like to be called Lowell. Low doesn't sound anything like my name, and whenever I tell people that Low is my name, they give me this strange look, but oh well.

Me: I like that you don't care what other people think. But it looks like you have a lot of secrets, what is it that you've never told anyone?

Low: *leans forward and smiles* It wouldn't be a secret anymore if I told you.

Me: Okay, this is the last question, and then I promise you I will let you go. What do you want?

Low: I... I want everything life has to offer. Love, happiness, pain, joy. Everything. Just hand it to my in a jar and I'll keep them like fireflies. *takes out pen* That would make a great song....

Me: *giggles* You are so cute. But thanks for coming up with this idea. It was fun talking to you.

Low: It was fun talking to you. Oh, and about that song? *picks up Gwendolyn*

Thanks for reading!

How Do I Beta?

I just read Kathleen's entry in the Battle of the Betas and event where five writers/experienced betas critique the same page (via Sarah Enni)

If you haven't already, go check them out:

Beta-ing to me is all about giving your opinion on someone's writing in a positive and constructive manner.

You might think that everyone can do it, well they can, but there is such a thing as good Betas, and bad Betas. I'm not going to put myself in either category but I will say that I am a Motherly Beta.

By that, I mean I am nurturing. I try my best to be honest, without being harsh, and if I see something I don't like I explain to the writer why I don't like it and what I think they can do to fix it.

Good Betas don't just say things like: Oh I don't really think this opening sentence works or I don't like the personality of your main character. Good Betas explain why they don't like the opening sentence and why they don't like the personality of your main character.

If the writer understands the whys of your opinions/criticism it would help them to identify what they need to fix in their novel and how they are going to fix it.

And all of this can be done in a nice, well-mannered way.

Telling someone that their writing sucks and that you think the novel is horrible isn't going to get the writer anywhere and it certainly isn't going to get you as a Beta reader anywhere.

From my short-lived life as a Beta reader, I have learned that what you say is just as important as how you beta-read. Meaning, that you can't give off a negative vibe, because writing a book is a hard enough job as it is, and there are nicer ways in getting something across, than saying suck and horrible.

I trust that those of us who beta-read and write are aware of that, but just in case you happen to beta-reading for the first time, and you happen to read this post, know that there is a way to be constructive and firm without using harsh words.

So, when I beta, I try to be constructive, I try to be firm, I try not to be biased, because often times when people agree to beta-read someone's novel they *know* the person and like them and are afraid of being *harsh*

But, like I said, I'm the Motherly Beta, though I love you, I also care about your novel reaching it's full potential, and if I have to be constructive, and bare-boned for that to happen, then so be it.


Chapter One is the most important chapter in the entire book, in my opinion. Here is your chance to establish the hook, your characters. Here is your chance to make your reader comfortable with your main character and your additional characters and hopefully, here is your chance to reel in agents who request partials and fulls.

So, yeah, Chapter One is really important.

I spend a lot more time on this chapter then any other one. I give it a good two or three read-overs making sure I have nothing to add, and when it comes to note-taking I usually put them in brackets and make the font color red, just so my words stand out, when the writer looks over them.

There were a few occasions when the person I was beta-ing for had good first lines, a good voice, a good grip on their plot, until I got to the middle of the book. And that's where my next topic comes in.


Personally, when reading, I start out very weak (because beginnings aren't my strong-suit) and hopefully in the end, I come out strong. I am always envious of writers who can start off strong. It makes the story so much more enjoyable, but it also makes the places that are weak obvious.

I try to point those areas as best as I can, because you don't want an agent to request a full or a partial, start off strong, grab their attention, and then all-of-a-sudden lose it because you lost your grip on your main character/plot etc.

I read every book like I actually picked it up at Borders or something. Therefore, I start reading having high expectations, and with that attitude, I'm able to determine what I honestly think should be changed, and what I honestly think the reader should to, because that's what constructive criticism is all about it. It's about being honest, and honesty is key to a healthy relationship between you and whomever you are beta-ing for.

They should feel like they can ask you anything, and if you say that their story starts out strong, but gets weaker towards the middle, then they should be able to ask you for help, and ask you to explain your critique a little bit more.


As a writer, I know that some people go through three or four drafts before they send their baby off to betas, therefore they probably put blood, sweat and tears, into their project, and from personal experience, that is when the writing really jumps off the page.

I can't begin to explain how many times my jaw-dropped because I read a passage so amazing that it just blew my mind, or maybe the character's said something outrageously funny or the plot just took a turn that I didn't expect, and I loved it.

So, what I'm trying to tell you is this, when you're beta-reading don't just point out the things that need some worked on, point out the things you like, because writers (I should know) love to hear about what they're doing write. It helps them stay confident. It helps them believe that they can polish up their novel.


It's important to ask what the writer wants you to point out, in general. Often times, they have insecurities but they forget to mention to say things like: Oh, I think my main character is weak. Do you think he/she is? or Oh, I don't like the climax? Do you think it works well with the story or should fix it?

Personally, I love asking questions, just so I can be able to add in additional notes when I send in my full-critique, but that might just be me.


I am horrible when it comes to pointing out tense-changes, grammatical errors, and what not. So, I make sure I mention that to whomever I'm beta-ing for just so they know that they'll need to find someone else who can focus on that area, better than I can.

It's okay to not be good in one or two aspects of beta-reading. Just let the writer know that something isn't your stronghold and they'll work out something.

Again, I am no expert on beta-reading. But that was a gist of how I beta-read. I don't know if I do a good job or a bad job, but I hope I am of some help to the writer.

Now, it's your turn. How do you beta-read?

realizing your writerly dreams

It has always been my dream to see one of my books on shelves for everyone to read, not because I want to be famous, but because I am a storyteller and I believe that stories are meant to be shared with the world.

But everyday I don't write, everyday I fall out-of-love with my WIP, is another uncertainty to add to the list.

Am I a good writer?

Am I cut out for the business?

Is this really what I want?

Because writing doesn't get easier just because you have an agent.

I need to know that I am ready for this, before I start jumping on the query-bandwagon.

Maybe in the next couple of years or so, I will have grown as a writer, I will be more committed than I am now, but if there is anything that I have learned it's this: There is no hurry.

Sure it would be nice to have an agent. Sure it would be nice to put I am repped by.... on the top of my blog, sure it would be nice to write a blog post about HOW I GOT MY AGENT. Man, I'm telling you, if that happens sometime in my life, then I will be the happiest person alive, but I am still young. I have my whole life ahead of me, and I can't stress myself out just because I am not agented or published or whatever.

I obviously still have a lot to learn and I know this. That is why I'm going to put my dream on hold, because dreaming is useless, if you're going in blind.

Meaning, I want to learn a little more about the publishing world, before I decide HEY I WANT TO QUERY and HEY I WANT AN AGENT and HEY I WANT TO BE A FULL-TIME WRITER.

Plus, I need to be willing to work hard. To stay committed, to NOT GIVE UP, because I am telling you nine times out of ten, I am more likely to trunk a project than to keep working on it unless people yell and scream at me to keep trying.

I also noticed that people who have critique groups and support from friends and family are less likely to give up, and they don't suffer from TSS. (This Sucks Syndrome)

I have a lot of lovely lovely online writerly friends, but in real life my family doesn't support my writing, my mom doesn't really take my writing seriously, my friends don't like to read so they really don't care for writing, and sometimes it gets really hard not being able to talk about characters and plot holes with people, and other things that us writers talk about.

Knowledge, support, commitment. All of these things play a HUGE part in realizing your dream, and achieving it.

It's after one o'clock in the morning and I should be sleep, but this was one of things on my mind.

So... thoughts?

Teaser Tuesday

Here goes the rough opening to my new project WE ARE NOT ENEMIES.


You guys are amazing and I'll be sure to update everyone when I reach new milestones with this project, considering that this isn't my main project right now, that might be rare, but we'll see.

Again, thanks for taking the time to read this! I still have a few more teasers to get to, so don't take yours down just yet.



I started something new.

It's not a main project are anything, because I'm still rewriting LOST & FOUND, but whenever I need a break from rewriting, I'm going to work on WE ARE NOT ENEMIES.

I don't want to give too much away but it's about a boy whose cop-father is killed by a member of a gang, leaving Scott Perkins (my main character) to take care of his broken mother, and his gay step-brother Jeremy, while trying to control his anger.

He later befriends Jonathon Reese, a boy who hates anyone who isn't like him, and a few other people who are in a club where hate is the national anthem.

There is more to the story, but I'll talk about it more when I finish the first two chapters.

Here's a little snip from the prologue:

"Don't say a word," Reese muttered, as the police officer stood in front of us staring at the bloody shoe that was sticking out of the river bank and the bloody boy that was sitting beside it.
Very much alive.

Anyone else working on any side projects?

Rewrites + Tease + Music

I am STILL trying.

I refuse to give up on this novel, even though it is being really really REALLY impossible. There is just so much to do. I have to fix plot holes, tighten up character arcs, make Kendall more real and not the whiny baby she was in the first draft. I mean, as I was reading over the first draft, I began to realize that Kendall wasn't the way I pictured her. The way I wanted her to be.

So character makeovers are at the TOP of the list.

Damn - by the time I finish this novel, I mean REALLY finish it. I'm going to be an old lady. Hopefully that's not the case, but maybe JUST maybe I'll finish this first draft before the year is over.

Keep your fingers crossed for me. :D

Okay, since I missed Teaser Tuesday last week, I'm going to post my teaser early because I have to go to work tomorrow and I won't have time to post until I get home from work.

This is the NEWEST beginning of Lost & Found. At first, I loved it, then I hated it, then I loved it, and you get the picture. So before I push the backspace button I'm going to let you guys read it, and tell me if it: A) Hooked you B) Made sense and C) Read well.

Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated. And I will try to get to everyone's teasers. Ever since I started working, things have been really hectic, but this is my last week at my summer job, so next Tuesday, I will definitely be able to get to more teasers.
Ooh and sense it is technically Music Monday here is a song from the Lost & Found soundtrack that I absolutely adore.

********** SNIP *********

Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of your Monday. :D

Things That Bother Me About YA

I love young adult fiction.

It's hard to explain why - wait no it's not. I love YA because there are so many sub-genres, so many great books in the genre, so many amazing authors, and being a young adult, as well as a writer of young adult fiction it really is rewarding in many ways.

So yeah, I am a die-hard fan of YA.

But that doesn't mean there aren't things that bother me about the genre, as well as the industry, and what not.

For one, what is up with these female leads these days? I know I rant about this a lot from time to time, but come ON. Females are strong, we can hold our own, and not all of us fall prey to a guy just because they are gorgeous and stoic and (insert cliche description here). Okay, I'll admit there are A LOT of shallow girls out there but when it comes to romance, a real girl wants a guy who actually respects her, and in a relationship the two should play equal roles.

Often in books, the female lead is giving up everything to be with the 'guy of their dreams' while the guy himself, gives up nothing, which really really bothers me because that's not how a relationship should be. I know I'm not a relationship guru or anything, but everyone knows that's how it's supposed to work.

Real girls don't fall head over heels for some guy who has only one good quality, which is their good looks. In some YA books, mostly ones of the paranormal variety, the leads speak constantly of how good-looking the love interest is, and it really makes you wonder. Why does the love interest have to be hot and smexy?

As most of you may know, I am a huge fan of Jane Eyre, both the book and the 2006 movie. I had read the book before I had seen the movie, and while reading I already had a good mental picture of Mr. Rochester. He wasn't handsome, but it was the things that he did and said that made me fall head over heals in love with him.

Looks, I find, are not important when you fall in love. It depends on how fast your heart beats when that special someone is near, it's how often they enter your thoughts, it's how they make you feel, how they don't make you feel, it's how they treat you, and at the end of the day, their face, their outer appearance doesn't matter because you love them, and love is blind.

Or at least it's supposed to be.

Unfortunately, we live in a society where beauty is shoved down our throats.

In order to be beautiful you had to have perfect hair, perfect skin, perfect figures, perfect everything and NO ONE IS PERFECT.

So characters shouldn't be perfect.

I love book covers. They are what pull me in, make me want to see what's inside.

But in case you haven't noticed - there is no diversity in YA. Okay, okay, there is but you have to go on a hunt in bookstores just to find a YA book with a model on the front who isn't white.

I really don't care what color the character is because I was raised to appreciate everyone no matter what they looked like, but still - can we see some diversity on YA bookshelves?

I also can't stand how plain some of these main characters are. I mean, talk about boring. There are some authors like, Courtney Summers, Melina Marchetta etc. who come up with female leads, as well as characters who have great dynamics and are not two dimensional, but three dimensional because they JUMP off of the page.

And notice that I keep saying female characters - WHERE THE HELL ARE THE MALE LEADS?
I want to read more YA fiction where there are male main characters. That's why I tip my hat to writers such as Hannah Moskowitz and John Green because they do a great job of writing male voices.

Maybe this is not something to be annoyed about because maybe people just aren't writing books with male MC's. YEAH RIGHT. I know there are writers out there who are trying to query books with male leads, or maybe they are on sub but still.... I know that they're out there and for some reason they're not being grabbed up.

Which leads me to another issue I have with YA, some authors of the genre are afraid to stray far from the norm or in other words, they are afraid to be different, take risks. I mean, how many vampire/werewolf/angel novels do you see on YA bookshelves.

I don't know about you but I see a lot.

As I said before, there are many writers out there who are trying to pitch their books that stray from the norm, and for some reason they are not getting any attention.

ONE MORE THING and then I promise I am finished with this. Where are the PARENTS? You know, the people who gave birth to these young adults (well, you know what I mean).

They are pretty much non-existent in the YA world.

And instead of just complaining about all of these issues, I am doing my best to address them in my novels, and make sure that I don't fall into the habit of the norm.

So yeah, what bothers you about YA?

Come on, guys, I know you have a few things that really REALLY annoy you.

Seriously, just because you find a few faults in an awesome genre such as YA, doesn't mean that you dislike it, it just means that you agree that there needs to be a few changes, like everything in life.

So, come on.


Looking forward to reading and answering comments. :D